Adventures in Theia

"The Hangover"
The Silver Dagger and a Fistful of Shekels

When last we left our intrepid band they had just dispatched a band of muggers who had held up (and killed) the man they had been sent to meet by Amon’s foster father, Sadamimon

With one of the muggers held captive they hastily interrogate him and after much groveling and sniveling they conclude that the man likely knew nothing about why they were here to rob this man, he claims that they had all been hired by a man called Jahwar for a full silver shekel. Feeling charitable they let the man go and he quickly disappears into the dark back-alleys of eastern Belthaar.

Curious the three search the bodies. The scarred and bearded leader of the thugs possessed a handful of silver shekels and bronze pennies and a decent iron scimitar as well as simple, but decent hide buckler and a sweat-stained leather coat belted with a dirty linen sash. The man Tazziz (whom they were to meet and make an exchange of some kind) carries little of value on his person; just a handful of bronzes. But after bit more searching they discover a weathered and pitted silver dagger hidden in the folds of a belted sash near the small of his back.

The dagger has a handle made of the jawbone of some animal and its tarnished and notched blade bears strange marks or hieroglyphs along its length that are indecipherable.
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Satisfied, the group decides that this dagger is indeed what they were sent to collect and after a tense, but uneventful walk back to the Craft District and the scribe’s shop, they hand the dagger over to a delighted Sadam and are even rewarded with 10 silver shekels for their trouble (taken from the undelivered payment). Celebratory, the middle-aged scribe insists they go to the Dirty Dog and celebrate. It takes little convincing and without too much prodding they all consent to let him buy their drinks and get them very, very drunk.

Amon wakes up and rubs at his bleary and bloodshot eyes. He squints one eye open and looks through his fingers around the room unsure if it’s a good idea to wake, but quickly realizes that it’s much later than dawn – the time he usually wakes and prepares his master’s meal and gets the scriptorium ready to open. A moment or two later he rises and and quickly dresses fore he raps lightly on his father’s door. Surprised, the door is already slightly ajar and swings open but there is no sign of Sadam beyond. More concerning is the untidy state of the room; looking as though it has been rummaged through (although there is no sign of a break-in and no sign of a struggle).

Puzzled Amon exits the scriptorium and looks up and down the street vainly hoping for some sign of passage, but sees nothing. With nothing else to do he strolls several blocks away to the Dirty Dog to meet with his friends and ask around if anybody has seen something. When Amon opens the door he spots Salazar and Coroebus hunched over bowls of thin gruel, clearly nursing nasty hangovers. Amon strides over and hails his friends; a brief conversation reveals that Sadam never came in that morning for his usual breakfast. This break in habit is so unlike his father, Amon enlists his two friends to come with him and look for the middle aged scribe fearing that something very wrong has transpired.

The three split up and interrogate several of the neighboring shop keepers, including an odd soothsayer Lucia Tilki whose small shop lies just across the street from the Scriptorium. When Amon asks for answers she demands payment for a reading and the impatient Stygian reluctantly agrees, just eager to get an answer and move on. She takes his hand and traces the lines of his palms before stopping suddenly and shoving his money back into his hands and hastily forcing him out of the shop and cryptically declaring, “You’ll have a long life and you’ll be very happy. No go!” Mouth agape the young man stares incredulously at the door for several moments before his reverie is interrupted by his two friends running over.

When Amon rejoins Salazar and Coroebus he learns that the haberdasher definitely saw his father heading east along the Tradeway in the direction of the Square of the Green Peacock. The trio quickly jogs down the street and eventually comes to the edge of the square and hastily interrogates a beggar who palms Amon’s charity and divulges that he saw the red-robed scribe pass-by in the pre-dawn, probably headed into the slums of the foreign quarter just north of the Peacock. Grateful for a solid lead the three friends sprint along the narrow streets and eventually come back to the small square where the ill-fated Tazziz of the dagger was slain.

While examining the area for any signs of Sadamimon or something important they might have overlooked from the night before, they set upon by four local toughs; teenage lowlifes with crude clubs and bad intent. A volley of threats and insults quickly escalates into a deadly conflict and the three companions make quick work of the badly armed and poorly skilled muggers. Two die screaming and bleeding in the street, one bolts, but with the quick work of Coroebus’ vicious staff he bludgeons one into unconsciousness. Thereafter they drag the insensate youth into an abandoned house a few blocks away intent on interrogating him. When he finally rouses, the Coroebus and Amon imply that their inhuman friend, Salazar the Saurial, will eat the hapless youth if he doesn’t start talking. Clearly rattled he quickly divulges that he and his friends work for somebody named Abujamal and that they had seen a man fitting Sadamimon’s description earlier that morning. Hoping to rob him they had even tailed him into an abandoned building but when they darted inside to confront him discovered he had disappeared without a trace.

The three friends command the mewling tough to lead them to the abandoned building and generously let him go before setting about searching the abandoned building. After an hour of trying to sift through rubble and having little to no success they decide to head back to the Dirty Dog to regroup and consider their options before night falls and catches them out in this hazardous part of the city.

On the way back to the Dirty Dog, Coroebus reaches behind him to scratch his back and his hand brushes something hard and metallic that shouldn’t be there. He grabs hold and pulls forth a silver dagger with a bone handle and strange black runes.

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Beginnings
Start of the campaign

When and where an individual’s story begins depends upon whom you talk to. But our story begins in ancient Belthaar; not in the hoary temples of its dozen gods, and not in the high palaces of kings and beys. No. We start lower and humbler, where laborers, craftsmen and the down and out come to slake their thirst, lay their head for a few bronze pennies, look for work or idle the hours away out of the scorching heat of the dying orange sun. No place other than the notorious ‘Dirty Dog’ hostel and cornerclub.

It is the eighth month of Spring-year 778 A.E (After Erlik’s Revolt) Amon is called into his foster father’s study late one evening, “Amon, com here lad.” He says. “I need you to perform a task of some importance for me. Go into the Foreign District on Beetle Alley, just past the square of the Green Peacock and meet with a man called Tazziz, He’ll be expecting you. You’ll recognize him for the black turban he wears and the deep-blue and bronze studded leather jack he wears. Here, take these coins and go quickly . . . Though I would suggest you take a couple of your friends; that part of the city may not be the best place to walk alone after midnight.”

Ever dutiful, Amon takes the heavy pouch of coins without even bothering to look inside and goes to the Dirty Dog, where he finds a pair of recently acquired friends, the Phrygian Coroebus and the enigmatic Saurial Salazar. Eager to make a good impression on Sadamimon (and in turn earn a bit of coin perhaps?) the duo follow after into the cool night air and make their way to the slums of the Foreign District near the pleasure houses of Belthaar.

After a brief walk of no more than fifteen minutes or so, they carefully move down the alley keeping a watchful eye for muggers and other ne’er-do-wells, but encounter no trouble until they come to the small square where they are to meet Tazziz. Unfortunately they notice their contact surrounded by five men rough looking men and a large black bearded brute has him held by the throat with a scimitar leveled at his gut. Not wasting a moment the lizardman Salazar springs into action quickly scaling the wall of a nearby house, with a boost from Coroebus, and as quickly and quietly as he can, pads the flat rooftops hoping to get into a position where he can leap atop the muggers.

Meanwhile Coroebus and Amon skulk along the poorly lit alley and try to listen to the mugger’s demands, “Where is it Tazziz?” the large black-bearded man growls. “I know nothing Jahwar! I swear by Belit!” A moment later Salazar stands to his full height and shouts a taunt down to the muggers hoping to distract them from their quarry, but the large man Jahwar isn’t having any of it and runs his captive through the abdomen and rips his wickedly curved blade quickly from the man’s abdomen spraying an arc of crimson across the yellow bricks of a house.

With words done Salazar leaps down from the portico and plunges through a canvas awning to break his fall and lunges at the muggers with his spear, seconds later his companions Amon and Coroebus rush into the square and join the fray. The first to fall is the fierce-looking man called Jahwar; Salazar ducks under his guard and thrusts his spear cleanly through the man’s throat and he staggers backward gurgling and spouting dark fluid before falling and going still. Desperate but leaderless the muggers are disorganized and fight fiercely for perhaps a minute, but as two fall, one of the men runs and as quickly as it began the last mugger throws down his crude club and begs for mercy.

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