Harvestide 39 — We Shall Not Pass
As we approached the fifth gate we could see undead forces moving among the battlements. The gate opened and a party started rushing up the pass toward us. As they approached we took up a defensive position near a rock slide. The party sent against us was led by a mounted figure. I recognized the dread creature as one of a ‘family’ whose master can see, hear, and speak through. The thing addressed us, demanding we retreat and claiming our Queen held no power in those lands.
Evidently it was mistaken, as Her will was enacted through us, and we destroyed the creatures. I took its enchanted axe to use against them in the future.
Some time later we reached the final wall in the pass. We found the gate closed and well guarded with dozens of undead. They also appeared to have functional ballista. We didn’t waste time speculating on how they managed to keep such devices in service given the accelerated decay we witnessed further up the pass.
We collected the intelligence we could and chose to return to report our findings. Stories say there may be some tunnels or passages through the mountains that might get us past the wall, but that would require further investigation, and given the geological activity in the area it’s likely they shift frequently if they manage to stay open at all. The other way around would be through the mountains but that would require some more serious gear and likely a skilled guide, if such a thing existed. I must say I’m at a loss as to how we will proceed to reveal more, but perhaps something will come to us in the coming days. We could also see if investigating the Lady’s shrine in the mountains may provide us with a message or sign. But first to return…
Over the past several days we made our way back through the pass. We found the boundary of dark energy in the same place as before, just beyond the second gate.
During the journey, Drelf and I managed to recover from the Soul Rot we’d been inflicted with. If this gets further out into the populace the shortage of healing herbs will definitely become more pressing.
Upon return to the temple, we reported our findings, and discovered that we were wanted by one of the local magistrates. It seems the Shadar Kai we had brought to the temple were involved in some sort of altercation in the outer city after we’d left on our journey.
This morning we reported to the inquiring magistrate, who seemed somewhat surprised that we voluntarily came to his court. I can now see why…
After confirming that we had come into the city with the group of Shadar Kai, and asking us about their intentions and activities, and where they may have escaped to (none of which we knew), we were sentenced to fighting a battle in the Arena. Presumably by this logic all the guards who were on duty the day they got into whatever trouble they did should be charged, but I suspect that didn’t happen. I’m not even clear on what the charges against us are…
Given I have very little faith in temporal bureaucrats, I can’t say I’m terribly shocked by the level of tyranny. I somewhat suspect that after the events at the temple that the local authorities are simply looking to draw more attendance to their sadistic games in the Arena. At this point I intend to get it done with then return to our actual important duties.
The most infuriating part is that these people allow the surrounding lands to be corrupted and threatened and have nothing better to do than lord over blood sports. They retain us in the city when we could be out in the field trying to stop this threat before it expands.
Hopefully this will get us off their list of new amusements. If they become too disruptive we may need to do something to ensure they cannot prevent our important work to continue.