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There is a saying in Khale - that when you speak of a river, it is a different river each time, and you cannot trust the river to be the same week to week. This is, of course, true for the River Maire, one of the few landmarks that form a border between Ammeni and Khale. It is unstated between both sides that this is a place to fight, to make war.
The city of Gonne-on-Maire, Khaleans say, is like the river it sits on - it has been beaten, burned, and knocked down enough that the city you speak of one month may be completely different the next month.
The city is a circle bisected by the river, but neither side is pleasant. Ancient stone buildings hint of their readiness to collapse, newer structures are often little more than mud-covered wood. The city is a prize, however, and the Ammeni lords bring their warriors into their side, crowding the city with weapons and clerks, while their delicate white-sailed ships prowling the harbor and moving goods from the Sea of Teeth to the southern lands. Crime and vice are rampant, and more than a few bodies find their way to the water's edge, from both directions.
The organized Khale tribes know that the city must be kept to prevent further encroachment by the Ammeni. They hide in the shadows of the city, bowstrings taut, watching for targets. Their leaders squabble, despising their conditions, desiring glory, and forgetting their true enemy lies within the stink of the city.
There have been two developments that may change this stalemate.
The first is the arrival of several members of the Concordant Council, one of the few Ammeni groups that urge unity between the houses. They speak to no one, staying almost constantly in one of the ancient towers, but their foreign servants are everywhere. Rumors speed of great mercenary armies arriving, to sack the Khalean side, and to begin a great push into the forest lands, putting men to swords and trees to flame.
The other has just happened. A great commotion rose at sunset on the Khalean side of Gonne-on-Maire, a squad of bamboo warriors slashing their way through the Khalean streets, coming from the deep Khalean forest. Men died at spear-point within seconds of each other, blood staining cobble, as the Ammeni, carrying a great burden, leaped upon the boats moored at the shore and paddling for their lives. Shields were raised to ward off the arrows, but of the two dozen who had appeared in the streets, four are now huddled in the boat. One dies; he is pushed from the boat.
Midway across the quick river, flame is added to the barrage of arrows, and spears are launched. The lingering soldiers abandon their craft, screaming and burning as they leap into the water. One spear splinters the crate they carry, and it flies open as it empties its contents into the water. A glittering cascade of moon-metal, the odd, powerful substance found fallen in the Khalean forest, enough to equip a ten-score men, sinks quickly in the water, lost from sight. The two remaining men crawl onto the Ammeni shore, gasping and bleeding.
The river is fast, and deep. The metal is a prize many Ammeni would kill for, and something Khale would kill to leave lie.
Stealth: Adept, rolled into Bladework: Competent, to kill the baron in the middle of the crowd without anyone spotting exactly who did it. I'll spend a pool die if either Ability fails.Yuen
Yuen slips through the crowd, retrieving the blade from his pocket and observing the silk-wrapped back of the High Baron for a good place to plant it.