Dungeons and Animals

Desert Road and a Hoarse Horse

Our heroes marched along the desert road, following the trail the years of wind had cut into the rock. The walls of stone flanking them grew taller as they went, exposing many colored layers of sediment. At night and when their camels needed rest, they would take shelter in one of the numerous off-shoot gorges off the main path.

One day, at a time when the sun was right above them, they were passed by some sort of locomotive coming in the opposite direction. A series of bright white metal cars being driven by magical propulsion, making a track form up out of the sand beneath it, whisked by them, blaring a loud whistle all the while. The sandform tracks of the train dissipated in its wake, leaving little evidence that it had come through at all.

The following day, just a bit before sundown, the group happened across a rather large clearing cut off the main path, and they could see what appeared to be rudimentary architecture carved into the opposite cliff face. Upon further inspection, Kijani, Millie, and Fern found evidence of several structures in the clearing that had long been eroded away by the harsh winds, and that the architecture they spotted appeared to be openings into an interior space carved into the cliff. And even though they whipping of the wind around them drowned out most noise, the three could faintly hear what sounded like faint melodies coming from inside.

After some skillful scampering, Millie and Fern were able to enter one of the loftier openings, and found themselves in hallway. Wandering further, the hallway descended and looped around into a large hall, lined with intricate carvings.

Meanwhile, Kijani entered through one of the ground-level openings, and ducking into one of the first threshold she saw, came face-to-face with the source of the music. A stout, shaggy horse man was sitting there on the floor next to a small cookfire, holding some kind of gourd-shaped instrument in his hands. The horse attempted to speak but broke out immediately into a fit of coughs.

Millie and Fern overheard the coughing and popped over to investigate, and once again the horse man tried speaking and quickly began coughing again. Over a few attempts, the horse introduced himself as Figaro, a traveling minstrel. Figaro continuously tried to sing a song of introduction, but explained the desert air had made him completely lose his voice. Figaro claimed that as part of his training, he challenged himself to walk the entirety of the desert road while singing, but had only made it a day and change before his throat got to the point it was at currently, forcing him to retire the challenge.

Eventually B and Solstice joined the rest of the group, and they decided to camp in the ruins for the night. As Basil set up camp, the group decided to explore the ruins a bit. Inside the large hall Millie and Fern had gone through before, Solstice identified many of the carvings as having Druidic captions. She was unable to read much of the inscriptions, but from what she could tell, there was a lot of language praising certain individuals and groups, likely memorializing ancient events.

The group delved further into the ruins, but were unable to find anything else of interest. Reemerging, they spoke with Figaro before going to sleep. Figaro mentioned the Druidic carvings they found could be leftover from a long-gone druid civilization that existed in Felhorn. He didn't know much about it, but apparently the civilization collapsed under its own weight, the druids tried to bend nature to their ends instead of genuflecting to it as most druids do. He also told the group that in the city of Crossroads there was an old monkey named Constantine that might know more, due to the wisdom he's gathered over his long life.

The following day the group set out, bringing Figaro along. They traveled for another day and a half, fighting off the occasional desert scorpion, before reaching the city of Crossroads.

"Who is that oh why could it be so?

Who is that oh I'll let you know.

Who is that the star of the show?

Who is that well it is none other than Figaro!"

-Figaro's Song of Introduction (current iteration)

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