It’s now quite apparent that Vyr-Azul is a racist bastard.
He has ordered a squad of dragon-blooded serpentfolk sent out into Saventh-Yhi with orders to kill the leader of the vegepygmies. Difficult to do, given that vegepygmies don’t really have a command structure. Also, given the mess in the area (bubonic plague killing everyone, and the vegepygmies spreading thanks to the easy supply of fresh dead), pretty much a suicide mission.
Naturally, the squad went missing.
And naturally, Vyr-Azul orders a second squad… who just so happens to also be full of dragon-blooded serpentfolk… to follow the first squad, find out what happened to them, and try to kill the leader of the vegepygmies. My squad.
I am going to enjoy watching Vyr-Azul drown in his own blood.
My first thought was to not go on this blatant suicide mission. However, that would leave me in the tenuous position of not being able to enter the city, since I would technically be a deserter. Ordinarily, not an issue… however, it does make killing Vyr-Azul and his cronies a little harder. So, I’m left with the option of carrying out the mission to buy my compatriots time to put another victim under my sword.
Incidentally, Vyr-Azul has a runner meet me at the gate to order me to surrender my falchion upon my return. I am presented with a sho-tel. Surrender the weapon I’ve trained with and mastered in favour of a weapon I wouldn’t even use to spit meat over a fire? I think not. If Vyr-Azul wants my sword so much, I’ll have to oblige him… but I’ll not surrender my weapon. I must plan a way around this. But for the time being, I have a mission in front of me.
My initial thought had been to simply fly myself and my troops to the heart of vegepygmy territory, however that would leave me dangerously low on funds with which to afford healing magics and curatives against the diseases we would be coming up against. Additionally, I wasn’t sure that such a plan would leave us able to see through the tree cover to find the squad we’re tasked to find (although, if they are dead at the hands of the vegepygmies, there is likely nothing to find). So, I made the decision to buy healing, proofs against disease, remove disease scrolls, and restoration scrolls. I would have to lead my squad by ground to the heart of vegepygmy territory.
My squad… dejected doesn’t begin to describe it. After our last expedition up top and the casualties we took, I don’t blame them. But I’m frank and open with my plan. They’re cautiously optimistic about it, and agree to follow me for now. That is all I can ask. After a last good-bye to my sister at the gate, we set out.
The first part of our trek goes relatively smoothly. We get out and make good progress initially. However, as occurred last time, we quickly come upon a vegepygmy squad engaging a boggard. We make use of the distraction and attack the vegepygmies while trying to make our good intentions known to the boggard. After a long, brutal fight we manage to dispatch the vegepygmies and query the boggard. He has, in fact, seen a squad of serpentfolk recently, and points us off towards troglodyte territory. As my squad are relatively unharmed after this first engagement, we press on, accompanied by the boggard for a short time.
Soon after splitting off from the boggard, we cross a bridge to the outskirts of troglodyte territory. I give the order to skirt around, however we are quickly engaged by a large parrot, a camulatz, if I’m not mistaken. I’m unsure why it attacked us, but it seems quite focused on me and does its best to behead me. However, I manage to strike it several times as it flies past, and on the last engagement, I manage to sever an artery. We chase it down and finish it off, then find and loot its aerie.
I briefly entertain the thought of cutting through troglodyte territory (as it would be quicker), however we spot a large group of what appear to be undead and/or diseased troglodytes in front of us. And a large party of vegepygmies behind us. Frustrated, and not wanting to be caught in an engagement on two fronts, I pull us back across the bridge, wait until the vegepygmies engage the troglodytes, and order us to skirt around the troglodyte territory. I have one of my troops drop a major image of a squad of serpentfolk in the furor to add to the confusion and reduce the odds that we would be spotted.
However, it quickly becomes apparent that any choice I make is going to be a combat-heavy slog. As we progress through some buildings, we are engaged from the rooftops by a vegepygmy squad. This proves to be a tactical nightmare, as my squad are quickly being infected by spores. As they dole out healing magics and engage one group at range, I race to climb to the top of the second building to engage the other group. I get to the top, and manage to throw one vegepygmy off of the roof to the ground below, and then I engage the other two with my sword. We dispatch the squad of vegepygmies, and take stock of the situation. It is getting late, and though my troops are relatively unharmed thanks to the magics we have, we have only covered half the distance to the vegepygmy territory, and have seen no further signs of the other squad.
If we manage to return to the city alive, I will have to see if I can find a scroll of Mass Fly… that might see us accomplish our task far more quickly. And I will probably leave my sword with my sister for safeguarding while I operate in the city itself, at least until I can come up with a solution to allow me to retain my weapon (or obtain a backup weapon).
Vyr-Azul’s death can not come soon enough