After our adventure chasing down that stupid Wangai, getting back the town’s money and clearing Obadiah‘s name, I spent a couple of days just wandering around Nemora Ater. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do next. While we were off traipsing through the woods, the barge that I rode in to town had left without me. Not that I was especially heartbroken over this fact. I would be perfectly happy never riding another barge for the rest of my days. But it DID leave me with the dilemma of what I was going to do next.
Just as I was about to head out of town on my own, I was approached by Ulgaden. He brought word from Obadiah of a job offer. Obadiah was worried that there might be more trouble ahead and was looking for additional guards for his caravan. I didn’t have any better options, and the thought of traveling with my new friends was certainly more appealing than taking my chances on my own.
If I had known how painfully slow this caravan was going to travel, I might have given Obadiah a different answer. I had thought that the barge was slow… that was nothing compared to the snail’s pace that an ox pulling a wagon travels! There were days that we stopped and I could look back and still see last night’s campsite.
The days on the road were long and boring. We encountered a camp of goat-men that seemed to be peaceful. Obidiah traded them some trinkets for permission to travel through their lands. We also found an place on the path where strange mirrors had been placed on both sides of the trail. After some inspection, it did not appear to be anything dangerous. I took a matched pair of mirrors for later inspection. Just to be safe, I wrapped them securely and placed them deep within my pack. If any sorcerer is to try and use them to scry on me, all that they will see is darkness.
We stopped for a night at the small village that had grown up around one of the guard towers along the trail. The soldiers there warned us that many of the farms in the direction that we were headed had been raided, and all of the people taken away. They had increased the patrols of soldiers, but have not been able to catch any sign of whoever is behind these raids.
As we neared the first destination along Obidiah’s route, we came across the camp of one of the patrols of soldiers. The camp was deserted, and there were signs of a fight, and signs that the soldiers had been drug off by their attackers. I followed their trail in to the woods for a while, long enough to determine their likely destination – there was a “sparkling” in the distance of the woods that they were headed towards.
When we reached Parvus Termeric Arbustum, I immediately went to the soldier’s barracks to report the missing soldiers. The first man I spoke to was rather rude and didn’t seem to really care that his soldiers were missing. But a short time later, his superior (Captain Capolius) sought me out at the inn. I repeated my story, and he seemed concerned but didn’t seem to be too interested in rescuing his men.
We were later summoned by Captain Capolius, and he asked us to go in to the woods to try and determine who or what had taken his soldiers. It seems that he was short handed and couldn’t spare the men to do the job themselves. After a brief discussion, my friends and I agreed to go and see what we could learn.
We ventured in to the woods and came across a small hunting party of humanoid creatures that I had never seen before. Morwenna informed us that they were Garguns. This news seemed to cause great concern to Maximus. He told us tales of the Gargun sending forth great swarms of soldiers that would decimate anything in their path. We decided to ambush the hunting party to try and learn what we could from them.
The battle was short and vicious. We surprised the Gargun and cut them down before they had a chance to defend themselves. One of them attempted to flee, and Morwenna summoned a nasty swarm of bees and wasps upon the poor creature. It ran in to the woods, with the swarm trailing him. She went after him and brought back his body… it looked as though he died a very painful death.
Three of the Gargun were still alive, so we split them up so that we could question them. Maximus, Ulgadan and I each interrogated one. Between us, we learned that they had about 50 Gargun in their camp, and that they were being led by an Easterling “master” called Heldir. They were kidnapping the farmers and soldiers under the orders of Heldir. They told us that Heldir would take the men in to his “glass house” where he would do something to “change” them. The Gargun weren’t exactly sure what he was changing them in to.. only that no men ever came back out of the glass house alive.
We decided to take the captured Gargun back to Captain Capolius as evidence of the Gargun threat, and so that he could question them further. Plus, I had told the Gargun that I questioned that I would not kill him. I would not go back on my word…but I also could not set him free to warn his fellow Gargun.