S1 E41: To the City of Blood
In which Minkus warns the gang not to get into a huge fight with the whole town, and the gang immediately gets into a huge fight with the whole town.
- The camps along the road to the City of Blood play out more or less as Minkus described them, though he doesn't really do much to talk their way past. Nevertheless, they are designed around extorting money from simple merchants, not taking on a paramilitary unit of regional heroes, and the leaders above Minkus recognize - as Minkus himself did, to be fair - that there's nothing to be gained by fighting this bunch. Perhaps if Minkus had a stronger personality he could better command his gang, the Coyote Crew, not to attack. The spectre is recognized as the new guy at both camps, and goes a long way towards proving that these are no simple merchants easily frightened into paying a few gold coins for safe passage.
- Along the way they also encounter a man in a donkey 2-wheeled cart selling 'Oddities and Magics', though not even the slightest hint of magic is detectable anywhere on or in the cart. The specifics seem to include lead-loaded dice, decks of marked and stacked cards, palm tricks, and even questionable Dragonchess sets though how exactly one might cheat at chess with loaded pieces is less than clear. He makes his pitch, without luck, and continues on his way, warning them they'll wish they would have bought something if they ever find themselves in a high stakes card game in the future. Considering that the penalty for getting caught cheating at cards is usually getting killed by the other players, this seems a fairly empty threat.
- As they ride the gentle decline into the town, Mae consults with Nylea and learns the directional location of the Pearl of Wisdom. They see a large temple at the north end of town swathed in green and yellow flames and smoke. Minkus explains they are a group of religious monks and priests of the god Aot, the sun god. Calling themselves Aot's Salvation, they are aggressive and violently evangelistic regarding the use of magical fire; as a result, they are left alone by the Ravagers, a sort of gang confederation of which the Coyote Crew was a part. The Ravagers are based out of a large tavern near the west entrance to the town, and are led by a deformed Ogre named Sabian and his two equally deformed ogre brothers (or cousins or some relation), Gordo and Thromp. They have dozens of flinty, experienced brawlers and thieves in their clan scattered around the City of Blood. The balance of power in the town is precarious, with the Ravagers holding the central and south parts of the mostly-ruined place, and Aot's Salvation holding the north, which is far less hospitable due to buildings perpetually on fire there. Also mingling through the area are a group of wily Kenku that call themselves the Raven Collective, siding more with the Ravagers than the fireball-happy zealots but mostly doing their own thing for their own reasons, and always up to something. They favor the area near a semi-intact performance theatre in the central-east part of town, and Mae's guidance regarding the pearl suggests it's there. Minkus mentions some kind of ghost or ancient evil being associated with the theatre, but admits he's never been there and is only telling stories he's heard. He also mentions a creature? Pair of creatures? Named Fremont, who is an awakened cat in the ribcage of a skeleton. Evidently the town attracts a variety of misfits and Minkus may know of others.
- In the town, testosterone levels run sky-high, and at the tavern entrance a couple of ruffians cat-call the Battle-Babe Xi Shi, to which she and Mae become indignant. A fight breaks out, and one of the Ruffians has been killed, but it escalates inside the tavern, drawing out Sabian, his henchmen, and a few other ruffians. Fearing for the fate of the wagon - or seizing a once-in-a-lifetime heist opportunity - Minkus rides the wagon with its strongbox containing 14,000 gold pieces back onto the road out of town away from the fight, in the direction of the cliff marauder camp they had passed further up the road.
Character(s) interacted with
Minkus, Sabian, Gordo, Thromp