The Hunters

A Beginning

Memnon, a port city on the northwestern edge of the Calim desert. Rumors say the High Sultan of Memnon is 12 feet tall, blackest of skin, and flames for hair. Some believe this a deception the Sultan’s magi have perpetrated to scare commoners into submission, keeping the rabble in line. No doubt a necessary evil due to the harsh reality of the streets. Everyone has seen and dealt with thugs and tuffs in the streets and slavery a commonplace occurrence. Memnon is divided into districts called wards, each ward has a monarch, in charge of protecting the citizens.

For reasons of your own, you have managed to find yourself in Memnon and learn quickly of the happenings on the streets and who enforces the rules. As it happens, you find yourself being apprehended by the city guard yourself and thrown in a holding cell awaiting a meeting with the magistrate.

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Out of the Cell...

There are several of you, each in your own cell. It’s been several days since your capture and the blistering heat and strong wind overwhelm your senses with dry hot air one minute and strong brine of the ocean making it hard to breath. The taste of slop the guards feed you once a day tastes like sand, gritty and bland. The guards threaten whoever dares to speak up or ask questions with beatings and other unspeakable tortures. It appears that you will be stuck here for a while with a sense of no escape.

At one point, a half dozen guards make their way in escorting two people. The first is a well dressed human male in black robes and the second is a tall lithe figure wrapped in a light gray robe. As they walk through the cells the human male is speaking to the female gesturing toward different prisoners, but you can not hear a word they are saying. As they come to your cell the female lifts her hand revealing light blue skin and points directly at you. As your eyes lift from her hand to the cowl of her hood, you see an angler face framed by ice blue hair and her iris’ are pale gray, almost white. Her gaze is cold and demanding authority leaving you feeling like you have been weighed, measured and found unworthy. They move on throughout the cells and she points as several more inmates and then they abruptly leave.

A short time later many guards come in and pull you from your cells. When you ask what’s going on you are told you are being moved to the lower cells. They proceed to herd you deeper into the jail and down several flights of stairs. The deeper you go, the darker it gets. The guards are carrying torches by the time you reach your destination. You are in a room that has been carved out of the sandstone roughly 30 feet square. The door into the room is iron bound and sequels loudly as if it has not been used in a long time. One of the guards says “Welcome to solitary.” Another guard asks “Do we put them each in their own hole?” The first guard replies “No, put them in the holding cell and someone will come deal with them later.” You are all placed in a iron barred cage at the back of the room. The guards close the door to the cage and lock it. All of the guards leave, taking their torches with them leaving you in pitch black.

Many hours later a point on the back wall begins to glow swirling into a portal and you hear a voice says:

“You have been selected and now it is time to prove yourselves. Go through this portal and make your way to Trinidad Oasis and ask for Tosonah. I will meet you there in 3 days. If you choose to stay in this cell, you will rot here. If you don’t make the Oasis in the allotted time, you will die.”

As you pass through the portal you find your self in a sandstone cavern illuminated by the portals glow. As the portal closes you are plunged into darkness and you see a symbol glowing light blue on your left forearm. The symbol is a diamond with two wavy lines across the upper half and a spot in the lower half. Torches placed in sconces on the floor burst into flames and you can better see the cavern.

To be continued…

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... Into the Desert!

You start gathering what you will need for your adventure into the desert when you are informed of a meeting in the gathering hall. You see other people making their way to the meeting so you follow them to an underground room you are guessing is below the sewers. It is a large hexagonal room with rows of seats all around it except for 2 archways. One is where you entered from. You are guessing there are around 100 people here. Through the second arch you see a Rakshasa finely dressed in yellow and red silks with a purple and gold cape. Tosonah follows him in to the center of the floor You are guessing this must be Pasha Gilmore. He motions for quiet and says:

“Greetings and thank you for the work you have been doing. I wanted you to know that your situations can change.”
He points at one of the slaves sitting on the bottom row and motions him to come says, “Benigo here has been working for me for some time and has earned my complete trust. For that, he is being rewarded with his freedom.” He motions to Tosonah and she waves her hands an his slave mark on his arm disappears. Gilmore continues: “Benigo, now that you are a free man, you can go where you want, but I want you to know that I can use you here in the guild and will pay you for your services. What say you?” Benigo looking dumbfounded nods his head and says “Yes, of course I will work for you.” The crowd claps and cheers for Benigo’s success.

Gilmore raises his hands and the room grows quiet. “Unfortunately, not all of todays news is good.” He waves his hand and several guards bring in 4 men bound by shackles. You see the slave mark on their arms have turned black and where the dot was is now a red X. “These four tried to leave my service without permission. They were all caught on board a ship getting ready to set sail for Waterdeep. They were not supposed to be there, they were supposed to be out of the city at Trinidad oasis meeting our newest members. We all know what the punishment is for running away.” The four prisoners fall to their knees begging for forgiveness but it falls on deaf ears. Gilmore nods to Tosonah and she waves her hands and a shimmering dome falls over the four men on their knees. They stand up starting to panic pounding on the shield. The marks on their arms start to glow brighter and brighter until the entire dome is so bright you have to turn away. When the light dims, you look back to see the inside of the dome only has 4 sets of shackles in it. The dome dissolves and Gilmore speaks, “Know that your service is watched and those that excel will be rewarded, and those that try and shirk you duties will be punished.” He motions to Benigo and Tosonah to follow and he leaves the room.

Your gear gathered and everything in order, Tosonah transports you to Trinidad Oasis and says, “Return here when you are done exploring the ruins and report what you have found. I will know when you have returned. Good luck.” She steps back through the magical doorway and it twists to a close.

You head out in the direction you had originally came from and you arrive back in the area where you had found the ruins. When you arrive there you find that the sands have shifted and the walls that were previously visible are now covered but other walls that were buried are now sticking out of the sand. Most of these walls are in a valley between dunes except for one. About 50 feet up the side of one of the dunes you see the corner of a building sticking out of the sand. As you get up there you realize that this must be the coping of a tower. Using your shovels you shift some sand and find a trap door that has been hidden for ages. As it has been kept dry and out of the air, it is well preserved. After a little coaxing with your crowbar you get it open.

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