Part 10: Across the Seas Adventure Notes
The safely travelled to to Portheim and have been setup in the Barrel and Fist. They are waiting on the boat “The Gallows” to take them through the Northern Passage and to the Land of the Pharoahs.
Lioniel heads off to busk and gather information with Tzara and Averson at his heels. Tzara takes the opportunity to sell her autographed Cabbages cast picture of Lioniel from when he played a starring role in Cabbages.
Mara, When and Nigel stay at the Barrel and Fist eating meat, drinking ale and chatting.
"Do you think at any point you’ll shower?” Mara asks Gwenelda. "Because it's good for you. For hygiene reasons."
"I did see in the shop over the road they have perfume.” says When, "Maybe I could just wear that and not bathe?”
“No.” Says Mara firmly. "You need to clean yourself first."
"We should definitely go to the baths!” Nigel interjects.
“Yes!” Mara agrees grabbing When and dragging her to the location.
Meanwhile Lioniel discovers that there was a pharaoh in the desert of desolation whose power was only exceeded by his wealth. The amount of wealth he got over his lifetime was inconceivable. Then he is told the following old poem:
When the evil walks our land once more Will nomadic princes come to Set His power in to his first bride's hand, That evil and good then are met. Then as needs be The Star Gems three To my tomb be borne hither And a hope shall not wither Open the gates to my sphere of power And put off evil in its appointed hour
Averson makes contact with the local thieves to find out more information about their travels. It turns out that the boat transfers from here to Mocksend. The captain it trying to make money out of his dying vessel. She is has also been given a thieves note saying that she have been marked to pay a debt. They are coming for her to cash in on that debt.
She sends a reply by asking her old mentor how her old gang has reformed and how many of them are there.
Meanwhile Gwenelda, Mara and Nigel pay for the full service massage at the baths and come back much relieved.
They head to the docks to board the ship. As they board Lioniel cries “The entertainment has arrived!”
Each party member has a birth on the vessel and room to stow their gear. Its a cargo ship so the spots are really uncomfortable.
Leaving this land and taking the northern passage and travelling to the Land of Pharaohs.
The seas have been rough and Nigel, Lioniel and Averson are very sick.
Character Growth Recap
Gwenelda loves to bathe when it comes with full servicing. Used to be only loyal to her father but has come to see that having people around with different skillsets is very handy and a little enjoyable. She still wants to avenge her mother and. she still believes everything is in delicate balance and its a lot more complicated than she previously thought. She is learning more about herself and other people. The world is not good or bad, its complex.
Nigel started where he started. Sent from the order of the lost. Sent into the world to protect the weak, and die in the long wait. Lost in a knights fantasy and oblivious to reality. Take no wife and sire so child. Nigel is now questioning his oaths because he has met people who are not zealot knights. He has been challenged by martial prowess. He has been challenged by artistic integrity. A kindred spirit. He is learning there is nuance.
Tzara began wanting to heal and learn religious things. Trying to live in the world without her brother. Since her dealings with the admiral she has realised that is a lost cause. Her necklace started feeling very light but the necklace is getting heavier. She has discovered Sir Nigel will be a great ally when the time comes. Now she realises that she needs her brothers knowledge and to resurrect him. She is keeping her religious readings and one of the party members has appeared as her enemy. She has been trying to make magical objects. She is no longer the meek little girl herding sheep. She is now building her empire.
Averson was once a magic student at a magic academy and was betrayed and fled. She fell in with a gang of thieves. This gang was ethical in their thievery. She became a trusted member of the group until the leader picked a fight he couldn’t win and the gang self destructed. She lost the small horde of treasure she was building up designed to lift her original birth family out of being peasants.
Mara being the lord’s bastard daughter that ran away from home. She has been a loner for a long time. She has been trying to make it all about money because she doesn’t want to lose anyone every again. She feels so many things about wanting to protect them all. The party has a level of naivety that she has never seen before. Going on the quest and meeting a full blood elf is really hard. Her mother is a full blood elf. She cannot mate and can’t have kids. She is only going on the ship because she is worried about them.
Lioniel is coming off a bad musical rejection being told that his own songs are no good because he hadn’t experienced them. So he’s going out to try and make experiences that he can write songs about. His confidence is growing. Maybe we’ll hear some more Lioniel authored music soon.
Once the party has left Midguard and they have arrived at the Land of the Pharoahs in the city of Moskend. It is a very big city. The climate has become hotter. It is dry. When the sea breeze comes through in the after noon there is relief. There is a wall around the city made of sandstone. The big buildings are made of sandstone and the ones closer to the docks are mud-bricks.
Nigel asks Alvin Maxwell if our allies from The Association of Rogan has a safe house that can help us prepare for our expedition. Alvin says on this side of the world the Association does not have this level of support. There is a drinking hall that has two nights accomodation for the team. This was the deal they have with the Gallows. It goes back to what Tanner had organised to pay off this guy’s debt. The Tavern is called the Camel and Palms Inn. Common is spoken here and another language.
"Is there a trustworthy trader we can speak with?” Enquires Nigel consulting his field manual.
"Nidim Kabu is a contact that we can meet at the Camel and Palms” replies Alvin.
“Where are we even headed?” Enquires Lioniel.
“I have a scroll” replies Tzara. "It says we need to go to the Sunken city of Pazzah”.
Nigel uses divine sense but senses no evil. He does hear an angelic song in the far far off distance.
“I do not sense any immediate evil but I sense goodness in that way”
"How far away is the camel and palm?” enquires Nigel
"Oh yes.” says Alvin. "Its like, you go down the main thoroughfare past the wader all the way down to the water fountain and it is on the other side of the street. Look for the massive Camel on a Palmtree.”
"Do you trust Nadim?” Mara enquires.
"He deals a lot with foreigners and can help you understand more about this.” says Alvin.
"He has everything we need to start our journey?” asks Mara.
"I don’t know.” states Alvin, "I haven’t seen him in a long while. Nadim should be the one that you speak to."
The Gallows is unloading and getting ready move to their next port. The heat is unbearable. Mara is super uncomfortable. Everyone is taking off layers to try to cool downa and Mara goes to wet herself in a fountain but Lioniel warns her off.
“Its possible that is a criminal act here” he says to her, "Just bide your time. We will be at our destination soon."
The party then arrives at the Camel and Palms.
Nigel asks Mara, “My lady will you see if we have accomodation organised?”
“Yeah fine. I’ll do it.” Says Mara. She puts a gold coin on the bar. “Do you speak common?”
“Yes” replies the exotic looking man behind the bar.
“Can I get six ales please?” Mara asks.
The man looks confused. Then he turns around and he has a clear liquid in small glasses. He takes the gold coin. Bites it and pockets it. Mara picks one up and looks at it quizzically.
“Nadim.” she says. "Is he on today?"
The bartender replies "I think Nadim is drumming out some business in the establishment. Try the back rooms."
"We have arranged accomodation.” says Mara "Would we ask him about that?"
The man asks for her details and it turns that that a room has been organised and paid for for the next two nights.
Lioniel asks "What’s your name good sir?” to the DM’s chagrin.
“Seqiet Ayob” he replies.
"Have you heard of the bugs out here in the Land of the Pharaohs?” asks Lioniel
"No bugs here. Clean establishment” he replies.
"No the music by the bugs” replies Lioniel.
"Oh. I can’t pay.” he says.
"You can pay me with a barter. Its fine. I’ll play for you guys.” says Lioniel.
“Um... Ok then,” says the man with confusion and seems to be just trying to end the conversation.
"I’ll do you a demo later,” says Lioniel with a wink.
Nigel refuses a drink so Tzara has two. The drinks turn out to be rice wine. Nigel asks about and finds Nadim.
Nigel says to Nadim "Your name was recommended to us by Alvin."
"Ah yes I know him,” the man replies.
"As one who can help us on our holy quest” says Nigel.
"Supplies and information Nadim has lots of. For a price.” he states. “Where are you headed?"
"We are going to Pazaar”, Lioniel says.
"Many people are searching for Pazaar. Not many return.” he says flatly.
Tzara casts a spell that prevents lying.
“I suggest you purchase a map. You are also not dressed for this place. I would purchase clothes, and camels too” says Sadim
Nigel suddenly starts, hands over his gold to Mara, and says he has to go and will be back tonight and leaves the inn.
Mara hands the money to Averson and says “I trust you to look after this”.
Tzara arranges. with Nadim to pay 700gp when we get back from Pazaar for eight camels. Nadim agrees and leaves to make arrangements.
A man tells Lioniel that there is a big party tonight in the town square for a local holiday - The Weekend of the Pharaohs. The party starts tonight. Where people give offerings and thanks for the pharaohs past.
Nigel searches for the angelic feeling but it disappears. Then he feels it back from the bar and then realises its coming from Tzara. A celestial power. Nigel gives her a drink and says “we need to talk”.
Tzara says “Now is not the time to talk religion. The time will be on the road. Of the Majere.”
Nigel knows they are good and they teach and are gatherers of knowledge. Their symbol is a golden spider. It gives him some heart.
“I need you to look the other way when necromancy appears.” says Tzara. "We can talk about it later.”
Nigel slams his drink down. “For those that may not know my God Kelemvor is the god of death. Who decides where a soul should go. Anything the changes where a soul should go goes against that. I need to learn more. I’ve been challenged so much in the last few months.”
“Kelemvor speaks highly of you.” says Tzara.
Nigel is aghast. “And you speak with Kelemvor? I need to go and contemplate this.” He stands to head to his room.
“There is a party!” says Lioniel. “Come to the party”
“Fine! I’ll come and party. You’re a rock Lioniel”.
A band is playing in the town square. Lioniel grabs Gwenelda and pulls her up to dance. They all begin to have a good time now they are finally off the boat and settled in. Even after Nigel’s uncomfortable conversation with Tzara. Soon though even he can’t resist the topic. A deep and meaningful commences between Tzara and Nigel. She claims that the very first time on the mission with the sheep and she had reanimated it which Nigel finds very confusing and disturbing. She then lifts up her arm jacket and there is necomancy tattoos that have been on her since birth.
"Trust me because we can be great allies,” she says to him.
"Everything I've been taught,” replies Nigel, "teaches me not to trust you. But I sense no evil. I even sense Celestial. Perhaps for now we can work together…” Nigel grabs a nearby drink and then the partying really ensues…
The party gets so drunk and wakes up arrested in a cell. After some time the guards come and take them out of the city to the edge of the desert of desolation.
“What did we do? What did we do?” they ask but no one answers them. The guards take them to the edge of the desert and then release them. There are eight camels here waiting for the party with all of their gear.
The head of the guard says:
The the order of his majesty
Ruler and trustee of t he realm
(here follows a long list of titles and names)
Whereas it hath been reported to last to our majesty that certain dark and vile desert raiders have crossed the terrible mountaint wastes to the south over long-forgotten paths, thence to raid and plunder our hamlets an towns and thence disappearing into those same forbidding hills and
Whereas our valiant troops have tracked these same vile creatures through the very teeth of that awesome range to the very boreders of the mot accursed land, known as the desert of desolation, and being knowledgable as to the curses of that dead and haunted land did our host of brown jazeraint wisely halt their pursuit.
And furthermore, whereas certain foreign characters were seen in the vicinity of Wan-Doo the Wonderous, wizard of the court, in the latter part of the evening and
Whereas these persons did attain entry to said tent and did engage in mischief and mayhem and did leave for the wizard a certain maid for an alleged encounter and
Whereas said wizard did return to his tent with yet another wench upon both the first maid and the second wench did begin a loud commotion and disturbance the like of which has never before shaken the stately court and vex the wizard greatly.
Therefore, be it decreed that said persons be appointed a special force under the authority of the Caliph himself, Lord bless his name, to track the coure of the raiders from the desert of desolation, where surely even the raiders cannot survive. Search you out their hiding place and return with proof of their hidden fortress in the desert or return ye not.
We further decree in the great generosity of the Caliph that this special force may retain for their own use what they can bring back from the fabled treasures of the land of death.
Be it further decreed that if they do not prefer this quest they may choose between death by handing, death by impalement, death by strangulation, death by elephant’s foot, death by spell, death by exposure, death by drowning, death by flaying, death by quartering…
The party go on to choose life and head out into the desert.
Their skin blistered all day before the hot desert sun sank slowly below the horizon. Now, the deep blue mists of the desert night swirl about them in the wind. The cool night air seems to soak up the head of the endless desert sands.
They shiver as they and their friends huddle around you campfire, glancing nervously at the giant pyramid in the distance. There is a eerie and mysterious feeling about that place.
Gradually the winds change direction carrying a thin streak of white mist that swirls int the shape of a faceless man dressed in ancient robes.
The starlight seems to shine through him as he raises his arms towards the pyramid and speaks.
“I am pharaoh Mano-Re, son of Tarosh-Re of the house of Mo-Feiar. I am only a shadow who has walked these sands for centuries in search of wise and mighty warriors to break into my pyramid and plunder my tomb.”
The winds shift and begin to swirl about him as he fades back into the mists and airs. Why does this desert spirit want them to plunder his tomb? Can they survive the challenges of a pyramid that has withstood the ravages of time and countless previous thieves?
Or are they being led into a trap?