“It was a colossal and nameless blasphemy with glaring red eyes, and it held in bony claws a thing that had been a man, gnawing at the head as a child nibbles at a stick of candy. Its position was a kind of crouch, and as one looked one felt that at any moment it might drop its present prey and seek a juicier morsel. But damn it all, it wasn’t even the fiendish subject that made it such an immortal fountain-head of all panic—not that, nor the dog face with its pointed ears, bloodshot eyes, flat nose, and drooling lips. It wasn’t the scaly claws nor the mould-caked body nor the half-hooved feet—none of these, though any one of them might well have driven an excitable man to madness.”
~H.P. Lovecraft, Pickman’s Model
I thought I was done with Zamora for a time but alas I was wrong. It seems this nation sucks me back in at every turn. I had headed south towards Shushan only to get caught up in the craziness of my friends once again and now I am in debt to the wizard Jatesh and am on my way to the city of Yezid to retrieve a book for him. Now the fact that one of the books of the Golden Peacock are there is more than enough to motivate me to go. Jatesh put his kung-fu princess, Ming, amongst us to make sure that we do the job.
On the road I made use of the evenings to study and practice my incantations and I feel I am making good progress on my research of the Golden Peacock. I hope someday to master the rites and rituals within. We traveled back to Arunjun where I purchased a couple of large war dogs. I named them Zeus and Apollo. They are vicious beasts and will make fine guard dogs.
Enroute from Arunjun to Shaadazar I was awakened by the two vicious beasts I had purchased only to discover they were cowering in fear. I grabbed my ax and shield and went outside to take a look around. I was expecting a giant spider. Instead I encountered a pack of ghouls. While the guys roused and prepared for battle, I walked out to meet the monsters. I hoped they were open to conversation and my hopes proved true. I learned much as I bluffed my way through the conversation and I thank the gods that the Serpent People marked me as one of their own. Apparently there is a truce between the ghouls and the serpent people and the seal I carry is a part of that pact. The Serpent people told me of a war they wanted me to lead. They told me that they wanted me to become Thanatus (the Hand of Death) and to restore the glory of that name. It seems the ghouls think I am important as well. They told me that they would run free through Yezid and devour all, once the seal was placed and the war had begun. They asked me several times if I was the one to bring the war. I wonder if Jatesh knew these things and set us up to trigger this war. Only time will tell but I could care less either way. Have I not always prayed for war? Besides I took a job and I plan to finish it. Plus I need that book to continue my studies. In the end the ghouls left to hunt for better food and I returned to my friends with the hopes that we would not be on the menu.
That night my dreams were vivid. They were filled with visions of the Steps of Great Slumber and beyond into a forest where I traveled to the City of Ulthar, “where no man may kill a cat”. When I awoke it felt as if days had passed but really it had all been just a dream. Now we are off to Shaadazar and then onto another great adventure. Before heading out I gave John B. the grail. I figure this way John, The Professor, Corey, and myself each carry a piece of the puzzle. This way we can protect it all a little better.