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[IC] Evilhalfling's Dark Sun


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The walls and floor sway and creak as the rolling fortress travels east in a cloud of dust. The lower hold area where you sit has 4 dozen slaves and half as many guards. The upper floors contain the caravan merchants, a few driver and additional supplies and goods. A pair of 16-ton Mellikots pull the great wagon, one of three in the caravan. Warriors on scaley 2-legged Cardocs surround the caravan. You were all told that the Merchant House Klethira was buying gladiators for a new school in Draj. All the slaves in the hold seem fit, mostly gladiators, although there are a few older slaves as well.

The small trading house just outside the city of Urik sent out another caravan the afternoon before you left with 1 of 4 of its Mellikot wagons, and many of the cheaper slaves. The first caravan did not seem to have as many guards as usual. The night after the first caravan left, your caravan was loaded, the entire fortress of the trading house was emptied out into this caravan, you helped load even beds and chests of papers into the massive wagons. Then this caravan left at night with only the larger full moon providing light. You also saw the Matriarch’s Inix, an oversized 20’ long lizard saddled with a fortified but posh battle platform... At meal times you have been given water, and more food than you expected. This isn’t just an ordinary journey this is the entire trading house abandoning its compound and fleeing.

The guards in the hold seem nervous several the peering out cracks in the back door. The 20 guards are standing or sitting around the loading door out the back of the wagon. There are probably a few gazing in your direction most of the time, But none of them are showing any interest in whispered conversations.

Your hands are all tied with hemp and connected to one braided strand of nearly unbreakable giant hair rope. You have enough slack to stand or sit.

An older house slave named Sysra says “We should tell stories to pass the time. What is your favorite memory?” As the slave next to him begins to tell of a great meal she once had, Sysra adds in a whisper:

“This road leads on to Raam. What have you heard of the cities, what lies on the way, or what we flee from?”

OOC: Feel free to use player knowledge, outside resources or just make up stuff. Really entertaining things may turn out to be true/important. You can also take part in the covering conversation – other slaves are involved in one or both discussions. Don’t worry about order just post when you can.
Just in Case - (not the palyer)
Rogue Gallery
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Possibly a Idiot.
"Raam?" The name perked Plool's ears. "That's home of the Yellow Monastery, where Cerk learned how to fight."

"Or so he said."
Plool corrects himself, and looks off into the distance. "Maybe someone knows where he is now..."

Plool composes himself as he remembers his situation. "Don't know how much is true, but others have agreed it's one of the worst cities. Warlords carve up it's streets like they carve each other's faces, and their 'Queen' would rather indulge her base instincts than run the place. Heh, the Natural Arena just might be the safest place in the entire city for us. At least the other gladiators will wait their turn to try and kill you. Whatever the House is running from must be bad, if we are going into that mess."

After a moment he adds "I hope the locals still make that sweet honey ale, I could use a drink."


Graarrk, a dwarf who like you is just starting his career as a gladiator looks at his feet and whispers

“um south of the road is the Dragon’s Bowl. It... um has like really high cliffs all around, They uh, say there is fresh water down there, but the druids punish anyone who um.. tries to build stuff. My Dad said ..uh he knew a gladiator who got a tail from there… it was like a creature that um... was living on him, but that he could swing around and hit stuff with it. When he died it tried to crawl away, but got stepped on."

Another Gladiator starts loudly boasting about his first kill in the arena. Apparently he jumped all the way over his opponent, snatched up a fallen sword and killed the guy from behind.


the magical equivalent to the number zero
Blaze remains quiet, shaking his head softly. The charcoal-colored genasi sits lazily on the ground, listening to the stories and boasts of those he considers too weak to face their current situation.

The warrior has been a slave for as long as he can remember, and moving around is something that he has grown used to over the years. True, the last time was actually some time ago, and Blaze has been with the same owner for over a year until a few days ago, but as a genasi gladiator he knows he is in high demand.

Too bad the transfer means moving away, so the plain looking noblewoman who occassionally bought time with him, will no longer visit. Blaze quite liked her visits.

Looking to distract himself, he opens a fist and watches a small flame erupt from his palm. Waving his other hand through it, Blaze plays with the fire for a few moments before abruptly closing his hand and snuffing out the flame.

He sighs, and seems about to speak before changing his mind. Instead, he listens to the stories.


Cal sat, holding his pack to his chest. His spell book was in there. True, no-one could read it. Even if they could read, they'd just see badly misspelled, and badly written, poetry. He was good with the animals, so his master always let him have his one strange indulgence. From the way he'd grown up, it wasn't surprising he could read and write somewhat.

But he wasn't a prospective Bard. He was a young Wizard, and those badly written poems were actually Cyphers on how to cast his spells. He was paranoid that anyone would find them. He'd recently learned how to do an illusion so a paper appeared to say one thing, when he could read something different, but it didn't last long. Only ten days or so. After that, all the ink would fade. Cal's keen mind allowed him to remember everything in his book for a month or so, but it would get expensive, trying to recopy all the spells in his book every ten days. Maybe one day...

He mostly ignored the others. He didn't want them paying much attention to him. The less they noticed him, the less likely they would notice his spellbook. Even if his masters let him have it, if any of the commoners found it, though wouldn't know it was badly spelled poetry. They'd think it was a spell book. And so he had to stay hidden.


Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Dukkoti strained against his bonds but stilled when a breeze crossed his face. The wind seemed to calm him and he was able to pause and look around at the fellow slaves. The elf had proved himself restless in the short time he'd been a captured slave. He hadn't had any fights yet and he didn't look like much of a fighter really. He'd proved capable with a spear, and better with lighter arms, but he showed little interest in any of the forced training done and followed the motions when forced.

His head snapped quickly in Blaze's direction when the flicker of flame started in the hands of someone on the far side of the carriage. He whispered a few words that came only to Blaze's ear. "Use your fire to free your hands. Come over to me and free me. Once we're in open sand I can keep us alive. We can escape."

Dukkoti's eyes are locked on Blaze waiting for the other man's reactions.

OOC: used the message cantrip, only Blaze can hear my words.
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The 'kreen gladiator twitched his antennae, listening, but he stayed quiet. He was a very capable gladiator, but he was humble and tended to down-play the spectacle rather than rise to it. He had been beaten many times for this failure. There was nothing he wanted more than to be free, but he was not quick to join others in an escape attempt, unless he thought it was likely to succeed. For now, he waited, keenly keeping track of every guard, slave, and civilian in his mind's eye.


the magical equivalent to the number zero
A whisper reaches Blaze, through the boastful stories around him.

Use your fire to free your hands. Come over to me and free me. Once we’re in open sand I can keep us alive. We can escape, the whispers says.

The genasi abruptly looks around, searching for the source of the whisper, looking at faces new and slightly familiar, until —

There. The elf.

Blaze smiles coldly, then shakes his head slowly. Attempts to escape fail every time; the guards are simply too many and the other slaves too make.

He does stand up, yawns somewhat theatrically, and moves across the hold seemingly at random, meandering between the strands of rope until he finds a spot as close to elf as possible to sit.

Without taking his eyes off whoever is telling their story, Blaze mutters under his breath, ”So many eyes. So many chains.”

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