The party aimed to set out from Nibenay at daybreak. But upon the morning, they realised there was perhaps some more preparing to do. First was to decide the route to take. With an arm wrestle between Tiran Arslan and Ichtaca, it was decided. The party would travel the Beastbarrens to the immediate east, a wasteland of warped, horrid creatures; cannibals; and reaver tribes.
Before they could depart, Turk Garrant decided it was prudent to talk to someone who regularly engages and negotiates with the Dray. After a bit of investigating, the group headed to the villa of House Shom to talk to the house’s patriarch, Giovo Shom.
Giovo Shom was welcoming and hospitable. He disclosed that the while House Shom did regularly employ the services of the Dray clans, they haven’t done for half a year now, not since the rise of Giustenal in the east. He also invited the new nobles of Nibenay to his next rager.
The party set out with a full compliment of survival days towards Giustenal via the Beatbarrens. Flying their carpet over the yellow wasteland was uneventful. Flocks of birds and herds of beasts were occasionally spotted above and below, but never engaged the party. The group were also able to spot anomalies amongst the animal groups such as a four-winged Kestral and a two-headed Aarakocra.
It was on the third night that the group noticed they were being watched by a group of animals. On the fourth night, they were still being watched. They could make out horns in the distance, revealing the true nature of the animals as Horned Desert Fish.
On the fifth night, a day out from Giustenal, the “fish” attacked. While it’s possible Turk was wrong, it’s also possible the Minotaurs had disguised themselves as Horned Desert Fish, a clever ruse. Several Minotaurs burst from the sand, already laying in wait. A fierce battle ensured, but the Minotaurs were no match for the powerful nobles of Nibenay.
The party quickly decimated the raiding beasts which showed little intelligence beyond a beast. After taking the horns and small bits of food held by the minotaurs, the party continued onto Giustenal.
As they drew closer, the party noticed the sky drawing darker, despite being pre-noon. The city would have been large in its prime, with tall multi-story towers dotted throughout and wide roads leading towards the docks on the Silt Sea. Now, the city was in ruins with most towers collapses and permanent shadows cast by the darkened sun. The sky had turned night-dark and the sun shined no brighter than one of the moons.
Before entering the city, the party were stopped by a lone Dray standing watch from a half collapsed building. Upon revealing their identity, they were met by a group of Dray and undead and asked to relinquish their weapons. They relinquished all but the Swords of Tyr.
The party were escorted into the city and down an elevator into caverns where portions of the city had collapsed into. Here was the real city of Giustenal. It was a mix of ancient architecture and new buildings resting on plateaus framing trenches of unfathomable depth.
The undead shambled around, like silent servants while Dray families and clans moved through the streets.
The party were led to a grand palace carved into the cave wall and up stone steps into the entrance. Inside was a massive throne room. It seemed the entire palace was hollowed out from the inside. Sitting on the throne, illuminated by green light was Juan. Even as the party realised who he was, Juan shifted into the form of Sorcerer-King Dregoth.
The group proceeded to negotiate on behalf of Sorcerer-King Nibenay for a peace, even if temporary, while God-King Tithian was taken care of. Dregoth agreed to a more permanent peace provided he was given the city of Raam which would then become the extent of his reach into the Tyr Region.
As messengers between Sorcerer-Kings, the party moved to depart Giustenal, hopefully bringing Nibenay terms he found favorable.