In the home of Xalos the Stonecutter the PC’s begin to interrogate the man they captured during the street ambush. The human appears to be scared and malnourished. With only a little prodding the man begins to talk. His name is Hazmin and up until a few weeks ago he was a slave working in the brickyards helping to build Kalak’s ziggarut. Though his life was tough as a slave, he ate every day and received his ration of water. Since his release his eagerness for freedom has been dulled by the harsh realities of the streets of Tyr. Most nights he goes to sleep hungry, thirsty, and fearing that he will not live to see the sun rise again. That was, until a few days ago. Then man came through the warrens rounding up men and women, anyone who could swing a club. They paid a shekel for days work of bullying shop keepers, merchants and citizens. The work was easy enough and the pay was good, after all it does not matter to him who gets elected. Then yesterday, they were all offered another job, murder… the thought didn’t sit well, but the pay was more money than he had ever seen or even dreamed of, 10 scales each. Enough to keep food in his belly for months, maybe even a year if he managed his money wisely. The men who ran the operation never gave their names and they operated out of a series of old abandoned building in warrens. There were many rumors as to who we were working for, the most common was that the scheme was being run by the nobles. Shoshana Beryl and Murter Dyan in particular.
Abraxus decides to let the man go, reasoning that he has no personal grudge against them. He warns Hazmin before he leaves, that should their weapons cross again, that he will not hesitate to cut him down. Hazmin politely thanks Abraxus for sparing his life and assures him that he has no intention of going back to work as an enforcer, he wishes only for a quite life and an old mans death.
The group decides that for now, they can do nothing further and decide to get some rest for the night, as the election will begin in the morning. They speak with Xalos, telling him that they will return in the morning just after sunrise and then head back to their flop-house.
Their night is uneventful and the group wakes early in the morning and prepares their gear and weapons as they eat a meager meal of boiled and salted yara buds. The two halfings though disdain the yara buds in favor of strips of raw Tarek, gleaned from last nights hunting. As they leave they notice a cordon of men in purple tunics bearing an eight-pointed star at the end of the street. The city guards having blocked off access to the various parts of the city until after the city wide elections. The group turns and head off for Xalos’ estate.
When they arrive at the home of Xalos and find him outside with a group of a dozen men. After greeting them, Xalos continues his mornings preparations. “surely the nobles will attempt to disrupt the elections” he explains, “so I want as many people as I can on the lookout for trouble. One group will watch the streets and sewer entrances making sure they do not attempt to move their supporters about the city to inflate their numbers or having people vote twice. The second group will come with me, though I don’t think I’ll need protection now, but the nobles and their supporters could cause trouble at the square” He gives the PC’s the option of choosing which job the prefer and a few moments later they set of with Xalos and head for Artisan Square at the heart of the district.
They find the Artisan Square packed with people and a carnival like atmosphere. Many merchants have set up temporary stalls to hawk their wares and sell food and drink to the people who come to vote. In the center of the square, a large wooden platform has been erected for the four politicians seeking office. King Tithian sparing no expense has had it stuffed with pillows and stocked with rare delicacies and plenty of wine. Each has a small balcony, with a silk banner bearing his symbol from which to make speeches. From the shade, the would be representatives can call out to the voters as they pass by, beseeching them to vote for them, making last minute appeals to each and every voter if they so choose. All in all the mood is festive and hopeful as voters file past, patiently waiting their turn to vote.
After the voters pass by the wooden platform they arrive at the ballot box guarded by the city guard. Whereupon, a representative appointed by King Tithian places a single clay token of each of those representatives (and matching their silken banners) in a box, each voter simply takes the token of the man he wishes to see elected and then moves on.
The group decides to split up and moves about the base of the platform and in the crowd keeping an eye out for anything out of ordinary. After four hours of voting the group begins to tire of their vigil. Then at the north end of the square they spot a man run into the crowd pursued by two other men who are attempting to hide their weapons but still keep them at hand. Those who can see the man are easily able to recognize him as Hazmin, the man from the night before. Hazmin pushes through the crowd trying to stay ahead of his would be assassins. D’ander jumps from his perch on the central platform and weaves his way through the crowd with little effort and intercepts Hazmin. Suddenly across the other side of the square the crowd erupts in panicked screams and begins to part before the trampling charge of two Mekilots