Word of the possible discovery of the lost Azlanti city of Savinth-Yhi spread throughout the city of Eleder like wildfire. The group was approached by 5 competing factions who wanted to be the first to discover the lost city:
- The Pathfinder Society wanted the glory and lost relics of discovery. The local Delve Captain, Finze Bellaugh, brought in an experienced expedition leader, Amivor Glaur, to lead their expedition. The Pathfinders promised the group two magical wayfinders in exchange for signing on with their expedition, but when it became clear that Juan’s curse was a higher priority, Amivor offered to attempt to steal a scroll from the Aspis Consortium that was hoped could fix Juan. The plan was to wait until just before the expedition was to leave the city so they could avoid retribution from the Consortium who would most likely immediately blame Juan and his associates for the theft.
- The Aspis Consortium wanted the profits from looting the lost city. Ishirou introduced the group to the Apsis agent Dargan Etters, a smooth talking and well dressed merchant who offered them a scroll of remove curse that was crafted by a high level caster. This scroll was very valuable and very tempting, but Zelshee had detected evil on Dargan, and when told of the corrupt methods preferred by the consortium, the group refused to work with them (even though Teyla wanted to because she saw the biggest profit potential with the consortium). This greatly saddened Ishirou who told the group that they would now have to be enemies…
- The Red Mantis assasins wanted to find a relic rumored to be in a lost temple to their mantis god, Achaekek. The relic was supposed to be a sword holy to worshippers of Achaekek. The group was deathly afraid of the assasins and clearly turned down their overtures which were made by Sasha Neva. However, Juan had a private meeting with the leader of the Mantis faction, Chivane, where he made a secret deal with them to smooth things over and hopefully avoid raising the ire of the deadly assasins.
- The Free Captains of the Shackles wanted to loot the lost city, the captain of the Last Hurrah, Kassata Lewynn. Kassata had been first mate on a pirate ship upon which Juan had served, and expected to use that connection as leverage to get the group to work with her. She offered a large bag of cold hard cash, and her straight forward offer and jovial nature made that offer attractive, but they could not bring themselves to fully trust a group known to be cutthroats and thieves.
- The government of Sargava saw it as their manifest destiny to expand their influence and claim the lost city, whose wealth could help them maintain their protection payments to the Hurricane King (Shackles Pirates). Through Drasheen’s father, Cayler Rettig, Baron Utilinus had offered land and noble titles after a successful expedition. Cayler had assumed his daughter would be loyal to her family and country, and was outraged when Drahseen informed him that they would not be accepting the government’s offer. There was much yelling, and tears from her mother as Drasheen committed what her father deemed to be a personal betrayal. Things had gotten quite ugly in the Rettig household, but Cayler informed Drasheen that the government was proceeding with an expedition under the command of General Rotilius Havelar and the Sargavan military.
In the end the group sided with the Pathfinders and signed a contract with the Society. The deal was that the group could keep any treasure they earned through risking of life and limb, but the Pathfinders would get all relics recovered from the ruins and the group would get 25% of the proceeds of sale of those relics. In exchange the Pathfinders would fund and organize the expedition under the leadership of Amivor Glaur.
After signing withe the Pathfinders and informing the other factions of their choice, the group began helping with preparations for the expedition. The Pathfinders had rented a warehouse portside and began procuring supplies and hiring porters, drovers, scribes, delvers, cooks, guards, laborers, and various other personnel required for a major expedition 1000 miles into the interior of the Mwangi Expanse. The group contributed aid with labor and hiring where they could.
A few days after signing, Amivor held a meeting with himself, Finze Bellaugh, and the group to detail his plan. Amivor’s plan was for the expedition to follow the old caravan routes overland to Kalubuto, the largest city of the colony, where they could resupply. The route to Kalabuto led through the southern spur of the Bandu Hills where he warned of the native Bandu tribe, a tribe of slavers and demon worshippers known for wearing gruesome green face paint during raids. After resting and resupplying in Kalabuto, the expedetion would follow the River of Lost Tears eastwards to the edge of the Sargavan lands and into the wilds of the Mwangi Expanse At the conjunction of rivers, the would then follow the Korir River through the Screaming Jungle which would take them around the Bandu Hills to the north. Following the river would make for the easiest passage through the jungle, and when the river left the jungle proper they could cut westwards across the plains north of the Bandu Hills to the southern Mwangi Jungle and the location of the ruins of Tazion.
Amivor suggested that the group of adventurers who had shown themselves to be so resourceful on the Shiv act as trailblazers for the main expedition. The trailblazers would range a day or two ahead of the main expedition and scout the best path as well as clear out any dangers that would threaten the non combatants of the large expeditionary group. When asked about how he planned on protecting the expedition from the other dangerous groups who were also forming their own expeditions to Savinth-Yhi, Amivor assured them that he was taking a group of trusted pathfinder agents and guards with the main expedition. For some reason, Zelshee had taken a disliking to Amivor (calling him “pretty boy” and making her feelings clear), which led to some tense moments, but the plan was laid and preparations continued for the expedition to the lost city of Savinth-Yhi.
The Journal of Mastuuk Venso
14 Rova, 4710 AR
The decision has been made to ally with the Pathfinders and I believe it was the correct decision. It only took a little work to convince most of the group that the Aspis Consortium was bad news, although their intentions are plain. We may have found a way to acquire the scroll from them as well, although it will take some skill and a little luck. We leave town in a few days and we’ll be acquiring the spell at the last minute. I just hope it’s not a waste of time and effort as Juan seems to believe this will work but spells can always fail.
I’m quite glad to have met Amivor Glaur, such a skilled and experienced expedition leader will be a great asset. He has asked our group to scout ahead a few days and plot a trail through the jungle. I’ve grown accustomed to having more people around in the city and don’t look forward to the loneliness we experienced on the Shiv but I suppose this is what I signed up for when we left home. At least help and supplies won’t be far behind.
From the Journal of Jocque Tarr
Cursed, tormented with pain and an ever present hunger, I find myself trapped into a trip into the steaming and screaming jungles of the Mwangi Expanse. I know little about the Expanse beyond sailor’s tales and the possibility that my father might be there. I do know that going into the jungle in the shape I am in is next to a death sentence and not only for me but for whoever I might help or defend along the way. The jungle is no place for a cripple. The Pathfinders have promised to try to do something for me but the local holy man tried three times and failed. It might be best to slip away and return to Eleder the first night we are out on the trail if the Society fails to cure me. The only trouble with that is that I still will not be able to ship out (since no crew I ever heard of would willingly take a cursed man to sea with them) and I will be too easily identified to whoever wants to look me up in Eleder later — including Kassata and the Mantis. I am particularly afraid of what will happen to me in the city or on the trail if I do not succeed in providing Chivane the leg up she wants. By the Gods of Sea and Sky, even the worst day in the rigging beats where I find myself today.
It would be bad enough if I were just tagging along with a group that knows what it is getting into. This Pretty-Boy, Amivor, wants me and my fellow castaways to take the point! I don’t know how scrabbling through the trees on the Shiv, trying to find a way to survive off of rations and materials we had salvaged from our lost Jenivere has suddenly qualified this rag tag bunch into jungle explorers. On top of that, we now have a baggage train that must cover a quarter of a nautical mile following us. I know damned little about land tactics but it strikes me that we are exposing two huge flanks to attacks by everything from jungle animals and plants to half-crazed cannibals and that we apparently intend to keep it up for the leagues and leagues that separate us from Eleder and this place called Kalabuto. And then this Amivor wants to do it again to travel from Kalabuto to this mythical place Mastuuk Venso thinks exists even deeper into the Expanse! The whole idea of an “expedition” seems like a bad one to this salt but it looks like I am along for the ride.
Note By Zelshee
Secretly, I am so excited to be adventuring through the Mwangi Expanse! Being wrecked on that dreadful island changed me. I have the taste for adventure. It courses through my every vein now. But we must wait for the preparations to be finalized.
Amivor has decided that our small group should take point. I’m not real sure just how smart this guys is. There are only 6 of us. We’re not really trained in exploration and tactical maneuvering. But, if that’s Pretty Boy’s plan, and I hear he’s in charge, then so be it. He just better not get in my way. He might think he knows what he’s doing, but he’s going to have to prove himself to me. Just as I’m sure he wants us to prove ourselves to him!
What I see as our biggest obstacle right now is the unknown. None of us have any idea what dangers are ahead of us. And I’m certain, we’ll have a few dangers on our heels as well. Should make for a very interesting trip.