An offer you can’t refuse"
…the group walks out of the cave, and regain the entrance of the canyon, it is midday more or lsess, it seems that they have spent a lot of time in the cave, even if it felt like only a few hours. In the distance, they can see smoke coming up from the general direction of the fort.
Moreover, a quick glimpse, reveal that the Silkworm is still around and could also attack. The worm could be agitated because of whatever it happened at the fort. Irann and Cor sees the worm moving around, since they are sort-of solitary creatures, it is probably the same animal, and is probably going to attack sooner or later.
The group decide to attempt at shortcut, by climbing up a slope and down the other side, to save time and gain the fort faster, but the terrain is really rough and in the end, the time lost by climbing up and down is the same as going for the long route. So that doesn’t work very well.
The group decide to regain the safety of the fort (if there is still a fort) as far as possible, so they all try to run or walk faster, but that doesn’t work that well since the group is still tired by the fight with the hijkins, another attempt at scaring the worm away also doesn’t work as well as before.
At this point they are quite close to the fort, and they can see that there is a fire going on in one of the towers, and another large fire has been lit outside of the gate. The fort seems damaged, like something (something really big) has removed chunks of the walls from the top.
Then, suddenly, the worm decide to attack, it basically seems to “coalesce” into existence from nothing, however the group was expecting an attack so they are not surprised by the sudden appearance.
A huge worm-like snake, with a gaping mouth and some sort of “bumps” on his back that detach reveling to be smaller worms on their own.
Combat ensues, luckily the smaller worms are weak and easy to be dealt with, the big one however turns out to live up his reputation, lashing out with his mouth and hitting hard, and since it’s covered with small versions of itself, is also hard to hit. In the end, the worm decides that the fight is not worthy and it simply disappears as fast as he came.
The group, a bit more battered than before, reaches the fort.
The fire outside the gates reveals to be a giant burning pire, were bodies are burned, it seems a huge carnage happened, and the survivors, mostly with Ianto’s house insignia, are dragging bodies outside and burning them. There is also a tower on fire and smaller fires are going on inside. The group quickly goes to work, Cor and Hardok climbs the burning tower and helps to clean it up and take the fire under control, Therai and Varnag goes around helping peoples as they can and Irann turns firefighter.
Most of the survivors are shocked, some of them are coping better than others, most of them reports that a huge creature appeared, discussed a bit with the Templar and then went into a rampage, killing a lot of peoples and dragging others away. Most of the witness claims that it was Tyr’s Dragon. It performed a strange ritual and then it disappeared.
The group decide to spread out and try to figure out what happened.
It seems that everybody was kept inside the fort, even if the place was really crowded, then suddenly, the Dragon popped out, and all hell broke lose! And it happened very fast too, nobody had the time to react.
(Tyr Dragon is supposed to be " a cruel being of ultimate power, seeking only to increase it while crushing those who come in his way", almost nobody ever saw it but is rumored to drop in from time to time to get “taxes” from the King of Tyr, taxes collected in the form of humans sacrificed)
In any event, it appears that all the non-Ianto house survivors have been given the “opportunity” to join the house. In fact, isn’t an opportunity but more a coerced enrollment.
The situation is quite unclear, the suspect that Ianto was in co hoot with the ‘dragon’ and arranged the whole slaughter is strong,
The group decide to have a quick chat with Leoricus to discover what is going to happen with their contract (and money) and then to ask Iurak if they can get some help about the writing on Irann’s medallion.
So Therai unleash the sweet talking, Leoricus is really frank about it, he simply say that he has no idea what is going to happen about the contract, momentarily is everything on hold and they have to talk about it with Iuraks or even with Strabo. He also relay the information that Iuraks wants to speak with the group about the medallion, so everybody is really interested.
Hardok points out that they have only one medallion and nobody has ever thought about making a (or attempting to) copy of the writing on it. Therai notices that “copying something you don’t understand is tricky, you have to make a very good copy of it or it is going to be even more difficult to translate”. But everybody agrees that having a copy of the writing could be a good bargain chip.
Cor attempt to make an impression of the medallion with some plaster, but it fails, the plaster is not flexible enough to penetrate the minute carvings and the whole thing crumbles.
In the evening, the group reconvene at the admin building for the chat with Iuraks, he is waiting in his study, he confirms that he is a mage and is dealing in arcane stuff, but he claims not to be a defiler. In any event, he is really interested in Irann’s medallion and offers to translate the writing, even to include the group in the possible quest for the location of the monastery.
The group is also very interested in uncovering what happened during the day, Therai makes some careful inquiry and turns out that Ianto has some sort of an agreement with the government to get rid of some “undesiderable” elements and in the same type appease the dragon providing him with a few victims, in any event the presence of the Dragon had nothing to do with his “little project”.
In the end, the group (Irann in fact) decide to let Iuraks translate the writing on the medallion, however she decide to stay and not let him with the medallion alone.
The group immediately jumps to the opportunity and join the expedition.
Iuraks also mentions that Strabo was of the idea of killing every witness of the event, but he was then convinced that some “capable assets” could be salvaged. Hardok asks if “assets” is some kind of insults, but is told by Therai that is just “Business as usual”. So the group arrange a meeting with Strabo for the next day.
Cor and Therai walks around a bit and asking about the event of the day, and it seems that all the “survivors” of the attack were given an “offer”: join or die.
Therai’s plan doesn’t involve to join the house but simply “to play nice and not to tell them”. Hardok has some doubt about the feasibility of such plan.
The next day, the group convene with Iurak to hear the news about his study of the medallion, it turns out that the Monastery of Who Watch and has been razed by the Templar of Tyr at some point.
He manage to translate the writing and discover the secret location of the old monastery, and he is also very intrigued, he is convinced that some interesting stuff is still in that location and that he needs those bits for his research, so much that he decide that he’ll mount an expedition to the monastery in the near future. But first he has to rack up the money to pay for such expedition.
So the first step is to have one caravan out to do some business and get the money and then organize the expedition. Also, it seems that the House got a bunch of money thanks to that “dragon business”.
The group is obviously interested in the caravan business as well, even if that means to get back to Tyr and possibly with some trouble for Therai (Hardok suggest him to disguise himself). So they manage to arrange a meeting directly with Strabo Ianto himself.
The meeting is organized for the next morning, so the group has a bit of time to go around, sneak around and try to figure out what the real situation is or try to break out and flee. Everybody agrees that break out doesn’t sound like a good plan, so Therai starts snooping around to see what kind of goods are available for trading, Cor and Irann try to sneak around Ianto’s office to see what’s going on, with the help of Hardok that makes a lot of noise and distract eventual witnesses.
The discussions that they overhear in the HQ are mostly on the event of the day, the possibility to relocate the HQ and the importance of the caravan. This caravan seems to be a “miss or win” affair. The possible destination are Balic, that could work also as a possible new HQ destination. Another possibility is Urik. The last possibility is going West to the mountains and try trading with the various tribes there. Of course the last option is a lot more dangerous.
The next day, with some more informations, they show up again at the HQ for the meeting with Strabo.
Strabo gives the impression of being a very shroud and tough business man for whom men, pack animals and slaves are mostly the same (either usefull or useless). Anyway, Therai try to be as persuasive as he can be, and he manages to get attached to the Caravan business for a while, but first they have to organize the caravan. In any event, the group is basically ‘attached’ to House Ianto (as long as they can’t get out of it).
- Baliq is the southernmost city of the Tyr Region, formerly ruled by the sorcerer-king Andropinis. It is situated on the edge of the Silt Sea, and is the only city in the region to have a tradition of elected government. Balic’s templars are elected into office (although templars that Andropinis does not want in power usually vanish), and public debate is allowed, except for any direct criticism of the Dictator. Aspects of Balic can be compared to Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome
- Urik is a highly efficient, militarized city-state ruled by Hamanu, the self-proclaimed “King of the World”. Urik possesses the strongest army in the Tyr Region, and Hamanu takes an active interest in his city’s affairs. Urik has become a closed city since the Great Earthquake, only rarely sending out trade caravans and remaining otherwise sealed. Inspired by Babylon and Uruk