Burning Witches: Heresy & Sand

The Journey to Halach: Day 3

There was nothing I wanted to do more after our arrival than to wash off the three days worth of desert sand. Such luxuries, it seems, are not for we Kaldi. I somehow expected that my time in the order would be more… glamourous? Something.

In any case, Solano and I made for Rahim the Tailor straight away. I thought that taking care of Zaynab’s request quickly would let me get on with the important work in Halach, but when we arrived, Solano began to accuse the poor man of some unknown indiscretion. I do not know what it was he was talking about, but Rahim assured us that there was no wrong-doing on his part. I believe him. Rahim seems like an honest fellow, and I would be worse than a fool to mistrust a friend of Zaynab’s without cause.

Afterward, Solano and I parted ways, and I sought out Tsul. When I found him, he had just been assaulted by a witch! The abomination had run off after the attack, although the local folk did not, at first, seem to believe my brother. Fortunately, he was able to make the fools see reason, eventually. We, of course, joined the search for the wretch.

We found her in the market square, surrounded by a crowd of faithful, hiding behind Yasmine. I climbed to the top of one of the nearby houses while Tsul and Solano distracted the crowd.

It took me one shot to kill Yasmine. So easy.

I need to think on what I’ve done. Perhaps Tsul was right.

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The Medical Journal of Menefer Kel Nazari Day One

Medic’s Log: Day one of Medicinal Voyage

I am charged with a great challenge any of my profession would be elated to take on. I must travel across the desert to the city three days from here. There is talk of plague and other sickness. Where their medics are, I fear they have been taken by the sickness that plagues our times- the Magi.

However, before I was able to procure my belongings for our trip, I was forced to check in on all of my patients. Thank the sands I had. One of my fool patients had every intention of ruining his foot in my absence. I fear while I am gone, his ignorance will reemerge and I will return to a cripple and be unable to heal him once again. Such is the life of a physician.

Medical note: I have studied the body of a Magi. His anatomy seemed foreign and my navigation of his chest cavity was a hindrance. I must remind myself to make more detailed notes of the Magi and their construction.

Unfortunately, while on the trail of what I believed to be the cause of the Magi’s illness, I stumbled upon a vital organ to the Magi and the unholy creature died on my table- note to self. That pumping thing shouldn’t be removed.

I am concerned that the slaves the Magi had with him may be harboring illnesses of the Magi. If only Salano would have let me examine them. This leaves me with a sense of unease.

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What I Told the Camel
Told by Tsul to one who can keep a secret.

Tsul looks after the camels alone. The others are packing their supplies for their impending journey to Halach.

Hello Camel. Can I call you Camel? Of course I can. I imagine you realize how much you are worth to us. My brother burdened himself with favor debt and errand running so we could have you. We burden you with packs and days without food and sometimes even without water. Yet you shuffle through the sand one step at a time. You are made of stronger stuff than us.

Can I tell you a secret? Of course I can! You are a camel, and you cannot say no. I am also burdened, you see? I have been cursed with a gift. I am with the others for the purpose of hunting people like me as if we were animals. My own brother told me that a person with the gift is not even a person. If the others knew of my gift, they would slay me where I stood.

Perhaps I might be wrong in that account.

The foreigner would certainly try to slay me on sight. I say ‘try’ because he would not succeed. If the stories are true, he attacked a fleeing sorcerer, and still the sorcerer did not succumb to his wounds until he had fled outside the city walls! And still the sorcerer only fainted! I would not flee. Still, the sorcerer’s cowering slaves seem to be better off without him. They are healthy and finally free. I hope they find happiness. Perhaps the sorcerer deserved what was done to him for a reason other than sorcery.

The doctor, while very useful in our group, will be the reason I carry a hidden dagger with me at all times. Not for her, Camel, but for me. She wishes to ‘study’ sorcerers and witches. And a doctor with a knife knows only one way to work. She went off to study the sorcerer that the foreigner attacked. I cannot think what she has done to him, but I hope he is dead, for his own sake. I would quickly take my own life before she ever had the chance to do her research on me, God willing.

But it is my brother that I fear the most upon learning my secret. He raises me upon a marble pillar, and I discourage him from doing so. I fear he does not understand what he will see. It is my prayer that when he kills a witch for the first time, he sees that her death looks like any other death, and that there is no glory or righteousness in it. If he feels the primal pleasure of witnessing lifeblood drain into the sand and dust, then I fear the man he would become. And when he learns about me, what will he think? Anger. Betrayal. Despair. Death by his hand would be the most just of them all. And I would not blame him for it.

I am fooling them all, but I am unsure how long I can do it. I should take your example and walk my journey one step at a time. My gift can be used for such wonders and miracles, but I must hide like a villain to practice and perfect it. Until then, I need to be just a Kaldi. Can you keep my secret, Camel? Of course you can.

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Journey to Halach - Day 1
From the Writings of Imad Kel Tahan, Kaldi

Grand Archivist,

I know this is a subject of great personal interest to you, so I will do my best to keep you informed as the work is completed. The process is slow, but, as you say, uncovering history is like rebuilding a mountain from broken stones. I may be misquoting you, as usual. I hope you’ll grant me your customary indulgences, Old Friend.

We have uncovered this in the Hajj, the journal of one Imad Kel Tahan, which appears to date from the days of Faiz Zulfaqar Kel Keendem’s Pogrom of Witches. I have done my best, Grand Archivist, to keep the pages intact. The desert has done an excellent job of preserving it, but it is still old and fragile. Much of it has been lost, but hopefully, it will give us some valuable insights into the events of that time.

From Imad’s descriptions, I suspect that the earliest entries were written sometime in the late spring or early summer, but it is impossible to tell for sure. More research will be done, of course. I will have Initiates pay close attention as they reconstruct the journal. What we do believe, from corroborating evidence, is that the document is authentic, and that the author was, indeed, one of the Kaldi tasked with the purging of Halach.

I prattle on, as usual. Blame it on the wandering mind of an old man. I will send an Initiate with an update as soon as I can.

Your friend, always,

Sifal Tanzir Kel Nazari, Master Librarian of Massat

I have been granted my first assignment, and it shall be glorious!

The messenger arrived shortly after midmorning as I ran blade drills with some of the other recruits in the yard. I knew that, eventually, I would be sent out, but to receive a missive from the Vizier, herself! Honor beyond words.

Our meeting was brief, but I have been instructed to travel to Halach to track down a witch who calls itself Yasmine. I am sure that such a creature should be easy enough to track down, despite my brother’s claims of the Witches’ adeptness at concealment.

And speaking of my brother, he had his own mission, it turned out, to Halach, as well! The One Above must have been smiling on us today. He mentioned that Menefer was to travel with us, too. Also a fortunate thing. A three-day trek across the burning desert will be much less worrisome with a physician of her talent with us. I have not seen her yet, though. I heard a rumor that she had some fool of a patient to check on before we were able to leave. Problems with his foot, I think.

In any case, I take my leave to secure some mounts before we leave, since Tsul wishes to wait for Menefer to arrive. Perhaps Zaynab will be willing to lend me the camels, or at least the money to procure them myself?

Initiate’s Note: From some of Faiz’s personal writing, we suspect that the brother that Imad mentions was placed personally in charge of dealing with Halach’s Gifted. Other records show that there was, indeed, a doctor working either as, or closely associated with, the Kaldi during this period. Additionally, there was a fourth member of the Halach party, a former Ellinikan slave called Solano. It suspected that the Vizier took an interest in this person as well, judging by the journal of one of Sa’ida Kel Nazari’s servants, though the extent of that relationship remains unclear. It is more clear that one of the priests of Massat, Bishr Cortus Kel Keendem, was a friend or mentor to Solano. There are several instances in his letters and writings of conversations between these two.

It seems Imad’s journal has, perhaps, given us the last links we need to get a clear picture of what was happening in Massat during Sa’ida’s reign.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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