Chronicles of Khaldun: Bread and Circuses

Session 16

Moonday, Harvester 17, 552 CY (50 AN)

Nobody wanders around Duchy Jepson, searching for any eladrin she might find. In the market, she sees a gnome with two eladrin soldiers standing guard. The gnome appears to be haggling with another merchant over his own wares. When he has little luck, he storms off toward the inn, the Addled Alchemist. Despite the Scandshar noble supposed to be staying at the inn, Nobody follows.

Entering the Addled Alchemist, she finds a party atmosphere, as several servants hustle around. Amidst the throng are several well-dressed nobles, and in the center of them, is a dark-skinned, bespectacled man with a pipe who must be Lord Revaz de Rais. An elf bard plays music while the staff of the Addled Alchemist serve. The gnome has sat, with his two eladrin guards still standing, looking for trouble. Nobody approaches, and after a bit of conversation, deigns to purchase a flower of the Summer Queen’s gown, whose bloom never fades, and a hag’s doorknob, which can create a door through a wall up to ten feet thick, although it can only do so once. She inquires about her tribe, but nobody present seems to know about it — they come from the Feywild city of Sylernavia by way of Vonseloth, both to the west.

After staying in the inn for a brief while, listening to the music, the bard approaches her, expressing surprise in her appearance — by the design of the runes carved on her head, she appears to be a survivor of old Solaeque, but that fell about a hundred to a hundred fifty years ago. They converse, and Nobody refers to her imprisonment in the gladiator pits; the bard reveals that Solaeque was sacked about a century ago by goblins — likely among the reasons why Nainimdul is so isolationist today. In the chaos, several Solaeque citizens died, some were sold into slavery, and some few managed to flee, no doubt now integrated into other populations around the world. He notes that En’amanisrahd and Vonseloth are likely sites to host refugee populations.

Before she leaves, they make introductions; the bard introduces himself as Vianibrar, while she reveals she has no name. Further discussions reveal that Lord Revaz de Rais likely fled here because one of his slaves was implicated in the uprising in Scandshar; it appears he is Southie’s owner. Finally, Vianibrar asks why she wears a veil; she reveals her filed teeth, and he indicates she ought to be proud of her history and not hide them. She considers his advice, but decides to keep the veil. At least for now.

Meanwhile, Khuna and Southie walk around the town. While trying to keep Southie occupied, Khuna decides to purchase a couple of items — in honor of her apparently deific patrons, she purchases a milkweed plant for Avandra and a blue candle for Sehanine. As they pass a garden, she quietly plants the milkweed plant; when Southie asks, she explains that she is beautifying the garden, not wanting to engage him in a conversation about religion. She decides to wait until she is alone to burn the candle.

While walking, the pair passes a graveyard, and Southie finds a certain restlessness fills him — he expresses that he no longer understands his purpose, now that he is free of the pits and in relatively peaceful environs. They discuss this for a while, coming to the idea that Southie needs to find his own path, independent of the gladiator pits. Or, perhaps, the disturbing possibility that he is only made for the pits.

Returning to their rooms in the Wizard’s Tower, they find that Croitus is gone and Resh is resting. They decide to take care of Ashraf’s sky-burial, and so need to find Croitus. They suspect he is down by the river.

Sure enough, Croitus has gone down to the river to bask in the sun — such as it is, with the mild drizzle — and the trio of Khuna, Resh, and Southie ask to retrieve his body. He deigns to stay by the river, but removes Ashraf’s corpse from his bag of holding, placing it directly into Khuna’s. The three leave the town, walking into some nearby woods to leave his body. When they return, they talk with Croitus for a bit.

Finally, everyone reconvenes at the Wizard’s Tower. They eat with the students in the dining hall — Southie takes the opportunity to regale the students with his exploits, albeit “sanitized” versions at Khuna’s behest — and when the Headmaster passes, they speak with him briefly. Croitus indicates he wishes to see him after dinner, and the Headmaster agrees.

Eventually, one by one the group travels to their rooms to retire for the night. Nobody stays in the dining hall, practicing writing “Solaeque” in Common and Elven. Croitus meets the Headmaster and asks about getting the blood of a black dragon for a ritual; Ebenezer says he can likely find it. When it comes to payment, he says he is interested in dangerous artifacts — Croitus offers his Tract of Teratology and Ashraf’s utility belt. Ebenezer asks him to throw in 50 gp, Croitus agrees, and Ebenezer says he should have it sometime tomorrow.

There is a brief panic when Khuna and Resh realize they’ve lost Southie, but when they find him not having caused any trouble, Nobody is alerted that the dining hall is empty and everybody retires for the night. Before Nobody joins her, Khuna lights her candle and prays to Sehanine.

The next day, the five go their separate ways, performing various tasks around town. Nobody returns to the Addled Alchemist to seek the gnome and his eladrin guards to inquire further about Vonseloth; they have apparently left, so she stays and listens to Vianibrar’s songs. As Southie starts getting twitchy at the lack of violence, Croitus, Khuna, and Resh all decide to leave town tomorrow morning rather than waiting for the return of the spelljammer.

Southie wanders around town, followed by Resh, until he comes across a cattleman and his herd. Southie offers to buy all fifteen cattle, the cattleman negotiates a price of 300 gp for the herd, and Southie agrees. He asks a guardsman if it would be illegal to slaughter them here in the market, and the guard answers that it would be uncouth, but likely not illegal so long as he owns them. Southie then proceeds to butcher the entire herd of cattle, summoning the guards afterward and instructing them to distribute the meat to the poor. He takes a small amount for himself, and travels to the Wizard’s Tower kitchens to inquire about having it cooked. Resh follows, and they chat while cooking commences.

Khuna, wandering around town, comes upon the scene of Southie’s slaughter. Seeing that all appears to be well, however, she leaves it, taking a bit of cow tongue to try.

Croitus returns to Ebenezer around midday, inquiring after his dragon’s blood. Ebenezer hands him a jar of the stuff, money exchanges hands, and Croitus finds a secluded area to complete his work — enchanting the spear he holds with a brutal curse.

Meanwhile, the show at the Addled Alchemist is interrupted when a child bursts in, informing everyone present that some dwarf has butched all the cattle. Lord Revaz whips around, asking him to describe the dwarf — at the description, he immediately starts gathering his people and getting ready to go.

When Khuna notices all the commotion around the Addled Alchemist, she watches. Over the course of about an hour, the nobles and their servants gather things, hitch wagons, and leave via the west gate — the opposite direction she would have to take to get to Dawnslight to find her Lady Margot.

With nobody really remaining to listen, Vianibrar stops playing and talks to Nobody briefly.

Comments

PsychicMayhem

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