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A Nest of Wizards

Day of the Raven (5th), Murderer's Moon, Year of the Lamia [1/7/2002]



So what to do now? An easy voyage and fair reward. Perhaps the gods are showing their approval that Morgan has returned to the sea. Morgan's imediate plans are to get the internal fitout of the Grey Owl finished. To do this he'll need to find a berth in quiet waters, and preferably the labour of some carpenters. He'll also want to make sure that the Grey Owl is safe while he's away. So with that in mind, Morgan goes shopping, looking for a shipwright or failing that a carpenter. He's keen to have a look about this town too.

Walking around the oddly domed buildings of Moorsh it doesn't take long for Morgan to realise that something is very strange about this place. First, everyone is dressed from head to toe in the black robes similar to those worn by Bra'haa. Morgan feels all eyes on him as he walks through the dusty streets. The beehive-like dwellings are made of mud brick and have dark windows. There seem to be no women or children or animals visible. Some of the buildings have odd runes or glyphs above the door. Some of these are disturbingly familiar. Morgan remembers the witch back on Vil-Ning Isle who taught him a few hedge magicks. She hinted at darker sorceries in the world, the magics of hate and pain and curses.

Moorsh is not a large town. It does not seem a very hospitable port for Morgan's purposes. Far better would be Antim Town, a riverport which lies at the junction of the Quarmallian Canal and the broad River Hlal which meanders through the centre of the Lankhmar Continent. There seems to be no shipwright in the town, though Morgan does locate what passes for a general store; one of the beehive dwellings near the centre of town is laid out with all kinds of oddments, and some more practical. A merchant (?) in the same dark robes offers rope and knives at high prices. He speaks the Eastern Tongue in spite of the fact that Moorsh is located on the Lankhmar Continent. Morgan only manages to persuade the fellow to drop the price to a reasonable level after some haggling; he then makes his purchases.

When Morgan steps out of the dim shop into the square, a small crowd has gathered. At the head of the crowd is another man in dark robes. He is shorter and his stance is somewhat more jaunty than his compatriots. His muffler has slipped somewhat so you can see his lips as he speaks to you - surprisingly in fluent Lankhmarese:

"So, I hope our maritime visitor has enjoyed the sights of our town. I hear you are a reliable captain. How would you like to earn more gold for yourself? I have a cargo I wish to ship to Duke Lithquil of Ool Hrusp, a shipment from Westley of Moorsh. I will pay you sixteen gold coins - plus a further sixteen if you return here and tell me of the expression on his face when he opens the crate! Well? Are you interested, Ship Captain?"

Lithquil is known as the Mad Duke of Ool Hrusp, one of the Eight Cities on the northwest coast of the Inner Sea. The Mad Duke is notorious for his gladiatorial combats in the Ool Hrusp arena.

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