Zartoshvar al Pouyazadfarid

Zartoshvar al Pouyazadfarid Log #1: What the Darkness Wrought

Time stands still…the desert marches on.

Morning breaks and the walkers of the night, not the darkness, scuttle across the sands amid the first rays…
Hurrying to catch a glimpse of the orb before scurrying to reach their burrows and nests for a well deserved rest.

Zartoshvar, however, up early to break his fast, as is necessary and smoke his pipe after a few hours rest during the coldest hours, has miles to go.
The last hamlet, but a stop on one of the many secondary caravan routes was not particularly fruitful.
It did, however, have a well, and a functioning on at that; rare round these parts since inexorable decline of the trade guilds following the darkness.
The current caliphate is weak and beset by the arguing and constant dance of the emirs and the eternal parlance and posturing of the sultans…the rebuild is slow
A few concoctions were sold, some dyes to a weaver and anti-venom for pesky scorpion bites….but nothing interesting. Most was in exchange for shelter and food
and a few pastries, still no one with any spare old riyals to make it really worth an alchemists time.

And what times they were….a thriving business, a lab, leather makers, textile weavers and healers all flocking to the compound of Zartoshvar…
Plenty of income to spend on new mixtures, tinctures and reagents, but insufficient time. This, the darkness did alleviate, now there is no income, but lots of time to search, mix and create!
Enough daydreaming, there is walking to be done and sufficient to contemplate while on the move…seems to take eons to properly digest this barely edible sweatflatbread, I’ll stick to the dried dates and pistachios
Typical woman, all bluster but no ability in the kitchen….the lack of attention to detail and pride since the darkness is troubling, especially among the lesser half…

I smell the odour of camel before I see them,a caravan, on this route, must be on the way to the oasis at al-Harkhroum…last before the dunes fade into the rocky approaches that drop into the al-M’errsaa river across from Dourala…
The river that cuts through Dredena like a thread of golden lifeblood, but ever since the darkness, the tentacles of green that used to spread from its shores are now dull and grey..the pomegranates and date rows left to fallow…

Perhaps I shall try my luck with them, traders are usually appreciative of the skills of a trained alchemist, besides they might have reagents and recipes from far off lands…
Dredena my brother, father and mother, the times of healing are upon us, your skilled and respectful son must ply his trade and learn all that is unique about the world and its alchemy in person…so to help the healing…stay FREE!

In the 27th year of my life I began the journey outwards, from the freedom and heat of the desert into the lands I had only read about from scrolls and manuscripts or through passing traders, the lands of the uncouth and unrefined water-wasters…


Zartoshvar Log #2: New Beginnings…

Cresting the next dune, a sight for sore eyes, a caravan, admittedly a smallish one, but one none-the-less
weaving its way eastwards through the dusty early morning haze. A day and a half until al-Harkhoum, some company and news of the
world would not be unwelcome…

Approaching a caravan from the rear is always a danger, however, addressing the rearguard with the traditional greeting of the desert traveller
‘So as the date palm provides nourishment and shade, so does the sun provide warmth and light in the darkness; peace be upon you and may Dredena forever guard your restful repose’

At those words, an old saying from before the rise of the now dysfunctional caliphat, the rear guard responded ‘Peace be upon you, traveller, and may the al-M’errsaa forever provide life to the warmth of the sun and respite to your dreams’…

Clearly, the rear guard was an old veteran of the Farusian wars prior to the darkness, and wearily but with a certain elan, he motioned me over to join the ragtag group walking in the shadow of the last caravan. Clearly, he was honoured to be in the presence of an alchemist of the old order, and understood the trying times wherein which Dredena found itself…

A shared date and a cup of sweet tea was proffered my way to ease the integration, and I as was the custom and my desire as well, in turn, offered a bowl of what remained of my fine Nineavian tobacco…

It was at this point that I first notice the bedraggled, and somewhat foul smelling foreigner keeping pace with the tail of the caravan. Clearly not a humble man nor a down-trodden one, rather, a fallen man like so many of us. What perked my interest
was however, his poise and his features. THis was not a Tandasian, a Farusian or Glynfordian…his features resembled those described in several of my, now burned, manuscripts about the far western occident. In addition, I had come across caravan merchants describing lands to the east
populated by peoples, the likes of which can only be ascribed to a man such as him. Rabinagath was his name….not a common name in in these parts either, but still a fellow traveller on his way to find new beginnings; something to which I must accustom myself.

I stayed with the caravan prior to entering into Dourala, cities, even Dredenian ones having never been to my liking, I decided to throw my lot in with Rabinagath, having spent the last few days since the oasis at al-Harkhoum making his acquaintance.
He was on a journey to rebuild his family’s trading fortunes, and I figured that this would be an opportune time to learn more about the world beyond the sands…so we slowly made our way along the eastern caravan routes towards Tandasea…to new beginnings…

Zartoshvar al Pouyazadfarid

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