Chapter 2 – On The Track To Shaker Keep

The caravan approached our stalwart heroes, met by Izzy who immediately paid the caravan master to take on our party and take them to the caravan’s final destination of Tilandsia. The companions, now free from their dungeon confines, breathed a collective sigh of relief at their freedom, regardless of the fact that none of them knew where they were. The caravan and life there in had a calming and normalizing effect on the party, though several cursed powerful items had some of them feeling… odd.

Illi communed with the spirit of her new weapon, the silken spite. The Yoklol that dwells within the blade, Sinnafex, greeted her and let her know how happy it was to be held and used again in the service of Lolth. They discussed the journey ahead and the potential of their new allies.  Ebbie was beginning to feel the effects of attuning to her new berserker axe and was ready to “hit something”… becoming more and more agitated. Malek too was feeling aggravated and  spurred on by the thunder-knuckle he has renamed “The Shocker” which needed to feed and recharge, he sought out a fight to pick.

Malek joined in on some rough play the caravan drivers were having to blow off some steam and stress at having lost some of their “bulls”, caravan security, to a goblin raid a few days prior. Malek was thoroughly pummeled by one driver, a man named Orvid Payne, and Ebbie, feeling the effects of her axe, very nearly attacked the man. She was persuaded not to by a young woman, Cella Walter, who provided Malek with a health potion. Showing restraint, Ebbie and another driver, a dwarf named Ingvald Bloodaxe, carried the loopy Malek back to the camp site where Gorre was deep in self reflection staring at the sky. The light of Sala shown on him and, for the first time in his life, Gorre wasn’t thinking about booze. Maybe there was a reason his life had been such torment.

The party agreed to assist in the guard duties and in turns, they rested. The next day, the caravan began moving again. The journey was largely uneventful. Ebbie noticed that they were being watched from high on a ridge. They alerted the caravan master, Torvand Carter, of the potential danger. That night, they hear distant howls and saw glinting eyes in the darkness. The next morning, they found that some supplies were missing as were one of the cart drivers and the silk merchant. There was no sign of struggle. Somberly, the caravan proceeded. The party chose to scout ahead and came across an Owlbear making a nest, but were able to drive it off… a noisy bunch… before they had to battle it. The caravan was able to continue on. The next day, the caravan came across a blockade and an Ogre demanding gold. While the party was discussing how best to address the  situation, Torvand simply walked up to the brute and paid him. “Cost of doing business” he said. The party was not pleased that the caravan had to pay bandits and, though they were allowed to continue down the road, they all silently agreed, not one more cent would be lost.

On the morning of the fourth day, “Gary” the ogre and a band of goblins and worgs stopped the caravan again. Ebbie could no longer stand the pull from her axe and swept in dealing the first blow to the ogre.  The fight was too gruesome to describe… So I’ll let Malek do it.

“There I was… the ogre was bleeding thanks to my quick thinking and direction. The fear in the goblins eyes was arousing as we began our deadly dance. I worked my arcane spells and made our assassin invisible so that she could take part in my machinations. My battle buddy, Gorre the unvanquished, fired a holy bolt powered by his god, the almighty Sol, and injured the leader as Ebbie swiped her axe across the lumbering ogre… Gary I think? Anyway, I was magnificently pummeling a worg into submission and leaping atop the great beast. He thrashed and bucked like many of the lovers I’ve had in my illustrious carrier, but soon I took control… as I so often do *wink*. Illi thrust her blades through the ogre’s body, penetrating him deeply. Ebbie felled him with a final blow and then turned her rage on his goblin companion who let out a fearsome cry… or a squeek. I couldn’t tell, I was too busy being awesome and riding my new worg friend! Once we’d vanquished  all our foes, I decided, in a show of benevolence, to let the last beast go and be free. Like me, he was a wild spirit and I shuddered at the thought of taming one so awesome and fierce… also like me.”

That’s sort of how it happened. Thanks Malek.

With Shaker Keep only a day further north and the bandits in the area routed, surely not much else could go wrong…. right?

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