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 Post Posted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:08 pm 
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Felix will keep teaching Theresa as they have free time to do so. Throughout the conversations with the others he'll spend time to translate what was just said and teach her the words involved.

"Well, Piper," Felix says. "I'm in agreement with Arkady that we can't exactly get you a whale... But eventually when we get enough work done that we can spare the people for it I'll see about getting you a puppy or a kitty."

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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:22 am 
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"We could dig them a pond?" suggests Piper. Felix's suggestion of a puppy or a kitten, however, obtains for him an enthusiastic hug and a kiss. "Thank you!"

Nate finds that there are no significant differences in nautical habits between this world and his own.

--------------

The passage across the straits are largely uneventful. Lady Sephrenia puts on Rendorish costume, which for females covers every last inch of skin and leaves nothing but her eyes visible (incidentally entirely hiding her Styric nature from casual view)

The city itself is scorchingly hot. The sun beats down like a hammer on the sun-baked bricks; men and camels (and the very occasional completely-wrapped female) are casually wandering through the streets. There are a lot of swords visible, but none in active use and no ranged weaponry.

"Alright," says Sir Sparhawk. "We're going to go and meet Sir Perraine - he'll be able to tell us of any local developments and point us at the address of that physician. It's probably best if you accompany us that far before heading off on your own tasks."

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:54 am 
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"Seems like a good idea," Felix says. "He might be able to point us in a good direction as well."

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:11 am 
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"At the least, there's a good chance he'll have a basic map of this place I can have a look at. You never know when you'll have to make a detour."

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:45 am 
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Sir Sparhawk nods approvingly. "This way, then."

It's not long before the group is stopped by a group of Rendorish men with swords and frowns. Their leader, identifying himself as "Ulesim, Most-Favoured-Disciple-Of-Holy-Aramsham" insists that foreigners have no place in Rendor unless on legitimate business and that he, Ulesim (Most-Favoured-Disciple-Of-Holy-Aramsham) is the sole and only judge of whether or not your business is legitimate.

Sit Sparhawk quietly states that your entire group is here to meet with a cattle dealer named Mirrakesh.

Ulesim (Most-Favoured-Disciple-Of-Holy-Aramsham) scoffs at this excuse, since, in his mind, there is no way that you have legitimate business with a cattle dealer while you are not, yourselves, accompanied by cattle. Moreover, he has never even heard of this Mirrakesh, he cannot be that important... at which point Ulesim (Most-Favoured-Disciple-Of-Holy-Aramsham) is urgently interrupted and whispered at by one of his own subordinates. After several minutes of whispering (during which Ulesim (Most-Favoured-Disciple-Of-Holy-Aramsham) gets continually paler and paler), he frowns at the party and waves your entire group past, making only a parting comment on how important it is to keep careful watch lest the agents of the corrupt Church of Chyrellos attempt to sneak into Rendor and destroy all right-thinking people.

--------------

Mirrakesh the cattle dealer, as it turns out, is the alias of Sir Perraine the Pandion Knight (and, thus, agent of the Church of Chyrellos). Between heavy tanning and his Rendorish outfit, he looks the part of a native of Rendor - presumably part of the reason why he received this particular posting. He quickly invites you into his private chambers (a mud-brick house, from the ceiling of which hang dozens of leaky bottles dripping water) and offers the party lunch, apologising that all he can offer is roast mutton. He does raise an eyebrow at the Terrans, but does not immediately ask any questions.

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:57 pm 
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Felix calmly waits for Sir Sparhawk to make introductions and to finish his own talks with Sir Perraine. He idly observes his surroundings while waiting.

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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:39 am 
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"You know your containers are leaking?" asks one of the knights with Sir Sparhawk.

"Yes," nods Sir Perraine. "It helps to keep the room cool. I must say, I am glad to see you gentlemen. I was getting quite worried at the lack of response to my messages."

There's a momentary silence. Then Sir Sparhawk asks "What messages?"

"You didn't get - I've been sending them for at least six months now!" Sir Perraine shakes his head. "The Ehandist Heresy is gaining strength again. They've got themselves a new leader, a man called Aramsham, and he's got armies of several thousand fanatics roaming the desert, taking his senile ravings as gospel. They'll do anything he tells them to, and he's started making aggressive noises towards the Elene kingdoms."

Sir Ulath snorts. "Troublesome."

"That's not the worst of it," says Sir Perraine. "Martel's been seen in the area.I don't know what he's after or what his angle is, but..."

Sir Sparhawk nods. "Martel's a dangerous man. He could very well be intercepting your messages." He takes a deep breath. "We're here on completely different business..." He provides a brief but thorough description of the problem of the poisoned Queen, and the parts that both his group and the Terrans (who get briefly introduced) are playing in the attempt to find a cure.

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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:50 pm 
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"Well, after we're finished with our business here we can try to help you with that problem," Felix says. "This Martel individual has proven himself incredibly ruthless and cunning thus far. Removing him from the picture or hampering his efforts to hinder you would be quite the boon."

"That being said, I'd like to get onto the main task at hand. Can you help us?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:29 am 
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"With acquisition of a Darestim sample directly? No." Sir Perraine shakes his head. "I wouldn't know where to start looking. But if I were you, I'd hurry up; Aramsham and his horde of fanatics are camped just outside the city. What I can do is give you a legitimate excuse to be here, in case some of the fanatics try to cause trouble."

"We had something like that on our way in," says Sir Sparhawk. "Have you ever heard of someone who calls himself Ulesim?"

Sir Perraine nods. "Most favoured disciple of holy Aramsham? He keeps calling himself that, but it's a self-appointed title. Aramsham has never heard of him."

"He got quite worried when we mentioned your name," points out one of the other nights with Sparhawk. "What did you do?"

"Ah," says Sir Perraine. "Quite straightforward. Aramsham's an old man, and he doesn't have many teeth left. So, once a week, I give him a thick slice of tender, well-cooked, milk-fed veal, telling him that it's in honour of his greatness. As a result, Aramsham thinks that Mirrakesh the cattle dealer is a wonderful person, and I don't get bothered by his lackeys, or people pretending to be said lackeys." He nods at the group again. "If any of you get imprisoned, delayed, or bothered by any of the fanatics around here, just make sure to drop the name Mirrakesh - if they ask me, I'll happily confirm any reasonable cover stories, and that should keep you fairly safe. As long as you don't do anything to directly anger the Eshandists."

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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:26 pm 
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Felix nods.

"Alright, is there anything we need to know about the city in particular before we head out? Market districts? Residential areas? Potential areas for black market dealings? Anything at all you think might be of help?"

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 Post Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:54 am 
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Sir Perraine will show the group a rough sketch map of the town, on which he points out the major sections - market section here, residential area there, ports to the north, and so on. Talen and Piper both pay close attention, then Talen turns to look at Felix and raises an eyebrow. Perhaps he means he's got all he needs?

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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:46 am 
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Felix rubs his chin.

"I figure this is good enough to get us started. Thank you for your time."

If no one else has any objections, Felix would like to move on and see what Talen has to say once they're out and clear of the others.

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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:29 am 
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Just before they go, Arkady asks Sir Perraine: "Martel apparently has a colleague who traffics with demons. Have you heard any word of a rogue wizard?"

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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:36 am 
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"Nothing reliable or actionable," says Sir Perraine. "But if Martel has such a colleague... I'll certainly pay attention if I come across any similar rumours."

--------------

Talen leadds the group over to the local market. "How about we just... look around the stalls a bit?"

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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:33 pm 
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Felix shrugs.

"That's fine, so long as we find this person."

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