…and the loss of another kank.
Recorded by scholars studying the life of Zuri.
It was an ambush! After a period of uneventful travel, the trail toward Bloodyfoot had proved to be as dangerous as Sazerak Saltcrosser had warned. Keenly sensing the impending assault, Dazeel bravely leapt behind the protective cover of the party’s lead kank. The trail began to rumble violently and a column of flame burst forth amidst our heroes, scattering them in burning agony and broiling the poor kank alive. The mysterious assailants emerged from the periphery, lead by a gruesomely burned human wielding a foreboding magmatic hand. Others in the attack party were similarly burned, apparently ritualistically, and the band was presumed to be affiliates of the notorious Smoking Crown Initiates. The surprise did not last long, and our heroes sprang to combat. Zuri, who had awoken that day feeling surprisingly resilient to the fiery attacks of the Initiates, proved useless on the battlefield as it flung chaos bolt after chaos bolt over the heads of the advancing fiends. Others of the party were up to the challenge though, braving the flaming assault with success and navigating the treacherous volcanic emissions of their surroundings with ease. There were some close calls, but one by one the assailants fell and the day was won.
Once in Bloodyfoot, the party was exposed to the dismal state of slavery present in the Urikite mining operations. Bost stilled his anger at the sight of such mistreatment, and pressed on with the plan. Soon the party met with Sazerak Saltcrosser and Uday Kish to discuss the beleaguered obsidian mine they had been commissioned to investigate. Accompanying the House Kish representatives was a stoic genasi slave, apparently a native of the volcanic territories. When pressed to provide reasons as to why Keema Kish had selected our heroes for such dangerous work, the party deceptively claimed that they had been approached by Keema based on their reputation for successfully resolving similar issues in the iron mines of Tyr. The cover story seemed to satisfy those present and Uday informed the party that their genasi slave K’Tek would be available to them on their journey into The Black Wash. K’Tek’s knowledge of the region would be at their disposal, as well as his familiarity with the ways of the Smoking Crown Initiates. Uday and Sazerak were initially taken aback by the party’s intention to better outfit K’Tek for the journey, even planning to arm him should the need arise. This was passed over by those at the table as perhaps a cultural misunderstanding with the free men of Tyr, and the party was quick to assure Uday that House Kish’s ‘property’ would be in safe hands and dealt with appropriately. With that, K’Tek was left in the company of our heroes.
During their private discourse with K’Tek, the party attempted to convey their revulsion for slavery and promised K’Tek that, if he stuck with them, they planned on releasing him from his bondage. Bost, an ex-slave himself, went to great lengths to convince the genasi of the enfranchisement that awaited him in Tyr. K’Tek did not seem too impressed by all this, and expressed that while he certainly held no love for his Urikite masters, his life in their service had so far been preferred to what might have befallen him under the fanaticism of the Smoking Crown Initiates that plagued his village.
The next day, after purchasing supplies for their journey, the newly expanded party set out for the Black Wash. Perhaps touchy after its poor performance in the day prior’s combat, Zuri exploded with rage at the Bloodyfoot outfitter for assuming that they would not require food and water for their slave. The outburst was unneeded however, as the flustered shopkeep had already mistakenly included unrequired provisions for the shardmind in his initial assessment, but still, don’t step.