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The Taglian olive grove and mineral baths is a gated, highly-exclusive establishment located within Trogo, the oldest portion of the sprawling southern city of Taglios. It was visited by the leadership of the Black Company for important meetings at least twice during the Books of the South.

Descriptions[]

The grove was managed and/or owned by Master Gupta, a "benign dictator" who "was attentive to his guests - especially those who were close to the Prahbrindrah Drah". The grove offered hot mineral baths and served multi-course meals including fruits, poultry, and seafoods to the very wealthiest of the city.

Croaker considered the grove to be Taglios's "local equivalent of Opal's Gardens" and described the location and experience as follows:

Taglios's elite went to see and be seen in an olive grove past its prime bearing years. The grove bestrode a hill near old Trogo. A hot spring fed a score of private baths. It cost a bundle to get in when you were not known, most of that in bribes. Even so, it was two days after I asked before room could be found for us. [...] The grove staff showed us to a private bower with its own hot mineral bath. [...] The first food arrived, bits of iced melon soaked in brandy. While we nibbled, some thoughtful soul gave our guardians food as well. Less elegant fare, perhaps, but food nevertheless.

Lady described the grove, its menu, and the expensive topiary plants surrounding the place as follows:

Just like last time, the cream of Taglian society had come out to rubberneck. [...] Servitors started with refreshments and appetizers. From the state of the grove you could not tell Taglios was a nation threatened with extinction. [...] He sampled something that looked like shrimp. Where had shrimp come from, here? Well, the sea was not that far away. [...] A new course arrived, more substantial. Some kind of bird. [...] The grove was a place where lovers managed clever assignations. [...] I say brushy but I'm no devotee of formal gardening. The area consisted of heavy vegetation four to eight feet high. Every single leaf was tended and considered daily. Its function was to mask the grove from the world so Taglios' lords would not be defiled by common eyes.

Shadow Games[]

Croaker and Lady entered the impressive grove in Shadow Games with One-Eye, Goblin, Frogface, and several Nar as bodyguards. They took note of the wealthy patrons who were eyeing them closely. When the first course was served, Lady warned that the melon balls may have been tampered with, and soon one of the Nar foiled a lamplighter who attempted to assassinate Croaker. One-Eye tormented the would-be assassin in total silence throughout the rest of the evening. There, Willow Swan made the fateful introduction of the Prince of Taglios, the Prahbrindrah Drah, to Croaker and Lady.

With Willow interpreting between the Taglian language and presumably Forsberger, Croaker explained his goal was to reach the fabled and mysterious Khatovar. For the Prahbrindrah, this was synonymous with the glittering plain – in other words, a mad suicide mission – so he duly warned them. The Black Company was introduced to the threat of the Shadowlands and the Prince's desire to hire them to militarize a large segment of the Taglian population to defend themselves. One-Eye's captive died of fright at the grove.

Dreams of Steel[]

In Dreams of Steel, Lady had her own private meeting with the Prahbrindrah Drah at the opulent grove. She arrived (and departed) in her special coach drawn by 4 giant black stallions, and was escorted by two of her new Strangler bodyguards, Abda and Ram. There, she reminded the Prince about the existential danger posed by the Shadowmasters, and that – following the fall of her husband in battle – she had inherited the Black Company's charter. She still expected the payment that was promised for their service, and reminded him of the bloody penalty prior clients faced when they attempted to renege. She also confirmed the Prince's suspicion that she had killed Jahamaraj Jah, and threatened more bloodshed should additional religious leaders continue to interfere.

Immediately after the meeting, just inside the grove's gate, Lady foiled an assassination attempt that had been set in motion by Chandra Chan Tal, one of the most influential Gunni priests. She first asked Master Gupta to borrow someone's sword, although this weapon was not used. Tal's 7 thugs were poised to strike immediately following her dinner, but Lady anticipated them and stunned them all with a pair of scorching fireball spells. Abda used his red rumel to snap the neck of the man who wielded a tulwar, and Ram knocked out the remaining six (who were executed later). Later, the Prahbrindrah Drah mentioned to Smoke that Master Gupta was distraught on account of the loss of the expensive topiary plants that were burned by the Lady's sorcery ("Master Gupta and his predecessors worked on that for a century").

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