Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr

Session 13 - Part 1

Excerpts from the journals of Eben the Executioner...

It is the morning of Haze 26, and aside from the growing decent in the wealthier portion of the city regarding the new higher taxes there is a general buzz in the air, for we are nearing festival week – the festival of soaring sun to be exact. Merchants are slowing down their shipments and beginning to take stock, for what happens in the next week will involve little trade and much celebrations…

Back at the inix we are discussing the state as to which we find ourselves. Abdiel is facing a threat on his life. I am either in imminent peril or about to be the luckiest Mul in Tyr. Solzak is pining his missing mistress? Orsk? Well he seems to battle on, mayhap he has troubles of his own but he has yet to voice them. Strong and silent type? Well that used to be me, but now im feeling an urge (or am I being pushed) to become a little more social. Last but not least (though it pains me to say of an Elf) Naraaku is in good wit as usual and plainly not on anybodies side but his own. Abdiel is understandably keen to ensure that the assassination attempt is not a success and so this strikes me and the rest of the group as a useful bargaining bit, always best to keep at least one templar on side in case of emergencies (always useful with an Elf around). He offers us a measly amount of ceramic (which he insists is all he has) but with the promise of more favour if things go to plan and he ascends the ranks of templardom. Solzak is recruited to try to research the possible identity of the assassin by utilising his underworld contacts, whilst Orsk will head to the city guard barracks to look for a disguise fit for Naraaku (no mean feat!). I pledge my allegiance to this band not just for the coin but that Abdiel owes me the favour to release Helandrez to me from slavery. To this he agrees on the assumption that surviving and exposing this threat will allow him to gain favour with his superiors.

With plan in motion I set aside the rest of my day to spend some time, and ceramic, in ensuring that my presence is more than agreeable to the lady Dorjan. The others head off on their individual errands and the plan is to meet back at the golden inix later. Fine by me, as there is only so long I can stand being round an Elf and his half cousin!

Much of what follows is based upon the accounts of my companions as I was not present at all these events, so therefore I cannot vouch for their completeness, or their accuracy…

Naraaku and Solzak leave the inix together with Solzak heading to Rheys (apothecary) and Naraaku heading through the Elven quarter, aiming to rendezvous in the Bards quarter, where their goal is the house of fingers. On his way through the Elven market Naraaku is stopped by Deryssa of the Sky singers who has some bad news regarding the singers and house Stel. It seems the singers are far too cowardly or stupid to move against house stel at this time, believing them far too powerful, they think if they can find more evidence such as more bodies or objects from singer tribesmen that are missing this might persuade them to act, but for now they refuse. Deryssa is angry and upset at this turn of events and proposes venturing south to the new Ianto fort not far from Tyr to try to confirm or deny any involvement that they may have had in attacks against Singers, or perhaps alternatively even gain a helping hand against Stel? Naraaku is unimpressed, but for now, there are much more pressing issues to attend to.

Rhey is more pleased to see Solzak on this occasion (due to it not being the middle of the night) and prepares for him a special herbal powder made from dried Go’Jaan cactus leaves. The highly potent poison has the effect of loosening the targets’ tongue half an hour after it is administered but only for a short time. Timing then, will be ever more critical if we are to successfully stop this attack and discover the identity of the attacker.

Naraaku and Solzak arrive at the house of fingers and it is as dark and drab as you may expect for a den of thieves and assassins. The wall of severed appendages that cover one side of the interior is enough to stop only the most foolhardy or blind drunk from asking how this inn got its name. The fingers are now so brittle with the passage of time that they crumble to dust at the touch. Shattering a finger in what is now regarded as a shrine is punishable by death. I am told that an uneasy truce exists in the establishment: No poison is administered, bought, or sold within its walls. Likewise, all thieves and assassins can consider themselves safe from others of their ilk. It may be a surprise to some, that while there is no honor among thieves, even assassins must have a place to go and be safe from their fellows. It is also said that the owner of the establishment, Sarkea, is convinced that the fingers protect her. To that end, she never leaves the dark confines of the inn. Little interest is paid to Naraaku and Solzak as they enter the establishment, save for a shaded Elf in the corner who gives a nod in Naraaku’s direction. During their enquiries in the bar and the inn itself the pair discover that an assassin named ‘Chontou’, once a thief with the toothcutter gang has taken on employment with a major templar in the city to assassinate another (abdiel). Their attempts to get him to identify or take them to his contact fail however and instead Chontou offers a possible meeting if the assassination goes ahead as planned. Its not an entire lost cause though as they gain some information, just how useful this will be we have yet to see…

Abdiel heads for the templar district, attempting to track down Gorask and perhaps confront him before the ‘event’. It is of little surprise that he is nowhere to be seen. Sending for Neebit, he sets him the task of trying to track him down or learn of his whereabouts and who he has been talking to. Whilst in the templar district (and again the details i have are limited) Abdiel discovers attempts to discredit his name and accusations of his association with the veil! Immediately springing to action he set to track down the source of the wildly inaccurate (and dangerous) rumors, discovering that it was a fellow templar of the ministry of state, ‘Hirik’ and the master of finance ‘Gennet’ who had apparently been originating these lies. Storming the office of Gennet, Abdiel blasted the man who calmly sat through his tirade without emotion, as if he expected this reaction all along. Gennets solution is just as bizarre in that to rid himself of the problem Abdiel should simply find a scapegoat, one who can be blamed for the atrocities rather than himself. It seems this was not difficult and within half a day an innocent man (if you can call any agent of Kalak such), would be put to death for nothing more than the sake of political face.

I catch up with Orsk again in the Inix after his successful location of a ‘slightly’ oversized uniform for Naraaku. “It will do” he replies to my enquiry and by his tone i can only assume that it wasn’t the easiest of things to get hold of. The others are yet to return so we pass the time in the inn as Orsk challenges Jaryx to an arm wrestling match. Unusually for a half-giant as confident in his abilities as Orsk his competitor Jaryx is triumphant, easily beating him in an arm wrestling contest. Orsk looks almost as surprised as Jaryx but this just turns to a wry smile and a remark from Jaryx that Orsk should ‘keep practicing’. Meanwhile I busy myself in conversation with Mila the barkeep. As I’m in confident mood I decide that Mila would benefit from the company of a warrior who was on the ‘up’ so to speak. After all, Dorjan would never check up on me, i’d be a fool not to. Rowan on the other hand did not approve, but with a stern look from Orsk he is put firmly in his place. I decide that enough is enough and take Mila away from the envious eyes of the locals so we can enjoy our own privacy…

Later, Mila and I return to the main floor of the Inn as finally the elves and Abdiel return, and with some urgency we decide on our next plan of action. On the evening of the party we will accompany Abdiel as guards and escorts with the aim of discovering and exposing the assassin. Orsk managed to source a city guard uniform so that Naraaku can join us without looking too out of place! Furthermore both Abdiel and Solzak have managed to get hold of some substances that will allow us to ‘loosen’ the tongues of guests and or the would be assassin hopefully before he strikes. From administering the substance there would be a half hour window before we could act and therefore we must take great care in our timing. As we retire for the evening Mila asks me to accompany her to the games tomorrow! I nearly say yes before my companions jog my memory in that the games are an extremely public event, and if anyone notices me it will get back to Dorjan, and then I might as well be dead! Mila doesn’t take the rejection well and spends the rest of the evening ignoring me, in time she will understand and I think nothing more of it…

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