Upon arriving in Torosa our former crew were eager to start their new lives. The village was almost unrecognizable from the failing settlement of our former visit. Houses were being repaired, there were more people (the former crew of the treasure ship) and the people had a sense of hope. It appears that in our absence one of the scions of the local nobility attempted to return, but was swiftly dealt with and their body returned. I don’t necessarily approve of peasants taking these steps themselves against nobility, but in this case I will make an exception due to the disgraceful behavior of the family in question. Either way the village is secure for now and our former crew look to be well settled and will hopefully adapt to their new lives soon.
I decided that the matter of the legal status of the village should be discussed and so brought it before the other officers. Of course I saw myself as the natural choice to replace the local noble, whatever our eventual plans may be for doing so, but had the sense not to mention this in the opening discussion. Luckily William was quick to nominate me for the role, an honor I happily endorsed. We had some discussion about other candidates and Jezebel’s ward was mentioned. A young lad, but already learning to read and write. I said that as long as they upheld the rules of noble governance I wasn’t opposed, this was true as having Torosa ruled by another would mean that I would be free to return to the Westerland, but I insisted that if he was to be the benefactor that he also attends the lessons on noble etiquette the Jeeves, Hans and I have been giving to to William. Lilith seemed opposed to my plans regardless, especially about using the neighboring duchy to help us take Torosa by conquest, though she had no better suggestion. I don’t know if this is as she favors a more cloak and dagger approach, she has her own sinister ploy or if it is simply that she doesn’t fully grasp how the system works, though I doubt it is the last as ignorant is not one the words I would use to describe her. She would be far less dangerous if that were the case though. We eventually tabled the discussion for later.
After doing what we had planned in Torosa we set sail for Nehekhara and the site I had found the proposal for. The journey was not difficult, and we were soon weighing anchor off shore from an ancient, but grand harbor. It would have been the comprable to Marienburg or Altdorf in its day, but now it just sat decaying and empty. It was at the edge of a huge abandoned city that was slowly being reclaimed by the sands. In the distance was the pyramid that we had come to investigate. It was a couple of days march away, but was so huge it could be easily seen. Truly the Nehekharans were a mighty people to have built on this scale and elegance without modern engineering, especially in what was just one of many coastal cities.
Knowing the difficulty of hostile terrain on soldiers, I suggested a primarily skeleton force for the expedition, with only a handful of living volunteers. As I made the necessary preparations I could sense the doubt as to the value of this trip from the other officers, though Lilith especially. She was also hesitant to allow too many guns to come with us, so to make matters easier i limited the amount of firepower we were bringing and gave the remaining skeletons spears. All of the skeletons carried equipment for the expedition from water to tents to shovels and picks. These things would give my skeletal soldiers little trouble, but could easily exhaust our living crew. With out preparations made we set off for the pyramid.
Upon exiting the boats on the shore and seeing them return to the ship I was struck with awe even more at the architecture. I know it is thousands of years old, yet still it stands. Surely if out here such grandeur still exists the inside of the tombs will be well worth the trip. The city itself was filled with shadows and unsettling statues, and despite myself I found I was startled more than once. Jezebel and Lilith found some tracks, but no sign of the owners so we pressed on. It was a hard couple of days trek across the desert, but we made good time and eventually found ourselves at the foot of the pyramid. It appeared we were not alone, a camp lay mostly abandoned near an crudely excavated entrance to the tomb. The camp was by far the worst planned camp for the conditions I have ever seen. Whoever was responsible obviously had no skill at managing a successful expedition.
As we looked over the black leather tents Lilith had wandered away to investigate something and was assaulted by a druchii raider, one of the camps owners. They were in for a shock as Lilith did not go down after the assailants mortal blow. Upon more of us making it to the scene the elf used some kind of gas that badly affected Hans before escaping down the tunnel. We would have to tread carefully. Hans seemed to be not as bad as I feared as the gas seemed to only have a temporary, if horrible effect. I will have to be sure and exact my revenge upon that elf when we meet again. Before we could pursue we spotted a figure in the distance upon a camel, by the look of them a Brettonian or Empire native. Quickly giving orders for the skeletons to hide we decided to wait for their approach to see who they were and why they were out here, though I suspect they are either a crusader or an archaeologist. Let us hope it is the former