5E Al-Qadim Moving Through the Flame

Matthan

Explorer
Husam stays crouched behind the rocks observing. He knows that he is beyond his depth here and the best that he can offer is surprise if the situation turns to violence.
 
Salahuddin steps forward looking at the Al-Aeshma. The Sha'ir tucks his hands into the sleeves of his robe and looks around casually before speaking.

"I would greet you as a noble djinn but one of the Al-Aeshma holds little care for the traditions of the Lords of Air. You speak of truths and wishes yet I fear they will be as sand to a parched throat. I am no simple desert tribesman cowed by Djinn magics. I have been to the Citadel and trained in the secrets of the Sha'ir. I know of the wishbond and the punishment heaped on one who breaks the oath. The Al-Aeshma cannot be trusted as pride corrupts their very being. This I was taught by the Mistress of the Northern Gale. What can you say that would make me believe the truths that fall from your lips?"

Salahuddin waits patiently for the Al-Aeshma's reply.
 
Salahuddin steps forward looking at the Al-Aeshma. The Sha'ir tucks his hands into the sleeves of his robe and looks around casually before speaking.

"I would greet you as a noble djinn but one of the Al-Aeshma holds little care for the traditions of the Lords of Air. You speak of truths and wishes yet I fear they will be as sand to a parched throat. I am no simple desert tribesman cowed by Djinn magics. I have been to the Citadel and trained in the secrets of the Sha'ir. I know of the wishbond and the punishment heaped on one who breaks the oath. The Al-Aeshma cannot be trusted as pride corrupts their very being. This I was taught by the Mistress of the Northern Gale. What can you say that would make me believe the truths that fall from your lips?"

Salahuddin waits patiently for the Al-Aeshma's reply.


Whirlwinds spiraling angrily about him, the Al-Aeshma hisses like sand over an ancient tomb upon hearing Salahuddin's pronouncement, his eyes squinting in spite, "You are Alrriah Yusamma!" A wash of biting sand passes through your camp, evoking groans from the camels which grow increasingly agitated. "One should never believe, least of all words born of lying winds, O Wind-Called. But belief is not required to listen. I have heard many secret truths carried across the Badu al-Kabir..."

"I know the fate of Sheikh Ja’afar-al-Din al-Shakari, his banners broken and his faith betrayed by red robes..."

"I have witnessed the hazards of the desert from the Badu al-Kabir to Rukh Mountain and the Valley of Mists..."

"I know of the winged death, who the jann call Zu'l Janah, and where it dwells..."

"I remember when the Awamîd al-sharîr, the Pillars of Wickedness, were erected, and how one may circumvent them to reach Khaldun..."

"And I know the three secrets of the red robes that lie within the Badu al-Kabir, hidden from mortal minds..."

"Even you, O Wind Called and servant to the Mistress of the Northern Gale, may receive these secret truths. I but require a token in return. For each truth I impart to your disbelieving ears, you must give me something I desire," says the Al-Aeshma, voice rumbling like distant thunder and thrumming sand. "You must speak the words to pardon one of my kin so that they may be freed from exile to these wretched wastes and return to the planes of their nativity."

From about 600 feet to the east, as Amina and Harun return from their reconnaissance, they can make out the whirlwinds not far from where they made camp, the hint of a man's silhouette floating within the whirlwinds, and the muffled sounds of tense voices.
 
OOC: Would I have any idea if I can do what the Djinn asks? Also does my character recognize any of the names the Djinn mentions or secrets he implies he knows?
 

tglassy

Explorer
Harun lays his hand on the hilt of his blade, one made for destroying Genies and their kind, as they approach the swirling sand.

“What do you make of that?” He asked Amina.


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OOC: Would I have any idea if I can do what the Djinn asks? Also does my character recognize any of the names the Djinn mentions or secrets he implies he knows?
GM: The Al-Aeshma are understandably a taboo topic in the Citadel of Ice and Steel, used more as a parable/folklore than something that can actually be studied and magically understood. It sounds like he's talking about a very high level dispel magic or similar abjuration effect, but the precise wording issued by the Lords of Air and ways to circumvent that...
That would be a nearly impossible (DC 30) Arcana check with some serious stakes we'd need to work out.

1. Sheikh Ja'afar-al-Din al-Shakari is the sheikh of the Shakari jann tribe (anti-urbanists to which Usqual belongs), who were defeated in battle against the Khalduni jann. He was supposedly taken captive, according to Usqual.

2. The Badu al-Kabir is the current desert region you're exploring. Rukh Mountain and the Valley of Mists are unknown to you.

3. There were fleeting vague references that I believe the "water bearer" made about Zu'l Janah being a flying monster the Khalduni jann fear.

4. The Awamîd al-sharîr, the Pillars of Wickedness, were mentioned by Usqual as surrounding Khaldun oasis with "wicked" magic. It's possible that the "water bearer" mentioned more details about the pillars...he definitely had info on them...but I don't recall if he divulged that to Akilah and Lal Qalandar or not...

5.As for the three secrets of the red robes, presumably he's talking about the Brotherhood of True Flame, but what those secrets are is anyone's guess.
 
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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Lal spoke in a low tone, addressing Salahudin

"we dearly need information on the brotherhood... but I know not the consequence of this lifted banishment. Our need is great, but not absolute."
 
Salahuddin contemplates the Al-Aeshmas words. He would give any token he could but this request might be beyond the power of a Sha'ir. This didn't even consider if he should. These djinn were banished for breaking sacred laws. Should he be so presumptuous as to forgive what the Great Caliph would not. Salahuddin thought of this as he questioned the Al-Aeshma.

"I would give you this but I do not think my words will pardon you or your brethren. I might be the Wind Called but this banishment was placed on the Al-Aeshma by the Great Caliph and his Lords of Air. Their power nearly rivals the Great Gods. How could one such as I break this imprisonment?"
 

Shayuri

Villager
Harun lays his hand on the hilt of his blade, one made for destroying Genies and their kind, as they approach the swirling sand.

“What do you make of that?” He asked Amina.
"Trouble," is the acolyte's grim reply. She crooked a finger, indicating a bit of a circular motion around the whirlwind. "Keep that between us and the others. If it has a face, it's probably looking at them. We'll close in at speed, then slow down when we're closer to keep whatever it is from noticing us."

Then she was off, moving uncannily swiftly over the desert sand, leaving footprints spaced far apart.

(Basic plan - Move all out for several rounds to whittle that 600' down to something manageable, then switch to stealth...which halves speed...and try to sneak in closer.)
 

tglassy

Explorer
Harun sets off after Amina, almost able to keep up with her.

OOC: Dash Action and dash cunning action makes speed 90. Not as good as Amina’s 100, but respectable.

Of course, that depends on how you interpret the Dash. It doubles speed, including modifiers. So if the first Dash doubles speed, then the second Dash could double it again, making his speed 120, and sustainable at that speed. DM?



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"Trouble," is the acolyte's grim reply. She crooked a finger, indicating a bit of a circular motion around the whirlwind. "Keep that between us and the others. If it has a face, it's probably looking at them. We'll close in at speed, then slow down when we're closer to keep whatever it is from noticing us."

Then she was off, moving uncannily swiftly over the desert sand, leaving footprints spaced far apart.

(Basic plan - Move all out for several rounds to whittle that 600' down to something manageable, then switch to stealth...which halves speed...and try to sneak in closer.)
Harun sets off after Amina, almost able to keep up with her.

OOC: Dash Action and dash cunning action makes speed 90. Not as good as Amina’s 100, but respectable.

Of course, that depends on how you interpret the Dash. It doubles speed, including modifiers. So if the first Dash doubles speed, then the second Dash could double it again, making his speed 120, and sustainable at that speed. DM?


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GM: Stealth checks: Let's do this! I'll say you can cover 440 feet quickly (i.e. closing to 160 feet away from the whirlwind/genie, just outside longbow range) due to it being night & the genie's attention focused on Salahuddin. At that point you'll both need to decide how close you're trying to sneak & each make a Stealth check, with a DC according to how close you want to get...

  • DC 12 to get within longbow range (150 feet)
  • DC 14 to get within shortbow range (80 feet).
  • DC 16 to get within sling range (30 feet).
  • DC 18 to get within melee range. Though if you move into melee range, you have only one round before the genie will be alerted to your presence – so only get into melee if you're wanting to make a preemptive strike or something like that.

If you fail, you only make it to the range increment one less than you intended (e.g. if, while attempting to close to melee, you roll a total 17, you'd only make it to 30 feet away); at that point you have one round before the genie notices you...unless actions are taken to prevent it from doing so.

If you fail by 5+, you only make it to the range increment two less than you intended (e.g. if, while attempting to close to melee, you roll a total 13, you'd only make it to 80 feet away); and you must choose a complication:
  • The genie notices you immediately!
  • A small pack of the strange hyena-like creatures you scouted have crept up on you and attack!
  • You are caught up in a dustdevil!
  • The ground gives way beneath you as you trigger a sinkhole!

If you succeed, you reach your desired range increment and can stay hidden there, but advancing closer will reveal you.

If you succeed by 5+, you may choose one perk:
  • When closing to melee, you may opt to stay within melee without being noticed, using the whirling sands and uneven terrain to stay hidden.
  • Once you've held your position for a bit, you may stealth forward even closer given a suitable distraction for the genie (you can close one range increment, e.g. from 30-feet to melee without any check, but if you want to close two or more range increments then you need to make another Stealth check).
  • You precisely position yourself so that you have cover or some other tactical advantage that makes sense in the present context.
  • You are alerted to any hidden threats lurking in the whirling sands.

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Movement and Speed: Yep [MENTION=6855204]tglassy[/MENTION], 90-feet per round for Harun is correct. Dash provides an instance of "extra movement", distinct rules language from haste for example which, "doubles your speed."

Amina actually moves 110-feet per round (55+55), if I'm reading her sheet right.

Assuming [MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION] Amina is moving full tilt, not worrying about keeping pace with Harun...

It takes Amina 4 rounds (24 seconds) to close those 440 feet, then she'll make a Stealth check (now 160-feet from the genie/whirlwind). If that succeeds and then it takes her about another 3 rounds (18 seconds) to close into melee range with the whirlwind/genie...assuming that's what you want to do.

It takes Harun 5 rounds (30 seconds) to close those 440 feet, then he'll make a Stealth check (now 160-feet from the genie/whirlwind), and then it takes him about another 4 rounds (24 seconds) to close into melee range with the whirlwind/genie...assuming that's what you want to do.
 
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Shayuri

Villager
The handmaid of the vizier closes in to shortbow range (80') before slowing and finding cover to wait behind. If this towering figure means to attack, she can close that distance in a heartbeat.

Amina stealth (including Cloak of Elvenkind) [roll0] or [roll1] with advantage.

(Amina's move is 55, with dash is 110...but it gets worse, because she has Cunning Action too. She can push 165' in a turn if need be. :) But she's not doing that at present. She will get ahead of Harun though, since it's only 1 round difference)
 
Salahuddin contemplates the Al-Aeshmas words. He would give any token he could but this request might be beyond the power of a Sha'ir. This didn't even consider if he should. These djinn were banished for breaking sacred laws. Should he be so presumptuous as to forgive what the Great Caliph would not. Salahuddin thought of this as he questioned the Al-Aeshma.

"I would give you this but I do not think my words will pardon you or your brethren. I might be the Wind Called but this banishment was placed on the Al-Aeshma by the Great Caliph and his Lords of Air. Their power nearly rivals the Great Gods. How could one such as I break this imprisonment?"
"Six times six they sat in judgment over us," growls the Al-Aeshma, the night winds snarling around his silhouetted grey visage as his head - along with curving horns - inclines down toward Salahuddin. "Six times six the Lords of Air whispering into the Great Caliph's ear of our betrayal. A man refuses to bend the knee and he is called 'hero' or 'adventurer', yet one of us born of the breath of wind defies the Great Caliph and we are cast out until the pride of djinn and man are satisfied..."

"It is written in the Tablets of Destiny, O Wind Called, that the offense was made against mankind, and so the Great Caliph...in his infinite wisdom...required mortal man to forgive us. Without the pardon on mortal lips, we may never return to the Citadel of Ice and Steel as supplicants to receive the Great Caliph's exoneration."
 

Thateous

Explorer
"Negotiations are one of my strengths, however, with a genie? I'll leave this to the more experienced among us." she thought as she pulled her hijab tighter. "Wonder if my gifts work on genies..." she pondered as she listened to the towering figure speak.
 
Salahuddin shifts his eyes towards Sinjin who is standing in his usual position to the Sha'irs right. The Al-Aeshma was saying many things that Salahuddin could not be certain of their truth. He quickly looked for any sign that his valet believed the Al-Aeshma. He looked back at the djinn.

"If it has been written in the Tablets of Destiny then it must be so. I may do this for you but I must know that you do not plan mischief against the Great Caliph." Salahuddin holds up a hand to forestall any answer. "And before you speak I must ensure the truthfulness of your words. One of my companions is a follower of Hakima, she will know if you try to deceive me. Submit to her magic and answer some questions. If you are being truthful about your wishes then I will speak the words and pardon your transgressions."

Salahuddin pauses for a second letting his words hang in the air.

"Finally if I am to put my trust in you I will need assurance that you or your brethren will not move against The Great Caliph or the Lords of Air. I will need your name."

Salahuddin waits for an answer and fingers the rod slid up his sleeve. If the Al-Aeshma decided to attack he would be ready.
 
"Trouble," is the acolyte's grim reply. She crooked a finger, indicating a bit of a circular motion around the whirlwind. "Keep that between us and the others. If it has a face, it's probably looking at them. We'll close in at speed, then slow down when we're closer to keep whatever it is from noticing us."

Then she was off, moving uncannily swiftly over the desert sand, leaving footprints spaced far apart.

(Basic plan - Move all out for several rounds to whittle that 600' down to something manageable, then switch to stealth...which halves speed...and try to sneak in closer.)
"Negotiations are one of my strengths, however, with a genie? I'll leave this to the more experienced among us." she thought as she pulled her hijab tighter. "Wonder if my gifts work on genies..." she pondered as she listened to the towering figure speak.
Salahuddin shifts his eyes towards Sinjin who is standing in his usual position to the Sha'irs right. The Al-Aeshma was saying many things that Salahuddin could not be certain of their truth. He quickly looked for any sign that his valet believed the Al-Aeshma. He looked back at the djinn.

"If it has been written in the Tablets of Destiny then it must be so. I may do this for you but I must know that you do not plan mischief against the Great Caliph." Salahuddin holds up a hand to forestall any answer. "And before you speak I must ensure the truthfulness of your words. One of my companions is a follower of Hakima, she will know if you try to deceive me. Submit to her magic and answer some questions. If you are being truthful about your wishes then I will speak the words and pardon your transgressions."

Salahuddin pauses for a second letting his words hang in the air.

"Finally if I am to put my trust in you I will need assurance that you or your brethren will not move against The Great Caliph or the Lords of Air. I will need your name."

Salahuddin waits for an answer and fingers the rod slid up his sleeve. If the Al-Aeshma decided to attack he would be ready.


Sinjin's face is a mask, eyes twinkling in the starlight, but jaw hardened into a grimace, his hand not far from the hilt of his scimitar. Salahuddin's towering valet assumes his stolid pose with skill, but it's clear from his slightly defensive stance he fears the Al-Aeshma. This genie is legend-made-real, even for a tasked genie such as Sinjin.

The Al-Aeshma gruffly chuckles, sand spraying with his breath, rolling across the surface of the dry riverbed, carrying waves of silt washing over you. "I have nothing to hide from the eyes of gods or men, O Wind Called," his voice echoes across the evening dunes. Blazing blue eyes squint to study Akilah for a moment. "I will never submit, but the hakima may cast her spell. There shall be no resistance..."

"But I will never swear to do no harm to the Great Caliph and his Lords of Air, for they have cast the first stone, and they I do not trust." There is a decisiveness even in the way the wind hisses around his horned head that make it clear that only an extraordinary argument or powerful magic would sway the Al-Aeshma's resolve.

GM: The Al-Aeshma voluntarily fails his saving throw on the next spell that Akilah casts.
 
"I never said swear to not harm the Great Caliph or his Lords of Air. I do not expect you to trust them or like them. But they are my patrons and I the Wind Called. I cannot speak the words of pardon and have you attack the Citadel of Ice and Steel. I asked of assurances, but we may speak of those later. Let me ask my questions and perhaps we can come to an accord."

Salahuddin turns to Akilah.

"Vazier can you cast a spell to ensure he will speak the truth? I would greatly appreciate this."
 
[SECTION]Sinjin, standing a foot behind Salahuddin and Akilah, creases his brow deeply. Leaning over he whispers to his master and friend, "Alrriah Yusamma, I fear that trusting this Al-Aeshma may be a mistake. He may believe his promises of peace now, but do you trust a moment of calm during a sandstorm to hang out your laundry? What is to say he will not later grow incensed and forget his promises? When hot winds blow, they clear out the houses of the past." He quickly leans away as the Al-Aeshma looks on impatiently with blazing eyes.[/SECTION]
 

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