We find ourselves hip deep in trouble, again.
Our first day ashore found us in a minor conflict with the Aspis Consortium, an issue over moorage for our smallboat (what a bunch of mother-buggering cheapskates). Then we moved onward to our mission, only to discover a giant ant infestation at the location of our trader contact. We had no choice but to step in and help dispatch the ants, and assist to block the anthill with a vile, toxic substance. Thank goodness that the ants hate it as much as we did (that stuff was disgusting, and I still feel bad for accidentally dumping the cauldron of it all over Smriti and Falko). Alas, poor Cian was slain by the ants, and lost another gift. This Vermani thinks that he should be getting some sort of hazard compensation by our employers… but it is doubtful if they would see it that way.
We arrived back at the docks to find that Dorak had nearly come to blows with an Aspis man over a slight to the corpse of Cian. Dorak had drawn steel, but the Aspis scum was a cowardly sort, and backed down. But no sooner had the snake left the docks, but he was seen reporting to his superiors. Low profile, huh? Oh… it gets worse.
The next morning was spent giving Cian’s body a proper watery send-off, then we trudged off to get Cian’s soul freed from the amulet the GEP had bestowed upon him. We then tracked down a Cleric, and assured that the Ceremony was performed and Cian found his way back to the land of the living. Luckily there is a Cleric of the Great Church present in Bloodeye, or Cian would have had a very lengthy wait to rejoin the team. I only hope that the wizard who broke the amulet was not an Aspis Consortium contact, else our presence here, if reported, would lead to dire consequences.
Later in the day, whilst we were short a few members due to the curse of the Lamp, we made our way to visit the guide and waynsman, for arrangement of the pickup of the mead shipment on the docks, then delivery of the mead and subsequent loading of the supplies needed by the Explorer’s at the Azlanti dig site. On the way, while crossing a long and not so safe looking bridge, we were attacked by what we believe to be a band of druids.
Wave after wave of summoned stirges assaulted us, an apparent distraction from the true attack. Way to go, Miss Subtle, for summoning your Kevin/Fred/Steve zombie, when you were expressly told not to attract attention. Perhaps next time Izzy should just announce that we are Explorers, and put an end to the mission altogether! But I digress…
Why we were attacked, we still do not know. We are pretty sure they are not part of the Aspis, for the Black Cloaks were also attacked, lightning bolts striking from the sky when they attempted to block the villain’s escape. They summoned a great tiger to pounce on Qasim, driving him unconscious. The tiger then dragged him away while agents of the druid proceeded to attack, blocking our route to rescue our ally.
We drove off the attackers, but were unable to locate our fallen companion. It is obvious that there were not out to kill Qasim, but to capture him. To what purpose is unclear, but we now have a dire choice to make. We can try to follow a dead trail, with our best tracker being the one that we need to track – or – we can continue on with our mission, acquire the wagons and the guide, sell our mead, then pick up the stores to be delivered to the Explorer’s camp. We still need to locate the Alchemist as well, and find out why the supply of potions and elixirs have dried up.
This city, as much as it suits a wretched creature like myself, is a dangerous place for my companions. We must get ourselves extracted from here as swiftly as can be, for I fear that if another day were to pass, our presence would indeed become discovered, and also our true nature as servants of the Explorer’s Society. This group is impossibly stubborn against, and downright ignorant to anything remotely dealing with subtlety and keeping a low profile. This rat, truth be told, would as likely abandon the foolish to their fate than suffer it with them.
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it…