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Make Camp

Make Camp One - The First Zargnoth Temple

A short tale of past deeds told this month by Baddu-Bac...

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The Monsters were gathered round the camp fire built near the walls of the partially completed Tower. The sun had set in a blaze of fire some time ago and the chill of night was settling around them. Baddu-Bac was telling the tale of another rebuilding effort Bad Company had been part of; probably the most important achievement of the group.

"It was a miracle," he was saying in his formal story-telling style, "and I mean that most literally. Titus had entered the Zargnoth not a month previously and to have stumbled upon the temple ruin so quickly cannot have been chance. The Omniscient One certainly had a hand in guiding our leader."

Titus nodded his agreement, "I cannot think of any other reason for travelling through that High Jungle. It is nasty terrain."

"I had not crossed with the advanced party," continued Baddu-Bac, "being busy with other tasks in Central Starth but as soon as his summons found me I hurried straightaway to the Jolly Ogre and from there to the Balloon landing site almost a day's journey East. I made good time and the afternoon was about half spent by the time I had found a flat expanse of land big enough for a balloon. I yelled the call as loud as I could, hoped it had been enough and sat down to eat a meal, maybe two. I was licking the remains of a burrow squirrel from my fingers when I spotted a blob in the sky. Gradually it became larger as it descended towards me. The balloon was far larger than I had expected and once it had landed it darkened the sky.

"I don't know how many Kwando Aviators there are working the Starth-Zargnoth route although I suspect there will be far fewer if we Monsters ever get our hands on them. Mine was called Jim, a nice enough Monster I though, until that shove in the back he gave me. He's going to get more than a thick ear from me if I see him again."

There were nods of agreement and muttered curses from around the fire.

"I did nothing more than haul myself out of the mud - thank Fuvah it was marshy ground - and made camp. I had arrived in the Z.

"The next three weeks I spent travelling East and North towards where Titus and the others were waiting. Luckily I managed to avoid most of the more dangerous creatures in the region. Oh I bumped into a King Emu and a Pummel Bear while wading my way out of the Swamp and a Stark Sourpuss when I finally reached the Sand & Palms beyond it but nothing I couldn't handle even in my damaged condition. By the third week I had even crossed a well worn trail which gave me some hope that this area wasn't as wild as I had feared. Finally towards the end of the fourth week's travelling a stretch of High Jungle loomed up before me. Unslinging my ropes I began to penetrate the canopy. After a slight mishap in direction I reached the site. Even then it was still mainly Jungle and very little Temple. With help I managed to complete the Inner Sanctum and Treasure Room walls and by the end of the second week we had cleared the trees back and completed the rebuilding. Unfortunately I decided to explore a little more of the Jungle, managed to get myself hopelessly lost and could not return to the temple before I had to make camp. By the time I had managed to retrace my steps the others were waiting angrily impatient. I gave them no chance to chastise me for my mistake and began the ceremony straight away. Titus, Count Ugolino, Hafnor, Ugie Bucket and myself for Bad Company, Howling Mad Gav, Tarrasque the Mutant and Pretzel for Shadow Cult.

"Fuvah was pleased, we were pleased - I especially. This was the first sanctified Temple in Zargnoth and I had led the Ceremony. The 370 Bit Coins were rather a poor treasure for such an important temple so we all fished into our haversuits for something more. I dedicated a Silver Temple Sword that I had been saving for the occasion. We had time to admire our treasure too as we queued to Kowtow in the Inner Sanctum. None were disappointed as the rumours were true the secret of Temple Teleportation was ours. Truly there would be no stopping Bad Company now.

"The Cultists left quickly. The uneasy truce between us was already showing signs of wear. Titus, of course, became Guardian to keep an eye on who came and went. I had got the urge to explore. Titus had told us of a Far Town on the other side of the River and I was interested to see what else a Jossman could do to part a Ruk from his money, but that Brothers is a story for another night. I think the Xanxu Construct has only a little more work to do before the Tower is complete. By this time tomorrow we will be inside toasting the return of another Wizard.

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