Arc 2 - Adventuring: Red Beauty, Desert Politics, and Invasion

TL;DR - >Party comes back to Esperanza, gets bounty, rests for a bit >Annabelle joins the party >Party is given a cargo load to deliver to Balansiyyah, Nasr's capital city >They arrive and get inside the city's walls >Delivery is completed >Adventurers explore city, others fight in Colosseum >They get the grand prize, the Nasultan's ring >One member is imprisoned for threatening a chancellor and resisting arrest >That night, party is commissioned to kill gang members in the city >Shadowy masses begin to terrorize the people of the city, under a blue moon >Party begins fighting the shadow massesAnnabelle The adventuring party spend time back in Esperanza, feasting and resting with their newly acquired money. Mul'Jinn encounters a young, red-haired woman named Annabelle who takes an interest in beholding his powers. She has a ravenous appetite and thoroughly enjoys all of Mul'Jinn's feasts. The townsfolk accuse her of continuous thievery, though exaggerations on their part discredit the accusations in the eyes of the party. Annabelle has many wild tales of adventure up her sleeve.Nasr, the desert nation The barkeep who paid the party personally requests that they deliver supplies and cargo to a particular tavern in Balansiyyah, attention'd to a man named Malek. The adventurers fly out to Nasr in swift fashion amongst the clouds with Mul'Jinn's Wind Walk, landing somewhere outside Balansiyyah's walls. The majority of the adventurers stow themselves away in a stranger's covered wagon, while some others breach the city's fortifications by unconventional means. Entranced by the city's crowded streets and tall buildings, the party splits up to explore on their own, agreeing to reconvene at a particular hotel building. Many browse the wares of shops, perusing for extraordinary goods among common items; others go on a fine dining sampling tour. Mul'Jinn eventually finds Malek's tavern and delivers the requested cargo load.In a remote area of the city, a mischievous adventurer steals a rust beetle and causes trouble for the city guards.

Colosseum Fighting
Word reaches the ears of the adventuring party that the Nasultan, empirical ruler of Nasr, has arrived in Balansiyyah, enforcing an anti-magic zone throughout the city in accordance with the law, restricting the use of magic except for the Nasultan and the royal forces. In addition, the Nasultan’s arrival heralds the annual Colosseum battles, where criminals, prisoners of war, and ambitious volunteers fight one another to the death for a grand prize: the specially embroidered ring belonging to the Nasultan, the opportunity for recruitment into the royal guard, and in the case of the imprisoned: freedom.

Mul’Jinn, Draknoth, and Annabelle register for the tournament. Fierce warriors fall as the adventurers win their way up the brackets. Draknoth and Annabelle both defer victory to Mul’Jinn; in Annabelle’s case, she feigns dropping into the ring’s outer pit of corpses. Mul’Jinn’s final battle is versus Antoni Fetscher, a vicious swordsman with an extraordinary power to easily dispel magic, interfere with Mul’Jinn’s physical shape-shifting, and warp the surrounding space. Mul’Jinn’s tenacity holds through, bringing Antoni to his knees with his Elemental Falchion, only to see Antoni disappear in a mist of blue energy. Mul’Jinn is presented with the Nasultan’s ring.

Meanwhile, Argiron meanders around the stands and finds himself in the ambassador’s row, speaking with a Nasrian chancellor and presenting his specially acquired ambassador’s passport. Through the conversation, Argiron’s interrogation delves into the national security of Nasr. The chancellor, frightened by the prospect of a military invasion from Argiron’s people, labels Argiron a dangerous criminal and alerts the guards of the city to apprehend him on sight. Argiron is later spotted near the Colosseum, and a large fight breaks out between Argiron, his wolf, and the city’s guard forces. When guard reinforcements prove to be ineffective, the Nasultan is alerted to the dilemma and intervenes himself, imprisoning Argiron in a magical cage upon arriving at the scene. After a failed attempt to assassinate the Nasultan there and then, Argiron is taken away to a local jail, awaiting transport to a high security prison outside of the city.

Cult of the Snake
Later that evening, Malek calls upon Mul’Jinn for a personal favor, to hunt down members of a particular gang, who can be identified by a certain tattoo. Mul’Jinn and a few others make quick work of many individuals, as the midnight streets are scarcely disturbed. Though, in a corner of the city, some guards bare witness to the murders, and attack the party. The guards are quickly disposed of without alerting the rest of the city guard.

When the night becomes quiet once again, Priscilla notices the Nasultan’s ring on Mul’Jinn’s hand is glowing blue, as well as the full blue moon that is out; a newly appearing inscription glows blue on the ring. Mul’Jinn, curious about the writing, inquires the Nasultan, who can offer no answer on the matter. Shortly thereafter, screams from throughout the city pierce the silence. The sleepy city comes to life as people run from their houses, chased by large shadowy masses of black. Many people are carried away by the shadowy masses, which pass through the city’s walls with ease, bringing their hostages along as well. The party engages in combat with many shadowy masses of varying sizes, some as large as buildings, others as small as a human…

To be continued…