After Dendera Seth’s fight, some cleanup was needed and Feng was able to use the lull to find someone who could give him some more information about the underground fighting circuit in Sefet. Evidently, there is a major match coming up in a couple nights, but it is difficult to enter without sponsors. We could probably use our group fund to pay our way in, but if we are trying to make contacts in the Sefet underworld, finding a sponsor seems like the smartest option.
While my attention was turned (watching Feng’s back) Indira slipped out, following the mysterious man who had been watching her. Fortunately, all he wanted to do was give her a letter, a claim slip for a stronghouse vault. We shall have to investigate this tomorrow.
Meanwhile, as they were coming back to the inn, Cressida and Sehera realized they were being shadowed. Creature confronted them (for lack of a better word) and they left, but he followed. Cressida seemed unconcerned about Creature, but we will all have to be vigilant. Between Indira’s messenger and these pursuers, our presence in Sefet has been noticed by someone. But who? And why?
We had regrouped at the inn last night and agreed that our destination should be the library. First, though, we needed to look into this vault.
The Great Vaults of Al Hafiz was an old institution in a massive block of a building. Indira and I went inside while the others waited and we were escorted to the vault within, with very little fanfare. Within was a single, large chest that appeared to have been undisturbed for quiet some time. It was marked with symbols of House Ere, though Indira had no knowledge of it.
Within was a king’s ransom of sapphires. Several kings. Even within my father’s vaults, I have never seen so much wealth concentrated in one place; to an air genasi—who prize these stones so highly that they will trade with the Plane of Earth to get them—it must have seemed an impossible treasure.
Indira took a few of these stones and we left. When we inquired about details of the chest, none were given; we were directed to the reverse side of the slip, where a record was kept in Infernal.
While waiting outside, Creature returned as did, possibly, Sehera and Cressida’s shadows, but they left as soon as he pointed them out.
We proceeded to the library. Nesissus researched the Elemental Cube for hours, but found only a single reference to it, describing it as an item of rank belonging to The Effulgent One, the leader of a Harukan sect of Pelor worshippers.
Meanwhile, Sehera and I researched Zarjasz Al-Ulaq, discovering more of its long history and some clues to its location. We will need to learn more if we are to venture there; we cannot just wander the desert hoping to run into it. It is a shame the only person we met who had been there (or claimed to have been there) died horribly… Still, if he was telling the truth, it is possible there are others who might know its whereabouts.
Lyr and Indira tried to translate the Infernal text and had some success, discovering the vault was acquired by Indira’s grandfather, Jalal Ére, many decades ago. It is unclear how long the chest has been there, but I cannot shake the suspicion that such a treasure may have played into her family’s fall.
After we left the library, Feng departed, saying he had something to do. Cressida and Creature followed him secretly…
The rest of us went to the Temple of Pelor, which was conveniently close, to as about The Effulgent One. Nessisus questioned a priestess and learned that Her Effulgence had been in Sefet, naught but a few days before we were and she had been abducted in front of this very temple.
Now having an answer as to how the Elemental Cube had come to Amaranthia, we requested to speak to the high priest. Nesissus told them the story of finding the cube and presented it to them. The priest examined it, ascertaining that it was the true artifact and, to our surprise, gave it back. Apparently, the effects of the cube on most mortals is quite detrimental—explaining in part Feng’s strange behavior aboard the ship—but it did not react negatively to Nesissus for some reason; it should be safe in his hands.
The priest tasked us with helping find the Effulgent One and we agreed. This will be a worthy task. Particularly once he told us the Effulgent One’s name: Noza, the same woman who rescued Maram.
As an aside, it seems we have yet again encountered a member of the Ordo Clavis in an unexpected place. I asked the priest if he knew anything about them—wondering if perhaps they might be involved—and he let slip that he was a member of the order.
I am perplexed. I had thought them to be a secular force, but if they have priests amongst their ranks… Do I simply want them to be evil? Our involvement with them was an accident. But I cannot forget the condition in which we found Lyr, nor their emotionless decision to kill our many companions.
I have heard, of course, of organizations that keep secrets from their own members. It could be that parts of the Ordo Clavis are involved with dark, secretive matters other parts are ignorant of. In some respects, I suspect I was hunting for a crusade. The Ordo Clavis does not seem to be it, though. There is still far too much we do not know about them. Hopefully Lydra Geb and Ramal have been able to find information here in Sefet.
As we were leaving, Lyr—who had an unexplained feeling of familiarity for this place—asked if she had ever been here. Indeed, she had, shortly after the disappearance of the Effulgent One. Most curious.
The day was drawing to a close, but we traveled to the Southern docks to attempt to learn more about the Dread Pirate Chalazias and to see if anything jogged Lyr’s memory. We had little success, save for learning that the Dread Pirate’s fleet is quartered somewhere on the northern shore of Mileisa, and that they ply the entire trade route between there and southern Raquaejah.
So, as with Zarjasz Al-Ulaq, there is still more we need to learn before we can investigate this situation further, assuming the Dread Pirate even has The Effulgent one still…
With some answers and many more questions, we returned to the inn. Feng had not yet returned (nor Cressida). Hopefully they have not wound up in deeper trouble.