Post by greentongue on Dec 23, 2015 19:09:09 GMT -6
Kumahl: "Provisions for a week should be sufficient for us, right Huruyan?"
"If getting them here, will not inconvenience the clan, then let us do so."
Huruyan: "Yes, I am sure you Charikasa can provide us with better than some street vendor, and yes Kumahl I think a week should be sufficient. So please, Charikasa we would like sufficient for a group of about a dozen for a week."
--- Senior Cook Charikasa directed several of his junior cooks and servants to gather the needed supplies.
Soon a couple of baskets with food and drink were gathered and ready to be carried off.
With the arrival of the volunteer guards and porters to carry everything, the party was assembled.
A short time later word came that Huntsman Chodo was waiting near the Blue Gate for them.
Post by greentongue on Dec 23, 2015 19:10:13 GMT -6
Kumahl: Securing the armor on, Kumahl made sure that his pack was securely slung on his back. Kumahl strapped his knife to his left calf. With his club secured to his pack, Kumahl grabbed his fishing staff and joined Huruyan, the soldiers, and porters.
Huruyan: Huruyan gathered his weapons and donned his armor. Picking up his pack then checking with Kumahl and determining that all was ready, Huruyan, signaled the guards and porters to move off.
--- The morning fog and haze was just releasing its clammy grip on the boats and barges as Huruyan and Kumahl arrived at the Blue Gate. The morning rush was well under way as they made there way through the press on people. Some groups had a person holding a pole with a plaque suspended down it declaring their status. Lesser people made way for them and before the crowd could close again the party tagged along behind through the gate.
It took a little time to locate Huntsman Chodo in the crowd. He was alone with a single servant carrying a couple stacked baskets in a back sling.
Post by greentongue on Dec 23, 2015 19:14:11 GMT -6
Kumahl: "Brother Chodo, let us spread your porter's load amongst the other four porters."
Looking for a break in the crowd and an open location, Kumahl signals the guards to form a wall against the moving crowds while Kumahl readjusts the weight amongst the porters. Checking to make sure everyone is hydrated, fed, and feet are in good condition, Kumahl signals the guards to clear an opening in the crowd, and the party with guards and porters resumes its trek.
--- The gate guards pass everyone through into the better part of the city and the crowding is reduced. While there are less pressing bodies, the passing entourages of the nobles provide as much delay.
Upon reaching the east side you passed by the enormous Hirilakte Arena on the right and out the Gate of the Changing Fortunes.
Here the traffic was a majority of merchant caravans and the smell of chlen beasts hauling carts was strong.
Once through the massive gates the City of the Dead is off in the distance on the right and the river landing is a head to the left.
The crowd of people queued up to take a ferry across to the sakbe road on the other side of the river is an eclectic mix of people. Those waiting are arrayed in line by status with a high noble filling a couple entire ferry barges by themselves.
Post by greentongue on Dec 23, 2015 19:16:06 GMT -6
The mighty Missuma River is already crowded with the traffic of trade. Stretching in both directions along the river are piers and warehouses, pens and derricks. A steady stream of goods are being loaded and unloaded.
Far across the river the beginning of a Sakbe Road looms at the edge of the river. On that side the barge traffic was almost as busy as trade caravans came down from the road and portaged across the river.
Huntsman Chodo says that with a few coins in the right hands, your party can move ahead of the line. The more gold, the sooner the crossing can be made. ---
Kumahl: "Chodo, figure we start out at 10 gold and go up from there?"
Looking to Chodo, "Are you sure everything is all right?"
Huruyan: "What do you think, Chodo? I'm sure you have done this before, should we offer a bribe and if so how much?"
Huntsman Chodo: "Yes, Craftsman Kumahl, ten katairs should get us ahead of the normal daily business folk." "A hundred will get us among the nobles, a close landing on the other side and word sent ahead to prepare refreshments for our arrival."
"Unfortunately, part of why this hunting expedition was such a sudden decision is that I am a little short of funds."
Huruyan: "That is not a problem, Chodo. We can offer the 10 katairs for the group." Matching actions to words Huruyan motioned the group follow him to the nearest guard and made his offer.
--- Huntsman Huruyan talked to the ferry clan's guard about how traffic has been and who of note has passed this way in the last week. Soon the topic turned to how long it takes to cross and how many can go at a time. Some gold coins later and their small party squeezed aboard the next ferry.
The crossing was uneventful and soon the ferry was bumping against the pier on the other side. The start of the massive Sakbe Road stretched as far as the eye could see into the distance. The road tower on this end merged into the docking area and warehouses to resemble a rambling citadel.
Guards in imperial blue were in abundance as foot and chlen traffic moved to and from the area.
The massive wall road reared up in three layers on this side with a narrow top just a few paces wide above a level that was just wide enough for two palanquins to pass each other. The third and bottom layer was wide enough for two chlen drawn carts to pass each other.
The only way from one level to another was through ramps in the guard tower.
The bottom most level was well used with merchants and their goods coming and going.
In the distance a palanquin with it accompanying retainers could just be seen on the second level. The top level was deserted at this time.
Huntsman Chodo: Eyes widening at Kumahl's shaking of his staff, "It would be very unwise to threaten any Imperial." "Guard or otherwise." "That is a quick way to get a High Ride on the impalement stake."
Looking askance at Huruyan, "It always matters what level you are on."
Continuing, "I for one do not like stepping in the droppings of chlen and would like to hire a palanquin, so the bearers would be the ones with the dirty feet."
"However, I don't want to impose on you to convince the guards that we deserve better treatment than servants and beasts, or pay for palanquin service."
Huruyan: "Let's see what it takes to convince the guards to let us use the second level. And, no NOT with weapons."
Huruyan had a discussion with one of the tower guards and quickly determines that unless he was twice his current station in life, or was the direct representative of someone who was, he and his party would not be granted access to the middle road at most any price.
Only someone on urgent Imperial business was allowed access to the upper most roadway.
Soon the party was on its way and settled into a pace that ate up the miles while not dirtying their feet.
Around the middle of the day the party rested at a road tower and were offered fresh local meat and vegetables from vendors that lived around the foot of the tower ramp. The prices were high but everything was fresh.
Huntsman Chodo didn't get anything and just shared some of his plain rations with his servant.
--- On towards evening Huntsman Chodo started frequently resting. While he was stopped, he spent time to relieve himself from the wall down into the brush below.
When questioned he said he was looking for landmarks but didn't want to attract attention.
The frequent stops and slowing pace let the various merchant parties pull away until they were barely visible ahead or behind.
Huntsman Chodo: "This is the place," stated Chodo.
"That purple patch of Food of the Shu was a little smaller but the trees are in the same place."
"Servant Darakdakin, hand me the rope with the hook."
Kumahl: "Will we be leaving the rope in place or can we scale the wall to climb back up here?"
Kumahl starts analyzing the angles and what he can of the rock face, everything he can possibly do to understand the terrain.
--- The wall of the Sakbe Road rises 10 feet above the soil below. This side of the road is stone fitted together in a sturdy but rough fashion. The ground below is heavily overgrown with brush and palmettos with a slight trace of years of using it as an infrequent toilet and dump.
Huntsman Chodo thinks that it would not be hard to scale the wall with empty hands but with the baskets it would be far easier to use a rope.
Kumahl: "I follow you and then Huruyan. Let us make sure we can secure everything for the decent."
Turning to the four guards, "Bring up the rear please."
Huruyan: Tying the baskets one at a time in succession, they were easily lowered to the ground. Everyone, except Huruyan then climbed down using the rope. When everyone else was safely down, Huruyan tossed down the rope and very carefully climbed down himself, nodded to Chodo and said, "Lead on."