The gay companions ventured west to the Karath in the hopes of learning more about the Kings People. On their journey they learned about the religious divisions within this new and alien culture, and how those divisions fueled violence that could potentially threaten to engulf them as well.
As they approached their destination they realized they were being watched by members of another sect, possibly with hostile intentions. As they reached the entry to Karath their guide informed them that she was forbidden from guiding them any further, and they would have to enter alone, possibly to great peril should hostile members of another sect be waiting in side. But Callidus was itching for a good fight and caution was thrown to the wind.
The passage opened into a great basin with fingers of rocky spires rising into the air. A structure had been carved from the stone on the opposite side of the valley and everyone reasoned that it was the place to go. As they traversed the bottom they noticed large paw prints from some many limbed beast, but Lucan’s expert eye saw they were old so the group continued on without worry.
As they approached their destination Sahara and Callidus decided to sneak ahead and scout, climbing one of the spires to get a better vantage point. As they crested it an unseen sentry hurled a spear at them. Callidus deftly caught it in the air and loosed a bolt into the attacker, just as they realized there were more sentries on guard. Araevyn took a spear to the back and quickly responded by teleporting up to his attacker, knocking him off the spire onto the jagged rocks below. The sentry who attacked Callidus jumped over to attack but was met with an unyielding fist and fell prone where he landed, only to be mercilessly smacked by Sahara before Callidus flipped him over the edge to his death and vaulted to the other attackers. Unfortunately they were ready for him and he was knocked back over the cliff edge, his agile training just saving him. The rest of the party joined in the fight and all was looking good before a shrill shriek rang out through the air. The commotion had gotten the attention of a bearipede, the hideous creature responsible for the tracks. The giant monster came skittering down the sheet cliff-face and snatched Callidus in its maw before running back up the wall, taking the assassin with it. This is where shit gets good.
Flying into a blood lust rage Callidus began stabbing at the bearipede’s face, letting it carry him upward instead of trying to escape. Shrugging of the toxins of the saliva, he battled the monster as it climbed over half a mile skyward. Every bite sapped his strength and for a moment it looked as though Callidus would die, but his rage brought him back from the brink of death and multiple critical strikes ended the beast’s reign with just 4 hp left to Callidus’s name. As it began to peel back off the cliff face he broke free of its jaws and ran along the dying creature’s belly, leaping at the last second to find purchase on the cliff face and secure himself with his grappling hook before finally passing out from poison and exhaustion.
Below the Gay Adventurers were in a not so gay mood. The last they had seen of Callidus was him disappearing to certain death in the blizzard, telling them to go on without him. Maybe together they could have defeated the bearipede, but alone he stood no chance. They quickly finished off the sentry that hadn’t ran away, with Il Duce turning him into a sticky red paste as he bodily crushed him against the cliff wall. As they paused to ponder the fate of Callidus and regroup for their push into the structure carved from the rock, the cliff face above them seemed to come apart and with a shriek the bearipede came crashing out of the sky, landing with a thunderous crash in the spires. They ran to the corpse but saw no sign of Callidus save some tattered fabric and an uncomfortable amount of human blood. Even after opening the beast’s gut they found no evidence, and were left to wonder if he had actually escaped or just been chewed to unrecognizable pieces. But it was no time for mourning, that would have to come later. Gathering their resolve, they prepared to make the final push…
Basically this shit right here, except up: