South of Pavis, near Ryan Village...
1621, Fire Season, Disorder Week, Wildday
|The party approaching the rocky mound|
7th Day of the Fire Season, 1621
The next morning, the party heads east towards Pavis. At first it seems like a good idea to follow the river bank all the way downstream to the capital, but the many creeks and streams in the valley make the party lose a lot of time. In the end, they decide to head for the Pavis road and keep to familiar terrain. When heading for the road, they run into a lone Aldryami trekking through the chaparral, and Raiko attempts to approach the barkskin, but any attempt to approach is only responded to by arrow fire, and after ducking into cover a few times, Raiko gives up his fraternization attempts. They put up camp for a totally eventless night, before arriving at the road the next morning and following it in the direction of Pavis.
8th Day of the Fire Season, 1621
After a long walk along the Pavis road, under a relentless summer sun, the party sees the off-white colour of the high walls of the Rubble appear in the distance. The heat of the afternoon sun makes the sky shimmer, and dust devils are everywhere. This time they do not head for the tent camp under the Rubble walls, but cross the bridge towards New Pavis. Since none of them are New Pavis citizens, they have to fill out heaps of paperwork, and Giomanach decides to apply for a weapon permit. Not aided by the Lunar bureaucracy, they finally enter the city walls, and the Orlanthi head to the temple, while Giomanach visits his aunt at the Chalana Arroy temple and Raiko tags along with Jaya into the rubble to visit the Yelorna temple.
The Orlanthi report to Faltikus, who does not seem overly interested, and who's only worry seems to be being singled out as responsible for the death of the Lunars. He tries to convince Daerius and Herculon to tell him more about what happened, but Herculon's web of lies seems to work, although Faltikus is not completely convinced. After meeting up with their friends again, they notice Giomanach is accompanied by Alwynn, acolyte of Chalana Arroy, who is too worried about Giomanach heading out after a gang of ogres to let him go alone. Having a good healer along on a dangerous mission has never hurt anyone, so the other party members make nothing of it and make her feel welcome. They decide to leave the following day at daybreak.
9th Day of the Fire Season, 1621
The next morning the party heads west again, and south at the Last Step stead. They follow the trail to Whitefly and Ryan, and when passing the source of the stream into the Zola Fel they notice barefoot child tracks heading out into the desert. They decide to follow these, considering it weird to find kids' footsteps around here. Surely, before too long they notice a small group of children keeping an eye on the party. They attempt to overtake them but the kids disappear, and the party decides to continue walking in the same general direction. After a weird encounter with an Aldryami, the party sees a rocky mound in the distance, and they notice several holes in the wall of the mound. They decide to approach carefully. Four perfectly round cave entrances are visible. The geometric shape worries the party, and they decide to carefully investigate one of the entrances. Inside they disturb 2 Krarshtkids, and within seconds they are under attack, with only Herculon's shield preventing some serious damage. Giomanach's sorcery saves the day here, with two lucky palsies in a row taking out the chaotic monsters.
|The howling krarshtkid comes bouncing forward...|
Another entrance leads nowhere, but the third leads upwards and there another spawn of Krarsht is hiding. This time the fight is even shorter, with Palsy once again saving the day, and Giomanach starting to feel very powerful indeed. Within seconds, the krarshtkid is vanquished, not able to divulge it's destructive power. Further exploration of the round corridors reveals nothing, and the party decides to make camp in a now empty corridor. They cast alarm on the entrance, and with a double guard run no risk after the spider fiasco a few days before. The night passes uneventful, and the next morning the party decides to climb the mound to get a better lookout position. Arrived at the top of the mound, they stumble onto the ogre camp, seeing it below them through a slit in the cave roof. They notice a captive in very poor condition, a bunch of kids, and several adults, both male and female, standing around a bonfire. An area behind the ogres is closed off with wooden panels, and in a corner they notice many crates and barrels. They try to set up a surprise attack, with little success, and within minutes the fight has broken loose, with Herculon and Daerius in the middle of it, supported by Alwynn's healing and Giomanach's sorcery. Meanwhile Jaya is still on the lookout outside the cave, pulling some of the attention to her.
|The blueish inside of the ogre cave|