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Episode #12: The Brotherhood of the True Flame
POWER OUTAGE NIGHT!
I think we all disconnected at least once this night; our DM lost power at least once for a period of time, and as such, my notes were nonexistent; I guess I just never started taking them and forgot the rest of the night, only copying down some of the briefest details below. Sorry!
Chaka heals the desert rider prisoner who introduces himself as Rashad.
Rashad says he is of the House Hanif from the well-known tribe in the Haunted Lands, and frequent border disputes caused Rashad and his contingent to investigate, where they were set upon and his entire group was killed, and he was taken captive.
His details were limited, but he was able to say he heard the name of the dwarf in this place, whose name was "Mustanir".
Devising a plan to pose as members of the operation, the orphans continued deeper into the complex. Encountering more 'retainers'; their attempts to bluff their way through failed and combat
ensued, during which Mustanir returned from his errand beyond the waterfall to join the fray. Weilding his wickedly curved scimitar, he faced off against Guzman and the two stood toe-to-toe, trading vicious swings and artful dodges. More retainers joined from other rooms, but the heroes would not be denied... until Hamzala herself appeared, having heard the commotion from an
The slave the orphans interrogated was not mistaken. Hanzala immediately threw out fire spells as if they were part of her. Even Sulayman was impressed as her skill. Faruq, his heritage
shielding from the fire, returned her offensive with some blasts of his own, taking her by surprise. Zephyr too, let loose a volley of arrows and struck Mustanir square in the shoulder, all but
crippling the fierce dwarf.
Z: I'm still waiting for Hanzala to hit Faruq so I can say Faruq, Faruq, Faruq is on fire
Singed, bloodied and beaten, the orphans kept firmly in mind their mission and would not be denied. Felling both Mustanir and his mistress, Hanzala, they breathed a sigh of relief when the melee ended, standing victorious over the Brotherhood of the True Flame.
Certain now that they had emptied Yodfah's complex of those who meant them harm, the young ones proceeded to ransack Hanzala's quarters, and along with inspecting those less fortunate than they,
found the following:
- Purple Fez leather armor
- Silk pantaloons
- gold earring
- purse: 29g
- hand crossbow & bolts (19)
- Red Sash of Heat Endurance (suffer only half damage from fire spells level 3 or lower)
- 12gp, 1x pearl, glass prism, brass key, vial of perfume
- Personal Journal
- packets containing fine yellow powder (under carpet)
This is Hanzala's personal journal, though she does not seem to write in it with any regularity. It's obvious that she took her station here as overseer very seriously; you get the sense that she had intended to rise very high in the ranks of the Brotherhood of True Flame. Much of the journal details her contempt for Yodfah's servant, the dwarf Mustanir, and their power struggle in the Sakina Falls complex. There is mention of how she hopes to get promoted enough to take part in Brotherhood's "conquest of the Haunted Lands, all but assured now that they have moved the Grand Caliph's attention elsewhere." There is one entry wherein apparently she was told to make contact with the Brotherhood's agent in Huzuz, but it has a big "X" through it and the words "Never
again!" written in the margin of that entry.
- 1x potion of fire resistance
- 1x potion of extra healing
- 1x potion of speed
- 1x potion of invisibility
- ... and finally: THE LEDGER
This outlines what seems to be all of Yodfah's businesses. He is primarily a gem merchant, but also seems to have expanded his business to all sorts of other areas including real estate, cloth (though notably not silk, since no one really competes with the Al-Kamari family in silk), foodstuffs (including wine), spices, and human labour. None of the above are illegal, though it's obvious he is not paying he taxes and that is.
It is obvious from the ledger that Yodfah also owns several gambling dens and operates a loan service as well. Equally obvious from the records is that he uses these services to trap people in insurmountable debt (the gambling is especially rigged) which he then uses to enslave them according to the Law of the Loregiver (even though the Grand Caliph has discouraged this practice in the strongest of ways, Yodfah makes sure that the debts are incurred outside the limits of Huzuz; while the Grand Caliph is technically the ruler of all Zakhara, each city-state has a great amount of independence). The crimes of Yodfah are many and well documented in the ledger.
Having accomplished their mission, the orphans began the journey back to Huzuz to meet with their benefactor, Ayyam. On the way, Faruq ensured to copy in detail the Yodfah's ledger, though he had little concept of what all the numbers and notations meant. "Just some insurance... you can't trust everyone..." he said when asked.
Just as she promised, once the orphans informed Khalid they had returned, they received a note from mistress Ayyam to meet them in the garden again on that same evening.
Upon turning over the ledger, Ayyam informed the orphans that her benefactor is a powerful lady, one whose husband has been tricked by Yodfah and the ledger would guarantee that these wrongs
(among many others) were righted. Gladly completing their arrangement, Ayyam gave the orphans the remaining payment with her thanks and the thanks of her maiden.
Exhausted, elated, and with more questions than when they started, the orphans returned to Aunty's to finally get some proper sleep...
... if their consciences would let them.