Ra 15th, 111
In the heat and humidity of the morning air, I felt the temporary boon of protection lift from me. I questioned, wondering whether it was some punishment for a sin? My thoughts went immediately to the night of sweet kisses that Iana and I had, and my stomach dropped to my feet. Could this be? Is this a message from the gods that we aren’t meant for each other? But how can that be? We complete each other so completely! My first thought ere I wake is of Iana, and my bedtime lullaby is her sweet voice. My majestic, baritone music from my cello, and her soprano, as clear as a bell blend so perfectly.
Without any real proof, (as we are in a jungle, so why shouldn’t I be subjected to the heat?) I will continue the quintessent duet, until Osiris himself tells me otherwise!
I will, however, refrain from copulation until that blessed day that we can be joined by a servant of the Lords, just to be sure. I would hate to bring a child into this world, without dedicated parents. The build-up to the Kiss is as good as the Kiss itself!
Benji and Overkill were suffering today, and there was a point where Overkill, with his rippling, sea-hardened muscles flirtatiously dropped trow – supposedly due to an “illness only Iana could cure” – in front of Iana, whose face did not show displeasure at the sight! I swear, my heart could have ruptured, and painted the jungle red at the sight!
Rain started to pour, but the sun was still out! Horror of Horrors, what a terrible place! With the sun baking us, and the hot rain boiling us and soaking our clothes, I am surprised we all didn’t collapse on the spot, with apples in our mouths! We’ve got the garnish in the packs. A nice and tasty feast! And to make things worse, the blasted beasts here would not shirk that opportunity! Even the insects here are ravenous. There is enough of my blood out there flying around to draw a circle of summon Azariel: Superior! I have had it with this place.
While I was grumbling mentally, and playing my Cello for Iana the way a mandolin would be, our giant Rahu-man guide – who knows the forest like the back of his four hands – fell unwittingly into a bog! Seeing the green ground waving like water, I realized that the carpet before us wasn’t grass but moss and mud. The stench didn’t hit my nostrils till the muck was disturbed, and I realized that I would have to help my mates save him. I magically filled my lungs with air, and got ready to dive in.
The other Annointed were just as fast, and within seconds, Benji handed a rope to Xerx’ses, who anchored himself onto the ground, the tiny Tyvernos anchoring his feet. Cava and Overkill both jumped in, with one end of the rope. Seconds passed that seemed to drag like hours! The rope jerked twice, and our Minotaur started to pull the three up, but when they breached the surface, it wasn’t a giant that Overkill had in his meat-mits, but a nasty looking fiend I later learned was called a Kelpie. Knowing that time was running out for our four-armed friend, I grabbed the end of the rope thrown to the side of the bog, and jumped in.
The world went brown. I swam downward, for what seemed like minutes. Shapes swirled around me as I cut through the murk. Finally, I saw the sinuous, wavering shape of an unconscious guide. I felt iron fingers try to clasp on my shoulder, but I pushed past them to tie a harness on the body. With two tugs, I told Xerx’ses, which I hoped was still holding the other end of the rope. Luck be praised, he was, and started pulling us out. With my blinders removed, I looked around me, and saw Overkill and Cava in the water, but miss the fast-moving mass of the Rahu-man.
The Giant and I were lifted from the water upward by a flying bovine wizard. The Giant’s feet were still within reach, though, so quick-thinking shorebound heroes made fast work to thwart the Kelpies. Then came the proverbial hand upside the back of the head! The Warlock cast a ball of sunlight below the surface! We were going into the home of the Kelpies, on their terms; negligible light for us, but plenty for them. With the bog alight, I cast an adhesive carpet on the enemy besieging a near-death Overkill and his savior. It sank, and we had all of our party back on dry-ish land, the warm rain washing the filth from us. When I was set down, I felt a squelching beneath my feet, and looked down to see pygmy corpses strewn across the path; our thieves, discovered, it would seem!
We checked on Tiakatha, and he was alive, though he seemed to have swallowed his weight in bogwater. We hobbled to a ‘safe’ area to set up a camp and rest, as Overkill was near death, and the rest of us weren’t much better.