Serpent's Skull in Eberron

That Could Have Gone Better

Race To Ruin

Zor, the 19th of Aryth

At first, the Eloko seemed quite formidable, but once I gripped my sword in my hand, I was able to spring and dance between them, dealing pain and wounds aplenty. The only thing that hampered my attack was this damn jungle underbrush and obstructions. Hopefully Tazion, somewhere ahead of us, is not an overgrown mess as well. But, that is high hopes, I think; after all, Kalabuto was a thriving city and it still was half overcome by the jungle surrounding it. Tazion, empty all these centuries, probably didn’t fare as well. Still, it is our mission to find it and deal with that Serpentfolk Priestess and whatever nefarious plans she has. There must be something powerful there for her to go to all this trouble, first getting herself stranded onto Smuggler’s Shiv and now to make her way deep into the jungles of Xen’Drik. I wonder how far ahead of us she is?

I am concentrating hard on the task ahead because I want to hold off thinking of what has happened to our expedition in the last few hours. I returned with the bell that the Eloko used to charm us into their clutches to find Dadak and N’Ketchi trading rough words with each other. I gathered that Dadak was angry that he wasn’t healed enough during the battle and N’Ketchi was angry at Dadak’s coarse treatment of him. Before Pol and I could intervene, N’Ketchi hurled a stone at Dadak’s head, grievously wounding him. N’Ketchi seemed stunned that he responded so violently (The Tempest, indeed) and was seriously contrite but Kalia would not let him approach the unconscious Dadak to heal him. Understandably! Pol and I calmed her down and directed N’Ketchi to step away. We had to find a way to diffuse this problem.

We tied Dadak to a tree with the best knots we knew and I used my wand of Cure Light Wounds to revive him. Dadak woke with a roar, upset at his state, and ignoring our pleas, unpredictably wildshaped into a hawk, totally bypassing the knots we so expertly used! He alighted to the ground and changed back and began a spell that I examined and detected as his summoning spell, and a few seconds later, a giant Dire Wolf appeared to savage N’Ketchi. N’Ketchi responded with a bolt of lightning directed at who he perceived as the greatest threat which flattened the irate orc. Pol and I rushed to N’Ketchi’s side and made short work of the Dire Wolf. As soon as its body lay at our feet I rushed back to Dadak, pulled on my brass knuckles and watched his wounds heal, the effect of an earlier spell he cast. I hoped to intimidate my friend and stop his retaliation but I am sure he saw my heart wasn’t in it. Pol and I tried the whole time to reason with him, I appealed, but he was irate. He called a “Blood Feud” on N’Ketchi and moved off into the jungle accompanied by his cat.

Pol and I hoped to let him cool off alone but still we made plans to protect N’Ketchi. He has been our guide for the last month as we’ve trekked through the jungles of Xen’Drik. He’s done a wonderful job keeping us safe from various mundane threats. Still, he does not know the bond that we made with Dadak surviving on Smuggler’s Shiv. If we have to, I would prefer to make N’Ketchi return to his cave as we continue on with Dadak to Tazion.

Once he returned at sunset the next day, Dadak’s vengeance was quick. We had stayed in the same camp from which the Eloko charmed us to wait for Dadak to cool off. His tactics were sound and pulled both Pol and I away from N’Ketchi’s side for just the right amount of time to overcome Gozrah’s priest. It all seemed to move in slow motion: I was busy dealing with the Owlbear that was summoned into our camp, Pol was out of position coming to my aid, Dadak appeared right in front of N’Ketchi to confront him, N’Ketchi crumbled to the jungle floor after healing a wounded Kalia, and, after raising his hands in victory, Dadak stayed his hand from killing N’Ketchi. Pol eyed Dadak for a moment and nodded perceiving Dadak’s retribution was full-filled and the battle against N’Ketchi was over. Moments after that, Pol and Dadak, who wildshaped into a bear, rushed to give me much needed assistance against the owlbear that was quickly overcoming me. Only Pol made it to my side and together we put down the fearsome beast. Somehow, Dadak lay on the ground, a horrible blackness surrounding his shoulder, from what, I have no idea. The only chance he has is the man he just beat into unconsciousness. I must get to N’Ketchi and heal him with my wand to examine Dadak and hope that N’Ketchi is also aware that the orc’s vengance is sated with his defeat. I wonder where Ja’Redd is? He’s nowhere to be seen.

—From the log of Kreshton Rel’Astra

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