Quickly, Ameen Makara revealed that his hand was behind the Charnel Hound, but denied responsibility for the plague itself. He suggested that we leave and, due to some magic in his voice, Sehera and I agreed with him.
Fortunately, Sehera and I were freed of his control when he counter-attacked. Lyr burned the undead to dust with Pelor’s light and we were able to keep the creature that was Ameen off balance until Feng was able to destroy it with a wall of fire.
Further investigation of the catacombs revealed numerous cages containing zombies—and one dead vampire—in various states of disrepair. They looked as if they had been flensed while “alive.” I am quite comfortable in being ignorant of the reason for this.
We found a chamber or laboratory Ameen had established and discovered amongst his possessions numerous, furious scribblings in an Infernal tongue, some manner of journal or grimoire, and an ominous black staff.
The sage experimented upon the staff, confirming that it was the lynchpin of the necromantic magic affecting the plague, but he could not destroy it, healing any damage almost instantly.
Sehera, Feng, and Cressida Shesel brought it to Rana Tutwaiaf Al-Ghalan in the hope that he could help. Though Sehera said it writhed in protest almost like a living thing, Rana was able to suppress its magic long enough for her to cut it in half. It seems that, at this moment, the necromantic spell was broken.
Afterwords, Rana was freed, by written order of the bey, and left Mazooz, escorted by Sehera and company.
In the morning, Cressida was recovering from her brush with the plague, healed by Rana’s magic. The destruction of the staff had lifted whatever resistance the disease had to proper treatment and, though this came too late to help many, far more were on their way to recovery. Grateful for our help, the bey offered a boon. We requested passage to Sefet.
Captain Amat Kadeer and many of his crew had survived and would transport us. It appeared that Igneen Faheed, owner of the Delishea Djieda shipping company, had perhaps provided Ameen with the staff and may have been expecting to receive the completed Charnel Hound in return. As well as allowing us a quick departure, travelling on Captain Kadeer’s ship might allow us easier access to this man.
Today we left Mazooz. The city is still reeling from the plague, but end of the staff’s magic also meant the end of the undead fleas; Alkilli and the priests of Bahamut have been able to restrict its growth. It is unlikely that there will be many more deaths.
I should have liked to look into the Temple more—Ameen Makara was a disciple of Kyuss and had been working to undermine it for years—but I suspect there would be little we could do to help. We may be more useful pursuing news of Igneen Faheed.
Clear skies and calm seas today. We should make Sefet in about nineteen days.
The past ten days have been pleasantly uneventful. My companions and I have largely kept to ourselves, allowing the crew to do their jobs and each other a chance to enjoy as much privacy and rest as one can get aboard a merchant vessel.
Necissus and Lyr have been relishing the pleasant, sunny weather in very different ways. Feng’s apprehension about the wide-open sea has been slightly offset by easy access to as much fish as he can catch. Sehera and Cressida have struggled somewhat with seasickness and a lack of freedom of movement. Indira spends much of her time either teaching Zia tricks or gazing indecipherably at the horizon.
I have split my time between training exercises, some small-stakes gaming with the crew, and recording my memories of my early days, an interesting journey down the paths of memory, but separate from this journal.
Today, we encountered the floatsam of a destroyed ship. Sehera spotted what appeared to be a survivor and several crew boarded a boat to help. Unfortunately, it was an ambush.
A school of Sea Devils emerged from the water and swarmed the ship. Most of the crew wisely retreated and we stood against our foes, whittling down their numbers until, at last, there were none left. Sadly, one of the crew was killed by a shark in the battle.
As we recovered, a small chest was discovered floating in the water. Feng puzzled over the lock for a time and finally cracked it, discovering inside a small alabaster cube, engraved with elemental symbols. Discovering what this artifact is may have to wait until we reach Sefet.