Amivor Perception: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (16) + 15 = 31
"He lives in..." Amivor starts to respond to Lorenz's question, but he trails off as his eyes turn to look at Douena. He listens for a moment, then looks at Gelik. With a sigh, he turns back to Lorenz. "He lives in Lower Harbour, just northwest of town. There are a lot of people who know him there, so he's pretty easy to find."
He takes another look back at Gelik, who is still scowling, and shakes his head slightly.
"The best guide I ever had was a mystic named Nkechi," Amivor says thoughtfully. He frowns slightly. "Unfortunately, he lives on the Pallid Bluffs to the north of town, which aren't easy to get to. He's also utterly raving mad. A better bet would be a local guide named Shokambe. He knows the land like the back of his hand. I've worked with him before, and he's trustworthy. He'll work for anyone who'll pay him, but he won't betray a client once he's taken the job, and he doesn't take spying jobs, so as long as you get to him before anyone else, he's a good choice. If he's not available, Finze can probably get you a list of local guides you could try." He looks to the halfling who nods. "Shokambe can be a touch expensive, but since we're paying the bill, you don't need to worry about that."
Amivor nods as Lorenz speaks. Then he says, "The Bandu Hills are small as mountains go, but make no mistake, despite their name, they are mountains. They're also infested with the Bandu, a local tribe of slavers. They like to sacrifice foreigners to their gods. As for travelling by boat along the river, as I mentioned before [in that wall of text up above], you'd be travelling upwards against the current. There are sections of dangerous rapids, and numerous small, but rocky, falls that you would have to climb up. Also, parts of the river are too shallow to navigate. Overall, you're much better off on foot than on water. Of course, in the end, how you get there is your decision. The main expedition will be following the route outlined here."
"If you feel you are ready to leave today, then by all means, do so," Amivor says. "First, however, we should go over a few details." He draws attention to the map and points to the red line joining Eleder to Kalabuto.
"We suggest that you travel light and stop in the city of Kalabuto to restock on supplies. We have allies in the city who can make arrangements for your stay and continuing journey. I would advise you not to stay at an inn, and to limit your interaction with locals who might be working for another faction. When you arrive in Kalabuto, you should make contact with a dwarf named Cheiton in the Shrunken Head, one of Kalabuto’s most popular taverns. He can be recognized by a distinctive cave-and-pick tattoo on his shoulder. Cheiton owns a house near the tavern, and you can safely lodge there while preparing for the next stage of the expedition.
"The fastest route to Kalabuto is to travel overland through the wild scrublands and savanna, along the older trade routes that skirt between the Bandu Hills and the Laughing Jungle. These routes were used primarily by early colonists, most of whom were prospectors seeking their fortunes in salt, gold, and diamonds. While several successful mining operations remain, the trails are far less used than they were in the past, particularly because merchants using them are easy targets for brigands and wild beasts. This same remoteness should lessen the chance of you encountering allies of rival factions seeking to block or sabotage your mission. The caravan routes lead to the edge of the M’neri Plains, at which point you can break from the trail and head east to Kalabuto."
He indicates the river that the red line follows after Kalabuto. "Once you have resupplied in Kalabuto, you should follow the Upper Korir River north into the Screaming Jungle. Here the terrain climbs upward through a series of rocky falls and churning rapids, greatly impeding passage via boat, and in many places the water becomes too shallow to navigate, so overland travel is recommended over riverborne travel. Leaving the Screaming Jungle, you should continue to follow the Korir until you come near the northeastern Bandu Hills. Then turn west through the northern foothills of the Bandu Hills until you reach the southernmost reaches of the Mwangi Jungle. Somewhere beneath those trees lies the Azlanti outpost of Tazion, which should show the way to the lost city of Saventh-Yhi.
"In all, the route from Eleder to Tazion runs just over 1,000 miles. We hope that you can make the journey in about two months. However, depending what you encounter along the way, it may take you more or less time. We urge you to move as quickly as you can, but don't overdo it. We don't want you dropping dead from exhaustion."
He looks to the group. "Any questions?"
Amivor nods and takes another sip of wine. "I think you'll find what you want and what we want are very similar." He finishes off the glass of wine and puts it down on the table.
"Beating anyone else there must be a top priority. Unfortunately, putting together a full expedition will take time--time during which others can learn of our plans and start putting together their own expeditions. The venture captain and I had a long discussion last night, and we came up with the following. A smaller group such as yours will need fewer supplies and can move more quickly. You could head out ahead of the main expedition to get there first and lay claim to it before anyone else can. When the main expedition shows up later--hopefully we won't be too many days behind you--we can set up a proper presence in the city and begin a full exploration of it. Your group should, of course, gain full credit for the find. Not only did you discover the information leading to it, if all goes well, you'll be the first to actual step foot in the lost city. If you'd like to call it the Douena expedition, I don't have any objections. It has to be called something. Finze?" He looks to the halfling for a response.
"Hopefully, no one yet," Amivor Glaur answers before Finze has a chance. He moves to the centre of the room and pours himself a glass of what remains of the wine, continuing to speak as he does so. "However, word is bound to leak out eventually. We do have one thing to our advantage though. We don't even know the exact location yet, ourselves, so no one else can possibly know it either. But I understand you have some clues about the location of Tazion, but you haven't figured them out yet." He takes a sip of his wine. "Is that true? I might be able to work it out for you if you let me see."