Act 1, Scene 3: Return to Keshan.

Act 1, Scene 3: Return to Keshan.

Walking out the desert the broad adobe walls of Keshan are a welcome sight, the Janissary Captain lets out a sigh as the gates come into sight. Walking up to the gates the Keshani soldiers immediately recognize their captain. As the heavy gates swing open you hear a triumphant trumpet blast from a nearby watch tower.

Smiling soldiers clear the way for you as you march tiered and dusty towards the Despot's Castle in the center of the city. When the castle gates open you see the Despot waiting on the other side with a wide grin on his face flanked by his household guards and servants carrying platters of cured meats, cheeses and pitchers of water and wine. The Despot speaks in his soft and rich voice, "Welcome home my friend! You need rest and sustenance and then you can tell me of your ordeal behind the walls of Ix." He leads the Captain and the Party into the Castle and the guards and servants trail behind.

Lounging on the cushioned divans of the Despots castle you nibble on the luscious meats and fancy foods of palace living as Captain explains how he was captured by slave wranglers and sold to Ix. In Ix he immediately go a reputation as troublemaker, getting more than a few beatings from the Guards, but more importantly getting the attention of a secret organization of slaves dedicated to protecting slaves and helping them escape. It was them to realized how important the Captain was, and while some wanted to out him, hoping a war with Keshan would free the slaves. Others realized that such action would cause the deaths of thousands of slave-soldiers and secreted him away until they could organize an sure-fire escape. A typical run for the walls would have been far to risky and could precipitate the war they were trying to avoid.

And then after days in hiding, a solution walked right into the Warehouse where the Captain was hiding. The Despot grins at this, and then something occurs to him. Motioning for a servant the Despot whispers some instrutions, looking to the party, "I have sent for my exchequer, he will bring you your rewards for such a speedy and discreet return." Turning back to the captain, "Please continue," At this point the captain is recounting events that you witnessed yourself and you turn your attentions to the arriving chests of treasure and constant supply of wine.

The Exchequer is a miserly looking old man constantly scratching at a ledger-book with a long quill, glaring at the servants over finely made spectacles he ushers the chests and sacks of coins and jewels into five glimmering piles. The sheer amount of treasure laid out before you is astounding and it takes some time for you to soak it all in. Next arrive a pair of armored soldiers carrying large chests, opening the chests you see a finely-woven suit that sparkles in the light, a large hammer with a spiked face covered in the twisting vine-like runes of the Northern Barbarians, a wide heavy leather best with a large metal buck that looks like it should have broken ages ago and last a strange metal device that resembles a scorpion or earwig.

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grabbing ahold of the Hammer Greil holds it outward with two firm hands. A most generous reward. twirling it once in his main hand he grins. It was tough work, but a challenge is a welcome thing. You know where to find me if you need something else nodding to his comrades, giving a slight smirk at Rune, turning to the Despot Greil bows his head lightly. I'll be heading to the market, there's some fine "Art" I would like to purchase with this payment.

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Boone stretches and yawns before his eyes catch on the enormous pile of loot. "Wow," he says. "That looks... nice." He picks up the githweave wizard's robe. "I... think that'll even fit me!"

Orion looks curiously at the treasures laid out before them and turns to their host, "Does this mean my service is ended? Or do you always award your criminals so lavishly?" and is hesitant to touch the horde.

But among it's treasures he recognizes something. On the inside of the battered belt is a name, Zui Quan, a legendary master to those who practice his forms and the patron saint of drunks to the wider world. Seeing no one stop him he reverently takes the belt and removing his own simple sash inscribed with the sutras by his master he dons the belt of Zui Quan. Holding the prized relic of his master in his hands he turns to Greil and holds out the sash, "My friend, you ever stand beside me. I would be honored if you would take this sash, made for me by my master. Learn from the sutras wisdom and you will ever have inner strength."

When Boone picks up the shimmering robe the Exchequer snaps his fingers and from another room a pair of servants bring in a small elderly woman from a foreign land on a small stool. Placing her in front of the wizard, she quickly begins to measure him with a long piece of string. A long nailed hand snatches the robe from Boone's hand and she begins to cut stitches and sew new ones faster than you thought possible. Not more than a few minutes later she hands the robes back to Boone and claps her hands twice. The servants remove her from the room as Boone tries the robe on. It fits perfectly.

Hearing the monks question the Despot idly waves a hand but does not turn to look at him, "You have earned your clemency. Ensuring the return of my most important advisor has averted a war with Ix and saved me many times the pittance I have laid before you. You will remain in my service for the time being, but do not imagine that I will not reward you for a job done most excellently."

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