The Daring had 15 weeks of downtime after they had recovered the artifact from the Tower for Einreb.
Leo, Yip, Prince’Ess and Ar’Tor took Ghazan’s ashes back to his tribe’s homeland and put him to rest with his people. Du’Tch crafted a helmet for himself and took care of the assigned missions for The Daring Adventuring Company. Drake learned about piloting Airships from the infamous Cog BobbleVahg, who we aren’t quite sure as to whether he retired or was retired from airship building. Locke learned a new language ( I think? Giant?) And then we all spent a week just carousing and having a sweet time.
After the 15 weeks, Locke’s Investigating business was approached with a job. A woman’s son had gone missing 10 years ago. He had been out with his friend, Hamilton, and Hamilton returned without the son, Gottfried. 10 years ago the mother had questioned Hamilton as to what happened, but he was unable or unwilling to tell her anything. Recently, Hamilton had passed away and in his will he left the mother a small map, a serrated dagger and an uncut clear stone. Locke took the job. Shortly after accepting the job, Locke was at Bentwood Keep enjoying dinner with the rest of The Daring and he casually mentioned the job to Yip, who generally was looking for any excuse to get out of the city and swing his hammer. The others overheard the conversation and volunteered to help, because even though it sounded like a mundane task it had been months since The Daring had been meaningfully employed and they all were eager to get back to the road.
The group traveled less than a day from Isla Nurna, following the map. The map’s trailed veered off of the actual road, and shortly after leaving the road the group stumbled upon a den of Dire Wolverines. After a bit of a skirmish, the group vanquished the wolverines and explored their den. It was gross as fuck and smelled like open yeti asshole, but Locke went in because he is also gross as fuck I guess. Locke found five baby dire wolverines and tied ropes to them like a leash.
The Daring came to a steep cliff wall with vines coming down from the top of it, about 20 feet up the wall they could make out an opening behind the vines. The Daring climbed up and just inside the opening they found an old backpack with Gottfried’s initials on it and a JanSport logo, Yip was like, “JanSport? What a loser. His mom couldn’t afford L.L. Bean?”
Further down the cave they found an old rusty lantern and shortly after that the cave came to an end but there was an opening in the floor which they could look down. They saw that through the hole there was a larger open cave beneath them, they could see the reddish stone of the cave, which was different than the cave they were currently in. They also saw a pedestal with a hammer on it, a fire pit and some drawings on the wall. Using climbing gear, they lowered ropes and got down into the new cave. It was much hotter in this cave and more humid as well.
They explored the new cave. The hammer was stone and the black coloring was soot. The campfire had not been used in a very long time. And the drawings were very primitive and depicted bipedal creatures and some flying creatures. There was another exit to the cave, which The Daring went through. They left the cave and entered a hot and humid forest like area. There were large trees around them (I can’t remember if there was another encounter before the muddy area so…if there was…whoops). The group approached an area where the dirt path quickly became mud and up in front of them they saw small raised mounds of mud, resembling small volcanoes. McGruff stepped slightly closer and the nearest mound erupted, with scalding mud hitting McGruff and dealing a small bit of damage. The Daring took their time and slowly proceeded to leave the trailed and go through the forest alongside the path. Once they had passed the muddy area, they returned to the path and found (12?) uncut diamonds in the muck.
The Daring continued down the trail until they began to hear loud noises around them. From the side of the trail a small group of humanoids, wearing primitive hide clothing and carrying rudimentary weapons, sprang from the forest and onto the trail. The group looked over their shoulder, as if running from something. The smallest of the group was carrying a large egg, and as he had jumped onto the trail he stumbled, losing his grip on the egg which fell to the ground, cracking and spilling its contents onto the path. Before The Daring could ask any questions, two large reptilian bipedal creatures with large heads and tiny arms lunged from the forest. The first one quickly snapped its jaws at the nearest of the primitive group, grabbing him in its mouth, lifting him from the ground and then quickly biting him in two. The other dinosaur nudged the egg on the ground, emptying a small lifeless form from the broken shell.
The Daring did not hesitate and charged the two beasts. Yip was taken in the jaws of one of them, but before too much damage could be done The Daring finished them off. The primitive people approached the T-Rex and carved out its heart, eating some and offering them to The Daring. All of The Daring who weren’t little bitches ate some of it. The primitive people spoke a language The Daring couldn’t understand but they approached Du’Tch and pointed to his armor and said “Gotf”. The primitive people led The Daring to their village, Leo cast tongues and the group was able to communicate somewhat with the cavemen-like people. The Daring found out that Gottfried has come here with a friend years ago and that the friend had left, most likely taking something when he did. Gottfried had later been killed by a massive T-Rex which the cavemen would escort The Daring too if they wished. Yip communed with a beast spirit and found out that there was an ancient ruined city in the area, that the T-Rex was an elder beast who was strong but not nearly as powerful as some of the other creatures in the area, and that some of the berries they had eaten on the trail, which had stained Yip’s hands and face…were just fucking delicious berries.
Using the stars and sun/moon placement, The Daring was able to come to the conclusion they were most likely still on their normal plane but there was some questions as to exactly where and because of the neanderthal-life appearance of these people, if they were still in their normal time. There was a sweet feast, the cavemen did a primal dance and then Yip taught some of them how to do the “Yip”. The leader of the cavemen later called over a beautiful woman, who did not appear like these cavemen. She had finer features and was one of the most beautiful women any of them had ever seen. The leader explained that she was from a different tribe that this tribe had conquered and essentially she was a servant. The Daring communicated with the women off to the side and determined that she was a slave, and that she was unhappy here. The Daring came to the conclusion that once they finished their task here, they could collect this woman and bring her back with them and either allow her to live at Bentwood Keep or at least provide her the means to have a decent life however she chose. At the end of the night the cavemen gave some of them some trippy berries. A few of The Daring partook. Leo became addicted.
The next day the four of the Cavemen led The Daring up the trail towards the T-Rex. After a short time the trail passed by a cave entrance. The Daring went to go check it out and all the cavemen were very fearful of it and would not go near. The Daring approached and sensed a magical aura coming from the cave. As they went inside they saw fine pottery and a leather sack in the old cave and then an elven apparition appeared near them. It was an elven ghost with a warpick in her hand. She spoke common but much of what she said was nonsensical, they caught a few phrases though. The ghost referenced Taintasia and something about a powerful dome or ward around the continent. The ghost appear to be reliving past events or talking to someone that no one could see (Even Yip, who could see on the ethereal plane as well). Just as The Daring was debating what they should do with this ghost, she lunged and attacked.
The ghost had a horrifying visage was struck fear into the hearts of Drake, Du’tch and Yip. Preventing them from moving towards her and making attacking her more difficult. Du’tch nearly felt a stronger effect from the fear but called upon his warlock patron for the dark one’s luck to prevent it. Yip was not so lucky, and short after the battle had begun he felt a fear so immense and terrifying that it aged him forty years in the span on a few seconds. He left the strength, dexterity and constitution of youth but gained on of the wisdom or knowledge that normally would have some with the normal long term aging of humans. The Daring was able to finished off the Ghost without much more hassle. Luckily, Leo tried a greater restoration spell on Yip, hoping it would help, and it did. Yip was returned to his youthful age. The Daring got a magical warpick and 100 uncut gems.
The Daring and the caveman continued on the path. They eventually came to a large carapace which the cavemen approached and began to utilize as a type of protective shield to carry over their heads (Much like an overturned rowboat with the caveman holding it above them and protected them from hazards above while they walked carrying the carapace. The Cavemen, much to The Daring’s agitation, informed them that were was only room for one other people under the shell and then also told them that the shell was to protect them from large flying creatures which would carry them off. McGruff traveled under the shell with cavemen while the rest of The Daring elected to face the hazard together.
They traveled across open plains, which were in a large bowl like area. They crossed much of the plains without issue but then saw winged creatures approaching from the roosts on the walls with surrounded the plains. 12 of the creatures flew towards them. The cavemen continued to hide under the shell. Once Yip raged his basic instincts took over. The thought of the leader of a tribe, cowering in fear under a shell while a worth adversary approached was too much for him. He spent his first round of combat screaming at the top of his lungs as he grabbed the edge of the shell and heaved it up and away from the cavemen, “FIGHT OR DIE!”
The pterodactyls swooped and attempted to grab the group and fly away. Only the smallest cavemen and Locke were actually grabbed, but the rest of the group was able to down the beasts before they could fly off. Du’tch used a Dutch oven and a wall of fire to deal much of the damage to the beasts and shortly after the fight was over, with no causalities to the cavemen or The Daring.