“If you are a friend of Roans, then you are a friend of mine.” Yaotl began. “What is your name?”
The strange man smiled, “You cannot pronounce it, but you may call me Tamar.”
“I am Yaotl. This is..” Yaotl began.
“Yes, yes, Ren, Aziza, Cyrus, and ...” Tamar looked puzzled and pointed at Rata, “I don't know who this person is.”
“I am Rata.” Rata introduced himself, “I did not know Roan.”
|I am Rata. I speak for the trees!|
“Well,” Tamar smiled, “your loss.”
“What can we help you with?” Ren questioned.
Tamar laughed again, “It is not what you can help me with, but how I can help you. Roan and I had a bet and I lost. He forced me to promise to help you.”
“Then Roan is with you?” Ren asked.
“Oh no, no.” Tamar explained, “He is dead. But the the way you showed reverence to his body allowed his spirit to touch the elemental plains for a moment and we talked at length.”
“Are you Efreet?” Yaotl asked.
“No. No. Nothing like them. They are always so grumpy and I am joyous. So, what do you want? A wagon?” Tamar looked at Yaotl, “New clothes perhaps?”
Yaotl looks at his bloodstained and worn clothes. “No, thank you.”
“I can take you for a ride on my whirlwind, to the top a mountain, where the air is fresher.” He looked at Yaotl again, “Or maybe new clothes?”
“Can you bring back Roan, or my mother?” Ren asked.
“I do not have that power, I'm afraid.” Tamar looked momentarily saddened.
The group discussed at length what Tamar could do for them, while Tamar complained of the hot oppresive wind and Yaotls clothes. Finally, unable to reach a consensus, Tamar interrupted.
“Alright, this is taking much too long. I'm growing bored and the wind here is terrible.” He handed Yaotl a ball made of wind, like a tiny tempest. “When you've decided, you may contact me with this.”
“Very well.” Yaotl replied.
“Oh, and this is for you.” Tamar said, handing Yaotl a purple silk shirt.
Tamar floated backward, away from the group and summoned his tornado. He was gone in an instant. Yaotl put the shirt in his pack. Everyone returned to their bedrolls, except Ren. Cyrus was never woken up and remained completely unaware of their visitor.
Aziza was the first to wake up and she asked Ren if he would like a nap, while they packed up camp. Ren declined and began to photosynthesize. Aziza tried to wake Cyrus, but he begged for a minute longer of sleep. Yaotl woke up and to his surprise, he was wearing the purple silk shirt. He removed it and put it back in his pack.
Yaotl prayed and then gathered everything he needed to cook breakfast. Everyone ate and drank the breakfast and it was quite good. They gathered up their belongings, woke up Cyrus, and began the slow march.
A couple hours into the march, Cyrus began arguing with Yaotl about which element was better. Cyrus, or course declared water the greatest and Yaotl countered with fire. Their argument continued until high sun, when Ren found a comfortable, and shady, place to hide. The march after high sun was uneventful.
The group set up camp and Ren kept watch. With Ral high in the sky and Guthay on the horizon, the night was quiet, except for the wind. The wind howled, which may be how a mountain lion sneaked up so easily.
|"Hey guys, wake up, I want to eat your face!"|
The mountain lion ferociously attacked Ren, clawing and biting him. Ren began pummeling the lion, while the rest of the group woke up and readied themselves. With the rest of the party awake, the lion did not stand a chance and was quickly knocked unconscious. Rata carried the mountain lion a ways off and healed it. The mountain lion limped off, in search of easier prey.
In the morning, Yoatl found himself wearing the purple silk shirt again. This time, he decided to just keep it on. After morning rituals, Nuru lead the group out of the familiar windswept mountains and into the canyons below.
The canyons twist and the group almost got lost on a few occasions, but Aziza and Ren used their knowledge of the terrain to find passages through. They stayed in a shaded spot during high sun and continued their march late into the afternoon. Finally Nuru declared that the mine entrance should be just up ahead.
A rectangular opening in the canyon wall gave Nuru a cause for concern. He told the group that the door was reported to be sealed. Upon entering the mine, the group came upon a dead man, whom Nuru identified as a member of the Shom expedition. His dagger was missing, but his bits were not taken. Nuru believes claim jumpers have beaten them to the mine.
Further into the mine, taking a left at a T section, Ren and Yaotl find a set of four sarcophagi. The carvings on the outside show the image of Dwarves. Words can barely be seen, written in Dwarf, that these were loyal men of the King.
Nuru gasps, “This isn't a mine! It's a tomb!”
Nuru gasps, “This isn't a mine! It's a tomb!”
They heard the doors to the outside close. As the party made their way back to the entrance, they encountered a hoard of skeletons. Yaotl turned a large group of them, but more came pouring out of a secret room.
The group fell back to a hallway corridor and fought the skeletons with great advantage. The skeletons were defeated, with only minor injuries to the group. Yaotl began gathering the bones of the fallen. He wanted to do a ritual, that he believed, would put their spirits to rest.
After about 30 minutes, five large scorpions, attracted by the noise the group was making, came into the room and attacked Aziza and Ren. Yaotl set some of them on fire and Aziza was furiously attacking them with her singing sticks.
|Yes, there's five of them, but they're the wrong scorpions.|
Aziza and Ren were stung, but the poison did not have much of an effect. The scorpions were defeated.