Chapter 02:

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Session Number: 158
Date: Sunday 16 December 2012
Venue: Densial's
PCs & Players:

Ariel Sor12 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Calico Drd12 (Yeran) (kills: none)
Lionel Rgr6/Wiz1/ArcA5 (Ash) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal12 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz12 (Densial) (kills: none)
Violet Drd12 (Tammi) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBA

ari listen check 16 she hears neighing of horses, hearing more than she can count. look at other rider left standing on top of the dune, it isn't his mount. she yells out in dwarven Ah guys I think there are a lot more of these just over this dune! ro specify! how? where? what? ari I can hear a lot of horses. cal moves around the oasis, hopping between the trees, searching. lio draws bow, continues walking towards ro.

lio walks to ro. ro Where are they and how many? ari Over this dune, and more than I can count! ro har, to me! Let him up. har steps back. ro mounts up. cal circles just outside the oasis, up to 5' higher than the 30'-35' trees. see on the other side of the dune 6 horses with 2 people. ari (x on map) circles are water, bush. ari keeps going up on angle, speaking in strange language We truly mean you no harm and forgive us for this conflict but we don't want to fight. We are unaware of your customs about territory rights. We are not going to give you any slaves and again we are happy to pay you some sort of compensation for passage. That is what we can do. We are not looking for a fight. guy kicks horse in side and rides it as it gets back on its feet. lifts spear up and throws it… at the ground at har's feet. He yells something frightful and completely unintelligible. ro I'm sorry, spracken ze common? ari translates: "You have bested me in combat, warrioress. The oasis is yours. But your slave is a piece of shit." ro May the rest of my group join up on me and us talk like civilised folk? ari translates. man Of course! Combat has been had. You have bested me. You bested me well. I give you my best slave and the oasis, It is yours. Come! Let us eat! ro To me. ro stays on har. ro My name is ro Kharag of the Silver Hand, paladin of Moradin. Who do I address? guy My name is Srinivasa Tanirisu, horse trader in these lands and king amongst the nomads. ro Well met, Srinivasa Tanirisu. he says something else to the rider on the dune's peak that ari does not translate ("Pipsqueak! bring the others!"). see the person on the top of the dune turn his horse and head away. ro I respect warrior cultures. It seems that yours is one. sri I am but a humble trader. come! let us eat. I have horse meat. It is good. ro I would be delighted to share a meal with you.

cal continues poking around the oasis. nothing particularly interesting, barring of course that it is a rich source of water in an otherwise barren landscape.

sri It has been many years since I have been bested in combat. It is great to be challenged. Come, have your slaves lay out a table for us. (translated). ro I have a blanket, will that suffice? We don't carry tables. sri Perfect! ro pulls out her blanket and sets it down herself, noting sri's reaction. he doesn't seem to have any. ari (dwarven) ro would you like me to help? I can make a lovely cottage. ro You don't wish to wait until tonight? We may very well be here overnight. ari It lasts all day and if needs be, I can create another one. ro A moment, sir, I will make something more suitable to those of our stature. ro ari, go ahead. ari casts Leomund's Secure Shelter behind ro. sri Ah! Fantastic! I knew you were a great leader of people! Tonight, we fight again! But this time, you don't kill me.

ro is thinking phew. that could have gone two ways: the way it did, or they're witches, burn them at the stake.

sri Come! Have your slaves bring food. Mine will too. Pipsqueak! Bring food! see 5 horses being led by three people on three other horses come over ridge. tr You can't count very high, can you? ro Just so there is no misunderstanding between us, none of these with me are my slaves. They are all free men and women. They choose to follow me. sri I call mine that too.

three others: large man with sword, woman, what appears to be a young child. sri this is Srilatha my wife, this is Kunwaa my guard, and this is Pipsqueak, now your slave. Pipsqueak! See to your master. Pipsqueak gets off horse. cal notices that figure is a girl. figure comes over and holds har's reins so ro can dismount. ro dismounts and approaches Pipsqueak. she looks to be a young girl, maybe ten years old. ro Thank you. Do you understand me (common)? pip It has been many years since I have speaken this tongue, but I know it. ro Are you from these lands? pip No. ro Then you are not the gentleman's offspring? pip Oh, no. ro detects evil on the girl: as she suspects, she sees none.

sri You may call me sri. You may call my wife Latha. ro Thank you sri. I accept your gift. Is your tribe many? sri Yes! My wife, my guard, myself. ro Are you the only people in these lands? You are a warrior tribe, do you fight with others? sri Of course not! Don't be ridiculous. People die that way. You are not from around here? ro No, we are not. sri Your ways are strange, but you fight well! ro I thank you again. You must know these lands well. sri I trade in these lands. This! he says, walking over to a horse. I trade this! I make the best horses. ro So you have trading partners? sri I trade with warrior nomadic clans, I trade with the cities. I sometimes trade with the pirates, but not very often. come! let us drink. I have alcohol. ro I would be honoured to drink with you.

ro sri, we are here to seek information about two places, one being the oasis… sri Why this talk of business? Eat! We shall have a feast. We have fought! We shall have a feast… And then! A party. ro As you wish. wife and guard and slave pull stuff out of packs on horses. horses being led are not carrying much - blankets only. ro sri, may I provide for you as well as my own people? I have food as well. sri of course! you are the victor. ro leads sri inside cottage and begins unpacking rations and water from the backpack she carries. cal lands and turns into person. looks at water. lio stays with ro. ari stays invisible. ro thinks sri seems disappointed at something and is trying to hide it. ro Is everything to your liking? sri Perfect! Perfect. You are a gracious host. ro Please forgive me, I am unaccustomed to your ways, being so new here. Might I offer you something in return? sri No. Everything is perfect. A wonderful feast. Beautiful house! Lovely company. And a great warrior! ro Hmmmm.

the night continues on. ari becomes visible. sri appears not to take any notice of her. sri speaks largely, tells jokes they don't understand, laughs loudly at them, as do his guard and wife. Pipsqueak seems to take her cue from ro as to how much to laugh. ro what's orange and sounds like a parrot? sri ? ro a carrot. sri ba hahahah! she tells a joke that he cannot possibly follow and he laughs heartily. ro I'm gonna test this. don't even translate this one!

night passes. ro drinks sparingly, to maintain her wits. she can tell that sri and his retinue is doing the same thing. Pipsqueak remains behind ro's right shoulder.

ro Your company is an unexpected pleasure, sri. sri Thank you. ro I don't mean to hold you up from your business, I imagine you are probably on your way somewhere… sri It has been fantastic. ro You must feel free to spend the night if you wish. sri We would not impose upon you. ro My house is your house. sri Thank you it would be rude of me to turn it down. wife and guard are setting up a place in the corner away from the door. ro You will be safe here tonight. My beast guards the door. sri Thank you. Your ugly horse is fantastic. How much? ro More than you can ever imagine. sri I can imagine quite a bit. ro She is not for sale. May we talk of other business? sri You wish to buy horse? I have fantastic horses. Come with me. I show you my best ones. ro You have horses for sale? sri Absolutely! ro Would you be offended if my beast ate one? sri Absolutely not! ro sensemotive thinks he is very shocked by her request, but recovers quickly. ro Then I shall buy one of your horses. ro Shall I choose now? sri this is my finest beast, I recommend this one. sensemotive 24 ride 24 he is definitely telling the truth and ro has not seen a horse of this quality for some time. ro I feel it would be a disgrace to treat a beast like this with such lack of dignity. sri A warrior with wisdom! may I then recommend this one? the next horse is the other end of the scale - a decent horse, but nowhere near the calibre of the first. sri seems very happy with ro.

sri gives the reins to ro. ro I offer 180 gold pieces for the animal. sri Don't be ridiculous! This is your horse! You will have it! ro I thank you, but I pay for the goods that I desire. sri Fair enough. I accept your gracious offer. ro gives him 180 gold, and hopes that it is enough. ro har, do with it what you will, It is yours to eat. har looks happy and gleefully pounces on the horse and rips into it. All the other horses scatter. sri looks horrified but hides it and starts running after his horses, as do his wife and guard. cal knows that sri was horrified that a horse was killed here, in front of the other horses. cal communicates this quietly to ro. (flesh this out). ro I don't normally feed her. she goes home to get food! ro goes over to har. Once you are done, bury the remains.

sri and co eventually come back. ro waits outside. Pipsqueak stands beside her. ro I apologise for upsetting your horses. I am sorry, that was remiss of me. sri Oh, it's fine. Not a problem at all. ro No, I do apologise. sri Thank you. I appreciate that. go inside. guard stays outside. har does too. she is a happy doggie.

ro I would also wish to trade in information if that is also acceptable to you. sri Anything I have is yours. ro We arrived in a great monument of a building with a cubic structure in the centre. Do you know it? sri looks a bit dark. I know of the place. ro What is its name? sri It does not have a name as far as I know. ro Does it have any significance to this land or its people? sri In legend, it is a holy place, a place of worship. The gods built it many years ago. ro Gods? sri Yes. ro Is it still used? sri No. They left these lands. ro Far beyond living history? sri A long time ago.

wife starting to bed down. slave has removed hood, her face is tattooed with druidic runes. ari casts detect magic and looks at visitors. a belt and pouches around Pipsqueak's middle glows. she has a bedroll that is magical also. nothing on sri or his wife.

ro We came here seeking a building of ancient origin and we were given the name Saju. sri Hmmm. Saju. Saju is to the north of here. It is a great city. ro A city? You have been there? sri Many times. I trade throughout Peru, these lands.

Perusian is the language

ro How much farther north is this city Saju? sri Not far. Under a day. ro It is an inhabited city? sri Yes. ro sri, just so I know that I understand the situation, I believe that way to be north. Is that correct? sri Of course! ro Have you heard any tales of Saju, any stories of its origin? sri It was built by the gods. ro Similar to the temple? sri Mmm. Same gods. ro Do these gods have names? sri Gods! It's who they were and are. ro Are there any landmarks, roads, milestones, anything to guide a traveller on their way to Saju? sri No. Walk. If you die, you have walked too far in the wrong direction. ro Are strangers welcomed? sri Yes of course all are welcomed. ro A city of trade? A capital city? What is Saju known for? sri It is a city of magic. Saju is built on a great pyramid that radiates cold and water. ro Useful in a desert. Pipsqueak tugs on ro's clothing. pip Excuse me, mistress, I can guide you to Saju. ro You know the way? pip Yes. ro You have been there? pip Yes. ro sri, where are you next headed? Jeru, to the south.

ro winds down the evening and allows everyone to head to bed. she gets lio and tr to stand watch, sitting this one out to maintain appearances. cal sleeps outside. ari goes outside and speaks to cal. this young slave pip has some markings on her face that look druidic to me. why don't you go in and say hello, see what you can find out? cal I'll check it out tomorrow, no rush.

inside ro talks to pip. pip I will stand watch, I am very good with animals. ro Thank you I appreciate your offer. We need to get one thing straight. As soon as sri and ourselves part ways you are a free woman. I do not keep or trade in slaves. pip tear in eye. ro I may ask for your help in getting to Saju, but whether you do or not is entirely your choice. pip Thank you. My name is Violet Dimple. ari walks over and introduces to the others, invites her to step outside to meet cal. cal notices the druidic symbols tattooed on her face. cal Who do you follow? vio What do you mean? cal Who is your god? vio Ehlonna. cal I follow Obad-Hai.

Obad-Hai and Ehlonna are rivals - will this translate to their followers?

apparently vio does not 'follow' Ehlonna per se. cal walks back to the oasis.

The night passes uneventfully. sri and latha tend to their horses then set a table for everyone. ro You are most generous, sri. ro senses that sri is sorry to lose his slave, but blusters his way through (You were never a good slave anyway). ari knows that vio is in fact a female gnome. everyone else just knows that she is not human. ari in gnomish It is a pleasure to meet you. I have not met someone of your race before. vio I have not spoken this tongue in a while, it is nice. ari It is ever so much fun to meet someone!

ro goes up to sri before he leaves. sri ro, my great warrior friend! how may I be of service? ro I wish to give you a gift. sri Don't be ridiculous. ro I feel that the trade we made with regards to the slave was more to my benefit than I would wish and so I wish to even the scales. sri No trade, you won fair and square. ro I understand, but there are things that I would be sad to part with and I wish to ease that sadness. sri Don't be ridiculous! ro Will you accept this? ro says, handing sri her masterwork shortbow and two quivers of imithrium arrows. If you do battle from horseback, this may help. sri takes the weapon and appraises it. sri Fantastic! It is a god's weapon. Thank you. he looks very pleased. ro The gods speed you in the direction that you choose. sri And you, I hope to meet you again.

they leave. cal vio was he a good master? vio Yes. ro How did you come to be here? vio I am a herbalist by trade and I have travelled to find ways to heal people. I was on a ship that was onset by pirates. Those that they didn't kill they kept as slaves. They sold me to sri when they made port at Kali, north of Saju. I have been with him for about a year and a half. ari Why did you stay? vio I could not leave. there was no way. and he was good to me, and I have learned much in my time with him. ari is there something that needs to be done to free you? ro It is already done. We have had that conversation.vvio I thank you for freeing me. ro It is nothing less than you deserve. vio I heard you speak of a magical building you are looking for? There is a pyramid and that is the source of their magic. The city is built on the pyramid. The wealthier you are, the higher up your residence. As sri mentioned last night, it produces cold and water. It is cold to touch. I must warn you: do not touch it for too long. I have seen people's hands freeze to the pyramid. I am not sure where the magic comes from but I have heard them speak that it came from the gods. ari Who are the gods of this place? vio I am not sure, they are just referred to as 'the gods'. ro You speak the language? vio Yes. ro That would be helpful. Can I assume that for the time being you will stay with us? vio I can take you to Saju.

sri has gone. ari suggests that cal turn into a bird and fly high, perhaps he might be able to see saju if it is under a day's journey. cal asks whether vio wishes to join him.

vio is 3'2" and has light green hair, like moss. blue eyes. flowers and beads in hair. long linen tunic. tattoos on forehead and cheeks.

vio declines. cal climbs. cannot see a city, lands, turns human and tells the others. vio it takes about a day by horse. ro You are confident you can get us there? vio Absolutely. ro Let's not waste spells at this point. vio takes out her bedroll and gets on. it's a magic carpet. cal turns back into a bird. ro summons har and they all set out at 30'. walk through sand for most of the day. see a mountain with a very regular triangular outline in the distance. keep going. ari offers to cast Tongues on ro so she can understand what's going on. she can cast 7 per day. ari asks tr for an arrow. tr gives her one. she breaks off the arrowhead and eyes cal. cal pays more attention and swoops down. ari throws stick in the air, cal chases it. ari does this all the way to saju. see the pyramid. sides look rough, because there are buildings on its sides. 1000' wide at the base, 500' high. building around its base also. ro how much attention are we going to draw to ourselves by having har around? vio says that she knows what a stone flyer is from her homeland, but has never seen one here. ari suggests that it might be a good idea to dismiss har - if they want to make an impression, they can at the time it is needed. ro dismisses har as a precaution, even though they are probably going to stand out a lot anyway. vio dismounts magic carpet, rolls it up and stows atop her backpack.

get to outskirts. ro asks ari to cast Tongues on her. wall around with wide gate. tents on outside of wall. people coming and going freely. buildings inside wall, on ground and on the pyramid sides. ro wonders about dismissing har. mentions that the poorer communities are at the base of the pyramid and are not as safe; they should pass through them quickly if possible. cal lands on ro's shoulder.

ro asks tr about the initial encounter with elo and how he had to identify himself. tr says that elo needed blood whereas abb simply knew him by sight, or some other sense. It was different for each and could be different again here.

enter the city. 100' between outside wall and the edge of the pyramid. houses against the wall and the pyramid, less permanent dwellings in between. two roads that go left and right. lots of people around. it feels noticably cooler inside the wall. several walkways with occasional steps make haphazard paths up the side of the pyramid. each pyramid block is a good 4.5 feet tall. ro asks vio whether pyramid has an entrance: she hasn't seen one.

ro I cannot imagine, tr, either elo or abb allowing people to build all over their structures, or allow the structure to be cannibalised. tr No. But then neither elo nor abb are 1000' across and 500' high. ari Is this what you are looking for? tr don't know. ro It could be. ari How will we know? tr I dunno, I just will. ari Who is this 'abb'? tr A friend. ari A friend who doesn't like people building houses on her? tr Would you? ari You have some interesting friends. What's the plan now? ro tr, I could take you inside tomorrow, when I can again call har. But what shall we do now? Touch the pyramid? tr Why not?

get closer to the pyramid. air more cold and damp. moisture on the outside of the pyramid. gutters that collect the moisture. go to base. tr tries touching stone and saying his name. (real name quiet, tr louder). cal and ari heard the real name. ari knocks the stone and says her name. nothing happens for anyone. ro I wonder whether this city has places of magic, or temples that we might be able to ask for information. vio It does. I also personally know some herbalists and alchemist that might be able to answer your questions. ro Lead on. If we are unable to learn anything from them, we will try the places of magic and prayer.

vio takes party to the best herbalist here: Koryn is his name. His premises are half way up the pyramid, on the right half as you view it from the main gate. walkways are very narrow: only enough for two people to squeeze past each other. space is at a premium. his abode is small: 4x3 yards. ari casts tongues on herself so both she and ro will understand. kor Hello, welcome, who are these friends of yours? Where is sri and Latha? Kunwaa, where is Kunwaa?

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