Adventures of The Unknown
“The Wizard’s Tower - Part I”
Manderkarr: Dwarven master of Axe and asskicking.
Seth DeCalea: Half-Elven Ranger
Issic: Half Dragon from Sigil
Shanagra Darmal: Nyandarian Druid late of Drychtnoth.
The Place: The Unknown Lands,
The Time: Spring, 22-24 Artim, Sixth Year, Eighth Age.
The party had crossed the river from the haunted isle of Xapur and stood again in the forest. Flower, delighted to be back where she belonged, disappeared into the forest. Shanagra looked around, his eyes blazing red, for the human Kalidor, who got separated from them on the isle. The druid could find no sign of the man.
“Where to now?” asked Seth.
Shanagra said, “Well, I was thinking of heading back to Drychtnoth.”
Manderkarr grunted, “Yeah, I hears that got a little ruckus happening that I need to look into.”
“I go where Shanagra goes,” said Seth.
“Drychtnoth is as good a place for a fight as any, actually better,” said Issic. “But why Drychtnoth, Shanagra?”
“Because that is on the way to my home... Nyandar.” Shanagra pulled his cloak hood over his head, making his weird glowing eyes stand out even more. Everyone agreed that Nyandar via Drychtnoth was an acceptable destination. Manderkarr started singing, “Back to Corinthia, land of wars and blood...” When he had finished, Shanagra sang a walking song, “Walking through the woods/ just a’singing a song/ Makin’ up yarns as I’m walkin’ along./ I’m as crazy as a bear/ and twice as strong/ I think I'm right/ 'cause I ain't often wrong!” Seth and Manderkarr soon joined in the song. Issic made a point of not singing.
“And Issic is with me/ NOT singing along”
“What's a matter, Demon, cat's got your tongue?” Manderkarr ribbed the large half-dragon. “See for yourself, Dwarf,” said Issic, sticking his tongue out for Manderkarr to observe.
“I see; your tongue is too good for pussy then?” joked Manderkarr.
“The cat has to be worthy!”
“But then on to Nyandar, the land of art, is it not Shanagra?” asked Seth.
“Yes, Nyandar is the land of art. A beautiful place.”
They walked for three days through the woods and they started seeing fields. Soon, they came upon a village, razed and burnt to the ground. Dirty villagers were wandering through the sooty streets. Seth looked around, disturbed. Manderkarr walked into the village, looking around for the cause of the fire. “What the Hell happened?” he asked the stunned villagers. The villagers stared in shock at Manderkarr, Issic, and Shanagra and, after one of the village women screamed, they tore off in terror, running into the surrounding woods.
Shanagra said, "Ooops." and removed his ring, returning his glowing eyes to normal.
“Cowardly humans! We're trying to help you yaller bellies!” shouted Manderkarr. “I knew I had a reputation; not this far spread already...” Seth quickly ran and asked a man what happened, hoping for a better response.
A man quickly said to Seth, “Orcs and goblins and wolves and demons!” He pointed at Issic and ran.
Seth turned toward Issic. “Damn, you have to be so intimidating,” he said jokingly.
“Where'd the buggers run off to?” joked Manderkarr. “They’re due a beatin’.”
Shanagra said, "Well, we won't be getting any aid from them. Perhaps we should look around ourselves for clues.”
Manderkarr started looking for tracks of orcs and goblins. Issic looked around to see how the fires were started. They appeared to have been started with torches. They could see a lot of dead bodies. Seth split from the group, hoping to get a better response. “Let me try solo,” he muttered, walking around to find someone. He soon found a village girl hiding in the woods. He snuck up on her easily. She was wearing a long skirt and a shoulderless blouse that enhanced her young figure. Her hair was long and black. He figured that she might have Onaya blood in her heritage, although they were some distance from those lands.
“Hello,” Seth said softly so as not to frighten her too much. She started and looked at him, her eyes large with consternation. “Greetings,” she said nervously. "Please don't hurt me."
Seth chuckled softly and said, “I won't hurt you. I am looking for whoever did this.”
She said to Seth, "They went toward the borders."
“Who did? The demons?”
“Yes, the demons.”
“To the border of Drychtnoth?”
“Yes, the Drychtnothian border,” she said.
“Do you know of a reason they did this, or was it ‘for fun’?”
“The priest ordered it, I am sure. That bloody priest. We would not give him a child for his ritual.”
“Ritual? What ritual? A priest of who? Olanigan?”
“We don’t know. I don’t think he was with Olanigan. He was bald pated and wore white.”
“How was he dressed? Human?” asked a voice.
“People like that are not human. He was a demon in human form, I tell you!” Then she realized it was not Seth who asked that last question. She turned around to see Issic. He spread his wings slightly. She screamed and darted off through the woods.
“Damn, and she had some information!” cursed Seth. “Wait here this time!” He slid into the woods after the girl. Issic went back to Manderkarr, looking for signs of Warlord ash and finding none. Manderkarr slugged the halfdragon in the calf. “Damnit Issic, use your brain for something besides a dust bin! You scared her off, silly!”
“Scarin' these people is my job,” said Issic with a wry grin. “What direction is Drychtnoth from here?”
“It's thataway, Demon. Can't you smell the blood?”
Issic laughed and related the conversation he had overheard between Seth and the girl. After listening, Manderkarr looked to the west, toward Drychtnoth. “Looks like the varmits went that way, Issic. Care to follow and kick some butts?” Issic shrugged. His wings expanding out a little with the shoulder movement. He doubted the girl Seth was chasing would have anything useful to say. “Just more silly human gibberish is all she has,” he commented, looking back toward the village at the rubbish. He sat down to wait for Seth to return. He watched the sky while he waited. Shanagra walked quietly over to him and sat next to the large half-dragon. Manderkarr tried to estimate the number of raiders via the tracks.
Manderkarr grunted, “Humans can be a cowardly lot.” He continued to look at the tracks, finally estimating thirteen raiders and three large wolves. Shanagra estimated the attack took place two hours ago.
Manderkarr went over to Issic and Shanagra. “Looks like a dozen or so with a few wolves. We should follow their tracks, Issic.”
“We should go as a group. What is keeping that boy?”
Seth finally caught up to the girl. She calmed down when she saw it was Seth.
“Don't worry about Issic, he is a half-dragon, NOT a demon,” he explained. “You have absolutely nothing to fear from him.”
“DRAGON!” she whispered in alarm, looking around quickly.
“He helped us slay a demon,” he offered in Issic’s defense.
“He was probably summoned by the bald man. He called himself 'Benenset'.”
“The demon?” Seth asked, confused. “I need to tell my companions. I would like it they heard it from you. I don't want any inaccuracies.”
“NO!” she started crying.
“It’s ok, Issic won’t hurt you. I promise,” he said, trying to comfort the pretty lass. Seth then tried a different approach. “By the way, What’s your name?”
“Kuthia,” she said between sobs.
“Hi, Kuthia. I am Seth.” He flashed a slight smile.
“Greetings, Seth,” she said, blushing a little.
Manderkarr and Issic waited impatiently. Shanagra drew designs in the ground with a stick. The druid was Nyandarian, and liked to make artistic designs when idle. Manderkarr soon spoke up, “The tracker ill know how to follow us. We'll go the edge of the clearing and wait.”
Shanagra nodded and stood up. “Seth is very skilled at woodcraft and can easily find us.” He walked to the edge of the forest and called for Seth to hurry it up.
“Come on, Issic. Seth will find us,” the dwarf said. “I'd rather scare up something to beat up, than sit around here.” He headed in the direction of the tracks. Shanagra and Issic followed.
Seth heard the call from Shanagra and decided to press the girl a little harder, “Would you please tell my companions what happened?”
“No - no -no,” she stuttered. "I am afraid of them."
“They won't hurt you, I promise. I won't let anything happen, trust me.”
She shook her head still, her body shaking with terror.
“Why? What scares you so much? Is it Issic?”
“The demon man and the gnome,” she admitted.
“Gnome?” said Seth in surprise.
“Yes, the little man,” she said. “They are gnomes.” Seth suddenly realized she couldn’t tell the difference between a gnome and a dwarf. They were both mythical monsters to her. “Oh,” he said. “You mean Issic and Manderkarr. If I said not to hurt you, they wouldn’t. I swear on my life.”
She shook her head in negation. She liked Seth, but she was too frightened. She ran off again.
Issic, Shanagra, and Manderkarr continued to track the bandits. Manderkarr tried to keep an eye out for ambushes, but the forest was not exactly his element. Issic was making sure he left obvious tracks for Seth to follow
Suddenly a naked elf maiden popped out on a tree limb in front of them.
“’Bout time you got here, girly,” said Shanagra. He couldn’t help but to admire her small nude body.
“Sowwy,” she said, apologizing in baby-talk. “You mad at me?”
“No, Flower,” said Shanagra, “Not mad. Just thought you were being reclusive.”
Flower said, “I wasn't hiding. I got lost and forgot to look for you. Sorry I made you worry.”
“You got lost?” said Shanagra with some surprise. He tried to stop staring at her little breasts and hairless crotch. Elves apparently only grow hair on their heads.
“You know how it is when you start looking up at the top of trees and pay no attention to where you are going,” she said meekly. “I knew I had plenty of time. We would see each other in a few decades or so. Surely after walking around for a few years we would have run into each other again.”
Soon Seth arrived. He took in Flower without comment. Flower looked worriedly at him. “Don’t stand there,” she whispered, as if imparting a great secret.
“Stand where?” he asked, looking around.
“That tree doesn't like you,” she whispered again. Seth stepped away from the tree, knowing full well nature’s abilities.
They continued along the trail. Seth took the lead to scout ahead for the group. Shanagra hung back to walk behind Flower and admire her. Soon Issic was sensing something was not quite right. Seth closed the gap between him and the group, sensing the same thing. He looked around to see if that blasted Kuthia has, on the off chance, come back. He could not see her. Seth disappeared off the trail, sliding silently into the forest, melting away as a ghost.
“Be on your toes, Manderkarr,” said Issic, pulling out his sword.
Seth silently came upon an ambush waiting to happen. He snuck up behind the men he saw, moving like a spirit through the woods. He counted sixteen men. He put his hand on his hilt, but did not draw the blade out. He silently snuck back and reported what he saw to the group. “I bet it is the attackers,” he said. Then he drew his blade and melted once again into the green forest.
Flower said, “Sixteen! Let’s leave.”
“It might be the villagers thinking on revenge on a "demon",” said Issic.
“Lets go ask them,” said Flower.
“I smell a trap,” said Manderkarr. “Let me be the bait and ya’ll follow me afterwards to clean up what I miss.”
Shanagra said, “Well, let's go into their trap.” Manderkarr nodded and trudged forward, starting to froth at the lip. “I smell cowards in these here woods! Any takers?” he challenged, bellowing in dire anticipation. He drew both of his weapons, axe and hammer, and flailed them in force.
Seth again found the men waiting in ambush. This time he counted thirteen men and three wolves. Seth returned to tell the party. The ambushers took that moment to rush out at the swaggering dwarf. Two of the men had nets. “Take the elf girl alive!” they yelled. Startled, Flower quickly climbed into a tree.
Manderkarr hit one of the men with his hammer, smashing his head like a pumpkin. Brains, blood, and skull splattered around. Seth slashed out with his sword, cutting underneath a helmet to slice the man’s neck. Manderkarr lashed out with his axe, but it hit against the man’s armor. “Ya gotta tenderize with one and slice with the other!” he said.
A wolf leapt and bit Seth. Flower looked at the wolves and realized they were not natural wolves. One of the bandits struck at Manderkarr, smacking his sword hard onto the dwarf’s armor.
“They's dying to meet me! Give me more!” yelled Manderkarr. A wolf tangled with Manderkarr next. The third wolf leapt into the tree with Flower. She took out her rock and flint and got farther out on the branch. The wolf growled and leapt at the naked elf girl, intending to bring her down. She screamed as his frothy mouth caught on her finely turned ankle. Manderkarr smacked the wolf tangling with him aside and shook his gauntleted hand at the one arguing with Flower. “Leave her alone dog! I’ll litter ya’ll with blood!” Manderkarr’s axe bit into a wolf, knocking it aside, but not drawing any blood.
The wolf hung onto Flower’s ankle while she pleaded with the tree she was in to help her. The wolf’s hands became more human like as he held onto the branch, his teeth tearing up the nude girl’s ankle.
Seth swung and nailed another bandit. A bandit ducked under Issic’s two handed sword and slashed at the half-dragon’s exposed abdomen. Manderkarr again struck a wolf, but no blood splashed out.
“Undead wolves!” exclaimed Seth, who witnessed the ineffectiveness of the dwarf’s weapons. He swung his own weapon at one of the wolves, cutting into it, releasing a fountain of blood.
“Demon spawn! Then I'll give it to the humans and other cowards!” said Manderkarr.
“No!,” said Shanagra. “Not undead wolves, but WEREWOLVES!”
Issic cut off the head of one of the bandits and a bloody werewolf bit Seth. Flower took hold of a small branch from the tree and prayed for the tree for the branch. The tree gave up the branch and it broke free.
Manderkarr crushes the chest of one of the bandits with his hammer. Issic hits the werewolf hanging onto Flower with his two handed sword, knocking the wolf loose. The werewolf whirled around and bit into Issic.
Seth rammed his sword into a werewolf. It squealed and died, turning into a human on the ground.
“MORE BLOOD!” shouted Manderkarr.
One of the humans yelled, "retreat!" and the villains disengaged.
“Die dogs die!” yelled Manderkarr, chasing after the bandits. The villains disappeared like spirits in the woods. Manderkarr soon passed out from exhaustion and battle damage.
“How is everyone?” asked Seth. Flower grabbed her ankle and cried, screaming.
The villains disappeared in the woods like spirits.
Seth mumbled, “Damn, I hope Kuthia isn't responsible for this.”
“IT HURTS!” cried Flower. “It hurts, it hurts, it hurts!”
Shanagra asked, “Who is Kuthia? That villager you were talking to?” As he queried Seth he reached up and healed Flower's shredded ankle with a warm touch. She still cried and whimpered a little.
“Thank you,” she said, “You kissed it and made it better.”
“Yes, and she knew were we were going and these 'people',” Seth scoffed at the word, “were pretty prepared for this.”
Issic bound his own wounds. Shanagra went into the woods and found the dwarf, barely alive. He knelt down and invoked Mother Nature, healing the dwarf.
Flower jumped down from the tree, testing her ankle. She walked over to the large half dragon. She smiled and was able to heal a bit of his wounds.
Little did they know, but someone in the woods was watching....
750 exp was awarded to the characters
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