Maalbring the 7th
Perhaps hiring those mercenaries and striking out on my own was not the best idea. The wood witch Xeanja ensnared the entire rig in magical spiderwebs as we approached, and by the time I was able to free myself, my two hirelings had been murdered. At first I wondered why she spared my rat-faced self, but it became all too clear. She was some sort of oracle, or had fortune-telling blood. That was the reason she knew we’d be coming, and where we’d be. She must have known the team would be following me, for she used me for the cheese in her little trap.
The crone would have succeeded, were it not, ironically, for Dorak (the one who precipitated this whole damnable affair by insanely attacking the patrons of the alchemist’s shop). Dorak with his paranoia, was able to seize the witches familiar, and used it as a bargaining chip to release the wagon of supplies for the besieged explorers. Oh yes, and I was released too, but I don’t think I was Dorak’s primary concern at the time.
Needless to say, I had to endure a hearty round of “I told you so’s” and the berating tongues of Dorak and Izzy. Even Smriti was upset with me. I guess they had cause, but after the debacle of “keeping a low profile” back in Bloodeye, I stand by my decision to pull out before things got worse. In their favor, I have to grant, they did patch me up, with the help of a sour-looking old dwarven priest of Canelle.
It seems that the team is practically all gone. Qasim was captured in Bloodeye by those ambushers, who seemingly have nothing to do with the Aspis Consortium. The team, my sorry self included, decided the mission was too important to risk by trying to rescue our Alabic Druid. Cian has been sucked into that accursed lamp, and who only knows when, or if, he will be returned to us. And finally, sadly, Falko Glitterndrum has succumbed to the temptations of drugs. I thought he was showing signs, but I did not think it had gotten so bad. From what the team says, Falko willingly went with the Aspis folk at the Sanguine Pit, betraying his team for the chance of some hooch. Poor lil guy. When this is all over, I think I am going to try to save him from himself, and this wretched life he’s chosen.
It looks like the team will be forced to abandon the quest they worked so hard for. Without Lugizar Trantos (or the map they created from his flesh, ugh!), there is nigh on a flea’s chance of finding any more clues on those pesky Tik Taan statues, or where they came from. Qasim had the map, and Falko had the knowledge to pursue the rumors and legends. I suppose Izzy could magic up some answers with that deck of fortune cards of hers. I don’t know what good it will do.
I have pretty much decided to quit the team. They are not smart enough to keep out of trouble. They piss off everyone they encounter. Their idea of subtle is dousing themselves with catnip and diving into a lion’s den. No, this rat values his fur, and to stay with them is sheer madness. I honestly do not fathom why the foreign girl, Smriti, still accompanies them. Perhaps she has no other place to go. Seems to me any other place would be safer than to travel with this team.
They say they have another companion, a knight of sorts from the far eastern lands of Kaidan (wherever that may be). I have yet to see him, he is “in” the lamp. That lamp is another reason I really wish to disassociate from them. I don’t wish to be caught in its curse. I am, like the dwarf priest Starig, dedicated to seeing the supplies delivered to the Azlanti Ridge Explorers, then parting ways with Dorak the Mad and Izzy the Odd.
Zomos Vistis, confused but alive.
Maalbring the 8th
Was just awakened from a slumber to a roar of trouble. Seems some glow-eyed, demon-horned ape attacked the camp. He had some smaller apes with him, and they were creating a rukus and throwing anything they could grab at us. By the Broodmother, it was annoying. Thankfully, the beast was destroyed relatively quickly and we were able to settle back in. I think the thing was infernal, because it was resistant to my fire, and, after they killed it, it was itself consumed in a brimstone-odored conflagration. Not even a speculation as to where it came from, or why it attacked us. It may have followed us, because somebody, oh yeah, it was the bones elf, said that they had heard monkeys off in the distance. This elf, named Qoatl, seems to be a witch doctor of some ilk. He wears bones and gives his enemies the evil eye, dancing around and cackling and shaking a stick at them. Strange fellow, native of this place I think. Again, I have no idea where they picked him up, he was just following us around the city that last day. It looks like the party will take in any stray that comes along. How foolish. What if this tattooed elf were working for the Aspis Consortium? Maybe he is the reason they have been following us. Oh yeah, there are a score or more mounted Aspis chasing us. They are quite a ways back, but we have glimpsed them from ridges and the like. Looks like they have three or four score on foot as well.
Zomos Vistis, the exhausted.
Maalbring the 10th
We had a tough fight. The mounted pursuers caught up with us and nearly wiped us out. Their leader was a master at the lance, and nearly killed several of us, including yours truly. Being skewered on a lance is, and I say this from recent experience, no fun whatsoever. Thankfully, with some careful planning and a few flasks of Ionian fire, Dorak and whoever else was still up and fighting took out the leader. The followers, I was told, fled.
We have made it to the Explorer’s camp at the Azllanti Ridge dig site. They were indeed starving. Also, the creatures who keep attacking the compound are the same monkey/ape men that attacked us the other night. There are countless corpses outside the palisade walls, in various stages of decay. This siege has indeed been going on a long time. The explorers, the ones who are healthy enough to continue defense of the camp, are emaciated and quite weak. We got here in the nick of time.
I will report more when time permits. The Aspis foot are descending on the camp, with hordes of ape-men clamoring at their backs. We may let them into the compound to help us defend it against, whatever those things are. I don’t relish the alliance, but we may not survive without their swords. It looks like its been decided. The team will take that key and enter the Azlanti ruin… Maybe something in there will help us to live through the day.