Siberys Seven: Heroes of Eberron

SIBERYS SEVEN 002
FAMILY SECRETS

SEGMENT 036
“Taking down a Dragon”

The flames blast out of the sculpture made to look like a dwarven ruler or leader. The large Black Dragon snarls in agony as the flames wash over his reptilian body. He smashes this trap as he has the two before. “I fear no fire Elderich! None!”

The Black Dragon stomps forward. He comes to another reinforced door. This time as a precaution, it summons up a shimmering cover of energy to shield it. And it is a good thing as another trap is activated. This time a large metal blade laced with adamantine swings out of the ceiling. Sparks fly as it scraps on the magical field created by the Black Dragon.

It spits acid onto the hinges. After a few moments to allow the spittle to do its work, the dragon rises up on its hind legs and plows into the door. This not only destroys the door but also activates a back-up magical trap as electricity courses through the dragon. RAAAARRRGH! It snarls in fury.

“Nothing can stop me!” It snarls.

“Oh I don’t know about nothing.” Says a familiar voice. The dragon stops and turns with a menacing glare.

“hi” says the rogue with a nonchalant smirk on his face. “Did you ever find the bathroom?”

A fireball bursts from the once invisible Leeya. The energy washes over the Dragon whom snarls in pain again. Vander rushes up the creature, using the wave of flames to obscure the creature’s view of him. He swings and misses as his magical falchion casts sparks on the dragon’s magical field.

Enraged at this latest affront to his form, the dragon takes his full rage out on the warrior. Caught off guard, it bites into him (a crit!) then claws at him as he pulls him away from his mouth. Trying to crawl away the dragon then beats him with his wings and slaps him away with his tail. A barely conscience Vander slides into a wall and bleeds there.

Mania does his best to taunt the creature, to leave Vander alone. Bora, feeling a rage build up within her charges forward with a blood-curdling scream of battle rage. With a bit of luck (Action Point) she scores a blow with her Great Falchion. Acidic blood splatters on the floor and sizzles. Incarnum tries to attack but the natural abilities of the dragon are too strong for him. Dura attends to Vander as she calls up her healing powers to mend his damaged body. Aura tries also but has little success against the dragon.

Leeya once more releases a fireball spell. Little comes of it except for keeping the dragon turning and twisting as it has so many targets to choice from. Vander charges back in again. He misses with his attack. The dragon pulls out a wand from a hidden pouch and activates it.
Mania frowns in frustration. He thinks about the use of the wand he recently acquired and it activates. Bora swings again. As she swings the dragon turns and it’s elbow accidently strikes her wrist and she loses her sword! Incarnum attacks next. His twin short swords swing. A wing strikes his arm and he too loses his grasp (another natural 1!) and drops his weapon. Dura casts a spell and a beam streaks from her carved out holy symbol that burns into the dragon’s side. It howls in pain. Aura slices into the neck of the dragon. Though not deep, it still scares the creature. That could have been a mortal blow.

Leeya, having used up her fireball spells goes to use magic Missiles instead. The three beams of energy burn at the dragon. Vander, full of fury and anger, unleashes his own attack and takes down the dragon.

“heh….. down goes the dragon.” Says Mania.
 

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SIBERYS SEVEN 002
FAMILY SECRETS

SEGMENT 037
“And You Thought the Dragon Was Bad”

The next day……

“I’m worried about you. Ever since we found that book of your grandfather’s you have been distressed.”

Dura continues to stare at the ledger on the table. “I know my grandfather more than possibly anyone else. He…. Has a way of going overboard and forgetting things like morality. This- this ship he is creating… it’s huge. It’s bigger than Breland’s Argonth. And it’s not as limited in where it can go as that fortress.”

Incarnum brings over a drink for her and stands still to hear the tale. Any reactions to it he has are hidden behind his mithril metal mask that is his face.

“Argonth… isn’t that a floating fortress.” Asks Vander.

“Yes. What my grandfather, Kim Elderich, was building was a bigger construct. It was part elemental sky ship, part magical lab and part exploration ship. It was bigger than any of Sharn’s towers.”

“How was he going to do that?” asks Leeya.

“It was going to be powered by several incredibly large fire elementals along with other magical means.”

“How has no one learned of it? The Korranberg Chronicle would have written something about it by now.” Offers Mania.

“I think he has Zilargo building it… or at least the gnomes. I’m sure he is paying for the secrecy also.”

“He’s rich. Can’t he afford this?” offers Mania again.

“He is going all out from the pages of numbers I saw. I… I don’t know if he can truly afford this.”

“Do you know where he is now?” Asks Aura. She has removed her helmet but the ectoplasmic skin remains in place.

“He is searching for something called The Creation Schema.”

“The Creation Schema? Curious. Schemas are magical devices used to speed up the production and empowerment of anything magical. House Cannith controls most all of them.” Leeya adds as an afterthought.

“Does this ship and the schema have anything to do with other?” asks Vander.

“Maybe… but I don’t know.”

“So… how do we find him again?”

“He has several places he goes to other than here. The nearest is in Aundair.”

“Sounds like we go to Aundair next.” Replies Mania with a smile.

“You guys don’t need to go. It’s a family thing.”

“Friends help friend’s families also.”

“When do we go?”

“Tomorrow. I want to know what is happening as quickly as possible.”


Several hours go by as everyone prepares for the trip. Dura Elderich especially. Hooch has not returned and they fear the Dragon with his Dolgrims and Dolgaunts have killed him. Preparations will need to be made to the Elderich Hall in their leave.

But first- there is a long gong sound made twice. Someone is at the front door.

Dura goes to the door with Bora following her.

She opens the large doors and… there are a dozen dwarves there. Many in battle armor, others are obvious mages and the leader…. Wears glasses and wields a heavy looking tome. A lightly glowing tattoo covers his cheek and forehead. A dragonmark!

“I am High Warden Mordarkin d’Kundarak, this is High Warden Disney d’Kundarak and these are the Enforcers of Kundarak law. I believe you are Dura Elderich, granddaughter of Kim Elderich, one of our clients and the person I seek. Is the good sir in?”

“No he is not. We were…. I don’t know where he is.”

“Most unfortunate. May we come in?”

“Why?”

“We have business with the Elderich family. This includes you when Kim is not available.”

Fearing worse events to come if she tries to bar them from the Hall, she merely turns and walks away giving a weak wave to follow. Bora doesn’t step aside for them. She forces them to walk around her. She scowls the whole time as they go by. Once in, she closes the door and catches up with the armored group and their banker leaders.

“So what again is this about High Warden?” She asks as she directs him to a meeting room lined with books and ever bright lanterns. A large table sits in the center of the room.

“Your grandfather has signed a deal with us. It involves a great deal of money. Nearly as much as the entire country of Karrnath has with us. He has missed the last three payments and that is not excusable. His payment needs to be met.”

“He is not here. I honestly do not know where he is.”

The High Warden watches his ring; it doesn’t turn black so she is not telling a lie. But it is not white either. She knows something. “Are you aware of the contact? Surely you remember it. You signed it after all.”

“WHAT?!?” she exclaims. “I never signed such a paper.”

The High Warden frowns. “Very well then.” He pulls out a scroll case and opens it. He pulls out a rolled paper that lightly glows. The magic on it presumably preserve it from tampering or any means of destruction. “This is your hand writing is it not? Miss Elderich?”

She looks at it and in horror sees that it is true. “It looks like my writing but I don’t remember ever signing it….when…?”

“The contract was written up and signed in 990. I believe you signed it…”

“…when I signed for the rights to take out petty cash as needed at your banks. Grandfather…what have you done…? Why trick me…?”

“The whys matter little to our house. The hows matter. Repayment is overdue. Pay now. I have much business to attend to in other parts of Khorvaire.”

“How?!? I’ve seen the numbers. I can’t pay that!”

“Then by the laws recognized by the nations of Khorvaire and the Dragonmarked houses I then must reclaim collateral goods…. Namely this Hall and whatever lies within it.”

“WHAT!?! NO! You can’t do this!” Dura kicks back her chair and thrusts a finger in the High Wardens Face.

“Payment then. NOW!” Declares the High Warden.

“I don’t have the means to the vaults. He never told me the secrets of where or how to access them. This isn’t fair!”

“Humph. Though you seem sincere I can help you not. The rules are clear. Payment or the Hall is ours.”

“Can we make a deal… settle up after you do the next thing on your list?”

“No.” but she senses hesitation in his voice.

Outside of the room there is another battle taking place. One of silence. One of stares. Thirteen very serious dwarves vs. six very concerned and mildly ticked friends. Bora breaks first.

She stands up, and stalks over to the High Warden Disney d’Kundarak. “What is happening in there?”

“Kundarak / Elderich business.”

“If its Kundarak business then why are you not there?”

“Not my case file.”

Bora frowns at that and blows a bit of hair away from her face in frustration. “errrrrr….”

The door opens and a grim and defeated Dura Elderich steps out. “The immediate issue on hand has been dealt with my friends. But now you need to travel away from here and go with the Kundaraks back to the electric rail station.”

“What about you? We can’t leave you here.” Calls out Leeya.

“For payments of what is owed to the bank I will do certain services for them. I will be traveling south tomorrow.”

“Alone? I don’t think so. I know little of this bank and what power it holds over you but I have heard of rumors involving the lands to the south. I will travel with you.” Declares Aura.

“And I.” says Vander.

“He can’t have all of the fun. I’m going also.” Says Bora.

“And ourselves.” Says Leeya with Incarnum nodding his consent.

“Me? Left to the dwarves? Uh-uh. I’m going with you.” Says Mania

“You have one month. Make the most of it or the Hall is ours and you…and your friends will go either Dreadhold or a similar facility.

THUS ENDS THE SECOND STORYARC
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK

SEGMENT 038
“Pack Your Bags”

“Where did you want this box?” asks the psychic Warrior named Vander. A 24 inch square wooden crate is carried carefully in his arms. In dwarven it reads “potions: defensive”.

“Go down the second hallway on the right and you’ll see Leeya and Aura. Place it in that area.” Answers Dura as she looks over book titles in the master library.

“What book are you looking for?” asks the ½ breed vampire rogue, Mania.

“Whatever I think will be useful. We will be crossing through a lot of rocky high ground then into jungles and desert and the worst yet- The Mournland before we reach Darguun and the objective of Kundarak.”

“Sounds like fun…. Sorta.” He says trying to give a reassuring smile.

“Just out of curiosity… why are we placing this stuff in here? Shouldn’t we be placing the stuff into packs?” asks Bora as she places in a large sack full of unknown items priory packed by Dura during the night.

“Everyone out of the chamber and behind me,” Dura commands then clears her throat once everyone is out. “Easy Down.”

The door to the “chamber” closes and begins to shrink. Then the answer begins to appear as the chamber and its walls reduce further. The “room” was really a concealed magical tower. It shrinks to within a few inches of height. Dura whistles to herself as she picks it up and places it into her pocket. “Granddad never did understand traveling in the rough.”

“This may be interesting and then some.” Says Mania to himself with a smile.

“If that is interesting… keep in mind we have one month to complete this and the travel time, if I calculated it right and Orien and Lyrandar are available to help us (and I can still afford it) we will have one day in Darguun to get their money and activate the teleporter rings.”

Mania’s face goes sour.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK

SEGMENT 039
“The Journey Begins”

THERENDOR 25, 999 (Day 1)

“Are we there yet?”

“Stop whining pretty boy.”

“If you wish, you can return to Elderich Hall and wait for our return in 30 days. Otherwise- zip it.” Snarls Dura to Mania.

“My horse doesn’t like me.” Complains Vander as he gets bounced around within his plate armor.

“What is the plan again?” asks Bora.

“We travel to Korona Peak. From there I buy passage for us all to Gatherhold. Travel south and cross the water to avoid the grey mists of the Mournlands. Then go inland to find the Warlord Rundii guy whom owes the dwarves a lotta money.” Repeats Dura for at least the third time that day.

“Tight time. Will we make it?” enquires Leeya as she watches Mania adjust his seat.

“We have too.” Commands Dura.

“Well stop up here on the hillside overlooking the river from Mirror Lake.”

They stop and settle down for the night. Mania disappears (possibly for food for himself) as Dura holds out the metal cube. “Easy Up.” She says quietly and the cube begins to quiver and enlarge. It loses the square edges and pushes into the ground as becomes a 30ft tall tower with small windows high up.

“What of the horses?” asks Bora patting hers.

“At least in this area they will be safe outside. After Gatherhold I’m not sure. We may have to squeeze them into the tower. It’ll be tight but they will be safe.”

It continues like this for several days as the friends bicker and pick and prod each other. Each day their friendship grows and becomes stronger. Their resolve to aid Dura and her Grandfather grows daily also. Dimly, very dimly, it occurs to Dura that this is becoming her new extended family. It feels good.

On the seventh day within the mountains they encounter their first trouble. An owlbear. They easily dispatch it before continuing onward.
They pass a few small villages but avoid going in fearing the distractions and thus delays they can bring. They do stop and trade off horses as they continue their forced march south.

While traveling through the Talenta Plains they see many small lizard creatures that feed on the tall grasses here. Leeya tells them that these are collectively referred to as dinosaurs. Though rarely seen in this area there are much larger versions in the jungle regions of Talenta and in Xen’drik.

11 days into the trip they near the closest thing to a halfling city- Gatherhold.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK
SEGMENT 040
“Gatherhold”

EYRE 07, 999

“Happy lil’ buggas.” Replies Mania as the halflings race around the group. The children are pretending to be hunting elves and dinosaurs.

“So what are we doing here again?” asks Bora wincing as she nearly steps on a child crawling out from under a market table selling fruit.

“Dura is hoping to get some help to reach our in time. These long forced marches are getting old to all of us. Well … all but Mania and the Warforged.”

The halfling marketplace is abuzz with activity. Everything is in bright colors and eye- grabbing designs. The aroma is thick with spices and the smell of food cooking. There are more small reptilian creatures roaming about than the group prefer. These dinosaurs are the pets and domesticated animals of the halflings. Claw feet, smaller versions of the feared raptors are the primary mounts of the rangers and scouts. Glidewings, smaller pterodactyls, fly overhead. Leeya spends two coppers to get a beautiful silken scarf. Mania gently wraps it around her neck and shoulders. They share a private smile then step away from each other as Dura returns. She seems happy which is a good sign.

“We have rides. We can make up a day or two while resting our legs and backs.”

“What kind of rides?” asks Mania as he sneaks another peak at a claw foot that is sniffing his pack.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK
SEGMENT 041
“The Raptor”

EYRE 07, 999 AFTERNOON-

The seven of them walk out of Gatherhold to a section of land that has a large rocky step. Several Glidewings sit on wooden poles placed into the solid rock. Their heads follow them as they walk up to a large basket with a rope that goes up to the top. Vander and Incarnum take a second basket after the others go up first.

“You still have not told us what this is about.” Says Mania to the dwarven cleric.

“I’m calling in a favor. I had forgotten about Rikko until about the third day of walking. He is a talented animal trainer. He used to work at House Vadalis. However, he has a few personality quirks thus why he no longer works for them and was kicked out…. Or at least believed to be dead.”

“Rikko? And believed dead… as dead or murdered?” Asks Leeya.

“Yes” answers Dura.

Once everyone is back together they walk to a series of shanties. There is a strong smell of dino-poo and meat. The place is a sty and smells it. “RIKKO!” Dura calls out.

There is a commotion of falling pots and stuff behind them. Bora nods to a leaning building made of reeds and dried large leaves. She pushes open the door and steps back with a look of disgust.

“Is this your Rikko?” She asks Dura with a hint of hope she is wrong.

“Dura? Dura Elderich?” they hear come from within the room.

A man with charcoal drawn symbols on his arms and face smeared with animal feces and urine peeks his head out. Mania’s sharp eyes spot a large tick or flea scurry from his hair under his ear and behind his neck.

Mania leans to Leeya’s ear- “He’s a few charges low on the sanity side isn’t he?” He whispers.

“Rikko- I… we need help. We need transportation to the south.”

“ahhhh…. Nope.”

“Do you remember the incident in the Hardcorestone pound? The one I never spoke of?”

“ahhh…. Irreverent.”

“Oh yes- you are thought dead. It would be a shame if any of the Vadalis leaders were to come to Gatherhold…..”

The lunatic’s eyes go wide then a crazed smile comes on his face- Dura…. Dura…. Dura…. It HAS been a while. How is the family?”
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK
SEGMENT 042
“FLIGHT OF THE RAPTORS”

EYRE 07, 999 AFTERNOON-

Eight Mage bred Glidewings of larger than normal size leave the rocky step near Gatherhold and head south. It is not long before Vander, Aura and Incarnum’s gliders fall behind even with riding the largest of the reptiles. Dura figures the use of magic will be required to keep these three up with the others.

The first night camping, the group learns much about “Rikko”. Perhaps more than any wished to know. He is of the House Vadalis but never developed a dragonmark. His father and uncle began to treat him differently and often poorly. The young man found more comfort living with the animals he fed and washed.

Dura and he met several times when she was very young. Kim often traveled and spoke with groups others would not. He had found a rebellious kinship with them.

Rikko d’Vadilas was perhaps too close to his animal responsibilities. He was first caste out of his home then as word got out; he was the victim of an accident.

Unknown to his father, uncle and the others, he survived and moved south into the plains of Talenta. Here he established himself as an animal trainer and farmer.

The rest the others surmised. His mind cannot handle the fact he was born with no dragonmark so he has attempted to paint one on. His mind has become somewhat beast-like and he would never fit in civilization ever again.

They also learned Glidewing eggs are tasty.

They had little problems traveling south this way, especially with Dura’s instant tower that she could call up each night. The Glidewings perched on it as watchouts. Much time was made up. Dura still hoped to find the contact person and the item of value in time.

On EYRE 22, 999 They reached the borders of the Mournlands. Wisely they keep several thousand feet from its grey mists until they reach the shores of Kraken Bay.

Somehow Dura makes a deal with House Lyrandar to cross the waters to Darguun.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK
SEGMENT 043
“KRAKEN BAY AND THE LAND OF THE GOBLINIODS”

EYRE 23, 999

The magically empowered water craft crosses the bay quickly. Little is said between passengers and crew. The crew has learned it is better to be wary of anyone that wishes to be let off at the shores of the goblinoid nation of Darguun. There is a brief encounter with water adapted zombies but they are no challenge for the power of Aura and Dura’s divine magic. Vander is quite upset to have missed the battle.

There was an alarm for a mechanical Kraken been seen nearby but it was busy with an undead giant shark. That also went by with little involvement of the Siberys Seven. And again, Vander was upset to miss it.

As they came within view of the shores of Darguun so did a large warship flying the colors and design of Darguun.

Parley is done and a deal is commenced. The ship goes to upriver towards Rheklor and docks there to do trade and the such. The passengers quietly sneak off the ship.

They have one day to find their contact, and send them back using a magical device given to them by the dwarven bankers.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK
SEGMENT 044
“DEATH PERCHED ABOVE”

EYRE 26, 999 JUST BEFORE MIDNIGHT

“You know- You guys are swell friends, and you tolerate a lot from me and I want to help you….” stumbles Mania as he easily hops onto a fallen tree and looks back at the group that is following him.

“But….?” Continues Dura swatting at a mosquito that was either created through evil mutative magics or House Vadalis… take your pick.

“Tramping through the forest on goblinoid soil in the middle of the night is not really what this city boy calls fun.”

“But you volunteered and just admitted we are your friends.” Follows up Aura.

“I still can’t help but think there is more to this whole thing than the Dwarves said….. any of the dwarves said.” He drops off the log to put it between himself and Dura quickly.

“Just what are you saying?” snarls the dwarf glaring. Leeya gives a nervous look to each of them.

From behind, Vander in his full plate calls out. “Why don’t we first complete this, get in some action, and then beat on each other.”

“No seriously- from my understanding of this adventure is- You were tricked into co-signing a crazy legal document that makes you responsible for Kim’s crazy spending habits. He has disappeared after spending the family fortune and this loan to build a flying fortress. They want their money and threatened to take you home. To avoid this action, you agreed to be their leg breaker. Amazingly enough, they have such a mission and a willingness to do this. And the best part- it’s done with only one mission and there is an incredibly strict time limit to it. A time limit that involves forced marches and the such for four weeks now. We are in hostile territory. The kind that they would look bad if caught doing it. You- WE are being played and used by the dwarves. No matter what they win.”

He takes a moment to clear more ground between him and the red faced cleric whom is slowly making up ground ahead of the others.

“The best part, we are to find a contact that is a half days march into the dense forest and there demand payment from a warlord here. With a teleporting device, send the seven of us back with the item. Why seven? Because he KNEW we were traveling with you and that we would help you.”

“Stop being a jerk and move on.” Commands Bora.

“Because I speak the truth?”

“Because you are twisting it.” Leeya says softly. “You should not talk like this.”

“Why? Why should I not?”

“Because you joined us to save your own ass. Not out of friendship.” Bora says then looks away realizing she should not have said it.

Mania stops, as if struck, then looks down to the ground. He turns and moves ahead disappearing into the darkness of the moon lit forest.

“Nice going guys.” Says Leeya.

Incarnum looks to each and ponders what has upset the mysterious rogue and cleric.

They move ahead in silence. Nothing is said by anyone. Bora has taken the lead while the heavier and slower armored friends remain in the back.

30 minutes go by when suddenly there is a screech from high above them. Two Manticores are sweeping down at them but one seems to have recoiled for some unseen reason.

Leeya is the first to react as she quickly casts a magic missile spell at the one that begins to whip out its tail. Vander draws his weapon as he moves to entice the magical beast to land near him. For his efforts- several spikes are shot from the creature’s tail and hit him. He doesn’t even grunt as he accepts the damage hoping to slash at it in a moment. Mania drops from a tree where he attacked it a moment ago with his cross bow. He dodges the spikes shot at him as he hits and rolls on the ground. The warforged mystery known as Incarnum pops out his twin short blades and also hopes for a landing target. Bora and Aura follow the general plan watching as one clearly will land and the other seems to be following the other’s action. Dura calls up a spiritual Weapon of a hammer than encloses the creatures within their closing ranks.

Though it is all small bits of damage, the two creatures are struck by magic, blades and spells once on the ground. They in turn snarl and bite and claw at them. Mania takes it in stride and Incarnum is deeply scratched across his chest plate.

Vander strikes a hard blow that cleaves into the creature’s side and Bora strikes from the other side nearly crushing the creature between the two mighty blows. The only magical mutated lion tries to fly away but the spiritual weapon holds it at bay. It is taken down.

“miss me?” quips Mania.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK
SEGMENT 045
“EVIL INTENSIONS”

“Are you well?,” Vander asks the warforged as they walk in goblinoid forest, “you seem distracted.”

Incarnum hesitates a moment as if calculating and inventorying his minor injuries and damages. “Yes. I am well. Minor damage from the flying creatures.”

Taking as a matter of personal pride, the warrior doesn’t ask the warforged any more questions though it is obvious something is off. His mind is elsewhere it seems.

And yes… it seems so.

The warforged named Incarnum remembers little from before walking out of the mists of the Mournlands. He could remember little of his activity before that. But he has a wish, a pull, to be around people, humans especially. However, he looks at them and sees at first their physical weaknesses then their inner spirit- their love of life. He is both intrigued and bothered by this display. But for now he has a mission- a good one- to save a friend and her family’s name and belongings. Did he ever have… a family? Can warforged have families?

Mania comes back to the group from scouting ahead. “I think I found the place but just what were you looking for?”

“What do you mean?”

“There are two hill giants keeping guard within the ruins of the tower.”

“We were told they would try to get away with not paying the money. Hired guards should be expected.”

“Okay. There appear to a large group of hobgoblins within the building and some more in a cave behind.”

“All right, Mania and Incarnum go around the building. Watch for them escaping from the back or backup coming from the caves. Vander, Bora and the rest of us strike the giants and hopefully there will be no problems.”

Mania and Incarnum begin to move wide of the tower. Mania points it out to the warforged as they near a short clearing within the thick brush. Incarnum sees the dirty looking Hill Giants. He is uncertain if the dirt is their natural look or if they are doing this to further conceal them. They continue on being extremely quiet and stealthy. The partially collapsed ruin of a building behind the tower is covered with thick vines and growth. The two of them sneak between the ruins and the cavern entrance. Mania can see about a dozen or so hobgoblins including two that seem to the leaders. One wears heavier armor than the grunts and other wears robes. Possibly a mage or cleric?

Two of them are pacing as if waiting impatiently for someone. They move closer to Mania and Incarnum whom stay down and out of sight. Mania can hear their conversation.

“I do not like this Lord Raam. Selling the cattle is one thing but I find the…. Clients… very unsettling.”

“I would sell my brother to her if there was enough gold in it for me.”

“What I hear of their goals…. Would she do that to Darguun?”

“No, even with that damned twice over shifter in charge, Darguun would stop her and grind her bones under their steel tipped boots. Mistress Muy Monstrous would not dare.”

“Geth. I hear he has the heart of a Dhakaani.”

“You are becoming soft General Supiik. Is slave trade no longer within your will?” Mania frowns and looks over to Incarnum.

“I have no disrespect for you or Darguun. I would sell of the humans to the witch if it served you and our lands. Gladly.”

“Slaves? To be sold…?” whispers Mania to himself. The warforged ranger motions for him to remain quiet.

Mania feels an anxiousness welling up within him. Something he has never felt before. He peeks up again to look, watch and listen better. He doesn’t see what he is looking for. The cave.

Incarnum sees him looking over his shoulder to the cave entrance. “Do you think the money is there?” he asks quietly.

Mania says nothing but just looks with a grim look of determination.


A new plan is developing in his mind. The better plan.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK
SEGMENT 046
“ASSAULT”

EYRE 27, 999 BEFORE DAY BREAK-



Grug looks up from his pebble that he is inspecting. He collects pebbles. He likes pebbles. Especially the purple ones. They make him safe from the boogie man.

“Doug- you sees somethin’?”

The two Hill giants now peer out into the dense woods looking for something.

“maybe dat yer boogieman.” says Doug with a smile.

“No I knows whatz I saws.” He points out directly to the group whom are about thirty feet away trying to sneak up.

Taking it as being spotted- Leeya stands up and casts her most powerful spell hoping to take both of the Giants out quickly. Thick ice forms on the interior of the ruined tower base and the giants growl from the icy attack. Aura, having fully charged her weapon for the potent attack and damage charges in. The giant is badly cut as it reaches for its huge club. Dura’s spiritual glowing and flying weapon appears above the other giant but does little. Bora charges in growling with a large smile. She wants to howl in joy but holds off knowing it will alert the hobgoblins inside. Vander, also powered up, charges in.

Both giants strike at Vander. The one giants tent posts Vander, dropping him to a knee. His armor clearly has a large dent that pushes painfully on his shoulder. Leeya carefully calculates her spell’s distance and placement and releases her spell. First the giants are frosted now they are fried as a burst from a fireball blows up behind them. Aura barely strikes as she is distracted by the flash of fire. Dura moves up to see what Leeya’s spell has done. Her spell of magical melee weapon misses again. Bora cuts out the legs of one whom goes down in a bloody heap. Inside the ruins, the closest Hobgoblins have heard the burst of fire and the howl of the giants as they were burned. Incarnum and Mania rush the two apparent leaders before they can react. One is armored and the other holds a staff while wearing a robe- a magic user. They team-up on the magic user. Also reacting to the sounds of the hobgoblins inside, Vander rushes to the crumbling doorway.

Leeya moves around the tower to aim spells at anyone coming out of the entrance. With the second giant dropping from his injuries, Aura moves through the tower through a hole in the back that leads directly to the entrance. Several Hobgoblins do exit from the entrance and attack Vander. The spellcaster inside tries to fire off a spell at mania but the damage he takes breaks his concentration and the spell fizzles with a few sparks and a sulfuric smell only. The fighter tries to strike Incarnum but cannot get past his defenses. Incarnum strikes the cleric again hoping to end that threat quickly. Bora forces her way into the entrance.

The hobgoblins try their best but they are outmatched by the five adventurers charges into the front. The cleric drops and instead of the other gobliniods fleeing, they increase their intensity. Bora bursts through the group and zeroes in on the fighter that is holding the warforged and dhampir at bay. He never knew what hit him.

As the group look around for goods of use and the contact that was held. Incarnum looks around and cannot find Mania. He remembers what they overheard- He motions to Bora and Vander. The cave.

Inside the cave, a few minutes before Incarnum realizes someone is missing, Mania pounces on one of the first three hobgoblins he sees. They are guarding a narrow branch within the tunnels. They growl and attack but do little against his supernatural body. He hacks at them over and over. He is uncertain where this intense emotion is coming from. He just knows he is angry.

Incarnum and the others arrive as he finishes off the last of them. As they look around they find a large chest full of gold and silver coins. The money they came for. And inside… there are dirty smelly humans chained. They look in fear as Vander and Aura step up. They must think they are the armored hobgoblins.

“Now what?” asks Leeya to Dura.

Mania, still grim, intense eyes almost glowing in the dim light, “There is more to this than the gold now. I know what I would do…. What I want to do.”
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK
SEGMENT 047
“NEW EVIL”

EYRE 28, EVENING

“I can’t believe this.” Says Leeya to no one in particular.

“That there is slavery? That an evil deranged mage is experimenting and torturing these slaves?” asks Aura.

“That it was Mania… a bloodsucker… whom thinks only of himself…. Came up with this. He is so adamant about it. “

“He has a heart- a good heart. It is just buried under his grief and whatever happened to him growing up. Perhaps this is a turning point for him.”

Leeya smiles and looks at her. “I hope you are right.”

Nearby Dura and Bora are having a similar conversation. It was his idea to use the teleporting magic on the seven slaves. They are free now. One of them knew of their contact. A hermit. He was “sold” a few days ago. The gold went with them to Kundaraks base along with a note. The Elderich home is safe. The slavers are dead. The slaves are safe and have a possible better start. ….and now- they await the real evil here- the slaver’s clients whom use the slaves to experiment on.

The heavy hitters wait at the main entrance with mania, Dura and Leeya holding back for support and cheap shots. Unknown to them, the incoming forces have Bugbears trained as rangers. They note the traffic and find the bodies. They have warned the incoming clerics and their guards. The three of them spread out and begin to sneak up on the ruins.

Despite their carefulness and training, they are expected. Vander spots the light colored fur of the one bugbear as it circles around the tower’s ruined base. Bora hears him as he begins a charge. No one hears the other two take the long way around the ruin to sneak in through the side.

The one trying the front door attacks Vander but misses. Bora strikes him as does Aura and mania whom quickly rushes up. Bora slices and dices him up as he weakens from the multiple strikes prior. Leeya calls out a warning to Incarnum as the other two leap out of the dark shadows. He receives little damage but is surprised none the less.

As the team surrounds them and begins to take them down two more forces run up unnoticed. Mutated Hill Giants (Beast of Chaos template) come in and attack before anyone knows they are there. Vander takes another powerful blow denting the other side of his cherished armor. Leeya’s magic missile attack strikes the rampaging giant in the neck (maxed out damage  ).

Aura is struck several times. Her multiple layers of protection falter under the incredible force of the mutated giants. Bora gets too close and has a black eye. Incarnum is dented and damaged by several blows. Bora guts one and it goes down with its guts spilling out onto the bodies of the bugbear.

Aura takes more damage and Vander, coughing up blood, will not back down. He moves up to confront the last one. Little by little they take it down. Leeya’s magic missile finishes it off.

Unknown to them, this is witnessed by two cloaked clerics of evil whom decide this is not happening and turn to run.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK
SEGMENT 048
“TO CATCH THE BAD GUYS”

EYRE 28, NIGHT

Strange.

It feels so good.

This feels so natural.

Incarnum moves through the brush with a great deal of stealth. He is hunting the clerics of evil. The humans of evil.

“Any signs of them?” whispers the rogue.

“Yes.”

Short silence. “And?”

“Two of them. They travel this way.” The warforged ranger / soul born points into the brush.

Moving along, knowing the others are not far away, the two of them continue to follow. Mania is becoming very aware of the rising sun. He will not die, bursting into hot ash as many think of it, but he will become weak…. Mortal. But these… slave traders……

“They are running. Easier to follow.”

“Do you think they are heading to the town? The docks?” asks Mania.

“Maybe.”

“Stop.”

Mania stops and places his hand on the hilt of his sword.

“New prints.”

Mania waits. There are days he hates trying to communicate with warforged in general.

“Gobliniods. Came through the brush,” he motions into the brush, “based on the prints, they stood still. Either talking or maybe magically held. Then the humans moved on. The gobliniods went back into the brush.”

“Could mean trouble. We better tell the others.” Replies Mania as he begins to turn.

Not even five steps into the return trip they hear Leeya call out in pain. Mania picks it up a notch.

Six seconds ago- Vander and aura bring up the back. Bora leads them. The spell casters remain in the middle. Leeya and Dura thought themselves safe here but their hunters know to take out the spell casters first. Four javelins streak out of the forest. One strikes Dura with a grazing shot but Leeya is struck solidly and drops to a knee. The others look to her then to the brush. Leeya casts out a fire ball before them that strikes the ambushers. . With no hesitation, Bora blasts into the brush and strikes a Bugbear still switching to his sword. Dura and Aura strike a bugbear still trying to pat out the flames on his legs. Vander finishes him off.

Bora strikes again at her chosen foe that goes down. The others find themselves fighting the brush as much as the hobgoblins. Another goblin drops between Dura and Vander. Aura dispatches another leaving only the last one whom is fighting to save his life from the angered barbarian. Mania and Incarnum burst into the brush and take him down even as Bora turns to strike him down.

“I hate it when I’m right.” Says Mania looking at Incarnum.

They continue to pursue them. Incarnum loses the trail twice but base their actions on the trail and sure enough find them again. They then turn to the right on an animal trail. Nearing Dusk, Mania feels his supernatural strength return and just in time. The trail exists into a short field of tall grass next to the river. They can see several Hobgoblins near the boat guarding. Several robed figures are on deck calling demands to the possible captain of the ship.

“What next?” Dura asks Mania.

“Me?”

“It’s your mission… on your suggestion.”

“I don’t know… I’m making this up as I go.”
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK
SEGMENT 049
“LAIR OF EVIL”

DRAVAGO 2, 999 DUSK

The team of seven adventurers has been shadowing the ship for the past day. The ship guards are very much on alert and wield bows that always have arrows readied. There is no way to approach, much less attack the ship safely.

Two cloaked figures guarded by two bugbears leave the ship. They seem very nervous and remain very alert.

Carefully, Mania and Incarnum track them. They pass three hobgoblins that are near a stone wall. They speak then pass. The Hobgoblins become extremely alert and ready their weapons. As planned, mania returns to the group, alerts them to the situation then creeps back into the night. Ten minutes later, the archers move slowly up. Aura, Bora and Vander release the first volley. One hobgoblin is badly hurt but one escapes any injury at all. As predicted, their attention is entirely on the path so when Incarnum and the rogue strike from behind they are unprepared until the very last moment.

The battle is slow and ugly (rolled 3s and 4s only… ?!?) but just a minute the threat is subdued. Moving up they spot what looks like a small stone house. There are three hobgoblins once more guarding the entrance. They repeat the prior attack method (goes better for them this time).

Inside the stone house are signs of melee including blood. Searching the area better, they find a secret door leading down. It is locked. Finding nothing inside, they go back to the hidden bodies and find a key. It fits and they go down.

Mania notes the scuff marks and claw marks on the walls and ceiling that is eight feet high. Thoughts of the mutated hill giants come to Leeya’s mind but she says nothing. It is too bizarre to consider.


At the bottom of the stairs is a door that is slightly ajar. Gently opening it in case of rusty hinges, Mania opens it a few inches more. He peers in and sees a long hallway that ends in another door. This one is wide open. They more on slowly and as quietly as possible.

Nearing the door he climbs to the walls. Incarnum takes it all in stride but the others are either startled or taken back. His supernatural talents have not completely sunk in with some of the Seven. Peering into the dark he sees movement and can hear it. Bugbears.

He crawls back quietly and far enough away that they can safely whisper. He has a plan and seeing at how his plans have gotten this far they all agree on it.

He crawls carefully through the door again and onto the wall and ceiling. The whole time he is counting to 100 in his mind. At 97 he is going to attack and at 100 they are coming in with a light spell to better see what is happening and attack.

He picks his target and drops behind him and stabs for a vital. The bugbear howls at the attack. The other two turn and begin to attack the supernatural rogue. Little of their attacks get through his supernatural defenses. At hoped, their attention is on him and the others charge in. Bora makes the distance easily. Her ½ orc blood allows her to see in the dark and her barbarian speed takes her across the length of the room. She strikes the same Bugbear that Mania has. The other combatants cross most of the room while Leeya casts out three small orbs that strike perfectly on a bugbear. Dura calls up her Spiritual warhammer and attempts to attack.

Snarling at Bora, the bugbear is easily finished off by Mania. The other two attack at him again but do no damage. Bora takes off an arm with a vicious strike with her great falchion. In the imperfect light, the other melee combatants struggle for positioning but get in a few attacks. Mania and Bora with Leeya’s spells take down another while Aura, Vander and Incarnum finish off the final guard.

“See… no problem.”

“Then what is that growling and howling sound I hear in the hallway?” Asks Vander, half smiling to himself.

They peer down the long hallway. As they slowly walk down the hallway they hear a surprising thump next to them. There is a magical force field that is clear unless struck that contains large furry creatures that are now charging the wall repeatedly. After a few moments they stop striking the wall and merely growl and give threatening motions.

“What are those?”

“When in Sharn a few years ago, I went to an animal show …. They had Dire Apes… these resemble that which I saw.” Comments Dura.

“Diseased?” suggests Bora.

“Changed…. Their aura is… tainted… evil….” Adds Aura.

“Great. House Vadalis is in town.” Quips Bora.

“No. Worse……. And this is what was to become of the slaves we saved….” Answers Leeya in shook.

“Those $#@&* Bastards.” Snarls Mania under his breath as he turns to the end of the hallway. The door is closed but there is light on the other side.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK
SEGMENT 050
“MISTRESS MUY MONSTROUS”

DRAVAGO 3, 999 after midnight-

Events leading up to the heroes’ final charge-

A woman with a crazed and feral smile on her face looks at a glowing and shivering cocoon. It is purple and black and pulses with alien energies. Two of her aids arrive… empty handed.

“Where are my new test pieces?” she asks with her smile disappearing.

“There were… others…” begins one of the cloaked individuals.

“They defeated the Hobgoblins and waited for us. They killed our bugbears.”

“AND MY PETS? My beautiful dark hill giants?” Her voice becoming manic and extremely unsettling. The clerics take a step back as she takes a step towards them.

“Defeated.” Answers the two men weakly.

“Defeated?” She pauses as if to allow the thought to sink in. “As in killed?” An evil glare shines from her eyes. The cleric aids back up further until they reach a wall.

“What am I to do without more specimens to PLAY with? I need more! Besides the apes and giants everything else has broken.” She turns in thought then stops. Slowly she turns her head to look at the men over her shoulder. An evil smile filled with madness is once more on her face.

One of the men tries to run but she reaches out and makes a fist. The man finds himself magically held. “Don’t go anywhere- you can be next” The other man numbly nods his head in great fear and deep down- curiosity of what will become of his soon to be former ally.

She returns back to the strange alien cocoon like device. She purrs to it like a lover. She gently touches various blackened nods and bumps on the outside. She has learned much about how this Xoriat created artifact works. The creatures of nightmares created mind flayers, beholders and other wonderful aberrations with this. What ever could she create? Her eyes become bright thinking about it. A slight murmur can be heard as she works. Then a glow and more pulsing from the Husk of Infinite Worlds. The murmur becomes a confusing buzz then a moan. Energy begins to leak from the Husk. It swirls like a thing alive…. Seeking…. Hunting…..

Now beginning to whistle softly to herself she walks over to the held man. Sweat pours down his face and neck. He has seen this used before. Most living things placed within die horribly becoming nothing but a blob of protoplasm…. Those are the lucky ones. Now he will experience it….. The honor… the Horror….

Placing special goggles and headpiece on, she becomes immune to the artifact’s residual effects and leans close to the held man.

“I Love you.” She leans back and laughs like a crazy person consumed by their own madness and finding something very funny…. Something secret. She drags the man using magic to the husk. The swirling energy concentrates on the two. The second, luckier man, can only watch- both in horror and awe.

The husk opens up like a morning flower welcoming the first rays of sunlight. She pushes the man in and the vapors pull him in. The spell suddenly breaks and the man tries to escape and screams. Screams for his soul.

On the other side of the closed door, Mania hears the screams and reacts thinking an innocent person is being killed.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK
SEGMENT 051
“PURE EVIL CHAOS”

DRAVAGO 3, 999 after midnight-

Mania bursts through the door. The one cleric doesn’t see him but the crazed woman sees him. She then ignores him. She wants to enjoy the transformation of the man inside the arcane-planar cocoon. Leeya, having readied her wand fires a magic missile. It strikes the woman but it doesn’t little to her enchanted body. Seeing the magic attack, the cleric immediately goes to protect his master. A spiritual weapon appears between the team and her. Aura sees the swirling magical energy but when she spots the crazed mage her reads her aura as pure chaotic evil and charges to remove her. As she steps into the swirling energy she is assaulted mentally and becomes confused and goes to attack something moving behind her. Bora rushes past Aura and attacks the cleric hoping to remove his magical club quickly. She guts him and prepares for the finishing strike when someone steps up quickly behind her and strikes at her. Mania rushes the woman thinking his supernatural body will repel anything caste at him. His mind becomes fuzzy for a moment then he reconnects with reality and attacks her going little damage. She laughs at him and seems to appraise him. Incarnum steps up but senses something is strange and magical about the mist. Uncertain about it he advances and tries to reach the crazed woman but can’t reach her. Vander notices Aura’s sudden change in direction but ignores it and moves after the woman hoping to take her down quickly. As he reaches the magical swirling mists he tries not to breathe it in but finds his mind goes numb anyway. He slows down then stops as he watching the swirls become various flying creatures and he looks at them blankly and lets his sword fall to his side. Dah-dah…… Dura tries to strike at a distance with her own spiritual weapon. She misses the woman. “So many pretty playthings. Perhaps I was hasty to be mad at you. You brought others with you. The warforged…. I’ve never had one of those before.” She mentally releases a spell preset down the hallway. One of the mutated Dire Apes leaps at the magical wall and tumbles out onto the floor and against the far wall. They all stop in stunned confusion then begin to growl, howl and hop about in sheer furious joy. Freedom!

Leeya calls out to everyone not to enter the mist (mostly too late- Know: Arc just missed before). One cleric tries to strike Bora but misses. The other one is still screaming. His one arm hanging outside of the cocoon thrashing about. Suddenly the screaming ends. The arm twitches violently several times then drops. With a sickly sucking sound, the arm is drawn slowly into the cocoon. Mania is so distracted by it he nearly stops everything his now crazed mind was doing. Aura, not of her own mind attacks whatever moved the closest to her. Caught unaware, Bora takes a savage strike to her back from the paladin. Bora screams out profanities and tries to move in such a way as to finish off the cleric and also stay away from Aura. “WHY? Why Aura?!?” Incarnum has also seen the grisly spectacle of the arm being sucked in. It doesn’t bother his warforged mind and he attacks the woman. He does little damage to her. However, she sees this is not going well for her and her minions and pets. Vander is still drooling and babbling while reaching for imaginary creatures in the mist when she calls up a spell. She disappears.

Dura has seen the man go inside also and calls out in horror for someone to save him. She starts into the room but Leeya stops her and calls out for everyone to stop and leave the room. Dura struggles free and is about to reattempt to run in when she hears the first howl.

“I am going to need a really strong drink after this.”
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 003
KUNDARAK
SEGMENT 052
“PURE CHAOS”

Dura directs Leeya’s attention to behind them. Six of the mutated dire apes are in the hallway. One begins to growl and threaten the spell casters so Leeya sends a fireball down at them. Dura tries to follow with a beam of magical energy but misses the charging creature. Three others smell the blood of the just recently killed bugbears and go for easier food. The other two seem uncertain but sneer at the spellcasters.

Aura strikes Bora again. Bora tries to plead with the paladin, her friend. Finally she merely grunts and murmurs a barbarian (non-paladin Grandma friendly) comment and bolts at her while dropping her sword. Aura gets in a slight nick as she is tackled full force (nat 20) and sent hard to the ground with the big ½ orc woman on her. Mania continues to try to strike the nearest target which is Incarnum. The warforged has come to understand somewhat what is happening. He could easily move away from the rogue but fears the defenseless Vander would become the next target. He cannot allow that. He concentrates on being defensive against Mania. Unseen by anyone he begins to glow softly as he reaches deep inside to the strange Incarnum energies that powers him. He becomes harder to strike.

Vander continues to reach into the air to grasp and pat unseen friendly animals. His childish and goofy smile is the only clue to whatever he is seeing.

Dura is struck hard by the charging ape. To protect her, Leeya castes a fireball into the hallway. This discourages the two other apes from also charging and gets the leading ape in the back. It howls at Dura and Leeya in pain and anger.

Suddenly the ape stops howling and has a pained look on its face. Then the others hear it. A loud ear-piercing screech from the cocoon. It pulses and lights strike out in beams of color. The mists suddenly retract through a lit crack of the entrance where the man was sucked in. Vander stops babbling and grasps at the air once more then looks around. He is confused and embarrassed. Mania and Aura continue to attack and thrash about. (allowed a second save due to retraction of mists). Leeya and Dura are freed up as the dangerous ape decides to leave rather than fight whatever is happening. It’s dull and angry mind still remembers the cocoon it would seem. Vander stumbles back trying to understand what is happening. Leeya steps up- whatever is happening it’s because of this cocoon and needs to stop.

The cocoon groans once more and a mutated man stumbles out and falls to his (its) knees. He throws up them swipes his mouth. He sits upright and pulls back his cowl. His two eyes have fused into one and seven tentacles with eyes on them wriggle free of his wet hair. Taking no chances, Leeya unleashes her most powerful spell at him and freezes him there killing him instantly.

Vander helps Incarnum hold Mania back. It is not easy. In another minute or so the effects finally wear off. Aura breaks down crying and both Leeya and Bora hold her. She doesn’t want it at first but accepts it after a few moments. Mania sits in a corner and seems shocked and in deep thought.

“Can we destroy it?” asks Dura.

“I don’t want to get near it. I don’t know.” Answers Leeya.

“We can’t just leave it can we?” wonders Vander, still trying to understand what has happened to both himself and the others.

“Can we?” echoes the warforged.

“What concerns me the most is I recognized her.” Bora brings up.

“The party in Sharn,” Mania says with little emotion, “Muy I think was her name.”

“Gods of the Sovereign Host….” Whispers Leeya.

“Now what?” asks Bora.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 004
SEAWALL MOUNTAINS
SEGMENT 053
“THE LONG HAUL”

DRAVAGO 5, 999

“Keep running guys! Keep running!” Exclaims Dura in a huff.

“Whose idea was it to tell Geth about the insane center anyway?!?” yells out Bora looking over her shoulder.

“I didn’t know there was a damned coupe of ruler ship here!” Pants out Leeya, nearly out of breath.

“Damned Hobgoblins… think this means they can… do whatever they want! Even hunt us!” Bora blusters.

“These are some of the blasted gobliniods that were a part of human slave trafficking. So get real.” Spits out Mania in frustration.

They have been on the run for the past two hours. A large faction of hobgoblins is hunting them for sport. They know the land and are using archers. They are traveling deeper into the Kraal Jungle. Rumor has it that even the locals avoid this area. It is full of the supernatural and haunted ruins. Better dealing with rumors while thinning out the archers than face the archers head-on.

As they come onto a stonewall made from stacked loose rocks two arrows glance off of Incarnum’s shoulder. “Cover!” yells Bora. All seven leap behind the wall for cover. Mania is looking at a tall tree to climb and attack from above but the others locate where the archers are.

They are in cover behind trees and large moss covered rocks. Leeya sees that two of them are side-by-side and casts a web spell onto them while Bora takes a chance and stands up with her own bow. She hits before the hobgoblin can re-acquire her location.

“Now what?” asks Leeya.

“Where’s Mania?” asks Vander.

They hear a startled scream then nothing. The Hobgoblins are no longer a threat and Mania can heal himself again.

Continuing on, hoping to distance themselves further from the hunters, they follow the stone wall to what Incarnum believes is due west. Based on the moisture of the ground he believes they are traveling towards a river or water source.

Unwittingly, they are following a game trail, and where there is game there are often predators. In this case, after about an hour of traveling they spot two Dire Tigers that are waiting to ambush them. Mania, with his supernatural nature and Aura with her defenses take point hoping the others can take the creatures down before they advance onto them.

Leeya does her best but the boney large cats leap from the tree even as the spell is caste. Bora misses with her bow. Dura tries to get them also but misses completely with a spell. The large cats charge and pounce on both of them. Sparks are flying as one tries to rip up and gut Aura. Most of Mania’s injuries seal up but some are just too deep. He and the cat are becoming a bloody mess.

Most of the team tries to help him first but little is done to the cats with their tough hides. Aura howls in pain as a rear foot gets in-between separate plates of armor and rakes her badly. In desperation, mania begins to rip into the cat’s foot with his fangs creating a truly bloody mess. Dura bolsters Bora’s strength and the barbarian begins to hack the cats up with deep and mighty blows. Finally the cats are killed.

Aura requires magical aid and the others are uncertain at what to do with Mania. “Point me… to the… nearest… hobgoblin……” he says with a faint smile.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 004
SEAWALL MOUNTAINS
SEGMENT 053
“WHEN THE HUNTER BECOMES THE HUNTED”

DRAVAGO 5, 999

“WARLORD BRAAK- the scouts are no longer reporting in.”

“We hunt a worthy foe General Lortaal. It is a glorious night. Our gods approve of us and bless us. Select new scouts.”

“Yes.”

“You, you and you- scout ahead. NOW!” snarls General Lortaal after walking to a small grouping of archers.

The three frown but do as commanded. They go ahead of the front line. Though not the best of trackers they can easily follow the trail. A warforged and two full plate targets leave easy to follow trails. They reach a small still stream with steep tall banks surrounded by trees and brush. One bends down to see which way they went and freezes in horror. Reflecting in the water are eyes in the darkness. Dozens. The three have almost no time to even scream. High above them, clinging to a tree is the team’s rogue and resident Dhampir. He has decided to use his supernatural powers over the creatures of the night. Something he hates doing but must for the others to survive.

He never once asks himself when did he start to care about others.

Wolves rush and overwhelm the awaiting ambushers. It is not pretty but at least it is short.

Lortaal and his personal guards last only slightly longer. But those are taken down by the other six traveling companions.

“The sooner we get to civilization the better. I need a long hot soaking bath.” Comments Dura as she discovers a leech has attempted to attach to her forearm.

“Before then we have to still cross the dangerous mountains that are loaded with eager to fight gobliniods.”

“For a bath- I’ll take them ALL down.”
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 004
SEAWALL MOUNTAINS
SEGMENT 055
“SEAWALL MOUNTAINS”

DRAVAGO 15, 999

The group has been walking through lightly forested areas of Darguun for ten days now. They have faced several creatures they did not expect to run into. They have avoided two groups of hobgoblins marching.

On a clear day they can see what they believe are the Seawall Mountains.

At another 10 days of travel they can clearly see the very tops of the mountains. They begin to follow a river system (Torlaac River) which helps them in some ways but hinders them in others. They are trying to avoid possible hostile groups but the river attracts everyone with many settlements.

NYMM 3, 999

The group reaches a larger settlement known as Grellreach. They continue to try to be evasive around people though they see several none gobliniods farming land. But as freemen or slaves? They pass it up hoping the best for the farmers.

NYMM 8, 999

The flat lands of fields and batches of forest give way to foothills.

NYMM 10, 999

They are clearly within the mountains. Fallen rough stone liter the grass and forests as they climb steep areas of land.
 

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