Serpent's Skull

First Steps

Thru the Bandu Hills

Golarion date 19 Lamashan 4710AR

The group returned to Eleder with Nkechi. Nkechi was recognized by the local natives and several took to following them through the streets, apparently he had a good reputation with the locals.

Returning to the warehouse, expedition leader Amivor Glaur was very happy to see Nkechi. The group proceeded to help with finalizing preparations, except for Mastuuk who scribed scrolls.

Pathfinder Delve Captain Finze Bellaugh challenged the Sargavan government’s lockdown of the gates to caravans under the South Arcadian Charter, a series of laws that protect mercantile interests in Sargava. The governments maneuver caused delays but eventually they had to give in to the letter of the law and allow the expedition to proceed. However, the delays had set back the Pathfinders as the other expeditions all seemed to have gotten underway first. The race for Tazion was on, and the Pathfinders were off to a slow start.

The group brought along a pack mule named Betsy. Juan took a liking to Betsy, perhaps she reminded him of his mother?

The party set out a couple days ahead of the main expedition and made their way to the foothills of the Bandu Hills. One night Juan saw what looked like a rooster wandering into camp, but Mastuuk realized it was a cockatrice (perhaps the vicious chicken of Bristol)! Mastuuk was viciously attacked by the petrifying monster, but Zelshee put it down with her big axe. Perhaps Zelshee should take a chicken as heraldry?

While studying the maps of the area where they were trailblazing, Teyla noticed a mine marked nearby with a line connecting it to the plains on the other side of the hill. She speculated that if there was passage through the mine to the far side of the hills it might be a shortcut that would save the expedition a day. After much deliberation it was decided to not risk the mines. Zelshee was rather insistent that the mines were likely too dangerous. Perhaps the chicken heraldry was appropriate? The Tale of Sir Zelshee

Skipping the mine and pressing ahead, Teyla missed the turnoff from the trail north that would lead them to the pass out of the hills and to the plains. Doubling back, they found it, but lost some time. In the pass they were attacked by green painted fierce Bandu tribesman who rolled boulders down on them for an adventurer pancake lunch (they were apparently cannibals!). Four of the tribesmen were killed but the other two ran off.

The group pressed on and came out of the hills onto the savannah beyond.

Form the Journal of Jocque Tarr

I never told anyone about my father and the fact that he may have come from the Ekujae people of the Expanse. It was a long shot asking the half-wild Nkechi if he could release me from my curse but it worked! Maybe there is more of my father in me than I thought. What a blessed feeling to be able to handle things the way I used to and to walk without the gnawing hunger in my guts! I tried to thank the shayman, even asked if there were some way to show thanks to his dieties but all he did was abuse me. He says I am not of his people and that I will never be accepted by him or by the natives because I am not one of them but I think it may have been my blood that made the cure work. And maybe it is my blood that is calling me to keep on with my efforts to find a way to voice my thanks to the powers that worked for me. I WILL find a way.

As my strength and agility set back in I sensed a change in me. Before, I was loath to go into the Expanse. Now I feel drawn to it. What else will I find here? Who else?

And another thing. I guess it was pressing on despite my twisted hands and feet. As the cure took root, I found that I could do all the things I was able to do before the curse….but just a little better. It’s as if the curse forced me to try just a little harder and with its effects gone it is as if chains and weights have falled off of my arms and legs! I have taken a couple of practice tumbles and amazed even myself. Same is true with my other abilties. I got my card deck out again and have been practicing for the first time in years. I think I might play Mastuuk or Drasheen for some of the gold I owe them….. Well maybe not. That would be wrong…..Fun, but wrong.

I haven’t been this happy in …. well, forever!

The Journal of Mastuuk Venso

19 Lamashan 4710AR

We’ve finally gotten underway and none too soon; it seems we’re the last group to leave. Our first days have not been uneventfull either. My sister saved me from the dreaded cockatrice of Bristol which could have easily petrified me. We also encountered some natives who rather insisted that we cross over to the afterlife. Luckily, we didn’t speak their language and were unable to comply. After personally wetting herself at the battle of the Bandu Hills, Zelshee decided we shouldn’t take a shortcut through the hills which Teyla suggested and I fully supported…fireballs are much more effective in close quarters than they are in the open. I do hope things quiet down before we reach our next destination. Unfortunately, I don’t think they will as the savannah has a reputation for brutality.

Notes from Zelshee Venso

It didn’t take long for the dangers of the trip to present themselves! A petrifying chicken attacked the group. Then a tribe of Bandu hillsman thought they could send us running. But we stuck together and together we defeated them. With only a few bumps and bruises that are easily mended. What might take more time to mend is the consequences of the inconsistencies of the group.
Great care in planning was taken for the trek of this journey. And it seems more than a little reckless to change course at the last minute because Teyla (who has never been in this part of the world) sees an underground mine tunnel and wants to follow it!! Call me ‘yellow’. Call me a ‘chicken’. But we have a plan, shouldn’t we stick to it. Haven’t we gotten ourselves in more trouble when we just ‘wing it’? Amivor gave us a map, told us which way to go. Trailing us is the caravan. Wouldn’t it make sense that if Amivor, the professional, wanted us to go through a tunnel that was labeled on a map that he gave us – HE WOULD HAVE TOLD US ABOUT IT!!!???__
Is Teyla here to help us or hinder us? She pointed out the tunnel. Got my gullible, obviously easily manipulated, brother to side with her. Time to keep an eye on her again. Her loyalties might be split right now.

From the Journal of Drasheen Rettig

I’m pretty sure the entire city of Eleder has gotton a several day head start over us.
I loved the three challanges of Nkechi. In my mind it was reinforcement that the gods favor us. I was so encourged by this that when the petrifying chichen attacked us, I knew we would over come. And when the cannibals rolled those huge boulders down on us and threw their lances on us I knew we would survive. The gods have protected us at every turn all we have to do is fight with all our hearts and beleive, to be worthy.
I thought the gods were guiding us when Teyla found the hidden tunnel and that we should take it. I will pray for the conversion of Zelshee to put her mind at ease. I will pray for all of us. I can’t wait for tomorrow.

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