Pilgrimage of the Lost Souls

Fear, apprehension, and restraint

Is this it? One last hurdle...

Three days into travel the enlarged group are surprised in the early morning. Alerted by Phillip’s stunned silence, the group sees another mercenary patiently waiting. He lays things out, he is there to retrieve Tara. But when he realizes that the group has no idea who or what Tara is, he laughs and tells them that they will be dead soon enough. He leaves the group with a spring in his step, a smile on his face, and laughter in the air. It takes awhile to re-find Tara, as she retreated from the mercenary, Michael. The group discusses their options, and decide that Tara should ride inside the mech with Allison and they should take the road less traveled, continuing to break trail through the mountains. Things continue slowly, and a week later Michael returns to visit. He states that he is tired of following them, and offers a compromise. He is less interested in retrieving Tara but is very in touch with the monetary loss that she represents. He offers to sell the problem away. The price Tara commands is well and above anything that the group has. They ask for a day to consider and Michel agrees, The day is spent weighting options, and the fear that Phillip has of Michael shouts volumes. A possible fight is immediately taken off the table. Running is also waylaid. So the question became what to offer as trade. Several things are discussed and the next day when Michael returns the group offers up the hovercraft. Michael laughs at the groups resolve at the value of the hovercraft. Referring to it as its less then stellar moniker, the pig, he requires someone to defend that decision. Allison makes a decisive argument and Michael decides to take the pig. In the course of Allison’s argument, a piece of information is discovered. The Horne are who sold Tara to Reid. Doof remembers hearing about these despicable traders and raiders. As Michael flies away he flips an odd looking coin to the group with the strange comment “for free”.
With the relaxation of Michael’s departure the group continues on. A few days later, the group takes some time to do something that Allison strongly desires. After riding with Tara in a sealed mech, it is time to figure out a bathing time. While she realizes that she is not exactly the worlds freshest flower, Tara has not bathed in months by her own admission. Tanah gets the honor of helping Tara get the tangles and growth of everything out of her hair. Certain revelations come to our dogboy when face to face with flying horned mutant naked. The guess of the age of Tara was ten, and perhaps that is true if her race matures extremely fast. But if her parents were human, and she is a human mutant, she is older than ten. Or she is the most physically mature ten year old in history. Tanah also sees signs of physical abuse, Tara has scars of previous beating and whippings. In the course of discussion, Tara also demonstrates her naiveté. Something Tanah thinks might be a problem as Tara further matures.
As the groups travels continue, the food starts to run short. After a few days of rationing, irritations rise from hunger. Tara tentatively offers Tanah an item from her pack, a roughly hewn cauldron. Tanah prepares the dinner in the cauldron and the food magically serves up additional servings. When the group collectively is happy about the outcome Tara is relieved. She explains previously that things like this would have been met with animosity, a causality that confused her immensely.
Weather and terrain keeps the group from really making good time. A couple of days are set aside for hunting and gathering. Even with Tara’s cauldron, the slow travel time makes the foraging necessary. Eventually, the weather starts to rescind. While initially welcomed, it actually makes travel harder. Gone is the frozen landscape, replaced with mud and ice capped hollows, mud slides also become a recognizable concern. Everyone does their best, in trying to make the journey tolerable for all. Doof uses his mapping gauntlet, Tanah does a lot of scouting about, and Tara takes to the sky multiple times. When they finally get out of the mud and back onto rock, there becomes a new significant hinderance, a massive plateau is ahead. After traveling along the base for several days, Doof finds a crevasse that leads to the top. It is decided that instead of going to the shore, another few days travel at minimum, that they will travel up the crevasse.
Tanah leads the group, scouting ahead on foot. Phillip and Tara also travel on foot while Doof and horse make their way up the path. Allison brings up the rear, with the motorcycle awkwardly strapped to the back of the mech slightly unbalancing it. As Tanah crests the top, over the radio the rest of the group hears “Oh… geez. This sucks. Yeah, the trail is clear. Come on up.” As the rest of the group gets a look, Tanah’s sentiment is repeated. Tara looks from person to person and asks “You really think this is going to be safer than the forest I was in?” As the group stands at the precipice looking out, there is a collective look of despondence except for Tara’s curiosity. The group is looking out at a rocky wasteland. There appears to be nothing as far as they can see except a crudely made fence adorned with tattered flags, faded by time flapping in the breeze.

This is it for now. End of the first book in the Journey. We will rejoin after harvest, birthdays, anniversaries, and all the other things that recently have lead to disruptions in game.

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