Episode Thirty Four - The Slave Market of Dulunum
Episode Thirty Four – The Slave Market of Dulunum (Level 14)
DM – Kristy
Darius’s adventure (as played by the DM, since Arick was not here):
*Darius wakes up with Carmenith bringing him breakfast and making sure he’ ok, also asking him to help her convince the others to let her go out with Lyda, since Vash has flat out told her to remain on the ship the whole time they were in port. He’s kind and rakishly flirtatious, but doesn’t choose sides.
*He speaks briefly with Catzin, who rather shyly gives him the jewel he tossed into the bushes for safety when the group was arrested outside Imminaron. She picked it up before she flew up to distract the Nassa demon. She doesn’t say much, simply gives it to him and leaves.
*He finds Tobias, Vash and Ichtaca already gone. He decides to spend the day looking for the Avans so he can place Linwe with them, and hopefully send her to Losoran. He sets out into the market in his Trentsmund Noble form. He uses the meteor bracers to zoom in on his friends and go check on them first, and as he does this, his pocket is picked by a street urchin. He is unable to catch the whelp, and is furious. His professional pride is injured.
*He meets up with the others, briefly discusses their plans with them, and when he’s sure they don’t need his help, he heads off and spends a long, frustrating day trying to recover his stolen purse (with the party’s funds in it and a good deal of his own personal wealth) and find any sign of the Avans.
*It’s been a long, fruitless, frustrating day when he finally finds signs of the Avans on the outside of a blacksmithy in the wealthy south side of town. He makes contact with the owner of the business, a gorgeous young widow named Amala. She’s a local (think sub-saharan african super-model), and gives him the pass-phrases of the Avans. She says the Avans have suffered several terrible blows in this area over the last thirty years, and that although she has converted to their faith, she hasn’t figured out a way to contact her own order. She is working with a few other local converts to help escaped slaves and endangered children. She knows the urchin he describes, and tells Darius that she thinks someone has made an exploitative gang out of local street orphans. She’s been trying to find their headquarters and help these children. She asks him to help her find her order and help these children, and promises to help him recover his stolen goods in return.
*It’s advantageous to him to help, it’s been a long, frustrating day, and he’s a sucker for a gorgeous woman who finds him attractive. He ends up accepting her offer of a bed for the night, and spends a pleasant few hours alone in her chambers with her that evening in “recreational activities” before he contacts his three friends and tells them he’s fine, but he won’t be back to the ship this evening. He also rather braggingly details the charms of his new lover.
Adventure of Vash, Tobias, and Ichtaca:
*Vash sends a letter to Ambassador Losoran Anelathem, in hiding with the hero’s families. He asks the Ambassador to contact the order of the silver hand, master Jenmai in specific, and see if they will offer King Enarran Amraseth sanctuary. In a few month’s time, Vash asks Losoran to take Inalenderil to Imsund, Telgard, and place her on the throne as the rightful queen, restoring a beloved ruler who wasn’t really dead, just wronged and in hiding. After a time, her estranged husband, Enarran, will be sent to Jenmai, his only chance at sanity being a life of seclusion among the monks, with psions and ardents to help him. Vash specifies that none of this should compromise the safety or security of the other family members under Losoran and the Avan’s care, of course.
*Vash, Tobias, and Ichtaca then have their own adventures. They hope to gain a crew for their ship, as it will be very difficult to hire one they can trust in this magic-hating culture. The plan: rescuing 125 slaves from the slave market. This is both good deed and practicality, as some of the freed men may be willing to hire on as crew.
*Tobias goes to Professor Jennish to see if he still has any sending stones, a consumable magic item that can create a temporary magic portal that leads to another one next to whomever is wearing the attuned ring. Jennish is drunk, but gives him five stones and the ring. Tobias finds that Lyda and Carmenith are out shopping and doing the ship’s trading, and Catzin has gone with them, determined to keep them out of trouble. He borrows Catzin, sending her with the ring to fly to a deserted jungle island north of the city, and then wait.
*Ichtaca tours the slave market with Tobias as his financial advisor and translator, and Vash as his slave. He sees 50 dark elves, 50 Motare Goliaths, 25 Trentsmunder dwarves, and a handful of local humans, mostly children and wives who have been sold by their families to settle debts. At least three are convicted murderers who agreed to slavery instead of hanging.
*He ‘reluctantly’ agrees to sell Vash as a slave to the slave market. The Slavemaster is very interested in purchasing such a beautiful drow, for a special interest buyer, a rich man he knows will be at the upcoming auction in two hours. He offers the value of three male harem-slaves, 900 gold. Ichtaca implies that Vash is indeed a top-rate lover, but he’s worth more than that. He demonstrates his slave’s value as a bodyguard by allowing the slavemaster to set up a public fight in front of the slave market, Vash vs. six of the market’s private guards. Vash incapacitates them without killing them, putting on quite a display for the cheering crowd, and Tobias and Ichtaca make a killing betting on him.
*During the fight, Chorrom Viln arrives to make purchases at the auction, accompanied by a large retinue and Ambassador Sansochin Vitali, the Mottan ambassador. Ichtaca and Tobias now talk the slavemaster into buying Vash for 10,000 gp, an unheard of price. Average price of slaves here is 200 gp, 300 tops.)
*Tobias chats with the Chorrom, re-establishing his false relationship with him as one of respect and mutual admiration. He is invited to the governor-prince’s palace, where Chorrom Viln is staying, for a private audience with Viln. He and Vitali exchange veiled threats.
*Meanwhile, Vash, inside the slave house, incapacitates the two remaining guards inside, uses one of Professor Jennish’s magic gadgets to open a portal, and escapes with all of the slaves to Catzin on the deserted jungle island north of the city.
*At the same time, Tobias excuses himself from Viln, and creates a psionic illusion in the minds of the slavemaster and the two guards left outside, keeping them from going in and interrupting Vash. The three men see a massive explosion and bodies flying from a building nearby, and they start screaming for help and basically look crazy or possessed.
*The entire stock of slaves is then discovered to be mysteriously missing, and, because Icthaca has been acting suspicious, just won huge amounts of money betting on a fight, is a foreigner, and just sold his slave for an amount that has now bankrupted the slavemaster, the man accuses him of being a witch, and of rigging the fights with magic, then stealing the slaves. Ichtaca and Tobias are arrested and taken to the palace dungeons to await trial.
*Meanwhile, on the jungle island, there is a language barrier as the slaves arrive to be greeted by Catzin, who orders them to sit in rows with hands on heads. Three of the human slaves are criminals of a violent nature. Catzin is forced to kill one. Vash arrives barely in time to prevent a panicked riot, and calms down the people he just saved. He can only speak with the drow, but he communicates nonverbally with the others by drawing pictures in the dirt. He sends Catzin back to the ship to return the ring to Jennish, then sends them to the palace to help Tobias and Icthaca.
*Catzin sneaks into the palace dungeons and finds Ichtaca and Tobias locked in cells that have magical sensors built into them using divine magic. Any magic used here will be recorded, and added to the list of evidence against the accused witch. Tobias can’t use psionics to walk or hold off his illness, so he’s in bad shape. Haji, a local etholchan magistrate (bishop), is reading scripture to him, feeling sorry for him. Catzin speaks with Ichtaca, and he assures her that they have a plan to get out, but asks her to remove all their magical items from the holding area, before such items can be used as evidence against them. She does so, coming back to switch them with mundane replacements it took her hours to find all the right stuff. There are several other prisoners in the “witchcraft cells”, including two men who appear to be bloodline vampires.
*Tobias, meanwhile, claims to be a personal friend of the Chorrom, and sends for him. The Chorrom has them brought up to his chambers several hours later, where he makes it clear that although he respects Tobias (and Vash), he thinks Ichtaca is a dangerous terrorist, no matter that the King of Trentsmund pardoned him for his crimes of several months ago. They talk for a while, explaining why they had to sell Vash as a slave, and establishing that although Tobias is from a magic-teaching university, he himself is no magic user. Tobias speaks telepathically to Viln, impersonating his god Daemoth yet again. He convinces Viln to clear their names and get them released from prison. Viln leaves the room, overwhelmed by the long-missed voice of his god, and answers Tobias in the form of a prayer to Daemoth. It’s an emotional, euphoric exchange that has Viln weeping for joy and Tobias grinning internally. The key points are summarized below.
*Viln orders a carriage brought round and returns Tobias and Ichtaca to their ship. He invites Tobias to join him on the next day with whatever companions he wishes to bring. He’s headed out to the jungle shrine, where local etholchan monks are working an archaeological site of great importance. He’d like a university professor’s opinion on the ruins.
*Vash, meanwhile, has set up a camp for the escaped slaves, and uses a second portal stone to bring them supplies. The warforged are set up as guards to protect the slaves, and to remove them from the ship in case of another forced search.
Key points of Viln’s conversation with “Daemoth”:
*It’s been five months since Viln last heard the voice of Daemoth (Tobias), and he’s been worried he’s going mad. Tobias reassures him that this was a trial of his faith, and that he has proven worthy. That this corrupt source of power is only for a little while longer, and he must bear it. Soon Daemoth’s true glory will be restored.
*The Etholchan church has been working together with allied groups the Eitharmos, the Illiantros, the Yaloin, aberrant exarchs of Maruma’e, and more loosely, several groups serving vassal-gods of Daemoth, including vampires worshiping Volgothyde, and other groups. All of this is being coordinated by the exarch Mezeliar Wroth. Their goal, to raise Daemoth from the dead, then raise his vassal-gods. Wroth has been coordinating the groups in the name of Daemoth’s lover, the mad and obsessed sea queen Maruma’e. Wroth is still trapped on the edge of the worldfire, his tentacle-hair tangled in it.
*Viln fears and hates Mezeliar Wroth, who is crazy and randomly cruel, and sometimes gives contradictory commands just to amuse himself. He sometimes pits groups against each other to amuse himself, as much as he can without hindering the work he’s facilitating. He often summons Viln to his floating prison-audience hall on the edge of the worldfire, somewhere above Chayrshelleck. He’s killed some of Viln’s lackeys.
*Daemoth’s body is almost ready, and another secret city has fallen, adding nearly a hundred thousand new sacrifices to the effort. Tobias makes sure that the city is not the one Carmenith’s brothers and the other refugees were taken to. It’s not.
*Viln fear the leader of the Illantros, a mysterious man who has been a frightening ally. The Illiantros are a secret order, known for assassination and covert missions in the name of Daemoth. The man has been giving him orders and intimidating him, but also has means of travel between the worlds and planes, and has been invaluable to the effort to raise Daemoth. Tobias orders him to stand up for himself, but not to provoke this man. Viln is the one he speaks to right now, Viln is his chosen voice, not this other man and his order. He promises his support of Viln, but in such a way that hopefully Viln won’t get himself killed. Viln doesn’t mention the leader’s name, since he assumes Daemoth already knows it.
*Viln has learned from the Illiantros that the allied vampires have their own agenda, and may be trying to raise Volgothyde first, so he can gain dominance over Daemoth. Tobias orders him to take action to prevent this if it becomes necessary, but again, to keep himself alive. Tobias also gains useful intelligence, that Volgothyde’s body is being built somewhere in the high realm of Morvugol. This data may be of interest to certain parties, and Catzin would certainly want to know this.
*Viln confesses to many sins, including that although it is unseemly, he has added a few captured Jharethil women to his personal harem. Jodram Zabir Oulethe has explained that this is common practice in Rhuminos, the home of the Eitharmos, assuming the women are “suitably processed” first. Tobias, is faced with a hard choice here. He knows daemoth would not stand for this, but now he has to either order Viln to send these women to Rhuminos, where it sounds like they will be raped and tortured, or to sacrifice them as he should have at first. He tells Viln to have them sacrificed at once.
A few long-standing questions have now been answered:
1) Why did the party find vampires fighting Illiantros in the plane of memories? Because the two groups are tense allies, and the Illiantros found out that the vampires are trying to resurrect Volgothyde first. Presumably they were trying to find their respective god’s memories for the resurrection. Both groups were then slain by the guardians of the plane of memories, so presumably no survivors of that conflict made it out to report that open battle. For now, the two groups are still fragile allies, with tensions building.
2) Why were the eitharmos present at the consecration of a chorrom of the Etholchan church? Because the different Daemothite sects are now far more closely allied than they ever have been in history, united under the orders of Wroth, who is giving them their holy magic, and coordinating them to raise their god from the dead. In the past they have always been loose allies, their leaders conferring with and respecting each other, but never like this.
3) Why are all these disparate groups seeking the meteors? The religious sects who serve dead gods, at least, are trying to raise those gods. This includes servants of Daemoth, Gaurin, Volgothyde, and Gallister. Daemoth’s court. Most of the meteors have now been recovered, and Marumae’s servants have acquired the bulk of them for her lover Daemoth.
4) (indirectly) If all the Daemothite sects are acting as allies to the sects serving Daemoth’s vassal gods, then why are the Yaloin attacking Vampires? Why is this tolerated? Because Wroth is mad, and indulges his servant Dythan Mathis. He’s amused by the conflict between his own vassals, but talented enough of a diplomat to still keep the groups allied even though Yaloin are torturing vampires to death to gain information on this blood ritual Mathis wants to do. (Something to do with “his vessel” and all the captured blood relatives of the party.) The key point here is that Mezeliar wroth is crazy, but he is also brilliant and capable. He’s very good at what he does. So good that he can coordinate all these disparate groups, bind them to him, and still mess with them for his own amusement without compromising his power or authority. Good thing he’s stuck on the edge of the worldfire.
Money. The gp amounts listed below are in mixed paper and coinage; Arrochulean currency.
Ichtaca sold Vash for 10,000 gp.
Tobias and Ichtaca made 37,000 gp betting on Vash.