What The Elf Said

The last few sessions of Strange Aeons have been heavy combat, so it was good to get a bit of a rest from that. The party managed to get back together, so with the enemy defeated we resorted to want any D&D/Pathfinder party does in such situations – we looted the place.

The fight against the Gnoll slavers was finally over, with Biting Lash most probably having made a run for it since we found a rope hanging down from the top of the tower, and Gnoll footprints heading off into the distance. Part of the roof was on fire, which had ended up burning some drugs which Sheena had inhaled, causing her to pass out in a state of bliss. After arguing about not wanting to ‘waste’ a spell on her, Erasmus finally gave her some healing which brought her round. I’m not sure whether she was entirely happy with that.

The top of the tower had some small potted trees, as well as a tent (now burned down) and a bamboo pavilion, which seemed to have served as an office of sorts. There was a desk with various maps on it, mostly of Katapesh and the south western coast of Casmaron, with the region known as the Parch Lands marked out.

There was also an itinerary, which marked out a route for Count Lowles out from Qumarin. That was a city that I’ve vaguely heard of before, but only in as much as it had a ‘lost’ city that had been cursed. Not a place I think that I’d want to go to. But there were other potential routes listed, such as one from the slaver city of Sedeq. Again, that didn’t sound safe.

We started looting the tower, heading from top to bottom, finding some things of worth, including a large number of firearms, none of which any of us knew how to use. And then we got down to the ground floor.

In a room which we had not visited previously were two dozen slaves, chained to the wall and not in any great shape. Myself and Ray went in and started to try and free them, and once that was in hand I explored further and found another room in which there were two elves chained up, looking in quite bad condition. I unchained them both, and then the woman seemed to speak – not just to me, but to all of us – without the message seeming to go through our ears.

Lowles was here many days ago. Even now he is headed to Neruzavin.

— What the elf said when we rescued her

These were the elves that had been speaking to us on our journey. She was Kaklathat, and did not speak herself but spoke through Tezcatili, who used magic to reach us. She had seen us being sold when Lowles had bought us from Welari in the Dreamlands. She explained that she was not an elf, but a Yithian, and her people had built the city of Neruzavin tens of thousands of years ago when they had come to Golarian via the Dark Tapestry.

Her companion Tezcatili was an elf, and he had become a good friend of hers. Her mind could roam between bodies, and though she was currently in the body of an elf, her natural body had been left behind at Neruzavin, where Xhamen-Dor may well be doing things to it. The Yith we are informed are non-humanoid – conical creatures with no apparent legs, but four limbs out of which ends in an eye.

Since she wants to get back to her body, she is willing to help us get to Neruzavin.

The other slaves were human – at least mostly. Some were Aasimar. They very much wanted to leave here and go with us, so I told them that we were heading to the Parched Lands to fight an elder god. They decided that they wanted to leave here and not go with us.

We decided to take them back to Katheer, which was where most of them had been taken from, and more importantly was where we could easily teleport back to. However, it would take quite a few teleport spells to get them all back, so we found them food and water and camped in the tower for the night.

13th Gozran, Toilday

Apart from something flying around overhead at night, we were not disturbed, so the following morning we set fire to the top of the tower, and teleported the slaves back with us to the city to make sure that they got somewhere safe. Rather than just dumping them, I wanted to leave the slaves with something, and it was decided that we would give them each 50gp to make a fresh start. It wasn’t much to us, but a good start.

The guards at Katheer were pleased to see the slaves returned – really pleased. The Satrap of the city invites us to meet with him, and we are awarded 4,800gp each for what we did. I decided to donate my reward to one of the temples that helps freed slaves.

That afternoon, I received a parcel from the palace, a gift of an imperfect rose tinted gemstone, a teardrop in shape and with a crack in it. It is an item known as a Martyer’s Tear, which can provide healing in times of need.

With the slaves rescued, and a plan to head into the Parched Lands, we get a chance to rest up before the next part of our journey.

Samuel Penn

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