Alex missing, Cor was played by Jaroen, Elena decided to quit, so this is goodbye Irann.
So the group spend another night in the desert, in the morning everyone feels a bit better except Hardok that is still suffering from his broken ribs.
During the day, finally they reach the beaten path and proceed faster towards Kled.
The idea is that the group will exchange the herbs acquired in Jadite Tiger with Obisidian weapons and goods made by the Dwarvs, and send these back to Tyr with Iuraks, Leoricus and the guards, while the group with the addition of Lir’s group will go towards Urik to exchange the Jadite for something a lot more valuable. Iuraks will then prepare an expedition to go back to Kled for a couple of months of fun and excavations.
The village of Kled lies in a small “valley”, reachable through a narrow canyon that opens up into the valley itself. The Eastern part of the valley is covered in fields that provide food for the village, while the West part is the site where the old citadel was built and is now excavated by the Dwarvs in search of relics and precious metals. North of the village a body of water provide irrigation and drinking water for the village and the road proceed. The village itself is more or less in the center of the valley, and is circular, with roads radiating from a center round plaza where something like a large windmill moves slowly pushed by the wind.
But… before getting to the village the group has a bad encounter: it seems that some of the ‘raider’ that attempted the attack to the village were left dead along the road, and now a group of Jakar is feasting on the remaining and is blocking the road.
The Jakar are adults, quite large and don’t look so amicable. Since nobody is really in the mood for a fight, Hardok propose to simply ride along, catch the body the animals are eating and drag it along the road to a spot that is large enough so the rest of the caravan can pass along without being attacked.
Cor and Irann proceed, Cor attempt to lazoe the body, but it misses, so they attempt something different: Irann manage to lazoe the body and then toss the rope to Cor that uses his strength to pull the rope with the attached body along. The Jakar move quickly after the running prey and the group manage to get to Kled without problems.
Kled doesn’t look very impressing from close-by, the village seems a sort of collections of small huts made of stone and wood, there are a few buildings that seems a little more elaborate, but the architecture is quite basic, it seems the Dwarf are not really interested in comfort. The entry area is where some wooden buildings are provided for incoming caravans, Ianto has his own “office” in this area that can also be used as a temporary shelter.
Iuraks dismount and go directly towards the center to speak with the village’s officials and Cor decide to follow him to see if he can pick up something about the business. Varnag and Hardok try to talk with the various guards to probe for some information, Hardok asks about the “raiders” and the Dwarf guards apologize for the problem (Jakal) and claim that they have cleaned a bit but some of the bodies were still left around, they say that it doesn’t happens often that a group of desperadoes try to attacks the village like this. Also, it seems Tareks are moving around more than usual and there have been scoff with them in the western side of the village where the Dwarf are busy with excavation of the old ruins.
They are also quite protective about what is going on in that area and offer no information whatsoever. Moreover, they seems quite pissed at the current situation and, predictably, assign the blame to Tyr and its government.
Irann asks about elfs (predictably) but the Dwarfs are not happy about talking with her, so someone of the group intercede and reluctantly they say that there are no Elvens around.
Varnag talks with some of the humans guards that are part of the Lir’s group and they are basically rented muscles, not much to know, they are from the village of ‘Freedom’, that is a settlement in the North that was founded by ex-slaves from Tyr and is regarded as a bunch of raiders more than traders.
…Cor follows Iuraks along the road of the village, Iuraks doesn’t seem to see him or simply doesn’t care. He enters one of the largest building of the village that is probably the site of the local officials. Cor doesn’t attempt to sneak closer but simply wait to see what happens, after a while Iuraks exit the building and walks back to the Caravan area, Cor vanishes between the huts and make his own way there too.
Iuraks also offers to ask the Dwarf helder for a permission to use their “Sun Temple” to speed up the recovery of the wounded, basically everybody spend the night in the temple and the next day everybody is healed, with the exception of Hardok, apparently his wound are worse than it looks.
At the end of the day, a good well-deserved rest for everybody.
It’s Therai’s big moment: he is in the talk with Iuraks and Fathalia, and the plan is spelled out.
It seems that Sirdar Helios Afisa (an high shot in Urik with a lot of money to spend) is thinking about beginning a trade house, however he has no experience and little interest in the actual nitty-gritty job of the trading, so he is looking for somebody to act has the ‘trade house’ head and handle the trading from Urik towards Freedom but he doesn’t want to hire anybody local. The plan is that the house in Urik will pass the goods to Lir and they would in turn pass the stuff to Ianto for the last leg of the trip to Tyr. Basically this also means to cut their ties from Ianto and became independent.
Everyone that doesn’t want to, can go back to Tyr and to Jadite Tiger to handle that part of the route for Ianto. Irann decide that she will try to find another ‘working’ tree for the Fox to see if she can find a way to get back to the Fairy place. So the group splits.
Cor is quite curious about Freedom, since it’s a settlement created by ex-slaves from Tyr that settled there to escape the grip of Tyr’s forces. It seems that they have done pretty well all considered.
To facilitate communications between the various groups, Iuraks offers to teach Therai the Long Distance Mental Projection ritual that is used to communicate in distance, to do so however, he has to visit a ‘circle’ in the place where he is going to communicate to and from (you need knowledge of the two place you are trying to put in contact), on his part Therai shares the “floating disk” ritual with him. Lir already has a circle in their HQ in Freedom and Afisa has one in his estate in Urik.
Hardok and Therai decides to ask around about “necromancer”, since the ‘tower of bones’ should be operating in the desert somewhere east of Kled. But it seems that the Dwarvs don’t even want to talk about necromancer… it seems that the question hits too close to home for their liking. Fatalia simply comments that “the desert is full of nasty stuff”.
After another night of rest, the two groups split up: Irann goes with Iuraks, Leoricus and part of the cargo towards the south and Tyr, while the rest of the group, the Lir group and a couple of extra guards will move north towards Freedom and then Urik as end destination. To balance things a bit, Iuraks has conceded to leave 2 guards with the trade group, so the number of peoples from both houses are the same.
On the road north the day pass uneventful. Therai try to chat up with Fatalia to see what she knows and how skilled is she in the Trading business but it seems clear that she is not very versed in that field.
In the evening, the caravan search for a spot to camp, and since the Lir group has already come through the same path, they manage to find the same camp spot they’ve used before. In a protected depression of the terrain. The caravan set up camp and prepare to spend the night.
During the night, Cor and Therai weaks up and looking around notices that none of the guards are visible anymore, they jump up and looks around better and Therai, with his night vision, spots one of the guard slowly walking away from the camp. They wakes up everyone and then with Varnag and Hardok (holding a torch) run after the guard that is moving about like a zombie, they block him and he appears to be confused, he is walking away but can’t give a real reason why is he doing so.
Hardok looks around and notices the traces of somebody that passed in the same place with the same general direction, so the group send the guard back to the camp and hurry along the path, they reach the second guard that is moving erratically, he also doesn’t have an explanation, only that he heard something like a bell ringing…
The group continues in the same direction and they find the bloody remaining of someone, the third guard has met his destiny it seems. The group retreat to the camp where everyone is now awake and looking around. Nothing seems to have been disturbed and nobody has heard any bell of sort. Pondering, they wonder if the attack was perpetrated by the infamous Belgoi, sort of evil fairy creature that hunts the badlands. But usually they are not in this area. A tribe in the move could count hundreds of them, so not a chance of going looking for them. It is very possible that they will simply ignore the group for the time being.
So, not a very restful night.