posted by wererat
May 31, 2006, 8:32
Category: Vasha's Journal

Planting 21, 593 CY, Valor’s Vault

We arrived home only to find that Ben needed to return to his original homeland and may be gone for some time. He apprised his mentor of our situation, procured a horse, and was off by morning. His mentor took a look at the tome we had, learning that one piece of the Hammer of Trinity was located somewhere in the Bright Desert, but said it would take a great deal of time to study and learn more specifics. I felt like we needed to hurry, and didn’t want to search an entire desert, so I opted to try reading it myself. What a headache! I could barely make out what I was reading, as the words on the page appeared to swim, but I got the general idea that the piece in the Bright Desert was in Valor’s Vault, in the shadow of the highest peak of the southern part of the Brass Hills.

I didn’t think I could handle reading more just now, and Namfoodle offered to take the Heart of Truth and the tome to a monastery in the Shieldlands, both to protect Fairhaven and the relic itself. We agreed, and all parties concerned began to prepare for immanent departure. We felt a lot more vulnerable without our spellcaster Ben, so we purchased all the healing potions we could, and decided to quickly seek another Fairhavian that we trusted to join us. I made it as far as one building away from the shrine in the town square when I saw the blacksmith– a brutish-looking half-orc named Wölfel. In spite of appearances, he’s a very friendly person, always quick to lend a hand in times of need. When I told him of our quest, he was quick to agree to join us.

By midday we were on the road south. The ten-day trip was uneventful, though we all felt a little uncomfortable when we came to the lands ruled by Archmage Rary. Soon enough, we saw a small, ramshackle town– some homes little more than tents– in the foothills near the southern coast.

Not wanting to call attention to ourselves, but knowing we’d be safer crossing the desert in a group, we opted to tag along behind a camel-drawn ten-wagon caravan. The trip was meant to be ten days. The first day was very uneventful; the second day more than made up for that! Seemingly out of nowhere, twenty humans wielding bows and scimitars attacked the caravan. During our brief journey, we’d come to believe that the caravan people weren’t exactly the “good guys” so we hesitated to act in their defense, instead, we left the road without drawing weapons. It was a good thing too, as, from the opposite direction of the first wave of ambush, a dozen centaurs appeared, also wielding weapons. Sturm had been hit by an arrow, but fortunately, he carried his shield with the symbol of Mayaheine and held this in front of himself and our group as the centaurs came to confront us.

We briefly told them our tale so far, as the humanoids from the surprise attack set to taking supplies off the wagons that had been abandoned in the fight. Though slightly hesitant, they decided that we would need to talk to their shaman– who was a two-day journey away– and we may be provided assistance if our cause was found worthy.

The two-day walk to their tribe’s oasis was without incident, and their elders were agreeable to our presence, thankfully. Their shaman Alars was also extremely helpful. She knew much more than we did about Valor’s Vault: it is the resting place of Sir Arturo, who died battling a great worm, and is a sacred place of Saint Cuthbert. In fact a cleric of Saint Cuthbert made it a tomb for the fallen hero and included the relic we sought to protect. There is a test that must be passed though for someone “pure of heart and with great wisdom,” and a prophesy: “In a dark time, a shining light would emerge from the desert bringing an age of hope or woe.”

No pressure there!

The tribe provided us with a guide, a centaur named Korthos, for our trip to Valor’s Vault, as we needed to pass through lands occupied by the forces of Rary. The trip was three days long, and other than seeing a large cat (our guide called it a “cerval”) hiding in some rocks, we met very little else. By the second evening of our trek, we could make out the Brass Hills in the distance. By the evening of the third day, we could see individual campfires– there were dozens, if not hundreds, of forces camped around the entrance to the vault! We attempted to sneak closer, but my companions cannot keep up any pace while being quiet and one slip caught the attention of about a dozen of the humanoids in the camp. Not having time to even think, I quickly cast a Ghost Sound to lead our would-be attackers in another direction. It worked, though they also sounded an alarm which alerted the rest of the camp! We hurriedly thanked Korthos and told him to leave in the opposite direction during the chaos so as not to be caught. I cast a silence spell on the remaining group, and we managed to reach the entrance to Valor’s Vault undetected.