Thousand Gods, Thousand Graves

Chapter 5: Goodbye to Lapis

The party, wounded and near exhaustion, leave the caves of Lapis and emerge into the daylight on a small beach. Above them, on a rocky outcropping are a contingent of Corusan soldiers. They are cheering their leader, Dormant, who is riding one of a pair of giant Sea Cranes, a sea gull-pelican hybrids the size of a small sailing ship, chasing the Grey Tooth. His giant bird is able to get to the pirate vessel in time to drop a load of vomit and a droppings on the rigging. At which point, a large swell forms behind the Grey Tooth and the wave carries it out to sea and away from Lapis. Victory!

Atop the cliff, the party is able to see the large baskets of fish and other instruments used to ritually summon the giant birds. Dormant lands and the group watches the huge creatures fly directly West a few miles away. “That is their home.” Dormant says. Karvara makes a mental note to avoid these waters with his ship.

En route back to the plantation, Dormant thanks the characters for their service and lets them know he will make a reply to Jido.

The Corusan’s celebrate their success that night and the next day hold the pearl diving event. The characters are each invited to participate. Karvara and Shao fair well enough to find a pearl of their own. Asika, to no one’s surprise, does exceedingly well. She finds a series of black pearl the size of nectarines. She keeps one while the rest go to the coffers of Lapis.

The next day, at the dock, Dormant sees the party off. He gives them a letter for Jido and etches a temporary tattoo on each of them. This tattoo he says is a special thank-you from him personally and should aid them in their endeavors.

Nanumas is punctual and picks up the party. They ask him about the Sea Cranes to which he knowingly acknowledges their existence. “Yeah, I avoid those waters.”

Back in Figgins, the characters are debriefed by Figgins. The letter from Dormant is positive and lets them know that further negotiations will be taking place. The West Willow thanks them for their hard work and gifts the party with credits to the newest public bath house for some well deserved rest and recuperation.

Shao makes his way there and soon encounters his old master, Kun. Kun, normally stand offish, does seem to soften some this time around near Shao. Karvara and Asika catch up after awhile and the group of them spend the evening listening to Kun, who is maybe a little tipsy.

On the walk home, Asika hears a blade exit its sheath as they pass an alley. She immediately throws herself between Kun and the assailant, a black masked would be assassin! She strikes and is able to hurt the ninja. At which point a quick battle ensues. The party, while not completely armored, is able to resist the two assassins that seem to be targeting Kun. Karvara moves himself to better protect the librarian. After dispatching the two ninjas, a third one appears from a roof top and shoots an arrow into Kun. Kun falls to the ground. Asika makes to climb after the ninja but cannot because of the crumbling masonry.

Karvara, stooping to help Kun, pulls the arrow free, which seems like compressed ash in his hands. The wound is a magical one, and not from a traditional arrow.

It has left a mark on Kun’s chest. A mark of the city state of Agando. A city to the West and one that fell to the Badohan before Zhenji.

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