Lands of Dust, Cities of Ash

No Desert for Old Men

Short session as Time Bums exploded (Robert was in late and Charles had to leave early).

Cromlin

The party finally arrived in Cromlin. All were a bit surprised by the chaos and apparent lawlessness, but Ka’lek noticed that throughout the teaming crowd, there were hard-eyed individuals clearly watching people go about their business.

The party reached the House Shom lodge in Cromlin, where Jabea’s headquarters, as well as the offices of the local Trademaster Harkll Crost, were located. Jabea greeted his younger brother warmly but was anxious to see if he had Larkyn’s support and loyalty in his efforts to command House Shom and eventually restore it to prominence in the Tyr region.

Larkyn expressed some skepticism about Jabea’s methods, including the laws of Cromlin, which were both pragmatic (in attempting to foster the village’s viability as a regional black market, Jabea understood that certain cutthroat elements were unavoidable) and brutal (Jabea requires process be followed around trade, taxes and profits, and while publicly he cultivates the illusion that Shom has no real control over the village, privately everyone who regularly does business there understands that theft or avoidance of taxes is punishable by execution without trial).

The party was provided quarters in the lodge for a rest. The lodge itself was overdecorated in the common Shom fashion, with the exception of Larkyn’s reserved family room, which had been maintained for him in his expected spartan fashion.

Visions

While getting situation in his room, Larkyn touched one of the furnishings and experienced a vision.

  • First, his old mentor Kashel’s face, with a concerned expression
  • Next, an image of a strange dangerous looking individual and a feeling of fear
  • Finally, a view of a run-down tavern inside Cromlin, and a group of old men and women inside

Larkyn realized that he had received the vision via a psychometric imprint, presumably from Kashel, who would have to had been there to place it. Some masters of the Way know this technique, which allows them to instill impressions into an object such that another sensitive individual might see them. Though this technique can be done quickly by those who know how, it does not allow complex messages to be conveyed.

The lost wagon

Larkyn had another conversation with his brother. Larkyn would not immediately commit to supporting Jabea due to a drive to discover who had murdered Giovvo. Jabea said that he wished to do the same, but needed to get some things in order in Cromlin before he could proceed on the matter. Larkyn agreed to assist Jabea in the interim with a wagon lost in the same sandstorm which the party encountered on their way from Fort Inix. Jabea was particularly concerned with an ornate box that was on the lost wagon, which he claimed they should locate, but not open.

The Old Men

Before departing to search for the wagon, Larkyn suggested the visit a tavern. He did not offer an explanation on why this was important or why it had to be a specific tavern, so the rest of the party agreed it was a fine idea.

Inside the tavern, Larkyn spotted a group of elderly men and women of various races through a doorway to a back room; he recognized these as the folk from the third part of his vision. After the rest of the party ordered food and drink, Larkyn went back to talk with them.

Some of the elders looked familiar, and Larkyn quickly realized that their leader was Bexel, who served as Commander of the Guard for House Shom in Larkyn’s great-grandfather’s time.

After some discussion, Larkyn was told that Kashel had come to Cromlin but left in a great hurry without giving them details on what had frightened him. However, it was clear that the Cromlin secret guard had been looking for Kashel after he fled. Kashel had asked Bexel and the elders to assist Larkyn, which Bexel had agreed to do – if they felt Larkyn was worthy.

Bexel interviewed Larkyn, curious to find his quality as a descendent of Kyset Shom, his great-grandfather. Kyset was named for the man who originally brought House Shom to glory some centuries ago, Kys Shom. Though his time as head of the House was short, the Kyset was an astute, but above-board trader who sought to restore glory to the house. Bexel also questioned Larkyn’s companions about his loyalty, leadership, and cunning, and decided Larkyn and the party were worthy of the elder’s aid.

Uxmati learned Bexel’s Iron Stance, and Thrad learned Credea’s Warrior’s in Arms technique. The party was also gifted with four Everfresh Figs from a special grove of trees in the forest beyond the Ringing Mountains. They declined to learn Closed Mind from the mul, Vir.

Silt Runners are NOT kobolds, damn it!

Afterwards, the stalwart band mounted some kanks and started tracking the lost wagon into the desert. Along the way, a band of Silt Runners tried to ambush them. Accurate arrows, mental dominance, strong leadership, and Uzmati’s early adoption of the Form of Mountain’s Thunder made swift work of the ko…Silt Runners in a rather one-sided battle.

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