| ||10th – 13th of Olid, 560 QC|
After speaking further with the Provost, the party (Adanna, Murray, and Horros, and Raquel) was joined by a band of city guards and a dwarven mining engineer for their (hopefully) final return to Hell’s Canyon. They were given the tasks of flushing out the last of the cultists and destroying Dustwalker.
They successfully led the group to the canyon, and in a long-running battle through the oppressive darkness of the cultists’ caves, the party was finally able to destroy the cult, obliterating The Dustwalker in his own cursed temple. After a little bit of rest and research, the party settled in, determined to uncover the secrets beyond the collapsed tunnel. Only a week’s worth of work remains…
Dustwalker is done. With the help of Captain Edson and the five guards sent with us from Echeron, we defeated the evil priest and Lord Pergrator. It turns out Dustwalker was a ghast, which helps explain why he employed so many undead creatures.
On his corpse we found many items which may be of use to us; a magical cloak of resistance, an enchanted ring bearing the symbol of Nerull, and a letter. The letter was written to Dark Lord Zander from Dustwalker, and reads as follows:
Much progress has been made, my Dark Lord. Tondar’s Prophecy is near. Please forgive me for such a brief message, but the news I have cannot travel by untrusted means. I will be at the Temple in Lan’Gess on the Solstice, in time for the Feast. Lord Pergrator shall keep the ruins secured in my absence. Nerull’s desecration be upon us, Dustwalker
We will not make it to Lan’Gess in time to investigate this ‘Feast’ as the solstice will be upon us in less than two weeks. So we have decided to remain in the cave for multiple purposes. I need to consecrate this unholy ground. And the dwarven engineer, Rolgar Stoneforge, with the help of Murray’s spellcasting will be able to uncover what is behind the mysterious rubble in a week’s time.
What we uncover there will decide our next step. But I suspect whatever we find will lead us to seek out the truth of Tondar’s prophecy from Gunnar, then ultimately to Lan’Gess to face Dark Lord Zander.
In Hell’s Canyon, among the stink, we sought the evil that threatened Echeron. It has made us richer, these quests, though I suppose the purpose of serving the innocent was a reward enough of itself. I am bored of these caves and magic I can do without, but it seemed to be an opportunity to practice with the longbow and I thought maybe I could make it fun. We traveled with some additional companions. They thought themselves useful being guardsmen and an engineer. (I have no idea what an engineer even does.) I had to laugh when they caught site of the vultures and bloated bodies of our enemies. Little chance these companions would be able to add to this collection of the dead. So far, they had only swatted at the vultures.
Past the caves we cleared and back to the Gnolls, we took out some of the guards. Sadly, there were no beasts or anything of heroic interest. Horros scouted further into the cultist’s cave. Adonna readied her spells, anticipating magic as we had encountered before. I’m not sure where Murray was. He can be hard to see. I just try not step on him. It wasn’t long before we found who we came for. After some rusty shots from my longbow, magic, as I feared, took over the battle. I kept my distance when the things began to appear. They were not natural and neither were their effects. I’m not sure what happened but it took a few moments (minutes, hours? hard to tell) to shake it off. Adonna had casted her spell of silence. Some magical sneezing, and those things began to retreat. But I didn’t care, those things had to go. I entered into what my friends have being calling “rage” and fought them in blur of unbridled and instantly-gratifying brutality.
When the fight was over, I collapsed against the far wall, satiated, while the others took an interest in exploring. They love that, tapping walls for secret passages and collecting things like magpies. The enemy was dead and I was impatient to return to green grass. I contemplated starting a collection of heads to wear around my neck just to fit in with the rest of our band.
We found our engineer, as I predicted, completely useless, hiding near the entrance and, with Murray’s help, began his work on this mysterious wall. I was assigned the task of hunting to keep our camp sustained while the wall was being excavated. This meant target practice on vultures: vulture stew, vulture kabobs, and vulture pot-pie. I can be pretty creative when I want to be. Some had the nerve to complain, I casted my own spell of silence by raising my left eyebrow and my great ax.