The party begins to descend down the southern edge of the island. The zombies follow climbing down the mountain in pursuit.
The party spends the next 2 days riding to the wall of the lake. Near the edge is an oasis. Beyond the oasis seems to be some kind of natural docking for ships, long in ruin and an archway leads up. There is a small pond, and some trees and reeds are here. So too are skeletons, bones that look gnawed upon.
Stone takes a dip in the pond, while Kalpa, Nyym, Thag and Merielle climb up the ramp to the archway, approximately 80 feet in the air. All they can see in any direction is desert, hard packed dry earth. Thag sees the scant remains of a village, where walls have eroded away over time. Kalpa wants to stay here near the arch, with a defensible position against the zombies. The remainder of the party wants to rest for a short while and then continue on the journey. Other than Kalpa, no one wants to remain to fight the zombies.
The party agrees to make camp at the top of the ramp. Kalpa takes first watch, and Merielle trances and then plans to take second.
While the party sleeps, Kalpa tells Johnson to take the caravan and leave, and threatens to kill him if he doesn’t. Johnson seems to believe Kalpa, so he hurriedly leaves the party’s possessions and disappears with the kanks.
About 3 hours pass, and it is pitch black out. Suddenly Kalpa notices movement at the bottom of the bridge. He wakes Merielle who alerts the party. As the objects come closer they appear to be scorpions – 5 smaller ones the size of a large dog and 1 really large one. Kalpa and Merielle are arguing.
Gathalimay pushes several scorpions off the wall and they die in the fall. One grabs Stone and holds him. The big scorpion teleports up, tries to sting Stone and then teleports to a column nearby. Nyym manages to kill the scorpion holding Stone in the next. Merielle builds a bridge of roots to one of the columns and Thag rushes the scorpion there, pushing him to his death. Thag throws his great axe at the final scorpion and takes it out.
In the aftermath the party realizes that Johnson and the kanks are missing. They turn to Kalpa who argues that he was sleeping and that he thought the first watch was Merielle’s. The party refuses to believe Kalpa and they all argue further. Ultimately, the group decides that Kalpa should not continue with them.
Thag retrieves one of the scorpion carcasses which the group uses as a sled to tow their belongings. Merielle and Nyym take off, following the kank tracks to try and overtake Johnson. The rest of the party (Thag, Stone, Thalie and Gathalimay) follow, with Thag pulling the scorpion sled.
Kalpa teleports to one of the columns and waits for the zombies.
After several hours of hard running, Merielle and Nyym can make out what appear to be kanks in the distance. As they get closer, some of the kanks appear to be on their sides, and some are split open. Nyym is worried about Johnson who is nowhere in sight. Merielle starts to thinks he sees people in her peripheral vision, but when she turns to look straight on they seem to disappear. Both approach cautiously. In another 100 yards, a small figure is lying on the ground in between the remains of the kanks. All told there are 5 dead kanks, and the figure turns out to be Johnson. The other 5 kanks are no where in sight. Now Nyym is starting to see figures in his peripheral vision. Both hear a voice, which Merielle can translate from eladrin, “Strange bedfellows indeed.” Tracks from the remaining kanks lead east.
Merielle and Nyym decided to hunker down and wait for the rest of the party. They pile the kank carcasses and hide in the shelter. Soon more people appear on the edges of the area, standing and watching.
Two hours pass and soon the party sees a mound in the distance. As they approach they realize it’s a pile of kank carcasses. And they begin seeing people in their peripheral vision. Stone buries Johnson and the group pitches the yurt to stay out of the sun and rest. Merielle trances in the doorway to the yurt.
Meanwhile, back at the archway, Kalpa begins to see the zombies approaching in the distance. They are moving in ones and twos. Suddenly figures appear out of nowhere and hack the zombies down. The bodies start piling up in this wave of destruction. Kalpa hears voices. “Could this be them? No there should be more.” “There is another, the defender is back in the desert.”
With the zombie horde destroyed, Kalpa moves to head in the direction back to Saharabellum. More people materialize out of thin air. They appear to be elves and they block his path. “What do you want? Who are you?” Most of them back off and one creature approaches, “You must be the defender. Where are the others?” “They left me.” “Why would they leave you?” “Poor judgement.” “This is unacceptable. Go catch up to them.” “Why?” “You are the defender, start walking.” The elves thwart Kalpa’s attempts to leave, and Kalpa resignedly starts walking, following the kank trails and the party.
Back at the yurt, Merielle hears a voice say (again in eladrin) “The defender is en route, keep these here.” She cannot see anyone outside the yurt. After another hour or two she wakes the party up and relays the messages she has heard.
The party begins to pack up supplies and starts to Imtari. Thalie begins hearing a conversation and can repeat enough of it that Merielle can translate “they are making preparations to leave.”
Gathalimay speaks, “Shadowy figures, why are you following us?”
Three figures step out of thin air, and appear to be Eladrin. Gathalimay speaks again, “We would like to know why you haven’t killed us yet?”
One replies, “we’ve been ordered not to kill you until our clan leader gets here, the great Hiney Ho.”
Gathalimay asks what happened to the kanks and Johnson. The Eladrin replies, “They are dead.”
Thag begins walking, and Merielle and Nyym follow. More figures appear out of thin air. One right in front of Thag says “Please don’t leave, we don’t want to kill you yet.” Thalie asks how long the party must wait?
One of the Eladrin remarks “Are you the ones to destroy Cthulu?” Merielle asks if this is a defiler wizard.
Stone steps in front of Merielle. “Do you challenge the power that stands in front of you?” He gestures to Gathalimay, “Perhaps I can show you a defiling wizard.”
The Eladrin turns to the one next to him and says “These can’t be the ones.”
Gathalimay says, “Zombies?”
The Eladrin responds, “No zombies. We destroyed them.”
Faced with going nowhere fast, Nyym naps. Thalie sits and waits. Thag continues to walk away. Eight Eladrin go after Thag, and Merielle runs after him too to try and get him to stop. Three Eladrin hit him, and Thag tries to use his great cleave. Merielle steps in front of him and announces that the party will eat breakfast.
A couple of hours pass. Kalpa wanders out of the desert and approaches the party. A few other Eladrin approach. Stone walks out to Kalpa and yells, “I don’t think you are wanted here.”
The Eladrin talk amongst themselves. “Is the vessel with them?” “No she’s not here.” “Do they have the key?” “We don’t know.” “Go get that idiot and bring him here.”
The Eladrin bring both Stone and Kalpa over to the group.
One, who appears to be the leader Hiney Ho says, “Are you sure? This can’t be them? I was expecting more. Strange.” Hiney Ho turns to Stone and says “Where is the vessel?”
Stone replies, “What vessel.”
Hiney Ho points to Kalpa, “A little dude. Like him.”
Hiney Ho goes on, “She has to be destroyed, can’t let that evil back in the world. She is a vessel for evil. Are you familiar with the story of Cthulu? The girl they call Lucy is a vessel for his consciousness.”
Merielle interjects, “but what does this have to do with us?”
Hiney Ho goes on, “Phylactery is the remains of the living gate. The rest of the keystone was supposed to travel to Saharabellum. Cthulu, through his vessel Lucy, was supposed to get the keystone at Saharabellum. She is attempting to regain phylactery so he can be reborn. The people who delivered her would be the ones who would kill her and destroy him. Are you this group and will you be destroying this evil?”
The party ponders in silence for a few moments. The party explains that they wish to go to Imtari to resurrect Sam after which they might be interested in looking for Lucy. The Eladrin agree to give the party kanks and supplies to travel to Imtari.
Gathalimay asks Hiney Ho about the key. Hiney Ho replies, “The key? It’s a blue metal tube with caps on it. When the spirits rebelled against the defiler wizards, Cthulu was locked away in a magic chest. There are 4 keys, one for each element. These keys cannot be destroyed as this would weaken the chest, but the keys must be kept from Cthulu at all costs. If you can do that you may proceed.”
For its efforts, the party earns 350xp a piece with those with gold coins earning a 10% bonus.