900. STARTING THE GAME



It is assumed that all player characters arrive in a small boat at the great Tsolyani port city of Jakalla. It is also assumed that everyone speaks understandable, but non-native Tsolyani and can read the basic form of this language.

Each player has with them a small sum of money, between 100 and 200 Kaitar. The Tsolyani themselves do not use money much, using instead a system of credit and favors, Foreigners, however, are required to pay in cash.
The unit of currency is the Imperial gold Kaitar. This is divided into 20 silver Hlash, and each Hlash is further divided into 20 copper Qirgal.

All non-native travellers and castaways are housed in one of the Imperial resthouses in the foreigner's quarter. The lowest, Tower of the Red Dome, costs 10 Kaitar per person per day. Food, if it can be called that, is included in the price.
It is important to mention the strangers are NOT permitted to leave this quarter and enter Jakalla itself. It is advisable for beginning characters to remain within the foreign quarter until contacted by a patron.
Characters who do attempt to enter Jakalla without an escort run the risk of making error in speaking or etiquette.
Check for how offended the Tsolyani are. Duels are common but, Imperials of high rank will have the city guard arrest the character. Prisons are reserved for those who may be needed later by the Imperium, or whose crimes merit punishments before being allowed to die.

On acheaving some experience, a player character may freely travel within the Empire. Once attaining Imperial citizenship, they may sponsor champions in the Hirilakte arenas, and hold military or civil rank in the Imperial government.



Here at last, was the great city of Jakalla, famed throughout the five Empires. Here was the traditional first port of call for those new to the great Empire of Tsolyanu. Here country bumpkins (like yourself) could rub shoulders in the street with noblemen and priests, soldiers and clan-lords.

Through the morning haze, beyond the buildings that crowded the shore, you can see the tops of mighty pyramids, vast temples dedicated to one of the Lords of Change or Stability. And the throngs of people! A boy from a small fishing village could scarcely imagine that there could be so many people gathered in one place. The wharfs were thronged with stall holders selling goods, beggars crawling through the dust, slaves running errands ... there, a palanquin holding a fat nobleman bobbed above the heads of the crowd. There, members of a Tsolyani legion, dressed in blue and gold lacquered Chlen hide, tramped efficiently along the shore, the crowd parting before them. Their scalloped Chlen-hide swords clacked against their thighs as they walked. Kogush's eyes smarted with so many wonders. His nostrils, too, were filled with exotic odors he could not identify, mixed in with the sharp scent of sweat and the dry dust the crowds kicked up.

Kogush climbed out of the small boat they had arrived in and turned to Puutan.
"I've never seen so many people. Have you?"
"No, never. Even with our whole clan gathered back home, there would not be this many."
"Guess we should try to find a place to stay. You coming with me?" asked Kogush.
"I think it is a good idea if we stay together. At least until we get to know people here," answered Puutan.

With that, they began winding their way up the dock.

Soon the way was blocked by a crowd milling in confusion before a row of wooden tables, behind which sit several officious looking functionaries. Here was the place, where newcomers to Jakalla were quizzed about their future plans, and non-residents were directed to suitable accommodations within the Foreigner's Quarter. They had been warned of the procedure.

From their belt pouches they drew much-folded documents, their recommendation from the Old One at the Clan of the Onyx Anchor back in Miyel on Llurura Isle.

Before long each was the subject of a piercing black-eyed stare through heavy brows. The official, dressed in a stained white tunic with an eloborate pectoral and leather skullcap, looked bored and hot. Behind him a looming hulk of a man in Chlen-hide armor stood ready to back up his edicts.

"Name and clan?" asked the official, bending his head over a parchment crowded with writing.
Though he did not appear to be listening, each answered him in turn.

The official scowled in a dismissive fashion. "Do you have papers?"

Each hurriedly handed over their parchments and the official unfolded and read the characters. After making a note on his parchment, he shoved theirs back.

Though distracted by the sight of a hulking reptilian Shen conversing with a market seller, they still had the presence of mind to ask where they might find lodging.

"The Tower of the Red Dome can provide you accommodations during your stay in Jakalla. Next"

Kogush suggested to Puutan that they join with the other new arrivals that have been directed to the Red Dome.  Kogush tried to stay with them as they moved through the milling throng of people while memorizing the surroundings.

Puutan agreed with Kogush and followed him and the others.
The press of people was almost overwhelming and Puutan tried not to gape like a fish out of water at all the new sights while still staying close to the group.

The Tower of the Red Dome was easy to find since it was directly to the right of the  Gates they had entered. The plaza full of marketstalls and crowds of people was bordered by the Palace of Mruthri, Resthouse of Foreigners and Visitors of Upper Status directly across from the gates and the walled compound of The Tower of the Red Dome, Resthouse for Poor and Indigent Foreigners and Visitors of No Status. To either side of these establishments were the heaped clanhouses of those that had residence here. Four and five story buildings casting their shade on the streets between them.
(They find this out by questioning the members of the group that appeared to know were they are going.)

The massive doors were open and the door guards stood at either side as the group entered the courtyard of the complex.

The doorman entered the courtyard from a doorway on the left and introduced himself as Shrakan hi Mailawi. It is clear from the clothing and ornaments that he was wearing, that he was of third rank and not the head of the establishment.

He requested that they join him in refreshments and led the way to a covered porch at the back of the courtyard.  There were many threadbare mats on the floor with small tables in their middles. A stack of mats were piled in one corner for adding height as a visitor's rank indicates a need.

When everyone was seated on a mat at the proper level, one of their group was second rank and the rest were first, servants entered with earthenware cups and jugs. Each guest was offered a cup and a servant filled it with water from the jugs.

From his three mat seat, Shrakan thanked everyone for coming to his establishment and extolled its virtues. While Shrakan was talking, one of your group placed a stack of 10 Kaitars on the table beside his cup.

Kogush notices the 10 Kaitar "gift" and decided to follow this example. Carefully extracting 10 gold from his belt pouch, he placed it on the table beside his cup.

He thought that even though the mats were threadbare, they were still of a finer workmanship then those found in his village. The cups on the other hand were very plain.

Puutan followed the lead of the others and also placed 10 gold beside his cup.
He thought that the water, while cool, had a strange taste, not at all like the water back home.

When Shrakan noticed that all five of his new guests had placed their gold on the tables, he exclaimed, "I see that you are all men of means and you are welcome to stay with us."
With that he rattled a clapper and another, first ranked, man joined them.
"This is Dadayel, he will lead you to suitable accomodations."
Shrakan then collected the gold from the tables and left the porch.

"Please follow me"
Dadayel led them upstairs to a large room divided by screens with racks of beds three high. He then introduced them to a man sitting in a corner area by the stairs. As the man stood and approached them Dadayel said, "This is Tajqol, he is in charge of The Chamber of Restful Slumber." To Tajqol he said, "Shrakan has sent us. You are requested to find beds for them"

Tajqol greeted everyone properly and looked them over. He then led them through a maze of screened areas, past several fine single sleeping mats to a screened area with a single stack of nice quality mats. He directed the second rank member of your group to a middle bunk.

The rest he led to two racks with thin worn looking mats. They are crowded together right next to the main walkway.
"This should do for you." he said, looking them over again with disdain.

"Food is served at the next bell."
He departed without waiting for a reply.

Tekumel