“A single drink of water within the inhospitable Bediyan Desert is the difference between life and death”
– Marzir Mushifzam, Bediyan Nomad
The Shaded Respite
Regional Concerns: See Article (Bediyan Desert: Factions and Tribes)
The Shaded Respite
Location: Bediyan Desert (Baklunish West)
History: Beyond the Gulf of Ghayar within the unforgiving Bediyan Desert reside nomad tribes that struggle to survive amid the desert sand. Strict codes of hospitality allow the tribes to coexist within the hostile environment but the most precious of commodities remains water. The southern oasis facilitates the celestial caravan route which brings commerce and wealth to the desert. However it is the waterless stifling interior which concerns the proprietor of the Shaded Respite.
Originally from the Plains of the Paynim; Ardin Razwin fled to escape punishment for horse theft. During his notorious career, he came across a magical Decanter of Endless Water but was unable to find a suitable buyer before being hunted from the plains. Tales of a western desert sparked his imagination; he would use the decanter to make his fortune within the western desert. Ardin Razwin has achieved monetary success within the Bediyan Desert. He has acquired several tents, camels, goats and servants and offers hospitality to the interior nomad tribes. He calls his tent establishment “The Shaded Respite.”
Ardin Razwin won over the suspicious interior nomads through his pious declaration of his obligations under “The Four Feet of the Dragon” known throughout the baklunish lands and his offer of water. However occasionally the decanter will supplies foul polluted salt water rather then fresh water until it causes the deaths of a random number of equines or humanoids (1d20). Ardin Razwin fulfills the murderous needs of the Decanter of Endless Water; rather then force his own horses or expensive slaves to drink the water, he gives the polluted salt water to the desert mounts of the nomads. Within the Bediyan Desert, a nomad on foot is a dead nomad. The horses of the nomad tribes are as susceptible as those within the plains. As it takes days for the animals to die unless large quantities of fresh water are given, the few survivors have not blamed Ardin Razwin.
The Shaded Respite travels throughout the unbearable interior and desolate northern regions of the desert. Occasionally Ardin Razwin will travel to a southern oasis bazaar to replenish his supplies and offer information for a price to interested southern caravan masters. Ardin Razwin has become a welcome face to several nomad tribes and an unacknowledged relationship has developed. Truth be told; Ardin Razwin has developed a fairly reliable route within the desert. However as a paynim, he finds the needless death of fine horses rather distasteful. Although he has prospered, he has been the victim of nightmares concerning the terrible demise of these fine animals.
Cursed Decanter of Endless Water (Command Word: Narim)
The Decanter of Endless Water is a cursed item which requires the death of a random number of equines or humanoids. Ardin Razwin is aware of this murderous need. The decanter of endless water has been touched by Sevelkhar the Waster, Master of Famine and Drought, the Poisoner of Wells the bakluni aspect of Incabulos. The cursed decanter also inflicts nightmares on its holder whenever it is used unless its holder beseeches Incabulos. Since coming to the desert; Ardin Razwin has become a welcome but sleepless fellow. Ardin Razwin is unaware that these nightmares would cease if its holder becomes a devotee of Incabulos.
Ownership and Servants
Ardin Razwin is not an unredeemable man but rather a very self-absorbed man. Among the treasures he fled the plains with was a battered decanter of endless water. Ardin Razwin generally sold the items he acquired; strangely he has retained possession of the battered decanter. Forced to flee the plains, he traveled beyond the Gulf of Ghayar. He heard tales of the Bediyan Desert and saw opportunity. Ardin Razwin set out to win the trust of the desert tribes through the offer of the most precious of commodities, water. Through much effort and some espousal of pious reassurance, he has succeeded in gaining a measure of respect from the insular nomad tribes. As his nomad clientele has expanded so has his profits and the services he offers. Currently the Shaded Respite offers a series of stout silk floored tents, animal care, pleasant entertainment, hearty repast and fresh water. For those unused to the harshness of the desert the establishment seems primitive but to the nomads the Shaded Respite seems luxurious indeed. The nomads consider the Shaded Respite so luxurious some tribal chieftains have used the establishment as an informal meeting place.
Mahmeh (Head Slave Groom)
Ismir (Slave Groom)
These slave grooms were bought at a southern oasis to care for the animals and livestock within the camp. The majority of animals within the camp are camels, horses and goats to offer a splendid repast to the wealthier tribal chiefs. The animal handlers have approached Ardin Razwin about the need to acquire another groom. These grooms are given the task of watering the nomad mounts except the unpleasant “special times” and have been offered their eventual freedom as a reward to remain silent.
Camp Guards (Leather Armour: Scimitar and Composite Short Bow)
Rarveen (Elder Guard) Northern Nomad (1)
Camp Guards (8): Southern Oasis (2) and Northern Nomads (6)
The camp is still in a state of unease; Rarveen the elder guard has been appointed to the position of Elder Guard. The original camp guards (3) were hired within a southern oasis settlement but as Ardin Razwin became more comfortable with the desert nomads he has hired outcast northern nomads. The northern nomads were faced with exile to a southern oasis settlement or becoming marauders. However the position of camp guard has provided these nomads with an honourable means to remain within the desert tribal society. These nomads are grateful and intensely loyal to Ardin Razwin for giving them the means to honourably remain within the desert. Rarveen (Northern Nomad) killed Zayegh the former Elder Guard (Southern Oasis) for an attempted assault on a slave dancer (Sujad). Rarveen killed Zayegh not for the assault but the affront to the ownership rights of Mehid and for disloyalty to Ardin Razwin. Discipline and vigilance within the camp have increased since Rarveen has assumed the position of Elder Guard. However the remaining southern oasis guards are growing uncomfortable with the situation and are considering leaving the employ of Ardin Razwin when he travels south to replenish his supplies. Of course the northern nomads would not be unduly saddened to see the southern oasis guards leave. The northern nomads view their position more as a debt of honour rather then mere employment.
Himel (Chief Cook)
Himel is a pleasant mature woman that has been hired to prepare meals for the guests and for the important positions within the camp (Ardin Razwin, Rarveen and Mehid). Himel and her assistant are quite good cooks and few complain about the meals. As a desert woman, the camp guards treat Himel in a respectful manner.
Entertainment (Salacious Dancers)
Mehid (Bard: Drum and Flute)
Shudyah – Senior Slave Dancer
Saghdeh – Slave Dancer
Sujad – Slave Dancer
Since Ardin Razwin hired Mehind and his slave dancers; for 20% of the proceeds, the clientele of the Shaded Respite has grown considerably and both parties of the agreement are pleased with the arraignment. Mehind is a passable musician; competent enough on the drum and flute to provide musical accompaniment for his slave dancers. The senior slave dancer (Shudyah) has instructed her fellow dancers in the finer techniques of the desert styles of the slave dance. The southern style consists of the drum and a raw frenzied dance; while the northern style consists of the flute and a fluid sensual dance. The dancers would prefer to perform within a cool palace for a cultured audience not confined to humid tents for nomads. The slave dancer (Sujad) has a troubled past; she was once the property of an abusive caravan master and grew to despise the southern oasis populace. She enticed Zayegh to her tent and is pleased that a northern nomad is in charge of the security of the camp. Sujad is uncertain whether she should entice the remaining southern oasis guards but she is fearful of being put to death if discovered.
Nomad Tribal Chieftain
The brash chieftain of the Auva tribe; the other tribal chieftains have failed to treat this “unblooded” young man with respect. Therefore Yusain Shilam has embarked on a series of dangerous escapades to prove his courage rather then govern his tribe. His escapades to date have been audacious but harmless raids. Although the tribal elders seek to shame Yusain Shilam for his irresponsible behavior; some elders are rather proud of him. Unfortunately; he has heard of a bride price meet which will be held within the Shaded Respite between Chieftain Azunir Jumibir and the conservative tribal chieftains. He has also learned that offers will be entertained for the hand of (Roshanara). Roshanara is considered the desert flower of the tribal brides.
Typical of the southern oasis breed; Lirasir Jatin is a greedy gasping merchant who views the desert nomads as a hindrance to profitable trade. However even his ill-disguised contempt for those that prefer leather to silk can not overcome his avarice. Lirasir Jatin is aware the nomad tribes claim half of the imperial caravan protection tariff but he assumed the nomads would then spend their riches within the southern oasis. However the traditional tribes have been hoarding their wealth rather then spending it. Lirasir Jatin realizes an armed assault would be reckless but a much more aggressive Shaded Respite under his financial guidance could siphon much of the hoarded coin into his hands. He has neither the inclination nor the contacts to travel within the interior and so has approached Ardin Razwin to propose a partnership.
Bill of Fare
The Larder(Common Entries)
Coarse porridge is a common meal within the desert; the addition of dried fruit to the coarse porridge is often chosen to enhance the bland meal.
Goat Cheese and Baked Cakes
The establishment has a small herd of goats within its care; goat cheese and crisp baked cakes are offered to the guests. For a fee; a valuable goat can be roasted.
Exotic Entrées(As Available)
Honeyed Spice Cake
The height of desert decadence; the honeyed spice cake is often the only sweetness a nomad shall taste in his life. For a nomad to feast upon the camel is ludicrously expensive. Such a feast is commonly reserved for a council of chiefs or an important marriage. So honoured is the meat of the camel that council meetings and bride price meets often coincide with the slaughtering of an aged camel within the nomad tribal camps.
*As a paynim: Ardin Razwin has an aversion against needlessly killing horses but he has found the desert nomads have a stronger aversion. The nomads believe to feed upon horse is tantamount to cannibalism and shameful even in the direst circumstances. The term “horse eater” is considered a grave insult by the Bediyan Desert nomads. Ardin Razwin to avoid offending the nomads has withdrawn the taboo dish.
Of course camel milk is considered more luxurious and therefore more expensive then goat. Tea and fresh water are always appreciated within the Bediyan Desert. Kumiss (Fermented Mare Milk) is an alcoholic beverage which most nomads enjoy.