Anyway. I will separate this new series of adventures into three posts. Let's get started.
After the advantage gained by Tiamat's Red Hand following the New Year's Eve ritual, Tallasht stepped up a bit, hastening her war. She sent the PCs to Jannith-al Ieramarr, a city in the far south Endless Desert.
City of Gold, Splendors, and Delight
In the Endless (Fal’keer) Desert, far south of Hukee, Trokle, and the Reenian Ocean lies the City of Gold, Splendors, and Delight. The city is only four years old, but with the help of magic, it has expanded quickly into a beautiful oasis. Fountains splash merrily and date palm and coconut trees flourish everywhere, providing shade and a bite to eat. Cheerful inhabitants hand out gold at street corners, and brightly colored coatl float lazily in the sky.
Almost every building in Jannith-al is made from gleaming 42 karat gold. The city is separated into four parts- the Golden Region, the Market Region, the River Region, and the Desert Region.
The Golden Region
Most of the Golden Region is on the west side of the Ierian River, but a small part is on the east bank. This region consists of important government buildings like the Hall of Gold, temples, mansions of the city leaders, and upper class housing. It also includes Festival Way, a long street ending in a cul-de-sac where theater, dance, and music commonly play.
The Market Region
Merchants in Jannith-al Ieramarr live in the Market Region. Every day a market is held, with customers coming to buy whatever they need from friendly merchants who give great deals. Once a month, the Grand Baazar makes an appearance, with traders and merchants coming from hundreds of miles to the north and south to buy and sell exotic goods. The Market Region is to both the west and east of the river.
The River Region
The area of the city right next to the river on both sides is the River Region, where most of the city lives in opulent houses of gold. This is also where the numerous inns and taverns are located.
The Desert Region
The Desert Region is the least hospitable. It borders the rest of the city on all fronts, closest to the desert. Here, grim-faced devas and unicorns patrol the east desert border, watching warily for invading Thri-kreen. The western border is more peaceful.
Za’rith-ir Vaketh rules the Vaketh tribe, one of the four tribes of Thri-kreen. He is one of the oldest Thri-kreen in the Fal’keer Desert at 95 years (Thri-kreen generally live to 150). Za’rith-ir is a Priest of the Sand Father, one of the most powerful in the Desert. Za’rith-ir forsaw the downfall of his tribe at the hands of Myr’aic-ir Ekeerth, the arguably strongest tribe in the Desert.
Za’rith-ir forged an alliance with the budding city of Jannith-al Ieramarr. Za’rith-ir sent his eldest son, Ka’tan-ir Vaketh, who is also an accomplished Priest, to the city. Also, he allowed people from the city to enter Vaketh Tribe territory to mine gold from a rich mine. In exchange, the Vaketh Tribe is now protected by Jannith-al soldiers. Many in Za’rith-ir’s own tribe disapprove of his decision, but he firmly believes that what he did was for the best. The other tribes also criticize his choice, disapproving at best and malignant towards Za’rith-ir at worst. Myr’aic-ir Ekeeth now positively hates the Vaketh Tribe; they, like all the other tribes, believe the Endless Desert should only be inhabited by Thri-kreen. The humans, devas, and others of Jannith-al are greedy for gold. Currently, Jannith-al mining teams are permitted once a month to stay for four days in the Za’rith-ir mine.
There is another, richer, mine in the Oasis of the Gods. It is believed to hold at least three times the amount of gold as the other mine. The Oasis of the Gods is a sacred valley where the four Thri-kreen tribes meet once every full moon in peace to exchange news and information. The other three tribes would never agree to allow others in. Indeed, even Za’rith-ir is hesitant at that.
40 devas remain permanently in the Vaketh camp, and every five days, 60 more devas patrol through the territory to make sure nothing is amiss. If something is, the devas will rush back to Jannith-al, making the normally 2 hour journey just one, and return with at least 100 reinforcements. So far, this has not been necessary. There are usually only minor border raids and skirmishes. But everyone is aware that an attack will come—and soon…
So yeah, that's Jannith-al Ieramarr. As soon as they arrived, the PCs were embroiled in a war of political intrigue between the nine caliphs of the city. They sided with Haranni-al and Vivia-al, the only two that had the well-being of the city at heart. One of the most memorable sessions of the campaign occured when Vivia-al, giving the PCs a test to see if they were worthy allies, told them to assassinate a political rival of hers--an elf named Hiramyar. The PCs went to the Golden Eclipse Inn, where Hiramyar was staying. The Golden Eclipse Inn is (or rather was, just wait a moment) arguably the largest and most luxurious inn in the Natural World. It occupies a whole city block, and has an authentic foresty area inside, as well as two bars, over 30 deluxe rooms, and 2 suites.
Now, I had planned out this Inn adventure a long time ago and had pages upon pages of notes. I anticipated some quiet sneaking around, mingling casually with the patrons and bartenders, stealing a key or two here or there, a use of Flawless Disguise or a poison...what was I thinking? XD Sure, things went like that for about half an hour, and then the PCs discovered that the key to the suites where Hiramyar was likely to be staying was in the Proprietor's Room in the Staff Chambers. They snuck in, unlocked his door, and were met with half a dozen guards. They still had a chance of keeping things quiet, but instead, Ander (who procured 3 massive molotov cocktails a few sessions ago (long story)) blew up the Proprietor's room and about a third of the tavern with one of his molotovs. Thanks to some advance warning and a portal, the Proprietor and the PCs survived, but the guards and two drow NPCs with the party at the time did not.
Now, this certainly did attract everyone's attention, so the Assassin and Tinkerbelle rushed over to the suite they believed Hiramyar was in (they were right, by the way), unlocked the door, and went inside before the startled patrons and guards in the Inn could react. Moira, Topaz, and Ander were still outside the suite in the common room, and the guards were coming for them, so Ander decided to let off another molotov cocktail, creating a huge crater in another 1/3 of the tavern and killing most of its inhabitants. Ander survived by rushing into the suite just in time, and Moira and Topaz ran outside the Inn seconds before it exploded. Moira was a captain in the ranks of the Jannith-al Ieramarr military (side-quest) and was able to talk her way out of getting captured by the soldiers rushing to the Inn. Topaz simply snuck off before they arrived and hid herself in a park nearby.
Meanwhile, the Assassin and Tinkerbelle used the flying carpet to bypass rooms of monsters and traps (yeah, the suites are that big) and eventually located Hiramyar, seemingly defenseless. Not being a fighter, Hiramyar actually had a hidden "pet" that he used to guard him. A purple worm!!! The Assassin took on the worm (Lvl. 16 Solo) while Tinkerbelle chased the fleeing elf. The Assassin did exceptionally well but eventually was swallowed. Finally, Ander arrived, and in true kamikaze fashion, released his final molotov, completely destroying the foundation of the Inn, blasting the purple worm into a million pieces, reducing the Assassin to unconscious and 1 hp away from death (!!!!), and killing himself. Tinkerbelle did manage to catch Hiramyar.
Wel...the assassination techniqually succeeded...hahaha, no seriously, that was an awesome session. It gave the Planeswalkers very low ratings with the citizens, however. Very low. So low that in order to halt a riot, the Caliphs (some of which were happy with the prospect) had to order that 2 of the Planeswalkers be turned in for execution...the public didn't care who. They had a week to decide.
Ok, that's the end of this blogpost...there'll be two more about Jannith-al Ieramarr. Bye bye.
THIS IS SPARTAAA!!!