Episode #1: The Oasis
The Burning World Campaign
NPCs mentioned in this Episode:
Greetings Exhausted Travelers,
As you head back to Golden Huzuz, Gem of Zakhara, Seat of the Enlightened Throne, etc. you realize your troubles of late have taken a bit more out of you than you are, perhaps used to.
But Fate is kind! You know of an oasis, the only one of its kind, is relatively nearby. A travel inn has been built around it, owned by a blacksmith of no small skill. Perhaps it is worth a visit; Guzman can get his new armour of the desert evening adjusted to his frame, arrows can be bought (as Zephyr looks sadly at his almost empty quiver), and perhaps a new waterskin for Farouk!
And perhaps there is someone there who knows of these warriors you have just bested...
Yes! You decide to let Fate guide you and visit this inn!
Mamluks of the Dauntless (slaves and technically owned by the Grand Caliph)
All your water has been drained into the sands by the courageous work of the faithful and pious slayers, for we have need of the payroll of the Dauntless and the goods of the caravan for our holy work. Leave your worldly things behind. Prepare the camels to carry the goods and stack all your weapons near the date palms, or we shall poison the well, and then you may choose between the quick death of bitter water and the slow death of the sand and sun. Many of us stand among you do not attempt to deceive us or act against us. Answer us before the dawn or join us in death.
Met Character: D'Aro
It took several days at Amin's Oasis for everything to be put to order. Chaka did most of the spellcasting, Mending torn waterskins, Creating Water, etc. Su reengineered the pulley system over the well to allow for a platform to drop down, so that Guzman could retrieve the body of the dead slayer out of the poisoned water. Once that was done, Chaka was lowered in, where she purified the water as much as she could. By the time you were ready to leave, most people were reasonably certain the water in the well was good to drink again.
The merchants all regarded you well, especially the one who accused you of being in league with the assassins. After all, they didn't have to surrender their precious cargo and lose untold dinari to the slayers. They seemed to care substantially less about the damage to Amin's establishment, but the mousy one convinced all the merchants to each contribute a small sum to cover the damages and replace the dead livestock. It was seen as a good investment by them. Whenever one of you crossed paths with one of the merchants, they would smile and nod positively in your direction. Saving a merchant money seems to be the way to his heart...if he has one.
Amin was severely upset at first at the violence that took place in his place of business. He was also worried about his reputation abroad. The merchants' gift of dinari helped quell his concerns and their promises to spread the word of his generosity did even more. By the time you all were ready to leave, he was talking (somewhat) excitedly about "renovation and expansion."
Captain Zamanyeh remains distant, however; she speaks to only a few of her soldiers and spends the rest of her time isolated. On the few occasions she is seen, she has a forlorn look when she sees any of you, though her gaze hardens when she spots Farouk. Guzman actually manages to have a conversation with the mamluk who turned him down before. Her name is Juleidah, and she lets slip to Guzman than the Captain is in a funk because she was unable to control the situation, and "allowed your 'genie-sorcerer' to escalate things beyond her ability to influence, putting the lives of everyone she was responsible for at risk." Of course, everyone is grateful for the assistance of the party afterwards, but she also lets slip that her mamluk sisters, even after confirming the bravery and efficiency of the party will often finish with "Still, if it weren't for the Halfling..."
The caravan back to Huzuz proceeds with little in the way of distraction or event. One of the caravaneers mentions he works for the great merchant Barak, who will certainly want to congratulate all of you when he finds out his goods arrived safely in Huzuz because of you.
Please let me know asap what your downtime activities will be when you return.
D'Aro throws himself into the work of all the repairs and mending that Eric mentioned above. He is a very friendly and helpful companion on the trip. He makes sure to spend time with each of the PC's and also many of the merchants and tries with the soldiers. He is most often dressed in a simple tunic and head scarf. He carries one haversack and has a somewhat short but wicked looking scimitar at his belt and a shortbow on his back. His hair is brown, his height average and his build slight. Often times in the dawn of early light, he can be found meditating at the edge of the camp.
You've noticed that Su seems distracted, and often times you find him eyeing the burnt stables and glancing at his hands. Guzman swears he can hear him whispering about "fire in my veins". Chaka thinks she even detects a hint of a sly smile on Su's face when he stares at the scorched stalls. Su avoids Amin, and the captain. In fact, when not busy with the others, you occasionally see him sitting off a ways by himself, staring out into the blazing desert. On his own, with the desert as company, you often find him summoning Yousef, and stroking the owl lovingly as he mumbles to the bird.
"You are beautiful Yousef. There is power in you... No one can take from you anymore, Yousef. Remember, you are beautiful..."
"When Su thinks no one is watching, you sometimes spy him looking at the magical sash he found, lost in thought."
When introducing himself to D'Aro during the trip back to Huzuz, his siblings would hear Zephyr talking about how much this latest excursion reminded him of his adventures in his youth, traveling as a scout for his nomadic tribe. His latest experiences in the desert, being away from his new home and from Auntie, has left him with feelings that city life might be making him too soft, that his skills as a scout and ranger might be suffering because of it. Upon returning to Huzuz, Zephyr retires to the stables to visit his horse Reeh, whom he'd take out for a ride if there were time available to them, but also take the time to study the tracks of wild animals that pass outside the city, or even to playfully chase whatever birds or rodents he might find in the city streets.
Along with purschasing 3 platnum bands worth 50g each for a spell component, chaka helps auntie with her figurine building and selling. She also looks to sell her ring of feather fall. Not actually creating the figures, but helping clean up and getting the materials auntie needs to do her work. She truly missed auntie, and cannot wait for the day for her to be free of the debt owed.
Now back at home, khanye has fallen back to her regular routine of helping around the house, and running errands for auntie. To her brothers, it seems as if nothing has changed despite the adventuring they all had done.
Their adventuring seems to have taken a toll on her however. Although they have survived and come out stronger from their adventuring, it has been more difficult for her than she had thought seeing her brothers get hurt.
As for their new companion D'Aro, she seems to appreciate his calm, quiet, helpful dynamic.