We set out overland for Kammae. The road was a little twisty and windy, but for the most part uneventful, at least until we reached a stone bridge spanning a chasm, and blocked by a dark skinned individual in bright orange robes that bore all the hallmarks of someone elf-marked.
He asked if we were the heroes of Feymott, and upon receiving a tentative yes, remarked that it was excellent and promptly attacked us.
At least they’re getting a little more polite about it. Even if he did have archers on hand.
Getting shot still hurts like a motherfucker. And the asshole on the bridge had a standing fly spell and put a purple wall of fire on the entire length of the bridge. Augmented somehow, probably empowered. Great.
Miaako had, of course, reflexively turned invisible. Rupert flew at the robed man who was floating some distance away of the bridge, who seemed completely unprepared for this. He was also unprepared for the three ultra hot scorching rays I fed him. I’m not in the mood to even pretend to be reasonable.
Fortunately, Reeshka’s energy resistance spell allowed Ceor and Anusk to charge the length of the bridge. Reeshka managed to heal me and then turned invisible. The archers on the other side of the chasm were a little perturbed to find seven hundred pounds of man, horse, and armor in their face. They shot him, but he didn’t particularly care.
That’s when a fireball landed on us. Thanks to the energy resistance, it didn’t hurt us… but it killed my horse and nearly dropped the mule.
This really pisses me off. I was going to try to save him to question and take his stuff, but fuck that. Just. Fuck. It.
I couldn’t aim straight for all three rays to hit, but one did and that was enough. I plastered his body to the opposite chasm wall.
I think Reeshka did something behind me, but I was far too busy planning out the gruesome ways these fools would die.
Meanwhile, Ceor practically trampled one of the archers to death, and Keshemet shot a magic missile across the chasm, to some effect. Rupert then continued across the chasm to maul one of the archers. Miaako had managed to cross the bridge to do the same. I was planning to drop a fireball right on the two archers on the north side of the bridge, but that’s where Miaako and Rupert were, and I’m not quite mad enough yet to attempt to murder them as well. So I just set the remaining one on the south side on fire, and followed it with some magic missiles. Such a nice little utility spell.
Reeshka, meanwhile, started across the bridge with the mule. We’ll see if the fire resistance holds out longer than the mule’s patience. Ceor then hit the archer I’d set on fire hard enough to launch him across the chasm. It was rather impressive, actually. And one of the archers seemed to forget that she was in melee with Miaako.
We ended up with four masterwork composite shortbows, four mithril scalemail, eight potions and eight rings, four sets of two. The robed man who was slowly sliding down the wall had an amulet, a small bag, a pair of bracers, two iron rods, two potions, a ring, and a staff that nearly ended up in the river. Each of the assholes also had a copper amulet marked with the symbol of the Order of the Pure.
And Reeshka managed to save my horse. So that’s something.
Once the bridge was passable again, we proceeded. They seemed to have been camped here a few days, like they were waiting for us.
The bag the mage had contained a spellbook and quite a lot of money, and some average supplies, and a platinum symbol of the Order of the Pure. So they’re sending high ranked officers at us now. That’s nice. He had 443 platinum and 9 gold pieces. Also, the bag was a bag of holding. I’m keeping the spellbook. A quick glance at the spell book proved to be nearly every single spell of the fire type (up to 4th level). Oh, I like this. And the back seemed to be used as a journal. He wasn’t a man of many words, but I got the general gist that their leaders had a vision that we’d be coming this way, and he was selected for the honor of dealing with us. He was in the cell that exists in Kammae, but they don’t seem to have the most recent intel on us, which is good. And was painfully apparent, judging by how unprepared for certain things they were.
I’ll identify the rest of the stuff later.
We continued along our planned route to a small town about midway between Zagora and Kammae. Nothing else of note happened on the way, though we did pass a couple of merchant caravans that we warned about the bridge being a little unstable. Upon reaching the town, the first thing we saw was a pastry shop.
We elected to stay the night. Ceor woke me up in the middle of the night, saying that someone was calling him. I didn’t hear anything, but it seemed to be coming from downstairs. We’ve had enough shit at this point, so we woke everyone else up as well because I don’t care to walk into a trap unprepared.
And if I have to get up so do they.
The call was evidently coming from the back of the building, or so Ceor informed us. We started heading for a broom closet, and I smelled talcum powder. Odd. Upon examining the broom closet, Miaako found a secret lever that opened a set of stairs that looked like they hadn’t been disturbed in a long time, and went down a surprisingly long way, ending at a plain oak door.
This just keeps getting better and better.
Ceor saw a pattern on the door, the shape of a portcullis. It wasn’t trapped, not even locked, and Reeshka said there were no undead on the other side. Hopefully this means that nothing will try to eat our faces.
The room proved to be about twenty feet square, and absolutely swathed in cobwebs. There was a small shrine at the back, which Reeshka cleared to show the portcullis symbol.
This guy really likes Ceor.
But it was clearly what he was meant to see, because he said he stopped hearing his name being called. His portcullis medallion was a little warm. Lacking anything better to do, Ceor touched his medallion to the shrine. Decades, if not centuries, of dust and cobwebs blew off and seemed to melt away, little silver flames sprung up at the corners of the altar, and it seemed to be radiating a good aura, and Reeshka said it was consecrated. Miaako found a hidden compartment with a slim book in it, which looked like a prayer book. At least a hundred and fifty years old. And the ink was comprised largely of silver and probably platinum.
As the cobwebs melted away, they revealed murals depicting someone associated with travel and passages. Reeshka had never heard of this god, save a vague memory of a god of portals and passageways. When we looked at the prayer book, every place that the god’s name appeared was blank. His domain also included planar gateways. It was weird, she knew he’d seen his name, but couldn’t remember it. Whatever this is, it’s almost like he’s been erased from knowledge. About the only thing I can think of that can do that would be the intervention of another god, or something equally as powerful, perhaps something that had interfered with Fate itself.
Miaako was reading the prayer book, enamored with the ink, and came across references to other gods. The god of the sea, patron of passage across the water, who is currently chained in the city of Kammae, and his wife, the goddess of memory, who was referred to the goddess of passages into history. She’s not forgotten, but screwing with her memory might change things. She supposedly lives beyond the western seas…
I stopped smelling talcum once we came down here, so that’s suggestive. It also occurs to me that this was concealed shrine, and you really only need concealed shrines when open worship of the god in question is prohibited. So this religion might’ve been suppressed before it was forgotten.
As we started back up, Reeshka commented that she’d smelled firedrake steak while she was around the shrine. I’m not really sure what to think about that.
About half way up the stairs, we all felt a cold breeze and a childlike giggle. We all heard it this time. That’s less comforting than anything else we’ve experienced in a while.
We elected to go to the bar and drink heavily.
We did spend one day in town to identify the magical gear that we got. Four rings of Minor Fire Resistance, four Rings of Protection (1). The amulet proved to be an Amulet of Natural Armor (2). (Did that enchantment bleed off some? It seems weaker.) The bracers were Bracers of Armor (4). An Empower metamagic rod and a Widen metamagic rod (good for spells up to 6). Another Ring of Protection (3), stronger than the others. A Staff of Fire, with 33 charges. A Minor Bag of Holding, which is about what I expected. 8 Cure Moderate Wounds Potions (CL3). One stronger Cure Moderate Wounds potion (CL8), and one Potion of Invisibility (CL8). Reeshka took the Empower rod, and I kept the Widen rod. Ceor and Keshemet each kept a ring of Minor Fire Resistance. Ceor kept the amulet, in case he needed to swap Anusk’s amulet out. I kept the stronger protection ring. Keshemet can probably get more use out of the Staff of Fire than I will. We gave the strongest Cure Moderate Wounds to Miaako, since he can move faster than the rest of us. No one else wanted it, so I took the invisibility potion.
We left the next day, though I woke with a memory of a vast stone disc with symbols of Fate and Chance carved around the edge. And when we came downstairs, Miaako was burning something in the fireplace, gods know what.