Siberys Seven: Heroes of Eberron

SEGMENT 26
“Dangerous Incentive”

Mania stared at the stars and then at the four moons that were out this night. Bored, he turned and walked through the rooms from the balcony he had stood on. He re-locked the front door so that the sleeping occupants would never know he was there. He walked down the stairs to the exit then crossed a bridge to another landing. He looked up at the one tower a final time and whispered a short curse before walking again into the deeper shadows on the levels below.

Though the clubs and taverns were open, it was quiet. The fear of the undead was not yet forgotten. A few women working the streets came to him as he walked. He would allow his eyes to glow and they were quick to return to their stairs and alleyways. He was in no mood.

He wanted to be with his new friends. They had excepted him, which had never happened before. Even the paladin did. But most importantly, the mage did. There was something about her…. Something enchanting but also dark and dangerous. Could undead love? Another curse is let out.

He finds the doorway that enters the sewers where he lived. How long has he lived here? How long has he hid from the world and also from the world below? Coming to a stop before a door with no handles, he pushes in on a brick and reaches in to pull a combination of levels. The door opens and he stops. Someone was here!

“Hello …. Evil creature.”

Mania turns slowly and spots a man holding a crossbow wearing a cloak that shielded him from his dark vision.

“I wondered if you guys would ever come to visit me.” Mania says as he looks for other Silver Flame agents. Seeing none he steadies himself. He stares into the young man’s eyes. “I have no weapon on me. And I mean no harm. I merely want to go home.”

The young man’s brow wrinkles as he realizes too late what the vampire is doing. “I…. Can not….”

“Release him by the light of the Silver Flame!” declared an older man.

Mania creases his brow in pain and discomfort. “Time to go.” And he leaps backward into his room and closes the door.

“Hurry! He will escape!” Using a magical wand, a third knight opens the door. Inside a trap door is open and the half-vampire has escaped. “Find him. He must not escape.”

He watches them from under his table as the three knights leap down into the trap door to follow. Once down he quickly races to the door, slams it shut and locks it. “Enjoy the chute since the bottom leads to a known slime pit."

He sighs and sits down on the door. A long of depression and unease rests on his face. He looks around his ruined room. He hears something below him. The knights have somehow stopped their fall and are looking to climb back up. The lock pops open magically the door bumps. Frowning, the rogue leaps off and exits the room. He closes the door and reaches into the secret compartment where the levers are. He purposely bends and breaks a few levels to disable the door and disappears into the darkness.

The knights are getting closer everytime. Looking up to a rain chute, he sees the morning sun is coming. The sun doesn’t kill him but makes him weaker. Much weaker. He decides to venture into it. Maybe he can see his friends. They will make him feel better.

It takes much longer to reach the Elderich penthouse as a normal mortal than as a supernatural creature. He finds himself tired. Not in need of blood kind of tired but physically tired. He had almost forgotten what it was like. He sees Leeya ahead of him. He rushes to catch up with her. She has a duffel bag and two pouches with her. “Hi” he calls out. No reaction.

He reaches her and smiles. She sniffles a bit and says hello. She has been crying.

From the Elderich penthouse Aura looks from her private room and sees them. Each is holding the other. An Embrace. Rigid with emotion she watches them before stopping and calling her ectoplasmic skin to sheath her glow. She gets the rest of her armor on … always watching them.

A sky coach arrives shortly even as Mania and Leeya walk up the bridge leading to the base of the penthouse section. Dura packs a few things and speaks to the keeper of the penthouse when she or Kim is away. Leeya and mania join them as they leave.

The sky coach flies to a tower with several airships attached to it. One ship is destined to the Mror Holds. A small crew along with three passengers awaits them. The captain hails them-

“Oye! Welcome to my ship! All welcome the Siberys Seven!”

“The who seven ?” questions Mania.

“We’ll tell you later once we are away.” Says Dura

“Away. Away sounds good.”
 

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SIBERYS SEVEN 002
FAMILY SECRETS

SEGMENT 027
“Slow ride to the Holds”

DM NOTE: This Segment was done about 3 years ago with my kids (Stab = Tim and Cathy is herself with myself playing the dwarf).

Olarune 28, 999
One of two known air ships owned by Kim Elderich begins to leave Sharn. Several groups are on board. The Siberys Seven members get the best rooms. A large warforged and two others have a room. They also played a part in the zombie infestation. Also on board are three merchants that are getting off in Aundair (71). Kim Elderich seems to appear out of no where along with his personal bodyguard- Ore (72) an awakened Iron Golem.

Kim welcomes his granddaughter Dura and seems very happy. He leaves her to talk to the captain. The members break up into smaller groups to watch the world fly by as the ship soars high overhead following the Dagger River which both Wroat (Breland’s capital) and Sharn are built by. Bora watches the many seagulls fly below the airship as a young lady walks up to her.

“Hello. My name is Cathy (73). We are going to Kim’s home.”

Bora turns and smiles at the young woman. Based on her appearance, Bora guesses this young woman to be a novice adventurer. “I am Bora. I too find myself going to the Elderich home.”

“Were you in Sharn when the zombies attacked?”

“Yes. Many believe we stopped it. Yourself?”

“Yes. We helped a woman survive the attacks by the creatures. She introduced us to Kim whom has hired us to assist some of his friends. He called it a Khyber Crawler. Do you know what that is?”

“I don’t have the faintest idea but if Kim has anything to do with it, it will be fantastical and amazing I am sure.” Bora smirks at her own comment.

Elsewhere, the very large warforged with a falchion walks over to Incarnum. “Hello. I am Stab (74). I am a warforged fighter. Are you a magic user?”

Incarnum slowly turns away from watching a sailing ship on the river to face the warforged. He finds himself looking up at the man-made warrior. “I am Incarnum. I…. Do not know what I am but I am what I am.” Stab waits for an easier answer. With none forthcoming he reintroduces himself. “I am Stab. I will be working for Kim Elderich. I get to be a guard on the Khyber Crawler.”

Cathy has left the barbarian from the Demon Wastes and sees a well-dressed woman whom appears to be a mage. “I am Cathy.”

“Hello Cathy. I am Leeya. Are you going to the Mror Holds?”

“Yes I am. What were you looking at?”

Leeya looks over the railing again and sighs. “I was looking at the water.”

Vander and Dura are talking about the mountains of the Holds when Cathy walks over to them next. After a quick introduction Dura relates to Vander how the young lady and her friends saved the life of a friend of Kim’s. When asked about the Crawler Dura laughs. “Is that what you have been hired for? Well then you are in for an adventure. The Khyber Crawler is something my grand father has been working on for some time with House Cannith and a group of Gnome elementalists. My understanding is the craft is linked to an earth elemental and can phase into the earth. He hopes to use it to explore some caverns he recently located.”

“Awesome.” Says the young adventurer.

The young adventurer tries to get Vander to talk but only gets a hard nod of his head as replies. Taking the hint, she leaves them to themselves.

“That was kinda rude Vander. She meant no harm.”

“Kid is too young to be going underground. Kim has so little sense of what is right or wrong that it often bothers me. Sorry. I know he’s your family but it is true.”

“I won’t argue the fact. He has often done some wonderful and amazing things but he never stops to question them. In the case of the recent events in Sharn that was good. But he has screwed up in the past.”

“His money corrupts him.”

Dura stares ahead and absent-mindedly nods her head with a soft “aye” and losses herself in thought and memories.

Aura watches Stab stare at the roaring fire elemental that powers the airship (75). She doesn’t see Cathy walk up to her.

“Is that your skin? It looks…. Not real. Is it magic?”

Aura snaps out of her thoughts and looks at the young adventurer. “Hello. I am Aura. And yes, this is protective magic that I use to protect my real skin. Who are you?”

“Cathy.”

Below deck, Mania sits quietly in the corner of the room. His unique nature allows him to be in the sunlight but he doesn’t like it. Too much sun upsets his stomach and gives him a headache. Using his keen ears he tries to listen in on the merchants next to his room. They are dealers of Dragonshard (76) magical items.

The ship passes over Wroat at night. The lights of the capital create a beautiful mosaic design. Looking at them, Cathy and Leeya try to “connect the dots” and make shapes of animals out of them.

Over the next few days they pass over the mountains of northern Breland and enter Thrane. In the distance, dark swirling gray mists can be seen. The Mournlands (77).

As Cathy leaves to talk to Torg (78), their dwarven clerical friend, Bora and Aura come over. “It is becoming very cold. Is it because we are so near the Mournlands?” asks Aura.

“No. It is something else. The winds carry a magical cold. It seems to be coming from the west (79).”

Bora looks west. “I wonder if the cold reaches my home.”

“You miss home,” observes Aura, “You said it was located in the Demon Wastes (80). Is it true, there are demons and fiends roaming free there?”

“For the most part- yes. My tribe and others try to contain them from leaving there and entering the forests of Eldeen but it is hard.”

The ship continues north then turns east once in Karrnathi (81) airspace. Dark strongholds and fortresses dot the landscape mixed in with the forests and deep valleys. The ship is forced to rise higher as it reaches the Ashen Spires and the forests give way to fields. Finally after 8 days of flying, the ship reaches the border of Karrnath and the Mror Holds within the southern Iron Root Mountains.

The air ship follows a series of glowing rocks in a line that marks the Lightning Rail (82) line. The rail leads to Krona Peak, the capital of the dwarven nation.

The ship stops here allowing the merchants to disembark. The Siberys Seven members notice many dwarves seem to sneer at the Elderich ship. It is obvious he is not very popular with his fellow dwarves.

Mania, making a rare appearance on the deck of the ship, pops up. He looks weak as if airsick. “Warm reception.”

“My grandfather has always been an outcaste with the dwarves of Mror Holds. They distrust him and feel he may bring harm to them.”

Leeya stares at the large lake between the mountain ranges. She looks ashen also.

Her friends do not notice it as they continue to discuss the dwarves and Kim.

“Why are the dwarves here so unhappy with your grandfather?” asks Aura.

“Many of the locals here distrust him and his money. Our family was always wealthy but nothing like today. Many wonder where the money came from. Some fear he stole it from someone here and it can’t be proven.” Dura answers with a bit of depressed calm. “It’s something I don’t think about much.”

“Wouldn’t the money and riches be missed if stolen?” comments Bora.

“Only if the money was checked on regularly. There are legends here involving a lost clan. Some feel he stolen their money somehow. Dwarves have no issues with exploration and salvaging lost empires gold unless it is a dwarven ruin. Many feel Kim has stolen the legendary Noldrunhold treasury (83).”

“Noldrunhold?” asks Aura

“The powerful mining clan.” Enters Leeya. “It is believed they accidentally entered a tunnel used by fiends or angered the Orcs of these mountains and were wiped out hundreds of years ago.”

“You know of them? You never cease to amaze me Leeya. Yes, the two leading causes involve the Lords of Dust (84) and the Jhorash’tar (85) .” She lowers her voice when saying the name of the dangerous orc tribe. My father and grandfather knew several of the clan before they just disappeared. It is said the slain clan now haunts the mines.”

“ooooooOOOOOooooOOoo” mocks Mania, “Ghosts. Gotta love it.”

“Be nice. The dwarves are superstitious and fear the undead. Karrnath used undead against them when they broke away during the war,”

The ship slowly lifts off again and goes south along the ridges of the mountains. It is another day before they reach the Elderich home. It is a basic looking mine with a few built-in balconies over looking the valley that makes up much of the Mror Holds. Also visible is a large stone wall with a ramp leading down the mountain face. At the top of the ramp is a large item shaped like a Lightning Rail car, the Khyber Crawler.

Stab, Torg and Cathy watch it with glee. Cathy especially is looking forward to it. Stab comments about he hopes they see action and the dwarven cleric looks on only nodding as a reply to his two friends comments.

The ship stops and they disembark. An usually short dwarf and a top-heavy warforged wait for them. “Hooch! (86)” calls out Dura as she spots them. She runs down the gangplank and gives him a big hug.

“Hee hee…. Welcome home child. Come. Come and lets go inside and talk about your adventures in the City of Towers.”

Everyone goes except for Leeya who hesitates. She looks out onto the valley at the large river that leads into the Mirror Lake (87). A look of fear and concern haunts her eyes.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 002
FAMILY SECRETS

SEGMENT 029
“Elderich Complex”

“Whoa-Ahhh! I wish I was there to beat on some zombies meself!” hollers out the buzzed dwarf named Hooch.

Hooch is the caretaker of the Elderich clan tunnels and complex. He is untidy and often smells of strong drink but is friendly and caring. Generally he is there alone except for the Security Guard- a warforged named Overbite (88). He is so named due to his enlarged jaw that often is used as a weapon. He has two pet construct dogs, or Iron Guardians that he trains to aid in his work. He and his dogs, Lockjaw and K-9 (89) both watch silently as everyone eats and drinks late into the night.

Bora has taken it apon herself to outdrink the dwarf. Her eyes look glassy but she still remains awake. Aura and Incarnum watch with mixed reactions. Dura is buzzed and snorts through her nose. Vander stares at his mug deciding if he can drink more or be ill. Mania is keeping pace with Bora and Hooch but due to his unique nature, the strong drink is not affecting him much. Leeya …. Well she is ….smashed.

“An thens Duras drops ‘nto the hole wan’ing a figh with the snakeperson. SPLOOSH! SPLASH! Shes all wut’” Leeya exclaims while interrupting Dura’s retelling of their adventures. Leeya leans forward to touch Dura arm and instead over balances and falls out of her chair with a series of thuds. Vander looks down at her and smiles then proceeds to have more drink after all.

It is another five minutes after finishing the tale that Leeya begins to snore loudly from under the table. Everyone laughs including Vander whom holds his drink close to his chest.

“Hooch… is this your private stock drink?” asks Dura.

“Yup.”

“Ah…. Good. Cause I’m seeing double after a mere… ,” Dura stops to count the drinks on her fingers, “…four drinks. I was afraid my tolerance was getting low.”

Bora blasts out a belch that pushes her hair away from her face. Everyone laughs again.

“I wish Kim was here. He needs to let it all out over some drink. He is …. Caught up with life.” Says Hooch as he tries to stop laughing.

Wishing for a serious tone to be established to the late night gathering, Aura changes the subject. “Where is Kim Elderich? He seems to never stay anywhere for long.”

“Heeeee-yo! That izz right. Kim, he a busy dwarf for sure. Between the Khyber Crawler, Siberys Heir and the Creatio….ahhhh exploration he is busy.” Hooch tries to change the subject again. “Where you guys going next?”

“Siberys Heir? What is that?” Asks Dura as she tries to focus on one of the now three Hooches before her.

“Did I say Siberys Heir? I meant ….something else. Heeheehee.” He tries to belch silently then re-asks where the group is going next.

“I believe it is time to call it a night Hooch.” Says Overbite. “The young men and women before us seem to be done in. He looks at Vander whom seems to have fallen asleep holding his mug to his chest. A silly smirk on his face.

Bora stumbles over to where Leeya collapsed and picks her up easily. She stumbles towards the rooms set up for them.

“You okay Vander?” asks Mania. No answer.

“Leave him. He’ll be alllrighty right there.” Answers Hooch.

The women go to their rooms except for Aura whom has her own room. The others get up to go to their rooms leaving Hooch, Overbite and Incarnum.

“You are a most talkative person there Incarson. Even for a warforaged. Urrmmmm.” Hooch says as he gathers up the mugs left behind.

“I find listening to people I learn more than talking to them.”

“Hee….. I thinks the ‘forged may be right there. What say you Overbite? Listening better than talkin’?”

“Emotions and Interaction are strange concepts for many of us.” He answers. “Emotions rule most of the races.”

“Ehhhh I always thought it was sex and money.” Hooch answers slyly.

Deciding their conversation wasn’t worth eases dropping on, Mania moves away. His supernatural eyes scan through the dark hallways. He has seen the dining hall, the greeting rooms, the trophy rooms and the guestrooms but he has yet to travel deeper into the complex.

He thinks about the reported millions in gold and artifacts Kim Elderich has hidden away. Where is it? How did he get it? Never being one to ignore his inner questioning and curiosity, the ½ Vampire walks away.

It seems Hooch and Overbite are very secure in feeling no one would snoop, as most doors are unlocked and even open. He enters a large hallway that has scratched in grooves on the floor. The path leads to a large double door that he has never been beyond. He goes there and pushes open the heavy door. The sound of rushing water assaults his ears. Being limited in range of sight, he wanders out from the door following the grooves on the stone floor. The grooves lead to a rail bridge. Mines he thinks. The grooves are from heavy ore filled carts from the old days.

He walks up to the railed bridge and spots rushing water that falls into a deep chasm. The bridge disappears into the darkness that is beyond his limits of nightvision.

“It is rude to skulk around in a guest’s home.”

Mania turns and sees Overbite and his two construct dogs. “Meant no harm. I can’t sleep.”

“Guessed as much. You strike me as a creature of the night.”

“You could say that. Where does the bridge go?” Mania says looking out over the waterfalls.

“To the other side. It is not safe beyond these waterfalls.”

“Really? Did the Noldrun have a waterfall?”

“You go too far. I can see why Kim likes you.”

Mania is silent as he tries to figure out what he meant by that. “So what is so dangerous over there?”

“ Years ago we were invaded from some under ground. Fiends from Khyber. We fought them back but they still lurk around in the darkness.”

“What were they looking for?”

“What do any evil creature want? Come. We need to return and I will bar this door again.”

Mania walks back wondering if the Khyber Crawler and this have any connection.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Leeya murmurs in her sleep. Her face shows a look of fear. “no…. the people….. oh the people…..” she tosses and churns under her covers. Bora looks up from her bed. She doesn’t remember going to bed. “No….. the people will die……” Leeya rolls over and reaches up to the ceiling. “NO!” and she bolts upright. Bora falls out of her bed and remains still.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Hooch sits and stares at his holey socks. He looks up to the mirror and looks at his reflection. “The things one must do to save the world.” He says. There is a knock at his door. “whoa-ho- enter. Its unlocked.”

Overbite walks in. “I found Mania snooping.”

“He is a young man rogue that doesn’t sleep. Not surprising.”

“He was at the bridge on the waterfall.”

“What of Dura? Kim’s grand daughter?”

“Asleep.”

“Good. She has quite the day tomorrow. Many of them will have quite the day.”
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 002
FAMILY SECRETS

SEGMENT 030
“Curiosity”

CLANG! CLANG!

Dura walks quickly to the sounds of sword fighting. It is coming from the old rail room. She opens the door and sees Bora and Vander practicing swordship. They are very evenly matched. Mania is watching them.

“Have you seen Leeya?” asks Dura.

“Nope. Say Dura- what is beyond those doors?” He points to the locked huge doors he had ventured beyond the night before.

“Mines mainly. There is also some old research rooms from my ancestors.”

“Strange location for mines…. Next to research rooms.” Prods the rogue.

“There is a bridge that crosses over two great endless waterfalls that were formed when the bottomless lake was split in two. Hundreds of years ago. There are mines there that were once filled with dragonshards. When they were mined out we build other rooms there. Most of my ancestors were adventurers and magic researchers.”

“Ever go there?”

“Hooch always thought the bridge was too dangerous to cross. It is in dire need of repairs or outright replacement.”

“Kim has the money to do that. Why has he not repaired or built a new one?”

“He always found excitement outside of here. He rarely ever stays here. I guess that is why I tend to go to other places also. It gets boring here.”

“Oh.” He answers absently. His curiosity growing with every second. Why does Hooch not want him there. Does he not trust me? Hee. Mania lays back against the stone wall thinking about it some more.

Dura goes to the private room Aura has requested. She knocks on the door gently. “Aura?”

“Yes?”

Dura notes the light under the door. Just how many candles does one need to pray by? She wonders. “Have you seen Leeya?”

“She said something about finding a library.”

“Thankyou.,” Dura pauses for a moment. “Is everything okay?”

“Yes thankyou.”

Dura leaves thinking there is FAR more to the paladin than she is allowing the others to know. Even for a paladin, she is quiet and always wears that magical facemask. Is she horribly scarred? Was she just born ugly? Is she human? She moves away. The library Leeya spoke of must be Kim’s which may not be a good idea…. Even for a mage.

It takes about five minutes to reach the room. She thought it was locked but maybe Hooch forgot. She goes in finds Leeya sipping wine and reading a black leather covered book. “Hello Leeya. Whatcha doing?”

A moment or two goes by. “This is a fascinating book. It talks about the Goblin nation. It sounds marvelous but the writer seems to hint to troubles ahead. I assume he means their civil wars and the invaders.”

“That would be my Grand Great Great grandfathers book. He studied the Goblins and their society a great deal.” She walks over and sits. She waits a moment or two for Leeya to finish reading but when she doesn’t she leans over to read the title. “T’gorn Variorum.”

“Um-hum.”

“Leeya, can we talk for a moment?”

“Sure.” She puts the book down. Dura can see a drawing that has a tentacled elf stepping out of a portal. “What is it?”

“I wanted to talk to you. About your nightmares.”

“oh.” She takes another sip of wine. “They are nothing.”

“But you have them almost nightly now. What is it that scares you so much.”

Leeya pauses and stares at the cover of the book. Her fingers feeling the ridges of the engraved letters of the book.

“As a child I nearly drowned in a fountain. It traumatized me then. I became very sick and had a high fever. My parents had House Jorasco come to treat me. I actually got worse for a few weeks and eventually went into a coma. I came out of it and eventually got better. Ever since then I dislike being IN water.”

“So you dream of drowning?”

“No. I dream of OTHERS drowning.”

“Others? Like whom?”

“Strangely enough, dwarves mainly.”

“That is odd. We don’t like water much. I doubt it means anything.”

“I would normally agree except for the valley we flew by…. It looked familiar. It was in one of my dreams.”

“Mirror Lake was in your dreams?”

“Yes”

“We live in the mountains and underground. We don’t live on boats or stilts like the orcs in the Shadow Marches. They are just dreams.”

Leeya looks uncertain and shaken. Dura gives her a hug and then they change the subject.

Having become bored with show, Mania gets up and wonders about. He likes this place but it is not the same. Plus he worries that the Silver Flame will seek him here next. He should be moving on. Besides, he is hungry again.

Leaving them to their sparring match, he leaves and walks up the long hallway that leads to outside. The great gates are open and Incarnum is standing at the gate. Mania walks to him and looks out over the edge of the balcony. He can see a river that leads to the great lake he saw earlier. “Some view.”

The warforged says nothing but there is a hint of a nod given.

“Miss Sharn?”

Without facing the rogue- “It is simpler here. Nature is easier to understand than the city and its people.”

“I wouldn’t say that.”

“Have you always lived in Sharn?”

“Nope. I grew up in Sharn but I spent some time in Thrane before returning to Breland.”

“What brought you to Thrane?”

“I was looking for my family.”

“Do they live there?”

“My father does. My mother died when I was born.”

Incarnum is quiet. They he turns and stares intently at Mania. “Born. How does it feel?”

“Huh? How should I know? I wouldn’t know how…… You really don’t understand humans do you?”

The warforged stares at him waiting for an answer still.

“I don’t know. Generally we don’t remember things from such a young age. I remember very little before the age of four.” The painful sounds of battle and death rattle in the rogue’s memories. “Too much to learn that is more important I guess. Are we going to talk about god or love next? I’m not good on those either.”

The warforged misses the joke and wonders if he does know love.

Laughing, Leeya gets up and leaves through a different door looking for a bathroom. Instead she finds a room with an elegant bed, more shelves and curtains of a rich color. “oh.”

“This is Kim’s room. We really shouldn’t be here. It’s his private room.” Says Dura looking around. Her eyes stop and concentrate on a painting on the far wall.

“Who is it?”

“My grandmother and father. I never knew he had this.” Dura goes to it. Her hands touching the bed and curtains as she goes. The refined cloth and old memories resurface. “I never knew my grandmother. I understand she went through a portal while adventuring in Xen’drik and never returned.”

“She is beautiful. And your father and mother? I never hear you talk about them either.” Says Leeya as she sits on the bed and looks around the room.

“My mother disappeared on an adventure. My father died from drawn out injuries from long ago.”

“What happened?”

“He was on a group that went to explore the Noldrun mines. He never spoke about it much but he was lucky to escape but he slowly died from his injuries there.”

“It seems like your family never was much lucky at adventuring. Why does Kim still do it?”

“Its in our blood. Maybe that is what is bothering me so much. I have been staying in Sharn for the past few years so as to “escape” from here. Its not the same.”

“The halflings have a word for it. Wanderlust.”

“owwww…. You said lust.”

The two best friends laugh then Dura suddenly stops.

“What… hahhah… what is it?”

“There is blood on the carpet.”

“So?” says Leeya whom leans over and sees nothing.

“Someone has tried to open this chest.” She points at the large chest sitting by the foot of the bed.

“I bet it was Mania- that sneak.”

“Speaking of lust……” jokes the dwarf.

“Hey- I’m still married…sorta.”

“It’s been awhile. I think that young stud is hangin’ around because of you.” Dura says as she knells down to inspect the lock to the chest.

“No. He is running from something… or someone.”

There are a few moments of silence. Leeya break s it out of boredom. “What is in the chest?”

“I don’t know but Kim was hinting to something big was happening and he was acting very strangely… even for himself.” Leeya can tell she is considering how to open the lock.

“Should we get Mania in here to attempt to open it?”

“He can’t.”

“I saw him with a set lock picks. I think he could.”

“Nope. It’s a magic lock.”

“Really!” Leeya moves off of the bed to check this out.

“It has a built in needle. To open it, one MUST be pricked. Any rogue will see the needle and jam it thus keeping the lock from working. The needle in truth is meant to prick you and get blood. Magically it then knows if you are a family member. If so, it opens. If not, it doesn’t.”

“So open it.”

“It’s his stuff. We shouldn’t.”

“I dare you.”

After a brief moment Dura smiles… “okay but if its something yucky we didn’t see it.”

She places her finger onto the lock where the needle is. She gives a short and quiet ow and the lock pops open.

“Well?…. open it.”

Dura opens it and exclaims….. oh Gran Kim….what have you done?”
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 002
FAMILY SECRETS

SEGMENT 031
“Siberys Heir”

“So you seek demons and an evil cult called the Lords of Dust?” Vander asks as he wipes the sweat away from his brow.

“Yes. The shamans of my clan saw visions that they would rise in other nations. The demon lord of the undead – Orcus would be freed and attempt to reign over the world once more.”, Bora continues on- “No one knows where he is imprisoned, his followers nor even the Couatls knew. Those that entombed him either died or were also trapped with him.”

“That would be a battle worthy only of the greatest warriors on the world. If it would have to be, I would be honored to battle them with you.”

“The honor would be ours to fight with you.” And she rises her fist up and motions for him to do so also. Once he does, she gently punches his fist then motions for him to hit forearms. “A warrior’s greetings from my clan.” She says with a smile.

They turn into the dinning area and see Leeya and Dura dropping a handful of books and scrolls on the large table. Bora walks up behind Leeya and looks over her shoulder. “Looks like a map of a fortress”.

“It…. It is. A flying fortress.”

“Like Breland’s mobile fortresses?” asks Vander with interest.

“No. Like an airship we rode on to come here.”

“Only much much larger” adds Dura.

“I am beginning to fear dreaming Dura. As a child I dreamed often of such a ship. My parents laughed it off. Then the first air ships arrived for the military to use. They didn’t laugh it off anymore. The ship I dreamed of had two rings and traveled the entire world and into other planes.”

“There are two arms on the ship- see.” And Dura points to the fact there are two arms set at the side of the ship to contain two fire elements. “The scope of this ship defies reason.”

“and cost. When we were in Breland I had heard some of the captains speaking of sudden increases in the cost of Soar wood due to sudden demand that depleted supplies. Soarwood is used to create the air borne elemental ships.” Adds Dura still.

Incarnum and Mania arrive. “Hooch and the warforged buddy of his are going into town. Said we were in charge until they came back.” Mania says then sees everyone has ignored him to look over a large map. “What’s up?”

“Dura’s grandfather has been building a massive airship for something.” Says Bora.

“Looking at the ballista… I would say for warfare.” Notes Vander.

“He hates war. He has those on for precautionary reasons. Leeya, you said you dreamed he traveled the world and the planes. Where?” asks Dura now looking at the small stack of books.

“Thick jungles with large temples.”

“Sounds like classic images of Xen’drik.” Adds mania smiling to the fact he added something to this conversation. “But why do this if he was so busy with the Khyber Crawler?”

“He funded that project, he had interest in it but he didn’t do a lot with it.”

“What do the books say?” asks Bora.

“Siberys Heir” Vander reads aloud.

“This book is the expenses involved and…… I doubt the Elderich family is still the world’s richest family.” Says Bora. She hands the book to Dura.

“Gods…..” Why? Why? WHY!?!” Her face is red in anger. “Why do this Kim?!? WHY!”

Leeya looks up briefly after picking up the anger in Dura’s voice.

“This ….ship is causing a LOT of money and resources. He has money but …..” Obvious concern is on her face.

Then they look up as there is a screech and the sound of something or someone tumbling near the doorway. Suddenly several mutated short humanoids run into the room. “Give us your treasure!”

They look to each other then Vander and Bora pick up their weapons (though still unarmored), Leeya reaches to her fanny pack for a spell component and Mania shrugs his shoulders and kicks one suddenly.

Dura shakes her head and mumbles “what treasure…. It’s all gone.”
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 002
FAMILY SECRETS

SEGMENT 031
“Intruders”

Aura’s arm was held up in front of her face. She wasn’t wearing her plate armor but had her whole body covered with a green film. She studied her hand as she slowly turned it. She stopped turning her hand with the back of her hand facing her eyes. She looked at and slowly the center of her hand began to lighten then even glow softly. Her green film covered eyes blinked twice then she rapidly dropped her hand and looked to the door. She could see a shadow of someone standing next to it.

“Who is…” but her question is cut off as someone quickly turns the handle and throws open the door. An ugly creature with two mouths and four arms rushes in. In broken common with sprinklings of goblinoid in it the creature snarls at Aura. “Master wants treasure. Anything else ours. We wants ours.” Without saying a word Aura leaps to her bed where her sword is hanging within its sheath and belt. The creature holds several weapons including a small crud crossbow and it quickly raises the weapon and shots.

Both she and the creature call out in pain. The small bolt strikes her shoulder and a burst of light escapes from the injury. She withdraws her weapon even as the creature recovers from the shock. Two more creatures hop into the room behind him as he attacks her with his mace. She strikes him even as two small bolts scrap her exposed leg causing new lesser flashes of pure white radiance to explode out. The green film closes around the bolts cutting off the light.

“I sense your evil. You have done many evil things in your lives. I will not shed a tear when I kill you and your evil master."” Within the cramped space of her private bedroom, Aura uses the bed and chair to hinder the creatures and attacks them as they climb. The first creature loses a set of arms and dies cursing at her. The other two laugh and giggle before going under the bed and around the chair to attack her from opposite sides. She leaps onto the bed causing some discomfort to the creature under it.

She kills the one on the chair as she stabs through chair back and creature in one powerful strike (near crit but max dam). She takes another hit by a spiked mace in her leg. The softness of the bed makes it hard for her to step away easily but does so. As such she misses the creature as it attacks. It swings to strike her foot but misses. She quickly steps down onto the shaft of the spiked mace and the creature says “oh…” from one mouth and “crap” from the other as she drives her blade down into an open mouth. The creature dies and slides off her blade. “The others….!” She grabs her shield and leaves the room in a hurry.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 002
FAMILY SECRETS

SEGMENT 032
“Army of Thieves”

Then they look up, as there is a screech and the sound of something or someone tumbling near the doorway. Suddenly several mutated short humanoids run into the room. “Give us your treasure!”

They look to each other then Vander and Bora pick up their weapons (though still unarmored), Leeya reaches to her fanny pack for a spell component and Mania shrugs his shoulders.

Leeya fumbles in her fanny pack…. “Where are my components? She pulls out her fingers, which have crumbled paper and pebbles within them, only. “Someone was in my pack!” Incarnum moves quickly for a warforged and blocks the rush of the mutated short creatures as they round the table. Bora picks up her falchion and smirks at the closest creature. A double gulp is heard as it reconsiders running towards her. However, the creatures behind it push it forward as the seven of them spill into the room. Mania hops onto the tabletop. Then begins to move towards Vander to help him. Dura is still distraught over her discovery of what her grandfather has done with the family fortune. Vander kills one quickly then steps up to the next one ignoring Mania whom wishes to aid him.

Leeya steps onto a chair then onto the table for the advantage of height. She looks around quickly thinking about what to do. One creature looses the front teeth of one month and a few from another as Incarnum slams him with his forged fists of Mithril and hardened wood. Bora leaps with one step onto the table and moves across the table to shield Leeya and Dura as several creatures go under the table to attack them. As she crosses over a bolt strikes her from a creature’s cross bow. Mania stomps one on the head, which annoys it, and it looks to him to curse. Vander cuts it in two (crit with near max dam). Dura slams the book shut and picks it up. “GET OUT OF OUR HOME!” and she picks up the book to use either as a shield or a clubbing weapon.

Leeya spots cobwebs overhead and snatches them up for a possible web spell. However, most of the creatures are engaged already with her friends. To web one may mean webbing them all. The one creature taunts Bora as it stays just out of her reach as she remains on the table and it steps in and out from under the table. Vander takes a hard hit on his foot from a creature hiding under the table. Mania stomps another from above. Dura slams the creature with her tome as it ignores her to taught Bora. It is dazed from the heavy tome.

Leeya looks out to the hallway….. “Aura…?” Incarnum finds the creatures are actively dodging him now. He is slow for their short quick darting motions. However, his armored body seems nearly immune to their attacks. Vander screams out in pain as a creature strikes his knee from under the table. (crit and max dam) mania misses as his attention is split with Vander’s cry of pain. He has never known Vander to call out before. Vander kills the opportunistic creature when next it pokes out from under the table. Mania and Incarnum pummel the last one into submission.

“What were these?!?” exclaims Leeya looking at Dura for answers. “Intruders.” She spits out. “Dolgrims.” Says mania quietly. “I’ve seen them below Sharn before. There will be more nearby and a master.”

“We better gear up then.” Says Vander grimly.

A quiet sound of running is heard and everyone turns to the door to attack the next wave or the creature’s master. A woman with skin-tight green film over her entire body rushes in. “You were attacked also!”

Everyone pauses wondering what is with this now. Why does everyone have to have secrets?
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 002
FAMILY SECRETS

SEGMENT 033
“Bad Guy’s Backup”

“Aura?” Asks Leeya in amazement.

“Is that you?” asks Dura in equal amazement.

Vander nods but continues to remove the wretched two-in-one goblin aberrations.

Mania smiles and gives a wave of his hand and continues to out maneuver the creatures.

Incarnum doesn’t react but continues to watch for the creatures.

Bora calls out. “Sister- help us remove these rodents from Dura’s grand hall!”

….and with that Aura does. And faint smile of relief hidden under the green skin.

Mania steps out of the room to see where these things are coming from. Outside of the dining room there is another connecting hallway to a large meeting room and then to the area that leads to the great crevasse. The creatures are coming across the rail bridge. Many, many, many of the creatures.

He charges into a small group that have just appeared from around the corner. He easily takes them down as he strikes at them. Then almost too late, he turns and pushes off with his feet as a green bead of light streaks across the darkness and explodes where he was. The aberrational humanoids do not even have a chance to scream as they are consumed by magical flames. The rogue lands on his feet then drops and continues to use his momentum and rolls to cover putting out the last of the flames. “ouch.”

He looks at his burnt arm and legs. They are slowly beginning to smooth over and the burnt dead skin flakes off. “This blows.”

With the last of the creatures destroyed they turn to the main hall and look for where they came from. Eventually they come to the large crack in the earth that separates the living quarters from the “off-limits” sections of the Elderich Hall. A fireball streaks out and explodes where the six friends are. They leap and scatter as they can. They use any and all cover they can.

“I love your house guests.” Howls Leeya to Dura. Dura is still somewhat disrespondant. The events with her grandfather are still overwhelming her senses. An arrow just misses her as it strikes the rock ledge behind her and bounces to her feet. “How could you? How?”

Having retrieved their armor and the rest of their equipment, the six of them regroup while keeping their heads down. “Where is the thief?” asks Vander.

“I lost track of him when Aura joined us.” Replies Leeya.

“He went outside of the room and turned this way.” Answers Bora as she motions to the area being covered by magic and arrows.

“Alright, then it’s up to us to defend the hall.” Says Bora.

“What defenses do you employee here?” asks Vander

“Is there another way across and what is over there?” asks Aura.

Everyone waits for a reply from a silent and distant Dura.

“Dura?” asks Leeya.

“Why oh why has he done this?” whines the cleric.

“Ask him.”

Everyone turns. It is rare to hear the Warforged speak.

Smiling Leeya turns back to her friend. “Indeed. Ask him. WE will ALL ask him once we get out of here.”

Picking up from where she left it- Bora speaks next with a growing smile. “Ask him once we save his hall and drive back these creatures. “

“Together then.” Says Vander with a hint of a smile.

Dura looks up at her friends, one at a time. She nods and gives a weak smile. Thank you and yes… together then.

The six of them carefully walk to the edge of the area that links the two halves. “They have plenty of foot soldiers crossing on the bridge. They have archers and at least one mage giving them cover. How do we do this?” asks Vander as he looks into the gloom hoping to see answers.

Unseen by the warrior or the others, there is hope. A certain rogue Dhampire is high above crossing the cavern using the rocky ceiling as a means to walk across. He looks down at his friends. Someone has to stop the archers and the mage. And he knows who…..
 
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SIBERYS SEVEN 002
FAMILY SECRETS

SEGMENT 034
“Mania Unleashed”

Thinking to himself Mania goes on- “From up here they cannot see me. It will be a total attack of surprise. Surprise is good for me- bad for them. I will target their mage first. Then attack the archers. Before my friends come over to praise me, I will, if need be, feed and be fully healed before they arrive. Beautiful plan.

He inches over and sees that the archer is a tall gaunt creature holding a wand. Few are next to him. This will be easy.

Slowly and quietly he shifts from the ceiling to the wall behind the mage. He readies himself for the assault. Smiling, he wiggles his body into a compressed position and springs to the attack. He leaps out and strikes the mage from behind. It howls in pain but doesn’t fall. Deciding to use his own strength to his best advantage he stops his forward momentum and grabs the mage by his wand hand and pulls hard. The wand falls free and clatters to the ground as the mage is pulled into a handful of dolgrims and the four of them fall over the edge into the deep ravine. The archers turn to see what is happening when mania then uses his short sword and his unnatural strength to push and trip more of these gaunt figures into the ravine.

“ERRRRRRRRRRRRGHHH…. Who dares…?” Snarls something from within the hallway leading into the secret chambers of the hall.

“oh crap.” Says Mania as he turns to face the new foe. His wide smile quickly sinks into a frown of dread. “Is this the way to the bathroom?”
 
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SIBERYS SEVEN 002
FAMILY SECRETS

SEGMENT 035
“There is a Black Dragon Here”

“You do realize this is suicide. We can’t just run across the bridge.” Pleads Leeya.

“Why?” demands Bora with a slight hint of hurt of her plan of attack.

“Even if the bridge was not a rail bridge, we are easy targets for the archers and the mage or mages hidden there. We need a means to get across or at least a distraction.” Says Leeya.

“Perhaps if we-“begins Vander but is cut off as a lone scream of agony pierces the night. It is quickly followed by more calls of alarm in the dark.

“What is happening?” demands Incarnum as he strains his crystal eyes to look into the dark.

“Mania… you unpredictable jerk son of a bitch…..” begins Leeya with a smile.

“The rogue is there fighting for us! Let us go!” shouts the barbarian as she leaps to her feet and makes for the bridge.

A lone arrow strikes the bridge near her then a sound of something calling out in alarm answers it. She is uncertain, but Bora thinks she hears a snarl of a large beast or creature. “Hurry up! I think he is going to need us!” She then nearly falls as her foot misses the wood plank that keeps the rails supported and running equal distance to each other. “Damn the builder of this bridge…”

If the rogue could hear her anger he doesn’t show it. He is too concerned with what is a mere ten feet from him. How could something this big sneak up on him? HIM? “So ahhh…. Do you know where it is? The bathroom?”

“I doubt that is what you search for unclean thing. I smell the undeath on you.”

“Some way to talk about the splatter of your minions….” He comments as he pushes blood off of his sleeve. He resists licking it before his new adversary, a large Black Dragon. Options begin to run through his head. At this point he can’t fight it one – on –one. To escape it means climbing down the ravine wall and the dragon can either fly after him or spit his acid (Black dragons do acid right?) onto him. “Since you are suggesting I am lost- what brings you here?” he asks in an attempt to stall the skull-faced dragon.

“As you- I want its riches. I want its secrets. I want the treasure of Noldrunhold. Give it to me NOW.”

“No-old-run-hold…. What?”

“Do not play me for a fool undead worm.”

“Don’t play rough with me wyrm.” He says with a charming smile. “Do you get it? Worm? Wyrm?”

The dragon raises his head in recoil with vapors seeping from his jowls. Mania may not know a lot about dragons but he knows they all have breath weapons and that he has used up his delaying tactics. Time to leave.

He quickly feints to one side then pushes back flipping over the ledge. So surprised by this action the dragon almost swallows the glob of acid it was about to spit at him. It lumbers to the edge to see if it was trick or if the undead thing really did commit suicide.

His anger distracts him enough that doesn’t hear Bora whom instinctually stopped and slumped down when she got close enough to see the outline of the large creature from torches in the hallway leading away from the ledge. She watches the torches disappear as the bulk of the creature blocks their light when walking through the doorway then the light returns… still dim.

“What happened?” asks Aura who is directly behind Bora now. Has something happened to the rogue?

“I think…. I think he fought a dragon.” Says Bora whom is unusually confused on what to do next.

“Hello ladies.” The women scream out in surprise, even Aura. “I thought for sure I was a goner there.” It’s Mania, now using his Spider Climb power on the underside of the bridge itself. “We better hurry up; I think he will be sending out more forces soon.”

He is the first back to the ledge and his foot kicks the dropped wand of fireball. “Hello my sweet. Who’s your daddy?” and he picks it up and pockets it before the others arrive.

Eventually all of the others cross and they turn to Dura for direction. She in turn looks to the others.

Bora and Mania look at each other and turn to the others- “Lets kick some dragon ass.”
 


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