War of the Burning Sands
South of Altaruk along the road following the South Fork of the Estuary of the Forked Tongue to Balic stands a mud-brick fortress built over a natural spring. Because surface water is rare anywhere on Athas, Grak’s Pool is a welcome stop for travelers. Grak, a half-elf warrior of some renown, commands a band of mercenaries based here. He allows visitors to set up camp around the outskirts of his fortress, but his water is not free. He charges travelers 5 gp per drink and 20 gp per bath.
Below the fortress and the spring, a foundation of older ruins extends beneath the stony barrens of the surrounding landscape. Spine-chilling roars sometimes echo up from the deep passages below Grak’s Pool. Their awful resonance has been sufficient to keep the mercenaries from venturing too far beneath the fortress.