We made it back to town, and began the process of recovery from our previous adventure before setting out again. We had close to a ton of treasure and I did my best to reduce the weight we carried without significantly reducing the value of our haul. The party has a significant number of gems and jewelry. We purchased a jeweled leaf with diamonds and sapphires around the border, and the leaf is made of the soft green stone, same as a pin we acquired from the dragon’s lair. This stone is similar to the stone used in the pyramid. The noble who traded it to us said it was a crime to own it outside of the country, and was given to him by a captain as a dowry. Given its value, it is an excellent and lightweight way to transport significant amounts of treasure, though I suspect we may need it to acquire something else, should we find ourselves in sudden need. If not, I plan to sell it to the Princess for her to resell it elsewhere. Her family, being in charge of the Oasis and rich is likely to have the means to acquire the full value for it better than we, and we may then still make a significant profit on it. After visiting the various nobles, we also managed to acquire more emeralds and some opals, in addition to two magical crystals which Fife may find useful against and dragons we find ourselves facing.
I’ve been made noble in the court of the Count, in exchange for a rug I was going to sell him. I’m uncertain who got the better end of the deal, but suspect it was him, though I am ignorant of these matters. It’s possible that this will do well as either leverage or a foundation, once the Princess is informed, as she may then station merchants here, to operate a way point for the trade route, and taking advantage of the benefits of being part of the nobility. The funds we have spent here will likely have an energizing effect on the local economy, which I believe is in balance, since it was their money anyway, in the swamp, which we merely retrieved. The noble who sold us cinnamon will have a second chance to get his affairs in order, and the other noble used his funds to pay his taxes and leave the county. I inquired with the Count if I had committed a faux pas, but he appeared unconcerned and advised me that sometimes it was best for parties to part. There was a chance to purchase a pearl which might have had magical significance, but as Kellyn was uninterested, we moved on. Tobias had inquired why I was claiming all the loot for myself, before he was informed I was merely using the verbiage Cora suggested, to appear less crass to the nobility we were using to acquire high value low weight objects.
Recalling the events we barely survived, I’ve undertaking preparations for our next venture. The tapestry we took has been made into sets of gloves by some of our party members, which should allow the safer handling of some of the items we encounter, and I’ve acquired 600 feet of rope, above and beyond what is in our packs, as we’re going into the mountains and may very well need it. We have three carts, four oxen, and six horses, so we are covered for now for transport, and in fact I suspect that our treasure will fit on one. The other two will be used for additional supplies such as food, water, and winter gear. Kellyn has enjoyed having her staves back, and examining her new spell book. Sadly, I destroyed the words of power when I disenchanted it, in response to Ishmael being affected by a curse on it. The Priests of the god Vindare told Cora of an Elven city, which had a blooming Sylvan Tree, one of the only two which exist, which Cora wishes to visit on our way to the library to return the book. We’re looking it the last location it was rumored to be, and I hope Cora is able to find it, as she could use some good news on the arboreal front.
I’ve since learned that while there may only be two dragons guarding the library, the valley is filled with dragons, so we may need to travel underground, at night, or with as much stealth as possible with carts, in order to avoid being eaten. With two carts, we should be well supplied, so that if Kellyn or Osmun are injured and unable to supply food or water, we can last long enough to get them some help without starvation being an immediate concern.
I am still learning the art of politics. What was intended to be a quiet walk to contemplate the balance ended up with my hijacking part of another god’s religious ceremony, though I managed to guide them in an appreciation of nature in their drunkenness, and to have them drink in moderation after eating, something with didn’t please Fife much, nor the high priest. He waved away my attempts at an apology, and I suspect he will consider the debt settled if I do not return for quite some time. I asked Ma’at about learning to heal, and she sent me to Lan, to learn how she does it. After witnessing her magic, I was told that there were different ways to heal, one being magic, and another being divine power. I’ll next work with Cora on her healing, so that if it’s needed, I may be of some use, and so I may balance my ability to harm with the ability to heal. Given Ma’at did respond to me, I believe the etiquette of how to speak to a deity is slowly being made clear. Cora still seems frustrated at her lack of response, Lan is an avatar, not a cleric, Kellyn does not seem interested in serving Leilanna, and Osmun does not appear to pray often where I may see him. Oddly enough, this reminds me of when I was originally in the desert, learning to communicate with Cora when we didn’t have a language between us. Eventually, we got to where we are now, so I am hopeful for the future.