Serpent's Skull in Eberron

Recipe
Dadak's Tales

Recipe
Rat-on-a-Stick
By Dadak, the Orc

There is an art to a well roasted rat-stick. The best way to make one is to follow the steps below in sequence.

First, get a live rat and clasp it in your hand, face down, with its arse at you. Make sure it’s live, they taste best fresh. Then, take a stick, ¾ forearm length, and insert the stick from its arse straight in, almost to the skull. The rat may struggle a bit, so be sure to hold it tightly.

I have pinned many a foul creature this way, har har har…

After the rat has quieted, put it over a low fire for as long as you can endure, and then a little longer. The smell should be your guide. It may pop a little and explode some, so poke some holes in the skin with a knife. If there’s no knife handy, then some sharp teeth will do. Then viola, (orcish sounds French occasionally), you have your rat-on-a-stick. The fried skin tastes great, and I love starting with the tail.

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Unwelcome
Race To Ruin

Sar, the 28th of Sypheros

Well, that wasn’t very nice of them! Captain Lewin did tell us, before we left Eleder, that the townsfolk of Kalabuto may be unenthusiastic seeing adventurers like us strolling into their town. Still, I did not expect it at the level we encountered. Where ever we walked, there were ugly faces scowling at us. I attempted to sing out loud a time or two, maybe change some attitudes, but that only added my group’s faces scowling at me.

I sense a bit of tension in this town already. A majority of the lesser folk and beggar children, drow most of them, look even more downtrodden by their betters here. I’ve seen the scars of manacles on several of them, and none on the more prosperous citizens going about their business. The docks were worse. Whole gangs of unskilled laborers toiled in the hot weather will little or no rest. Racial tensions are evident. Small “shops” offering local wares and useless junk line the docks.

Then we found The Shrunken Head Tavern. My spirits lifted with the thought of the spirits I would soon be purchasing inside. One step in and all conversation stopped. The dirty patrons stared at Joffa, Dadak and me for quite a while before they turned back to their business. I strode up to the bar, eyed my closest two neighbors sitting there and fished into my purse to buy something for us. Before I could speak, the bartender yelled over my shoulder at Joffa. I groaned, it seemed that Joffa had climbed into the rafters and was attempting to hide in their shadows. The smile on my face died when the bartender turned to me and demanded that I do something about my “friend” before he would serve me. Like I had a chance, in any way, of making Joffa do anything that he did not want to.

I made my request again and again I was denied. Fortunately, or so I thought, I quickly spied a dwarf drinking at a table alone. This was the contact that Captain Lewin had told us about. I knew that the bartender would only continue to be hostile while Joffa swung like a monkey above his patron’s head, so I grabbed up my coin and made my way over to the dwarf gentleman. Ignoring the bartender’s increasing demand to leave I tried to have a conversation with the dwarf. He denied that he was who I was looking for, even when I mentioned his name and then it struck me; he may not want to seem associated with us so as to stay on the Kalabuto citizen’s good side. With a wink, I acquiesced to his farce and bowed. The bartender followed me and Dadak out of the tavern and locked the door behind us.

It was only a matter of time before Cheiton would emerge from the tavern, so I moved on up the docks closer to the shore where I could keep an eye out. I tracked down a Rat-on-a-stick vendor and munched contentedly, one eye on the tavern’s door and the other on the river barges and small ships floating on the River Of Lost Tears.

—from the log of Kreshton Rel’Astra

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The Many Faces Of Dadak
Race To Ruin

Zol, the 24th of Sypheros

I must say, Dadak is starting to become quite a asset to our little party. He helped to make those two months shipwrecked on Smuggler’s Shiv less of a burden. I’m not talking just about his brute strength, he is able to swing that mighty great axe about with quite a bit of proficiency and raw strength. And I’m not just talking about his ability to rejuvenate our wounds and heal us. I am talking about his new powers.

Traveling down the road to Kalabuto we spied birds circling in the sky. Joffa and I were able to determine that they were vultures and that two or three of them were extremely large vultures! We approached the area they were circling slowly, fearing that those monsters would swoop down on us, but Dadak had a different idea. In a blink of an eye – Bamf! – he turned himself into a vulture and with two flaps of his mighty wings, he joined the flock circling in the sky! A few minutes later, Dadak returned and landed next to me then changed back to his usual form. He reported that the birds were circling the carcass of a dead horse laying in the road. That easy! He assessed the situation and let us all know the dangers.

Just a few minutes later, after that huge lion bounded out of the tall grasses and pounced on me, Dadak showed his abilities again. As the lion ripped my flesh and my clothes with equal ease, the corner of my mind that was not distracted from my screaming and pain, I felt a sudden heat blossom near me. Dadak turned into some Primal Form of fire with the casting of a spell and threatened the lion. The lion decided to make a meal of me somewhere else and moved within range of Pol. Pol struck the lion a mighty blow and it released me. Dadak moved partly into the grass to ignite them and to further scare the lion of with the flames and smoke.

Tonight, sitting around the campfire I’m going to have to cast my mending spell several times to get the rents and tears out of my new raiment. I may have even lost a gem or two in the collar. I must remember, before I make my bed upwind from Dadak, to thank him for his part, and maybe, uplift his spirits with a song or two. I know, I’ll sing him that song he taught me so long ago on Smuggler’s Shiv. How did it go, again? Oh yes!

We stomp our feet, Ha!,
We crush their bones, Ha!
We fling them up, Ha!
Their woman all are wailing!

—From the log of Kreshton Rel’Astra

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Almost Time To Dance
Race To Ruin

Sar, the 21st of Sypheros

The jungle sounds outside are muffled by the walls of this hut I am waiting in. Dadak is kneeling with his eyes closed next to me, his massive great axe held lightly in his hands. Somewhere above us, outside in the thatching that works as a roof, I can hear Pol’s steady breathing. Chydak and Joffa await in the darkness beyond my sight. A pool of blood on the threshold sours the air as it sends tendrils of scent in the hopes of attracting the Chemosit that has been plaguing this village of Zenj to us. Joyous battle will be joined once it makes its presence known.

This waiting for the creature to show up is filling my mind with possibilities. I have a new spell I am dying to try out and new ideas to try in battle. I feel like I should be more nervous than I am, I am not used to waiting for battle to come to me, but all I can right now is breathe slowly in tandem with Dadak’s great breaths, and wait my turn to dance.

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Once More
Race To Ruin

Wir, the 18th of Sypheros

Once more, my adventures lead me underground and once more, undead lay ahead. I clutch Aeshamara’s locket at my chest and struggle not to tremble. The thought of undead still does this to me, even after defeating those zombies and skeletons on the various wrecks surrounding Smuggler’s Shiv. My usual bearing of bravado and style is failing me so I have regulated myself to rearguard. I leave the discovery of danger in Pol’s most capable hands while a small part of me cries out at not being at his side up front. I will have to make up for this, somehow. Aeshamara, only your face keeps me sane.

—From the log of Kreshton Rel’Astra

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What Part of Hurry Do They Not Understand?
Wir, the 18th of Sypheros

I dont think this group speaks common. “We need to get out of here quickly…no, we dont need to go investigate that small spit of dry land over there…GGHHAAA! Now the undead have found us…pray the light I dont kill you all myself!”

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Is it Always a Full Moon?
Wir, the 18th of Sypheros

As we ready ourselves to head into the salt mine as a shortcut on our way to Kalabuto I find myself wondering what curse has befallen us? It seems like we have been doomed from the start of this quest for Savnh-Yhi. While we find ourselves in a hurry, it seems we are delayed at every turn. And if we are not delayed (as we were with the stupid quests set out by the addle-brained Nkevich) we are forced to delay in fights with natives, creatures or each other.

I do not want to be late to the discovery of Savnh-Yhi or the likely meeting with Idarthius. If it truly is Idarthius, then there will be many innocent deaths at the hands of him and his minions. Not that I have a hope of stopping so powerful a Quori but I can at least warn people of the danger. But I begin to doubt our ability to get there in any reasonable time. Speaking of which, I should get a little rest before we move out and confront whatever undead are in these caves. At least battling the barbarian had a slight benefit in providing us with that insight. For now, I will be little surprised in whatever delays we find next.

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Swordplay In The Morning
Race To Ruin

Wir, the 18th of Sypheros

There was not much call for swordplay in Eleder and to tell the truth, I did not expect things to go this far this morning. Joffa alerted us in time to intercept that comely female barbarian and her pet dinosaur before she could cause us harm while we slept. And when he came down from his perch, where he was passing his turn at watch, he and Pol began to speak with her. I left her in capable hands even though my eyes longed to have a better look at her fine figure underneath those few furs she wore. I felt that such a blatant action of just walking into our camp, wearing those garments, was sure sign of an ambush; she the distraction. No matter how much I peered into the forest around our camp, I could detect no hidden foes creeping up on us.

Then the shouts began. With amazing speed, the barbarian readied her weapon, a bone glaive, and skewered Joffa with a mighty blow. She also directed her dinosaur, no longer so meek at her side, to jump behind Joffa and also take a bite out of his side. His abilities run in different directions than physical strength, but even I may have been felled by such a two pronged attack! Dadak stepped forward with a roar and planted his great club in the dinosaur’s body. I chose to aid him so I stepped around lightly behind the dinosaur and sunk my blade into its side. Pol jumped forward to grapple our attacker but she slipped from his grasp.

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Joffa can haz journal 62

Zol, the 17th day of Sypheros
the Guide
After several days march through the flatlands, we find ourselves camped in a lighlty wooded area. While sitting around the campfire, Kreshton points out that his map indicates a nearby salt mine. At this point, our guide awakens from his useless stupor and chimes in that the mines might be a shortcut. I sure am glad he’s around to provide us these insights after the fact. I’m starting to get the sneaking suspicion that he might not survive this trip.

First Watch
The others bed down for the night and I attain my watch post in the trees overlooking the camp. A couple of hours in to first watch, an attractive human girl warily approaches the camp. Unaware that I can see her, she believes herself to be approaching stealthily. Always keen to avoid confrontation, I perk up out of my hiding spot and greet her warmly. Seeing me, she is startled and backs up a few feet to be closer to her dinosaur pet. Speaking in a friendly and calm manner, I attempt to make peaceful contact. Seeing that I don’t intend to hurt her, our lovely intruder asserts a more aggressive posture. She begins speaking loudly, telling me that my companions and I must leave immediately.
Hearing her stern voice, the camp is stirred into action. Great, just what I need; the mob has awoken to rule over my diplomatic endeavors. Sure enough, as I struggle to make peace, Pol butts in to try his new found breed of diplomacy. Sadly, it works and he feels self-assured. After receiving a stinging rebuke from him, the human girl wanders back in to the trees, granting tacit approval for us to stay the night.

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Joffa can haz journal 61

Far, the 13th day of Sypheros
More Wasted Time
The next morning, my sometimes friends emerge from the city gates and enter the countryside. It is the appointed time, so I move from my hiding place to intercept them. Pol informs me that he met with Captain Lewin and she provided him contact information for the city of Kalabuto. Why this information simply wasn’t furnished before we left to fetch the hermit is beyond my reckoning. We’ve wasted days and now weeks, travelling to and fro, slinking from one continental shithole to another. I’m chaffing in the company of these incompetent outlanders. Unconcerned with the details that Pol is attempting to provide, I begin walking towards Kalabuto. Naturally, our “guide” does not lead us. What a crock.

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