Meanwhile, in another part of town…
Hauk and Aldis, out searching for supplies, are waylaid by some rebels. A hypnotism spell deflates their exuberance, and Hauk makes quick work of the remainder. After stopping at the inn and picking up Pezock (plus disguise), the two catch up on the recent-goings on with the rest of the party.
Given the situation, Aerys asks if they can seek out a guide to lead the caravan through the wilderness, and sends them after a nearby cleric of Gozreh, Nkechi, an experienced guide. After killing his crabs and surmounting a cliff to his dwelling, Nkechi requires the party to pass two tests in order to prove their worth: the test of water and the test of air.
The test of water involves finding a black pearl; Akker manages this, in the form of a squid, having fought off a kelpie in the process. The test of air, on the other hand, is different: march south to Gozreh’s crest, and pluck a feather from a large tropical bird. Arriving, the group climbed up the cliff, plucked a feather from the empty nest, and descended to find a group of natives waiting nearby. As the bird is considered sacred to Gozreh, the natives demanded a wrestling match for the party to retain their prize;n Akker proceeded to have a mano-a-mano wrestling match, and though the struggle went back and forth, he was in the end victorious.
Returning to Nkechi, the wizened old cleric took everyone into the dream realm, reforming in the guise of jungle animals (for the most part), wherein the group saw the rise and fall of an ancient Azlanti city carved out of the jungle. Suddenly, they were attacked by a dark serpentine form with the voice of Yarzoth, but gradually beat it into submission. Awaking, Nkechi agreed to act as a guide; returning to the city, Aerys told the group to rest well, for the caravan left on the morrow, and save for some lingering dream-poison (and Hauk’s sound sleeping) the group left without incident as scheduled.
Days on the trail: 3.25