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Karma: 3/1
22 Posts


Rinrin was about to respond when Elandor burst in a rush of words. The woman only caught bits of what he had said, but she imagined that the Kelzonians didn't quite fare so well.

She kept silent her giggling at the Kender's antics and nodded her own agreement when he simplified it to "We will help you." She figured they were better off helping with whatever it was the Kelzonians had to do in return for the dragon eel's decision than feeding the beast with one of their own party.

Posted on 2007-01-20 at 21:07:02.

RDI Staff
Karma: 357/190
6191 Posts


Never had Scourge been more grateful than when he was hoisted out of the water along with his comrades and brought aboard the lizardmen's ship. After they set him down on the deck and Gabriel discharged his bowels on his shoulder (which didn't amuse Scourge in the slightest, but no doubt amused Elandor) he stood and faced their saviors.

As Talos and Elandor parleyed with their rescuers, Scourge turned to the wounded Damien. Rinrin had already got to him, and through he magics had healed the damage he had suffered. Hopefully the poor man would be able to go a little while longer without getting injured, he seemed to be cursed that way. Seeing little for him to do, and not wanting to engage in conversation should the lizardmen kill his Gabriel, Scourge sat back, surveying the exchange.

Posted on 2007-01-20 at 22:49:45.

Karma: 57/15
900 Posts

The Demand

September 6th/Saturday/Sunset Central Ralnaria
Kelzonian Village

“Hwe have traided deeth ov yur freend for socrifice to mighty river guardian. He alloo us to fish gud skekska fish, and he is protector ov our cove. We mast make sacrifice tonate. Yeu mast help. Then yeu show reason for trust, and may stay tonate as guests. But yeu mast help tonite as payment for saving.”

As the lizard-man finished, the boat jarred, as it hit the sand of the beach, and skidded to a halt. Two of the lizard men grabbed a hold of a segment of the armored railing of the boat, and unhinged it, forming a ramp. However, the lizard men remained watching the party, spears in hand, awaiting a response. The silence and the pause were only slightly interrupted by the pale, blue glow that clung to Rinrins tiny hand, and seeped into the torn pants and flesh of Damiens leg.

Elandor was the first to respond.

“Yes, we would love to help you guys out with your party! That’s great, not only do we make new friends, we learn of their habits right away. How do you see this sacrifice? You’re not going to offer one of your own, are you? I say we catch a bunch of fish, put some good seasoning over them and prepare them to the eel’s liking, but if you think that’s not really the thing to do, then just let us know and we’ll come up with something else more suitable for your mighty guardian who makes sure you get food in safety so that you can live long and happily with a sacrifice every now and then.”

His shrill voice was etched with excitement, and the lizard-men studied him as if he was a stone sitting on the beach, rather than an important member of a distinguished group of world-savers. He seemed to comprehend the creatures black stares…though they always seemed to have a rather empty look, and slowed down his words.

“We –pointing at himself- will – help – you – pointing at the lizardman.”
He repeated with a big grin.

The lizardman, who despite all his identical similarities to the others, seemed their leader, nodded. Rinrin nodded, and the rest of the party remained silent. His sharp, golden eyes glanced over them once, before signaling one clawed hand to the others, who lowered the ramp. Stepping to the side, he allowed the party to go first, and they did so. Once on the damp, sandy beach, the party realized they were surrounded by the lizardmen. Though they held the spears at their sides, not a golden eyed glances were shot at them. It was clear the group was not trusted.

The lizard-men did not speak as they led them across the beach, and towards the two watchtowers that the party had glimpsed earlier. Now, they got a better look. The natural, stone walls of the cave seemed to narrow into a funnel here, and on either side of the tunnel that was formed, stood these rickety towers. They were about the height of 4 men and made of wood, and standing atop them were two lizard-men. Sprawling between the two towers, and walling off the tunnel was what could only be described as a wooden fence, rather then a wall. As the group approached, one of the lizard-men signaled to the sentries, who took ahold of a wheel, situated on either tower. As they turned, a segment of the fence lifted.

The group passed through and into a tunnel. The luminous mushrooms didn’t grow here, and the tunnel was lit by torches, that smoked and sputtered noxiously. The lizard-men still did not speak, and the group began to feel more like prisoners then rescued guests. After only about a minute, the tunnel turned a bend, and the party saw, for the firs time in what must have felt like ages, the sun. (grugg…you can turn off your scythe now )

The tunnel had brought them beneath what seemed like a gigantic slab of flat rock, or the gaping mouth of a cave. The place was larger then the biggest of Lethonanian collosiums! Wedged beneath the shade of the rock shelf was an entire village! Huts made of leather, wood, and stone alike huddled together, and the walls and flooring of the shelf seemed to have been carved into three step-like levels. Huts and tunnels even wormed their way into the wall. Beyond the mouth of the shelf, the sun blazed like fire, setting over a craggy, shrub choked landscape.

The lizard-men did not hesitate to lead the group down the stairs, to the second level. As they walked, lizardfolk stared with intelligent, cold eyes. It seemed impossible to tell which were males and which were females, and the creatures varied in color from brown to green, to grayish, with a range of patterns running along their backs and horny. Perhaps the difference between genders could be found with the strange horns that lined the snouts and crowned upon the brows of many of the lizardfolk. Beneath their skull helms, it was hard to tell if their guards possessed horns or not.

The group arrived outside a rounded tent of sewn skins. It was larger then all the others, and covered with white and black squarelike patterns. Two armed guards stood on either side of a flap. The group noted that the lizard-mens spears were very crude, without even sporting a head. But the sharpened points looked very deadly. Their apparent leader stepped forward and one of the guards opened the flap. He entered, leaving the party surrounded by these silent, watchful creatures.

After a long moment, he reemerged. Alone.

“Gzluk’creq ssay hwe take yeu too gather ssacrifice now. It get dark an’ farmer’men put away cattle sooon.”

He paused a moment, studying the group. If he was not a reptile, he may have been grinning.

“hwe mast take two bullss fram zem. Yeu will help wiz raid.”

Walking by them, he started down the steps and towards the outside.

“Hwe go now.”

The group of lizard-men began to move forward to follow, (if the party hesitates, they will be prodded).

Posted on 2007-01-21 at 17:48:02.

Glorious Emperor
Karma: 28/16
428 Posts

Posting time

There was little option to the aid thrown down by the boatmen as Vilyamar and the rest of the party struggled in the water towards them and more importantly, away from the dragon-eel. The rope was rough but sturdy and Vilyamar was able to shoulder the soaking and waterlogged pack before deftly climbing the rope.

Upon reaching the deck of the ship, he quickly realized that their captors, were certainly not human nor elven, but were in fact a race of humanoid lizards. They deftly moved about the ship in skilled manner and turned to aid the others who were left onto the deck as well. Marie was the last of party to climb the ropes.

As she was halfway up the hull, the dragon-eel surfaced once more and let out a mighty bellow. So terrifying that Marie froze, unable to do anything more than cling to the rope and quiver. The lizardfolk quickly moved to drag the rope back and pull the ranger onto the deck. As Marie was hauled up onto the deck by several scaled hands, the dragon-eel spoke once more.

“Thou wilt honor thy saviours. Double their offerings they hath done, on thous behalf. Thous debt, they shalt pay. Farewell…”

With that the creature submerged once more. Waves rocked against the hull of the ship that had saved the party, causing it to roll on the surface of the water. Only the distant sound of falling water echoed through the cave now. The lizardfolk turned to the dripping party.

One among them spoke to the party.

“een our water yew be. Hawyy? Shood note yew be een Kelzonian lands,” he said. For some reason, the monk assumed it was a male version of the race. Those sent to give or be sacrifices were generally expendable and males, at least within his experience and thoughts.

Vilyamar did not respond, but rather looked at Teros. These were closest to his lands and perhaps he knew something more than the others did. It was not his part to speak on behalf of the others. Teros stepped forward and spoke to the lizardfolk in what Vilyamar assumed was Ralnarian. The dialect and sounds were similar to that he had heard Teros speak before and with the same cadence. The lizardman responded in kind to Teros with a less-garbled version of Ralnarian. Perhaps it was easier for them or at least more comfortable to speak in that language than in common.

It did not matter to Vilyamar, for he could understand neither of those dialects in any case. His lands were to the east and north. It would be to his advantage to observe in this instance.

Rinrin, too, spoke speaking well and truthfully. Vilyamar nodded as she offered her services. There was a debt owed, and they would have to fulfill their duty in this instance before continuing with the quest given to them previously. Vilyamar silently thanked Erenall as he realized that this was a much preferable situation to battling the dragon-eel to certain doom.

A jerk caused them all to put out a foot to hold their balance as the boat jarred into the sand along the riverbank. Two lizardmen grabbed at the railing and dismantled the armored siding into a ramp that lead down onto the beach. Rinrin, meanwhile, had moved over to where Damien still lay. Putting out her hand, she said some soft words as a light blue glow surrounded her hand. The soft light seeped into the wounds on Damien’s leg and stuck there for a moment. The glow disappeared into the flesh of the bard, and he was able to walk again.

Once the bard was up and moving, the party disembarked with the lizardmen. Elandor was the first to respond to their request that the party assist with the gathering of the sacrifice. Though it was not something that Vilyamar would consent to on a daily basis, some things must be done in dire times.

It was a short walk to the entrance of the caves and upon exiting Vilyamar was among those who felt relief at the sight of the sun and open sky. Though he had grown to age near great forests and had resided in misty valleys where the sun often had to battle through thick fog to reach the ground, the underearth would never be a place that the monk would welcome for any lengthy period of time. The shelf on which the village had been constructed on was huge. It was larger than many of the largest buildings that the monk had ever seen.

It was not a far walk down to the second level and their guards did not hesitate to bring them to a larger, patterned hut. The apparent leader of the group that had brought them here entered the hut. It was also not long before he reemerged to speak to them.

“Gzluk’creq ssay hwe take yeu too gather ssacrifice now. It get dark an’ farmer’men put away cattle sooon.”

He paused a moment, studying the group. If he was not a reptile, he may have been grinning.

“hwe mast take two bullss fram zem. Yeu will help wiz raid.”

Walking by them, he started down the steps and towards the outside.

“Hwe go now.”

With little else to do, the monk readjusted the pack on his shoulders that carried the few things he owned and followed the lizardman down. At this point, he recalled the words that had been spoken earlier. It was not this race that cultivated the sacrifice, for the “farmer’men” had been referred to as well as taking bulls from them. Depending on how the creatures must be brought to the dragon-eel, the task could end up being very… messy…

Posted on 2007-01-23 at 22:11:24.

Karma: 5/4
20 Posts

Raid? Bleh?

The Kelzonians spoke briefly to Teros, causing him to frown slightly before shrugging as they carried on talking to the rest of the party. However it was easy to see that he wasn't happy, and instead of being pleased with the lizards he gave them a look of distrust.

Eventually the boat landed on the shore and the group was ushered out onto the shore. The joy of solid land under their feet was destroyed by surrounding kelzonians, all holding weapons and looking at them. For a second Teros thought that they may have to defend themselves, or this may of been some trick and they would end up lunch for something or someone. But the glances remaind just that, and eventually they were hurried forward. But even though these were their saviors Teros couldn't shake the feeling that they were their wardens.

After a while they were lead back onto the surface, and under slab of rock that housed a village of the Kelzonians, even Teros had to admit it was very impressive. But there was no time to sit back and take in the sights. The group was pushed forward and eventually into a skin adorned hut. For a moment Teros wondered over how such primative people could defy the children of Lavuria, but he dismissed such thoughts for later. Afterall these people had saved his life, he could at least be slightly open minded in his approach to them.

However such thoughts became difficult when one of the lizardmen announced that they would be raiding cattle to help pay off their debt. Almost immediatly a look of alarm went to Teros's face and and he opened his mouth to protest but thought better of it and shut his mouth. This was utterly wong and probably treason. For a second he paused, and recieved a slight prod in the back from one of the guards, which made him move forward with a bit more zeal. Still his thoughts dominated his focus. One thing was sure, if he could get out of this he would.

Posted on 2007-01-26 at 04:20:28.

Jumpin' Jack Smash
Karma: 44/13
675 Posts

Quick, as you said to. Pug...

A sigh of relief involuntarily escaped Damien’s lips as Rinrin bestowed her healing touch upon his mauled leg. Nerves restored them selves, flesh knit, and gnawed bone was darned by her magic, and rapidly, he was able to walk again. He looked upon the small woman and said nothing, though his trademark cold look flickered away for but a moment, and he gave the slightest of nods in thanks.

Silent for the remainder of their tour of the settlement, Damien listened to the difficult-to-understand words of the lizardfolk. Even the bard’s mastery of many different languages aided him little in this, for their serpentine tongues introduced a lisp that very nearly masked their words entirely from him. Perhaps it would be wise to one day study their tongue, to learn their folklore and ways of life. If he survived the apocalypse that lay ahead, that is. He laughed sadly at that, just for a moment.

What they were required to do in return to pay tribute to the river guardian seemed almost petty compared to warding off the wrath of that ancient behemoth. Raid two bulls from a local farm? Insignificant! However, he had no desire to endanger his life to that thing again.

“I would be pleased to assist in the acquisition of two bulls for your sacrifice,” Damien spoke, the first words he’d spoken for some time. “They are raised merely to be slaughtered, anyway, and the preservation of a society ranks higher than the preservation of one farm.”

He reached up and brushed his hair away from his eyes, noticing how long it was getting. He’d have to do something about that soon. “Two cows will not kill a farm, anyway, but it might kill these folks.”

With a sudden laugh, his hand flickered to the side, wrapping in his cloak, which he drew across his body in a gracious sweep before he flung it to his right to whip about his figure. “Damien LeBlaque, at your service.”

How he missed the life of a stage performer. There was much less responsibility involved with it…

Posted on 2007-01-27 at 16:43:50.

RDI Staff
Karma: 357/190
6191 Posts

Lalala...last minute posts FTW

The gods had obviously done their part in the saving of Damien and the protection of the group, and now demanded they help these lizard folk procure their sacrifices. Scourge was not one to dispute the ruling of a god, but stealing cows seemed a little odd to him. Carefully ensuring Gabriel was silent, he continued on with the rest of the group, relieved to see that Damien was feeling well enough to move and show a little flair again. Hopefully getting these cattle would be less strenuous than there last encounter.

Posted on 2007-01-28 at 02:51:23.

Typing Furiously
RDI Staff
Karma: 177/19
3012 Posts

why don't we just ask?

There was a problem of conscience in their latest assignment for Elandor. He was going to have to steal from another person. And the kender really didn’t like stealing. Of course there had been occasions where he had taken things from other people that didn’t originally belong to him. But that was more some sort of borrowing. The object in question was going to return to its owner at some point. At least, that was always the intention.

But now, taking cows, or bulls, and knowing that they would be eaten, was a different story. There was no fun or pride in that, and Elandor didn’t want to partake in that. He went to his companions, and whispered:

:”Can’t we just buy those cows from the farmers? I mean, surely they can use the money for something good, or to buy a new bull for themselves? Shall I go ahead, sneak out, and ask them?”

Posted on 2007-01-28 at 10:31:14.

Karma: 3/1
22 Posts


Rinrin was grateful to hear that their task in return for their survival was as simple as retreiving two bulls, however it still didn't sit well with her. How tough were the farmers, or the cattle, for a party of Kelzonians to need the help of bedraggled travellers in acquiring two for sacrifice? It was their duty, however, she supposed, but it was not only that...the cattle were animals, and as a cleric of Inenhalla - and one devoted to the animals of this world - it just didn't lay right in her stomach.

As Damien pointed out, however, they were raised to be slaughtered in the end. This was simply a matter of them dying for a different cause, or at least that's what she told herself. Rinrin swallowed her unease and set herself to the task, even smiling a little at Damien's renewed energetic flare. They owed the Kelzonians their life, after all, and they had asked to repay the debt.

Calmly, Rinrin climbed up onto Conjori and the two companions set out quietly with the rest of the raiding party. Elandor voiced a thought behind her - to buy the cows instead of steal them - but she didn't know what should be done.

"In either case," she said quietly, "Conjori and I can be a help in either herding or coaxing the poor beasts along."

Posted on 2007-01-28 at 15:00:57.
Edited on 2007-01-28 at 15:05:10 by Kazilin

Karma: 57/15
900 Posts

A Journey and Proposal

September 6th/Saturday/Sunset Somewhere is south/central Ralnaria

The Kelzonians led the group for perhaps an hour, through a maze of crags and canyons. Here and there, pillars of rock stood, like the trunks of stone trees. Perhaps they had once been so. Now, however, it felt like they were making their way through a forest of earth and stone. The pillars averaged a good 60 feet in height, and some mushroomed near the top, forming a strange canopy in places of pure stone. As they walked, the gravelly growl of grinding stone could be heard often. Vilyamar noticed and pointed out that atop some of the pillars, huge balls of stone, unattached, sat, so precariously, that they tilted at times, causing a shower of sand and pebbles.

At one point, the group passed the skeleton of what must have been a monstrous creature in life. A good 40 feet in length, the beast seemed as if it had been reptilian. It’s skull was almost serpentine, and horned, and a tale made up a good half of it’s length. It’s claws were most noticeable, however. They seemed unproportionately huge, even for such a beast, and they hooked like the claws on a bird of prey.

As they walked, the party quietly expressed their torn feelings. Unanimously, the group felt that the lizardmen did indeed save them, and that they did need to hold up some sort of bargain with them. After all, Teros, Rinrin, andElandor had all already told the Kelzonians that they were in their debt!

It was Elandor who announced an idea that had not been thought of before, and might very well work.

:”Can’t we just buy those cows from the farmers? I mean, surely they can use the money for something good, or to buy a new bull for themselves? Shall I go ahead, sneak out, and ask them?”

The group looked at him. It was clear that the thought was appealing.

“But how will you sneak out? Do you think the lizard people will let you?”

The question was Maries. She had been quiet since they had fled from Ihsahn and his men, but her question was valid.

The group went silent, and climbed a sudden rise without a word. When they reached the top, they were surprised to see that the landscape was entirely different then what lay behind them. The land was flat, and covered in low, brown shrubs, and it expanded into a deep purple haze. The sun was setting behind them. The landscape wasn’t what caught their attention, however. Ahead and to their right, perhaps a half mile to the south stood a series of complexes, walls, and buildings. It looked almost like a fortress, rather than a farm, but farm it was. From their high vantage point, they could see that behind a wall of cement or stucco, grazed a rather large heard of cattle. Perhaps 1000 of them. The field they grazed in was large, and in the center of the farm, surrounded by buildings. Burning emerald in the dying rays of the sun were green fields, surrounding the farm, and expanding into the distance. This was not just a farm. It was a plantation. It was worked by many people.

Their group consisted of 17 people, including the 10 lizardmen that stood with them. Who knew how many men worked this massive complex of buildings and fields? Teros and anyone else who had worked on a farm knew that at this time, the hands would be returning from the fields. How in the name of the Gods did the lizardmen ever raid cattle?

“Hwe need two bollss.”

The leader still had never bothered to give his name…

“Hwe know how too sneak through faerm with few men. But eif men see uss, they faight violent..”

He looked as if he would continue, but Elandor spoke up. He had concluded by the size of the farm that it was better to just ask first, before trying to raid.

“Do we really need to sneak in and raid the bulls?”

The lizard people stared at him as if he didn’t make sense.

“How elssse do get bullss? Hwe cannot fight whole farm.”

“Ah, but you don’t need to!”

It was Marie who spoke up. Glancing down at Elandor, she winked and continued.

“Have you tried trading with them?

The lizardmen startled the party with their eruption of hissing and clicking. It very well could have been laughter.

“They ssteal fram uss like hwe ssteal from themm. Hwe will not trade with them. They liess to uss. Wee not do dealss.”

It could only be assumed that the tribe and farm of men had a little bit more of a history then the group knew about. They obviously weren’t on good terms. Marie spoke again, grasping for words.

“Well, ok..but we don’t need to sneak in. I mean, we could trick them!”

The lizardmen stared at her.

“Well I can only assume you’ve never had humans with you when you go on these raids. Let us go down to them. We can trick them using words, rather then stealth.”

The lizard men looked at each other, and spoke in their hissing language.

“Soft skins do talk too mach. They usse words like sspears. That how wee hate them.”

The Kelzonian pointed to Elandor, Rinrin, and Teros.

“three go. Trick farmerss for two bulls. We hide here. Rest of group stayss too.”

There was nothing more to be said. Without much of a hesitation, Elandor, Teros, and Rinrin on her panting white dog, made their way down the hill and towards the farm. The rest of the group could only watch….

The journey took perhaps ten minutes, and they had ample time to discuss their plans, and what would be said. As the walls of the plantation neared, a voice shouted from the window of a nearby building. A door opened and two men started for them. They were dressed in long, white robes, and their faces and heads were wrapped in cloth. They carried scimitars, but it looked more as if they had just picked them off the wall, rather then had them in hand with an intend to use. As they approached, the men studied the group not unfriendly, but expectantly.

“What do you come here for?”

Posted on 2007-01-28 at 17:04:16.
Edited on 2007-01-28 at 17:05:31 by Valimar

Typing Furiously
RDI Staff
Karma: 177/19
3012 Posts

crazy people

Although following a peaceful path, without hard feelings, had felt like the right thing to do, Elandor had skipped the part where he thought about what to say.

When the men came out, his heart jumped in excitement. The rush of having to find words on the spot and sound convincing at the same time sent a jingle through his legs. He wanted to jump up and down to get rid of the feeling, but figured it would make a bad first impression. Instead, he tightened the grip on his hoopak, which was also a clever thing to do, in case the men bore the wrong attitude.

“What do you come here for?”

The question didn't sound unfriendly, but Elandor still didn't know what to say. Should he play the part of the insane adventurer, who needed bulls for a mission to find great riches? It sounded stupid! Better to stick to the truth... as much as possible.

"My best wishes to you both on this beautiful evening, sir. We are travelers, journeying on a quest to save these lands from the hardship of what we, generally speaking, call "evil". We have come to your farm to make a deal with you. We would like to purchase two of your bulls."

As he was speaking, a plan formed in Elandor's head. But he would await the farmer's reaction before saying anything more.

(Ok, Elandor will use his bluff to the max, to convince the farmers to deal with them. Also he will try to get the price as low as possible. IF the price permits it, perhaps he can buy an additional cow and bull, so that the lizardfolk can start growing their own cattle, without having to steal it. But as I said: we'll see how things go.)

Posted on 2007-02-03 at 16:09:56.

Karma: 5/4
20 Posts

No Harm, no foul

When the Kelzonians picked him to help make the distraction it was both a relief and a confusing thing for Teros. They did not trust him, and these were his people. His natural loyalties fell with them, and for all they knew he could just as easily rat them out and launch some attack that would catch them off guard, saving his comrades in the process. Perhaps they did trust him, or perhaps it was part of some sort of test. Whatever the reason he was pleased to not be partaking in the actual theft.

Elandor fell naturally into the role of lying, or at least Teros assumed he was lying, and began to tell the men they wanted two bulls for their quest. When Teros thought about it, it wasn't really a lie. We DID need these two bulls for the quest to carry on.

Seeing as how Elandor had the situation covered Teros did the only thing that came naturally, which was to act like a bodyguard. With his arms crossed he looked over each of the men, as if sizing them up in case he had to fight them, and kept a very serious look on his face. It was small, but there was nothing to do but wait at this point.

Posted on 2007-02-05 at 06:36:08.

Karma: 3/1
22 Posts

sorry for delay..been busy; classes starting again O.o

Rinrin, astride Conjori, followed Elandor and Teros down to the farm, wondering what on earth should be said. Thankfully, Elandor went ahead and spoke for them. Teros stood next to her and her dog, sternly looking over the two men before them. Rinrin thought it was a bit menacing, and probably not the best way to go about acquiring a peaceful trading agreement.

With that in mind, she nodded her head towards the two before them in greeting, giving them a friendly smile after Elandor's words. She kept her hand near the handle of her morningstar, but only just. If all went well, there shouldn't be any trouble and she hoped that would be the case.

Still smiling, she waited patiently for the farmers' response, wondering what it was Elandor was planning on saying next.

Posted on 2007-02-05 at 11:57:22.

Queen Hugglepounce
Karma: 47/29
674 Posts

just getting my foot back in the door so to speak...

Marie waited quietly and watched as the small group made their way towards the farmers. She strongly hoped they would be able to negotiate a deal on the bulls. She was feeling a bit antsy, and though she was grateful that these lizard-folk had saved her and her group from that sea creature, she still felt the urge to get moving onto the next leg of their journey.

Posted on 2007-02-06 at 03:30:37.

Karma: 57/15
900 Posts

The Sacrifice, Continuing

September 6th-7th/Saturday-Sunday Somewhere is south/central Ralnaria-
El Jalnine

While the rest of the party and their Kelzonian guides waited, Elandor, Rinrin, and Teros Razorsun proceeded in
an attempt to bargain with the Ralnarian ranchers for two bull, and prhaps a bit more. The conversation did not
take long, infact. One glance at the handful of coins Elandor produced, and the ranchers were leading them
through the complex of buildings, quorals, and fences towards their penned herd.

When at last the kender, gnome, and man returned to the group with not two head of cattle, but 6, the lizardmen
only stared for long moments. It took a bit for Elandor to explain the purpose to them, and in the end, he was not
entirely certain that they intended to try and raise the cattle, rather than butcher them for feasts later in the week.
As it was, the sun had set beyond the rugged horizon, and the velet blanket of twilight had stretched over the land
when the group returned to the lizardfolk village.

The rocky shelf was lit with orange and yellow fires, and as they
made their way up the stone steps that wound through the center of the village like a road, one of there guides spoke
to his companions in a series of hissing clicks. Five of the group separated, taking with them four heads of cattle.
The group was left with the remaining five of their Kelzonian guides, and the two bull that would undoubtedly be
offered unto the Dragon Eel. In the village that surrounded them, lizard people squatted by fires. Some of which
roasted small animals of a variety of shapes, from some sort of bird, to what might be a coyote, to what was certainly
a snake. Even in the firelight, the eyes of the lizardfolk that watched this group of strangers were cold. Not menacing,
or even threatening. Simply void of feeling. Most of the lizardfolk, it was noted, wore little more than a quiver, or a belt
that fastened a club or spear to their side. Compared to their plain tribesmen, the group that accompanied the party were
highly decorated in their bone armor.

The night proceeded as the group were led back into the caves and to the mouth of the river. It was astonishing how
uncerimonious these lizardfolk were in all their doings. There was no procession. No ceremony. Not even a speech or
much of an explanation. The guards placed the reins of a bull in Teros' hand, and the reins of the other in Damiens hand.
They were directed to guide the bulls into the water, where "Mighty River Guardian" would accept their sacrifices in return
the life of Damien.

The cattle didn't seem to mind, and infact, drank thirstily in the shallows while Teros and Damien splashed through the water,
anxious to put some distance between themselves and the sacrice, and when it happened, it happened suddenly and violently.
The water erupted, and like a massive silver snake, the monster encircled the now panicking bulls. Enwrapping them both in
gleaming coils, the Dragon Eel dragged them swiftly and without pity into the dark waves. In the green glow of the
cave, the water that lapped against the gray shore darkened, and when the severed leg of a cow drifted onto the sand,
the lizardfolk bowed to the river, and lead the group wordlessly back into the village.

The sacrifice, and their debt concluded, the group was treated to a surprisingly pleasant evening. Though their hosts spoke
little, and had little to offer, the warmth of the fire, the jars of cool water, and the freshly cooked beef (that must have come
from one of Elandors purchased cows) were very revitalizing. Moreso, they were finally able to sit back and relax after this
most dangerous leg of their journey. In one day they had trecked many desert miles, been questioned by a sphinx, did battle
with an army of encarnated armor, been targeted by a gang of criminals, struggled to stay adrift in the brutal course of an
underground river, did battle with a dragon eel, and then traveled again to fetch sacrifices for the same monster! The food and
moreso, the rest, was a godsend.

The next morning, the group was given rations of dried, flavorless meats, before being led to a small waterway. They were given
a reed raft and told to simply follow the waters course and it would lead them to mans settlements. And so they did, and within hour
the narrow and reedlined waterway opened into what could only be the mighty Siris River. Massive, leafy trees lined its banks like
a wall, and giant scaled reptiles like the one that Elandor had fed a fish to, slid into the water. Compared to the Dragon Eel, they
were miniscule, but still perhaps cause for anxiety in any skidding party member.

Somehow, the underground waterway must have taken them back under the desert in the direction they had come, because that evening
they were greeted with the site of ivory and gold towers burning in the fire of a setting sun. They had arrived in El Jalnine!
Massive ships cut the water on either side, threatening to topple their rickety little raft. the green canopies of gardens could be seen
risen over white walls. Soldiers bearing the sacred bronze and saphire armor of Lavuria paced the walkways that formed the top of the
walled canal that ran through the city. Even in this final hour of the day, colorful crowds flowed throught the marketplace that lined the river
and haggling voices in a series of dielects lifted over the cry of birds.

Guiding their raft towards a set of stone steps, the party disembarked, and were greeted by a pair of docking-guards. Unlike the esteemed
Knight of White-Fire, these were simple gaurdsmen, in simple, issued chain-mail.

"Welcome to El Jalnine." One said in a thick accent. "If you have not visted the city before, simply ask and a guard will give you direction."

Posted on 2007-02-19 at 00:18:44.
Edited on 2007-02-19 at 00:19:07 by Valimar


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