In The Footprints of Ancients

Zikert Not Zo Zafe

Wall-crawls and Body-hauls

Tittium Travels Day Two

Awaking to the silent town of Zikert with our gear and selves rather moist, we decide that we have a few more questions for the chieftain about the artifact in question. Mainly where it came from, was it stolen, and what exactly does it do?
On the way however, we notice some rather fearful villagers attempting to climb the outer walls. Initially skeptical of our intentions, they were more informative once learning we were willing to help. It seems they were escaping from the apparently oppressive rule of Chief Swama. It seems he punishes people for trying to leave the village, taking them into the catacombs beneath his manor. The most recent victim was a male traveler that tried to pass through, meaning the threat is not only to inhabitants but visitors as well.
Helping the villagers over the wall, we absorb this new information and decide we should still visit the chieftain under the guise of our initial intent, but also attempt to find the entrance to the catacombs and any prisoners if they exist.
Arriving at the manor, we knock upon the entrance. Receiving no response, we barged in and made our way to the throne room (for all intensive purposes). In due time the chieftain’s aide came to join us. After some short questions and rudeness on his part, he went to awaken the chieftain. After remaining reasonably casual for questioning, we were able to find out a little more about the artifact. Apparently it is an object that can be used to raise the Guardians, who were supposedly the defenders of the Ancients. It sounds as if the artifact was not from Zikert, but I also do not believe Goblins would have come by such a powerful force by accident. Whose hands this power belongs in is another question. Before we could get any more information from him, Tobias surprised us all with a sudden, silent burst of magical power, instantly subduing the chieftain and frightening us and his aide in the process.
Muffling the young aide and Tobias for a bit of arguing, we realize that he has simply forced our hand in the direction we wanted anyway, and thank goodness he chose nonlethal means to do so. Rushing toward the catacomb entrance with the aide as our guide, we only hoped to escape before the chieftain had time to gather his wits. Knocking the aide out with a quick 1-2-punch and hiding him in a crate, we entered the catacombs with hopefully a little bought time.
Searching the catacombs, we find three incredibly-emaciated individuals and the strangely functional traveler we had heard about. Leading them to the exit, we began hearing the footfalls of assumed approaching guards. With Gromnyar and El Kool willing to leave without the prisoners but myself and Tobias not, we had a slight separation as we attempted to scale the partially-destroyed stone-carved ladder to the exit. As I did my best to climb with the emaciated villagers who could not climb themselves, I found much difficulty and fell to the ground, injuring my knees. Thankfully, the villager remained unharmed. However, we realized this plan had some faults.. With some quick thinking on Tobias’ part, he was able to distract the guards a bit with some misdirection of his Dancing Lights ability. While there was apparently some scuffle above, El Kool and Gromnyar eventually came to our aid and hoisted the remaining prisoners up and out in one fell swoop. Gromnyar then blocking the exit door with a heavy piece of ceramic, we felt some degree of momentary safety. However, we still needed to leave quickly.
After some quick healing of ourselves and feeding of the prisoners, we were ready to set off. Unfortunately, I only then realized that I had left my mule in a none-too-convenient location back through the village. Though not really that attached to Doctor Professor, I did have some investment in his gear: my brewing supplies, tent, and ale casks. But to go back could mean some degree of confrontation on our part..



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