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Journey to Calamentum

General Summary

Setting Out

Octorum 15, 887 Af.

Kasret had joined Sif and Durdeg spending the night at Venfaren's, while Sharlot returned to the inn and Carta went back to Orchids. The next morning came, and Sharlot went to the common room to get breakfast before heading to Venfaren's. The common room was empty except for her and the barmaid, and the bar maid was particularly talkative, so she spent her breakfast answering general questions about what she was doing that day and in life in general. She was finally able to get her bill for the room, and packed up and headed to the tower.

Carta woke up and discovered that Orchid was gone already, off on some other errand that she was keeping to herself. Boha found him, and asked what he was planning on doing. She made a point that it was time he set up a household, where she and the others could stay and remain safer than what they had been going through. He was non-committal about a permanent home, and let her know that they were going to hit the road that day. Leaving her to round up the others, he set off to Venfaren's.

The other three had sat down for breakfast with Venfaren. Sif asked for advice from her mentor, and he told her not to die. She had hoped for something more, but perhaps he meant more by it than to be glib. The others arrived shortly after, and Carta joined them for breakfast. Venfaren's butler informed them that Sancho would be waiting for them at the western gate house, and he would have the equipment they requested. They finished their meals and bade Venfaren goodbye. Durdeg had a few spell components he wanted to see to himself, and they stopped on the way. It was mid-morning when they arrived at the gatehouse to find Sancho napping in a covered wagon.

Sancho was alert enough to know they were there, and stretched as he moved to the drivers bench. "It is about time," he told them. "We must get on the road if we expect to get to a good spot before dark." The group arranged themselves, with Boha, Bolda, and Lews riding on the wagon with Sancho. Sancho's horse was tied to the wagon and trailed along, and he said that he would scout soon, but they were perfectly safe for now.

After crossing the bridge, they came across what looked like a farmer with two familiar horses in tow. It looked like the scattered horses were found, and the group approached the farmer. When asked, he told them that they were from a village to the west, and the farmer was going to the city to sell them. Durdeg told him that he knew where the horses came from, and it wasn't his village, the man trembled, but swore that they had indeed been found in the village. They were horses that the village didn't need, but they could use the gold from their sale. Durdeg relented, and offered a fair price for them. With two more horses tied to the wagons, the party turned north.

As Sancho promised, the day was uneventful. Sharlot questioned him about whether he ever went to bars in disguise, remembering the old man who left a note in her pouch. Sancho evaded the questioning, saying that he was Sancho, and surely she would know when she was talking to him. Sharlot let it go, but kept a close eye on him. Sancho also cleared up questions of command - they would defer to him in questions of scouting, but he would follow their lead otherwise. When he asked who should direct him if it came to combat, they decided to turn it over to Durdeg. Sancho rode slightly away to privately discuss his techniques with Durdeg, and the day moved on.

As night fell, Sancho said they were close to a great place to stay. He knew a Tiefling woman that had a cabin nearby, and if nothing else it would provide a barn to rest the horses in. When the group reminded Sancho that they knew perfectly wwell where this house was, and he had been told the story the night they met, Sancho chuckled and told them he recalled, now that they mentioned it. But it was still as good a place as any to set up camp, so they left the main road.

When they made it to the hollow in the hills where the house once stood, they were amazed by the contrast. The house was a pile of broken belongings and shattered timbers, while the barn appeared to be untouched. The stone of the house had clearly been removed - the party knew enough about the stone trolls to believe they had taken or eaten it. But it looked like once they did that, the barn held no interest for them. Strange, but who knows what thoughts go through the heads of giants and their kin.

They entered the barn, and were surprised to find their old wagon intact. They put the horses away in the barn, although there was no room for the new wagon. They proceeded to cast their daily spells for protection, and prepared for bed. Sancho asked Kasret about the mushroom whiskey, implying that he knew about Sif's experience with it. Kasret knew this to be a bad idea, and told him that they could drink something else. They turned in for the night, with no more of the precious whiskey being consumed.

No Longer Safe

Octorum 16, 887 Af.

The next morning, the group gathered their wagons and horses and hit the road. Sancho told them that they would make it to a cave by the river that night, but that the road would be more dangerous from here. He mounted his horse, and stayed to the front to be ready to scout ahead as needed. During the morning, this ended up not being necessary, but shortly after lunch, things changed.

Sif's owl was scouting ahead, checking for anything that might cause problems for them. Eventually, it marked a spot about a mile ahead as being a problem, and started to come back. When it returned, it relayed that it spotted a couple of ogres and a group of orcs, set up on a hill watching the river. They either didn't notice, or didn't care, about the owl's flyby, and kept concentrated on the river. By piecing together what the owl saw, they concluded that the group was planning on attacking river traffic, and it was their duty to stop them. Even if it wasn't, they couldn't continue by road without encountering them, so they had to do something.

Sancho said that he would scout ahead and attempt to get more information, then return. The party wanted to send someone else along, and Kasret was identified as being as skilled or moreso than Sancho, and it was decided that they two would go together, with the owl along to pass messages. They approached as a group as close as they could, but still a few hundred yards away, and Sancho and Kasret began to approach. There were just enough trees and hills to give them cover, and they got to within a hundred feet of the creatures before things went bad. As Sancho silently moved up closer, Kasret followed. He somehow missed the dry branch on the ground, and the snapping sound caused the orcs to look up, straight at the two. Sancho looked at Kasret, disbelief in his eyes, and mentioned something about running as he turned and headed back to the others. Kasret paused, but realized this was the thing to do. The owl was already winging back to the rest to inform them, and the orcs set out in pursuit. The ogres stayed where they were, their massive crossbows aimed at the river as a boat approached.

The orcs were closing fast, but so was the rest of the party, and it looked like they would all come together at the same point. Sancho had a slight lead, and made it to the safety of the group, but Kasret was not so lucky. Within sight of the others, the orcs finally caught up and surrounded him. They immediately set to work with their battle axes, and though Kasret twisted and dodged, he soon acquired a number of small cuts. The others joined the fight, though, and the orcs were no match for them. Carta ran one down with his lance, using sheer will to keep his horse in line. Durdeg and V8 moved in, flanking and slaying another. The others were hit by spells and arrows, and two more fell. When all but one were down, the last turned to run, but Kasret was able to run it through. With the orcs lying dead, the group approached the ogres.

As they got within range, they saw that the ogres were hauling on chains that led to the water. The blot launchers they were using were enough to let them attach the chains to a boat, and they had hauled it to shore. With this done, they were finally able to focus on the incoming adventurers. Without the orcs, though, they were overmatched. The bolt launchers were deadly, but the party was able to close too quickly and take them out of play. They swiftly ended the threat with minimal damage to themselves.

While the party did tease Kasret a bit about his stealth skills, no one was seriously hurt, and they could laugh about it as they continued on the way. They rejoined the wagons, and headed onwards. As night was falling, they reached the cave, where the fish that had previously littered the beach had rotted away to almost nothing but the lingering smell. Carta paid his respects to the fallen knight, and the group decided to move a short distance away to camp. They found an acceptable spot and settled in. Sancho was able to convince Kasret to share his tequila, and they and Durdeg polished off a bottle before bed.

Mistakes Were Made

Octorum 17, 887 Af.

The party wanted to push on early, feeling a sense of urgency. They rode through lunch, hoping to gain some extra miles.They did, and when they reached the road that led away from the river to Calamentum, they still had daylight left. They could make it a short way down the road, and be set to arrive in the town in the afternoon at this rate. With the owl leading the way, they moved westward.

As the sun was setting and they were preparing to find a good camping spot, the owl circled, the flew quickly back to them. It reported that six creatures were preparing an ambush in the trees ahead. The party stopped, and began to plan. With the description of the ambushers, Sancho laughed, thinking that they would be easy pickings. He told Kasret they should drink the whiskey first, and Kasret, tired of the questions, decided to give him a shot. It was usually something innocuous like a tree that would leave to find its family, so no big deal. After Sancho took the shot, he tuned out momentarily, and looked at Kasret with a touch of wonder. Kasret shushed him, and told the others that they were ready to scout. They would send the owl back, and when it returned, they should begin to approach.

The two moved swiftly, circling around behind the ogrillon bandits in the trees. When they had taken position, they sent the owl back, and watched for the others. Moments before the others were in position to be ambushed, the two sprung an ambush of their own. They started to fire arrows at the two closest, and one fell before anyone else could move, and the second was gravely wounded. As everyone else, the other heroes and the ogrillons alike, jumped into action, the two loosed their arrows again, and the wounded bandit and another fell as quickly.

The ogrillons never knew what hit them, and they were quickly brought down without the heroes even being winded. They relaxed, perhaps momentarily forgetting that Sancho had already had a drink from the whiskey. As they went to look for a campsite away from the ogrillon bodies, the whiskey began to turn his stomach. Staggering away from the group, Sancho released the toxins off to the side of the trail. The party waited to see their fate, and it was as bad as they could imagine. A pyramid, starting very small but growing quickly, began to rise from the ground.

The heroes scrambled to get out of the way, then prepare for what they knew was coming. They cursed at Sancho for endangering them all as they moved to where an entrance was rising from the ground. Carta and Durdeg took up positions at the entrance, waiting for the mummy lord to rise. Sif positioned herself further back, but straight in front. Kasret and Sancho waited behind a tree just to the side of the entrance, and Sharlot was farther off, ready to attack at range when it emerged.

When the first sounds came from deep within, Sif threw a bolt of flame down the corridor. It struck the creature, and for a brief moment, the linen strips the corpse was wrapped in burned. A groan came from the creature, and the others readied themselves for it to emerge.

It emerged, but not as they expected. The sand of the floor began to swirl around it, rising in a sudden wind. The mummy disappeared within the spinning cloud, and it launched down the corridor. The whirling sand blew by the warriors at the entrance, and stopped in front of Sif. The sand collapsed, and the mummy reached for her with a desiccated hand. It grabbed Sif and stared into her eyes. The power of its gaze nearly overtook her, but she was able to shake it off. It tightened its grip, and the dark energy flowing off of it weakened her, nearly sending her to her knees.

Carta and Durdeg came up from behind the mummy and attacked. They struck true, although it seemed to be almost immune to the mundane weapon Durdeg's magical machines were able to do some damage.. Sancho's arrows were similarly useless, and Kasret closed to attack with his rapier. Sharlot began to cast spells to support her fellows. Sif, knowing she was in trouble, cast darkness on herself, and fled randomly. The mummy struck blindly at her, but she slipped away. As she made it to relative safety, she let the light back in, and struck out with her fiery sphere. The flames were clearly the creatures weakness, and she exploited it.

But it was far from destroyed, and it turned to the beacon of divine righteousness in the group. It attempted to frighten the paladin, but Carta stood firm. Although he was not swayed by the mummy's dreadful glare, he was not as resistant to its rotting touch. As the party hit the mummy with everything they had, it struck at Carta again and again. A blow got through, and the mummy's curse gripped him. He retaliated by striking the creature and channeling the strength of Adalci through his blade. The power of his God went through him, and the mummy was destroyed. Carta collapsed to his knees - he was weaker than he had been in years, and the mummy's curse was preventing him from recovering.

As the others came to Carta's side, Sif remembered her lore on powerful mummy's. She knew that if it was strong enough, it could regenerate from just its heart. To be safe, she dug into the creature and extracted the organ, then burned it to ash.

Carta was hurting, and knew he had to see a priest powerful enough to end the curse. Sancho came to him and apologized, and told him that he was sure that there was a priest that could help

Report Date
07 Feb 2021
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Cover image: by Chance Rose


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