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Efridel

Introduced by Guy very early in the campaign, but we now also know that he's been in the confidence of the Sartarite Resistance since at least 1611, and was the usual "cover" for Dori's spying missions and message-carrying from Sartar to Sun County.

Chronicle excerpts

Efridel is an Issaries trader from Swenstown, and his eastern Sartarite inflection is broad and rolling. He has earned a certain appreciation amongst the guards as being a sensible, hard man.

Efridel is smiling roundly, but is wise enough not to discuss wagers and winnings around Humakti who consider combat something other than a betting proposition. "Congratulations my lord," he addresses Herric. "You have done a great service this day to others besides your temple. Until now the Lunars have paid little attention to the towns of Caravan Alley, and that suits those of us that use the road just fine. Thank you again, and I for one consider myself in your debt."

He turns and falls into place with the warriors, and accompanies them towards the temple. "I received word last night from your good captain Yodi that he has had to depart suddenly. For one reason and another I have decided to delay departure from Tourney Altar until tomorrow morning, so you should have plenty of time to find the six replacements he spoke of. Well - you know where to find me. Dawn tomorrow then?"

Efridel is not best pleased that the party is now one warrior less than he agreed to, but accepts that there was little to be done about it. However, he declares that if Illig's Irregulars cannot supply him the correct number of guards he will not pay the agreed upon amount, but only for those guards that have turned up.

Efridel, the caravan master, approaches the group.

He makes concerned enquiries after the health of Brenna, Hrolf and the others. Finding out that Dorinda is the acting Ten Thane he nods with satisfaction. He also welcomes Enfrew, and comments that he is glad that the Humakti are now at full strength.
"You all fought well this night, and so far as I'm concerned that means a bonus to your pay packet. The Storm Bulls were a fortuitous idea too - I've not seen Broo in such numbers this far into Caravan Alley before."

"Now we have wounded amongst us, and for all we have tried to cleanse the camp, possibly disease also. And now there is talk of a vampire. It is my decision what to do here, for I am the chief of this caravan, but I ask you, my weaponthanes, for your counsel. What are your thoughts?"

Efridel purses his lips at the thought of going straight to Horn Gate. "We have perhaps two days water left, whilst Horn Gate is a five day march. We would be relying on the seasonal river at Listener Peak Pass, and I have heard there has been drought this past year."

(Folk from Tourney Altar): As it seems they speak only their own tounge, not even a little Trade-Talk, it is a good thing that Efridel has picked up some of the lingo over the years.

Many of the members of the caravan are traders of the Issaries cult. Most have led their mules across Prax for many years, and whilst they are not happy to hear that a vampire is abroad, it is not the first time they are in a bad situation in Prax. Similarly, the Lokarnos traders are edgy but not hysterical. Much of this can be attributed to Efridel, who seems to hold a particular authority over the caravan traders, although exactly what a Golden Tongue is doing leading a caravan with both Lokarnos and Issaries traders in it has never been very clear to the Humakti.

The caravan stops for the evening, and Efridel makes his way over to the Humakti. He looks worn and haggard, and is dissapointed that the vampire was not found during the day. "Yet," he shrugs, wiping the dust from his brow, "I have no call to be upset. We knew it was a long shot."

"That means, as you know, that we must be prepared for the vampire to visit us again this evening. I have heard your warnings that it may do so again in strength, with Chaos and undead minions, and it seems to me that is likely. I will set my ward around the whole caravan tonight, which usually I do not do... it is a large area to encompass in ritual, and will drain my strength. My son and others of my company will assist me. We hope that Issaries' blessing will at least offer us some alert should the vampire enter the camp."

"As for the rest, I commend the defence of the caravan to your hands. In addition to your own swords, six of the Storm Bulls are uninjured and ready to fight. Another three of their berserkers are also capable but injured. Another four swear that they can wield their weapons should Chaos come near and the God's Frenzy take them, but I'm not sure of that. That gives you nine men, four more should things come that desperate end. There are also the four Impala riders, but I think they are not much use in a stand-up fight. From the caravan there are twenty nine men and women who have sworn to stand. They are not warriors, but know the sharp end of a sword from a bucket and can at least stand watch."

"Remember only this. You are contracted to me, and I know that for you oaths are the fundament. This is why Issaries and
Humakt respect each other - for the weaponthane and the trader, trust is their most vital asset. Everyone must know that they will get a fair deal from the trader. Everyone must know the weaponthane will stand firm in the shieldwall."

"The caravan must get through. Last out this night and we will go swimming in Biggle Stone water tomorrow at dusk. Do not risk the caravan to kill the vampire. Defend the caravan. The caravan must get through."
With that Efridel smiles grimly, "I am pleased that it is you standing here with me now. We all have faith," he says, pointing at the caravan.

Efridel looks skeptical about this. "Well, that's as maybe, but I find it hard to image any predark that bothered to seal up daemons with cobble-stones instead of blasting them into the void. But there were cities in Prax, great cities... their ruins can be seen in many places. Perhaps this is part of one such?".

"And good Dorinda, I am flattered by your trust in my abilities, but in truth I do not know every inch of the desert. Nor does any man, for the desert changes from year to year, even from season to season. When navigating I use large features, for dunes move, bare earth may covered or uncovered depending on the winds... Be sure if this place was known of, why, either the water would be freely flowing or there would be warning signs. So I do think this is good fortune, but one we must be wary of."

Efridel begins his Bless Market Ground ritual, assisted by his son and two other Issaries priests of the caravan. Dorinda, Jamal, Hrolf and Enfrew lend their magical support. Aelfwyrd ceremonially stakes out the perimeter of the warding with the Death fetishes he has made, whilst the magicians follow him and bless each ward.

Efridel positively glows with Power, and it is clear that he not merely a caravan leader, and a good one at that, but also that he is close to the god. To his blessing, which warns of intruders and prevents those with evil intent from entering within, the Humakti add their curses. Enfrew and Hrolf ensure that any undead approaching the warding will be tortured simply by its presence. Dorinda sets two winds patrolling around the wards - one emits low, erie howls, and the other cuts like a sword. Jamal improvises a principle learned from his god, and Bisos' Shield lies over the wards, protecting all within from outside attack.


And in the past?


Kallyr says: "Ten years back, Dori was hired from the Legion as a caravan guard, working for Efridel. What she was actually doing was using that as a cover to carry messages between the Resistance in Sartar and certain people in Sun County, Vega Goldbreath in particular. The idea was to have synchronised rebellions in both places at once, and it very nearly worked. At this end of the chain, she reported to me and Minaryth, and no-one else, at that end, only to Vega and one of her subordinates. Efridel knew what was going on, Illig knew what the intention was, and that was it."

Worth noting that in 1611, Efridel was trusted by the Rebellion, or at least, by Kallyr.
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