A cloaked figure is seen ghosting through the trees and underbrush, quiet as a mouse and moving with great purpose. He looks around nervously and glances at the sky to see only a sliver of the moon shines tonight. As uncomfortable as the current task is, the traveler is glad it is happening tonight. Truly foul things happen during the New Moon and only fools would be out during those nights. The figure stops as he approaches a clearing, suddenly hesitant to continue. He stares at the ruins of an old building, one that has mostly been forgotten and left abandoned…mostly.
Movement in the doorway of the structure catches his eye but he is unable to see what its. No matter. The sooner he completes his task the better. With growing fear he moves along the clearings edge and then dashes to and through the doorway. He gags at the stench, much stronger this time. Then freezes as he see’s a familiar face. It’s one of Falcon Hollow’s scouts. Crucified to the back wall.
Sinister: (moving in from another room) You’re late… again.
Traveler: (Speaks a bit fast with a hint of fear in his voice) I… I merely wanted to check some details ma…master. To make sure what I give is correct.
Narrative: It is then the traveler notices there are more shadowed figured lurking. MANY more than last time. He shudders.
Sinister: (laughs as he notices the travelers gaze) Yes. I’ve been busy too. So many lost souls looking for refuges, for hope. They will find neither now. Their husks will serve a purpose though. (he pets the two that are crouched on either side of him) It’s quite easy to pluck them off the road. With no one to miss them, my family grows. (he laughs darkly then abruptly stops and angrily gestures to the scout on the wall) But this one someone might miss!! (Glaring at the Traveler) Now SPEAK before you join him!
Traveler: (Speaks a bit fast with a hint of fear in his voice) yes master… There was an incident at the Lumber Mill Inn. Apparently the Antivan Crows were sent to collect a bounty. A traveling merchant by the name of Argyle Fitch. It is unclear why, but the town is on alert because of it. Fitch was helped by Brond the Barbarian, two other travelers and a local girl name Kára. They left town together this morning headed for Darkmoon Wood. Kára … um… (he swallows) Kara was wearing the armor of a Templar.
Sinister: (Red eyes continue to glare under the hood of his robes.) What are they after? Where are they going?
Traveler: I’m… I’m not sure master. Rumors say they seek a powerful artifact to kill the dark lord. Others that they seek the consul of a great dragon, or that they go to build a rebel army. There is also one that said…
Sinister: ENOUGH!! I’ve heard enough. (Mith-ran-porta-VENDOS)
Narrative: The room illuminates in a crimson light as the floor beneath the traveler lights up revealing a glowing rune. The traveler, in the runes center is paralyzed.
Sinister: (tsk tsk tsk) You are worthless. Worthless! You make me wait for that pittance! Why not tell me that Fitch is really Andrew Rowe, a thief and a cut purse. Or that the mayor, herbalist and false cleric have been battling my plague in secret. But no, I have to wait for useless details I’ve already heard.
Traveler: Master… I’m sorry
Sinister: Yes… you are indeed… the Dark Lord encourages fierce competition in his followers, deadly competition at times. It is the only way you see, to ensure that the truly worthy serve and the weak perish. It is why I’ve sought to bring this region in on my own. It’s resource are ripe to be exploited, and the locals will make perfect slave labor. But you… I’m afraid of my eyes and ears you have shown up hours late and several copper short. A girl playing dress up, traveling with a barbarian and a thief! BAH! The latter two having had deliciously dark moments of their own. (dark laughter) I doubt that poor country girl will see the betrayal coming.
Traveler: (Truly panicked now) Master… A mage… one is mage
Sinister: What?!… Which one… are you sure?
Sinister: And he was one of the strangers that left with them? SPEAK!!
Traveler: Yes Master! Yes!
Sinister: hmmm… perhaps that group is not to be ignored after all. I must think on this. Thank you, that information will prove useful I’m sure.
Traveler: (relieved sigh) I live to serve master. I… I should be getting back now.
Sinister: (dark laugh) I’m sorry, you see I’m a stickler for promptness. And you were late for the last time.
Traveler: (panicked again) But my family… my wife… my daughter… you said if I served you, they would return them to me.
Sinister: (tsk tsk tsk) You really must learn to listen better. I said serve me and I would allow you to rejoin THEM… And I’m going to do just that (the two figures at his side stand and move forward with a shambling and slightly bestial gate. Both wearing tattered dresses)
*Narrative: The view pans to the outside of building and a heart wrenching scream of NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO can be heard along with sinister laughter.
Nervously I watched as they entered the camp. It did not take long for the threat to appear as they were soon attacked by the WrongOnes. Evil vile creatures that destroy all they touch. I watched from the trees as they fought. The sneaky one alone facing 6 at one time… (even though he’s sneaky, I still rooted for him). Brond too was surround at one point but dealt hits so powerful that they sent the WrongOnes flying. Aranwë fired arrows so quickly that many of the WrongOnes looked like thistle bushes. But then he got too close to one of them and was sent flying himself.
Kára was mighty too! She could heal with a pretty light. She could have healed Aranwë but had to heal the sneaky one twice because he was too close to the fighting. Now I really don’t like him. But that’s not all, Kára’s sword cut through the WrongOnes like wind through a barren tree. None could take more than 2 of her hits.
The mage, Nicodemus, cast spells from a distance but they didn’t seem to do much. He must not be very powerful, that must be wow they don’t like him.
Although bloody from the battle they won. YAY!! I was cheering … it was a good fight!!
Afterwards they rescued Sebastian and Ulthan. They’ve come through before so I already knew of them. They don’t know though. I’ve thought about saying hi a few times, but they are always so serious. Talking about beating this dark lord, and freeing the people or Andoran. He seems very sincere and important so I don’t interrupt… but their talks put me to sleep =/
Oh Oh oh oh…. Aranwë and the sneaky one almost got into a fight. Not sure why but pretty sure it was the sneaky one’s fault. Ulthan also doesn’t like the sneaky. He is sooooooooooooooooo boring but at least I know he’s smart.
That night there was a lot of talking and weird interactions. Sebastian trying to recruit Kára, Ulthan trying to recruit Aranwë, Kára praised Brond and glared at Nicodemus… weird he didn’t even say anything… definitely hadn’t done anything.
Tired I slept and awake to them leaving early, and heading deeper into the woods. Of course I followed and listened. I’m a good listener.
I almost flew into Kára when I played my first trick on the sneaky one. My second trick was the bestest and he desired it. The sneaky one tried to steal from the trappers they met in the woods. While they were doing a trade. So sneaky. So speak to just him and laughed in his head. That always works on man-things. They scare when you do that. heheheh the dumb sneaky one then followed my movement into a trapper’s snare. hehehehehe he got caught and fell on his sneaky head. It was a great trick.
But the others started to get worried, except for Brond, so I decided I would reveal myself. Aranwë knew a lot about my kind and doesn’t like the sneaky one either. He was very nice to me so I also decided to help him through the forest and share what I knew. I even guided them to Glade of the Forest Elder, Greenbeard.
It was there they made a deal with him. In his wisdom he saw have to defeat the scourge of the forest. The fallen treant known as Blackroot. To do so they would have to travel to the Dead Wood. A place no living thing returns from unchanged… if at all.
The great tree even grants them their prize in advance so that Aranwë may take it to town immediately, even though the sneaky one was very disrespectful. He’s mean and I don’t like him. I they should entomb him.
Now they wait for the guide to arrive who will lead them to Blackroot. These are indeed very brave man-things. I hope I can be brave too!