Stuck in Bonum Prox
Race for the Cure
Octorum 17, 887 Af.
Though the mummy was dead, Carta was in mortal danger. The group decided there was no time to waste, and they must push on through the night to find him a cure. They knew they had to be close to Bonum Prox, no more than a long night's travel up the river. Sancho knew of the town, and was sure that there would be a priest or two that could help them out. The road along the river was one of the most well maintained in the kingdom, so they could ride through the night without great risk to the wagons.
With the owl and V8 scouting ahead, the others were able to take turns resting in the wagons. They made it through the night, and while they certainly didn't get a full night's sleep, they were more rested than they could have been. As dawn broke, Sancho told them they would make the city within two hours.
Octorum 18. 887 Af.
The rest of the trip went quickly, and they soon came to the gates of Bonum Prox. Sancho warned the group of the rather hefty taxes that would be levied, and they were prepared to pay what it took, but they were not prepared for the sheer volume of forms that had to be filled out. After giving up far too much gold and time, they were allowed admittance to the city. The guards at the gate directed them to the Church of Adalci, not far from the gate.
Although sick, or perhaps because of it, Carta stopped the procession to check out a bar full of Elves lounging on low padded benches, drinking wines in a rainbow of colors. He was stunned by the strange beauty of the Elves, and picked one to try to charm. Though he tried his best, she never looked at him as more than a curiosity, perhaps something dragged in by a cat.
Admitting defeat, the group left for the temple. They arrived at the beautiful grounds, and admired the architecture of the building. The doors were open, and after a moment, they entered. The chapel was empty except for a priestess with her head bowed over a large book. They got her attention, and she introduced herself as Faiora, a cleric of Adalci.
Sif told her what had happened, and that they needed help for Carta. Faiora seemed worried, and said she would need to examine him. Sif wanted to go with, but Faiora wouldn't allow it. Trusting that she would help a fellow servant of Adalci, Sif let him go. They sat back to wait, although Sif realized that Kasret and Sancho were no longer with them. She brought Sharlot and Durdeg together, and told them what was going on. They continued to wait, as a few worshipers wandered in and out of the building. A woman prayed with her child, an old man examined the artwork, and an Elf walked past, ignoring everyone as she strode to the altar. The old man approached the group, and asked what they were getting up to. Before they could begin to talk, the priestess returned.
She told them that Carta was in bad shape, and she did not have everything she needed in order to cure him. She would need assistance from some other town members, but she was not well liked. Hopefully, she could get them to help her, and she could save Carta's life. An all around bad guy named Hemlock could certainly help her with what she needs, but they would likely end up serving him in order to pay off the debt. When the others asked where else they might find some help, she thought for a while, before saying that the temple of Procellus could do it, or the Elven Elders. They got the name of someone to talk to at the temple of Procellus, a Nelwyn named Samay Skelly. They grumbled a bit, but decided to head to the other temple. Again realizing that Kasret was gone, they decided to stop at any inn nearby to find him.
Kasret had found an inn just down the street, and decided he would have a better time there than talking to priests. He left the others behind and stopped in for a drink. When he first entered, the only patron was a Dwarf dressed like a soldier, chatting with a female Elf behind the bar. The Elf had long platinum hair in strange contrast to her dusky skin, and her eyes invite staring. She smiles at Kasret, looking him over with a critical eye, then waves for him to come to the bar. She offers him a list of food and drink, and went back to the dwarf.
Kasret ordered a roasted grouse and picked up talking to the Dwarf when the Elf left for the kitchen. He chatted with the Dwarf for a bit, getting a confirmation that the Dwarf was a soldier of some type. They had a drink together, and were set to trade gossip on the town, when the rest of the party found him. The Dwarf raised his glass in a salute as Kasret reluctantly joined the others on the way to the temple of Procellus.
They ignored the sights of the city as they found the temple of Procellus, the Stormbringer. As the Archon of Chaos, Lust, and Reverence, Procellus represents the chaos of nature, and the grounds looked like it. Uprooted trees, broken boulders, debris strewn about, it looked out of place in the well ordered city. There was one person on the grounds, a robed figure pushing a rake around a sandy patch of ground. The door to the temple was open, and the group entered.
In the main room, there were pews and an altar, and a large open area with mismatched furniture and standing water on the floor. Sitting curled up in a ball on a chair was a glassy eyed Gnome. The group went to talk to him, asking for Samay. When they were able to break through the fog, he pointed in the general vicinity of a door in the southeast wall. The group went up to the door and knocked, then waited.
After nearly a minute's wait where they heard strained whispers and shuffling sounds from beyond the door, a small auburn haired Nelwyn woman poked her head out. She demanded to know what they wanted, and when they asked if she was Samay, she said she was busy and slammed the door behind her. The party were shocked, and it took a few moments for them to do anything. When Sif finally pulled herself together, she gave no thought to anything but Carta's safety and barged into the room. When they saw the Nelwyn woman naked and straddling a Dragonborn, they stumbled back out and closed the door behind them. Sif realized she'd made a terrible mistake, and left the temple.
Kasret and Durdeg sat back, pondering what they could do. Sharlot turned to her music, and decided to play an Orcish war chant as loudly as she could.It was not quite up to her standards, but she pushed through, hoping that someohow playing music loudly would help them out with the Nelwyn woman. Kasret and Durdeg decided it was time to leave, and slipped out the door, with Kasret returning to the inn for further drinking. Durdeg lingered, watching Sharlot while being ready to leave.
Sharlot finished her first song, and decided it hadn't done much, so she needed to step it up a notch. She knew of another war chant, and decided to pound the rhythm directly on the door the Nelwyn woman had gone through. She pounded out the song, eventually hearing screaming. As she finished, the Nelwyn woman threw open the door in a rage, and yelled at them to get out! Whatever they might get from the temple, it did not look like they would get anything from Samay.
Luckily, Sif had found a useful endeavor, helping the druid out with his garden. Sif would rake, but almost immediately the man would rake it away. Eventually, Sif saw that the pattern was that the man tried to eliminate any pattern he detected. Sif tried to be more random, relying on some of the more extreme teachings of Kolero, and made good headway. Durdeg had left the building just ahead of Sharlot's encounter with Samay, and had been watching Sif. He walked up to join the conversation, and the druid handed him a rake. He flipped the rake upside down, and began poking at the sand. The druid looked intrigued, and asked what they needed.
After they explained the issue with Carta, the man agreed to help, but only in exchange for assistance from them. There was something out in the badlands that they needed, and they would help in exchange for the item and a period of time where Carta would work for the temple here. The group was not thrilled about the idea of Carta being away from them, but if it saved his life it was better than the alternative. They headed back to the temple of Adalci to let Faiora know the plan.
While they returned to the temple, Kasret was again drinking in Ye Olde Guard Inn. He arrived in time for dinner, and found a few more people around, including an old man talking to the bartender, an Elvish woman with a mangled hand preparing to sing with a Kenu accompanist, and a couple of tables of Daikini merchants. Kasret went to the bar, looking for a meal. On the recommendation of the barkeep and the old man, he ordered baked phoenix with dried apricot sauce and whisky. He and the man talked as they ate their dinners, which were really quite good.
The old man was quite the gossip, gleaning information from Kasret and returning it tenfold. When Kasret told the man that they were searching for information about giants in the badlands, the old man told him about the giants building an army in the badlands, and it looked like they were about to go back on their dealings with Calamentum. When pressed, the man told him that the people of Calamentum had been buying goblin slaves from the ogres, and that they were generally not reputable people. He particularly warned about Ian Swaren, the leader of Calamentum, and his penchant for using boars to disposee of his enemies. As the old man left for his room, he gave one final piece of advice - the Elven Elders were experiencing some infighting, and some of the lesser members may be attempting to make a run at more power.
Kasret digested all of this, and got himself a nice room for the night. He continued to drink and enjoy the music, until it was finally time to turn in.
Meanwhile, the others spoke with Faiora, who had set herself up as a gatekeeper between them and Carta. Sif was becoming more and more suspicious, as none of this seemed to add up. But for Carta, she would do what she must. The group presented the deal that they had made with the followers of Procellus, and she took it to Carta, privately. When she returned, she said the deal was unacceptable. The group understood, and set out to visit the Elders, and see what they could get there.
The entrance to the Tower of Elders was guarded by a pair of Elves. They demanded a series of tax payments, and wanted to ensure that no unapproved magic items were brought into the tower. The group paid the taxes, but Sharlot remembered that she had not previously declared the goo that she had found spilled from the hags' cauldron. She brought it up now, and the Elves reacted as though it was incredibly dangerous and could kill them all. None of them were sure if this was because it actually was dangerous, or if the Elves just had a different perspective. Either way, they confiscated it and made Sharlot fill out a form to claim it so it could be returned in a number of weeks.
That out of the way, as well as the payments necessary to meet the Elders today, and they waited in a small but comfortable room. Eventually, an Elven woman came to talk with them. She did not seem to truly care why they were there, but she did have a task for them that she would consider a fair exchange. It was to deliver a package to Uborum, the City of the Gods - they would take the word of a paladin of Adalci on it being done. They agreed, with the caveat that it had to be done in three days, and they headed back to the temple.
When they returned, they found Faiora searching through Carta's things. She said that she was just looking, but Sif became more worried about her oldest friend. After a bit of an argument, they finally got to the proposal. This time, Faiora thought the deal was acceptable. Sancho had shown back up at the temple, and asked Durdeg if they were to go to Calamentum soon, as they still had a job to do. Durdeg told him that they would probably hit the road the next day. With that, Sancho left to secure lodgings elsewhere, while the rest decided to sleep on the pews.
On the Road Again
Octorum 19, 887 Af.
As morning came, Kasret woke and went to the common room of Ye Olde Guard Inn. He saw Sancho eating breakfast, and went to join him. They discussed tequila and mushroom whiskey as they ate breakfast, and relaxed while they waited for the rest of the group to arrive.
After the rest rose from their uncomfortable night on the pews of the temple, they set out to pick up the others and talk with the Verrais, the Elf from the council. They stopped by the inn, where Sancho greeted them and asked if they were to deal with the giant problem. They informed Kasret and Sancho that they still had to deal with the Elf, but they would be on the road soon enough. Kasret updated them on the rumors from the old man, although it was not their immediate concern.
They arrived back at the Tower of the Elders, and met another couple of guards who appeared ready to tax them again. They mentioned the name of who they were to meet, and the guards spoke privately, chuckling over the name. They allowed them into the waiting room, and they waited for their contact.
They waited for quite some time, but eventually the Elven woman came back. SHe said that the package for Uborum was not yet ready, and they would have to return for it later. Durdeg and Sif were annoyed by this, and wanted to ensure that the timetable still stood, and Carta would be cured. When they had all agreed, the party left the tower, and prepared to resume their journey to Calamentum. Faiora came along to help fill the void left by Adalci's paladin, as she felt the God demanded it. The group left Carta's followers behnd to help watch over him, and headed south.
They made it back to the pyramid, when Faiora took the time to make sure there were no further problems from it. They camped for the night near the pyramid, although far enough away to not worry about further curses.
Octorum 20, 887 Af.
As they made their way to Calamentum, they came across a flood of refugees leaving the town. They told of an attack by goblins the previous night - hundreds of goblins in all, coming for the goblins that 'worked' in the town. Sancho scoffed at this, and the group got the distinct impression that the goblins were slaves, rather than workers. The people were not fazed by this getting out, clearly feeling like they were in the right. The party watched as the people left - most of the town had to have cleared out by now. They made haste to the town, riding through the day.
They reached town a few hours before sunset. The flood had become a trickle, and some of the last out told them of the forces massing to the west. Sif sent the owl to check, and the view was grim. There were orogs, orcs, and goblins making up the small army, being led by several ogres. Approaching was a hill giant, flanked by a rock troll. They were all well out of reach of spells or arrows, and the few people manning the walls looked like they'd have a hard time hitting anything anyway. The tactical advantage of attacking at sundown was obvious enough that they were sure the giant would wait for then. With the bad news facing them, the group gathered to discuss their options.
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