A new player joined us! He is playing Boro Guissè, a gigantic tribesman from the northwestern part of Africa. Boro is not very intelligent and prone to violent outbursts but he is a skilled fighter and craftsman. Boro’s tribe was attacked by slave-traders and scattered to the winds. The slave-lord named Bashere offered Boro the choice to either serve him as a personal bodyguard or to be sold as a field-slave. Boro chose the former and since that day he has worked on Bashere’s trading-post on the coast south of present-day Cameroon.
So…. Backstory out of the way, let’s move on the the next chapter.
Boro was woken in the middle of the night by the alarm. A group of slaves had managed to escape and Boros master Bashere wanted them brought back; or at the very least their heads.
Boro gathered a a hunting party consisting of himself and five guards and set off inland, following the escapees’ trail. As morning broke, the party closed in on the slaves that had hidden themselves on a rocky hillside.
The hunters moved in, expecting an easy capture. Instead they were blindsided by a pack of hyenas that attacked them without hesitation.
Boro managed to kill three of the beasts but suffered some rather serious wounds in the process.
As Boro and the guards moved in they found the slaves cornered. Three women, two children and an old man. Boro offered them a chance to come peacefully, wich the old man scornfully rejected. Boro was unnerved when he discovered the the old man wore tattoos and ornaments that identified him as a “Kontombele”; an elder and a “spirit-speaker”. Such a person enjoyed much respect and awe among Boro’s people.
The Kontombele said that he and the people with him would rather die free than live as slaves. The women attacked the guards to give the children time to escape, but they were quicly cut down by the guards weapons. Only one child managed to escape, and one of the guards set after him.
The Kontombele spoke to Boro, seemingly inside his head, accusing him of betraying himself and his people. To save his life Boro had taken part in selling his brothers and sisters like livestock and for this sin he would have to suffer greatly.
But the Kontombele said that, very soon, Boro would get the chance to free himself from his master and set on a path that could offer redemption. The Kontombele said that all over Africa, brothers and sisters were being taken from their homes and carried by ships, north “into the great fog”.
As the old man stopped speaking, the sound of his voice was replaced by a spinning sound in Boro’s head. Shocked by the words and the carnage around him, Boro turned around and started walking home. The other guards had lost all taste for death and followed suit, leaving the old man to himself.
Meanwhile, onboard The Coin’s Edge:
Several of the crew had fallen sick. The victims got a high fever and a peculiar rash arount the throat. No matter what Vernus tried, he could not even bring the fever down and Duncan decided that they would make landfall in the next safe port. Meanwhile he ordered that all supplies sould be searched in case the culprit was some spoiled food. Nothing was found by the time a small settlement was found along the coastline.
The Coin’s Edge dropped anchor soon after and Duncan, Vernus, Prabaker and Leach brought one of the sick up to the camp to see if they could procure some medical attention.
They were stopped by guards who sent for someone who could make a decition.
Soon after the sailors stood face to chest of a gigantic man who introduced himself as Boro.
Duncan and Vernus explained the situation and Boro (after making sure that the sailors could pay) organized a tent where the sick man could be examined by Bashere’s physician.
The doctor examined the sick man, especially the rash on the throat, and concluded that it looked like thay had been bitten by a hyena. The rash, he said, looked to him like a superficial bite that had gotten infected. When Duncan and Vernus assured him that there was no way that a hyena had made it onboard, bitten several of the crew, and dissapeared into thin air without beeing noticed, the doctor simply shrugged and said that he could’t think of anything else that could explain the symptoms. He recommended that the sick be given lots of sugared water and kept clean and cool. He could give no guarantees that they would get better, but he assured them that this was the best course of action.
Vernus got an idea that maybe something else had bitten the sick so he went back to the ship to start a search and begin treatment of the sick still on the ship.
Boro agreed to give Duncan and Prabaker a tour of the trading-post, and Duncan was unnerved to see that several of the guards were british and wore black and tan uniforms. He asked Boro about it, without giving too much away, and learned that Boro’s master, Bashere, had made some sort of deal with the british that involved them having first pick of the “merchendize” and free use of the compound in return for a detatchment of soldiers to provide security.
The trading post was dusty, warm and busy. A pit had been dug out at the centre and lined with wooden benches. At one end stood the auction block, behind which was a tent where the slaves were cleaned and made presentable.
A small distance to the east was an oasis. Boro explained that that was where Bashere had his mansion, wich he rearly left.
Scattered around the auction pit and oasis were several camps belonging to the merchants here for the auction
Perched on the cliffside overlooking the coastline to the west and the anchored merchant ships stood the slaves “quarters”; four crude brick buildings surrounded by a thick wall. The slaves were chained to the walls in groups and sitting on the dirt floor.
After the tour Boro took his leave and Duncan and Prabaker returned to their tent. Vernus was there, having had no luck finding anything onboard the ship that could explain what had made the crewmembers sick.
There was little time for rest, as, a few hours after sunset, the alarm sounded. Duncan, Vernus and Prabaker went outside to see what was going on.
One of the merchant camps had been totally destroyed. Both tents and people had been torn apart, the blood from 11 people pouring into the sand. Bashere’s physician was examining the dead, saying that it looked like they had been attacked by a large animal, possibly a lion, but most likely a hyena. He was baffeled however, because neither animal was known to attack in such a way. Tracks found amongst the debris confirmed that it was a pack of hyenas, at least seven strong, that was responsible for the attack.
Everyone was unsetteled by the attack, but none more than Boro. He couldn’t get the Kontombele’s words out of his head, and that spinning sound seemed to be getting stronger by the day. He ordered that all guards were to patrol the outer perimeter of the trading post and that the debris were to be removed and the bodies carried away from the camp and burned.
At this point Vernus and Duncan decided to leave as soon as mornig broke. Boro had also decided that the time had come for him to leave the trading post. He went to Vernus and Duncan to ask if he could join them when they left. He told them that he had something to do before he left. He wanted to kill Bashere. Duncan and Vernus didn’t trust Boro completly and were suspicios as to his true motives. On the other hand, they agreed that this place was evil and that any chance to kill the black and tan soldiers would have to be explored.
They laid a plan. Vernus and Prabaker would bring some weapons (including several grenades purchased in Casablaca) and Boro’s keys and free the slaves to provide a distraction. He would wait in the slaves quarters on a signal. Meanwhile, Duncan would go with Boro up to the oasis to keep an eye on him and help if something went wrong. Leach and the others would make sure that the Coins Edge was ready to sail at a moments notice. They felt sure that they could move around without being searched as long as they were with Boro.
Boro, Duncan, Prabaker and Vernus went to the slaves quarters under the pretence that Vernus was “examining the mechandize”. Boro and Duncan then went up to the oasis to “discuss the possibility of a deal”. They noticed four guards as they approached the mansion. Boro informed Duncan that there were probably three or four more watching the other side of the building.
They found Bashere in his leisure room, enjoying his concubines and opium. Duncan waited by the doorway as Boro approached his master.
Bashere was not pleased to have his entertainment interrupted but Boro sat down next to him and told his master that he was leaving. Bashere sneered and said that he would never leave this place alive. The guards had standig orders to kill him should he try to escape. Boro told Bashere that he would take his chanches, and attacked. He wrapped his hands around Basheres throat and mouth, but not before Bashere maneged to call for the guards.
Duncan stepped behind the door and waited for the first to guards to come running into the room before he attacked. He swiflty dispached of one of the guards but the other one reached Boro and tried to break the gigants hold on Bashere. he managed to do so but it cost him his life as Duncan reached him and stabbed the guard thorugh the throat. Bashere was crawling for the exit, both calling for help and pleading for his life.
Boro calmly drew his sword and seperated Basheres head from his body. As the blade sliced through flesh and bone it snagged a purse of money that Bashere wore around his neck, spreading gold and blood all over the floor. One single coin caght Boro’s attention. It spun across the floor, the sound blending with the sound Boro had heard in his head since his meating with the Kontombele, coming to rest on its edge.
Boro pocketed the coin, feeling that the coin would serve as a symbol of the path he had taken, and said to Duncan that it was time to leave. As he did, the alarm sounded.
As they left the mansion they saw a group of guards coming towards them. Boro lifted Duncan up, hoping to convince the guards that he had been injured by the same attacker that had just killed the slavelord. The head guard sensed that something was wrong and started asking questions as to what had happened while the other guards took up positions around them.
Boro and Duncan would have been in deep touble had it not been for Vernus, who had heard the alarm go off and assumed that that was his signal to implement his part of the plan. He had already freed the slaves and with them standing ready he pulled two pistols, one in each hand and shot the two guards standing outside. One of the guards went down, while the other crouched over, starteled by the gunshot that had just whizzed past his ear. The the slaves started pouring out of the doorway.
When Vernus’ shots rang out over the oasis, Boro took the chance to convince the guards that it must have been the same attacker, or at least an accomplice, who had attacked Bashere.
The head guard ordered half the guards up to the mansion and that the rest back down to the trading post. Duncan (now back on his own two feet) ran with Boro and the guards towards the gunshots.
The guards stationed along the compounds perimeter had their hands full trying to catch the runaway slaves, allowing Vernus to turn his attention towards the group of guards coming out of the oasis. He lit the fuse of one of his grenades and used it to blow away three of the attackers and deafening the rest of them. Boro and Duncan used the confution to their advantage and attacked the guards from behind. Duncan yelled to Vernus to stop throwing granades, but not before Vernus had blown away another two guards.
With the guards dead, Ducan, Vernus, Boro was joined by Prabaker who had gathered up a small group of slaves. Just as they were planning to make for the ship, a huge pack of hyenas, at least 100 – 150 strong, attacked the tradingpost, killing everything in their path.
Duncan yelled for everyone to make for the ship, and they managed to escape without further incident.
They set the freed slaves ashore in the first save port they could find and continued to follow the compass further south along africa’s coast.