Red Sand & Black Sun

The Belly of the Beast

Sorin speaks with her noble contact of House Sarg then leaves and heads back to the Veiled Alliance safe-room she left Ka-Kliek in. She and Ka-Kliek have a chat and “fancy” dinner. After the feast Sorin and the kreen woman hear loud drums coming from the outside street and Sorin goes to investigate. There she sees the entrance of Lalali-puy into Nibenay. A huge procession of acrobats, fire-throwers and judaga enter the city with smoke and intimidation. In the midst of it all, Sorin witnesses the highest rank of Judaga, the Elders. Hideous abominations of men who have had their eyes pierced to stay open at all times and slash-wounds that are kept open with needles to keep themselves constantly bleeding. Through the deepest smoke sitting on a moving miniature pyramid, beyond even the elders Sorin sees the sorcerer queen of Gulg herself. Black as pitch, silky smooth and mostly naked save for metal rings stuck through her body, covering her almost from head to toe. She appears bored and at the same time, superior.

Outside of the city Abraxas, Therai and Tanark get painted by Bast to look like dead men, then cloaked, all head together to the meeting spot with the Wavarian guards. Tom gets dressed up like a cobbler’s helper and learns some simple answers to the few questions that the guards may ask him when they go to enter the city together. Drokan and Tom will both be traveling with Bast, acting as her help and cousin respectively.
(Brokenscale, Clem, Maul and Irastus all have their own ways in to the city)

The dead-looking men meet up with the guards, led by two women. The party notices the strange gender differences that are quite the reverse of most places in the world. After a bit of chat the group piles in with the large pile of dead bandits that are normally let right through the gates because they will stink and sicken onlookers if let to sit.

Bast, Drokan and Tom head with her cobbler’s wagon to the city gate, called the Mekillot Gate because it can fit two mekillot abreast through. There everything seems to be going quite as planned when the guard is called over to his superior. When he returns he tells Bast that he cannot let them through as the sorcerer queen has entered the city, it could be up to an hour.

Back at the gate, the Wavarian corpse wagon is also stopped because of the queens entrance and the disguised party members are forced to sit in the pile for far longer then any of them ever wanted. A angsty guard starts stabbing the dead bandits and stabs Tanark’s hand, causing him great pain, he eventually throws up silently. While amongst the large crowd at the gate, Abraxas hears about a group of elves that have just arrived in Nibenay called the Silken Step, rumored assassins who are making the crowds uneasy. Finally all are let into the gate and meet up with Sorin and Ka-Kliek at the appointed warehouse where the dirty magically clean up.

The party goes and using a sound plan, rent a room at two seperate inns so they can switch with ease should they get in trouble (they are worried that with the busyness inherent in this huge tournament, that all the rooms will be gone). They get rooms at two seedier inns, the Wild Dunes and the Lucky Blade. The dunes is quite the worse of the two, with a rough crowd of elves and humans, even a halfling. The lucky blade has an old mul woman as innkeeper and she is agressive. The inn appears to be a place for dwarves, muls and humans as well as a smattering of elves.

With their rooms bought, the party splits up and goes to do business in the city of towers. They wonder the streets, looking in shops, going to auctions and visiting the slums respectively. They find many exotic and magical items, some of which they spend their hard earned gold on. Sorin and Tanark go to find a good disguise for Tanark to wear while in the city.

Kacha’ak goes to the kreen slums of Nibenay and looks without pity on the slovenly way these Tandi-kreen live. A alpha-male kreen with two females takes a disliking to Kacha’ak, a “sand-kreen” and starts getting rough. A crowd gathers to watch the fight but when Kacha’ak demands the alpha’s submission something unexpected happens. The slum-kreen recognize him (falsely) as a khan (chieftain of a kreen tribe). They call him Mech’shital (or savior) and ask him to aid them in rising up to overthrow those who oppress the kreen in Nibenay, but Kacha’ak refuses. Just as soon as things start getting loud Ka-Kliek pulls Kacha’ak away from the slums, saying that they should go. A shadow bride enters the scene and breaks up the crowd by quickly killing a kreen protester. She asks Kacha’ak a few questions then notes that he is quite a bit smarter and more able then the weak kreen here and tells him to stay away from here, which he calmly says he already intended to leave and goes. The two kreen later run into a slave auction and suddenly Kacha’ak feels an intense hatred pouring from Kacha inside him. It is for a kreen female who is purchasing a chain of kreen slaves for her own use. She has a giant male kreen guard with her. Kacha calls her a race betrayer and sets Kacha’ak to hunt her down. The warrior and Ka-Kliek chase the kreen woman to a warehouse where they spy her telling commands to the slaves and the slaves are acting out her every order. The woman-kreen and her slaves and their tails then leave and Kacha’ak follows them to her house. After he finds the location of her home, the kreen warrior leaves secure in his information.

During this time Sorin buys a precious religious artifact from a temple of Nibenay (gauntlets of blinding strikes) and Abraxas buys some magical dice (midnight sixes) from an auction and that night gives them to Tom.

Tom goes knife shopping and, being thrifty, makes a deal to save some money on repairing his magical dagger and spends most of the day walking across town.

Sorin goes to the Vaults of Nibenay and tells them the secret information to access her own vault. There she gets all of her money that the bank owes her and also is given a mysterious letter written in eladrin with fine penmanship. It was delivered to the bank only two days prior and holds an invitation to the illustrious club Cloud Nine. Written inside the envelope is “We have an offer you won’t refuse”. Once she leaves the bank with her new full money pouch, she goes searching for her lost grandchildren. Her search takes her to a broken back alley where supreme luck has her overhear her grandson Brinshaw, the older of the two. Both boys have taken up with a rebel gang that steals to survive. They have little food or clothing. Sorin has Brinshaw (who is quite the angst-filled teen) get his brother after managing to convince him that she was really Sorin (she was in disguise when she showed herself). After the eladrin grandmother gets some food into the boys, she takes them both back to the Lucky Blade and introduces them to the rest of the party.

That night the party is resting at the Lucky Blade, Sorin has gone upstairs with Clem, Maul and Irastus who are in a nearby room. She is with her grandchildren catching up on lost time. Tom, Abraxas, Tanark, Therai and Drokan are smoking and drinking downstairs. They sigh contented with a day of not dodging danger and feeling the oppressive heat on them at all times. Tanark gives the party gifts, well-made hand-crafted smoking pipes. He is still very preoccupied with the oncoming wedding of his sister to a demon but the other two wave him off for the moment, he never stops. Tom and Abraxas go out onto a deck where they smoke. While out on the deck a massive dray figure cloaked in black walks out as well (though Kacha’ak never saw him go through the common room). Once outside the two become quite alarmed by the huge figure and draw their weapons. In an instant the dray-like creature is upon them and hurls Tom off the balcony (he catching onto a clothing cord a few meters down) Abraxas slams his shield into the mammoth’s head, and stabs it in the chest, but the wounds heal nearly instantly. The bulk around the cloaked figure’s midsection reveals itself to be an extra set of arms. He grapples Abraxas and tosses his shield aside with titanic strength. He speaks in a strange harsh language but Abraxas can only make out two words “Bada” and “Dregoth”. The dray-creature jams a open palm towards Abraxas’s chest and he screams.

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