The caravan to which Bartholomoo and Krenal have pinned their fortunes sets our for the Twilight Pass, which leads them up through the Great Scarp to the desolate highlands of the Escul Desert. As the temperature increases, Bartholomoo suggests to Haram that he will need to perform a ritual on his party to protect them from the intense heat. Haram reproves him, noting that delay will be detrimental to the caravan, and Bartholomoo subsides. Bartholomoo, encased in heavy armor and covered in fur, can’t take the heat, although Krenal seems unaffected. The cleric does take the opportunity to cast Endure Elements after they make camp.
At last, the party arrives at the trading town of Zamali to find that it has been raided. Bartholomoo leaps into action and assists the townsfolk in putting out the fires. Krenal sticks close to the caravan, watchful for danger, until it reaches Haram’s compound in the city.
Once the fires are out, Haram brings a couple of scholars back to his compound, questioning them on recent events as they arrive. The scholars, Farooq and Akilah, tell him and the party that the raiders who attacked the city took their mentor, Voor. Akilah believes that the raiders are the same group which has been raiding other towns and stealing books. Bartholomoo volunteers to recover Voor and convinces the rest of the party to join him. Farooq and Akilah lead the party to the spot where the raiders were last seen. Bartholomoo secures camels and ensures the party is protected from the high heat, and then the party sets out.
The adventurers follow the path of the raiders, staying as close as possible while concealing their own presence. Bartholomoo’s magic keeps them healthy and fed along the way. Eventually, they arrive at the outskirts of the raiders’ destination, the Oasis of the Golden Peacock, without being detected.
Lucien attempts to scout around the oasis but is detected by hawks patrolling the area. The party fights fiercely, slaughtering the raptors. Krenal suggests using the downed birds as rations, perhaps in a gumbo. Bartholomoo loses control to his inner beast, ignoring his allies’ wounds until the last hawk is dead. As a sort of peace returns to the desert, the heroes take a breath and contemplate their destination.
- 283 XP each (11169)