6/22 – 7/5/1499 DR
Xiaa, a dwarven Consortium manager, is sent to help us with anything we’ve found on our trip. We hand over the statue, the gems, the headband, and the boots for her to identify and pay us for. Jazeera hands over the items for her to check out. She offers us 1750 gold for our mundane items, or 2000 gold credit that we can use at the House Voldon comissary. Also as members of the house we’ll receive a 20% discount. Our group decides to take the credit and we buy some healing fruits to help us with future adventures. Before she leaves, Karim asks if there is some way that he can learn more about his father’s house, House Tormod? Xiaa let’s him know that Liassa is the house liason and she would be the best to help him, but she is at a party this evening.
Our movement is limited to this wing of the house until we’ve had a chance to speak with Patriarch Voldon. “Dante” tries to push his limits but he finds that he is blocked and besides visiting the comissary, we remain in our rooms.
As night falls, it sounds like a riot is breaking loose outside the compound, but as we look outside we realize that the Voldon compound is safe with extra guards posted. I stick my head outside and ask the guards what’s going on? The dwarven guard explains that King Tithian is not exporting iron from the mines so King Hamanu of Urik is getting angry. He needs iron tools to mine his obsidian mines and may be sending an army to take it by force. Besides there now being too many mouths to feed because of the freed slaves, the added threat of war is causing more chaos.
The next morning the giant Mul guard, Asai, escorts us to see the Patriarch. We begin by telling him of our findings, leaving out the part about the seedling that Dante is carrying. When we mention Yaka’tur we find that he knows nothing of the city, but mentions that maybe we should bring it up to his archivist. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice that Naivara seems to remember something, but covers it up well. While we’re in discussions, Atrena, flanked by Asai, bursts into the room, angry that we started discussions without her. Her father reminds her that he is patriarch, not her, which seems to calm her, but the Patriarch seems saddened by this reminder. The Patriarch pretends not to know what the God-bone is, but slips a couple of times. We are reminded that both father and daughter are playing games. When we have nothing else to offer them, we are dismissed with the promise that the liason and the archivist will visit with us later.
Once we’re alone, Dante checks for unwanted listeners, and then I ask Naivara what she remembered during our discussions. She explained to us a story that she’d heard as a little girl. She suddenly remembers that the capital city of the Feywild, before the coming of the (nothing) “blight” was called Yaka’tur. In this city the Circle of Guardians, a group of very powerful psionicists was based and they fought hard to fend off the blight, but they were unsuccessful. When Yaka’tur fell, many Eladrin died… but this was 10,000 years ago and prophecy heralded this as the end of the “wild.” So now we knew what the city was, but not where it is or how Ixeal Voldon or ourselves are supposed to find it.
The assassin warns us of someone’s approach, and then we hear a knock on the door. When we open it, a willowy thin, red-haired, half-elven woman, arrives. She announces that she is Liassa and that she was told that someone was looking for her? Karim admits that it was him and he was wondering about news of House Tormod? She explains that Patriarch Tormod suffered a broken leg that day during the King’s games, but due to his half-giant guards he was able to escape alive and is well, though, his house is suffering. Ee’Klek’Tyk questions who this woman is and how I can so easily trust her? She speaks to him in flawless Tri-Kreen and he realizes this is not a woman to mess with. With that done, she returns to her duties.
Next, a well-built man, who is obviously blind, enters the room and announces that he is the archivist. Inlaid on his back, as well as the back of his legs and arms are thousands of quartz crystals. The psychics recognize the psionic enhancers that he’d been enhanced with. We tell him of Yaka’tur and the God-bone, but he doesn’t know much about the latter. The first he has heard in fairytales, but there is little fact about it. He tells us that in the northern part of the city is a small cabal of psionicists who can scry info on this for a price. There are also wanderers in the city who make it their job to travel the sands, picking up scraps of history. As we repeat our story about the Tree of Life and the undead guardians, the name Avor Firesworn sounds like a gnomish name to him, a race that was wiped out by the sorcerer-king of Nibenay before the cleansing. The tales say that the Shadow-King of Nibenay was responsible for the “cleansing” of the gnomes.
’Klek asks the archivist about Asai. Just because it would anger Atrea, he will tell us. Asai was specially bred in House Asticles (Agis is now the Scion of that house), but before that his father bred the perfect human and the perfect dwarf. Asai was the perfect mul offspring of these two. He fought in the pits of Urik for a time, but he was bought by Atrena and he is more than a guard, he is also her lover. With that juicy bit of information, he returns to his research and we are given leave to go in to Tyr to find information.
Naivara and Karim go off together to a place he knows called the Silver Hide, where a lot of traders meet for inter-house trading. Many of Karim’s contacts were usually in the middle of this. On the way, they are almost pick-pocketed by a waif, but the Eladrin catches him. In front of the business, we are blocked from entrance by a butler with a silver-chain. I announce my name, but without my ring as proof he won’t let us enter. The man demands proof and all I can offer is that I’m sure that Kelek Estes, from a lesser house who trades lots of grain, will be there and will vouch for me. The silver-chained man heads inside. A little while later, the butler returns followed by a scrawny little man, who vouches for me, and really likes what he sees in Naivara. Karim picks up on this and talks about how he’s trying his best to help out this elegant creature from beyond the Wild. Kelek doesn’t want to believe it because the “Lands within the Wind” is just a fairytale. When pressed for more information, he says that his family used to do a lot of trading near Kalidnay and it was rumored that the city just disappeared one night. Nibenay was often snatching up any information they could about Kalidnay and his family made some profit off of it. The last person to trade in rumors was Tricia, but she was tried for crimes in Draj and killed. Tricia had fallen in with one of the God of the Moon’s, Tectuktitlay, senior officials, named Savon. She sent House Estes missives that Savon knew how to get to Kalidnay to open up trade routes with people with whom they’d never traded before. That was 80 years ago and was the last they’d heard from her. Naivara confirmed that a friend of hers had been to Athas before when it was green, and then later after the Cleansing Wars. Kelek isn’t interested in continuing trade since his father gave up on it with the death of Tricia.
As Klek heads through town, he hears muttering from the other races about him, how “IT” should be in the elven quarter, not the city proper. Most Thri-kreen that he passes hiss at him. There is much tension in the city. Following his hunter instincts he heads to the north into a part of the quarter where fewer elves are. Klek follows his nose and finds a Thri-Kreen settlement underground. He finds guards and asks them for information in hunting prey called Yaka’tur. They tell him that it sounds like prey which is in land beyond land beyond land. It disappeared years ago, unable to be tracked. Klek tries other clans of his kind, but they’re less than helpful.
Dante hopes to find info amongst his people in the Elven Quarter as well. He gives a coin to a waif in front of the Crystal Scarab and is allowed entrance. Dante chats up the elf behind the bar and asks about info. The barkeep admits that today is all about fairytales. He indicates 3 elves getting drunk at a nearby table. Mothers have often told their children about the Accursed Legion and the Grim Lasher, but few have ever believed it in their adult years. The 3 elves claim to have seen this ghostly group of wanderers and were the few able to escape alive. When he mentions Yaka’Tur, the barkeep tells him that all he knows is that that word is old elven meaning “Golden Spire,” but that’s a legend as well.
Dante takes drinks to the Elves at the table who had seen the Legion. He gives them drinks and asks for more info. Zik at the table can’t stop staring at Dante and mentions that he looks like one of the guys that he’d seen in the Accursed Legion. The Elves were running across the desert, when they met a motley crew asking for water. One of them was tall, bearded, and had the same light colored skin and eyes as Dante. Before they could take their money, a great beast appeared and started killing the Legion and the elven tribe. These three were the only ones to escape and they will never forget what they saw! Dante then asks about Yaka’tur and is told that Savon Icarious is the man who looked like Dante and told the Elves that he could help them find the real Kalidnay and the route to Yaka’tur. Savon was Dante’s mentor and he hated what was done to him more than anything! Dante buys the elves more drinks to thank them for their help.
Jazeera had been pretty quiet at House Voldon, relying on her partner to do all of the talking, but out on the streets she was back in her element. She decided to visit a bar where many of her loyal fans gathered and as she entered, she wasn’t disappointed. She was met with applause and adoration. She played to her audience, showering them with appreciation and love. She found out that since King Tithian had released all of the gladiators, the Games had gone to pot. The mul admitted that she might return to gladiator life once they finished off current debts.
In the corner she noticed three people studying her intently, so she made her way over and was introduced to Rolph, Alexian and Alexia (twins) from Urik. They admitted that they were huge fans of her and Karim and wondered if she’d ever fight for them in Urik? She admitted that she’d love to, but Karim was obsessed with this new floozy and until they found a way to get her home, he’d be too distracted. They asked where her home was and when she mentioned Yaka’tur they weren’t able to help her. They knew of the fairytale of the Accursed Legion, but the story of Yaka’tur was unknown to them. Rolph called over an old man, Joslin, a bard, who might know more about Yaka’tur. Once Jazeera agrees to buy him foot he shares what knows about Yaka’tur. Before it disappeared it was rumored that Kalidnay had found a way to the Land within the Winds. There was not much else to share.
We all meet back at House Voldon to share what we know. While Dante checks that we’re not being listened to, Naivara and Karim push away any psionic intruders as well. Kalidnay seems to be our best bet, and we have our Eladrin as the best source for finding it since she’d recognize a Fey Crossing. Just as Dante is explaining to us who Savon is, he hears muffled footsteps approaching and warns us just before Atrena and Asai burst in demanding information. Karim stands his ground and announces that they will share their information with her, but only in the presence of her father. She threatens them, stating that someday soon she WILL be the matriarch of House Voldon and it would behoove us to remain on her good side. When she storms off in a huff, the group asks the guards for an audience with Patriarch Voldon.
Not too much later, they are shown into the Patriarch’s study, where Atrena is wrapped in a sheet, fondling Asai’s leg overtly. I share the info that we gained about Kalidnay and we learn that it is far to the south of Tyr. Since I don’t trust Atrena my answers aren’t very detailed and the Patriarch is unhappy with my elusiveness. Dante interjects and shares info about the Fey Crossings and the fact that Naivara is our proof that these stories are more than fairy tales. Atrena can do nothing but mock us, and when her father tries to shut her up, Asai steps threateningly towards the Patriarch, whose eyes get a crystal glaze across them and Asai backs off.
The Patriarch asks what our plan is and Dante explains that we hope to hunt down the Accursed Legion so that we can find the sage (Savon) and hopefully fain more info on Kalidnay. The Patriarch just looks like a tired father, but since his normal means of hunting for his son have failed, he’s willing to take a chance with us. He provides us with an emerald cut quartz so we can communicate with him once per week. He will provide us Crodlu’s and supplies and he wants us to meet with the surviving elves.
The archivist tells us that there are fairytales about people walking among the streets of Yaka’tur at night, and back in Athas with the morning light, which means the night light might have something to do with it.
Before we leave the study, the Patriarch puts quartz into Jazeera’s right shoulder so he can record whatever we see and gather info on our travels. He apologizes to the Mul for causing her pain, but she responds that life is pain.
The next morning there are 3 Crodlu’s for us and supplies for 15 days. The assassin leads us back to the Crystal Scarab and we find 2 of the 3 Elves still in the bar. Zik took his life the night before. Dante tells the other two elves that they’re coming with us to find the Legion. They start the fight because Elves would rather die than leave this bar. We decide to take them out non-lethally as the Mul attacks. One elf is almost knocked unconscious and he threatens to kill himself. Naivara knocks him out. His “friend” agrees to show us on the map where the attack happened, near the “G” for Great Sand Wastes, 3-4 days run to the southeast. We thank him and Klek pays him the coins he didn’t know what to use them for.
First 6 days of travel no problems. 1 day away from Sand Sea the Crodlu’s go insane, buck us and run off into an area surrounded by buttes and some soft sand in the middle. Suddenly a Land Jaw (Bulette) bursts from the silt and roars at us. We all have pent up frustration from the political maneuvering, which has left us feeling powerless, that we take out on the monster. Dante and Klek beat on it mercilessly until the poor creature dies.