This session was run on May 1st, 2023
They continued heading east towards the beach with the rock rolling along beside them. They were not sure where they had washed ashore with respect to the various port cities on the coast, so the best plan was to reach the beach and then decide how to proceed from there.
Around noon, the skies darkened and white flakes began to fall from the sky. As it was around 85 degrees, they realized that it could not be snow. It turned out to be ash. The ashfall was quickly mixed with a moderate rain. They discovered that the rain stung when it hit unprotected flesh and raised small red welts. Drex found shelter in a hollow beneath the roots of a large tree and they waited out the acid rain for a couple of hours before resuming their journey. They reached the water as it was getting dark and spent an uneventful night camped just off the beach.
In the morning, they could see masts on the horizon to the north, but nothing to the south. They headed north hoping to find one of the port cities.
After walking for two hours they were surprised by several sharks jumping out of the water and then flying through the air to attack them. After a brief battle, during which Ich'Tik was able to leap on the back of one and break it for riding, they defeated the flying sharks. They cut them open to examine the contents of their stomachs and found some loose valuables, Boots of Jumping, a scroll sealed in a bone case, and a magical gauntlet. They continued their journey north, Ich'Tik astride his shark, until they reached the city of Jurana.
Jurana was a walled city that had existed before the Cirthian League arrived on the continent and siezed it. The original city did not have a wall and its buildings were made out of some kind of white cement. Jurana's native inhabitents were the At-Otell. The At-Otell were humans who primarily wore brightly colored robes that covered their whole body, including their face. When an At-Otell decides that more of their life is with the dead than with the living, they don black robes and spend most of the rest of their life living in the city of the dead below Jurana. The city of the dead is in a large cavern and is an exact replica of the original city of Jurana above. The dead At-Otell are preserved and spend another lifetime in the place they believed they belonged in their first life.
After the Cirthians conquered the city 150 years ago, they began to build new buildings in their traditional style, square stone and wood structures with shingled roofs. While there are exceptions, At-Otell live in the white cement buildings and Cirthians in the wood and stone structures.
When the party arrived at the gates of Jurana, they found them guarded by men in large, conical helmets. The men were not able to speak more than a few words of the common tongue of Arduin, and none of goblin, so they summoned a Khai-Zirin priestess of Cat-of-Fire from the temple to talk to the party. Once they established that they were shipwrecked mercenaries they were granted access to the city. Vilrus, the priestess, directed them to the Kettlefish Inn as a place that would have a stable capable of boarding the flying shark. Vilrus also told them that the only oceangoing vessel in port now was the Dark Lady. They could find its master, Jed Bourne, in his mansion in town.
They rented rooms at the Kettlefish, a sprawling wood building, and made their way to the Bourne mansion by early evening. They found a black carriage, with a driver waiting. As they passed by, a black cat called to them from inside.
They were met at the door by Vish, the blue-clad At-Otell butler, who told them that, while Captain Bourne was not home, they could meet with Lady Kilra. Vish escorted them inside and asked them to wait in the sitting room as Lady Kelra was finishing up a meeting with the Priestess of Tamareth.
While they were waiting, they could hear muffled voices coming from the office. A woman said, "This dream can only have one meaning. The man you love is secretly true to someone who is quite close to you. My advice is that you leave this place. Never come back and forget you saw his face." Shortly after, the door opened and an At-Otell woman clad all in black walked out of the room and through the front door. As she passed, Uggmar noticed her lavendar perfume.
Kelra, a blond Cirthian woman whose eyes were red from crying, emerged from the office. She took a minute to compose herself and looked over the party. Noticing their weapons, she asked if they were mercenaries. When they confirmed that they were, she asked what they why they had come. They told her that they were seeking passage back to Arduin for Uggmar and Creng. She told them that she believed that her husband was having an affair, and that the priestess had just confirmed her suspicions. She asked them to find out who her husband was cheating on her with, catch him in the act, and then kill him. If they did, she would inherit everything, including the Dark Lady. She would give them the ship.