In the Chapter 1 of Ashes of Athas, the adventurers escaped a purge of the Veiled Alliance in Tyr by a group calling themselves “the True”, rescuing their cell leader, a human woman named Sartaj, in the process. Having escaped slavery, the remnants of the Veiled Alliance made for the trade-town of Altaruk. In Altaruk, the governor of the town, Lord Arisphistaneles (hereafter called Lord Aris), showed himself to be a Veiled Alliance sympathizer. Before the adventurers could
establish themselves in Altaruk, Lord Aris was assassinated, and the adventurers were framed for the murder. They were eventually
able to clear their names, and chased down the true assassin, who was heading to an ancient elemental temple in the badlands
near Altaruk. Inside the temple, the adventurers discovered and foiled a True plot to pervert the temple and elementally empower members of the True, perhaps rescuing an influential resident of Altaruk in the process.
Sartaj, the daughter of Lord Aris, has claimed leadership of Altaruk amid the turmoil of a troubled succession. In Chapter 2, the adventurers worked to stabilize Altaruk, attempting to gain the backing of the merchant houses Wavir, Tomblador, and Rees. Depending on the outcome, they may now have ties to one or more of these Balikite trade houses.
Trouble has not left Altarkuk, and the adventurers raced to stem the rising tide of attacks on caravans coming into and out of
Altaruk, as well as an increase in crime within the town. In AOA2-2, the adventurers discover that someone is organizing slave tribe attacks, probably agents of the True. Depending on their actions they may have won the support of one of these tribes.
The True have been a constant threat, and the adventurers may be eager for a direct confrontation with their nemeses. That wish will soon be granted, as the adventurers prepare for a massed attack on Altaruk.