City not built in desert, life drained. Formerly a bustling port trade city. We camp in church of Pelor. Last campaign was 1200 years ago. When magic came back into the world. The forest began to grow as soon as the magic returned. Began to grow slowly. Spores present, but not in force; far fewer plants to produce them. After a few hundred years, gained speed. History: “forest” only reached the city we are in about 300 years ago. That is when the waste ARRIVED at the city, when crops started failing, drought, etc. At first only thought it was a bad few years, but only got worse. The actual forest, the city discovered, had grown towards them at an alarming speed.
Within 30 years, the city was nothing but dust; no longer viable. Some tried to stay, most left. No one beyond the wall knows what happened to them. Valuables taken by those who migrated over the 30 years. Corpse balls suggest why nothing was heard from the hold-outs. Migrators had not thought drought would last forever, but feared the approaching forest also.
Morning in the church:
Hayden snores in a gentlemanly fasion, Sheila meditates through it. Zephyr considers looking for a library. She consults Sheila about looking for a library, citing the possible knowledge it would provide to the success to the mission. They decide to head to the fort instead to look hopfully for the last bastion of the city’s people. While trying to express the importance of her search for information, Zephyr gets frustrated with Hayden, and Sheila says she doesn’t have to explain things. Zephyr expresses bewilderment that there is someone who does not catch on even with a clear display, in laymen’s terms, of logic. Sheila says he is just trying to get a reaction. (Aeric: “he’s fucking with you…”) Zephyr suddenly understands: Hayden is interested in psychology!
Once at the fort, Zephyr levitates up the wall and opens the portcullis. The courtyard around the fort is bare. Littered with a little training gear and rusted armor/weapons. The fort itself is not elegant but certainly sturdy. Hayden looks for murderholes. There are windows on the second story. Sheila opens the barred door with a clever use of her sword. Inside, we find the stone walls are much thinner than they appear from the outside; a clever ruse to deter attack. The place creaks as the door swings open, making Zephyr suspect that the mortar used in the construction is of lesser quality than that in the church. We move quietly.
The main door opens into a large entrance hall. The large door on the left opens up into a large room. There are the remains of severals wagons, some empty chests, and some old grain. The first door on the right is a small access hallway that follows the outer wall. A door in the hallway leads to what appears to be a mess hall, which in turn leads to a weapons storage room and some barracks.
The barracks have several rows of tall bunk beds. The room is old and well used. Zephyr looks through the chests in hope for a diary or notes. She finds letters, only 3 or 4. In her search she comes upon a large corpse ball. After her initial shock she notices it is located over a crevice in the ground. It is actually mounted on the wall and extends into the crevice, and so is even larger than first glance. At least 20 bodies, fully armed and armored. Zephyr sets an old sword aflame, and Sheila uses her sword in fire-mode. Sheila and Zephyr both begin to attack the ball with flaming swords… It smells terrible. Aeric leaves, Polena looks green. They hack into it until the have excavated about an 8th of it. They find nothing of use. They give up and move on to another doorway in the barracks which leads into the main hall. They find a long table they suspect would be used by a ruling council. The rest is mostly empty space. Likely once filled with much fine finery, it is now barren and ransacked. A door near the council table leads to some sort of infirmary. Zepher finds some basic medical impliments. They also find some council member chambers. It has been looted. An endtable contains notes from a consular that worked here. The last entry was 267 years ago. The last entry was speaking of leaving and the frustration that not more people were leaving with them. Zephyr takes the notebook so that she can read it in full later.
They then head to the tower. It is full of wagons, crates, a huge corpse ball and some stairs leading up. They follow the stairs leading to a junk room of sorts. As they round the stairs and come upon a faggot, it’s drafty and damaged. They come upon what is clearly a nest.
“Yes, young flesh” Hayden whispers. He stealths. Creeping. He finds the young of the Yutherk. They kinda look like winged lizard. 2 infants. Eyes open, beaked head with a small crest turning purple. Eye-less sockets. Size of large dog. Some field sketches exist of these, but no real info. Origin is the forest. Zephyr puts in earplugs, and examines the infants. They approach, squawking and biting. Sheila tosses them some lizard. The squawks vibrate the entire tower. Zephyr opts to leave them be. Meanwhile, Hayden looks through the “piles”.
The next tower is filled with nicer crap. Some masterwork things, nothing magical. The third tower contains what seems to be the last stand of the people. Hayden falls through the stairs in this room and breaks a leg. It is healed by the paladin and the cleric. Hayden cleans himself up. The last tower is similar to the third, but without a corpse ball. They discover a guard house with a skeleton. It bears a note. “They came out of the ground, we had no defense.” (They’ve come for us. There is nothing else I can do. I hope someone finds this. The bugs came, out of the ground. We never saw it coming. Etc.) It is about 1:30 in the afternoon. Hayden climbs the third tower, bypassing the now broken stairs, and sharpens his weapons on some repair equipment he finds.