Empire Rising

God's Tear

Party present: Brek Sturnson, Elihas Ramathustra, Fiona Scarlatti, and Ragnar Smotson

The Adventure

The party completes their caravan guard duty and parts ways with Shahem Quickstep, receiving their payment of a lion skin each. Here they begin their true quest of finding a way into the Dohme Jungle to the holy spring and Abbot Mattias that lives there. The jungle proved a daunting place. Better called a rain forest, the trees are dense, the canopy thick, and the border absolute. The party finds signs that someone (Naissani, assumed) has deforested the area to create a noticeable demarcation line between forest and prairie.

After a day spent walking the edge of the jungle looking for some type of path to let them adequately travel through the dense vegetation, little progress has been made. During watch that night, Brek has another vision, again of the lady he saw before. He walks in a garden, one more opulent than any he had seen before. The bushes and hedges are finely manicured. Benches, statues, and tables are all crafted from white marble. Behind him is a tremendous stone building larger than any in Naissan or his homeland of Skivendia. Yet he feels comfortable, not out of place. The woman cries and when they make eye contact, he finds himself sitting on the bench next to her. She cannot take her captivity. Her husband’s paranoia is growing too great to bear. She asks for his help. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Brek asks what she would have him do. She asks him to smuggle her away once his delegation leaves the palace (he had never heard that word before, but upon her speaking it, he felt as if he had always known it). He says he needs time to consider her request. And with that, he wakes and continues with his watch as if nothing were amiss.

The next day is more prosperous. Brek finds a boar path heading into the jungle and Ragnar leads the way. The heat is oppressive, but the party chooses to keep its armor on, safety over comfort. Brek does remove his helmet, though, and in doing, creates a warm place for a local jungle creature to explore. A Fajio Swarm climbs into the helmet but is struck by his leg as the helmet rocks back and forth during his natural stride. Seeing the creature, Brek flings his helmet loose and the scorpion-like creature flies onto a nearby bush. The helmet rolls beneath and strikes something that sounds like sand. Numerous clicking sounds alert the party that he has disturbed the nest of a fajio swarm. They run, outpacing the small creatures, Ragnar being the only one to be stung and his Skivendian heritage more than a match for their venom.

Keeping to the path, they avoid many of the travails of the jungle. No one falls into quicksand despite my high hopes. And eventually they encounter [[:mattias]. He seems a crazy old man at first, but while speaking to him, the group learns that he is in fact quite wise and just a little unaccustomed to having civilized guests at his home. He spends his time trying to convert and educate the barbarous Dohme in hopes of lifting them from their life of war and slavery. He also tells them about the spring they have come searching for. He claims it to be a tear that fell to Circadia when god cried (what God cried about, he did not say). For them to be cleansed of their sins, they must search the springs for the actual tear. They will know the spot by the bubbles that come from the bottom of the lake. All but Ragnar choose to enter the lake.

The three that enter all experience something similar but with different results. Both Elihas and Brek have visions, memories, some are theres and some aren’t. Both come away with knowledge they did not have before. Fiona finds that her wounds are healed and she finds something at the bottom of the lake, though she does not tell anyone what she has found. Cleansed of their sins (except for Ragnar, who attempts to swim after seeing what a great success the others had only to almost drown himself and Elihas), the group heads out of the jungle and across the grassland back toward Ceccana, choosing to bypass the highway and go overland, assuming the trip will be faster since they are going to a specific spot rather than an unknown spring in the wide expanse of the Dohme Jungle.

On their return trip, they meet a paige who claims to serve the Oracle Isidore, the vizier to Ceccanan magister. He bears a note to deliver to the first woman that crosses his path. He delivers the note to Fiona, who reads the note, thanks the man, and bids her party to continue to the city without explanation.

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