Salvation

Walk Through the Fire

Of assassinations and trials.

Truday, 1 Newbirth, 6935 EY: The assassination attempt on Vessi za-Farahani begins. Taegon makes himself look incredibly competent with a series of successful actions, but the group's infiltration plan falls apart fairly quickly once they are inside the house, and many guards are slain. Haseya adopts two new animals forms: giant rattlesnake and dune scorpion. The Pathseekers fight their way to Vessi's personal office, where the accomplished mage begins doling out arcane punishment. Vessi is not a soldier, however, and quickly yields to the groups' martial prowess. Zafar then enters with Falconsong drawn, pronouncing Vessi guilty and that he must pay for his crimes. It is implied that Zafar lost a lover to his fathers' machinations, and then the paladin beheads his father in one strike. Eskandar watches but does not stop it, and kisses Misae on her way out the door. The group flees the za-Farahani estate, taking horses with them.

Norday, 2 Newbirth, 6935 EY: The group recovers from their previous adventures. Narida, having sustained major damage in the assassination attempt, sticks to bedrest. Misae pays a handsome amount of electrum for ornate, gorgeous ear jewelry worthy of royalty. She gives Narida one and keeps the other for herself as a symbol of their friendship. Narida is overcome with emotion and weeps; she never knew, as a slave child, that she would one day own such beautiful things, or have such wonderful friends.

Venday, 3 Newbirth, 6935 EY: The group begins the arduous and dangerous journey across the desert wastes in search of the Monastery of the Hungry Flame.

Taursday, 4 Newbirth, 6935 EY: The group finds the monastery on this day, but discovers it is protected by a mirage illusion. After meditating for six hours and sustaining an extreme level of heat exhaustion, Haseya is able to determine the "true" monastery. They arrive there at one in the morning. Flustered monks quickly awaken to greet their new guests, showing them to their rooms and insisting that they rest up before they begin their trials.

Oathsday, 5 Newbirth, 6935 EY: This is a day of rest at the monastery as Haseya sleeps off her heat exhaustion. 

Lorday, 6 Newbirth, 6935 EY: Another day of rest at the monastery. The seeming leader of the monastery, a handsome sun elf named Sifu Korush sol-Alamaz, investigates everyones' potential to take the trials, and determines neither Tomren nor Taegon are capable, but the other three are.

Arday, 7 Newbirth, 6935 EY: The Trial of Flames. Arnold, Haseya and Misae undergo a series of tests that challenge their strength, constitution, dexterity, wisdom, intelligence, and charisma. In the end, all three of the candidates pass, releasing their "inner fire." Arnold and Misae gain access to new fire-based abilities, but Haseya's flame remains locked away. Sifu Korush suggests speaking with Matilda Greenburrow, the grandmaster of their order. Additionally, each initiate gets parts of their hair shaven in a ritual that makes them official initiates of the hungry flame: Misae gets a side shave, Haseya gets an arm shaved into what looks like a tattoo sleeve, and Arnold gets a mohawk.

Meanwhile, Tomren and Taegon are led to a room of initiates who have yet to fully complete the initiation. Bored and unsure of their future, these initiates have created a number of gambling games and invite Tomren and Taegon to play along. Taegon declines, but Tomren rapidly loses a geat deal of money on the first two games before making it back by betting on a bearded dragon race. He also wins the bearded dragon that won the race, a grumpy, bug-loving reptile named Aswad.

Haseya is led to the grandmaster's room and discovers that Matilda Greenburrow is in fact an elderly halfron woman. The woman is very cordial and sweet to Haseya. She is affectionate toward Ahiga and offers Haseya some tea. Matilda then begins trying to draw out Haseya's anger. She begins by striking Haseya with her cane, but pain does not bring the anger out. Matilda shows Haseya a painting of the Razing of the Graywald, and asks probing, pointed questions abotu Haseya's guilt for her perceived failure. This hurts Haseya but does not draw out her anger. Matilda then begins probing into Haseya's personal history, sensing a pattern of loss. She asks Haseya if perhaps Haseya thinks she lost these things because she simply didn't deserve them. This particular sentence hits Haseya the hardest, and she strikes again at the woman, this time tearing her braid free but not hitting flesh. Finally, as a desperate last resort, Matilda attacks Ahiga, throwing a shuriken that pins the fox's ear to the wall. Fully enraged, Haseya swipes at Matilda. Her claws become pure fire, and her strike leaves a scar across the length of the elderly halfron's face. Matilda is pleased that the inner fire is released and apologizes profusely for what she had said and done to get it to come out—she says her words were "poisoned" and "false" and only meant to bring out Haseya's strengths. But Haseya saw too many truths in Matilda's words, and it left her emotionally drained and ready to leave the monastery.

Truday, 8 Newbirth, 6935 EY: Travel back through the wastes and to Karna occurred on this day.

Norday, 9 Newbirth, 6935 EY: The group arrives in Karna and drinks copiously. They wash away the sweat and grime of desert travel. Misae gets very drunk and ogles Taegon in a wet bathrobe, but Taegon doesn't seem to notice the new attention. The group is summoned by Kamaria, but decide to put it off until the following day. Haseya's dragon scale mail is finally completed, and she dons it, feeling foolish and sure that she looks stupid—the rest of the group is wowed by how striking and intimidating it makes her, however.

Venday, 10 Newbirth, 6935 EY: Kamaria assembles the group for what will be one of the final moves by the Butterfly—a strike force to liberate the slaves of Karna and assemble them in Falconshrine, the secret Butterfly base outside of the city limits of Karna. Taegon, Krystof and Thunder are chosen to infiltrate the za-Ifrit Estate, home to warrior slaves who respond to strength. Narida, Haseya and Misae are chosen to infiltrate the za-Ghara Estate, where pleasure slaves are kept that need to hear from other women who may convince the pampered slaves that freedom is preferable to a life of comfortable servitude. Arnold, Moras, and Kamaria herself will infiltrate the za-Ashtani Estate, where the most broken slaves in the land are housed. These slaves need to be reminded of their humanity, and between Arnold's music, Kamaria's skills as a diplomat and an orator, and Moras's natural empathy, Kamaria believes many lives can be saved. Finally, Tomren, Sebba, and Emanaya are chosen to infiltrate the za-Darvish Estate, where slaves are taught to be tutors and scholars for young nobility. Learned slaves are a rarity and Kamaria believes releasing them from their binds would prove invaluable to the resistance.

Before the group begins this mission, Emanaya confronts Tomren, asking him if he "hates her, fears her, or both," because he always acts distant toward her. Tomren defends himself by pointing out she is a warlock who knew his secret as a blackborn. Emanaya then tells Tomren her life story, about how the felice in the Dead Lands are persecuted by the pious men that live there, how they are often executed, raped, or both, and how a vicious hate crime left her mother acid-burned and blind. Emanaya explained she was abducted by a Bishop who chained her in the basement and used her body in unspeakable ways, and it was at that time that she was confronted by infernal whispers offering her untold power. She took the power to ensure she could protect her mother and killed the bishop.

Tomren wasn't convinced that warlocks weren't trouble, but the conversation opened his eyes more to Emanaya's particular situation. He apologized to the woman, and seemed interested in improving their relationship.

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Penumbra73

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