The next morning Sam takes Reginald to tryouts with him. Kalpa goes into town to sell some of the things he has collected on our journey. Nymm agrees to stay in the yurt along with Gathalimay, Merielle and me.
Kalpa goes to the marketplace and sells everything but the magical weapon.
Sam arrives at the Templars just as a slave caravan has arrived. A kid runs over to Sam screaming “father, father you came to save me!” Strangely he bears a strong resemblance to Sam. Sam thinks he might recognize the kid as the one we met back at the caravan meetup, the kid who was dying to follow the Flock of Seagulls around. Sam negotiates that he will claim the kid, Durien, in exchange for fighting in the arena that evening.
Meanwhile Gathalimay is preaching Gathalicism to anyone who will listen just outside the yurt. Other travelers move farther and farther away from the yurt.
I take the time to look through the books I have collected to see if I can learn anything about Uutkleza, where we are headed next. I find a story of a powerful prisoner who was brought to Uutkleza, and then just one week later the entire city sunk into the desert.
Merielle and Ravel are just watching Nymm.
Kalpa returns from his foray into the marketplace and notes that he needs to sell a great sword. Nymm quickly offers to take him somewhere in town where he can sell the sword. Kalpa agrees to take Nymm with him.
Nymm takes Kalpa to a shady guy named Adolfo. Upon seeing Nymm, Adolfo remarks “you know there’s a brice on your head? You’re pretty ballsy showing up here.”
Kalpa makes a deal with Adolfo for the sword in exchange for some money and spilling where Nymm will be sleeping that evening so Adolfo can collect the price on his head. As he leaves, Kalpa mentions “we’ll be staying at the Dragon’s Boots inn.”
Kalpa immediately returns to the marketplace and goes over to where a man is selling two rhinos. After some negotiation Kalpa purchases one of the rhinos. He also learns that the rhino that he didn’t purchase is destined to fight some poor soul in the arena tonight.
Meanwhile Nymm sends a note via messenger. Then he joins Kalpa and suggests they go get a drink at a bar. They stop for drinks, and Nymm tries to catch if anyone is tailing him, but doesn’t see anyone.
Before returning to the yurt, Kalpa picks up his rhino and names him Hydra.
Kalpa and Nymm return to the yurt. Shortly thereafter Sam returns and explains the situation with Durien.
It turns out that Durien is a shifter. We’re all still split on whether to allow him to join us, but for now he stays with us.
In the late afternoon Sam heads back to town to fight in the arena. Kalpa warns him that he’ll be fighting a rhino and I give him some extra healing potions. Gathalimay, Durien and Kalpa head to town to watch the fight.
When it is time for Sam to enter the ring, Kalpa shines like the sun and Gathalimay announces him: “forged in the fields, battle tested in Saharabellum, it is Samuel sexual chocolate Leary!”
Sam squares off against the pissed off rhino. It seems they are fairly equally matched, both getting hits in some of the time, and managing to block them off other times.
Back in the yurt, suddenly Ravel bristles at a noise outside. Before we can react, knives slice up the sides of the yurt and two people step in. One slices at me. “What do you want,” I scream. Merielle aims an arrow and shoots. “Are you here for this asshole,” she quips. Merielle tries to shoot the crodlu’s rope to let him loose, but misses and hits Reginald. Merielle kills the first assassin, but not before another knocks Nymm unconscious and stabs his unconscious body.
Meanwhile, in the stands, several people creep up behind Durien, Kalpa and Gathalimay. They hit Durien hard. Durien runs away, over the wall and he falls into the arena with Sam and the Rhino.