Preservers of Immortal Lore - Mummy's Mask Adventure Path
Zaroola the Curious
Zaroola the Curious
Zaroola was sold to Katapeshi slavers by his family at a young age in Wati. He vaguely recalls a younger sister and a baby brother, but he recalls nothing else of his clan or family. Zar was quickly sold to a eunuch named Kututman in Sothis partly because Zar spoke polyglot. Kututman was the chief of staff for Kotrath Eemet’s household and the actual legal owner of all of the household and expeditionary slaves. The wealthy wizard Kotrath Eemet could honestly answer that he owned no slaves under the strictest magical scrutiny in lands less tolerant of the practice. Kututman had earned his freedom from Kotrath some time ago, but he was pleased to stay in Kotrath’s service and enjoy the comfort and prestige of his position in spite of frequent and very distant travel. Persistent rumors Kututman came to be a slave and eunuch because of some horrific act of piracy were whispered only rarely and never in his presence.
One of the first inland expeditions Zar was taken on was to the northern reaches of the Mwangi jungle by way over the Barrier Wall. He served as a porter to Hakon Eikson and did some translating for the Ulfen Pathfinder. The lengthy overland expedition proved too costly in men and gold, and it was aborted after the death of their Bonuwat shaman Abbujim. Hakon recognized Zaroola’s bravery, wit and curiosity and taught him many useful skills including field craft and reading. Zar showed some minor arcane talent and a penchant for languages, but Kotrath had no patience for apprentices. Zar did eventually master a few innate spells in the dozen some odd years he served Kotrath and Hakon as well as mastering the written and spoken forms of some half dozen languages as well as knowing bits some half dozen more. (Kotrath has demonstrated mastery of at least 14 languages including ancient Orsirion, Thassilonian, and Azlanti.) Zar was able to travel an astounding amount with Kotrath’s expeditions in some 12 years, but they never stayed in one place long enough for him to embrace any particular culture. Never the less he has had some exposure to virtually every major culture from as far north as The Land of the Linnorm Kings and inland northern Varisia to as far southwest as Sargava and The Shackles to as far east as The Padishah Empire of Kelesh.
Recently all of their travels nearly came to a violent end in the northern Obari Ocean north of the infamous Stonespine Island when the Galleys they had bought passage on from the Meraz Desert came under attack with swift and blinding violence. The Okeno caravels appeared out of nowhere well within bow range as a flight of arrows arced through the air, but even before the bulk of the arrows landed one great lethal arrow blew through poor Kututman with such violence that it nearly ripped him in half before the force of the blow threw his corpse bodily over board. Zar dove for his shield in shock and fear. Hakon yelled the order for shields and cried, “Kitha’s banner!”. The normally inscrutable Kotrath instantly activated potent defensive spells while cursing in several tongues about Saltspray’s pet demon spawns. Arrows deflected before striking him and shattered when they hit. Zoola, the cleric of Sarenrae hired for her healing gifts, was immediately killed in the first volley of arrows because she refused to wear armor on the open sea. Hakon and Zar were lightly wounded. Our sister ship The Padishah’s Pearl immediately ran up the white flag without taking fire. They probably thought to placate the pirates with some portion of their cargo. I briefly wondered if our captain might do the same for the Padishah’s Ruby when the air exploded in screaming fire. Kotrath, rarely moved to anger or flashy spells, expressed his displeasure with a screaming star and fireball that wiped virtually all life off of the deck of one pirate caravel while lighting it ablaze. So much for parley. Zar then realized our ship was ablaze too! Kotroth vanished from sight. Zar and Hakon started quaffing potions from Zoola’s bandolier to protect from fire. The Ruby fled, and more fire was exchanged in every sense. The Ruby’s captain was shortly dispatched as brutally as Kututman was. The Ruby’s sails and rigging were almost entirely ash in the wind, and there were cries of, “Sails to the north!”, “The cargo is alight!”, and “abandon ship!”. Then the world turned into a ball of fire and became very wet. Apparently the Ruby was carrying something quite volatile. There were survivors but Kotroth and Hakon were nowhere to be found among them. The pirate ships seemed to have fled, and a very fast galley was bearing down flying two birds on a blue field. It turned out that the Ruby and Pearl had been set upon by no less than a villain than Kitha Saltspray’s own Branded Chain, and the survivors were rescued by some famous Andoran privateer galley named Her People’s Will.
Zar was now a free man for the first time in clear memory and was unsure how to proceed. Captain Helmworthy eventually stopped by Sothis and Zar heard of the opportunity in Wati. It seemed balanced to return there and explore closer to home and away from the ocean and exploding ships for now.