Hinterlands, part V - Beastlands

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Just SurvivingHinterlands, part V - BeastlandsCopyright © 2000 by Sheula Ralom'pa

4th Lady of NihilumIve taken a month long break from adventuring. Those trips to the Hinterlands were really taking their toll. During this depressing month, Ive been making the most of it. Ive studied a bit, and provided Lissandra with information about that portal those barmies in the Celestian Hinterlands had. She was grateful. I think I'm about ready to go exploring again, I'm leaving for a portal to Faunel in about an hour. I don't expect to write in Faunel, it's hard enough finding kip there, not to mention time. Expect to talk to some of the locals, they've proved to be friendly enough in the past.

4th Clerk of NihilumWell, some bariaur named Hercho Longfoot has offered to assist me in my trip. Blood says that he's been in those parts before, and knows a bit of chant. Seems good to his word. We set out in bout an hour.

4th Low of Nihilum We've walked around for what seems to be a short time considering other treks Ive had to take. Today we encountered a suspicious type fellow. He looked like an elf, but was over seven feet tall, with a sharp nose, and weird eyebrows. He was walking in our direction, carrying a small harp. Dressed in all green, he was an impressive fellow. We attempted to stop him, and talk, as the main reason for all my addle-coved excursions is exploration, but he gibbered something in an unknown tongue, and disappeared in a puff of smoke. Magician, I take it.

4th Void of NihilumLast night we stayed in a deserted settlement. Looking pretty new, I'd say bodies resided here not too long ago. There is a hill to the west with numerous holes in it, I don't see how it could support itself. The plant life here is voraciously beautiful, with everything and everything growing everywhere. Flat plains with loads of grasses and shrubs stretch far beyond where the eye can see to the east, and a jungle terrain lies ahead of us. We are going to explore the area near the hill first.

1st Lady of MortisWhen we ascended to the top of the hill, we saw a large lake some distance from the hill. We went down to it, finding nothing on the hill. There was a harbor that looked like it was built by drunken barmies, with a very unstable raft attached. I decided to make use of some new spells a shifty sod had sold to me. There is an island in the middle of the lake, looks to my untrained eye 'bout four Sigil blocks long, not big at all. Hercho and I made a hasty looking ship out of some mud and twigs and other addle-coved stuff. Then I cast Mud to Wood on it, and it was soddin' bad looking, but ship-shape and ready for sailing. Just before we cast off, we heard some mighty barbaric cries from the island, and a scream.

"We've got to take precautions, or we'll be as cooked as hag's larva," Hercho assured me. We both put on rings of invisibility and I cast the same on the boat. When we got to the island, I spotted a make-shift camp with some young boys hurdled around it. They had barmy-like clothes on, all scragged looking. Not a shred of Civility in their eyes. They tore into their food like crazed animals.

Traveling a bit in the other direction, we saw a group of girls, much in the same predicament. They had fashioned weapons of some kind. This was starting to disturb me. Hercho let out a bit of a gasp when he saw them, and one girl heard us. Seeing nothing, she went back to speaking to her companions in what can only be described as a form of common. More mangled a version I'd never heard in my life. I caught a few words. They were of violence, revenge, and food. A tall one was the leader. She had primitive armor and a more groomed look. The girls had advanced a bit farther than the boys, having a poorly made tree house. A few feet away, Hercho spotted two skeletons, still rotting. Perhaps the ones that turned stag.

Continuing to go around the island, towards the middle, there was a stream with fresh water. I took a drink, only to find the taste of blood in it. Further along, a hut, still intact, with several bodies around it, completely devoid of flesh. I found a piece of parchment there, with the words " ... the young uns've run wild. Its the land that did it, the island seems to grow with their savageness. Don't know how long we'll hold up. The poor sods are only two years younger...." then a bunch was lost, as it was only a piece, but I spotted the words " ..Pivot. 13th Year of Hashkar" on the bottom. Hercho says he saw my face drop, but that's barmy talk, we were both invisible at the time.

Right then and there we decided that this exploration had gone too far. I didn't want to risk my life, or Hercho's, any more. Our boat wasn't where we left it, but we found it about a block's equivalent away. I cast invisibility on it again, and we sailed back. There was no hill though. No jungle to the west, or plains to the east. It was full of overgrown shrubs. We've taken off the invisibility, and continued on what we thinkis the way to Faunel.

1st Market of MortisTowards sun-set, we saw the tall elf basher again. He spoke to Hercho and me telepathically. The words I heard were "Told you to turn back..." Then he vanished again.

1st Void of MortisOur rations have almost run out, I hope we make it back to Faunel soon.

2nd Guild of MortisWe finally found Faunel. Thank the gods the time is still the same. That was traumatizing. Those poor young sods.. now that's not right, they're not really young.

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