Travel Log of Nessa. Documenting the events from the second day at Fort Prosperity to our return to New Madro.
Nightmares. All of us. This was supposed to be a safe distance from the Fort. Lia went hunting, leaving Fritigern, Tri, and I.
The tear through the ground left by the tall stone man led east then looped back, like a long U. We couldn’t see how far west it went, towards the mountains. It’s not going anywhere.
Headed to the fort’s north gate. Carts on a trail headed into the mountains. Tri scouted with a bird’s eye view and spotted two humanoids. I figured they were gonna get themselves killed. The others wanted to find them as soon as possible. I didn’t think it was a bad idea.
Ran into the worm amalgamation. It was happy to see us. In an attempt to name it, we asked to know its favorite thing. Waste. We named it John. He saw the figures. He scared them.
We found them in what was once a chapel. They were expecting hostiles, nearly shot us. Sunset Walkers. Fritigern didn’t like them. They didn’t like him. They found the rogue from the trio captive in the chaos beaver dam. Grice. He apparently spoke of carnivorous plants and traps, and is back in New Madro. I gave them water. They gave me a blessing. I don’t deny divine power. I don’t dwell on it either.
The storehouse was easy to find. The other’s searched the storehouse while I set out for Fionus’s residence. It had a big sign, though I don’t think Fionus made it.
“FIONUS IS A USELESS SCRIBE”
Someone didn’t like him. His house was acting as a tomb, even sealed. I cracked open the door with some tools to find a skeleton armed with a pistol. A self-made tomb. His desk was littered with notes, and the journal Istin was after.
Notes were on artifacts they’d found. An empty scrollcase, a painting of the sky by a child who had never seen it, gentle swords, an urn with geometric designs, and the wooden but not Yoon “Ring of the Wandering Eye”.
Last entry in the journal. “They’re going to open it. It’s made of ‘that’ kind of stone, designed to hold–“ two words atop each other, I know not the order: “souls”, “mine”. Mine. An enigmatic homonym. “–Tell Istin ‘I forgive you.’ – Fionis” What did Istin do?
Found the others, running. They found a Gentle Sword, the Ring of the Wandering Eye, and the urn, which held wine. John warns “The mist is coming, the mist that kills.” The mist was slower than us. We were headed to John’s home. Gross.
Asked John if the mist could follow us there. “It goes anywhere mist can go.” I made a seal between the opening and sewer grate with my tent cover. The mist didn’t seem to follow us. Rode a river of worms through the tunnel until we got to the intersection John called home. Gross.
Sent Shiv to find food. John told us there were rats. Shiv was injured upon returning. We investigated. Nearly 20 rats in a circle, tails in mouths consecutively. Marching endlessly. Tri approached as an animal. They attacked. I pulled her out and ran. Gross.
Tri grabbed a rat, tried talking to it. “We need to keep going.” It said, but eventually returned to its own thoughts. We asked about the people that disappeared. It said they “gathered in the plaza, then were gone.” Fritigern insisted on torturing the rat and testing the box. Tri did not allow this.
Echomen attacked. Fritigern fought with magic, I broke in my new pistol, and Tri was an undersized elephant. Two echomen were conjoined. This is the worst we’ve had it yet, though I don’t think anyone was hurt too badly. John started eating the bodies. Gross.
Fritigern used magic to speak with a dead echoman. It could only respond with the words we asked it.
Asked “Did the people leave because of–” I don’t remember the rest. Fritigern, fix this if you’re reading.
“The people leave because of… the people.”
Asked “Did the blue mist spirits come and then the people leave?”
“The people leave; the blue mist spirits come.”
Asked “In what direction did the people go? To the north, south, east, or west, or to another world entirely?”
“The people go.” The Echoman didn’t seem to know the answer.
We slept. Nightmares. Returned to the rats. Tri joinined them. She heard the words they did, in some foreign but humanoid language, which got louder the longer they marched
Many tunnels led out from here. One to the river. We left the way we came. I retrieved my tent cover and grappling hook. Tri distracted the many-mouthed monster while Fritigern and I carried off the urn of wine.
Finally headed back to New Madro. Stopped a few times looking for giant beetles. Tri found violent strange oversized pig-like creatures. Bigpigs. We harvested quite a lot of meat from them. Used some of it to finally attract a giant beetle overnight. Tri rode it downriver as we progressed slowly back. The Nightmares shake my soul.
Biarca was overjoyed to study a giant beetle, and had a cage ready. We gave Istin the good and bad news. We sold some valuables and bought new gear. The Ring of the Wandering Eye would cause your eye to emerge from your head, through which you could still see. Cool.
Grice is a skilled forger. His dwarvish wizard ally was named Tovan, and the knight was Agles. They left a pack with some supplies near the carnivorous plant. Past it, they found a ruin filled with carvings of faces. Tovan was killed by a trap in the ruins. Agles was trapped in these ruins, and still may be.
Nightmares. All of New Madro. It was the box. I drank and spoke with the mayor. A ruined Yoon lighthouse north of New Madro may be a safe place to keep it for now.