Welcome to the noble House of Seven Wines.
The house itself is a dark ochre in colour and attempts to make it look like a refined garden home, tucked in among the willow trees, ornamental bridges and carefully manicured lawn all fail to address the fact that it is squat, oddly shaped, and seems to be sinking into the ground slightly towards the northeast corner.
While ostensibly the centre of activities for the Ho Tua clan of slug people, the house is typically busy with the workings of Alo-ke, a young cousin in the clan who has made it his business to maintain fingers in every pie in town – particularly those involving the acquisition and shipment of opium and spices. Alo-ke paces the chambers of the structure wrapped in a heavy gauze of opium smoke as he constantly consumes the local white opium which he finds insightful to his business.
The south wing (containing the kitchen and eating hall) is also home to Ab hra. This young cripple is well kept by the family as his legs were lost in infancy to a rogue giant cockroach. Where most people in the city would find themselves begging for scraps and coins in his condition, young Ab hra has been kept within the home by the family, protected but pretty much ignored. Since his seventh year Ab hra has shown prophetic ability, with dreams and visions that reach into the future, the past, and to great distances. Lately Alo-ke has taken to eating his breakfasts with Ab hra to listen to his dreams and help figure out their meanings, and the constant exposure to the nootropic white opium seems to be increasing the accuracy, strength, and clarity of his visions.
His latest vision looks out over the Old Town, now in ruins, to a place where ancient slug men of the clan hid something intriguing… And Alo-ke might be able to find a group of people who would be willing to go out to those old ruins…
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Cartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
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