After two weeks of traveling and working on their show, the chaos monks finally closed in on the Yellow City. They scraped together enough from their performances to buy passage on a barge into the city.
- Hum Lae. (Max) Rough warrior. (Storyteller and strongman.)
- Lightcrash the Silver Edge. (Patrick) Extravagant performer. (Sleight of hand and drone pipes.)
- Huan. (Tyler) Pragmatic opportunist. (Audience interaction.)
Lightcrash had a spell ready.
- Soothing Cauldron: A spectral cauldron forms around a willing target within thirty feet. Caster must concentrate for five minutes, during which time the target is pulled down into the cauldron. At the end of five minutes, the cauldron dissipates, and the target has healed 1 hit point per caster’s level, OR been cured of one poison, curse, or disease. (Magical or powerful maladies or ruined organs/lost limbs may require an additional cost of the caster, GM decides.) The target will not remember what was seen and heard within the cauldron, only that it was wonderful.
They were traveling with Cho Juny, a snailish, and his tribe with their shell. Cho Juny knew Na Li Ka, a roacherd (cockroach herder) in the Kuan Loon neighborhood of Kwantoom, the City of Innocent Deaths (which was a walled city on one of the delta islands of the Yellow City.) For the traveling show, the snailish did wibbly dancing, and Curves was skilled in sphereplay to delight the crowds.
The last night they performed, a local roacherd gave them a roach to eat (about two and a half feet long, hefty and healthy) but instead of eating him they adopted him as Hum Lae’s pet Mr. Whips. (He got some nonobad jelly and some reward jelly to help train Mr. Whips to leave some things alone, and get a reward.)
Little Heavenly Murder (the Tengu ghetto)
They disembarked, taking the snailish with them, and while the snailish separated and chowed down on a municipal park, the monks tried to book passage downstream to Kuan Loon without success.
They met a tengu named Zissix, who offered them a place to stay and a place to perform with lots of people nearby if they would just take out some garbage every day. They went with him, to the Tarmath Rookery, a five story building where tengu lived on every level. They had posts sticking out into a central shaft, where they would release their droppings; the monks could stay in a stifling underground gallery and perform in the square, but would have to haul out three carts of guano daily. (The humans already living there doing that didn’t seem happy.)
The monks declined, and offered Zissix a place in their performance (he didn’t hide his contempt of their show very well.) He let them leave, but offered the blessing of his people first, sprinkling them with a clear liquid.
As they rejoined their snailish and left, the snailish commented on their horrible smell; like yak gland or something. (The humans couldn’t smell anything.) Except Hum Lae, who smelled cooking from his region of the Mountains of the Moon, where he grew up.
They found The Teat, a teahouse selling pungent yak butter tea. Hum Lae was happy to get fried rice like at home, and the others got food as well. While they were there, they were approached by a dwarf, who offered them work that probably involved killing. They agreed, even though it was off-putting that he only acknowledged Hum Lae as a person. Leaving the snailish in a nearby park, they headed out.
They were following the dwarf back to his “yurt” when they were attacked by tengu thieves. The monks murdered them in short order, and looted their money, their message ribbons, and some of their weapons. (A kusarigama and some katar.)
Drinking With a Dwarf
They entered the dwarven ghetto within the tengu ghetto, with its tall polished walls and its windmill tower well over a hundred foot tall with fifty foot sails. In the stone “yurt” they shared a flask of dwarven drink with their still-nameless host. It exposed them to a stone’s view of time, and robbed them of three days as they lived through the effects. After that, they knew instinctively their host’s name was Skelman, and he acknowledged each of them as people.
They were worried about their snailish, and found them working in the scullery of a tea house, unhappy about this turn of events. They urged the snailish to be patient a while longer, while they helped the dwarf Skelman.
Skelman wanted to open a new goldsmith shop in Kuan Loon, and he wanted them to help him move his gold and supplies, and protect them. He had a contract to lease a building, that was very costly and time consuming to acquire.
They went with him, taking four big crates of gold and supplies, protecting it down the river and into Kuan Loon, where they took posession of his trapezoidal stone fortified shop. He was satisfied with its condition, and they enjoyed the rooftop garden it had, and admired its armored basement with its own well water supply.
Huan stayed to guard the shop, and Lightcrash took a crabbish boat upriver to deliver a message to the rest of Skelman’s people that the shop was ready for them. (Skelman took a big risk coming downriver without scouting it first, but saved a pile of money since the risk paid off and the shop was ready for him to take possession.) Also, to bring the snailish downriver.
Hum Lae took his pet roach Mr. Whips with him and spread some money around to find Na Li Ka. He closed in on the Singing Koi block, where she had her flock of roaches around a pond where the paving gave out at one end of the courtyard. Hum Lae told her who he was, and that the others were coming. (He also found out she had a club foot.) They chatted for a while, and he left Mr. Whips to breed with the Empress, one of the roaches “in heat.”
Na Li Ka also heard from Chan Chal, an apprentice crabbish breeder at the Shellshock Stable, that they might have some work for “flexible” people like chaos monks. They could check into that further, she could talk to Chal that night.
Meanwhile Lightcrash delivered the message to the dwarves and arranged passage for himself and the snailish on the barge. He went to collect the snailish, and a sneering thug with two thug buddies had a crabbish, and claimed the snailish shell as the payment for defaulting on the “contract” to work the scullery.
The thug attacked, battering Cho Juny down, as Lightcrash fought the crabbish. It sheared the blades off two of his spears, then cut one of the thugs in half (it was easily confused.) The other thug ran. Meanwhile, the leader attacked the snailish, who all piled on him and crushed/ate at him to death.
Lightcrash dodged the crabbish, who started eating the dead thug, and got all the snailish into the shell. They retreated, and the crabbish followed, causing trouble on the street and becoming the town guard’s problem. Once on the boat, Lightcrash used the Soothing Cauldron spell on Cho Juny, who recovered enough to make the rest of the snailish throw up the pieces of human they ate. (That’s not civilized.)
They all met at the docks, and Hum Lae agreed with Huan that working with dwarves (who were goldsmiths and had lots of money) was better than the life of a wandering performer. Lightcrash went with the snailish to the Singing Koi block, and the monks were separated.
The dwarves went to the new goldsmith shop and sang low resonant tones to each other while their hooded and masked human servants (and the chaos monks) looked on. Then they were officially installed there, and ready to set up for business.
After sleep, they got spells. Huan:
- Transmuting Thorn. Must be cast on a thorn switch (vine or branch), turns it into an enchanted object adding +1 combat per level OR an object granting advantage to a task, lasts 1 minute per level.
- Enlightening Stone. Cast on a stone, which is touched to a target, who must make a Will save or be stupefied for 1 minute per caster level, or until the target takes damage.
- Lightning Light. Cast on a light source within 10 feet per caster level, the light arcs to the target (who must be within 10 feet per caster level) and automatically hits for 1d6 per caster level. The light that arcs goes out.