After an uneventful night, our insipid heroes—-save Kahlua, who slept in a stable, with horse at her head and donkey at her knee, and Thorodd, who wandered the city in search of the fabled Cerberus (or at least his lesser-known cousin)—-awoke and trundled off towards the tavern for refreshment. An unexpected but impressive fireworks show greeted Aldis as he left Chiton’s abode; a pack of rabid thugs attacks, but are soundly thrashed, leaving behind Thief School 101 gear and glyphs of the Open Road.
Thorodd decides that the best use of the visions sent to him from beyond is to start an orphanarium, and thus stays behind. (At least until the venture goes belly-up, and he is run out of town resulting from a “buy one orphan, get one free” sale gone horribly, horribly wrong.)
Outfitted with a
shiny rotten old raft, they set down the River of Lost Tears to the Lake of Vanished Armies, passing locales with similarly impressive sobriquets. Falling under a spell of gold-frenzy, they set out in search of a sunken Chelaxian treasure ship. Its guardian is a spawn of Aomak, the sea-serpent whose coils wrap ’round the Lake; it is driven off in disgrace. There is much looting and rejoicing.
Weeks pass, which include such inspiring events as an ambush from hostile natives and a hippo attack. Venturing forth into the screaming jungle, where day becomes as night, our heroes are waylaid by a ferocious dire ape, one which has slain the Pathfinder trailblazing party and claimed their Thief School 101 gear for their own. Upon Hauk splitting its body asunder with his mighty axe, a foul demon emerges, much to the detriment of the party. They are ravaged, and it dies.
Undeterred, our brave heroes continue forth, and kill a necromancer and his graverisen troll some days later. But things progress badly once more two nights later, when Vanua, Erethemos, even brave Bellow the bear are ensnarled in the web of ill-sorcery. The oread affirms that yes, it is a sentient being which can be affected by mind-affecting spells and spell-like abilities, in the worst possible way. The offenders turn out to be a peculiar race of shape-changing jungle spriggan gnome things; they are slain, their luring bell is taken a prize, and much speculation of its future uses is had by all.
Closing on their goal, our addled adventurers stumble upon a quartet of alluring sirens doing their laundry down by the river, who invite these mighty adventurers into their hut down by the river, to partake of a feast of fruit, fish, and frog-legs. Woe! Tragedy spills forth as the ill-tempered harlot leading this hut of lustful harpies is revealed to be a demon put on this mortal plane for purposes of corrupting the souls of men. Men such as Hauk, who leaps to her aid, and Aldis, who leaps outside to count all the grains of sand on the beach. Between the aqueous sorcery of Akker and the fists of Kahlua, Hauk is freed, the succubus slain, and revels are had on behalf of the joyously freed trio of spirit dancers. Painful tattoos and more frog-legs are provided, as well as hints to the fate of the ruins which they seek.
The next morning, everyone is woken by the sounds of splashing, the howling of dog and the blaring of trumpet. It is one of their rivals, the Pathfinders, having surmounted the Korir River as well. After a minor scuffle born of envy and lies, the party makes haste into the M’neri Plains.
Where they stumble across a dinosaur, trekking across the flowing field of grass and flower. Abandoning this peaceful herbivore, they are later attacked by a clever pair of juvenile Allosaurs, which are slain at much cost of sweat, blood, and scorching rays.
Days on the Trail: 46.3