Friday, November 18, 2005


"A-huntin' we will go."

The king summoned the trio back to his hall. Two missions were laid before them. One was to join Beorne and return to Khaan, spying on the Shadow Crow's recent activities. The second mission was to accompany the elven seer, Iaarya to the first two villages the Shadow Crow pillaged where she would read the area for clues while they searched through more mundane means. Upon consideration, they decided a change of scenery was in order and chose to accompany the seer, who's name Anglend had endless trouble pronouncing.

At the last moment, the king drew Alexi aside and gave him a special mission, telling the others only that he would be back with them soon and that they should proceed until then. Gathered in the courtyard, Anglend, Virlana, the seer Iaarya and her two servants, Craya the ranger and Flora the priestess joined Beorne and his select group of warriors. Master Calahan opened a gate and all stepped through, appearing some miles southeast of Khaan.

They remained together for two days of travel. The hour before they were to split ways at a crossroad, Virlana spied a large group of tracks traveling south. Careful study, and the seer's powers, revealed that a large contingent of redcaps and strange shadowy fiends numbering almost two hundred strong passed no more than four days ago. Iaarya spoke of a fiendish ogre with leathery wings leading them.

Examination of her vision, and the right questions revealed that the ogre was indeed a lieutenant of the Shadow Crow, revealed by the pendent he wore around his neck. Master Calahan used a crystal ball to speak with the King, telling him of the news and asking what should be done. The King thanked him but recommended that each group continue with its previous goals, sending Master Calahan to warn the towns to the south.

In the morning, Beorne's group headed north while the seer's group moved northwest toward the first of the two farming villages.

Another several nights brought them close enough to the village and Virlana was urged to scout it out in her newly learned bird form. She saw only evidence of old death and destruction. Returning to the group she and the others moved into the village. It seemed that the Shadow Crow had saved his destruction for the people and homes, largely sparing the livestock and fields. Cattle roamed unfenced and fields lay fallow but undamaged.

Making their way to the middle of the small village, Anglend set about repairing a corner of the tavern in which to camp, clearing out the dead and shoring up the roof and walls. The only stone structure to have been totally destroyed was the temple of light. Anglend suggested that as further evidence that the Shadow Crow was allied with the God of Darkness.

Craya's bear and Virlana's cat, Avendi, were sent to patrol the village perimeter. Meanwhile Virlana set about attempting to befriend some of the stray dogs that wandered the village. After gaining one's trust, she used magic to speak with it. It told her that the attackers were indeed the same shadowy demons that Iaarya had witnessed in her vision. It also spoke of a flying skeleton that haunted the ruins by night and made deadly screams in the darkness.

Flora spoke up, suggesting that the undead creature might be a Soul shrieker. She seemed confident that the group could handle one such creature. Anglend and Virlana shared a look and were thankful that the King had improved their weapons. As evening set in Anglend prepared their defenses and they ate an early supper of rations.

Will the undead be defeated as easily as the elven priestess claims? What will Iaarya see when she seeks out her visions? Will Alexi show up in time watch us all run from the beastie? Will they all get fleas from the mangy stray dog that won't leave the druid's side now? All this and more answered next time.


Post a Comment

<< Home