The Jackal’s Price: LoF Session XXXIII
With Chashagra’s mind finally clear and free from the taint of the book we began a lengthy discussion with the creature. There were many topics discussed and I will not bore you with all the details. Much of what we spoke of was related to Chashagra’s actions and that of the book and it potential destruction. Separate to that however, I believed it would be wise to seek the sphinx’s council on the presence of the mummy within the town. Chashagra theorized that his use of the book and its dark powers may have woken an ancient follower or perhaps a former owner of the book. It was a scary thought, but he also believed that destroying the book would put the abomination back to sleep. Due to the guilt I believe Chashagra felt for the lives he had taken, the sphinx pledged himself as protector of the town while we searched for a way to destroy the book.
Words done Chashagra asked that we take the merchant from his sight and see proper justice done for his mind could not be trusted. This of course was interpreted by Ce-tan, as with many things, that the man belonged to him. In many cases I would have put a stop to it immediately, but I was curious to understand the merchant’s mind. If nothing else can be said about Ce-tan he is certainly good at pulling out the core of a man.
Unfortunately, it proved to be no different than many of Ce-tan’s schemes and he used his powers to convince the merchant to willingly become his slave. The merchant to me deserved far worse, but that is not what forced my intervention. His punishment and worth did not belong to us. It belonged to the sphinx and all the people that were killed. This alone would have caused my intervention, but of course Ce-tan attempted to enslave the entire family. He wished only to allow them to be provided for and pay off their debits within Kelmarane. It is tough to tell with Ce-tan, but I believe he was sincere; unfortunately, the issue still remained that the payment for his crimes did not belong to us.
Non of this speaks to the merchants lack of remorse for his actions, and it would prove true for Ramzes as well. The merchant did beg for forgiveness and seemed genuinely remorseful for what had happened to the people of the town. He beseeched us claiming he had no choice for his actions and that he had only meant to protect the town. As it would turn out the man was an engineer and it was his irrigation system that allowed the land to be settled in the first place. For some reason the water level had been declining for several years and he believed they would not survive another harvest. Most of the people’s fortunes were tied up in the land, and as he believed any would, he did whatever was necessary to protect his family. When Chashagra refused to give him the oasis what was necessary became killing Chashagra.
As we know that attempted failed and only resulted in the death of Savith, her unborn child, and many town’s people. We discussed the merchant’s fate as we made our way back to the town. It was clear at that point it was going to be a struggle since Ce-tan was dedicated to taking the merchant for everything he had including his family. We left the matter until we spoke with Ramzes, which in itself proved a battle as Ce-tan wished to stay at the merchant’s home. It took some effort, but we convinced him that we must see Ramzes first.
In truth I should have known better as it is Katapesh after all, but Ramzes proved to be no help. He sought the merchant’s council, the man who had caused the problem in the first place, was supposed to pronounce his own punishment. Once again we deliberated on what to do with this man. An arcane charming of Ramzes, a dispelling of the charm on Ramzes, much fighting and arguing later, we determined the merchant would need to die for his crimes. We would entreat with Chashagra to forfeit his lands to the town and save them from the declining water level. Ce-tan required we receive some of the lands and Chashagra’s keep be left vacant in case he decided to return. In turn all the towns people, including non land owners, would receive a portion of the land. Land owners would receive a larger portion based on the number of people in their household including slaves. The last part did not sit well with me, but I had no choice and at least the common people would be gaining something.
With the merchant’s death settled we once again convinced Ce-tan to leave the merchant’s family alone. We slept through the night in the town and then left to speak with Chashagra the following morning. Chashagra readily agreed to forfeited his lands to the townspeople for his crimes. With the negotiations finally and all parties satisfied we continued our journey to Katapesh.
Not as exciting as you hoped I can see. A Saif Al-Nur may be the Holy Light’s sword, but we cannot choose to ignore the lesser evils because they cannot be solved by the blade. The destruction of greater evils must take a larger role in what we do and in some cases sacrifices must be made; however, that does not mean we should go around blind to the world about us. With that said I will leave you with a truth.
Remorse for the outcome of ones actions is not the same as remorse for ones actions.