Month A, Day 1
Aldarr rode back into camp today with some of his toadies. For the “leader” of the camp, he sure is absent a lot. This afternoon, he called for volunteers on a scouting mission. Our entire team volunteered. No surprise there. What could be worse than this?
We were lead to his tent, where we tossed up a Detect Magic for paranoia’s sake, as he wasn’t there to greet us. Surprisingly, one of the grapes on his table (displaying a glut of food inconceivable for those of us enslaved here) detected as Divination. Suspecting it was a scrying sensor of some sort, I of course immediately began declaiming how pleased I was with the accommodations. Needless to say, I spent a lot of effort toning down the sarcasm.
The lazy bastard eventually showed up and proceeded to get drunk, while telling us bits and pieces of our mission. Something about going to Bare because it was going to be or had been razed to the ground, and the opposing army was or wasn’t somewhere nearby. Whatever. As long as its out of here, I’m happy. He said we could help ourselves to the food, so we did, including pocketing the magic grape.
We were apparently to leave tomorrow, so we actually had the day free. To say this was an unusual occurrence would be a significant understatement, so none of us really had any idea what to do with ourselves. We ended up heading to the armory, where we discovered that the “army” didn’t have enough weapons to equip a hermit, nor did they have many actually useful items at all. We managed to scavenge a water skin or two out of spare parts, but I’m really not sure what the point of training us is if we’re not going to actually have the sharp bits of metal to stick in the enemy. Come to think of it, I would probably stab my corporal first anyways. We did, however, find another magic grape in here. Confused (and bored!) at this point, we took it upon ourselves to have a bit of a hunt for them throughout the camp, suspecting they were a possible reason for the inhuman reactions of our guard cadre, or perhaps enemy surveillance. We found a total of 7 grapes in all, all detecting of magic of the same strength and school. They were in the strangest places; completely illogical.
Whatever. We went to sleep.
Month A, Day 2
We woke up and headed out to find Aldarr getting ready, with a two guard escort and some weird guy in a cloak who didn’t speak. We didn’t talk much, and Aldarr rode drunk, so it was fairly unexciting the first night.
Month A, Day 3
Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit.
Today passed pretty much the same as yesterday, but in the middle of the night while we were camped, this swarm of weird black bugs (we have officially dubbed “necropedes”) came and ate Eldarr and his two guards. Cloak-guy apparently doesn’t need to sleep, so he was up, but since he’s dumb, he obviously didn’t warn anybody. Or even seem to notice, until everyone else was panicking, actually. Maybe he’s just useless?
Anyways, the ‘necropedes’ seem afraid of fire, so we stayed near the campfire all night, only leaving to light the tents on fire and steal all Eldarr’s stuff. Hey, we might need it. His only real possession, a wooden chest, had a fake bottom, which we found and looted of a crappy dagger, a map with scribbles on it, and some black orb that detected magic of an unknown school. This was pretty huge for Reth, Silas, and I, but the others had no idea what the fuss was all about. That’s fine. They don’t really need to know.
Anyways, going back seems like a terrible idea (executed for treason, anyone?), and going forward seems like a terrible idea (more necropedes?), but the former is certain and the latter is not, so we decided to press on.
Month A, Day 4
Travelled by day, set up camp defenses by night. No necropedes. Maybe we’re safe?
Month A, Day 5
Shit, nope, not safe. Swarms of necropedes again. We were better prepared this time, but there’s basically nothing to burn out here.
Month A, Day 6
Found a derelict camp of the “enemy”. It had a half-dozen bedrolls, but only one survivor, some guy who’s lost his memory. There was a journal, but it was filled with ravings. Great. Is everyone in this country crazy? More necropedes at night. Still nothing to burn, nothing to climb. How are the citizens of this useless country not all dead of starvation? Discovered necropedes move literally faster than light, as our new addition sprayed some kind of beam out of his finger, only to have it dodged. Seems like being chased by them would be a really bad idea (and over very quickly).
Month A, Day 7
Walked all day, set up defenses at night again, but this time the necropedes started burrowing under the camp. Cloak-guy mixed some stuff together and completely failed to throw it at the ’pedes, giving me 3rd degree burns all over my body. I was tempted to leave him for the ’pedes after that, but it did provide us a way to run. Interestingly, the swarm as a whole moved much more slowly than we did, light-speed dodging aside. Perhaps some sort of group mind which requires concentration?
Month A, Day 8
As we’ve determined that we are faster than the ‘pedes, we’re sleeping during the day and running like hell at night. Seems to work so far, but if we run into difficult terrain, we’re all dead.
Month A, Day 9
Still going. Tired. Hate night.
Month A, Day 10
We arrived at Tithe tonight, which is completely surrounded by a wall of torches. Don’t know how they kept them burning, or, for that matter, where the wall came from, given the complete lack of forestation around here. Allowed inside by a particularly grumpy dwarf (aren’t they all) until Silas opened his beak and asked why they hadn’t all been killed yet, as the necropedes can dig under walls.
Master of diplomacy there aside, the rest of us were happy to just catch our breaths while the dwarf went apoplectic and the guardsmen started panicking. Maybe next time we can actually deal with problems out of the public eye or even after we’re actually inside the damn town.
We split up to explore the town and discovered two things: They were tearing down old buildings to burn and use for the wall, and they were doing a similar thing in order to get food. I didn’t try the soup. Silas, our beloved Diplomancer, however, thought it would be a good idea to show off his new powers (turning himself into a living pillar of flame) in the middle of the crowded tavern. Needless to say, this didn’t go over well with the townsfolk. Before the riot had even started, Cloak-guy had disappeared and we were being thrown out of town by an irate city guard.
Luckily, at least the bastards gave us some torches. It was enough to let us hit the ground running before the freaking ’pedes were after us again.