The following few days spent in Almraiven was a welcome retreat from the blistering heat of the sands outside the walls, and the party set out early the next morning to do some exploring. Taking in the exotic sights and smells of the bazaars and the strange customs and food, the dwarves wandered wide-eyed through the marketplaces. Merkin meanwhile, spent most of the time at his grandmother Nira’s house working on repairing old magical trinkets he found scattered through dressers and crevices and looking through old family albums. Emere was also absent from the streets of Almraiven, as he was quickly escorted to the palace of the Weave Pasha to speak with the ruler of the city. After a lengthy discussion of the Janessare activities in the Marching Mountains, the Pasha agreed that in exchange for continuing to work for the cause of ending human enslavement, and disrupting the slave trade in Memnon, he would grant Emere access to his personal magical libraries as well as that of the school of Arcane Hands, under armed escort of course.
During this time the dwarves were up to their own mischief: Xelmort was seeking out the local thieves guilds, which turned out to be plentiful in number and attempting to pick fights with many among their ranks, especially after receiving snide comments and sideways glances relating to his facial hair; Kildrak during his stay in Almraiven set about seeking out the local Dojo and ended up training with a human named Asaan Maal at an institute known as the Tangled Fist. During his training Kildrak earned much respect among the local fighters for his grappling ability (“Put ’em in a Kildrak”, they now say of a certain hold) and also learned much from Asaan, such as how to slow down his heart and breathing rate in order to feign death. Tusk on the other hand ended up spending most of his time down at the docks, conversing with many of the sailors there and inquiring about the nature of the trade in the region and also spent some time inquiring about his father, who was reported to have been lost at sea on an Amnian merchant ship heading for Chult, some fifty years prior. The mention of Chult seemed to bring looks of reproach and tall tales from those he encountered, and it seemed the wild jungle islands coasts boded nothing but woe in the opinion of most sailors, who tried to avoid the savage ‘forgotten land’ with a cautious fervor.