The diplomatic mission of which I am the junior-most member has started well. I have met several new Adepts - one of whom is from the Cliff City! - and befriended them. They are as follows:
- Azurea. A Troll. Childlike innocence. Warm and friendly. Exhibits a most unusual Discipline that involves shadow weapons. Raised in some sort of communal creche-based Kaer.
- Sek'thi. A T'skrang. Like me, comes from the Cliff City. A thief. Quite deadly. Fond of kicking people with hidden knife blades in his boots.
- Ursal. A Troll. Axemaster. Solid and straightforward, unusually so for one of his Discipline. Likes axes a lot.
- Icarus Wolf-Swift. A Human. I believe him to be an Air Sailor. Fond of drink. Potentially dangerously depressed.
Challenge held at the edge of the Servos Jungle (Attached map sketch: Hex 41.14). On road just east of jungle edge, found a lovely flower with unusual coloration, especially at the petal edges (Flower pressed into opposite page of journal.). Apparently we were also attacked by Ork ambushers. They were dispatched before I noticed, so I shall assume they were not particularly noteworthy.
Upon reaching the place of challenge, a secluded clearing with a cave entrance to the north, and a rock formation in the center, this Montak appeared. (Note: Illusionist? Spirit?) He explained nothing about the challenge, save that we had to survive the test.
Disfigured, desiccated figures emerged from cave mouth. Further cross-referencing reveals them to be some sort of Cadaver Man. They were fragile - the lightest of blows seem to break their fragile bones or cause them to shed entire chunks of flesh. However, each wound drove them to greater fury. (Notes: Animating spirit enraged at loss of integrity? Horror-infused sense of pain lasting beyond death? Loss of integrity allows for concentration of magical power? Must investigate further).
Individually, they were easy enough to disable. All allies proved remarkably and reassuringly competent. Sek'thi was caught on his own as he attempted to flank. Brave maneuver, but costly. Wounded Cadaver Men nearly killed him.
Undead came in waves. Mix of these fragile Cadaver Men and at least one true Cadaver Man, recognizable by its flurry of attacks upon being wounded. Party quite damaged. Personally, sprained left wrist, bruised #7 and #4 ribs on right side, muscle cramp in tail.
Montak reappeared. Congratulated us on passing the test. Provided both payment and special training. Curious. How does have access to these trainers? Wave of his hand replaced rock formation with campfire. Many revelers revealed. They have also completed the challenge. Stories were told around the fire, shadow puppets were cast, stories were recounted, and also enacted. One wooden axe was carved. (Note: Further data point to suggest Illusionist? Must not make assumptions. No tested effects or objects were illusions.)
Return to Throal uneventful. Shared one final drink with new friends.