Act 1, Scene 3: Luscott's Ravine.

Act 1, Scene 3: Luscott's Ravine.

Walking out into the desert west of Ix there is nothing but coarse dry dirt and the occasional scrubs or cacti as far as the eye can see. After many hours of dusty travel the walls of Ix finally sink behind the horizon below you, but the Party hardly notices as their eyes search the vast desert in front of them for signs of the oasis that Ssark told them of. Your failure to spot the oasis from a distance is not entirely surprising however, after all you were told it was a hidden oasis.

After some hours walking through the desert you take a moment to stop, take a drink and pour the sand out of your boots. Gazing out at the cacti Orion spots something strange, a scrap of cloth on a long spine on a nearby cacti fluttering in the feeble wind like a small flag. Walking up to it and inspecting it closer the monk realizes that this is a scape of Ssark's own cloak left as a marker. His head whips around looking for more signs, and he spots another some distance to the southwest under the corner of a large rock. Finding each subsequent flag takes some time, but eventually they lead you around a large hill you did not even notice from the other side and now you stand at the entrance to an astonishingly hidden ravine.

Walking into the ravine you hear the faint bubbling of water in the distance, and you quickly find a tiny little spring; the grey water looks foul and it runs so slowly it would take an hour to fill a waterskin. All of a sudden you hear a whistle from above, looking up you spot Ssark standing in a crevasse fifteen feet up, throwing down a rope he says, "Pull it up after you", and squeezes down the crevasse out of sight. Climbing through the crevasse is so tight that you have to slide through sideway, Greil in particular has trouble squeezing through and occasionally sparks fly as stones scrape against Rune's metal body.

After almost five minutes forcing yourselves through the crevasse the ravine finally opens up and you see an astonishing sight, there is a pool of crystal clear water as big as any fountain you've seen in the water-rich Keshan. Around it are patches light green grass and there are even a pair of small flowering shrubs. On a rock next to the pool is an elderly man weaving a basket from long green reeds, Ssark points to you and speaks to them, "I did not expect them so soon, but these are the friends I spoke to you of, with a few new additions."

The Druid looks up at you, "Welcome to my Oasis, I am Luscott. Ssark here has vouches for you, so I expect you will not defile the sanctity of this place. You may fill you skins, but be careful, as water valuable." The keen eye of the Druid turns to Kona, "You have the look of many years of toil, perhaps your have escaped from Ix?"

Smiling she replies, "You are correct, Druid, these men have promised an avenue of escape from Ix, to here and then into the desert to live with Ssark's tribe. I am here to see that their promise is true."

Luscott nods, "Understand that I cannot sustain hundreds of slaves escaping every week, this spring can only supply a dozen or so people on top of the plants and animals that already rely on it, with Ssark's gift of the precious apricot I must be careful that the sapling will get enough water as well. Fruit bearing trees are precious indeed." Looking at everyone Luscott finishes, "Please, put down your loads. I will prepare a meal and you can stay the night before heading back out into the sun tomorrow."

As the group climbs through the ravine Greil comments aloud. Well I suppose the more difficult the place is to get the less likely people are to go for it noting the warforged own problems Greil continues If you get too dinged up I think we'll lose the deposit we put on you. Be careful we want to make sure to get that gold back when we return you to the shop

When the group arrives at the Oasis. Greil is taken in by the natural beauty. I'll never cease to be amazed by everything the the natural world can accomplish, creating such a thing in this desolate environment. bowing lightly before the druid. Thank you for harboring us and for caring for such a special place.

Boone says little, but he looks around carefully, taking it all in.

Bowing low to Luscott, "I can only hope that the fruit I found flourishing underground does so as well in your care. I am greatful you can do what I cannot, and nurture this plant to bloom. I hope in time I may return to see the apricot tree in full splendor."

The Druid replies to Griel and Orion, "Your compliments humble me. I will tend the tree with care that it may bear fruit some day, but in harsh climes like these there are many threats to a place such as this, not the least of which is over population. Please, do not tell anyone else of the location of this place." Looking at Kona, "When you return to your people let them know there is aid out here to the west, but that it will find them. They need only travel a day and a half west, and we will find them and guide them here."

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