A Little Help Crafting a Little Adventure?

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So, it's been a good while that I've been compiling ideas for an adventure I'd like to fill out/flesh out for Dark Sun. Problem is, I have all these ideas, but am drawing blanks on good ways to connect them. And as a heads up, I envision this adventure perhaps lasting 2 levels, and probably starting at 6th. I guess first off, here's a list of ideas I want to incorporate:

1. Gronk Spliteye is the main villian. He statisictally, is a bugbear, and has the whole bugbear look about him. Though he is not one (as they are not present in Athas), but was once a man like any other before some curse befell him, warping him into the monstrosity he is known as. The main idea driving this, and starting the whole idea of this adventure is a Reaper Miniature I picked up of a bugbear mini of the same name weilding a scimitar and mace, and I imaged him painted with a sandy base, and rough dusty metal armor. Then it struck me he could make an excellant villian for a Dark Sun adventure. The insipration behind his backstory I imagine, and plays a role similiar, to that of Calibos from Clash of the Titans. A mere mortal man cursed and warped into a monster who intercepts the heroes multiple times.

2. The finale of the adventure brings the characters to ruins uncovered by a recent sandstorm, a temple beneath the sands housing an ancient evil. A 4th ed remake of a "Crawling Apocalypse", or a "mummified tentacular beast". Or, see my profile pic.

3. The characters enter a region of Athas they've never visited, a region where this "Gronk Spliteye" (not sure about name) is known in infamy.

4. A plot device is stolen from the Dungeon Adventure "The Tyrant's Oath", where the nearby towns are opressed,  but looked after by a bandit army. The leader of which will be confronted by the PCs in help of finding out Gronk's true intentions (whatever they end up being).

So yeah, that's what I've got so far. A twisted monster of a man wreaking havoc on a settlement filled barren expanse with some bad intentions for his actions, and the governing law of the area being that of a bandit force that simply wandered in and forcibly assumed control. All leading into a final confrontation with Gronk at the uncovered ruins before heading down and vanquishing an ancient guardian for some reason.

Any help at all from anyone on ways to tie this together? A few last comments would be that I would enjoy having a large battle scene portrayed as a skill challenge, also reminiscant of "The Tyrant's Oath" in the dunes near the uncovered ruins before the PCs chase Gronk from the battle in an attempt to beat them into the ruins. And a few other skill challenges mixed in would be nice as well, as my group enjoys them.

Thanks beforehand for any ideas anyone can spare . And I don't have very long to prepare this, so I was hoping for some relatively quick replies. I have just over a week to get enough prepared for the start, though I'd like to just get it all typed up and done so I dont' have to worry about it.
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Well, here's a possibility using some Cthlulhu-esque plot devices:

Gronk originally was the leader of the bandits.

The ancient evil is psychic in nature. It forms a bond with Gronk (you'll have to devise the reason e.g., Gronk found some ancient object that created a psychic link with the ancient evil). Through this bond, it constantly reaches out to Gronk pleading/commanding that Gronk release it from its "prison." This drives Gronk slowly insane. (So this process could take months/years if you wanted)

Gronk commands the bandits to go to the region, and take over the towns, which they do but with much trepidation. A splinter starts to form in the bandit group, as they wonder, "what are we doing here?"

Once the region has been oppressed, Gronk reveals the next part of his plan: to explore the ruins. He uses the promise of extraordinary treasure to whet their appetites. What he does NOT tell them is that there is an ancient evil he wants to free.

But things start going wrong. It could be that monsters harrass the bandit group. Or, their minds are assulted by the ancient evil being so close to it (e.g., having nightmares, some bandits go insane, etc.).

The schism in the bandit group finally happens. Gronk's main lieutenant calls it quits, splintering the bandits, and returns to the region they had placated. Gronk's team, OTOH, continues to dig up and explore the ruins, bent on uncovering riches beyond their wildest imaginations (hehehe).

PCs now step into this situation.

You can also add that the lieutenant may have seen something or heard something that reveals more about Gronk's intentions than merely exploring a ruins. For example, maybe he overheard Gronk talking to himself (actually, he was talking to the ancient evil) and muttering something like "he has to free [name of ancient evil]." Of course, no one knows what [name of ancient evil] is...until it's too late. Or perhaps a hard skill check with history?

Hope that helps! Got to go work now =(
This whole adventure plot will need to be pretty far away from any of the SK's city states. Otherwise, they won't take too kindly on someone else mucking with they people (only they are allowed to do that!)

You could have the PCs sent out by a local templar magistrate to investigate this town that was taken over by bandits. Now they have official sanction to get involved. The politics in Dark Sun can be pretty crazy, but that's what keeps you from having too much time to think about how your world is dying The SK probably know about the artifact, and wants the PCs to bring it back. Now it would be hysterical to have the artifact be a decanter of endless water...that would cause quite the stir in the world


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Grunk chased out of the towns for some imagined act that he is innocent of. He wandered into the desert wounded and dying only to fall within the influence of the Pristine tower and was changed and warped. What was left was a creature bent on revenge and destruction. The bandits just happen to recruit from the area and see the chaos of the outlying villages as a depletion of a resource that is by all rights theirs. Maybe you can throw in some item that makes Grunk even tougher. He should be leading a band of the warped. Creatures mutated by the sands of Athas where great magics were unleashed on the world. If I am not mistaken the Pristine tower is kinda close to the city by the silt sea. That could be your source for the warping magic.