5E Al-Qadim Moving Through the Flame

Though Husam is unfamiliar with the desert, he has heard stories pass through Tajar from visiting al-Badia traders. They tell of pillars of salt, floating skulls embedded with gems, and of cities beneath the sands. From his position some 40-feet from the whirling dustdevil, crouched behind an overlooking rock, he beholds something he'd never have believed were it not for seeing it with his own two eyes. The dustdevil rises some 30-feet above the floor of the dry riverbed, whipping stinging sand and silt about. However, looking closely, there seems to be another writhing almost serpentine flurry of sand moving within and around the dustdevil. It's almost a mirage, so that simply blinking makes it seem like the vision was imagined. But lo! There it is again!

[section]Easifa zips above the dustdevil unseen, surveying the dry riverbed by night. Strong winds wrack the southern desert. There is a creature hidden from your sight, O my master, and it is myself! Easifa's fondness for repartee was never to be underestimated. Though I see no hidden genies, I have an unsteady feeling about this...[/section]

[SECTION]Sinjin offers a token bow of apology for intruding but slowly breaks into a wild grin at Lal. "The sun has not yet risen and you have armed yourself for prayer, Qalandar! The others may have need of your piety. There is a whirlwind south of camp, the work of genie-kind surely. I shall awake the others..."

No sooner than he's ducked out of Lal's tent than Sinjin's booming voice can be heard awaking and good-naturedly berating the rogues traveling with you. "What's this, asleep on palm wine again when you should be keeping watch? What layabouts! On your feet, curs, and show us the mettle the Haras al-Sirri (secret police) were known for!"[/SECTION]
 

Thateous

Explorer
"Now now Sinjin, I doubt they still fight with the ferocity for which they were once known.", Akilah says in Janti. "Though i'm sure that was a sight that few lived to tell." she continues as she exits her tent. "So, what seems to be the issue?" she says, returning to Midani.
 

Shayuri

Villager
Amina pauses where she is for a moment, watching the great hyenas tussle. For a moment she's tense and ready to spring, should the one they're fighting over scream or try to escape. When that doesn't happen, she relaxes just a little.

The battle here was done...but not long, she thinks. In the dark, at this distance, she can't make out how old the bodies are, but the equipment lying visible on the surface suggests not enough time has passed for the desert to swallow the signs of struggle. Janns. And men in robes.

Crossing this field would be a risk, but in that risk could be a reward of knowledge.

She glanced at Harun. The spell that shielded them wasn't elapsed, but it wouldn't remain much longer. Not enough time to get all the way back, but enough time to leave this carnage and the carrion-eaters that haunted it. If they left now.

"It's good we stopped when we did," she admits softly. "Moving through this by night would have been more dangerous. Let us return."

(OOC - Amina's curious, but her investigations would be better suited to daylight hours. Unless Harun's got something he wants to do I'm good with heading back. Tglassy?)
 

Matthan

Explorer
Husam lets his hand rest on the hilt of his sword, but makes no moves. So far, whatever this was, it had made no aggressive moves and may not know they were here. He took a deep breath. It was also obviously magic of some sort, and he knew that he was more likely to make matters worse if he charged in. He settled in to watch it. If it made moves towards the camp, he would intercept it, but not before.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Lal blinked at the genie's pronouncement - consideration of his vision would have to wait, he needed to be in the now.

Smiling broadly at Sinjin's verbal play, and looked for Husam. The runes on his tabar glinted in the dark. Hearing Akilah he walked towards her.

"I was awaken by a fell dream, and now some devilry is afoot. This is no natural wind... " He pointed towards the south of the camp "how... peculiar".


He then looked around in all directions. This dust devil would make for an excellent distraction...

Perception in the camp: 1D20+5 = [12]+5 = 17
 
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To the north, Lal beholds the dry riverbed you traveled along from Hakim oasis - no sign of any creatures there. To the east, not even the faintest trace of Amina and Prince Harun. To the west and south beyond the dustdevil, at the very limits of Lal's vision, are other whirlwinds, vaguely silhouetted in the moonlight as they trace erratic routes across the desert. In this darkness, however, it is difficult to tell much more.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
"... there are more wirlwinds in the distance, quite far away... to the south and west... how... peculiar..."

Lal keeps looking around, wanting to know where Husam is positioned but reluctant to leave the Vizier unguarded. He added

"Oh Vizier, you have a way to see what is truly there. Can your vision pierce these whirling sands?"
 

Thateous

Explorer
"Do you believe them to be illusions? If so, then i could try and dispel them, but if they are natural in nature then it won't be of any use."
 


As if responding to Vizier Akilah's question, the dustdevil bends and whips about, dividing into three dustdevils of equal size, carrying a flurry of sand upward into the starry night sky. Emerging from top of the 30-foot high dustdevils is the silhouette of a massive man whose skin blends into the night, with curving horns and eyes glowing with unearthly might - a savage parody of a djinn, with his lower torso fading into the mass of dustdevils and whirling sands. His provoking voice thunders above the howling winds:

"You come to the threshold, but do not know the Doorway?
You seek the slave-takers, yet come bearing slaves?
You bear mark of Djinn and Marid, yet walk upon the sands?
Such creatures, who'd count themselves kings of infinite space!
Speak your truest wish, if you dare!"
 

Thateous

Explorer
"Truest wish?" Akilah scoffs. "We seek what we have pursued from the beginning. The truth." she says attempts to see what's before her in it's truest form, extending the blessings of Hakima's sight to her every companion she could.

OOC: Casting disperse mirage extended to as many as I can.
 
GM: [SECTION]Disperse Mirage. Starting at 2nd level, you can use Channel Divinity to cast out illusions and mirages from your sight, even piercing through illusory untruths inflicted upon your allies. As an action, you grant creatures of your choice within 30 feet of you the ability to immediately use their reaction to make an Intelligence (Investigation) check with advantage to determine the nature of any visual illusion within their line of sight.[/SECTION]

So that would affect you [MENTION=6814006]Thateous[/MENTION], as well as [MENTION=6803188]VLAD the Destroyer[/MENTION], [MENTION=20005]Matthan[/MENTION], and [MENTION=23]Ancalagon[/MENTION]. It would also affect all NPCs traveling with you currently: Nimar & his 6 rogues & his brother Derafsh & sister Fereshte & Sinjin & Easifa.

Sinjin Intelligence (Investigation) with advantage: 2d20k1+1 4
Easifa Intelligence (Investigation) with advantage: 2d20k1-1 14

*Nimar Intelligence (Investigation) with advantage: 2d20k1+1 17
Derafsh Intelligence (Investigation) with advantage: 2d20k1+1 4
Fereshte Intelligence (Investigation) with advantage: 2d20k1+2 13
Nimar's Rogues Intelligence (Investigation) with advantage: 2d20k1+1 7 (*swapped results with Nimar for better storytelling)
 
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Thateous

Explorer
OOC: thanks for doing that. i don't have access to google drive at work to look at my character sheet to see the details of the ability.
 

Shayuri

Villager
(OOC - I have a feeling the holiday may have eaten Tglassy. Can we assume Harun assents to return with Amina from their scouting trip? :))
 
(OOC - I have a feeling the holiday may have eaten Tglassy. Can we assume Harun assents to return with Amina from their scouting trip? :))
GM: The holidays do that to the best of us :) Yeah, let's go with that assumption. Amina & Harun are en route back to camp.
 
[SBLOCK=Salahuddin]This is most assuredly not an illusion [MENTION=6803188]VLAD the Destroyer[/MENTION] The genie before you is indeed one of the rare fallen djinn known as "al-aeshma" – wish-granting djinn who pridefully refused to grant wishes to mortals & were banished by the Great Caliph Husam al-Balil ben Nafhat al-Yugayyim and his Lords of Air to wander the Material Plane, where many fall prey to the worst of their chaotic natures. Colloquially, they are known as "sand genies."[/SBLOCK]
 
"Truest wish?" Akilah scoffs. "We seek what we have pursued from the beginning. The truth." she says attempts to see what's before her in it's truest form, extending the blessings of Hakima's sight to her every companion she could.

OOC: Casting disperse mirage extended to as many as I can.


The genie's voice booms in the night sky, sounding like sand whipping across a cliff face, "And which truth do you seek? That of slaves or masters? Gods or men? Truth lies scattered in every grain of sand. Face east and they are countless, face west and truths twice beyond counting. There are many secrets in these sands, in the Badu al-Kabir... many I have heard on a whispering night... many have I seen on dying man's lips... Have you come for these secret truths?"
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Lal bit his tongue - he could sense the genie's power, and a poorly chosen word would do ill here. There was so much he didn't know about the genies and their ways...

Besides, wasn't that *the* truth about humans - that they didn't really know what they wanted?
 

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