Snowball is unsure of where to begin; this all started as a simple diplomatic mission to finish the border agreement with the Khenra. It quickly devolved into so much more. For the sake of making important information available, this log will be split into two parts: the diplomacy, and the expedition through the DRM portal
Our initial goal was simple, but difficult. We were to travel with Oonnuphi back to Shashotep and finish out the border agreement with the Khenra, so we could have AFK vote on it. We met with Oonnuphi at dawn, Zak and myself exhausted from our recent adventure with the loticitum and the council, and had found two Khenra slain outside of the cave. They were grateful we returned the bodies, but it unfortunately soured what was to be a pseudo-vacation for the head of interspecies relations.
Regardless we set out through the portal into GKE lands where we were greeted with a Sand Skiff to transport us across the land. Snowball recommends anyone who travels through Khenra lands wear hot weather clothes and carry lots of water, as the desert heat was enough to turn Snowball into a puddle!
Aside from the heat, we were also assailed by three massive worms, and some sort of god-worm! Snowball had never seen something so gruesome in his life (until a few days later). Rig was even swallowed by one of them, but the crazy human that he is, he beat his way out of his mouth and killed the thing. Snowball has never seen anyone that reckless in his entire life. We were able to unjam the sandskiff that was buried by the worms and get out of there.
Finally, after a grueling trip we made it to the wonderous city of Shashotep. The large city is quite well hidden amongst the desert sands, one could imagine easily being able to pass by without finding it. A large gate can be seen near the city walls, guards standing on duty near the gate and patrolling the walls. We decided to rest for the evening before meeting with Onnuphi to go over the border agreement the next day.
The group decided to head to the bazaar to find some clothes that would be more hospitable to the excessive heat. Apparently, we stuck out like a sore thumb as we quickly garnered the attention of Othri, a strange woman who apparently knew who we were, and wanted to discuss some ‘evil’ with us. We followed her to a place off the beaten path, The Red Chaos, a tavern of sorts with cushions on the ground for seats. We were offered various foods including cooked scorpion. Abel, a bit untrusting of the situation, would engage in pleasantries and asked her to get straight to the point of what she wanted. Onnuphi claimed to know
this woman but would not divulge much. Maybe worth a follow up if one happens to be in the area.
The next day we met with Onnuphi and took us to the Dept of Interspecies relations on Department Road, where we discussed the border agreement between AFK and GKE. The important takeaways were cultural notes Snowball will include as an appendix for convenience. But there were items we had to reconcile on the agreement, mostly regarding borders. We were left to discuss the agreement and get make corrections in their office for a small while, before we were brought to a restaurant within the district, where we were to meet with other statespersons who are heads of various departments of the Khenran government. In attendance were:
-Onnuphi: Dept for Interspecies Relations
-Lateef: Works under Onnuphi at Department of Interspecies Relations
-Zahur: Dept of Agriculture
-Rashida: The lovely and talented head of the Dept of Security
-General Bahdur: Dept of Security
(Knowledge base articles goes into further detail on the individuals)
We all sat and dined on exotic and lavish foods, Snowball even got his hands on some heavy cream for the first time since he had been on the island. He knows it was an attempt to sway him to the Khenra, but he couldn’t help but be so pleased with it. Seeing Rashida viciously attack the food with ravenous hunger inspired Snowball to do the same and it appeared that some of the members of state took notice, in a good way. Then, in the middle of the meal, the doors to the kitchen opened and a literal flaming red fruit was brought in on a cart and presented to the group. It is apparently a fruit from the plane of fire, very rare and very hard to come by. Unknown to the group, the fruit was offered as a pseudo-bribe to Rashida to get her to attend the dinner. Unaware of this, Zak ate the delicacy, as was his right. The fire swelled within him and activated his “Rage of all the Githyanki” in an attempt to keep it down. Alas, after a minute or so he could not keep it up anymore and had to rush to the bathroom to puke it up.
Rashida demanded that Snowball bring her another Fire Fruit to replace the one she was bribed with. Apparently, this was some sort of test for him, though she never explained what it was for, or if he passed or failed.
From there the conversation moved to getting to know each other better, except for General Bahdur, who sees us purely as mercenaries, and was frankly quite rude during the whole experience. Rashida shut him up with a furious display of power, which deadened the room.
Through conversation, it became apparent that the two Khenra we found outside the entrance to the Loticitum belonged to the Dept of Security. They listened intently to our recounting of events there, and though we left certain details out, they were happy to know we avenged their kin. And they gave us more information about the airships they have that Snowball saw as well. Eventually the heads of state made their leave, and we discussed some more revisions with Onnuphi before heading back for the night.
The next morning Snowball was still mulling over Rashida’s request of Snowball. Asking around, the only place to reasonably attain one was through the Dept of Agriculture, and the only way to get it would be to steal it, or try to persuade Zahur to give them one. These thoughts distracted Snowball during the days proceedings on the border agreement. But thanks too the efforts of hi friends, we were able to solidify the terms and they were ready for us to bring them back to AFK for a vote. Elated, we were happy to head home, and forget about Rashida’s request, but we figured there was no harm in asking Zahur about the fruit… we didn’t know how wrong we were.
Continued in “They feed on Fear”
–The Khenra do have undead servants. However, according to several Khenra we had spoken to. These are not slaves, but volunteers who give their body up after death to serve their families. They apparently do so out of a sense of duty and love; wishing to lend their body. They do everything from chores to running shops apparently.
-Resurrection, Reincarnation, and any form of revival is considered by the Khenra. While they turn a blind eye to the practice by AFK, the Khenra have made it clear its not to be done in GKE lands or atleast not where they can see it.
-Khenra have a ritual known as True Death. The details of which are unknown to Snowball currently. This rite was recovered from a tome (presumably by members of AFK) and has been practiced for less than a year by Princess Letia.
– Do not shake hands with people in Shashotep, their culture involves a lot less touching than ours does. And they find it weird.
-A good amount of folks don’t speak common in Shashotep, but others seem nice enough to translate if you can find them around
– Hot weather clothes seemed to be readily available in the bazaar, they cost 4gp when Snowball went there
– The people of Shashotep seem to appreciate those with healthy appetites, and it seems rude to refuse to eat at all if offered food.
-The markets of Shashotep have a healthy number of magic items and potions available for sale. Bring a heavy coin purse if interested.