Entry Ten

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The next night, we met with Draegen once again and gave him the boiler plate and told him that his employer could recover the rest of Thunder Wicket from the bottom of the hole in the warehouse. Draegen laughed and told us how impressed he was with us and that we ‘passed the test’. Infuriated I told Draegen where he could take his little test. Despite my outburst, he paid us well as promised before taking his leave.

With our money in hand, we set out into the city to buy new supplies, gear and to treat ourselves to a fine meal. As we made our way back to the Cathedral, we were approached by a guardsman who said that Captain Helstrom wanted to speak to us. We finished up out business and headed over to the barracks to meet with the captain. Sitting around his desk, Helstrom informed us that he and his men had tracked down Alexia. She and a small group of followers were headed to the temple of Cyrix via riverboat. While we, and everyone else for that matter, knew little of the god Cyrix, we did know that it’s followers believed in the perfection of the human form through mechanical manipulation. They were into all sorts off odd rituals and were more like a cult that actual worshipers.

A trip to the university and conversations with people who had been to the temple confirmed what we knew about the god at its followers. What we did learn was that the temple was a clockwork temple that opened once every 13 years….and not coincidently, it was scheduled to open in only three days. With this information we hustled down to the docks to hire ourselves a river boat and captain. After During nearly getting himself thrown into the river for insulting the seaworthiness of Dwarven sailors, we were able to find a boat. We paid the captain and then set off into the city to buy provisions for the journey. I decided to get myself an alchemy kit so I could spend the long hours on the boat perfecting my newly learned craft.

With supplies in hand, we boarded the boat bright and early the next morning and set off up the river after our prey. The trip thus far, has been uneventful for the most part. We stopped in a backwater town and enjoyed the company of some of the swamp folk over their local moonshine. Funnily enough, the town elder was related to the man whom we warned to leave when Alexia was marching on Corviss. The man had settled here in this very town and was quite happy to see us. Over the course of the evening we attempted to barter with the swamp people. While they had no interest in our coin, they were interested in the healing potions and salves we had with us and traded us one salve for a trinket they claimed would ward off any swamp shamblers we might come across. We drank the night away and with heads that felt like they had been crushed in a Crucible Vise, we set out again on the river.

At about noon we came across a large tree that had been felled across the river. Knowing it to be a trap, we cautiously set out to clear the blockage. Stringer, crossed the tree and encountered a group of gobbers who wanted out gear and coin in exchange for safe passage. I was ready to cut the whole lot of them down, but Stringer had a plan. Speaking to them in Goblin, the convinced them that he had a very special package on the boat that they could have. It was a very special treasure, he told them and they became very excited. What they did not know was that Stringer had been practicing his bodgering skills by creating boxes fill of shrapnel that exploded when opened. Kah went to the boat and returned with one of these ‘special boxes’. With the instruction not to open it for 20 seconds, the goblins eagerly set of with their treasure. Suffice to say, we all had a great laugh when we 10 seconds expired and we heard the corresponding explosion that put the greedy little swamp vermin out of their misery.

Several hours later, we spotted a massive structure on the horizon. As we approached we could see what appeared to be a massive gate, flanked by two crumbling towers, spanning the width of the river. We stopped the boat and disembarked, looking for a way to open the games. Cautiously we climbed the first tower and at the top we found a ladder reaching up to a room from which emanated the familiar shuffling sound of Swamp Shamblers. Hoping to test our the trinket we had just obtained from the swamp folk, we tossed it up into the room and immediately heard a hurried gait echo through the floor as the Shamblers fled from the trinket. We entered the room and easily dispatched the beasts as they cowered in the corners. On one of the walls we found a large iron wheel. With great effort, Kah and I were able to turn it and open one side of the gate. In the other tower, we were confronted with a horrible smell, which Durin identified as coming from bats. In the center of the room was what looked like a nest of some sort. Steering clear of the next, we were able to open the other side of the gate without confrontation. In a few short minutes, our journey had resumed.

It was only a few hours later that we came across a large, wrecked river boat that was not unlike the one we currently traveled in. We pulled up slowly and investigated only to find ourselves in the midst of an ambush. Without warning, two logs swung down on ropes and smashed our left paddle wheel into kindling while Lizardmen attacked from all sides. We were stuck and under siege! We all broke off into groups of two and confronted the attacking Lizardmen. Kah and I took the front of the boat while Stringer and Durin protected the rear. It was a hard fought battle but in the end, we drove off the attackers, however, our boat sustained severe damage from the initial attack and we were effectively grounded until we could repair our vessel. After conferring with the captain, we decided that it would be best to continue the rest of the journey on foot while the captain and his crew repaired the vessel for the return trip home. With that said, we all agreed that no one would be making it home if the Lizardmen attacked again so before we made our way to the temple, we had to deal with the Lizardmen first.

We disembarked from the boat and were able to track the lizardmen who had fled the attack back to their village. We approached the village with our arms raised to show that we were not a threat as our scouting quickly surmised that an attack on the village would be disastrous. We were taken to the center of the village by a group of armed soldiers and were given an audience with the town elder. Through Stringer and some wild hand gestures we were able communicate with the village elder that we were simply passing through and that we meant no harm. We gave them some metal daggers and, unfortunately, a sizable chunk of the ham I brought with me as a token of our sincerity. We promised to bring them more metal weapons if they agreed not to harm our boat or crew while we were away. With peace agreed upon we set off to find the temple.

After hours of trudging through the swamp, we finally made our way to the massive and impressive temple of Cyrix. At the base of the structure, we found an entrance and what appeared to be tracks entering into a hidden side entrance that we were not able to open. With hours left until sunrise, which would open the door, we settled in for a rest before the coming battle.

May Markus Protect Us,
Fynn

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