Endland - Your Day Will Come


Eldur, Nvidia and Diesel leave the city because they want to check the maps from the book they cheated the Citadel out of. Also, Eldur wants to visit his parents whom he hasn’t seen for quite a while. They travel on muleback and after a couple of days on the well-maintained road, they have to leave it and cross the land using just a map. The night after that, they luckily decide against camping in a dried up river bed and are not drowned when a flash flood occurs.

With their water skins refilled, they move on. Around midday, Nvidia hears some pebbles falling and goes to investigate with Diesel. They are shot at and before they have time to do much, they are under attack from both sides. Eldur has to deal with an out of control juggernaut of a man and odes so by opening the ground beneath him, trapping him at least for a while. The others do their best to shoot and not get shot, which becomes easier after Eldur barbecues the sniper.

By the time the juggernaut has climbed out of the hole again, his companions are either dead or running. Eldur is all out of elementarism and faced with the choice of either attacking an opponent twice as big as he is or running, he runs. He runs past Nvidia and Diesel, who shoot at the guy and he finally collapses, with broken bones and bleeding wounds from bullets and from the fall. He is one of two survivours, the others are all dead. Diesel is heavily wounded as well. Nvidia treats all of them, more or less successful.

When she climbs up to make sure the sniper really is out of the game, she spots a truck a small way from the ravine they’re in and goes to investigate. She finds a cage with a Cerbora in it, a man named Chander, who is in pretty bad shape: missing an arm, almost starving and kept on filthy straw. She lets him out, shares a bit of her food with him and checks in the truck. There, she finds a couple of fingers, an Ikarim skull and parts of a wing and vials with urine – Chander’s, who explain that it’s toxic. Which is normal for some Cerbores. The men who attack them and kept him captive sell slaves and body parts to the merchants who deal in such things. There is a demand for fetishes made from everything but a Humanes, apparently. Rumours of this are nothing new, but so far no-one has had any confirmation.

Book Hunting

Diesel has had a rough day: after searching for work all day without any results, he spends some of the money he has left on a sausage in a bun. He takes the cheaper kind, with unnamed meat, and it doesn’t agree with him. He stumbles into an alley to get rid of it and it promptly attacked by a mugger. When he’s got his breath back, he notices a body lying in a dark doorway. The man is still alive and Diesel goes to find one of the town guards.

The impromptu street theatre draws a lot of spectators from the nearby King’s Head pub, Nvidia among them. She recognises the victim as Leonid, a friend of hers and in typical Nvidia-fashion, goes to chase the idea that the attacker has escaped over the city walls. Diesel and the guard chase the idea with her, but all three stop short on top of the city wall, looking out over Tarvor’s slum. It’s not a bright idea to go there at night. Eldur, drawn by the commotion, catches up with them there. They decide to accompany Leonid to the hospital and ask him what happened when he comes around.

While they wait, Nvidia asks the doctor about her pregnancy and gets a pregnancy test by frog. To her surprise, she is not pregnant at all. The doctor tells her that it’s not uncommon for women to lose their child that early in pregnancy and Nvidia doesn’t really know how to feel about it. She wasn’t really eager to be a mother, but now that it’s not going to happen, she suddenly feels a loss.
Leonid (who may or may not have been the father) wakes up in the morning and tells them that he bought a book from a shady dealer at the market. Eldur has had a talk with Finara from the Citadel and knows that they are searching for a book that is very valuable to them.

They trace the dealer, Misha, to the slum and find out that while he is a thief and crook, he probably had no idea what he was selling. Dressed up or rather down to avoid attracting attention, they venture into the slum. Eldur is appalled by the poverty he sees – he has never had any business in the slum and for some reason, the city council hasn’t addressed the problem in any way. Maybe because the slum is relatively knew. In any case, they bride a street kid to take them to Misha. At first, they try to pass themselves off as interested in buying the book, but Misha is nervous and doesn’t really take the bait. He also has brought backup, which makes negotiations suddenly tense. But Eldur manages to talk Misha down and he tells them that he might have heard that the book was in the hands of Geser, a much bigger fish in Tavor’s criminal underground. Geser can be found at the Cock and Bull, a pub none of them have ever been to and from the sound of it, wouldn’t want to be seen anyway. But they decide anyway to go there.

Glowing Lights

After they decide against going for a swim in the basin, Nvidia and Eldur explore the next room. It’s almost empty, safe for a strange yellow vehicle. There’s some kind of strange tiles on the floor, but every attempt to move one fails. They can do their exploring in the soft light of many bright globes under the ceiling, but unfortunately they can’t reach any of the globes because they are too high up.


After a while, they notice that the globes have started to move and are now much further down. It doesn’t take long for the globes to come within reach. They are still connected to the ceiling with a cord and keep on glowing. Nvidia decides to touch one of them and her hand gets stuck. She tries to cut through the cord – now her knife is stuck to the cord. She struggles, but whatever the globe is made of, it has her trapped. And now she gets lifted off her feet.

Eldur had taken cover next to the yellow vehicle when the globes came down and now he can’t get to her without getting entangled in the globes between them. So he works some Elementarism: Nvidia is suddenly five times as heavy. Unfortunately, so is the owner of the globe – a fat grub that loses its hold on the ceiling and comes crashing down. Nvidia can roll away just in time, but she’s covered in grub entrails and the sticky coils of cord that fell on her. Getting up is not an option and neither is walking or even lifintg a hand. Eldur drags her out of the room, finds some sort of cr creeper and pushes her out into the open. An hour of rolling in sand and scrubbing later Nvidia is free to move again.

They return to the ruin the next day and find something that seems to have been a kitchen, although there’s no oven. But they find cutlery and crockery and note that the people here had a thing for cats. They are on the mugs and pictures of them are hung on the wall, although when Eldur tries to take one of those pictures, it crumbles to dust.

They also find a huge box filled with brightly coloured packages. A bit of experimenting makes one of the packages fall from its shelve and they can reach it through a slot. ‘Twinkie’, Eldur reads on the package. It seems to be food and it looks edible, but they are not eager to try it. So they just pack up as many of the packages as they can get their hands on. They also strip as much copper as they can from the control room. The tunnel leading further into the mountain has collapsed, so they call it a day and decide to return to Tavor.

The Ikarim are mildly astonished to see them return not only alive but in perfect health. In a flash of inspiration, Nvidia offers their leader the Twinkie and says that it makes people live longer. They share the snack, but both Eldur and the Ikarim are less than fond of the taste. The Ikarim asks them to bring some more of that fudge if they ever happen to be in the area again and with that, Eldur and Nvidia are on their way, with enough loot in their bags to finance another expedition at the least.

OOC session discussion here

Among the Ruins

Nvidia bought a map and a tale from Retro and she’s convinced that it shows the way to a hidden human city. Eldur, having acquired a taste for adventure, is willing to accompany her. They take a couple of weeks to get everything ready for their expedition, Eldur spends a bit of time with Yeesha and Nvidia hooks up with Leonid, a saddler who lives in Tavor.

With two mules each, provisions, tools and sacks to carry their loot home in they set out. They can spend the first night at a local farmer’s house where they have an interesting discussion about crop rotation – Eldur and the farmer patiently explain to Nvidia that the crops are rotated by the Elementarists once a year, from left to right, to make sure each side of the field gets enough sun. She’s suspicious, but farming is too weird for her anyway.


Their journey leads them up into the mountains north of Tavor, which is why they travel by mule and not by sand yacht. The air gets thin up here and it’s very quiet…until a stone drop right in front of Eldur. Looking up, they see an Ikarim disappear over the wall of the ravine they are riding through and before they can react, another stone is dropped by a second Ikarim. Eldur and Nvidia make a run for it, but the Ikarim are practically shooting fish in a barrel. So Eldur throws some stones back: he uses his powers to create a wave of soil and stones right where he thinks they will pop up next. When the dust settles, everything is silent save for some small pebbles falling to the ground.

They don’t wait around, but leave as quickly as possible and the Ikarim leave them alone. After two days, they reach a canyon that bars their way. The map doesn’t show anything helpful and they decide to follow the canyon for a while, taking a narrow path hugging the cliff. A couple of hours bring them to a bridge, but a single Ikarim stands in front of it, patiently waiting for them to come close. A quick look around shows them that there is a whole clan of them, perched on the rocks on both sides of the canyon.

The Ikarim demands a toll for using the bridge. Eldur offers some fudge Yeesha gave him and the Ikarim is intrigued, but he also wants Nvidia’s shotgun, for passage to and from wherever they are going. She offers her crossbow instead and he accepts. He asks where they are going and seems to know the place. The Ikarim have seen a few people go there. No-one ever came back.

With this cheerful advice, the Ikarim take off and Eldur is certain that he recognises the two stone throwers among them. They are smaller than the others, so he assumes that they are children. Nvidia crosses the bridge with the mules who are willing enough save for one, who can be persuaded with some dried fruit. Eldur is more of a problem, he’s afraid of heights and it’s a long way to the bottom of the canyon indeed. He holds on to the bridge for dear life and crosses slowly while Nvidia shouts good advice and laughs her head off. When Eldur arrives on the other side, he punches her and then drops down himself, holding on to the ground until his heart has stopped racing.

They spend the next day in silence, no-one wants to apologise first. They make a few worldless apologies: Eldur uses his power to keep Nvidia warm during the night and cooks breakfast and Nvidia goes hunting for both of them. But it takes a while until they talk to each other again. It helps that they have finally arrived at their destination, marked by a cat-shaped rock in the side of the mountain. With a bit of searching, Nvidia discovers the entrance where obviously someone cleared away some rubble in front of one wing of the door.

cat's head rock

It’s too late to go in now and next morning, they move their camp closer to the doors. A push opens the door and they enter, leaving the door cracked open behind them. They walk down a tunnel made from this grey material the Humans sure did love. Eventually, they arrive at another set of doors and come into a second tunnel with doors on both sides. They investigate the first one and discover a room full of panels, with lots of buttons, levers and lights that are now of course dark. The copper from the cables alone here is worth the whole trip! It’s obvious that there has been a fire here that destroyed some of the panels and they find a big red button that says ‘Emergency…’ something. It has been pushed.

control room

They investigate further and come into an enormous room. It’s so high and large that their lamps cannot fully illuminate it and so Eldur casts a spell that creates a ball of light. Now they can see that the room actually contains very little apart from some cranes mounted under the ceiling and a huge basin. The basin actually holds some water, maybe it leaked in through the cracked ceiling. The water has a fascinating, blueish glow, but all thought of maybe swimming in it are crushed by the fact that there are bodies in it, sunk to the bottom. Nvidia recognises a sign that is attached to the railing around the basin, it shows a weird shape that means danger. So whatever they have found, it’s not such a safe place.

OOC session discussion is here

Stony Waters
Nvidias Lament

“Oh my babies, you just keep on looking good, will you?”

She lifted the chin of that little redhead and smiled. “But of course we will have to work on your name. This is no name for the showbiz, eh? It smells of street and dirt, but you need to… I will find you a better one.” She nodded self-assuringly.

“This idiotic mine was exactly the kind of scam I suspected. When we turned our backs the Mada hit the road after having scammed half the village for shares for the mine. I don’t say: ‘Told you that.’ You already know.” She nodded. “And people hate smartasses. So I better don’t tell.”

We offered to go after them, my dustyacht can catch those slow Mada in their mining-vessels, even in this damn cold and hilly lands. Full of green grass and water everywhere. What’s so good about water anyway? Has it done something for you at any time but making itself rare and costing money to buy? Ha!"

She was brushing her guest to make it look sweet. “After three days we got them. Eldur, two guys from the ”/campaign/endland/wikis/taliss" class=“wiki-page-link”> village and me. We did know we were on the right trail, because we found a broken down dustbike aside the road. It was a slow jeep and Eldur had some trick at hand of creating a ramp into the road, so it went downwards and crashed into the wall of dirt on the bottom. We stopped, jumped off and I ran to the head of the car, ducking deep into cover because… yeah, don’t tell anyone, because everybody suspects Cerbora to be hard-ass, but I’m more a kind of trader and adventurer, ya know? So I’m not exactly a warrior."

She took a sip from a mug of ale. “Yelled to give up and surrender, while the rest of the party were coming from the back. I was peeking over the edge when a shotgun was fired just above my head. Hardly escaped a hit. Then Eldur did something very nasty, I have never seen anything like it! He made the cockpit full of stony cold water! Can you dig that? There is only one thing you can do to worsen water: make it cold! It was getting hard as rock and I took the element of surprise and shot the bastard. Guess I hit him, but I didn’t stand up to see. After no-one shot back, I jumped one the hood, ‘keep your head down! Don’t move, asshole!‘, but there was just this cold stony water inside, pieces of red stuff everywhere, I grabbed his shotgun, rolled out of the pit over the cockpit and barfed a bit. Because, you know… I’m pregnant.”

She paused for a moment to see if her listeners would buy it. “We stripped away everything from the vehicle that was of some value, closed the hole in the road and then we hit it. It was not bad, you know… two baskets of this red stones, a few tools, this lamps that make you not explode if you are below the earth, ten by ten by ten shots, some boomsticks, a bit to eat. Not so bad. On the way back we grabbed the bike, too. Twelve days it lasted.”

She watched her audience with a kind eye, “and then I hit you. You five will make me a perfect deal, you know? After giving most of the stuff but the lamps, the boomstick and the bike to the local folks, Eldur stayed a few days to piss on their land, which is what makes crop grow, I heard, but I’m no farmer. But I say that’s not a job for someone like him.” She was shaking her head. “No! Okay it was far out how he splashed this poor bastard and I hope I never get on his wrong side after I have seen that. But I used the time to learn to hunt. But folks”, and she was deliberately shaking her head to the five, "you can’t keep your names. ‘ Redrats’?! Who would wear rat fur? I will call you", and she was rubbing her ear, “yeah. I will call you Firesea-cats. That’s a name that sells. But if I sell you for a good price there will be enough money to find my lost city. Eldur will join. He said for four of ten parts he will take part. I can really use a fighter-wiseman-magicman like him. That’s great. Now look good for me, will you? You are no Mada, are you? You won’t turn everything to stone – even fucking water, no?”

Digging for Stones
Nvidias Lament

Her listener, or better who she was talking at, had brown hair with brown eyes and his hair was falling like it never saw a comb from his neck. She put her hand on his head and ruffled it caressingly. “You see this wonderful sunset, do you? Of cause it’s not like those in the desert, where fire is burning all over the horizon as far as you can see.”

He put his head into her lap and looked at her, as he rolled on his back. “Well, ”/campaign/endland/wikis/taliss" class=“wiki-page-link”> Taliss is a nice village, where you live. It is. A bit weak on it’s defensive side as far as I know, but it has its virtues. Like the open-handedness of their folks. Which is worrying me most is not our visit to the hole in the earth, the Madas call a mine – I still don’t get what’s the whole mess about that dirthole. But they found some nice looking stones in there, which are not exactly behaving like stone should. This is what Eldur was thinking about it. Yeah, right, Mada and stones. There are jokes about that. For me those stones did absolutely everything a stone should. They were lying around or sticking in the walls of that mine. As stones should. But Eldur insisted, that they should be longer. Whatever, I think this is somewhat a mine that’s like a horse, you got from a used-horses dealer. And who promised you it’s a very young very good horse. And after a few kilometers that thing drops dead. And you’ll never find the dealer again.

So do better check the teeth. We checked that but… well. I have the impression that mine will drop dead before we get back to Tavor. But what does a Cerbora know about fucking stones? That’s the stuff Mada are made of. I have no idea why those stones are so important – see they are no artefacts, they just make you heavy, not stronger. But of cause copper is important for electic. That’s the only thing I understand. And that this Eldur is no business man."

She shrugged her shoulders and started to play with his ears. “Mines are a lousy place to stay, man. They are tight, they are wet, smell awful moldy and there’s no sun and open sky above you. And even the lamps have no real flames you use down there. Which reminds me, that I’ll go and buy one of those mining-lamps. The Mada told me you could suffocate in that hole and open flames could blow everything up. And even if I don’t think Mada are very useful in average, I respect their advice when it is about holes in the ground. They know what they are doing, that’s for sure.”

The sun slowly was setting low and from the back the darkness was creeping up the sky, while she watched the celestial fires. Her companion let go a little whine when she ruffled up his hair thoughtlessly and her hand went down his breast and on his belly.

“Another thing. I visited this herbal aunt, the local woman-doctor. She told me that I might be pregnant when I told her that my battle of blood is two weeks late. And she offered me herbals to get rid of it. But yeah, you know, you may call me stupid. But I told her I have to think about that. See, okay, I understand. How shall I go on working for a living with a baby to care for? The kind of work I do anyway? And I’m of no use for any other, as far as I know. I always was like this. I liked the sky and the freedom. And the far horizon, like sitting here in the evening and watching the sun go down. But isn’t it a bit selfish to kill an unborn child just because you don’t like the idea that you have to find a solution for that? I didn’t tell Eldur, but maybe he can help me? To be alone with that – that’s awfully hard. That’s for sure. But, yeah, you know… I don’t know. I didn’t plan for this. But now that it’s like that… maybe it’s all a false alert.”

She sighed and the fire was now coming from deep below the horizon like the earth itself was on fire just below the dusty line. “Yeah… Everything will burn anyway. Who am I to decide if my unborn might never see this? If it fails to live, that’s another thing, isn’t it? But to poison it, I really can’t, man…” She shook her head. “But I can’t do it alone. I have to find someone for this work to help me.”

The sunset was burning out while the first stars were coming out of the darkness behind her and slowly were covering the sky. “And this group of people, who are camping outside the village, I have to tell you. First I thought they were scavengers or worse they were raiders. But it’s an expedition of about twenty vehicles. All kind of people, looking for this lost human city. But they don’t know exactly where it is. They had this artefact with them, a thing that was throwing pictures on the wall. Pictures of this great city. Where burning flames were pushing up into the sky, a part that I liked very much. They were so high, they even would have licked the clouds above. And the cars were flying. The houses were incredible high, build like pyramids or towers. The skies were brown and dark but the light from below was lightening everything up like a sun buried below. Those people are searching for this. I was tempted to follow, but you know, I have my own city just a few days of travel with my dust-yacht out of Tavor. It is a forgotten human settlement and I guess it’s one of those buried cities. And we enter just from the tip of one of their highest buildings. And below are kilometers and kilometers of city. And of artefacts and treasure. And I’ll tell no-one and I can easily go there and live from that. And have my baby. There is a reason people don’t find them. They are buried below the sand. That’s my theory. You’ll enter from above and the entry is small and hidden. Treasures have to be hunted hard. They don’t fall into your lap easy. And for this world below – I surely will need a Mada. They know about digging. And I think I found the right one for that. Not very bright but he can read. And knows about stones and that.”

Now she was closing her eyes, because the darkness was almost complete. Her companion stood up and licked her face. “You know my secret now. But you are a good dog, you don’t tell anyone, don’t you?” The dog sat on his haunches and watched her with big eyes. “No you won’t, let’s go back. There’s much to do.” She stood up and went back. Carpe Noctem.

City of beer and belly
Nvidias Lament

»You know, you live the riches here, do you?« Nvidia took an other mug of the strong beer she found a local speciality of Tavor. »But there is nothin’ to say against hard labor and baking clay bricks and that«, she waved her hand in a way that might make you think she was a bit tipsy, »but the true adventures, the true life is out there in the wilderness. This is where the heart wants to go. This is where people will make songs of you and your heroic deeds, this is where you explore forgotten cities and locations, find stunning things – and sell them. Yeah«, she scooted back on her stool, »see this Eldur guy, ya must know him, he’s a local Mada. The guy who burned that spider. Of cause he has eaten too much mud already, but for one of this pampered kind he’s okay, I say, don’t take it against me. Not of much use out there, so far as I’m concerned, but he’s heavier than me and makes a good balance weight for my dust-yacht. He’s learning fast and I think I can make him a decent sailor with some more time.«

She nodded more to herself and wasn’t sure if the guy beside her was still listening or if he was drifting off into a pool of booze induced bar-sleep where he was seeing unbelievable big pink animals with absurdly long noses. »It’s really stupidly easy to make a living around here. The ammunition is lying on the streets, you have just to sail a bit around and cash it in. We were on that trip, chap, up the road to Taliss, village up north over the canyon. Easy and smooth ride, was getting a bit slow in the hills, I prefer the desert, if you ask me. I have a great dust-yacht, that is built for that kind of trips. Fast.« She was nodding to herself in pride, but she seemed to have lost the thread.

»Whatever, we met some interesting new wildlife out there and hit this village. A lot of talking and that. You know, I prefer the endless silence of the desert. People talk, talk, talk, all the time. And Eldur was trying to buy that mine. Can ya dig it? He almost bought it, but he didn’t even check it out. Like buying without checking the ware. I say pampered, these folks around here…«

She took another sip of beer. »Hey! Do you listen!? Ah. That’s so typical. Men can’t focus on the important. I met this book-keeper, I think his name was Retro. He thinks these books are of value. But they are not. Work is of value. Books are like ideas. Ideas are nothing if you don’t make something of them. They are just stories. Stories are things you tell little children to make them sleepy. Or to keep your comrades awake if you watch the fire burning. They are like farts. Everybody has them. Can you dig it? They use chains to chain the worthless stuff to the shelf. I can’t understand that. Okay, I did buy one of the stories. But I think I can make something of it. Some stories are true. I’ll try and find out if this one is. Hey, barmann! This guy said he’s buying me some drinks. And now he’s wasted. I guess you put him to sober up and ask him for the bill!«

She slipped off her stool and lamented, »this bum didn’t listen to what I said. That’s so rude!«

Adventures in Diplomacy
About a month after the events at the Radio Tower, Eldur is asked by his master if he fancies another assignment for the council: a copper mine has been opened in the nearby town of Taliss and the council wants to secure the trade rights – copper is extremely valuable. Eldur agrees and is given the necessary documents that prove he has the right to speak for the council. Vitur tells him that he is to find a newly arrived Cerbora adventurer, Nvidia, because she has a wind- and electricity-powered vehicle that will look impressive and get them to Taliss much quicker than anything else available in the city right now.

Eldur mentions that a small group of marauders is troubling the farmers at the edge of the fertile lands and Vitur asks him to report this to Derek as well, which Eldur does. He then goes to have dinner with Yeesha and they both visit a concert.

Nvidia has started her day with a visit to the bathhouse and then she decides to look at the spider everyone is telling her about. The corpse is displayed at the library, where she meets Retro. She is thrilled when she finds out that he knows a lot of legends and stories, but less thrilled when he makes her pay to hear some. But it’s a good story, about a human building in the mountains north of the city that no-one has ever dared to enter so far. The story even comes with a map. He then asks her if she ever heard anything out sand worms (she makes up a good story on the spot) and tells her that he would pay handsomely for any proof that they exist. He does have a badly burned and damaged page from a human book that talks about them, but he’d love to confirm it.

She makes a stop at the King’s Head, where she swaps stories with other adventurers and gets to meet Beringar, who admits that he’s impressed by her vehicle. Coming from Beringar, that’s saying something. After two beers and a snack, she goes to visit the concert as well. The storeroom where it takes place is too small for all the people in it, it’s loud and hot, but the music makes up for it. But after a while, she has to come up for fresh air and she runs into Eldur, who asks her to meet him in the morning. She agrees and they both continue to enjoy the evening.

A slight hangover doesn’t affect Nvidia’s sense of business in the morning and they bicker for a while until they agree on her payment for taking Eldur to Taliss. It doesn’t take them long to prepare for the journey and they leave around midday. It’s the first time either of them has crossed the bridge: a decidedly flimsy looking suspension bridge that spans the canyon. But it’s sturdy enough for loaded ox-carts, so Nvidia’s lightweight sand yacht is not a problem. Eldur prefers to make the journey with his eyes closed and hidden under his hood, though, he is not fond of heights.

As long as the landscape is still the flat desert that surrounds Tavor, they make extremely good time and after a day, they have covered about half of the distance. But now they are among grassy hills and the sand yacht cannot go as fast there. They settle down for the night, keeping watch – they both have no idea what to expect out here. In the middle of the night, Nvidia hears loud breathing and rustling, right next to the tent they pitched on the yacht. She wakes Eldur and eventually they take a look outside the tent, armed with a shotgun. In the light Eldur’s ring produces they see nothing at all, but the breathing is still there, as loud as ever, coming from the ground. Nvidia jumps out of the yacht and faces a small, spiny creature that investigates the ground under the yacht for anything tasty. It trundles off, disturbed by the light, and they go to sleep again.

Another day and night passes without much happening, except that Eldur and Nvidia compare myths about their races (no, Mada don’t turn to stone when they die and Cerbora don’t jump into the fire when they get old). The landscape turns into rocky hills, with sparse shrubs here and there and small red-furred creatures that live among them. On the morning of the third day, they arrive at Taliss.

The town is not particularly wealthy, but people make a living. Guards stop the yacht at the town gate, but when Eldur says that he comes from Tavor and wants to talk to the mayor, Isaak, the gate is opened and they are allowed in. Isaak arrives a short time later, he has taken the time to dress for the occasion and invites them to his house. Both of them notice beautiful pottery scattered around the room and Isaak says that he’s the town’s potter when he’s not mayoring.

After a small meal, Isaak comes right down to business. He probably knew fully well why they had come from the moment they entered town and he’s only too glad to come to an agreement. However, he’s not about to be taken in, he knows that this is the best chance his town will have at prosperity and he is a skilful negotiator. The discussion takes until the evening and Isaak and Eldur agree to sleep it over and make the final agreements in the morning. Isaak invites them to dinner with his family and they are served a very tasty red rat-stew.

They spend the night in the house of a woman who sometimes lets rooms to travellers, the few that come to Taliss. In the middle of the night, Eldur sit bolt upright in his bed when he realises that he’s about to buy a pig in a poke – he never asked to take a look at the mine. It’s going to be awkward, but before he agrees to anything, he must do that.

Itsy Bitsy Spider

In the morning, they decide to take the radio and return to Tavor. It’s the most valuable and irreplaceable piece of equipment there and they have found nothing of the crew. They think they can do nothing more here. Eldur, as the strongest, starts by carrying down the radio. Belkelel gathers up the personal belongings of the crew and then goes to help Arvo collect all the spare parts for the radio stored on the top floor. Eldur returns and carries the generator down, followed by Arvo and Belkelel.

Belkelel has just turned away from the room when he hears the door sound again. He looks round and sees a spider coming towards him, easily the size of a large dog. The sound was a slab of wall opening, like a trapdoor. Before he can react, it snatches his leg with its mouthparts and starts crushing it. He screams in pain, alerting Arvo to the danger. Arvo drops what he’s carrying and attack the spider with his knife. It’s so intent on capturing Belkelel that he can stick the knife into its body without problems. Blueish fluid starts dripping from the wound and the spider lets go of Belkelel, turning towards Arvo with its front legs raised. Arvo drops the knife and attacks again with his nunchakus, for greater reach. With a crunching sound, the nunchakus hit the spider’s body and it retreats in the face of just too many opponents.

It swiftly closes the trapdoor and if they hadn’t seen where it has vanished, they wouldn’t know the door was there, it’s so well camouflaged by the cobwebs. The spider seems to scuttle downwards. Eldur has run back to the top floor again and is met by Arvo and Belkelel who want nothing more than to leave. So they retreat and while Arvo takes care of Belkelel’s leg where the spider has left a nasty wound, they come up with a plan. They have already taken anything of value out of the tower, so they can torch it and so kill the spider and its youngs, they hope.

They spread oil from their lamps on all three floors. With some searching, they find another trapdoor on the second floor and open it carefully. A quick look shows a tunnel filled with cobwebs and they can hear the spider moving above. Eldur sets fire to the oil, using matches, and they watch the tower burn for hours. Eventually, Eldur calls up rain to drench the flames and in the morning, they investigate.

The spider is on the top floor, it seems to have died from the heat. The body is charred, but not burned and they decide to take it with them. They have no way of knowing if all the spiderlings have died in the fire as well, but they hope so. Now they also find a third trapdoor on the outer wall of the tower and assume that this is where the spider entered.

Arvo repairs the radio and sets it up in the barn. They reach the town and are told to wait until they can be relieved. It takes four days for two men on horseback to arrive who will guard the tower until normal operations can be resumed. Arvo, Eldur and Belkelel return to Tavor. The spider is admired by the farmer and townfolks and the three get a very warm welcome. They are taken to the council as soon as they arrive and while the council regrets that the crew could not be saved, they are satisfied with the fact that the tower is once again safe.

Antero keeps quiet this time, but he’s still not happy to see Belkelel. The librarian Retro offers to buy the spider’s corpse from them and they accept, although Eldur refuses the money because he thinks he just did his duty. He has made a couple of sketches of the small spiders and Retro is interested in those as well. He invites Eldur to the library because he has a supply of coloured pencils and he would like coloured sketches of the spiders.

Outside the town hall, they are met by Gedia who asks them about her son Kanya. Belkelel has tried a few more times to take a look at the tower’s past and he knows that Kanya is dead. He tells her as gently as possible and gives her Kanya’s personal belongings. She thanks them for trying to help and turns away before she cannot hold back her tears any longer.

Behind the scenes-view here

Radio Tower

The evening of the spring market sees Arvo taking Finara for dinner, although the evening ends a bit earlier than he would have liked. Eldur meets Yeesha at the festival where they dance and eat.

During the night, Belkelel dreams of the tower. He finds himself all alone on a plane where the tower stands, tall and eerie-looking. He cannot tell why the tower should feel so menacing, but it does. He wakes up with the taste of dust in his mouth. This is a dream he has had quite a few times since he came to Tavor.

In the morning, he decided to do something about it. Since he has no idea where the tower can be found, he flies off to explore the vicinity of the town, but doesn’t find anything of interest. When he returns, he notices Daigo and Banba who are still following him around despite the fright he gave them yesterday.

Yeesha has her stand across the market place from him and he has heard that she sells a sort of sweet. Every kid likes sweets, right? So he goes and buys a chunk of toffee to bribe Daigo and Banba with. He has to wait for a few minutes because he tries the toffee himself and it glues his mouth shut.

The kids are slow to trust him, but eventually Daigo is brave enough to snatch the first small piece of toffee from Belkelel’s hand. In exchange for that, they tell him that the tower is about five days away south of the town. He decides to fly there once he has enough provisions and leaves Daigo and Banba with their mouths stuck shut from a huge piece of toffee.

He also asks Arvo for more information on the tower. Arvo tells him that it’s a sort of lookout for the town, keeping contact with a radio. They bicker a bit, Arvo doesn’t really take Belkelel seriously and Belkelel has no idea why since he so obviously is right about the things he sees. He warns Arvo that a darkness is coming towards the city. None of them notice Beringar working in the back of the garage, listening intently. Belkelel gives the same warning to a couple of customers over the next few days.

A few days later, just when Belkelel thinks he can start out for the tower the next day, the Derek, captain of the town guard, and two of his men come for him. They obviously mean business, although they don’t arrest him and Derek is civil when asking him to accompany him to the town council.

At the council meeting, Arvo and Eldur are already present. Eldur has been taken along by his master Vitur and Arvo has been asked to join by Beringar. They are asked to investigate the silence of the radio tower. There has been no word from the men there for the last five days or so. It’s possible that the radio has broken down, but of course there are lots of worse things than might have happened. Arvo is sent because he’d be able to repair pretty much anything, Eldur goes along as security and because his master thinks he needs the experience and Belkelel… Well, the council has heard that he has been asking about the tower and think he might know something. They ask to speak with him alone about another matter while the other two leave. Arvo does so angrily, he’s mad at Beringar for springing this upon him without asking first. Eldur takes the whole thing in stride.

Once the two are gone, the council warns Belkelel about spreading rumours and fear. People are already talking about his warnings that a darkness is coming towards the town and the council does not like that at all. One man in particular, the butcher Antero, goes beyond a warning and outright threatens Belkelel, for some reason he has a grudge against the Ikarim. Belkelel tries to read his feelings and gets an impression of anger, hate and grief.

The council has arranged for a mule cart and all the equipment the party will need, including spare parts for the radio. All three check on the cart at the caravanserai in the evening and there they meet Gedia who is the mother of one of the tower crew. She asks them to give him a small parcel and seems sick with worry. Eldur does his best to comfort her and promises to deliver the package.

Beringar waits for Arvo at his home and apologises for not asking him. He says that he honestly didn’t think it would be such a big deal for Arvo. They part at least on speaking terms and Beringar gives Arvo a human-made hunting knife.

Belkelel arranges for Daigo and Banba to get a hot meal occasionally at Yeesha’s stall. She offers him a piece of toffee on the house, a new recipe and Belkelel accepts. The taste is quite unusual for him (it has alcohol as the secret ingredient), but not at all bad.

In the morning, the party leaves after a few problems with getting the mule to move. The journey takes them through the surrounding farmland, so for the first two nights they can count on the hospitality of the local farmers, who also show them how to hitch the mule to the cart. After two days, they pass into the wilderness. Green pastures and fields give way to thorny shrubs and undergrowth, clinging to the red sand and rock on both sides of the road. They meet no-one except the coal delivery for Tavor, but that’s not unusual.

After five days, they arrive at the tower and it is indeed the one from Belkelel’s dreams. It stands alone on a patch of ground cleared from the undergrowth, with a barn to accompany it. There’s a bad smell coming from the barn. The tower is the highest building any of the three have ever seen, much higher than anything in Tavor. It’s human-made and the door and all the windows are shuttered.

Belkelel flies to the top of the tower and manages to slip under the roof, no mean feat for someone with a wingspan of eighteen feet. He finds nothing but the trapdoor into the tower, but it’s locked from within. He tries to see what has happened here and sees young man who climbs out of the trapdoor, seemingly relieved. Arvo investigates the barn and finds two dead goats, but nothing else. Eldur tries the door to the tower, but it’s locked as well. Arvo manages to open the lock and they find the door barred, but it open enough that Arvo can slip a rope over the door and around the bar. After a few futile attempts, Eldur raises the bar and they can finally enter.

The tower is cool and dark, its thick walls protect it well from the heat outside. It smells of dust and a slight smell of vinegar and there are cobwebs, it seems that the crew has been gone for a while or were just very sloppy about housekeeping. The ground floor is obviously the kitchen and storage room. There should be some weapons, but all they find is ammunition. The second floor are the crew’s living quarters. While climbing up, they notice that the tower has extremely thick floors, a good three feet. Again, they find dust and cobwebs, more than on the ground floor, and here they also find a fairly large number of tiny spiders unlike any they have seen before.

On the table is a game of dice and some stuff. There’s a crossbow on the floor and a bolt stuck in one of the cupboards where the crew store their personal belongings. There’s no blood and no sign of a struggle. Eldur and Belkelel hear a sound from above, like a door shutting, although it sounds more like stone, not wood. Belkelel also hears a scratching sound.

They go up to the third floor where they find the radio and generator, both indeed broken. The radio has fallen to the floor and is smashed. They also find a shotgun and signs that someone has fired the gun at the radio or at least at something or someone standing in front of the radio, the wall is peppered with buckshot. There is no sign of whatever made the sounds. Arvo takes a look at the radio and he thinks that with a day’s work, he can at least repair it well enough to notify the town of what has happened. Belkelel hears the scratching again, this time from below. The cobwebs and little spiders are everywhere on the top floor and the vinegary smell is strongest here.

They leave the tower for now. Belkelel flies off to investigate the surrounding area. To the west is the canyon of the dried out river, much deeper here than further north. To the east is the road and beyond that thick undergrowth that gives way to sandstone boulders after thirty yards or so. Eldur takes care of the mule while Arvo goes around the tower. He finds a huge cocoon behind the tower and calls to the other two to take a look at it. When they open it, they find a skull and bones, crushed and broken, maybe because the cocoon was dropped from a great height. The skull belongs to a Mada and they assume that it was one of the tower crew. Another flyby by Belkelel reveals nothing suspicious on the outside of the tower.

They clean out the stable and decide to spend the night there. Before it gets dark, they search the area on the other side of the road for any trace of the crew. With Belkelel searching from the air and the others from the ground, it quickly becomes clear that no-one broke through the undergrowth and no-one answers their calls. The night is uneventful.


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