29 Tera 1333 YS
They weren’t spiders. They sure looked like spiders. They climbed down the embankment wall like spiders, and they pounced on us like spiders. But they weren’t spiders. They had 10 legs. Nope, they are called Solifugids, or camel spiders. Still… not spiders. Honestly, I don’t really care. They are all dead now. I blame that stupid mask. It has been summoning such horrors on us, like these not-spiders.
The solifugids attacked us in our sleep, and we nearly lost Ulises again, were it not for my healing. Izzy chose to stay out of the fight, and I don’t blame her. I just wish I could have done the same, for as it was, I was spent for the next day’s encounters. And my channeling would have been extremely helpful, for the swarm of steel-winged birds that came at us caused severe, bleeding wounds.
Luckily, all we lost was Izzy’s horse, poor Clyde. He was a good and sturdy steed, and would have made a fine war-steed. Alas, the Stymphalides that swarmed us, had hurt Clyde, and in his terror, he fled the battle and bleed to death. We later found him on the side of a red-stained red sand dune. Animals and insects had already beset his carcass well before we got there, thanks again to the drawing power of that accursed mask. At least now the mask is safely stowed away, or so we hope, inside the magical haversack. But we did not put it away in time, for Smriti had succumbed to its terrible curse.
Smriti indeed could not resist the urge to don the wicked thing. Dorak had discovered her wearing the thing while on watch during the not-spider’s attacks. She was acting fairly normal during the night, but the next day she was being quite possessive over it. She refused to hand it over, and we wound up having to fight her for it. Thank goodness Coatl’s spells were able to overcome her will, and while she was magically held, only for a few seconds, Dorak was able to scoop it into the bag (after it had fallen off her face in a similar fashion that it had abandoned the Flind).
So, my dearest, Smriti is distressed at losing her precious mask, and we are all licking out many cuts and bruises after the swarm of deadly birds attacked us. My goodness they were a sight to behold. Their glittering silver-steel wings caught and reflected the light like nothing I’ve ever seen. It was beautiful and terrible and painful at once. Luckily I was not ever caught up in the ravening swarm, but I witnessed those who did, and they succumbed not only to the dizzying nausea brought on by an assault by a swarm, but their polished surfaces reflected the light a hundredfold, and it temporarily blinded a few of my comrades. Thank goodness the effects of the brightness wore off once they had been disbursed. Even the feathers we found on the ground were razor-sharp, sharp enough actually to shave with, or so the lad Ulises was going to test.
It has been a harrowning day, and with this mask ailing us (I so pray that being in the haversack it loses its effect on this realm), we are making slow progress. Indeed, down yet another horse, we are walking now, and the going is slow indeed. I just pray we make it to Alhanbra intact.
I am sorry to have scared you my love. In the end, Izzy was freed from the curse of that lamp, with enough restorative spells to lighten the dangers of death for those heavily hurt by the vampire dust of the previous day. We are hale, and our numbers are back at full. I have permitted a small sigh of relief, of course not wishing to jinx our luck.
My best, love