Adventures of Rothus, page 51 [D-833]

On the Road to Tentia:

We have Roran on a cart being pulled by a donkey that Lily summoned up. She says it was magic, but I suspect she just went out and lured the beast with some food. I mean, Garrett had a donkey so they can't be too hard to find. The group is stuck going as slow as the cart and as slow as Evan in his armor, so I decide to zoom circles around them to keep an eye on our perimeter. With my skills, there's no chance I'll be seen or heard by an attacker, so I'm not worried about leaving the group.

Up ahead I see a man dressed in greens and browns crouching in the brush. I let the others know in case we are attacked. Then the man in green stands up and approaches, yelling "Greetings!" Well, I guess he's not going to ambush us then. His name is Elwyn Ransom, Ork hunter and guardian of the woods. Apparently, he just lives out here away from the towns and keeps the roads and forests safe for good folks like ourselves. Which explains why we haven't run into any orks or goblins on our journey. Elwyn agrees to walk with us a while as we continue to Tensia.

Our guide leads us to a large rock face with a split down the middle. It makes the perfect windbreak for a fire pit and the ground is level for our bedrolls. We decide to make camp and get some food cooking. Garrett and Lily try to light the fire with a flick of the wrist, which obviously doesn't work. You can't just wish a spark into existence, so Evan shows them how to do it with flint and steel. Garrett and Lily are really frustrated that Evan had to do it, and keep waving their hands hoping to create a flame. The argue back and forth, something about "magic is failing" or whatever. Personally, I've never put much stock in magic. I'd rather trust in what I can see and feel. Next thing I know they are flinging all kinds of spells all over camp yelling, "That worked, that worked!" But no fire spells for whatever reason.

Seeing as there were three new additions to our little band, I decide to let them in on a little 'secret', "Ya know, I was once a powerful wizard. Yup, but I had to give up all my powers to save the life of my beloved."

"You're a kid, how long ago did this happen??"

"Oh, well, I once was an adult, but when I gave up my powers my age reverted back to an age before I was a wizard. That's why I am a kid now. And most of my memories were lost, too. So I can't teach you anything about it." I explain.

Evan, Aeryn and Lily give me a look like I had just grown ten stories tall. The others look appraisingly, weighing the pros and cons of believing my story. I think I hooked them. I'll have to see if  I can use this to my advantage...

We all settle into our bedrolls and fall asleep. In the morning it is a half day's walk to Tensia. As we approach the gate, two guards approach and insist on seeing what is in our cart. We show them Roran lying there. "Can you please direct us to a place where we might find a healer?"

"He will be healed in the Castle." they order, as they swiftly collect up Roran and move him into the guardhouse.

"Wait! Bring him back! where are you taking him?" Lily shouts.

One guard comes back to us, "This man is under the protection of the Queen. We will bring you to an Inn where you can stay until he is well."

The Adventures of Rothus, Page 50 [D-831]

Camp of the Oracle:


We have decided to keep a very close eye on Alaric, as he still might have helped Dalton during the attack, but it has become too complicated to keep him tied up. None of us want to spoon feed him or deal with the other end. Honestly, he doesn't look that scary and he didn't even bring a real melee weapon. His bow wont be enough if he decides to attack us!

We need to bring Roran to someone who can heal him and there isn't anyone skilled enough in the camp. Tensia is a big city, there will definitely be someone there who can do it, and hopefully they will do it for free. We wont be able to scrounge up enough gold to pay for this kind of thing. I mean how often does a person fall into a coma from a fireball launched by a shadow? Aeryn doesn't even know what is wrong, which means it's going to be expensive.

As we are discussing it, Ma'ud starts acting weird. Lily says Ma'ud smells someone approaching, so I jump into the brush and prepare for a fight. The guy is easy to spot, as he rides a donkey and is dressed for attention. He looks like a bard or something, with that outfit. At first, everyone is pretty on edge, but the guy shows us a letter written by the Oracle! The guy is Garrett Miner and he is supposed to go to the camp of the Oracle and meet us. We tell him what happened to the camp and how we are going to Tensia. Garrett was just in Tensia and he is on his way to the camp of the Oracle. As professional adventurers, we consider the possibility that Garrett is a friend of Alaric's, since supposedly there are two such folks somewhere around, but Garrett and Alaric agree that they have never met. That's good enough for me.

Lilith scares away the donkey talking to it, even though I calmly pointed out that a donkey would be very useful for heavy labor and such, labor that we might have to do ourselves. Evan says that the donkey could carry gear, or Roran when we go to Tensia, and that made Lily see reason. She chased after the donkey and tried to lead it back. We all followed and Evander decided to tackle it! They are pretty evenly matched, actually. I would take bets, but I know my companions are too poor to bet. Evan wrestles the beast to the ground and it neighs in protest. I run over and remove its feed bag to try and tempt it with food. Then, out of nowhere a mass of hair engulfs the donkey!

THE HAIR IS COMING FROM LILITH'S HEAD!!

Something horrible has possessed her and is controlling her hair! This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. I run into the trees and hide. Lily lifts the donkey off the ground with just her hair, then carries it back to camp. The rest of our group follows her in awe. There's no way I am coming out if hiding yet, so I stalk them from the shadows. Once Lily's hair returns to normal, I let my guard down and come out into the open. It seems whatever horror took over has left her and she is back to her regular self.

It's time to sleep, so we set up bedrolls and try to get some rest. I don't know how I am going to avoid nightmares of hair fiends. Maybe I will stay up all night instead...

In the morning, the donkey is missing. In its place is pile of freshly cooked meat! Man, if I knew donkey tasted this good, I would have never considered wasting it on labor. And here it turns out that Lily can cast a spell that summons a beast to carry stuff anyway! We hook it up to a small cart and lay Roran on it. He still looks bad. I'm not sure he's going to recover, but I wont say it out loud.

James says the church of Sarenrae will help us. He also helps us pick out rations for the trip, stuff that's easy to prepare on the road. We head off while the sun is still low in the sky.

Everyone is optimistic, now that we have a plan of action. We ask Garrett all about the world beyond, since we have spend so many months in the camp. He tells us Tarenvale is still there! The night we left, Dalton rallied the townspeople against the orcs and won the day! They rebuilt after the orc attack and now they are bigger than when we lived there! And our families are all doing well too! Now we need to go home to see them. Ma and Pa must be so worried about me, I have to let them know we are ok. Maybe I can send a letter when we get to Tensia.

Alaric is getting pretty cocky now that we decided not to kill him. He challenges me to a duel of stealthing, so we run off into the bush. He's okay, but I can move twice his speed and still not be seen. It's the difference between a professional and an amateur. (I am the professional, of course). 

Lilith's Journal: 2 days after the battle in the Gypsy camp.

Where to begin...

Our guardian and protector Dalton- the Magus who saved us from the massacre at Tarenale is dead. All that remains of him is a pouch of ashes and his masterwork blade. Roran,- Dalton's friend, and fellow Magus- lies unconscious and unresponsive despite the camp healers's and Aeryn's best efforts to rouse him.

The gypsy camp leaders- Joachim and the Oracle- are missing, and presumed captured. Their tent and wagon burned to ash. The camp is in disarray- so many innocent's were trampled when the Magus did battle.

A dark figure was also seen in the camp, but no one knows who he was, or why he was there. Everyone says he was Dalton's master, and that Dalton betrayed Roran and gave his soul to the shadow before he was struck down. I was there, I know what I saw- the shifting gem was a infernal dance of colors, shifting from red, orange, yellow and back to red. The dark shadow figure laughed with an echo in his voice- more otherworldly then mortal. He hit Dalton with tendrils of shadow and death. Dalton turned to ash in seconds, and was gone.

Even Evander and Rothus think that Dalton betrayed us, but they forget all that he did for us. I know he cared deeply for us all. He risked his life for us countless times, he was a hero of the Great War! Dalton loved Tarenvale. He was like the father I never had, and he would never betray me. It isn't true! There had to be a reason for what he did! I just wish he had told me what it was before the shadow took his life...

Ma'ud, my animal companion and loyal Kitsune' was able to track the camp leaders scent about a thousand paces into the woods before the trail went cold. Most likely due to powerful travel magics such as a teleport spell or a dimension door. We did however, meet a charming young man in the woods by the name of Alaric. He said he was traveling with friends, and got separated, but we found no trace of anyone else in the woods. He says he knew nothing of Joachim, the Oracle or the shadowy figure. I believed him, but the boys didn't right at first. They tied him up and drug him back to camp.

It eventually became obvious that Alaric was telling the truth. To the best of our knowledge he really had nothing to do with the attack, or the disappearance of the the camp leaders. Eventually he is set free, and for whatever reason, decided to stick around with us despite the rough first encounter.

We did what we could to help put the Oracle's camp back together. Of course with the Oracle gone, it really isn't much of a "Oracle's Camp" anymore, but some things are hard to let go.

Travis, Raven, and Tyler went their separate ways after the massacre in camp. I was sorry to see them go, not that I blame anyone for leaving after all that happened.

Aeryinthia, Evander, Rothus, Ma'ud, Alaric, and I were put in charge of bringing Roran to a healer in Tentia- one of the bigger cities in the realm, and our capitol. It was the hope that with a proper healer, and medicine, there was a good chance we could wake Roran up, and learn about what happened.

We started to prepare for the long trip.