The adventurers, having dealt with Billy and his cronies, continued their journey towards Bogotus.
The air was crisp and cool with a bite that caused the adventurers to cover themselves with thick furs and heavy clothing. The cold breeze coming in from the North had the scent of the ocean on it; fish, salt and water.
All that day they traveled the dull road towards Bogotus. At the fork they turned south. They made camp on the roadway, setting sentries on rocks while others slept. The night passed uneventfully. It was cold, but not uncomfortable for the well-protected adventurers.
In the morning they continued their trek south, passing by the town of Lodaz and instead camping at the corner between the Whiterun River and the Otus mountain range.
As Hodor was watering the horses in the stream and others began washing themselves and their clothing in the freezing river, Sam, the warrior, stripped down and made ready to wash himself. Reese, the mad cleric of Nemlurun The Unclean, screamed that cleanliness was the greatest danger facing humanity and wrestled Sam onto the ground, giving him thorough drenching in the mud.
While these antics took place, three mangy wolves emerged from the sparse woods bordering the river. The three hungry predators took a brief survey of the group and began loping towards the struggling pair of naked men on the ground. Jon Owen and Danil Owen, brothers both aware of the dangers of wolves, spared no time in loosing two arrows towards the advancing wolves.
Jon's arrow went wide, but Danil speared the Wolf directly through the eye, instantly killing the largest of the three. The two remaining wolves, undeterred by the death of their brother, resumed the assault and reached the struggling Sam and Reese. Each taking hold upon the bodies of the two men, they bit savagely into arms and legs, causes serious damage and harm to the two men.
Stu, the Wizard, seeing his allies so damaged by these vicious wolves, cast one of the two spells he knew, magic missiles. He created four orbs of shimmering light which immediately converged on the larger of the two wolves, and ripped his body into so many pieces instantly. Once finished with their gruesome work, the orbs of force left little that could be identified as a wolf.
Sam attempted the age-old strategy of poking the wolves eyes out, but somehow managed to instead poke himself in the eye, much to the amusement of his peers. Reese attempted to heal himself with the power of Nimlurun, but received the distinct impression that Nimlurun was busy and shouldn't be bothered at the moment.
Vinnie the Bat, seeing the scuffle, decided to spend some time helping with the struggle. He casually advanced on the wolves, and using his Rod of Rulership which he had acquired in the portal, took a mighty swing at the wolf. He missed entirely, swinging far too high to hit anything.
Jonny and Danil took aim again and let their arrows fly, slaying the last wolf. Eres marched forward and made sure that wolf was indeed dead. It was. That evening, Ahnold went to work field dressing the wolves, obtaining their pelts and preparing the meat for supper that evening and the rest to be turned into jerky.
Having defeated the wolves, they turned in for the night. They took turns watching the camp, and the evening passed rather uneventfully. Early the next morning the group was awakened by a mournful wail. Several of the men rushed to the noise, finding Vinnie the Bat huddled into himself, holding his pack. Tears flowed from his eyes as he bemoaned the loss of the Rod of Rulership. Some thieving ner-do-well had stolen the artifact during the night, leaving no evidence of their involvement during the night.
The party set out again, the ever-positive Vinnie, finally beat down by the vagaries of life, listlessly stared at the ground as they continued their march. They came to the bridge and took a moment to speak to the guards there.
The guards asked them their names and business. Eres informed them that he was John Owens and they were the John Owens Trading Company. The guards let them pass without any hassle, advising them to offer no trouble to the guards, but especially no trouble to the Blood Wolves, who were barely above thugs in his eyes and answered only to the Duke himself. The party thanked the guard for the advice and continued on towards the city.
Their first view of Bogotus was truly awe-inspiring. Thirty-foot walls stretched from one side of a sheer cliff to the other. Nestled behind these massive walls was a large, three-tiered city. The walls were nearly thirty feet thick, with the only gate wide enough for four horse-drawn carriages to pass side-by-side. Inside the tunnel leading to the city, murder holes were easily spotted above and to the side. A contingent of guards watched the traffic passing through the gate, but offered no resistance to the passing adventurers.
Halfway between the two gates was a mile of road called Market Row, where the vendors and shops were located. Every sort of shop imaginable could be found in this area. It didn't take long for Pink, the resident merchant, managed to offload all the superflous treasure. She did well and managed to bring in a handsome sum of 600 gold pieces, enough for them to live like kings for years to come.
Steuben and Reese took the artifacts to a magical shop called Alligan's. Alligan, the proprietor, quickly identified the Eye's of Entei and the Black Grimoir.
The Eye’s of Entei are a set of powerful artifacts which continually absorb heat, storing the heat in an extrademensional space, readying it to be released by the command of it’s user. Alligan promised to find the command word to release the stored thermal energy against their foes.
The Black Grimoir is a book of ancient spells and rituals. Alligan could not identify the language, and asserted that it was likely the book’s language has been entirely lost to history. He offered Steuben Chapman 100 gold for the book, and Stu agreed to the trade.
Alligan advised Stu and Sam to see a man named Damon the Demonologist to identify the horn of the snake demon, Sisseraug.
Meanwhile, at the Rose and Crown Inn, Eres and his posse were stopped at the door by a mountain of a man named Lorgrain. Lorgrain, a brutish fellow with sunken knuckles and a scary face, informed them they’d need to leave their weapons at the door to get inside. They did so, leaving Hodor to wait outside.
They were greeted by a bright and cheerful lady. She asked them to take a seat and, in a moment, came to their table. She introduced herself as Sara Llast and asked their names. After introductions she offered them lunch, and directed them to Johnathan Llast. They took her up on her offer of lunch and went outside to see Johnathan.
They delivered the letter that Mayor Graves had given them. Johnathan told them he’d send out the caravan and horse team as soon as possible, and offered them a job as laborers to get the caravan out sooner. They promptly refused the offer and left.
Stu and Sam, following the tip from Alligan, took their demon horn to an out-of-the-way tent in the slummier end of Market Row. Inside was a hunched figure wrapped in tattered robes. Holding forth a skeletal hand he uttered forth one word in a voice like a knife being drawn across a stone, “What?”
Reese informed him that the horn was from a demon and they wanted it identified.
“Give,” the strange man commanded.
Reese handed the horn over, after a moments hesitation.
“A very little demon used this horn as an anchor to our world. It longs to rejoin our world in the flesh.”
“How do I summon it?”
“Listen when it speaks, boy! It will tell you all you must know.”
“I’ve tried listening, I can’t hear anything.”
The man threw the horn back at Reese with contempt, “Think like a snake, you moron! Put your mind towards the task of finding the snake. When you eat your meals in the morning, think of the snake! When you lie down at night, think of the snake! when you are ready to hear, Sisseraug will speak to you.”
“Thanks for the help,” Reese said as they began backing out of the tent.
“Beware, those who consort with demons pay a terrible price!”
With those words ringing in their ears, they left to find their party.