After defeating the last of the demons and Imperial soldiers, the group took it upon themselves to heal the most grievously wounded among them, and then trek back eastward, escorting the captives to their homes, or near them, in Guldin Falls. Goraxiros informed them that he would accompany them as far as the edge of his desert, and showed them a faster path, off the Dead Road, that would take them to their destination a couple of days sooner.
While en route, the group queried both Goraxiros about himself and Mina, Tyche’s little sister, about her time with the slave caravan.
Goraxiros was revealed as a Sandwarden by one of the other slaves, Zaigan, a blind man with shocking white hair. Goraxiros explain that the Sandwarden’s are a…family group…who take it upon themselves to police the The Whirlwind Desolation, the desert that borders on the sound of the Deadlands. It is his duty to gather information on Imperial activities and relay it to his masters at home.
Mina Fortunas expounded on the horrors of the slave caravan, telling of how the necromancers would enchant slaves who had done murder and turn their hands into undead things that could separate and unlock the cages on their own. The locks were in full view of the prisoners, constantly taunting the braver of them to try something, weeding out slaves still capable of resistance.
The group also met the notable Baird the Beard, a great bear of a man with a bushy beard, one of the few who took up armor and weapons in the aftermath of the battle. While untrained, he seemed eager to defend himself and others.
On the road, the Xarrai decided to inspect the empty leather bag a little closer, discerning that it was, in fact, a bag of holding. Turning it inside out revealed it contents; armor, weapons, and food dropped out alongside a curious glass globe and a pair of goggles. Not waiting to investigate further, the group decided to take the former prisoners east with them. After a long day of travel, they settled for the evening and devoted time to inspecting these new items.
Xarrai discovered that the glass sphere was a Driftglobe, capable of providing light, following its owner while floating above ground, or casting the Daylight spell. Playing with it, he and Tyche juggled it between themselves while on watch that night, changing the color of the light and enjoying the novelty of the new item.
Asade spent time with the goggles and was pleased to find that they were Goggles of Night. This eyewear could considerably extend her own darkvision, or grant a human or one of the races with lesser senses nightvision equivalent to her own. During her watch, Sauria heard a sound in the night…a strange animal cry somewhere between a hoot and a howl. Waking her companions, they prepared themselves for battle as more sounds sprung up around them from a number of directions, their imaginations taking hold as they wondered what horrible creature could make such a noise. Owlbears? Owlwolves? Xarrai latched onto the idea of owlwolves and was terrifed as the noises closed in.
Goraxiros, however, immediately recognized the sound after waking and shouted out “Ghouls!” to the group just before the pack of undead creatures fell upon them. After a grueling battle with the slavering beasts, several of the party being paralyzed during the course of the fight by the wicked bite of the undead monsters, they were victorious. Baird the Beard, while in fact only getting in the way and becoming injured, was seen as a hero by the cowering slaves behind him…and he enjoyed the lavish attention paid to his wounds.
The party, their rest interrupted just before dawn, made ready to leave camp, and continue their harsh journey eastward through the sands.