Thursday, 26 January 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #26: Broken Molds

Three hexes southeast of Alakran.


Another empty herders' village clustered around a well. Shed scales, gnawed bones, and parallel scratch markings on the walls in the conventional infinity-symbol form indicating the Chaos god Apep -- all these tell that a group of Khilan, dry lizard-folk, lived here recently.

The main notable feature of the town is a large river boat, installed in the village square and half-covered by sand drifts. Built of black wood and capable of holding a dozen rowers, it's too deep of draught to ply the nearby Shi-Ar in any season. Its sides are daubed with unknown symbols in silver paint but it is not itself magic. Any more.

If the boat is a mystery, searching the houses will reveal, in the one with the strongest signs of Khilan occupancy, a clue.  Next to a kiln with relatively fresh ashes in it, there are broken molds formed from soft blusih clay, with residues of red clay sticking to it. Pieced together, the molds are the inverse of a tablet, granting ancient privileges and protection to a group of Khilan from the governor of Targatana province, far to the west in Wahattu, some 500 years ago. Put that together with the news from the Notch Fort that a group of Khilan was allowed to pass bearing such a tablet, and you have evidence of a forgery, indicating that those Khilan are on their way to make mischief in Targatana by stirring up their longer-settled kindred. Perhaps they are already there.

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