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Zosia's Next Big Adventure

Part II: From Agna to Disaster

After an all too brief couple of days of recuperation after the arduous first stage, the caravan set off again, this time following a trail along the coast. Although still very hot, the journey along the sea-side didn't have the stifling humidity of the trail through the jungle, and the going was comparatively easy. The caravan made good time, and moods were generally cheerful.

Zosia had made a point of cultivating the guard captain, Daljeet Khattri, a reasonably competent and experienced mercenary warrior, and he was more than happy to have her along after her display of martial prowess at the orc attack on the waystation. That attack had cost him several of his men, and he had not had time to replace them all at Agna. Nevertheless, though bandits and pirates were not unknown along the coast road, he was reasonably confident that they should make it through to Arrowtown without too many problems.

Regrettably, that was not to be the case.

In the night of the fifth day out from Agna, Zosia was woken from sleep by a sound with which she was all too familiar: the squishy gurgling croak made by someone who had just had something sharp and hard pushed through his lungs. She leapt up to see one of the sentries being stabbed repeatedly by a scaley, web-fingered creature — a sahuagin, and many more were streaming up out of the sea towards the sleeping caravaneers. The alarm was raised and the remaining guards made ready to fight.

Zosia began with a couple of fireballs, but the sahuagin came on undeterred and she was soon fighting for her life in a small knot of guardsmen, alongside Daljeet Khattri. They could hear shrieks and wails coming from the others, and could see more sahuagin driving their captives down towards the waves, but were unable to break out to do anything about it, swamped as they were by overwhelming numbers of the nasty scaley monstrosities. Outnumbered as they were, the guardsmen started dropping like flies, and Daljeet was himself very severely wounded. The fight was epic, and though Zosia emerged quite unscathed, she and a single wounded guard — Dasonda Ram — were the only people left standing when the last of the sahuagin finally fled.

Zosia and Dasonda did what they could for the wounded, which wasn't much unfortunately. They managed to staunch Daljeet's wounds, and saved a few of the luckier passengers from bleeding to death, but the carnage was terrible and the caravan-master, Pandit Rajnee, was missing along with many others.

The livestock had been untouched, so they loaded what few were left alive on to the elephants and made their way back as best they could to Agna. Daljeet and Dasonda both wondered what god they had offended for their journey, which they had made many times before, to be so cursed. Zosia stayed quiet.