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Just Deserts

Theona’s Journal

Eleint 6, 1373 DR, heading north in the Anauroch Desert

We traveled north for a few uneventful nights, then during my daytime watch on the 28th, I heard some movement outside of camp, and as I was alerting my friends, we were attacked by four hell hounds. Glitch, who had been “helping” me, alerted Tyan while I woke Areon, and the infernal canines hit the edge of the camp as Deitricha and Ebin were woken. Ebin charged the creatures, killing two as he was in turn attacked by them; I dropped one and Areon killed the other.

After the battle, we saw that there was a half-lion/half-woman creature standing on a ledge a good 150’ away, but she took off before we could do anything.

The next day we were attacked again, but this time it was by a glowing ball of light, which, if memory serves me, was a creature called a nyth. Memory, unfortunately, did not recall a way of dispatching such a creature, which apparently wanted to harm us, as it continuously shot bolts of magic at us. Well, at Ebin, anyway. I tried sending moon motes after it which made Ebin think there were more creatures, and Tyan hit it with a blast of magical energy which split it into two creatures! We lobbed bolts and arrows at them until they disappeared, though we have no way of knowing if we injured them. But, we haven’t seen another since. Afterwards, Dietricha cast a spell which allowed her to fly around and make sure there was nothing else looking for us. We also moved our camp a few hundred feet for good measure.

We traveled a full seven days after that with absolutely nothing of interest happening at all, though Areon was pleased as it allowed him to finish the bow he’s been working on this entire trip. Earlier today, however, I caught some sounds of activity ahead of us, and since it was too dark to see what the source was, Areon and I left our wagon (and Tyan and Glitch left theirs) so we could walk ahead a ways to investigate.

I’m glad we did, as we would have driven our camels right off of a steep cliff! About 50’ below us, we could see a big camp, and hear the sounds of shovels and pickaxes. Upon closer inspection, we saw many humanoids in desert gear, several gnolls with whips and about twenty tents. It appeared that the humanoids, who we had to assume were slaves, had just unearthed some sort of buried structure. As we tried to determine how best to proceed, one of the humanoids collapsed where he had been digging, obviously exhausted; a gnoll picked up the body and tossed it into a ravine. I decided to run back and alert Ebin and Deitricha to the situation lest they bring the wagons closer, while Tyan and Areon worked out a way to hide Areon from sight so he could creep into the camp for a closer look and headcount. Areon was back up safely by the time I returned, with a guess that the gnolls numbered between four and twenty-eight (we’ll need to watch and see how many shifts they take) and he’d found what we assume is the leader’s tent, or at least, the only tent in the camp bearing arcane symbols around the door. He also could see that the workers were not chained or shackled in any way—it will make it difficult to rescue them if they are in some way charmed, or working off a debt or blackmail of some sort. For now though, we will have to plan a rescue with caution— we should certainly attempt to free these people if possible, but we are also many miles from home should one or more of us not survive the encounter.

Posted by Kristin on August 16, 2005, 12:36 | Theona’s Journal