Adventure Date: January 4, 2010
Last Updated: January 4, 2010
Coobert Draftworth, river merchant extraordinaire, and Norry Waywocket, his gnomish gentleman companion, were having a really, really, really bad day.
And it was about to get worse.
Unbeknownst to either, fate was watching from the shadows of the Velarswood, as their riding horse and pack pony galloped by at full speed towards Harrowdale.
"Shall we add them to our legions of darkness, my Lady?" Anuth queried.
"No", proclaimed the regal female drow at his side, "When the time comes to strike, those bumbling fools can die along with all the others."
The bound naked riders continued to charge forward on their out-of-control steed, each silently cursing the name of Neon Wilde over and over again as they careened wildly down the rocky path, their frustrated screams muffled by the rags gagging their mouths.
"Pee-yew" Olef sniffled, "Smells almost as bad as that flea-ridden dwarf Risca"
"Speaking of which, what's your interest in that barbarous oaf anyways"
"It never hurts to curry favour where you can" replies Brechtu, "Our success may depend upon that 'barbarous oaf' as you call him"
Kurud grunted as he practiced his forms. Every step, every swing strove for perfection. A golden glint from the morning sun bounced off his eyes as he saw the approach of Noristuor the Mage. His senses told him that the wizard was good and true, but every time he glanced at the tiefling's face, he had to remind himself again that not all things born of evil, are evil.
"You do not fare so well without your brother-in-arms to joust with you", mocked Noristuor.
"And what would you know of jousting?" spat back Kurud.
"Only that appearances do not tell you everything about those you need to know" Noristuor teased, "and that everything you need to know is not all it appears to be"
Kurud, his exercises interrupted, watched as the eccentric mage wandered off to pester some other innocent soul with his cryptic words...
Inialos Oakwood sighed once more. He loves them both dearly, as though they were kin. Truly he does, he tells himself once more. In some ways, the bond he shared with the twins Simimar and Lathai was stronger than blood. They had all grown up together in the town of Tangled Trees among its interlocked trails, webbing, platforms, and tree forts.
The problem was... is... that they tend to look before they leap. Like now. When they stepped out of the safety of the forest canopy and into the open to greet the three gray-cloaked strangers walking along the road, and who seem to be oblivious to the dangers of an ambush from these drow infested woods.
"Well met strangers, wither art thou bound?" asked Lathai.
"Well met indeed" responded the stranger, removing the gray elven cloak from his head, revealling his prominent wood elf features. "I am Cymnar, forest priest of Carellon Larethian. And these are my companions Rhisthil and Vestele. We are from Semberholme and go to Ashabenford to help defend our human allies from the drow raids that plague these troubled times".
"Then we are all blessed this day" cries out Simimar, "For that is where we go as well".
"Come out Inialos and meet our new friends."
Inialos stepped out from the green and onto the road made by men. He greeted Cymnar and Rhisthill as was custom, but his mouth fell silent as he saw her for the first time. Vestele was not Swan, but she had her own grace and beauty. Perhaps things are not always so bad when he is with Simimar and Lathai. Yes, the day was looking better already.
"Perfect" thought the shadowy figure to itself, "All the pieces are moving into place", as it watched unnoticed as the elvish contingent strode by, marching onward to Ashabenford, oblivious to the role they were about to play and the events that will soon be set in motion...
The ancient male fang dragon was enormous and powerfully muscled, with massive, overdeveloped limbs. His body, covered in thick, brownish-white mottled bony plates, and which was interspersed with scythe-like blades, rippled as its razor sharp talons slowly tore into the central eye of the still writhing beholder. His long forked tails, each tipped with a pair of scythe-like bone blades, twitched as he savoured his dinner.
The purple robes draped gracefully over the form of their female owner, the low slung hood cast dark shadows over her face, concealing her features from view. She stood their patiently, an eternity it almost seems, as she waits for the dragon to finish its meal. She stands her ground, even when those large glittering red eyes focus all their attention on her.
"Then its agreed Nartheling" she utters confidently, "You will give us Crimdrac's Claw?"
"Patience, my young necromancer, patience" whispers the dragon, "It would do
you good to remember who is Master of the Mountain in this place."
"But fear not, events have been set in motion, and soon my agent will deliver onto me Crimdrac's Claw, and then, as agreed, I will deliver it onto you"
A sly smile escapes her lips, "Mother will be so pleased."
Shadowy tendrils snaked out from a floating black sphere amongst the ruins. One by one, the Seekers of Faerun stepped into the void, disappearing from view. Just as Gideon stepped through, the image in the mirror winked out, leaving the reflection of a dangerously beautiful young woman, her bald tattooed head frowning in annoyance. Behind her sat a richly robed skeletally thin pale man.
The Zulkir of Necromancy clicked his claw-like fingers on the armrest of his plush wooden chair, indicating his disappointment with the scrying abilities of the current Zulkir of Divination.
"We may have lost him for the moment, my dear Szass Tam", Yaphyll conceded nervously, "but we now know what he cherishes most".
With an arcane gesture and whispered word, the image in the mirror rippled, and now focused in on a lonely stone cottage and grand oak tree in the middle of a small clearing of the Cormanthor forest. The image sharpened around a nearby window, the shadow of a lithe female silhouette was framed against the light burning from within...
Szass Tam smiled, exposing yellowed teeth filed into sharp points. "Excellent. Summon Aznur Thrul. I believe he has some expendable pawns in the area that can be of use… what was that name again… ah yes... Chathi… Tell our illustrious Zulkir of Evocation that I have a new mission for him to give her… Bwahahahahahahahaha…"