Friends in Shanty Places

After leaving through the moon pool and putting some distance between themselves and the temple, the away team explains what happened and that Mal accepted responsibility for the wasp egg. The group then argues about who was allowed to do next. Time out for

Privately, Hanos and Azura talk about the necessity of what happened, so of course Azura agrees. Azura is fully out to join his order, so Hanos begins teaching her how to make her own arcane lock.

In her room, Zyn agrees to have the ship secure the wasp egg to only she and Mal. Dealing with the death of her sovereigns on top of everything else and feeling a bit needful, Zyn politely asks if Mal wanted “anything else.” He answers no, but as he walks out, the pick vibrates just before Mal experiences a vision of Nevarus embracing Zyn and saying “Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?” Noticing Mal’s pause at the doorway, Zyn questions Mal’s stopping. After he declines to elaborate, Zyn agrees to go below to secure the egg right then.

Seeking refuge away from the others, Xax visits the brothers through meditation. He expresses concerns about not acting fast enough to save the queen. The brothers essentially accept that Xax is assigning a “sacrificial” penance to himself, but it is not a bad thing.

Meanwhile, Sophie goes to see her father. Corelleon confesses Zyn isn’t happy about having been banished back to Hyetal instead of being retained as a slave on an elven core world. Corelleon prods Sophie to speak to Zyn on his behalf. Sophie goes to see Zyn, who eventually lets her in. Zyn lays into Sophie for living like a “poor” princess while she was exiled to a shanty town to fend for herself as a child. They discuss their father, finally deciding to ask Xax his opinion about keeping him on board.

In Xax’s cabin, Sophie and Zyn (very sleepy) question Xax about keeping Corelleon on board. After Sophie recounts that their father already knows everything, Xax agrees he cannot be trusted to leave the ship. Everyone finally goes to sleep until tomorrow afternoon. Once everyone wakes, Zyn musters again in the cargo bay.

Zyn morphs the ship to resemble a local barge and docks down the beach from Abdel’s compound. Describing the compound they are infiltrating, Zyn estimates six guards and twelve concubines/servants plus Abdel. Everyone goes ashore except the blades and Xax to guard the ship. Taking the opportunity while both daughters are occupied, Xax goes to talk with “daddy” Corelleon. Xax lays down the honest truth about why Corelleon will stay alive and what will happen when he inevitably proves Xax wrong and betrays the crew.

Zyn and the crew arrive at the compound expecting trouble, but the guards there seem more than reasonable in letting the crew speak to the owner of the property but claims not to know Abdel. Meeting with the host confirms Zyn’s fears that Abdel is no longer around. On a hunch, Zyn leads the crew to the local shantytown where she grew up. She meets up with old friend, Vald, who takes her to Abdel, a man now half burnt from his ordeal in losing his property and business. When Zyn challenges him for what he knows and about the golden slaves, he admits to knowing about things but regrets nothing, pointing out that she herself was more than willing to anything required for a fresh opportunity. Zyn decides to leave him as he is.

Following Vald back to the part of the shantytown where she stayed, they crew is introduced to another of Zyn’s old friends, Henrik, who greets them heartily. Zyn takes the opportunity to start a rumor about the deaths of the royals and removal of the prime. When Zyn confesses that she wishes she had brought something more for her old friends and neighbors, Hanos chooses to expend a charge of his rod of security, allowing the locals to gather vast amounts of food to take back for Zyn’s people. As evening draws near, the crew returns to the ship.

Before their arrival, a local Hyetalian named Aiden presents himself to serve Xax as a psionic, claiming he was drawn to the psionicist. Detecting potential within him, Xax accepts him as a student and instructs Lochlan to feed the thin lad.

CONTINUE READING WITH “Off the Map”

Session XP: 1850 per player

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About Kevin A. Ranson

Content Creator, Horror Writer, Film Critic. Heeding a macabre calling listening to "Mother Ghost Nursery Rhymes" in kindergarten, Kevin started writing in grade school and filled countless notebooks with story ideas while touring the Mediterranean in the US Navy. He is the author of The Spooky Chronicles and the vampire thriller series The Matriarch, creator/critic for MovieCrypt.com and "ghost writer" for horror host Grim D. Reaper. WEBFACEBOOKTWITTER
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