Shifting Sands

The Day Job

Gathering up materials "lent" to the would-be adventurers, the group is granted several magicially-enhanced items before being ushered out of the small hovel that serves as a guild post for the Wayfarers in the town of Mistport. The elderly official manning the post warns everyone of the general dangers found in the desert sands, recommending proper preparation before traveling into the harsh landscape. After securing the building and moving on to other facets of his own life, the old man points the group into the direction of Akhen's Bazaar, one of the larger marketplaces in the town as a place to begin.

Making their way into the more crowded streets, entering the bazaar displays a large gathering of people hawking produce, housewares, clothing, meats, baubles, and much more. Though several of the sandstone buildings lining the open square are occupied with merchants, taverns, and other sellers, the congested marketplace provides the travelers with a bounty of purchasing options for their rather limited purses. Orgath and Uria barter a bit with a fresh-water merchant, something of a precious good in the barren land, quickly finding that purchasing large portions of fresh water for travel is not a cheap investment. The others locate various clothing stalls for head-wraps, scarves, cloaks, and general goods fit for the harsh environment they intend to move through. Though the price is steep, the merchant is at least kind enough to direct the group not only to a nearby tavern for whatever alcoholic needs they may have, but also makes mention of an eccentric living in the Green District who is something of an antique collector.

At the recommendation of the guild postmaster, Mordai and Orgath travel together to the Library of Arcane Research near the eastern gates to meet with the contractor for their current task; a Librarian named Edwin. Mordai, interested in the location, and Orgath, focused on learning more about their task travel to the public library and meet with the keeper amongst a massive display of thousands of books, tomes, scrolls, and any form of information that can be written down. The task at hand: the pursuit of a missing cargo shipment meant to arrive in the town several days ago. As an institute of learning and especially on those of magical origins, the contents of the shipment are much sought after and suspected to have been stolen. While Edwin is more than willing to give cursory details to these hires, the specifics remain a mystery. He does, however, make note of the shipment remaining sealed and locked away within any sort of metal container. "Do not touch the contents, above all else". Mordai, while attentive, spends his time browsing the library along with Orgath and finding themselves a bit underfunded to afford a purchase of some of the more useful wares, though some simpler volumes catch Mordai's attention for a purchase, in particular those about lost civilizations and buried secrets.

Meanwhile, Uria and Alaenor make a stop in the Green District to visit the old collector known as Alcazar, an older gentleman who runs a shop selling or purchasing "Exotic Goods". The man is amiable enough, but clearly values his possessions and proposes a deal with the two adventurers when asked about items of healing power. Granting something of a down-payment on further ventures, Uria of all people agrees to return to the shop with any magical items or artifacts they may find for examination, and perhaps bartering if the interest is there.

Merielle spends her time wandering the bazaar and brooding in alleyways.

Finally prepared to venture into the unknown, the group leaving the town through the heavily-guarded southern gates and moves into the arid steppe-like lands immediately around Mistport. After traveling for a few hours and the town growing smaller at their backs, they find themselves being flagged down by an outrider group from the Onyx Fang. The leader of the group, a tanned human by the name of Tabor, apparently reveals a bit of navigational information to the group and offers to accompany them to the southern Twin Oases, something of a "rest stop" used by caravans, travelers, and merchants between Mistport and the frontier towns in the sands. The group turns down the offer, and though the outriders appear unfazed by the denial of good will, not long after turn from the distance and engage the group in a fierce battle.

Though mounted and heavily armed, the prospective adventurers halt the advance of their assaulters long enough for Orgath to deliver several deadly blows with her large maul. Merielle attempts to steal one of the steeds but in her haste only succeeds in killing the beast. Mordai's attacks rain destruction from a distance before one of men faces him down in close combat. With Alaenor's divine help, most of the attackers are slain before any lasting damage can be done, and Uria herself begins to savage one of the survivors looking for information, revenge, or both. While the survivor seems to be unable to speak or walk, the group still decides to take a prisoner of sorts before they lay the dead in an orderly manner and retrieve a set of leather armor that appears to be somewhat magically enhanced. Heading back on to the trail, now a bit more wary, they continue on their way to the Oases…

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