Session 22

Sasha disappears with a pop and a gust of wind, her soft farewell eases into the sounds of the ocean behind you. You spend the evening in the abandoned village, enjoy a warm bed and a cooked meal. The night spent at ease is an unspoken and welcome addition to her magical gifts to you. You find a few odds and ends (an ivory pipe, an old cutlass, a pair of small boots) during a cursory inspection of the cottages. In the morning you leave Kal-mata behind and head east to conquer Kal-ninka.

The rocky northern and western coasts of Kal are difficult to navigate. It takes several hours to find a suitable landing. You drag the skiff into a small stand of trees above the waterline and prepare a camp nestled against the imposing cliffs. In the early morning, a strange series of barks leads you to believe that brine dragons may have a nearby lair. You put aside your disquiet and resolve to conquer the half-mile-high cliffs.

The climb is grueling. Even with kits and ropes, the ascent is a day-long affair that leaves you fatigued at its completion. The top of the jungled ridge is bathed in the golden light of sunset as you survey your new surroundings: a wide, flagstone road stretches to the north and south following the ridge; Dragonmaw looms much larger in the east; columns toppled by vines, weeds and encroaching undergrowth clog the road. It must have been a beautiful journey from Kal-nin to Kal-to before the eruption.

You pick your way along the road, headed north, hoping to make some progress towards Kal-ninka before dark. A mass of animated leaves and vines concealed among the undergrowth springs to life! You wrestle with its grasping, wringing vines while hacking it to bits. Armor squeals in its vice-like grip. The shambling mounds vines lash out with increasing agitation as your cuts and slashes reveal more of its arboreal body. Eventually it collapses, its limbs twitching but lacking the vigor that nearly crushed the life from you. Several of the Seravash seem to have fallen victim to the creature; a few pieces of masterwork equipment and ingots of an exotic metal are found amidst its sap-sticky roots.

A mile further down the road, a rock outcropping topped with a large nest is guarded by a pair of circling pteranodons. You negotiate your way past the nest and its defensive owners without incident, keeping a wary eye on the sky for another two miles until it begins to grow dark. Perhaps it is the gloaming or your attention to the skies, but you are surprised by a patrol of southbound Seravash! They are similarly surprised.

You recover quickly, taking up arms and preparing for the Seravash charge, but the patrol leader shrouds the area in magical darkness, allowing the Seravash to momentarily separate you. The sounds of melee allow you to regroup with only minor wounds, despite the patrol leader’s best efforts to keep you stumbling blindly through the jungle. The Seravash are well trained warriors and expertly maneuver to gain advantage in combat, but their tactics are unable to overcome your might. The brief combat is taxing, but a success. None of the Seravash, including the half-demon leader, survive.



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