The Odhirann Adventures
Zethar: A Druid
Amathaon: A Trader
Bwlch: A Ranger
The Time: Spring, 16 Xaul, 7 VIII
The Place: Dun Avren – Although technically Odhirran has no unified government, the de facto capital is here. This is the largest city in all of Odhirann, and even features stone walls atop the earthen mounds that surround the city. As Dun Avren grows, a larger circle of earthworks are built, resulting in a city that, from above, seems like several concentric circles of earth and stone, with the oldest part of the city in the center, going out to the newest. This growing city is home to 16,875 persons. This city awaits the coming of the wielder of Caledfwlch to come and become the High King of Odhirran. King Brychan currently rules Dun Avren.
Zethar the druid was in
a drinking hall in Dun Avren. He heard talk that Drychtnoth was enlisting more
and more Odhirranish mercenaries. One man stood up and said, "I say this
weakens us! If all of us leave to fight, who will defend our lands! Drychtnoth
will see that we are weak, and they will take what is ours!" Some of the
crowd cheered, others dismissed him with grumpy scowls and hand gestures. Zethar
also heard someone talking about a curse afflicting Dun Luzern.
One man, a tall, thick man with scrawny, twisted hair, said, "Aye, I heard that too. I avoid that region. It is easy enough to take another route to pass through that stretch of evil forest."
His companion, a swarthy fellow with the look of a chief, said, "It sure is a lonely and curious country, there around Dun Luzern."
The first nodded, "Aye, The ground gets high, and the brier-bordered stone wall press closer and closer against the ruts of the dusty, curving trails. The trees seem too large there, near the height of them unnatural Nyandarian trees, and the wild weeds, brambles, and grasses attain a luxuriousness not often found in settled regions."
The second man laughed nervously. "It seems to me that the planted fields appear singularly few and barren there, and the scattered homes wear a surprisingly uniform aspect of age, squalor, and dilapidation."
The first man nodded. "I hesitate to even ask directions from the gnarled, solitary figures I spy now and then on crumbling doorsteps or on the sloping rock-strewn meadows."
The second said, "I agree. Those figures are so silent and furtive one feels somehow confronted with forbidden things."
The first said, "I have heard that there is wealth and treasures said to be hidden in the ancient castle there."
"Oh, aye!" said the second. "That castle from a darksome age. Twarn't built by men, I says."
"I heard that it once was a friendly town, before the people started being stolen."
"Aye, I heard that too."
Zethar approached their table. "Pardon me, good sirs. I cannot help but notice your conversation about Dun Luzern. I have never heard of that area, where might it be?"
"Sit down, druid. It is about a week's travel by horse."
The second man said, "It is to the east."
Zethar sat down. "Thank you."
The first said, "Aye, it is nearly due south of Dun Morgan."
"How far south of Dun Morgan is Dun Luzern?"
"About five days travel."
Zethar extended his hand out to both men in turn. "I'm Zethar. It's a pleasure to meet you both. What would you say is the nature of the curse of Dun Luzern?"
The first man said, "I am Amathaon." The second said, "I am Bwlch. I don't fer sure on the nature. I bet elves are behind it, though."
Amathaon asked, "Are you thinking of heading that way?"
"Sounds like a nigh evil place to me," answered Zethar. "I think it would be a good idea to check out the area further. Since it seems most people avoid it. Evil left unchecked will undoubtedly fester and grow."
"Ye'll need a guide, or ye'll ne'er find it," said Bwlch.
"Would either of you be willing to travel there with me?" asked Zethar.
"Aye, I'll go," said Bwlch. Amathaon said, "I'll go too."
"Sounds like a plan," said Zethar. "Let us prepare and be off."
"We be prepared. We can git started now if ye like."
Zethar said, "Aye. I'm ready. Let's go. We can talk more along the way."
As the trio start walking, they told Zethar some other things. They couldn't say just what is the matter with Dun Luzern, though old legends spoke of unhallowed rites and conclaves of the Hidden People, amidst which they called forbidden shapes of shadow out of the great rounded hills. These Hidden People, elves, some call them, made wild orgiastic prayers that are answered by loud crackings and rumblings from the ground below. A druid once went there and preached a memorable sermon on the close presence of Asmodius and his imps, but he disappeared after delivering that sermon. Noises in the hills continued to be reported from year to year, and still form a puzzle to those who understand nature. Other traditions told of foul odors near the hill-crowning circles of stone pillars, and of rushing airy presences to be heard faintly at certain hours.
Zethar heard animals moving along their trail. The twigs snapped and he heard movement in the brush. Zethar's companions continued to talk.
"Fellows, we have some company in the brush." They hushed up quickly.
"Wolves," said Zethar. "Several wolves are stalking us."
"What do we do?" asked Amathaon, frightened for his life.
Zethar said, "If ye have weapons, ready them. I'll try and calm them down so we can get away." They pulled out their crude but serviceable spears. The wolves, four of them, shaggy, hulking grey shapes, loped into view, walking along the trail behind Zethar. They growled.
Two more wolves, one from either side of the trail that Zethar did not see, leapt out and attacked, as did the four that appeared on the trail. Zethar cast Calm Animals, and two of the wolves sat down on their haunches, content to watch the fray.
The wolves launched themselves at the humans. Amathaon fell to the ground, a wolf atop him, biting, gnawing. Bwlch stabbed one with his spear, and it howled in pain. A wolf bit hard into Zethar's leg, and the druid wondered what had driven these wolves to attack. He also knew that if he tried to stand his ground, he would die. Zethar grabbed Amathaon's arm and yelled, "Run!"
Amathaon tried to stand, but a wolf dragged him back down, chewing through his neck. Zethar and Bwlch ran toward a nearby tree. Bwlch was knocked down by a wolf that leapt on his back. Zethar swung into the tree branches, scrambling up the tall tree as fast as he could.
Bwlch stabbed the wolf hard with his spear, and it ran off, yelping in pain. The others also ran off, finding that feasting on Amathaon was easier than these other two.
Bwlch stood and stumbled to Zethar's tree, and climbed up into it. Bwlch was bleeding badly in the legs, and had a wound on his left arm.
"We need to stay up here for awhile," said Zethar.
"Aye, but I'd rather git goin' before they get done with poor, doomed Amathaon."
"Aye. Let me fix myself up a little, we'll get away and then I'll fix you up." Zethar called upon the magic of nature and cured the wounds on his body. The pair climbed down the tree to continue on their way. They could hear the growling and tearing sounds made by the wolves as they devoured their former companion.
As the sun went down and the moons rose, they came to the small village of dun Thun. It was a small place with round huts in a ditch and palisaded bank enclosure. Small farms of barley, oats, and wheat surrounded the large ditch, as well as gardens of cabbage, onions, turnips, and beets.
"Let's seek a place to rest for the night," said Zethar. The village was too small for an inn, so Zethar said, "I guess we'll just have to make camp somewhere, unless there's someone who'll let us stay in their barn or whatnot." He could see several people out in the village. One of them waved as the pair approached the village.
"Greetings," said Zethar.
"Greetings!" the man said. "What news do you bring?"
"Bad news unfortunately. We just lost our companion to a pack of wolves."
"They have been obnoxious of late. We will get together some folks and bring back what is left of him."
The man went from home to home in the rural village, and gathered the men together. They motioned Zethar and Bwlch to come along. Finding the remains of Amathaon, the townsfolk chased off the wolves and dragged back what little is left of Amathaon. They offered to put Zethar and Bwlch up for the night, and asked Zethar to bless the village. Zethar performed the appropriate village blessing.
Each character received 600 exp.
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