Gotullihein is a bustling marketplace during the day. At night, our party found it transforms into a veritable circus of fighting bouts, drinking, gambling, and all manner of vices. There are five stages to a night well spent in Gotullihein. Most of the party enjoyed taking people’s money at the promised card game hosted in the saloon Denial. In the gladiatorial Pits of Anger, several of our heroes proved their physical might. Sunflash ended up in a draw with the reigning champion, a boastful Goliath with multicolored braids named Wonbrai, but after the match he made a different kind of move, and they took their physical exertions to a more private venue. Jory was more interested in the enchanted objects on display in the three-tiered marketplace known simply as Bargaining, searching for a new sword. In his haggling, he bumped into a haughty Eladrin calling herself Starswirl the Braided, leaving a bad taste in his mouth. By then, everyone was ready to hit the sack at the D’Presh Inn to recharge for the treacherous journey the next day. Alas, no one made it to the brothel Acceptance.
As fearsome as its reputation may be, few truly understand the nigh-impossibility of traveling through the Thrashing Sands. Obviously, the intense heat is ever-present, baking skin, superheating armor, and parching throats, while at night the empty sky leaves the sand frigid cold. Once one is truly in the desert proper, the winds are so intense the sand leaps up in unpredictable waves, threatening to topple travelers, mounts, and especially top-heavy sleds. The dunes actively shift, foiling even the most skilled navigator. The tedium of the repetitive landscape is distracting at best, maddening at worst. And to top it all off, deadly and void as they may be, these environs still play host to swarms of bloodsuckers seeking to drain one’s vital fluids. In short, fuck deserts.
Partyocalypse managed to hold up though, battening down the hatches, shifting their sled’s load, recounting legends and tales of their exploits past, and using the stars to find their way. Starkad even kept the bugs away with some jerky hung on a stick behind the sled. And so, what others have too often found deadly became mere inconveniences for our heroes, and before too long they finally found something besides sand: a towering bluff of white stone, with huge, featureless statues carved into its face and strange stone mechanisms arrayed before a door. Before heading inside, the party fiddled with these white marble columns, and Sunflash punched one so hard it lit up and released a glowing white scarf covered in golden scales. This proved a useful, independent light source as they pressed forward into the surprisingly cool darkness.