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Elliz
Posted by the GM
Tuasne
Stolen Land
Our tale starts with a paper nailed on some notice boards in the south of Corvan Dulath, in the great city of Ciart. There was nothing special about it, it was a simple invitation. A noble named Dioul Habass had been given exploration rights in the border with Yum-Di, and he was looking for people to help him with the task. The notice warned that in that far-away land there was a single Ciartish outpost. It also said that those looking to take up the job should be in Corvan's third dock the following morning. Corvan river is the main artery through which the goods imported from the areas around the Great City get into the city itself, and it is the main point of connection between Ciart and the rest of the world. It is even said that some ships going to other continents dock there.
Dioul knew from corresponding with Oleg, the owner of the commercial outpost, that the outpost was being plagued by some bandits. He wanted to arrive as soon as possible, so as to avoid another raid on the outpost. For that reason, he had to depart the day just after the notice was put up.

The following morning, only three people appeared. A Boggard summoner named Ogtad, accompanied by his Eidolon, a snake-like beast called Sá, a nimble Catfolk named Ninlith, and an Abbadonian warrior named Dvorn. The boggard was unexpectedly non-disturbing, taking in account that all members of his race seemed like giant bipedal frogs, and usually have as much manners as one. He probably was from outside of Ciart. Catfolk were always catfolk. No doubt the female in front of him had gotten herself in some kind of trouble and wanted to flee from the city. But still, the one which made Dioul raise an eyebrow was the abbadonian. They were not a common race in Ciart. They were bigger than most humans, way bulkier, and had a leathery skin in red tones. The only time Dioul remembered seeing one was in a slave-fight pit. How that one had gotten free was probably an interesting story. But those were the ones he had to work with him, and it wasn't a bad group at all. Having a caster was always a big advantage, and both Ninlith and Dvorn seemed like they could handle themselves in a fight.


Map of Tuasne

They embarked on a small ship named Sea Whisper, a three masted schooner. It's trading route went around Dashir bay and back to the city. Unfortunately none of Dioul's own ships were free at the moment, but that one would do. The ship was built to be fast, and a favorable wind blew the whole journey, so the trip was short. While they were sailing, he told the group about what they could expect in Yum-Di. Ciart's armies had conquered quite a lot land in the last twenty years or so. At that moment, although the city borders were near Corvan river, Ciart was sovereign to a much bigger area. Then there was an open war with the Orcs and Cyclopes near the mountains to the East, and most of Ciart's forces were fighting there. But there were also some problems arising in the south. Since the southern border had only been established for thirteen years it was quite fragile, and there were barely any people living there. The forest was inhabited by dangerous creatures, and the few who moved south ended up living a life separated from Ciart, focused on their own survival. There were also some opportunistic bandits who were attracted by how far the city was.

Recently a man had emerged among the bandits. He was known as Stag Lord, and he was successfully getting the bandits and hunters under his command. The bandits became better armed and organized since he rose. He was getting funds somewhere, since the borderlands were barely inhabited and there wasn't much money to be made by a bandit there. Also, he must have had a connection to the city, so as to get weapons and other gear delivered. The city's governor, Halaim wasn't oblivious of the problems that might arise. So he chose to send a few nobles away, to try and deal with the situation and make the borderlands more suited to be inhabited. Dioul was one of those gifted with these permits, and their task was simple, to eliminate the bandits in that area and map it out, so that settlers could come and know what areas are safe and which resources exist and where.

On the third day of their journey, Dioul and the party were taking air in the deck when a bird arrived, coming from Ciart. It was a seagull with a peculiar red beak. She sat on Dioul's shoulder, and he went silent for a moment, then he whispered some words. The bird took flight, and departed, back to Ciart. Dioul called the party, he had received some news from the City.

- I let one of my clerks in charge of finding some more people who would help with our task. He has just sent me notice that a merc group is interested in the offer. They will probably arrive a few of days after us, but unfortunately we cannot wait for them once we disembark. According to Oleg, the bandits usually come in the first day of every month, to collect a tax. If the journey goes well, and we move fast after disembarking, we will arrive just in time to avoid that this time.

The catfolk, Nin, looking at the glitter of the ocean suddenly realized that there was a crucial detail that Dioul hadn't talked about yet. Money.

- In the notice, you advertised "good pay", but you haven't given any numbers. And the work actually seems quite dangerous. In want to have a clear number before I commit myself to help you. - She paused, thinking for a while - Although I should have probably asked this before I embarked this ship.

Dioul had been expecting that question for quite some time. Actually he was surprised they didn't ask anything before embarking, but since they were such a small group, he couldn't take the risk of having them giving up before embarking, so he carefully forgot to mention that detail before.

- Well, you have two options. I can either pay you a fixed amount, about 30 gp every month .That was quite a good pay, more or less ten times as much as Nin would make in a good month. In that case, everything you find out there in the forest belongs to me. Or you get only food and lodging, but every bandit you loot, and everything you find belongs to you. You may choose whatever method you prefer, as long as you all choose the same. I don't need the answer now, but I would like to have it before we enter the forest. According to the captain, we will arrive in two days


They ended up agreeing that although the regular pay would be good, they could probably make more money if they could keep what they got from the forest and the bandits. As the ship's captain had foreseen, they only took another couple of days to arrive. They docked in Dullath's mouth, the border river between Ciart and Yum-Di. The ship let them, with some horses Dioul had brought, and embarked some exotic goods from the forest. In Dulla's mouth there was a small settlement, where hunters went to trade goods. They tried to find out more about the Stag Lord, but they had no luck. The only odd thing the settlers knew was that sometimes ships would dock somewhere to the south before coming to Dulla's mouth. That had only started to happen recently. Dioul and the party bought some supplies for the trip, and departed south, in Oleg's trading post direction.

The trip took them five days. They never went too deeply into Yum-Di, and tried to stay by the river. They had passed most of their lives in the city, and the rain forest was slightly disturbing for them. The party followed the river, seeing the trees growing scarcer, until they found themselves outside the forest. The river continued towards the mountains, but they followed the forest's hedge, trough a path people at Dulla's Mouth had told them about, until they finally found themselves at Oleg's trading post.
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