Pathfinder 1E using Chatgpt - Adventures in Osirion
Hello everyone, i post this here, this is my attempt at running a full game of Pathfinder 1E using ChatGPT as my Dungeon Master, the ai took some liberties with the lore but did a good job overall and i was impressed with some of the NPCs it threw at me. The start is mostly Roleplay with very little combat. I decided to start this adventure in Osirion, which is not the nation i'm most familiar with but i had fun. I currently ran 4 chapters and this is chapter 1.

Combats were fully ran by me using Foundryvtt and the combats are fully written in italics while everything i wrote to the ai in is bold.

My character is a Human Whirling Devish Swashbuckler who worship Serenrae named Qasim. I'll maybe post his backstory (which i fed the ai beforehand).

Also, english isn't my native language so sorry for any grammar mistakes or anything of the sort.

CHAPTER ONE - Rashid's Trail

As the scorching sun casts its golden rays across the sprawling desert landscape of Osirion, the city of Sothis stands as a beacon of civilization amidst the vast sea of sand. Qasim, your Swashbuckler character, finds himself in the heart of the city, amidst the bustling streets filled with market stalls, merchants haggling over prices, and travelers from all corners of Golarion.
The city's central square is dominated by an impressive statue of Sarenrae, her arms outstretched in a gesture of compassion, her radiant visage providing shade to those who seek solace beneath her gaze. The scent of exotic spices wafts through the air as Qasim navigates the crowded market, the sun beating down on his back.
As you wander through the square, a commotion draws your attention. A small crowd has gathered around a makeshift stage where a street performer is attempting to dazzle the onlookers with a juggling act. The performer's colorful clothes and twirling movements create an atmosphere of amusement, but it's clear to your keen eye that this isn't just entertainment. Hidden beneath the performer's showmanship is a masterful pickpocket, deftly relieving unsuspecting bystanders of their belongings.
The crowd seems captivated by the spectacle, but a few distressed faces catch your eye. A young mother clutches her empty coin pouch with a worried expression, and an elderly man pats his pockets frantically, realizing he's been robbed. What would you like to do, Qasim?

Qasim will try a perception check to see what is really happening and try to notice pickpockets amongst the crowd, i rolled a 15 on the perception check, what do i see ?

With your perceptive eyes scanning the scene, you notice the subtle details that most others might miss. As you focus on the street performer's act, you begin to pick up on the telltale signs of pickpocketing. The performer's hands move in calculated patterns, synchronizing perfectly with the distractions caused by their acrobatics and juggling. It becomes evident that this is a coordinated effort to relieve unsuspecting spectators of their valuables.
Amidst the crowd, you spot two individuals who seem to be working in tandem with the performer. They appear to be taking advantage of the distraction, slipping their nimble fingers into pockets and pouches with practiced ease. One of them is a wiry figure with a sly grin, and the other is a young woman with a deceptive air of innocence.

Qasim will approach the man with the sly grin and confront him, saying: "You might want to give these back, i'm not looking for a fight but i saw what you and your little friend over there are doing, and i want you to stop at once."

As you confidently stride towards the man with the sly grin, your voice carries a firm tone that demands attention. The man's grin falters for a moment as he meets your gaze, clearly taken aback by your direct approach. The bustling sounds of the market seem to fade into the background, leaving only the two of you in a tense moment of confrontation.
He raises an eyebrow, feigning innocence, but the nervous flicker in his eyes gives away his true intentions. "I'm not sure what you're talking about, friend. I'm just enjoying the performance like everyone else."
However, your words and unwavering presence have caught the attention of those around you. The young mother you noticed earlier is now watching with a glimmer of hope in her eyes, and the elderly man who was robbed seems intrigued by your intervention.
The man's attempt at denial is flimsy at best, and it's clear he's on the defensive. How would you like to proceed, Qasim?

Qasim will then say "Listen, i'm not here to fight like i said, but i won't hesitate to make your face meet the ground if you don't give these back." Qasim will then turn to the other pickpocket, the woman, and say "This is also about you, although i wouldn't want to strike a woman."

Your words, laced with a mix of determination and restraint, hang heavy in the air. The man's bravado seems to waver further as he assesses the conviction in your stance. He glances at the young woman next to him, a silent exchange passing between them.
Seeing that their ruse is unraveling, the young woman's façade of innocence crumbles. She steps closer, her eyes locked onto yours. "Fine, fine," she mutters with an exasperated sigh, her fingers discreetly returning a few stolen items into her pouch. "We were just trying to survive, you know?"
The man lets out a resigned sigh, then begins to produce the ill-gotten gains he had managed to collect. "We ain't got no quarrel with you, stranger. Just thought we'd take advantage of the crowd."
The scene unfolds as the two pickpockets begrudgingly return the stolen belongings. The young mother approaches with gratitude, her eyes brimming with thanks, while the elderly man chuckles softly, clearly impressed by your actions.
As the tension eases, the street performer finishes their act, unaware of the unfolding drama. The crowd applauds, and a small shower of coins lands in a hat at the performer's feet.
You've managed to defuse the situation and recover the stolen items without resorting to violence. The market's hustle and bustle resumes its normal rhythm, the sun continuing its relentless journey across the sky.

Qasim will then approach the two pickpockets and say "There are other ways to survive around here, other ways to make do, i know poverty, if the two of you are willing, i'm looking for a team to go looking for ancient artifacts in the nearby pyramids and ruins."

The pickpockets exchange surprised glances, clearly taken aback by your unexpected offer. Their expressions shift from skepticism to cautious interest as they contemplate your proposition. The young woman crosses her arms, her gaze narrowing thoughtfully, while the man scratches his chin, seemingly lost in contemplation.
After a moment of silence, the young woman speaks up, her voice tinged with curiosity. "You're serious? You want to take us along on your treasure hunts?"
You nod, your gaze steady and earnest. "Indeed. I've seen your skills in action, and I believe that your talents could be put to better use. There's more to be gained from unearthing history and artifacts than resorting to theft."
The man chuckles, a mixture of amusement and disbelief in his voice. "You're asking us to go from sneaking around pockets to sneaking around pyramids? That's a whole different level, you know."
You offer a reassuring smile. "It's a path that offers redemption and purpose. We can leave behind the shadows and embrace the light of Sarenrae's teachings. Together, we can uncover the mysteries of the past and make a positive impact on the world."
The two pickpockets share another glance, the weight of your words clearly sinking in. After a brief hushed conversation between themselves, they turn back to you.
The young woman extends a hand, her expression a mix of determination and newfound hope. "Alright, stranger. You've got yourself a deal. But remember, if this is just some fancy talk, we won't hesitate to disappear into those shadows again."
With a firm handshake, the pact is sealed. It seems that your journey has taken an unexpected turn, as you've gained two unlikely companions in your quest for ancient artifacts. The sun continues its descent, casting long shadows across the city as you contemplate the adventures that lie ahead.

Qasim will then say "Please, tell me your names, i am Qasim."

The young woman offers a warm smile as she introduces herself, "I'm Leena. You've got yourself a couple of partners in adventure, Qasim."
The man with the sly grin chuckles and extends a hand, "And I'm Malik. Well then, Qasim, it looks like fate's taken us from the streets to the sands."
As the three of you stand amidst the bustling market, a newfound camaraderie begins to form. The sun dips lower in the sky, casting the city in a warm, golden glow. The promise of ancient ruins, untold treasures, and the opportunity for redemption beckons, and your path forward is filled with the anticipation of the adventures to come.

Qasim will now say to his new companions: "Let's not dwell on here too much then, time to go looking for information at the nearest tavern, always a somewhat reliable source of information for treasure huntin' heh"

Leena and Malik share a chuckle at your suggestion, nodding in agreement. "You've got a point, Qasim," Leena says with a grin. "Taverns have a way of attracting all sorts of characters with interesting tidbits of information."
Malik adds, "And who knows, maybe I can even strum up a tune that'll get folks talking. Let's find ourselves a place to gather some leads."
As a group, you make your way through the bustling streets of Sothis, your destination clear in your minds. The sun sets behind the desert horizon, casting the city in the cool hues of twilight. Eventually, you come upon a tavern known as "The Oasis Rest," its doors inviting and its sounds of laughter and conversation spilling into the streets.
Stepping inside, the aroma of spiced food and the sound of lively chatter greet you. The tavern's patrons range from weary travelers to boisterous locals, and the atmosphere is one of camaraderie and shared stories.
What would you like to do in the tavern, Qasim? Are you looking to gather information, strike up conversations, or perhaps perform something to draw attention?

Looking at Malik's flashy clothing and demeanor, Qasim will tell him: "Malik, you seem good at talking am i right ? How about you try to dig something up while i buy us a round of ale ?" and with that Qasim will ask for 3 pints of ale to the bartender

Malik grins at your suggestion, adjusting the collar of his colorful shirt as he responds, "Ah, you've got me pegged, Qasim. I'll see what kind of tales I can spin out of these fine folks."
As Malik sets off to engage in conversations, you make your way to the bar. The bartender, a middle-aged woman with a friendly demeanor, nods at your request and expertly fills three pints of ale. Placing them in front of you, she says, "On the house for you and your friends, stranger. What brings you to The Oasis Rest tonight?"
Taking a sip of the cool ale, you respond, "Just a bit of relaxation after a day in the city. But I also heard that a well-traveled place like this can sometimes hold the keys to certain... endeavors."
The bartender chuckles knowingly, wiping a mug with a cloth. "Aye, you're right about that. If it's tales of adventure and hidden treasures you're after, you've come to the right place. Folks from all walks of life gather here, and you never know who might have a bit of juicy information to share."
As you take in the tavern's atmosphere, you notice Malik weaving his way through the crowd, his melodious voice and charismatic presence drawing the attention of curious patrons.
What would you like to do while Malik strikes up conversations and gathers information, Qasim? Is there anyone in particular you'd like to approach or anything else you'd like to investigate?

Qasim will slide 3 silver pieces on the bar and say "It is of no use to be that generous of you, now would you know of any erm... Person ? That could... Maybe point us in the direction of some freshly discovered ruins ?"

The bartender's eyes catch the glint of the silver pieces as they're placed on the bar. She offers a grateful smile and nods in appreciation before leaning in slightly, her tone lowering to a conspiratorial whisper. "Well, you know, there's been talk of a group of explorers who came back from the Wadi of the Dawn, not too far from here. They were whispering about a hidden entrance they stumbled upon in one of the ancient ruins. Word is they found something valuable, but they're keeping hush-hush about the details."
She glances around, ensuring no one's eavesdropping, before continuing. "If you're looking to track them down, you might want to keep an ear out for a fellow by the name of Rashid. He's been seen with them a few times around here, though he's known to be a bit secretive himself."
As she finishes, she straightens up and adopts a more casual demeanor. "But hey, that's just the gossip that floats around these parts. Might be worth looking into, if you're feeling adventurous."
As you ponder the information, Malik joins you at the bar, his usually animated expression now a mix of intrigue and excitement. "Qasim, my friend, you won't believe the stories I've uncovered! There's talk of ancient tombs and lost artifacts aplenty. Our fellow patrons are practically bursting with curiosity and tales."
With this new lead and the excitement in the air, what's your next move, Qasim?

"Well, Malik, let's bring Leena her pint of ale so that we shall discuss of our findings together, i also heard some interesting news that might pick your ear."

Malik's eyes light up at your suggestion, and he nods eagerly. "Sounds like a plan, Qasim! I'm sure Leena will be quite pleased with our discoveries."
You pick up the three pints of ale from the bar and make your way to a corner table where Leena is waiting, her eyes already flickering with curiosity. As you join her, Malik takes a seat as well, his enthusiasm palpable.
Setting the pints on the table, you begin to share the information you gathered from the bartender about the explorers and the hidden entrance in the Wadi of the Dawn. Malik, in turn, regales you and Leena with the stories he gathered from the tavern's patrons – tales of forgotten crypts, untold riches, and the thrill of discovery.
Leena listens intently, her natural stealthiness making her adept at absorbing the details. "So, we've got a name – Rashid – and a potential lead in the Wadi of the Dawn," she muses. "Seems like our next step is to track down this Rashid and see what he knows."
Malik nods in agreement, his fingers tapping rhythmically on the table. "And with your acrobatics, Qasim, and my gift of gab, we're bound to make quite the impression on whoever we meet."
As you discuss your plans and share your excitement, the prospect of unraveling the mysteries of the Wadi of the Dawn and the hidden entrance beckons. Your trio of unlikely companions, brought together by fate and circumstance, now stand on the cusp of a grand adventure.

Qasim will finish his pint and say look out, how late is it ?

As you glance out of a nearby window, the sun has already dipped below the horizon, leaving behind hues of orange and purple in the sky. The desert night is beginning to cast its cool embrace over the city.
"It seems the day has turned into night, my friends," you announce with a satisfied smile. "Our next steps await us, but perhaps it's best to rest and prepare for what lies ahead. Tomorrow, we embark on a new journey."
Leena stretches her arms and nods in agreement, her rogue instincts reminding her of the importance of a well-rested start. "Agreed. We'll need our wits about us if we're going to navigate those ruins and find this Rashid."
Malik finishes his ale and stands up with a flourish, a mischievous glint in his eye. "And who knows, maybe we'll even find a way to make the night as memorable as the day."
With a shared sense of purpose and a hint of excitement in the air, you and your companions settle your tab and make your way to lodgings for the night. The city's sounds slowly fade into the backdrop as you look forward to the adventures that await you in the days to come.

"Let's all meet here at dawn friends, and pack some food and drinks."

Nods of agreement follow your suggestion. Leena gives a curt nod, her expression determined, while Malik's grin widens. "Dawn it is, Qasim. I'll be sure to have a song ready to welcome the day."
With your plans set, the three of you disperse for the night, each finding rest and preparing for the journey that lies ahead. The desert stars twinkle overhead as the city sleeps, and the promise of a new day filled with adventure and mystery looms on the horizon.
As dawn approaches, the anticipation in your hearts grows stronger. The Oasis Rest will once again become a gathering point for your trio of companions, bound by fate and a shared quest. The sun will rise over the city of Sothis, and your journey will begin anew, in search of ancient ruins, hidden entrances, and the secrets that lie beneath the sands.

As Qasim wakes up from a short night, he starts packing everything he needs and heads straight to the Oasis Rest to meet up with his new companions, are they here when he arrives ?

As the first light of dawn filters through the windows, you rise from your brief rest, a sense of anticipation propelling you forward. You gather your belongings and make your way through the quiet streets of Sothis. The city is just beginning to stir, its residents slowly awakening to the new day.
Upon reaching The Oasis Rest, you find that the tavern's doors are already open, its interior softly illuminated by the early morning light. The scent of fresh bread and brewed tea fills the air as the tavern's staff goes about their preparations for the day.
As you enter, you see that Leena is already there, sitting at the corner table you occupied last night. She's sipping on a cup of tea, her gear neatly arranged beside her. She looks up as you approach and offers a nod of acknowledgment.
Malik, on the other hand, seems to have embraced the morning's spirit. He stands by the open window, his fingers gently strumming a lively tune on his lute. The music dances on the cool morning breeze, infusing the room with a sense of energy.
Seeing you, Malik turns with a flourish and grins. "Qasim! Rise and shine, my friend. I thought I'd greet the day with a melody to set the mood."
With your companions gathered, the sun begins to rise in earnest, its warm rays filtering through the tavern's windows. The day stretches before you, full of promise and adventure.
What would you like to do now, Qasim?

"Let's head for this... Wadi of the Dawn was it ? Anyway we should first look for Rashid i reckon." After a brief pause, Qasim will continue "Does anyone of you know what this Wadi of the Dawn is exactly ?"

Leena takes a sip of her tea before responding, "The Wadi of the Dawn is a stretch of desert not too far from here. It's said to be dotted with ancient ruins and tombs, remnants of civilizations long gone. The name comes from the way the sun's first light hits the dunes, creating a breathtaking spectacle."
Malik chimes in, his fingers idly plucking at his lute strings. "Legends speak of hidden chambers and forgotten treasures within the wadi's depths. If we're going after Rashid and the entrance he knows of, we might find ourselves navigating those very sands."
Leena nods in agreement. "And as for Rashid, we might need to inquire around town, see if anyone knows where he frequents or if he's been spotted recently."
With a plan forming and the knowledge you need, your trio sets its sights on both Rashid and the Wadi of the Dawn. The city's morning activities are in full swing outside the tavern's windows, but inside, a sense of purpose and adventure prevails.

Does Qasim know about any black market kind of area in the city ? Illegal places to get information ? I rolled a 10 on my knowledge (local) check.

With your roll of 10 on the knowledge check, you recall that Sothis, being a bustling and diverse city, likely has some underground or black market establishments where one could acquire information that might not be readily available in more public places. While you might not have specific details, you're aware that such places tend to cater to various unsavory activities, including information brokering.
You share this thought with Leena and Malik, and they both seem to agree that looking into the black market might yield some leads. "It's worth a shot," Leena says, her tone suggesting that she's no stranger to the darker side of the city. "Rashid might have connections to people who know their way around the secrets of this place."
Malik nods thoughtfully. "And if anyone knows where to find the elusive Rashid, it's likely those who thrive in the shadows."
With a direction in mind, your trio leaves The Oasis Rest, ready to explore the less savory corners of Sothis in search of information about Rashid and the entrance to the Wadi of the Dawn. The city's underbelly awaits, promising intrigue and perhaps some challenges along the way.

Qasim will turn to Leena and say "Lead the way, i believe you know where to find the black market."

Leena nods in response to your request. "I've heard whispers about a place called the 'Shadows' Embrace,' a known gathering spot for those looking to deal in secrets and information." She glances at Malik and you. "It's a bit hidden and not exactly advertised, but if we're looking for the right kind of connections, that's where we should head."
Guided by Leena's knowledge and instincts, your trio sets off through the streets of Sothis, navigating through alleys and backstreets that are less traveled by the average citizen. After a series of turns, Leena brings you to a nondescript building, its facade unremarkable and inconspicuous.
With a quick glance around to make sure no one is watching, Leena leads the way to a seemingly ordinary door. She knocks in a specific pattern, and after a moment, a small slit opens, revealing a pair of cautious eyes. A few whispered words are exchanged, and the door creaks open, revealing a dimly lit interior.
Inside, the atmosphere is hushed, with low conversations murmuring in the background. The space is filled with a motley assortment of individuals – hooded figures, shady-looking traders, and even a few mercenaries nursing drinks.
As you step inside, Leena turns to you and the others. "Let's be discreet and keep our purpose low-key. We're here for information, not to stir up trouble."

"Leena, do you recognize anyone here, a friendly face with whom we might engage in a conversation, potentially leading us to Rashid ?"

Leena scans the room, her eyes narrowed in concentration as she searches for any familiar faces or individuals who might be open to sharing information. After a moment, her gaze settles on a figure seated at a corner table – a weathered man with a scar across his cheek and a patch over one eye. He seems engrossed in conversation with a few others, occasionally casting a sharp glance around the room.
Leena leans in slightly to speak to you and Malik. "See that man with the eye patch? That's Aric. He's got a reputation for knowing more than he lets on. If anyone's heard of Rashid or the secrets of the Wadi of the Dawn, it might be him."
Malik's fingers tap lightly on the table, his thoughtful expression matching the seriousness of the situation. "All right, then. Let's approach him carefully, gather what information we can, and see if he's willing to share."
With a shared nod, your trio makes its way towards Aric's table. The Shadows' Embrace continues its low-key activities around you, the atmosphere thick with tension and the unspoken promise of hidden truths.
As you approach Aric's table, what would you like to say or do, Qasim? How do you plan to initiate the conversation and inquire about Rashid and the entrance to the Wadi of the Dawn?

Qasim will calmly approach Aric and say "Are you Aric, my name is Qasim, i'm looking for information and i've got some coin."

Aric's one-eyed gaze shifts from the conversation he was engaged in to you, assessing you and your companions with a mixture of caution and curiosity. He takes a sip from his drink before responding, his voice a low, gravelly rumble. "Qasim, huh? Coin can be a convincing conversation starter, but it depends on what kind of information you're after."
He eyes you expectantly, his eye patch lending an air of mystery to his already weathered appearance. The surrounding murmurs of the Shadows' Embrace continue, seemingly indifferent to the exchange happening at Aric's table.

"I am looking for a certain Rashid, and indirectly some information on some ruins down in the Wadi of the Dawn."

Aric's remaining eye narrows as he listens to your request, his scarred face unreadable. He leans back slightly, as if assessing your sincerity and intent. "Rashid, huh? That name holds its own share of secrets," he muses, taking another slow sip of his drink. "And the Wadi of the Dawn... Well, that's a place where even shadows have their stories."
He seems to be testing you, gauging your reaction to his words. It's clear that Aric is not one to give away information easily, even with the promise of coin.
Malik, sensing the need for a more subtle approach, steps forward with a charming smile. "My friend, we're seekers of adventure, of stories that few dare to tell. We're not here to cause trouble, only to uncover the mysteries that lie beneath the sands. If you know anything about Rashid or the secrets of the Wadi, your insights could be greatly rewarded."
Aric studies Malik for a moment, his scarred features softening ever so slightly. "Coin can open doors, but trust opens hearts. If you're truly seekers of truth and not just mercenaries after treasure, then perhaps we can find some common ground."
The tension in the air seems to ease as Aric leans forward, his one eye locking onto yours, Qasim. "Tell me more about your intentions and why Rashid's trail has led you to the Wadi of the Dawn."
What would you like to share with Aric to convince him of your sincerity, Qasim? How do you plan to open up and build that trust he's seeking?

"Saying that this isn't about the coin would be lying and i am no liar, but i am not a mere coin-chaser. My heart burns with a desire for discoveries, see, when i was a few years younger, i found a book in some deprecated ruins... This book was the very book that taught me swordsmanship, it taught me a way of life. I am here for the coin yes, but for the knowledge first."

Aric's eye remains fixed on you as you speak, his expression thoughtful as he weighs your words. The background noise of the tavern seems to fade away, leaving just the two of you in a moment of connection.
As you finish sharing your story, he leans back in his chair, his demeanor somewhat softened. "A book that changed your life, hm? You've got fire in your words, Qasim. I can appreciate that."
He gestures to the empty chair across from him. "Join me, both of you. If you're truly seekers of knowledge and not just looking to fill your pockets, then I might have something for you."
You and your companions take the offered seats, the tension in the air dissipating further. Aric regards each of you in turn before continuing.
"Rashid is known to deal in artifacts, relics of ages past. He's been seen around here, whispering of secrets and hidden treasures. But he's a cautious one, doesn't give much away." Aric's gaze turns toward the dimly lit corners of the tavern. "The Wadi of the Dawn... It's a place where the sand has preserved the past, and where danger and reward go hand in hand."
He leans in, his voice lowering even further. "If you're set on finding Rashid and delving into those ruins, there's a contact he's known to meet – a woman named Zara. She's got her fingers in more than one pie and could point you in the right direction. But tread carefully, for there are those who would rather see such knowledge remain hidden."
With this new lead and Aric's cautious advice, you realize that your journey is far from over. The challenges and dangers of the Wadi of the Dawn await, but so do its secrets.

"Well, Aric, it was nice meeting you" Qasim says, giving him 10 silver pieces, he then turns to the group "Let's find this Zara, shall we ?"

Aric accepts the silver pieces with a nod, his eye crinkling at the corners in what might be a faint smile. "A pleasure, Qasim. Remember, knowledge can be a dangerous currency, but it's worth the risk if you seek the truth."
Leaving the dimly lit interior of the Shadows' Embrace behind, your trio steps back into the bustling streets of Sothis. The morning has progressed, and the city is now fully awake and alive with activity.
Leena adjusts her gear, her eyes focused on the task ahead. "Zara, then. Let's see if we can track her down and gather more information about Rashid and the entrance to the Wadi of the Dawn."
Malik strikes a chord on his lute, the music harmonizing with the city's energy. "Indeed! The threads of this tale are beginning to intertwine, and it's up to us to follow them."
With a shared sense of purpose and newfound knowledge, you and your companions set out to find this woman named Zara. The city's streets stretch before you, each step bringing you closer to the next chapter of your adventure.
Where would you like to start your search for Zara, Qasim? Are there any particular areas or methods you'd like to employ to track down this key to Rashid's whereabouts?

"Alright, let's all separate, ask around town for this Zara woman and then let's meet up at the Oasis Rest !"

Leena and Malik both nod in agreement, understanding the plan. "Sounds like a solid approach," Leena says, her instincts already guiding her thoughts. "We'll canvas the city, ask discreetly, and hopefully gather enough information to pinpoint Zara's location."
Malik's lute slung over his shoulder, he adds with a wink, "And if anyone has information, a catchy tune might make them more likely to share."
With your plan set, your trio disperses into the bustling streets of Sothis. Each of you sets out on your own path, weaving through the city's diverse neighborhoods, markets, and gathering places in search of any whisper or clue that might lead to Zara.
Hours pass, and as the sun begins its descent toward the horizon, you find yourselves once again outside The Oasis Rest, the designated meeting place. Leena arrives first, followed shortly by Malik, both wearing expressions that suggest they've gathered some information.
As you all gather, Leena speaks first. "I managed to find a merchant who mentioned Zara. Seems she has a hand in acquiring and selling various goods, legal or otherwise. She's known to frequent the trade district, often around the cloth merchant stalls."
Malik follows up, a twinkle in his eye. "And I chatted with a street performer who had crossed paths with Zara. Apparently, she's quite the enigmatic character, known to strike deals under the guise of trading secrets."
With the pieces of information gathered, your quest for Zara's whereabouts progresses. The sun casts long shadows as you stand before The Oasis Rest, the anticipation of your next move palpable.

"Let's go there right now, did any of you get a physical description of what she looks like ?"

Leena and Malik exchange glances, and Leena nods at your question. "I managed to gather a general description. Zara is said to be a woman of average height, with a scarf often wrapped around her head and a tendency to wear vibrant clothing that draws attention."
Malik chimes in, "And rumor has it that she's got a way with words, persuasive and shrewd. We'll need to keep our wits about us when we approach her."
With the description in mind, your trio sets off toward the trade district, the sun now casting a warm, golden light over the city. The bustling market area is alive with activity, vendors hawking their wares, and shoppers bustling about.
As you walk through the market, your eyes scan the crowd for anyone who matches the description of Zara. It doesn't take long before Leena's keen senses catch a glimpse of a woman with a scarf wrapped around her head, standing near a collection of vibrant fabrics.
Leena subtly gestures in Zara's direction, catching your attention.

Qasim will approach Zara, a bit unsure of himself and then finally discreetly say "Why hello there, might you be the one named Zara by any chance ?"

As you approach Zara, she turns her attention toward you, her gaze assessing. Her scarf, colorful and eye-catching, frames her face, and her expression seems to hold a mixture of curiosity and caution. She's surrounded by bolts of fabric, her presence both blending into and standing out from the vibrant market surroundings.
At your question, Zara raises an eyebrow, her lips curving into a faint smile. "Well now, who's asking?" Her voice is smooth and measured, each word carrying a weight of hidden intent.
Leena and Malik remain nearby, ready to provide support if needed, but also ensuring they don't appear overtly connected to your conversation.

Qasim will ease up the conversation, trying to be as diplomatic as possible: "My name is Qasim, a humble ruin-seeker and desert dweller. I happen to be looking for information. You see i have a deal to strike with a fellow named Rashid, whom from what information i possess, you might know." I rolled a 21 on my diplomacy check.

Zara's expression shifts slightly, her curiosity piqued by your words. She studies you for a moment, seemingly assessing the authenticity of your demeanor and words. Your approach appears to have struck a chord, and her guarded demeanor softens just a touch.
"Well, Qasim, a ruin-seeker you say?" She seems to weigh your words carefully. "And Rashid, hm? He's not an easy man to track down, let alone strike a deal with."
Her eyes seem to hold a glint of challenge, as if testing your resolve. "But you strike me as someone not easily deterred. If you're after information or perhaps something more, you might just have my attention."
The market bustles around you, the rhythm of the city carrying the weight of your conversation.

"I also know that you deal in secrets, but what will it take to convince you to share some information with me ? Coin ? Secrets ? Something else entirely, a service ?"

Zara's gaze remains fixed on you, her contemplative expression giving away little. She seems to consider your words carefully, weighing your offer against her own interests.
"Secrets are my trade, Qasim," she responds, her voice holding a note of intrigue. "And while coin can be persuasive, it's not always the most valuable currency in my line of work."
She steps closer, her presence drawing you into her confidence. "Rashid's dealings are known to me, but they're closely guarded. If you truly seek the path he walks, you must understand that the information I possess is precious."
She leans in slightly, her words carrying a weight of challenge. "Tell me, Qasim, what secret of your own are you willing to share? Sometimes, it's the offering of trust that opens the doors we seek."
The bustling market seems to fade into the background as you stand before Zara, your intentions and her interests colliding in a delicate balance.

I would like to attempt a sense motive check to try to know what kind of secrets is she after specifically, i rolled a 14 on my sense motive check, what do i learn ?

As you carefully observe Zara's expressions and listen to her words, you sense that she's looking for more than just a simple exchange of information. Her demeanor suggests that she's interested in a deeper level of trust and connection, perhaps a personal revelation that would demonstrate your sincerity and commitment to the cause.
The subtleties in her gaze and the way she holds herself lead you to believe that she values authenticity and a genuine willingness to open up. It's less about the content of the secret itself and more about the act of sharing something meaningful and personal.
With this insight, you understand that Zara's request for a secret isn't necessarily tied to a specific type of information, but rather to your willingness to demonstrate trust and vulnerability.
How do you plan to respond to Zara's challenge and secure her cooperation in revealing information about Rashid ?

"Well, i have no secrets in the proper sense of the term, but stories i might provide. I could tell you about my life, i was born in this very city, in a modest family of swordsman and performers who all worshipped the Dawnflower. I followed her teachings of good-doing and helping the ones in need while also snooping around forgotten ruins where only corpses where left, some inanimate, some very much animated. In one of those ancient temple i found a book about an ancient style of swordsmanship that had been lost to time and practiced everyday what i could understand from the old leatherbound tome. This tome is still in my possession and is the key to the secrets of my swordsmanship."

Zara's eyes remain fixed on you as you share your story, her gaze unwavering. The bustling sounds of the market seem to fade into the background, leaving just the two of you in this moment of connection.
As you speak of your upbringing, your devotion to Sarenrae, and your discovery of the ancient swordsmanship tome, you see a flicker of interest in her eyes. She listens intently, seemingly drawn in by your words.
When you finish, there's a pause, a weight of consideration in the air. Zara's expression shifts, a glint of something like approval crossing her features. "Your story holds its own kind of secrets, Qasim. The path you've walked, the knowledge you've uncovered – these are the kinds of truths that resonate with those who value both history and the present."
She takes a step back, her demeanor returning to its guarded state but with a hint of warmth. "Rashid moves through shadows and whispers, but you've shared a part of yourself that few might know. For that, I'm willing to give you a glimpse into his world."
With a subtle motion, Zara produces a small piece of parchment from within her garments, handing it to you. "This is the location where Rashid is rumored to make his dealings. Approach with caution, for the path you tread is not without its risks."
As you take the parchment, your gaze meets hers, a mutual understanding passing between you.

I turn back to Leena and Malik, parchment in hand "We got ourselves our lead, let's find Rashid, this is our new order of business."

Leena and Malik nod in unison, their expressions determined and ready for the next step. "Finally," Leena says, a hint of excitement in her voice. "We're closing in on Rashid and the secrets he holds."
Malik strums a chord on his lute, the sound harmonizing with the energy of the moment. "Indeed, the threads of fate are converging. Let's make our way to this location and see what unfolds."
With your trio united once again and a new lead in hand, you leave the vibrant market behind, the anticipation of the unknown ahead. The city of Sothis seems to hold its breath, the sun casting long shadows as you set out to find Rashid and uncover the mysteries of the Wadi of the Dawn.
As you head toward the location mentioned on the parchment, your journey continues, and the path you tread becomes more intricate with each step.

"The path to his dealings is rumored to be a precarious one, just like Zara said. I say we go to the tavern and try to get another member in our party, sharing the loot between four persons isn't that hard and i think we might be needing some help"

Leena nods in agreement. "Another capable hand could prove invaluable, especially if we're entering potentially dangerous territory. Let's head to the tavern and see if we can find someone with the skills we need."
Malik adds with a grin, "And who knows, they might have their own stories and secrets to share."
With your decision made, your trio turns and makes its way back to The Oasis Rest, the bustling sounds of the city filling the air. As you enter the familiar tavern, you scan the room for potential recruits, seeking a new companion to join your quest for Rashid and the secrets of the Wadi of the Dawn.

Qasim will turn to Malik "Malik, could you perhaps use your social skills to try and find someone suitable to accompany us in this quest ?"

Malik nods in response to your request. "Of course, my friend. Leave the social navigation to me."
With a confident stride, Malik approaches the tavern's patrons, his charming smile and easy demeanor making him a natural at striking up conversations. He engages in discussions, listens to stories, and scans the room for individuals who might be suited to join your quest.
After a little while, Malik returns to your table with a satisfied expression. "I've had a chat with a seasoned tracker named Ramiel. He's got a knack for navigating the wilderness and uncovering hidden paths. He's intrigued by our quest and seems willing to join forces."
Leena leans in, intrigued by the development. "A tracker could be just what we need, especially if the path to Rashid's dealings is as treacherous as we've heard."
Malik nods in agreement. "Indeed. I've arranged for him to meet us here tomorrow morning. We can discuss the details of our quest and see if our goals align."
With a new potential companion on the horizon, your trio's circle expands, and the possibilities for your quest become even more intriguing.

"Then let's head to bed for the night, tomorrow we speak with Ramiel and if he agrees to accompany us, we'll be departing to see Rashid"

With your plans set for the next day's meeting with Ramiel, your trio finishes up at the tavern and heads to your respective lodgings for a well-deserved night's rest. The city of Sothis gradually quiets down as the moon rises, casting its gentle light over the desert landscape.
The anticipation of the coming day's events lingers in the air as you settle into your bed. Thoughts of the path you've walked, the secrets you've uncovered, and the challenges that lie ahead fill your mind.
As you drift into sleep, the promise of a new dawn and the continuation of your quest await.
The next morning, you awaken with renewed purpose, ready to meet with Ramiel and discuss the potential partnership that could shape the course of your adventure. The city of Sothis wakes once again, and the sun begins its ascent over the horizon.
Your journey continues, and the story of Qasim, Leena, Malik, and now Ramiel, unfolds with each step.

I will meet with Leena, Malik and Ramiel around a meal at the Oasis Rest

As the morning sun bathes the city of Sothis in a warm glow, you and your companions gather once again at The Oasis Rest, ready to meet with Ramiel. The bustling sounds of the city filter in through the windows, creating a lively backdrop for your discussions.
Leena, Malik, and you sit at a table, anticipation in the air as you wait for Ramiel's arrival. The scents of breakfast waft from the kitchen, mingling with the sounds of distant conversations and the occasional clatter of dishes.
Not long after, the tavern's entrance swings open, and a figure steps inside – Ramiel, the seasoned tracker. He scans the room briefly before spotting your table and making his way over. His attire is practical, his gaze steady, and a faint air of wilderness surrounds him.
"Good morning," he greets with a nod as he takes a seat. "I've heard from Malik about your quest. It's not often I come across opportunities that mix adventure and purpose."
Leena smiles, extending a welcoming hand. "We're glad you're interested, Ramiel. We believe your skills could be a valuable asset in our pursuit of Rashid and the secrets of the Wadi of the Dawn."
Malik chimes in, his lute leaning against his chair. "Indeed, the threads of fate have brought us together, and with you on board, our chances of success increase."
Ramiel's expression is thoughtful as he considers your words. "I've spent my life navigating the deserts and uncovering the hidden paths they hold. If there are secrets to be found, I've got a nose for them."
With introductions made and the potential for partnership on the table, you find yourselves at a crossroads – the opportunity to discuss the terms of Ramiel's involvement and solidify your party for the journey ahead.

Qasim will finish up his meal, get up with his hand on his belt holding his scimitar and say "Then let us discover what information Rashid can offer us" At the same time, Qasim will read the exact instructions on where to find Rashid

As you rise from your meal and place your hand on the hilt of your scimitar, a tangible sense of determination fills the air. Your companions follow suit, their readiness evident in their expressions.
With the parchment in hand, you unfold it and read the instructions carefully. The message is succinct, detailing a location outside the city walls where Rashid's dealings are rumored to take place. It's a spot known to be remote and discreet, fitting the enigmatic nature of the man you seek.
Leena, Malik, and Ramiel gather around as you read, their attention focused on the details. After you finish, Leena nods in agreement. "It seems we're about to embark on a path that's both challenging and potentially rewarding. Let's not waste any more time."
Malik strums a soft chord on his lute, his fingers dancing over the strings. "Indeed, the road ahead is calling, and we're ready to answer."
Ramiel's gaze is steady, his rugged demeanor a testament to his experience in the wild. "I'm in. If this Rashid holds secrets, then he's piqued my interest."
With your team united, the next steps are clear. The desert awaits, and the mysteries of the Wadi of the Dawn beckon. Your party's purpose is defined, and the journey you're about to undertake holds the promise of discovery, danger, and the forging of bonds.

"Well, if everyone is ready, i propose we leave at once, time is of the essence and we've already lingered in here for too long. The proper adventure is finally starting !"

With unanimous agreement, your party rises from the table, the anticipation of the adventure ahead palpable. You step out of The Oasis Rest and into the bright sunlight of the desert city. The bustling streets of Sothis seem to fade away as you set your sights on the path that awaits.
As you leave the city behind, the desert stretches before you, its golden sands and endless horizon a canvas for your journey. With Leena, Malik, and Ramiel by your side, each step carries you closer to the enigmatic Rashid and the secrets of the Wadi of the Dawn.
The sun hangs high in the sky, casting a warm light over the desert landscape as you travel. The road is open, the winds whispering tales of past and present. Your party's purpose is clear, your determination unshaken, and the path ahead filled with challenges and possibilities.
As the first leg of your adventure unfolds, the destiny you seek to shape moves ever closer. What lies beyond the dunes? What secrets will you uncover? The story of Qasim and his companions continues, and the desert sands carry your footsteps toward the unknown.

As the first rays of the rising sun painted the desert sky in hues of pink and gold, a small group of adventurers emerged from the bustling streets of Sothis. Qasim, his scimitar glistening in the early light, led the way with purposeful steps, his companions flanking him like steadfast shadows.

Leena walked with the grace of a desert breeze, her eyes scanning the horizon for any sign of danger, her bow and quiver ready at her side. Malik followed close, the soft jingle of his musician's attire blending harmoniously with the rhythm of their journey.

And then there was Ramiel, the tracker with the air of a lone wolf accustomed to the wilderness. His keen eyes surveyed the landscape with the acumen of a hunter, his senses attuned to the nuances of the desert's secrets.

The city of Sothis retreated behind them, its clamor fading into the distance as the vast expanse of sand stretched before them. Each footfall seemed to mark the beginning of a new chapter, a chapter written in the shifting dunes, the ancient ruins, and the whispers of forgotten legends.

The sun climbed higher, its warmth and light casting long shadows across the landscape. Footprints were left in their wake, a silent testament to their determination. The desert seemed both desolate and alive, a realm of challenges and untold wonders waiting to be discovered.

As the party pressed forward, the desert winds whispered secrets known only to the sands and the stars. The path they followed was one of uncertainty, danger, and destiny. Rashid's dealings and the mysteries of the Wadi of the Dawn beckoned, their stories intertwined with the footsteps of Qasim and his companions.

And so, their adventure continued, a new chapter unfolding with each step taken under the watchful gaze of the desert sun. The desert was a canvas, and with every footfall, the story of Qasim and his companions was written anew.

Qasim will take a sip of his waterskin and turn to the others "It's really calm, almost eerie, ain't there supposed to be a lot of merchants wandering these parts this close to the city ?"

Leena, who had been scanning the surroundings with a vigilant eye, nods in agreement with your observation. "You're right, Qasim. It is unusually quiet. This stretch of desert is usually frequented by merchants and travelers heading to and from Sothis. The absence of any activity is indeed concerning."

Malik strums a few notes on his lute, his expression thoughtful. "Could be that something has disrupted the usual flow of travelers. Perhaps there's more to this silence than meets the eye."

Ramiel's gaze remains focused on the horizon as he chimes in, his voice calm and measured. "We should proceed with caution. The desert can be unpredictable, and disturbances can mean danger."

As you continue on the path, the sense of quietude lingers, broken only by the soft crunch of sand beneath your feet and the distant call of a desert bird. The tranquility is a stark contrast to the bustling city you left behind, and the vastness of the desert seems to hold its breath.

Qasim will continue advancing but the whole group will try to do so as stealthily as possible, i rolled a 19 on my stealth check, Leena rolled a 24, Malik rolled a 9 and Ramiel rolled a natural 1 (for a total of 2 on his roll)

With your group's determination to proceed cautiously and stealthily, you move forward, your steps soft and deliberate in the shifting sands. Qasim and Leena manage to blend seamlessly into the desert environment, their movements graceful and soundless. The dunes seem to welcome them as silent observers of the land.

However, Malik's steps are less subtle, his lute occasionally bumping against his hip and a faint jingle of his attire giving away his position. Nonetheless, he makes an effort to maintain relative quiet.

Ramiel, despite his experience in the wild, seems to have an off day. His movements, while not entirely clumsy, are far from stealthy. A soft rustle of his gear and an accidental kick of a pebble betray his attempts to be discreet.

As your party progresses, you notice that the eerie calm of the desert remains unbroken. The landscape stretches on, dunes rising and falling like waves frozen in time. The only sound is the soft susurration of the wind through the sands.

As your group continues to make its way across the tranquil desert landscape, you stay alert, your senses attuned to any potential signs of danger or disturbance. The sun climbs higher in the sky, casting a warm glow over the sands and creating shifting patterns of light and shadow.

The group will continue to advance towards the destination, hopefully reaching it soon without any trouble.

As your party continues to advance through the quiet desert landscape, the eerie calm persists. The sands stretch before you, the sun casting shifting patterns of light and shadow on the dunes.

Despite the occasional mishap in maintaining stealth, your group manages to maintain a sense of vigilance. Qasim and Leena move with practiced grace, scanning the surroundings for any signs of disturbance. Malik, though occasionally causing a jingle or bump, makes an effort to minimize his impact on the silence.

Ramiel, perhaps frustrated by his lack of stealthiness earlier, now treads with a determined purpose. His gaze scans the horizon, his senses alert for any potential threats.

As time passes, the landscape remains unchanged, and the destination you seek draws nearer. The silence seems to magnify, and the tension in the air is palpable.

And then, on the horizon, a faint outline begins to take shape – the location detailed in the parchment, the spot where Rashid's dealings are rumored to occur. The dunes seem to part, revealing a place of interest in the otherwise uninterrupted desert expanse.

With the destination now within reach, your party moves forward with a sense of purpose and anticipation.

Qasim will turn to the others "How are we doing this, surely Rashid won't like us snooping around. I'd like to avoid a fight but if it comes to it we better be ready."

Leena nods in agreement with your assessment. "You're right, Qasim. Rashid's dealings are likely to be secretive and guarded. We should approach cautiously and be prepared for whatever we might find."

Malik strums a few notes on his lute, his expression thoughtful. "Perhaps we could try to engage in a conversation first, gather information without appearing threatening. If we can find common ground or some way to pique his interest, we might learn more without escalating the situation."

Ramiel's eyes remain focused on the location ahead as he adds, "And if things do take a turn, we'll need to rely on our skills. Qasim, your swashbuckling prowess, Leena's archery, and my tracking skills can be our assets."

As you approach the designated spot, the sand beneath your feet seems to hold its breath, the landscape waiting to reveal its secrets. The sense of anticipation hangs in the air as your group stands on the cusp of discovery.

Qasim will then stand up, nod to the others as the whole group approaches the place, what does it look like ? I would also like to do a perception check, for which i rolled a 20

As your group approaches the designated spot, you find yourself standing at the edge of a subtle depression in the desert terrain. The sand here seems to have settled slightly, forming a natural hollow that provides a modicum of shelter from the ever-present winds. The depression is surrounded by low sand dunes, which create a sense of seclusion.

Upon closer inspection, you notice a few telltale signs that this spot has seen recent activity. There are faint tracks in the sand, almost imperceptible but still present. The tracks suggest that individuals – or perhaps a single person – have been here recently.

Your perceptive gaze picks up on something glinting amidst the sand – a small, polished stone nestled among the grains. As you pick it up, you realize that it's a token, an intricately carved piece of lapis lazuli with a simple yet elegant design. It's the kind of trinket that might hold some meaning to those involved in Rashid's dealings.

Leena, with her sharp eyes, points out a disturbance in the sand nearby – a mark that suggests something was recently buried and then uncovered. It's as if someone had hidden an object in the sand and later retrieved it.

With your heightened awareness, you take in the details of the surroundings. The air is tense with the feeling that you're not alone, that someone else has been here and might still be nearby.

I closely inspect the lapis lazuli token, what knowledge check would i need to roll ?

Inspecting the lapis lazuli token closely, you notice that it bears a simple yet intricate carving on its surface. The design seems to depict a stylized desert landscape, with sand dunes and a sun that's both a symbol of warmth and perhaps a hidden message. The craftsmanship is skilled, and the token has a smooth, well-worn texture, suggesting it has been carried and handled frequently.

To glean more information about the token, its potential symbolism, or any significance it might hold within the context of Rashid's dealings, you could roll a Knowledge (Local) check. This check would draw upon your knowledge of the area, its inhabitants, and any relevant information you might have picked up along your journey.

I rolled a 3 on my knowledge (local) check. I would like to look around to see if anyone else is present

Despite your efforts to recall any relevant information about the token and its potential significance, your knowledge of local customs, symbols, and dealings remains limited. The token's meaning eludes you for now.

Turning your attention to the surroundings, you scan the area keenly. The low sand dunes create natural barriers and vantage points, making it difficult to determine if anyone is watching from a distance. The vast expanse of the desert, with its shifting sands and muted colors, seems to hold its secrets close.

As you survey the area, you catch the glint of something in the distance – a hint of movement behind a dune. Though you can't make out any distinct figures, the sensation of being observed persists.

Qasim will put his hand on the hilt of his still sheathed scimitar and say to the others: "We're being watched, someone's there."

Your words draw the attention of your companions, and their expressions shift to heightened alertness. Leena readies her bow, her gaze fixed on the direction where you noticed the movement. Malik's fingers hover near his lute, ready to draw upon his bardic magic if needed. Ramiel grips the handle of his weapon, his eyes scanning the dunes for any signs of potential threat.

As you stand prepared, the tension in the air palpable, a figure emerges from behind one of the dunes. A man, dressed in desert garb that blends seamlessly with the landscape, steps into view. His eyes, sharp and assessing, fix on your group as he approaches.

The man's demeanor is both wary and curious, as if gauging your intentions. His gaze lingers on each of your faces before he speaks, his voice steady and measured. "You've come seeking Rashid's dealings, haven't you? I've watched your approach."

Leena's bow remains steady, but she speaks with a diplomatic tone. "We seek information, not trouble. If Rashid has secrets, we're willing to listen."

Malik adds, his voice carrying a touch of intrigue, "Indeed, we're here in search of knowledge and perhaps a mutual understanding."

Ramiel remains observant, his gaze locked on the man. "We mean no harm, but we won't hesitate to defend ourselves if necessary."

The man's expression remains inscrutable as he regards your group. "If you're truly here for knowledge and not to disrupt, then follow me. Rashid doesn't meet just anyone, but your presence has intrigued him. Walk with caution, for the desert is full of secrets."

With those words, he turns and starts walking toward the dunes, his steps purposeful yet unhurried.

Qasim will slip the lapis token into his pocket while following the man, nodding to his companions to lowers their weapons

As you slip the lapis token into your pocket and nod to your companions, you convey a message of readiness to proceed without overt aggression. Leena and Malik ease the tension on their weapons, ensuring that their stance remains cautious yet non-threatening. Ramiel adjusts his grip on his guisarme, a silent testament to his vigilance.

With your group now in alignment, you follow the mysterious man into the dunes, each step carrying you deeper into the heart of the desert landscape. The sands shift beneath your feet, whispering tales of ancient secrets and untold stories.

The man leads you with a sense of purpose, his movements fluid and assured. As you walk, the dunes gradually give way to a depression in the landscape, similar to the one you encountered earlier. However, this one appears to have been intentionally shaped, its walls carved by hand to create a sheltered space.

Within this natural alcove, a figure stands with his back to you, his attention seemingly focused on the horizon. He's dressed in desert attire, his clothing adorned with intricate patterns and symbols that hint at his significance.

The man who led you here addresses him, his voice respectful. "Rashid, these travelers have come seeking knowledge, not to disrupt. Their presence intrigued me."

Rashid turns to face your group, his gaze sharp and perceptive. His eyes seem to carry the weight of experience, and his demeanor radiates a mix of authority and intrigue. He studies each of you in turn, his lips curving into a faint smile.

"You've navigated the desert's challenges to find me, a feat that speaks of determination," Rashid says, his voice carrying a gravitas that commands attention. "What knowledge do you seek, and what is it that brings you to the heart of the sands?"

Your moment of reckoning has arrived. It's time to convey your intentions and uncover the secrets that Rashid might hold – the secrets of the Wadi of the Dawn.

Qasim will advance, respecfully bow and say: "We are adventurers on our way to seek the knowledge that the sands took from our ancestors, uncover the mysteries in the deep ruins of the ancient time of Azghaad. My name is Qasim, i am sworn by word and blade to the Dawnflower Sarenrae, and now we're here to seek information from you that we got from our sources back in Sothis."

As you step forward, you offer a respectful bow to Rashid, your gesture conveying both humility and determination. Your introduction is delivered with a sense of purpose and reverence, emphasizing your commitment to both the ancient history and the divine teachings you uphold.

Rashid listens attentively, his gaze fixed on you as you speak. Your words seem to carry weight, and the mention of Sarenrae and your connection to the Dawnflower catches his interest. The tension in the air gradually eases, replaced by a sense of curiosity.

"Qasim, sworn by word and blade to Sarenrae," Rashid repeats your words, his tone measured. "It's not often that one's path intersects with the divine, and the search for ancient knowledge is a noble pursuit. The sands indeed hold many secrets, secrets that could reshape destinies."

He turns his attention to your companions, his gaze lingering on each of them. "Those companions here – their presence here suggests a bond forged in the fires of adventure. Each of you brings something unique to this gathering."

Rashid's expression shifts, his demeanor becoming more contemplative. "The Wadi of the Dawn is not just a name, but a testament to the desert's ability to birth and rebirth. Its ruins are echoes of a bygone era, but they are not without their guardians and dangers."

He pauses, his eyes meeting yours again. "You seek the knowledge that the sands took from your ancestors, and you have found your way here to me. You've piqued my interest, and I am willing to share the information you seek, for a price."

The weight of his words hangs in the air, the realization that your quest is about to take a new turn settling upon your group.

"Might i inquire what that price might be ?"

Rashid's gaze remains steady as he responds to your question. "The price I speak of is not one of coin or valuables, though those can have their place. The desert is a realm of give and take, of balance and exchange. For the knowledge you seek, I ask for a service."

He motions for you to approach a stone slab that stands in the alcove, its surface etched with intricate symbols. "There is an artifact hidden deep within the Wadi of the Dawn, an ancient relic of Azghaad that carries with it both power and history. I require that you retrieve it for me."

Rashid's voice carries a sense of solemnity as he continues. "This relic is known as the Sunfire Scarab. It holds the essence of the desert's fiery heart and is said to possess the ability to cleanse and purify. It's a powerful tool, but one that can only be wielded by those whose intentions are pure."

He turns to you, Qasim, his eyes locking onto yours. "I sense in you a connection to Sarenrae, the goddess of redemption and healing. It is this connection that leads me to believe you and your companions are worthy of this task."

Rashid's request is clear, and the gravity of the task he has laid before you is apparent. The Sunfire Scarab, an artifact of great significance, awaits within the depths of the Wadi of the Dawn. To retrieve it would require a journey into the heart of the desert's mysteries.

"Do you know where the place holding the Sunfire Scarab is located ?"

Rashid nods, his gaze unwavering. "I do possess knowledge of the Sunfire Scarab's general location within the Wadi of the Dawn. However, the desert is not a realm that gives up its secrets easily. The precise details of the relic's resting place remain shrouded in the sands' whispers."

He gestures toward the horizon, where the dunes stretch endlessly. "Deep within the heart of the wadi, hidden among the ruins of Azghaad, lies the path to the artifact. But the journey is not without challenges. The desert tests those who seek its treasures, and the path to the Sunfire Scarab is guarded by both natural perils and ancient magic."

Rashid's tone carries a sense of gravity as he continues. "Retrieve the Sunfire Scarab, and not only will you gain the knowledge you seek, but you will also possess a powerful tool of healing and purification. It is a task that requires both determination and a pure heart."

He locks eyes with you once more. "So, Qasim, sworn by word and blade to Sarenrae, will you and your companions accept this quest? Will you journey into the depths of the Wadi of the Dawn, face its trials, and retrieve the Sunfire Scarab?"

The decision is now before you, Qasim. The quest laid before you is one of both risk and potential reward, with the fate of uncovering the ancient knowledge and wielding a powerful artifact hanging in the balance.

Qasim turns to the other, noticing that everyone here is here for this adventure, nods to them, turns back towards Rashid and says: "I solemnly accept this quest and make a vow to return the Sunfire Scarab."

As your companions exchange glances and nods, their resolve echoing your own, you turn back to Rashid and speak with unwavering determination. Your words carry the weight of your commitment, and the air seems to hum with a sense of destiny.

Rashid's smile deepens, a glimmer of approval in his eyes. "Your oath is noted, Qasim, sworn by word and blade to Sarenrae. The desert's trials will test your resolve, but they will also forge your strength."

With a gesture, he extends his hand toward the stone slab bearing the carved symbols. "I will provide you with what knowledge I have of the Sunfire Scarab's potential location. The desert will reveal its secrets to those who listen."

As you step closer, Rashid places his hand on the stone, his touch seeming to resonate with the very essence of the desert itself. A surge of warmth and power emanates from the stone, and you feel a connection to the ancient magic that courses through the land.

Images flash before your eyes – glimpses of sand-swept ruins, winding passages, and a distant oasis nestled within the Wadi of the Dawn. These visions, while fragmented, give you a sense of direction and a hint of the journey ahead.

Rashid's hand leaves the stone, and the visions fade. He meets your gaze one final time. "Go forth, seekers of knowledge. The desert's embrace awaits you, and the Sunfire Scarab's light will guide your path. May your journey be guided by the same purity that leads your hearts."

With his parting words, Rashid steps back, and the alcove seems to breathe with a renewed sense of purpose. You and your companions stand on the cusp of a new adventure, prepared to embrace the challenges and mysteries of the Wadi of the Dawn.

Qasim and his party will then start to wander toward the direction of the Sunfire Scarab. Do we encounter anything on the road ?

As you and your companions set forth on the path toward the potential location of the Sunfire Scarab, the desert stretches before you with its undulating dunes and shifting sands. The horizon seems endless, and the silence of the desert surrounds you, broken only by the soft susurration of the wind.

Your journey begins with a sense of purpose and anticipation. Each step carries you deeper into the heart of the Wadi of the Dawn, where ancient ruins and hidden secrets await. The visions Rashid shared with you serve as a guide, offering you a general sense of direction.

As you traverse the desert landscape, your senses remain alert, attuned to any signs of movement or disturbance. The sun casts long shadows across the sands, and the air carries a dry, almost arid heat. Despite the harsh conditions, there's a quiet beauty in the desert's expanse, a serenity that belies the challenges that lie ahead.

Hours pass, and the landscape remains unchanging, the dunes rising and falling like a timeless rhythm. Your group's determination keeps you moving forward, your steps steady and unwavering. It's in this stillness that you begin to pick up on something – a distant sound, faint but growing nearer.

As you continue onward, the source of the sound becomes apparent. A group of desert nomads, riding atop camels and dressed in flowing robes, comes into view. They're heading in the same direction as you, and as they draw closer, you can see their weathered faces and the determined glint in their eyes.

The nomads slow their camels as they approach your group, their leader raising a hand in greeting. "Greetings, travelers of the sands," he says in a deep, gravelly voice. "What brings you to the heart of the Wadi of the Dawn?"

Leena, ever observant, notices that the nomads' presence might not be mere coincidence. The leader's eyes hold a shrewd glint, and there's an air of caution about them.

Qasim will lie to them, making a bluff check "We are but wandering traders, we just finished selling our goods to a village up north and are now getting home." I rolled a 15 on my bluff check

Your words flow smoothly as you concoct a tale of being wandering traders who have recently concluded business with a northern village. Your delivery carries an air of credibility, and you manage to maintain a steady demeanor that masks any underlying intentions.

The nomad leader regards you and your companions for a moment, his gaze shifting between each of you. The wind stirs the sand around you, and the air remains charged with an unspoken tension.

After a pause, the leader nods, his expression unreadable. "Wandering traders, you say? The desert holds both opportunity and danger for those who traverse its expanse."

He gestures to the camels laden with goods. "We, too, journey through the Wadi of the Dawn, seeking sustenance and the remnants of the past. The desert has its secrets, and its inhabitants must learn to navigate them."

Leena's keen instincts detect a trace of skepticism in the leader's words, as if he's withholding something. The nomads' presence seems to hold a deeper purpose than mere coincidence.

The leader's gaze lingers on you, Qasim, and he offers a parting nod. "Safe travels, traders. May the desert's winds guide you."

With that, the nomads resume their journey, their camels' hooves leaving imprints in the sand as they continue their path through the dunes.

As the nomads get farther away, Qasim will tell the others "They are after something, i say we follow them for a bit, we might be able to get a better view on them if we get up on a dune while staying low"

Your suggestion to follow the nomads and gather more information about their intentions is met with nods of agreement from your companions. They seem to share your suspicion that the nomads' presence in the desert holds deeper meaning than a chance encounter.

As a group, you make your way toward a nearby sand dune, climbing its slope with cautious steps. Once atop the dune, you find a vantage point that offers a better view of the nomads' path ahead. The desert stretches before you, and you can see the distant figures of the nomads and their camels as they continue on their journey.

From this elevated position, you're able to observe their movements without drawing immediate attention. The nomads' progress remains steady, their camels' footprints leaving a trail in the sand. They seem to follow a specific path, one that leads deeper into the Wadi of the Dawn.

Leena, with her sharp eyes, notices something peculiar about the direction the nomads are taking. It appears that they're veering off slightly from the path you originally intended to follow – the direction indicated by the visions Rashid shared with you. It's as if they're moving with a purpose that aligns with their own objectives.

How many nomads are there ? And what weapons do they hold if any ? I rolled a 10 on my perception check trying to see if they are armed.

From your vantage point atop the sand dune, you strain your eyes to count the number of nomads and discern any weapons they might be carrying. While the distance makes it a bit challenging to make out details, you estimate that there are around six nomads in total. They ride atop camels, their flowing robes billowing in the wind.

As for their weapons, it's difficult to ascertain with complete certainty, given the distance and the nature of their attire. However, you do notice that each nomad carries a long, slender object strapped to their backs. These objects could potentially be weapons, but the specifics remain unclear.

Despite the limitations of your perception, your keen eye does manage to pick up on one more detail – a small emblem or insignia on the robes worn by the nomads. The emblem appears to be a stylized representation of a sun rising over the desert horizon.

Leena, with her exceptional perception skills, also notices that the camels themselves seem to be carrying bundles of supplies and equipment, suggesting that the nomads are equipped for an extended journey.

"Everyone, let's follow them until nightfall, during the night they will probably camp, let's ambush them during camp and steal their camels and supplies. But i would like to avoid unnecessary killing, does anyone have an objection or a better plan ? If they're headed the same way as us, we have competitors, and they seem to have food and water."

Your plan to follow the nomads until nightfall, ambush them during their camp, and potentially acquire their supplies and camels meets a mixture of approval and consideration from your companions. They seem to understand the practicality of your strategy, especially given the potential competition and the need for resources in the desert.

Leena speaks up, her voice carrying a sense of pragmatism. "It's a sound plan, Qasim. If they're heading the same way as us and have the resources we need, it's a way to ensure our own survival and success. However, we should be prepared for the possibility that they might not take kindly to us trying to take their belongings."

Malik chimes in with a nod. "Agreed. We need to be cautious and ready for whatever response they might have. If we can avoid violence, all the better."

Ramiel's expression remains stoic, but he nods in agreement as well. "If we can secure what we need without bloodshed, that aligns with our mission."

With a plan in place and a shared understanding, your group prepares to follow the nomads discreetly, making sure to keep a safe distance and remain hidden among the dunes. As the sun begins its descent toward the horizon, casting long shadows across the desert landscape, you continue to track the nomads' progress.

Nightfall approaches, and the nomads eventually come to a halt, setting up a makeshift camp in a sheltered depression between the dunes. As darkness falls, the campfire's glow illuminates the scene, revealing the figures of the nomads and their camels.

The time for action is at hand. Your group now has a choice to make – proceed with the plan to ambush the camp and secure the supplies, or consider an alternative course of action. The desert's secrets and challenges await, and the decisions you make will shape the path of your journey.

As the nomads make camp, the group will wait in the cold darkness of the desert, lying on the sand not far from the camp until the nomads go to sleep, when they do, do they have anyone watching or are they all asleep ?

As the night settles in and the campfire's glow casts flickering shadows on the desert sands, your group maintains its hidden position, lying in wait not far from the nomads' camp. You observe the nomads' activities closely, looking for any signs of guards or individuals keeping watch as they settle down for the night.

After a while, it becomes apparent that the nomads have not posted guards around the camp perimeter. The figures gathered around the campfire appear to be engaged in conversation and tending to their camels. Gradually, however, the conversation dies down, and you see some of the nomads beginning to settle into makeshift beds on the sand.

As time passes, the quiet of the desert night deepens, and the camp becomes quieter still. The rhythmic sounds of breathing suggest that the nomads are indeed asleep. The campfire's glow fades, leaving only the shimmering light of the stars and the moon to illuminate the scene.

The moment for action has arrived. The camp lies before you, its occupants resting and unaware. Your group has an opportunity to carry out your plan to acquire the supplies and camels without violence, as you intended.

We try to stealthily take their belongings and camels, Here are the rolls for the stealth checks: Qasim rolled a 6, Leena rolled a 12, Malik rolled a 5 and Ramiel rolled a critical success for a total of 21 on his own roll

As your group begins to put your plan into action, you move silently and carefully toward the camp, each step calculated to minimize noise. Leena and Ramiel demonstrate exceptional skill in maintaining their stealth, moving with almost supernatural grace among the dunes.

However, the desert's unforgiving terrain proves a challenge for Qasim and Malik. The shifting sands beneath their feet betray them with soft sounds that, though faint, are enough to raise the suspicions of one of the nomads who is still awake. The nomad's eyes narrow as he seems to sense a presence nearby.

Ramiel, recognizing the situation, takes swift action. He silently moves closer to the nomad, his steps unheard in the night. With a deft maneuver, he reaches out and places his arms around the nomad's neck to strangle him, causing him to slump into unconsciousness.

With the immediate threat resolved, your group refocuses on the task at hand. Leena and Ramiel continue to work skillfully, moving among the camels and gathering supplies with practiced efficiency. Malik, however, brushes against a tent's support pole, causing a faint rustling sound that earns him a glance from one of the sleeping nomads. Fortunately, the nomad merely stirs before settling back into slumber, seemingly undisturbed.

Despite the small hiccups, your group manages to secure a significant portion of the nomads' supplies and camels. The stolen items are quickly moved away from the camp, and you retreat to a safe distance, your success tempered by the realization that your actions have potentially disrupted the nomads' plans.

With the supplies and camels now in your possession, you must decide on your next course of action. The desert's secrets still beckon, and the path ahead remains uncertain.

The group will then set out using torches in order to travel at night, getting as far away from the nomad's as possible

With the stolen supplies and camels now in your possession, your group sets out into the night using torches to light your path. The desert's expanse stretches before you, illuminated by the flickering flames as you make your way away from the nomads' camp. The desert's sands seem to hold a new weight, as if they are aware of the secrets you carry and the choices you've made.

The night journey is quiet, save for the crackling of torches and the soft sound of the desert wind. The stars above provide a guiding light, casting their luminous glow upon the dunes. The stolen camels plod along obediently, carrying the supplies that will aid your group on its journey through the Wadi of the Dawn.

As the hours pass and the night deepens, you begin to notice a change in the desert landscape. The sand dunes gradually give way to rocky terrain, and the ground becomes uneven and challenging to traverse. Your group's progress slows, but the determination that has brought you this far remains unwavering.

With each step, you draw closer to the heart of the Wadi of the Dawn, where ancient ruins and mysteries await. The path ahead is uncertain, but the stolen supplies and camels are a reminder that you are resourceful and prepared.

As dawn's light begins to paint the horizon with shades of orange and pink, you find yourselves in a landscape that holds the promise of discovery and adventure. The desert sun rises, casting its warm rays upon your group and the stolen treasures you've acquired.

As the dawn arrives, Qasim will propose to the group: "I have an idea, two of us will be on the same camel at a time, one will be sleeping, the other will be awake. When the camel starts to fatigue, we switch camel and the person sleeping can also switch place with the person awake, if we travel like this, the nomads have no chance of reaching us and we can reach our destination faster."

Your proposal to rotate riders on the camels, ensuring that one person is awake and alert while the other rests, is met with nods of agreement from your companions. The practicality of the plan is clear – it allows for a more efficient and continuous journey, minimizing the risk of fatigue and maximizing the distance you can cover.

With your group's approval, you set your plan into motion. The stolen camels are equipped with makeshift seating arrangements that accommodate two riders at a time. As the journey continues, you alternate between riding and resting, allowing each member of your group to maintain their energy and vigilance.

The desert landscape unfolds before you, its beauty and challenges blending together as you press onward. The camels' footsteps create a rhythm that seems to resonate with the heartbeat of the desert itself. The sun climbs higher in the sky, casting a warm glow upon the sands, and the journey becomes a testament to your group's determination and resourcefulness.

As you travel, you can't help but feel a sense of anticipation. The visions shared by Rashid and the stolen lapis lazuli token serve as a constant reminder of the destination that lies ahead – the place where the Sunfire Scarab may be found, along with the mysteries it guards.

The desert's expanse stretches before you, and with each passing moment, you draw closer to the heart of the Wadi of the Dawn. The path you've chosen is one of challenges and discoveries, and the decisions you make will shape the outcome of your quest.

Do the party encounter something before they reach their destination ?

As your group continues its journey through the desert, the sun's rays beat down upon the sands, creating a shimmering haze in the distance. The landscape remains vast and unchanging, dunes rolling like waves frozen in time. The rhythm of the camels' footsteps and the gentle swaying of their bodies become a sort of hypnotic backdrop to your thoughts and conversations.

Hours pass, and the desert's silence is interrupted only by the occasional whisper of the wind. Just as the monotony of the journey threatens to lull you into a trance, something catches your attention on the horizon – a shimmering oasis. The sight is both unexpected and mesmerizing, a mirage that seems to promise relief from the sun's relentless heat.

As your group draws closer, the oasis takes shape, revealing palm trees and the glint of water. The camels quicken their pace, as if drawn by an instinctive thirst. Hope and caution mingle in the air as you approach the oasis, the allure of fresh water and shade contrasting with the knowledge that desert mirages can be treacherous illusions.

Leena, always attentive, points out something unusual about the oasis. There's a distinct lack of animal sounds or movement – no birds, insects, or signs of life that one would expect around a water source. It's as if the oasis exists in a state of eerie stillness, challenging the senses and raising questions about its nature.

As your group nears the oasis, you have a choice to make. Will you investigate the oasis further, hoping to find a source of water and respite from the desert's harshness? Or will you approach with caution, recognizing the potential dangers that such an anomaly might pose?

Malik tries a knowledge (local) check to see if he can recall information about this specific parts of the desert and this kind of oasis, he rolled a 22.

Malik's recollections of his past experiences and the knowledge he's acquired serve him well as he ponders the nature of the shimmering oasis before your group. The details he recalls give context to the situation and provide valuable insights.

Malik explains to the group that this type of oasis is known as a "phantom oasis" or a "mirage oasis." It's a phenomenon often encountered in desert regions, where the extreme heat and atmospheric conditions can create optical illusions. These illusions can make it appear as if there's water, vegetation, and even entire settlements in the distance, drawing travelers in with the promise of relief and sustenance.

He also adds that while the oasis may indeed hold water, it's essential to exercise caution. Some mirage oases can lead travelers into dangerous terrain or even deeper into the desert, potentially causing them to become lost. It's also possible that the oasis is a trap set by desert-dwelling creatures or other inhabitants of the Wadi of the Dawn.

With this information in mind, your group is faced with a decision. How will you approach the oasis? Will you investigate it carefully, seeking water and potential shelter, or will you heed the cautionary tales of mirages and proceed with skepticism?

"We have enough water with us from those nomads, let's give some to the camels and go on our way, avoiding the oasis."

Taking Malik's insights into account and recognizing the potential risks associated with the shimmering oasis, your group decides to exercise caution and avoid the allure of the mirage. While the promise of water and shade is tempting, you recognize the importance of staying on course and not falling victim to the illusions that the desert can conjure.

You lead the camels away from the oasis, providing them with water from the supplies you acquired earlier. The camels drink eagerly, their thirst quenched by the water you've managed to secure. With a renewed sense of purpose, you guide the group back onto the desert path, leaving the phantom oasis behind.

As you continue your journey through the Wadi of the Dawn, the desert stretches before you, unchanged by the mirage you encountered. The sun's rays remain relentless, casting long shadows across the dunes as you press forward. The stolen camels carry your supplies and hopes, their steps a testament to your group's resilience and determination.

Each step brings you closer to your ultimate destination – the place where the Sunfire Scarab and the secrets it guards may be found. The desert's mysteries and challenges are interwoven with the choices you make, guiding your path through the shifting sands.

Does the group encounter anything else before they reach their destination or do they finally reach their target location ?

As your group presses forward through the Wadi of the Dawn, the desert landscape continues to unfold before you. The hours pass, marked by the rhythm of the camels' steps and the unyielding sun overhead. The sands seem to stretch on endlessly, and the challenges of the desert become a part of your daily routine.

Days turn into nights, and nights into days, as your group remains focused on your ultimate goal – reaching the location where the Sunfire Scarab is said to be hidden. Along the way, you encounter a few minor obstacles – sandstorms that force you to seek shelter, rocky terrain that slows your progress, and encounters with desert wildlife that test your vigilance.

Despite these challenges, your group's determination remains unwavering. The camaraderie that has developed among Qasim, Leena, Malik, and Ramiel becomes a source of strength as you navigate the desert's trials together. Each member of the group contributes their unique skills and insights, creating a well-rounded team capable of overcoming whatever the desert throws your way.

Finally, after what feels like an eternity of travel, you see a change in the landscape. The dunes give way to a plateau, and the ground beneath your feet becomes more solid and stable. The air seems charged with anticipation as you realize that you have reached the heart of the Wadi of the Dawn – the place where the Sunfire Scarab and the ancient ruins you seek might be found.

Before you lies a labyrinthine expanse of sandstone formations, worn by time and the elements. The ruins seem to whisper the stories of civilizations long gone, and the possibility of discovery fills the air. Your group's journey has brought you to this moment, and the decisions you've made have led you to the brink of uncovering the secrets that the desert hides.

"You must all, myself included, be quite tired after such a journey, let's find a suitable place to make camp and have a restful sleep before investigating this place"

Qasim's suggestion is met with nods of agreement from his companions. The group's journey through the desert has undoubtedly taken a toll, and the prospect of a restful sleep is a welcome one. With the ancient ruins before you, your group begins to search for a suitable spot to make camp and find respite from the trials of the desert.

After some exploration, you find a relatively sheltered area nestled among the sandstone formations. It provides a measure of protection from the elements and a sense of seclusion within the expanse of the ruins. The camels are secured, and a simple campsite is established.

As the sun dips below the horizon, casting warm hues across the desert sky, your group settles down for the night. A campfire is lit, its flames dancing in the darkness as a sense of camaraderie and accomplishment fills the air. The stolen supplies are shared among you, and the exhaustion of the journey gives way to a well-earned sense of relaxation.

Under the starlit sky, your group finds solace in the quiet of the desert night. The ancient ruins loom in the background, waiting to reveal their secrets as the journey unfolds. The experiences you've shared, the challenges you've overcome, and the choices you've made have all led you to this moment.

As you prepare to rest, Qasim, you feel a mixture of anticipation and excitement for the discoveries that lie ahead. The journey through the Wadi of the Dawn has brought your group to this pivotal point, and the path forward is yours to shape.

As Qasim succumbs to sleep, he finds himself enveloped in a realm of mist and shifting shadows. It's a dreamlike state where reality blurs with the ethereal, and he becomes aware of a presence beckoning him from the depths of the mist. The sensation is both eerie and intriguing, a pull that draws him further into the enigmatic landscape of his dreams.

Amidst the mist, figures begin to materialize – vague shapes that seem to be a blend of memory and imagination. Qasim catches glimpses of his past – his parents' teachings, his first encounters with ancient ruins, the moment he found the tome that led him to become a Swashbuckler. These fragments of memory intertwine with the present, creating a tapestry of emotions and experiences.

Then, amidst the mist, a figure steps forward. It's a woman, her features obscured by the mist, and yet her presence emanates a sense of familiarity and comfort. Her voice, like a distant echo, reaches Qasim's ears.

"Qasim," she whispers, her words carrying a weight of meaning that transcends language. "You have journeyed far, and your path has been guided by the threads of fate. The Sunfire Scarab holds more than mere treasure – it is a key to the legacy of this land and the truths that lie hidden within. Your heart burns with a desire for discovery, and in that, you are bound to the destiny of the Dawnflower."

The mist swirls around her as if responding to her words. The visions shift, revealing glimpses of ancient ruins, a scarab-shaped artifact, and symbols that seem to shimmer with significance.

"Seek the Sunfire Scarab," the woman continues. "But remember, the choices you make are not just for yourself. They ripple through time and space, shaping the course of the past, present, and future. Trust in the power of your convictions, for they are the foundation upon which your destiny is built."
As the first light of dawn pierces through the veil of night, a sense of anticipation lingers in the air. The campsite, nestled amidst the sandstone formations of the ancient ruins, begins to stir as the world awakens. The remnants of a campfire still smolder, casting a warm glow upon the scene.
Qasim stirs from his slumber, the vivid echoes of his dream still resonating within him. The misty visions and the enigmatic woman's words linger like a melody, leaving him with a renewed sense of purpose and a yearning to unravel the mysteries that await. His eyes open, and he gazes upward, taking in the expanse of the desert sky. The rising sun paints the heavens in shades of gold and rose, casting long shadows upon the sand.
Leena, Malik, and Ramiel also begin to rouse from their rest, each member of the group awakening to the same sense of possibility and the allure of discovery. The desert's serenity surrounds them, a quiet expanse that holds both beauty and challenges. The stolen camels stand nearby, their presence a testament to the journey that has brought your group to this point.
With the sun's ascent, the ancient ruins seem to come to life, their weathered sandstone surfaces absorbing the light and casting intricate patterns upon the ground. The landscape beckons with promise, a canvas upon which the story of your adventure will be written. The air is filled with a mixture of determination and curiosity, a shared understanding that the choices you make today will shape the path forward.
As the group gathers and prepares to resume its exploration of the ruins, a sense of camaraderie and purpose unites you all. The ancient mysteries, the stolen supplies, and the visions of the dream converge, forming the threads of a narrative that is uniquely yours. With each step, the story unfolds, and the adventure continues.

Qasim will wake up, feeling a bit dizzy from the visions of the dream and say "Are all of you ready ? As you are all aware, the undead are not uncommon in these kind of ancient ruins ? We should proceed with caution, the need to fight will surely arise soon."

Qasim's words cut through the morning air, drawing the attention of his companions. As they awaken from their rest, the dizziness of sleep gradually fades, replaced by a heightened awareness of the tasks that lie ahead. The weight of the dream's visions and the urgency of the mission intertwine, infusing the atmosphere with a sense of determination.
Leena nods, her expression resolute as she adjusts her gear and checks her weapons. Malik, ever the observant one, scans the surroundings, his eyes sharp as he takes in the sandstone formations that stretch around you. Ramiel, his guisarme at the ready, nods in agreement, his calm demeanor belying the readiness beneath the surface.
"We'll proceed with caution, Qasim," Leena responds, her voice carrying a blend of confidence and readiness. "I've dealt with my fair share of threats in my time, and I've no intention of being caught off guard."
Malik chimes in, his gaze lingering on the sandstone formations. "The ruins themselves might hold secrets, traps even. We'll need to keep our eyes open and our wits about us."
Ramiel's deep voice adds, "Aye, and be prepared for the unexpected. Whether it's the living or the undead, we've got the means to face it."
As your group readies itself, the desert landscape takes on a new energy – one that's charged with anticipation and resolve. The stolen camels are harnessed and prepared, the supplies secured, and the sun's rays cast a warm embrace upon the ancient ruins. Each step forward carries the weight of purpose, and the decisions you make will echo through the corridors of the past and into the present.

The group will enter the ruins and start inspecting everything around them Here are their perception check results: Ramiel 17, Malik 21, Leena 15 and Qasim 11

With a shared determination, your group steps into the heart of the ancient ruins, the sandstone formations rising around you like the remnants of a forgotten city. As you explore, each member of the group uses their keen senses to inspect the surroundings, alert for any signs of danger or hidden secrets.
Malik, ever observant, quickly notices subtle indentations in the sandstone walls – evidence of weathered carvings and inscriptions that have withstood the test of time. His trained eye discerns traces of ancient symbols, suggesting that the ruins may have once held significance to a culture that's long faded into history.
Ramiel's experienced gaze sweeps the area, his perception honed by battles fought and challenges overcome. He spots an opening in the ground, partially covered by sand, that could lead to a lower level of the ruins. The possibility of exploring deeper into the complex is a tantalizing prospect, but also one that carries inherent risks.
Leena's attention is drawn to a series of broken columns, their toppled forms revealing the passage of time. Among the debris, she notices faint impressions on the ground – footprints that suggest recent activity in the area. The presence of other explorers or potential rivals is a reminder that the secrets you seek are not yours alone.
Qasim's senses, while momentarily clouded by the lingering impressions of his dream, still allow him to pick up on a faint breeze that seems to carry whispers of ancient stories. It's as if the very air is filled with echoes of the past, beckoning you to delve deeper and uncover the truths that the ruins guard.
As the group's exploration continues, your senses meld with the atmosphere of the ruins, each discovery and observation shaping your understanding of this enigmatic place. The ancient mysteries intertwine with the present, and the choices you make will determine the direction of your journey.

Qasim will ask "So what are your thoughts on what we have gathered so far ? Should we try venturing underground ? I doubt an artifact as valuable as the Sunfire Scarab would be in the open like that."

Leena's brows furrow in contemplation as she speaks up, "Qasim has a point. Valuable artifacts are rarely left in the open, especially in a place like this. Venturing underground might be our best bet to find something of value."
Malik chimes in, his tone thoughtful, "Agreed. The carvings on the walls and the broken columns suggest that this place held significance to those who built it. It's possible that there are hidden chambers or passages that could lead us to the Sunfire Scarab."
Ramiel, his gaze fixed on the sandstone formations around you, adds, "If there's danger here, it's likely to be deeper within the ruins. But we're well-prepared for whatever we might face."
Qasim, your companions' perspectives align with your own observations. The evidence points towards the possibility of deeper secrets lying beneath the surface of the ruins. The decision to venture underground is met with a consensus among the group, a collective understanding that the path forward requires courage and resolve.
With your destination clear, your group continues its exploration, eyes and senses attuned to the details of the ancient structure. The echoes of footsteps, the whisper of the breeze, and the distant murmur of the past guide your way as you prepare to descend into the depths of the ruins.

The group will delve underground, what do they find ?

As your group descends into the depths of the underground chambers, the air grows cooler and the scent of ancient stone fills your senses. Torches held aloft, you navigate through dimly lit corridors that seem to stretch endlessly into the earth. The sandstone walls bear faded carvings, their meanings lost to time, while the occasional remnants of long-decayed artifacts hint at the passage of civilizations long gone.
Leena's sharp eyes catch a glint of metal embedded in the wall. Upon closer inspection, you discover a rusted iron door, partially concealed by the earth and sand that have accumulated over the years. With combined effort, you manage to open the door, revealing a chamber beyond.
The room is small, its walls adorned with ornate murals depicting scenes of desert life, celestial patterns, and figures in poses of reverence. In the center of the chamber rests an ancient pedestal, upon which rests a worn and weathered scarab-shaped artifact. It is the Sunfire Scarab, as described by Rashid.
Malik steps forward, his fingers tracing the edges of the artifact. "This is it," he murmurs, his voice filled with a mix of awe and excitement. "The Sunfire Scarab, just as described."
Ramiel's gaze scans the room, his instincts attuned to any potential threats. "Be cautious," he advises, "There's no telling what defenses or guardians might be in place to protect such a valuable artifact."
Qasim, as you stand in the chamber, the weight of your journey and the culmination of your efforts rests upon your shoulders. The scarab before you represents more than just a valuable artifact – it is a key to the past, a symbol of your quest, and a link to the legacy of those who came before.
As you and your companions stand in the chamber, the echoes of the past seem to reverberate around you. The carvings on the walls, the scarab itself, and the choices you've made all contribute to the narrative that unfolds within these ancient walls.

Qasim will stop and say "Hold it ! Remember about this illusory oasis in the desert ? If the artifact was this easy to find the other that came here before us would have found it, i do not know if this is an imitation, an illusion or a trap but i doubt it is real." Malik will roll a knowledge (arcana) check on the artifact, he rolled a 17

Malik examines the Sunfire Scarab with a careful and knowledgeable eye. As he studies the artifact, he recognizes certain magical properties embedded within its design. His understanding of arcane arts allows him to discern that the scarab holds an aura of illusion magic, which suggests that there's more to this artifact than meets the eye.
"The Sunfire Scarab is indeed magical," Malik states, his voice steady and measured. "It carries an aura of illusion magic, which indicates that it might not be what it appears to be. This could very well be a trap or an illusion meant to mislead those who seek it."
Leena's gaze narrows, and she gestures to the chamber around you. "Qasim's right. We can't take anything at face value in a place like this. If the artifact is guarded by illusion magic, there's likely more to this room than meets the eye."
Ramiel readies his guisarme, his stance one of readiness. "So, what's our move? Do we leave it be and continue our search, or do we investigate further?"
Qasim, you find yourself standing at a crossroads, faced with the mystery of the artifact and the chamber. The echo of your dream still lingers, guiding you with a sense of purpose and destiny. How will you and your companions proceed? Will you delve deeper into the illusion, seeking to uncover its true nature, or will you heed caution and choose a different path?

"Let's all get out of the room, while we are all out, Leena i need you to shoot an arrow at the scarab, it will probably trigger a trap or awaken something, anyway we will probably have our answer."

Leena nods in understanding, her expression focused and determined. "Understood, Qasim. I'll be ready to shoot on your signal."
With the group gathered outside the chamber, Leena readies her bow, an arrow notched and her aim steady. She waits for your signal, the tension in the air palpable as you prepare to test the nature of the illusion or trap that surrounds the Sunfire Scarab.
"Ready when you are, Qasim," Leena whispers, her gaze locked on the chamber's entrance.
Ramiel and Malik stand vigilant beside you, their weapons at the ready, prepared for whatever may transpire. The echoes of the past and the weight of your journey converge in this moment, as the destiny of the Sunfire Scarab remains shrouded in mystery.

After a few seconds of palpable tension, Qasim will say "Now !" Leena rolls an attack against the scarab, she rolled a 19 on her attack roll with her bow.

With a swift and practiced motion, Leena releases the arrow, sending it hurtling through the air towards the Sunfire Scarab. The arrow strikes the scarab with precision, and for a brief moment, time seems to stand still as everyone holds their breath, waiting to see the outcome of this bold action.
As the arrow connects with the scarab, a ripple of energy radiates from the point of impact. The chamber around you shudders, and the walls themselves seem to shift and transform. The illusion that once veiled the room begins to unravel, revealing the true nature of your surroundings.
The ornate chamber and the murals on the walls fade away, replaced by a different scene entirely. Before you now stands a corridor, its walls adorned with engravings that depict trials and tests. The Sunfire Scarab, which was once at the center of the illusion, is nowhere to be seen.
Ramiel lowers his guisarme, his expression one of mingled relief and curiosity. "Well, that was something."
Malik steps forward, his gaze fixed on the transformed corridor. "It seems the scarab was indeed an illusion, a trigger for this hidden passage. This corridor must lead further into the ruins."
Leena retrieves her arrow, a thoughtful look on her face. "At least now we know the true path forward. Let's proceed with caution."

The group enter into the chamber of trials, what trials awaits them first ?

As your group steps into the transformed corridor, the engravings on the walls come to life, depicting scenes of trials and challenges that the ancient builders left behind. The air feels charged with a sense of anticipation as you venture deeper into the heart of the ruins, ready to face the tests that await.
The first trial reveals itself before you as the corridor opens up into a spacious chamber. The floor is marked with a mosaic pattern, and in the center stands a stone pedestal, upon which rests a single, intricately carved key.
Malik approaches the key, studying its design and the symbols etched into its surface. "This must be the first trial," he muses. "We need to unlock the path forward, but it won't be as simple as just taking the key."
Leena examines the surroundings, her eyes narrowing as she scans the chamber for any signs of traps or hidden mechanisms. "Agreed. The builders wouldn't have left a key without a challenge to overcome."
Ramiel steps forward, his expression determined. "So, what's the challenge? How do we unlock the path?"
Qasim, the group stands before the key and the challenge it presents. The echoes of your dream and the mysteries of the ruins converge in this moment, as you prepare to unravel the enigma that lies before you. How will you and your companions approach this trial? What strategies will you employ to unlock the path forward and continue your journey deeper into the ruins?

"Well here goes nothing, friends, make sure to be ready" Qasim says, snatching the key while drawing his scimitar, ready for whatever is coming.

With your scimitar drawn and your companions at the ready, you snatch the intricately carved key from the stone pedestal. As your hand wraps around the key, a sudden shift in the chamber's atmosphere is palpable. The mosaic pattern on the floor begins to shift and change, the tiles rearranging themselves into a new configuration.
The key in your hand pulses with a faint magical energy, and as you examine it, you notice that the symbols etched onto its surface have shifted as well. They now seem to align with certain tiles on the floor, forming a pattern that matches the new arrangement of the mosaic.
Leena steps forward, her sharp eyes scanning the floor as she pieces together the connection between the key and the tiles. "It looks like the symbols on the key correspond to specific tiles on the floor. We need to step on the right tiles in the right sequence."
Malik studies the key and the tiles, his expression thoughtful. "Let's take it slow. We don't want to trigger any traps. Qasim, maybe you should step on the first tile that matches the key."
Ramiel's grip on his guisarme tightens as he observes the floor. "And the rest of us will stay ready to act in case something goes wrong."

Malik will cast the Identify spell on the key in order to gain more information

Malik's spell takes effect, and he focuses his magical energy on the key in your hand. As the spell unveils the key's properties and essence, a rush of information floods his senses.
The key is indeed magical, infused with the essence of the ancient builders' craftsmanship. It is designed to interact with the mosaic floor, serving as a key not only in the literal sense but also as a tool to unlock the trial set before you. The shifting symbols on the key and the rearranging mosaic tiles are linked, forming a complex magical puzzle.
The Identify spell further reveals that the correct sequence of stepping on the tiles is crucial. A misstep could trigger traps or even reset the puzzle, requiring you to start over. The key itself has no intrinsic power, but it acts as a guide to decipher the pattern hidden within the symbols.
Armed with this knowledge, Malik relays his findings to the group. "The key is the key, in a manner of speaking. Its symbols match with specific tiles on the floor, and stepping on them in the correct sequence should unlock the path forward. But we need to be precise."
Leena nods, her gaze focused on the floor. "So, Qasim, ready to step on the first tile that matches the key's current symbols?"
Ramiel remains vigilant, his guisarme ready. "And the rest of us will be ready for anything that might happen."
Qasim, you hold the key in your hand, its symbols aligned with certain tiles on the rearranged mosaic floor. With the knowledge provided by the Identify spell, the path forward seems clearer, yet the challenge remains. How will you and your companions approach this trial now? Will you follow the pattern indicated by the key's symbols and step on the correct tiles, or do you have a different strategy in mind?

Qasim steps on the first tile

With the knowledge gained from Malik's Identify spell and the guidance of the key's symbols, you step onto the first tile that matches the current configuration of the key. As your foot makes contact with the tile, a faint humming sound resonates through the chamber, and the tile glows with a soft, pulsating light.
Leena watches closely, her bow at the ready. "So far, so good."
The mosaic floor remains stable beneath your feet, and the next step becomes clear as the symbols on the key shift once more, aligning with a new set of tiles on the floor.
Malik's voice is steady as he analyzes the symbols. "The next tile is right there, Qasim."
Ramiel stands ready, his gaze shifting between the floor and the surroundings. "Keep going, we've got your back."
Following the pattern indicated by the key, you step onto the next tile, and the chamber responds once again. The intricate dance between the symbols on the key and the tiles on the floor continues, guiding your progress.
Leena's voice carries a note of encouragement. "You're doing great, Qasim. Keep following the pattern."
With each step, the mosaic floor reacts, confirming your progress. The chamber comes alive with magical energy, responding to your movements with a subtle harmony.
As you near the completion of the sequence, the final tile lies before you, its glow matching the key's symbols. With a final step, you complete the pattern, and a brilliant light envelops the chamber.
The transformation is swift and awe-inspiring. The mosaic floor gives way, revealing a staircase leading deeper into the heart of the ruins. The trials have proven your worth, and the path forward is unlocked.
Malik's voice carries a sense of triumph. "You did it, Qasim. The way is open."
Ramiel lowers his guisarme, a nod of approval in your direction. "Nicely done."

"Well, this was mostly thanks to Malik's spell, it is indeed quite useful to have someone who knows the arcane arts with us. Let us proceed further" Qasim will then go into the next chamber.

With the path before you now unlocked, you step forward into the next chamber, your companions following closely behind. As you enter, the atmosphere changes once again, and you find yourselves in a chamber quite different from the previous one.
This chamber is dominated by a massive stone statue that stands at its center. The statue depicts a figure with outstretched arms, its features weathered by time and bearing an air of solemnity. The chamber itself is dimly lit, the light filtering through small openings high above, casting eerie shadows on the walls.
Malik gazes at the statue with a mixture of curiosity and reverence. "This place feels different. There's something about that statue..."
Leena's eyes narrow as she scans the chamber, her bow at the ready. "Be on guard. We've learned that nothing is as it seems in these ruins."
Ramiel steps forward, his gaze fixed on the statue. "Agreed. Let's approach with caution."
As you approach the statue, you notice that there are inscriptions and engravings on its base. The writing seems to be in an ancient script, and while it's not immediately decipherable, you get the sense that it holds significance.
Qasim, you stand before the statue, your instincts and experiences guiding you. The echoes of your dream and the trials you've overcome resonate within you as you face this new challenge.

"Let's hope that this statue doesn't animate itself, can anyone decipher what's written here ?"

Leena approaches the base of the statue and examines the inscriptions closely. After a moment of careful study, she looks up and addresses the group. "The writing appears to be in an ancient Osiriani script. It's quite weathered, but I think I can make out some of it."
She reads aloud: "In the shadow of the past, seek the light of the present. To unlock the way forward, let the past guide your steps."
Malik ponders the message. "It seems to be a riddle, pointing toward a specific action we need to take."
Ramiel crosses his arms, his gaze moving from the inscription to the statue. "So, we need to somehow bring light to this chamber?"
Qasim, you stand in the presence of the enigmatic statue, its outstretched arms seemingly beckoning you to uncover its secrets. The riddle hints at a connection between the past and the present, suggesting that the key to unlocking the way forward lies within your understanding of the ancient past.

Qasim will turn to Malik "Any spell of yours that could light the whole chamber ?" As a response, Malik starts playing a tune while casting the dancing lights spell, as four globes of light rise from his figure, dispersing in the whole chamber.

Malik's spell takes effect, and the chamber is filled with the soft glow of dancing lights. The orbs of light hover and move throughout the space, casting their illumination on the walls, the statue, and the inscriptions. The shadows that once lingered in the corners of the chamber are pushed back, and the ancient engravings become more visible.
As the light touches the statue, a subtle change occurs. The figure's arms begin to shift, slowly lowering until they are no longer outstretched. The statue itself emits a faint humming sound, and the stone beneath it starts to move, revealing a hidden compartment.
Leena's voice carries a note of surprise. "Look! The statue's arms, they've moved!"
Ramiel's gaze is fixed on the revealed compartment. "It seems we've found something."

Qasim will investigate the open compartment

With curiosity driving you forward, you approach the now-open compartment beneath the statue. Inside, you find a small alcove that holds a carved stone tablet. The tablet is adorned with intricate symbols and patterns, and it radiates a faint magical aura. As you examine it more closely, you realize that the symbols are part of an ancient script, similar to the one on the previous inscriptions.
Leena watches with interest as you uncover the tablet. "Another piece of the puzzle, it seems."
Malik studies the tablet, his eyes tracing the symbols. "This must be significant. Perhaps it's the key to the next trial."
Ramiel's expression is serious as he observes the discovery. "Let's take it with us. It might hold the answers we seek."
Qasim, you hold the stone tablet in your hands, feeling the weight of history and destiny within it. The enigmatic inscriptions on the tablet and the events that have unfolded in this chamber are interwoven, beckoning you to uncover their meaning.

Qasim will take the tablet and say "Well, this could maybe help us further down the trials, let's continue further shall we ?" Is the door to the next trial open or not ?

As you take the stone tablet and express your readiness to continue, the chamber responds to your actions once more. The stone door leading to the next stage of the trials begins to shift, slowly swinging open to reveal a passage beyond. The way forward is clear, and the challenges that lie ahead beckon you to press on.
Leena nods in agreement. "Let's not keep the trials waiting."
Malik's expression is one of determination. "Indeed, we're on the right path."
Ramiel readies his guisarme, his stance resolute. "Let's go. We can't afford to hesitate."
Qasim, the path to the next trial stands before you, illuminated by the light of the dancing orbs and the insights gained from the stone tablet. The riddles and enigmas of the ancient chambers continue to unfold, and the weight of your quest propels you forward.

The group will proceed to the next room of the trial, confident and ready.

You step through the open doorway and into the next chamber, your collective resolve unwavering as you face whatever challenges await you. This chamber presents a stark contrast to the previous ones. The air is heavy with an oppressive aura, and the surroundings are dimly lit by the soft glow of unearthly light emanating from strange, flickering torches mounted on the walls.
As you advance, the eerie atmosphere is punctuated by the echoing sound of shuffling footsteps. From the shadows, figures begin to emerge—twisted, skeletal forms, their eyes aglow with an unnatural light. Undead creatures, animated by forces beyond the natural world, stand before you, their bony fingers clutching rusted weapons.
Leena readies her bow, her voice firm. "Prepare for battle. These are not the welcoming committee we hoped for."
Malik's expression is resolute as he begins to weave his spells. "Stay vigilant. We must face these creatures with precision."
Ramiel grips his guisarme tightly, his gaze locked on the advancing undead. "We'll send them back to the shadows they crawled from."
With determination in your heart, you draw your scimitar and face the undead adversaries. The clash between the living and the undead is inevitable, and the outcome will shape the course of your journey through the trials. As the battle begins, each swing of your weapon and each incantation of magic holds the potential to turn the tide in your favor.

How many of these skeletons are there ?

As you face the advancing skeletal horde, you quickly assess their numbers. There are six of them, each armed with ancient and rusted scimitars. The eerie light in their eye sockets gives them an otherworldly appearance, and their movements are driven by the unnatural magic that animates them within this chamber.
The undead creatures close in on you, their intentions clear. The clash between your group and the skeletal horde is imminent, and the outcome of this battle will be determined by your skill, teamwork, and the choices you make in the heat of combat.

Before anyone could get ready, a skeleton lunged towards Ramiel, striking his blade in Ramiels shoulder. Ramiel let out a scream as blood started pouring along the rusty blade of the lifeless monster. At the same time, an arrow flew past Ramiel's head and pierced the skeleton's skull but to no avail.
Leena reeled back, horrified to see that her arrow had so little effect. Another skeleton lunged towards Qasim who easily parried the strike with a swift slash of his own scimitar, he then turned around swiftly and parried a second attack coming from another skeleton that was running towards him on his left.
Ramiel tried to hit the skeleton who struck him but to no avail, the pain from his injury was too much and he had trouble using his heavy Guisarme, but as another skeleton tried to run past him towards Leena, he used all his might to swing his weapon, striking the running corpse in the torso, shattering it into bones. The necrotic aura of this skeleton vanished, one down, five to go.
Another skeleton jumped towards Ramiel who dodged out of the obvious jumping strike that this skeleton just tried, for mindless undead, these ones were quite flashy, it was unusual. "These guys are different !" Qasim yelled amidst the chaos of the skirmish as he decapitated one of them with his scimitar, the greenish energy evaporated, meaning that this one was also dealt with.
After the initial shock had passed, Malik sprung into action, playing on his lute a serenade which enveloped Ramiel in a smooth golden energy, the scimitar embedded in his shoulder was dislodged and the wound immediately closed. "Thanks" he yelled out to the bard still playing his tune, "Try not to die friend, it's too soon" Malik replied.
Suddenly, a skeleton ran full speed towards Malik with his crooked scimitar at the ready but struck too wide and missed, Malik took the opportunity and headbutted the skeleton, which, had no significant effect but Malik was quite proud of himself. Despite the fact that his head was now hurting like crazy.
Another arrow flew by, Leena once again did not miss her mark and a second arrow lodged itself in the skeleton that she shot earlier, but he was still standing. "Damn it." Leena said under her breath, a bit disappointed. While this was happening, Qasim was weaving around the scimitars with ease, like a watery dance that dodged every single strike. One of them stopped attacking Qasim but before he could turn around to look at the rest of the battlefield, he was absolutely annihilated by a strong hit delivered by Ramiel. "And two for me" the tracker said.
Just as he said that however, a scimitar struck him in the chest, hurting him. The wound was not as deep as the first but he was once again bleeding profusely. Qasim decapitated another one "Two for me as well !" he said before going back to help Malik who was basically in a fistfight against a pile of bones, but as he rolled away, a low swipe from a scimitar got him on the arm, cutting him deeply. The wound wasn't really serious but it was the arm Qasim was using for his scimitar.
Malik threw a wild right hook at the skeleton in front of him, making it stumble backwards a little bit. "Ouch ! My hand ! That hurts like hell !" He said holding his hand and jumping in pain in front of the bewildered skeleton. That same skeleton then pushed Malik against the wall behind him and pierced his leg with the tip of his scimitar, causing a wound from which blood was already pouring.
Leena let go of her bow and tried jumping on that skeleton with her dagger but the skeleton hit her by flailing his arm, making Leena fall prone next to it. During that same time, Ramiel and the skeleton who struck him were exchanging blows, neither of them really landing a serious hit on the other.
Qasim, after having rolled away from one skeleton and getting injured, threw his scimitar to his offhand and slashed the skeleton that Leena and Malik were fighting and hit it hard with the back of his scimitar, crushing its skull, ending it. There was only one skeleton left.
As Leena was getting up, she saw Ramiel's guisarme hit the ground next to the skeleton while the skeleton's blade drew an arc in the air, splattering blood in a crimson line. Ramiel fell on one knee, coughing up blood while Qasim snuck behind the skeleton and with a backhand swipe, finished the bloodbath that was this adventuring party's first battle as a team.

"Ramiel !" Qasim cried out, "Are you alright ?!"

The echoes of battle fade, leaving behind a tense silence punctuated only by the heavy breathing of the adventurers. The chamber is now eerily still, the skeletal remains of their adversaries lying motionless on the floor. The flickering torches cast dancing shadows on the walls, as if the very chamber itself is holding its breath in the aftermath of the fierce struggle.
Ramiel's labored breathing is a stark reminder of the toll the battle has taken. He clutches his wounded torso, his expression a mixture of pain and determination. "I'll live," he manages to rasp out. "But we need to be careful."
Leena rises to her feet, her gaze shifting between her companions. "That was intense. We handled it well, though."
Malik's face is pale, his breathing ragged from the chaos of combat. "I'll need to rest a bit, but I'll be fine."
Qasim's concern for Ramiel is evident as he approaches the wounded warrior. "We'll tend to our injuries and make sure we're ready for whatever comes next."

The group will shortly rest, eat some provisions while Qasim will bandage Ramiel's wound. After all of that Qasim will say: "Are you all ready to proceed, we may be nearing the end !"

As you take a moment to rest and tend to your wounds, the camaraderie among your group becomes even more evident. Ramiel's wound is treated, and while he's still in pain, he's able to move more comfortably. Your provisions offer a bit of respite, replenishing your energy for the challenges ahead.
As you gather your gear and prepare to continue, the anticipation is palpable. The trials have tested your mettle and resourcefulness, and the promise of uncovering the Sunfire Scarab propels you forward. Your determination remains unshaken, and with each step deeper into the ancient chambers, you inch closer to your goal.
"Ready as ever," Ramiel says, his voice a testament to his resilience.
Malik nods, a determined glint in his eyes. "Let's see this through."
Leena offers a reassuring smile. "We've come this far. We can handle whatever awaits."
Qasim's unwavering resolve is a beacon of leadership. "Remember why we're here. Let's continue with caution and confidence."
With renewed purpose, you step forward once again, the next trial awaiting your arrival.
You step into the next chamber, and your eyes are met with a sight that leaves you momentarily speechless. The room is vast, with high ceilings adorned with intricate carvings depicting scenes of ancient battles, celestial beings, and enigmatic symbols. The walls are lined with alcoves that hold statues of warriors frozen in various poses of combat. At the center of the chamber, a raised platform supports a large pedestal, upon which rests a beautifully ornate chest adorned with gems that glimmer in the torchlight.
The chamber exudes an aura of grandeur and reverence, as if it holds the essence of time itself. The air is thick with anticipation, and a hushed reverence fills the space as you step further into the room. The previous trials seemed to have led you here, and the weight of your journey becomes palpable as you stand on the threshold of what might be your final destination.
As you take in the splendor of the chamber, there's a sense that this is more than just a physical space—it's a culmination of the challenges you've faced, the choices you've made, and the mysteries you've unraveled. The Sunfire Scarab remains your goal, and this room feels like the heart of the trials, the place where your determination and courage will be tested one final time.

Qasim inspects the chest, seeing if the stone tablet from the earlier room can be used here

As you approach the ornate chest, you notice that there is a slot in its lid that seems to be of the same shape and size as the stone tablet you acquired from the previous room. The carvings on the tablet match the contours of the slot almost perfectly. It appears that this chamber is indeed intricately connected to the trials you've faced so far, and the tablet might hold the key to unlocking whatever lies within the chest.
Your heart races with anticipation as you carefully place the stone tablet into the slot on the chest's lid. The moment the tablet settles into place, a soft rumbling sound echoes through the chamber. The chest's lid starts to shift, gradually opening to reveal its contents.
Inside the chest, you find an array of treasures—jewels, coins, ancient relics, and at the center, resting on a plush cushion, is an exquisite scarab amulet. It radiates a warm, golden glow, and its intricate craftsmanship is truly a sight to behold. This must be the legendary Sunfire Scarab, the object of your journey.
As you gaze upon the scarab, you feel a sense of accomplishment wash over you. The trials, challenges, and dangers you've faced have led you to this moment. The scarab holds immense power and history, and its presence is a testament to your determination and resourcefulness.

Qasim will place his hands of the Scarab and say "This is my share of the treasure, i promised you treasures back where we were in Sothis, here it is, gold, jewels, take it all for yourselves i only need the Sunfire Scarab" and with that Qasim will take it.

As your hands touch the Sunfire Scarab, a gentle warmth emanates from it, enveloping your palms in a soothing embrace. The amulet seems to resonate with your touch, almost as if it recognizes your intentions and acknowledges your connection to it.
Your words to your companions echo in the chamber, carrying the weight of your sincerity and the bonds forged through your shared journey. The treasure you've gathered—gold, jewels, and relics—sparkles in the torchlight, a testament to the challenges you've overcome and the riches you've earned.
As you claim the Sunfire Scarab, a sense of fulfillment washes over you. The amulet fits comfortably in your hand, its golden glow reflecting in your eyes. You've upheld your oath, found the artifact, and fulfilled your purpose in this quest. The moment is a culmination of your determination, your allies' support, and the trials you've faced together.
The chamber seems to hold a reverent hush, as if the very air is filled with the echoes of your decision. The amulet, radiant and magnificent, serves as a symbol of your achievement and the unity you've experienced with your companions. The journey has left its mark, and the memories you've created will linger long after you leave this place.

As Qasim examines the artifact in his hands, Malik holds a golden chain in his hands, he says "Look Leena, we won't need to steal to survive no more, with all of that we could even open an orphanage back in the slums !" Leena stops for a second, taken aback, she holds a purple-ish jewel between her fingers before saying "Yes, i believe that's what we have to do, so no others end up like us" at this moment Ramiel interjected with a funny tone: "Ending up like you guys doesn't seem that bad look at all that gold !" With that, the party packed up and prepared for the travel back to Rashid's dealing place

As the party gathers their newfound treasure and prepares to head back to Rashid's meeting point, the weight of their achievements and the bond they've formed through their trials hangs in the air. The scarab's golden glow seems to illuminate their paths both physically and metaphorically, casting light on the potential future they now hold.
The desert sun beats down on them once more, its warmth serving as a reminder of the challenges they've faced and the victories they've won. The winds that whisper secrets through the shifting sands seem to carry a message of hope, redemption, and the power of unity.
The journey back to Rashid's meeting place is a mix of exhaustion and excitement. Each step takes them closer to sharing their success with the enigmatic figure who set them on this path. The weight of the treasure they carry is not just in gold and gems, but in the experiences, they've lived through, the dangers they've overcome, and the trust they've built.
As they approach the familiar location, the air is charged with anticipation. Rashid is waiting, a smile playing on his lips as he regards the adventurers who have returned triumphant. The scarab, cradled in Qasim's hands, seems to radiate a warmth that matches the sun above.
"You've returned," Rashid's voice is calm and welcoming. "I see you've succeeded in your task."
Qasim steps forward, scarab in hand, and meets Rashid's gaze. "We've faced challenges, encountered traps, and battled through undead. But we've secured the Sunfire Scarab as you asked."
Rashid's eyes gleam as he looks at the scarab, and a sense of satisfaction crosses his features. "Well done. You've proven your mettle, and I believe you have earned what I promised."
With a flourish, Rashid reaches into his robes and pulls out a scroll, sealed with an ornate emblem. He extends it toward Qasim, who takes it with a mixture of curiosity and anticipation.
"This is a map," Rashid explains. "A map that will lead you to an ancient temple hidden deep within the desert. Within its depths, you'll find secrets that few have laid eyes upon."
Qasim unrolls the scroll, his companions crowding around to get a glimpse of the intricate markings and cryptic symbols that adorn it. The map reveals a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers, leading to a chamber marked with an image that resembles the Sunfire Scarab.
"Follow the map, and you'll find the heart of the temple," Rashid continues. "What lies within is beyond my knowledge, but I sense that it is a place of great power."
As Qasim looks up from the map, Rashid's gaze holds a mixture of respect and intrigue. "You are adventurers of rare caliber. I have no doubt that whatever awaits you in that temple, you will face it with courage and determination."
With that, Rashid bids them farewell, and the party sets out once more, their destination clear and their hearts filled with a newfound sense of purpose. The scarab, a symbol of their triumph and unity, rests against Qasim's chest, a constant reminder of the path they've walked and the adventures that still lie ahead.
And so, the desert winds continue to whisper tales of heroes and treasures, of bonds forged in the crucible of challenge, and of a future that shines as bright as the sun's first rays breaking over the horizon. The journey of Qasim and his companions is far from over, but with the Sunfire Scarab lighting their way, they step confidently into the next chapter of their adventure.
Chapter Four - Powers at Play

As about two month passed, Leena and Malik had a new orphanage setup in Sethis' slums while they trained. With all of the money Leena bought fancy clothing and a very beautiful rapier, choosing to now fight in melee after seeing that bows weren't made for her.
Malik trained to use a whip in order to potentially trip or disarm enemies, and also spent a bit too much on alcohol or even some pesh.
Ramiel trained, bought a suit of armor and a masterfully crafted guisarme that he called Viscera, but now he his back to having no money.
Qasim got employed in the Oasis Rest tavern as a part time bartender and got to know the owner of the tavern Aisha with whom he already spoke before his quest.
These two months were quite fine for our adventurers before they decided to meet again, and right now they were all around a table at the Oasis Rest.
"It feels like forever since i last saw you guys." Qasim said.

Sitting around the familiar table at the Oasis Rest, the adventurers shared a sense of camaraderie that had only deepened during their time apart. The tavern's warm atmosphere and the scent of food and drink filled the air, providing a comforting backdrop to their reunion.
Leena, her rapier now a graceful extension of her hand, leaned back in her chair and grinned. "Yeah, it's been a while. But I must say, running the orphanage has been quite the experience. Those kids can be a handful, but they're also a joy."
Malik, swirling a glass of wine in his hand, chimed in. "And I've been discovering the intricacies of the whip. It's a versatile weapon, let me tell you. Plus, I've made a few... lucrative trades."
Ramiel, clad in his new armor and tracing a finger along the edge of Viscera, nodded in agreement. "The training's been tough, but it's paid off. And this beauty," he patted his guisarme affectionately, "has already seen its fair share of action."
Qasim, wiping down a glass behind the bar, smiled at his friends. "It's good to hear that you've all been making the most of our time apart. As for me, working at the Oasis Rest has been a different kind of adventure. Aisha, the owner, is quite the character. But I've also been missing the thrill of the desert and the unknown."
As the group shared stories and laughter, their individual experiences woven together to create a tapestry of growth, friendship, and shared purpose. The scarab, now resting on a small display stand in the middle of the table, served as a constant reminder of the path they had walked and the challenges that lay ahead.
"We should get back out there soon," Leena said, looking around at her companions. "There's still so much to explore, so many mysteries to uncover."
Malik raised his glass in agreement. "To new adventures and treasures waiting to be discovered!"
Ramiel chuckled. "And to the fact that we're still alive and kicking, despite everything."
Qasim nodded, his gaze fixed on the scarab. "To unity, to friendship, and to the boundless horizon that calls us forward."
As the glasses clinked and the echoes of their toasts faded into the night, the adventurers knew that their journey was far from over. With the memory of the scarab's glow and the lessons they had learned, they were prepared to face whatever challenges and wonders awaited them on the path ahead.

As the ambiance cheers up, Qasim gets serious for an instant and says: "Do you guys remember Zara ? Dealer of secrets, the woman in the trade district ? She contacted me, she heard of our deeds and would like for us to work for her, i don't know the details yet but it's something worth looking into before going straight back into the desert."

The atmosphere around the table shifted slightly as Qasim's words hung in the air. The mention of Zara, the enigmatic dealer of secrets, brought a sense of intrigue and anticipation to the group. They exchanged glances, a mixture of curiosity and excitement evident in their expressions.
Leena leaned forward, her eyes narrowing in thought. "Zara, huh? She certainly knows how to pique one's interest. What did she say? What kind of job is she offering?"
Malik's playful grin returned. "Well, well, it seems our reputation is spreading. Dealing with secrets sounds right up our alley."
Ramiel, his hand idly resting on the hilt of Viscera, raised an eyebrow. "I'm always up for a challenge, especially if it involves a fair amount of coin."
Qasim leaned on the bar, his gaze thoughtful. "I haven't received all the details yet, but she mentioned that she's aware of our capabilities and that she has a proposition for us. It could be another adventure, another chance to uncover hidden truths."
The scarab on the display stand seemed to gleam in the dim light, a silent witness to the adventurers' conversation. The echoes of their past accomplishments resonated within their hearts, reminding them of the bonds they had formed and the journeys they had undertaken.

"She will meet us here shortly, in the meantime let me tell you about what info i gathered on the Sunfire Scarab, i tested its abilities and it has the power to heal, create light, and add some flaming flare to my blade when i wield it. This will be extremely useful in our future quests."

Leena, Malik, and Ramiel leaned in attentively as Qasim described the Sunfire Scarab's newfound abilities. Their expressions ranged from curiosity to excitement, their interest in the artifact evident.
Leena's eyes sparkled with interest. "Healing, light, and fire enhancement? That's quite the versatile artifact. It seems like it could be a real game-changer in battles and explorations."
Malik nodded, his fingers drumming on the table in contemplation. "Imagine the advantage of having a source of healing in the heat of battle. And the fiery enhancement? That'll surely make our enemies think twice."
Ramiel's serious demeanor softened into a grin. "Seems like we've stumbled upon a real treasure, both in value and usefulness. With the scarab by your side, Qasim, you're like a one-man arsenal."
Qasim chuckled, a hint of pride in his expression. "I must admit, I'm still getting used to its powers, but I can see the potential. We'll need every advantage we can get in the challenges ahead."
As their conversation flowed and their excitement grew, the sound of footsteps approached. The tavern door swung open, and in walked Zara, a mysterious smile playing on her lips. Her presence seemed to add an air of intrigue to the room, as if secrets were about to be unveiled.
"Ah, there you are," Zara said, her voice carrying a certain enchanting quality. "I've heard of your recent exploits, and it seems you've found yourselves a gem in that Sunfire Scarab."
Qasim nodded, his gaze meeting Zara's. "Indeed. But we're also intrigued by your proposition. What do you have for us?"
Zara's smile deepened. "A venture that combines your skills with my interests. There's an ancient tome hidden within the Great Library of Sothis, a tome said to contain arcane knowledge of considerable power. I believe it holds secrets that could be quite valuable to the right people."
Leena's brows furrowed slightly. "The Great Library? That's a heavily guarded place. Retrieving a tome from there won't be an easy task."
Zara's eyes glinted with a knowing look. "Which is why I've chosen you. You've proven yourselves capable time and again. I have information that will aid your infiltration. And in return, the knowledge you'll uncover from that tome will undoubtedly be useful."
Malik leaned back, a smirk playing on his lips. "A library heist? Now that's an adventure I can get behind."
Ramiel's grip on his guisarme tightened. "A library may be an unconventional battlefield, but if it's knowledge and power we're after, then we're up for the challenge."
Zara extended her hand, revealing a rolled parchment sealed with a wax emblem. "Here are the details of the mission, including a map of the library's layout and information on guards' patrol schedules. It won't be easy, but I believe you're the right team for the job."
Qasim exchanged glances with his companions before reaching out and accepting the parchment. "We'll review the details and consider your offer."
Zara's smile remained enigmatic. "Take your time. You've already shown your dedication to uncovering the mysteries of the past. I'll await your decision."
As Zara left, the adventurers were left with a new challenge, a fresh opportunity for discovery and adventure. The Sunfire Scarab's warm glow seemed to resonate with their determination, lighting the path to the unknown. With a shared glance, they knew that whatever they decided, the road ahead was bound to be filled with intrigue, danger, and the thrill of the unexplored.

Qasim read the instructions on the mission given to him by Zara, seeing what book he his looking for and in which section of the great library he can find it.

As Qasim unrolled the parchment and scanned its contents, the instructions were detailed and precise, outlining the mission with careful consideration. The words on the page revealed the scope of the task that lay ahead:
Mission Details: Infiltration of the Great Library
Objective: Retrieve the ancient arcane tome known as the "Codex of Infinite Planes" from the Great Library of Sothis.
Location: The Codex is said to be housed in the Arcane Wing of the library. Look for it in Section E, Row 12, Shelf 4.
Preparation: The library is heavily guarded, with both physical and magical security measures. Discretion and subtlety are paramount. Wear common attire to blend in as scholars or researchers.
Access: The library has restricted access. To gain entry, present the official sealed letter provided by Zara at the entrance. This will grant you temporary permissions for the purpose of research.
Guards and Patrolling: Familiarize yourself with the guards' patrol schedules as provided in the documents. Timing your movements and actions according to their routines will be crucial to avoiding detection.
Additional Information: Beware of magical wards and traps that protect the more valuable tomes. The Codex of Infinite Planes is rumored to have additional safeguards. Be prepared to face arcane obstacles.
Return: Once you've secured the Codex, exit the library and rendezvous with Zara at the designated location detailed in the map provided.
Qasim's eyes moved across the parchment as he absorbed the details. It was clear that this mission required careful planning, attention to detail, and teamwork. The library's formidable defenses presented a challenge that would demand their combined skills and cunning. He looked up from the parchment to his companions, ready to discuss their next steps.
"So, what are your thoughts?" Qasim asked, his gaze moving from Leena to Malik and Ramiel. "This mission won't be easy, but it could lead us to even greater knowledge and power."

Qasim paused for a moment before saying: "Ramiel, i suggest you sit this one out, you are an experienced tracker and fighter but your skills won't be needed here and the fewer we are the stealthier we will be, i'll go with Leena and Malik inside. We will be going inside when visitors are allowed, staying in the sections open to the public before trying to go further in, how does that sound ?"

Ramiel nodded in agreement. "Aye, I understand. My skills might not be the most useful in a library setting. I'll be here at the tavern, keeping an eye out and tending to matters. But if you need any support or a quick exit, just let me know."
Leena looked at Qasim and nodded, showing her agreement with the plan. "I'm ready for this. The library may not be the desert, but I've dealt with my fair share of challenges."
Malik grinned. "Well, if I can handle the chaos of a marketplace, I can handle a library. Plus, I've always wanted to read more anyway."
Qasim smiled at his companions' determination. "Great, let's get prepared and head to the library. Remember, discretion is key. We'll make our way to the designated entrance time and act like researchers until the time is right. Stay alert and be ready to improvise if things don't go as planned."
With their plan set, the group began to gather their things, making sure they had the necessary supplies and the sealed letter from Zara. The anticipation of what lay ahead filled the air as they readied themselves for their infiltration of the Great Library of Sothis.

Before going, Qasim Leena and Malik got some clothing with ample robes to blend in with the students of the arcane, they made disguise checks to really try and look like average young wizards, here are their roll results: Malik 22, Qasim 20, Leena 17

The trio made their way to a small tailor shop near the library, where they acquired the necessary clothing to blend in with the students and scholars of the arcane. With the help of the tailor, they selected robes that matched the typical attire worn by the students of the Great Library. The robes were comfortable, allowing for easy movement while still maintaining an air of seriousness and scholarship.
As they donned their new attire, they each adjusted their robes to fit properly, ensuring that they looked the part. Malik seemed particularly comfortable in the robes, his confident demeanor fitting well with the scholarly appearance. Qasim adjusted his scimitar and the Sunfire Scarab on his belt to be concealed beneath his robes, while Leena made sure her dagger was hidden as well.
With their disguises in place, they made their way to the library entrance at the designated time. As they entered, they blended in with the other students, observing the comings and goings of researchers and scholars. Their attire seemed to be effective, allowing them to pass as students of the arcane arts.
Qasim, Leena, and Malik were now ready to navigate the Great Library of Sothis in search of the mysterious book mentioned in the sealed letter from Zara. The scent of old parchment and the hushed whispers of knowledge surrounded them, as they prepared to uncover the secrets that awaited within its hallowed halls.

Malik will then try to strike a conversation with another student about some magical lore about the codex while staying discreet, to add in credibility he will also talk about some arcane studies he heard about. He rolled a 14 on a knowledge (arcana) check.

Malik carefully approached a group of students who were engaged in a discussion about magical lore and arcane studies. He joined the conversation, mentioning some of the arcane studies he had heard about and contributing to the topic with his knowledge of magical concepts. His confidence and ease in discussing magical matters helped him blend in, and his words seemed to resonate with the other students.
He subtly steered the conversation toward the topic of the Codex of Infinite Planes, using his knowledge of arcana to ask insightful questions. The students seemed intrigued by his inquiries, and one of them responded, "Ah, the Codex of Infinite Planes, a fascinating subject indeed. It's said to contain knowledge about the various planes of existence and their connections. The library has restricted access to it due to its potent magical content."
Malik nodded, maintaining his disguise as a fellow student. "Indeed, the delicate balance of planes and the intricacies of their interactions have always fascinated me. I heard that it's not just knowledge about the planes themselves, but also about how to traverse between them."
The student he was conversing with looked impressed. "You're quite knowledgeable for someone your age. You're absolutely right—the Codex is said to contain secrets of planar travel and conjuration magic that can bridge the gaps between worlds."
Malik continued to engage in the conversation, gleaning as much information as he could about the Codex and its potential location within the library. He learned that the Codex was considered a rare and powerful tome, and its contents were closely guarded due to the potential risks involved in accessing such potent magical knowledge.
As the conversation continued, Malik noticed that a librarian was walking by, casting a watchful eye on the students. It was clear that the library staff was vigilant about ensuring that no unauthorized individuals gained access to restricted sections of the library. Malik discreetly signaled to Qasim and Leena, indicating that they should proceed with caution and find a way to access the Codex without drawing too much attention.

Malik will then suddenly start showing off his skills with the dancing lights spell to the others, trying to get everyone's attention while Leena and Qasim will sneak away towards the restricted section. Malik rolled a 6 on his perform check but both Leena and Qasim rolled 19 on their stealth check to go unnoticed.

Malik, attempting to divert attention away from Qasim and Leena, began to cast his dancing lights spell in a somewhat showy manner. Unfortunately, his execution was a bit clumsy, and the lights seemed to flicker and waver in an uneven pattern. Some of the students turned their heads to look at him, their expressions ranging from mild curiosity to slight amusement. A few even chuckled at the display.
As Malik continued his attempt at magical entertainment, Qasim and Leena took advantage of the distraction. With their robes blending in among the students, they quietly slipped away from the group and made their way toward the restricted section of the library.
Walking briskly but carefully, they navigated through the shelves, glancing around to ensure that no librarians or guards were watching their movements. The library's hushed atmosphere worked in their favor, muffling their footsteps as they approached the entrance to the restricted area.
Near the entrance, they encountered a door marked with a sign indicating that only authorized individuals were allowed beyond that point. However, Leena's keen eyes spotted a small gap under the door, through which they could glimpse the dimly lit interior of the restricted section. They could see rows of bookshelves and the occasional figure in a robe, engrossed in their studies.
Qasim and Leena exchanged a glance, silently communicating their determination. Leena reached into a small pouch at her side and produced a set of lockpicking tools. With practiced ease, she worked on the lock of the door, her deft fingers maneuvering the delicate tools. After a few moments, there was a soft click, and the door was unlocked.
They pushed the door open just enough to slip inside, making sure to close it gently behind them to avoid any noise. Now inside the restricted section, they found themselves surrounded by arcane tomes and scrolls, the air carrying an almost palpable sense of ancient knowledge.
Qasim and Leena moved cautiously among the shelves, searching for any sign of the Codex of Infinite Planes. As they scanned the titles and examined the contents of various books, they knew that time was of the essence. They needed to locate the Codex before they drew any unwanted attention to themselves or their purpose within the restricted area.

Using the information given by Zara, they go to the according section and look around, Leena rolled an 18 perception check and Qasim rolled a 19.

Leena and Qasim carefully navigated the rows of shelves, their eyes scanning the titles and spines of various books as they followed the instructions provided by Zara. The section they were in seemed to be dedicated to advanced arcane studies, containing texts on various planes of existence, magical theories, and ancient cosmology.
As they moved deeper into the section, their eyes fell upon a particularly weathered and ornate book on one of the shelves. Leena's sharp perception caught a glint of gold leafing on the edges of the pages. The title of the book was partially obscured by dust and age, but they could make out the words "Codex of Infinite Planes."
Gently pulling the book from the shelf, they felt a sense of anticipation. Could this be the very book they were seeking? As they opened it, their eyes were met with meticulously handwritten pages filled with intricate diagrams, symbols, and text in languages they didn't immediately recognize. This was undoubtedly the Codex of Infinite Planes.
Leena and Qasim exchanged a triumphant look, their efforts in finding this legendary tome finally bearing fruit. However, they knew they couldn't linger for long. They quickly snapped the book shut and carefully slid it into a satchel that Qasim had brought with him. As they turned to leave the section, they noticed a faint whispering sound, like a soft breeze carrying distant voices.
Their instincts told them that someone else might be nearby, and they shared a silent agreement to exit the restricted area as inconspicuously as possible. With the Codex in their possession, they needed to make their way back to Malik and rejoin him before their presence in the library drew any unwanted attention.

"Well, didn't look like they had any magical ward after all, at least i hope so... Let's get out of here" Qasim said, after stealthily moving through the rows of bookshelves, directly followed by Leena. Qasim rolled a 20 on his stealth check while Leena rolled a 13.

Qasim and Leena moved with practiced stealth, their steps light and movements calculated. They managed to navigate the library's labyrinthine shelves without drawing attention to themselves. The sounds of hushed conversations, rustling pages, and the occasional cough surrounded them as they neared the exit of the section.
As they approached a corner that would lead them out of the arcane studies section, Leena's foot accidentally knocked against the corner of a table, causing a small stack of books to wobble precariously. She instinctively reached out to steady them, but in doing so, one of the books slipped from her grasp and fell to the floor with a soft thud.
The sound seemed magnified in the hushed atmosphere of the library, and for a moment, both Leena and Qasim froze, their hearts pounding. They exchanged a tense glance before Qasim motioned for Leena to keep moving while he quickly crouched to pick up the fallen book.
He glanced at the cover to see the title "Elemental Conjurations and Bindings" before carefully placing it back on the table. With a final glance around, he followed Leena as they continued on their way towards the exit. Despite the small mishap, they managed to slip out of the arcane studies section without drawing any further attention.
As they reunited with Malik, who was still enchanting the crowd with his magical display, Qasim and Leena felt a mixture of relief and triumph. The Codex of Infinite Planes was now in their possession, and they had successfully navigated the library's potential dangers. With the precious tome concealed in Qasim's satchel, they were ready to report back to Zara and learn what awaited them next in their quest.

The group will the meet up with Zara for the reward.

As the group rendezvoused with Zara at the designated meeting spot, she regarded them with a mix of curiosity and satisfaction. Her dark eyes flickered over each member of the team before settling on Qasim, who had the Codex of Infinite Planes safely tucked away.
"Ah, you've returned," she said, a slight smile tugging at the corner of her lips. "I trust your little adventure within the Great Library went smoothly?"
Qasim nodded, his demeanor composed. "Indeed, we managed to acquire the Codex as you requested."
Zara's smile widened. "Impressive. I had a feeling you were resourceful. Hand it over, if you will."
With a practiced movement, Qasim retrieved the Codex from his satchel and placed it on a nearby table. Zara approached it cautiously, her fingers trailing over the ancient cover before she carefully opened it. She scanned a few pages, her expression growing more intent as she read.
"I believe this is what I was looking for," she mused, her gaze still fixed on the pages. "You've done well, and I always honor my end of the bargain."
She turned her attention back to the group and reached into her robes, producing a small velvet pouch. She placed it on the table next to the Codex before looking up at them.
"Your payment, as promised," she said. "I trust you'll find the compensation satisfactory."
Qasim picked up the pouch and gave it a brief inspection before nodding appreciatively. "Thank you, Zara. We're glad we could assist you."
Zara's lips quirked into a half-smile. "You're not the only ones who benefit from this arrangement, believe me. Now, before you go, there's one more thing I'd like to discuss."
She leaned in slightly, her eyes focusing on each member of the group in turn. "I've heard rumors of another artifact, one with the potential to change the fate of this city and its people. It's a perilous undertaking, and it won't be easy. But considering your performance so far, I believe you might just be up to the challenge."
She paused, allowing her words to sink in before continuing. "The artifact is known as the Eye of Midnight. It's said to hold immense magical power, capable of revealing hidden truths and secrets. However, it's rumored to be guarded by powerful magic and traps. If you're willing to pursue this, there will be a substantial reward waiting for you."
Qasim exchanged glances with Leena, Malik, and Ramiel, a silent conversation passing between them. After a moment, he turned back to Zara and nodded.
"We're always up for a challenge," he said. "And we're no strangers to seeking out hidden treasures. Tell us more about the Eye of Midnight."
Zara's smile widened, and she leaned back, her hands steepled in front of her. "Excellent. I knew you'd be interested. The Eye is rumored to be located in an ancient underground chamber beneath the city. The entrance is well-hidden, and deciphering the path to it is a task in itself. But with your skills and determination, I believe you can uncover its location."
She leaned in again, her tone more serious. "Be cautious, though. The Eye's magic is said to be unpredictable, and it's guarded by more than just traps. There are those who would stop at nothing to possess its power. Keep your wits about you and trust in your abilities."
Qasim nodded, his resolve firm. "We'll do what it takes. Just provide us with any information you have, and we'll track down the Eye of Midnight."
Zara's smile held a mix of intrigue and approval. "Very well. I'll provide you with the details you need to get started. Remember, time is of the essence, but I have faith that you'll succeed."
With that, the conversation continued, and Zara shared the information she had gathered about the Eye of Midnight's potential location. The group listened intently, their minds already focused on their next challenge and the mysteries that awaited them in the depths of the city.

"Well" Qasim said, "for now let's get some rest !"

As Qasim's words hung in the air, the group felt a sudden chill that had nothing to do with the desert night. The atmosphere in the tavern seemed to shift, and a sense of unease settled over them. Just as they were about to dismiss it as a trick of their imagination, a blood-curdling scream pierced the air from outside.
All eyes turned toward the source of the sound, and the group rushed to the nearest window. The scene that unfolded before them was one of chaos and horror. Ghouls, their twisted forms illuminated by the pale light of the moon, were attacking innocent villagers in the streets. The undead creatures moved with unnatural speed, their elongated claws tearing into flesh, and their jaws dripping with vile ichor.
A woman's frantic screams cut through the night, the sound echoing in the minds of the group as they watched in horror. The ghouls seemed relentless, their eyes gleaming with malevolent hunger as they closed in on their victims. Panic spread through the streets like wildfire, and the villagers who were fortunate enough to escape the ghouls' clutches ran in all directions, seeking refuge.
The tavern's patrons gathered at the windows, watching the nightmare unfold. Fear and anger mingled in their eyes as they witnessed the senseless violence. Qasim's grip on his scimitar tightened, and his jaw clenched. He exchanged glances with Leena, Malik, and Ramiel, each of them understanding the gravity of the situation.
Without a word, they knew what needed to be done. They had faced danger before, but this was a threat that couldn't be ignored. As the group turned away from the window, their expressions steeled with determination, Qasim's voice rang out.
"We can't stand by and let this continue," he said, his tone resolute. "We need to help those villagers and put an end to these ghouls. Let's go."
With that, they moved as one, their footsteps echoing with purpose as they rushed out of the tavern and into the chaos of the night. The screams of the villagers and the gruesome sounds of the ghouls' attacks filled the air, and the group's hearts raced with a mixture of adrenaline and a fierce determination to protect the innocent.
As they entered the fray, blades drawn and spells at the ready, the scene shifted from one of terror to one of courage and heroism. The battle against the ghouls was about to begin, and the group's actions would shape the fate of the city and its people in the hours to come.

As Leena saw the first ghoul, she lunged with her rapier in hand, unfortunately missing her target as the ghoul quickly jumped back to dodge while smiling creepily a Leena and lashing with both its horrific clawed tendrils that it calls its arms. Leena's chest was shredded from that rapid onslaught as she winced in pain. Seeing this, Qasim was suddenly filled with rage and ran straight towards the ghoul, his scarab glowing. His scimitar was suddenly set ablaze as he struck the ghoul, deeply injuring it.
Ramiel arrived a second later and also struck the same ghoul with his new guisarme Viscera, that has serrated edges and tore through the ghoul's flesh who seemed to be writhing in agony from both the flaming blade and the serrated spike that had made contact with its body. Malik tried to cast a dazing spell using its lute but the ghoul resisted to the effects.Leena's rapier then finally made contact, piercing the ghoul's skull, but as the ghoul fell to the ground, it hung on while barely being able to stand.
"Oh come on !" Leena said, "Why do they never die when i'm the one to attack them ?!" While she said that, a scream was heard from behind as one ghoul just dropped from a rooftop onto Malik and was biting a chunk out of his forearm. "HELP !" Malik blurted out. The Ghoul which was almost dead suddenly tried to strike Qasim twice, he dodged the first hit but got scratched on the face with the second hit. This was only a minor wound so it didn't really matter right now.
Qasim decapitated the ghoul in question in a flash of white and yellow flames. The rest of the body fell on the ground with a heavy thud, throwing some dust and sand in the air. Ramiel tried to strike the ghoul standing on top of Malik the Viscera's blade got stopped by the ghoul's arm flailing.
Malik managed to take this opportunity to run and hide in the nearest building, observing and preparing for his next spell. Leena ran up to the ghoul which bited Malik, plunging her rapier deep into the monster's chest, inflicting dangerous damage for the create who almost kneeled down, trying to bite Leena but she nimbly dodged the futile attempt. Just as the ghoul started recovering and getting up, a flaming scimitar struck it, bringing down to its knees once more.
Ramiel missed yet another one of his attacks, yelling in the process:"Why am i so baaaad today ?!" Next to him, a door opened as Malik threw another dazing spell which missed, then closed back the door, still reeling from the pain. Suddenly, Leena jumped on a wall, then from the wall to behind the ghoul in front of Qasim and struck it ferociously. Once again, the ghoul was still alive, but barely hanging on a single, last thread, and it was hanging on this last thread that the ghoul violently struck Leena, mangling her torso, blood splattering everywhere. Furthermore, Leena started feeling numb, and soon enough she couldn't move a single muscle, she was paralyzed.
As she fell prone, paralyzed, another ghoul appeared from the corner of the street and starting biting down on her neck, Leena instantly lost consciousness. "LEENA !" Qasim screamed, with his scimitar flaring harder than before. As he ran towards the ghoul to attack, he lost focus and missed his strike against the foul creature, However, the scarab activated, enveloping Leena in golden flames as her wounds started to mend.
While this was happening, Ramiel was still fighting the other ghoul, the one which paralyzed Leena, he tried to strike it but missed once more, While he missed that attack, Malik went out of his hiding spot and tried whipping the ghoul, which didn't really work out well as he completely messed it up and got mangled by the monster, also losing consciousness. Meaning that only Ramiel and Qasim were left standing.
Around the corner, yet another ghoul was coming, that made three members of this nefarious species very close to the group, the situation started to be very grim. One of the creatures attacked Qasim but he parried the long arms and even riposted, slashing at the creature's, face. He then hit again, severely burning the ghoul in question. There were now one of these creatures in good health who seemed to be walking towards the fray while finishing a meal and two extremely bloodied ones.
As Ramiel kept missing his attacks because the narrow street they were in gave him too little room to work for with his huge polearm. The healthy ghoul casually started walking towards Leena body and started biting her belly, ripping off part of her flesh. This enraged both Ramiel and Qasim. Which one of the creatures took advantage off, biting into Ramiel's arm while he was distracted, the other tried the same on Qasim but he was reactive enough to dodge this attack.
Qasim was desperately trying to fend off the two ghouls in front of him while his scarab continued to heal Leena injuries but if this kept up for longer, Leena might die for good, and nobody knew what state Malik was in. Ramiel decided to back off a little and charged the ghoul in front of him, finally killing it with a mighty blow, he was finally able to go help his friend who was fending off two of those wretched beasts by himself.
The monster which was trying to eat Leena got up from his meal, tried to sluggishly attack Qasim but he probably had too much to eat and his slow attack was quickly countered by a flaming dancing blade which cleanly chopped off its hand. The monster cried in agony as his hand fell to the ground, surrounded in dying white flames.
But the other undead standing suddenly pounced on Qasim, landing two heavy strikes on him, mangling him pretty badly as blood started dripping everywhere. Qasim suddenly felt numb, as he almost got paralyzed by the ghoul's toxins but was saved by his scarab, after a brief stumbling, Qasim decapitated the ghoul, leaving only one of them in this area, as the city guards surely had taken care of the rest by now.
With the continual healing of the scarab, Leena suddenly shot awake, dripping in sweat, then fell down on the ground again, with not enough energy to be standing right now but at least she was alive. The last monster managed to bite Qasim's shoulder, injuring him to the point that he got close to losing consciousness, but he stayed focused and tried attacking the creature with all his might, and managed to deeply injure it !
The monster lashed out in vain while Qasim and Ramiel did the same, but the damnes thing kept evading their blows. Qasim's scarab was almost out of healing but he had to make sure that Malik was fine so once again, golden flames left the scarab and mended his body, it mended it so well in fact that Malik immediately got up saying "W- What did i miss ?" And tried once again to cast his dazing spell which, again, missed.
Leena tried to strike the creature from the ground with her rapier but that wasn't really effective so she tried to get up, to no avail. The monster lashed out and attacked both Qasim and Ramiel, Qasim nimbly dodged out of the long arm but Ramiel got hit, the wound seemed pretty fine until Ramiel found himself completely unable to move !
Qasim missed yet another attack and his scarab used the last of its power for the day mending his own wounds so that he could fight that thing. Suddenly, Malik's Daze spell hit its mark, temporarily stunning the ghoul in a state of bewilderment, seeing the opportunity, Leena suddenly got up, mustering all of her strength, and pierced the creature killing it "Finally got one" she said, before falling on the ground again.

As the echoes of battle faded away, the city streets slowly began to regain a semblance of calm. The group stood among the fallen ghouls, their breathing heavy, wounds fresh, and adrenaline still coursing through their veins. The night air was cool and heavy with the scent of blood and fear.
Qasim's voice cut through the quiet as he addressed his companions, relief and exhaustion evident in his tone. "I'm happy you're all alive, thought I'd lose some of y'all in here." His words carried the weight of the intense battle they had just faced, a battle that had pushed them to their limits.
Leena, Malik, and Ramiel gathered around him, each with their own signs of weariness and injuries. Leena's chest was bandaged, Malik's arm was wrapped, and Ramiel struggled to move due to the lingering effects of the ghoul's paralysis. But they were alive, and in that moment, that was what mattered most.
Leena managed a weak smile as she looked around at her companions. "We've faced worse, right?"
Malik let out a tired chuckle. "Yeah, but can we have one adventure where I don't end up paralyzed or bleeding?"
Ramiel grinned, though it was tinged with pain. "I'd say that's a bit much to ask for, friend."
Qasim nodded, his gaze shifting from one to another. "We make a good team. And tonight, we saved lives. Those villagers would have been in a dire situation if we hadn't stepped in."
As the city guards began to arrive to handle the aftermath of the ghoul invasion, the group took a moment to catch their breaths. Despite their wounds and weariness, a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie filled the air. They had faced down danger, fought off the undead, and emerged victorious.
The night would soon give way to dawn, and the group knew they had to find a safe place to rest and recover. But for now, they stood together on the darkened streets of the city, a bond forged in battle and a reminder that they were adventurers bound by a shared purpose. And as the city slowly returned to its usual rhythm, they couldn't help but wonder what new challenges and mysteries awaited them in the days to come.
Qasim found himself in that strange, misty realm once again, the dreamlike space where he had encountered the mysterious figure before. As if drawn to a force beyond his control, he stood alone in this surreal landscape, the whispers of the shifting mist filling his ears.
And then, like a shadow emerging from the fog, the figure materialized before him. Its features were still obscured, and its form seemed to waver between solid and ephemeral. It regarded Qasim with an intensity that sent shivers down his spine.
"You've faced danger before, adventurer," the figure spoke, its voice echoing in the ethereal space. "But what you encountered tonight was no mere happenstance. There are powers at play, forces that seek what you possess."
Qasim's brow furrowed as he listened, his curiosity piqued. "Who are you? And why do you keep appearing in my dreams?"
The figure seemed to chuckle, a sound that resonated in the air like distant bells. "I am but a messenger, a guide through the threads of fate. And I am here to warn you. The attack you faced was orchestrated by someone who desires the Eye of Midnight. They are powerful, cunning, and their motives are shrouded in darkness."
Qasim's hand instinctively went to the pendant hanging around his neck, the very artifact that seemed to draw so much attention. "The Eye of Midnight? What is it, and why would someone go to such lengths to get it?"
The figure's form seemed to shift, its presence growing more intense. "The Eye of Midnight is a relic of great power, a key to secrets that can reshape the world. It has been hidden for ages, safeguarded by those who understood its potential for both good and ill. But now, as the sands of fate churn, its allure draws those who would wield its might."
Qasim's mind raced with questions, his determination flaring. "Then we must protect it. If this enemy seeks to claim it, we must stand against them."
The figure's form began to fade, its voice carrying on the breeze. "Remember, adventurer, darkness seeks to consume the light, and power can corrupt even the noblest hearts. Beware the shadows that gather, and trust not all that you see."
Before Qasim could respond, the mist around him began to thin, and the figure's presence dissolved into the haze. He awoke with a start, his heart pounding in his chest. The warning echoed in his mind, a reminder that their quest for the Eye of Midnight had drawn the attention of powerful and malevolent forces. And as the first rays of dawn painted the sky, he knew that their journey was far from over, and that they would need to face these challenges head-on to protect the relic and the world from the darkness that sought to claim it.
Chapter Five - Sinister Arrows

The first light of dawn filtered through the windows of the room where the party had found their rest. The atmosphere was hushed, a tangible sense of weariness and tension hung in the air. As each member of the group stirred awake, they were met with the reality of their injuries, the memories of the ghoul attack fresh in their minds.
Qasim, still feeling the ache of his wounds, shifted his weight and slowly sat up on the edge of his makeshift bed. His gaze drifted to his companions, his concern evident in his furrowed brows. Leena's usually energetic demeanor was subdued, her movements careful as she gingerly tested the weight on her injured leg. Ramiel sat nearby, nursing his wounds and examining the damaged armor that bore testament to the ferocity of the battle.
Malik, however, seemed remarkably untouched by the previous night's events. His body had been mended by his magic, and he appeared as if he hadn't experienced the harrowing fight at all. The bard's expression held a mixture of concern and relief as he looked around at his friends, acutely aware of the disparity in their conditions.
The room was filled with a quiet understanding. Each member of the group had faced danger before, but this attack had been different. The ghouls were just a manifestation of the larger threat that loomed, an adversary that wanted the Eye of Midnight and was willing to unleash the undead to claim it. The realization hung heavily over them, and they knew that the challenges ahead were only growing more treacherous.
As they prepared to face the new day, the bond between the adventurers seemed stronger than ever. Despite their injuries and the uncertainty that lay ahead, a determination burned in their eyes. The events of the past night had forged a shared resolve, a commitment to stand against the darkness that sought to seize the artifact and wield its dangerous power.
With a collective breath, the party members rose from their makeshift beds, their gazes meeting in a silent affirmation of their shared purpose.

"I had a dream" Qasim said, breaking the silence, "the ghouls were no mere happenings, a voice reached to me, telling me about a person, a powerful person." He pauses for a moment, "This person is after the Eye of Midnight, the very same Zara told us about yesterday."

The words hung in the air, the gravity of the situation sinking in. The events of the previous night had been more than just a random attack – they were part of a calculated scheme orchestrated by someone with powerful intentions. The mention of the Eye of Midnight only deepened the mystery, as the artifact's significance seemed to be drawing more attention than they had initially anticipated.
Leena looked thoughtful, her brows furrowed as she processed the information. "So, this person wants the Eye of Midnight... It must hold immense power if they're willing to unleash ghouls to get it."
Ramiel grunted in agreement, his face still etched with a mixture of pain and determination. "Whatever it is, we can't let it fall into the wrong hands. We've come too far to let someone with ill intentions control such a thing."
Malik, who had been listening attentively, leaned forward slightly. "We need to gather more information about this person, their motives, and why they're after the Eye of Midnight. Maybe Zara can help us uncover more details."
Qasim nodded, his expression serious. "You're right. We should speak with Zara again, share what we've learned about the attack and this new development. Maybe she can point us in the right direction or provide us with more insights."
As the group discussed their next steps, a sense of urgency settled over them. The mysterious adversary's intentions remained shrouded in darkness, but they knew they couldn't afford to wait. With the city's safety in jeopardy and the artifact's power at stake, they were determined to uncover the truth, confront the looming threat, and safeguard the Eye of Midnight at all costs.

Qasim will say: "I'll go meet Zara alone, while i do that, if you could maybe try finding some help around town, another party member or two would not be too much seeing how hard that last fight was."

The group nodded in agreement, understanding the urgency of the situation. As Qasim prepared to meet with Zara, the others began discussing their options for recruiting additional help. Leena suggested seeking out skilled mercenaries or adventurers who might be interested in joining their cause. Ramiel thought of inquiring with the city guard or local authorities to see if they could provide any assistance or information regarding the recent ghoul attack.
Malik, however, had a different idea. "You know, there's a tavern called 'The Wandering Blade' not too far from here. It's a known gathering spot for adventurers, bounty hunters, and skilled individuals. We might find someone there who's willing to join us."
Qasim nodded appreciatively at Malik's suggestion. "That sounds like a good plan. While you search for potential allies, I'll see what Zara has to say about the situation and whether she can offer any guidance. We'll reconvene later and share our findings."
With their roles defined and their determination unwavering, the group set out on their respective tasks. Qasim headed towards his meeting with Zara, hoping to gain more insight into the identity of their adversary and the true nature of the Eye of Midnight. Meanwhile, Leena, Malik, and Ramiel began their search for potential allies, hoping to strengthen their numbers and increase their chances of success in the face of a growing threat.

Qasim will go meet Zara

As Qasim made his way through the bustling streets of the city, he found himself once again in the trade district. Zara's shop, "Zara's Secrets and Curiosities," stood as it had before, its dark and mysterious allure drawing him in. The small bell above the door tinkled softly as he entered, and he was immediately enveloped in the scent of incense and ancient tomes.
The interior was dimly lit, with shelves upon shelves of books, scrolls, and various artifacts that seemed to whisper secrets of their own. Zara stood behind the counter, her dark eyes locking onto Qasim's as he approached. She gave a slight nod of acknowledgment.
"Qasim, you've returned," she greeted him, her voice carrying a sense of gravitas. "I trust you have something to share."
Qasim recounted the events of the ghoul attack and the warning he received in his dream. He spoke of the powerful individual who was after the Eye of Midnight and the urgency of the situation. Zara listened attentively, her expression unreadable.
"You are wise to take this matter seriously," she said after a pause. "The Eye of Midnight is no ordinary artifact. It holds ancient and dangerous magic, and those who seek it often do so with nefarious intentions. The fact that someone of power is involved raises the stakes even higher."
Qasim's brow furrowed. "Do you have any idea who this person might be?"
Zara's lips curved slightly, a mix of amusement and gravity. "Powerful individuals are often enigmatic and elusive. Their motivations may span a wide range, from greed to ambitions beyond mortal understanding. However, there are those who seek to control artifacts like the Eye for their own gain, and they will stop at nothing to acquire them."
"Then what do we do?" Qasim asked, a hint of urgency in his voice.
Zara's gaze held his, unwavering. "You must learn more about the Eye of Midnight and its true nature. Seek out knowledge and allies, for you will need both in the trials that lie ahead. Remember that even in the face of darkness, there is always a glimmer of hope."
Qasim nodded, his determination solidifying. "We won't let this threat go unchecked. We'll find a way to protect the Eye and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands."
Zara's smile was faint but genuine. "I have faith in your abilities, Qasim. Remember that secrets are often unveiled one layer at a time. Trust your instincts and trust in your companions."
With that, Qasim left the shop with a renewed sense of purpose. The path ahead was uncertain, but he was resolved to face whatever challenges awaited. As he stepped back into the bustling streets of the city, he couldn't help but feel that the threads of destiny were pulling him and his companions deeper into a web of intrigue, magic, and danger.

Qasim will then go to the wandering blade, hoping to see if his companions brought in new recruits.

As Qasim entered the Wandering Blade, the atmosphere was a mix of camaraderie and tension. Adventurers of various races and backgrounds filled the tavern, sharing tales of their exploits, discussing potential quests, and making connections. The tavern had a lively buzz, but there was also an underlying sense of urgency given the recent ghoul attack.
Qasim's eyes scanned the room, searching for familiar faces. His companions, Leena, Malik, and Ramiel, were sitting together at a corner table, engaged in conversation. As he approached, he could see that Leena was nursing her injuries, Malik seemed a bit shaken from the recent encounter, and Ramiel was quietly sipping his drink.
As he reached their table, his friends looked up and greeted him with nods and smiles. "Qasim, you're back," Leena said, her voice a mixture of relief and exhaustion.
"Yeah, we were getting a bit worried," Malik added.
Qasim pulled up a chair and sat down with a sigh. "I met with Zara. She confirmed that the ghouls were no coincidence. There's someone powerful after the Eye of Midnight. It's not just a random attack."
The news seemed to sober the atmosphere even further. Ramiel leaned in, his expression serious. "We figured as much. The way those ghouls attacked, it was like they were sent specifically for us."
Qasim nodded. "Zara said that the Eye holds dangerous magic, and those seeking it often have dark intentions. We need to find out more about this artifact and the person after it."
Leena's eyes narrowed, determination flickering in her gaze. "So, what's the plan?"
Qasim leaned forward, his voice low. "We need to gather information and allies. We can't face this threat alone. I thought maybe we could recruit some new members to our party, strengthen our numbers."
Malik nodded thoughtfully. "It's a good idea. With the danger escalating, having a diverse group of skilled individuals could give us an edge."
Ramiel cracked a half-smile. "Sounds like we're building our own fellowship."
Qasim smirked back. "Exactly. And we'll need to be ready for whatever comes our way."
As they discussed their plan, the tavern continued to buzz around them. The weight of their new mission hung in the air, but so did the sense of camaraderie and shared purpose. Qasim couldn't help but feel that even in the face of darkness, there was strength in unity and hope in the hearts of those who dared to stand against it.
Leena leaned back in her chair, taking a sip from her mug before answering. "We did manage to find a few potential recruits. There's a half-elf rogue named Elysia. She's got quick reflexes and a sharp mind. We also spoke to a half-orc cleric named Grom. He's got a strong connection to his deity and could provide valuable support."
Malik chimed in, his fingers absentmindedly tapping on the table. "And there's a gnome wizard named Tink. He's a bit eccentric, but his knowledge of arcane magic could be a real asset."
Ramiel nodded in agreement. "We explained the situation to them, and they seemed interested. They're meeting us here later to discuss joining forces."
Qasim smiled. "That's good news. A diverse group like that could cover a lot of ground and skills."
Leena nodded. "Exactly. And with the threat we're facing, we can use all the help we can get."
As they spoke, the atmosphere in the tavern remained charged with anticipation. The group's conversation caught the attention of a few curious patrons nearby, and a sense of camaraderie seemed to spread. It was clear that others were listening in, perhaps considering the call to action themselves.
Qasim glanced around, noticing the interested looks from some of the adventurers nearby. "It seems like our situation has drawn some attention. Maybe more people will be willing to join the cause."
Malik grinned. "Word spreads quickly in places like these. If we can inspire others to stand against this threat, we'll have an even stronger force."
Ramiel raised his tankard in a mock toast. "To building our fellowship and facing the darkness together."

Qasim will say: "Hmmm, a Cleric might be a good idea to have but i may have an idea, let's seek out Rashid. He seems strong and powerful and might be down to help us."

Leena nodded in agreement. "Rashid could be a great addition to the team. He's proven himself capable in the past, and having someone with his combat skills on our side would definitely be an advantage."
Malik added, "Plus, he seems like the kind of person who would be up for a challenge. And with his knowledge of the desert and its dangers, he could provide valuable insights."
Ramiel chimed in, "I've heard tales of his exploits, and he's well-respected among the adventurers in this city. If anyone can handle the threats we're facing, it's likely him."
Qasim nodded thoughtfully. "All right, let's pay Rashid a visit and see if he's willing to join us. If we can convince him, our group will become even stronger."

Qasim and the party will then set out to meet Rashid to ask him to join the party, warning him about the threats menacing the city of Sothis.

The group made their way through the streets of Sothis, their steps purposeful and their resolve strong. They soon arrived at the familiar dwelling of Rashid, the tracker and adventurer known for his skills in the desert. The sun was starting to set, casting a warm glow over the sandstone buildings.
Qasim raised his hand and knocked on the sturdy wooden door. After a brief moment, the door swung open to reveal Rashid, his dark eyes sharp and his demeanor composed. He looked at the group with a mixture of curiosity and familiarity.
"Greetings, Rashid," Qasim began, his tone respectful. "We hope this visit finds you well. We've come with a proposition that could benefit both you and the city of Sothis."
Rashid's eyebrow lifted slightly. "Oh? And what might that proposition be?"
Leena stepped forward, her eyes determined. "We're a group of adventurers who have faced challenges and dangers in the city and beyond. Recently, we've encountered a new threat that seems to have set its sights on the Eye of Midnight. We believe that this threat poses a grave danger to Sothis, and we're assembling a team to confront it."
Rashid's gaze remained steady as he listened. "And what do you need from me?"
Malik spoke up, his words confident. "We've heard of your reputation, Rashid. Your skills as a tracker and your knowledge of the desert are unparalleled. We believe that your expertise could be invaluable in facing this threat and protecting the city."
Ramiel added, "We're looking for capable individuals to join our group, and you fit the bill. Your strength and experience would make a real difference."
Qasim stepped forward once more. "We understand that you've had your own share of adventures, and we're not asking this of you lightly. But we believe that together, we can face this danger head-on and ensure the safety of Sothis."
Rashid regarded the group for a moment, his expression thoughtful. "Protecting Sothis is a noble goal, and I've always held a deep connection to this city. I'll admit, the prospect of facing a new challenge is tempting."
Leena nodded, her eyes earnest. "We're not asking you to make this decision lightly, Rashid. Take your time to think it over. But know that your skills and strength would be welcomed among us."
Rashid's lips curved into a faint smile. "Very well, I appreciate your honesty. I'll consider your offer carefully."

The party will then go back to the city proper to rest.

As the party makes their way back to the city, they find themselves walking through the bustling streets of Sothis. The sounds of merchants haggling, children playing, and the general hum of city life fill the air. Yet, amidst this lively atmosphere, a sense of unease seems to hang in the air.
As you navigate the streets, your eyes catch an odd sight. Up on the rooftops of some buildings, dark skeletal figures can be seen lurking. They stand motionless, armed with longbows, their hollow eye sockets seemingly fixed on the streets below. Despite their eerie presence, the people walking by seem oblivious to their existence.
The skeletal figures blend in with the shadows, their bone-white forms almost camouflaged against the night. Their bony fingers grasp their longbows, and the faint moonlight glints off the tips of their arrows. A shiver runs down your spine as you realize that these are not ordinary sights to behold in the city.

"Watch out !" Qasim screams, drawing his scimitar, pointing the shining blade towards the rooftops, "Skeletons !" Qasim and the other will get ready for combat

With a sharp warning from Qasim, the party readies themselves for the potential threat. Weapons are drawn, spells prepared, and hearts race as you face the lurking danger from above.
The skeletal figures on the rooftops seem to sense your awareness, their bony fingers flexing around the strings of their longbows. As tension fills the air, a chilling silence descends upon the scene, broken only by the distant sounds of the city.
Time seems to slow as you lock eyes with these skeletal archers, knowing that a confrontation is inevitable. Your instincts are on high alert, and you stand ready to face whatever challenge comes your way. The city's ordinary atmosphere has been abruptly transformed into a battlefield of anticipation and danger.

An arrow immediately flew out, hitting Qasim in the leg, wincing from the pain, Qasim stood back, reaching for his buckler to try and block the incoming arrows while Leena dashed and slid under a merchant stall to take cover. As the group started looking around, they saw about half a dozen skeletons perched on rooftops all around the marketplace and it was clear that they were targeting Qasim specifically. Two more arrows flew by, Qasim blocked one with his scimitar while the other lodged itself in Ramiel's back.
After taking an arrow to the back, Ramiel immitated Leena and hid under a stall while Malik suddenly took an arrow through the hand, making him grunt loudly, but the adrenaline was preventing the pain from becoming too much of a problem. both Qasim and Malik ran to take cover so that now the whole party was shielded, but Leena's stall didn't offer enough protection apparently as an arrow struck her, making blood drip down on her clothes.
Malik quickly ran to another stall, getting clother to the skeletons but as he was running towards his next cover, a skeleton with a good vantage point saw him, drawing his bow and letting the arrow fly, hitting Malik straight through the ribs. Malik fell on the ground under the stall, coughing up a lot of blood and gasping for air.
Leena ran from her half-exposed cover to a proper stall, getting closer to the skeletons. As the wide marketplace offered no easy way to access the rooftops of the surrounding buildings, this ambush seemed perfect, too perfect to be orchestrated by mindless undeads. Some arrows flew by, as one of the skeleton jumped from the rooftop, approaching the stall where Leena was trying to stop her bleeding, he tried to shoot her as the cover of the stall only protected from the skeletons still on the rooftop, but fortunately, the arrow flew past her, unfortunately hitting one of the civilians who didn't evacuate fast enough, killing her on the spot.
Ramiel started to discreetly make his way towards the skeleton on the ground, hiding being a trade cart as he waited for a good opportunity to attack but by leaving the stall under which he was hidden, he was struck by another arrow, wounding him badly. Qasim ran to another stall, getting just under the rooftop where two of the skeletons were shooting and as his Sunfire Scarab started to glow, his wounds healed, making him more than ready to deal with those undead.
Another skeleton jumped from his vantage point, and now Leena was surrounded, with one skeleton on each side of her. This one also shot at her but did not miss his mark and Leena was not bleeding profusely. Struck by fear, Malik was on the ground under a stall, covering his face and not moving, not being able to fight and not knowing what to do in this dire situation.
Leena jumped from her hiding spot, on the brink of losing consciousness and spun around a skeleton, using its skeletal body as a shield while she smashed its skull with her rapier. She did it with an astonishing amount of force and instantly killed the enemy. The skeleton on the other side shot at her but it hit the already dead pile of bones that Leena was now using as a shield.
This other skeleton then immediately got smashed by a screaming Ramiel who charged at it, destroying it in a single blow. "Well struck Rami !" Leena said, breathing heavily, "You as well, now let's deal with the other ones." Ramiel responded with a serious tone, eyeing the archer who was currently readying another arrow aimed at him. Ramiel quickly stepped to the side, narrowly avoiding the arrow.
Qasim ran towards the building where the two archers were shooting and started climbing, but a loose brick in the wall dislodged itself and Qasim fall, hitting his head on the ground, he was now prone and exposed to the shooters just a few feets above him. One of the skeleton approached the edge of the roof, but as he readied his arrow, he slipped on the roof's surface and fell face first next to Qasim while the second one lodged an arrow next to Qasim's head straight into the ground.
On the other side of the marketplace, Leena and Ramiel both ran as fast as they could to get under another stall approaching the last archer on her side of the battlefield. This same archer took a shot at Ramiel which flew a few inches over his head. Suddenly, the sounds of heavy steps were heard, a few blocks from here, a group of city guards were running towards the commotion, having been alerted by the fleeing citizens.
Qasim got up, his scimitar flaring with the golden flames of his goddess as he struck down the skeleton next to him. There were only two left. Suddenly, Malik left his hiding spot, trying to help Qasim get the last skeleton on their side of the marketplace but immediately got hit by an arrow through the chest and fell on the ground. Not moving anymore. "Malik !" Qasim screamed with both anger and terror as his friend suddenly dropped to the ground.
While this was happening, Leena and Ramiel both abandoned their respective stalls and started running full speed towards the last skeleton while screaming, wildly charging at the last enemy. This said last enemy took a few seconds with his bow drawn to really shoot with deadly accuracy and let his arrow fly. This arrow, with a sound that nobody wanted to hear, pierced through Ramiel's skull, entering though his eye and leaving the point of the arrow hanging at the back of his skull. Ramiel stumbled for a second as Leena watched him fall to the ground, dead. Leena stopped dead in her charge, horrified, her hands trembling and her heartbeats getting louder, so loud that she thought that her head was about to explode.
On the other side, Qasim ran towards a pole hanging out near a wall and used it to climb to his enemy's position, slicing him with his scimitar. But this enemy was not dead yet but had trouble fighting up close. He tried a point blank shot that Qasim skillfully dodged with his weaving dance.
On the other side, Leena with her uncanny agility, scaled the wall and struck the skeleton in front of her but took an arrow in the chest at the same time and fell on the roof, unconscious while the skeleton stood there, with her rapier still in his chest. As it looked over, it saw that his last comrade had just fallen from a flaming scimitar, Qasim turned to look at the last skeleton with a very angered look on his face.
He jumped down the roof, running past Malik who was confirmed dead by the fact that the Sunfire Scarab wouldn't heal him. With the city guard approaching from the other direction, and the skeleton's mission probably being to assassinate Qasim, the skeleton jumped down the roof and headed straight towards Qasim, leaving Leena bleeding out on the roof. It took a shot at Qasim, who dodged with a flashy weaving motion, continued running as another arrow flew towards him, hitting him in the left shoulder. But he did not care for the pain and kept on running, charging the skeleton ahead of him, striking it down, ending the fight.

After the fight, Qasim ran towards Leena, seeing that she was still breathing and used the Sunfire Scarab to heal her.

As the echoes of the fierce battle finally faded, the marketplace was left in a scene of devastation. Fallen citizens, the lifeless bodies of skeletons, and the sound of distant footsteps belonging to the city guards formed the backdrop to your grim reality. The once bustling area was now marked by a sense of sorrow and tragedy.
Qasim hurried to Leena's side, the healing powers of the Sunfire Scarab emanating a warm and golden light. Slowly, color returned to Leena's face, and her breathing became steadier. The wound that had nearly claimed her life began to mend, the scarab's magic weaving its restorative magic.
Around you, the city guards arrived, their armor clinking as they spread out to assess the situation. They seemed taken aback by the scene of carnage but quickly went to work, organizing the removal of the bodies and tending to the wounded citizens. A captain approached you, his stern expression softening as he took in your exhausted and battered forms.
"Are you the ones who faced these undead attackers?" he asked, his voice a mixture of curiosity and respect.
Qasim nodded, his gaze still fixed on Leena, who was gradually coming back to consciousness. "Yes, it was us. We managed to take down the threat."
The captain inclined his head, acknowledging your efforts. "You have our gratitude. This could have been much worse if not for your intervention."
As the guards began their work and the city started to regain a semblance of order, the weight of the recent events settled upon you. The loss of Ramiel and Malik, the realization that these attacks were orchestrated by someone powerful, and the knowledge that a new threat loomed over Sothis - all these elements combined to form a somber atmosphere.
In the midst of the chaos, you couldn't help but wonder what other challenges awaited you, and whether you would be able to overcome them.

Qasim will say to the guard captain "I believe these undead weren't here without a purpose, first the ghouls, now these skeletons. Sothis is under attack, probably a necromancer or worse is currently targeting our city, the guard needs to be reinforced in every district of the city, they are after something.

The guard captain listened attentively to your words, his brows furrowing with concern as you spoke about the orchestrated attacks and the possibility of a greater threat looming over the city. He nodded slowly, absorbing the gravity of the situation.
"You're right," he agreed, his voice carrying a sense of urgency. "We cannot afford to underestimate this threat. I will immediately relay your words to the higher authorities and request reinforcements for all districts. We must prepare for whatever might come next."
As he turned to give orders to his subordinates, you could see a mixture of determination and worry in his eyes. The situation was dire, and the safety of Sothis hung in the balance. The city guards would need to be vigilant and united against this newfound menace.
With your warning delivered, you were left to contemplate the challenges ahead. The loss of Ramiel and Malik weighed heavily on your hearts, but the resolve to uncover the truth behind these attacks and put an end to the threat remained strong. As you looked out over the marketplace, you couldn't help but wonder what mysteries awaited you and what sacrifices might be necessary to protect the city you now called home.

Qasim and Leena will rest at the Oasis Rest for the night.

As the night settled in and the city's commotion began to quiet down, Qasim and Leena found themselves once again in their room at the Oasis Rest. The events of the day had taken their toll, both physically and emotionally. Leena's wounds were mending thanks to Qasim's skill and the power of the Sunfire Scarab, but the scars left by the battles, both physical and mental, ran deep.
As sleep started to take over, Qasim felt himself once again drawn into the mysterious realm of dreams. This time, the dream seemed clearer, as if the shroud of uncertainty that had hung over his previous visions was slowly lifting.
In the dream, Qasim found himself standing at the edge of a desolate desert landscape, the sands stretching out endlessly under the dim light of a crescent moon. Before him stood a towering figure, cloaked in shadows and radiating an aura of power. The figure's features remained obscured, but its presence was undeniably commanding.
"You seek answers, Qasim," the figure's voice resonated through the dream, its tone carrying a mixture of curiosity and ancient wisdom. "The path you tread is entwined with fate, and the threads of destiny are woven by forces beyond mortal comprehension."
Qasim felt a mixture of awe and trepidation as he gazed at the enigmatic figure. He knew that his questions about the recent events, the Eye of Midnight, and the growing threat to Sothis were somehow connected to this mysterious entity.
"Who are you?" Qasim asked, his voice firm despite the uncertainty that gnawed at him.
The figure remained silent for a moment, as if contemplating the question. Finally, it spoke again, its words laden with cryptic meaning. "Names are but labels, mortal. I am the keeper of knowledge, the guardian of truths that have long been forgotten."
Qasim felt a surge of determination. "Tell me, then. Tell me about the Eye of Midnight, about the necromancer threatening our city."
The figure's form seemed to shimmer, as if it were assessing Qasim's resolve. "The Eye of Midnight is both a beacon of power and a vessel of darkness. Its secrets lie buried beneath the sands of time, waiting for those brave enough to unearth them."
"And the necromancer?" Qasim pressed.
"A puppeteer of death, a weaver of shadows," the figure replied. "But beware, for the true adversary may not be as clear as it seems. Trust not only what your eyes perceive, but what lies beneath the surface."
Before Qasim could ask more questions, the figure's form began to fade, its voice echoing in the emptiness. "Walk your path, Qasim of the sands. The choices you make will shape the future, and the threads of destiny will entwine."
With those words, the dream dissolved into darkness, leaving Qasim with a sense of both wonder and unease. The message was clearer, yet still veiled in riddles. As he slowly awoke, he couldn't shake the feeling that the path ahead was fraught with challenges and revelations that would test not only his skills as a warrior, but also his understanding of the world's hidden truths.
Chapter Six - Between Light and Dark

The sun's gentle rays filtered through the curtains of the room at the Oasis Rest, casting a warm glow upon the worn wooden floor. As the city of Sothis began to stir with the bustle of a new day, Qasim and Leena slowly roused from their slumber. The events of the past days lingered in their minds, the weight of loss and uncertainty pressing upon them like a heavy fog.
Qasim's eyes fluttered open, his gaze drawn to the ceiling as he lay on the bed. His leg still ached from the arrow wound he had sustained, a constant reminder of the dangers that had befallen them. Beside him, Leena stirred, her movements cautious as she shifted into a sitting position. The bandages that wrapped around her torso were a stark reminder of the wounds she had suffered.
Their fallen comrades weighed heavily on their hearts. The absence of Ramiel's boisterous laughter and Malik's musical tunes created a void that seemed impossible to fill. The camaraderie they had shared, the battles fought side by side, all now existed as memories etched into their minds.
Leena's fingers brushed against the hilt of her rapier, the weapon that had served her faithfully throughout their journey. She couldn't help but recall the last battle, the image of Ramiel's lifeless form haunting her thoughts. Her eyes met Qasim's, and for a moment, they shared a silent understanding of the grief that gripped them both.
As they rose from their beds, the room seemed to echo with the absence of their companions' voices. Qasim's scarab pendant, the source of his newfound power, glinted in the morning light as it rested against his chest. He couldn't help but wonder about the mysterious dreams he had experienced, the cryptic messages that seemed to guide him on an unknown path.
Leena's fingers traced the edges of the bandages that covered her wounds, a physical reminder of the battles they had fought and the sacrifices that had been made. The loss of Malik, a friend and fellow adventurer, weighed heavily on her heart. She knew that their journey was far from over, that the threats to Sothis still loomed in the shadows.
As they prepared for the day ahead, Qasim and Leena found solace in each other's company. Their bond had grown stronger through the trials they had faced, and now, more than ever, they needed to rely on each other's strength. The city of Sothis awaited, its streets bustling with life even in the face of danger.
With a shared resolve, they left their room, stepping out into the sunlight-drenched streets. The memory of their fallen comrades fueled their determination to uncover the truth behind the necromancer's plot and the enigmatic Eye of Midnight. As they walked side by side, the echoes of laughter and camaraderie resonated in their minds, a reminder of the adventures they had shared and the legacy they were determined to honor.

As they both sit down on one of the tables at the Oasis Rest, Aisha serving them something to eat, Qasim will turn to Leena, without making direct eye contact, and say: "They're after us, they know what we are looking for, we need powerful people on our side. We may not have time to mourn our lost comrades yet. Both Zara and Rashid are influencial people in this city that we learned to know and understand. Well, maybe not Zara for the understanding part. But still, we must seek their aid as we've come to theirs."

Leena's gaze remained fixed on the table for a moment, her thoughts a swirl of emotions and memories. She traced the rim of her cup absently before finally meeting Qasim's eyes. There was a weariness there, a heaviness that had settled in her heart, but also a fire of determination that refused to be extinguished.
"You're right, Qasim," she said, her voice carrying a mix of sadness and determination. "We can't afford to falter now. Ramiel and Malik would want us to keep pushing forward, to see this through. Whatever is happening in Sothis, it's clear that we're at the center of it. And that means we need all the allies we can find."
She took a deep breath, her fingers tightening around the cup. "Zara and Rashid might not be the easiest people to trust, but they have knowledge and power that could be invaluable to us. We need to put our differences aside, at least for now, and focus on the bigger picture."
Leena's eyes flickered with a mixture of determination and a hint of vulnerability. "I'll admit, I don't know what lies ahead, and that uncertainty scares me. But I know that I can't just sit back and let these shadows consume our city. Ramiel and Malik wouldn't want that either. So, let's seek out Zara and Rashid, and let's make sure their deaths were not in vain."

Qasim will grab Leena's hand and look directly into her eyes: "We can do it, we must trust in ourselves if we don't who will ? But i understand, when we met, you signed up for riches, not for fighting the undead. But while we aren't sure that i am their only target, i won't leave you to die in an alley, killed by some undead passing by. I lost two thirds of my friends, i don't want what's left to fade away."

Leena's gaze held Qasim's, a mix of emotions swirling within her eyes. She gave his hand a reassuring squeeze, appreciating the warmth of his touch and the sincerity of his words.
"You're right," she said softly, her voice carrying a hint of vulnerability. "When we first started this journey, it was about survival and finding a way to escape our pasts. But along the way, I've come to see you all as more than just companions. You're my friends, my family now. And I won't stand by and watch as that's taken away from me."
Her grip on his hand tightened slightly, her resolve evident in her grip. "We've faced danger before, and we've come out stronger each time. I may not have signed up for battling the undead or facing whatever dark forces are behind all of this, but I've also come to learn that sometimes we have to rise up to the challenges that find us, whether we chose them or not."
Leena offered a small, determined smile. "So let's find Zara and Rashid. Let's pool our strengths and knowledge, and let's make sure that whatever they're after, they won't get it without a fight. We owe that much to Ramiel and Malik, and to ourselves as well."
Their hands remained clasped, a silent pact forged in the midst of uncertainty. As the sun began to cast warm hues across the cityscape outside, Qasim and Leena found solace in their shared determination and the unbreakable bond they had formed in the face of adversity.

The group will now go and seek out Zara

With their resolve steeled and a renewed sense of purpose, Qasim and Leena left the comfort of the Oasis Rest and set out to find Zara, the enigmatic dealer of secrets. The city's bustling streets were a stark contrast to the heaviness that had settled within them, but they pressed on, driven by the urgency of the situation.
Their journey took them through winding alleys and busy marketplaces, as they followed the hints and connections that had led them to Zara before. The city of Sothis seemed to hold its breath, as if aware of the looming threat that had manifested in the form of ghouls and skeletal assassins.
Finally, after navigating through a maze of narrow streets, they arrived at the familiar establishment. The atmosphere was as intriguing as ever, an air of secrecy and anticipation hanging in the dimly lit room. Zara, dressed in her usual array of mysterious attire, was seated at a corner table, her eyes keenly following their approach.
As Qasim and Leena approached, Zara's lips curled into a knowing smile. "Ah, my intrepid seekers of truths and treasures. You've returned, and it seems with a story to tell." Her gaze shifted between them, her perceptive eyes seeming to read the unspoken words that lingered between the two companions.
Qasim took a deep breath, the weight of their recent losses heavy in his heart. "Zara, we've encountered more than just secrets this time. Ghouls and skeletons, they attacked us, and it seems they're after something that we're connected to." He recounted the recent events, sparing no detail, including the deaths of Ramiel and Malik.
Leena's eyes met Zara's, her determination evident. "We need to know what's going on, Zara. We need your knowledge, your insights. If there's any way to unravel this mystery and stop whatever dark forces are at play, we're ready to do whatever it takes."
Zara's expression grew solemn as she listened to their account, her fingers tracing patterns on the table's surface. "Troubling indeed," she murmured, her voice carrying a note of genuine concern. "The appearance of ghouls and the manipulation of skeletons suggest a malevolent hand at work, someone with command over the forces of death."
She looked up at them, her gaze unwavering. "The Eye of Midnight... that artifact you seek, it holds great power, and in the wrong hands, it could be catastrophic. There are those who covet such power, who would go to any lengths to possess it." Zara's words hung heavy in the air, the gravity of their situation settling in.
Qasim leaned forward, his eyes locked with Zara's. "Tell us what you know, Zara. Who could be behind this? And how can we stop them?"
Zara's lips curved into a thoughtful smile, her fingers tapping rhythmically on the table. "Information is a valuable currency, my dear companions. I can offer you leads, connections, and knowledge, but it will come at a price. There are threads that need unraveling, and paths that need traversing. Are you willing to pay the cost?"
Qasim exchanged a glance with Leena, the unspoken agreement between them echoing in their eyes. "We are," he replied firmly. "We'll do whatever it takes to protect this city, to honor the memory of our fallen friends, and to ensure that the Eye of Midnight doesn't fall into the wrong hands."
Zara's smile deepened, a glint of admiration in her gaze. "Very well, my brave seekers. There are those who delve into the darkest corners of magic, seeking forbidden knowledge and power beyond reckoning. To uncover the truth, you must navigate the web of secrets woven within the city's underbelly. Seek out the elusive Alaric, a mage who walks the line between light and shadow."
She leaned in, her words carrying a weight of urgency. "But be cautious. The path you tread is perilous, and the dangers you face are real. The shadows have eyes, and they watch your every move."
Qasim and Leena exchanged a determined nod, their resolve unwavering. They had chosen a path fraught with danger, but they were fueled by purpose and the memory of their fallen comrades. With Zara's guidance, they would uncover the truth and confront the darkness that threatened their city and their very lives.

Before leaving, Qasim will turn to Zara and say: "And why don't you join us ? As you can see we're missing on personnel right now and you seem well connected enough, perhaps i could tempt you with some secrets that i learned from otherworldly dreams ?" Qasim rolled a 15 on his Diplomacy check, what does Zara responds ?

Zara's enigmatic smile remained as Qasim made his proposition, his words hanging in the air like a delicate thread. Her fingers traced an intricate pattern on the table, her gaze thoughtful as she considered his offer. "Ah, Qasim, you have a gift for tempting even the most guarded souls with promises of secrets and truths," she mused, her tone a blend of amusement and intrigue.
She leaned back in her chair, her dark eyes locking onto his. "While your proposition is certainly enticing, my path is one that weaves through shadows and secrets, often unseen by the prying eyes of the world." Her gaze seemed to penetrate into Qasim's very being, as if searching for something hidden beneath the surface.
"However," she continued, her tone softer now, "I appreciate your trust and your willingness to invite me into your circle. For now, I shall remain an observer, a weaver of threads that intersect with your own. There are more layers to this mystery than meets the eye, and perhaps our paths will cross again when the tapestry of fate deems it necessary."
Zara's words carried a weight of both mystery and wisdom, leaving Qasim with a sense that there was more to her than met the eye. With a graceful motion, she reached into a fold of her cloak and produced a small, intricately crafted pendant. She slid it across the table toward Qasim. "Consider this a token of my respect, a symbol of our shared pursuit of truth. It holds a hint of protection, should the shadows grow too close."
Qasim looked down at the pendant, its design reflecting the complexity of Zara herself. "Thank you," he said, sincerity in his voice. "We'll continue to seek the truth and face the challenges ahead. And should our paths cross again, we'll welcome your insights."
Zara's smile deepened, and with a nod, she rose from her seat. "Farewell for now, Qasim, Leena. Remember, the threads of destiny are often woven in ways we cannot anticipate. Trust your instincts, and may the secrets you uncover guide you well."
As she departed, the echoes of her enigmatic presence lingered in the air, leaving behind a sense of both mystery and promise. Qasim and Leena were once again alone, their journey ahead illuminated by the moonlight, and the pendant's delicate glow a reminder of the paths yet to be explored.

What is the pendant that Zara gave Qasim and what effects does it have ?

The pendant that Zara gave Qasim is known as the "Whispering Shadow Amulet." It is a finely crafted piece of jewelry, intricately designed with dark metals and a deep-hued gemstone at its center. The gemstone seems to shift in color depending on the angle of the light, ranging from shades of deep blue to velvety black. The entire pendant exudes an aura of mystery and an affinity for the shadows.
The effects of the Whispering Shadow Amulet are as follows:
Eyes of the Night: By touching the gemstone and concentrating for a minute, the wearer can gain the ability to see in total darkness as if it were dim light. This effect lasts for 10 minutes.
Bearer of Secrets: The pendant seems to possess a faint sentience, as if it can whisper insights to the wearer in moments of quiet reflection. Once per day, the pendant allows the wearer to ask a single yes-or-no question related to their current situation, and they receive a subtle intuition in response. This can provide a cryptic clue or insight, helping the wearer make an informed decision.
It's important to note that the pendant's effects are subtle and often tied to the theme of shadows, darkness, and secrets. It's a versatile tool that can aid Qasim and Leena in their pursuits, particularly when navigating treacherous situations or uncovering hidden truths.

Qasim, not yet knowing what the amulet can do will give it to Leena "We're going to go have it identified at the great library, i trust Zara but we never know if something is cursed or not." Then, he stats heading to the great library to consult with mages about the amulet and also try to learn information on who is Alaric

Leena accepts the pendant from Qasim, giving it a curious look before tucking it away safely. The two of you make your way to the great library in Sothis, a massive repository of knowledge and arcane wisdom. As you arrive, you find yourselves surrounded by towering shelves filled with countless scrolls, tomes, and manuscripts. The scent of old parchment and ink fills the air as scholars and mages quietly go about their research.
Approaching one of the librarians, a middle-aged woman with spectacles perched on her nose, you inquire about identifying the properties of the amulet and gathering information about Alaric. She nods and leads you to a small reading area where you can wait.
After a while, a robed mage arrives, carrying an air of knowledge and expertise. You show him the Whispering Shadow Amulet, and he carefully examines it. After a few incantations and gestures, he speaks, "This is an interesting piece of craftsmanship, indeed. It appears to have several magical properties, particularly related to shadows and darkness. It allows limited darkvision and seems to offer insights through its faint sentience."
As for Alaric, the mage takes a moment to think before continuing, "Alaric is not a common name, but it's not uncommon for individuals to adopt aliases or change their names in the world of secrets and intrigue. Without more specific information, it might be challenging to track down the exact individual you're looking for. Do you have any additional details that might help narrow down your search?"
Leena looks at Qasim, waiting to see if he has any more information to share about Alaric.

Qasim will ponder for a moment before responding: "I don't have that much information, but what i know is that he is an elusive mage he supposedly, and i quote, walks the line between light and shadow, end quote. This is all i have"

The mage listens attentively as you provide the information about Alaric. He nods slowly and strokes his chin in thought. "Walking the line between light and shadow suggests a mage who's skilled in both arcane and shadow magic, possibly possessing a mastery over illusions, stealth, and manipulation. Such individuals often keep a low profile and are difficult to track down, as they tend to avoid attention."
He continues, "Considering the nature of Alaric's abilities, it's possible that he might have connections to certain secretive organizations or factions. Uncovering more about him would likely require delving into less accessible sources of information, such as hidden archives, magical networks, or even speaking to individuals who specialize in tracking down elusive figures."
The mage then turns his attention back to the amulet. "As for the Whispering Shadow Amulet, it seems quite potent. Its abilities could prove to be very useful, especially in dealing with the threats you've encountered. However, its sentience raises some questions about its origins and potential drawbacks. Be cautious when using it, as items with a mind of their own can sometimes have unforeseen consequences."

When Qasim will see that the mage is rapidly changing subject to the amulet he and Leena will both try a sense motive check to see if the mage is withholding information from them about Alaric, Qasim rolled a 7 on his check while Leena rolled a 16.

Qasim, despite his efforts, is unable to discern any hidden intentions from the mage's demeanor. The mage seems focused on providing information about the amulet and genuinely interested in helping you. Leena, however, with her perceptive instincts, notices a subtle shift in the mage's expression when Alaric's name is mentioned. It's a fleeting moment, but she senses that there might be more to the mage's knowledge about Alaric than he's revealing.
As the mage finishes explaining the amulet's potential, he leans back in his chair and awaits your response.

Leena will get closer to him and whisper: "I know you're not telling us everything, when you heard the name Alaric, your eye twitched and you rapidly tried to change the subject by telling us things that you had already previously told us about the amulet. Now, what price do you place on your information ? Or will we have to use brute force to get it from you ?" Hearing what Leena is trying to do, Qasim will gaze deep into the mage's eyes while playing with the handle of his scimitar, he rolled an 18 on an intimidation check.

Leena's whispered words and Qasim's intimidating gaze seem to have an impact on the mage. He shifts uncomfortably in his seat, his eyes darting between the two of you. After a tense moment, he lets out a sigh and leans in slightly, his voice barely above a whisper.
"You're perceptive, I'll give you that," he admits. "Alaric is no ordinary mage. He's been rumored to be involved in darker practices, dabbling in forbidden magic that most would shun. Some say he seeks knowledge from the realms beyond, and that he's been entwined with various unsavory forces. I don't have concrete information, but be cautious. If you're looking for Alaric, you might find yourself entangled in something you can't easily escape."
The mage then leans back again, his expression guarded. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have other matters to attend to." With that, he stands up, signaling the conversation's end.

Qasim will nod to Leena "Well done. Now, if he dabbles in dark magic we might find information in the Shadow's Embrace, i say we go there posthaste."

Leena nods in agreement, her expression determined. "Agreed. If there's any chance of finding information about Alaric's activities, the Shadow's Embrace would be the place to look. Let's head there and see what we can uncover."
With their new lead in mind, you and Leena leave the great library and make your way to the district known as the Shadow's Embrace. This area is shrouded in a perpetual twilight, its streets winding and narrow, lined with shops and establishments that cater to those who prefer to keep to the shadows. As you navigate through the district, you notice the atmosphere is tense, with wary glances exchanged among the denizens.
Eventually, you arrive at the entrance of a building next to the shadow's embrace known as the "Shadow's Den." It's a dimly lit establishment, its windows covered with dark curtains. Above the entrance, a sign with a stylized crescent moon and a shadowy figure welcomes patrons. As you step inside, you're greeted by a mixture of hushed conversations and the low hum of magical energy.
The interior is decorated with deep shades of purple and black, and patrons are gathered in clusters, speaking in low voices as they exchange information and services. A bartender with a sly smile stands behind a counter, serving drinks that seem to shimmer with a faint, otherworldly glow.
Leena turns to you with a determined look. "Let's gather what information we can without drawing too much attention. If Alaric is involved in anything here, someone might know something about him." She takes a deep breath, steeling herself for the task at hand. "We'll need to be cautious and blend in as best as we can."

Leena will whisper to the Amulet of Whispering Shadows and ask it: "Is Alaric here right now ?"

As Leena whispers to the Amulet of Whispering Shadows, she feels a subtle vibration against her skin, and a faint voice echoes in her mind. The voice, barely more than a whisper, responds to her question, "I sense a presence touched by twilight, lingering within these shadows."
Though the response is cryptic, it does indicate that the amulet has picked up on some connection to Alaric's presence in this district. It seems that the amulet is attuned to the energies of darkness and twilight, allowing it to detect Alaric's aura within a certain range.
Leena relays the amulet's response to you, her eyes glinting with a mixture of curiosity and caution. "The amulet senses something... a presence touched by twilight. Alaric might be around, but we'll need to keep our wits about us and be discreet in our inquiries."
As you both continue to navigate the atmosphere of the Shadow's Den, you notice a few figures who stand out—rogue-like characters, robed mages, and individuals with enigmatic auras. Conversations ebb and flow around you, and it becomes clear that gathering information will require careful observation and interaction with the denizens of the Shadow's Embrace.

Qasim will approach a random character amongst the crowd, one who is alone, and ask "Why hello there, i know that maybe you do not wish to be bothered but i have questions, and i have coin, what do you say, stranger ?" Qasim rolled a 22 on his diplomacy check.

You approach a figure who seems to be sitting alone at a dimly lit corner table, nursing a glass of deep red wine. Their attire is a mix of dark fabrics and leather, and their eyes flicker with a mixture of curiosity and wariness as you initiate the conversation. As you introduce yourself and mention your questions, you notice a brief glint of intrigue in their gaze.
With a calm, measured voice, the stranger responds, "Well now, it's not often someone offers coin for answers in a place like this. I suppose I can spare a moment, depending on the nature of your inquiries."
Leaning back slightly, they take a sip of their wine before continuing, "What is it you wish to know, traveler? Keep in mind, information isn't always freely given here, even for coin." Their words hang in the air, leaving room for you to elaborate on the questions you have in mind.

"Well, you see, i am a practitioner of magic, a beginner, and i wish to study a certain type of magic. The problem is, the person my ole teacher recommended is not easily found. I am looking for a certain Alaric, one who walks between light and shadow." Qasim rolled a critical success on his bluff check for a total roll of 27.

The stranger narrows their eyes slightly, studying you for a moment before taking another sip of their wine. "Alaric, you say? A name that certainly carries some weight in these circles. Walking between light and shadow, you say? That's quite the description."
Leaning forward a bit, they lower their voice and say, "I might know a thing or two about individuals of his ilk. But knowledge comes at a price, my friend. A coin for a coin, or perhaps something more valuable to you."
As they speak, their gaze seems to pierce through you, as if trying to discern the truth behind your words. It's clear that they're wary of sharing too much without getting something in return.

Qasim will gesture to Leena who will place her pouch on the table, almost packed full of gold pieces leftover from their ruin-delving. "You see lad, if your information is valuable, we can strike a deal, and as you can see, we've got the means to pay.

The stranger's eyes flicker to the pouch of gold that Leena places on the table. They lift their hand and delicately touch the pouch, feeling its weight. A hint of a smile plays at the corner of their lips. "Gold speaks a universal language, doesn't it?"
They lean back in their chair, their fingers drumming thoughtfully on the table. "Very well then. I can provide you with a lead, a starting point to find this elusive Alaric. There's a gathering place for those who dabble in shadows and secrets, a tavern known as the 'Shrouded Flask.' It's located in a dimly lit alley not far from here."
The stranger's gaze intensifies as they lock eyes with you. "But remember, I've given you information that can set you on a dangerous path. If you truly wish to delve into matters of shadow and magic, you'll need more than coin. Be prepared for the consequences."
With that, they reach out, taking the pouch of gold and slipping it into their own pocket. "May your journey be enlightening, my friend."

"Wait a minute friend, you've given us directions, not a clear path, so the value of your information does not equal to this full pouch of gold, you're only entitled to half of it." Qasim said, smiling confidently.

The stranger's lips curl into a wry smile as they listen to your words. "Ah, a shrewd negotiator, I see. Very well, half of the pouch it is then." With a deft movement, they slide the pouch back across the table, taking their half of the gold and leaving the other half for you.
"May your wits serve you as well in your pursuit of knowledge," they say, their tone laced with a mix of admiration and amusement. "Remember, the 'Shrouded Flask' holds secrets as tightly as its name suggests. Approach with caution."
With a nod, they push their chair back and rise to their feet. "Farewell, and good luck on your path." With that, they turn and melt into the crowd, leaving you with the directions to the tavern and a sense that you've made a transaction that goes beyond mere gold.

The party will go take a rest at the Oasis Rest before continuing their quest, as some of their wounds haven't fully healed yet. during the rest, Qasim will use the Sunfire Scarab to ensure that both he and Leena are in perfect health before proceeding.

As you settle into the familiar surroundings of the Oasis Rest, the warm and cozy atmosphere wraps around you like a comforting embrace. Aisha, the tavern owner, greets you with a welcoming smile and serves you hearty meals and drinks. The events of the day slowly begin to fade as you let the fatigue seep from your bones.
As you finish your meal, Qasim retrieves the Sunfire Scarab from his possession, its golden radiance casting a gentle glow across the table. Leena watches with a mix of curiosity and anticipation as Qasim activates the scarab's healing magic. The warm energy of the artifact envelops you both, knitting together any lingering wounds and soothing the aches that the day's trials have left behind.
You can feel the magic coursing through your veins, revitalizing you and restoring your vitality. The fatigue gives way to renewed strength and vigor. Leena's eyes meet yours, gratitude and camaraderie shining in their depths. The scarab's power has brought you closer together, a reminder of the bonds you share and the challenges you face as a team.

As dawn arrives, Qasim and Leena will head to the shrouded flask

The sun's rays begin to break through the horizon, casting a warm glow across the city of Sothis as you make your way to the Shrouded Flask. The city is gradually coming to life, merchants setting up their stalls, citizens hurrying about their daily tasks, and the streets bustling with activity. Despite the sense of normalcy, you can't shake the feeling that there's an undercurrent of tension in the air, a reminder of the recent undead attacks and the looming threat that hangs over the city.
As you approach the Shrouded Flask, the quaint and mysterious shop sits nestled between other buildings, its sign swaying gently in the morning breeze. The door creaks open as you enter, the interior dimly lit and filled with an eclectic collection of trinkets, artifacts, and curiosities. Behind the counter stands a figure draped in shadowy robes, their face obscured by a hood. They peer at you from beneath the hood, their gaze shrewd and calculating.
"Ah, welcome," their voice is soft, but carries an air of intrigue. "What brings you to the Shrouded Flask this morning?"

"Ah yes welcome" Qasim says, confidently "I am part of a small group who deals in magical items, we sell and buy them, we heard about this place, erm... What is your name my good sir ?" Qasim rolled a 21 on his bluff check.

The figure behind the counter studies you both for a moment, their gaze lingering on your scarab amulet and the air of confidence you exude. With a faint, almost imperceptible smile, they respond, "Names are but fleeting labels in the grand scheme of things. Call me Varian."
Varian's response carries a sense of mystery, leaving you with the impression that there's more to their identity than meets the eye. Their eyes drift to the amulet around your neck, and they continue, "I sense a certain connection between you and the Sunfire Scarab, a potent artifact, no doubt."
Leena steps forward slightly, her demeanor focused and determined. "We seek information about a figure known as Alaric, one who walks between light and shadow. Can you assist us in our search?"
Varian's eyes seem to penetrate your very thoughts as they consider your request. "Ah, Alaric, a name that evokes both curiosity and caution. His path does indeed tread along the delicate boundary of light and shadow. To seek such a figure is to delve into the realm of secrets and manipulation."
The hooded figure leans forward, as if drawing you closer into their confidence. "I can offer you insight, but such knowledge comes at a cost. Not necessarily in gold, but in exchange for something that resonates with your own journey."
Leena glances at Qasim, exchanging a brief glance before turning her attention back to Varian. "What kind of exchange are you suggesting?"
Varian's voice is a whisper, carrying a weight of ancient wisdom. "A piece of your own self."

Qasim will suddenly ask "Oh ? You know about the Sunfire Scarab, how interesting !" and while he strikes up conversation, Leena will ask the Amulet of Whispering Shadows: "Is this the man who walks between the light and the dark ?"

As Qasim skillfully engages Varian in conversation, Leena concentrates on the Amulet of Whispering Shadows, seeking insight from the mystical artifact. A soft, almost imperceptible voice echoes in her mind, a whisper that carries with it a chilling sense of truth. "This is not the one you seek, but Varian holds knowledge that could guide your path."
Meanwhile, Qasim's conversation with Varian takes a curious turn as the hooded figure leans in slightly, their eyes narrowing as they study the Sunfire Scarab around Qasim's neck. "The Sunfire Scarab, a relic with a history woven into the tapestry of time. Its flames burn with a divine energy, yet it harbors secrets that transcend the boundaries of the mortal realm."
Qasim maintains his confident demeanor, intrigued by Varian's words. "Secrets? What do you know of the Sunfire Scarab?"
Varian's lips curl into a subtle smile, their voice carrying a hint of amusement. "Ah, but knowledge is a trade, is it not? What will you offer in exchange for the hidden truths of the Sunfire Scarab?"

Qasim will say "Here, what do you say we strike a deal, i give you a secret about the great library that could allow you to gain a lot and you tell me where to find Alaric."

Varian's eyes gleam with intrigue, and a slight nod acknowledges Qasim's proposal. "Very well, let's see what secret you offer, and if its worth will match the knowledge I can share." Their tone remains measured, betraying no eagerness.
Qasim takes a moment to recall a particular piece of information he learned during his recent visit to the great library. He then imparts the secret to Varian, explaining its potential value. As Qasim speaks, Varian's gaze never wavers, their eyes locked onto him, as if peering into his very soul.
"You see, the library is said to be protected by arcane runes and the forbidden section is supposed to be magically warded, however, me and my accomplice here managed to steal from it. The secret: you have to be sneaky, the wards probably activate if you use magic trying to access the forbidden section. As magic users are some of the only ones who would have interest in going in there it makes sense since mages tend to rely on spell a lot."
After Qasim finishes, there's a pause, and then Varian finally speaks. "A fair exchange, indeed. Your secret holds promise, and I shall consider it further. As for Alaric, the path to him is known to me, but it's not a journey to be taken lightly."
Varian leans in, their voice dropping to a near-whisper. "You must venture to the abandoned tower on the outskirts of Sothis, beyond the city's edge. There, at the stroke of midnight, the border between light and shadow weakens. But beware, for Alaric is no ordinary mage. His desires are veiled in enigma, and his power is beyond reckoning."
Leena's attention remains focused, and the amulet's whispered guidance resonates with the path being revealed. "Thank you," she murmurs, more to the amulet than to Varian.
Varian raises an enigmatic eyebrow, their gaze shifting between Qasim and Leena. "You are embarking on a journey that may alter the very fabric of your fate. Choose your path wisely, and remember that not all knowledge brings solace."
As the conversation concludes, Varian retreats back into the shadows, leaving Qasim and Leena with the newfound knowledge that the path to Alaric lies within an abandoned tower on the city's outskirts. The next step in their journey unfolds before them, and the balance between light and shadow becomes ever more precarious.

Qasim will gesture for Leena to follow him and while out of the Shrouded Flask he will say: "So, let's go now shall we ?"

As Qasim and Leena make their way out of the Shrouded Flask, the bustling streets of Sothis greet them once again. The city seems to hum with a strange energy, as if the events that have transpired recently have left an indelible mark on its very atmosphere. Their steps are guided by the knowledge imparted by Varian, leading them towards the outskirts of the city.
As they venture closer to their destination, the sounds of the city begin to fade, replaced by the eerie quiet of the desert. The landscape shifts, and soon they find themselves standing before the abandoned tower. Its stone walls rise like weathered sentinels, standing as a testament to time's unyielding grasp.
Near the entrance of the tower, the sand gives way to rocky terrain, and amidst the stones, Qasim and Leena notice a strange sight. A massive creature, its arachnid form looming, is partially obscured by the terrain. A giant scorpion, its segmented tail poised and its pincers ready, seems to be skulking nearby.
Its exoskeleton gleams under the desert sun, and the air is thick with tension as its claws click together rhythmically. The creature's presence is a reminder that danger lurks within the desert's shadows, and that every step they take may be met with the unknown.
As Qasim and Leena prepare themselves for whatever lies ahead, they can feel the weight of anticipation settling upon them. The scorpion's ominous posture suggests that they may soon be forced to confront its deadly nature, and their skills and resolve will be put to the test once more.

Do they know what kind of giant scorpion it is ? Leena rolled a 2 on her knowledge(nature) check while Qasim rolled a 15.

Qasim's knowledge on creatures and nature provides him with a piece of information about the giant scorpion they are facing. He recognizes it as a rare and venomous species of giant scorpion that isn't commonly found in this particular region of Osirion. Its distinctive markings and size mark it as a creature that could pose a significant threat.
However, Leena's knowledge on nature seems to be limited in this instance, leaving her without much insight into the creature they are facing.
As Qasim shares his knowledge with Leena, they both understand that they are dealing with a formidable adversary. The scorpion's presence in this location raises questions about its purpose and origin, adding to the air of mystery that seems to surround their every step. With the potential dangers of this creature in mind, Qasim and Leena must decide how to approach the situation and whether to engage the scorpion or seek an alternative path.

Qasim will turn to Leena and say "Alright Leena, do NOT get stung by that thing's enormous stinger." as he unsheathed his scimitar, Leena imitating him, drawing her rapier with a rapid and fluid motion. "I ain't planning to" "Let's try and surround it, flank it from both sides." Qasim blurted, as Leena agreed. They both prepared to fight, taking on fighting stances.
Chapter Seven - Interwoven Threads

As Leena and Qasim were discussing, the scorpion charged with an incredible speed towards Leena but suddenly threw his stinger to the side towards Qasim who dodged it at the last second by rolling under it. "Did this big insect just tried a feint ?!" Leena asked bewildered. "They are not that dumb, my father met one of those long ago." Qasim replied while not removing his gaze from the creature, as the stinger on its tail came back towards him, he rolled again and pierced the creature chitinous exoskeleton with its now flaming scimitar, making it screech in pain.
At the same time, Leena jumped on the scorpion's back, gently placed her rapier in a weak point that she just spotted and with a swift motion, ended the thing's life

"Damn, that was easy" Qasim said, looking at the creature's corpse.

With swift coordination and a keen understanding of their adversary, Qasim and Leena quickly dispatched the rare venomous giant scorpion that had charged towards them. The creature's attempt at a feint had not caught them off guard, and they effectively countered its tactics. Leena's well-placed strike proved fatal, putting an end to the scorpion's threat.
As they stood there, observing the defeated creature, a sense of accomplishment washed over them. They had successfully faced another challenge on their quest, reaffirming their determination to uncover the truth behind Alaric and the mysterious events unfolding in Sothis. With the scorpion defeated, Qasim and Leena continue their journey towards the abandoned tower, their resolve unshaken by the dangers that lay ahead.

They will then continue onward to the tower

Qasim and Leena continue onward towards the abandoned tower, leaving the site of their recent battle with the giant scorpion behind them. The tower looms in the distance, its ancient stones and crumbling architecture a stark contrast against the bright desert landscape. As they approach the tower's entrance, the air seems to grow still and a sense of unease settles over them.
The entrance of the tower is dark and foreboding, the doorway framed by the remnants of what was once an ornate arch. The interior is cloaked in shadows, and a chill seems to emanate from within. As they step inside, the air becomes musty and the sound of their footsteps echoes eerily through the chamber.
The ground is covered in layers of dust and debris, evidence of the tower's long abandonment. Broken furniture and fragments of old tapestries lie scattered across the floor. Faint rays of sunlight filter through cracks in the walls, casting dim light on the scene.
Qasim and Leena tread cautiously, their senses alert to any potential threats that may lie within the tower. It's clear that this place holds secrets, but what mysteries await them in its depths? With their determination unwavering, they venture deeper into the abandoned tower, ready to uncover whatever truths it may hold.

Qasim will hold out the Sunfire Scarab, activating his light producing ability and walk deeper in the tower, muttering under his breath "Between light and shadow aye ? I'm starting to wonder about how literal this could be."

As Qasim holds out the Sunfire Scarab, its radiant light fills the immediate area, pushing back the shadows and revealing more details of the interior of the abandoned tower. The walls are adorned with faded murals and ancient symbols, hinting at the tower's past purpose. The floorboards creak beneath their steps, and the air is thick with an otherworldly tension.
As they venture deeper into the tower, they come across a grand chamber, its ceiling soaring high above them. At the center of the chamber stands a pedestal, upon which rests a peculiar object—an ornate, obsidian-black amulet. Its design is intricate, with delicate patterns etched into the surface, and a single, crimson gemstone set in the center.
The amulet seems to exude an aura of both darkness and mystery, contrasting sharply with the brilliant light emitted by the Sunfire Scarab. It's as if the two artifacts embody opposing forces, each with its own secrets to reveal.
Qasim's muttering about light and shadow takes on a new resonance as he gazes at the amulet. Could this be the object they've been seeking? Is Alaric's connection to this tower and the enigmatic amulet? The answers seem just out of reach, hidden within the layers of history and magic that shroud the tower's secrets. With the amulet before them, the path forward is uncertain.

"I don't have time for all of this" Qasim will walk closer to the amulet to inspect it.

As Qasim approaches the amulet, a sudden surge of energy ripples through the air, sending shivers down his spine. The amulet seems to react to his presence, its crimson gemstone glowing with an eerie intensity. Just as Qasim is about to reach out and touch it, a voice echoes through the chamber, carrying a strange blend of darkness and enchantment:
"Ah, a seeker has come to my domain, drawn by whispers of power and secrets. But do you truly understand the price of such knowledge?"
Before Qasim can react, a figure materializes from the shadows, stepping forward with an air of arcane authority. It is a man, his features half-concealed in the shadows of a hooded robe. His eyes gleam with an unsettling blend of curiosity and malice, his black skinned face surrounded by white hair signal that he his a drow and his presence seems to command the very elements around him.
"Who are you?" Qasim demands, his grip tightening on the hilt of his scimitar.
The man raises an eyebrow, a faint smile playing on his lips. "I am Alaric, the one who walks the line between light and shadow. You have sought me out, seeker. But tell me, do you truly understand the depths of what you seek?"

"Are you the one in possession of the Eye of Twilight, or are you the one looking for it ?" Qasim blurts out while holding his scimitar steady towards the drow

Alaric's lips curl into a sly smile, his gaze fixated on Qasim as if analyzing the depths of his intent. "Ah, the Eye of Twilight, a prize coveted by many. Its power and secrets are not to be taken lightly." He takes a deliberate step closer, his movements graceful and poised. "But tell me, seeker, why do you seek it? What drives you to cross the boundaries of light and shadow?"
Qasim's grip tightens on his scimitar, his expression determined. "We seek the Eye to protect our city from the rising threats that lurk in the shadows. To harness its power for the greater good."
Alaric chuckles softly, his laughter carrying a touch of bitterness. "Ah, the greater good, such a noble sentiment. But power is a double-edged blade, capable of both salvation and destruction." His fingers twitch, and arcane energy crackles around him. "I sense a conflict within you, seeker. A desire for knowledge and strength, but also a fear of the darkness that comes with it."
Leena steps forward, her rapier at the ready. "We're not here to be manipulated by cryptic words. Are you the guardian of the Eye, or do you seek it to further your own ambitions?"
Alaric's smile widens, revealing a hint of amusement. "Guardian and seeker, roles can shift like the shifting sands. But answers have their price." His hand gestures, and the air around him shimmers with magic. "Prove your worth, seekers of twilight. Face the trials of this tower, and perhaps I shall reveal what you seek."
With those words, the atmosphere in the chamber changes, becoming charged with arcane energy. The tower itself seems to respond, shifting and distorting as if guided by Alaric's command. The air grows thick with anticipation, as Alaric makes it very clear that the trial in question will be a battle against him.

As Alaric started chanting, black flames erupted from his hand as soon, a big sphere of fire exploded towards Qasim and Leena, who both managed to escape it, Leena using her evasive abilities while Qasim just did an acrobatic trick in mid air. Qasim then charged towards Alaric and with a critically strong hit, sundered the mage with a blast of golden flames which erupted from his blade.
As Alaric fell on one knee, a rapier presented itself to the back of his head: "We win" Leena said before Alaric disappeared, another Alaric, very healthy and without any harm done to him smiled at them from further away while casting a spell.
"Watch out !" Qasim said as Leena jumped back while Qasim was caught in the second explosion of black flames. Those flames were painful, very painful as Qasim almost lost consciousness there. At the same time, while Leena had avoided the blackflame sphere, a sudden ray of black flames struck her, sending her flying backward while burning her severely.
Alaric laughed, as this demonstration of his arcane prowess had done a lot of damage to both Qasim and Leena. As he laughed, he walked towards them at a slow pace "Why do you think the boundaries between shadow and light exist young ones ? Why i wonder. For those who lurk between the two, a true path shall be pursued, a path of right and wrong, a path of balance. The Eye of Midnight is part of that small space between shadow and light."
As he was talking, in a flashing, almost instantaneous moment, Qasim had reached him, struck him with the flying flaming blade that he knew as well as his own hand, and carved a straight line through the drow's chest. "Argh !" Alaric blurted, stumbling backwards, both impressed and now intimidated by that swift, precise and deadly motion of the young man's blade.
"A path between light and shadow you say, Funnily enough, while i walk within the light..."  Qasim started. A moment of realization reached Alaric as a rapier pierced him from behind "She walks withing the shadow." "Enough !" Alaric said with a loud, authoritarian tone, "You have done enough to prove worthy of my information." He said as black flames started cauterizing his wounds.

"Now reveal what information we seek as promised, Alaric." Leena said, wiping the blood from her rapier.

Alaric's lips curled into a smile, a blend of admiration and begrudging respect in his eyes. He lifted his hand, and a shimmering portal appeared before him, displaying an image of the Eye of Twilight. "You seek the Eye of Twilight, a relic of immense power that can reshape the balance between light and darkness. But be warned, its guardians are not easily defeated, and its secrets are well-guarded."
The portal's image shifted, showing a hidden chamber deep within the Great Library of Sothis. "The Eye lies within the heart of the Great Library, surrounded by ancient wards and defenses. Few have ventured there and returned, for the knowledge contained within is not meant for mortal minds."
Alaric's gaze turned somber. "I offer this warning: the Eye's power is both a blessing and a curse. It has the potential to unravel the fabric of reality itself. If you seek it for noble intentions, tread carefully. As for the one who walks between light and shadow, know this: Alaric is but a moniker, a name chosen to evoke the duality of existence."
The portal flickered and vanished, leaving only Alaric standing before Qasim and Leena. "You have proven your strength and your purpose, seekers of twilight. Now, the path is yours to forge. Whether you wield the Eye or leave it be, the threads of fate will continue to weave their intricate pattern."
With those enigmatic words, Alaric turned away, his form gradually fading into the shadows until he vanished completely. The tower seemed to shift and ripple, returning to its normal state as if the sorcerer's presence had been nothing more than a fleeting dream.
Qasim and Leena stood in the aftermath of their encounter, the weight of Alaric's words echoing in their minds. The choice before them was clear, yet its implications were shrouded in uncertainty. The Eye of Twilight awaited, a source of both immense power and potential peril. As the sun began to set, casting long shadows across the land, the seekers of twilight faced a crossroads that could shape the destiny of their city and beyond.

"What should we make of this ?" Qasim asked, "i don't want that much power between my hands, i think we should not seek out the Eye of Twilight but rather, stop the necromancer who seeks it, what do you say ?"

Leena gazed at the fading sunset, her expression contemplative. "Qasim, you're right. Power like that can corrupt even the noblest of intentions. The risk of wielding the Eye of Twilight is too great, and its potential consequences are beyond our understanding. But stopping the necromancer is a task we can comprehend and undertake."
She turned to face him, her eyes determined. "We've seen the destruction and darkness that necromancy can bring. Sothis is our home, and it's our responsibility to protect it. We'll find this necromancer, unravel their plans, and put an end to their threat. That, I believe, is a path worth pursuing."
Qasim nodded in agreement. "I couldn't have said it better, Leena. We'll find this necromancer and ensure the safety of our city. The Eye of Twilight may remain a mystery, a secret left in the shadows. But our resolve to defend our home is unwavering."

For now, the group will go rest at the Oasis Rest

As the night settled in, Qasim and Leena sought refuge once again at the familiar Oasis Rest. The soothing ambiance of the inn's interior welcomed them, providing a temporary respite from the pressing matters and dangerous encounters they had faced. Aisha, the innkeeper, greeted them warmly and ensured they were well taken care of.
The soft glow of lanterns illuminated the common room, casting gentle shadows on the worn wooden tables and plush seating. Qasim and Leena found a quiet corner where they could unwind, their minds still grappling with the revelations and decisions they had made that day.
Sitting opposite each other, their weariness etched on their faces, Qasim sighed and looked at the amulet now resting on the table. "Leena, today has been... intense. We've come so far, learned so much, and faced challenges we never expected."
Leena nodded, her eyes reflecting a mix of determination and concern. "Indeed, Qasim. But I'm proud of what we've accomplished. We've uncovered secrets, confronted powerful foes, and most importantly, we've held our ground and made choices that will shape our path."
Qasim reached across the table and placed his hand on top of the amulet. "This amulet, the Eye of Twilight, it holds mysteries beyond our comprehension. I'm glad we chose not to wield it recklessly. Our focus must remain on thwarting the necromancer's plans and protecting our city."
Leena's fingers traced the edge of her own amulet, her thoughts deep in contemplation. "Agreed. We're up against an adversary who seeks to manipulate dark forces. Our determination to stop them must be our guiding light."
As the inn's patrons chatted and laughter echoed around them, Qasim and Leena shared a moment of quiet understanding. The weight of their responsibilities was heavy, but they had each other's support, and that was a strength they could rely on.
With a subtle nod, Qasim and Leena signaled to Aisha for a room, ready to find rest for their weary bodies and prepare for the challenges that awaited them in the days to come.

After a big 12 hours nap, they will rise and go see the barracks of the city to give information to the city guards about what is really happening and reveal to them the existence of the Eye of Twilight under the great library, which must be protected from a necromancer who will not stop attacking the city.

Emerging from their much-needed rest, Qasim and Leena found themselves revitalized and ready to face the day ahead. The sun had risen, casting warm golden rays across the city streets as they made their way to the barracks. The bustling activity of the guards going about their duties provided a stark contrast to the hidden threats that had been looming.
Approaching the barracks, Qasim and Leena requested an audience with the captain of the guards, a stern yet pragmatic figure named Captain Arkan. After a brief wait, they were granted entry and found themselves standing in the captain's office, the walls adorned with maps, weapons, and awards.
"Captain Arkan, thank you for seeing us," Qasim began respectfully. "We come bearing urgent information that concerns the safety of Sothis and its inhabitants."
The captain, a man of disciplined demeanor, studied them closely. "Speak then, but make it quick. We've little time for idle chatter."
Leena stepped forward, her gaze steady and unwavering. "We've encountered an adversary, minions of a necromancer who seeks the Eye of Twilight. This necromancer has orchestrated attacks on the city, and we believe they won't stop until they've acquired the artifact."
Qasim continued, "The Eye of Twilight is a powerful magical amulet hidden beneath the great library. It's essential that you bolster the library's defenses and take precautions to ensure the artifact isn't stolen. This necromancer's intentions are malicious, and they won't hesitate to unleash chaos."
Captain Arkan's expression shifted from skepticism to cautious concern. "The Eye of Twilight, you say? This is grave news indeed. We'll take your warning seriously and strengthen the security of the great library immediately. But why do you come to us with this information? Why not attempt to retrieve the artifact yourselves?"
Leena exchanged a glance with Qasim before responding, "We've faced this necromancer's minions in battle, protected the inhabitants of this city twice already, and while we strive to protect Sothis, we must also acknowledge our limits. We seek the support of the city's defenders to ensure the safety of the artifact and the city itself."
The captain leaned back in his chair, his fingers steepled in thought. "Very well. Your warning will not go unheeded. We'll increase our patrols, heighten security, and remain vigilant against any potential threats. But understand this, if we're to assist, we'll need evidence of your claims."
Qasim nodded, understanding the captain's need for verification. "We've faced the necromancer firsthand. We have knowledge of their tactics, their power, and their determination. We're willing to share everything we know to aid in your efforts."
Leena added, "We're united in our goal to protect Sothis. The safety of the city must come before personal agendas."
Captain Arkan studied them both, his gaze intense and calculating. After a moment of contemplation, he finally spoke, "Very well. I'll assign a unit to investigate the great library and assess the security risks. If your claims prove true, we'll take the necessary actions to protect the artifact and put an end to this necromancer's threats."
Qasim and Leena exchanged a subtle nod, relieved that their plea had been heard. As they left the barracks, the weight of responsibility still hung heavily on their shoulders. The fate of the city rested not only in their hands, but in the hands of the city's defenders as well.

As they leave, Qasim will tell Leena "We need new... Party members, even if we are doing a good job right now, if another encounter as dangerous as... Last time... Arises, we will need allies." Qasim shuddered as he mentioned the 'last time' still remembering how the raining arrows felled two of his companions.

Leena nodded in agreement, understanding the urgency of reinforcing their ranks. "You're right, Qasim. We can't afford to face these threats alone. We've seen the consequences when we're outnumbered and unprepared."
As they walked through the city streets, the sun casting long shadows across the cobblestones, Leena's gaze settled on the various passersby. "Let's keep an eye out for individuals who might be willing to join us. People with skills that complement our own, who share our commitment to protecting Sothis."
Qasim's expression grew determined. "Agreed. We'll need a well-rounded group, each member bringing something unique to the table. Our goal is noble, and I believe there are those who would be willing to stand with us."
Their conversation carried them through the bustling cityscape, their thoughts focused on the future and the allies they hoped to find. With the city guard now alerted and their efforts to protect the Eye of Twilight in motion, Qasim and Leena understood the importance of assembling a capable and dedicated team to face the looming threats that had set their sights on Sothis.

The party will first decide to rest for a bit. As Qasim and Leena decided to take a few days to rest, does anything major happens in the city ?

As Qasim and Leena walked through the city streets after a full day of discussions, planning, and seeking potential allies, a sense of weariness began to settle over them. The sun had begun its descent, casting a warm orange glow across the horizon. Their steps were steady, the weight of their recent battles and the impending dangers ahead palpable in the air.
As they turned a corner, their attention was drawn to a commotion up ahead. A series of sharp, cracking sounds echoed through the air, followed by the unmistakable twang of bowstrings being released. Qasim and Leena exchanged a quick glance, their instincts kicking in as they realized that the source of the noise was coming from a group of rooftops nearby.
Peering ahead, they saw a white-haired priestess, her robes billowing in the wind as she stumbled back, her eyes wide with fear. The priestess was unarmed and cornered, surrounded by a group of skeletal archers perched on the rooftops, their bows drawn and aimed at her. The fading light revealed the glint of moonlight reflecting off their bony forms.
Without a second thought, Qasim and Leena quickened their pace, drawing their weapons as they moved. Their hearts raced, adrenaline coursing through their veins as they closed the distance. The priestess spotted them, her eyes widening further as she realized help had arrived.
The skeletal archers began to release their arrows, aiming at the vulnerable priestess. Qasim and Leena lunged forward, their movements swift and calculated, attempting to intercept the arrows before they reached their target. The twang of bowstrings was met with the clash of metal against wood and the sound of arrows striking the ground harmlessly.
The priestess watched in awe as Qasim and Leena deflected the arrows, their maneuvers executed with precision. Their weapons gleamed as they engaged the undead foes, their determination unwavering. The archers were swift and relentless, their arrows raining down from various angles, but the combined efforts of Qasim and Leena kept the priestess safe for the moment.
As the skirmish unfolded, the priestess seized the opportunity to move, her white robes fluttering as she dashed toward a nearby alleyway. The archers, frustrated by their inability to strike her, redirected their focus to the two newcomers who dared to intervene.
With a fierce battle cry, Qasim and Leena charged the rooftop where the archers were perched, engaging the undead in close combat. The air was filled with the clash of steel against bone, the glow of Qasim's Sunfire Scarab illuminating the darkness. The priestess reached the alleyway, pausing briefly to catch her breath and offer a silent prayer of gratitude for her unexpected saviors.

There were two adjacent rooftops, Qasim was on the right one against two skeleton archer while Leena was on the left one against two others. The priestess was in the small alley between the two roofs, and on another rooftop about 150 feet away, another skeleton archer stood there, waiting, he had a much better looking and decorated armor than the other and had a composite longbow that seemed very well crafted. He was different from the others, he looked dangerous, his skeletal figure menacingly standing in front of the moon.
The skirmish started, and with no guards in these poorer parts of the city, Qasim knew very well that they would have to win this by themselves. Arrows immediately started flying around, Leena did a good job at staying out of their way but Qasim took an arrow to the leg, that same leg which had already been pierced by an arrow in the previous encounter with these skeletons.
As memories of horror started flooding in, Qasim started to lose his temper, his blade flaring up with golden flames with a rare intensity. With a cry filled with anger, Qasim disposed of the first skeleton with a very strong hit, making its bone turn to ash as the golden flames consumed it.
On the other rooftop, Leena nimbly rolled between the two skeleton, getting back on her feet while skewering a skull with her rapier, the skeleton however, was still standing. As everything was going down, the larger, more adorned looking skeleton suddenly shot two arrows at Qasim, who narrowly avoided them. The agility and strength that the skeleton possessed were unnatural, to draw a bow that fast and shoot in rapid succession requires strength and training.
Suddenly, Leena saw the priestess get up on the roof, approach her and the skeletons, and as she tried to warn her to stay away, the priestess grabbed a rose pendant, held it firmly while speaking holy words. A bright glow suddenly erupted from her, destroying a skeleton and visibly harming the other while Leena felt an aura of warmth and comfort as wounds and fatigued both disappeared.
The other skeleton on that same roof, seeing the priestess's holy power as a menace, tried to shoot at her but got struck by Leena rapier before he could. As Qasim kept on hitting the already defeated skeleton in a fit of rage, an arrow hit his shoulder, reminding him of the other enemy. He looked up at it with a look that had never before been seen on his kindhearted face. He approached, walking towards the skeleton while golden flames erupted from the Sunfire Scarab, healing him as he pulled out the two arrows that got stuck in his flesh.
As he arrived in front of the skeleton who was in the process of loading its bow, it quickly got decapitated, bones falling to the ground as Qasim turned to their leader who was watching, unfazed, as all mindless undead should be.
Leena quickly dispatched of the last of the regular skeletons by skewering it with a quick strike of her trusty rapier before jumping off the roof, running towards the last member of the pack. Which took a step forward, shooting two arrows in a rapid succession at Qasim, the first one missed but the second one hit him with dangerous precision, as he had now the shaft of the arrow poking out of his sternum. Blood filled his mouth while his vision became colorless, almost grey. His beating heart beating faster and faster as he almost lost consciousness.
As Leena ran towards the elite skeleton archer, two arrows flew towards her, both missing as she dodged them by a thin margin while continuing to charge towards this foe, at the same time, the priestess got down from her rooftop at the same time as Qasim did to take cover while healing himself with his Sunfire Scarab. As they both met each other the priestess said, "here let me help you" and as her palm touched Qasim, he felt a sense of warmth as his wounds began closing. But he was still badly injured from the arrow he just took.
"Thank you" said Qasim simply, before rushing towards the last foe, telling the priestess to stay hidden while they dealt with the skeleton. While that was happening, Leena had successfully scaled up the wall and was now standing off thirty feet away from the last skeleton, with her rapier at the ready.
The elite skeleton archer simply kept on shooting, as two other arrows flew towards Leena, one of them piercing her lower belly, making her fall to her knee in pain. The priestess started running towards the roof where the last battle was taking place despite what Qasim said, enveloping the area in a bright aura which further healed Qasim, who was now almost fully recovered from that nasty shot he took. But the priestess was too far away from Leena to heal her yet.
As Qasim jumped towards the edge of the roof, grabbing it then climbed, he was now standing alongside Leena for the final standoff of this urban skirmish. Leena rushed to the last skeleton, striking with all of her might, dealing serious damage, but at the same time an arrow pierced her chest and she fell on the smooth sandstone rooftop.
The priestess appeared next to them, having also climbed up the roof as Qasim charged the skeleton, harming it further, but this one was pretty sturdy and withstood the hit from the flaming scimitar. The Skeleton shot an arrow at him, which pierced Qasim's chest, lodging itself next to the other arrow and also dealing considerable damage, Qasim was on the verge on falling but stood strong with an iron will as he desperately wanted to save Leena. Which the Sunfire Scarab did for him, healing her back to consciousness as she suddenly gasped for air.
As the skeleton readied two arrows at once on his bow, aiming towards Qasim it what could possibly be the last thing Qasim sees, a bright aura of positive energy destroyed the skeleton while partly healing both Qasim and Leena.
As the combat ended, Qasim took a look at the priestess, she has a pale face with a huge scar that ran across her blind left eye which was completely white. "Thank you, he said to her, i know not what could have happened if you didn't help us out there. I am Qasim, and this here is Leena." "I know who you are" the priestess said with a soft and pure voice, "Zara sent me to help you on your quest but i was ambushed by the walking corpses while on my way to you, i am Soniah, a cleric of Milani. I come from a far away land."

Qasim looked puzzled for a second, deep in thought. "Zara sent you ? That's probably why they targeted you, that means they are specifically targeting those who are trying to stop the necromancer." Leena said, grimacing from her wounds.

As the dust settled after the intense battle, Qasim and Leena found themselves facing not only their fallen foes but also a new ally who had arrived just in time to save them from further danger. Soniah, the white-haired priestess and cleric of Milani, stood before them with a scarred face and a sense of quiet determination. The wounds from the encounter were still fresh, but the trio shared a moment of gratitude for their survival and unity in the face of adversity.
Soniah's presence added another layer of complexity to their quest. Her mention of Zara's involvement confirmed the suspicion that those who sought to possess the Eye of Twilight were targeting individuals associated with the party. The puzzle pieces were starting to come together, revealing a web of intrigue and danger that extended beyond what Qasim and Leena had initially anticipated.
Leena's observation about the necromancer's specific targeting of those opposing him raised more questions. Who was this necromancer, and why was he going to such lengths to eliminate those who posed a threat to his plans? The stakes were higher than ever, and the urgency of their mission became even clearer.
As Soniah introduced herself and explained her purpose, Qasim's thoughts shifted to their fallen companions and the losses they had suffered. The memory of the skeletal archers' relentless attack that had claimed the lives of their friends weighed heavily on his mind. Yet, amidst the somber reflection, there was also a renewed determination to honor their memory by pressing forward.
"We're grateful for your timely assistance, Soniah," Qasim said, his voice carrying a blend of exhaustion and resolve. "Our journey has grown more perilous, and it seems we're not the only ones seeking the Eye of Twilight. But we won't back down. We can't afford to let this necromancer's darkness consume our city."
Leena nodded in agreement, her gaze meeting Soniah's. "Our fallen friends would want us to keep fighting," she said softly, her voice tinged with sorrow. "And now, with you by our side, we have a better chance."
As the trio stood amidst the aftermath of the battle, the moonlight casting its pale glow over the rooftops, a new bond formed between them. Together, they faced a common enemy, a shared purpose driving them forward. The city of Sothis held its breath, unaware of the impending danger that threatened its very existence. In the shadows and light of the city's streets, a story of courage, sacrifice, and the pursuit of justice continued to unfold.

The group will head to the oasis rest to sleep as Qasim will lead the way for Soniah to accompany them.

As Qasim, Leena, and Soniah made their way back to the Oasis Rest, the night had cast its quiet blanket over the city of Sothis. The streets were less crowded now, the sounds of daily life giving way to the occasional hoot of an owl or the distant murmur of the wind. The path to the inn was a familiar one for Qasim, a journey he had taken countless times before, but this time it felt different. With Soniah by their side, the dynamics of their group had shifted, and a new sense of camaraderie began to form.
Entering the inn, they were greeted by Aisha, who offered them weary smiles and understanding nods. The weight of their recent battles and revelations hung in the air, and even the atmosphere of the inn seemed to acknowledge the seriousness of their mission. As they settled into their rooms, the soft beds and warm blankets provided a much-needed respite from the dangers of the outside world.
In the quiet of the night, as sleep began to claim them, Qasim once again found himself in the realm of dreams. This time, the dream was different—more vivid, more revealing. He stood in the heart of a desolate landscape, a barren wasteland where the sky was a dull gray and the earth cracked and dry. It was a world devoid of life, a world that felt eerily familiar.
And then, from the shadows emerged a figure, cloaked in darkness and shrouded in an aura of malevolence. The figure's presence exuded power and dominance, its eyes gleaming with an otherworldly fire. Qasim's heart raced as he recognized the face of the figure—the necromancer they had been pursuing.
"You seek the Eye of Twilight," the necromancer's voice echoed through the barren land, chilling Qasim to the bone. "But do you truly comprehend the power it holds?"
Qasim felt a mixture of fear and anger bubbling within him, but he stood his ground. "You're the one responsible for the undead attacks in Sothis," he said, his voice trembling slightly. "You won't succeed in your dark ambitions."
The necromancer's laughter echoed around them, a sound that seemed to reverberate through the very fabric of the dream. "You think you can stop me, mortal? You and your companions are but pawns in a grander game."
As the necromancer's words continued, Qasim's vision blurred, and suddenly he was transported to a different scene. He stood before a massive, ancient door, adorned with intricate carvings that seemed to depict scenes of creation and destruction. The door radiated an aura of immense power, and Qasim could feel its significance.
"The Eye of Twilight is the key to unlocking forbidden knowledge," the necromancer's voice whispered in his ear. "It holds the secrets of life and death, of balance and chaos. And I will possess it."
The dream shifted once more, and Qasim found himself facing a swirling vortex of shadows and light. He felt a pull, a gravitational force tugging at his very essence. The necromancer's laughter grew louder, intertwining with the chaotic whirlwind that surrounded him.
"Remember this, Qasim," the necromancer's voice echoed. "The Eye of Twilight is not just an object—it is a doorway. A doorway to a realm beyond mortal comprehension, a realm where the line between light and shadow blurs into oblivion."
With those words, Qasim jolted awake in his bed at the Oasis Rest, his heart pounding in his chest. The dream had left an indelible mark on his mind, revealing a crucial piece of information about the necromancer's intentions. The Eye of Twilight was not merely an artifact of power; it was a key to a realm of unimaginable significance.
Sitting up, Qasim knew that their mission had taken on a new level of urgency. The necromancer's designs were far more complex and dangerous than they had initially believed. He turned to Leena, who was still asleep beside him, and then to Soniah, who had joined their cause. The fate of Sothis hung in the balance, and it was up to them to confront the darkness that threatened to consume their city.
As dawn approached, Qasim's mind was filled with a newfound determination. The path ahead was treacherous, but they were not alone in their quest. With allies by their side and the knowledge of the Eye of Twilight's true nature, they were prepared to face whatever challenges lay ahead.
Chapter Eight - Minions of Evil

As Qasim wakes up, he groggily walks towards the door of the room he shares with the others, but, still troubled from his dream, he starts to think that maybe he would be better off abandoning. For the first time, he starts to doubt himself, after all, he is but a modest swordsman pitted against a powerful necromancer.

As Qasim stood by the door, his mind swirled with doubt and uncertainty. The weight of their mission, the encounter with the necromancer, and the revelations from his dream all converged, creating a storm of conflicting emotions within him. He questioned his own abilities and whether he was truly up to the challenge that lay ahead. The thought of facing a powerful necromancer, armed with arcane forces beyond his understanding, was daunting.
In the midst of his turmoil, Qasim was brought back to the present by the voice of Soniah. She had noticed his troubled expression and approached him with a gentle concern in her eyes.
"Qasim, is everything alright?" Soniah's voice was soft, carrying a genuine warmth that seemed to offer solace.
Qasim's gaze met hers, and for a moment, he hesitated. But then, he realized that he was not alone in this. He had companions who were willing to stand by his side, allies who believed in their cause. He took a deep breath, exhaling slowly as he let go of the weight of his doubt.
"I... I'm just...," Qasim began, his voice wavering slightly before he collected his thoughts. "I'm wrestling with doubts, Soniah. The necromancer we're up against, the power he possesses... It's overwhelming. I'm just a swordsman, a simple fighter. What chance do I have against someone like him?"
Soniah placed a reassuring hand on his arm, her touch radiating a calming energy. "Qasim, remember that strength comes in many forms. You've faced challenges before and emerged victorious. But you're not alone in this fight. We're a team now, and together, we have the power to make a difference."
She continued, "And speaking of allies, I have news for you. Zara has sent another companion to aid us, but we were separated upon arriving in the city. His name is Garhan, a barbarian from the desert. He's a trusted friend of Zara's and brings his own unique set of skills to the table. We're stronger together, Qasim, and with each member of our group contributing their strengths, we stand a better chance."
Qasim looked into Soniah's eyes, finding a sense of reassurance in her words. He realized that his doubts were natural, but he couldn't let them consume him. They had a mission to fulfill, and he had a responsibility to his friends, to the city of Sothis, and to himself.
"Thank you, Soniah," Qasim said, a hint of determination returning to his voice. "You're right. We're not alone in this. We'll face whatever challenges come our way, and we'll do it together. Let's go meet this Garhan and welcome him to our group."

Qasim will then ask: "Hum... Where can we find this Garhan you speak of ? Do you know of his whereabouts ?"

Soniah nodded in response to Qasim's question. "Yes, Garhan should be in the city by now. Zara mentioned that he likes staying at a small inn called the Desert's Roar, not too far from here. I can lead you there if you'd like."
Qasim appreciated Soniah's offer. "That would be helpful, thank you. It's good to have more allies on our side, especially someone with the experience and skills of a barbarian."
Together, Qasim and Soniah left the Oasis Rest and made their way through the bustling streets of Sothis. The city was alive with activity, but underneath the surface, the recent events and the looming threat of the necromancer cast a shadow over the atmosphere.
As they walked, Soniah shared more about Garhan. "He's a formidable warrior, skilled in the ways of combat and survival. Zara spoke highly of him and mentioned that he has a deep connection to the desert and its mysteries. He's also known for his unwavering loyalty to those he considers his allies."
Qasim nodded, absorbing the information. The prospect of adding another strong ally to their group gave him a renewed sense of determination. He couldn't help but wonder how their dynamic would change with Garhan's presence and the unique strengths he brought.
After a short walk, they arrived at the Desert's Roar inn. It was a modest establishment, blending in with the surrounding buildings. "Here we are," Soniah said, gesturing towards the entrance. "Let's go inside and introduce ourselves to Garhan."
Qasim's heart raced with a mix of anticipation and curiosity. He was eager to meet their new companion and see how their paths would intertwine on this journey to confront the necromancer and protect the city of Sothis.

Qasim will say "Yes, let's go meet our new friend then go back to the Oasis Rest to wake Leena up."

Qasim and Soniah entered the Desert's Roar inn, their eyes scanning the room for any sign of the fiery-haired barbarian, Garhan. It didn't take long for them to spot him at a corner table, engaged in a lively conversation with a group of patrons. His presence was indeed hard to miss, with his strong physique and vibrant red hair that seemed to match his fiery personality.
As they approached the table, Garhan's booming laughter filled the air, drawing the attention of those nearby. He seemed to relish being the center of attention, and his jovial demeanor was infectious. However, Qasim could also sense an underlying intensity in his gaze, as if Garhan was always ready for action.
"Ah, Soniah, my friend!" Garhan exclaimed as he caught sight of her approaching. "You finally made it! And who's this you've brought with you?"
Soniah introduced Qasim to Garhan, and the two exchanged greetings. "Qasim, this is Garhan, a loyal ally of Zara and a fierce warrior. Garhan, meet Qasim, a skilled swordsman and protector of the city."
Garhan's eyes gleamed with interest as he sized up Qasim. "A swordsman, eh? Well met, Qasim! Any friend of Soniah's is a friend of mine."
Qasim returned the greeting with a nod, impressed by Garhan's presence and the air of confidence that surrounded him. "Likewise, Garhan. Soniah mentioned that you're here to aid us in our quest."
Garhan's grin widened. "That's right! Zara filled me in on the situation, and I'm more than ready to lend my strength to this cause. We can't let some necromancer run wild and terrorize the city, now can we?"
Qasim appreciated Garhan's enthusiasm and sense of purpose. It was clear that he was someone who could be counted on in times of need. "Absolutely. We're gathering a group of capable individuals to stand against this threat. With your skills and Soniah's magic, we'll have a strong team."
Garhan raised an eyebrow and looked around. "Speaking of a team, where's your other ally, Leena i believe is what she is called?"
Qasim explained that Leena was still resting at the Oasis Rest after their recent battles. "We should head back there to wake her and bring her up to speed. It's important that we're all on the same page."
Garhan nodded in agreement, his fiery demeanor seemingly unfazed by the idea of another fight. "Sounds good to me! Let's go get our fiery friend and make sure she's ready to join the party."
As Qasim, Soniah, and Garhan made their way back to the Oasis Rest, Qasim couldn't help but feel a renewed sense of camaraderie and determination. With each new ally they gathered, their chances of facing the necromancer and protecting the city grew stronger.

With that, they head to the Oasis Rest to explain everything to Leena and get ready to find out more about the necromancer.

The group reunited at the Oasis Rest, finding Leena still resting but showing signs of improvement from the healing magic she had received. Qasim, Soniah, and Garhan gathered around her, ready to fill her in on the recent events and their plans moving forward.
Leena blinked her eyes open as they approached, offering them a weak but determined smile. "Hey, you guys. What's the news?"
Qasim began recounting their encounters, starting with Soniah's assistance and the revelation about the necromancer's focus on those trying to thwart their plans. He explained how they had encountered another formidable foe and that they now had Garhan, a skilled warrior, joining their ranks.
Garhan chimed in with his characteristic enthusiasm. "That's right! We're building a team to take down this necromancer and protect the city. Can't let them keep running rampant."
Leena listened intently, her expression shifting from weariness to determination as she absorbed the information. "So, we're not alone in this after all. Good. It's about time we had some backup."
Soniah nodded in agreement. "Indeed. With each of us contributing our strengths, we stand a better chance of success. But we still need to gather more information about the necromancer's plans and the Eye of Twilight."
Qasim added, "Exactly. We know that this necromancer is seeking the Eye of Twilight, and that it's connected to a path between light and shadow. We need to figure out what their end goal is and how to stop them."
Leena nodded thoughtfully. "And if Zara's information is accurate, the necromancer might have allies in high places. We need to be cautious and prepared for any surprises."
Garhan cracked his knuckles and grinned. "Well, surprises or not, we've got each other's backs. We'll face whatever comes our way head-on."
With a renewed sense of purpose, the group discussed their next steps. They agreed that they needed to gather more information, possibly through sources within the city or by investigating the necromancer's activities directly. They also decided to reinforce their skills and gear, making sure they were as prepared as possible for the challenges ahead.
As they huddled around the table, mapping out their strategy, Qasim couldn't help but feel a surge of determination. He looked around at his new companions—Leena, Soniah, and Garhan—and knew that they were stronger together. With their combined strengths, they had a chance to unravel the mysteries surrounding the necromancer and protect their city from the looming threat.

"Now, i have an idea of who might know more about the necromancer." Qasim suddenly said, confidently "A powerful drow mage that both Leena and i fought. He is knowledgeable about a lot of things, he even knows where to find the Eye of Twilight. If he has this information and the necromancer didn't manage to get it yet, then he is probably on our side. Let's go meet Alaric in the abandoned tower."

Leena raised an eyebrow, studying Qasim for a moment. "Are you sure about this, Qasim? Alaric didn't exactly come across as a trustworthy figure during our last encounter."
Qasim nodded, his gaze unwavering. "I know it's a risk, but if he has information about the necromancer and the Eye of Twilight, it could be invaluable to us. Plus, if he's walking the line between light and shadow as he claims, he might have his own reasons to stop the necromancer."
Soniah chimed in, her voice calm and measured. "It's worth exploring all avenues for information. If Alaric has knowledge that can aid our cause, we should consider meeting with him."
Garhan leaned back in his chair, folding his arms. "Well, if this Alaric guy knows where the Eye of Twilight is and how to stop this necromancer, then I'm all for it. But I'm keeping a close eye on him."
Leena sighed, still not entirely convinced but willing to go along with the plan. "Alright, let's give it a shot. But remember, if anything seems off, we don't hesitate to get out of there."
Qasim nodded in agreement. "Agreed. Let's meet Alaric and see if he's willing to share what he knows."
With their decision made, the group gathered their belongings and headed towards the abandoned tower once again.

Qasim will enter the tower first, followed by his companions, upon entering the tower, he'll say: "If you, thee who walks between light and shadow, is present here, show yourself as i have something to inquire."

The air inside the tower was still and heavy, the remnants of past encounters and ancient secrets seemed to linger in the atmosphere. As Qasim's words echoed through the chamber, there was a brief moment of silence before a figure emerged from the shadows, stepping into the faint light filtering through the windows.
Alaric, the drow mage, appeared before them, his white hair contrasting sharply with his dark skin. His expression held a mixture of curiosity and amusement. "Well, well, it seems our paths cross once again," he remarked, his tone carrying a touch of smugness.
Qasim nodded, his gaze steady. "Indeed, Alaric. We seek information about the necromancer who threatens Sothis and the Eye of Twilight. If you have knowledge that can aid us, we ask that you share it."
Alaric's lips curled into a faint smile. "You've come seeking answers, have you? And why should I help you in your quest?"
Qasim's expression hardened, his determination evident. "Because the threat the necromancer poses extends beyond us. Sothis and its people are at risk. If you truly walk between light and shadow, as you claim, then this is a cause that should concern you as well."
Alaric's gaze seemed to pierce through Qasim, as if assessing his sincerity. After a moment, he let out a thoughtful sigh. "Very well. It seems our interests align for the moment. The necromancer you seek is known as Malakar, a powerful and ambitious individual with a penchant for dark magic. His ultimate goal is to harness the Eye of Twilight's power for his own twisted purposes."
Leena, who had been quietly observing the exchange, spoke up. "And where can we find this Malakar?"
Alaric's smile turned wry. "Ah, that is the question, isn't it? Malakar's whereabouts are shrouded in mystery. But I can offer you a starting point. Seek out an ancient burial site known as the Crypt of Shadows. It is said to hold clues that could lead you to Malakar's lair."
Qasim nodded, absorbing the information. "Thank you for your assistance, Alaric. But I must ask, what is your stake in all of this? Why do you offer us this knowledge?"
Alaric's gaze turned distant for a moment, as if lost in his own thoughts. "My motives are my own, and they may not align with your sense of right and wrong. But know this—I have my reasons for opposing Malakar's ambitions. Whether you choose to trust me or not is up to you."
The tension in the room was palpable, the weight of their choices and alliances pressing down on them. Leena's eyes narrowed, studying Alaric closely. "We'll take your information, for now. But be warned, if we find that you've led us astray, there will be consequences."
Alaric's smirk returned, his demeanor unshaken. "I wouldn't expect anything less. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have my own path to walk."
With that, he seemed to dissolve into the shadows, leaving the group standing in the dimly lit tower. As they processed the encounter, Qasim turned to his companions. "We have a direction now, a lead to follow. Let's make our way to the Crypt of Shadows and uncover whatever secrets it holds."

"This reminds me of something !" Qasim almost screamed, having an epiphany as a distinct memory came back to him. "Leena ! Remember about the ancient ruins Rashid told us about after we first found the Sunfire Scarab ? Ancient Osirian ruins in the desert. There are plenty of them i know and this could be completely unrelated but i have a feeling, a feeling that the threads of fate are leading us towards Malakar."

Leena's eyes widened as she pieced together the connection. "You're right, Qasim. Rashid did mention those ancient ruins in the desert. If there's any chance that they hold clues about Malakar or the Eye of Twilight, it's worth investigating."
Soniah, who had been listening intently, nodded in agreement. "It's possible that the answers we seek are scattered across these ancient sites. They might reveal a pattern that leads us to Malakar's lair."
Garhan chimed in with his fiery enthusiasm. "Then let's not waste any time! If we're to face this necromancer, we'll need all the information we can gather. These ruins could be the key to uncovering his plans."
Qasim's eyes sparkled with determination. "It's settled then. We'll make our way to the ancient ruins Rashid spoke of. But we must also remember that time is of the essence. The longer we wait, the more powerful and dangerous Malakar could become."
Leena nodded, her resolve matching Qasim's. "Agreed. Let's gather our supplies and head to the desert ruins. We're in this together, and we won't rest until we've put an end to Malakar's schemes."

After a quick meal at the Oasis Rest and having gathered supplies, the party will depart towards the ancient ruins, using the direction Rashid gave them a while back.

As the party ventured into the arid desert, the sun beat down relentlessly, casting long shadows across the dunes. The wind whispered through the shifting sands, carrying an eerie sense of anticipation. The ancient ruins Rashid had mentioned were rumored to hold secrets and dangers alike.
Amid the golden expanse, Qasim's keen eyes caught a flicker of movement in the distance. A silhouette emerged against the backdrop of the desert, growing larger and more defined with each step. It was an unsettling sight—a humanoid figure, hunched and misshapen, moving with an unnatural gait.
As the party approached, the details of the creature became clearer. It was an undead monstrosity, its flesh decayed and tattered, its movements jerky and erratic. The stench of decay wafted through the air, assaulting their senses.
Leena's grip tightened on her rapier as she exchanged a glance with Qasim. "Undead," she muttered, readying herself for whatever lay ahead. Soniah began to chant prayers under her breath, her hands glowing with divine energy. Garhan brandished his greataxe, flames dancing in his eyes, eager for the impending clash.
The creature's eyes glowed with an unnatural light as it shuffled closer, its low moans sending shivers down their spines. They were facing a revenant—an undead creature driven by an unrelenting thirst for vengeance. Its appearance here in the desert was no coincidence; they were certain that Malakar's influence was at play.
Their resolve unshaken, the party readied themselves for battle. The winds carried the tension of the moment as they prepared to face the first of Malakar's minions on the path to uncovering the truth and stopping the necromancer's sinister plans.

The revenant in itself was on the other side as an old dried up desert well that was surrounded by pillars, Leena ran to hide between a pillar as she unsheathed her rapier, the blade reflecting the light of the scorching sun above.
Qasim decided to do the same, as the revenant had a huge bow on his back and this brought back somber memories. "Why aren't we using bows ?" Qasim suddenly exclaimed, "I'm bad with bow, don't you remember our encounter with the skeletons before we got the Sunfire Scarab ?" Leena responded. "Oh yeah that was pretty terrible not gonna lie." Qasim said playfully.
As this friendly banter was going on, a huge roar was heard as Garhan was suddenly shrouded in flames, his greataxe's blade becoming red as his eyes became two spheres of pure fire. "You !" Garhan exclaimed, pointing is greataxe at the revenant who was silently approaching, drawing his greatsword. "Come fight Garhan the mighty, the scorching flame of the desert, the flamboyant slayer, the mighty... I'm out of ideas, to battle, and victory !" And with that, he ran straight towards the enemy.
The revenant approached Garhan, holding his greatsword menacingly, and as it approached, its face began to twist in a horrid form willed with pure hatred and evil.
Soniah arrived behind another pillar, the one between Qasim's and Leena's. "So what are we doing ?" She said. "We charge apparently." Qasim responded, both amazed and weirdly amused by Garhan's antics.
Leena dashed towards the revenant and as Garhan was about to clash with it, Leena slid under both of them and stabbed the revenant in the back, her blade managing to damage it. Qasim jumped into the fray, doing a flip in the air before sundering the foe with a blade surrounded in golden flames. As he got next to Garhan, he noticed that the heat was very strong, making him immediately start to sweat.
Garhan screamed before his greataxe almost managed to hit his foe, but the revenant unexpectedly dodged out of the way at the last second before slashing Garhan with his greatsword across the chest, and while that happened, the revenant seemed to become stronger, as if it was feeding of the damage it dealt to Garhan. It then seemed to smile as two dog-shaped skeletons appeared out of nowhere, pouncing towards the party. They were partly blue and had some sorts of spiked tendrils coming out of their back.
The first of these dogs pounced on Qasim, jaw open and spiked tendrils at the ready, but Qasim managed to completely dodge out of the way. Soniah suddenly appeared in the middle of the fray, conjuring a blast of divine light that healed Garhan. However, the undead creatures around didn't seem too much affected, it seemed they were more resilient than the skeletons Malakar had previously sent, meaning he was probably feeling threatened by the party, this somehow gave courage to Qasim as he suddenly smiled, a smile full of purpose.
As she stepped back in fear, the other dog-like skeleton pounced on her, but Garhan pushed her out of the way while keeping his literally flaming gaze fixated on the revenant, this showed Qasim how skilled and aware of his surroundings Garhan was in combat.
Leena tried another strike at the revenant but he backhanded her, almost making her fall on the ground while clashing against both Garhan and Qasim. Qasim kicked the weird dog thing while striking true with his scimitar, piercing the revenant's chest as it screeched, opening his jaw in an unnatural way as golden flames were starting to form inside of his form.
"And now you burn." Garhan said, striking it while his greataxe suddenly erupted with flames. His crimson flames mixing with Qasim's golden flames creating a two-colored fire that was consuming the revenant.
The revenant suddenly swung his greatsword in a wide arc, slashing both Garhan and Qasim, the latter almost getting sent towards the nearby crumbling pillar as the undead dog that he just kicked came back, almost managed to bite him and almost managing to rend part of his arm with his spiked tendrils, as it did that, Qasim caught a glimpse of something strange on both the fangs and the spikes of these dogs. "Poison ! Don't let those dog hit you !" He screamed.
"Go back to the shadows from where thou came !" Soniah screamed as another beam of light was released, lightly healing Garhan and Qasim but most importantly: destroyed the revenant, making it completely disappear and seemingly harming the eldritch dog skeleton closest to her. But it didn't seem to quite like that as he sunk his fangs into one of Soniah's leg, making her scream as one of its tendrils struck her across the chest.
She fell on her knees and suddenly tried grasping something in front of her that didn't exist, as she instantly began to hallucinate while a strong effect of nausea took over her, at the same time the Sunfire Scarab activated, healing her deep wounds while Leena arrived behind the abomination and struck it with her rapier.
The other dog was suddenly hit by Qasim's dance and Garhan almost managed to push back the dog that was attacking Soniah but didn't really succeed. These were both very sturdy and dangerous, probably a creation of Malakar, mixing both undead and aberrations.
Qasim kept his battle dance going, weaving between the striked of the dog he was single-handedly facing as his companions were surrounding the other one, except for Soniah who looked like she was about to throw up on the floor with her pupils being extremely dilated.
The dog next to her was trying to fend off the two attackers who kept harassing him, but they managed to deflect every single strike of its tendrils and dodging every attempt at a bite with care. As Qasim was also deflecting every tendril, he managed to strike the foul creature with a very strong hit, which cut off one of its tendrils, but he was eventually bitten, and as he kicked away the creature, he suddenly pause.
Qasim was walking towards something, everything was blurry. Was that his blood. Was something hitting him. Was it his own fist that just crashed against his skull ? He was too dizzy to comprehend what was happening as the sand in front of him started breathing, changing colors, being surrounded by a red and green spectral hue. Everything was moving and he was starting to feel sick.
The dog suddenly pounced on Garhan's back as he was about to finish off the other one, he managed to get him off of his back but got scratched by a tendril. For a second he felt dizzy but shook is head and everything seemed right. The amount of poison injected probably wasn't enough to affect someone his size that easily.
As Soniah tried to get up, the hallucinations seemed to vanish after a few seconds but she was still feeling too sick to do much of anything. But she saw a horrifying scene unfolding, she was secretely hoping that this was another hallucination but the dog next to her suddenly jumped towards Garhan's neck, grabbing it with its jaw and making him fall down, Garhan's flames were suddenly snuffed out as consciousness left him. Nobody knew if he was still alive or not, but this seemed serious.
Leena tried to strike the creature but her blade got parried by a tendril lashing out towards her. As Qasim was on the ground, the hallucinations seemed to be dying down, as he saw Garhan on the ground, he immediately touched the Sunfire Scarab and golden flames started mending his wounds, meaning he was alive as the Sunfire Scarab can only affect the living.
The dog in front of him tried to strike as usual, but even in his sickened state, Qasim weaved around, dodging all of it. As this was happening, Soniah started feeling better, drops of sweat were slowly dripping off her face but the intense sickening poison was already wearing off. She resumed her holy chanting, holding her amulet close to her heart, as the situation seemed dire.
Leena was still dodging some of the attacks, but as a tendril scratched her, she started being destabilized. She instantly began hallucinating. Qasim got up, the poison finally leaving his system as he brandished his scimitar, he held the Sunfire Scarab to continue healing Garhan, which made him regain consciousness. Taking one look around him, Garhan as an experienced fighter immediately understood the situation and got up, taking his greataxe into his hands.
As Garhan got up, stumbling, he seemed fatigued, totally out of breath, even so he swung his greataxe and totally mangled the eldritch dog, killing it. The other one lashed out at Qasim who parried its tendril attack and with a careful and swift ripose, managed to dispose of the other one in sync with Garhan.

As they all gather after this horrifying encounter, all harmed in some way, they realize how dangerous some of Malakar's minions are and all take a moment at this old well to rest. "Let's make camp here, and have someone watch at all times. We have to rest before venturing further." Qasim said to the group while sitting down, his back against a crumbled pillar. He put his hand onto his forehead and exhaled deeply. "We almost got killed here, all of us." As he said that, the poison started subsiding from Leena's system as she finally managed to get up, looking pale and sickly.

As the group settled down to rest, the gravity of their recent encounter weighed heavily on them. The desert sun had begun its descent, casting long shadows over the ancient ruins. Fatigue, wounds, and the lingering effects of the poison made their predicament all too clear—they were in the midst of a dangerous and unpredictable battle against Malakar's forces.
Qasim's words hung in the air, a reminder of the close call they had just experienced. The well was a somber refuge, surrounded by crumbling pillars that bore witness to the passage of time and the echoes of battles long past. Soniah administered healing magic to ease their pain, and a sense of camaraderie enveloped the group as they gathered their strength.
Garhan sat with his back against a pillar, catching his breath. "We need to be more cautious," he grunted, his voice still carrying the remnants of his fiery battle cry. "These creatures are no joke."
Leena nodded in agreement, her hand gently touching the scratch left by the tendril on her arm. "We're facing an enemy who's willing to use any means to stop us. We need to stay one step ahead."
Soniah closed her eyes, her face serene as she continued to channel healing energy. "We must be vigilant, but also united. Our enemy seeks to divide and conquer. Our strength lies in our unity."
Qasim gazed out at the horizon, his mind racing with thoughts of the necromancer's machinations. "And we can't forget what's at stake. We're not just fighting for ourselves, but for the safety of the entire region."
As the evening sun painted the desert sky with hues of orange and pink, the party shared a moment of quiet reflection. The ancient ruins held the secrets they sought, but they also held danger beyond measure. Resting in the shadow of the well, they steeled themselves for the challenges that lay ahead and the battles that awaited them on the path to confront the necromancer Malakar.

While the rest of the party is resting and Qasim is keeping watch, he will look out, far beyond the horizon. His stare being different from what it was two months ago, a he was then just a sword for his goddess and a humble knowledge-seeker. But now, things were different. Malik and Ramiel were dead, two companions. Of course he had Garhan and Soniah now, but the bard's incessant banter and Ramiel's obsession over his guisarme were things that Qasim missed. After a while, Leena woke up as it was her turn to keep watch over the camp. "Stay vigilant, wake me up if anything is wrong." Qasim told her as she nodded, then Qasim starting drifting slowly towards slumber.

As Qasim stared out into the distance, his thoughts wandered through the recent trials and losses they had faced. The weight of responsibility lay heavily on his shoulders, and the absence of Malik and Ramiel echoed in his heart. He had grown, changed, and become something more than he once was—a leader, a protector, and a beacon of hope for his companions.
The vast expanse of the desert before him seemed to mirror the uncertainty of their journey. The wind whispered ancient secrets, and the shifting sands carried the echoes of battles fought long ago. Qasim's gaze was resolute, his determination unwavering. He could feel the threads of destiny weaving around him, guiding him toward a confrontation with Malakar that was both inevitable and perilous.
As the sun dipped below the horizon, Qasim handed over the watch to Leena, their trust in each other unspoken but understood. He settled down, finding a comfortable spot to rest, and soon his mind was adrift in slumber, his consciousness slipping into the realm of dreams.
Qasim found himself standing in a brilliant, sunlit landscape. The surroundings were bathed in warm hues of gold and amber, and a gentle breeze carried the scent of blooming flowers. He stood in a lush oasis, the water reflecting the sun's rays like liquid gold. Before him stood a figure, radiant and ethereal, clad in flowing robes of white and gold.
The figure's voice was like a soothing melody as they spoke, "Qasim, seeker of truth and champion of light, you have shown great resolve in the face of darkness. Your path is one of balance, where the interplay of light and shadow guides your steps."
Qasim's heart swelled with a mixture of awe and determination. "Who are you?" he asked, though he felt an inexplicable connection to the figure.
"I am an embodiment of the forces that guide your journey," the figure replied, their presence exuding wisdom and grace. "In your quest to confront Malakar, you must remember that true strength lies in embracing both the light and the shadow within you. The Eye of Twilight represents more than just power—it represents the delicate equilibrium between opposing forces."
As the figure spoke, Qasim felt a surge of energy within him, a realization that he was not alone in this struggle. He closed his eyes, embracing the warmth and light that surrounded him, committing this moment to memory.
In the blink of an eye, the landscape transformed. Qasim found himself in a place of darkness, where shadows danced and concealed hidden truths. He stood within the depths of a sprawling labyrinth, the walls adorned with intricate symbols and enigmatic patterns.
A voice, somber and enigmatic, echoed through the darkness. "Qasim, seeker of truths hidden in the shadows, your journey is fraught with mysteries and choices. The path you tread is beset by illusions and veiled intentions."
Before him appeared a cloaked figure, their face obscured in shadow. "You seek the Eye of Twilight to thwart Malakar's plans," the figure continued. "But remember that power can be both a boon and a curse. Beware of what you might unleash, for the boundaries between light and shadow are fragile."
Qasim's heart raced as he absorbed the cryptic words. "Who are you?" he asked, trying to discern the identity of the figure.
"I am a reflection of the choices that lie before you," the figure replied, their presence shrouded in intrigue. "In your pursuit of knowledge and justice, you must navigate the intricate web of secrets. The Eye of Twilight holds the key to unraveling the necromancer's designs, but also the potential to plunge your world into darkness."
As the figure's words settled in, Qasim felt a mixture of uncertainty and determination. He closed his eyes, embracing the shadows around him, sensing the hidden truths that lay just beyond his grasp.
As Qasim's dream took him through the realms of light and shadow, he found himself standing at the crossroads of his journey. The duality of his quest, the delicate balance between power and responsibility, became clearer than ever. The Eye of Twilight represented not only a source of immense power but also a choice that could shape the fate of their world.
As his dream continued, Qasim's consciousness began to stir, gradually pulling him back to the waking world. He opened his eyes, his thoughts still caught between the lessons of light and shadow. The night air was cool, and the desert sky was illuminated by a canopy of stars, each one a reminder of the countless possibilities that lay ahead.

Qasim will wake up, stare at the fading dark of the night sky as dawn approaches, turn to his companions to see if one of them is awake.

As Qasim's eyes fluttered open, he found himself staring at the fading darkness of the night sky. The first hints of dawn were beginning to paint the horizon with soft shades of pink and orange. He shifted his gaze to his companions, wondering if any of them were already awake.
To his surprise, Soniah was already up, sitting cross-legged near the remnants of their campfire. She seemed lost in thought, her eyes fixed on the flames that danced and crackled before her. The gentle light of the fire illuminated her features, casting a warm glow on her face. She appeared serene, as if contemplating something of great significance.
Qasim's quiet observation went unnoticed by Soniah, who remained absorbed in her own introspection. The desert's stillness was only interrupted by the soft crackling of the fire and the distant whispers of the wind through the dunes. The world seemed to hold its breath, as if awaiting the next chapter in their journey.
With the promise of a new day on the horizon and the weight of their quest ever present, Qasim couldn't help but reflect on the dreams that had guided him through the night. As he considered the lessons of light and shadow, the delicate balance between power and responsibility, he knew that their path forward would be both challenging and uncertain. Yet, with his companions by his side and the threads of fate guiding them, he felt a renewed sense of determination.

"Hey Soniah" Qasim will say, slowly sitting next to the campfire as well, plunging his scimitar in the embers to bring them towards what wood was left to restart a proper fire. "How are you holding up, i thought you were going to die back there." He'll say looking at her with a slight worried expression "Thanks you for healing all of us by the way, my artifact was out of healing power at the end of that fight".

As Qasim settled beside the campfire and began tending to its fading embers, Soniah looked up from her reverie and offered him a warm smile. The flames flickered and danced, casting playful shadows on the sand around them. She appreciated his concern and the genuine camaraderie he showed, even in the midst of their trials.
"I'm holding up better than expected, Qasim," she replied softly, her voice carrying a serene tone. "I've faced many challenges in my journey as a cleric of Milani. While Malakar's minions are formidable foes, they cannot extinguish the flame of hope that burns within us."
She observed as Qasim worked to revive the fire, a small and grateful smile playing on her lips. His care for their well-being was evident, and she felt a sense of kinship with him and the others in their party.
"I'm glad I could offer my healing gifts when they were needed," she continued, her gaze turning back to the flames. "The power of the Sunfire Scarab is remarkable, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to work alongside it to mend our wounds."
With a reflective pause, she added, "It's moments like these that remind me of the link between light and shadow. We face darkness, but we also carry within us the potential to bring light and healing to the world."
As the fire began to crackle and burn brighter, the first rays of the desert sun broke over the horizon, casting a warm and golden glow across the landscape. The dunes were kissed by the morning light, revealing their intricate contours and textures.
"I've heard the stories of your journey," Soniah said, turning her gaze back to Qasim. "You and your companions have faced great trials, and the threads of fate have woven you together for a purpose. I believe that purpose extends beyond mere chance or circumstance. We're on a path that seeks to restore balance, to stand against the forces that would tip the scales toward darkness."
With a sense of determination in her eyes, she met Qasim's gaze. "In moments of doubt or uncertainty, remember that you're not alone in this. We have each other, and we carry the hopes of many who believe in a better future."
As the fire blazed with renewed vitality, its warmth and light seemed to mirror the spirit of their conversation. Amidst the vast expanse of the desert, Qasim and Soniah shared a moment of connection and understanding, bound by their shared purpose and the journey that lay ahead.
Chapter Nine - Fleeting Memories
As dawn will break the starry night sky, Qasim will say, with a saddened tone: "Soniah, please don't die, the only one i want to see dead, the only person, the only thing i ever wished death upon, is Malakar... I never saw him, yet my rage and disdain for him is ever growing. It's because of him that Malik and Ramiel are dead. It's because of him that some innocent citizens of the town i was born in are dead. It's because of him that we all almost died yesterday."
Soniah listened to Qasim's words, her expression a mixture of understanding and compassion. As the first light of dawn painted the desert landscape in soft hues, his words seemed to carry the weight of their shared experiences and the losses they had endured. She could sense the depth of his emotions, the anger, grief, and determination intertwined within his voice.
"I hear the pain in your words, Qasim," she responded gently, her gaze steady and empathetic. "The journey we're on is not without its trials and sacrifices. Malakar's darkness has cast a long shadow over many lives, and it's only natural for you to feel anger and sorrow for those who have suffered because of his actions."
She paused for a moment, allowing her words to settle in the air between them. The desert wind rustled the sands around the camp, a reminder of the world's constant motion and change.
"Your desire for justice is a noble one," Soniah continued. "To wish for the end of a threat that has caused so much pain is understandable. But remember, our pursuit of justice doesn't have to consume us entirely. We must find a balance between seeking retribution and holding onto the light that guides us forward."
With a thoughtful expression, she met his eyes once again. "Malakar thrives on darkness and chaos. By carrying our anger and hatred, we risk becoming entangled in the very web he weaves. Instead, let us channel our emotions into a force that drives us to protect and heal. Let the memory of those we've lost fuel our determination to prevent further suffering."
As the sun's rays painted the desert in vibrant colors, Soniah's gaze seemed to hold a glimmer of hope, a spark of resilience that refused to be extinguished.
"We cannot bring back the lives that were taken, but we can honor their memory by ensuring that their sacrifices were not in vain," she said softly. "Let their stories be woven into the fabric of our journey, and let their light guide us as we navigate the challenges ahead."
With those words, she placed a comforting hand on Qasim's shoulder, offering him a supportive presence amidst the vast expanse of the desert. The morning sun continued to rise, casting its warm embrace over the campsite and illuminating the path that lay before them.

"I want him dead, but i don't know if even with this anger i feel i could take a life." Qasim says, still looking into the horizon as the sun rises atop the sandy dunes. "I can free the undead from their curse of necromancy, but i never took the life of the living, this goes against everything my parents ever taught me, the teachings of Sarenrae." Qasim will stand up, look at Leena and Garhan as they sleep. "I hope to protect them, and to protect you, i wish i could save everyone but i know deep down, it's a foolish dream. Perhaps if i was the most powerful mage of Golarion i could save everyone, but even then i doubt i really could. So for just a swordsman, saving everyone ? Sorry, i shouldn't think about that too much, we shouldn't stay here too long, Malakar probably knows looking for him."

Soniah listened to Qasim's words with a somber understanding, acknowledging the weight of his internal struggle. As he spoke of his conflict between his desire for justice and his commitment to the teachings of Sarenrae, she could sense the depth of his moral dilemma. The morning sun painted the desert landscape with hues of warmth and hope, but the path they were treading remained complex and challenging.
"You carry a heavy burden, Qasim," she said softly, her voice carrying a sense of empathy. "Your commitment to your beliefs and your desire to protect those around you are both admirable and challenging aspects of who you are. It's not easy to reconcile the call for justice with the teachings of compassion and non-violence."
She stood alongside him, gazing at the horizon as well. The sun's ascent marked the beginning of a new day, a fresh chance to continue their journey and confront the darkness that threatened the world.
"Remember that the strength of your heart and your convictions will guide you," Soniah continued. "We each have our own path to follow, and the choices we make define us. While we may not be able to save everyone, the impact we have on those whose lives we touch is immeasurable."
She turned to look at him, her expression gentle yet resolute. "Your desire to protect your companions and to free the undead from their torment shows the depth of your character. Every action you take, every kindness you show, contributes to a world that is better than the one Malakar seeks to create."
As Qasim mentioned the need to keep moving, she nodded in agreement. "You're right. We mustn't linger here for too long. The danger of Malakar's pursuit is ever-present, and our journey is far from over. Let us continue forward, drawing strength from each other and from the light that guides us."
With that, she turned her gaze to the slumbering forms of Leena and Garhan, a silent reminder of the bonds they had formed amidst their shared trials.
"Rest assured, Qasim, that you are not alone on this path," Soniah said, her tone filled with assurance. "We stand together, united by our purpose, and we will face whatever challenges lie ahead as a team."

As the group wakes up, they will start crossing the desert towards the ruins that Rashid spoke of.

The group set out across the desert, their footsteps leaving imprints in the shifting sands as they journeyed toward the ancient ruins that held the promise of answers. The sun beat down upon them, its warmth intermingling with the whispers of the desert winds. The landscape stretched before them, vast and unforgiving, yet also filled with a sense of mystery and possibility.
Qasim led the way, his steps resolute as he walked with a sense of purpose. Beside him, Soniah walked with determination, her faith bolstering her spirits despite the challenges that lay ahead. Garhan's fiery presence burned brightly, a reminder of the strength within him that was ready to confront any foe. And Leena, her gaze steady, navigated the terrain with her usual grace, her rapier ready to defend against any threat.
As they traveled, the ruins gradually came into view, emerging from the sands like a testament to the passage of time. Crumbled structures and weathered stone bore witness to the stories of a civilization long past. The air carried an air of ancient secrets, and the weight of history seemed to settle upon their shoulders.
The group approached the ruins cautiously, their senses heightened for any signs of danger. They moved among the remnants of walls and columns, the ghosts of a once-thriving city that now lay silent and forgotten. The wind carried echoes of whispers from another era, and the shifting sands seemed to hold the secrets of ages gone by.
Qasim's heart raced with a mixture of anticipation and uncertainty. The ruins held the promise of knowledge, of answers that could shed light on the mysteries they sought to unravel. But they also held potential dangers, both known and unknown, lurking in the shadows.
"Stay vigilant, everyone," Qasim whispered to his companions, his voice carrying a sense of caution. "We must be prepared for anything as we explore these ruins. Let's move forward carefully and together."
With their resolve unshaken, the group stepped deeper into the heart of the ancient ruins.

Does anyone knows something about this ruined city ? Garhan rolled a 12 on his knowledge (history) check, Soniah rolled a 9, Qasim rolled a critical success and Leena rolled a 19.

As the group ventured deeper into the ruins, their curiosity about the ancient city grew. Garhan, with his fiery spirit and penchant for adventure, tried to recall any tidbits he might have heard about such places from his travels. While his memory was not particularly detailed, he vaguely remembered hearing that ruins like these often held the remnants of once-great civilizations, filled with artifacts, secrets, and potential dangers.
Soniah, despite her strong connection to divine knowledge, didn't seem to have much familiarity with the specifics of this particular city. Her studies might have focused more on religious texts and the teachings of her faith rather than historical records.
Qasim, however, felt a deep connection to the ruins. His critical success on the knowledge (history) check brought forth memories from his childhood and his studies. He remembered hearing stories of a city named Keshrama, a place that was rumored to have held great knowledge and mystical artifacts. This city was said to have been lost to time, its secrets hidden within the sands of the desert. While the tales were often shrouded in legend, Qasim's knowledge hinted that these ruins might indeed be the remnants of the ancient city of Keshrama.
Leena's keen instincts and inquisitive nature led her to recall more concrete information about the ruins. Her knowledge of history, while not as comprehensive as Qasim's, provided her with some details about the city's significance. Keshrama was once a hub of learning and magic, known for its libraries, arcane academies, and enigmatic scholars. It was a place where seekers of knowledge and power came to study, debate, and uncover the mysteries of the world. Over time, however, the city's prominence waned, and it eventually fell into decline and obscurity.
As the group pressed forward, their combined knowledge provided them with a better understanding of the ruins they were exploring. The city of Keshrama, now lost in the annals of history, held the promise of insights into the necromancer's motives, the Eye of Twilight, and perhaps even the means to stop the looming threat. The echoes of a bygone era reverberated through the crumbling structures, inviting them to uncover the truths that lay hidden within the heart of the ruins.

The group will start exploring the ruins and make perception checks: Soniah rolled a 20, Qasim rolled a 9, Leena rolled a 6 (she has however a +2 bonus to detect traps), and Garhan rolled a 15.

As the group delved deeper into the ruins of Keshrama, their senses were heightened as they kept a watchful eye for any signs of danger or hidden treasures. Soniah's acute awareness allowed her to notice subtle details that might have escaped the others. She spotted faint glimmers of light filtering through cracks in the walls, hinting at the presence of something reflective or metallic further within.
Garhan's vigilant nature also paid off as he spotted what seemed to be a faint trail of disturbed dust on the ground. It appeared to lead to a nearby corridor, suggesting recent movement through that area.
Qasim and Leena, however, were preoccupied with different thoughts. Qasim's mind was clouded by the weight of their mission and the memories of their recent battles. His focus wavered as he contemplated the daunting task ahead.
Leena, despite her training, seemed to be momentarily distracted by the grandeur of the ruins themselves. The intricacies of the architecture, the engravings on the walls, and the majesty of what was once a bustling city captured her attention, momentarily causing her to overlook more practical concerns.
As Soniah and Garhan exchanged glances, it became evident that they were the most attuned to their surroundings at the moment. Soniah motioned towards the corridor with the disturbed dust, silently suggesting that they follow this potential clue. With cautious steps, the group advanced further into the ruins, leaving behind the echoes of the past as they ventured into the unknown.

The group will head inside of the corridor, silently drawing their weapon and walking discreetly, making stealth checks, Soniah rolled an 18, Qasim rolled a 5, Garhan rolled a -1 and Leena rolled a 29.

As the group entered the corridor, they made a concerted effort to move silently and remain inconspicuous. Leena, well-versed in stealth and agility, moved with almost supernatural grace. Her steps were soft and deliberate, allowing her to navigate the terrain without making a sound. Her keen senses allowed her to anticipate even the faintest creak of floorboards or rustling of debris.
Soniah, though not as naturally stealthy as Leena, still managed to move quietly and avoid drawing attention to herself. She took care to avoid any loose rubble that might betray their presence with a misstep.
On the other hand, Qasim's focus seemed to waver, his mind preoccupied with the weight of their mission and the recent battles. His footsteps were unintentionally heavier, and a small pebble he inadvertently kicked clattered against the stone floor, creating an unexpected noise.
Garhan, true to his fiery nature, struggled with the concept of stealth and just walked in a straight line in the corridor, not caring much for stealth as he held his greataxe firmly.
Leena, seeing the difficulty that some of her companions were having, subtly gestured for them to follow her lead. She slowed her pace slightly, allowing the others to adjust and match her steps more closely. With her guidance, the group managed to continue down the corridor, hopeful that their efforts at stealth would be enough to avoid any potential threats that lay ahead.

The party will continue their exploration of the ruins until they find something or something happens.

As the group continued their exploration of the ancient ruins, the corridor gradually led them deeper into the heart of the structure. The air felt heavy with history, and the faint echo of their footsteps seemed to reverberate through the long-forgotten passageways.
After a while, the corridor opened up into a larger chamber. The walls were adorned with faded murals, depicting scenes of long-lost battles, triumphs, and rituals. Dust danced in the air, stirred by their presence. In the center of the chamber stood a stone pedestal, upon which rested an old and weathered tome.
Soniah's eyes widened as she recognized the significance of the tome. "This... this is a sacred text," she whispered, her voice filled with awe. "It holds knowledge of ancient rituals and practices. If we can decipher its contents, it might provide us with insights into Keshrama's history and the source of the necromantic activity."
Leena's curiosity got the better of her, and she carefully approached the pedestal to examine the tome. She traced her fingers over the worn pages, her eyes scanning the script. "It's written in an old dialect," she remarked. "I'll need some time to decipher it fully, but there's definitely valuable information here."
Qasim, ever watchful, surveyed their surroundings as the others focused on the tome. He noticed that the chamber's walls seemed to be covered in a thin layer of dust, but there were distinct areas where the dust appeared to have been disturbed recently. Something had been moving around in this chamber, and it might not have been them.
"Be cautious," Qasim warned, his voice low. "We're not alone here."
Just as he said that, a scraping sound echoed through the chamber, followed by a guttural growl. From the shadows emerged a group of skeletal figures, their bones creaking as they moved. It seemed that the party's presence had disturbed these undead guardians, and they were now advancing menacingly.
Leena, Qasim, Garhan, and Soniah instinctively readied their weapons, forming a defensive circle around the pedestal. The air grew tense as the skeletal figures closed in, their lifeless eyes fixed on the intruders. It was clear that a battle was inevitable, and the party braced themselves for another confrontation in the heart of the ancient ruins.

As these blueish skeletons started moving towards the group they recognized something: the skeletal dogs they fought the day before had the same taint to their bones. All of them were wielding glaives and wearing ancient Osirian armor. They were four, one of them was decorated and had some kind of glowing magical amulet. As all four of them seemed to appear from the walls of the ruins, all members of the group stood together at the center of the room next to the pedestal.
Leena was the first to act, quickly running towards one of them and hitting it with her rapier, it was hard to tell if that blow was effective or not, but at least it hit the target. As they started slowly moving, being visibly encumbered by their heavy armor, Qasim dashed to the most decorated one, whose glaive was lined with gold and ornate jewelry.
He tried hitting it, but the armor was simply too thick to but cut through, as a clash of metal was heard throughout the room. The presumed leader of the skeletons grabbed his glaive, and within the blink of an eye, Qasim had a knee on the ground as an enormous quantity of blood started to pour down the ground. These enemies were unlike anything they faced until now, and they were probably going to die...
Leena managed to narrowly avoid a strike from the one she first attacked as another had placed itself behind her, she was now flanked on both sides by these skeletal warriors. Meanwhile, at the center of the room, Garhan, seeing Qasim almost felled by a single strike, was suddenly stricken by rage, a rage which he knew all too well as his eyes started burning and flames appeared all around him.
"This looks like a proper fight." Garhan suddenly ran to aid the surrounded Leena, but as he started running, got struck by a glaive from a nearby skeleton. Almost losing his footing, he managed to pull through and charged the skeleton who snuck his way behind Leena.
His greataxe found its target, hitting the skeleton in the head, breaking its skull in half, but the skeleton with a half skull was still standing and ready to fight. He turned to Garhan has a rapier blade flew towards his skull, dealing more damage, not killing it. As Leena found herself cornered between those two glaives, a sudden flashing light destroyed one of them and damaged the other as Garhan's wound started closing itself. "Soniah !" Leena screamed with joy. "Go help Qasim, he's in danger ! We'll handle this one !" Garhan told her as she simply nodded.
Qasim was trying desperately to strike the skeleton in front of him, but none of his attacks managed to hit him, as the Sunfire Scarab started glowing, some of Qasim's wounds closed but the damage dealt by this skeleton in particular was very dangerous, Qasim had to deal with him now. As the skeleton's glaive struck him again, Qasim started backing off, blood pouring from his mouth, for the first time in a very long time, he was outmatched.
Memories came flooding inside of his mind. Qasim's father, the only person to have bested him in sword fighting while he trained him. "Not like that Qasim, you're letting your left side defenseless if you strike like that, angle your body so that it accompanies the strike, and keep the edge of your blade aligned." He said things like that a lot, Qasim wasn't particularly talented at first. Until he taught himself his own style by mixing the knowledge he found in an old tome and his father's sword dance.
Qasim always stayed humble about it, but he always won friendly duels, and the few life or death battles he had in his life were in the last few months, and not once was he fully bested, he knew he wasn't extremely strong but he at least thought he was good. But in the face of a real strong enemy, he was starting to panic, lose his footing, make the mistakes he never made since his father taught him how to fight properly.
All of his training became useless as fear overtook him, his breathing uneven and his moves began to become sloppy and rushed.
On the other side of the battlefield, Leena was pierced through the shoulder by a glaive, winced in pain but tried to stay focused as she realized that the enemy they were fighting had a weak point: its speed. At least for the one she was fighting as their captain, which she did not notice while she was concentrated on her side of the battlefield, was a very fast hitting opponent.
Garhan saw a skeleton approaching Soniah, he charged towards it and pushed it with its shoulder, getting him away from her, he took a look at her and told her: "Quickly now, go help Qasim !" She took a look back at Leena who managed to get her opponent to the ground by tripping him, she looked at Garhan who was pushing his skeleton towards the wall, and then she saw the bloodied Qasim, desperately fighting for his survival.
She started running towards Qasim, hoping that everything would be alright for the others. Qasim tried to strike again but totally forgot his defense, just like what happened when he trained using wooden swords with his father, the glaive violently struck its left side. Qasim's scimitar was lowered as he started stumbling backwards.
As Garhan was pushing his skeleton, he got violently struck and started to cough up blood as his belly had been pierced by the glaive which was now being twisted, revealing flaming blood that started to give the glaive's blade a red taint.
At the same time, Qasim took a blow on the head from the blunt part of the glaive as his opponent started spinning it around with deadly grace and precision. And on the other side, a splatter of blood decorated one of the wall as Leena had just got slashed by her opponent, being very close to falling into unconsciousness... Or death.
Garhan screamed from both rage and pain as he swung his greataxe, violently hitting his opponent in a clash of metal and flames, greatly damaging his target while Leena managed to hit her skeleton, who was almost not moving anymore, any blow would suffice to end it now, as she mustered the strength to strike one last time, she almost fell over from blood loss as she realized that she was in the same situation: any blow could lead to her end. She stood in front of her opponent, the first one to hit the other would win this duel.
A loud noise was heard on the battlefield as a radiant beam formed, healing a small part of Qasim's wounds while totally not affecting the skeleton, which seemed to be protected by some kind of abjuration spell as the light around him was deflected by a sudden blue energy crackling around him.
As Qasim saw that he was still on the verge on dying, he suddenly focused again, the healing from Soniah wasn't that great right now, but it reminded him of the conversation they shared while sitting near the campfire, this gave him purpose, this gave Qasim courage. He jumped while his blade drew an arc towards its target, which parried the attack, but that parry wasn't as flawless as before, this time, Qasim almost managed to hit his foe.
But as a payback, he got hit really hard, and all of the recent healing was suddenly undone, as at the same time, Garhan was hit by his foe, he was also on the verge of losing consciousness.
Leena was still in one of the room's corners, and while her opponent and her both attacked each other, she narrowly avoided the blow while she dispatched of him quickly and in unison, Garhan's foe was crushed by the strongest and mightiest blow that Garhan ever dealth in his life, shattering the tile after his enemy exploded in bone fragments. They both turned to the other side of the battlefield, where only the leader of the guardian skeletons remained and both ran.
As Qasim almost fell on the ground, Soniah approached, Qasim wanted to tell her not to get close but he could not muster the strength to speak. As Soniah's hand touched his own, she muttered a word and a spell was cast, Qasim suddenly felt revitalized, as soon as he could he told Soniah "Run ! Do not get close to this one !" As he tried to attack it with his flaming scimitar drawing golden arcs in the air.
Once again, he almost managed to hit his foe while the Sunfire Scarab was keeping him alive. Without both the scarab and Soniah, he would've already been killed. As his opponent struck him once more, suddenly, the last thing Qasim saw was the blade of the glaive approaching him, then, nothing.
The others all saw it, Qasim's chest being skewered, his eyes quickly becoming devoid of life, his scimitar falling as the golden flame extinguished itself. The glowing flames of the Sunfire Scarab disappearing. A mighty blow. The skeleton withdrew his blade from Qasim's chest and Qasim fell on the tiles as a puddle of blood grew ever so bigger around him.
Garhan arrived, screaming with rage while swinging his axe which was easily parried. Leena was still running, trying to reach them. A beam of light erupted from Soniah, healing both Leena and Garhan. The skeleton shrugged off the positive energy with ease, turned to Soniah, and with one clean swing, she was bleeding out on the ground.
Garhan screamed while relentlessly attacking, missing each time. This enemy had not been hit a single time and almost never missed a strike. As Leena watched the scene unfold, she was thinking about fleeing, fleeing far away from this place, then from Malakar's reach. She could live a better life up north, maybe in Andoran. Seemed like a nice place. As she contemplated fleeing, a tear started running down her face as, she started running towards the skeleton and with a scream of rage, plunged her rapier deep in its back, being the first one to land a hit on it.
It wasn't impossible, they were going to kill this thing, and all would be fine, Qasim and Soniah are probably still alive, right ? Garhan sustained a hit from the glaive, but was still standing, when he realized how strong that enemy was, he stopped screaming, the flames around him intensified as he simply talked: "An honorable death, for a warrior." He took a step back, readying his greataxe, then screamed "For honor, for merit, for Gorum !" His greataxe swinging wide towards the skull of his foe and hitting it, creating cracks all over its body.
Leena saw the opportunity and tried to attack, but her blade was deflected, deviated from her trajectory as the blunt side of the glaive managed to hit her in the jaw, almost knocking her out. But while he was busy attacking her, Garhan struck his skull once more, almost destroying it, that skeleton guardian was barely standing, one last hit was all they needed to fell their foe.
And this last hit, it was Leena who dealt it, with critical precision, precisely on the weakest point that was holding the skeletal body together, she skewered this mighty foe, and as it fell down, a deep silence fell over the room. Leena ran towards the Sunfire Scarab and activated it, the golden flames responded to her touch. She saw that they were two uses left for the day, happy that she will be able to save her friends, she activated it. Soniah was healed and woke up. Then, the flames healed the closest target still alive, Leena felt the warmth of the golden flame mending her wounds.
"No ! Please no, not again." She tried taking Qasim's pulse... Nothing. "It took a mighty warrior to slay a mighty hero. He died fighting honorably." Garhan said sternly. Soniah got closer, putting her hand on Qasim's back, it was soaked with blood, she remembered the conversation she had with him and although she did not know him for long, she was saddened by his death.
But the most affected here was clearly Leena, desperately trying to wake him up. "Qasim ! Please ! Say something !" Garhan but his hand on her shoulder: "Stop it, it won't bring him back. Do not let denial take a hold of you and face reality, he died in battle."

And so, the tale of Qasim, ended. Describe an ending scene fitting for Qasim.

As the world around him seemed to fade, the pain and struggle slipped away. Qasim felt a warmth, a gentle touch of light that enveloped him in a comforting embrace. His eyes blinked open, and before him stood a figure of radiant beauty. It was Sarenrae the Dawnflower, the goddess he had dedicated his life to, whose teachings of compassion, redemption, and hope had guided him through every challenge.
"Qasim," her voice was like a soothing melody, carrying within it the wisdom of ages. "You have fought valiantly, my faithful servant."
Tears welled in Qasim's eyes as he gazed upon the goddess he had revered for so long. "My lady," he whispered, his voice filled with both gratitude and sorrow. "I am sorry... I failed to stop Malakar."
Sarenrae's eyes held a mixture of compassion and understanding. "You faced a darkness that threatened the world, and you gave your all to protect it. Your sacrifice is not in vain, dear Qasim."
As if all the worries of the world were lifted from his shoulders, Qasim felt a sense of peace settle over him. "My friends... they still fight."
Sarenrae nodded gently. "They fight on, carrying your spirit with them. Hope and faith are powerful weapons, and they are not alone."
With a bittersweet smile, Qasim looked back to the battlefield one last time, seeing his friends' determination and the glimmers of hope that burned in their hearts. He knew that his journey had come to an end, but their story was far from over. And as he took Sarenrae's outstretched hand, he felt his worries and sorrows drift away, replaced by a sense of acceptance and serenity.
"Come, Qasim," Sarenrae's voice was a gentle breeze, carrying him forward. "Your journey continues in the afterlife, where you will find rest and eternal light."
As they walked together into the radiant beyond, Qasim held onto the memory of his friends, the battles they had fought, and the hope that he had carried until the very end.
Qasim's Character Sheet

Qasim Al'Hadim
Race: Human
Age: 20
Height: Short
Weight: Light
Nationality: Osirian
Deity: Sarenrae
Skin tone: Olive
Hair: Black, with a small ponytail
Eyes: Golden
Class: Swashbuckler (Whirling Dervish archetype) level 1
Stats: 12 STR, 18 DEX, 12 CON, 9 INT, 10 WIS, 16 CHA
Alignment: Neutral Good
Starting Feats: Weapon Focus (Scimitar), Extra Panache
Traits: Flame of the Dawnflower, Anatomist
In the sun-scorched deserts of Osirion, where the shifting sands hide ancient secrets and forgotten civilizations, there lived a young man named Qasim. Born into a modest family in the bustling city of Sothis, Qasim's life was destined for adventure from the very beginning.
Qasim's parents were devout followers of Sarenrae, the Dawnflower, goddess of redemption, healing, and the sun. From an early age, Qasim was instilled with the teachings of compassion, justice, and the belief that every soul could be rekindled like the sun's light at dawn. His parents, both skilled in the art of swordplay, trained him not just in combat, but in the ways of honor and chivalry.
Growing up in a land rife with antiquities and treasures, Qasim developed a fascination for relics of the past. He often sneaked into ancient tombs and buried ruins, searching for artifacts that could tell the tales of those who had come before. His nimble fingers and quick reflexes allowed him to navigate the treacherous traps and dangers that guarded these forgotten places, earning him a reputation as a daring tomb raider among his peers.
Qasim's life took a fateful turn when he stumbled upon an old, weathered tome within the depths of an ancient pyramid. The book spoke of legendary swordsmen who combined mastery of the blade with flamboyant acrobatics, inspiring awe and admiration among their foes and allies alike. This was the path that called to Qasim's heart – the path of the Swashbuckler. With the tome as his guide, he practiced tirelessly, honing his agility and swordplay until he could seamlessly blend combat and performance into a mesmerizing dance of death.
Yet, Qasim was not content with being a mere treasure hunter or performer. The teachings of Sarenrae burned within him, urging him to use his skills for the greater good. He saw the suffering of the people in the cities and villages, oppressed by both external threats and their own vices. He knew that his abilities could make a difference, that he could be a beacon of hope and redemption in a land often shrouded in darkness.
Equipped with a finely crafted scimitar, adorned with the symbol of Sarenrae, Qasim set out on his journey. He roamed the sun-drenched expanses of Osirion, righting wrongs, aiding the oppressed, and offering a hand of redemption to those who had lost their way. His acrobatics and swordplay were awe-inspiring, his words of encouragement and healing brought solace to the suffering, and his unwavering sense of justice brought hope to the hearts of many.
And so began his path to adventure.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)