The dust cloud approached too quickly. Knowing they were unable to escape their pursuers, the group turned and prepared to meet them. There were three assassins, armed with long knives and crossbows, the leader of which had ample poison spread over his bolts, which Garidias seemed to take a liking to. They all rode Crodlu, each bearing down upon their foes with a thirst for blood.
Kuoroar! and Tak-tha charged in, with Garidias close behind, and as they moved between the enemies, Gretchan teleported two of the riders off of their mounts. Even though they were still strong and dangerous, without their mobility, the tables turned in favour of the caravan.
Thanks to his resilient skin and the uplifting words of the eladrin warlord, the barbarian shrugged off three mortal blows, and kept harassing the would-be assassins, and by the time Gretchan picked up one of the beasts and used it to club the leader to death, the remaining Crodlu's realised their problem, and turned to flee.
The skirmish had been hard on everyone, even (somehow) the caravan drivers, but Rhotan Vol did not want to pull over just yet. The assassins, clearly part of the Tsalaxa household, were most likely scouts - when they did not report back, Ulrunn would definitely assume the caravan was the cause.
After some deals were made for what little water was left, the decision to move at a forced march towards Tyr was agreed upon, the group made their last decent rest, and then charged, head first, into the harshest five days of their lives. By the end, the Kanks were barely able to pull the caravan, and one driver had not woken since the previous night. All but for Garidias had succumbed to the Sun Sickness, and many were ready to collapse from exhaustion.
Tak-tha, being the only one without a slave marking, entered Tyr with Rhotan; the caravan leader promised rewards, if the party would come and visit him in a few days time. Until then, the thri-kreen purchased much needed supplies, and returned to the others...whilst being trailed by someone short, and fat. He thought.
The shadows turned out to be elves (at least he managed to get the "someone" part right), and they turned out to be more scouts for Ulruun. Hiding behind a crop of rocks, the exhausted party waited to see what would happen, the psion's invisible eye allowing them to watch without being seen.
Soon enough, Ulruun arrived, bringing with him two slave-gladiator-bodyguards and another axe-crazy dwarf. The fighting was vicious and one-sided, so much so that Ulruun watched from a rock. Until, that is, Kuoroar! convinced one of his slaves to turn against him, and join their rebellion.
His remaining men quickly dispatched, the dwarf ran for his life away from the battle, being trailed only by Tak-tha. At first, he tried to keep the monk at bay by tripping him up with his cane; when that didn't work, Ulruun fell back to more basic methods: a dagger deep into Tak-tha's side. By the time the others caught up with the badly-bleeding Kreen, Ulruun was long gone.
The slave, who was still wearing his helmet (made to obscure their identity, prevent them from talking, and make it a whole lot harder to run away), was eventually freed, even though Gretchan burnt a sizeable chunk of skin off of his neck as she broke apart the magical lock. It was then that Kuoroar! could finally get a glimpse of the face that surrounded those familiar eyes. In a raspy voice, Kulo, looked at him and said "Kuoroar!! I am your father!", before embracing his shortly-lost son.
Kulo, went on to explain how his manifested psionic ability had allowed him to fake death long enough for the gladiatorial 'execution' to have passed, and how his craftiness had caught Ulruun's attention. Having lost his prized gladiator, Ulruun thought it humorous to keep his father, and force him to do what he had planned for the son. In truth, he had not expected Kulo, to make it this far, but the half-giant had proven his worth, once the desire to reunite with his son and see Ulruun defeated was there to fuel his training. "Together, we will take him down, Kuoroar!, and we will put an end to his torment!"