Chapter 1: The Caravan



  • Sock (DM)Sock (DM) Monkeys (DM)
    As @Storm peers into the door he sees a room covered in dust. It appears to be a barracks that looks abandoned. Cots and weapon racks are empty, a fire pit long since burned out.
  • Sock (DM)Sock (DM) Monkeys (DM)
    @Storm enters the room and finds a barracks that has been abandoned. The fire has gone out long ago, the torches are burned out on the walls and the furniture is covered in dust.
  • Sock (DM)Sock (DM) Monkeys (DM)
    @Sarippus finds some some dilapidated weapons and a broken shield.

    You both see another door.
  • Sock (DM)Sock (DM) Monkeys (DM)
    @Storm opens the next door and reveals a bedroom
  • With a nod, Proclus accepts the rusted shortsword and mostly-broken shield from Sarripus.

    "For Eldath."
  • Ruff enters the room and walks around inspecting the barracks, but more reminiscing.

    “I haven’t been in a room like this in a long time. My father was a great military man.”

    He brushes his hands over a bed.

    “As a young boy I’d visit him. That smell is the same in every barracks. Sweat and cologne.”

    He snaps out of it and walks to the door and opens it.
  • ProclusProclus Monkeys
    Proclus has been guiding and assisting Storm's search of the bedroom, but now the party calls for a lootdraft! The spoils were not won in violence and were in fact rescued from evil, so Proclus feels free to participate. If the rightful owners can be found, then they should be restored -- but for now, Eldath has blessed Proclus with first choice and clearly intends this as an opportunity to do good.

    Proclus circles the pile on the floor, mentally eliminating options. The clothing, too mundane. The coins, not special. The weapons, unused and undamaged. So either the wand or the amulet. Wands seem best for those not already with magic, and the rogue seemed especially keen to have it. The amulet bears the mark of the bell -- which is a mystery still unsolved.

    Maybe the amulet is no mere amulet. While not magical, it may have some significance for the quest at hand. Or perhaps its rightful owner is innocent and deserving. Better to safeguard it until things are certain, no? And if it is to be sold, then its proceeds can be shared with all at that time. Certainly, this is the righteous choice...

    Proclus carefully lifts the amulet from the pile and opens it. The red gem inside almost winks in mocking confirmation. Running his finger over the engraving, Proclus feels a sickly heaviness begin to slowly descend upon him. This will be an uneasy burden and tough to shrug, he can already tell. Ignoring the misunderstanding stares and jealous mumbles, he slips the amulet into his component pouch and shuffles back to the bedroom to continue guiding and assisting the search.

    Strigiformes ruffles his feathers and sinks his head a little, his dark eyes unblinking.
  • RuffRuff Monkeys
    Ruff takes the clothing that was found and puts it in his bag. Perhaps this will be useful. Besides. He would never take a wand. The last thing he needed was a more visible reminder that he was an outcast.

    Weapons aren’t that helpful when you can open up the literal gates to the other world.

    “What the fuck,” he thought. This moment was a microcosm for his life. Stuck with no direction. Between his past and his future.

    He looked under the bed in the bedroom.
  • Sock (DM)Sock (DM) Monkeys (DM)
    @Ruff peers under the bed and finds nothing
  • Sock (DM)Sock (DM) Monkeys (DM)
    While searching the room @Storm finds:

    A mostly empty book that looks to be a spell book, books that appear to be ledgers undecipherable text inside, a pouch with 24Gp, one vial of blood red liquid, one vial of dense purple liquid with a cloud of pink in it.
  • Sock (DM)Sock (DM) Monkeys (DM)
    @Proclus takes a closer look at the vials and is able to see that the deep red liquid is very clearly a healing potion. Though he doesn't recognize the dark purple and pink liquid.
  • Sock (DM)Sock (DM) Monkeys (DM)
    With the loot distributed, and being in a seemingly deserted cave, it was time for the group to decide what to do next. They don't know how long they were asleep, or if the caravan was still there. They were still owed gold for the search and rescue after all. The caravan was originally headed to Murann. They could travel there in hopes of connecting back up with Captain Tortis of the Star Protective Services. Mosstone is nearby. A option if trying to decide where to go next. Some reward could be in order if some proof of the clearing out of the cave could be given in Darromar. A boon to future trade caravans making the trade road safer for passage.
  • ProclusProclus Monkeys
    Assured that the necromancer's cave now lays empty of worthless enemies and worthwhile items, Proclus walks out of the bedroom, through the barracks, back up the tunnel and out the southern passage, into the room where the Flayer fell. Impossible to tell how much time had passed. Literally years?

    Not waiting for the others, Proclus continues out of the cave and into the sunlight. Strigiformes is suddenly on his shoulder. Both look around, hoping to see others from the party, or maybe even some of the poor souls they had rescued.
  • KanKan Monkeys
    Kan gathers his things and quickly follows after Proclus. You're not leaving without me, friend!
  • RuffRuff Monkeys
    Following behind Ruff asks, “Should we go to Darromar?”
  • StormStorm Monkeys
    Storm finds his feet and follows Ruff outside.
  • ProclusProclus Monkeys
    Standing outside the cave entrance, Proclus kicks the ground where the guards' campfire once was. He is unsurprised to be alone with Strigiformes, though perhaps a little disappointed that literally half the party is long gone. But really, is that such a bad thing? Some of the departed had not yet proven their loyalty -- Pringle the goblin served the necromancer yet offered no helpful information about him, and as for the ranger Sarripus, well, the first thing he ever did was attack the party and the last thing he tried was to withhold spoils. Still, it hardly makes up for the loss of Jystn and Neda (and Laz). They will certainly be missed.

    Proclus thinks back to the moment when the party could have grown instead. Jonah rescued from the slab. Benton rescued from the cages. And the orc. And the pair of humans, one still alive. Why did Benton bring them outside? Why did he not stay and wait, as he promised? Why, in the four months we slumbered before finding his note, did he not return to wake us? Maybe he tried and was unable? Proclus imagines the orc and human each going their own way, while Benton and Jonah Zeriph returned to the caravan to update Captain Tortis and, perhaps, to summon help. Maybe there's another note from Benton somewhere around here? Or was? The cave held us again and who knows how long we slumbered the second time, or even if there were times, many times, after that.

    With alarm, it suddenly occurs to Proclus that he might be completely alone if the cave has held the others again. Is this what befell Jystn and Neda? How long did they wait right here at this spot, hoping and praying that we would awake? Washed with sickening dread, Proclus twists around to race back into the cave. But wait -- overwhelming relief, as Kan emerges, followed by Ruff... and then, finally, Storm.

    Proclus closes his eyes and falls to his knees in silent prayer. Just beside the entrance, a small tree lurches about as the earth beneath it is molded into a small hollow. Proclus gathers his offerings, remembering their story as he places each one into their grave. The battered morningstars. Next, in pairs, the shortbows, scimitars, and shields, all in poor shape. Placed around them, forming a bit of a circle, several armor scraps and scraps of armor. As Proclus lifts the ruined breastplate, his mind wanders to the amulet that was found in its lining. He hesitates. For a moment. Then places the breastplate neatly on top of the circle of offerings, with the rusted shortsword just below. Taking the mostly-broken shield in his hands, he finishes the job with sudden ferocity, then uses to pieces to form a symbol of Eldath above his offering. Some more muttered prayers as the earth closes and the tree settles back into place, as if it were never disturbed at all.

    Proclus stands, dusts his knees, and falls in behind the others as they lead away from the cave. No one says a word. No one looks back.
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