I once served a worthy Sekhema. The Boss is no Sekhema. He rules through deception, obfuscation, and manipulation. However, if he agrees to do something, he will do it. That in itself is a form of honour which I can respect.
He expects the same of us. In exchange for a place here, I have agreed to use my skills to enable the travels of this wretched heap of rhoa dung, and that is what I will do. My word is my bond.
I prefer not to name my akhara in the presence of these persons of ill repute, but I can say that I am from the northern reaches of the Plains of Vastiri. My home caravan has ninety-two carts, all of which are beautifully set with colourful tapestries and shaped metal. It is a life and land unlike this one. Difficult, duty-bound, but rewarding. I will return there someday, when my duty here is at an end.
I still owe a debt to the Boss for allowing me a place here. Nashta may be dead, but I will stay here for a few more moons.
Nenet is from a people that currently call themselves the Faridun. They are our rejects. Those we Maraketh left to die in the desert as children for being unworthy or flawed. I do not think ill of Nenet. I do not think of her at all.
I am not cruel, exile. It is simply that scattered groups of pariahs wandering in the desert have no effect on the world. She will not find the home she yearns for among these scoundrels.
This contract touches upon my very reason for being here. It concerns my sister, Nashta, and a Spear. Growing up, Nashta was unable to follow the traditions of our people. She chafed at the rules. She earned many tattoos of shame for her violations, and each time she was punished, she only grew more rebellious.
Not long ago, she fled from the Plains of Vastiri entirely, and scores of delinquents went with her. They have since terrorised many with their banditry, but duty required I track her down when she stole Solerai's Spear from a Sarn merchant of ill repute. I live among these thieves and scoundrels because this is her world, and in this place I hear more about her activities in a single moon than I would in a year spent looking for her on my own.
We must retrieve the Spear. We cannot allow her to wield a weapon of Maraketh tradition in so disrespectful a manner. This is my duty, as Nashta is my sister. This contract makes it your duty as well.
This Spear is a tremendous weapon, one fit for a goddess. The merchant Hargan expects its return, but he shall be disappointed. When I bring it home to my akhara, our honour will be partially restored in the eyes of our fellow warriors. You did well, Exile.
My sister, Nashta, and her bandits have responded to our retrieval of Solerai's Spear by targeting their raids against other Maraketh caravans. That in itself is not shameful, but she is doing so while wearing the colours of my akhara. She is trying to start a war among our people, and we can hardly afford conflict when our survival already hangs by a thread.
You and I must infiltrate her stronghold and retrieve her war plans. With that proof, we can ensure that the Sekhemas know who is truly to blame.
I know my sister. Nashta responds to adversity by invigorating her resistance, not backing down. We retrieved Solerai's Spear and thwarted her attempt to spark a civil war among the Maraketh, but that will only cause her to up the scale of her banditry. We must face her before she causes a disaster that our people can ill afford in these dangerous times.
This will not be a matter of stealth, exile. Be prepared to fight if she will not listen to words.
This was the best end I could have wished for Nashta. I think it was what she always wanted: not to live under the heavy oppression of a rigid set of rules, but to die fighting, as a true dekhara. In death, by standing and fighting, she has cleared her shame. She will be remembered as a woman filled with the irrepressible spirit of the warrior, one with so much aggression that she had no place in this civilised world.
I will retrieve her body. Leave me now. I have some final things to say to my sister that are not for a jingakh to hear. Go well, my friend.