The eight of you gather at the crossroads. Jabilo and Sunbow discuss briefly the leads they have discovered, Lucius briefly fills in his experiences, feeling you must press harder to capture Septum before he gets to Haven you make the decision to move south.
You hit the road at a brisk pace hoping to steal as much sunlight as possible. The acrid smells of Tek leave as you get closer to the jungle pass before Haven. The grasslands get hillier and turn from golden to brown and then to a wet green as you approach the Simbon Mountains and Kinwah Jungle. Happily you get an extra hour more of light as you leave a great deal of the expansive flatland to the south-west.
After 4 and a half hours of hard riding…harder than you would normally feel comfortable…you cross the Sambo river and the last strands of day disappear behind the curtain of the long horizon.
Dismounting, your horses sleek in sweat, you forge in the dark for a good encampment. A sharp shriek pierces the night as Lagniappe dives down and rest upon the forearm of Sunbow. You can see the half moon reflect in her eyes as she releases a scrap of embroidered cloth into the shaman’s hand. Too dark to read the embroidery or discern the colour, she screeches again and takes off back into the night air.
In a quiet voice from the back of the group you hear Lund say
Well, you don’t see that every day.
To that you hear the deeper voice of Ranu beside him
We must respect the Jungle Eagle. I’m sure the Omen Master will know what it means.
bq). We’ll make camp here, men. Sir Dayton, organize a watch for the night and distribute rations. There will be no fire tonight. Our quarry may be close by. We’ll strike out at first light.
Lucius turns to unsaddle his horse and unpack his tent.
With a great deal of difficulty, the five men set about erecting the encampment without a light source. After about an hour of muttering and stiffed swearing they get a tent set up, the horses picketed, a latrine dug, and a watch organized.
Lucius, Sunbow, and Jabilo step into the tent to examine the piece of cloth with the dim light of one of Jabilo’s cantrips. It is a very finely woven fabric with what was at one time a very professional embroider. It seems to be a picture of a black business on a yellow and blue field. Lucius, thinks it reminds him of one of the merchant guilds you see in the city…perhaps Sandorian…but isn’t sure. Jabilo, seems to think he has seen the symbol before sewn onto the cloak of Granbian back in Kembe…but isn’t 100% sure. Sunbows, mind jolts!
The building in the picture looks identical to the Omen of the Lost Lord…a dangerous proposition. Like the White Parrot, it is a warning of great danger brought about by foolishness. It lets one know, one who is willing to listen, that there will be a great trial. The trail will carry a great cost; but, if you survive, you will become wiser and more powerful. It is said that only the greatest of the Omen Masters successfully navigate the Omen of the Lost Lord.
Thinking back you recall the words of your mentor Londra’Zo
The Lord is a strange task. It will always appear that everything is going well. Lords are wealthy and have great power. They can shower you with gifts and bring you to great places. Know that a Lords will is his own though. He is motivated by what he needs and what he wants. If your whole tribe is in his way he might just destroy them all. He might just need you and your gifts. He might just drain you. His need isn’t the world…it is the palace he builds. No Que’Sambian needs the trapping of a palace, he has the forest, the earth, and the wind and rain. Don’t let the Lord steal these things from you.
There is deep silence in the tent, in the darkness, as the three of you contemplate your own thoughts. The silence goes on. And the night is uneventful.
Though he is weary to the core, he has trouble falling asleep. His mind shrieks at him that the cloth recovered by the bird is just a bit of scrap, with no deeper meaning, but his instincts feel otherwise. He has found a deep respect for the native magic of this land and a feeling of foreboding scratches at his conscience like a bird scratching for seed.
Unable to sleep he rises, leaving the tent to check the camp and ensure all is well. Once he is satisfied, he will return to the tent to find what rest he may.