Corsairs of Khorvaire
Sul, 8th of Olarune, 999
- One of the stranger days in our journeys together, around noon the ship was becalmed, the elemental suppressed, and a pair of flying female outsiders demanded that we judge their beauty, one against the other. The first, a Half-Fiend Lillend, called Katerine, with a voice of platinum and a chest like the Eldeen Reaches, but possessed of a serpentine lower half and bat-like wings. The second, a Half-Celestial Succubus called Seraphine, with hair like golden silk and the body only the most skilled Changeling could aspire to, but with cloven hooves, dog-leg calves, and feathery wings. It was a tough decision, both beauties were likely to tear us apart if they lost, in the end, it was decided by vote that the Succubus was more beautiful. Predictably, Katerine was upset. The assault upon our vessel was as furious as it was brief. I doubt we’ve seen the last of either of them.
- On the bright side, just two hours later we came within sight of the Forsaken City and its Azure Tower. Sadly, it was not as abandoned as we’d hoped.
- We were met by a wondrous creature, a humanoid insect, fully 7ft in height, with great mental powers, armed with a psionically created double-ended spear. A Thri-Kreen, I made special note of his speech, though translated from the Giant tongue: “Your ancestors lived here once, they were much larger then. If you seek to reclaim this city, you will find us not easy as the Kayko tree, but hard as the unyielding dasl stone. We have repelled the barbaric ones sun after moon, we will repel you.”
- After assuring him we were not descended from the Giants, we introduced ourselves and learned that he was called C’tol the Elder, and that his belief in our ancestry was based on what they knew of the Giants, that we traveled with a vessel of magical power, bound elementals, and a warforged. Further evidence that the warforged are much more ancient than House Cannith would have us believe. Having proven our peaceful intentions sufficiently, C’tol allowed us access to the city.
- The Kreen are an amazing people, they work with dasl, a type of stone, that allows them to create just about anything. The dasl is made in a secret process with the only known ingredient to be sand. It is lightweight, and nearly a match for adamantine. It is used in every crafted aspect of their lives. Dwellings are repaired and formed from it, weapons, armor, tools, it is simply an incredible resource.
- Naturally, Skakan’s wheels started spinning. Mariana requested a meeting with the Queen to discuss possible trade with the Kreen people. Naturally, she resides at the top of the Azure Tower, a Giant-built structure over five hundred feet tall. And naturally, the elevator was a pair of bound air elementals, though it had stopped working long before the Kreen took the city for theirs. It seems the queen has wings, and is able to ascend and descend without trouble. I could fix it, given enough time.
- We learned many amazing things today. Not only is the queen a direct descendant of the thri-kreen who first came to the city, but they have a racial memory passed from mother to child. In most, it includes only basic information, though some can access more specific memories. For the queen, she remembers every moment of the last 40,000 years. Every. Moment. I don’t know if any of the others understands just how powerful that makes her, even as she seems almost childlike in her innocence. We also learned that the Kreen do not have a ready source of sand, and to acquire any amount of it is an undertaking that always costs lives, and takes easily two months. It seems they are ill suited to the jungle environment surrounding them, and a disease they call Shellrot sets in if they spend more than a few days in it. I suspect it is a fungal reaction to the dampness, but what do I know? Some die from giant, drow, and monster attack. Some caravans never return. Skakan figures we can carry about 20 tons of sand in the hold of the Crystalfire. Morg figures about a week to get to the desert by air.
- The queen has given us leave to take ten of her laborers on an experimental flight to the desert and back, and if we can deliver the sand in less than a month with no casualties, we can negotiate further for the dasl. Meanwhile, I get to stay here and work on the elevator.
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