So we spent our last night in the log cabin outside of Shaq’oor and each of us was visited by the Gods and received boons. We shared our experiences over breakfast and then packed up our belongings to depart.
Sam went outside to practice his spin-kicking. When the rest of us went out, there were kanks there awaiting us.
We discussed the route we wanted to take through the desert. We really want to avoid people so we’re going to try crossing further east and around the mountains. We decided to do most of our traveling at night and rest during the day when it is the hottest. So we waited until late afternoon and then set out.
The first week passed pretty uneventfully. We met a few bands of silt runners here and there but managed to either kill them or get away pretty easily.
By the beginning of the second week we were coming around the far point of the hills and were close to the caravan route that runs from Raan to Xephanan. Then in the distance some of us could make out something, it looked like a single kank and rider.
Of course, Sam galloped on to try and see what it was. Kalpa rolled his eyes and followed him. As they got closer they could see it was a single rider on a kank, dragging the remains of a few bodies behind him. The rider was mostly motionless, just sort of hanging onto the back of the kank.
Sam tried to talk to him, “Hey where ya going?” He got no response, so he tried to stop the kank that the other guy was on. The guy fell off into the silt.
About this time we all joined Sam and Kalpa and the rider. I immediately hopped down off my kank to see if I could help him. He appeared to be a human, tattered and sunburned, severely dehydrated and very weak. While I tried to stabilize him, the others decided to make camp and set up the yurt. Of course Kalpa had to go through the man’s things first.
We got him settled in the yurt and gave him a few sips of water; then he fell unconscious again so we decided to examine the bodies. They were terrible. They looked and smelled like they had been dead for weeks, bloated and dried, gutted from some sort of rough implement and some were missing limbs. Then the man’s kank came over and started gnawing on the limbs of one of them. I guess we know what happened there huh?
We all ended up resting in the yurt and feeding the man more small sips of water. Close to sunset he was sort of revived enough to speak a little. As we packed up the yurt I talked to him a bit.
“What’s your name?”
“How did you get here? Where are you traveling?”
“I started in Raan where I owned a pottery shop. Then the crystal people showed up and one of them laid siege to Raan. Everyone left. I grabbed a kank and a few dead bodies to feed the kank and went as far as I could.”
Then Kalpa piped up, “What color was the crystal person?”
The rest of us exchange glances; we think he’s talking about Lucy.
Then Merielle and Kalpa start arguing because he wants to borrow the talking stone to talk to Lucy. The rest of us finish packing up and ask Adrag if he wants to travel with us. When he finds out that we’re heading towards Raan he refuses and wants to set out in the other direction. We give him some of our old clothes and a day or two worth of water and provisions and he sets out southward.
We spend the rest of the day traveling northward, and listening to Merielle and Kalpa argue. At sunrise we can see that some canyon lands look to be up ahead.
We decide to make camp and Merielle relents and lets Kalpa call Lucy on the talking stone.
“Who is this?”
“This is Kalpa.”
“Oh hello Kalpa, how are you? We should get together again.”
“Lucy, where might we find a she-devil?”
Kalpa has barely begun the conversation when he throws the rock away from him. He explains that as he was talking to Lucy she sounded strange and he could feel something tentacle like probing his brain. He thinks maybe the litch is controlling her to get his phylactery back.
We spend the rest of the daylight hours discussing what to do next. Since Raan is destroyed and we’re running low on supplies, we decide the best course of action is to change direction to the forest area near Ahdryatmin.
We set out and immediately come into the canyon lands. We wander for a few days getting fruit from the cacti and finding pleasant shaded areas to walk through. There are a few silt runners, but nothing we can’t handle.
A couple of days in, we enter an area that has 20" to 25" high walls on either side and lots of pillars. The group discusses that this might be a good place to stage an ambush and that we should be on our guard. Suddenly Gathalimay flies up on top of the closest wall and comes face to face with a group of silt runners who are indeed planning an ambush.
“SILT RUNNERS!” he screams.
We all look up and see them with spears and crossbows at the edges of the walls. We scamper for cover and try to shoot at them. Then a couple of the big cacti start moving towards us. They start blinding people with their needles – Kalpa gets hit quite a bit.
Thag is finally able to bloody one of them and Merielle finishes it off. Sam throws one silt runner at another and kills both. Gathalimay gets overpowered up on top of the wall and falls unconscious. Sam picks him and up and throws himself over the side of the wall, managing to land under Gathalimay when they hit the ground. I get over there and heal both of them while Kalpa finally kills the cactus that has blinded him.
For their efforts the party members earn 300xp.