13 Eleasis 1372
1827 days have passed
Enalda and I stepped off the ship on the 10th and we were immediately overwhelmed by the oppressive heat. We knew we couldn’t don our armor in this weather, and our first stop off the boat was to purchase clothing for this climate.
What a busy city Assur is. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of different races of creature reside here without notice. People only glanced at us as we walked through the city, no stares, no murmurs, just sweet anonymity. I took a deep breath of the humid air as I felt a small weight off my chest.
We spent the day wandering the city, the plan being to familiarize ourselves with the city prior to heading to the temple the following day. Once we had our supplies, we went to the cheapest inn we could find, a salty establishment called “The Kraken’s Afterbirth.” We got what we paid for, a simple room, a watered-down beer, and some stale bread. The clientele all seemed to be pretty grizzled sailors. They minded their business, though, and no one seemed to care about us. While eating, I overheard some talk about how the inns were filling up and people were having trouble finding a place to sleep. The Temple jobs were attracting many people, it seemed.
On the 11th, we rose early and made our way to the already-long lines of the temple. It was already getting hot, even though the sun had yet to rise. We made our way to the end of the line and waited several bells. Some musicians had made their way to the temple, playing for coin, while merchants made their way up and down the lines selling umbrellas and water.
Our wait ended when a temple priest approached us and asked what we did. I didn’t quite understand what he meant by what we did. I eat, I breathe, I shit, why do you care? I pointed to my weapons and he clarified that he wanted to know what we were skilled at. I understood that a bit better and Enalda told him we were tavern security. Yeah, that’s probably the best way to put it. We were told to join a group and ushered into the temple.
Inside the temple, we sat with roughly 10 people when another priest entered to conduct an interview. He casted some sort of spell to require us to tell the truth. That was fine, there was no chance he was going to ask anything that I didn’t want to divulge. He began by asking several questions about if any had committed various crimes. The applicants filtered out until there were five of us. Enalda, myself, two men from the East, and a rather young man. The men were Danjo and Shino. As we were asked about our experience, Danjo divulged that he once led companies of men into battle and had slain many. It was really fascinating that one as calm as he had truly experienced so much. It made me slightly embarrassed to say that I had no actual combat experience. Shino was his companion, and we learned through the questioning, he seemed good at magical arts. The two of them seemed reluctant to speak of why they left their homeland. The young one was Sahil, a local with restorative abilities and the gift to create water, a vital ability in this environment.
Upon explaining our usefulness, we were given our task: travel the Southern trade road and investigate the reason for why the trade has stopped. We were given 100 crints to supply and were promised another 900 if we returned with information with a bonus available if we were to return with a lot of information. Made sense. We set out once again for more supplies and met with our new companions down by the docks, where a Hinn named Tuck, the assistant harbormaster. He offered us work and a place to stay for the night, guarding the warehouses. The inns were full and people were sleeping in the hot boats, so this seemed like a much better option.
On the 12th, we waited for the temple messenger by the dock. Upon his arrival, we showed him the coin we were given to show that we were not imposters and he led us to the temple. Tuck tagged along with Shino and Danjo. On our arrival, Tuck requested to join our group. The elegant lycan priest advised he would have to give up his harbormaster profession, which he did. We were made to sign a contract for the work and given a mark that meant we could not take on additional work until out job was done. Enalda spent a bell praying to her deity before we left, and I waited outside for her.
We set out a third time for more supplies, this time under the paid advice of a local Ranger. He seemed extremely knowledgeable about the environs and gave us a long shopping list which we immediately set out and stocked up. Tuck purchased two camels and a mule to carry the supplies.
We finally left the city that night, as the temperature began to finally drop. On our way out, we passed a massive grouping of tents outside the city. A city of tents, filled with people looking for work. It was truly fascinating to see so many people with nowhere to go.
We traveled the first day without any trouble. The heat was worse than previous days, but Shino and Sahil were able to keep us magically comfortable. What luck to be paired with these two.
The 13th brought us a couple of trials. Enalda was able to survey the skies and knew a storm would be upon us within the day, and we were at the worst possible location for a flash flood. We hustled as fast as we could for better ground when the rain set on us in an instant. A flash flood wave came crashing across the sands and knocked almost everyone down. I was able to stay on my feet, but only barely. Enalda lost her footing briefly, then stuck her weapon into the ground to balance herself and seeing that, I did the same. Around a half bell later, the rushing water was gone just like it had come. Looking around, we hadn’t lost anyone, but we did lose an entire barrel of whale fat. Danjo lost some tea, and Tuck lost some clothing, but otherwise we escaped the flood mostly unscathed.
A few bells later, as the sun was rising, we came upon some wagons that looked ransacked. Suspecting foul play, Enalda and I donned our chain shirts and approached slowly when our companions were fired upon with arrows. Three hobgoblins and a bugbear were hiding behind the wagons. Seeing my first opportunity to test myself, I ran for the biggest threat: The bugbear. Enalda followed me as Danjo fired an arrow back, slaying one immediately. The bugbear made to strike first with a mace, but I dodged out of the way and countered with a blow from my hammer. The hammer struck true to the beast’s chest, clearly breaking ribs. Enalda followed up with her blade as Tuck put a hobgoblin to sleep. The last remaining hobgoblin ran as fast as he could. Tuck, seeing this escapee, ran faster than I’ve ever seen someone run. I knew I couldn’t keep up, so I tied up the sleeping hobgoblin in the meantime. Perhaps we had already stumbled across what we were searching for? I can’t imagine this little band of miscreants was the entire reason, but maybe we could learn more from them.
It felt good to finally have physical release. Hoar gave me strength, and with it, I was able to turn this attack back on these bandits. Attack and be attacked.