|The Verdant Passage|
|Binding||Mass Market Paperback|
|Followed by||The Crimson Legion|
|“||A new creed kindled from despair... Kalak: an immortal sorcerer-king whose evil magic has reduced the majestic city of Tyr to a desolate place of dust, blood, and fear. His thousand-year reign of death is about to end. Banding together to spark a revolution are a maverick statesman, a winsome half-elf slave girl, and a man-dwarf gladiator bred for the arenas. But if the people are to be freed, the mismatched trio of steadfast rebels must look into the face of terror and choose between love and life.||”|
Summary[edit | edit source]
The Verdant Passage tells how a band of heroes formed and overthrew the evil king of Tyr, Kalak, and set in motion events that would shape Athas forever.
Plot[edit | edit source]
In the City State of Tyr, Kalak and his High Templar of the Games, Tithian, inspect the progress of the Ziggurat's construction. When the High Templar in charge of the Ziggurat’s construction finds out of a Veiled Alliance plot Kalak kills her for incompetence and charges Tithian with the completion of its building. In the investigation Tithian’s slave, Sadira, is implicated as an agent of the Veiled Alliance. Feigning that he knew all along, Tithian is also tasked with finding what the Alliance has planned. In the Gladiator Pits Rikus, Neeva, and Anezka find one of their fellow slaves eaten by a Gaj, a creature Tithian had procured as part of the upcoming tournament. The slave pen keeper Boaz did not lift a finger to stop the Gaj causing Rikus to threaten him. In exchange for not beating Rikus and his fellow gladiators for speaking up Boaz challenged Rikus to defeat the Gaj with only singing sticks. In battle with the Gaj, Rikus is injured and its only by Sadira’s magic that he is saved. However, Boaz locks her up until Tithian can arrive as using magic is illegal.
On the farm lands of the noble Agis, Tithian lets his friend and city councilman Agis know that Kalak is up to something and gives him fair warning that the nobles should not interfere if they want to live. Agis is a powerful psionicist, but trained with a druid to better his crops. After showing Tithian his fields it becomes apparent that Tithian didn’t come for a casual visit, Kalak is rounding up all the slaves in Tyr to build the Ziggurat. All but one slave, Caro, is left. Using her magic Sadira manages to escape and meet up with her mentor, Ktandeo, in the Veiled Alliance. She is quickly dismissed about her plans to convince Rikus to assassinate Kalak and told to escape the city. Ignoring her mentor she instead tries to heal Rikus instead getting captured by elven slavers.
Agis and several nobles talk of finding the Veiled Alliance and assisting in an assassination. Their meeting is cut short when a riot breaks out. Agis is saved by Ktandeo who quickly runs away after exposing his magic to Agis.
While on a mission to remove Veiled Alliance traps from the Ziggurat, Tithian and a group of templars discover Kalak’s hidden throne room filled with obsidian objects. Kalak paranoid and convinced by his talking severed heads, Sacha and Wyan, that the group are their to steal or kill him kills all of them except Tithian, who he needs to stop the Veiled Alliance. It is revealed that Caro was recruited by Tithian as a spy to find out if Agis is in contact with them.
Agis and Ktandeo meet in a slave market where Sadira is being sold. Seeing that Ktandeo is anxious to get her Agis out bids him. Agis releases Sadira in good faith to get an audiance with Ktandeo so he can help the Veiled Alliance.
Rikus, Neeva, and Anezka are threatened by Tithian. The Gaj peering into Tithian's mind finds out that Sadira with Agis and that they are in danger becasuse of a spy. Rikus, not knowing who Agis is, escapes the pits with his companions and wanders the Tyrian fields looking for them.
Sadira becomes satisfied that Agis hasn't been tracking her down for the Templars. She convinces Agis to try to get information from Tithian. In a psychic incursion that is too easy Agis discovers that Kalak has obsidian orbs, corridor, throne, and Pyramid. Tithian admits to feeding the information to Agis as he knows he's working with Sadira and the Veiled Alliance, but Kalak is going to kill everyone including Tithian regardless if he helps or not.
Meeting with Ktandeo, Agis and Sadira inform him of Kalak's plot. Templars soon interrupt causing them to retreat into Under Tyr. Ktandeo retreats to the Crimson Shrine, but Agis is not allowed in by the Wraith Crimson Knights due to his lack of a pure heart. Sadira realizes that the Templars have been following them due to a copper coin that Caro planted on Agis. Ktandeo deals with the Templars and Half Giants using his last bit of strength and dying. In his final words he tells Sadira to find Nok, a Halfling Druid, who is finishing the weapon to kill Kalak. Realizing the coin will still give up their position, Sadira throws the coin into the Crimson Shrine hoping to keep Tithian distracted with its undead guardians.
Back at Agis's estate, Rikus and company find Caro and tell him that they are to warn Sadira and Agis of a spy. Caro then lets in Tithian's guards. Quickly the gladiators dispatch the guards. Agis and Sadira jump in to assist. The entire situation is explained and everyone agrees to go to find Nok passed the Ringing Mountains in the Forest Ridge. Using Caro's communication device Agis contacts Tithian who confirms while he is playing both sides he won't stop the group from assassinating Kalak if they have a plan.
At the Ringing Mountains Rikus and Agis come at odds when they realize both of them like Sadira. Their rivalry leads to them almost dying a couple times. Once they reach the Forest Ridge a group of Halfling Hunters discover them and take them to Nok. Anezka leaves the group when she reveals that she was taking them to Nok as tribute to get back into the tribe after her enslavement. After several moments of the halflings almost killing them in tests to see if they are worthy the company is gifted the Heartwood Spear. Nok then informs the group that Kalak is planning on turning into a dragon by sacrificing the life force of 40,000 Tyrian citizens that go to visit the Gladiator Tournament. It explains Kalak's haste in finishing the Ziggurat as the Dragon of Tyr is planning to kill Kalak.
Back in Tyr, Tithian is cooperating with Rikus and company. The gladiators Rikus and Neeva are allowed into the arena and participate in fight, getting them close to Kalak's box. Agis stands with Tithian in his box so he can lead a psychic assault to distract Kalak from Rikus's strike. Sadira tries to get into the noble stands, it ends up in the lower stands to disspell any magic shields Kalak has protecting him. Tithian agrees to help Agis if he becomes the new king.
During the gladiator combat Rikus throws the Heartwood Spear at Kalak wounding him. The Sorcerer King retreats to his secret chamber in the Ziggurat. Following him the company realizes that Kalak is finalizing his transformation into a dragon by eating the obsidian orbs in his room. Tithian smashes the orbs and they kill Kalak. Tithian tests to see if Kalak is dead by plunging the Spear into his head.
Characters[edit | edit source]
Heroes[edit | edit source]
Agis of Asticles: Senator of Tyr; Human Psionicist
Anezka : Halfling Gladiator
Ktandeo : Human Wizard
Neeva : Human Gladiator
Sadira : Half-Elf Sorceress
Rikus : Mul Gladiator
Villians[edit | edit source]
Boaz : Slave Pen Keeper
Kalak : Sorcerer King of Tyr
Tithian: Human Templar
Wyan : Severed Head in possession of Kalak
Other characters[edit | edit source]
Nok : Halfling Druid.