Day breaks and we start walking through the forest toward where the druid lives. Jareth decided that we should camp off the road for the night and Raharjo and Coryn took the first watch, Jareth and myself taking the second. I know that Nihm prefers to sleep in the trees so I decided that I would just tie her up to a branch and hang her little tent nest there safely off the ground.
About halfway through my watch, everyone in camp is completely startled when the sound of an assault rifle being shot rings through the trees. I myself jumped about three feet, Raharjo is woken out of a dead sleep in his magic roll and Coryn is sitting up very straight and stock still, holding his rifle.
“Are you okay?” Raharjo asks him.
“Is he dead?” Coryn asks as a reply.
“Is who dead?”
“…nevermind.” Coryn lays back down.
Raharjo wants to help him, try to find out what’s going on, but it’s decided that Coryn wouldn’t take any help offered. The Jerk. We tell him to be careful and to not sleep with his gun so close to him perhaps. Day breaks, everyone is ready to go, and no one mentions the events of the night before.
“Hail the travelers!”
We look around. A man comes up to us and wants to know what we’re doing, where we’re going. We try to explain to him that we’re looking for a guy to help Nihm and about the deathroot when all of a sudden a shimmer appears on the road ahead of us and a Dragonborn appears out of it. He comes over and asks about us encountering deathroot and asks to see her. He puts her gingerly on the ground, examines her wound muttering to himself in Drakonic. (It’s like he’s been following us or something)
He asks Coryn, who is walking about with his flamethrower, if he could make a useful fire with it. Coryn agrees and the Dragon guy takes some pine needles and performs some kind of acupuncture to try and find out what’s wrong. He decides that the effect is necromantic and that he might be able to wake her up. But he needs her to not move, else she will sever her chi connections, whatever that means. He takes a few of the pins out, placing a few others elsewhere.
“Oops…” He hastily places a pin back from where he took it from.
“What happened?” I growled.
“…nothing,” he quickly replies.
He asks us to help him slowly, but quickly remove the pins from her back.
She’s bleeding a bit from the pricks he’s created but she still hasn’t woken. We decided to toss water onto her to wake her up. It worked! I’m pretty sure that we’ve gone mostly deaf from the sudden screeching noises she’s making. Nothing looks or sounds more pathetic than a wet kitty.
She seems to be okay for the most part. The draconic guy starts to ask her if she feels okay, if she hurts anywhere and explains to her that she has a close encounter with deathroot. He asks where we’re going and we tell him that we’re heading to Zerhun, and asks that we send his regards to the Abbot there and tell him he’s looking into the deathroot problem. Gladly! Except I never caught the man’s name. Sure hope someone else did.
Before we head off, Raharjo asks the Draconic guy if he’s ever heard of mud people. He says in some legends yes, but not here on Harn. Raharjo explains to him that he met a bunch of them, how he tripped over a mud baby and how its people came looking for it. The draconic guy seemed to be very interested especially when we told him that the baby seemed to ‘eat’ the deathroot off of Raharjo’s hand without leaving any ill effects. As we take our leave, Nihm pats him on the head and crawls back up onto my shoulders where she apparently felt she belonged.
During watch that evenin Coryn hears a noise off the road that sounds kind of …clanky. He’s reminded of Alfy.
“I hear what sounds like a metal man coming down the road toward us.”
After about fifteen minutes or so, Coryn realizes that the sound isn’t coming any closer and goes to investigate. He finds an Eld sitting by a large rock and operating? on a spare arm. He appears
to not have any weapons near him. Coryn tries to stealth to get closer to him-
“Greeting Fleshling!” the Eld says. “Are you part of the group down the road?”
Coryn’s face drops. “Well, yes.”
“My name is Nefernefrvatenhebmun. You can call me Muny.”
Coryn scoffs internally. “You may call me Coryn.”
Coryn invites him to join our camp and Muny agrees, but with hesitation. He thinks he should hang back a bit until Coryn announces his presence so as not to make the rest of us skittish.
Coryn walks back to camp as quietly as a herd of stampeding elephants and wakes up Jareth. I apparently managed to sleep through everything Coryn starts talking. His timing couldn’t have been better. The magic on my bedroll had just worn off.
He states he found a robot and asks if he can bring him in. That as nice of him. Can’t even call the poor thing an Eld. We all agree and Coryn goes back to the ‘robot’ to lead him back to camp.
He introduces himself as Nefernefrvatenhebmun but that we may all call him Muny. He’s a traveling Storyman, apparently. His current story is about the root that inhabits human bodies, takes control of them and eventually kills them. Raharjo tells him that we know that story pretty well and Muny pumps us for information about the root. He offers to let us look through his bag in return for the story. We thought it best to look in the morning when there is better light.
Afterward, once he had pumped us for information, he goes to the edge of camp to not disturb the others who need rest. Nihm, who has yet to sleep goes, to him and tells him a story of her own about the great tree of life and how things are not going well. Muny allows her to look through his bag in return for her story. She agrees, but also wants to wait until morning.
When morning arrives, he starts rifling through his bag. Inside we learn there is a couple of prosthetic Eld limbs, a double barrel pistol, two cases of rifle ammo, a case of pistol ammo, a couple
of spell scrolls, some boots of stomping and a brooch of stability. He also has lots of gold. For her story, Nihm was awarded an item of her own, and decided to take some gold. The rest of us decide on a box of twenty rifle bullets. Before we leave, Nihm tells Muny another story about the emcampment that we all escaped from and how it burned down in a “BLAAAAAAAAAAAZE OF GLOOOOOOOOOOOORY!!!” She decides on the box of twenty pistol bullets as her reward. Can never go wrong with ammo. That stuff’s expensive.
Later, as Muny is walking down the road, the rest of us comment about what a weirdo he is and how we basically conned him out of some free stuff.
We come upon a roadside stand that appears to be a small blacksmithing station. Inside we find a portable blacksmith shop worked by a Stonekin. Nihm climbs onto a pole to watch him work and he
finally notices our presence. His name is Shist the XXXII and he has stuff for sale! He also seems to be very impressed when he finds out that we escaped from a prison camp. We learn from him that he wants to become an officer in the army so he can keep blacksmithing. But in order to do so, he needs money. Thus the portable station he has set up. Nihm inquires about how much he needs and then gives him the one hundred gold he needs. Shist…shits. He stutters asks us if there is anything we need. We decline. Still determined to pay us back somehow, he asks us our names and ranks and after a few minutes of some weird clinking sounds, he hands us all medallions with our names and ranks on them. These could come in handy for identification should we ever need it.
Shist explains to us why he wants to join the army; we learn that he has this awesome idea for a steam powered vehicle that could hold men inside. This vehicle would be armor plated and could be mounted with guns. Once he creates this formidable weapon, he says he’s going to name it Quill, in honor of Nihm.
We move on, due south and the forests have cleared away to rolling hills. We camp for the night. During the night, Nihm hears a peculiar sound. She looks around and finds that Coryn is crying in his sleep. She goes over to him, cuddles up next to him and calms him down enough to let him fall back asleep. She comes back over to Jareth and myself and says she’s going to be taking his watch. He apparently needs his rest. During this time, she makes breakfast for everyone! yay… grits. ….
During our travels that day, we find what looks like Muny’s camping spot. There are random brass cogs and wires littering the gound. Nothing really happens for a few days after that. We just do a lot of walking. Like a LOT of walking. My freaking feet are going to fall off, I’m sure. However, one night after about three days Coryn sees Nihm’s foot twitching while she’s sleeping. But it’s almost like something invisible is tugging on it. He goes over to investigate, lifts her foot up, looks under it and feels the ground below it, but there is nothing there. Nihm sleeps on seemingly oblivious. When it comes time for watch change, Coryn tells Nihm about her foot and hwat it was doing. She stares at it for a while but nothing happens. As we’re travelling the next day, Raharjo notices that Nihm’s foot keeps turning and leading her along the side of the road. Right as he’s about to say something, her foot turns her all the way around perpendicular to the road. There’s a track there.
“We should go this way,” says Nihm.
“Why?” asks Raharjo.
“There’s a track here,” she explains to him as a mother might explain to their child.
Raharjo looks on his map and realizes that Nihm is right. This is indeed the right way. We go that way and it meets up with another road. I can’t help but feel that were it not for Nihm’s wayward foot, we would get lost. And quickly. After about an hour we camp. That evening, Nihm and Jareth hear Coryn muttering in his sleep about stupid lizards and barbecue. Nihm laughs it off, but Jareth is kind of worried. Coryn wakes up the next morning feeling duly refreshed.
Again, we continue walking and come along a Harnesh with furs to sell. Nihm, being the generous soul she is, buys us some blankets to sleep with. We’re coming up on a swamp and they could come in pretty handy. However, as we get up the next morning, we realize that it’s as hot as the seven hells. ….go figure. Get some warm blankets and we don’t even need them now.