Well, it was supposed to be a pleasant afternoon spent admiring Master Wrentham’s garden. But little turns out as simple as it ought to be…
It all started when we plotted out our course for Wind Walking to the west in search of a fragment of the Staff of the Planes. I noticed the route passed close by Kirkata. Not that I’d walk into Kirkata at this point, not even if you paid me, but Master Wrentham had retired to a village only a few days travel away, and I would very much enjoy visiting him. See how he’s getting on with his garden, let him know I’m doing well as an adventurer, try not to mention how much I suffered at Kirkata after he left, that sort of thing.
The party was more than happy to oblige, it being next to nothing out of the way, and it looked like it would provide a nice break after days and days of monotonous travel. But when we got there, something was wrong. Couldn’t put a finger on it until we saw the sign, noting disease in the village ahead, travelers be advised to go elsewhere.
Of course we couldn’t just leave, and fortunately, we had Dolg with us. I can’t imagine how he does it, but he’s trained his body so well that he’s immune to disease. There went my plan of leading the way in, but a lot better than having one of us get sick and delay the mission. I was so flustered I forgot to tell Dolg that Johnathon Wrentham would know the name Amaryllis, not Gilly. Sigh. Not the impressive entrance of grace and power that I’d envisioned.
Not that such imaginings were important, once we’d heard the news. Much of the village was afflicted with some virulent plague, forcing so many to bed rest that there were few healthy people left to care for the sick. The local shrine was a makeshift hospital, with the healer providing what care he could. Of course, we offered to help.
As it turns out, there’s a lot that a high-level adventuring party can do, even if they’re worried about contracting illness themselves. Dolg went from house to house, providing food and water to those in need. Syama cast Lesser Restoration more times than the mind can comfortably comprehend. The next day, Syama confirmed with her star chart that we wouldn’t endanger the larger mission if we stayed a few days. When that gave us the go-ahead, Maral and I flew over to every village within a few days travel, spreading the news and getting the local healers to head out our way. The rest of the party stayed in the village, providing care and looking for information about how this ‘devil chills’ epidemic started.
By the time we got back, they’d hit paydirt. Some shady person had been through and … maybe doctored the drinks at the monthly dance? Whoever he was, he was also something of an idiot, because he’d left behind his map of other villages to hit on the way to and from Kirkata. Fucking Kirkata.
The next day, Syama consulted her star chart again. We might find the perpetrator if we look on the road; if we find him, we will be capable of subduing him and getting useful information. It will bring us to the attention of my enemies in Kirkata. Shit. The actions we have already taken will also bring us to the attention of said enemies. OH FUCK. Fuck fuck fuck. What was I thinking, coming into village after village on a great shiny ‘deus ex machina’ wind walk and being all obvious and identifiable. Well, water under the bridge now.
We moved to intercept him. It sounded like he’d be leaving the last village in the chain and heading to Kirkata, if we were lucky. If not, we’d miss him and be both late and downspirited as we continued west. But fortune was with us. We scoured the road from Kirkata toward the last village, and after a brief encounter with a pair of innocent travelers, found and ambushed him.
We got his story, he’s spreading devil chills on behalf of another, someone who’s teaching him magic and who intends to make undead from the victims. He’s nonchalant about it, but the party is predictably horrified, especially when they note that bringing him to justice isn’t an option here. After our interrogation, we kill him. I melt chunks of his body, in case of Raise Dead or Speak with Dead, and then we bury him, courtesy of Victor’s earth elementals.
Then we set on our way, flying westwards on the wind, leaving behind… something of a mess. I’m pretty sure the villages can manage with the information we provided and the small army of healers. Well, at least half of them. The other half might have been … ‘attended to’ before anything could be done. But it’ll be a lot better than it might have. But its effect on the larger struggle, on Kirkata, is less clear. Besides me, Syama was the only one to really guess at it. If the employer is connected to the corrupt power structures in Kirkata, how likely is it that he’d be charged with mass murder? And how likely that we’d be facing charges on killing the guy on the road?
Fucking hate Kirkata.