Twillingbottom's Field Guide

Down, But Not Out

The Restless Dead

It was a sunny day when we found ourselves washed up on the shore of the plunge pool. Sodden and sore but otherwise safe, we wrung ourselves out as we took stock of the situation. Our party had grown by two elf girls, a brawny dwarf and a young human boy. I suggested we take some rest to plan our next moves, as some of my colleagues looked a little worse for wear (although after being tossed and tumbled through the rapids and over the waterfall, this is probably the cleanest Gyna has been in weeks).

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After languishing on the beach for the better part of the day we all agreed that we should move on before the Greystone Brigands caught up to us. What we could not agree upon was where to go. The two elven lasses seemed to have taken a shine to Berrian for some unbeknownst reason (I hear there is a certain swath of the fairer gender who are enamoured by those rapscallion types. Females can be stranger creatures than any beast we could find out here). They pleaded for him to return with them to Aendolin. I was shocked to see him fight off his usual prurient tendencies and turn the ladies down. There was also the question of Eustace, and what we were to do with the young boy. According to his mother’s journal, he too was from Aendolin. Perhaps he had family there still.

My compatriots, however, were still focused on their quest to avenge their friend Aelith and return her young sister from bondage (far be it from me to get in between them and their crusade with my pursuits of Science! Do they not remember why they are here in the first place?!). What swayed them away from the trek to Aendolin was a note most serendipitously obtained by Püff on her way off the brigand’s docks. During our haste to jump into the canoes, she swiped a bunch of papers and scrolls from a nearby desk (reminder: do not let Miss Iskrem alone unsupervised around my notes). Besides a few maps of the area (one of which would have prevented our most unfortunate tumble over the waterfall), Püff grabbed an interesting letter describing a meet-up between the brigands, and a rather unsavoury fellow that I came later to learn was in the employ of the people who had kidnapped poor Starsha. It gave a clue as to where and when they could find this heinous individual and hopefully the elf girl as well. The one hitch being that the meeting was only three days away.

After doing some simple math (a true feat for many in our party, I believe some fires were started, judging by the smoking ears) they realised it would be impossible to make it to Aendolin and then head north to the meet-up in time. Thankfully, Cornelius was kind enough to volunteer to escort the elves and young boy back to Aendolin and safety, while we returned north. He is a rather fine fellow, even if he has chosen the vagaries of Faith over the mantle of Logic. After a tearful goodbye our party made haste for the Tumbledown, and the meeting at the God’s Head.

Once we arrived at the inn, I myself thought it was best to remain at the Tumbledown to collect my notes, prepare my ledgers and pen a few chapters of my manuscript. It was certainly not because of the notion of once again facing the shambling dead. The party would surely miss my cunning strategies and tactical acumen; however, I knew that there would be little scientific merit in accompanying them on this endeavour. So after a short evening’s respite, I said farewell and hoped I would see them all again soon. I learned later what had transpired and will transcribe it here as a point of continuity, but as these are second-hand accounts, I am sure they are romanticised and exaggerated beyond measure (as one noticed from my previous entries, my associates are not the most capable of individuals).

The meeting took place at the God’s Head, an ancient monument in the northeast reaches of the Hinterlands. According to my copy of Brief History of the Empire; vol VII, the God’s Head is a monument to a war long past, with scores of dead buried at its feet. Knowledge of this fact would have undoubtedly assisted my comrades in the formulation of their plans. As it were, they stumbled into a most untenable position. Their ruse to fool the necromancer soon came unhinged as poor Miss Nerithana became disrobed by one of his henchmen (of course this never would have happened under my watch). With no choice but to battle, my comrades flew at the necromancer hoping to subdue him quickly and glean the location of Starsha ari’Arathnee. What they didn’t account for was his Tarot magic. With a flash of his hand, the deadites clawed their way up from the very earth my compatriots stood upon. Soon the melee was in full swing, with blows being traded on both sides. Except for Berrian, who once again found himself watching the battle from afar (One wonders if he is not a bit of a voyeur). Luthien even managed to get revenge against the crony who abused her bodily moments before (twice actually, as he rose to life after his initial defeat).

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As told to me, it wasn’t long before my associates had defeated and subdued the necromancer, Camon by name. Gyna had wrapped him in a bear hug and smothered him against her ample bosom until he passed out (which I hear is her usual mating custom). Once he was properly secured and he regained consciousness, my colleagues pressed him for information, striping him down to his skivvies (unsavoury conduct to a captive, surely they have read Bartholomew Bertrand’s Battle Etiquette?). They learned of Camon’s master and his abode several leagues from the monument. After a quick moment of respite they continued on, heading north to his manse and their quarry.

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