The two Raptorans began the adventure in Shaarmid on 10 Mirtul 1427 as they waited for their traveling companion, Adam of Gezer, to finalize his arrangements for departure. They were uninterested in his business dealings but were persuaded to change lodgings after the inn where they stayed was discovered by thugs working for Georgios the Brawler, Toki and Tambo, three of their enemies in town. They began to stay with Adam of Gezer’s entourage on the plain outside the walls where they were camped. There they were visited by various friends making goodbyes.
First, Llewellyn came by to say he would not be traveling with them anymore. He has told the Raptorans he’ll be heading north to the Demonblood Dam region, and gave each character a Bird Token with which to contact him.
Next, Badr arrived to thank the Raptorans and bid them goodbye, saying she and her ordu would be heading to the Azulduth region to scrape salt for trade. Before she left, the Raptorans realized that the unmarried Tuigan in her ordu were acting romantically interested in them. They should learn more about Tuigan marriage customs to see if there could be any advantage in this.
Third, Vaprak and Krusk, the ogre lawmen, stopped by to say goodbye. They notified the Raptorans that they can be found in The Tuigan March region for the next year or so. The Ogres gave each character a masterwork lance and explained to them how they can use it to make a Spirit Banner once they are rich and powerful enough to do so.
Last, Batu arrived to visit with the Raptorans. He did not tell them where he could be found, but he did give each character a gift of 100 Shaar rings. Knowing that both Raptorans would shortly be werewolves, he also instructed one of his Half-Tuigan Hyena warriors, named Balud, to travel with them as mentor and protector. Balud then became their friend and companion for the duration of the adventure.
The party departed Shaarmid on 10 Mirtul, after lingering for about a Tenday since the fair. During the long trip, the Raptorans learned much about Gezerite social order and customs, though they refused numerous offers to convert to the religion of Dedeism. Both characters can now speak and write Gezerite. From Balud they also learned much more about the Shaaran tribes as they passed through each territory, and they were taught the history and geography of many landmarks of The Shaar. They again had the opportunity to capture many wild animals for sale. For the first time, they attempted to train some of them to increase their value, which failed.
On 14 Mirtul the party arrived at The Shaarwood where their friend Kanem and his ordu of Shaaran nomads was camped, gathering peppers for trade. The characters enjoyed his hospitality and invested some of their cash in the peppers. Kerri attempted to participate in Tent-Pegging but was shown up by the more experienced riders of both camps. They taught her the Ride-By Attack feat.
The party then traveled along The River Shaar as far as The Landrise near the ancient ruined city of Pelevaran. They crossed The Landrise on 16 Mirtul, discovering the Shaaran cliff burials along the way.
They then traveled east toward the old road between Hardcastle and Delzimmer, which they reached on 19 Mirtul. They traveled southeast along the abandoned road toward Dambrath, crossing the border after dark on 23 Mirtul. Here they met a Dambrathan Drow caravan master named Nazruddin, who hosted them for the night. The Raptorans sold their peppers for double their investment and then obtained Dambrathan pearls to sell in Gezer. They declined to play Chess or participate in contests with the Drow and their Arkaiun slaves, but they were forced to have a horse race after tempers flared between the two camps. Kerri again acted as jockey for Cross of Dede, Adam of Gezer’s Semphari, while Nazruddin rode a Dambraai named True Black, wagering a vial of Great Elixir on the race. Kerri won handily, and drank from the elixir with no beneficial result, leaving four more drinks. She also gained one free rank in Profession (Jockey).
After parting from the Drow the party traveled along the north side of The Toadsquat Mountains, crossing The Rift River at a ford near a ruined stone bridge that dates from the ancient kingdom of Eltabranar. On 28 Mirtul they arrived at The Toadsquat River, which they crossed by a rope bridge and continued up into the hills to the Gezerite monastery of Shabab. Here they were hosted by the abbot, Isaac of Gezer, and his monks and tenants, who include one of Adam of Gezer’s serfs, a brewer named Zenawi. The Raptorans learned about the brewing business but were unable to invest because they had not converted. They were able to sell their Monk’s Belt and obtain cash and equipment in return, including a Wand of Cure Light Wounds.
The party sighted the church of Addis but quickly realized that it had been sacked by undead and all the Ge’ez and pilgrims there were now dead. Adam of Gezer immediately resolved to proceed north to his other towns to summon help and alert the Emperor Tewodros in the capital, Gondar. The Raptorans, Balud and a young Ge’ez cleric named Menes volunteered to remain behind to take care of the bodies and guard the church through the night, with the help of a powerful relic kept there, a Gezerite Cross.
That night the four volunteers were attacked by great numbers of undead, who included the corpses of Tuigan and Shaaran nomads and also Mulhorandi soldiers in both ancient and modern gear. The great variety of these undead suggested to the Raptorans that whoever raised them was doing so by using battlefields, not tombs. Most such battlefields nearby are in Rurikan, not Mulhorand. This makes it less likely that (as Rurik claims) they are simply wandering undead from Mishtan, the necropolis of Mulhorand, and more likely that (as the Emperor Tewodros argues) they are sent from Rurikan. The horde was led by a wight, a dead Mulhorandi who carried a locket with a woman’s picture. Adam of Gezer has agreed to look into this matter.
The party defeated the undead, interred them with their equipment according to Gezerite rituals, but gathered a great amount of coin from their corpses, all of which they gave to Menes. The young Ge’ez cleric will now be able to rise in standing within the church and considers the characters his friends.
At dawn the four were rescued by Adam of Gezer’s flying column, which detached some riders to guide them to the nearby town of Axum while the rest pursued the horde far south into Rurikan, where they destroyed them and erected a cairn as a warning to Rurik. The characters then rested and recuperated in the tiny church of Axum, a hamlet surrounded by coffee plantations, until 13 Kythorn when Adam of Gezer reappeared to give them the latest news.
The Emperor Tewodros has been told of their exploit and now considers them friends, though as unbelievers they will not be allowed to meet him or even visit the capital. Nor can they invest directly in Adam of Gezer’s plantations, though they will be able to purchase coffee beans in caravan quantities to bring with them on their travels. The characters were each given 1200 GP in Gezerite trade bars and a Calimite stallion each, bringing the number of stallions they own to three each. Finally, Adam of Gezer brought their profit from the salt, the pearls, and the animals.
The two Raptorans and Balud are now spending a few days recovering in the town of Axum, buying and selling with the many merchants who travel there for the coffee trade, and being visited by a steady stream of rich and poor Gezerite pilgrims who want to see the heroes. They have decided that their next campaign will involve a horse raid on the Drow ranchers in the border region of Dambrath.