(Letter sent to Robin Goodfellow and handed to a mimus gilvus* by Oxalis)

(DM Neal
Characters Inti, Don, Umbrys, Otto, Samara, Khaos and Oxalis)

Greetings from your favorite pupil – at least I hope I still am, after the way you laughed last time 🙂 As requested, I will try to keep you up-to-date with what’s going on here.

A scant few days after that fiery debacle I joined another group that intended to explore the wilderness, though I made sure beforehand that we were not going to the worm-infested jungle of DRM. Instead, we were going through the portal code GQE into an area that was mostly rolling plains and incidental copses, making it almost impossible for predators to sneak up on us.

Travel through these portals still is an uncomfortable experience for me – It gets cold enough there for the Winter Queen to become a Popsicle herself. Luckily, only one of our group was somewhat the worse for wear, though we were able to get her back to running in no time flat.

This time, we had an inkling what’ area we would visit: there was either flowing numerous miles to the west from the portal and we wanted to discover a wide swath of land between these two.

These lands seemed to be quite tranquil, during the first day the most violent event happened when some of us went hunting and returned with a bag of a dozen rabbits. That evening, Inti set out to prove his skill at cooking – at least he is better at it than a certain Fey Lord I will refrain to mention here…

During that night, it also was Inti who, during his watch, noticed a shaking of the earth and the smell of blood rapidly approaching. As he woke everyone, a miscommunication occurred, and Khaos ran off… Straight at a large dinosaur that still seemed to be quite hungry. Although we all tried to distract the beast, it seemed to be stupid enough not to notice the danger, preferring to try and eat her.

We managed to finally distract the beast a bit and even administered some emergency healing – Khaos revived slightly, but then the beast decided not to lose its prey and attacked them again, tearing into Khaos again and running off with her, With collective efforts, we finally managed to down the beast, but unfortunately not before Khaos had succumbed to its ferocity. The only thing we could do was to give her a decent burial there .

The very next day, we reached the river we had set out to find and use the opportunity to wash up. The longer I am on the road here, the more I appreciate the “school uniform” you enforced for your pupil. should someone or something decide to attack us during our ablutions I would be instantly ready to act, while the “more covered” members of the group would still be struggling with their pantalons.

Turning north from the river, we came upon a campsite that had recently been used, but the users had left it. It was impossible for us to discern the reasons for its existence, though some of us suspect it to have been created by some Yuan-ti. Strangely enough, a short while later we found a shield that had art on it that reminded some of us of the Khenra. I have heard about these guys, who seem to have their own empire not far away and seemed to be quite pragmatic in their treatment of strangers. It may have been a bad idea to take along that shield, especially as two of our group seem to have been descended from peoples that split off from the Khenra a long time ago but still bear a certain resemblance.

We learned this the hard way when during that night our camp was attacked by a group of barbarians who seemed unwilling to listen to reason, frothing at the mouth and intent on killing us. I believe just about everyone in our group was down at least once while most attacks on the barbarians proved quite ineffective as they shrugged off the effects in their rage. When all seemed lost and those still standing started running,Don used a strange magical kind of soap bubble to encase most of the still living barbarians (at the time we were not counting those anymore that I had sense to sleep earlier). One barbarian, who had not been trapped by Don’s bubble, seemed to be most intent on killing our Khenra–descendant group members, and accused us of being slavers, had to be dispatched before we hurriedly left under protection of the “tracks of the bird wings” as you called the incantation that hides one’s tracks.

As we were now most interested in regaining the portal, we only watched a strange carriage from afar, deciding not to make our presence known. The same strategy was adopted when a short time later we came upon a large part of Aurochs, which probably served as well. The short temper and vile personality of these basts is well known, even though interestingly Samara, despite being a druid, seemed to never have seen nor heard of these beasts before.. In the end, our policy of nonaggression on the third day paid off and we made it home through the portal.

Unlike the jungle I spoke to you of recently, I can imagine that you would like it in that area, even though there are no serious woods to speak of nor intelligent beings to prank – though I have to admit the barbarians could probably benefit from some lightening of their mood. Somehow, they seemed to have mistaken us for Khenra or similar people, a group that keeps slaves which enraged the barbarians. It could be that the combination of our two group members and the shield we were dragging along led to this misunderstanding.

*mimus gilvus: the Tropical Mockingbird – transl.