I believe Red Hand of Doom starts at about that level. Then there is the 3.5 version of the Dragonlance Saga which starts around there as well. neither of these are APs however and both are 3.5. You can pretty much skip the first book of Seconf Darkness and run it from there.
In my current game, I have a player who wanted to have metal fists, like in the movie "Man with the Iron Fists." So in one of my recent adventures, a devil with snake heads for hands bit off his forearms in its death throes. Not long afterwards, the party rescued a noble djinn who, lo and behold, granted each PC present a wish. He wished for, wait for it, adamantium fists.
Now, he just was part of the rescue of a crafting wizard who is going to improve one of his fists with a bag of holding, a winch, and a chain so he can do this.
If you can get a hold of Green Ronin's Black Company Campaign Setting there is an expanded ruleset on masterwork weapons and armor that give bonuses to some skills like diplomacy and intimidate, increase critical threat ranges, and some more. I don't have it on me right now, but it is a low magic setting so these masterwork qualities are 'replacements' for magic weapons.
What's missing by Mustafa
The genie man’s flail lashed down at him. Mustafa stepped to the right and caught the head of the weapon in his adamantine fist. The sound the two mystical metals made as they came together was terrible, a ringing that rattled his teeth. The flail’s black fire licked down to the flesh of his arm, and he grunted with pain as the smell of seared flesh hits his nostrils. Shifting his weight slightly, he threw his other fist at his opponent’s face and watched with great pleasure as the creature’s proud expression disappeared in a bloody smear. The bastard collapsed into a heap and moved no more.
Looking to the others, Mustafa saw that they had triumphed over the other genie man, this one with bright red hair. Zedric stood at ease, his breath easy and controlled. Where was his snakey staff? he thought. He remembered flashes from the battle, the Desnan slipping around his opponent and throwing punches. Punches!
“Much has changed,” he said to himself. How long had he been ensorcelled? Zedrick stood with two new compatriots. The first was a swordsman in armor, a tall thin man with a hawkish nose, breathing heavily and leaning on a fine blade of eastern metal. His fine clothes were smeared with blood and burned black in several places.
“Garavel?” the pit fighter called. The other barely looked up, but nodded in acknowledgement. Since when did Alma’s watchdog travel with the Knights of Kelmarane?
He shuddered with the memory.
But something was missing. Mustafa stretched, working out the unnatural stiffness that still held on to his muscles. Hakim. Hakim had freed him somehow. He remembered seeing the archaeologist with a woman . . . a woman in chains.
“Heh.” Hakim . . . always with the dangerous women. The man did have a type. Mustafa had a type, too. The type that sat still long enough! But again . . . what was missing? Something was wrong. As he came out of his battle mind, he could feel it, skirting around in his brain. An absence. Something was missing. Something . . .
Mustafa looked back to Zedrick.
“Priest,” he called. “Where is Melaku?”
Coming unglued by Mustafa
Slowly the light came back into his eyes. Mustafa feels his limbs loosen and he searches the room for the b$%%& who had commanded him. Him! Lord of the Battle Market! He would rip her limb from limb.
The Fate of The Fist
“Get the exemplar.” The Sand Sage waited in silence. He waved a hand over the pool of quicksilver as the unfolding scene coalesced in the still mercury. The coffee colored mage was visibly distraught and the quick acolyte of Lady Luck stared with mouth agape. Everyone in the room thought the ogre-kin didn’t stand a chance. Except the ogre-kin. He thought he was king and then succumbed to his wombs. The Sand Sage sighed in relief. At least the air elementalist was still alive.
The slaves standing by the archaeologist were cringing in horror when Her Grace arrived.
“So the big one bought the boat ride first? What is going on with his arms? Metal huh. Now that IS interesting.” Khymrasa purred. Since the word was spread about her treachery involving the Pharaohs of Ascension she has been on the run. He was forced to flee Osirion with her. Guilt by association. But they still have a modest amount of wealth. And contacts. “Contact Djal. He’ll certainly be interested in this.” And he’ll pay well.
“Ha ha ha ha!” bellowed the fat trader. “Mustafa is mine now! Honey!” With tears streaming from behind her hijab, Shepsit let a moan escape, then cried out as the meaty flat of her husband’s palm connects with her cheek with a smack, knocking aside the khimār covering her face. When she tried to replace the scarf, Djal grabbed it and pulled it from her head.
“Whore! You try to play modest with me! When you spread your legs for every two bit cretin who would degrade himself to lose himself between your fat hairy thighs!” He emphasized the last word with another slap, sending Shepsit sprawling to the ground.
“Ahmid, have Rahman set up a meeting with my fellows.”
As it turns out, Djal Awi didn’t have the right contacts in Sothis to pull off what he intended, but his associate in Katapesh certainly did. The Jackal has ways to get ahold of services even The Pactmaster’s sometimes cannot procure. So he contacted Madame Fajr to make the arrangements.
It took a month, but he finally was able make arrangements to have a sample of the body returned and to find a mage of enough power to cast the required spell. And a powerful entity indeed. It isn’t everyday that a mere merchant, even one as power as Djal, can claim to have met with masked figure who may be a god. But it seems even gods need gold sometimes, and at this very moment, masked priests were loading the dozens of crates of gold, rubies, and magical items to be teleported up north to the country or Razmiran.
The gladiator stood passively as he stared at the skull in the eerie moon over head. Staying in place for the days and weeks awaiting judgement has made the fighter bored and restless. He contemplated starting a fight with a tougher looking soul when he heard a whisper in his ear.
“Would you like to come back to your old life of excitement and adventure? Your companions are waiting for your return and are in need of The Fist!”
Mustafa slowly rotated his head right and left, but saw nothing.
“Just nod your head and you can have your old life back. Think of it. The women of Katapesh will once again swoon in your presence. The men will cower in fear. And all because The Fist is back!”
The gladiator nodded his head. The Mother of Souls grimaced as she watched the giant of a man wink out of her Boneyard.
“Aagh!” Mustafa screamed as his form coalesced. He barely had time to register his surroundings when he felt the manacles clamp around his wrists. His wrists! Tears welled up in his eyes as he recognized a sensation he had not felt as anything other than phantom pain for over a year. Then his resolve took over as anger filled his heart. He blinked away the tears and his eyes focused on a fat mustachioed Garundi. The fat smiling man.
“Ah Mustafa,” laughed the Garundi. “We finally meet at last. You made it easy. Expensive yes, but easy for me to gain control of you when you died.”
Mustafa tried to place the man. His confusion must have been apparent to the Garund.
“No,” the man said. The laughter stopping. “You don’t know me but I know you.” Mustafa blinked again.
“Think real hard. know it is tough for one such as yourself. But try. Here, let me jog your memory. Ahmid! Fetch the reminder.” A swarthy servant bows and backs out of sight. Mustafa heard an agaonizing wail before ee reappears a moment later with something bundled in his hands. The fat man snatched it from the servant, ripped off the wrapping, and holds out a bloody, flabby piece of meat over Mustafa’s supine body.
“Recognize this! DO YOU?”
Mustafa’s eyes tried to focus on the pendulating object. Is that a nipple? Then the fat man slapped the meat onto his chest. It oozed off his body onto the floor with a splot.
“Bring the b##+*!” The servant bowed and shuffled backwards once more. This time he returned much sooner and trailing someone being led by a chain. She was hunched over, cradling her chest as blood poured out from the hole where her breast used to be. It was hard for him to recognize her. It had been a long time, and he never really took note of the many woman he satisfied himself with. Her nose and ears have been cut off. The stubs healed with ugly scars. One of her hands was missing. Oh wait, it is dangling from her neck. She walked with a limp. Then Mustafa recognized the beard and the balding pate.
“Shepsit,” he whispered. Then he raged. “You animal. You fiend. I curse you to the nine Hells and the hordes of the Abyss. When I…” His rant was cut short when a mailed fist cracked against his maxilla, knocking out several teeth and fracturing the bone. He struggled against the chains and tried to scream, but his broken mouth could only grunt as a madman wearing a toothed mask laughed over him.
“Yes, Shepsit. And I am her husband, Djal. You will inimately know my name when I am done with you. Khair. I do believe this man was short some arms when he died. Do you mind rectifying this for me?”
“The Rough Beast will enjoy his pain as much as I’ll enjoy inflicting it.” Without a pause the servant of Rovagug lifted his great ax and brought down onto Mustafa’s arm. Before Mustafa could register the pain, his other arm was hewn. He reflexively sat up, blood spraying from the stumps as he wailed. He futilely tried to kick off the chains binding his feet. Through the pain, he could smell Djal’s fetid breath as the fat man grabbed his head and forced it to look at the wreck of Shepsit. Her eyes made painful contact with Mustafa, then widened as the axe took her head.
“I’m done with the whore.” Djal whispered into Mustafa’s ear. His hot breath stinking spitting all over Mustafa’s neck. Suddenly, Mustafa felt a tickling on his stumps. Then a searing heat and flashes of light strobed the room and then his arms felt heavy. The pain was gone.
“Oh really, fat man.” Mustafa growled as he reached back with a metal fist and grabbed a hold of the fat man’s face, crushing with all of his strength. He slammed the man over his head, forward onto his lap. He used his other fist to smash the chains binding his feat as Djal screamed his agony. Mustafa kept hold of the man as some guards tried to swarm him. Mustafa used their master as a bludgeon against the crowd, his other arm smashing faces and skulls as they tried to flank the former gladiator. Bodies piled high around the warrior
Djal kept his screams going as his limbs broke over his servants and guards. Mustafa looked for the man in the toothed mask when he felt a flash of eldritch pain as an axe smashed him in the chest hard enough to send him reeling back. The man named Khair laughed as he circled around the warrior. Mustafa, looked at the writhing murderous merchant still in his grasp. He unceremoniously smashes Djal’s head against a pillar, sending the body into sickening convulsions as he fell to the floor twitching. Khair just laughed as the two combatants circled each other.
Khair shouted a prayer to Rovagug as Mustafa charged, striking the priest with a powerful blow. The cleric grunted, but returned with a swing from his axe, missing. But Mustafa felt the bite of something else behind him. He quickly turned to look only to see a translucent greataxe weaving in a battle pattern behind him. Mustafa smiled, then proceeded to unleash a flurry of blows against the priest, ignoring the second axe’s chops to his side.
As the priest collapsed in front of him, he saw a dark-skinned man haughtily standing with his arms crossed. The man had an amused look on his face. Mustafa screamed with rage and waded through the bodies and soldiers still trying to engage him.
Then he heard a whistle and saw a woman stroll into the chamber with two bird-like things in tow. She clicked her teeth and the chicken-things strutted around the room towards him as she looked at Mustafa and whispered. His world became very fuzzy when he heard the words “Strike a pose. Show me how mighty you are.”
For some reason, this seemed like the most logical request that Mustafa has ever heard. He backed away from the priest and flexed, then he raised his arms and crouched into his most impressive battle stance as the chicken-things strutted up and began to nip at his naked thighs. At the last second, he shook his head as he felt his legs grow heavy. He took a slow step. Then another.
His world went dark.
captain yesterday wrote:
I am running Legacy of Fire right now and it is really fun. I and my players are having a great time with it. Most of the conversions are up on D20PFSRD and what isn't, isn't too hard to update. I recommend it highly.
I've read Second Darkness and concur with what has already been said by others above. If I were to run it I would start at the end of book one and have the PCs be some kind of A-Team hired by the elves from the beginning. And, iirc, the second book as an incredibly awesome encounter in it. The overall story is pretty cool too.
Vic Wertz wrote:
We had to take down the bundles, as they were causing issues, but the individual volumes are still on sale at the same discount.
So what happened to those of us whose bundles appeared to work fine? I still have the Serpent's Skull bundle in my pending.
Oh, and to keep this on subject, I could care less about compilations. Especially if it takes away from Paizo's ability to make new product. The 3.5 stuff was already made, printed, and sold. Ancient history. Besides, it's not that hard to run the 3.5 as Pathfinder.
I put several on sale APs into my shopping cart for $6, but when I clicked to put them in my sidecart to ship with my subscription they turned into $16.99 items. Is that supposed to happen or a glitch? Because I would prefer to get them with my regular subscription.
I think it looks pretty good as far as the organization goes. Some things have been lost like comments on adventure logs which is annoying but I believe they will be back soon enough. I haven't looked at the forums yet to see the mess, but it is harder to see the recent activities.
One thing that has always bothere me is that if you use the plus sign, everything after it gets underlined. And they didn't fix that. It seems to me that if you are hosting a web sight for a RPGs that utilizes a lot...Excuse me, A LOT of plus signs in stat blocks you would not use a plus sign to underline things.
I have a dwarf wizard in PFS with a really good Con and toughness. She has actually had to front-line in a couple sessions because of levels and party make-up. With the Steel Soul feat and that trait (glory of old?) you could make a very tough dwarf mage.
Edit: On top of that, making a dwarf empyreal sorcerer and dip 2 levels of sensai would be fun. I almost did that but went with seeker-sage, same dip, and Kung fu genius.
Where are you quoting from? This is what the PRD says.
Change Size (Sp) Twice per day, an efreeti can magically change a creature's size. This works just like an enlarge person or reduce person spell (the efreeti chooses when using the ability), except that the ability can work on the efreeti. A DC 13 Fortitude save negates the effect. The save DC is Charisma-based. This is the equivalent of a 2nd-level spell.
Edit: never mind. My bleary eyes didn't differentiate ifrit from efreet.
For my archer, as soon as I could afford it I just bought hundreds of arrows, carried about a hundred at a time and kept the rest on my horse. Instead of rolling for recovery, I just crossed out 50% of every arrow fired. It wasn't so bad but the combats got old by the time I hit 9th level so when he died I made a cavalier.
Nox Aeterna wrote:
Pretty much "just because"; but if I where to pick a reason it would be weight. I figure there needs to be a cap somewhere. I might allow it to take 2 slots if I allowed it but the only time this has come up it was for my own player and it never really came up.
Ultimately, it would be up to your GM, but I would allow this. (flavor considerations applied)
1st: arrows, bolts; I'd allow darts and shuriken but probably each would count as two arrows.
2nd: javelins, short spears, daggers, short swords, wands; pretty much anything along these lines
3rd: bows, spears, trident, staffs, long sword, rapier; anything long and slender up to the size of a long sword.
Things like axes, maces, crossbows; basically anyhing not long a slender would not fit.
Edit: trident might not work.
I don't have a chase deck on me right now, but I do believe on the deck rules card it says to give a flier a bonus on the skill checks. High speed characters also have a bonus. Keeps it simple so you don't have to come up with convoluted ways to deal with fliers.
You can certainly create your own timeline. In my current games, we have Kingmaker currently in the year 4703, my Legacy of Fire is 4710, Council of Thieves wasn't specified but the GM of Kingmaker is assuming it runs concurrently with his; that is until we failed book 5 and found ourselves trapped out of time for 100 years and it is turning into Slumbering Tsar.
For the game I am GMing right now, the cleric didn't take selective channel and it has been fine. If he did use channel,in combat, it helped the enemy minimally, but the party tremendously. Only once did the issue of an unconscious NPC being saved by the channel come up, and this was a main villain who chose to play dead while the PCs finished. She'll be back as a reoccurring enemy; which to me is a nice plus to not having the feat since we all love reoccurring enemies.
If she were a monk she would have just stayed down.
So with the death of Mustafa, there is no reason to hire an assassin to kill him. Instead, for this encounter I am using it as a revenge for a certain villain they left alive when we played through Broken Chains.
I did, however, decide to rewrite Father Jackal as actually being Pazhvann, the Templar of the East Wind. I also made him a Time Thief from Super Genius Games. I am probably going to have him team up with Zayifed because he is on the loose as well.
Here is the rewrite.
Male janni lvl 9 time thief
NE Medium outsider (native)
Init + 8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +
Twice per day, a janni can magically change a creature’s size. This works just like an enlarge person or reduce person spell (the janni chooses when using the ability), except that the ability can work on the janni. A DC 15 Fortitude save negates the effect. The save DC is Charisma-based. This is the equivalent of a 2nd-level spell.
Elemental Endurance (Ex)
Jann can remain on the Planes of Air, Earth, Fire, or Water for up to 48 hours at a time. Failure to return to the Material Plane before that time expires causes a janni to take 1 point of damage per additional hour spent on the elemental plane, until it dies or returns to the Material Plane.
Pazhvann (The Jackal’s Price): Pazhvann is Nefeshti’s advisor and spiritual guide. He represents the east wind, upon which the whispers of the gods and the advice of elders is carried.
Name: Melaku Selliulerae
Melaku’s dark green/silver elven eyes, pointed ears and bright white smile mark his dark chocolate features and punctuate lips that are rarely without a story. His shaved head bears a knit black and white hat and he is never without his darkwood staff.
Male Garundi Half-Elf Wizard 7
Elf Blood You are counted as both elven and human for any effect relating to race.
STR: not the physical type
FORT: hardships may defeat his body but not his mind
Melaku is the son of a elven traveler and a Garundi woman who tended to the man when he had escaped the dangers of Nex and needed extended care. The half-elven Garundi saw his father off and on as he grew and moved with mother. The deserts and savannahs of eastern Garund were his home and it is here that Melaku found his calling in the emptiness of the environment. The winds of Garund whispered and screamed their secrets to the insightful half-elven boy and he began to sense an affinity the element. A lover of his mother’s taught him about wizardry and in time Melaku taught himself about the power of air elementalism. This man, Razim, also taught Melaku about the First Language and made sure that he knew its closest dialects; Celestial, Infernal and Abyssal. Melaku discovered a natural gift for language and soon picked up enough of the First Tongue to begin to speak basic ideas in it when still technically a child. It was when the mother and child had found themselves in a community called Kelmarane that Melaku first felt the security of community and the power of language in society through story. The boy would tell stories to any who would listen and many in the village drew comfort from the tales.
Name: Mustafa the Fist
Mustafa the Fist:
Standing six foot, eight inches tall and weighing three hundred and ninety pounds, the grey-skinned monster called Mustafa has spent his life in the pit and he looks like it. His ears are calloused lumps and his nose is a battered mess. His body bears a horrific scar that runs from his right shoulder across his chest, a reminder of his defeat at the hands of the Carrion King. The top of his head is bald but lank, oily hair hangs from the sides of head, and he has a thick black beard that hangs nearly to his belt and is decorated with the skulls of pugwumpis, bones and cheap jewelry. Around his neck Mustafa wears the skull of some demonic being, hung on a heavy chain of silver; on the skull is some strange, alien writing. The pit fighter wears a bright, well kept breast plate of a glossy, green metal. On his feet are heavy leather sandals that reveal on close inspection minute patterns of cats. Across his shoulder he wears a feathered cloak made from the hide of a heiracosphinx. Where Mustafa once had hands, he now has massive fists of ancient adamantine.
Mustafa the Fist
To Hit: + 6 BAB + 5 Str + 1 WF + 1 MW gauntlets + 1 Close Combatant +1 Xmas Tree
Monk Abilities: Punishing Kick (DC 12 Fort Save; 3/day), Unarmed Damage 1d6, Dragon Style (+ 2 saves vs. sleep, paralysis, stun; charge/run/withdraw thru difficult terrain, allied squares, + 1 ½ Str damage on 1st attack per round), Dragon Ferocity (+1 1/2 Str damage; Crit/Punishing Kick—>shaken for 1d4 + 4 rounds), Toughness, Natural Armor, Still Mind, Maneuver Training
Fighter Abilities: Bravery, Close Control, Close Combatant
Other Gear: spear, spear thrower, javelin w/amentum x3, hand-axe, Antitoxin, sunrod, short bow w/20 arrows, silver knuckles x2, cold iron knuckles x2, bandoliers (CLW x2, CMW, PoE, EP, Holy Water x2, See Invisible, Cure Blindness)
Carrying Capacity 20 Strength + Mulehide Cords + Heavyload Belt
* L1-WF: unarmed combat; Monk-Dragon Style, Improved Unarmed Combat; Human-Beliar’s Bite, Hungry Ghost Monk-Punishing Kick*
Deep Well of Paradise
“Akuuyu, you came.”
“Yes, ma’am,” the holy paladin of Sarenrae responds. “As you have wished, Your Holiness.”
“You have done well here helping secure this area from threats, but I have a new task for you. The Knight Protector’s of Kelmarene are in need of your service, and we are in need of theirs. There is blasphemy to our goddess in the desert. There is an oasis we call the Deep Well of Paradise that has been corrupted. Worse, several years ago, one of our own Knights of Sarenrae, a paladin by the name of Fadiyah Al’Qirym journeyed there in the hopes of reconcecrating the oasis in the name of her Dawnflower but failed. Worse, her holy sword Dawn’s Swift Burning was lost. Now that the immediate dangers to the community have subsided, thanks in no small part to you and your efforts against the gnolls and smugglers, we think the sword may be recoverable. Between you and the Knight Protectors you should have the strength to overcome whatever horrible mystery has befallen the Deep Well of Paradise. May The Healing Light guide and bless you on your journey."
To the Beast
As Hakim raced along the cliff’s edge with his trusty whip in hand towards the monstrous beast in the valley below he could just barely make out a large winged creature take flight from the nearest structure on the beast’s back and head towards one further in front and on the opposite side. That must be where they are. Without hesitation Hakim leaped from the cliff and gracefully landed on the roof of the building the winged creature just left. From the roof he could spot two other creatures, one looked like a crocodile while another Hakim had never seen before that looked hideous. He could also see a woman flying and shooting lightning out of her hands at the same structure the winged creature flew too just before a cloud of fog enveloped the area. Yea, that’s definitely got to be them.
Without further thought Hakim cast Invisibility on himself, half-slid half-ran down the roof, and leaped effortlessly to the next roofing. The sounds of fighting grew more intense as he entered the foggy area ahead so he put away his whip and drew his pistol. Once through he peered over the edge of the catwalk and could just make out Zedric and, was that Garavel, fighting off strange black tentacles protruding from the walls as well as the three creatures. Looks like the guys are handling themselves for the moment so let me see if I can take care of that flying spell casting b+#. Hakim spoke the words and cast his spell becoming visible for her to see. Suddenly in the midst of one of her spells she stopped. She looked confused for a moment as she looked around. Hakim lifted his free hand and tipped his hat as he smiled at the now silenced woman as she flew away infuriated. Grabbing the rope to meet his friends he slid down below where his smile faded fast. On the floor was Melaku …dead.
Of the original four members only Zedric and he were left. Mustafa, lost in the previous fighting with the Carrion King’s minions and slaves earlier. Suddenly he was brought out of his sorrow by the erratic shaking of the building as it appeared the beast was attempting to free itself from its burdens. “I’ll grab Melaku for proper burial. You two head for the crane at the back,” Zedric suggested. As he leaned down to grab Melaku it looked like some sort of water essence entered on of Zedric’s hands. The three of them headed for the crane as they could feel the structures buckle and give each time the beast slammed against the cliff. Hakim arrived at the crane and studied its engineering. From the looks of it the lift only had standing room for one person. “Garavel get in the lift and take Melaku, I’ll lower you down from here, and we’ll be down shortly after you,” Hakim stated.
Hakim said some words for himself and repeated them as he placed a hand on Zedric’s shoulder while Garavel prepared himself. With one more slam into the cliff Zedric & Hakim lowered their friends down to the ground. Just as the lift made it to the ground everything seemed to give way on the beast’s back. Hakim and Zedric leapt clear of the structures with the help of the Feather Fall spells Hakim cast, as Garavel quickly got out of the way of any falling debris. Once the two landed softly on the ground Garavel met them and stated, “Let us see what we can salvage from these ruins.”
Let the looting begin! Maybe I can find something to bring Melaku back to life.
Rough Work Up There
Feliped is unaware of the pair of eyes spying him as he leaves Almah’s office on the top floor. Feliped emerges from the archway and proceeds to Kurellak’s countertop and takes his regular seat. The watcher makes his move, taking the stool adjacent to the bard as he waves over the gnoll bartender.
“What will it be, his majesty?” The gnoll inquires, still trying to gain mastery of human honorifics.
“Felliped is just fine, Kurellak. Though if you must, a Sir will do fine. And I’ll take a Razmir Red neat.”
“Same here,” the stranger seated next to Felliped announces.
“Me aims to please, his Sirs.” The gnoll proceeds to pour each of the two humans a tumbler of the imported whiskey, who then proceed to drink in silence. About half way through the second glass, the stranger turns to Feliped.
“Rough work up there, eh?” He asks.
Felliped turns to him with a raised eyebrow. “Nah, just some consulting work. And you, stranger? What brings you here?”
“Name’s Radi, merchant out of Katapesh. The city.”
“Felliped.” He tilts his glass.
“Consulting eh? Something fascinating I bet. Secret ancient treasures?” Something about Radi’s smile puts Felliped off.
“Not really. Standard documents and spreadsheets. Nothing interesting.” Radi detects a hint of discomfort with Felliped. Could they have?
“Oh come now, new friend. Something big is going on here. I can tell. Looks like the Kinght Protector’s are gearing up for a trip.” Something’s in Radi’s expression sets Felliped’s hairs on end. He looks around the bar and spots Fixx and Podarn lounging against the rail outside the stage talking to a couple of Mustafa’s ladies.
“Kurellak,” Felliped shakes his empty glass. Two more." But Radi detects a change in Felliped’s tone.
“I’m sorry, but I have to…” He is cut short as The glass in Felliped’s hand smashes him across the brow.
“Mamelukes!” He Felliped shouts and strikes another blow but Radi is ready and delivers a quick strike across his jaw before Felliped has a chance to deliver. Radi turns to flee, but finds his arms are pinned by the iron grips of the Pactmaster Mamluk soldiers. Feliped straightens himself out.
“Perhaps you should bring your questions to Almah.”
The Funeral of Mustafa
Melaku settled on the soft flat topped stone beneath the young olive tree. The hot wind tried to push the leaves away to allow its mistress the sun to touch the soft green grass and newly planted flowers that were sheltered there and sear them away but the young tree was too healthy and the shade was welcome to the weary wizard. The half-elf leaned against the trunk of the tree feeling the twisted young bark and listened to the water from the delicate looking decanter laying on its side that spilled out into a small rock lined pool that lay behind him. The water that overflowed the pool ran into channels through the graveyard behind the Kelmarane’s church. Most of the area was tended but still dry desert grasses and flowering cacti amongst the stone tombs. The five stone holy warriors of Sarenrae stood upon their tombs looking down the hillside while Sarenrae herself in whitewashed stone towered over the area looking over those that rested there in the rock and dust. The statue had been repaired and gilt in bright brass armor so it gleamed across the graves in the setting sun but not there in the ruins of some building long collapsed. The few graves there were nestled between the short walls and under the green and shade. The rivulets of water that left the confines of that space eventually gathered in a shallow limestone trough at Sarenrae’s feet. One of those graves was new but the turf beneath it was undisturbed.
Melaku paid to have the pool here filled to over flowing, to keep this area an oasis and refuge. A local came to trim and tend the grave of his mother that rested under the olive that he had planted so long ago. It was here that he often studied in peace or rested when he was actually in the town. He had long walked Garundi because he’d had no home but after he and his friends had cleared Kelmarane of the invaders and curses that had befallen it, after he had seen this spot given life, Melaku discovered that he could not stay. As a boy he had always been an outsider like his mother. She had come from far away, been unmarried and mothered an elven half-breed. He was a bastard, spoke strange tongues and possessed strange powers. They were never abused, in fact the people of old Kelmarane had enjoyed his facility to tell a good story and infectious smile but the differences were there, the distances from everyone else.
Now that he was seemingly a hero and given respect he found that he soon grew to yearn to leave. He would always return when called by Zedric or Hakimor…or when Mustafa had needed him; but out there he learned more and taught more and saw more. He loved the road and meeting new people, his mother had said it was his father in him. However, now that Kelmarane had been redeemed there was more to it. He wandered more and more north into Osirion seeking out Avistani elves that might recognize his father’s surname, Selliulerae, and so far that had not been the case but still he sought for some tale or story while he wove tales to merchants and slaves, laborers and royals.
This time it had been different. He had returned from the ancient tainted fortress with the rest, ordered a stone for Mustafa, planted a fig tree that he had found growing in the most inhospitable crag near the Carrion King’s Palace and then left. Mustafa being gone filled him with great sadness. He had not been there to give aid, been too slowly to unleash his power to defend him, he had failed. He knew that such was sometimes the price but of any of them he had always thought that a final rest would be his fate. Mustafa had become like a brother, his brothers in arms like a family, and this was a blow that he could not bear being still so he had left. Again.
He had gone to Solku and Katapesh, far off Sothis and even into Quantium in Nex. He had studied, consulted and learned what he could. He had laughed, engaged in trysts and made new friends as he had always done but in all the miles and gatherings he hadn’t told a single tale.
And then he told a tale, the tale of a scarred ugly gladiator slave who won against all odds until he was freed and escorted a prisoner. By himself Melaku performed the tale to the wind in the grasses, to Sarenrae’s open arms and beatific face, to the few songbirds that gathered in the branches above to drink and wash in the shimmering pool below. Sitting upon his rock or gyrating to give the story more weight he told Mustafa’s tale. Shouting and whispering, laughing or roaring or screaming in fear, in the languages of the friends and foes that had crossed the path of Fist Melaku told the tale of Mustafa.
Though he started alone he could not but draw the attention of the Dawnflower’s priests and as the sun crossed the sky looking for a break in the olive’s defenses of the small grove word spread throughout Kelmarane and the graveyard filled with people. Melaku did not respond or acknowledge their presence but as night fell he summoned lights to illuminate his tales, and as the crowd grew beyond the graveyard his voice became amplified and he rose into the air so his antics could be seen. Every story of his life that he knew he told and every experience that they had shared he recounted, some more than once, some for the humor one time or the terror of it later. Melaku told morality tales, bawdy tales, tales of his fights and his passions, sometimes his indiscretions and always of his heroism and sacrifice; every tale but this last one, the final one. Through the afternoon and night and into the day again, as people came and went he told the tale of Mustafa the Fist, his friend, until the sun touched the horizon again whereupon he told the last tale as fully and as powerfully as he could. The crowd was at its largest but silence filled the church’s yard and the road beside. Hawkers of food and drink stopped calling out their offerings, children sat quietly in the arms of their loved ones, including the child and woman that had once been saved by the heroes, the greatest and least all were there, human and less than human and the only sound was Melaku’s words and the subtle prayers of the comforting evening winds and murmured song of the pool’s stream.
The last moments of Mustafa’s life carried weight to all who heard as Melaku ended the tale at Mustafa’s grave and was ended with this in the First Tongue as Melaku knelt before the grave.
“Rest peacefully Mustafa my brother and may the hosts of the afterlife have heard clarions and songs of your approach so they could have stood at least half a chance.”
Melaku then stood and laid a kiss upon his mother’s grave before taking up his staff again and made his way back to the hero’s estate where he had a room. A small rank furry beast bounded from stone and head to his shoulder invoking a shake of Melaku’s head and a wry smile as the crowd began to shuffle back to motion parting to let the mage pass.
Humans. So Distracted.
It was a s*~@ty deal. The offer Rokova put to the mortals was bad and he knew it, but he was taken be surprise by just how fast they found the nasty brute-king and he had to think fast. It would have been better to capture and disarm them, but they were a coordinated group and could tell he was full of s#@&. He stayed invisible as he watched them descend into The Pit of Screaming Ghosts. “Damned forbiddance! If I could just go down there myself!”
After they descend he gets to work. The stinking gnolls are in a panic. He races around from room to room, trying to assert his own dominance. But he knows there are other factions in play here. Many gnolls were uncomfortable with Madfang’s experimentations and want to harken back to the good old days of loot and pillage. Rokova knows his ties to Ghartok don’t score any points with this crew.
Still he tries. An hour passes. Then two. He has a good half the tribe under control when he hears the crashing sounds from the throne room. He puts a lieutenant in charge of the current round-up and goes investigates. That damned barbarian is punching through the wall! S+!!, they…never-mind. Humans, so distracted.
“They slayer’s of the Carrion King are back! Forget our differences for know! We must band together and fight!”