The Golden Wastes

The Testimony of the Paladin Zubair to the Inquisition of Velos

Zubair, Paladin of the Unconquered Sun: Honored Sires, I thank you for this opportunity to testify as to the tragic events of the nights of last week. It was Wednesday, and the guests of the merchant Aten had gathered for supper at the normal time we always do, when the evening call for prayer is issued from the minaret of the Sable Citadel. A half hour in, a heavy wind blew the shuttered windows open, and the candles went out. My brother Tambul went to relight one, and that is when we were attacked.

Eyassa, High Priestess of Menari, and Grand Inquisitor of Velos: Who attacked you?

Z: It was not a who, but a what. A jet black form entered the room through the open window, croched like a cat of prey. I felt the air around me become cold and the smell like an open grave in winter filled my nostrils. It pounched upon Tambul at once and began gutting him, but he fought. My brothers and quickly rallied and seized our weapons, but not before it slew my brothers Tambul and Pentawir and the merchant Aten.

E: Did you slay the monster?

Z: Not at that time. We harmed it grievously, but we were then attacked by terrible shades, and the creature escaped. We banished them back to the darkness, but we saw with horror that one of them was our anguished soul of our brother Tambul, and it escaped into the night. Those of us who remained hunted the creature and destroyed it, but we still seek to put the soul of Tambul to rest.

E: Was the paladin Akbar there?

Z: No, effendi. None of us have seen Akbar since the day he answered your summons many months ago.

E: Did you see the wizard Samara?

Z: No, effendi. I have not see him since he fled the house of Aten when the constabulary came to arrest him.

E: Both of them and the rest of “Samedi’s Team” have encountered this creature before. It is the Nightshade that appeared during the Night of Dark Terror, correct? The Nightshade they fought yet interestingly never defeated.

Z: I believe so, effendi. If not, there is a second one stalking the city.

E: Do you believe there is any connection between this attack and Samedi’s Team?

Z: I do not believe so. There is nothing connecting them.

E: Yet, Samara and the others would know your schedule, and if they sent something to attack, would know when you were most vulnerable.

Z: Yes, effendi. However, I do not believe that our brother Akbar would ever cooperate even if charmed. It is against his nature to harm any innocent or defender of the faith. Even if he was charmed, eventually the grace of the Unconquered Sun would free him. It has been too long for him to be so compelled, if indeed the wizard Samara has done so which I doubt.

E: Yet, it is possible that Akbar could have revealed this without knowing what Samara intended to do. Besides Akbar, there was another who stayed at Aten’s house, the bedouin calibani named Kasib.

Z: It is as you have spoken. Yet I still believe none of Samedi’s companions are engaged against us. Only if they have fallen under most dire sorcery is it possible. If so, they are victims equally as any other. Perhaps one might have fallen, but they are mighty and I do not believe the entire group is so bewitched.

E: If not them, who do you think was behind the attack?

Z: I do not know, effendi, other than it must be this ghoul cult many of the heroes of Velos have battled in these past few years. Alas, I know no specific name of the cult except those already brought to justice.

E: Where are you staying now?

Z: The daughter of Aten, Leila, has returned to claim her inheritance. She has gifted us with a portion of Aten’s estate, as she knew was his wish, but has no desire to be reminded of the circumstances of his death. We are currently dwelling with friends until we find new accommodations.

E: The flight of the suspect Samedi from this body’s summons has forfeited his property in Velos. This body grants his former house to the brotherhood of the Unconquered Sun for their use. Furthermore, this body has been empowered by the Overlord to exempt all taxation associated with it in perpetuity as long as the paladins reside within it.

Z: Thank you, effendi.

E: What is your intention now?

Z: My brothers and I intend to find the shade of Tambul and put his spirit to rest and free his soul from the damnation forced upon him. Tambul was truly great, and I believe he will dwell in the Pure Lands if not the Garden of the Gods for much time before continuing on his karmic journey.

E: This body wishes you and your brothers great success. Tambul was a honored man in the halls of Velos, and he has helped this inquisition in many matters. Go with the gods, Zubair. This session of the Inquisition of Velos is now brought to an end.

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