|The Sorcerer-Cat of Athas|
Day 1: High Sun, Year of Priest’s Defiance, 170th King’s Age
The first indication that dawn has broken is the grumbling of the massive mekillots towing the argosy. Then comes the tell-tale creaking and groaning of the massive stone-and-wood rollers as the wagon-fortress begins to move.
It’s the same routine as the past week, and perhaps the week before that. Once the wagon begins to move, an hour passes before the guards come around with a paltry meal of gruel and just enough water for their cargo to not go thirsty. Their arrival coincides with uncomfortable headaches—those in the cell with a greater command of psionics find that their efforts to manifest their powers become nigh-impossible. There’s only a single chamber pot in the centre of the cell for all the cargo to share. There’s no ventilation in the cell—the heat and stink within is almost unbearable.
The argosy’s cargo is bound in heavy leather collars and manacles, closed with giant-hair rope and set in the cell’s walls through loops of bone. It’s a decidedly eclectic mix of slaves: a thri-kreen with burnished red chitin and jet black eyes; a towering half-giant who seems to barely fit into the cell; a mul bearing many scars from his time in bondage; a blond elf whose legs have been bound at the ankles; and a woman with orange eyes. Though they were each captured at different points in the trek, all five of them are bound for the same destination—the slave pits of the city-state of Tyr.
Today, things are different. The cargo has been fed and watered this morning, but barely a half-hour has passed before the argosy comes to a sudden stop. The sounds of rapid footsteps outside and above the cargo cell fill the air. The headaches plaguing the psionically-inclined slaves suddenly end.
What will you all do?