Chronicles of Khaldun: Bread and Circuses

Session 21

Earthday, Harvester 20, 552 CY (50 AN)

Khuna awakens with a jolt. Margot, sleeping next to her, awakens at the disturbance. After inquiring, Khuna explains that she has dreams — visions, of a sort — and she believes the Peacocks and the Scandshar Watch are coming for her. Despite it being early morning, Khuna decides to gather the others; they quickly dress and go down to the common room of the inn.

In the common room, three figures sit around a table. Khuna recognizes Darstina Tallcrippler. Sitting with her is the elven bard she previously saw in the inn. She does not recognize the other woman, a slender, light-skinned human wearing traveler’s garb. Her exposed skin from the neck down is covered in tattoos.

The elven bard and Lady Marguerite recognize each other, and he rises to greet her. He ascertains that her companion must be Dhavita; he expresses that as someone who “escaped the slave pits, bloodied the nose of the Peacocks, and seduced the most beautiful woman in Scandshar,” he is already fond of her. They talk briefly, and he notes that he believes her nameless eladrin friend is sleeping within the refugee camp. Before parting, she introduces herself officially as Dhavita, and he introduces himself as Vianibrar.

Khuna finds her mother, Sati, at the refugee site. She asks if Sati slept at all — some, she replies; she wanted to see if there was anything to be done — before looking around for Nobody. She finds the eladrin lying on the ground in meditative repose. Nobody awakens at her and Marguerite’s approach, and Khuna explains that she has had a vision of the Peacocks tracking them through Dawnslight. She does not know if they are coming this way. Additionally, Zafira Shulud is with them.

After further discussion, they decide to get the others. Nobody will go find Croitus, presumably down by the river, while Khuna will go to the Wizard’s Tower to find Resh and Southie.

Nobody leaves Duchy Jepson and approaches the river. Near where Croitus usually lurks, she finds a man in plate armor sitting on a rock, sharpening his sword. In the pre-dawn light, she can vaguely see a black shape floating in the river — likely Croitus. The armored man has his back to her, and so she stands, waiting for him to turn around or address her. After a few minutes, the man continues sharpening his sword, but addresses her, asking what she wants. After determining that he is apparently there to speak with Croitus — the armament certainly doesn’t make it seem like a promising conversation — she stonewalls his questions, positioning herself in the river between him and Croitus. She makes a half-hearted attempt to bathe herself, while still fully clothed, largely to make enough noise to make certain Croitus is aware of her presence. She stares at the knight all the while.

Croitus eventually emerges from the river, and addresses the knight. He puts his sword away as he answers, explaining that he is Sir Stígandr Hafrnsson, a devotee of the Raven Queen. He is there to ascertain certain things about Croitus, apparently operating on the assumption that Croitus is a devotee of the dead god Nerull. Croitus explains that he is not, that he escaped the accursed god Gauna that created him and adorned himself with tattoos of the deity in opposition to free himself from his malign god’s influence. He cannot guarantee that he would not serve Nerull or anybody else in the future, but it would be his choice. After discussion, the knight says he will need to contemplate this. He is certain they shall meet again. With that, the quixotic knight takes his leave.

Finally alone, Nobody addresses Croitus, explaining what Khuna told her. He thinks they will need to perform more research on these matters. They head to the Wizard’s Tower.

Meanwhile, Khuna and Lady Marguerite approach the dormitory reserved for Croitus, Resh, and Southie. Khuna knocks on the door, and is answered by a somewhat sleepy Resh. She explains the details of her dream, and asks if he has seen Southie. He has not. She says he is probably fine, and she and Marguerite continue on their way to address the Headmaster. Resh returns to bed.

Only he find he cannot sleep; Southie preys on his mind, as he often does. Resh rises and decides to start his search at the inn.

Resh finds the innkeeper and three figures at the Addled Alchemist — Darstina, a tattooed woman, and an elven bard. He greets Darstina, noting that she seems to be around whenever they need to leave in a hurry. He asks the innkeeper where Southie is staying, and upon learning the room, goes off to speak with him.

He knocks on Southie’s door, and Southie tells him to enter. He does, finding Southie standing at his window, looking out over the town. Southie indicates to him that he had a glorious dream last night, and as a result, he has come to the conclusion that he wants to eat the liver of a noble or a wizard — someone who doesn’t move around much, so the liver gets fatty and flavorful like that of foie gras. He concedes that he won’t eat any of the wizards in this town, but it’s something he now desires. Hopefully soon.

Resh informs him of Khuna’s dream, and indicates that she is at the Wizard’s Tower. He agrees to gather. Going downstairs, Southie notices the fancily-dressed elven bard and addresses him, asking if he has owned any slaves. The elf replies that he is actually head of the largest abolitionist group in the region. Southie then inquires after his rank or noble title, and upon learning that he has none, turns to the bar and completely ignores him. He orders a lightly-seared steak and ale to tide him over, then he and Resh go to the Wizard’s Tower.

Khuna and Marguerite arrive at the Headmaster’s office. As they enter, they learn the Headmaster is not within; instead, it is the severe, dark-haired man who was there last night when The Pentad docked. Introductions are made, and he introduces himself as Magister Remegni. They discuss matters, and she describes her prophetic dreams, describing the one she had last evening about Dawnslight. He makes further inquiries, and determines they do not know precisely what time her vision is supposed to occur.

As discussions continue, Croitus and Nobody arrive, followed in short order by Resh and Southie. Khuna continues her description of events, and her concerns that the Peacocks are somehow tracking her by way of sympathetic magic. Southie does not recall Zafira having harvested any piece of her to use in sympathetic magic, and Remegni assures her that a Sending ritual does not normally allow scrying. In fact, Duchy Jepson is protected by wards that prevent against scrying — the Sending reached Khuna as it is not technically a divination ritual — so she should be safe here. In terms of the Peacocks or Scandshar attempting to go to war with Jepson to retrieve the escaped gladiators, that is also unlikely. They probably suspect it, but without proof, they would be hard-pressed to indulge in all-out war. Additionally, while they would probably win a protracted engagement with Jepson, any conflict would likely be too costly to merit, particularly for such a small target. Instead, Scandshar and the Peacocks will likely just attempt to capture anyone they can use as a scapegoat — like Lord Weogora, given that he bears responsibility for Khuna’s crimes as her master — and publicly execute those people as a heavily-publicized victory.

As a lull approaches in the conversation, Croitus inquires about his own issues with devotees of various gods, and Remegni directs him to Sir Krizaut, loremaster of the library. Croitus takes his leave to begin researching.

After further discussion, Nobody, Resh, and Southie go downstairs to the mess hall to get breakfast; Khuna and Marguerite remain behind to inquire about the possibility of sending a message to Lord Weogora in Dawnslight. Remegni indicates it is possible, particularly with the Sending ritual, although the components for such would cost around 400 gp. He says he will see about gathering them. Khuna thanks him, and she and Marguerite leave to join the others at breakfast.



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