The Heroes of Yhakkoth were enjoying a late morning coffee and hookah in the Grand Sook when a terrible scream and a cry for help echoed from a nearby alleyway. Rushing to offer their aid, Alias and Quin arrived to witness two snarling humans assaulting two well-dressed sibbeccai ladies. One of the women was on the floor at the feet of her attacker, screaming and trying to defend herself, the second had been thrown across the shoulders of her attacker and was being manhandled further down the alley.
The Heroes killed the two humans and rescued both women. Quin trapped one of the two men with the judicious use of a tanglefoot bag until she could deal with the first. Alias finished Quin’s injured opponent with a critically thrown dagger through his eye; Quin decapitated the second.
Alias was able to detect that something was amiss with the two attackers. They both smelled very heavily of cheap spiced perfume – in fact, they stank as if they had bathed in it! One of their victims was paralyzed, as if by some foul poison, and the two humans seemed to ignore the worst of Quin’s sword blows inexplicably.
The city Templars arrived and, while they deferred to the Heroes somewhat, quickly took control of the situation. The Templars recovered the corpses and questioned the women. It was quickly discovered that one of the women was the wife of a powerful visiting Merchant-Lord and the other woman was his favorite concubine. Two other women in their group had been dragged away, kicking and screaming, by their assailants before the Heroes had managed to arrive.
The Merchant-Lord represented a powerful Merchant House from the City of Ishtaduk. They were in Yhakkoth to discuss reopening old trade routes, a deal which would benefit Yhakkoth tremendously. Given how delicate this situation could become, diplomatically, the Templars requested that the Heroes accompany them back to the Temple.
At the Temple, the heroes (eventually) gained an audience with General Marduk. It was determined that the humans were, in fact, ghuls disguised with illusion spells to appear as living beings. Clearly these ghuls were organized and aided by some powerful magic-user; after a delicate negotiation General Marduk convinced the Heroes to find out who or what was behind this and to put a stop to it.
Quin asked a series of probing questions of the rescued women and discovered that their attackers had emerged from a particular doorway in that ill-fated alleyway – a doorway leading into Tufail’s Spice Shop.
After commandeering a detail of Templars, under the command of Captain Rafiq, the Heroes returned across the Grand Sook to Tufail’s Spice Shop. Disguising herself under a burqah and cloak Quin entered the shop. She tried to cast a spell to divine the fawning spice merchant’s true nature but gave herself in the process.
The disguised ghul attacked, but was not a match for Quin’s swordplay and quickly fell prisoner at her blade. Alias quickly searched the premises, but found nothing of note.
A difficult interrogation ensued as Quin used intimidation and Alias used violence upon their undead prisoner. He mentioned a name, “Abdul-Nezka” and said that “Nezka will lead my brothers from the desert and take your city,” – but the ghul refused to betray his undead kin.
Quin remembered a spell that she had recently studied at the Green Tower. Quin returned to the Tower and purchased the greenspy scroll from her friend Zharr the Green Wizard. The mage-blade was then able to enchant a nut enabling herself to scry through the nut. She then hid the nut upon the ghul, and had it unceremoniously tossed from the city walls. Once freed, it fled quickly through the desert to a hidden oasis.
Armed with the knowledge that a band of some one hundred ghuls, led by an unknown magic-user was hidden in the desert and plotting to raid the city, the Heroes returned to General Marduk. A plan was quickly hatched and the army was summoned.
A Whiff of Spice
Adapted by Ian Hewitt from the adventure Oasis of the Blood Moon by Jeff Grub
Game Master (Ian Hewitt)
Played at the tabletop in Laramie, Wyoming