Chapter 2

Lord of the Manor

May 18, 2019

After being hailed the heroes of Saddoon for returning Lord Daxyl’s son, the adventuring party was asked to take the two children they had rescued along with him to their homes in the neighbouring village of Tazir. Though at first reluctant, Gazande’s paladin sense of justice compelled him to deliver the children the next day.

Lord Biram Tazir summoned the heroes to his tower to ask them what had happened. When they told him about the four snake cultists disguised as gypsies, Lord Biram took interest, saying there should have been eight. He was convinced half of them must have split off and gone into the jungle in the direction of the tall hill visible from the top of his tower and he furnished his house sergeant and personal bodyguard Breen to guide them there, find the villains and kill them. Their reward would be 1oo gold pieces for each severed head of a cultist they could bring him.

The next day the adventurers set off with Breen, himself a ranger, leading the way. After a night spent in the woods where Gazande became suspicious of the taciturn ranger, they found themselves at the hill, which was more properly a step-pyramid covered in such dense vegetation that it could easily be mistaken for a hill at a distance. Crossing the wide but overgrown plaza to the steep staircase that went to the very top of the 100 foot tall structure, the party was set upon by four snake cultists and three goblins. Gazande’s suspicions were confirmed when Breen joined them in trying to kill him and his companions.

The battle was a close call, but the heroes emerged victorious. Somewhat reticent of the ominous pyramid, they elected to camp at its base and explore after taking along rest to recuperate. Gazande hastened to be the first to the peak, where a square hole offered the only way in to a well of inky blackness deeper than anyone could see. After dropping the flaming body of a dead cultist in, they were able to discern a seething floor covered in snakes a hundred feet below. Rhodedendron volunteered to be lowered on a rope to see what could be seen but stopped short of touching down amid the carpet of serpents. All she could make out was a stone tomb directly below in the center of the square chamber and an open sarcophagus in each corner housing an immobile mummy.

That was enough for Rhodedendron to want out, but as she was hauled up a giant spider attacked from its perch near the exit in the ceiling. Luckily, the gnome was pulled to safety after being tugged back and forth and the party decided to leave the pyramid for now. After two days following the path they took to get there, the adventurers returned to Tazir as the sun was setting and Gazande was immediately summoned to see Lord Biram.

The dragonborn paladin was allowed to enter the tower alone while his compatriots had to wait outside. Lord Biram heard Gazande’s tale in full, including the revelation of Breen’s loyalties to the snake-cult. When he asked for the payment promised for the head of each cultist, the Lord of Tazir offered Gazande a handshake to seal the deal – with a hand with snakes where the fingers should have been! Gazande was alone and surrounded by Lord Biram’s men, but he broke for the door anyway, escaping to the aid of his fellow adventurers who quickly turned the tide on the traitorous nobleman. When Lord Biram himself fled, it was Gazande who struck a critical blow with his crossbow, killing him.

According to the rules of succession, a nobleman who kills another nobleman inherits his estate. By such rites, Gazande instantly became the new Lord of Tazir, much to the joy of the villagers, for who would not want a gold dragonborn paladin as their ruler? However, the succession must be approved by royal assent, and so Gazande faces the prospect of a journey to Absallah, the royal capital of Trilliac, in order to be properly recognized.

Chapter 3: The Land Shark, Part I