Month A, Day 13
Traveled for two days continuing the regular pattern of life being terrible and the necropedes following in our trail. Some time late this evening/morning, however, they stopped as if they had hit a wall. We didn’t stop to check it out, but it seems for now like we might actually be able to catch our breaths.
Month A, Day 14
We caught our first glimpse of the forest today, but it’s still a ways to travel.
Month A, Day 16
Reached the outskirts of the forest. Desperate for food at this point, we entered the very edges to search for potables and just happened to run into a perfectly prepared ambush party. It’s got to be those grapes, right? Scrying is the only way I can think of for this much crap to keep happening to us.
We fought them off, finally, though one of them seemed superhuman. He did things I would have sworn were impossible if they weren’t kicking the crap out of my fellow party members. Anyways, we looted the bodies and found two more items that had that weird non-school of magic, as well as a normal +1 Longbow and some other basic stuff. One of the crazy babbling ambusher guys was still alive, so we tied him up to question later.
A short time later, we saw a horse and cart paralleling our course slightly behind us and angled over to take a look. Silas can apparently summon a raven and possess it, which is a neat trick. I wonder if I could possess mine?
Turns out the old guy actually ships corpses around. Big wagon. Full of corpses. Apparently everyone in Tithe had mysteriously died of food poisoning as soon as we had left the village. And somehow weird guy in his death cart outran us and didn’t get attacked by ‘pedes. I tried to get him to tell me where the corpses actually got shipped to (it’s not like he had Gentle Repose going on any of them) and he told me he had a buyer in Bare. I suppose there might be a couple of freaks like Reth around, but buying an entire village of corpses seemed kind of weird to me. Anyways, he shut up pretty quick once I mentioned we had a couple bodies from the forest here, and hurried off at a very slow pace. Should have disbelieved, he was probably just a hallucination.
Month A, Day 23
We can finally see Bare in the distance. We all seem to have been hit with some kind of mental modification magic, because our prisoner was dead of starvation, and I had clear memories of feeding the stupid bastard. Those damn grapes. I should really just tell Reth to chuck the cursed things, though then I wouldn’t be able to have the privilege of shoving them somewhere painful on the moron using them.
Month A, Day 24
We entered Bare through the East Gate; I’ve never really been a fan of this city, but I have been here a couple of times. There’s only one inn in this town, so I led our tired group there. The streets seemed pretty normal; maybe a little quiet, but you’d never have guessed there’s a war going on. I felt a little angry towards all these oblivious citizens. Maybe they should get dragged off to a slave camp? Reth and his idiotic minion usually draw a lot of attention, but we didn’t seem to this time. Maybe the war IS actually killing everyone’s curiosity?
Anyways, we showed up to the inn just as a couple of people were finishing their drinks and heading out. We all grabbed a table in the corner, and asked for food and a room. Damn, was I tired of sleeping on dirt.
Told room and board were 5 gold, Silas started bargaining in earnest. I couldn’t hear everything from where I was sitting, but it seems he didn’t know the local currency that well, and got tricked because of it, forcing us to pay 7gp each. Not exactly the best bargain I’ve ever seen, though he had gotten “entertainment” thrown in (/me eyebrow wiggle). This kind of ticked me off; we’d been marching for weeks on one meal a day and maybe 6 hours of sleep, and getting rolled by some know-nothing civilian really got my goat. I took Deckard aside and started working out a plan.
After most of the rest of the group had left the inn, I showed up in the fancy armour of Eldarr (it’s not like he needed it anymore) and ordered the guards to arrest the innkeep. They jumped to it, and I cleared the inn out, quoting security as an excuse. I emptied the cashbox, dumped the armour, and headed out. I didn’t expect the innkeep to be delayed for long; anyone who can remove all competition for alcohol consumption from a town this large has to be big in the underworld community. Leaving town in short order became my top priority.