Month B, Day 6 – continued
We quickly butchered one of the giant Hulks for food, but it was surprisingly stringy for such a huge beast, having less meat than your average chicken. We decided that the blood and corpses might attract other predators, so, tired, we pressed on, hoping to rest again in an hour or so. However, we found ourselves in a different place than where we had started, the Hulks having perhaps transported us to a new location, and we had to readjust our path back towards the mountains. Reggie was atypically useless during this time, wringing his hands and weeping silently at every little thing.
During our travels, two more hideous Umber Hulks popped up from the ground behind us, apparently having lain in wait for our party. In a sudden flash of brilliant insight, I knew that the foothills of the mountains to the East were made of a special kind of rock which repelled horrible underground abominations, and we all breathed a sigh of relief as we stood upon their tiny slopes, watching the Hulks disappear back into the earth from whence they came.
We finally slept then, and were blessed with no further encounters that night.
Month B, Day 7
Being naturally curious about the repelling of the Umber Hulks and how such creatures could even survive in a zone with no apparent prey, Pravus began scanning the area for magical residue. Surprisingly, somehow a magical coin (again, of no-school) had been dropped in a small crevice nearby, and he picked it up. We would not consider this a problem for some time.
Month B, Day 8
While walking in the foothills today, we saw a colossal murder of crows in the distance, nearer the mountains. It was decided by all that discretion was the better part of valour, and we made sure to avoid the location.
Month B, Day 9
Pravus flips his magical coin. Again, this does not seem like an issue at the time.
Month B, Day 10
Pravus again flips his magical coin. This time people notice, and we discover that it is an actual compulsion. He begins to bleed. Theories about curses abound.
Month B, Day 11
Pravus continues to flip his coin. At one point, an extraplanar portal begins to open above the coin. Panicking, we move away and the portal closes. This happens repeatedly. Eventually, Reth throws the coin far away and we drag Pravus along, seemingly successfully fighting the compulsion.
That night, Silas sits down with Reggie and has a long chat. Apparently Reggie has realized his authority means nothing to us and is now attempting to use guilt to manipulate us. He still refuses to disseminate any more information, proclaiming that he has none, and the rest of the party begins to sympathize with the murdering bastard. I remain unsold, but pretend to sympathize. We need that prick’s information still.
Month B, Day 12
Travel. Nothing interesting.
That night, however, a portal again begins to open in the middle of camp. At that point, it becomes completely obvious in retrospect that curses in this world can actually attach to people from objects, and that the only real solution is to throw the coin through the portal it creates. Much head-slapping follows, as we have made this much more difficult on ourselves. We head back.
Month B, Day 13
We push ourselves to the limit, since we can’t stop to rest lest that portal open again, and make it back to where the coin was lost, spending the rest of the night sweeping Detect Magic to find the fscking thing. We wait until the portal opens, then throw the coin through. There’s an explosion, and the gate closes, hopefully forever, since we have nothing to research now if it fails. We make a resolution next time to consult our respective memories and experiences immediately when encountering something unusual. We finally rest.
Month B, Day 15
We pass where we turned back last time and continue on, but although it is day, the air seems to darken around us. It’s quite eerie, almost like it’s twilight at noon.
Month B, Day 16
Still getting darker, starting to be difficult to see. If I didn’t have such excellent vision, I’m not sure I’d know where to put my feet. I’m impressed Liela and Deckard aren’t having more trouble, though I guess I’m still not sure what Deckard actually is. He’s looked like a dwarf for a while now.
Month B, Day 17
Can barely see my hand in front of my face. Super dark. We’re moving at a crawl now simply to avoid falling over. We continue on though; we know there’s no going back.
Month B, Day 18
The line of the foothills is finally curving, though it’s still pitch dark. Looks like we’ve finally reached the end. There’s some sort of constant buzzing in the air that raises the hair on the back of my neck.
Month B, Day 19
I feel oppressed, and Reth feels it too. It’s like our magic refuses to work properly. Not sure what could cause something like this, but it’s nothing pleasant. Still crawling through the dark.
Month B, Day 20
We found some sort of giant gate with ruins all about it. The light is a little better here, for some reason, enough that Liela found some sort of trap on the large keyhole in the middle. Neither the dagger nor the orb seems to fit in the keyhole, so the druid (Niramour) suggests we head back to check out what the crows were pecking at.
Meanwhile, Liela is ignoring us and begins searching the gate, and Silas flies quickly out of sight. Halflings are apparently good at this sort of thing, because Liela almost immediately calls us over. She’s found a slight indentation in the wall that would fit the orb we have in our possession. She twiddles with some of the runes, then we press the orb to the gate. It clicks open, and swings inward, according us a narrow pathway forward.
Niramour sends Smoke (her wolf) in ahead to scout, but I figure we don’t really have any choice and stride forward, Reth and Silas close behind me. Inside we find a radical change of scenery: A whitewashed village, a beautiful fountain, and robed villagers trundling around like zombies.
We split up to quickly investigate the village, but find nothing of interest, besides the fact that there seems to be literally nothing of interest. All homes are identical, and no villagers react to our presence. There is, however, a great deal of money in the fountain, so Liela and I take it upon ourselves to remove it. As a public service. Wouldn’t want the water to taste of rust, right?
Well, things start to go badly, and as soon as we get an acceptable share of the wealth into my bags, the town spontaneously catches fire and members of our party start deciding it to be a good time for a nap. There’s also some sort of whisper thing happening, but I don’t really pay it much attention. Those things are usually decoys, or in the worst case, compulsions, and according them respect is dangerous.