The Edge of Empire

Journey to Scornabell

It feels good to once again trod upon untouched lands and feel the sodden earth squelch beneath my boots. Though I leave behind the ill-fated citizens of Overlook-Triel, I feel a guilty sense of elation at being free of the confines of the walled city. The Races were not created to live in such a fashion, constantly pressing against each other, hidden from the world beneath their stone structures. How can you appreciate the majesty of nature when you can’t feel the refreshing drops of a rainstorm or the warm embrace of the sun’s light.

The unease the others feel is palpable, and I believe their thoughts closely mimic my own. Evereska lay a months travel from here, but Faegin believes that he may have a way to shorten our journey. Tonight we shall spend time at the Three Candle’s Inn and see if Tymora is with us. The rain is steadily increasing, almost as if the land responds to the emotions which enwrap us. While I enjoy the caressing touch as it rolls down my back, I feel my friends shall welcome the crackling heat of a fire and a mug of ale to shed today’s worries.

The sharp crack of the door rebounding from the stone wall reverberated thru the common hall of the Three Candles Inn. Outlined in the door way stood a massive form, the tell-tale clank of armor preceding his arrival as heavy plates shifted. Augustus entered the room, his armor showing some new scratches as the firelight illuminated him more fully. Behind him, a gray-haired woman of slight build quickly shuffled thru the door. “Over here,” bellowed Thurgoth in his gravelly voice. “While I trust in the power of Moradin to guide my hands, I welcome a skilled healer like yerself.”

Before the fire, the pregnant form of Delinda lay propped up against what soft furnishings could be gathered. The ministrations by Thurgoth had seen the young woman thus far, but it was obvious by the paleness of her face that the child must be tended to immediately. The healing powers of Moradin emanated from the rough hands of the dwarf, a light-golden glow seeping into the skin of the girl and easing the pain in her face.

“Let me thru, let me thru!” said the woman, her melodious voice awing those around her. As she pushed back the hood which kept the rain from her face, it was apparent to all that Augustus had succeeded in finding the Elven priestess of Chauntea. Twilkith sat beside the pale form of Delinda, her hands quick and sure as she began to turn the child within.

Arakos, leaning against the cool rock of the inn wall, turned his gaze from the two and regarded the dripping form of Augustus. “What happened to you?” Setting his shield down and wiping a dry cloth across his brow, the large warrior responded simply, “Goblins.” It was clear from his condition that they hadn’t been much of a problem. He settled himself upon a cracked bench, wiped down his sword and slowly began to sharpen its edge once again.

Faegin moved forward once the child was safely nestled in the arms of Delinda, leaving the shadowed space. Twilkith looked up as the Eladrin approached, and the two exchanged words quickly in Elvish. Turning, he looked happily at the group, cracking a grin. “It would seem we are indeed in luck! It would seem Twilkith can assist us. Tomorrow we shall be forgoing the journey to the river and then up to Darkhold. Instead, Twilkith has agreed to show us an entrance to the Faewild. It should cut our journey down to days!”

“Indeed,” stated Twilkith as she approached the seated group. “I suggest you find what rest you can. On the morn we travel to the edge of the forest north of here. I shall bring you to the entrance to the Faewild, but from there we shall part ways. Sleep well, for you shall need your wits about you on your journey.”

A vast rustling canopy of green moved in the wind, the fog-enshrouded trees stretching off into the distance before disappearing totally within the shifting mist. Resolutely, the group moved down the hillside to the edge of the first trees. Each of the group stared back determinedly at Arakos, resolved to find their way quickly thru this strange wood. With a last look to the hill, Twilkith watching from above, Arakos turned and began edging his way into the mist.

“A wall… strange…” remarked Kirshakru. Around him echoed the sounds of the group moving thru the forest. Reaching out he felt the rough stone with his crystalline form. The stone felt warm beneath his touch, almost as if had been basking in the sun of an afternoon day. Moving to the side of the wall, Kirshakru continued his way forward leaving the five foot span of wall behind.

Faegin adroitly leaped to the side of the rushing form of a confused hobgoblin which suddenly appeared before him in the mist. With the practiced ease of an experienced fighter, he shifted his footing and prepared to launch his own counter-attack. Noting a weakness in the hobgoblin’s defenses, he smirked, and strode forward.

“They’re all around us! Take care,” warned Augustus as another confused goblin appeared in the mist from nothingness. Pulling back his shield, he slammed it into the disfigured face of the goblin, leaving the foe dazed on his feet.

The Eladrin warrior rushed towards Thurgoth, ignoring the dwarf’s friendly words. “Well, if ye won’t listen…” As the Eladrin warrior reached the dwarf, Thurgoth drove his hammer into the side of his attacker. The Eladrin reeled back from the critical blow, crumpling to the forest floor. “Hrrmmm….”

Peering into the mist, Arakos thought he could make out a wheeled shape moving thru the mists. “Peaches! Get your peaches! How about you, sir? Interested in buying a peach?” said the cart-vendor, staring directly into Arakos’ eyes before disappearing once more into the mists.

Curling mists rose from the pools, the surrounding trees towering hundreds of feet into the air. The vibrant colors of the Faewild burst into view as each of the Irregulars found themselves suddenly in a market square. Shocked Eladrin stared back at the strange looking visitors who appeared from nowhere. The sound of ceramics shattering behind them caught the attention of the group. Turning they found the broken remains of statues strewn on the cobbled street, the cart they once rested upon settled halfway into a shallow stream meandering thru the square.

The sound of daggers slipping from their sheathes, and the hurried footsteps of Faegin rushing forward, once again spun the group around. They had arrived at Scornabell.



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