Call of the Vigilant

Pilgrimage Part II (Mawag 27 - Mawag 28)

The following day we were headed north along the pilgrimage route when Kirra yelled out and manged to pull Dederick aside just as a pair of razor sharp pincers came out of the ground and attempted to rip Dederick’s leg off. The pincers belonged to a giant insect that unburied itself from the ground and attacked. It was soon joined by 4 others. At first several tried to attack me but my insect repellent kept them at bay (I usually travel with this spell up to keep off various biting insects). These insects were tough, their carapaces were hard to punch through with normal weapons, although my spells seemed to be doing OK. They were also very deadly with their pincers. Saiph soon went down, but was revived by Andros. Personally I was really glad I had my spell up.

Winnar identified them as turf cutter beetles, but these were not behaving normally. Several times it looked as if the beetles might run only to be forced back into the fight by some other will. We soon realized that we were most likely dealing with a Beastmaster. Winnar and Andros began looking for the beastmaster. The rest of us could not leave the path or our pilgrimage would fail. Andros’ Zoak found the beastmaster and both Andros and Winnar homed in. He did not last long to say the least. With the beastmaster dead the beetles ran off. It is considered bad luck to ambush pilgrims on the route, so we wondered about the motive for the attack. The beastmaster had 70gp in his pocket so we figured that he might have been paid as an assassin. Most likely the members of House Avalus were his targets, but he got mixed up and targeted me instead.

That night we rested at a house that sort of served as an inn for pilgrims. We told the group of dwarves about the attack and our suspicions. That night both the dwarves and us kept extra watches, just in case of another attempt. It was a good thing we did.

I awoke to the sound of a thunder bolt. Dederick and the dwarven guards were aiming at someone in the rafters of the building, while Saiph was trying to climb up. The assassin was hard to see in the rafters and the dwarven crossbows kept missing their marks. Saiph managed to get into the rafters and the assassin, realizing that he was trapped, turned into a bird and tried to fly through the hole in the thatch he had made coming in. Andros had predicted that the assassin might try and go out the way he came and was waiting for him. The bird went down and we decided to keep him alive and question him.

The assassin told us that he was hired in Barter Town and was only told to look for a dwarf with a lot of body guards. This explained the first assassin’s mistake. I could also be seen as a dwarf with a lot of bodyguards. He also told us that he saw at least 3 others hired at the same time as him. All were paid 70gp with expectation of another 70gp if their target died, no matter who actually killed him. If the target died they all would get paid. He could not tell us much about the person who hired him unfortunately and we let him go, without his equipment, grimoire, or 70gp.