“Forty-two days. Forty-two days through forest, and across plain. Beyond desert, jungle, and mountain. The Daring set forth from Intercity as fledgling heroes, and Gods willing, would arrive in Isla Nurna seasoned adventurers. Some would bear the scars of this journey, both physical and otherwise, for a lifetime. No man touches death’s gate and returns unaffected. But an aura of tranquility emanated from the area they looked up now. A welcome calm. Dwellings overhead were built in harmony with the trees and vines. Sunlight broke the jungle canopy and danced with swirling mists.”
The Daring approached the treeborn village and as they did two figures approached them without hostility and their arms wide spread. After some initial defensive posturing by Yip and Ghazan, Leo strode forward and met the two and after a brief introduction it was clear these two were no enemies.
They described this place as Lor Jahale, a Monastery for the people of the Jakub. During this introduction Ghazan took it upon himself to begin to study the intricacies of their common dialect, and Drake cleverly disguised himself as Beyton a persona he would keep throughout their time a Lor Jahale, at least as far as the rest of The Daring was aware. Du’tch seemed distant and almost aloof, as if something from their past encounter or travels was weighing quite heavily on him. Leo went through the introductions in his predictably grandiose fashion while Yip began to salivate at the thought a warm meal and a nice bed.
The Daring was escorted into the treetop village, along the way they witnessed nearly 100 members of Jakub, of a wide variety of races in various states of work, teaching, practicing or meditating. The Daring are brought to a large hut and are introduced to Elder Valesus, a large muscular man with flowing ivory hair whose physical prowess is softened by his demure demeanor. Valesus explains that if The Daring wish to stay with The Jakub there are certain terms. If you are able-bodied, you must work. When you hear the bells ring, you must be silent. You must follow any instructions given. With the exception of Leo, The Daring found these to be perfectly acceptable terms…Leo would much rather have just exchange a song or two for a hot meal and a soft bed, but he was able to put his misgivings aside and voice The Daring’s acceptance of the terms.
Valesus then brought The Daring to a small, yet comfortable hut that would house them for their stay. It was around this time that the bells began to ring out. A soothing aura seemed to fall over The Daring as the melodic tones washed over them, in their silence they found peace and tranquility like he hadn’t known since they first set foot on their path to Isla Nurna. Although they were never able to figure out the exact source, The Daring was fairly certain there was at least some magical influence in those calming notes.
Valesus leaves them, explaining that he will call upon them later that evening. The Daring take it upon themselves to explore Lor Jahale, and while Ghazan is able to sense that there were aberrations, fey, and fiends within one mile of them the distinct impression The Daring got from witnessing these monks at work was that they were a genuinely good and devout group. They attended the midday meal where they served themselves simple yet flavorful and filling food. The afternoon is spent with The Daring assisting with whichever tasks the elder monks assign them, it is menial labor but in this environment it feels strangely rewarding.
Evening comes and as promised Valesus calls upon them, he plans to introduce them to the Eldest monk at Lor Jahale. This monk is founder of The Jakub, and he is the oldest and wisest among them. Valesus introduces him has Gheesen, and upon speaking his name the monk enters the room atop the largest tortoise anyone in The Daring as ever seen. Curiously enough Mr. Gimble is atop the tortoise as well with Peesh on his shoulder! Mr. Gimble’s arms are wrapped around Gheesen’s waist to keep himself stable upon the impossibly quick tortoise. The old monk pulls on the reins of the tortoise and it skids to a halt. “Whooooaaa girl!” He dismounts, talks quietly with Mr. Gimble for just a few seconds, and then Gimble exits out the back.
Gheesen introduces himself and his friend, Pahmlee, and he also explains how The Daring could feel free to pet him if they’d like – To which Pahmlee responds, “I wouldn’t try to pet me if you like having that hand of yours. And don’t fuckin’ talk about me like I’m not here, old man.” Valesus clears his throat nervously and Geeshen gasps then looks at the tortoise out of the corner of his eyes “Pahmlee!……watch your profamity…”
The Daring has a conversation with Gheesen about Pahmlee, Gheesen found Pahmlee decades ago and brought him here, but unfortunately Pahmlee doesn’t remember anything prior to that day. Drake, disguised as Beyton, attempts to find out as much as he can in hopes that this knowledge might assist his connecting with Lil’ Wayne. Gheesen asks about The Daring’s plans for the future and Yip does his best attempt at explaining their purpose and their reasoning for wanting to travel to Isla Nurna. Predictably he makes a fool of himself, by the message is more or less conveyed to Gheesen who tells them, “Rest assured that your deeds do not go unnoticed. When you do good in this world, it is felt by all in some way. Unfortunately the same can be said of evil. I believe The Daring will go on to make a great difference. Isla Nurna is the beginning of something special. “
The Daring left their meeting with Gheesen to attend the evening meal. There they meet a sickly looking elf by the name of Bean Nahpee, who had intended on traveling to Isla Nurna some time ago but stopped here and despite how pleasant everyone has been he still feels like he doesn’t belong. The Daring explain that they are heading to Isla Nurna and that Bean is more than welcome to tag along, it also appears the Yip has taken a strong liking to Bean and goes out of his way to make him feel welcome.
The next morning The Daring, with Bean in tow, depart Lor Jahale. Valesus is there is see them off and The Daring leave with the distinct impression that they may have just witnessed one of the few bastions of genuinely uncorrupted humanity this continent has to offer.
The day’s travel is uneventful and that evening The Daring makes camp. Yip draws the second shift for guard duty and asks if Bean wants to help him out, again in his attempt include the misfortunate elf. It just so happens that during their watch both Du’tch and Drake begins to have short labored breaths, they begin to grunt and thrash around in their sleep. After a few moments Yip turns to them and chucks a few stones their way, assuming they are having a nightmare or perhaps just snoring too loud. He almost instantly releases his mistake when the grunts turn into animalistic wails and Du’tch screams into the night air “AAAAWWWWWWOOOOOO”, to which Yip replies, “HOLY FUCK BOYS!”
By this time the Rest of The Daring have awoken, but Drake and Du’tch had completed their monstrous transformation and took off into the forest. After a brief moment of confusion the remainder of The Daring decides to quickly pack camp and to follow Ghazan as he tracked down their two friends. The tracking takes about 10 hours but finally Ghazan, Leo, Yip and Bean stumbled upon their disheveled friends, their clothes torn and filthy as they lay sleeping not far from each other. The two appear to be no worse for wear, other than not having much of a memory of the previous night and b-holes as raw as can be. After some tense conversations it becomes rather apparent that The Daring now has two werewolves as members, they debate on how best to handle the situation and decide the only real avenue available is to hope someone at Isla Nurna can provide answers and maybe a cure.
After a day of relatively easy travel, they arrive at the floating island known as Isla Nurna. Four long translucent bridges stretch from land to the island in each direction. Even from where you are, you can hear the sounds of construction, and see many buildings in different stages of erection. It isn’t a city yet, but the vision is there. Guards are posted at the western bridge where you arrive, and are greeting a few other travelers. They are dressed in light armor and orange cloth.