Monthly Archives February 2016

Arboreal, but not dendritic

We decide that Morgan could do with extra rest and Amber decides to keep him company.
The rest of us will investigate the sketch map from the chief squirrel and return when we have news…
After some discussion on how to mark the spot on the road so we know where to come back to, we depart in a westerly direction. After a few miles we reach a crossroads marked with a huge obelisk in the middle.

We search around to no avail and even send Rob to climb up it. All he notices is that it was once taller and is now no longer tall enough for him to be able to see over the trees. We cannot find the broken off top and while a prayer of Detect Magic from Isis reveals a faint glow, there is nothing overtly interesting so we head North.

The road starts to rise up out of the jungle and the vegetation thins and becomes less arboreal. Towards late afternoon we crest a hill and see that the road becomes a causeway across a valley before plunging straight through a mountain. To either side of the tunnel are towers, with two further towers above and to the side. (Toby drew a lovely sketch)
We retreat out of sight and make camp. Rob wants to sleep in a bush for safety. We all agree to join him in his bush, which makes him smile.
On the final watch Varys and Rob are alerted by noises of a large beast snuffling and eating. In the dim early light they make out that it is some kind of giant land sloth!! Luckily it seems to be herbivorous. Isis attempts to befriend it, but the rhododendron branch she offers isn’t sufficiently better than the one it is already munching and it ignores her.

Seeing as we are all up, we head for the tunnel and the towers.

There is no movement detectable ahead and we approach the towers unmolested. Indeed, the place is as quiet as a tomb. Apt, as within the mountain the tunnel opens out into a huge chamber where many bones and skulls and dulled weapons give evidence of a great battle. Some burnt patches on the floor match with holes in the ceiling.

A thorough exploration of the place reveals it to be completely deserted and with nothing of value. It seems to have been manned by a garrison of humans sometime in the distant past and they had huge cauldrons for heating oil.

We continue north, after a hundred yards or so we are halted at the lip of a chasm. The gap is about 20 feet but the tunnel on the other side is about 5 feet lower and 10 feet to one side. We need to build a bridge of some kind.
Much discussion on our ability to carry a tree between the five of us.
The credits for this week roll as we see the party bed down for the night.
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Feels like Transport Tycoon…

Rob is dragged away from the altar with much shaking of heads. But the time we get back to the smaller pyramid he has regained conciousness and is muttering about doing it in the name of science.

Further thought is given to the acid pool and Amber and Isis pool their iron spikes and decide to try hammering them in and climbing around.
It is Rob and Amber who attempt to traverse the wall and after a couple of hairy moments they make it. On the far side they progress into a room which seems to be a pit full of bones. They cross this without incident, but with the occasional loud crack as the bones shatter under their weight. The next room contains a large sarcophagus… They pause for thought. Rob returns to the acid pool, explains what he’s found and fills a small vial with acid.
Rob and Amber start to remove the lid of the sarcophagus. A loud tinkling sound of breaking glass is heard by everyone. Amber retreats. Rob pushes the lid the last part of the way and something begins to rise…
They both retreat in a panic. In his fright, Rob slips on a piton and splashes into the acid. He is hauled out before too much damage is done.
As we wonder what to do, Varys feels a sharp pain on his shoulder – a gash has appeared from nowhere… Everyone starts to panic and we all retreat.
Everyone gets hurt by the invisible creatures and Morgan is really starting to look peaky – perhaps it’s time to depart the city and seek aid back with the natives.

We rest overnight and leave the city in the morning. It seems that the neanderthals haven’t forgotten us and a ‘welcome’ party pins us down in a narrow valley with spears and rocks. Even running at ‘top speed’ won’t get us through. We’ll have to try the western road out of the city instead. We trudge back to the city and camp in the tower that we first slept in.

The next morning, we set off with joy in our hearts… The road is more dilapidated than the one we came in on. After an hour’s trek is descends into thick jungle. The road is overgrown in places but we are still able to make better time than if it wasn’t there.
We hear a bellow and sounds of a large creature crashing through the undergrowth. It doesn’t seem to be getting closer but we all agree we’d rather climb a tree for safety.

As we climb, we realise there is a treehouse up in the canopy! Ascending higher it seems that there is a network of platforms with small hutty erections..
Little faces are looking down at us from the higher branches. We wave and attempt to make friendly gestures. Bael offers some food.. At the smell of it more faces appear. We seems to have made some friends and they take a shine to Isis.
We are led across a rope bridge to a larger platform where we meet the chief. Much gesticulating and smiling, and the gift of some beads seems to secure our friendship. We indicate the poor state of Morgan, hoping they might have some healing skill. The chief eventually scratches some marks on a piece of bark which seem to indicate a road similar to the one we’ve been on will take us through the mountain range to the north. Perhaps there is someone with healing skill beyond…
We all get a beautiful nights sleep, and even Morgan feels slightly better,

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