After about a day's travel and after avoiding conflict with some wild wolves, the Pillarmen un-bagged Kosef, burnt the papers calling for his court martial, and sent him on his way east to Varda and to his family. They continued traveling south. Lena finalized the enchantment she had been perfecting for roughly a month or two and bestowed it upon Igan's war-hammer while he slept. He awoke to find that his hammer emitted a faint glow when wielded, that it was as light as a feather, and that it swung with greater force than before. It was now a magical weapon. The Pillarmen followed the river until they reached the mountains. On the other side was Cardel. Cardel and the ocean..

SESSION 27: Beware the Smooze

The six of them looked down on the lumber camp. Hundreds of workers' tents dotted the plains, hundred-foot long and forty-foot wide lumber carts with twenty-foot wheels were loaded with massive tree-trunks and pointed east towards Varda. Large machines powered by animals were being implemented to carve, cut, and load the wooden pillars. Workers darted to and fro carrying various sizes of logs and tools, which were taken and left in tool pits around the area.

Deciding among themselves, Igan resolved to go down into the camp to negotiate a restock of provisions. Egg-spiker chose to join Igan and he compelled Censer to join him -- for life experience. Lena, judging that her appearance would likely cause an uproar due to the innate magical qualities of Tieflings, remained where she was on the hill. Sklooh (and Kasj by extension) elected to stay with Lena. So Igan and the Kenku set off for the camp while Lena prestidigitized three lenses and improvised a crude telescope with which to observe the party at a distance.

Igan, Eggsy, and Censer's decent into the camp was met with inquisitiveness, reverence, and fear as a result of Igan wearing Kosef's armor and officer insignia as well as the strange raven-like bipeds. No one impeded them as they traveled through to the largest tent in the area. When they arrived, Igan shook up the tent-flaps and a Vardan foot-soldier greeted them at the entrance. This man saluted Igan and submitted to his authority. Igan explained that he was passing through on official business and required supplies to return to his journey. He further explained that many of his provisions had been abandoned and plundered in the woods nearby -- a Jabberwocky that could jeopardize this entire operation. Shocked by this news, the soldier offered to direct Igan and his strange traveling companions to the officer in charge of this mill -- a noble by the name of Lord Amittai.

Igan conceded to be led to this man, but Egg-spiker peeked his head into the tent before leaving. What he saw was a large set of tables with maps and parchment laid out and annotated, another soldier standing a post, barrels upon barrels of wine, and a man sitting on a cot in the corner. A familiar man whom Egg-spiker identified as Kosef. Fortunately, Kosef took no notice of Eggsy before the bird-man retreated his head from the tent and joined the others. Eggsy turned to Censer and told him to remain on constant lookout for a man of Kosef's description, which made the poor acolyte exceedingly nervous. Eventually, the soldier led Igan to what used to be the edge of the forest where a very regal looking man was standing by, overseeing the operation. This man was introduced as Lord Amittai.

Formal introductions were made, and the soldier returned to his post. Amittai distinguished himself through conversation as a man of culture and courtesy, which he extended to Igan in pleasant conversation. Igan, who introduced himself under the pseudonym Nagi, navigated the dialog nervously. He described the ordeal with the Jabberwocky with a few fabrications in hopes of undermining the Vardan work here. Through interrogation, though, Lord Amittai caused Igan to falter regarding the severity and urgency of the Jabberwocky encounter. The operation would continue. Egg-spiker's occasional interjections into the conversation were a source of amusement and befuddlement for Amittai and of dread for Igan who was worried they would be caught in their lies.

Meanwhile, Sklooh failed to overcome his curiosity about the half-a-dozen lizardfolk being employed in this camp. He left Lena to herself so that he could "sneak" down to the treeline and investigate. None of them appeared to be kin or look familiar, but Sklooh continued to watch them as they used large wood-cutting axes to hack away at the massive tree-trunks of the forest. Before too long, he realized that he had been spotted when another of the lizardfolk through a wood-ax at his feet and told him to cut. Sklooh asked why they should cut for Varda. To receive wine. I have wine. Not good wine. Varda has better wine. Cut trees for wine. You cut trees. We sleep by fire. We eat food. We cut trees. We drink wine. Once Sklooh had realized that these lizardfolk were not slaves, he went back to wait with Lena.

Amittai put his resources at Igan's disposal for the purpose of supplying him for his journey once he had gathered that Nagi was investigating the disappearance of the Argathans and instigating magicians on their apparent travel to the coastal city of Cardel -- a cunning subterfuge. That is, under one condition: he asked Igan that he take ex-officer Kosef, now a prisoner, to Cardel where he would be court martial'd for desertion. Igan agreed, and was anxious to get underway. Nonetheless, Lord Amittai insisted that Igan and his company be honored guests for dinner that evening, and pushed very hard to host them. Igan, who didn't want to stay any longer than necessary less he be found out, declined sternly using his daughter as an excuse. Amittai was intrigued that an officer would be joined by his daughter on missions of the state. He desired to meet with her, but Igan carefully wove a web of excuses to prevent Lena from being seen. Igan eventually dismissed himself and left to find the foot-soldier (now identified as Roy) so that he could gather supplies and make haste to Cardel. Egg-spiker and Censer were entrapped in conversation with Amittai.

Igan commandeered a wagon and had it loaded with rations and tents and other general supplies that needed to be replaced. Eggsy, after expounding upon many facets of his religion to Lord Amittai, rejoined Igan with Censer and pointed out that they did not have a horse to pull the wagon. Igan said that no horse was necessary (because God kept killing their horses anyway), and lifted the wagon himself and pulled it away from the camp. The party regrouped at the top of the hill. Igan and Egg-spiker made one final venture into the camp for the traitor, Kosef, and after having black-bagged him (with a ball-sack) and received the proper court-martial documents to accompany him, they made back for the river and headed south.

A GRIPPING TITLE GOES HERE