S04 – Caravan through the Red Sea – Khairon’s point of view till the temple of Unbroken Silence

I had lots of water with me, most of my backpack was taken over by waterskins. I try not to think about what they’re made of. Nobody, however, told me anything about food. Oh, I packed several nice fresh loaves of bread, some dried meat, vegetables, three or four apples. Even a few small packs of salt, pepper and other spices. My provisions should last until I reached my target. That is, they should have lasted me anywhere other than a gods-forsaken desert.

It’s lucky I found the caravan when I did, because I have no sense of direction and my bastard of a god doesn’t really provide any guidance. At least not that kind of guidance. By the time I fell upon the caravan all of my food supply was dry and inedible. Of course I couldn’t cook anything because the damn desert has no damn trees or bushes. I was pretty hungry by the time I reached the caravan. The people running the show seemed welcoming enough as they had an abundance of food and problems and a shortage of people to take care of either. I’m always eager to help.

Seems like the guy who put the caravan together was sick and the only cure (a special kind of lichen) lies in a temple not too far away. Talk about coincidences. I swear I could feel the holier-than-thou aura of the place from where we were. Of course the juvenile, self-righteous, self-centered and self-important wastes of time, space and energy (you call them ‘gods’) taint and corrupt everything they touch.

But there was no time for contemplation. From the first night it seemed we were being followed but we could never find out who it was that was following us. Bastards were too quick for us. Bad things always happen at night it seems… We set an ambush for whoever it was and managed to surprise each other the following night. The battle was brief and bloody but we didn’t lose anyone – except for a human merchant who was murdered, his limbs spread out in some sick ritualistic pattern. Religion is great, isn’t it? We never found out who did it, nor did we find out the identity of our attackers – they died too quickly. It’s a shame, I would have loved to interrogate them for a few hours. Maybe ask them a few questions too…

Finally, narrowly avoiding a sand storm (I don’t see what the fuss was all about… oooh! sand! I got some in my eye!) we made it to the temple. It was essentially an abandoned hole in the ground, so that elevated it above any temple I’ve been too in the last few years. We managed to get through a sound-activated trap – the blades were easy enough to avoid. Feral the barbarian even made it through twice. He’s a big fellow.

The main underground structure, roughly forming a circle, was lit in its mid-section by a few rays of sunlight that was getting through some holes in the ceiling far off above us. We got the distinct impression that crossing those might be a bad idea. As we descended the well-shaped temple, we kept seeing visions in the shafts of light that I’m sure had some religious significance, e.g. none. We investigated a few of the corridors that extended beyond the main shaft, but found nothing. It looked like an underground river (I never knew those existed!) broke through part of the temple and flooded the ground floor. At its center, just above the water we saw what looked like an altar. I felt an urge to smash it, to get one step closer to going back to my wife and kid, but redemption can wait for now. Something ominous lives down there, we can all feel it. But we can’t see what it is. I hope that thing shits lichen because I’m already sick of the taint of this place. I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough…

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