Siberys Seven: Heroes of Eberron

SIBERYS SEVEN 004
SEAWALL MOUNTAINS
SEGMENT 056
“SEAWALL RUINS”

DRAVAGO 16, 999

“Another storm is coming.” Comments Vander as he pauses and looks over his shoulder into the lands they traveled last week.

“This will make the third in five days.” Groans Leeya.

“I’m still wet from the last one.” Grumbles Dura.

Incarnum listens and wonders if he should add something. He sees no point to say the obvious. It is early summer. The rain season will begin now. He merely nods his warforged head in neutral agreement.

Bora raises her hand up in a fist. Everyone knows this means to be quiet and still. They follow her gaze to the thick shrubs and brush to their right. Mania comes out smiling. “It’s about to rain but I think I found some shelter.”

“No bears this time I hope.” Comments Vander.

“Or Dire badgers” huffs out Dura.

They settle within the cave shortly. Mania, being a creature of the night, pokes around within the cavern instead of sleeping.

Bora, Aura and Leeya sit up and talk. Bora misses home some. They talk about home and growing up. Bora grew up in the mountains of Eldeen Reaches along the border of the Demon Wastes. Leeya grew up in Sharn, the City of Towers. Aura has a hard time speaking of her home. She hints at it more than states it. Xen’drik, a monk settlement, ruins and a culture based a tree. Strange.

Mania returns. “You know- I think this cavern leads to something underground.”

“Why do you say that?” asks Bora.

“Tracks that lead into a wall. I’m figuring a secret door or magical entrance.”

“Behave and shut up- some people are trying to sleep.” Grumbles Dura as she rolls over within her thin blanket.

They settle down and try to sleep as the warforged named Incarnum watches the entrance. He has come to love the rain. He likes how it falls and splashes… ripples within the puddles. As a warforged, he knows he has much to learn and understand but how can the others dislike the rain? He sticks his metal and wood hand into the rain and watches it. He turns and moves his hand slowly watching the water drip and run on his hand.

The rain stops shortly after dark. Incarnum continues to watch the world outside as the others sleep. Outside, he watches a raccoon waddle about looking for food. It takes a root it has found and dips it into a puddle of clean water. Incarnum is fascinated by the creature. A wild and simple creature that cleans its food before eating it. These thoughts and others lead him to wondering about his own life. Home. What was his home? He doesn’t remember much. As a warforged he was created. He was built for a specific purpose. What is this purpose? Is he doing it? What of the crystals in his body. Does he miss home? Should he?

Night gives to day and they begin to move out. Something bothers Bora however. They search a bit and on the other side of the hill they camped within they see it- Ruins.

“Told you.” says Mania.

“This doesn’t prove anything.” Says Leeya as she looks at the ruins. Several layers of columned balconies and dried up fountains with statues outside. Curiosity lures them in closer as they check it out. The statues are of bugbears in armor. The translations below seem to be meaningless. Much of the old goblin writing is damaged. There are partial names and dates below.

“Should we?” asks Bora motioning to the ruins.

“We really need to be moving on however…..” begins Dura as she thinks of reaching a city and a hot bath.

“We have little choice…. “States Incarnum as he points to the ruins. Mania is already there.

“Really?” grumbles Vander eyeing the rogue with some distain.

“Look at the sky. Maybe we should camp here for the day. Fully rest and remain dry.” Says Bora eyeing the grey sky.

The seven of them head into the ruins.
 

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The ruins......



yellow 25 26.jpg
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 004
SEAWALL MOUNTAINS
SEGMENT 057
“WE ARE NOT ALONE”

DRAVAGO 17, 999

The seven of them climb the stairs and warily cross the wide balcony. They take the center archway and decide this is deep enough. Though dark, they can see outside and if need be- leave in a hurry.

Aura and Vander’s heavy armor make a loud grating sound on the bare stone floor. Incarnum’s feet are not much better.

Soon they become comfortable. They are dry. They are happy.

Leeya and Dura joke about never having spells to create a fire. Incarnum watches the rain fall outside. Soon they sleep.

Bora sleeps deeply. Then she dreams. She dreams of home. She sees her family, her brothers and sisters hunting and gathering in the shadows of the Demon Wastes. Her parents toil also. Then the dream shifts. Creatures attack at night. Fiends from the west. She wakes up with a start and a loud gasp.

Dura is quick to check on her. “Are you alright? That must have been a powerful nightmare to call out like that.” As a barbarian, Bora is not used to such close comfort from a friend but it is welcomed.

“I will be alright.” She lets out a deep breath that she was not aware she was holding.

“Third one this week. Sure nothing is wrong?” asks Mania.

“No. I am fine.”

“Do you miss home?” asks Aura.

The barbarian thinks that over. “Maybe I do.”

“Then perhaps we should go there…. Once we have a proper bath and food at a Ghallanda House tavern.” Offers Dura with a hug and smile.

They sit back again but they do not fall asleep, especially Bora.

She rolls over and sees Mania concentrating at the darkness. The warforged also seems to be peering into the darkness.

“Are we not alone?” whispers Bora.

“It may be nothing.” Offers Mania as he gets up from his crouched position.

He calmly walks to the wall and begins to crawl up it. He carefully feels his way around the ceiling as he leaves the room. Incarnum waits perfectly still. Bora decides to wake the others.
Vander hopes he has something to take down after being awoken twice within one night.

Ten minutes pass when Mania walks back in a hurry. “Whip a light spell, you guys need to see this.”

They cautiously walk deeper into the ruins. The walls depict horrible scenes of fiends and monsters eating humanoids. “This better be good.” Says
Leeya looking at a Pit Fiend wrestling a huge red dragon.

A room nearby offers a soft glow. “In here.”

They go in and see a magical ward that glows softly. Within it is a winged humanoid.

“Good?” asks Mania mocking Leeya.

Aura stares at the winged outsider. Considering.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 004
SEAWALL MOUNTAINS
SEGMENT 058
“THE INFLUENCE OF ISOLATION”

DRAVAGO 18, 999

Held within the summoning circle is a strong looking winged figure of celestial origin. But instead of feathers for wings, it has dark but softly illuministic flaps of energy or silk-like cloth. It looks like a warrior and a celestial one at that. But the eyes….. they are full of anger and insanity.

The winged man sings as he speaks. What he says in not spoken in common. “Any idea what he is saying?” asks Mania as he looks to Leeya then Aura. Leeya shrugs her shoulders. “I do not speak the language of angels.” Is all The paladin has to say as she studies the figure before them.

“I do not have any spells memorized for languages. Do you?” asks Dura to the team’s mage.

“No. What is he and how long has he been trapped here?”

“A celestial being and based on what we have seen so far- he has been here for a very long time.” The dwarf answers.

“Should we help him? He is after all a good guy…. Right?” Suggests Mania looking at the circle of summoning and magical containment.

Leeya and Dura look to each other with uneasy looks. Aura, the paladin steps up to the magical aura to look closer. The planar creature inside sings to her. It feels peaceful and in need. But there is a sense of sorrow mixed in. His eyes speak of the need for freedom. Aura can not take it. With her armored boot she kicks at the chalk line covered in dust of time.

Suddenly the look of sorrow and need is replaced with wraith and anger. It roars in its freedom and a greatsword appears, hidden by its wings and as he swings it flames erupt with a single foreign word. Aura instinctly steps and leans away. She is still struck once by the sheer ferocity of the crazed creature’s attack.

Incarnum steps up to block any further attacks. He gets in one attack which seems to do nothing to the planar creature. Dura, already wary of the creature had a spell ready and castes a searing beam of light that washes over the creature. No harm is done to its body. Mania steps back to give space to the harder hitting members of the group. Bora strikes hard and overcomes it’s damage reduction. Leeya calls up on the power of Xoriat as black tentacles erupt from the stone floor. They wrap around its legs and hold it there. Vander, having mentally charged his weapon strikes and damages the creature. The paladin smits the creature turned chaotic evil from centuries of being left alone in the cold darkness of the ruins.

Snarling insanely and growling in celestial with fiendish obscenities, the angel rips free of the tentacles. Everyone quickly strikes at it while it struggles to rip free. Several hits are scored and do minor damage to the resilient creature.

Instead of going straight through the group it side steps to the side and strikes at the warforged. The warforged is struck very hard and it’s metal breastplate is darked by the flames and nearly severed in two.

Taking another step around the warforged, it strikes him and further cripples Incarnum. The warforged can not survive another attack from the demented Movanic Deva. He steps back to avoid any further attacks. Now with Dura giving Bull Strength to both Bora and Vander, more damage is done.

Nearly free of the group it strikes Vander and nearly cripples him. Dura steps up to the warforged. Knowing it is not as effective, she still tries to heal the highly damaged warforged. Pissed at what she is seeing, Bora rages and strikes hard at the angel. Her first strike sprays blood on the ruin walls and the second strikes tears into it’s stomach. It drops.

“If this being was in its right mind it never would have come to this.” The Paladin speaks softly in great regret that they had to lay the creature low.

“If it wasn’t as crazed I suspect it have used magic on us and we all would be hurting.” Grumbles the rogue and he checks on Vander.

“Isolation is the weakness to everything sane. Even angels.” Adds Leeya.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 004
SEAWALL MOUNTAINS
SEGMENT 059
“THE LONG TREK INTO ZILARGO”

NYMM 4 , 999

“Are you certain we can’t talk about this Druusk?” asks mania already knowing the answer.

“Druusk want money. Give Druusk your money.” howlers the large Ogre while waving his Great falchion.

The rogue and Ranger were scouting ahead of the main group. They thought they saw a settlement near by. As they got closer, they spotted a farm and hoped for instructions. Instead they found a family of gnomes being terrorized by an Ogre with military training; leftovers from the war years. Mania couldn’t help himself. He needed to be a hero and confronted the bully to allow the family to leave. That leaves Incarnum and himself to face the brute for several minutes until the others catch up with them. Being midday, he figures this will be a fair fight as the natural sunlight weakened his Dhampir powers.

He moves to the right of the large creature and tries to get it’s attention as Incarnum moves to it’s left. Incarnum believes this is a bad move and having been hit hard thinks so even more. Mania steps into it but it still takes down the warforged (-9).

The rogue is forced to move away. After seeing what the Ogre did to Incarnum he doubts he could survive fighting it head-on. “Your mother was a rock.”

“Naaaaarrrrgh!” screams out a barbarian young woman. The ogre looks up as he spots her rushing his way. Others are hurrying behind her also. One woman waves her arms and says something under her breath that makes the Ogre’s blood freeze- literally. Leeya hits him with a Cone of Cold.

“I had it but since you’re here…” smiles Mania as he circles around the confused and chilled giant-kin. The Ogre follows the quick rogue’s movement steps into a charging enraged barbarian strike. Leeya’s fireball explodes behind him. Perfectly placed, it burns him but not Mania or Bora. Dura moves quickly to Incarnum. “This makes twice I’ve had to do so work on him folks. I am NOT an artificer. This is hard.”

“We have witnesses.” Proclaims the paladin quietly looking beyond the cleric and warforged.

Six gnomes watch from the safety of a small chicken shed. The apparent mother whispers something to the eldest father figure. He gives her a sour face which is greeted with a cuff to the back of his head. Still rubbing it, he walks out and towards the group.

“My life partner wishes me to thank you and offer something for your services rendered. This Ogre has been plaguing the country side for several months now.”

“We are happy to help. We need no thanks nor reward.” Suggests the paladin.

“Actually- we are looking for a town to resupply and perhaps find travel from.” Adds Dura while she tries to figure out how to reach his chest through the deeply dented chest plate.

The female gnome steps up. “Thurimbar is an hours walk to the west. There are dragonmark houses there. But first- how would you enjoy a proper gnome country meal. The Ogre killed several chickens before you arrived. Their deaths will be meaningless if we must bury them.”

Vander’s eye brows rise at this. Bora smiles and looks to Dura as if pleading for acceptance.

“A proper meal does sound good. If you are sure it is not a burden.”

Killie and Freeda Brightflower and their four children make a great meal and show for the group. As is the nature of gnomes, more questions are asked than answered by the gnomes. They are hurt that Mania and Aura do not eat at the table. They expected as much from the warforged but not their hero and the paladin. Mania feels it would be better not to ask for permission to feed on some livestock later and Aura figures her appearance will scare them needlessly also. She suggests her god feeds her which brings many questions about what kind of god would deprive followers of the enjoyment of food. Then in a none-thought out response Dura mentions her last name.

An Elderich. At their farm. Eating at their table.

They speak highly of her grandfather. Their uncle has helped building airships for Kim Elderich. One a great secret. Dura, still annoyed with Kim, tells them what she knows about his ship. It is a giant craft- perhaps the biggest ever built in Zilargo. Questions about its purpose and destination nearly overwhelm the cleric. Even the children ask questions about the craft and why he would want something so large and obvious.

In the end, everyone sleeps with a full stomach and many thoughts about what to do next.

Bora has thoughts but is uncertain about bringing them into the dangerous lands of Eldeen so close to the Demon Wastes.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 004
SEAWALL MOUNTAINS
SEGMENT 060
“EMPLOYMENT WITH ORIEN”

NYMM 5 , 999

In the morning, they travel to the nearby town. They find it is clearly a gnomish town as most of the buildings and roads are sized for the small figures of Gnomes. Finding House Orien was easy if only it stood so much taller than the other buildings.

The man running the house turned them down for work until they learned of Dura’s background. It pleased the man to hire a relative of Kim to do manual work of guarding a caravan.

It is going from Thurimber to Trolanport. It will take 20 days as the Orien road makes a wide circle around the forest.

The caravan is transporting various wood and basic mineral items. When asking, they learn there has been a lot of Ogre activity on the caravan route. This comes as no surprise to the group.

NYMM 10, 999

“The road is getting close to the forest again. We should be cautious.” Suggests Vander.

“Careful…. There may be more raccoons there.” Jokes Mania.

The prior night, Vander woke the entire party up during his watch since he heard a noise in the dark. It was a raccoon. A normal and simple raccoon. Mania has been reminding him of it ever since.

“How did I get to scout ahead with you?”

“Incarnum says it was better for him. Go figure.” Says the rogue with a smile. “At least you don’t have to listen to Gallard while up here.”

“He is a fool.”

“He is also second in command with the caravan we are charged with protecting. Doesn’t that make you wonder?”

Vander waits for the rogue’s point.

“The house hired the seven of us to protect the caravan. Why so much?”

“They underestimate our combative skills.”

“Leeya looks like a warrior? No….. they are expecting trouble.”

“Said there were Ogres.”

“But with some specialized training and at least a little smarts Ogres can be easily defeated.”

“Like at the gnome’s farm?”

“Funny. Two nights ago I looked into what we are guarding. Basic goods. Not worth hiring the seven of us and the three Orien agents.”

“Anyone ever say you are nosey and should mind your own business.”

“Mew. Whatever.” Smirks the rogue. Suddenly he becomes serious and looks back from his horse. “What is that?!?”

Vander is already turning his horse around. Something is flying down out of the sky behind them near the caravan.

A green colored winged reptile lands close to the caravan. It roars and threatens the Oriens.

“Drake!” calls out Leeya. She casts her most powerful spell knowing how dangerous the creatures can be. The extreme cold washes over it making its wings brittle. Incarnum, not riding a horse due to his weight and ability to never tire, steps up and attacks. Bora dismounts and pulls out her large weapon. The others hold their position including the Orien caravan employees. Kallia d”Orien calls out warnings. The Forest Drake is after the horses.

The drake snaps at the warforged but misses. Leeya’s fireball finishes it off before Bora can attack or the scouts arrive.

“That is no Ogre.” States the rogue as he looks at the steaming corpse of the frozen then burned Drake.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 004
SEAWALL MOUNTAINS
SEGMENT 061
“HOOTS AND GROWLS IN THE NIGHT”

NYMM 11 , 999

Incarnum, as a warforged, stays up as a guard for the sleeping group. Mania has left the camp to look for food. They left the settlement of Tarandra this morning. An additional crate was added to one of the two wagons. Mania notes how Kallia watches it being loaded carefully. Even Gallard stops telling people what to do while it is being loaded.

The warforged stares at the stars above. He is thinking about his first night away from the Mournlands. It wasn’t long ago he wandered out of the Mournlands. His first stars he ever saw were over Breland. His first blades of grass, his first blue water, so many firsts of quality things. But what does this make of his people? Of The Lord of Blades?

His memories are disrupted by a sound that resembles a mixture of a hoot and a growl. An Owlbear!

“Owlbear!” he calls out as his short swords appear from their sheaths. The sound is closer and out comes the creature. It stands like a tall grizzly but with longer talons for claws. The head is of a great owl.

Suddenly the same creature stiffens for a moment then cries out and tries to twist and turn. As it does so, Mania can be seen with his sword embedded in its ribs. “It’s a whole ^%#@$ pack of them! Get up!” he screams at them with red excitable eyes.

Bora is quickest to be on her feet. She grabs her sword and smiles. “Oh really? A pack?”

The others awaken except for Dura is not quick to clear her head. Her dreams of Sharn hold her in her in a daze.

Incarnum attacks hoping to take the first one down quickly. Mania reburies his sword between two different ribs as he searches for vital organs. The creature half attacks the warforged since it can not reach Mania but the pain drives it crazy. More sounds of the pack arrive within the dark.

“We are surrounded!” calls out Kallia in alarm.

Bora guts the first creature. Three others come into view of the dying campfire. Aura and Vander meet the closest head on. Each stab to the front, gutting the creature, step under its swinging claw and stab into its back. The owlbear goes down. Leeya sets one on fire.

Incarnum gets in one swing on the fourth owlbear. Mania, wiping blood from his mouth, leaps from the back of the downed creature to join him. The melee warriors surround one as Leeya looks to further cook her target. The owlbears never had a chance.

Gallard and Kallia share glances of approval.
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 004
SEAWALL MOUNTAINS
SEGMENT 061
“OGRES IN THE NIGHT”

NYMM 18 , 999

Vander and Incarnum take a turn watching the camp tonight. Incarnum remains silent and motionless on the edge of the camp. Vander sharpens his blade and looks occasionally to the warforged then to the darkness outside of the camp then to his teammates. The Orien employees sleep within their wagons. He becomes caught up in the steady and regular movement of sharpening his weapon and he thinks back to the end of the war.

He was still new to the Aundairan army. Terran Sedulla was his mentor, commander and at times lover. They guarded the edge of the Eldeen Reaches and Aundair. Except for occasional arguments between loggers and farmers it was a quiet tour. As such, Commander Sedulla began to teach him the ways of using one’s mind to bolster the fighting abilities and senses. She taught him the basics of being a Psychic Warrior.

She preferred lighter armor than his heavier armor but she could protect herself mentally where he could not. Since they rarely saw combat, she allowed him to wear the bulky and noisy armor.

The low land hills and forest of Zilargo reminded him of Aundair. Aundair has more hardwoods and a cooler temperature in general but at night it seemed similar enough.

A grunt in the darkness alerts Vander and Incarnum that they are not alone. Being a light sleeper, Mania also stirs but is not certain what awoke him. “What….?”

“We are not alone.” Answers Vander as he stands up and waves his sword.

“Wake everyone up. Whatever or whoever it was, they are big.”

“Maybe we finally see ogres on the caravan trail.” Says Mania as he goes about waking the team.

“Charge in! Take whatever you can!” calls out a deep and loud voice.

As usual, Dura is slow to awaken and this time even Aura is slow to awaken. She was in a deep meditative sleep. The others wait as several ogres rush from the darkness.

Bora rages and steps quickly into the path of the first intruder. The charge is brutal (and crits) and the body falls and tumbles to a stop in the grass. Mania finishes the Ogre that Incarnum and Vander started. Leeya freezes three that are too close together. Dura grumbles at them and hopes this will be over quickly. The ogres, outraged by this counter assault attack. Only Bora, lacking her armor is struck.

Bora nearly slices him in two in rebuttal. Incarnum finishes off one and Vander nearly kills the fifth one. Mania steps onto it and pops his teeth.

“What are you?!?” declares Killia d’Orien as she witnesses Mania’s darker side come out.

“oops.”
 

SIBERYS SEVEN 004
SEAWALL MOUNTAINS
SEGMENT 062
“WHAT IS A DHAMPIR”

NYMM 18 , 999

“What are you?!?” declares Killia d’Orien as she witnesses Mania’s darker side come out. He looks to her and feels the extension of his teeth.

“oops.”

Gallard, finally having a reason to outwardly hate the rogue, tries to build fear. “A monster! Worse- a vampire! He will dominate you and feed on you during the night.” His weapon is drawn.

“Put it away.” Commands the paladin. With a moment of distrust and disbelief, he lowers the weapon. “He is no vampire.”

“You have seen him in the direct sun. If he were a vampire, would he be alive?” adds Bora in his defense.

“As a vampire, “alive” needs to be carefully defined. If not a vampire, then what? Fangs grow on vampires and shifters only from my experience.” Says the caravan leader.

“He is not a threat. Not to you or you.” Adds Dura, unsure about Gallard.

“Then a monster!” snarls Gallard.

“Enough.” Mania calmly says. “I’ll explain to you and clarify for everyone here. I am by definition a Dhampir. Like a shifter I share qualities of a mixed coupling. My mother was killed by a vampire when I was conceived. I retained qualities of her original human condition and some of the vampire’s blood as it mixed with her. I do not feed on people. I try to feed only on animals and when possible- animals that are being killed anyway due to the dangers they cause- like these Ogre raiders.”

Leeya and Aura both step up to him. “As a paladin, I can sense evil and I sense undead. Neither radiate from him.”

Leeya adds- “He is a rogue both in skills and personality.”

The others step up…… “and as such he has become a friend and close ally to us. To wish harm onto him is to do harm onto us.” Adds Bora.

The caravan workers look to each other uncertain what to believe. A “half” vampire? Stranger things have been heard of.

“Very well, but I must ask you to use better judgment and care when ….. feeding.” The caravan leader says and turns to return to her wagon.

Dura waits until they are in their wagons before she spins on her heel and glares at the rogue. “oops? Really? Oops.”

“errrrr….. sorry?”

“Clean up this mess before it attracts wolves and everyone else get some sleep.”
 

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