I have never been dead before and I don’t want to die again. The magick required to bring one from the dead is taxing on both the one conducting the ritual and the one being brought back and I can see why one would not want to repeat that experience. The pain wasn’t a physical one, though that surely comes when the soul returns to the body. No, this was a spiritual one and perhaps mental as well. I don’t know if the common tongue has the proper words to explain it, but the best way I can describe it, which does the concept no justice at all, is that a part of you “dies.”
And I was wholly content with riding the ether until something spirited away my soul, a power of good, evil, or other, depending on my value to the gods and blind luck, but I knew that I had vowed to serve a purpose to Gorm- a purpose that no other of my order had wanted to do for quite some time, and so my soul answered the call to return when the Grandmaster called me back. I needed to return to fufill my oath, for the sake of Gorm…for the sake of the Brotherhood…for the sake of my people…
When my soul returned, I was glad to see that all of my comrades had also answered the call. My discussions with them afterward allowed me to learn that Takashi was the only one that was able to escape from the despicable Zargon priest Darius. Oh how we had underestimated our foe. With the vengeful spirit of Darius’ twin-brother, a powerful priest of Usimagaras named Demetrius, on our side, we were sure that victory was ours. We fought a desperate battle, but luck and the evil cleric’s power decimated our assault and we only owe our continued existence to an outsider. A patron of Darius’ casino who travels to Cynidicea on occasion to trade. A person who we now owe a favor.
Adeen Hajah was his name. A merchant traveler hailing from the great city of Muluk. He is employed by a patron who is looking for daring outsiders to accomplish a task. Adeen says that my group is such a group, and since we owe him for his successful negotiation of our remains from Darius, and subsequent resurrection, it seems we honorably have no choice. I say my goodbyes to the Brotherhood and prepare to be the first Cynidicean in recent times to leave the city.
Adeen proves that he possess some magical power of note as he reads from a scroll that takes us from the dark confines of the great pyramid of Cynidicea to the bright and sunny open gardens of his patron. I see the sun for the first time in my life and it is dazzling brilliant and hurts my eyes. I realize that this is a historical moment for none of my people have basked in the sun for hundreds, or perhaps thousands of years. The wife of a wealthy merchant, Lady Ayyam hears of our exploits, both our successes and failures, and still decides to utilize our talents. She explains that her husband was swindled by a shrewd businessman named Yodfah. Yodfah is a wealthy merchant in the land of Zakhara with many connections to the power elite of the kingdom. After the deception to her husband, one of Ayyam’s servants infiltrated Yodfah’s harem and was able to secure knowledge of various “off-the-books” businesses that Yodfah is engaged in. Knowledge of these businesses, and the taxes that he has failed to pay on their profits would be of much interest to the Caliph and be detrimental to Yodfah’s current extravagant lifestyle.
Fortunately for Ayyam, Yodfah keeps a ledger on these secret businesses, but it is secure in a secret location on the outskirts of the city at Sakina Falls. This is where Lady Ayyam wishes us to pay off our debt. An honorable mission of securing a ledger that will prove the dishonest business dealings of Yodfah to the Caliph. Once we secure the ledger and bring it back to Ayyam. she will arrange our immediate transportation out of Zakhara back to lands known by my companions. It sounds like a generous offer with no reason not to accept.