Day Three of Travel, continued
The party makes camp for the night in the middle of the rainforest. The air is thick with humidity, heat and insects. Beldet, still carrying his suit of chain mail over his shoulder, is doing extraordinarily well and is able to continue on without any penalty.
As the group of ten travelers sit about the fire eating, the three native warriors begin talking heatedly. Cayman translates that they are arguing. The party is lost in the forest, and they are battling about which direction is the correct way. Not knowing exactly where the Cave of Rebirth is located, or where they are at all, the adventurers are at the mercy of the native’s navigation.
Quylurani stands and halts the argument between the warriors. She states that tomorrow night is a full moon that they must have a ritual to their gods for guidance and that they will show them the proper way to go.
Later that night, Quylurani asked Beldet how he gets the animals to come to him for sacrifice. He told her that he talks to them. She then told Beldet that she likes his “silver skin”, obviously refering to the chain mail.
A little later after, Quylurani asked Elora about the crystal she has in her staff. She tells Elora that crystals are very magical in their culture. She asks Elora if she can see her staff, Elora tells her no. Quylurani leaves quietly. Elora noticed off to the side, that one of the natives had a clay bowl with a small fire burning within. She watches while he waved his hands over the fire in a way that looked like he was drawing in it’s power and absorbing it. She asks Cayman to ask him what he is doing and he says he is “talking to the fire”. Elora asks if he can teach her to talk to the fire. He asks what she has to offer in return. She offers one of her healing potions to him, and he agrees. He says that he will show her the next night.
That night, while sleeping, Kyrs has yet another nightmare. He dreams that he is tied to a tree in the jungle, and that the Witch is there. She puts a blade to his neck and grins evily. Kyrs awakes terrified and screaming. He feels his neck, and there is a small amount of blood there. This awakes some of the party. Cayman translates for Quylurani that when he sleeps, if he places a circle of salt or powdered crystals around him that it may help prevent the nightmares.
Day Four of Travel
The travelers spend most of this day prepping for the ritual. The adventurers help out getting the necessary items. Madmorsight and Kyrs journey out into the forest searching for wood – lots of it as Quylurani expresses that much of it is needed. She also says that animals are needed for sacrifice, so Beldet brings in monkeys, snakes and birds. Other things needed are certain berries, plants and coca leaves. Quylurani shows Elora what to gather, so she does so. Elora notices Quylurani trying to crush the plants using a crude bowl, Elora allows her to use her mortar and pestle to grind the materials. Being that the plants are exotic to her, Elora keeps some of the plants, berries and coca leaves for herself.
While in the rainforest collecting wood, Madmorsight heard a strange whispery voice say, “Dar”. He looked about, and didn’t see anyone. He was unsure if the voice was male or female. He continued on collecting firewood then heard the voice again. Being a little freaked out, he left the area and soon found Kyrs nearby. He told Kyrs of what happened and they left.
The warriors make a huge bonfire in a clearing in the woods. As the sun begins to fall and the night arrives, the warriors and Quylurani being to dance around the fire while Cayman plays his drums. They dance for hours. They then rake some of the glowing embers into a long, fiery path. Then, each of the warriors walk across the burning road unharmed. Shoteka asks the party if any of them would walk across the fire. Kyrs accepts the challenge. He makes it across unharmed. After that, Sasha does the same. Shoteka offers Kyrs and Sasha to become members of their tribe by marking them with a tattoo. They both accept, Shoteka and one of the other warriors use a sharp quill and some of the crushed plants and berries to mark their skin.
While they are being tattoo’d, Quylurani asks them why they use the bow. She explains that they do not use the bow, and tells them the story of The Invisible Hunters. While the two are being tattoo’d, the native who was talking to the fire teaches Elora the magical spell, Burning Hands. It takes her all night to learn and transcribe it to her spellbook.
While sleeping, Kyrs once again has horrible nightmares – but he cannot remember them when he awakes.
Day Five of Travel
The next day, the party moved on. Quylurani stated that the ritual was a success and she leads them deeper into the rainforest. Later in the day, the adventurers find a pile of rocks. They are told that this is a huaca, and is a sign that they are heading in the correct direction.
They soon find themselves in a ravine. They see shadowy shapes moving in the foliage, then see a pair of golden cat-like eyes peering at them from the darkness. Soon, javelins pour down from the trees at the party and they find themselves being attacked by short, leathery-skined green creatures. They are flat headed, long armed and have coarse black hair sparsely covering their hides. One of the natives is killed by the creatures. As they are being attacked, about 4 of them jump down from the vines above to attack. Elora casts a light spell at the head of one of the monsters and blinds it. The monsters scatter, scared perhaps of the light or of the magic.
Beldet charges forward to take out some of the creatures and manages to carve one up. Behind him, Sasha fires her bow – one shot makes the target and takes down a monster, but the other strikes Beldet in the back.
The creatures stopped attacking and the party moved forward after collecting the body of the fallen warrior. Soon, the attacks commenced again. In a striking move, Kyrs somersaults between Sasha and Beldet and thrusts a slashing uppercut into the belly of the green monster getting a critical attack, then throws another blade at another nearby creature getting a second kill. Another group of about 8 drops down behind the party to attack the flank. Elora is there and seeing a prime opportunity casts burning hands and scorches 5 of the creatures to a crisp. The other three run back up the vines in terror.
As the party moved deeper into the ravine, they find it in a heavy layer of fog making it even harder to see the attacks. They decide to try and move quickly through the canyon since they are at a disadvantage of the constant surprise attacks. Two of the braver monsters jump out from the forest onto Beldet. He grabs them off of him by their heads, then smashes them into each other. The sneak attacks continue in the ravine until finally the party slaughters too many of the creatures and they finally give up. They ask Cayman what these creatures are, he says the natives call them tasloi.