ALTAN! Why, I oughtta… You could have just asked. I don’t mind having my friends write in my journal, it adds perspective to our story, and one day I hope our story is known throughout the world. But digging through my pack! Ruining my organization! Now the ink is next to the rations, the scorpion venom next to the fishing tackle, and the lantern oil next to the grappling hook! Do you have any sense of organization? It’s fixed, I fixed it, it’s fine. Next time, ask.
Traveling with Tethis and his caravan, we made it the rest of the way to Zumaji without incident. Entering the town, at first I was excited, a new place, new stories to discover. However, upon passing the gates we were met with a depressing sight. As far as the eye could see, run down mud brick buildings. The main thoroughfare, while busy, was not your normal town-busy. Individuals going about their business, each with a destination. Very few people were taking their time, vendors only sold precious stones. No sight or smell of food cooking, let alone food available to buy. There are a couple of nicer taverns. This is not a welcoming city. Seeing this sight reminded me that this is a slave town. Enough conveniences for the caravans, but anything else would be ‘superfluous’ as spending money on slaves would be an ‘inconvenience’ and the slaves would have nothing to trade for goods, so no need for a market or entertainment.
Slavery is a vile practice. Capturing an individual and making them do as you command only because you are ‘stronger’ than they are is a practice made common by the vile and villainous. Were it that I could end this practice, I would. An operation on this scale will take some careful planning.
In the center of the town a walled-off tower rises. Obviously a place of importance. It gives off an oppressive feel. I’m sure it helps suppress feelings of revolt among the slaves when feeling oppressed by the very architecture of the place you live.
Saying goodbye to Tethis and his caravan, we made our way to one of Rainer’s contacts in the city. We found ourselves in a tavern used by the slaves. I assume allowing the slaves a place to ‘relax’ also keeps feelings of revolt down, for it could always be worse. While in this tavern, I let my friends do the talking with the contact, I had something more important to do, these people needed a story. The downcast eyes, the weariness in their posture, perhaps I could help ease their burdens by sharing a story. They needed a story to get their heart pumping, a lovey dovey story with a good ending would do no good for a people so downtrodden. They needed a story to engage their mind, to excite and frighten them, but not too frightening. A perfect story would be that of the Sandstorm’s Revenge. A known pirate who strikes terror in the heart, but is also known to free slaves. A perfect story for the depressed slave, to help give them the courage to continue on for just a bit longer.
As I told the story, my friends enhanced it with their magic, definitely something I must do in the future. Afterwards, Mossy took me to the side and said I should not have shared that story, that it would incite rebellion, and that would get these people killed. I can see where she comes from, and perhaps it was too much, we will see.
Then Arden produced a wonderful magical item, sand that shoots sparks! He said he was selling it, and I just had to have it. I can use it in so many ways, next time I tell a story I will definitely use it.
We were given a place to spend the night by Rainer’s contact and while doing so we made a plan to find and free Tristan, the man Mossy was supposed to make contact with. The plan as I understand is to infiltrate the compound, find where Tristan is, and set him free. Simple plans are always best.