What Grows Within

We begin the fifth chapter of the Strange Aeons adventure path back in Katheer, ready to begin our trek into the Parchlands. We have levelled up from last week, and there is a bit of spell selection and purchasing of magic to be finished. Spiritualists have a small selection of spells, with a smaller number of which being generally useful. Since I have to select which spells I know, it’s hard work selecting ones which I think will be most useful. I take Overland Flight, so I can fly, and Shadow Body, so I can protect myself. I also take Spirit Bound Blade, which should allow both myself and Gregor to affect incorporeal threats.

13th Gozran, Wealday

We spend much of the day performing research into the Parchlands to try and find out what we are likely to encounter there. Apparently Ash Giants and Girtablilu (a type of human-scorpion hybrid) are both high on the list.

Kaklathat tells us a bit more of the history of its people and that of the city of Neruzavin. Apparently the city was built by a race known as the flying polyps, who are creatures of air. They had enslaved a race of cone shaped people, who the Yith transferred into when their own world was being destroyed. The Yith then rebelled, killing as many of the polyps as they could, and imprisoning the rest beneath the towers of the city.

Kaklathat claims that its people are peaceful, but from what it said, it doesn’t seem that way. Not only only did they kill many of the polyps (possibly excusable, given what the polyps were doing), they also forcibly took over the bodies of the original cone people. Kaklathat itself has taken the body of an elf woman, an act I’m guessing wasn’t consensual. So I’m not entirely sure what to make of it at this point. It is on our side, and providing aid, but I’m not certain that we can trust it long term.

Finally, we ensure that we have enough supplies for a trip to the desert, and obtain some magic to provide us with food and water. Erasmus is surprised that not everyone has create water, and seems to go on about it for most of the evening.

14th Gozran, Oathday

We teleport out of the city into the Parchlands, arriving at a low stand of hills surrounded by scorching sands. We have barely enough flight spells to go around, and since Erasmus can’t provide everyone with a fast fly spell I make do with my Overland Flight which limits the speed of all of us. It also means that I’m the only person who looks like a flying person rather than a wisp of cloud.

Later in the day we spot a pair of obelisks standing on a hill, so head in to take a closer look. On one is impaled a Girtablilu, and there is an inscription upon it.

These sacred territories contain a slumbering evil. Turn back. The wardens suffer no trespass.

Inscription on the obelisk

There are multiple tracks of Girtablilu all over the sands here, as well as giant tracks. Heading further on, we find a place to rest for the night, and Erasmus summons a grove and oasis out of the sand. That night, we are woken by a group of Girtablilu that approach us – a female and a couple of males. They have bows, but do not have them drawn, and seem to be willing to talk, which was a refreshing change of pace.

They were of the tribe of Ulkori, and they considered these lands to be sacred to them, it being their duty to protect what lies within in order to protect the rest of the world. There are many hidden dangers within the Parchlands, and the Girtablilu do what they can to ensure that they stay hidden.

They have already encountered Lowles, and he had killed many of them, and they had killed many of his party, for Lowles had not been friendly. He had been heading to the cursed city, which we assume to be Neruzavin. We do our best to explain to her that we have come here to stop Lowles, and to prevent a great evil from raising from the city. They are aware of the evil that slumbers there, and bid us safe passage. However, they warn us that when we return from the city, if we show signs of taint then they will try to stop us. That seems fair enough.

Tomorrow we should hopefully find the lost city.

Samuel Penn

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