As we clear out to sea, we find the winds are non-existent. We make very little progress the first day. The ship has a crew of 15 who are pressed a bit the second day, which dawns stormy, at least there is a little more wind. We finally start to make good time south after our slow start.
Dom pitches in, trying to learn a little more of the craft, the crew is remarkably accepting of him. Coy, not as much, he ends up playing with the new spyglass up in the turrety thing.
October 1st comes and goes with us still asea. We celebrate the double full moon with slightly better grub to eat and some drink and song. Folks are in a festive mood, we worry we may have missed our opportunity to rescue the threshold, but we are hoping whatever they have planned is actually scheduled for the convergence of the new moons, which seems more likely.
Cabasa is in sight, but so is another vessel on the horizon. It is a Chelcadonian military ship, which we hear is an unusual occurrence. We take the captain up on his offer to run us ashore outside of Cabasa, we do not wish to endanger the ship and her crew any more than we need to, and this saves us from alerting them of our presence.
Alaric gives us all the ability to walk on water, which saves the captain from having to go to close in. The captain has decided to avoid Cabasa, given the extra military presence.
Evening falls, bringing with it the promise of foul weather in the night. We are thankful for the hut and a relatively calm beach on which to cast it. The surrounding lands are mostly badlands and desert.
We nestle in for the night.
The weather has cleared overnight, it is a rather pretty day. We see a trail that heads in the correct direction, this will be a long hard march to make it in one day. Apparently we have gone soft, between our horses and leisurely cruise, all this walking is exhausting.
As we move toward the port, the lands continue to improve with irrigated fields with rich soil. The harvest has been taken in already, so we see little activity along the way.
The first thing we see as we approach Cabasa is the lighthouse. It is an impressive structure, stabbing up into the sky and is topped with a flaming gem. We might need to get that to add it to our collection.
There is a line of carts leaving the town, it seems that most are heading home for the evening. We go in search of an inn. Keth bribes a guard to direct us toward one of the nicer inns. These are showy guards, all decked in fancy uniforms, the insignia is Chalcedonian. They gladly take our coin and make their recommendations, we decide on the Fair Beacon and no one wants to be roomed with Coy after he consumes spicy faire.
The town is logically arrayed, in a grid pattern, even I can’t get lost here. There are statues throughout the city, though none seem overly religious in nature. It is fanciful and wondrous to us, the art is exotic in nature, representations of animals and sea creatures as well as humans and the marble depictions are brightly painted in many colors.
We find our way to the Fair Beacon and settle in. It’s nice enough that even Coy says he might trust the water. It’s really expensive to stay here thou…8 gold for all of us!! Certainly no sailors here. We head out to the crimson lantern. Its seedy.
I let the others do the talking, luckily I am unfamiliar with the local tongue, so even if I do get a little too far into my cups, chances are I won’t cause too much trouble.
Cilka is acting peculiar, she’s being friendly with these strangers, and she’s not even wearing her dress!
Keth is talking to some of the locals, oddly they seem to be getting along.
We manage not to embarrass ourselves too much, nor do we end up in jail. We even got some useful information, there was a big heavy object under a tarp that nobody was allowed to look at without being flogged. There is a blue dragon rumored to be around, and is said to sleep on a boat that is docked at the harbor. The less fancy dressed militants are much nicer than the foppy ones.
We split up, Gertie and Kuni goes to check out the local leaders, name dropping has its advantages, we hope. Cilka goes looking for a church, Alaric and I join her so she has some protection. Dom and Coy go to follow some military types around, I think I will avoid that detail, I imagine I would be less than helpful there… Keth goes shopping.
Alaric has prayed to Larani and has determined we are on the right course.
There are several old temples about that are in various stages of disrepair and outright decay. The first we visit was once a large impressive marble structure, now all that is left is the foundation. Next door is another decayed structure much the same, little of note remains. No one has ventured in here in quite some time, we see no evidence of hidden doors. Next we visit the one out by the docks, it’s on an small peninsula and sits above the city on a higher outcropping of rock. As we approach we see the pathway leading up to it is guarded. We are told the area is off limits, Cilka attempts to charm her way past, but is unsuccessful.
The third temple site is much like the first, a ruble ruin with little of note. This one at least has the vestiges of some interesting marble statues.
We are being followed by a raggedly looking fellow, we decide to play it casual and head toward the market area. We split up and make our way to the market area in different directions. Coy would be so proud of me, no one saw me! When we make it to the market we see the beggar still following Cilka. Alaric begins handing coppers out to beggars to get close and spooks the guy and he takes off running. Cilka decides to not cast her magic and he gets away.
Meanwhile back at the Inn, after much debate Coy, Dom and Alaric decide to go on a stealth mission to check out the temple on the hill that was so heavily guarded. We await their return, hoping we do not hear any evidence of their being discovered.
Kuni sings suggestively (not like that!) attempting to get folks talking, she sings of a mythical blue dragon in the hopes to get them talking of the dragon we know is in the area. I just drink and listen to my cousin.
She is quite talented, inciting the crowd who start shouting out dragon sightings and the absolute absence of any dragons, cause they don’t exist! Kuni draws it all out and finds that the sound of vast wings were heard the night that ship arrived and the silhouette of a winged beast was spotted over the full moon.
We follow the lead of one of the more assertive dragon spotters toward the wall of the city by the water, he points out claw marks on the wall that could only have been made by a large clawed beast, like a dragon. He and his friend argues over what might have made those marks, and if the dragon ever existed or just left, they both agree that the large force that came on those boats left by foot through the city. That large a force would have left tracks…
Tomorrow we’ll see if we can purchase a map and search the area outside the city for signs of the legion passing. We think they left approximately a week ago. We procure new horses, trading some of our jewelry and gems for six fine looking beasts. Keth and Coy find a map that will serve our purposes.
Dom managed to catch a word with our beggar friend who led him to a person known as “Silver Fox”. This person confirmed much of the story and is trying to secure us a guide, we plan to flesh out our rations and supplies and leave at dawn, hopefully with a guide. We toy with the idea of liberating and re-consecrating the church, but wiser heads prevail and we opt to rest up in preparation for our journey, we’ll be traveling hard to catch up with the legion and hopefully the threshold.
Otieno of Swentet is the name we are given by the Silver Fox, he may be able to act as a guide, but we have to get to Swentet first, then find him. If our path takes us that way, we will try to secure his services.
We make good time, but so far do not see much evidence of a legion passing through. Asking locals along the way tells us we are on the right path. The second village informs us that they took a turn toward the ferry to cut across, possibly to Clysma.
We are moving away from farmland, the heat is oppressive as the climate become more arid.
We enter Clysma toward the evening, it is awfully hot, Dom seems to be having the hardest time with it. Alaric does something that makes it much easier to stand the heat. Clysma is a small river town, much smaller than Cabasa. The building are open to catch as much of a breeze as they can, whenever there is one. We find the inn and settle down for the evening, asking for news.
The legion was well prepared, from what we are told, there was a boat sent ahead in pieces and assembled, waiting for their arrival.