It seems Khepri is not done with me yet. I’m not sure whether I’m being taught a lesson, or simply living as Khepri wishes me to live already. Either way, it’s not quite as pleasant as I suspected it would be.
The sign I found in Nirmathas- a massive and ill-tempered horse- turned out to be under the ownership of a surly Qadiran woman by the name of Razan. I was greeted with mild surprise and disdain, as if I were some threat. Granted, I am a threat to most people, but I did my best to be pleasant. She had no hand in the occupation of Osirion decades before, and I had no hand in fending them off. Ostensibly there should be nothing there, but it seems that there’s some tension between us. Quite a shame, considering everything else. We would’ve started on just the right foot had it not been for that.
The surprises did not end there. Razan was joined by an Elf, a Dwarf, and several more Humans before the morning was done, and to top it all off Razan- convinced that she might be ignoring a sign of the Gods- took the whole merry band to visit the local Seer. She passed vague judgment, in that way that only Seers can, and it was determined that I could tag along if I so wished.
Do not misunderstand me. One of the very first things that had been said to me (from the Dwarf, no less) was that they were on their way to fight a massive evil threatening to engulf the world. I would not have followed, but I had still been led here, and I was not about to let that go to waste. Plus, this was the first real sign that I had encountered since Razan’s equine friend. It’s not every day you encounter a band of demi-humans out to destroy a world-conquering evil, especially not in such a small, harmless little village like Sandpoint.
It was determined that we were to travel to Magnimar, and catch a ship up to Brinewall, all at the direction of some riddle-poetry they had found on a wall underneath of the village. It seemed strange, but I suppose I was in no place to start scoffing- I had just followed a horse across half a continent on a whim. At least Redgar warmed up to me somewhat. We spent many long hours on the trip discussing our chosen deities. It was interesting to hear a bit about the staple Dwarven God, and similarly he seemed earnestly intrigued by Khepri. I was more than happy to fill him in on some of the details, and we shared prayers for a while. I think it may have been these discussions that saved my life later.
We arrived at Brinewall and spent some time harvesting information from the locals. What little we scrounged up told us that there was a landmark several day’s ride up the mountain called Rimeskull, and that supposedly the site used to have a white dragon guardian named Arkhryst, but he had long since moved on. I was quite unhappy so close to the top of the world. It was freezing cold, and it only got worse as we traveled up the mountain.
Upon arrival, we spent a long while discussing what we were looking for and how we were supposed to reach it, again referencing the poetry for most of our guesswork. The Dwarf finally gathered himself and cast something-or-other on one of the seven statues in the clearing. There was a massive, keening bell and a key appeared in the statue. No sooner had we picked it up were we beset by a large dragon, suspiciously matching the “white” descriptor that the people at Brinewalll had given us.
Remind me not to take locals at their word anymore.
The beast had not even touched down when most of us scattered to the four winds, leaving the Dwarf and the Elf to fend for themselves. I have no idea what happened in the interim, but several hours later I was located by the Elf and led back to camp a ways down the mountain.
We re-evaluated our approach and cast preparatory spells. This time, we saw him coming, and had laid everything out to the best of our abilities. The dragon, perhaps toying with us, actually decided to land and take us on toe-to-toe. Seeing what may have been my only chance, I charged forward and landed a hit before taking the full force of its fury. Not my best day. Deciding that he’d had enough, Arkrhyst grabbed me in one massive claw and pulled me high into the air. Syphacia caught him under his jaw, and so he and I went plummeting back down. My perception of the ground was rather brief, and the coldness of death began to creep into me.
Fortunately, Redgar was able to revive me at the very last moment, and thus I rose up- essentially dead- from the worst fight of my life. I made certain I thanked him, and in my evening prayers I tossed an appreciative mention. It was the least I could do.
Now, I’m told by the wizard that I sit in some extra-dimensional space, with no apparent exit and some kind of time limit, lest we all be unable to leave. Khepri, you have my heart and my skill, and I owe most everything to you. But this? This is sick. I would like you to know that.