Tales From the Yellow City

Three There Will Always Be

Month of Aries

Kicara begins the session by sending the clan’s young messengers to contact the Crone (Seeress in Wetness) and the Hearthslime (She Whom the Salt Does Not Burn) about her dream. She receives a response two days later that the meeting between the three priestesses will be in the Old Town in a month, during the full moon. Dian is of course aghast that the meeting will happen at night.

The party considers their next steps to get Kicara safely to Old Town. Fa I insists they take hired guards — Dian suggests hiring from the clan, like Man Ju La, much to Fa I’s displeasure. As if on cue, Man Ju Lah enters their discussion and gets into a negotiation with Kicara for the price of his service. He volunteers at half-price, which Kicara wishes to halve even more — for Nawahb, you see — but Fa I surprisingly defends Man Ju Lah’s initial number.

Pa Ni Ta promises to get them a muscle as competent as Man Ju La and gives them Sher, a woman armed with bagnaks. She is friend to Ma Ga Na, Dian’s younger sister, and her weapon is named Sunny. With the addition of Squatter into their group, they prepare the rest of their things and decide to enter Old Town through the Yellow City exit found in the Ipixangga territory. To prepare for the trip, Tersi gets a map of the Old Town from the martial arts school chef — for the small price of spices he can buy from the party, and Tersi’s service in the kitchen for a week some time within the next month.

The party heads west, past the cockroach school, past the bridge, and past the river.

[First Hex]

The party feels that they are being watched, as they pass through the first area. Nevertheless, Tersi takes the time to acquaint the group with the map — which Dian realizes is 50 years old. As the party members bicker, a funny little voice pipes up, startling them. Dian reaches over and catches a little impish thing with small horns, which Fa I recognizes as a Figment, a manifestation of opium dreams. Upon talking to it, they find out that it was created a long time ago, and that it eats dreams — it’s at this point that it starts trying to walk to Kicara, intent on eating her delicious dreams.

The party springs into action — Tersi tries to get Man Ju Lah, Sher, and Squatter to organize, though Man Ju Lah’s bad sense of direction deters his effort. They discover that Squatter is actually already getting dragged away by three of the Figments without their notice. Tersi runs to cut them off while Kicara, incensed at having these creatures threaten her dreams from her beloved Nawahb, attempts to bash the Figment in Dian’s grasp. She misses. Man Ju Lah helpfully does it for her, and the Figment bursts into shadow.

“Murder! Murder!” they cry, and Fa I throws stones to get the Figments off Squatter. The Figments start attacking the party. Squatter realizes that her Magic Missile can’t identify the Figments, and are useless against them. Sher shakes with fear, her cowardly nature finally coming to light! Things get more problematic as they realize that the Figments have their own magical abilities as well — Dian’s tenderizer begins to show signs of rusting upon contact with one, and another blinds majority of the party that Fa I has rounded up with Color Spray.

Sher strings the blind party members together to keep them moving, while Dian stands guard and bashes a Figment in a shower of blood and gore. This frightens the Figments, who flee and leave. The party doesn’t linger and hurry off to the next area.

[Second Hex]

They reach what appears to be the ruins of the Temple of Zinzimar, the crocodile god of pleasure who hasn’t been worshipped in centuries. Zinzimar contemplates on the possibility of Zinzimar and Nawahb being the same god, and enters the temple in excitement. Sadly for her, the people they find inside don’t even know who Zinzimar is, and is only using the temple as their meeting place — an overturned crocodile statue even functions as their mess table.

There are fifteen men in all, who seem to own architecture papers and are very friendly towards the party. They give a short talk on how they want to take architecture to the modern age, regardless of background and class. While the party is suspicious of this gathering, they accept the generous offer to join the architects on a meal. It’s here that Dian recognizes the architectural pages to be the schematics of slugman structures; one even looks like the abandoned slugman mansion that borders the Ipixangga territory.

Kicara tries to reclaim the place for Nawahb, talking about orgies and the other activities that worshippers must do in the service of her god. This attracts the attention of one of the architects, her new convert Hi Lan. Dian makes conversation about the colony of Figments that the party passed, which reveals the architects as coming from the northern part of the Yellow City. Kicara invites Hi Lan to sleep with him, giving Fa I the opportunity to swap his scroll out. Now the party has “evidence” to present to their patron slugman.

They decide to stay for the night, Tersi taking care of their camping needs while Fa I climbs the temple to look for Kicara’s meeting place in the distance — he sees it far off. During their stay, they search the temple and its grounds for things they can salvage, particularly spices.

Fa I finds the remnants of an altar with a false floor, and finds a chest full of coins in it. He tries to hide the chest from Kicara, but Man Ju Lah, in his ever present desire to both antagonize Fa I and impress Kicara, outs him to the Sacred Harlot. Inside the chest is 3,000 old copper coins and a gilded chalice.

Meanwhile, the search for spices goes fairly well. Kicara finds Yak Spit (4 silver per dose, 5 doses), a type of tea that is used for poison prevention, but requires a yak to function. She takes only half of what she can to preserve the plants. Dian, on the other hand, finds a mint tree and manages to take a bunch without harming it (10 doses, 62 silver each).

[Third Hex]

They make they way out on the next day. Kicara feels uneasy the moment they leave the temple, and realize that this is because the temple grounds have been surrounded by salt by the architects. Nevertheless, they leave and note the place for later.

The party hears whimpering not too far away, and Tersi moves forward to scout. He finds a large arch, from which three bodies are swaying in the air on nooses. He sees a slugman in armor and armed with a scimatar, dragging what appears to be a pleading, high-caste man to the arch. It reaches for a chain, which floats up and ties itself around the arch. The slugman says something about sacrificing the slave and ignores the watching Tersi with a smile.

Tersi returns with all haste and informs the group of the threat before them. Going the roundabout way will add too much time to their journey, however, and Kicara will miss her meeting, so they opt to press forward. They take some salt from Hi Lan and make their approach.

Kicara talks to the slugman in slug, and is surprised when it responds in trade — he says he is pickling a man for eating. Kicara disapproves. Meanwhile, Tersi makes his way past the slugman to the man who is about to be hung, under the watchful but unworried eye of the slugman. The slugman seems interested in Kicara and says that the party may pass the area, except for one.

Tersi learns from the man that he’s a teacher in the academy in the Eastside, and that this slugman had just grabbed him from the city one night and taken him here. He is a teacher of magic, but his magic is being impeded by the chain. He begs Tersi to save him, offering anything in return; Tersi asks him what he teaches, to which he replies that it’s transmutation magic — Tersi seems to find an opportunity there, if he can teach Squatter and Fa I spells, and makes his decision.

Kicara declares that the slugman is not a slugman at all. Found out, the creature sheds its magical disguise and reveals itself to be an apeman wearing an armor, with inverted hands — it’s a rakshasa, a rakosh in particular, and is unhappy at their interruption. Kicara blesses the salt and draws a line between it and the party. The rakosh draws its scimitar.

Kicara demands that her party is allowed to pass; the Rakosh agrees to only take the teacher, but it is at this point that Tersi gets Squatter to free the iron around the teacher’s neck, who then flees into the Old City in terror. The Rakosh strikes Tersi, who is just able to safely cross the salt to join the rest of the party, but not without incurring damage to his person. Fa I throws a rock at it.

The Rakosh snarls, but after taking their measure decides instead to take after the escaped teacher. It bends backwards and gallops on its hands and feet and disappears into the Old City. The party then proceeds to give Tersi a hard time for unnecessarily getting them into so much danger with the Rakosh, but eventually move through the rest of the area and arrive, finally, at Kicara’s meeting place.

[Fourth Hex]

They come upon the ruins of an old courtyard, in the middle of which is the gigantic statue of a big, corpulent slug. They are told in no uncertain terms to not touch the statue because it’s cursed, though of course not everyone is concerned about that. Since they have some time to wait for night, the party moves around to look for things they may be able to profit from.

Unfortunately, Tersi and Fa I are unable to find anything in the abandoned house, and turn their attention to the statue. Tersi finds a hallowed area at the base of the statue, which reveals a mostly-empty space upon being opened. Inside are a pair of cold-forged manacles and 12 unrefined agates (12 silver each). They also find a wand and three balls of yellow-green string. The manacles reveal a dwarven inscription on it, “For binding demons,” which excites the crew. The strings are also salted and can be used as a ward, and the agates when unrefined can be used to hurt demons more than stones. Kicara realizes that this may be a demon hunter’s cache.

They look up to re-examine the statue, which they find to be carrying manacles and a whip. Hm! Dian ends up keeping the manacles, and moves on to look for herbs. She finds ginger roots (3 units, 16 silver each), and climbs up to the rotting roof of the house to ensure that nothing surprises them during their stay there. She sees the Rakosh circling them from the distance, loitering and walking about, but it seems reluctant to come closer. The warning to Tersi and Fa I spur them into action and they begin marking a perimeter with the salted string.

As it turns to night, a raven lands next to Dian and transforms into a wet crone with hollow eyes. Dian escorts her to the ground, where majority of the men see a beautiful, young woman. The crone is introduced as the Seeress of Wetness, and men see her differently based on their preferences. Fa I, however, can see through all of her facades, including a giant spider form and is very disturbed.

A large slug soon joins them, and is introduced as the Hearthslime. The three priestesses of Nawahb begin their meeting, with the rest of the party idling by and blatantly eavesdropping.

First, the two elder priestesses contemplate Kicara’s weight, much to her protest. And then Kicara tells them of her dream, and they contemplate the possibility of this actually being Nawahb. Finally, Kicara tells them about the Rakosh; the Crone tells them that she will deal with him, promptly turns into a raven, and flies off.

The Hearthslime tells the party that they have had to investigate dreams before. They are told that Kicara has to catch a Figment, let it eat the dream, and to bring the Figment to the crone for dissection because she’s the only one who can kill Figments without them dissipating. Kicara complains, and is given the usual response of, “It builds character.”

The Crone returns and tells them that she has talked to the Rakosh, and that the Rakosh will leave them alone for the rest of the journey until they return to the Yellow City. The benefit of this is that the Rakosh will be forced to hunt them outside of this area of the Old City, which is the territory of the Brotherhood of the Rakosh — if they kill it outside of its territory, it will not stir the Brotherhood to action, because they will view it as deserved for the Rakosh’ weakness. The Crone warns them, however, that the Rakosh can spend a very long time waiting before it moves, so they will be forced to watch over their shoulders for a while.

The Crone says she will fetch the Figment from them later. The party ends up spending the night in the abandoned house, where Dian makes a crate and ties it with the yellowgreen string. It is this crate that they carry with them to return to the area with the Figments, but not without stopping by the area with the arch on the way back.

The transmutation teacher is notably not among the hanging bodies being pickled in the wind — Fa I climbs up to them and rifles through their belongings. He finds an aquamarine necklace and a proposal note to one Muscan of Clan Aji, and takes the ears of the victims to use as scapegoats for the slug later.

They return to the area with the Figment colony, where Fa I announces, “I am offering one of you the chance to eat Kicara’s dream.”

Kicara is appalled, but catches on, and in pettiness adds, “But only the strongest can eat my dreams,” which incites an all-out brawl between the Figments. The strongest one earns the right to enter the “championship box”, which they carry back to the Yellow City.

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