Pink Skiff

Beginnings and Ends (1)

In the city of Raam, under the apathetic eye of the Sorcerer Queen, Abalach-Re, three to-be adventurers were going about their normal business. The baker’s daughter, Akkarina, noble by birth, thanks to the diligence and excellent cooking of her parents, wandered about town. And, like any literate member of Raam’s community, she saw a poster. A poster asking for a quick excursion to the city of Tyr, to the South West. One of many posters, for, quite literally, there was one on nearly every street corner, all asking for soldiers, traders and adventurers to go to Tyr and to assess the current political climate.

As many people know, when there is a poster asking for work from her Royal Highness, there are two things about it. Success grants one great riches, or even a noble title, whereas failure results in the ire of the most powerful being that most citizens ever meet. She does like the arena a lot.

However, in this case, there appeared to be no cost for failure, as such things were usually noted; the Queen felt that this was the easiest way to make sure that the job got done correctly. In addition, she thoroughly enjoyed the palpable fear radiating off the poor failures, who were quickly sent down to learn to use steel against steel in the arena. So, the lack of one of these warnings, and fortellings of doom meant that there was no cost to this. No loss, only benefit. The Queen was desperate.

The final reward stood at a years worth of free water, a sizeable amount indeed, for the first person, be it man, woman or child, that could give a reasonable account of the city of Tyr. No reason why, no specifics asked for. Just information.

One with there ear to the wind at this point may have heard tell of political turmoil in Tyr. The city had lost its King, or so the rumours told. One who dug deeper might hear of a secret organisation that managed to subvert, defeat and slay the mighty Dragon of Tyr. However, similar rumours suggested that he had just not woken up in the morning, or that he had turned into a true dragon. All agreed, however, that the king was dead.

And if one Sorcerer King died, what of the others?

However, without thought to the dangers such a mission would entail, the baker’s daughter attempted to persuade her father that she should be allowed to Tyr. However, her tong was not as fast as usual and she could not bring her father onto her side in the matter. He was adamant about the dangers of taking tasks from the Queen. The benefits were almost never worth it for anyone with 5 gold pieces to their name. However, she rallied with a childhood friend and a guard who just wanted a secure pay flow, and with their help persuaded the father to let them go to Tyr for “Shoe Shopping”.

6 o’clock the next morning the guard, and the childhood friend waited for their respective employer and friend, and, as the sun started to rise, close to half an hour later, the baker’s daughter could be seen riding a cart taxi to the gate.

As the party proceeded to leave, the guard realised that they lacked one major component on this journey; a means of transport. And so, weaving through carts to find one that looked like it needed extra defences in the wild, the guard secured place as a guard on one of the carts, which was just one trader who wished to receive the reward first. As he had no protection from the elements or from the creatures of the desert, he was easily persuaded to also allow for two more travellers, especially a rich noble and her friend.

Travelling round the fields immediately outside the city of Raam, the party were reminded of the dangers of travelling Athas, as on the horizon they see the dust clouds that appear over the dune sea, as they pass the Bay of Maray near The Right Gauntlet down to the south west. As they looked closer they could see a moving black speck, which they could easily tell was a skiff or skimmer moving across the edge of the sea. However, this craft did not venture closer to the party…

In the evening the party set up camp and the guard kept watch. As the night bore on, he became more and more uneasy, listening for sounds of ambush or attack beyond the firelight that he was limited to.

…until night.

Suddenly, the clatter of skiff wheels was audible to him nearby. He rushed to wake the others and ready for the ambush that this had become. The faces of several humans became visible off in the dark, from one of which suddenly protruded an arrow sent by the friend. The guard and the archer both then held until the raiders approached. The baker’s daughter, however, was hanging back avoiding the fight, and making sure that the guard remembered he was on a pay check, not that he’d be able to spend it if dead. As the creatures neared, both the guard and the friend struck, and, though the friend’s arrows strayed wide, the guard dealt a hefty blow to the nearest brigand.

Then, they were upon them. Three of the soldiers attempted to go for the party, whilst the 4th, nearly unseen went for the all-but-forgotten trader, but failed to clamber into the cart after the poor driver.

As arrows flew and axes drew blood, a strange, but baleful light struck one of the raiders and he collapsed, blinded, and his head hit one of the wheels of the cart, and, with a sickening thud, he was no more. An axe blow saw off another, and, when the last of the three attacking the party ran to the skiff, shouting for help, the baker ran forward, and, with a word of arcane power, drew up the life around her, and channelled it into a blast as dark as the night sky, which spiralled past the fleeing raider. However, the guard did not notice this display of blasphemy and heinous sacrilege as wild as he was in the frenzy of the battle. However, the sharp eyed friend noticed the bolt of disturbing energy, and, ignoring the friendship that had kept her and the baker’s daughter together as friends for years, exclaimed to the guard what had transpired.

As the guard finished off the one who was fleeing and ran after the final raider – who in the midst of the battle had managed to hurl a dagger into the poor driver’s chest – only to cut the raider down some 20 yards further on, the others tended to the wounded cartman and his frightened Erdlu. The guard then returned to the camp.

End of first session.

(Yes I forgot the character’s names, sorry about that!)

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