As the sun rose the next day, the party prepared to cross the Ocean of Worms. They were gathering their equipment together and Talia was practicing the magical song that would protect them, when a harried looking messenger raced up to them with an urgent letter from Sternberg. Nathan scanned the letter. It was from his father, Richard Bishop, requesting that Nathan and ONLY Nathan immediately return to Sternberg. Nathan grilled the messenger carefully, but saw no sign of deception. Kao-Tsu and Talia exchanged a glance. Perhaps if it was something of a personal emergency, Nathan should return home. They reluctantly parted ways as Nathan, upset and disjointed, left his friends again.
The messenger explained further, the Calican military did not want to leave the party with a weak link, so they sent a provisional soldier so they could continue their operation. Taiass made his acquaintance to the party. Talia gave him a brusque welcome as she sized him up for battle. The eladrin returned her gaze coolly and remained aloof. Wasting no more time, they began their trek across the sandy ocean.
At first, the journey was easy as their caravan trotted along to Talia’s arcane tune. The song kept the purple worms at bay, although at an uncomfortable closeness. They might have even made it all the way across… had it not been for the orc raiders! Throwing their spears from their sand chariots, orcs spilled across the desert, tracking their prey and attempting to thwart their crossing. Somehow the party was able to defeat the orcs, and although Taiass almost ended up in the maw of a purple worm, Kao-Tsu was dextrously able to snatch him out of the snapping jaws of the beast. Vivian, with a burst of vampiric strength, pulled their wagon into a nearby cave to escape the creature, who angrily roared as he chomped at the mouth of the subterranean shelter, unable to enter. After a few moments of rest, they tentatively explored the cavern…only to meet with the natural inhabitants of the grotto: scorpions! A furious bloody fight later left the adventurers alive but exhausted. Still, they must press forward, to find Gaul…or to their doom!