The Fourteenth of Erastus, 4709 Absalom Reckoning
As written by Qusai
After eliminating the nest of weird critters we head south into what was probably a library. It’s very dusty and extremely boring; there’s a plaque on the southern wall showing Nethys with a text in Osirian that is also boring. However Tillous thinks that it is a secret door, but doesn’t know how to open it. I suggest shooting the door open, but nobody wants me to show off my mad skillz.
I begin to suspect that they are all haters.
Tefiya pokes it with her sword. Nothing happens. I could have told her that, and it sounds horrible and probably ruined her blade. Well, I won’t be sharpening it for her! Then Kiva got the idea to use a wand and that worked, so it seems like you had to use magic to open it. No wonder Tillous had no idea!
Anyway the plaque swings open and reveals a cave-like hallway with a cloud of fluorescent green gas and a bunch of statues. NO, I WON’T TOUCH THEM. I wouldn’t touch them anyway because there are tendrils of green vapor coming out of their open mouths and this reminds me just a little bit too much of Tefiya and her green infestation.
Kiva runs into the… why. why. why. Kiva runs into the hallway, stops, smacks herself upside the head with her mace and starts giggling and trotting around the hallway. I yell for the others because while Kiva is weird, she’s not usually this weird. We try to decide what to do and I suggest that Tefiya go in because of the green stuff, she might be immune. Although then I have the idea to lasso her, but nobody seems to like that idea either.
I’m not sure why no one is missing how innovative I am and what a natural leader I could be.
From the doorway, I have a look at the nearest statue but don’t see any obvious ways to manipulate it. If there’s any way to turn them off, I bet it’s by yanking on the tongue. I send Tefiya in to check it out. That’s leadership! Tefiya sticks her hand all up in its mouth and it looks really ridiculous, she gives up and heads over to check out Kiva. So Tillous heads in to see if he can figure it out and he does. Some things just need a man’s touch.
So Tillous goes off to turn off the rest of them while OH SHIT WHAT Kiva just takes off running around the bend of the tunnel. I think we should just leave her to die, but Tefiya runs after her. Everyone is out of sight, but I think it would be safer to wait for the vapors to dissipate. On the other hand… they have the lantern.
So I follow, and it smells bad but the vapor doesn’t seem to be harmful in any way. The tunnel opens onto a larger cavern full of thick green gas with some weird rotten barge floating on it. Kiva tries to touch it and seems entranced as if something had fallen into her hand, but nothing is there.
She’s probably gone over to the dark side. I offer to shoot her but nobody wants me to do that. It’s Tefiya and that green slime all over again.
I think perhaps I have discovered something important about the color green. Thankfully my favorite color is purple.
I step forward and smack her – just trying to break her out of whatever it is – but it doesn’t seem to do anything and she even takes a swing at me with her mace. So bravely I try to tackle her to the ground. Some disembodied voice is babbling about her being affected by the voice of Nethys, but I don’t have time to worry about that.
I get Kiva on the ground and she smacks me in the knee with her mace. Damn little brat dwarf!
The stranger from Osirion
Tillous and Tefiya are talking to some guy who I can smell even over here while grappling with Kiva. He looks like he’s lived here for years, and he just wants us to leave. I think I overheard him say that Kelmarane is lost to the Katapeshi. I don’t know, surely giant boars and gnolls can be defeated.
This stupid dwarf is slippery and a lot more wriggly than I thought she would be. She just headbutted my shoulder. I try to get a really good grip on her, while Tillous is making polite chitchat with the stinky guy. Something about Osirion.
Shit! She got away. Well. Let her death be on her own hands. I tried.
I sit up and pay attention to the talk with the stinky guy. He looks agitated, and keeps telling us to go away. Now he wants to know if we’ve been sent to fetch him. Tefiya asks if he is a follower of Nethys, but he isn’t. At least he says not.
He thinks we are supposed to capture him and he’s getting more jumpy. He’s got a wicked-looking knife — I’d like to have it — but he could be dangerous. Kiva is over there hitting herself in the face and babbling to herself: I wash my hands of her.
I asked him if he can tell us about the sphinxes — or maybe he knows if I’m a lost prince of Kelmarane? — but he attacks me! How rude! And turns into a monster, growing fur and claws.
Maybe he’s jealous that I’m a lost prince of Kelmarane?
I roll away from his stab and Tillous steps in across from me, attacking but missing. Kiva suddenly snaps out of it and starts asking what’s going on – we don’t have time for that now! The stinky guy is attacking me again, OUCH! I think my guts are falling out!
Tefiya charges in and smacks him upside the head; I take a step back and fire my weapon, but unfortunately miss – only because I am so desperately injured. Tillous sneak attacks him. I hope they kill him quickly.
No, I hope they disable him quickly, and kill him slowly. Bastard!
Kiva swings at someone else’s knees for once – she hits, but he doesn’t scream, so she can’t have put much effort into it. But it sure pisses him off, he lunges down and bites her throat. It’s disgusting and gory and now I feel a bit bad about having tried to tie her up.
There’s a lot of useless swinging going on over there and the cat guy is lunging at Tefiya now – at least she has more armor on. It ought to be a little harder… she ought to get more armor, because that looks bloody. Ugh.
I take aim and fire — I got him good! Boy, he looks angry now, but he looks like he’s heading for me next. Just to be safe I take another step back just as Tillous stabs him in the back and he sinks to the floor, changing back info human form and saying “Be careful with Ennebe!”
Kiva starts claiming that she didn’t do anything to me, while Tillous claims the punching dagger, which is very fancy and has a leopard styled on it. It looks magic, there are flickering shadows on its blade.
Tefiya says the guy was definitely evil but the blade is just magic, not evil. He is wearing a falcon pendant and a chain shirt, and carrying 450 gold. That would go a long way to buying a really nice gun.
Tillous explains what happened to Kiva, who doesn’t seem to remember what happened. Maybe it’s better that way.
Looking through his saddlebags we find 343 more gold and a set of icons that look like falcons. Animals are used as the symbols of royal Osirion families. … Oh, crap. Aside from that there’s just a bunch of old clothes and some scrolls that Kiva says are incomplete letters to his son Rafiq.
Rafiq sounds kind of similar to Qusai, doesn’t it? Too bad I know he’s not actually my father.
Anyway, there’s a bit of a tunnel to the north that looks like a dead end but there’s a door to the west which leads back into normal rooms. There’s a giant alabaster altar surrounded by flickering blue light, its pedestal is carved with wings and scaly bulls. It smells like bitter incense in here.
Something starts hissing. OH SHIT IT’S MORE SNAKES! A viper appears out of thin air atop the altar. Tillous chops it in half and Kiva packs it away. *Now* we notice that there are also snakes carved into this altar. That was probably a sign.
Kiva starts copying magic spells off of the pillars in the room and I hurriedly ask Tefiya to make sure they aren’t evil, she says they aren’t, so we’re going to check if this room connects to the ones we were already in and then wait for Kiva.
It does, and she takes foreeeeever to finish. Now she wants to go over all the items we have that might be magic. We pile it all up and she waves the wand. A bunch of it is magical, but Tefiya has been hiding something — it’s the chain shirt we took off the cat guy.
Kiva says the scarab I picked up is an alternative form of a wand that can be used to open doors and such from a distance (14 charges). The brooch Tefiya has protects from magic missiles. She’s useless at identifying any of the weapons though and also can’t figure out what is different about the chain shirt.
Strangely, she didn’t sense anything magic in my pants. (Snicker.)
Anyway we head back up the rope to the top part of the temple and the rooms we haven’t explored yet. But there’s not much to the east side, we head to the west side and find a tiny archway only large enough for rodents. Who does that? Anyway there’s nothing else interesting. We debate if there’s anything else we can take back with us, like a sphinx, but nope.
So it’s back to camp for us. There’s a storm outside though so we’re debating whether to stay overnight or wait it out. After a couple hours the storm abates and we ride back.
After we ford the river Tefiya looks over the shoulder and sees someone tied up and being fed to the pesh fields monster. We try to turn our camels and hurry that way, but only Tillous’s camel is cooperative. The rest want to go home and it’s a battle to get them turned around. I get mine headed the right way but Tefiya ia stuck. Some things just need a man’s touch.
Or perhaps just my touch. I pass Tillous who is having trouble with his camel and pass Kiva as well. I am going to swoop down and save this poor man from the monster! I will show them all!
Shit! Tillous just passed me again. He’s stealing my thunder — but the monster dust cloud seems awfully close. The ground is shaking. Maybe it’s not a bad time to be in second place.
Indeed, the monster surfaces from the sand and Tillous, who jumped off his camel, looks like he’s getting sucked in. He keeps his footing and throws the prisoner up on his camel, but the creature snaps at him and hits his leg as he swings up.
I shoot it in the face and move backwards, ready to ride. Kiva throws a flask of acid at it and hits. We try to ride off, but the worm catches up to Tillous easily and attempts to grapple him. He gets away and we put our heels to our camels! The creature sinks beneath the sand as we flee.
Once we get away from the area we stop to deal with the guy we just rescued and take his gag out. He’s an older man with gray hair and has been badly beaten. He’s very relieved to be rescued – who wouldn’t be? His name is Oxvard, a cleric of Abadar, a member of the Lions of Senara, part of a treasure-seeking group from Cheliax. His party of five was captured by the gnolls and most were murdered.
Tefiya asks if he knows anything about the tit demon but… he does not. Not until he realizes she means a schir, which the gnolls use as a guard.
Oxvard says he would pay us, except he doesn’t have any money. Drat.
We give him a health potion and head back to camp, ready to impress Lady Almah with our newfound knowledge and rescued informant. A guard runs off to inform her as we approach, and Dashki is ready to annoy us as always, demanding to know why we didn’t bring back treasure. Ass.
Wish we’d found more treasure.
We drop Oxvard off with Father Zastoran for a well-deserved meal and rest. We ask for some more health potions and explain where our injuries came from… he is fascinated by the were-leopard bites and hopes that either Kiva or Tefiya will continue to transform.
I lead the group to go visit Lady Almah, who is reclining on cushions and looking very delectable. I wish I smelled better. And had less dried blood on my clothing. I show her my gut wound and she is very impressed by me.
She says the Yunan family, the rulers of Ipeq, use a falcon as their emblem. So we probably killed a prince, for real. Shit. Garavel says there was a rumor about one of them who killed his wife and daughters and then fled. So maybe it wasn’t a bad thing we killed him. He was an evil were-leopard, anyway.
We tell her that there wasn’t a lot of treasure but tell her about the sphinxes and etc. I hand her the mask of Nethys, but she says it’s nothing important, and then we show her the were-leopard’s punching dagger. She generously lets Tillous keep it and then pays us a bag of 500 gold. I don’t understand why he just hands it to Tefiya when I’m clearly the leader of this party now.
She suggests that tomorrow we should go back to Kelmarane but insults us by saying we just killed a “little” boar the first time. Does she understand nothing? She also doesn’t want us to kill the pesh field worm, which we all think is rather short-sighted.
Time to eat and sleep. Wish there were someone to share my bedroll with.