After a long restless night, Gavin’s Jolly Knights awake mostly refreshed and ready to save Hope. Aaron offers to cook bacon and corn cakes with fresh brewed bitter bean, but the party is adamant they get back on the trail right away.
And so our merry band skips the most important meal of the day.
It is not long before the morning sun, swamp gasses, and insects begin to annoy the group making them all more irritable, to the point that when they come across a secret garden, Sivas Bloodstone breaks the tension with eldritch fire that reveals the carnivorous vegetables for what they are “Taganrog Pinguicula”.
In silent anger Otto Black rushes the nearest petaled monstrosity and shakes his sword in rage, and is quickly engulfed in vines and swallowed. Only his infuriated scowl is exposed above the toothy pod.
Stirges, why does it have to be Stirges?
The party continues to work its way across the clearing past the fallen herbaceous plants, only to be set on by Stirges drawn by the smell of the sweet nectar that is released when the Taganrog Pinguicula are disturbed by prey.
All though the pest get more than their fair share of blood, the party uses the only pesticides they know, sword and ax, on the little beast and either kill them or drive them away. Sivas eye is drawn to something sparkling in the middle of one of the dead shrubberies, dew or sap catching the morning sun, or something else?
Our heroic groups continues the trek north to the Black Scales proverbial “Stone Place”, and around noon they find the land is starting too rise out of the swamp and there in the middle of the trail are 7 50’ obelisk of green stone with a band of bronze markings still visible.
oh, and 4 dead bodies.
Heidan & Aaron become a little giddy realizing that Gavin and company have stumbled onto the 7 Obelisks of Ibriam which mark the southern road to lost city of Ibriam.
Heidan shares that Ibriam was lost when the Dwarven lord on the council of Ibriam stood with a Demon against Savras & Tyr. The city was supposedly destroyed over 2000 years ago a combined Human & Elvish force, long before the kingdom of Cromwell was established.
Kadrin makes it clear to the party that he was in no way involved, or as is Kadrin’s way, makes all that known with a look, and disinterested grunt.
During the investigation of the 4 black cloaked bodies, it is surmised that they were ambushed here, and were members of a mercenary organization the Brotherhood of Black Sword. Otto Black takes a mallet and after inspecting the face of each mercenary he beats their face to a broken pulp, collecting their common regiment badges.
During this unexplained display of anger shambling skeletons begin to wander around and between the obelisks. It does not take much to destroy these walking lost souls, and it was what came next that is the most disturbing.
- Was it the Taganrog sun & insects?
- Maybe the evil that is Ibriam itself is infused in these 50’ markers?
- Or did they just not start the morning with a hearty breakfast?
It would be years later when they would all acknowledge the events of that afternoon that drove friend against friend, knight against knight.
When it was all said and done they party left those obelisks with a stronger mental focus on the task at hand, and a fellowship forged in blood.