At least the merchants of Kokland are still sleepy, though sanitation could be better. I almost got caught slipping in trash in an alley. But I did make off with 50gp. That’s enough gold that I can purchase an Alarm scroll (30gp) from Danbury’s and the ink to scribe it to my ritual book (50gp).
For now, the room that the Red Silken Glove is providing is ok. I wish they had better wine, but their red is okay. Looking forward to getting my own so that I can make better preparations and stay safe.
On the other hand, my other party members are doing what they can to draw attention to themselves. Oi. Has anyone heard of plausible deniability, discretion, stealth?
Sobhan has another job for us; the first one Timmur had spoken of, retrieving their former team. 5 of them. They had the reputation of being more experienced than us, lost when exploring on their own. Glorion again tried to upsell but poorly. 200Gp for each recovered. A bonus for anyone of them that they can resurrect or if they actually are alive. It was 70 days ago that they went missing. If they aren’t recoverable, Sobhan wants verification that they are indeed dead, so he knows if they aren’t enslaved or something.
Sobhan agrees to fund me getting access to Tenser’s Floating Disk. MY POWER GROWS EVER LARGER, DIARY! hahaha. 😀
They were lost in an expedition to the Temple of Gusi, dedicated to Itus, god of protection. But 1000 years ago there was a battle and something left the town and temple in ruins. The remaining members of the noble family returned to their castle.
Sobhan agrees to also provide antitoxin, holy water, and a scroll of Cure Disease. Be prepared, I say.
The lost party were Grace Alerhta, female human paladin to Hieroneus, Arakia Taletreader, female elf wizard, Balach male halfling cleric of healing god, Ulla Sandtracker, female gnome rogue, and Francis Harvest, male human fighter.
The evening before we left, I made an evening offering to Sekhmet to thank her for her aid.
Rabbit is our guide. 3 days of travel. The elves take the watches. I get to sleep, safely behind the Alarm spells I ritually cast around our camp. Look, diary, I’m contributing. 😉
On the 3rd day of travel, approaching the former town, we noticed that there were completely no animals making noise. Dead silence, as they say. (Who is they, and when do they say this? I don’t know, but they say it here.) Glorion sensed evil, unhallowed ground. Hooty didn’t like that there wasn’t any prey for her.
There was a clearing with remains of a battle, but it was strangely fresh, as were the buildings. They don’t seem to be 1000 years old. Is this place stuck in a purgatory? Looking at the battle, there should even still be bodies. But Rabbit found no tracks.
Glorion and Luke took it upon themselves to make a ceremony for Itus in the town center.
Glorion thinks this is some kind of god battle, to be repeatedly refought. I don’t want to fight in a god battle, but of course the paladin is enthusiastic for this.
I find 20gp of minor valuables from the houses. Jeyya 20, penury 0. Go, Jeyya.
We reached the temple, up against the mountain side. There was lots of sand – very out of place. Did someone mis-cast “summon beach”?
The temple rock is sandstone or something similar mixed in with the granite, sometimes even in the same stone; a magical transformation. This was once white marble.
This sandstone is holy to a desert goddess, Nephthys, of death and grief. Nepthhiy is an enemy of Sekhment and is forbidden. Dunautis is a local god of mountains and protection that we might want to call on to oppose Nephthys.
I don’t remember who is telling us all this lore, but I’m grateful diary, truly I am.
The temple has 2 Bronze doors sealed with lead and silver, with one thin chain of lead holding them together. I got out my ritual book so that I can identify which spells have been cast upon it.
I found out that the single chain is a very thin anti-magic field on the door and inside it. Yikes, what is it keeping inside?
There seem to be no other entrances and some have been sandstoned closed. There are some stained glass windows, but they’ve been sealed as well with lead and silver.
Rabbit says that there has been foot traffic leading up to the temple. So there are some tracks.
Sekhmet failed me when I was trying to cut the window without breaking the seal. Oi. So, Glorion breaks though. So much for subtlety. Ah, diary, some day subtlety will sneak up on Glorion, I tell you.
Inside the temple we find a throne. Above the throne is some writing. “The Devourer will be the Infernal Prince again for the 3rd and last time. So many evils shall be committed by the means of the Mockery. The Infernal Prince that almost the whole world will be undone.”
Luke and Glorion say that the Mockery is an entity, a god. The Devourer is another of the same pantheon, of nature’s wrath. The elves have legends of an incursion from another plane that may fit.
As Key said, “His history is his story.”
Inside a side room, the floor is caked with blood. 3 stubs of brown candles, and a set of stairs going down. In the east vestry, scattered robes and blood but again no bodies. Again stairs going down.
Glorion kicks in the 3rd door before I could check it. 3 skeletons with torn robes of Itus. But I’m not going to let them get back up again. They do that, you know. Glorion made a cairn for them. No other doors visible, but stairs going down.
I left an alarm spell on the stairs in the west vesty. Jack cast light upon Glorion’s armor. Fitting.
Glorion found a 50gp signet ring of human house, Westward. More recent than the original temple. I suppose we could have asked more about the people we seek, but for now we can only guess if that ring is a clue to their whereabouts.
I heard hissing behind a door and a rotten flesh smell. Of course, it was a ghoul standing over a body, with 4 more carcass carnivores behind it. I fire bolted it and it died, but then another came up. 6 ghouls total.
There was a box in the garbage, which lock I picked, with an ivory statue of Itus (100gp) as a prize and some copper besides. Glorion and Luke spend time burning the ghouls, while I took the time to listen at the door.
Lucky I did, because I heard more ghouls on the other side of the door. For once, Glorion stayed quiet while I got everyone’s attention. Glorion bust through the door and fell onto one like they were a couple. Jack shot lightning at one and then Rabbit finished it off. Key got ravaged by one. I blasted them. Jack nailed one with a sling. The ghouls were dropping when we heard screams from a padlocked door behind us.
I fiddled with the lock while everyone crowded me – let a girl work, will you? And then everyone jumped in, Glorion jumping down into the room and Key followed. There was an ogre in the room and it crushed Glorion into a clump in one hit. It pushed through my Sleep spell the first time, which totally sucked, diary. But then I wasn’t getting ravaged by the ogre. (Diary, don’t read that as some Freudian desire of mine to be ravaged; at least not by an ogre) Finally, I cast sleep again and it went down. Phew!
We rescued 3 merchants, 4 soldiers, a sailor, and 3 cute, young servants. The merchants were named Raven Curl and Mateo Hasing. They said they didn’t want to pay for any of the others. They will pay 500 each for themselves. Ugh. I would have left them, I swear.
They were taken by humans with horns on their sigils. They might not have been living; one had their throat ripped out.
I took 10 gp from the ogre. 30 more gp from the 2nd ghoul room. And another 200 sp.
Then we returned to Kokland.