When we awoke this morning we were greeted by a rapid share of horrors. Starlark was being consumed by a giant snake.
The snake was massive, too thick to wrap your arms around and longer than we ever fully discovered. It had piled itself upon him and was slowly eating him from the feet up. It took us ten minutes to kill it and get it off of him. It took a few more minutes to bring him back to consciousness. Pulling him from its throat was the most disturbing thing we have had to do since entering the Nanten.
Poor Starlark has yet to fully recover from the experience.
Once we had pulled him from the snake we sought out a stream in which he could wash. Whatever lined the snake’s throat was corrosive and already dissolving the external layers of Starlark’s boots, pants, and the bottom of his shirt. Thankfully there was a small river within a stone’s throw of our camp.
No sooner did we get Starlark in the water did a Bangara attack us.
Dionus and Bolton were standing watch at the river’s edge while Balthandar and I helped Starlark strip and wash in the water. Then, so sudden as to be instantaneous, the Bangara was upon us. It rammed into Bolton from behind, sending him flying across the river. Then it whipped around and slammed Dionus into a tree with its tail.
We had to drop Starlark in the water and rush to Dionus’ aid, but the monster was ready for us. Its tail smacked Dionus in the head, throwing him down as the monster dove into the river and tackled me. Everything went dark under the water as I fought to breathe more than I fought the monster.
It rolled with me, squeezing and clawing at me as my lungs screamed for air. It seemed like we were entangled in the river for an eternity before it released me.
When I came back up the Bangara was gone. It took me a few minutes to gather my wits, but when I did I realized it was Balthandar that had run the monster off. He had rushed back to our smoldering fire and lit a torch he said he had made just for this. The flame, as puny as it seemed to me, was enough to scare the monster off.
He said he’d seen an illustration of a Bangara being scared off by villagers with fire in a book of myths in the Summer Isles. He said it seemed worth trying, and I’m glad he did. It also explains why the Bangara never attacks us in camp.
I wish I had found more resources on the Nanten before being forced to leave Silver Hall. There are so many tricks like this that we could have learned already. I shouldn’t have focused my search solely on Salisir.
It took a while for Bolton to come around, and while Starlark is unharmed he remains understandably shaken tonight. Dionus was on his feet more quickly, but needs to rest as well. I’m afraid one or more of his ribs may be broken. We moved at a very moderate pace today, and will probably do the same tomorrow. And to add insult to injury I found three leeches on my leg from the gods damned river.
We have built our fire twice as large tonight to sate our own fears. Gods I hate the Nanten.