Tuesday 20 June 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #171: Lakku Under the Mountain

Fourteen hexes north, one northwest of Alakran.

Under the beetling gaze of the peak Gagaz-Parku to the north sits an ill-favored valley village: Lakku. Its barely 200 souls dwell in poorly mortared stone piles thatched with sod. They live off the usual activity of herding goats, and also indifferently work a nearby quarry of a kind of smooth stone that is architecturally out of favor and little in demand. Piles of these blocks make an irregular rampart around the village, waiting for buyers, a testament to failure.

Lakku is little governed but there is a prime inhabitant whom everyone has a grudging respect for, Zamnawiya the Hospitable, a matriarch with six children of all ages and a variety of men she calls husband. Her epithet is ironic, for while she owns a house she rents out as an inn, her prices are exorbitant and the conditions are miserable -- infested with fleas, stifling in summer and leaky in winter, and the night's rest punctuated by the screams of the hostess' young children, whom she keeps awake on nights when guests are in. 

People from the big cities, two or three a year, put up with this unbecoming accommodation because of the persistent rumor of a buried treasure somewhere in the hills about. In fact, the latest gossip is that the stone piles around the village are arranged as a clue to the direction and location of the trove. Zamnawiya just laughs, collects her extravagant room and board, and mutters meaningless sayings -- "In the dark of the moon, the thrush falls to the ground" -- that confuse and confound treasure hunters even more so.

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