The Cabin Sessions

Sessions Index

The Road Home - Intermission

This is a summary of action taken via email by various characters and the party in general as they continue along the road to Gap and Ume.

Rolanesh 12 (noonish)

After the bold group of Zippy, Nyota, Benik and Fasheen returned from the temple of Agim-Zul, the party took stock of their situation. They were in a (so far) safe location near the temple's entrance with a Leomund's Shelter (courtesy of Thyme) near at hand. The countryside was still barren of any form of life, something that Zeb found fairly distressing. The priests had expended most of their energies healing the party from the previous day's encounter with the evil creature in the temple, so while everyone was fairly healthy, they were feeling pretty drained.

The party has several things to decide:

  1. What to do with the talisman the group recovered from the temple.
  2. What to do with the temple itself, if anything.
  3. Who (if anyone) was going to carry the talisman, and how.
  4. Who was going to carry/take which treasure and who would be identifying items.
  5. What course was the party going to steer back to civilization.
  6. Who was going to carry the Eye and how?
  7. The party should devise a general procedure for watches and travel, i.e. watch list and marching order.

Several party members have strongly stated they want the talisman buried in stone away from the temple entrance. Someone has suggested sealing the temple itself with a rock to mud followed by a dispel magic to seal the entrance with stone as well.

As discussion swirls around the shelter, Thyme withdraws a bit from the group, and begins to study the scrolls while others continue to debate the options. The sun slowly creeps westward in the sky, and to the northeast, Yeotu can be seen peeking around the shoulder of the mountain there.

Rolanesh 12 (evening)

After the trio returned from the temple, the party expended considerable time resting and debating the best course of action. A strong watch was kept while those who needed to rest and recover from the morning' spell casting did so. Thyme spent most of the time muttering over the scrolls the party recovered from the temple, and Nyota spent most of the afternoon whittling away at a likeness of the amulet.

Zeb and Zippy spend some time setting a few snares around the campsite, and warn everyone where they are. Zeb mutters that there are still no signs of animals around, and that's just strange.

It is growing dark when the party gathers around the large table-like stone in front of the Leomund's Hut for a larger and more festive than normal supper. Everyone shares around the ancient brandy returned from the temple, and the group relaxes for the first time in many days. Sensing that everyone, including himself, could use the rest, Fasheen doesn't raise any of the issues pressing on the group, and instead, after a protracted meal and relaxing evening, the party breaks up on its own and various people spread out around the camp to carry out several tasks.

Bo, Thyme and Nasir examine the recovered saddlebags and set the spells as Fasheen has requested:

This quickly proves a mistake as the outer magic mouth goes off almost immediately when Bo and Nasir step outside to refresh their waterskins. Thyme merely chuckles.

Meanwhile Nyota's carving efforts have reached an end, and he's produced a pretty good likeness of the amulet. he stows the carved image in his rucksack, and takes up a watch outside the hut. The party has scoured their packs for parchment and writing implements, but in vain. NO ONE has anything even close to paper with them. Several people have candles, and it is likely the party could make impressions with wax, but not without touching the amulet.

After the Eye is secured, Nasir and Thyme move on to the talisman. They quickly locate a likely stone and place the amulet in the steel chest, then stoneshape the stone into the chest's interior. Nasir casts fire trap, and Thyme wizard locks and magic mouths the chest as Fasheen requests. Finally the pair find a large stone outcropping well away from their camp site and stoneshape a deep well in its side. They drop the chest to the bottom of the shaft, then close the opening back up behind it. You get the feeling that's the last you'll ever see of that talisman...

With all this done, and full dark upon the party, you decide to call it a night. As you gather together outside the hut to establish watches (and Thyme renews the hut), Zeb suddenly looks skyward. "Listen!" The party strains to listen, and for a moment, all you hear is the distant sound of water over rocks, wind through trees, and your own breathing. Then, you hear it! "Cheeekep! Cheeekep!" Zeb laughs "Night sparrow! Birds come back now. That good. Maybe power of evil place broken and jungle return." The party chuckles and breathes a sigh of relief. At least it wasn't another one of those creeping horrors from the temple.

Before the watches begin, Bo takes the ring from Zippy so he can identify it (1/week, requires 24 hours -- see end of message for results). Thyme also mentions that he has deciphered some of the scrolls recovered from the temple.

The three scrolls from the sarcophagus:

  1. Protection scroll - undead.
  2. Protection scroll - Mithos.
  3. 3 mage spells: Wall of Force (5th), Chain Lightning (6th), Infravision(3rd).

The two scrolls from the compartment below the sarcophagus were both clerical in nature, and Thyme passes these off to Bo and Nasir. The pair study the writings and after an hour or so announce the two scrolls are the same, both Raise Dead.

The party settles in for a quiet night. The watches pass uneventfully, and the next morning the party is awakened to the sound of birds in the scattered brush around the camp.

Rolanesh 13 (lucky lucky)

After a hasty breakfast, the party heads towards the temple entrance. Thyme, Fasheen and Nasir go in as far as the scorched doors in the altar room. They are indeed a pair of scorched bronze doors. Thyme notes the doors are marked both front and back, but with little else to see, the trio quickly makes their way back outside, where Nasir has been studying the cliff face.

After Thyme and Nasir spell up the doors to the complex, and the party is well clear, Nasir casts two Rock to Mud spells fairly high up on the cliff face. The resulting flow of mud is considerable, and completely buries the entry. Thyme then casts Dispel Magic and the mud turns to stone. That should be that.

The party returns to camp, and Nasir and Thyme begin to meditate and recover magical energy. It is early afternoon when the Thyme is able to cast Fly on each party member and you begin to head back towards the inn (well, that's what you think anyhow). There are no real mountains along your path, but you are not quite sure where you are relative to the inn. You elect to strike due north, which will bring you to the road east of the inn, but fairly close. You fly for about an hour and a half, making about 10 miles, before Thyme says you should land. All along the way you see flashes of water to the west. Obviously the river you followed south to the temple.

Once you land you spend another four hours or so hiking through the jungle, then make camp in late afternoon. The terrain is still somewhat rocky, but has reverted to the now familiar jungle as opposed to the rocky slopes you took off from. The night passes uneventfully and the next morning you set off once again.

[Administrivia: By casting Fly on the entire party Thyme is left with ZERO spell points]

Rolanesh 14

Near the end of the morning's flight you cross the river near a fork where a smaller branch joints the main south to north flow from the east. Just beyond the river Thyme indicates you should land and start walking again. You spend the rest of the day hiking, taking only a pause for lunch. By day's end you think you've covered about 12 miles through the jungle (it's very dense here). As evening approaches, the physically weaker party members call for a halt, and you stop for the night.

Rolanesh 15

The next morning the party awakens feeling OK. Several people are still a bit tired from yesterday's extended hike, so you elect to take it a bit easier today. Fly is cast and you take off. After flying for about 80 minutes you strike the road, which is running NW-SE at the point you hit it. It is still fairly early in the morning, so the party decides to continue walking, but which way?


Bo's identification of the helm reveals that it is enchanted with some form of detection magic. He received the distint impression that the wearer would be able to periodically detect traps and/or magic and/or evil.

Treasure disposition as I have it:

Also to cover a long past 'lost treasure' problem. I'm going to make the following ruling:

After the party returned from exploring the mines west of Ume (2nd session with the undead tomb, the rock creatures, the drow, and the flame strike on Thyme), you returned with three items that are not covered in the logs:

My recollection is the gems were passed back to the Imperials as a gesture of goodwill from the rock creatures that gave them to you. Thyme has both Wizard Lock and Water Breathing in his spell books as recent additions, so I'm going to rule they were copied from the scrolls, destroying them in the process. That leaves the party with the last scroll, which should be added to the group fund.

Rolanesh 15 (mid morning)

As most of the party sits along the verge of the road, Zeb and Fasheen scout along the roadway to see if they can find sign of the group's passage earlier while Zippy flies off to the north-west in hopes of spotting the inn. Zeb points out the fresh cuts along the verge on the far side of the road, and the pair move off to the south-east. Around the next bend they come across a dwarven work party, cutting brush along the edge of the road. The foreman quickly points Fasheen towards the north-west and the Blackwater Inn.

After a light and early lunch the party heads along the road towards the inn. The foreman indicated it was a good eight or nine miles away, so the group pushes on in hopes of making the inn before dark. As they advance the hot wind gives way to gusts of heavy, damp air, and the skies turn gray, then black with rumbling clouds.

It is hard to tell exactly what time it is when the skies open up. After another 15 minutes in the pouring rain, the party stops and realizes they're better off holing up where they are. All eyes turn to Thyme, but he shrugs and says it will be at least a couple hours before he has the energy to cast a Leomund's Shelter.

With a sigh the group sets about erecting the few tarps they have into a shelter against the rain. Thyme begins to meditate, and as darkness settles in (with no letup in the rain in sight), he casts Leomunds Shelter, and the party, bedraggled and soaked, makes their way inside.

The group shares a bit more of the dwarven brandy, then settles in for a night's rest with the rain pounding on the roof and the winds howling around the the walls. Surely this must be the remnants of some great ocean spawned storm.

Rolanesh 16

The party awakens to the continued sound of heavy rain outside. Though there is no letup in the rain, the winds seem to have died down a tiny bit. The party wisely decides to remain indoors for the day, especially after Fasheen and Zeb examine the road and discover it is a knee deep quagmire of mud and ooze.

The group scatters around the renewed Leomund's Shelter and Thyme decides he will identify the ring for the party. He warns everyone he will be out of it for several hours afterwards. With the assistance of Nyota and Bo he erects a sort of tent within the hut for quiet and begins to work his magic. A while later the party hears him collapse to the floor, and enters the tented area to find him passed out on the floor [ID result sent under seperate cover].

The rest of the day passes uneventfully, with the exception of Thyme waking up late in the evening and asking for some food and water.

Rolanesh 17

The rain abates during the night, and the party awakens to a beautiful clear and sunny day. The road is still pretty sloppy, but by mid-day the verges are solid enough to walk on with ease. Thyme is still feeling a bit dragged out, so the party elects to walk at a slow pace for the afternoon. They reach the inn late in the afternoon, and are pleased to find they have the place to themselves. A quick check in the stables shows that all mounts are there and appear healthy.

The party checks in with the owners who are somewhat amazed to see the group. The owner and the barkeep debate for a while with the party concerning the payments made for room and stabling, but in the end agree to return 200 of the 275gp total the group paid, and throw in the night's food and lodging to seal the deal [If you really want to haggle more you can].

The party takes over two large semi-private rooms on the upper floor and has dinner. Later in the evening Benik and Zippy spend some time with the animals and discover that they have been well cared for, and that the parties gear is all intact. Benik notes that one of the mules (that was questionable to begin with) is showing some signs of illness, and may be in trouble as you continue your journey.

The party settles in for a relaxing evening in the tavern, and when the barkeep asks the party about the barrels of brandy as they take them up to their room, the group gives him a small sample. He offers to buy one barrel on the spot for 200 GP [your call].

Rolanesh 18

The party checks out the road in the morning and finds that it is still pretty swampy. Fasheen makes an executive decision to remain at the inn for another day, especially after Nasir reveals he's had a 'look around' and there are some very wet areas further up the road. The group stays the day, and Thyme decides to identify the four potions. Again he is unconcious for a while, then very weak for a long period after casting the spell [IDs sent seperately].

The rest of the day passes uneventfully -- the inn remains empty. Probably everyone else is stuck out on the road somewhere. The innkeeper extends his offer of free lodging for tonight as well.

Rolanesh 19

The group awakens to a nice hit day. After checking the road, the party decides things are dry enough to set off. As they do they bid farewell to the weakened mule. Even with spell support the creature was not healthy enough to continue, and regretfully Benik puts it out of its misery.

The day passes quickly as the party variously rides or walks along the still-mucky road. Despite the goo you make good time, and by nightfall you find yourselves about where you came out of the jungle. You make camp and spend a quiet night.

Rolanesh 20

The day is pretty much a repeat of yesterday. The only change is you pass the dwarven work party late in the day working around the perimeter of one of the large open campsites that are scattered along the road. They seem in good health, and are continuing their work of cutting the verge. They let you know there is a watch tower with a small camp site about 15 miles ahead. You don't think you'll make that much distance today, but it may be a worthwhile goal for the next day.

The party makes camp later in the evening after a hard day's travel. Aside from a few leeches and insect bites the group is none the worse for wear.

Rolanesh 20

As the road continues to dry out in the seasonably hot weather, the party makes time along the road. On the night of the 20th they make camp in an open cut near a watch tower along the road. As night falls a couple of dwarves come out, and check in with the party, asking if they encountered any trouble along the road. When the party reports they have not the dwarves bid them good night, and return to their tower.

Rolanesh 21

The party makes about 12 miles today, reaching another another open camp site late in the afternoon. The verge along the road here is not cleared very well, so the party decides to break here to have room for mounts and the shelter. The night passes quietly, broken only by the howls of monkeys and the occasional drone of a mosquito. Fasheen estimates the party has travelled about 45 miles from the inn, generally to the south-east. To the south the peaks of the Zokaine mountains are slowly drawing closer, and the ground has begun to rise a bit.

Rolanesh 22

The day dawns a bit cooler than usual, so the party sets out early to take advantage of the cooler weather. The group presses on hard all day, making a good 20 miles. For a time they hear the sounds of a river off to the south, possibly a branch of the river they followed to reach the temple. Late in the evening the road begins to bend eastward, and as the party comes around the long, slow curve, they spy two structures ahead. The first appears to be a watchtower, similar to the one you camped next to on the 20th. The second appears to be an inn.

As you move foward to the glow of torches along the inn walls, you see the road divides ahead. One branch turns southward, towards a gap between two peaks in the Zokaine range. The other branch, apparently the main road, continues eastward.

The group makes their way into the inn courtyard, and are surprised to find the stables almost empty. As they dismount and stretch out the kinks of the long day's travel, a pair of stablehands, one Manar, one Dwarf, come out to see to their mounts. The Dwarf mentions they'll have the inn to themselves tonight, as the rain slowed traffic along the road.

You enter the inn and find only one table occupied in the tavern area. The Vichar man sitting facing the door looks up as you enter, frowns for a moment, then smiles. "Welcome guests, to Peak's Watch! I am Shen, the owner." He stands and continues, "How many I be of service?"

Map fix: There's a little loop in the roadway near the center of the map where the main road continues generally ESE, while the loop runs S, then E, then NE to rejoin the main road. Your at the NW end of the split.

Rolanesh 22 (cont)

As Fasheen negotiates with Shen the innkeeper for their lodgings and stabling for their horses Benik and Zeb make sure the animals get settled into the stables. Meanwhile the dwarf who was sitting with Shen makes his way over to the bar, shouting something back into the kitchen as he does so. Once behind the bar he asks if anyone wants a drink.

Seeing the two stablehands have everything well under control, Benik and Zeb return to the common room in time to trail upstairs with the rest of the party and choose the rooms you will use for the night. Fasheen has arranged to have the two semi-private rooms near the stairs for the night, plus a late supper and breakfast for the party. Baths are available for those that want them. Total cost: 7gp + 1sp per bath.

As you are settling in, Zippy takes a quick scout around the premises. There is no one around aside from the inn staff, and nothing seems amiss. While Zippy is scouting, Benik and Fasheen head over to the tower. The guards at the tower seem friendly enough and report no trouble along the road, though a caravan from the south is a day or so over-due, probably because of the weather. They do mention that some odd tracks have been seen crossing the roadway about 35 miles further on. No details are available, just 'odd'.

The guards thank the pair for reporting on the work party. As you anticipated they look at Fasheen and Benik like they're crazy when they start asking about mithril. And as Benik and Fasheen make their way back to the inn they hear faint laughter behind them.

After a pleasant dinner in the common room, Fasheen asks Shen about the road south and about the possibility of purchasing ink, quills, and parchment. Shen says the road south begins to gain elevation, though there is a swampy area south of of the next fork (25 miles ahead). Beyond that the ground rises and the mountains begin. He estimates the remaining distance at about 170 miles. Shen has none of the items Fasheen asks about for sale, though he mentions the supply wagon is due in a couple days and they may have some available, or that there may be some for sale in the general store in Saddleton, the mining encampment along the southern loop. Shen doesn't seem too optimistic about this though.

After dinner you take turns heading downstairs for baths while the rest of the group sits around the common room and has a few ales. Nyota works on making a few scroll cases. It's relatively quick work, basically splitting bamboo segments, hinging them with leather straps and fashioning a closure device. As he works a couple of guards wander down from the tower (off-duty?), order a few drinks, and wander off to a table to one side of the room.

The evening grows late and the party retires...

Rolanesh 23

The sun rises over a clear day with little of the oppresive humidity in the air that you have grown so used to. There is a meal ready when you get yourselves down to the common room, and as you finish your meal, you hear your mounts being saddled and readied in the courtyard. After bidding Shen and his staff good-bye (and tipping them 20 sp for a good night's visit), you take your leave soutward along the main road.

As you travel the peak that was ahead of you on the road yesterday slowly moves past you to the south and the jungle thins a bit. The horses seem frisky today, probably because the temperature is lower than usual, and by mid-day you have made a good 10 miles. You break for lunch, then set out again after eating, making another 12 or 13 miles in the afternoon and evening. Just as you are searching for a campsite for the night, you come to a fork in the road, or rather a joining of roads, as your main path is joined by a roadway coming from the SW. Obviously this is the other end of the loop. Happily there is one of the by now familiar clearings cut to the north of the main road, and you settle in for the night in the usual way.

The night passes quietly...

Rolanesh 24

The next morning dawns hot and humid, and low clouds hang over the peak to the south. As you prepare to move out Zeb and Nyota tell everyone that the weather will be bad today, with rain likely. You set out in a slightly less cheerful frame of mind than usual, and shortly after you lose site of the camp clearing a light rain begins to fall. You travel for several hours, mostly westward, at a slower than average pace. The rain is just enough to be uncomfortable, and everyone is a bit grumpy as they walk or ride.

You notice the jungle is growing denser once again, and by mid-morning the ground begins to grow a bit soggy. Pools of stagnant water appear from time to time on either side of the roadway, and it is obvious no work crew has cut the verges in this area for quite a while. Trees dot the verge, and in a couple of places deadfalls have been recently cut from arcoss the road and tossed to the side. Shortly thereafter the rain grows a bit heavier and you hit the first stretch of corduroy.

You break for lunch and eat a quick meal on your feet -- the ground to either side is nearly swamp, and no one feels like lingering. After eating you set off again and note the road begins to turn more southward. Late in the afternoon the dark skies, heavy rain, and general mood of the party conspire to bring you to a halt. You begin to search for a reasonable campsite, and as you advance along the roadway in the growing dusk...

An odd-looking figure steps out from behind a deadfall and into the center of the road ahead of the party roughly 50' ahead of the lead members. You could have sworn there was no one there. The buzzing insects and creaking frogs grow still as a low 'Bwwooooaaaaa' sounds from the jungle to the left.

As you peer into the gloom ahead you realize why the figure seems odd. It has a tail and a reptilian head (though you are positive this is not a yuan-ti). In one hand it holds a long spear decorated with a long streamer of feathers. It stops in the middle of the road and faces you:

"Humansssss. You have entered the landssss of the Ssssetalar without leave. You may not passsssss."

You pause for a moment, shocked by the ease with which the creature surprised you. As you sit there, Zeb nudges Fasheen and whispers. "Look! Over to the right, beside that brushy pool. Another." Indeed there is another crouched there behind the brush, holding something you can't quite make out.

Fasheen has Zeb translate the following "We mean no harm or offense to the Setalar. What do the Setalar desire for our passage? We have gifts for [the] Setalar. Let us show you. Take gifts. Let us pass. We want no trouble."

The creature stares intently at Zeb as he translates Fasheen's words. You get the impression he is concentration on the words in order to translate them. As Fasheen slowly unpacks the knives, pots, spear heads, and axes, the creature watches cautiously.

Zippy slips on his new ring, and cautiously looks off to his right. Darkness is growing, and there are several small trees and bushes along the verge of the roadway. Just as Zippy picks one out, intent on slipping into cover, he realizes he can't because there's already someone or something there. He continues to study the side of the roadway.

Thyme quietly casts a spell.

Bo studies the creature speaking in the gathering dusk. Aside from the feathered spear it doesn't seem to be carrying much, at least not much that's unique.

Benik insures the roadway to the rear is clear (it is), and then scans his immediate surroundings. He doesn't spot anything, but does realize his horse is beginning to get nervous about something. His horseman's instinct tells him it senses something nearby.

Nasir reaches out to Se'la. As he touches the bird's mind he realizes she is roosting in a tree a mile or so ahead of the party. Se'la has been less than happy with all this travel through the jungle, particularly in the rain. She grudgingly takes flight and begins to head back towards the party.

Nyota casts a spell upon himself.

As the last gift leaves Fasheen's hands and the party begins to back up, a bit of chaos ensues as the mounts resist turning and backing. You have your hands full for a minute just getting everyone turned about and moving in the other direction. All the while the creature standing in the roadway watches. As Benik leads the group back the way you came, he travels no more than 50 feet and stops. Something is sitting in the roadway back there, just obscured by the misty rain and darkness.

Something big.

The party turns in place, and those in front watch the spokesman. Several of the horses whinny and shift as a slight breeze blows through the group. Benik continues to study the thing in the road, but can't really make it out. His horse continues to snort and shake it's head, obviously still disturbed.

Thyme thinks about casting fly, but realizes he has his hands full controlling his mount.

Nyota studies the edges of the woods to the left, and spots some movement in the jungle, but can't make out exactly what it is.

Abruptly the leader of the serpent creatures hisses something into the gloom. A single figure breaks from the jungle cover to the party's left, just about where the items were dropped. It is another creature of the same type, also armed with a spear. It advances on the items, keeping an eye on the party as it does so. Once it reaches them it squats and begins to examine them. It casually tosses aside the pots, and then picks up one of the spearheads and studies it, then does the same with the knives and axes. It turns towards the leader (who has been watching the party intently the entire time), and hisses something quietly. There is a brief back and forth, then the leader raises his hand and makes a gesture. The creature grabs one of the pots, and dumps the spearheads, knives and one of the axes into it, then grabs the pot and and makes its way back to the jungle.

The leader stares at Fasheen then plants his spear in the ground at the edge of the road and walks a few steps forward, gesturing for Fasheen to do the same. Realizing he has little choice, Fasheen slings his bow and scimitar over his mount's saddle, tosses the reins to Zeb, and begins to move towards the leader, who is standing by the remaining items.

As Fasheen approaches he realizes this thing easily tops 350 lbs. It's very solidly built, and stands a shade under seven feet tall. Fasheen stops about 5 feet from the creature and waits. Finally the thing speaks, "You haave offered giftsss to the Ssssetalar. We accept the giftsss and offer giftsss in return." He reaches into a belt pouch and pulls out a string of polished stone beads strung on a leather thong. "Thessse mark you asss friendssss of the Sssssetalar. Our people will allow you to passss." He steps forward and hands them to Fasheen, then turns and hisses something into the now dark jungle. A pair of the creatures come out, bearing the carcass of a deer-like creature slung between two poles. "We haaave food in pleenty thisss night. Take thissss and feasssst." Finally he looks over Fasheen's shoulder and says "If you travel asss you have for a ssssshhort time more, you will find a clearing" the creature points to the right side of the road "there. It issss dry. Assss dry asss anything can be in this night." The creature eyes Fasheen once more. "I am Ssssaaar'rrasssa of the Sssssetalar. We go now. Travel well friends of the Sssssetalar."

Abruptly it claps its clawed hands and bows its head curtly to Fasheen, then whirls and stalks towards its spear. The two creatures that brought out the deer place it on a tussock of grass beside the trail, turn and make their way back to the jungle verge on the left. Sar'rasa stops at the jungle edge, then gestures. You hear the same 'Bwwwwoooaaaaa' horn call you heard when he first appeared. From around you three serpent men rise and make their way towards their leader. Benik notices that the large thing on the road moves off as well, but still can't make it out. The last of the serpent men file into the shadows, then with a final wave Sar'rasa follows.

The party reforms and picks up the items left behind on the path. Zeb and Nyota examine the deer carcass and declare that is is fresh. Examining the wounds, Zeb decides it was killed with several very deep spear thrusts and has been expertly gutted and cleaned. You decide to take it along and sling it on one of the mules.

After a bit of discussion you decide to continue along the road and see if you can find the clearing Sar'rasa mentioned. No more than half an hour later, you find it, a standard open campsite cut on the right side of the road. You make camp, and Thyme creates a shelter so everyone can get in out of the rain that continues to fall. You decide to set a strong watch, as you're still not sure if you trust the serpent men, but nothing happens during the night, except the rain ends.

25th of Rolanesh

The day dawns clear and sunny, with a gentle east wind blowing. Time to set out once again.