Leaves not trodden black

For Taldor!

Mission Three – A Vision of Betrayal
Grand Lodge, Absalom

Irm Kyto’s Log
Irm token

A pathfinder’s life is interesting, indeed. All my years of training and discipline have found a worthy outlet.

My “companions” continue to reveal extraordinary talents as we tackle a slew of missions and odd foes. We are slowly coming to grips with each other’s strengths and weaknesses. These fists cannot correct the world by themselves.

I write this following an extreme meditation. This last mission of ours was more brutal and battle bruising than anything in my life. Three separate times I felt my body weaken and fall beyond measure, and 3 times I returned from such a state. My tactics needed contemplation, evaluation, and most of all modification of my actions.

We began of course in the heart of Absalom, waiting on orders from Drandle Dreng in the Pathfinder’s Head Quarters. This adventure captain was accompanied by one Lady Morilla and presented us a true adventure outside the city walls. As Decembrit representatives, we are needed to escort a frail, yet fellow, pathfinder called Nester Rees to broker a relic deal on the island of Erran, inside the city of Escadar, inside the Grindolows Goblet. There we will meet a gilman where an appraisal and exchange of relics was to take place. We were also warned that the evil-doers of the Aspiss consortium have sniffed out this deal as well and would attempt to broker this deal themselves. Lady Morilla revealed she has made careful plans to throw these Aspiss thugs on a false trail, and thus give us a time advantage. Everything we need for this quest has been appointed to Drandle’s contact in the Puddles District, Grand Master Torch.

Logen, a longtime frequenter of the Puddles, lead us swiftly through an array of back alleys and tunnels. The stench of corruption in this part of town is revolting. We were soon face to face with Mr. Torch himself. Though a tough and forward man, I cannot help but wonder how he continued to live with so many festering burn wounds on this body. He offered a map to us and made clear about following the fixed route exactly in approaching Escodar via a long hike through the forests, mountains, and swamps just north of Absolam. Should we stray, we would encounter foul things beyond our comprehension. His wounds drove home this point, whether it was intentional or not.

A quick trip to the marketplace had our goods in fine stock for a two week adventure. We also bumped into our appraiser, Nester Rees, and his own bodyguard, Kyras, a woman of the clerical faith. Following an introduction of sorts, we began our journey toward Escadar!

It was apparent by the map that we would be traversing all kinds of terrain, the first of which a large forested region. Logen, no doubt thinking himself gallant and light footed, decided he was our scout and spendt most of his time ahead of the pack. I have not yet decided whether his antics entertain me or not. I’m not so sure Kritt or Gravos have decided either. In any case, we soon saw him conversing with some mystical centaurs ahead. Though they faded back into the forest, Logen seemed to have sweet talked some respect from the creatures as they provided warning and provisions to our party (Long spear and berries). They forewarned magical and fearsome predator had been lurking in the woods for the past few days.

We moved into the forest and saw the leftovers of this predator’s “meal”. A great elk ripped to shreds at a river crossing. This made us all very uneasy but there was not much to do but go forward. The only way across the rushing river was a set of broken tree trunks, and I decided to lead the way after no one else took the lead. Never again will I be so brash in my decision making, for as soon as I made it to the other side, I was ambushed by the biggest Panther I’ve ever seen. With none of my companions in position to assist me, I was left to wrestle the creature alone… an impossible feat. Two viscous swipes of its claws later and I was left reeling and losing conscientiousness as I stumbled back over the embankment. As I fell into the river, the cold rush of water must have been the only thing that kept me from blacking out. It is hard to discern what happened after that… apparently Logen made a daring rescue attempt, Gravos took a spill into the drink as well, and Kritt could do nothing but stand as still as stone in fear. Kyra was the only one on top of her game, healing and soothing the effects of the beast until it tired of us and disappeared.

A sound thumping that was, and having to use my portion of the berries so soon to recover was very disheartening. Not to mention I was never able to strike back at the loathsome creature. We licked our wounds and left the forest and began climbing the mountain range in front of us. The cold had crept among us when we happened upon an abandoned wagon in the pass. Abandoned except for 3 frozen solid corpses, faces stuck in agony. One proper burial later, we did everything in our power to prepare for a very cold night. Warm cloaks, a fire, and blankets were set out, but the chill set in regardless. So cold it was that night we barely awoke in the morning. Only Kyra’s channeling brought us back to walking shape.

Leaving the pass we noticed a small shrine on a higher ledge. With a grappling hook and line, myself and Logen found our way there to investigate. A depiction of the statue indicated one Lady Kayle, famous for her battle with dragons. Many coins have been dropped here over the years and I decided it prudent to do the same. Immediately upon doing so a great warmth flows about me and I know I have done the right thing. Logen differed on any offering, but I could swear I saw him smirking on the way back down. Gravos, another god fearing man, decided to follow in my footsteps and offer gold as well.

Having crossed the mountains in a few short days, we found ourselves in a swampland. We have done quite well in following Torch’s map with only a few miles to go when Logen, a few paces ahead, is suddenly the centerpiece of a very quickly growing field of vines. In fact, he disappeared altogether! This prompted the rest of us to swing around the side and confront the half-mad wizard Kobold who controlled this. As I was about to break this wizard’s neck, I was horrified to see a giant crocodile leap from the vines and grab me in its jaws. One bite and I recall nothing more. I regained thought a short while late after Gravos and Kritt stepped in to smote both wizard and pet into ruin. Apparently Logen could not escape the jaws of fate either in his parry with the Croc.

Finally we have reached the coast and after a short rest at the the village of Pier, we crossed the short channel to Escodar. In finding the Grindolow’s Goblet, we have found a most seedy establishment. That being said, the gilmen are there, and the whiskey is wet, so both Rees and Logen are visibly relieved. Gravos and Kritt watch the doors as I accompany our appraiser to a table to help validate the exchange. I air is palpable as Rees pours over the relic, and I notice he is taking quite a long time for how adept his reputation is at such things. Finally, he simply nods and says nothing. I agree to the exchange with a sour feeling seeing no other tactful way out. However, I hurriedly make my way to the bar for Logen to take a second look. He immediately recognized the fraud even half drunk. One sarcastic line and a drawn sword later, and the bar was no longer a friendly establishment. The two gilman turned and faced us with the backup of the lady bartender on their side. However, they soon realize they are outmatched and attempt a run for it, inducing a rather amusing game of cat and mouse. These mice are soon trapped and killed and artifacts recovered.

This has been a setup. Irm Kyto is not toyed with, neither him nor his companions.
I will now continue my training and smile for my next foe.



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