Golarion date: 27 Lamashan 4710AR
Continuing their journey the group followed the old caravan routes east across the wide open savannah skirting the northern edge of the Laughing Jungle. They were attacked by four lionesses and nearly became feline lunch. Spotting a huge male watching them from the distance, they decided to skip out of the hunting grounds as quickly as possible.
That night they came upon a merchant caravan that was traveling the opposite direction. It was run by a slimy Garundi man named Rickets. Zelshee and Drasheen participated in some cock fighting that night, and wagered a few coins, while Jocque was extremely paranoid and missed out on all the fun.
A couple days later they came upon a friendly Zenj village. The locals invited the strangers into their village and threw a feast with festivities while trading with the newcomers. The tribe’s shaman came to them that night, startling Mastuuk when she suddenly appeared and asked them if they could lift the curse that was plaguing the village. The shaman told them how a demonic ape had been raiding the village over the last couple weeks and carrying off villagers. She asked if they could help deal with this beast, as all the shaman’s attempts had failed. They agreed and the shaman smeared their hut with blood and left. That night a vicious half bear half ape burst into the hut and attacked them, it’s mate waiting outside. When Jocque fled outside the mate grabbed him and tried to flee into the jungle with it’s prize, but a timely glitterdust spell by Mastuuk blinded it, slowing it enough to be brought down before Jocque could be carried off to a grisly fate. The shaman gave them a shrunken monkey head she said was a spirit fetish and a treasure map showing the location of a sunken ship supposedly carrying gold bars as reward.
Leaving the friendly Zenj village they continued east towards Kalbuto. In one area of the savannah they came across a wide area of ground marred by dug up mounds and ridges of dirt. Mastuuk identified the mounds and ridges as the work of Anhkegs, giant burrowing predatory insect like creatures. It would take quite some time to detour around the Ankheg hunting grounds, so the conjurer Mastuuk summoned a horse and sent it off into the area to draw the Ankheg’s out. The plan worked well and they were able to clear the monsters from the path of the Pathfdinder expedition and proceed towards Kalabuto and their ultimate goal of the lost city of Savinth-Yhi.
From the Log of Jocque Tarr
I was feeling so confident that I overplayed things. I am not a figher! I should spend a little more time behind them! What was I thinking?! Giant apes! Giant bugs! Sheesh!
But my time will come. The crew I have fallen in with are a strange lot….that’s for sure…two halforcs, a cleric, and a mercenary…but they are resourceful, tough and flexible. And, maybe more importantly, ready to trust each other and respect each other’s talents. I’ve always been kind of on the outside, always having to watch my back and always the brunt of some trash talk or predjudice but not here. They’ve come to accept me and to rely on me and what I can do, and they tried their best to help me when I was twisted and maimed by that curse. More often than I can count already, one or more of them have come to my aid when I was in dire trouble or hurt badly. As I look around the camp at them or listen to them joking or poking fun at each other I get a strange feeling in my throat. They are the closest I have ever come to a having a family or real friends. My time will come and they will be proud of me and glad that they have me with them.
As I record these thoughts I am suprised by them. I am also suprised at what we have accomplished with regard to the baggage train following us. We have not only cleared their path of threats like the lionesses and the Anhkegs but steered them away from some dangers like that beconning mine shaft and we have left at least one village of people behind who will welcome those following us as friends of ours when they arrive.
One last thought….if the old woman’s map is correct….a ship full of gold waits at the bottom of a lake up ahead of us. Kassata Lewynn and “the boys” would have an orgasm or two if they knew about that…….Haaarr…Ha…Ha…Haaarrrr!
From the Journal of Drasheen Rettig
As I pray tonight I am surprised by all that has happened to us and how we keep going…
We came upon a caravan, while very distrusting at the moment we arrived, no one else seemed to be that worried and Mastuuk asked if we could camp with them and we did willingly and seemingly with no fear. I put up a good front and acted as if everything was just fine with me. But that evening when we heard all the noise of groans and laughter, Mastuuk and I went to check it out. Jocque showed his first signs of mistrust he didn’t want to have anything to do with going thru and in the back of the camp, thinking trap I’m sure! So was I but Mastuuk seems to always want to find out what’s going on. The more I thought of it, I was thinking we could scout them out and see what strong holds they may have and where the young strong fighting types may be gathered. When it turned out to be a cock fight I thought I might join in just to see what’s really going on but it seemed to me just a cock fight. We said good night and all was well.
When we came upon a Zenj village and they asked us to help them. An evil Ape had been raiding their village and killing them. Everyone in “My” group stepped up and eagerly said yes!!!
My prayer for the conversion of their souls is working. I will end here in hopes I will not have nightmares of being dragged off and eaten by huge, hungry, vicious lions. No I will pray and be grateful til I wake tomorrow.
The Journal of Mastuuk Venso
27 Lamashan 4710AR
We are finally working together as a team. These last days have brightened my outlook on this whole expedition. While those lions gave us some trouble, we survived and prospered. A mostly friendly expedition should meet up with our main force in a couple of days; hopefully they will be able to trade some more information about the road ahead. And the village…they were friendly enough but after we saved them from an awful fate I feel we will always be welcomed as friends. During the battle with the apes I was again forced to cast on a companion but this time they all seemed to understand the reason. Jocque was not angry and the others jumped on the opportunity I gave them. Only a day later, we successfully cleared out another threat with ease! There is hope for us still!