House Kanjim

Escorting Khoul

(edited and added to from the demo adventure in the intro to Shard booklet)

A week after the Feast of the Seas festival in Samudhra, a local well respected chameleon Sadhu named Khoul, Adhana’s foster father, and a small contingency of guards from the House of Kanjim, are making a pilgrimage of supplication to the Temple of Krilárah in the city of Tiari. They will be taking a crystal singing bowl as a gift and offering to the temple, blessed by the both Adhana and Khoul, and held in a small, beautiful box of aromatic wood inscribed by Adhana. Since Khoul desired Adhana accompany him, Durkel, the Aryah of House Kanjim, pleased by the honor this trip will give his house, is sending his most trusted retinue, as well as a small contingent of guards, to accompany Khoul as Honor Guards, warriors, and hunters, since this will be a journey of several days.

Once the procession leaves the Gates of Samudhra, they travel southwest, into the tattered edges of the maspéra forests of Jómahd. Above them the dappled light of the suns glitters through the yellow-green canopies, splashing across the smooth bluish bark of the very type of tree-trunks from which the box holding the crystal bowl is made. It is the rainy season and the recent heavy downpours have made the forest lush, cool, and peaceful, despite the noisy sounds of the armored escort’s passage.

In the branches above, multi-limbed, iridescent blue and auburn insect-like animals, called bandar, leap and caper merrily, fighting occasionally over pithfilled fruit pods, only to drop them into the thick ferns below as they scatter in terror at the approach the large group.

Khoul quickly becomes annoyed by the constant clamoring of the attachment of House Guards. He stops the procession turns back to them and demands that they fall back and out of sight behind himself and the players so that he may continue on his way in a more “serene and contemplative state” befitting holy pilgrims. They are concerned about his safety, but he points to the Crocodile and Clydesdale who are both over eight feet tall and says that these two should certainly be capable of his defense. Ghora politely steps in and as the ranking member of the House, orders the guards to fall back, but to come investigate if they hear anything suspicious. They follow his orders without question.

Once they have dropped back out of sight, Khoul grumbles about how the brutish louts were scaring away the beautiful wildlife. He checks behind them again and then turns to the characters. He admits to having a taste for the meat of the wild bandar, and encourages them to see if they can bring down one or two for the stewpot at the inn he intends to stay the night at along the way, saying that surely the devah Kramah will bless their shots, since they will be hunting for a good and holy cause.

The characters look around for any bandar that haven’t already been scared away. Onyekachi finds a nice fist sized rock and sizes up one of the suthra. Before he gets a chance to throw Psedra hits one with a shuriken, and failing to drop it pulls three more and throws, needing only two more to bring down the first bandar. Onye shrugs and chucks his rock at another dazing it a bit, giving him time to find another rock to finish it off with. Finally Ghora whips out his pistol and shoots at one, but the bandar had been spooked by the previous attacks and flee into the canopy.

Khoul scowls at him saying that firearms are louder and more disruptive than the whole group of guards, but other than that he is very pleased with the catch. The characters gather up the felled bandar and Psedera retrieves her shuriken. They continue on their way, calming the concerns of the one guard that comes up to check on the gunshot.

Once the guard is back with the rest of them the chameleon pulls out a pipe and a water skin of fine wine, eyeing the characters with amusement, saying that the rank and file have no need to see a preist indulging his vices. As they walk he settles into pleasant, if slightly boring, conversation about religious philosophy that Ghora listens to politely and Adhana eagerly joins in. The distant, jewel-like peaks of the amethyst Prasha Mountains slowly loom closer slightly to the east in the south as the suns make their way across the sky.

That night the party stays at a pleasant inn and roadside teahouse at the intersection of a secondary merchant road leading east to the land of Nilam. As promised, the two bandar are cooked up and served with delicate spices to the pilgrims and their entourage, and arrangements are made for the many rooms needed for them all. That night it rains heavily. The next morning, after the prayers of False Dawn at the rise of the tiny sapphire sun Edü, the party gets back on the road, traveling past an old crystal “guide-stone” obelisk at the muddy intersection that indicates the road southward to Tiari.

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