A Temple is a Terrible Thing to Waste...

The Caravan

Recap 8/6/2017

The rains have stopped thank the gods but the rumors of giants, cultists, elementals, and other nefarious creatures being at the heart of the destruction have merely just begun. The rains have ruined crops and led the Dessarin River to flood, thus washing away entire farms and villages. There have been earthquakes to the east that have rocked entire country sides. Brush fires to the South have devastated the land as well. Small fires, proliferated by sudden and mysterious winds, turn into raging infernos. Reputable citizens have borne testament of funnels that just appear out of thin air without a cloud in the sky. Indeed, the sporadic nature and intensity of these anomalies could turn any skeptic into a believer of many conspiracy theories being wafted about.

            Rhobin trained in the martial arts and Vaitiare skilled in the traditions of the Old Faith decide to go visit master druid Alaine for answers. At times it would seem the timid druid prefers the company of plants to that of people but he was most accommodating nevertheless. Alaine said that he had also felt a great disturbance in balance of good and evil. And although he didn't verbally reveal much about Rhobin's disturbing dreams at the moment, he did tell Rhobin to meditate more and that Mielikki, goddess of the forest, would guide him. Rhobin and Vaitiare gave a generous donation to the goddess and were invited to join their druid circle and prayers.  After a fine elven lunch the two departed the serenity of the grove with a positive disposition (inspiration) and a newfound ally.

      While Alen practiced his fencing and Enallis indulged in a hot bath back at the inn, Nish was out doing what he did best, snooping.  He knew the caravan escort to Red Larch would be a long, boring trip, so he'd better get his ear to the ground now and get the skinny on what's really going on. He decided to investigate the obvious choice, the campgrounds, what better source of information than traveling merchants… He heard many wild stories but the one that really resonated with him … Storm Giants! Anything that big can't be trusted thought the gnome. A chill crept up his spine at the thought of encountering such a gargantuan creature. Little did he know Triboar would soon be visited by one.

      Forinzo had arranged a meeting with PC's at the local scout watering hole, the Triboar Arms. He intended to warn the group of the perils they may encounter on their upcoming journey but opted to get considerable drunk instead. Nevertheless the party did learn a bit about the "Haunted Bridge" and got a pretty useful little map of the Dessarin Valley.  But just as they were warming up to ole Forinzo, the town erupted into chaos. A large rhythmic tremor could be felt. At first no one paid it much attention but as they got stronger, you could see the concern in everyone's eyes. Then the horn blew. The Twelve  (town militia) jumped on their horses and hurried to defend the town. A few others followed the commotion, among them several men-at-arms, a few rangers, and eventually the party. Indeed, a giant had come into town and was in search of food of all things. The townspeople did not take kindly to this uninvited guest. Even though the affluent looking sod offered gems in exchange for food and passage through town, the Triboarians were not having it and neither was Forinzo Fomas! Forinzo stumbled his way past the line formation of guards, unsheathed "Persilia" his trusted long sword and valiantly landed head first in the mud by the giant's feet. No one knows what happened to the huge fire opal the giant tried to offer Forinzo as a token of friendship. Perhaps it was drowned out by the voracious shouting of "kill the storm giant!" and "He's the one brought all this rain upon us!” It wasn't until Vaitiare shouted "He's not a storm giant he's a cloud giant" did they even stop to listen. Then the giant began to cast a spell and indeed confirmed what Vaitiare had said by turning into mist like the clouds. The crowd might have been appeased for the moment but they were not letting a cloud giant or any other type of giant into their village. The giant understood, even though he apparently did not understand the common tongue much. The big oaf reluctantly began to walk away. He took 3

steps, then turned around to give one last cry for help, "FOOOOOD" he said in a low somber voice. Rhobin was profoundly moved by this noble and gentle creature's plight. So much so that he said, "here, I know it's not much…" as he handed the giant 5 of his rations, "but maybe these will soothe your hungry some". To which the giant replied as he smirked and pointed at the elf, "you makes gud snacks" in almost perfect common. The sarcasm was not lost on Rhobin.

      The morn came quickly and before they knew it they were on the road. There were 6 wagons in their charge and coincidentally 6 of them. Forinzo naturally took the lead wagon and left it to the group to decide as to which successive wagon each would guard. Vaitiare was not accustomed to being first all the time but she was definitely not used to being last in anything either. "Don't fret m'lady" said Nish with a smile, I will not let you bear the perils of the rear!" "Thank you kind gnome" she replied and with that they were on their way.

      The journey began pleasant as could be. There was not a cloud in the sky for miles and although slow going because there was still a lot of mud (actually traveling at a pace of 2 mph I made a mistake and said each hex was 4 miles..it's 10 miles so still traveling 2 hexagons a day though) on the roads, the caravan was on schedule. The day went by uneventfully. The group made camp on the heels of the Black Maw Bog, not even half days ride away.  Most of the merchants on this caravan are Calishites, known for their hospitality and spicy food. Alen was warned to take it easy on the stew but he kept proclaiming, "this is really, really good" as he went for seconds, "excuse me sir but is that paprika I taste?" and thirds,  "Oh my goodness I just love paprika…mind if I have another bowl?". By second watch, Enallis noticed Alen sweating profusely as he slept and by third watch…"Nish you are gonna have to excuse me just a min…what I mean to say is that I…well you know, I have to, um, go to t…{prrrraaaap!} Oh dear, I'll be right back!" …and as Alen went into the woods to find some relief, a Helmed Horror appeared as if out of nowhere. It stood almost 7 feet tall, full blackened platemail, great shield (also black) , and great helm. Not a word uttered, it just stood there with his gauntlet on his hilt, studying Alen. Maybe it was in awe at what he was seeing or perhaps he was just patiently waiting for the half elf to finish before carving him up? Alen could not ponder the why of this awkward encounter. Alen was in complete concentration with the task at hand and the menacing knight would just have to wait. "I'll be just a sec…almost done herrrrre…aaaaah"… The knight just stared intently as Alen finished his business and stood up, "well then sir what can I do for ya?" It took a few seconds for Alen to fully realize the gravity of the situation. The knight approach Alen and stood right next to him staring him face to helm. Alan yelled, “Nish!” The gnome came as quickly as he could.  The knight slowly takes out about an inch of sword from his sheath and Alen backs up a few steps. “Eh why don’t you be a good pal and go get the rest of the party Nish?”… the gnome hurries off to wake up his comrades. The knight slowly approaches Alen again.  This time Alen breaks and starts to run.  The Helmed Horror unsheathes his sword, sticks it into the ground and kneels before Alen, as if pledging his sword to him.  Alen returns to the camp with a new friend it would seem… at least for now.




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