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Act 1: The Ixian Prisoner Scene 1: Idle Hands No Longer

 
Act 1: The Ixian Prisoner Scene 1: Idle Hands No Longer

The days in the Castle of the Despot of Keshan have been hot and dry. Many of your days have been spent idle; practicing swordplay, playing chess or wagering on bloodsport at Keshan's arena. Still, life in the castle is not easy, beyond a simple cot in the barracks, basic nourishment and a paltry salary for those lucky enough to serve of their own free will the Despot provides nothing for you. Such is life for the loyal servants of the Despot until they are called upon to serve their master, and idle hands do the Despot no good.

On the morning of the Twelfth Day of the Seventh Moon you are summoned by to the Despot's council chambers. When you arrive there are more than a dozen people there; in the center are the Despot and his Grand Vizier standing over a large tapestry embroidered with a map of the City, around the edge are the Councilors including the Wellmaster, representatives of the Free Craftsmen's Guilds and Merchants Companie's Federation and the Patriarchs of the Noble Houses. The only ones seemingly out of place are yourself and four others, all pledged to the Despot you have seen them in the castle, spending their days idle just as you have. It appears the time has come for all of you to fulfill your pledges.

For almost and hour you stand as the Councilors speak amongst each other in semi-hushed tones and the Despot and Vizier argue emphatically in the center of the room. Point to lines in a ledger book the bearded Vizier argues something about levys and fines, but your understanding of the issues you overhear are limited. Finally when it appears that the Despot and his Vizier have reached an agreement the ledger is closed and taken away by a slave and the Despot turns to you. With a wave of the Despot's hand a slave boy approaches you carrying a large bronze platter of dried fruit, as you nibble politely on figs and apricots the Despot speaks, "For many days have you sat idle in my Castle, eating my food and drinking my water."

The Vizier interrupts, "Do not think that a frivolous expense, had you not had them in your service your enemies would have."

The Despot sighs, "Indeed, Vizier, for now I have them to call upon to resolve the most delicate of issues. As you know Keshan has in plenty what many cities of this region do not, water. For the past two cycles of the Moon we have been undertaking negotiations with the City of Vendhya whose wells have all but dried up. Their slaves are dying and the dead are piling up in the streets and they are in desperate need of water. To supply them with all that they require would strain our resources and put them at our mercy, so negotiations have been slow. Finally last week we came to an agreement, sealed by the exchange of Hostages. The daughter of the Mogul of Vendhya should be arriving shortly, however that is not the problem."

Walking to a large divan the Despot sits, "We have long had a truce with the Slave Princes of Ix to the South-West. In exchange for water their Slaver's give our Caravans leave, but that is now in danger. My Son-In-Law and a junior Captain of my Janissary Guard got captured by the Slavers shortly after he departed. He was seen three days ago in Ix by a servant of mine purchasing slaves for this Castle. The Slavers do not realize whom they have in their possession. And you are going to get him back on his way to Vendhya before they do."

The Vizier walks up to the Despot with a scroll with a seal of still hot wax that the Despot presses his ring into. Rolling the scroll up the Vizier walks up to you and hands it to you. "Show this letter to the Quartermaster and he will supply you. Be outside of the City walls by Noon. You may go." And with that the chamber is silent as, the stares of the Council are heavy as they wait impatiently for you to leave so they may continue their business.

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The Quartermaster is a grizzled veteran of the City Watch, when you arrive at the Castle warehouse you see him shouting and cursing at various slaves and soldiers. When you approach he points you over to a make shift table made from a pair of barrels and a couple of planks of wood. Without a word he reaches out with an open hand for the letter you carry. Reading the letter he raises a single crooked finger and turns back into the ware house. When he returns he is followed by a small donkey pulling a two wheeled cart. On the cart are a few sacks of grain, a small box of dried fruit and a couple of filled water-skins, handing the donkey's reins to you he speaks to you for the first time, "'Here you go, now get the 'ell out."

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The road from Keshan to Ix is a rarely traveled path that skirts the edge of a large desert, its only travelers are the caravans of water and slaves that ensure the peace between Keshan and Ix. All others avoid it, lest they be ambushed by the nomadic raiders that live in the desert and harass the cities that surround it. As you travel towards Ix you cross many places where nomads have crossed the road; there are even a few remains of travelers and their caravans on the side of the road in places.

At a point the road bends to skirt around the bottom of a large crested dune, you hear a massive grunt as a massive humanoid above hurl a huge stone towards you, which lands just yards in front of you, stopping you in your tracks. Immediately a number of humans and a tall lizard-like humanoid appear almost from no where are set upon you. They say nothing, and it is clear that they have no interest in resolving this, whatever this is, peacefully.

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"By the gods, what is that? Be ready boys!" Irimus exclaimed, seeing the lizardman.

Hearing the rock whistle over his head Orion sticks his walking-staff deep into the sand beside him and places his wide reed hat upon it. Shrugging off the straps of his pack to the ground beside it he brings his hands up to his chest, pressing his fist into the palm of his other hand. He draws no weapons, but sets his feet wide for purchase on the shifting sands of the desert.

Phase of the Stars; HP: 78 AC 26 Fort 21 Ref 22 Will 25 AP 1 Surges 0/9 used

...You dare delay our company from proceeding? Well you will fall easily from us.


]His shield already in hand Greil tightens the straps and cracks his necks. With a shrug of his shoulders he taps the sides of his boots with his hammer shaking any sand or debris free. Already huh? Alright then The Goliath raises his shield in a defensive stance waiting for the battle to begin.


"Foul beasts..." Boone says, shaking his head. He ducks behind the wagon. "And I thought that vizier smelled bad. Well, the blackcloak will make short work of these."


When the stone crashes to the ground, Orion already has his feet firmly planted in the sand. He hears the wind billowing over the desert sands at he readies himself for battle.

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Orion shifts to the balls of his feet and darts forward down the road and right into the center of the raiders in their path. He approaches and strikes each in turn, drawing their attention, and smiles from their lips as the close in to surround him. Then with his foes in arms reach he begins his attack in earnest, throwing kicks and elbows in every direction, blocking their attacks and using their momentum to throw their bodies out of joint. The two human warriors crumple around him and Orion turns to face the last warrior on the road, returns his fist to his palm and bows to his opponent.

Orion kicks up sand as he dashes around the desert nomads in front of him as he draws them into his trap. Grabbing one of the Vaegould by the throat it takes seconds before the man loses consciousness, still holding his throat, Orion throws the limp body over himself like a massive sledge, slamming it into the other Vaegould behind him sending him to the sand as well. Facing away from the towering lizard-like humanoid, one of Orion's legs strikes out, hitting the lizards knee and bending it the wrong way with a loud snap.

On the top of the dune the Torrian has put two stones the size of children's heads into his massive sling. The stone move in a ponderous circle over the beast's head until they are going blisteringly fast. With a loud grunt the Torrian releases the sling and the stone fly out. The first is aimed at Griel and the second at Irimus, the stones fly incredibly fast and neither traveler has a chance to dodge the incoming projectiles.




Phase of the Stars; HP: 78 AC 26 Fort 21 Ref 22 Will 25 AP 1 Surges 0/9 used

...These cretins must die for stopping us in the middle of the desert, for there is going to be sand in places it shouldn't be. Well, now the fun begins. Stepping forward, Rune decides to follow Orion's lead and take care of the most amount of enemies as he can.





 

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