Before leaving the oasis, the party met a ragged, sun-worn elf wearing yards of silk, carrying weaving materials, toting a case of silkworms, and bearing a tapestry on his shoulders. Since he was also going to Jumlat, they decided to accept his company for the trip. Good thing, because he would actually be useful in combat later, unlike 2/3 of the party’s fighters.
Leaving the oasis, Nick almost ran over a man dying on the road. They gave him water, moved him into the shade, and entered into the hospitality bond with him – over the objections of the party’s resident ninja-looter. The man’s name was Said ibn Jumlat, and he was traveling from Jumlat to Gana. According to him, there is a mysterious murderer called only al-Zulmat who is targeting servants of Jumlat’s sultan and their families, friends, and associates. He left because his brother was a now-dead member of the sultan’s guard, and he feared for his own life.
The situation in Jumlat as he explains it is dire. The city is almost always on edge anyway – the poor can barely afford to eat outside of pearl harvest season. Right now, the sultan’s guard is in the middle of a crackdown against dissidents, and al-Zultan has popular (if quiet) support among the people. The guard has dispersed several mobs a week for the past few weeks, and Said fears that things will only get worse. He implored the party not to travel past the Gate District.
After helping Said rest and loading him up with wine and fish according to the laws of hospitality, the party left him at the oasis and started through the pass in the al-Yabki mountains, which will eventually lead into the Al-Fatir river delta at Jumlat. Ally took point and scouted ahead, noticing very quickly that the party was being watched from atop the ridgeline. After warning the party, they all noticed movement from the corners of their eyes here and there, but were never able to spot what was coming. They reached a pool of water among the rocks halfway through the pass and made camp for the night.
While sitting around the fire, a pack of fearsome debbi attacked the party. Not used to the adventuring life (and with wisdom as a dump stat), the party bolted in several directions, allowing groups of two debbi each to focus on Nick, Ben, and Ally. Over the next twelve rounds, the debbi fought a mostly one-sided battle, slowly whittling away at the party members. A few lucky rounds and decent saving throws allowed half of the adventurers to fight back, causing the cowardly creatures to flee.
Two pelts worth about 200 gold each were recovered. Two horses have escaped (Ally’s and a pack horse) and will have to be recovered at the beginning of the next session.