Djinn Hashim of the Kaldun Majid Richard Anaya firstname.lastname@example.org 281 785 3434
Desert Ranger, Cousin of Tariq
Kaldun Majid: This militaristic clan has been heavily influenced by Fist. Many of their members have moved to Qatrun cities. Their warriors serve as scouts and merchanar amoung the armies of Fist. They live by hunting, herding, and raiding other clans.
Their tribal garb includes a red turban with black trim.
Pregame: Traveled with cousin west through the Ma’Basht mtn pass to the trade city of Kahta(many Babrem, Humans of the Old Kingdom, other peoples. It was once a province/colony of the Old Kingdom). From there got passage with a “fleet” of three Darsian trade ships going south along the coast to Patrae and Beroea(both Pelosian Empire controlled).
Along the way one of the ships was lost to Utbah(orc) pirate raiders. Your and your cousin’s bows greatly aided the escape of the other two vessels. In thanks captain, Tita Vopisca, of your ship, the “Laughing Siren”, said that to find the beasts you hunt as well as adventure and fame you must “get to the frontier”. These days Scupi province(a colony of Peols Minor) is the place to go. Only trading North-South between Darsis and Beroea she couldn’t take you there. Instead she helped you find a ship in Beroea going that way(which is uncommon) and convince the Pelosian captain/crew that there are advantages to having barbarians from the Dune Seas on board.
Killing time waiting for the ship to be loaded you run into a Babrem from the Thukiri tribe(guardians of the oasises across the Dune Seas). Stunned and happy to find someone from “home” you tell him of your trip and plans to continue towards Scupi. He asks to to come along and it would be an insult to refuse. He spends much time meditating or praying and interacts rarely with anyone.
The trip was uneventful. After arriving you wasted no time leaving the claustrophobic caves of Scupi. Tarrying only long enough to buy camels, supplies and find a caravan heading east to Silvertown. Around cooking fires the first couple days you heard old miner’s tales of a terrible beast that lives in stone and eats metals and gems. Also descriptions of creatures never hunted or even heard of in the Dune Seas; Ashworm, Giant Desert Tortoises, and the fabled Sphinx. The last caused ridicule of the the Ka’im who mentioned it as the others know it’s nothing but a myth used to scare children into behaving.
1st session “Deadly Desert part1” The caravan is escorted by nine Pelosian soldiers on horses who are dressed in black with sandy yellow cloaks and black and yellow crested helmets. You are more comfortable around the Ka’im(orcs) laborers than the elitist and sneering Pelosians. Still you and your cousin keep mostly to yourselves.
Travel is fast at first along a road of stone the likes of which you have never seen. Early the 4th night you pass a large crew of Pelosian and Ka’im building the road. Beyond this the barely visible track is rough and filled with stones. The caravan’s speed is cut in half. Late on the 7th night the caravan is ambushed by ???
You see the attackers briefly, twice. You don’t think they were the same individual and guess there were at least two attackers. The leader? of the Pelosian’s tells you to flee when you stumble on him and other soldier fighting one of the giants. The attackers are at least twelve foot tall, wielding giant Khopesh’s. Very tall(4-5ft), curving forward metal helms. Sleeveless shirts, metal armbands, short cloth wrap/skirt with metal or leather “loin cloth”. Obviously giants you did not recognize there type. Their dress and weons was closest but not the same as that of Sunesh traders you have seen.
You are tracked and attacked by “sand hunters”, some sort of pack carnivore. Vicious on the attack but easily killed or driven away.
2nd session “Deadly Desert part2” You stumble on a “forest” of limbless, leafless, trees made of stone. Many of which are toppled and broken. You didn’t have time to figure out if they had been carved or were the result of some sorcery before being ambushed by hyena men.
Ione has been killed or less likely escaped. The rest of you are trussed up on poles and carried north. On the first day Ian dies of his wounds and is dumped by the hyena men. After two more days the hyena men are themselves ambushed by medium height humanoids, covered from head to toe in billowing layers of tan, brown, and sand colored sheets. Only the thinest sliver across the eyes was bare. In the distance and darkness you couldn’t make out skin, eye color, or even the shape/presence of eyes.
They moved in bursts, rushing away and around the charging hyena men. You noticed them using thrown weons of some sort but never a melee weon. Finding only hyena blood and bodies you assume they took no casualties or injuries. No more than a handful of these humanoids slaughtered almost 20 hyena men!
Some bodies of hyena men were headless their necks fused and sealed but not burnt, some had flat, sharp, pointed discs of flint stuck in them, others had no wounds that you noticed while searching.
That night you have a bizarre dream. Ian, Ione and the rest of you are in some sort of oasis. The ground is covered with green grass and surrounded by tall leafy woods. The oasis was crawling with Pelosians, flying, appearing out of nowhere, and performing other foul arcane acts(Fist is slightly against arcane magic). Stranger still were the many magical beasts and constructs flying, crawling, rolling and walking everywhere.
Inexplicity you can now read the words carved into the pillars of this building. Although little of it is more than nonsense. After solving the riddles a human(a Darsian?) dressed in unusual green cloths (like nothing you have heard of, pants, shirt, many pockets) appears, looks at each of you and then says “Don’t open the Flakarg, argh! The seal, don’t open the seal.” Then looks over his shoulder and disappears.
You awake to find yourself surrounded by Pelosian soldiers dressed like the caravan guards. They demand your surrender. The manacles the clamp on your wrists are enchanted to prevent you from talking or seeing, but you can hear. Transported on horse back for two and half days to some camp or town. After spending the night the next day you travel by wagon to what sounds like a large town.
Through several walls you can hear the faint roar of a sandstorm raging outside. Its fine grit penetrating this far and clogging your noses. Without warning your vision is restored. Seated on the floor in a rough semicircle are the companions you have struggled to survive the desert with. Like yourself they are restrained with manacles. But, also like yourself, they appear to be in better health than at any time since this ordeal began.
Djinn and Taqir still dressed in robes and turbans, sit stiff and upright. Defiant looks on their dark faces. Qazir sits eyes closed meditating. Still you sense he’s aware of everything around him. Ian bereft of the golden breastplate he briefly but proudly wore reclines expressionless and calm. Quietly awaiting his fate or perhaps his moment of escape. Dyrkius angrily shouts what no one can hear. He slowly ceases stamping his foot after gazing across at Ione. You are all somewhat stunned at seeing how radiant Ione is after being refreshed, rested, and not encased in desert garb. The bejeweled veil of sheer red silk she wears enhances her considerable natural beauty.
One of four soldiers sneezes jostling the black and yellow bristles of her crest. She holds a well worn broadsword drawn at her side. As does the soldier opposite her. The two farther away have loaded crossbows held with the looseness of long familiarity.
From several square holes in the ceiling light pours into this room. Creating beams in the dusty air. Pillars of light that illuminate an ornate wooden desk. Upon which several desk type things are precisely arranged. The front face of it’s rich reddish wood is carved with an eagle triumphantly grasping a defeated dragon in its talons. You know this to be the Seal of The Republic of Pelos.
The four Pelosians raise their weapons vertically in front of their faces saluting a fifth who confidently strides through an archway and up to an armor rack against the wall near the desk. Two attendants dust off her boots, unfasten her greaves and spurs while she unbuckles and removes her helmet. This helmet is similar to others you’ve seen except its black and yellow crest crosses horizontally from ear to ear and two huge, three foot, yellow with black spots feathers extend up from ends of the crest. With one hand she sets it precisely on the rack and with the other adjusts a greave that one of the hastily retreating attendants had slightly misplaced.
Running her hands over cropped black hair “summons” a small cloud of sand dust which slowly settles to the stone floor. Shafts of light reflect off of the bird embossed in profile on the golden breastplate she wears. A small yellow gem or crystal is mounted in its eye. Another glowing gem emits mesmerizing rays from the center of the circlet wrapped around her forehead. She is tall, thin and her pointed ears betray her High Pelosian heritage.
Her luminous yellow eyes observe each of you in turn. Then in a clear, commanding voice states, “I am Citizen Hyrmina. There are a great many questions I wish to ask of you. Shortly your speech interdiction will be removed.” Looking pointedly at Dyrkius, “I expect only civilized behavior. It would be somewhat displeasing to me if any of you became unnecessarily injured, especially before your guilt or innocence has been determined.”
The same soldier sneezes again.
Without interruption Hyrmina smoothly continues, “This is a military inquisition to determine the facts surrounding the fate of a feather of citizens and the caravan they were escorting. Your trial is tomorrow. Do not waste my time pleading your case now.”
During this two Common Pelosians, a male and female enter through the archway. The female sets up a chair next to the desk. The male starts tracing a pattern on the floor in front of you in colored chalks.
After finishing a rough circle of arcane symbols the male Pelosian chants a few words summoning a misty, indistinct humanoid form floating gently within the chalk marks.
“Now that the pleasantries are over I am sure you are all eager to tell me the truth.”
Speaking clearly with noticeable indignation “Citizen Hyrmina, I am Dyrkius Reeseus, Third Tail, Amphipolis Pigeon. Your attempt to compel my honesty has failed. No matter: I will debrief you truthfully and willingly. Had I not been interdicted these past few days, I would have been able to do so earlier.”
Unfazed by Dyrkius’ attempted seizing of the initiative, Hyrmina asks “Do you have a writ?”
“In my belt pocket.”
With a nod from Hyrmina one of the guards sheaths his sword, retrieves the writ, shows it first to Hyrmina then to the misty figure. Which a few moments latter gives a distinct nod.
Satisfied, Hyrmina continues the interrogation with Ione. “And you? What brings you to this fine province?”
“Ione of Saria. I’m in Scupi Province because it is far away from The Empire. Also, I’ve heard interesting rumors about former residents.”
“Very curious. Saria? It is not familiar to me, part of the Empire? And exactly what rumors?”
“No, it is an independent city-state, town really, in the N. Wildlands. That Vervigis once had a lab in the badlands West of here.”
Raising an eyebrow towards Ian at that last remark. “Ian Ikase, corrupting the young and innocent with tales of fame and fortune are we? But for now I’m far more interested in how you came to be wearing Citizen Thebe’s armor?”
Ian smiles broadly but remains silent.
“Well, we’ll get back to that. Ione, thank you for your cooperation. Please escort her away.” A guard gently stands Ione up and walks her out of the room.
“Now, you three, quite a ways from the Dune Sea trade routes wouldn’t you agree?”
Djinn, Qazir, and Tariq respond with their names and “to hunt”, “seeking the wisdom of Nature”, “with my cousin”.
Hyrmina asks into details of what ships they traveled on where they stayed, when and for how long. All of which she seems to confirm with the ghostly figure who nods affirmation to each inquiry.
Appeased, she asks of no one in particular. “Sandmen do not leave survivors. Yet you live. Why? And how? Do you have some ability to abjure their powers or drive them away?”
First again Dyrkius answers “I do not know why they attacked, and I have not found enough evidence to form a strong hypothesis. I have some ability to drive away any foe. And as for being alive, I am surprised by that myself.”
Tariq and Djinn continue to provide minimal, almost defiant answers, “I do not”, “I know not”. Although, in a moment of honest confusion regarding the sandmen Tariq shrugs and says “They seem to come from nowhere, and to return there again when their killing was done.”
“And what about you Thukiri? Does your kinship with the desert extend to sandmen?”
“Well, to be precise, I don’t believe these”sandmen“, as you label them, ever did attack me. I fell victim to the hyena men’s ambush. Some time later I opened my eyes to Djinn cutting the ropes that had bound me. Dead hyena men lay strewn haphazardly about in the telltale fashion of battle. I myself never saw the sandmen. It is reasonable to assume that they never saw me, and were therefore unconcerned as to my fate.”
“Where were you heading when the sandmen attacked you?”
“This I do not know. The hyena men were transporting us somewhere, but the destination is unknown to me. Moreover, as I was unconscious for the entire time they were carrying us, I have no idea how long, or in what direction we were traveling.”
Djinn adds “North, we were taken North for two or three days.”
Outside the sandstorm subsides and the room brightens considerably. Workers in other rooms start sweeping away the accumulated sand dust kicking up clouds of it. Causing the female guard to sneeze and cough for a minute. The misty figure fades. The male Pelosian moves to recast his spell but Hyrmina waves him away.
Focusing on the Babrem “Where is the hyena men’s camp? How many run with this pack? What brought them this far south?”
Tariq, “I do not know. They ambushed us among some ruins, in the desert. I was wounded, very near death. I know nothing other than I was captured.” Shrugs again.
“I also do not know. All I can say is that the”ruins” appeared to be natural. A large forest of toppled and broken tree trunks as hard as stone.” offers Qazir.
“Still being quiet are we?”
“Nine citizens are dead or missing. Your silence is irrelevant. In front of the Council tomorrow the information will be extracted from you.”
“Ikase is too preoccupied with his trial please take him away so that he may consider his defense.” The same guard as before takes him away.
“Citizen Dyrkius, can you enlighten us regarding the hyena men? Perhaps you hired them to attack the caravan?”
“Of course not! I’m insulted at the insinuation. Citizen, I nearly died out there. In fact, I’m as shocked to be alive as I am by your treatment. As to your question, I do not know anymore about the hyena men.
In bursts a fat, bald middle-aged Pelosian male wearing priests robes and a red sash with gold trim across his chest. “Did they find it?” Looking at the survivors. “Did you find it? The box?” Seeing their confused expressions he begins moaning to himself “Oh, they don’t have it. We’re doomed.”
“Trypho!” Asserts Hyrmina.
“But, the box, the box. What are we going to do?” Trypo’s foot long black “goatee” shaking with panic.
“Come here let’s discuss it.” Says Hyrmina as she gives a signal to the female Pelosian who closes her eyes.
Hyrmina and Trypho move to the far corner and have a short discussion. Trypho leaves no less agitated. With a touch on her shoulder the Pelosian opens her eyes again.
“Excuse Trypho the heat makes him a bit excitable. Back to business, what did you do with Citizen Thebe and Citizen Aeson. Under what authority did you seize their equipment?
Dyrkius “I am sorry but they died in the initial ambush. We buried them as best we could. But time was of the essence if we were to survive ourselves.” We took whatever we thought might help us to survive.”
Qazir “The dead have no concern for, nor need of possessions. Those guards gave their lives defending us, the members of the caravan; I cannot imagine their spirits would then balk at giving their breastplates in service of the same cause.”
“And the other members of Desert Condor? The seven other guards.”
“My best guess is that if they did not survive, their physical forms lay buried beneath the sands waiting to be reclaimed by the desert’s embrace. Although, it is possible that whoever, or whatever attacked the caravan took some or all of them prisoner.”
Tariq “I am sorry. I know of no other survivors of the caravan.”
“So, you all claim to be innocent victims? Who just happened to survive an ambush while nine veteran citizens, all the workers, animals(save your camel), and wagons have conveniently disappeared from the face of Dirt?”
Dyrkius exclaims “Absolutely we are innocent! There were two damaged wagons, their animals, a couple camels, five gnomes, and about seven other workers with us. All were dead. You have not found those or the other wagons? I lost some of my own property I was hoping to recover.”
“No, our diviner was only tuned to Thebe’s breastplate. Which we found dumped with Ikase and surrounded by the tracks of the hyena men leading us to you four. Other patrols found Ione West of Blood Rock but no trace of the caravan.” Hyrmina responds, uncharacteristically distracted.
“They likely are all at the site of the ambush. We found the water wagon roughly a half night’s travel from the carnage. Farooq is more intelligent than most camels and no stranger to sandstorms.”
“Yes, four or five days out of Scupi a great sandstorm suddenly hit us. The wagon master foolishly did not immediately halt the caravan. We became scattered. During the chaos we were ambushed.” Answers Tariq.
“By giants, a type I am unfamiliar with.” Adds his cousin.
Ignoring him and impaitiently demands “Who else is working with you? (Even with the hyena men you could no successfully attacked the caravan.)”
Standing up again Dyrkius shouts “I have no idea what you are talking about! As I told you, I am a student and a loyal citizen of The Republic. I refuse to say anymore. I demand representation. I am Dyrkius of House Reeseus! I demand the respect I am entitled to!”
“Very well, we shall continue tomorrow in the Council Chambers. Till then.” Hyrmina bows slightly and then rushes out of the room.
3rd session “Mine Monster”
4th session “Ophidian’s Buried Temple part1”
Sign contract with Eriboa