Akkarid, Soleria-Prime. May 19
The priest has restored Lazar Al Rakim to life. We have not seen him yet, for he needs rest, but the priest and Maqsood Musaru say that he is doing well or as well as one would expect. I am tempted to talk to him to see if he can recall anything, but I’m fairly certain that is precisely what one is not supposed to do when someone returns from the dead.
At some point, Qessab left, without anyone noticing. I wish her luck and I hope she leaves the city. A city is not a safe place for an ettercap, nor would an ettercap be safe for the inhabitants. I have not forgotten who her prey was when we first encountered her…
It has been a short, but strenuous day. Tomorrow, we shall decide what to do next.
We all awoke late, even Lyr, who seemed somewhat distraught by the fact. This is why I have never had much to do with the gods; who are they to tell me when to wake and when to sleep?
Lazar had a duty to perform at the edge of the city and we accompanied him, having some chores we needed to do as well. I shall not record it here, for it is his business, but it was a simple task with great weight to him.
We discussed our plans on the way back to my uncle’s house. The six of us still plan to travel to Sefet and to leave as soon as possible, due to the price on Indira’s head. Lazar and Maqsood will remain behind to see if they cannot come to a greater understanding of Al-Mhuqtebel and the Key Disc.
Upon returning, I wished to test a hypothesis, so we reopened the portal in my uncle’s guest room and stepped through. I attempted to visualize a location in Sefet while activating the key disc, hoping to open a portal that would take us directly there. Alas, it was to no avail.
And so we gathered up our belongings and headed to the port, accompanied by a servant who knew the area. Unfortunately, no ships were leaving, despite the pleasant weather. The Mara had left port earlier and all were braced for a storm.
We noted a curious sight at the harbor, The Chernabog Obietsa, which I had thought did not exist in my world. This has gnawed at me for hours but I have not had time to decipher it. The simplest explanation is that I did not know of it. I was never destined to be a navy man, and thus it is possible that knowledge of this escaped me. If it indicates something different… we simply do not have enough information to decipher what that could be.
While the servant asked around, we had a conversation with a man, Mehmet Aurelius, a collector of swords, who seemed quite pleasant. Imagine our surprise when his bodyguard, Isha, returned and we saw she was an Ancilla.
He was of the Ordo Clavis and I could detect no hostility in him, even after I showed him my sword to continue conversation, forgetting for the moment where I had obtained it. It has been some time since I have done something so stupid… But he responded with a measure of contrition that I would not have expected, even if I doubt he believed my equivocations.
I suppose this is a reminder that the Odro Clavis, whatever it may be to us, is a human organization, not a shadowy cabal of demons. But, if for every ten Mehmet’s—assuming he was not concealing a significant darkness—there is but one who would execute our friends casually or do whatever that was to Lyr, that is far too many. I must try to learn more about what they actually do and why.
He told us of a ship, The Majnoon that would likely be sailing out tonight and of its unusual master, Captain Nafuna. Not long after, as the weather made good on the infamous curse of the Mara and took a turn for the bleak, the servant returned and described to us a chance meeting with this same Captain. Though she sounded reckless and, according to Mehmet, asked a tremendous sum, we sought her out.
It was an… interesting encounter. To make a strange story short, we did not gain passage on her ship. She would not negotiate her price and so we left unsatisfied as the heavens split open. I think Feng planned some mischief in revenge for this inconvenience, or perhaps simply because he was restless and, now that I see he is gone, I fear he has gone off to do something ill-advised. I think it best if I do not ask him what occurred upon his return…
Currently, we are staying in an inn near the port. The rain is unlike any Akkarid has seen in the memories of anyone I ask and no ships, save the Majoon, are leaving harbor. We were lucky enough to simply find a floor to sleep on on such a night. Even in Hazred, which experiences far more rain than dry Akkarid, I would have to go back many years to find it’s like.
I hope there are ships leaving tomorrow. If not, we may consider taking an overland voyage. It would take us twice as long, but another few days in one place could be a death sentence to Indira.
Alas, our fears came to pass and the storm remains. In truth, it seems so peculiarly strong and stable, that we may not lose much time at all with an overland voyage. Few will be the ships in the harbor that will not need lengthy repairs.
Upon waking and leaving the inn, we encountered Abu and the servant who had accompanied us yesterday. He was delivering an invitation from the Shula family to an event held in honor of Fazia’s return. If it were not for Indira’s situation, I would have been glad to attend; I feel it important that the seventeen of us who interacted with the Glass Artifact to not lose contact with each other. As we were able to find merchants who could supply us on this wet day, I had to decline the invitation and sent a letter back with Abu, conveying my regrets.
I hope she stays safe. I hope she can be happy with her family and can forget that they are not, in a sense, her family.
We purchased seven camels, tack, a map, gear for making camp, and three days worth of supplies, which should be enough to get us to the first village along the Path of Prosperity.
The journey is two thousand miles. If we move at a good pace—keeping the camels healthy and not running into any particular problems—we should make roughly forty miles per day, so we should be on the road for fifty days. Twice the time by ship, but it gets us out away from Akkarid today.
Even if I had swallowed my pride, I probably would not have been able to secure a loan from my family today, but I still feel like I have failed in not leaving aboard the Majoon. It would have been a lively trip.
Perhaps we will encounter some interesting adventures along the journey! Trouble does seem to have a way of finding us…
Apologies for filling my journal with such minutiae, but it is not my money alone that is paying for this passage, so I must keep a record.
On this day, the 20th of May, we purchased seven good-quality camels and tack as well as: two tents, 50’ hemp rope, two empty sacks, one iron pot and cookware, one hooded lantern, one tinderbox (inc. flint & steel), and two large casks for water.
We purchased three day’s supplies: three days trail rations for six people, three days feed for seven camels, two clay jugs of wine, two pints of oil, three days firewood, and water to fill the casks. This comes roughly to four gold for each day of travel (supplying our entire party). Estimated total cost of supplies for the trip: 200 gold.
On the Path of Prosperity, villages are spaced two or three days apart; we should hit roughly nineteen villages between here and Sefet. I assume we will be staying at inns in these towns. One gold and five silvers each—nine gold for the entire group—should buy us comfortable lodgings, meals more interesting than trail rations, stabling for the camels, and perhaps some small luxuries. Nineteen such stops… I estimate a total cost of 171 gold.
Three hundred and seventy one gold for travel expenses, minimum. If we maintain our equipment well, it could last us well beyond this trip, so I think we can write that expense off. And if we care for the camels—Indria seems excellent with animals—we could sell them back in Sefet for a reasonable price. Maybe we can pick up some trade goods to help further defray our costs.
I hope my tutors are satisfied. My knuckles ache in memory of their switches as I worked that out…
We left Akkarid under the still-raining skies. It was slow going at first but, by nightfall, the rain tapered off. Almost immediately, it then stopped, as if we had crossed a boundary. Truly unnatural weather.
We traveled for a distance and encountered a caravan setting camp. We requested to join them and were greeted warmly.
We spent the night in conversation with the travellers who, like us, were mostly bound to Sefet upon personal business. The closest to a leader the caravan had was one Kurgu Enusat an adventurer of some note. His boasts were quite singular; he was either a great liar or truly a great explorer.
A lusty man, he spent much of the evening making Lyr quite uncomfortable. The poor girl is more innocent than I would have thought possible.
We set camp slightly away from the remainder of the caravan. When it came time for me to replace Sehera on guard, we heard a ferocious banging noise. A large crate in the back of a wagon contained something that very much wanted to get out…
Around the wagon, we found the body of Kurgu, headless. As I cried out that I had found his body, his head found us. It had somehow become a hideous, bat-winged thing. Then, an even greater monstrosity burst forth from the crate, a mass of human-like heads on serpentine necks, suspended from a small, bulbous body with leathery wings.
By then, our companions had been roused—as had the entire camp. Quickly, Indira slew the flying head with a well-placed arrow, but the shrieking terror proved a more difficult foe. It screamed horribly, paralyzing Indira and then flying at her, kissing her grotesquely. Before it died, it bit Sehera and I, leaving strange-feeling wounds.
Lyr’s magic cured the poison of its bite and undid whatever foul effect Indira suffered. Should none of our heads detach and fly away, I should consider offering more respect towards Pelor…
We traveled with the caravan an uneventful day and night before reaching a small village. There the caravan remained and, after replenishing our supplies, we continued on separately.
Not long after, we spotted a small animal running towards us from the wilderness. It was Creature…