You are running through the scrubland, nettles clawing red gouges on your arms and legs. Where is your weapon, your armor? This thought fades as you feel a presence behind you, getting closer, and your lungs breath in the hot dusty air, burning as you force yourself to run faster. How long have you been running, and where are your companions? Abandoned, you sprint further ahead into a field of tall grasses the color of the sun, Ra’s eye. Your step into an unseen hole and pain shoots through your foot. You fall hard onto the rocky ground, the impact knocking the air out from your lungs. Peering upwards, you gaze fearfully behind you, your heartbeat filling your ears. Two green-golden eyes stare out at you, a low rumbling purring sound causes you to piss yourself, and you try to suck in enough air to scream one last time.
The party found their nights restless, as Bast’s dreams invaded their own – stalkings and hunts with the party as the prey. Spying two valkyries in the distance who were gathering up the souls of the fallen, the party skirted wide of the battlefield even though that meant traveling a more dangerous route. However, they managed to traverse the high mountain path, with only a minor accident. The path widened and took a gentler slope, and they began their descent.
A voice like the falling of rocks challenged them, demanding to know their business and intentions. After a brief conversation, the voice’s source revealed herself: an oread, the protector of the mountain. A rough but feminine form the color of rock, dark gemstones peer out from a wise-looking face, and with lichen and moss crowning her head. The oread was suspicious of the dwarf, for fear that the party were surveyors looking for mining opportunities. Derf, wanting to show his sincerity, approached her with an open hand extended in friendship. As he neared, her dark eyes widened in fear and she recoiled, begging them to leave her mountain for they were marked by evil.
Troubled by the oread’s remarks, the party nonetheless continued down the mountain. They spotted a mule being led by a traveler, a middle-aged half elf named Hronven Thalisten. He asked to travel along with the party, sharing his knowledge and food with them. He said he was visiting friend in Rummm, and suggested that they hire themselves a dream hunter when they get to a city. He gave the party a healing salve and masks intended to confuse and deter the predatory cats of the realm from attacking. Xell gifted him a flute, and when they reached the crossroads they wished him well on his journey. Derf grew sullen that they were going to Bresiris, the city of Dreaming Death, instead of Rummm (which sounded much tastier).
The rocky ground gave way to a grassy scrubland dotted with copses of trees. The party followed an ancient dirt road, its deep wagon ruts filled in with smoothed stones. Suddenly a cry sounded off the road. Running towards the sound, they found a lion had trapped a young girl huddling behind a small boulder within a sinkhole. They drove the lion away and calmed the girl down, then escorted her back to her house. She and her brother live in a small hut, braving the harsh conditions as their father had traveled to the city for food and supplies. After helping the kids with a few chores, they party said their goodbyes and continued on.
The party pressed on, intending to get to the city before nightfall. Up ahead on the road, they spotted a ruined caravan surrounded by pools of blood and tracks on the ground that indicated a group of large cats had killed and dragged away the horses and traders. Though the attack appeared to be recent, they found no sign of any living survivors of the attack. Much of the caravan goods were damaged or destroyed, but they found a magic circlet and suit of plate armor, as well as several crates filled with valuable goods – pottery, spices, lentils, and papyrus. All of the crates were marked with a seal in the shape of an ibis. The party took what they could carry and arrived at the outskirts of Bresiris just before dusk.