Game Thread I. The Sultan's Claw - Page 8 - RPG Crossing
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  #106  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 01:38 PM
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Khandir

<Khandir> Stats: HP 13/13 ; AC 12 (touch) ||Str 15; Dex 14; Con 14; Int 12; Wis 14; Cha 8||For +4; Ref +2;Will +1||Init +4

Frustration tenses the half-orcs body as he realizes the manling had struck well again, his knee registering the ghost-touch of the man's rapier. Desperate he raises his own weapon high and back, and launches himself and the weapon at the man. The falchion swings towards the ground with every ounce of power Khandir can force into the blow. His wild attack completely misses Garavel, whose skill and experience no doubt aided his avoidance of the blade. Khandir's weapon digs deep into the sands at their feet instead, making a furrow where it struck and was dragged.

Khandir cursed in orcish at the general state of affairs, but he brought the weapon back up into guard position. He might be beaten, but he would not surrender. Looking at his opponent, he could see in the man's eyes, that in a true fight he could expect no mercy from him. Garavel would no more respect his surrender now, than he would show mercy. Khandir rose to his full height and awaited the majordomo's next attempt.

 
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  #107  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 02:29 PM
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"This is NOT food Dashki. Let the creature be. Even in death it deserves some respect." Alphard believes in the value and worth of all life, but the atrocious smelling guide is beginning to test his resolve in this matter.

Instead of further trying to dissuade the smelly man from salivating over the burning fey, Alphard turns to Karsh and Khalid, "Do you think we should return so soon? I can't believe this little creature was the cause of all the chaos in the camp, although I suppose it's possible. However, I suppose we are not so far away, we could return the goat and then continue our search for the cause of the fire?"
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  #108  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 05:35 PM
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Karsh is of a mind to suggest that Dashki can eat the creature. Food is food in the desert and it should not be wasted and if Dashki wants to eat the creature it would leave more for them, but he respects the Gnomes standpoint and remains silent at least about the creature.

" I agree that there must be more of these creatures and more worrying is why was the goat tied to the tree, they can't have used that as bait to lure us in otherwise they would have attacked me when I was in the ravine " he replies to Alphard. " Or was the goat tied there by someone or something else to draw the Pugwampi into the ravine? ".

A bemused expression crosses Alphards face " Sorry I meant to tell you and Khalid, I know of these creatures, they are Pugwampi and they are more of a nuisance than a threat, but of course if there are enough of them they can pose a problem ".

" I think we should continue on, the goat can be kept with us and lead on a rope " Karsh gives a sideways glance at Alphard and gives him a wink" and of course if we run out of food we can always eat it!!! ".

" Right then which way do we go? "
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  #109  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 12:49 AM
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Alphard, Khalid, and Karsh

They all wait and see where they might go next. Continue and hunt down more of the evil little pugwampi or return to camp. If they keep going they will have to heal Rombard, he's in bad shape.

Khandir and Khavhan

<Garavel> Stats hp 26/26 ; AC 12 (touch) || Str 16; Dex 14; Con 14; Int 16; Wis 10; Cha 9 || For +6; Ref +2; Wil +6 || Init +2

No mercy is given as Garavel pitches back and taps his sword on Khandir's neck: beheaded. He darts back and salutes the slave halfheartedly before returning the rapier into the scabbard in one motion. He has won and his honor remains intact. The mercenaries hiss and make cat calls but begin to break up now that the show is over.

Garavel looks to Almah behind the crowd. He shrugs 'it will do'. Almah considers for a moment before giving a single nod. Garavel turns to the Caravan Master. "We'll take him for 100 gold and another slave we have." The major-domo gestures to Il'tehp. Il'tehp looks shocked and is not prepared when the Pactmaster guards seize him and disarm him of his weapons.

The Caravan Master chuckles, uncertain. He could make much more with Khandir but he doesn't want to argue with the allegiance of the Pactmasters. To save face he brings the price up to 150gp plus one healthy slave and Garavel agrees to the terms. Hands are shook. An iron collar is forced around Il'tehp's neck and he is forced into the wagon, most likely to die in the weeks to come unless he is strong, and the other slaves are marched into wagon behind him. Il'tehp screams to be let go and to redeem his self before the door is slid closed and his voice becomes a distant memory.

The key to Khandir's collar is handed to Princess Almah and she pockets it away in some secret pocket among her many folds. She is Khanum, the upper class of women that are allowed to reveal their head, and it is a wonder for a man to view her naked face. Khandir gets that urge to wrestle her down and drag her away again but he fights back the emotion. Perhaps another time.

As the Flesh Market leaves the Sultan's Claw, dogs barking and keeping pace with the rolling wagon line, Almah comes to talk to her new item of possession. "I am Lady Almah. You are to fight to the death for me and the Pactmasters. I have the power to give you your freedom if you are so bold to wish it. But to do so you must give me your life for the week's end. You are already dead. To live again you must do everything I ask of you." Garavel and the other guards stand between her and the slave, watching the half-orc closely.


Round 3/3
Garavel- 25 points
Khandir- 9 points
OOC
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  #110  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 01:30 AM
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Alphard looks at Karsh and laughs, "Trust me, I have no problem with eating the goat. The only reason I'm so concerned with the goat's safety is because without it we may not have enough to eat.

With regards to the identity of the creature, Alphard replies, "I've never heard of a Pugwample. Are they intelligent? Do they often attack caravans?"

And looking at Khalid, "If you don't have any strong objections Khalid, then I say we continue as well. Although I'm not sure about the goat's health. Karsh, can you heal it? Or should we send Dashki back with the goat and continue on ourselves?"
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  #111  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 07:48 AM
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Khandir

Khandir stabs the cheap falchion into the sands at his feet, consternation at his loss on his face. But he returns Garavel's salute with a deep bow, arms crossed at his chest, to acknowledge both the manlings skill and Honor. When he rises up again he catches the woman's nod to her major-domo, and stands passive as he watches the exchange with the Slave master. The shock and dismay on the other slave exchanged for him unsettle's Khandir, and to himself he wonders How had this one failed his owners? He did not wish to make the same mistake.

Before the Slave-master can take his leave, the half-orc speaks up making sure Garavel can hear and understand as well. "My equipment, Slave trader. It is included in my price, as you well know." He catches Garavel's eye, knowing the man would understand. Merchants are merchants, no matter what they sell, and will take advantage when they can. Again he waits patiently as the now frustrated Slave master had his lackeys retrieve Khandir's gear. A small chest is brought and dropped at the half-orc's feet, and opened to display the contents inside; a hook-bladed sword, a spiked shield and chain-shirt, a bow with arrows and a pack. Khandir nods in satisfaction and looks up, ignoring the screams of the doomed slave, and realizes the Caravan's beautiful leader had approached him.

Quote:
"I am Lady Almah. You are to fight to the death for me and the Pactmasters. I have the power to give you your freedom if you are so bold to wish it. But to do so you must give me your life for the week's end. You are already dead. To live again you must do everything I ask of you."
So close, he could feel her presence and the strength of her aura, though she looked so frail to his eyes. When he dared meet her eyes, for but a second, he could sense the steel of her soul. He falls to one knee, hands making fists in the earth and speaks with conviction. "Ra'is, for my freedom I would brave the desert naked! I am dead and yours, command and I will obey, without hesitation."
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  #112  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 12:20 PM
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Alphard, Khalid, and Karsh

The three PCs hear Garavel speak their names briskly from outside of the patch. "Kahalid! Alphard! Karsh! Dashki! How do you fair?!" The four look down the cut path to see the swordsman standing with a half-orc tower a foot and half over his head and twice his weight. A mountain of muscle. An iron collar of the slave is around his neck.

Khandir

Almah seems satisfied with his response and implores for him to stand. "Garavel. Take Khandir and search for the rest of our group and have Khandir assist them. Report back to me what they have discovered thus far." The princess returns to her tent to finish her buisness, guards in tow.

Garavel takes Khandir to the water barrel in one of the wagons and makes sure he gets hydrated before they march. The water is crystal clear and smells of fresh rain. It's been a very long time since Khandir has had good, clean water. The major-domo watches the half-orc as he drinks.

As they set off and head north, Garavel following the horse tracks of Kahalid's steed, he explains to the slave of what the mission is and what is expected of Khandir. It's a tale about a town nearby in the Pale Mountains that was once an outpost for the Pactmasters. Something happened decades ago and the inhabitants all died or vanished. It's now overrun by gnolls and the Pactmasters are sending Almah to clense the town of what ever monsters live there and to reestablish the outpost for trade with the neigborning nations.

The ground slopes upward and becomes more rocky as they walk. All around rises the Pale Mountains, behind them stretches the oceans of sand. It's like walking up the shore of an island. They see the horse they have been tracking up ahead near a cactus patch that has had a trail cut through it. He looks to the slave "Finally. This is where they lie."

Garavel speaks up loudly from outside of the patch. "Kahalid! Alphard! Karsh! Dashki! How do you fair?!"
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  #113  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 02:04 PM
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Khandir

Khandir rises at Ra'is Almah's command and waits there as she directs Garavel, giving a quick nod to show he understood his own part. He watches intently as she returns to her tent, and almost misses Garavel's motion to move on. He stops the major-domo, and indicates his arms and armor, asking to equip himself before they went off searching for those he was to assist.

Donning his armor takes less time than it might, as his torso is already bare to the sun's light. He quickly slips on the undyed cotton undershirt that would protect his body from the metal rings of his armor. He raises his chain-shirt above his head and shrugs into it, tugging and adjusting it until it sits comfortably on him. His arms freedom of movement remains unrestricted as the shirt covered only the torso and had no sleeves. He slips his outer garments back into place so it again hides all but his head and hands, keeping the sun's heat off the armor, held in place with a simple sash. He wraps the sword-belt around his waist and tugs it down firmly onto his hips, checking both the Falcata and Kukri that hung there on opposite hips. Bow, quiver and pack all are equipped and adjusted. He bends down and slips his keffiyeh on and secures it with an agal, slipping a fold up so only his eyes show. He takes up his shield, a concave steel circle spiked in a starburst pattern, and rises to nod at Garavel that he was ready.

At the water barrel Khandir drinks his fill with thanks, and takes the time to fill all his waterskins. Better to be ready and cautious when in the great sands. Khandir follows the major-domo up into the mountain wastes and listens quietly to the man's tale. He nods when appropriate, but remains silent as they traverse the rocky terrain. The half-orc looks when the manling cries out "finally", and see's the horse they'd been tracking. After Garavel calls out for his employee's attention, Khandir steps forward and turns to look at him.

"I understand why you and the Lady are out here..." he starts, indicating the camp back the way they came. "And why you hire mercenaries. What are they doing up here though?"
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  #114  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 02:54 PM
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"Well, that simplifies thi-" Alphard stops as he turns to see the musclebound half-orc that strides alongside Garavel. The gnome is surprised by the new arrival and wonders if Garavel's companion is a harbinger of ill news. The stern appraising glare and scars covering the half-orc's body gave the impression that the man had seen much combat, but then Alphard noticed the manacle around his neck which gave the whole story. This was a victim of the flesh trade. This was a slave.

"GARAVEL! What is the meaning of this? Why do you bring this poor slave out to this hell? What has he done to deserve this fate? I demand answers!" Alphard's eyes seem to be ablaze. His rage at seeing the obviously newly purchased slave has only made him think of his mother. His oath in her memory to free those enslaved has not been forgotten by the gnome, and he runs towards the pair as they approach. As his small legs carry him towards the caravan master he yells out in a harsh and unnaturally violent language that seems oddly placed coming from his petite frame.

 
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  #115  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 03:59 PM
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that little fellow is going to get us in such trouble Karsh smiles to himself and then turns his attention to the goat. It is not in particularly good health and requires attention.

He could cure it but it was a waste of his talents particularly when any one of the group could need healing.

A thought crosses his mind, and he begins to make his way over to Garavel, the imposing half-orc and the shouty Gnome who was still waving his arms around demanding this and that.

" Calm down Alphard, you will overheat yourself, here take a drink " he hands him his waterskin, as he takes it he leans down and says softly into his ear " Remember if it wasn't for the fact that we are employed by Almah he would have killed you for talking to him like that! "

Karsh looks up from whispering to Alphard and turns to Garavel " Are you remaining with us or returning to Almah? If you are returning would you assist the goat back to the caravan, it would be a shame to save it just for it to die out here in the desert ".
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  #116  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 08:36 PM
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"The gnome is dead unless you say something." Khalid bemuses the thought. He does it again, contemplating peace, quiet, and *normal* people for a change. It almost brings a tear to his eye.

"We tracked the feyling to its lair. It had stolen one of our goats, and it died when we reclaimed it."

"Here." Khalid tosses Garavel a small sack of what feels like an apple or nut inside. It is the head of the pugwampi, crushed and overcooked to a crumbling rock-like consistency. A click of the enforcer's tongue sends his horse into a canter. Reaching down, Khalid lifts Alphard up by his shirt into the saddle in front of him. "You have the prisoner and the goat. Let's go home."

Khalid leads the way home. Though he listens to the conversation, he does not ask any questions of his own. All will be explained in good time.

 
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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 01:49 AM
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Alphard, upon the whispering of Karsh slows his pace. His rage subsides slightly at the thought of possibly having to fight a man who clearly was well versed with his blade. As he considers this possibility, he feels his small body lifted into the air and roughly placed between Khalid and the horses neck.

He thinks to himself, this will not be the end of this.
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  #118  
Old Mar 11th, 2011, 08:15 AM
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Khandir

Khandir barely has time to register the appearance of the four newcomers, seemingly coming up and then back down from a short rise. He watches in bemused silence as the shortest of the four, a gnome of all things, rushes down yammering at Garavel and himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alphard
"GARAVEL! What is the meaning of this? Why do you bring this poor slave out to this hell? What has he done to deserve this fate? I demand answers!"

"Friend, are you well?! Have they harmed you? Where do you come from and why are you here? Do you need help?!"
"Not you're friend gnome, and I need no help." he responded in the same tongue, appalled by the gnome's accent.

Khandir considers punting the creature away but thought starting an incident with its allies, two more follow along in the gnome's wake, would be a bad way to begin. Especially with Garavel looking on. The first newcomer catches his eye as he recognizes another half-orc, though it looks like this one likely hailed from different ancestors. Khandir bared his teeth it what was likely not a grin, but otherwise remained silent and just observed the other as it sought to calm the gnome...while tending a goat of all things...

The third man, definitely a human, made Khandir almost as wary as Garavel did. They shared some similar traits, he thought. Khandir listened as both the half-orc and human related some of what they had been doing, but he was lost without context. Why had they sought out a feyling, and what did the goat have to do with it...I'm hungry.

He was taken aback by the manner in which they spoke at Garavel. So demanding, as if they were the leaders of this caravan and Garavel just the help. He wondered if the Major-domo would put them in their place, and so held his tongue from further comments as he watched for the human caravan master's reaction. Khandir's grudging respect for the major-domo might find reason to be doubted, if this was how his subordinates were allowed to act. His ancestors had known the truth of the desert, and so did the Pactmasters, summed up in one phrase: "As Strength Goes". The strong ruled and the weak were ruled, it was the way of their world.
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  #119  
Old Mar 12th, 2011, 03:30 AM
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Khandir watches to see how the swordsman takes all of this, Alphard directly questioning his wisdom and morality and Khalid being so candid and comfortable with the man as he tosses the behead fey his way. But Garavel seems to take all of this in stride. Unbeknown to the others, this is all a part of the plan.

A Week Ago:Lady Almah shakes her head and looks up from her desk at Garavel, letting the quill hesitate over the wet ink of her last word. "No, you shalln't directly interfere in their decision making or view points in any manner, shape, or form. Eloais was clear that the group we round up will be the key to our victory of putting Kelmarane back on the map. I don't want to change the direction that fate has laid out before us and we have to follow their whim. Am I clear?" Garavel instantly nods, putting a splayed hand to his chest. "As you wish, Ra'is."


"You have the prisoner and the goat. Let's go home." Khalid walks right past him and takes Alphard with him, leading his horse back down to the Sultan's Claw.Garavel holds the sack a distance away from his self. "As you wish." He hands the mess to Dashki to then hold, who doesn't seem to have any trouble with keeping the possession. Khandir, who had just arrived, finds his self being led right back to camp. Again, Garavel does not seem to complain or care. He follows their lead with a watchful eye. They all begin to follow Khalid back down to the caravan, for all but one. Karsh hesitates but follows after all of them, taking the rear. It's a long walk back and the sun blazes on, dominating Katapesh on high.
~ - ~

Once back at the caravan the PCs find that it has been rounded up to depart the charred landmark. Eloais's wagon is separated from the caravan and remains where it burned to be claimed by the desert's whim. Lady Almah says that there is a monastery a few miles to the north-west and that she wants to reach there by nightfall. The PCs are given camels if they have no ride or given the choice to go by foot before Almah's Caravan begins the steady and paced crawl across the waste.

All that is left behind are the tracks, a grave, the gutted wagon, and, as it has been for centuries, the Sultan's Claw again alone in this desolate landscape.

END I. THE SULTAN'S CLAW

Please Post in ll. The Monastery


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