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The Coming of the Astar Uln, Part 1

She giggled, her golden hair blowing in the eternal breeze. Silwyn’s eyes danced about the horizon, scanning it for something new. She’d been to the ends of Yurilda and back. She had seen all that was to be seen. Still, she felt mirthful.

Tadis was paying no attention to her, instead gathering berries. For each one they picked, another instantly grew in its place. Red juice stained their teeth and chin, as Tadis made sure to sample each handful. They were content and in their  place.

“Tadis, you know there are other places, don’t you?”

She Gathered her gown in her arms as she sat, the grass tickling her bare legs. Tadis stood and turned to her, parts of the bush clinging to their hair.

“You say this, but I think this is it. All places are the same, really. Besides,” they said, gesturing with their arms to the orchard they were in, “what more could you want than this?”

“Oh, Tadis.” She rolled onto her back now, staring at the clouds that drifted lazily through the sky. “There is always something new! Things we haven’t seen! Doesn’t that bother you?”

“I’ve seen each of these trees grow from a seed. I’ve seen them grow heavy with fruit.”

He pointed to a babbling brook that ran near by.

“I remember when it ran dry. Not a trickle went through it. There was no rain for a long time. You can go to the ends of the land, Silwyn, but you can’t see everything. Where ever you leave, life happens there too.”

“You’re so damn stern. There are other realms, though! Druhaus and Mugan, they’ve shown me in their little glowy ball thing. There are trees and gardens you’ve never seen! Don’t you care?”

“I am what I’ve always been. There are responsibilities. Even if there are other paths, I can not walk them. Mine is here.”

“You know, Tadis, that you use this orchard as an excuse, right? You’ve made your gardens into chains. The wilds are more than what you tend.”

They didn’t answer. Instead, they went back to silently gathering berries. If Silwyn could have still seen their face, she would have seen disapproval, or perhaps doubt. They were shielded by the bushes, however.

“Fine. I’m going to go see the twins. I bet they know the way.”

She stooped behind Tadis, her hand landing gently on their shoulder before moving slowly up to their cheek.

“Oh, Tadis. You’re just so close to it sometimes.”

With that, she stood and strode away, leaving Tadis alone in the orchard.

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Digging in the Sand

Bones. So many bones. How many people have been buried here?

You find a rusty long sword and a small, golden vulture head worth 250 gp.

Red Sand

The sand here on the edge of the sacrificial ground is loose and looks recently churned.

Vulture Priest

The Vulture Priests are the enemy of knowledge and enlightenment. They seek to bring the eternal silence, the end of all things. Decay and obedience is their only god.

Armor Class 6 [13]
Hit Dice 1 (4hp)
Attacks 1 × Beak (1d4 or by weapon)
THAC0 19 [0]
Movement 120’ (40’)
Saving Throws D12 W13 P14 B15 S16 (1)
Morale 8 (11 when at their temple)
Alignment Lawful
XP 10 
Number Appearing 2d4 (1d6 × 10)
Treasure Type D
Immune to the Divine: The spells and powers of clerics and paladins have no effect on them.
Weapons: They frequently use wickedly curved daggers, which they use for sacrificial purposes.
Soul Clouders: There is a 10% chance that any Vulture Priest can use the sleep spell once per day. The targets are still awake, but they are beset by such a deep depression that it has the same effect as sleep. They may only watch what unfurls around them.