Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Kal-Mor, still wearing a vision-obscuring hood and groggy and rubber-kneed from the truth serums and psychic probing, is led out of the Mantis Guard Barracks, supported by two gregarious and helpful Mantis Guards whom inform him that he must slay Mohvar the Gray Man, a prospector who harvests valuable iridescent salts from the salt-crust shores of the boiling Iridescent Salt Lake north of Small Dust, a carvan town a day's journey westwards. This will serve as an initiation to the Iridium Plateau Region's assasins' guild, The Cult Of The Scarlet Serpent Leopard.
Meanwhil Buzz Brazelhatch wakes up the luxurious guest suite of his new friend Lohtar Dakalla the Red Man, the scion of a clan of rich spice traders, who has comissioned Buzz to join a hunting party setting out from Jakay in the Rust Desert in three weeks. Buzz and Lohtar have a delicious breakfast of moa eggs, sauropod bacon and spiced sausages with gahveh and pungent green cigars before Buzz sets out to rejoin his companions, his brandy and gin addled brain reeling in the morning sun.
Dickei Dee the Bone Man and Maggot Mort the Mutant arise from a drugged daze in a private room at the Lamia's Breath Intoxicating Vapour Lounge, their senses still infused with the afterimages of complex geometric and architectural hallucinatory visions, their bodies deliciously numb. They immediately begin licking their fingers and the glass plates that the Eibon Matter was delivered on, desiring more of the delicious narcotic state provided by the fermented demon centipede flesh. Eventually, after the brief blissful moment ends, they enter the saloon area and meet up with the rest of the party who are partaking of a breakfast of fried grubs and mixed invertebrate eggs with tumblers of gin to wash it down. Soon Buzz and Kal-Mor enter and the entire party is reunited.
Immediately discussion commences regarding an expedition to Jakay and the Bronze Dome of the Desert. Buzz explains the job available on Lohtar Dakalla's safari, which coincides nicely with the proposed expedition. Kal-Mor brusquely interjects and makes a brief exposition regarding his commission from the Cult of the Scarlet Serpent Leopard at the Iridescent Salt Lake. As this would only take a couple of days, and they have three weeks until the hunting trip, the party agrees and they set out on their orniths westwards out of Agog City.
Scant hours later they are descending down the steep cliff trail that serves as a westward route down off the plateau to the lowlands. Out of the crevices and from behind the rock formations of the steely gray cliff wall looming above them bursts two groups of gray-clad, ragged Cliff Bandits waving rusty bent falchions and axes...