A Sojourn in the Southlands
Agyptus – Land of endless Sands.
From the pen of renowned Adventure Extraordinaire, Seeker of Lost places, Master of the Undiscovered and Explorer by Royal appointment – Lord Phineous Craigil.
It is a most curious place! The transport Circles have a distinctly different feeling to them, I would liken it to perhaps a sharp tingling that left a zing of citrus in the mouth (not an entirely unpleasant experience) but certainly a rude welcome, for one use to the gentle delivery of Heartland transport network!
My arrival set the tone of my visit. I landed with a bump in a sandy Circle outside of a Great City of Agyptus (a Capitol of sorts), I was not disappointed by the scale and grandeur of the place – though the locals left a lot to ask for! A pair of ruffians who introduced themselves as “Guards” accosted me at the gate; they demanded to know my business in the City, why I had travelled so far and whom I had come to see! I had for a moment thought coin would be extorted from my purse but after a short conversation with their Captain, a chap by the name of Nazir who by the fortune would have it was a fan of mine! Allowed me pass without any further posturing and hollering, a thing the “Guards” should be thankful for, as I did not have to draw my sword!
Once within the walls I witnessed a great many races bustling through the streets, which unlike the streets of Londinium were dusty, dirty and filled with dagger wielding urchins – it was a hive of scum and villainy unlike anything I had ever seen in my travels! The nefarious characters aside and I assure you there were many! I made my way towards the cities centre and what I was hoping to be a more civilised breed of company.
Once out of the slums I was confronted with these peculiar castles, huge stone pyramids dotted all around the city proper. Now I have seen fortifications of all stripes but I could make no sense of these odd buildings, it wasn’t however until I saw a priest and not a warrior (though arguably in such a savage land the two are the same manner of beast) enter one of the smallest pyramids that my mind was brought to realisation. They were temples not castles!
I took up residence at a table in a small Tavern of sorts and watched eagerly as the painted men and women of the South Land Ancestors went about their business. I had not been at my seat long before a local women joined armed with a jug of wine, I was not surprised as I am to them a dashing exotic foreigner, I would have been more surprised if company hadn’t presented itself to me. Her name I learned was Nenqua, a pleasant young woman who explained at length about the temples.
It seemed that each Ancestor was worshiped separately, with some even being openly at war with one another! But it was the Temple or Cult of Osiris that caused me the most consternation; Unliving worshipers! Not only did they create powerful Mummies to guard their Pyramids but openly proclaimed that Osiris Master of the plane of Unlife was a Just Ancestor – you can understand my concern for the people of the Southlands with this revelation at hand! And as if to confirmed my worries the beautiful Nenqua, eyes flashing cool silver in the sunset, attempted to beguile me! Well I am a battle-hardened warrior and my mind was immune to her charms! Seeing her attempt had no effect on me the beast bore her fangs! A Vampire!
It was not the first Vampire I had encountered but the setting of her attack caught be off guard, this was no moon lit glade or ancient sun forsaken cairn! To attempt to entice me so openly! And none moved to aid me, not a single eyebrow was raised nor was alarm voiced. Now I was a guest in the Southland Capitol and as such drawing my blade would make me just as uncivilised as the Vampress, I bid her a curt goodbye and left a Taal for the wine and honeyed pastries we had consumed before the unpleasantness.
Nenqua seemed most perturbed by my leaving; she muttered something about the Wardeen and a woman named Sultana. Which I immediately discounted as a hollow threat, I had crossed blades in an honour duel with the Great Zoraster and left him cowed by my skill, I had no concern over a woman named for a fruit! I marched away with head held high, I must have caught the eye of a cultist as I was approached by a green clad woman who assured me an escort to my lodgings – but I found my mood soured by the Vampires indecencies and decided instead to return to the Transport circle and my next destination.
Though I admit to not caring for the cultist tone she did inform me of some unholy war between Ancestors of Unlife, Dracos and Satuun it seemed were at each other’s throats! And to make matters worse the walls of the City of the Dead Al’Quafar had been breached by the Archon of good!
So with new purpose I set out a plan, I would settle this Ancestral disagreement in the manner of any civilised Heart Lander. Where Southland spices and daggered smiles had failed, good old-fashioned Albion Tea and a straight no nonsense talking too would succeed.
So until next time my loyal readers I bid you farewell and bid you wish me luck in my quest!