A Not-So-Peaceful Night
While the group was resting from the long battle and tending to their wounds, they went through the stolen backpack and examined the map. The map appeared to be a mundane map of the tablelands and the backpack contained various supplies and several survival days, and a green crystal. Gwyn could tell that the crystal possessed some form of arcane magic although she wasn’t completely familiar with it.
While the rest of the group decided what to do with the captives from the House Tsalaxa caravan, Gwyn moved off by herself and attempted to discover how to use the crystal. As she concentrated on it, attempting to use its powers, she detected strong divination magic. Shortly thereafter a face appeared in her mind, as though he was recently awoken from sleep.
“What is it? Is everything okay? Who are you?” the man asked, clearly not expecting Gwyn.
Quickly thinking, Gwyn answered, “Everything’s fine, I’m Esmerelda.”
The man grunted, “Tell Haneth that he shouldn’t let his whores go through his belongings, now put that away and stop bothering me.”
Gwyn, recognizing that she had narrowly avoided a potentially awkward situation, decided to put the crystal away and return to the camp. There she found the others in discussion about what to ask their captives. They had also decided that they should return to the House Tsalaxa camp and recover any other supplies. It was agreed that Gwyn, Merric and Kelvor would interrogate their prisoners and that Morg, Castri and Vinara would go raid the camp.
Morg, Castri and Vinara found their way back to the camp without incident and were able to get the three kanks under control. They picked up all the equipment and survival supplies they could, loaded the kanks up and headed back. Along the way, Castri spotted a female elf, perhaps the one that they had captured, in the distance. Acting on instinct he fired a shot and struck her down. When the searched her body, they found some survival supplies and a several gold in ceramic coins. They continued back to their camp, unsure as to what really transpired.
Gwyn, Kelvor and Merric began by interrogating their human captive. After several threats to him, he revealed his name – Tyron Tsalaxa of House Tsalaxa. He claimed to be heading out of Tyr after closing up their operations before the armies of Urik arrived and heading to Raam. With further pressure applied he claimed to have no direct knowledge of the Vault of Darom Madar or what happened to the House Wavir caravan. Although he did appear to be telling the truth, everyone felt he might be holding back.
They switched to the captive elf, who appeared much more willing to cooperate, as she claimed to be a hired mercenary. She confirmed that they were heading to Raam by way of the Silver Spring Oasis but claimed to be ignorant of anything else regarding House Wavir or the Vault. Kelvor gave her some coins for her trouble as well as some supplies to help her survive the trip to the Oasis and let her go. Her journey was cut short by an arrow from Castri…
When the whole group got back together and the truth about the elf captive was revealed, there was little remorse by anyone other that Gwyn and Kelvor. Castri lead a brutal interrogation of Tyron but not additional information was gained. They all felt he would be too much trouble if he were set free and so bound him to a kank.
The group had a lively discussion on how they should proceed from their current location. Morg pushed for continuing to search for the treasure, but none of them knew where to start looking. Kelvor wanted to head north to Kled to aid the dwarves, repay their debt to the merchant houses of Tyr, and possible disrupt the forces of King Hamanu. Gwyn and Castri were concerned about the activities of Yarnath and his search for the other pieces of the Crown of Dust. Eventually they agreed with Vinara, that finding the Tree of Life would be the best option and that they could regroup at the Silver Springs Oasis.
Silver Springs Oasis
In the cooler morning air, they headed east towards the Oasis and three days later they arrived at the gates to the Silver Spring Oasis, the looming fortress-like stone walls providing protection against the desert creatures. After paying a large fee for entrance of their caravan, the group was admitted into the interior of the compound. Free to explore around the group split up, each trying to accomplish their objectives while spending as little time in the Silver Hands’ compound.
Vinara made her way to the actual oasis inside the compound and began to commune with her spirit allies, attempting to ascertain the location of the Tree of Life. The abundant life around the Oasis filled her with hope for the future of Athas and allowed her to start searching for the Tree. After many hours she felt a strong primal presence to the southeast and felt the call of a primal spirit in need. Feeling sure that she could guide the party to the location, she felt a renewed sense of purpose.
Gwyn wandered about and, after seeing tents clearly intended for use by defilers, she made her way into the Tent of Delights to listen to general gossip. She discovered that the Silver Hand elves’ chief, Toramund, was actively recruiting defilers to help defend the compound. What she found more disturbing was that most of the people there were more concerned with the fact that none of their own had the power he wanted and that he was looking outside of the tribe. The Oasis had been attacked in the past by their main rivals, the Sun Runners, and Toramund wanted to be able to defend the Oasis better than they had in the past.
Castri and Morg attempted to ransom Tyron to Toramund, hoping the elf chief would be interested and find him to be a valuable captive. Merric stayed behind to guard Tyron until the deal could be struck. After bribing their way past his guards, the pair were admitted to see Toramund. With some negotiations, they agreed on a reasonable price for Tyron and the deal was struck and Tyron was released into the elf’s custody. Tyron was silent throughout this entire ordeal.
Kelvor wandered around the traveler’s camp and a few other areas attempting to make contact with mercenaries and learn anything he could. A lot of the discussion was on the war between Urik and Tyr and the increased danger creating good opportunities for guard duty. He attempted to sell the kanks, but was unable to arrive at a price that was satisfactory.
When they met back up at their tents, they shared their activities and the coins from Toramund. Gwyn and Kelvor found their purses to be lighter than they expected, undoubtedly the victim of their hosts light fingers. They all slept well that night, getting a much needed rest, except for Castri who stood watch the entire night.