Well, we managed to survive what the tomb had in store for us, and in a bit of acrobatic creativity we also managed to steal the lid off the gold coffin, which has greatly increased our net worth and drastically reduced our survivability if anyone with power finds out about us. I think it’s a good trade. We hauled it back to the wagon and Uzameya did a bit of reconnoitering to see if the army had passed yet. She returned with some good news, the army had just recently passed by marking a good time to get out of the black lake and get back to some civilization. It sounds so easy just written down like that.
With the edge of black lake in sight we saw an encampment of some sort, proudly displaying the Urik flag with a few decorative touches. Milling about were a group of dog-like humanoids and in retrospect I really should have known they were gnolls. What can I say, it’s been a while since I’ve seen their ilk and this group did little to change my opinion about their species. A few of the underlings approached us, asking us who we were, where we’re going and finally what was in the cart. I figured they were going to rob us so I did my best to convince them that we were from Urik and on our way back to the city to resupply the main fighting force. Unfortunately they didn’t believe me, idiots. More fighting ensued, during which I realized our insect friend Cha’ka has a death wish, seeing as how the first thing she did was charge into the largest group of gnolls in a frenzy. Unfortunately she didn’t kill all of them, or even injure them, and they responded with a severe beating. Strug and I moved in to assist and were also severely beaten. I spend most of the battle keeping Strug and Cha’ka conscious as they were blocking the enemy’s attacks with their vital organs. At the end we were all but dead but the gnolls lay defeated. We grabbed anything they had which looked valuable and stole their flag, hopefully making our claims of Urik allegiance a bit more believable. And so we set off for Urik proper.
Urik, as it turns out, has seen more peaceful days. We arrived in the midst of a riot, the lower classes deciding that living in a fascist hellhole was not the life for them. Here I learned a bit about our good friend Strug. I knew he came from Urik but I found out he won his freedom in the arena and since then the populace had taken to idolizing him as an example of one who had achieved the freedom they all desired. We decided to use Strug as a distraction by riling up the crowd so the templars, who would otherwise be searching the cart, imprisoning us and killing us would be busy keeping a riot from destroying the city. I set about talking to the crowd, telling them that Strug had returned to liberate them from their evil ruler, when I saw something both familiar and disheartening. One of the templars appeared to change in appearance until he mimicked Strug, a trick I was all too familiar with. This pseudo Strug began telling the crowd that the sorcerer king was their savior and that we were the imposters. Yes, I realized the irony of the situation. He proceeded to challenge us to combat and brought a few of his templar friends to assist.
I think he grossly overestimated their fighting ability. Cha’ka had learned from the fight with the gnolls and made sure she wasn’t surrounding herself with enemies. I saw that they had someone amongst them inspiring their group and realized that he was stealing my thunder. There’s no way I’m going to let some talentless templar upstage me on the field of battle and let him know of my displeasure by stabbing him until he stopped talking, and breathing. Uzemaya learned an important lesson about arenas, in that the crowd doesn’t appreciate people shooting arrows from outside the fight. Thankfully she had the sense to jump in and join us in what was rapidly becoming a one sided fight. They had an arcanist of some sort with them that blew us into the occasionally unfriendly crowd. Sadly he was not able to stop the onslaught of Strug and Cha’ka. When pseudo Strug was killed his form changed again, but instead of looking similar to myself he appeared far more alien. I’d wanted to ask him a few questions given his similarities but I guess it’s a bit late for that. With the imposter defeated the crowd was once again on our side, and with minimal motivation they proceeded to sweep into the city doing what mobs usually do, looting, burning, killing people who aren’t part of the mob which in this case are the nobles and the templars. We moved behind the crowd stocking up on supplies as we went along and stealing several metal weapons from a looted smiths shop, if for no other reason than having more bargaining material for down the road.
With our cart full of supplies we escaped as fast as we could knowing the sorcerer king would not be pleased by a massive riot tearing his city apart and would be very displeased by those responsible. We are now on the road to Tyr, and I can only hope we make it there in one piece.