Good morning journal! I hope you are having a good day, because we’ve been busy and have quite the story to tell.
It all began on the airship ride to Harbor Head, we’d been traveling to meet Ahnofk, looking for information of her fellow Judges. The unrenamed ship travels quickly away from Zion and Rathess, having recently received a special touch of improvements by Felsic. Knowing full well we’d take 3 weeks to get there.
Durandle recalls a time just days before our departure with his Knights Invictis. He spoke to them of much deliberating, and decisions he’s made. Brother Drederig is raised to Master of the Company, a rank just below the Light Bringers. The rank of Commander will also be added below each of the Lieutenants, each of his men able to choose those who would serve under them. Bringing in a new command structure and creating a clearer line of succession. Also letting them know that any Solar who reincarnates from his essence shard is not to be automatically given command of the company.
My thoughts are weighed down with the day we departed. Theodora planning on taking the bulk of the Golden Guardians to survey areas around Rathess and the old Mahasuchi’s lair. Fauve sharing her concern over Theodora’s malaise. How can I help my sister who has lost everything she ever knew?
Byrrden had a lunch with his mentor, a lady I think, I can’t recall her name right now. But she warned him of the tribulations of being Solar in a Dragonblooded Satrapy. Tell your team to maybe not get all Lawgivery and glowy in town. That would be a bad call. Also she sent some of his more useful contacts Ahead to start creating useful ins into the criminal world.
Vox thinks back to the clean up day after the grand opening of his club. Green Hair and he discuss the intricacies of the business that need be taken care of while he’s out adventuring.
Caemlin and her daughter said their goodbyes on the day we took off. Durandle children tagging along in her shadow. Each of them a smiling face of behavior… and not cantankerous trouble makers.
Felsic’s pungent tenant, Bog’wai, had to remind him about our departure. His interest in building the Hammer of Dawn nearly caused him to be late to our voyage. In the interest of keeping the work goinging Bog’wai introduced Felsic to new build team, Krod and the Ankloks. I have to remember to stop in and see Krod once we get back from Harbor Head.
Durandles son had come to say goodbye at his fathers request. Durandle had a moment with him, letting him know of his roles as man of the house and his required strength in the world as his son. As a man of war.
We have a briefing a week into our travels. The Captain of the ship, and a southern woman by the name of Last Calf. She’s a former Harbor Head citizen, and wants to get us prepared for what we’ll find there.
Flat Plains to the North. Marshes near the Coast, and Teeming with Dragon Blooded Dynasts. The 5 people populate the land. The people worship Alaht, the god of war and cattle. Once yearly a sacrifice must be made of 100 cattle. In order to provide this sacrifice, the five peoples war over cattle. The tribe that provides the sacrifice receives fertility boons, and sharper focus in their troops.At one time, they’d been untied by an individual by the name of “Blood on the Horn”. But that was prior to the Dynasty taking over.
Recently a smaller village had discovered a vein of Jade, increasing the number of Dynasts trying to get more resources back to the Realm. Modern day, the people of Harbor Head rebel against the Realm, but any time they do Garrisons of the Dynasty move against the people. But the cycle of violence builds upon itself.
Lastly the Brides of Alhat, the elite warriors of the royal, are some of the big players on the table.
She tells of a judge, who dispensed lesser Judges across the lands to resolve the cycles of the dead. Perhaps the Psychopomp.
Konayaziwa (Lakepoint) is where she recommends we begin our search for the lost city the Psychopomp held council. Though to find the city, we’d need to go through the jungle, which is known for being extremely dangerous.
A final warning, the slave trade is alive and well, we should always carry weapons as the mark of a slave is a lack of weapons. We need a cover story and land on Mercenary troop. Which is fairly easy given the number of Guardians I brought with us.
The remainder of time passes as we make our way to the sea of lakes, but planning as we go. I spend a lot of the time baking coffee and red bean paste treats should we need any bartering meals.
We find the country far cooler and more comfortable than Zion tends to be in the jungle. Offboarding we head toward Lakepoint, a days march from our landing place. From time to time we are seen by the citizens of Harbor Head who pay us little mind but are both curious and wary. Stopping in a small fishing village we ask a local fisher woman to describe any troubles around the jungles. And after plying her with many pies we were on our way again to Lakepoint, with a barrel of Fish given to us from the lovely woman.
We arrive, to a moderate sized town, much larger than the village that I’d been expecting. Without taking much effort to look we are able to both identify the building belonging to The Guild, and the fort belonging to the Dynasty.
Caemlins first stop is a private book repository. She knows that books hold the answers to many of life’s mysteries.
I set up shop at a nearby square with Vox’s help getting a license to run a booth, selling pastry and Fish pies. Because I’d love to get to know the locals as they might be a great source of knowledge.
Found out the Realm 16th Legion was traveling back from the city of Ima, where they had suppressed rebels. The people of Ima will likely have to abandon their home, given the rebel’s destroyed the local aqueduct.
Talks of Politics and The Leopard of Khirighasf.
Durandle and Felsic go off in search of tea, hoping they can find an in with some locals there. Durandle inquires of the locals if they know of any rumors of the Murder Ape in the Jungle. One story talks about how Murder Apes City is on the move. Never in the same place twice.
Felsic listens in on a political conversation about the high turn over in the Dynast representation here. There was a Nellens commander that was of a huge fan of like torture and murder for rebels. Then a Tepet commander who tried to make things better… but he lost his fool mind and a new Nellens was sent and things are back to normal.
Vox looks for a more upscale establishment. He finds himself at a Banana Wine bar. He orders some sherbet and makes small talk with the locals. A local woman recommends finding a guide from Ima, which is six days by foot.
Byrrden does his usual skulking around the city. He over hears a few discussions related to religion, including some mentions of the bull god sending messangers to Harborhead.
Two youths offhanded mention a tomb that they’re acquaintance found just outside the city and they’re meeting later to wake it up.
Caemlyn’s research leads her to a section on the history of Harborhead. A book called The Green Peaks if Harborhead has a sleekly laminate pamphlet titles the Poppy City of Mingye. On the cover is a stylized poppy flower. The city itself apparently takes the form of a poppy and from the top down the districts look almost like an octad built into the side of a mountain. It’s oddly reminiscent of a spiral staircase. Mingye exported fruit and spices and had a security force of intelligent apes.
The circle reconvenes and shares what they’ve learned individually. They want to fix the aqueduct in Ima but Felzik is worried that he would draw to much attention to himself. Byrrden stresses the urgency of stopping the kids he overheard earlier from awakening another Liminal.
The West Pillar is 100 feet in diameter and is adorned like a Dorian column. It has been heavily graffitied in chalk with various writings and drawings. Byrrden approaches first and finds a group of adolescents waiting to go to the tomb. He follows them up into the hills and along a narrow path until they come to the entrance of what looks like a tomb.
When the rest of the circle arrives, Vox sends Gengar to scare the kids away so that everyone can approach. The kids had said they could hear voices from within, and sent in a boy named Oji to scout ahead, but he has not returned. The circle can hear the voice as well.
With we find various writings that indicate that the person buried is named Bastu the Stare, who is associated with the snake.
A Shan’iatu is definitely buried here. Bastu judged those who had cheated justice or eaten their own heart. Bastu was also a judge of Ren – the true name. This judge is stealthy, highly perceptive, and can read souls.
There are traps everywhere but they all seem to have been tripped – however we don’t see any bodies. The circle continues into the tomb and see more snake motifs along the way. Finally they enter into a large domed room with several skeletons in fetal positions, looking inwards.
In the center is a sarcophagus similar to the one which contained An’ahfk. A relief carved into the top depicts a beautiful, ungendered figure with an adornment of outstretched snakes around their neck. Oji, the boy, is kneeling before the sarcophagus and as the circle enters he pushes the final lever to open the grave.