Amas & Oras

We return to Danuul. More chaotic than before… not overt or overwhelming, but the usual “busy” feel is affected by an air of fear. So many fleeing the coastal cities have made it much more crowded. Refugees have been landed from Oras. Rumors of people/ships being turned away, some ships being burned. Ferrin is torching incoming ships, no questions ask; or, Ferrin is welcoming all refugees; conflicting rumors. The refugees coming may itself be just a rumor, with people fleeing the coastal cities just because it is a possibility. Luckily we are able to find room and board, three rooms between the five of us.

Hayden is brooding, having a new sense of mortality. When we enter the city, we see a shop that sells prosthetic limbs with all sorts of attachments. It is called “The Stranger”. Hayden decides to check it out. The shop keeper takes a look at his arms to gauge size. He tells Hayden that they don’t have anything basic in stock, but some with a few features… he brings out a “floor model” that he admits has a few “bugs” (Hayden twitches at the word “bugs”). The hand has a lighter finger, which creates fire in a finger; another finger has a can opener, a third has a knife, etc. A “sort of… deluxe smarmy model”. There is a reservoir in the palm, and a finger unscrews… it is a flask. There is also a concealed compartment for valuables. All the limbs in the shop are magical in construction. Each has a crystal and comes with a crystal necklace, which communicate in a way, allowing one to move their artificial limb like they would a natural limb.

Hayden expresses interest in the hand, but doesn’t have enough gold. He sees what he might have to trade… not enough, unfortunately. He barters a little… but not unfairly… and impresses the shopkeeper with the tale of how he lost the hand. The shopkeeper sees him as a veteran. “Here at the Stranger, we believing in reaching out and touching those in need…” he offers a discount: 4k gp rather than 6.5. Hayden reminds the shopkeeper that he said this model was “buggy”, and a floor-model. The shopkeeper sweats a bit, but says he’ll knock of 500 gold. Telling the shopkeeper about the gems and jewelry he has to offer, he talks them up a bit, and makes them more interesting by the stories of how they were gotten. However, they are not quite enough. The guy (not quite sane) says he needs them imbued with certain magic. Hayden is not entirely sure what this means, but says he can do this, and will return in the morning.

Zephyr knows what the man meant, and is impressed that the man figured out such an application of magic. Zephyr says she can do this, imbuing the six gems within the day. Polena may be able to help.

Meanwhile, Strelok has returned to Van’s gun shop. The shop is closed; Strelok knocks, with no success. Around back is a skinny flight of stairs, up which is a door with a bell outside. It takes a few rings before Strelok hears stirring from within, and much grumbling. “Oh, it’s you. Don’t you know the meaning of the word ‘closed’?” Strelok: No welcome back from a terrible place from which few people return alive? Van: well, uh, a few people have returned, and I had faith in you….

Strelok hands him the gun found in the wastes. Van recognizes it; he says he made it for Strelok’s father, around 20 years ago. He hadn’t thought Strelok’s father ever used it, nor had been very fond of it. Strelok says he found it in an old building in the wastes. Van thinks this is odd, and asks if Strelok saw any signs of is brother there. Strelok says he had not. Van says he hadn’t seen Alexander for many years, but knows that he had a tendency to cache weapons and ammo; and there are stories of impressive game in the forest, including a dragon. Alexander is a bit of a daredevil hunter. Strelok asks if he could trade it for the gun he commissioned before the party left for the Forest. Van is agreeable to this, and fetches the commissioned gun, kept in a mahogany box. Mahogany. In parting, Strelok recommends that Van leave town; Van asks where he should go, as the creatures are rumored to be prolific and spread quickly. He will stay.

Sheila goes towards the center of town to see what people are saying. At this point in the day, people are heading home from the market. There is much talk about the increased number of people in the city. Where they came from differs on who you talk to. The same contradictory rumors about the plague worms, the quarantine, and refugees. Those passing through are traveling to the south west, Pen{sp?} and Agrium.

Meanwhile, Hayden forges a bank bond from Illira. The next morning, he disguises himself as an older gentleman, in nice but travel-worn clothing. He retains the stump where his hand used to be. He goes to a bank and tells a story of fleeing the coast; the bond, he says, was all he could save. The bank teller is sympathetic, and finds a manager to help out. It takes awhile, as the bank is very busy. The bank is low on smaller-value coins, and the manager apologetically asks if it would be alright in platinum. He brings it to Hayden… 200 platinum total. Hayden drops the disguise once away from the bank, then heads towards the shop. He notices a mechanical hand on the roof; it is going up and down… waving, sort of… He buys his new hand. It is buckled on, and he puts on the jewel necklace. The shopkeeper flips a tiny switch on the back of the necklace, and the hand is now on.

The party catches a train to go see Strong.




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