The Voyage of The Várka

Session 001 - The Fall of Peipom

from the journals of Ignatius Calmwater:

It began in Peipom in an innocent enough manner.

A young, elven woman, called Seraph, approached me as I ate my supper in the Gilded Lion . She claimed to be in need of bodyguards for a journey to parts unknown. As she seemed to be of goodly intent and I had no other conflicting obligations, I agreed to help her. That decision likely saved my life.

When we met the next day, I found that she had also recruited a gnomish druid and a half-orc ranger. She claimed that there were still others (at least 2 I gathered). As we prepared to wait for the late comers, the first earthquake hit.

It was not a long event, but it do some structural damage to the buildings around us. Seraph appeared extremely shaken by the event and said that we could wait no longer.

There was a great deal of panic in the streets. While I wished I could stay and help restore order, I had accepted a different charge and I would not break my oath.

As we moved for the interior gates, a greater quaked struck. It was if the earth below our feet had come to life and was trying to shake us off. Buildings cracked, crumbled, and fell and the already panicked denizens went nearly insane with fear.

When the quake subsided and we managed to regain our feet, we found that the gate before us had fallen in upon itself. People stared at the wreck gates in dumbfounded horror.

The half-orc, Aaaaggg (not sure of the spelling for this), suggested scaling the wall and dropping down on the other side. We could have stayed and (maybe) cleared the gates, but a sense of urgency compelled me to move on. I had sworn to guard Seraph and she was my first priority. My heart went out to the people that worked at removing rubble from the gates, but I could only hope that those that were able would see the route we took and follow.

On the other side of the wall, we found the main thoroughfares choked with people heading out of town. Some of the side-streets appeared nearly deserted, so we took to those to move unimpeded.

A short time later we saw a band of armed looters smash their way into a small shop and attack the family within. While I could do little against the forces of the gods, I could stand against common brigands.

I charged forward and was somewhat surprised (and quite pleased) to see that the others (including Seraph) followed. The fight was short, but most of the family made good with their escape while we kept the looters busy.

Upon leaving the store, we found another group of well-armed men waiting for us. They had the stench of evil about them and it was plain to see that it was us (or rather Seraph) that they were looking for.

Once again, we met the challenge head-on. These individuals proved much tougher than the previous fight and my poor tactical decisions nearly got me killed (it is important to remember not to stand between two thieves). Were it not for Auni the Gnome and her healing magics, I would have likely perished.

At last we were victorious and discovered that these were members of a cult known as The Eye of Thoth, a group that Seraph had apparently pilfered something of great importance from. Seraph also claimed that the cult may very well have something to do with the disasters that had struck Peipom. Were that truly the case, protecting Seraph and the item became all the more important.

Onward we traveled. As we came in sight of the out gate, a great flaming mass of rock struck the gate, collapsing it into a mound of fiery wreckage. Behind us, the great mountain bellowed smoke and fire, while molten rock spilled down its slopes and towards Peipom.

Time was of the essence. We had to get down to the docks and find a ship away. Peipom was lost and there were countless lives I could do nothing for. I focused on the job at hand and did what I had to do.

Over the wall we went again. This time proved a little more difficult, but we made it all the same.

The docks were now in sight, as was another group of the cultists. They stood below us on the road, watching the flaming gate (where they expected us to come through).

I managed to pry a large rock loose and sent it tumbling towards the cultists and we followed closely behind the rock. The rock plowed into the unsuspecting cultists and the fight was joined again. Despite the long and arduous day we had been through, we found ourselves more that up to the challenge.



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