Atum-Ra Ascendant

A Traitor's Call: Part One

Traitors whisper from the shadows

The party arrives to a busier than usual Ramet. There are far more Sekar on the street than usual. Posters and criers are on every street declaring a coming celebration complete with gladiatorial games. Upon arriving at the Jarresh Consortium compound they see Imkatepstanding on the post of the main gate, staring off to the south east. The guards tell the party that he has been like that for days, they can’t get him down, and he hasn’t eaten or slept to the best of their knowledge. The party seems unconcerned and settles back into the compound and meets with Zanril, filling him in on what happened at The Life Tree. After a few days of resting and regaining their strength from their journey the party gets a message. The message asks them to meet it’s anonymous sender at the Inn of the Gilded Bit, in Ut-Ramet the next night.

The party takes up this anonymous contacts offer and without any forethought or planning goes to the Gilded Bit at the appointed time. Upon entering they are directed by the barkeep who seems to recognize them to a back room. There they find a former acquaintance waiting for them. Kar’Tesh whom they met and rescued in Bastet. Kar’Tesh greets the party with “It is good you came. I am sorry for what happened at the cultists encampment. From what I heard those people never caused any harm, but of course I am sure you know it was never about them. It was about the power locked away in that tree. It was not the first and it will not be the last. That is partly why I asked to meet you.”
When the party presses him about why he asked them to meet him he responds, “How much do you know about the Sekar? My tribe has served Atum-Ra as his Templars for many generations. When I was young my grandmother told me a story told to her by her great-grandmother. She said that our tribe once roamed far away plains. She said that the Farrach appeared to them with treasures, fine weapons and promises of glory. Our ancestors agreed to follow the Farrach and serve him in his city of stone. When we arrived we found we were not his first servants. He had others already serving him as his Templars. They were strange creatures small eyes, green skinned, though not without strength, but their numbers were few and in decline. It was not long before we they were gone and we took their place as the Farrach’s Templars. Our tribe is one of the last, for all I know perhaps we are the very last. I have not seen a gnoll from another tribe in a very long time, and he was old and from what he said the last of his tribe. We were once indispensable but now the Farrach spends our lives carelessly. There are fewer of us than there have ever been and he sends more and more of us on dangerous expeditions, searching, always searching. And now he has brought these black skinned elves. There is a rumor amongst the Sekar that they come from across the mountains. I am sure one day he will have spent the last of our lives on his quest and these elves will take our place just as we took the place of those before us. Gnolls will cease to be. I do not want that to come to pass.”

“I cannot just leave or act directly or the tribe will be punished. Perhaps though, you can act. I would seek to delay his quest. I need time to determine what to do. In the dungeons beneath the temple there are a group of people we arrested some months back. Atum-Ra is sure they have information he needs, so far they have not given him what he wants, if you free them perhaps he will never get that information.” I can get you inside the dungeon, and if you strike during the celebration there will be few enough guards on duty."
The party asks him why he would want his Sekar harmed in the dungeon to free the captives?
Kar’Tesh says, “Those who work in dungeons are not Sekar, they are not even Ut-Sekar. No Sekar would defile himself with torture. If I am to cause pain and death it will be on the battlefield, not against some bound and helpless creature. The Ut-Farrach recruits only the basest of villains to do that evil work. You would be doing the city a service by thinning their ranks a little.”
The party asks if Kar’Tesh will join them or why does he not just do it himself?
Kar’Tesh replis, “While we enjoy a privileged position in the city the Farrach has ways to ensure our loyalty. There is a reason we live in our own walled quarter of the city. I am not the first to lose the faith. When I was a pup there was one amongst us who began questioning his duties. He began speaking out and some were swayed by his words. One day we awoke to the sight of his head mounted on a pike at the gates to our quarter and his family, those who had listened to him and their families were gone. Their homes and all their belongings remained just as they had been. It was as if they had just gone to the market, but they were gone. I have no doubt now that they found themselves guests of the dungeons and those vile torturers. I have a family. I would not see their lives taken for my heresy, but neither will I see my pups lives spent on the Farrach’s dreams. I cannot show my hand until the time is right, until I can be assured of their safety.”
The party asks what reward they can expect for doing this.
Kar’Tesh responds, “Do you not want to see some measure of vengeance for those in the encampment? You fought for them, I assumed you had befriended them. Am I wrong? If not for vengeance then your own self interest should be enough. I do not know what the Farrach’s goals are but I have seen enough to know that none of us should want to see him reach them. He has plans for you otherwise he would not have let you live this long. Things do not go well for those the Farrach has plans for. He will use you and discard you. It would be best to delay that as long as possible.”
Finally the party agrees to do this, Kar’Tesh says he will have someone meet him near the northern gate the morning of the first day of the celebration.

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bscarbeau

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