Help/feedback with Dark Sun ideas!

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So, I'm going to be DMing Marauders of the Dune Sea sometime soon and I really want to expand upon this adventure.  I want to use the Revenge of the Marauders sequel book and tie them together with some made up content in between that leads the adventurers to eventually getting the Blood Jewel from Yarnath.

Now, there's a lot of interesting lore and resources to breathe some life into a long Athasian campaign.  My problem is figuring out how to tie everything together and make the adventure flow.  I'd like this thing to go well into the paragon tier at the very least.  I've looked through some of the short campaigns found in the Dragon articles, the 3.5 and 4e campaign setting books, and various websites such as athas.org.  I've been researching like a scholar these past few days.  Here's some of the ideas I have so far:





1.  A final battle with the raider lord Yarnath the Skull.  I know he's not as powerful as a sorcerer-king... I'm guessing he would be suitable for characters that are level 14-16ish.  Perhaps Yarnath's raideres picked the wrong caravan or people to steal from.  Maybe he really pissed off a sorcerer-king (perhaps the Urik one?) and the king will give the heroes a nice incentive to do away with him.

2.  Speaking of Urik, do you remember the Templar of Hamanu players fought in the first encounter of Marauders of the Dune Sea?  Depending on whether players successfully killed him or not, I would like this to be some kind of a story hook.  From what I've read, sorcerer-kings really don't like it when people kill their templars.  If he's still alive, that means players would have the tattooed seal of the Urik king on them.  That would allow Urik or his templars to discover what the players know about the three fragments of the crown.

3.  A long, dark treacherous campaign in the ruins of the once great city-state of Giustenal.  When players get near the ruins, the Calling will attempt to inflict its horror upon the players.  It will be something players will have to deal with through the entire campaign.  What I'm worried about is that this sort of campaign would be better suited toward late paragon and even into epic tier.  Dregoth is a pretty damn powerful lich after all.

4.  A campaign in the lusher regions of Athas.  I was thinking of the Forest Ridge region.  Players might be led there by the Veiled Alliance in order to retrieve the artifact known as the Heartwood Spear www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/d... According to the lore, the weapon originated in the Forest Ridge and was created by halflings.  It sounds fitting for any primal class.  I had an idea that the heroes would have to gain the halfling's trust before giving up the weapon's whereabouts.  Yup, embarking on some kind of dangerous quest.  I wouldn't think the "good guys" of Athas could afford risking the weapon falling into the wrong hands.  This and similar weapons were created with the intention of assassinating sorcerer-kings after all.

5.  A grueling gauntlet of encounters in the Nibenay arena.  Should the players fight their way to the end, perhaps King Nibenay orders the players to then fight each other to the death.  How would the players defy him and maybe still live? 

6.  A trek into the dark underworld of Tyr, rife with bandits/gangs, undead, and Tyrian history long forgotten.  Currently King Tithian forbids anyone from going down there because he fears people might disturb something bad.

7.  A storyline that could fit into one or more of the above ideas I listed where players are working with the Veiled Alliance to spy on and gain favor with a sorcerer-king and vice versa.





Any feedback would be cool.  I want to be able to add choices players will make that could determine different outcomes throughout their Athasian adventures.  Some of them would be quite obvious and be staring them in the face, while I'd like just a few to be very subtle and players might not even think an action they might take would have significant consequences.

Those all sound like great adventures. I imagine that you could wrap them all together to lead up to the Giustenal/fight with Dregoth as a climax.

You could put each adventure idea in a level band and stack them so your PCs are ready for the end fight with Dregoth. Plus there's always Dregoth Ascending, the Athas.org adventure, that you can use as a backdrop for the campaign. www.athas.org/products/DA (click "Files" at the bottom)
I've decided that after the events of the Marauders of the Dune Sea and Revenge of the Marauders (both published by Wizards), I will have the adventurers venture into Under-Tyr.  Templars and nobles in Tyr are being assassinated and incriminating evidence is being left behind at the scene to make it seem as if sorcerer-kings of other city-states are involved.  Players will later investigate the appearance of "serpent men" in Tyr.  They will later be revealed to be yuan-ti and the players will learn that they are allied with King Hamanu of Urik.  The yuan-ti are committing these assassinations to potentially start a war between Tyr and other city-states.  King Hamanu hopes to then take advantage of the situation and use his army once Tyr and other city-states are preoccupied fighting each other.

I found a decent full size map of Under-Tyr in the 4e Dark Sun Campaign Setting book that I can work off of.  Looks like deep inside are caches of phat lewtz (some rare Athasian magical items along with an old armory of iron weapons) that are well protected by traps/puzzles.  I'm in the process of trying to come up with ideas for these.

Players will need to navigate through a hodgepodge of sewers, old city ruins, crypts, and lastly a yuan-ti temple complex. 
I can also imagine that Yarnath aspires to become a sorcerer king himself. That means he may have other interests in Tyr - including an alliance with the yuan-ti of Undertyr - as well as a desire to explore the mysteries of Kalak's pyramid.

Couple that with the need for a Tree of Life to provide a massive resource for a defiler and you also have links to some of the other published 4E adventures.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
I've decided that after the events of the Marauders of the Dune Sea and Revenge of the Marauders (both published by Wizards), I will have the adventurers venture into Under-Tyr.

  Templars and nobles in Tyr are being assassinated and incriminating evidence is being left behind at the scene to make it seem as if sorcerer-kings of other city-states are involved. 
Players will later investigate the appearance of "serpent men" in Tyr.  They will later be revealed to be yuan-ti and the players will learn that they are allied with King Hamanu of Urik. 
The yuan-ti are committing these assassinations to potentially start a war between Tyr and other city-states.  King Hamanu hopes to then take advantage of the situation and use his army once Tyr and other city-states are preoccupied fighting each other.

I found a decent full size map of Under-Tyr in the 4e Dark Sun Campaign Setting book that I can work off of.  Looks like deep inside are caches of phat lewtz (some rare Athasian magical items along with an old armory of iron weapons) that are well protected by traps/puzzles.  I'm in the process of trying to come up with ideas for these.

Players will need to navigate through a hodgepodge of sewers, old city ruins, crypts, and lastly a yuan-ti temple complex. 



Great story hooks.
If you want to come up with some good story ideas for Under Tyr I think the first Troy Denning novel touched on it well. If I recall correctly the party discovered the remnants of an ancient temple guarded by the spirits of dead priests. Inside the temple were candles lit for eternity. Everytime an evil person walked in a candle would snuff out.

There were no candles snuffed out in the temple. And a pile of dead bodies in front of the temple. (See the guards would kill anyone not good aligned if they tried to enter to protect the candles). 
Ant Farm
I can also imagine that Yarnath aspires to become a sorcerer king himself. That means he may have other interests in Tyr - including an alliance with the yuan-ti of Undertyr - as well as a desire to explore the mysteries of Kalak's pyramid.

Couple that with the need for a Tree of Life to provide a massive resource for a defiler and you also have links to some of the other published 4E adventures.

Yeah, I actually changed my mind to have the yuan-ti to be allied with Yarnath before even reading your post.  I'm thinking it would be neat to have some of them living double lives.  In public view they are merchants, craftsmen, politicians, etc. and they are totally secretly immersed in society.  Certain yuan-ti are more humanoid than others and they possess the ability to change their form to look legitimately human.  I may even have some of them infiltrate the Veiled Alliance.

Lucky for me they did a big reskin of monsters from the 3.5 adventure Fortress of the Yuan-ti, so they are all 4e ready.  Zoldathra, Master of the Word will be the end boss.  If you look him up on the compendium, he looks pretty tough.  It's funny how he could cause a dominated player to hurt him/herself by attacking an ally because of his Infernal Toxins power.