At this point, one of my players started writing in character journals that I thought were quite good. Now, they are from that character’s perspective and are sometimes missing important details (either willfully or just because the character wasn’t present). This has proven invaluble to me as I’ve needed more time to focus on a writing project I’m doing for Autarch. I’ll try to give commentary as we go.
Our sojourn in this dry and wasted land continues apace. Tonight we gathered to infiltrate the dark pyramid as suggested by friend Long Tom. While we were able to overcome the guards sent to apprehend us (many fell to deft use of arcane magics), the ones we questioned did not answer our queries. Bruna with her traditional acumen suggested that we might be biting off a bit more than we could reasonably take on, and I heartily agreed, as did most of the party.
Most of the guards were… made away with… by Xhynon and Rageclaw (I am thankful that I did not see them do this deed) and we absconded into the waste, our retreat and activities covered by Xhynon who I through Talia’s mercy allowed to become a creature of bloody claw and pincer (he rampaged through the camp and made it seem as if it was he who had slew the soldiers).
We took the Captain and the strangely tattooed one for questioning later. Hours later, we found ourselves out in the wastes, a place most inimical to life. We rested while we could and broke camp when the day was cooler. Avoiding a company of strange and warlike beings called “Ghiths” (according to our Native Guide Kanros), we forged further, watched over by our flying familiars.
About an hour later we could not avoid an encounter with a giant flying eagle.
Not eager to risk our lives in combat, I suggested that we butcher one of the camels and lay it out as a peace offering. The others suggested that we offer up the Captain instead. When I balked at this, Hannah stated that she much preferred the camel to our uncooperative captive, and without a pause, Rageclaw bashed the poor man on his cranium, kicked him off his mount and we retreated to a safe distance. (Such a waste of life, may Talia forgive).
The eagle, Thorandor turned out to be a most erudite and learned beast. Apparently he and his kin once served the lords of sun and sky, and he was able to converse as a man to those of us who served the lords of light, and Lillith, who knew the tongue of beasts. He indicated that he and his people would be interested in a world where the light of the divines was not snuffed out yet, and agreed to help lead us out of the Wastes.
His assistance was to be invaluable.
As the light started to grow dimmer, we saw in the distance a sandstorm. Thorandor flew low and warned us it was the approach of the “Hunger of the Desert” a fell wyrm of insatiable appetite. Thinking tactically (a skill I have been trying to learn from Bruna), I instructed our company to free some of our beasts of burden while I cast an obscuring cloud to cover our retreat in a direction I had indicated, hopefully the dragon would find the fleeing camels more tantalizing than our own flesh.
Jayna, moving quickly, did as I bidded. (I may chide her life choices, but she has saved our lives more than once. Talia watch over that one, and have mercy on her) We felt cyclopean wings of leather and rage beat above us as we made our way, the piteous squealing of camels informing us that my plan had worked (Once more I am forced to take life. Forgiveness, please)
We made our way out of the Wastes, guided by Thorandor, right into the heart of the Black King’s territory. Turning from the main path at the last moment, we made for some ruins where we might find refuge. Though we were beset by crawling worms of poison and fang, we managed to beat them off with our stout arm (Klangor, as always is an invaluable helpmeet. T’was providence truly that brought him to my service).
We rest uneasily at the ruins, now. Thorandor has left to bring one of the leaders of his people to treat with us. I pray for a fair wind for him, and look forward to gathering new allies in this harsh land.
I rest my pen to discuss with my companions about what to do in our current situation and whether to penetrate to the city-heart of the Black King, the metropolois of Vorasht, which squats like a mute beast just beyond the horizon.
May Talia preserve,