Farther West Than West

Days Three Through Ten

An Amulet in the Desert

So the bard and his companions arrived in the teleportaiton circle, and immediately the tattooed man makes a charge at them. I figured they were done for, but the three of em put a heck of a wallop on the half-orc, and it looked like they might have been able kill him outright. But when the fight started to approach a stalemate, out of the command tent appeared a fella dressed in red robes from head to toe.

I’d been digging that darn hole for four days at this point, and I’d never seen this man before, and it looked like none of the other prisoners had either. Well, he commands for the fighting to cease, and just like that, the fight was over; whoever this guy was, he had an air of authority that couldn’t be denied. After he’d gotten the attention of the three would-be heroes, he explained to them that he was looking for an amulet, and had been unable to find it here at the excavation. We had unearthed the remains of a temple out there in the desert, and I hadn’t seen anything worth taking, but I guess that was why we had to keep digging. Anyhow, the man in red tells the three that he thinks the amulet was inside a cave we had discovered a about 30 meters from the main structure of the temple. some of his lackeys had already gone in, and not all had come out. The native folks we had in chains with us said they had probably gotten eaten by spiders or sandworms, either way, served em right. The man in red told the three that they had three hours to bring him his amulet, or he was gonna kill all of us (the prisoners). He even allowed one of the prisoners to go along with em for extra help. The fella they got was this dwraf Brak; he says when they captured his caraven, he killed 2 of the attackers himself and crippled a third. I believed him too, he had the composure of a dwarf you do not want to cross.

At this point, the four of them went into the cave to retrieve that necklace the robed man wanted so badly. while they were in the cave, the guards lined us up along the edge of the excavation pit in a single line. We were told that if they did not return with the amulet, and things turned ugly, we would be killed, just like he had promised. I remember him saying that he didn’t particularly want to have to kill us, but he gave his word he would, and the sanctity of his word was more important than our lives. As we got closer to the three hour time limit, I could see the man in red having a heated conversation with the tattooed man. My guess is they were trying to figure out what to do if the heroes never returned; probably would have sent some of us in after em to get eaten by sandworms. Luckily, the heroes came out of the cave, and they had the amulet with them! It was beautiful. The amulet had an emerald of the purest green, and it seemd to glow with a magical energy. No wonder the red man wanted this amulet so bad, it was obviously magical.

True to his word, in exchange for the amulet, the red man let us all go, and he and his minions were returning to their magical portal. As our former captors were walking away, the bard couldn’t resist to hurl an insult at one of the guards, something about the intestinal fortitude of his forebears. The red man stopped, spoke a few words to the tattooed fella, and then the red man disappeared through the portal, and the half-orc charged head long into battle. The would-be heroes put a beating upon the tattooed man he wouldn’t soon forget, and they even convinced some of us prisoners to join the fight with them. Those poor fools; I was content to watch from the sidelines; like I said before, I was already an old man by then. All the prisoners that joined the fight got their guts ran through by a spear. Our heroes led a few of us to slaughter that day, and some folks didn’t soon forget that. Before they could separate the tattooed man’s head from his body, he fell back to the portal and disappeared, but he had some pretty gruesome injuries to take with him as a souveneir. The portal was rigged to engulf any of us who tried to use it. The trap was tested by throwing the body of one our dead comrades into the portal and then watching him get incinerated. Again, our heroes weren’t exactly out to make friends that day. After a bit of argument, we decided our next course action was to head to Garrosh, the capital of, and only established settlement here in the dryland. A holy-man of the tribe was one of the prisoners, and he said their was an oasis two days East of us, then we could walk North, and should reach Garrosh after another 5 days or so. I know noe of us felt like walking for a week in that forsaken desert, but we had little choice. If we were gonna ever make it back to House Lebannen lands, we had to place ourselves in the care of the bard and his companions, for better or for worse.

-As told to Chief Historian Che’Terar by Mr. Darwin Smithwain 4-17-4335 CY

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