To say the lost city of Bantu Asparr was not what I expected is a bit of an understatement. For naive reasons I thought the Lost City would be largely uninhabited. Or perhaps its denizens purely tribal in nature like the Ba-Bar-Ghee. While the later has certainly been true with at least one set of creatures we found in the Merchant District, it does not seem so with each district.
Our first foray into the city we found the remains or an old camp that was haunted fallen soldier and member of the Farstryder Society. It seemed a fight was imminent until Palomar and Jemmrand Sorrowtongue stepped in an got the damned spirit to talking. Through its tale we learn his name was Naseem. He was a kingdom soldier (and based on his journal a murderous deserter). As promise to sharing his tale with the Farstyders he shared with us some details of his experience in the city. It was enlightening giving us all the feeling the city was inhabited by several local factions already.
Later that same day we met the first of these “locals” as we made our way to the Military district. There we were attacked by a squad of four armed demon touched orcs. These were not wild monsters as they were uniformly armed and armored with master work gear. They attacked from surprise, using sound tactics and making a strategic withdrawal when we got the advantage. Although we won that skirmish it was clear to us all that continuing into that district would be entering into into enemy territory. A task for another, we decided, better left for another day.
Instead we spent the next few days exploring the Merchant District. Where we faced more surprises, this time of gargantuan nature. A crocodile and bat of eminence size and viciousness, with jaws that could swallow you whole. It was Khaine’s quick thinking and Palomar’s fearlessness that one the day, proving brain over brawn can indeed win. For the servant of the Sovereign Host used his flight ability to engage the gargantuan reptile and led it back to the gargantuan bat’s lair. There were tense moments when both creatures seemed focus on our flying friend and we feared the worst. But then they turned on each other a battle of behemoths ensured. We allowed the creatures to deal mortal wounds to one another before we set in seal the bloody deal.
Also we met the Ketch, creatures of inedible stealth while in natural surroundings. They make me quite uneasy. They were impressed with our defeat of the giant monsters, allowing Palomar and Jemmrand Sorrowtongue to once again parley bit of a truce with these creatures. Learning about other threats in the district like the “Many Monster” and the “Smoke People”.
The “Many Monster” we learned, almost to our destruction, was a small pride of chimera. Intelligent magical beast with three heads and breath attacks. As we sought to take the one male by surprise, its two females joined the fight. We were spread then at first but slowly closed ranks and fighting smart. Unfortunately Palomar seemed caught up in a zeal to smite these evil beast and did not notice how severely injured Khaine was. Another bite landed by the beast that took big guy down. I struggled to keep its attention until Palomar could rendered some healing aid.
Again with effort of all, but mundane and magical we won the day. Claiming the Keep of the Chimera’s as our new base of operations.
Feeling good about our accomplishments, Palomar and Jemmrand Sorrowtongue wanted to check back in with the Ketch. Creatures I still do not trust, partially because they skill at stealth seems to far exceed my perceptions and their by hamper my ability to keep my friends safe. The other reason… I couldnt quite put my finger on until later once we returned to them. For they had attacked and taken a half-elven beauty as well as an juvenile Elvenwar cat. We freed them which strained our relations with the Ketch. Apparently they were planning on serving us the noble animal and the beautiful madien for diner. While I guess the sentiment could be appreciate… thinking would would eat sentient creatures shows the distance between us, and proves if chance allowed they would see us in their cook pots.
Leaving the Ketch we head back to our keep and spent the rest of the day making it more worthy of that title. We learned of the strangers plight and a bit of who she got here. There is still much more to her tale I’m sure, but as I understand it she has been drawn her by a curse, probably by the Aspari (may they all be turned to boots and belts). She seems a bit naive in the world, however there is a sense of power with her.
Is this a new ally the gods have sent to aid us? Or an unwanted guest we will need to destroy…
Time, as always, will tell.