After the characters had completed Eilmar’s quests for the week they decide to go South to find the Old Gate. Keret believes they can find directions from someone in Ubar. They manage to negotiate some horses from Tismin in exchange for delivering a letter to Yareh, an apparent old drunk in Ubar.
Before setting out they bought some new gear in town, including a fine sword and mace.
The trip to Ubar was mostly uneventful, although one night they saw clouds and heard thunder though there was no rain and it was still the dry season. Once they arrived within sight of town they notice some pilgrims heading towards town. They appeared sick and said they were off to see the Healer.
Keret was surprised to see so many refugees outside town. Thousands of people had flocked to the town, all sick and injured. Outside of town they witnessed a group pf priests carrying what appeared to be a wrinkled and old sickly priest. They could not get close to the thronging crowds looking for blessings from the Healer. The smell of sickness and the sight of all the pain was unbearable and they quickly pushed through the crowds to the town.
The town seemed unusually busy and was bustling with activity. The group stabled their horses and made their way to the closest tavern, the Bridled Horse. They found out that this was the day of celebration of the life of the high priest of Zaidu, Nur.
After getting refreshments from the tavern they set out again to find a procession of priests and revellers. They followed them to the temple of Zaidu. There the priests had set up a large pyre. Once the pyre was lit the clouds rolled in and they heard more thunder. There was the sound of whistling wind, there was a crack and the fabric of the universe above the fire seemed to fold in on itself and there was a loud scream. Then a number of bipedal humanoids with grey skin and huge necks and heads leaped out the crack. They started attacking the crowds. They leaned forwards, opened their mouths and screamed. Their screams were strong enough to flay the skin of the nearest poor reveller.
The crowds screamed and a stampede broke out.
The characters found themselves with one of the creatures bearing down on them. Keret leaped into action drawing his tulwar, Sin-Said was shocked and Baalthu began preparations for a spell. Keret and Sin-Said realised that their swords were able to harm the creature, while they managed to dodge its screams. Baalthu managed to silence the creature with magic as it attempted to scream. They swiftly dispatched after that.
After discovering that the creatures were killable, though dangerous they decided to hunt down the others. The locals were cowering in fear and the guards were struggling. After a number of run ins they had begun collecting the hands of the creatures.
They arrived at the temple of Kishar and managed to save the lives of two priests there. As thanks for saving them they were given two healing potions and a Tankard of Clear Water. After speaking to Nintindu they discovered that the creatures were called Screamers.
They returned to the temple of Zaibu. There they met Nirai the new high priest. He told them that the old high priest had died too young from an illness that had struck him down. He was unfamiliar with the creatures and with what had happened. He gave the crew a Stone of Direction and ensured they were fed and healed. They were given directions to the Old Gate.
They spend the night in the temple and were woken early by the acolytes going about their duties. Before heading out they sough out Yareh. He was passed out drunk in the Old Goat inn. He was grumpy and but swiftly accepted the letter when seeing the seal.
The characters then headed out into the desert to find the Old Gate. Along the way they realised that they were being followed. Nintindu told them that she had seen some large wolves circling nearby.
When they set up camp they spied another camp nearby. Keret shape-shifted into a large desert cat and sneaked up to the camp. He spotted two large figures sitting near a fire. They were humanoid but much larger and with blue-black skin.
The others also snuck closer and Baalthu cast a sleep spell, which knocked out the one, but not the other. He was alerted and charged Baalthu. The others jumped him from the side and the desert cat ripped his throat out.
They tried to question the remaining humanoid, but only discovered that he was an Uzur. They then killed him.
The next day they arrived at the Old Gate. It was built on the ruins of an ancent city. It is built on the edges of a ravine and at the edge of the ravine stands a large vertical marble disc. They placed an offering of the hands of the screamers and a spear.
From the edges of the town stepped in two large white wolves. The wolves easily stood the height of a man’s shoulder. The two wolves stepped together and morphed into a man. He stood at least half as tall again as another man. With dark skin a huge black forked beard. And most impressive of all he had two large white antlers that grew from his head.
“I am Ardorach” he said. He accepted the offering and told them that he had witnessed them. He had been watching their travels since they had left the village or Orbest with the hand. They learned the following from him:
- The hand belonged to an ancient artificer named Ammenon.
- Thehand seems to be pulling towards some of his old artifacts.
- He asked if they trusted who was looking for these ancient items.
- The spirit realm seems to be closer to the mortal realm than normal.
- The weather patterns were acting strange.
- There was a greater risk of spiritits breaking through. The dangerous sorts of spirits.
- He could track them if they kept hold of the finger.