Grand Duchy 113

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 113
February 22, 2017

The Long Road Back to Byxata

Lunadain 11th Klarmont

Kasiex has headed off ahead of the Company to scout the path down to the valley floor. Iris has stowed away several pieces of the strange plant in her pack. A small patch of her wrist tingles a bit, though not as irritating as the greying flesh on her face and neck. Iris frowns. "Watch the sap," Iris pants as she moves along the path. "It's mildly itching, at the moment."

The wind can be heard blowing through the rocks above, but none currently is blowing along the rocky path. The sun is beating down like the hottest of summer days and there is very little shade in sight. Iris makes her way down the path and tries to keep an eye on the mounts while she does. Draven keeps looking at Iris's growing Mummy Rot and acts as if he is going to say something, then turns away, a defeated look on his face. For her part, Iris pretends not to notice.
After some time has passed, Iris stops and says, "Does anyone mind if I sling my pack on their mount?"

Griffin offers, “Of course not.” Iris smiles and hefts her bag onto the creature's back

There has been no sign of Kasiex for some time and the path is about ready to become exposed as it makes its final descent down to the valley floor. Griffin scans the trail for and tracks of their scout and he sees quite a few signs that Kasiex no doubt left behind, as well as some that he assumes the Wildsteward left behind unintentionally.

Griffin says, "We should approach the valley floor slowly. Keep watch for Kasiex"
Iris nods. She is feeling the heat of the day coupled with the exhaustion of being in the mountains for several days, not to mention the Mummy Rot she is carrying as well...

Remar is also struggling to remain cool today. His robe is heavy with sweat and continues bunching up between his knees. There is some general heavy breathing, sighing, complaining coming from many members of the expedition. This is the hottest day anyone has experienced so far this year, and for being up in the mountains, it must be REALLY hot elsewhere. Everyone else seems to be suffering from the heat.

Iris stumbles and softly curses, then drops to a crouch. Griffin remarks sarcastically to himself as he wipes the sweat from his face, “Yea, but it's a dry heat.”

Remar decides he has had enough of the heat and casts a spell making him magically immune to the heat of the day. He then looks to see if anyone appears fairly hampered by the heat and decides they are doing ok for the moment. Remar whistles a bright and happily uplifting tune, his long hair flowing behind as he rides astride his lizard mount.

As the Company moves out along the trail that is more exposed, they hear what sounds suspiciously like a Hutaakan trying to whistle like a bird from down below. Iris looks for Kifein, who was standing right behind her the whole time, trying to hide in her shadow, looks at her. Iris looks startled and asks, "Is that Kasiex calling to us?"

Draven points down the slope to the edge of the woods, "There he is, signaling from behind that brush there. See him?" Iris peers in the direction Draven is pointing. Everyone easily sees Kasiex, though Iris keeps getting sweat in her eye and cannot spot the Hutaakan. She scrubs at her face.

The central part of the valley is visible from this location, though quite hazy in the distance due to the heat. The archway campsite can be seen clearly, and no movement can be seen there. Smoke tendrils can be seen to the north and west over the tops of the forest indicating the Traldar and their settlement. Kasiex steps out and motions all clear and for the others to come down. Iris sees Kasiex now and says, "Ah, there he is." Iris begins picking her way down the path.

Once the group has rejoined with Kasiex, he says that in order to make it back to Byxata on this day, in this heat, the group should stick to the stream so water will not be a problem or extra weight for hiking. He suggests following it to the edge of the forest and then skirting around to the south, then along the shores of the lake and north toward Byxata. It will take a bit longer but being close to water will be extra important.

Iris says, "Mmmm, water sounds lovely"

Griffin thinks this plan makes the best sense. It is a bit longer of a trek but it will be important to keep near the water to fight off the effects of the heat. He says, "An excellent, plan, Kasiex. I was hoping our path would keep us close to the water."

Kasiex says in broken Thyatian, “Probably not make back to Byxata by after midnight. Might have trouble at gates, but can camp outside walls until morning light if must.”

Iris sighs and nods again.

Kasiex continues, “Even going straight there, not make it back before nightfall. Just too far.”

Iris says, "Well, is there a fortified spot you know of that we can reach before nightfall?"

Kasiex answers, “Archway camp, you fortify somewhat. Some broken temples, but walking dead too dangerous. Running out of food. Might hunt in woods.”

Iris says, "I trust your judgement, Kasiex. Remar knows of some good spells to hide us. I can translate, if you like"

Griffin says, "Let's keep track of defensible positions, but I 'd really like to get back tonight."

Iris says, "Oh...sure. No problem."

Remar says, "Would you all rather I resist you from this heat? So you are more fortified should danger arise on the way, as it has nearly multiple times each day?"

Iris says, "If it, If it wouldn't be too much of a strain, that'd be great, Remar"

Griffin says, "That sounds great!"

Remar casts Resist Fire on several members of the Company while Kasiex pants in the heat.

Remar asks, “Iris?”
Iris answers, “Yes?” She immediately feels cooler, as if the sun beating down no longer shines on her and visibly relaxes. "Thank you, ahhh, that's so much nicer," she says.

Griffin says, "Thanks, mate!"

Remar remarks in an ancient and mystical tongue, “C'est la vie!”

Half of the group now feels much more comfortable in the heat of the day. Marcel, Ree and Stephen look on in jealousy. Remar looks at Kifein and Kifein looks back at Remar with those puppy dog eyes...

Kifein says "Magical one, save your..." then stops when she realizes Remar has already cast his spell. "As I was saying.. save your energy. You may need it soon! I might be covered in fur, but I'm no bitch." She smiles then adds, "You shouldn't have. Thank you."

Kasiex cocks an eye in her direction and mouths, "yea she is" to the others..

Remar Hunts with Bolts from Lizard-back as mounted practice because...well, when else do you learn how to do cool shit like this while Kasiex leads the Company out into the valley, across a grassy plain to the banks of the shallow stream. Everyone drinks deeply of the flowing mountain stream, even the lizards who do not ever seem to drink much, dip their forked tongues into the cool water. Kasiex says they should pass the archway in less than 30 minutes

A few hours of travel, or of travel and extended rest for those not under the magic spells of Remar, brings the Company to the edge of the wood in the middle of the valley. The shade from the tall pines is welcome even to those protected from the heat, as the sun is bright and seems to shine off of anything and reflect right into peering eyes. Iris moves toward a pine and sits down, resting her back against its rough bark. She comments, "This is nice." She rests but keeps her eyes open for signs of game, just in case.

Just as the group prepares to move out again from their most recent rest, Griffin,
Remar and Iris all simultaneously notice a dark plume of smoke rising in the east.
Griffin says, "Oh, great."

Iris says, "Huh. Grass fire, maybe? Or camp fire? Looks like a large campfire possibly, it's thin.” She pauses then says, "I don't understand why anyone’d want to cook in this heat" The smoke looks like it might be coming from just past the far edge of the large lake in the center of the valley.

Griffin says, "Kasiex, can you scout ahead as we follow? We'll stay under the edge of the trees and hope to avoid detection."

Kifein is worried about it. That is much too far to the east to be the  Traldar and Hu'taka would never reveal themselves like that in the open. Kasiex thinks that the smoke is probably about as far from this side of the lake as the Company.

Realizing the implications of Kifein’s assessment, Griffin says, "Crap. I was wondering when he would show up." He ponders for a moment then adds, "Kasiex, how bad would it be if we went around the north side of the woods? Would we still make it to Bytaxa tonight?" He had hoped they had more time before Golthar and his cadre arrived in the valley.

Remar asks, “Do you think it is them, found a way through and caught up?”

Kasiex says "Should we go that way? Toward the foes you told us about? We can go around the forest here, we will just be further away from the water."

Griffin says, "Yea, Remar, I do. Who else could it be? You heard Kifein."

Iris says, "Maybe...today isn't a good day for a fight. Kasiex, can you obscure signs of our passing? Just in case?"

Kasiex nods to Griffin, "Yes, we could make it back tonight still," then nods to Iris, "I can do that as well."

Griffin says, "Okay, let's get a move on."

Remar says, "He and his ilk may be tired as well. I wonder where they are heading? If encountering them is unavoidable and we must face them, I'll likely need to drop the heat protections if you want anything more than bolts from me."

The Grey Company makes some changes to their travel plan and skirt around the north edge of the woods. Remar gets some target practice at some squirrels and birds and finds that it is much more difficult hitting targets from lizardback than he imagined but he does manage to bring down a few tasty morsels, though his lizard mount pounces on the first two takes before Remar can even get them. Iris beams at Remar when she sees he remembered to feed New Boots. Eventually, night falls, though that only provides minimal relief from the days heat. The travel becomes slower in the dark and much of the trip keeps Kasiex away from the party as he does his best to hide their tracks. Finally, sometime around 10pm, the lights on the walls of Byxata are seen!

Iris looks worriedly behind them. "I don't feel right, going in without Kasiex." She looks over at Griffin to see what his reaction is.

Griffin prepares to go out again to search for Kasiex but Kifein stops him. "The Wildsteward is fine, It is what he does. What he lives for. He shall return." Griffin frowns, but concedes.

After some shouting, Kifein convinces them to open the gates. Kforedz meets them inside the walls with a group of soldiers. Kasiex still has not returned to the group.

Kforedz says "Welcome back. Did you recover what you went for? Iris smiles at Kifein and nods. Kforedz is overcome with joy to see the Knowledge of Elders and the other items recovered from the Vault. She has some servants show you to your chambers, telling others to bring food and drink as necessary.

Griffin says wearily, “Ok folks, let’s get some rest!”

"First things first. Iris and Kasiex require...special attention." Remar says and he and Draven explain the Mummy Rot to Kforedz.

Kforedz looks at Iris. "That is nasty. We can take care of that, I hope.”

"I do too," Iris whispers.

Kforedz says "It requires two kinds of magic? I fear that I can only perform the spells to remove the disease. Can you break the curse Remar? We shall deal with brave Iris now, and stalwart Kasiex when he returns."

Iris looks hopefully at Remar.

Draven shrugs and says "I can do both, but unfortunately I have spread my faith too thinly of late and I dare not risk calling down a worse fate in my attempt." He retires to the sleeping area to rest and meditate. Marcel, Stephen and Ree all follow closely behind.

Remar lets his other spells expire then gets down to casting the powerful Remove Curse spell to try and get rid of Iris’s Mummy Rot. Griffin looks on helplessly andIris sits for the spell. Remar pants and wheezes and says, "...and with this cleansing power finally channeled through these arcane hands, I break the vile taint that threatens to consume my friend!"

Kforedz follows Remar's spell up with one of her own, fully removing the undead taint that has been plaguing her. The color slowly returns to Iris's face, though the skin still looks stretched and wrinkled. Iris' eyes are bright with unshed tears as she thanks Kforedz profusely in broken Hutaak'a then turns to Remar and hugs him tightly, then steps back awkwardly and says, "thanks."

Kforedz says, “You should rest child. I can place a spell on you that will heal the damage caused by the foul sickness while you sleep. Come.” Still grinning, Iris follows Kforedz and waves to Remar and Griffin on her way out. As Iris leaves, the others decide to turn in too. Griffin thanks Kforedz, then eagerly seeks out his bedroll. Remar collapses as soon as Iris leaves. The next morning comes before anyone can even realize it!

Gromdain 12th of Klarmont

Remar starts to come awake saying, "...I...I did it...did you see? I can do it…” He realizes that hie is still fatigued from all the recent adventuring and plans to rest for the entire day.

Word is brought round that Kasiex reported in early that morning but did not stay. Griffin says, "Man, wildstewarding keeps him busy..."

Iris says, "No doubt." She then turns her head left, then right. "See?! It's gone!" Iris looks good as new.

Griffin says, "Lovelier than ever." Iris blushes furiously and smiles, tucking her chin as she does so.

Remar says, “Aye.”
Kifein and Kforedz, along with some other wise and clerical Hutaakan sequester themselves away with the Knowledge of Elders but leave word to rest and recuperate. This day is not as hot as the previous day and everyone is given light, well made and clean garments to wear. Offers are made to maintain armor and weapons for the party, if they so wish. Many services are available, though none of the Hutaakan seem to happy or talkative with the Company members. Ree, Marcel and Stephen spend the day sleeping and eating. Draven spends it in meditation.

Griffin checks in on the lizards, making sure they are being well-taken care of. He happily offers his armor and sword to be cleaned. He'll check in with the team to see if there is anything they need. Remar is resting and doing some light Grimoire reading throughout the day.

Iris says, "My saber could use the attention, though I don't like imposing on the Hutaakan. I don't get the feeling we're particularly welcome, still"

The Grey Company spends the entirety of the day resting and relaxing and then finally sleeping through another night. Griffin notices that his necklace light winks out this evening. Iris's magical light blinks out on her necklace as well.

Tserdain 13th of Klarmont

The next morning everyone wakes up completely refreshed. It is a completely glorious morning, the sun is shining, a soft breeze can be heard blowing across the rooftops. It is warm but not hot. Kasiex returns as the Company is breaking their fast. Remar can be heard occasionally...gloating to himself, maybe?
The Hutaakan looks in poor shape. He has lost some fur on his neck and shoulder and is stooped over. "The newcomers to the valley, they have passed by and headed toward Ronkan."

Iris says, "Oh gosh, are you ok?"

Kasiex ignores Iris’s query on his health, "This is bad news. But there is more." Shouting and angry growls and barking sounds can be heard from out in the hallway where Kasiex has just entered from.

Cast of Characters: 

Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by +Arne Jamtgaard 

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by +Jason Packer with help from +Patrick Burke 

Remar Umerusan Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army currently marshalled by +Patrick Kelly 

Iris Vardaa Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure, now guided by +Stephanie Kelly 

Kasiex, a Hutaakan Wildsteward used to ranging the mountains and valleys now led down a new path by +Patrick Burke 

and +Jason Woollard as The DM

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