Part 14 - Up the River
The group began a journey north towards Calah. On the ninth day of the journey Gorgessin was swimming in the river when he was attacked by a Darkling. Although wounded, he was able to fend off the creature.
The next day, while still travelling, they were confronted by a dark rider on a black horse who stated that he was an emissary of Erishkigal. He demanded the return of Lul of Faltenin. When they explained to him that the sword had been reclaimed by Sandolphan he demanded to be paid compensation. They offered him the few magic items they had, including the Staff of Kulgellis. He accepted the offer, took the items, and went on his way.
The following day, they purchased boat passage up the river when they learned that the next city was three weeks away on foot. The journey is not peaceful however, as on the following day they are attacked by pirates. Dadadum was killed in the fight, but Rylan was able to reincarnate into the body of the pirate captain, a man named Hamush. The group secured the pirate’s boat, along with three surviving crew and continued their way up the river.
A couple of weeks later, they arrived in the city of Assur. They found that the city contained no temples to any gods, but instead the people worshipped their king, Kulran. They explored the city, using Ka-Vision to learn what they could. The discovered the presence of a spirit Nephilim within the palace and a demonic presence beneath the palace.
They were able to gain an audience with the king and learned that several decades ago the city was attacked by a demon. Kulran was able to destroy the demon and the people had worshipped him ever since. When asked about the demonic presence they could sense, he admitted that the demon could not be destroyed, so he was forced to trap it with a spell beneath the city. He told the people it was destroyed so they would not fear its return.
The group shared their own story with him and he confirmed that Calah was the city where the river splits. He also told them that the markets of Arbail were known for their white bulls
The next morning, after avoiding a fight by bribing some pirate hunters who came looking for them, they began their journey to Arbail. They decided that if they were going to be hunted as pirates, they might as well be pirates. Along the way, they raided a fishing boat for food and a merchant ship for goods and supplies. They were forced to bribe a group of pirate-hunting soldiers before they finally made it to the city of Arbail.
Hamush and Demethes went to the temple of Tamuz, but learned nothing. They then tried the temple of Marduk and found that the priests there had heard of the People of the Mist. They were an ancient tribe, now presumed dead that lived in the Zagros Mountains. The group then went to the market and were able to purchase two white bulls.
Journeying once again, they found themselves a day later in the city of Calah. The five Nephilim and the young servant Rab, who had been with them since Babylon, headed to the temple of Ea. That was the location of the well that Utnapishtim trapped the spirit of Amnestin.
They spoke to the priests at the temple, but the priests said they had no knowledge of Amenstin or of any ghost being trapped in their well. At first the group thought the priests were lying, but soon became convinced the priests spoke the truth. Investigation with Ka-Vision also indicated that there was no spirit down in their well. Further investigation revealed however, that this current temple of Ea was only 200 years old. The temple at the time of Utnapishtim was leveled and was now being used as the city barracks.
That evening they attempted to scale the wall of the barracks, but made a little too much noise in the process. Hamsuh, Demethes, and Aximod were confronted by guards, but were able to fast talk their way back to the gate and beat a hasty retreat before the guards thought better of it.
Meanwhile, Gorgessin and Kishuk were able to hide from the guards. Once things had settled down, they made their way to the well. They climbed down and began to swim through the tunnel they discovered below. They found a door that was sealed shut. Any attempts to open it failed. Eventually they abandoned the well. They were able to sneak out of the barracks and returned to the inn they purchased a room at to decide what to do next.
After some discussion, they decided to head to the city of Niniveh, where they had heard a library existed. Perhaps this library would answer their questions.