After heavy preperations (largely consisting of filling bags of holding with proper food, water, and metal), the group dived through the mirror to Athas hoping to save Danara’s father, Brandis.
They found themselves in a crowded street, pounded by the relentless sun. After checking to see if there appeared to be an anti-flight strictures, Echo took to the air to try and get a better understanding of the land. Unfortunately, this drew rather a lot of attention, and soon several robed, uniformed men approached, and via hand signals (in seemed the Celestial ability to understand languages did not function) communicated that Echo, Danara, and Constance were to follow them.
Keirna and Vara’zs managed to avoid notice and followed after, into a huge palace with iron doors at the heart of the city. Here, they were given audience with the Sorceror King Rikon. Echo told him they were looking for Brandis, was told that he was a myth, and then did a sterling impression of a crazy person.
This did not prevent Rikon ordering them imprisioned. Echo slipped away from the guards by virtue of shrinking drastically, but then got lost in the immense buildng – finding his way to first the harem baths (baths! On Athas!) and then the armory.
Meanwhile, Keirna and Vara’zs followed Danara and Constance’s captors. The two prisoners were placed in a room with arcane runes hidden under the tiles of the floor. Both were easily able to resist the life draining effects of the room. After some time, Keirna managed to break through the door (after it resisted two guards, several kicks, having the hinges removed and being shot by the Railgun That Broke The Will of Hextor, she realised she should remove the magical protections).
Rejoined by Echo, they decided not the fight their way through the Templars massing at the top of the stairs, and instead ran the other way, past more prison rooms. Eventually finding a trapdoor in the ceiling, they progressed to a spherical, golden room with more runes on the floor – and an Obsidian Egg in the centre that drained heat into itself.
Keirna quickly shot it with the Railgun, causing it to explode.
After a brief magical translocation, they escaped through an ancient, sealed off arena, bribed a young girl with enough gold to buy significant parts of the city, got mugged by half of the people within ten miles, and heavily overpaid in order to get a minor psionic ritual.
They then found a bard who told them tales of Brandis, and said that he was likely to be in the North, past Urik or Draj. He also made the sign of the Veiled Alliance, to which Danara responded. Deciding to go north, Danara advised everone to negotiate with the elves – a decision which proved rather difficult, as the elder elf woman in charge recognised them as non-native, and therefore tried to extort vast sums of metal from them. This was eventually sidestepped by offering her parts of the Obsidian Egg.
While on the trip north, toll stations were noted on the road. These were manned by Tower clones.
In Uruk, the celestials found themselves compelled to aid a group of slaves up for auction – buying 56 of them was not enough for Echo, who attempted to negotiate for all of the slaves for several months. Unfortunately, on being asked to prove what house he was from, he made up a house mark and tried to persuade someone that it was from a well known Tyrian house. This swiftly required subterfuge on the behalf of the others. Uruk was left rather quickly.
After nearly a month’s travel to the north, the group came upon signs of prolonged and heavy battle – mountains of dead Thri-kreen, their carapace dry in the sun. The area radiated a strong aura of doubt – strong enough to afflict both Keirna and Echo. Although Keirna was able to shrug it off by embracing the personality of her Mythos Shard, Echo had no such defence and needed clerical help.
They soon determined this was the effect of the Sin of Doubt – and that the White Towers the bard had told them about in Bodach almost certainly refered to the Tower. REsolving to travel back south, they eventually reached the city (after being pestered by hundreds of immensely dangerous creatures) and found it surrounded by a miles deep phalanx of perfectly still Kreen warriors. On a well maintained road, merchants travelled through this daunting living wall to the city proper – here, there was no wall…but there was a gate. Before this, Tower arbiters inspected the papers of the merchants, aided by a number of clone soldiers and (oddly) two very beaten looking women.
The group spied a Mekillot coming, and hid across the vast bulk of the elemental drake as it entered the city….