Monday, July 11, 2016

A temporary reversal of fortunes in the lands of Xan Than Du

Once more the party ventured towards to secret tomb found by the shady Kojata.

A Stage Magician seeking more real magic, A British Cavalry Officer, and their newest member,  a British Naval Officer who bought his commission and has no field experience.  The naval officer brought with him a dromedary re-directed from its original destination in Australia and a loyal cabin boy holding a massive brown bess he couldn't effectively use.

Loading up with vast amounts of water and cheap millet they trekked forward to the secret tomb.  On the way there they stumbled upon a crumbling adobe structure recently uncovered from the sand. It was small, no more than two little rooms.  Investigating they saw it was an ancient morgue or mausoleum,  holding middle class cadavers temporarily.  They looted it and recovered a gold tooth, some polished stones, and some ancient animal bones.

Continuing on they saw armed desert nomads ahead,  they saw them with enough time that they could take a circuitous route to avoid them, albeit arriving later at the tomb. At dusk.

They went into the tomb and all was quiet.  The sound of gunfire and then a gust of wind emerged from the tomb's shaft before they returned carrying a fat purse of coins, a gleaming bronze sword, and an 8 foot long bronze statue of a cobra.  Kojata was pleased they seemed to understand treasure meant shiny, although there was more bronze and less gold than he'd hoped.

Returning to Guam-yaiv they saw the nomads had camped at the ancient morgue.  The wind was kicking up, and the party had gotten too close before spotting them.  One of the nomads had a rifled musket and opened fire,  thankfully his gun misfired.  The wind then seemed to kick up and hide the party, allowing them to easily escape.  The stage magician claimed credit.

Taking their gains (and giving Kojata his share) they ordered fancy fire arms (a revolver and air rifle) and luxuriated around the colonial quarter for a few weeks to recover some terrible mental strain they had encountered in that tomb.  The revolver arrived in port,  but the air rifle was still on order when they set forth again, this time at night.

The trip was uneventful,  but as they traveled they seemed to pick up a larger and larger pack of jackals following just out of shooting distance.   When they reached the tomb, Kojata demanded an extra hand to guard the animals (in this case the cabin boy).

Once more the party descended into the tomb and emerged in silence some time later,  the naval officer incapacitated and bleeding.  Their treasure,  a small piece of string, the remnant of a seal they had cut.

Kojata was not amused by this seeming backslide in their ability to identify treasure and avoid death.

They decided to pack up and head out,  but as soon as they did so the jackals whom had been hiding swarmed over a dune to attack, over a dozen.  In a barrage of gunfire several were felled, but still they advanced.  In a swirling melee they managed to badly injure the cabin boy before their morale broke from the vast amount of lead filling the air.    The party took a few dead jackals as "bounty" and headed into the desert to return to Guam-yaiv.

Along the way they encountered nomads,  but cautiously approached them.  The nomads traded a jar of dried locusts for a dead jackal.  Apparently locusts were starting to appear in the area in great numbers.  Nodding and eager to take their incapacitated companion (who also was their linguist) back to Guam-yaiv they left.  They passed by the mausoleum and saw some sort of holy man mediating on its roof.

Curious, the cavalry officer road up and attempted to converse.  He seemed unable, so he offered a dead jackal.  The holy man looked but unimpressed but also resigned to politely give thanks.  He left a dyed thumb print on the cavalry officer's head and waved them on.   They continued to Guam-yaiv,  but spied an unusual sight.  Some sort of offering of a fresh papaya on a rock in the middle of the desert.  Not wanting to investigate and take risk, the cavalry officer shot it from a distance with a musket and they returned to town.

Kojata is not sure if they are messing with him with their treasure selections.

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