Desert Town PT B

Desert Town

The old black mystic smiled as he welcomed her into his hut preparing tea for both, this place felt even less spiritual inside than on the outside, yet she felt blessed for being asked inside. “You saw her?” Galdahad asked taking her first sip of the hot berry tea.

Varchan nodded, “She was here several times, in a manner very similar to yours. She wandered here, and whether she received respite or guidance she didn’t reveal, that’s not important.”

”Not important?" the Phaetox asks loudly then tries to deliberately lower her voice, this hut doesn’t seem to be a practical spot for loud discussion, nor Varchan someone deserving of it.

He shook his head and smiled, and somehow that was enough to cool her down. “Her coming here was her own, just as yours is. If she was comforted, she did not say, but that is the past, you are here now.”

“If you could share, it could help us find her it would be…incredibly helpful…”

Again he shakes his head, “That’s not how this works, I am a running stream, thoughts go through where I am, I may sip, but mine is not to imbibe. Tomorrow or next week I may not remember the textured details of this conversation, all that I will remember, is you.”

One of the images he used, remarkable for a Spire dweller, “Running stream?”

Varchan holds out his hand and waves it horizontally, then flowed it, to stop holding upright, “Young lady, all Phastian born, rear and die in the desert, it’s not my fate. This is my other life. I was not born to this. Priest, servant to the Holy Sand, with hundreds of soldiers and thousands of handmaidens…” Galdahad looks at him taking a deep drink, “This was my second death, and I needed a place to be, and this place needed, well, someone. We all dream here, I help to reveal the message…”

“We need for you to try to remember some details about Arlel…” (5 questions to pose to Varchan before the next game)

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On her second night in the small town, Fesselin quickly realizes she doesn’t like it here, it was a quaint little burg, but there was little for her to do. There were taverns, serving drinks but she was never comfortable around big folks, except for her own coterie. These folks as welcoming as they were, would always be big folk, strange ones at that. Most of these people are stuck with their heads in the spires, unconcerned about politics or neighbors, it may be safer but they were always inwardly concerned.

Making her way to the back alleyways, she took it all in, the wide open spaces, the buildings the animals…and suddenly she saw two of her kind, Tenderfeet approaching her. They looked at her and smiled, a hand out to greet her, “Trasolin” the older woman said, and pointing to a younger man in combat leathers, “Rasak.” Fessy introduced herself. “There are others?” Trasolin nods, “We keep ourselves hidden, until we can determine who the stranger in our midst is." She takes a swig from a jug, then hands it to Fesselin who does the same.

“We are tree-ing; care to bob along?” Unsure of what it means but happy to be among kin, she agrees. They come to a fairly large house and climb up, revealing a building whose lower floor is false, as the building covers a hole hundreds of feet deep, and a huge vine plant inside, being carefully pruned and picked by a small group of tenderfeet, plus small sized lizardith and similar sized humanoid frogs. Her newfound companions are waved in, Fessy notices her legs and arms are starting to grow slow and heavy. Almost sensing what Fesselin is about to say, Trasolin nods, “The poison will almost be in full effect.”

Fessy grabs her weapons, while the other two Tenderfeet take a step back. “Don’t worry, we won’t hurt you or steal your equipment…we need to find out about you and your friends, and we have no time for games.”

Despite her protests, they wait for the poison to take control of her, then sit her down in the Greenhouse. With spells, they ask her questions about her group, their intent and some of their history; their questions are careful not to reveal personal or tactical data, but certainly she reveals why they are in the town. In the space of twenty minutes, they are finished, then put a cloth over her head. She wakes up in a small pub, empty glasses around her smelling badly of ale. Her equipment and wealth still with her, plus a basket of exquisitely tasting blue and yellow fruit.

She heads back to the big house, and sure enough. a small group of workers still prune it, but her two comrades are nowhere to be seen.

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One of the few benefits of being imprisoned for over nine months was the insistence of quiet meditation. Most of the other prisoners took the time to cause any disturbance to force the guards to use noise or force to end the meditation exercises. As a Thellan, Hervandos had memories of many encouraged sessions, but this was different and quite powerful, as it to brought him back “home”, to refocus in his psionic gifts and foster their growth. It was ironic beyond belief that it were these near ignorant Wastelanders would be the one to help him with this.

Even since before his release, he made an effort to daily meditate on his focus. Normally coming to a new town would be difficult, but spread throughout the village were buffers, psionic tools to disperse hindrances. While not tremendously obvious, there were other psions here. Instead of a difficulty, it was almost a continious state, able to slip into focus at-will. On the third night there, he entered a full dream state, able to travel in purely mental form in a way similar to a physical body.

On the first night, he saw others like himself here. He slowly approached but as he does, a hound with tentacles unlike he’s ever seen notices him and started braying… frightened he removes himself, immediately coming out of his purely mental state, and finds himself back in his hotel room in a lotus concentration position.

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Arun on this night like all the others had spent much of the time in concentration; this town like many others was never his goal. His magic or his familiar allies had always been his prime concern, but now something was wrong with Gorth, his primary bond. It had been many years since he found the entity and he had come to rely on him, for his brute power force, in a fight, his was the muscle that he came back to…now there was something that felt wrong. Many previous times even when not calling for him into the midst, the between, his presence was noted, just waiting, eager to be released. But that eagerness was gone. He no longer lurked, never hungry. He came and served out of obedience but the Summoner wondered if this would always be the case. He heard of other familiar and summoned servants who refused to come or even worse, turned on their master. His bond had always been strong, that he never worried before, now was very different.

Slipping into his concentration, then into the chainless lair in the midst of his void, he remained perfectly calm, silent as memory. For the first time, in too many years, he didn’t come to bond, or seek out a new servant-ally, but to carefully watch his bonded ally. This time, he wanted to see if his ally would come to him. Just as he feared his bond, his ally was not here. He didn’t call out, not this time…this creature was still an ally, if he called and the creature didn’t come, then what. Could he put the bonded ally on the spot?

He exited the midst, and sat motionless for awhile, then left his room. He went well to a quiet alleyway and mulled over calling his companion…

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    The trip to the Spire-Edge had shown him little, perhaps most of all other defined the space they were in and what was around them. The nearest pyramids were probably around 25 to 30 days, on foot if they were not intercepted or attacked by the Raja’s forces, especially the undead ones. If this was where Arlel was, he and his companions would go find her.

As he headed into town the sounds of two young boys struggling with a beast, verging off from one
of the the larger side streets. Dassadar headed in, as he saw two Phastian teenagers struggling to get a winged horse, into a stable. Without hesitation, he jumped the fence and held up his hand. Both the kids and Pegasi seemed surprised, as he calmly came towards them, he held out up a hand speaking. The Phastian tattoo was controlling the words coming out of his mouth, as he soothed the well groomed beast.

The side door flew open, as a middle aged Phastian Lady with two much younger children, younger than the lads working the winged steed. Their presence startled the steed, as it bucked, without thinking, Dassadar jumped on it and started giving it much harsher commands, the mother kept the two little girls away, as the two young teen boys tried to grabs the ropes. Their full teamwork was enough to allow Dassadar to capture the Pegasi, and hold him still enough for the creature to calm down.

The little girls had stopped screaming, and the boys puffed out their chests, as they lead the creature into the stable. The attractive woman whispered orders to the young girls, who slunk into the doorway. The lads came out to thank him, but he stood at attention, the same as he was taught when he was living in the North. It hit him that their customs were not the same, the boys came out and stood at attention with their hands crossed with their heads down.

“Thank you for helping with the steed.” She smiled with a controlled demurred look, “My boys needed to clean the stable…” She hesitated as her two young girls reappeared with a pitcher and glasses. “My girls would like to invite you in for a glass of water, as a way to thank you…” The kind mother smiled as her children were very excited to have him come inside.

“Doing a good deed is my reward.” He hesitates for a moment and reconsiders everything going on here. No ill intent, the children are happy to see a stranger, “Your husband is returning soon?”

“Two days, most likely, on Fountain Day.”

Dassadar looked at both the excited girls and the proud young boys, and couldn’t help but smiling to himself, “Happy to join you for water…”



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