An Account by Janarl
Two paths meet in the Great Below…
Auger and I rode our horses out of Cauldron like a trip down a waterfall on a log. It was two days that passed in a blur: long sessions of daylight riding and short painful nights trying to rest. It was only on the first night as I went to go to sleep that I noticed the scars. I had been Taken when Donavan was snatched from us. Two days I had lost and in them something happened I could not remember. Only these scars on my arms remained as testament to a puzzle I could not fathom. Another trail made to end by a river of prophecy that I could not safely swim.
On the morning of Umbersularday, Auger saw and was able to signal the Bilius Daryu to transport us to the Companions. They had went into the mountains to find a tunnel under the Wall of Folly (Turminim Senitiaria – literally ‘the End of the World ‘ but in this usage it has a sinister and philosophical meaning). As the Daryu ascended, I was able to see this Wall of the Order for the first time. It was a sight more breathtaking and terrifying than the morning sun. It was taller than the Scali Dakur (the “Scales of Dakar” the Mountains of the Wasted Sea) and spanned the continent out of sight in both directions. Wind and weather themselves bow to its presence – clearly my egg is addled to want to cross a barrier like this.
By midmorning I departed the Daryu alone (the Companions clearly did not think they needed Pelu and I needed to move fast uphill and through these mountains). I found their trail quickly and easily – they continued to move like a summer storm. It seems Thalazzar went on his own without his kobold and was tracked by a wolf. Though I owe him bulit hyiea (literally “water debt” – something of value but short of a “life debt”), I was certain he could take care of himself. The Stone Dweller was my target. Touching the ground, I called on Sentar to give me an arrow’s speed.
I went hard uphill for an hour and suddenly heard a loud rumbling. Knowing the Companions as I do, it had to be them so I ran forward. Suddenly I was faced by a wall of water cascading down the mountain side. I moved to climb out of the way and got hit hard by the spill only just holding on. The fools! Addled at birth! They are like drunken bears in an egg hatchery! Who knew prophecy would be such a kiukyi bulli (“mud burden” but not used in polite company)?
I found them at high sun labouring at a cave as if they were stone dwellers. They were all their but Arek who was chasing a rampaging Stone Giant. Their path lay through this cave called Iron Reach Mine but it was blocked by a rockfall. I added my claws to the effort and recounted my story about Rivven (who Domaldi knew as Pickett but yesterday went by the name of Quinn) and Donavan. His story about the In-Between Men who had taken my village was familiar to the Tattooed Monk.
We broke through the blockage and found a tunnel down. The new Machine Man flew us down and we began our crawl into the Underdark. This smell of lpurl bilius (the purple flower Lavender) was obvious but tainted with Death. We travelled for four hours as I scouted the well worn route of wagons and undead. Finally, we reached a cavern filled with undead humanoids. I went forward with Nimbus and silently cursed that Arek was not with us now: we would mow them down like wheat if he had been there! I went back to explain the situation to the Companions and Nimbus knocked a rock over the edge drawing the attention of the mass.
Nimbus launched forward and drew their attention with his spirit light. I threw a thunderstone to the back of the room while Tiberio made the sound of a company of men-soldiers. Thalazzar covered our movements with an obscuring mist and we quietly went down the rock-edge away from the undead. Nimbus and T’self were cut off by the Nothics as we slipped into a southern cave tunnel. There was a door at the western edge of the cave but it was surrounded by zombies and skeletons. I was able to guide the rest in the dark to safety but not before Tiberio’s Lyre made an unholy noise that surrendered our presence to the undead host.
I tried to cover their escape with my bow and Nimbus and T’self were able to follow us without being harmed.
We went into the tunnel and I found a junction. I was uncertain for so long but finally I sensed a Way. Thalazzar summoned a demon to guard our retreat and we continued into the Dark.