We spent the night at the abandoned mine. Ravinia seemed to be back to normal self, although she was very nervous about the empty mine. She was convinced that it was haunted. She may have had a point – when we woke up the next morning, the area was covered in a spooky, unnatural mist. We decided that nothing good could come of the mist, so we got out of the area as quickly as we could.
Traveling through the mountains turned out to be trickier than we expected. We had to make several detours to get around crevices and ravines. We eventually left the mountains and entered in to some swampy marsh lands. While out hunting on my own, I came across some unusual tracks. I decided to follow them for a bit to see what kind of creature they belonged to. I found a trio of some kind of walking crocodile creatures, who had just killed the deer I was originally tracking. I wasn’t sure if they were hostile or not, but decided that there was nothing to be gained by confronting them. I returned back to the rest of the group and told them what I had found. After some discussion, we decided that it was better to err on the side of caution, so Morwenna and I went back and wiped out our trail so that they could not follow us to our camp.
Early the next day, we found a butchered deer carcass beside the trail, along with the tracks of the crocodile creatures that I saw the day before. Looking around, we spotted them watching us from the trees. I waved at them, to let them know that we were aware of their presence. They returned my wave, so I gestured for them to come out and talk to us. Communicating with them was difficult. They spoke a little broken Scipian, but seemed to speak Morwenna’s native language better.
I didn’t catch everything that they said, only Morwenna’s account afterwards, but they call themselves “cauda”, and they had left us the deer as some kind of peace offering, worried that we might starve. I am sure that Morwenna informed them of my prowess as a hunter, and that I keep them well fed.
They gave us directions on how to find our way to the Banded Agate Pillars. They had never been there, but one of their father’s had, long ago. They warned us to be wary of gargun.
We found the Banded Agate Pillars pretty easily. They were not quite what I expected. The pillars themselves were large, smooth pillars with no obvious signs or markings. Morwenna and Junia were able to find some invisible magical markings that said that the pillars were a gateway to Siem’s Shrine. I picked up a dozen small agate stones. Surely they will come in handy at some point in the future.
We looked around the area for signs of Ravinia‘s father. There was nothing obvious at first, just a few old camp sites, and the remains of an old building. Ravinia eventually noticed a small stone marking, which is apparently something her father is known for. She found a note inside, that her father had headed to Mors Corvus (Death Raven), still searching for a cure for her brother’s werewolf curse.
We briefly discussed whether we should travel down to Siem’s Shrine, or continue on towards Mors Corvus, but very quickly decided that we should continue on in the direction Ravinia’s father had taken.
We found a deserted shack along the way. Just as we were about to leave, the owners returned. An old lady and her two adult sons, along with their small herd of goats (and sheep?). They invited us to share a meal with them, and told us that the rest of their family had ventured to Mors Corvus for supplies and had never returned. They warned us against going there. I promised the old lady that I would look for her missing family, and either return them to her, or avenge their deaths. They also told us that they remembered Ravinia’s father coming through. They invited us to camp outside, in the relative safety of their shack.
The next morning when we awoke, we discovered something strange. The family was gone, along with their goats and any sign that they had ever existed. The shack was deserted and had been for years. Morwenna summoned her spirit wolf, who told her that the entire thing had been an illusion. We do not know what it’s purpose was. It didn’t seem to have any intention of harming us. Maybe it was trying to warn us away from going to Mors Corvus)?
We continued on our way and reached Mors Corvus without any issues. There is something strange and creepy about this small town. Somehow the entire town falls under a shadow, even when the surrounding area is bathed in sunlight. The people dress in odd, plain garb, and the women are nowhere to be seen. The children don’t laugh or play, and everybody seems angry and unfriendly. There is an actual castle overlooking the town.
We went to the only inn in town (The Squinting Soldier), where we were greeted by the most unfriendly inn keeper in the entire Land of the Five Spices. The rooms were nothing out of the ordinary – other than the heavy bars and shutters on the windows. Even on the third floor!!
While eating dinner at the inn, we tried to eavesdrop on the conversations around us, trying to figure out what was “wrong” with the town. In keeping with what we had seen of it’s residents so far, even the people in the inn were grumpy and angry. The only thing really of interest that we overheard was that “somebody” may try to come for the women in the party during the night. Ulgaden and I will have to be sure to watch over them.