RUNNING INTO THE DARKNESS
The Writings of Rayven – Human Warrior
9th of Riag
Only the coldness and shadow surrounds us now as we run further into the lost city of Parlainth where we chase our friend Sekra who was taken just hours before by the undead carnival that preformed in the fortified town of Haven. I have to say this strange and ancient carnival of the dead that is a gift from the undead queen Twiceborn is probably one of the strangest things I have ever seen as countless droves of undead shamble out of the ruined city where they perform a strange carnival of the dead as a gift for the land of the living, and it was at this carnival our friend Sekra got herself into trouble on the gambling tables creating a debt she could not pay and the undead horde quickly dragged her off into the lost city whilst the carnival packed away.
We could not allow our friend Sekra to die as she has already been through so much and has not only lost her adventuring group and friends who were killed in Parlainth but has only just recovered from the taint of a horror which corrupted her mind and dreams, to say the least Sekra has been through a lot and is not of sound mind seeing us launch a rescue party into one of the most horror infested ruined cities in the world, we now run alone into the darkest night just an hour before the dawn and we chase one of the biggest undead parades in the world right into the undead queens lair, perhaps we can bargain for our friends life, it’s either that or we fight.
Running for sometime following the tracks left by the large undead carnival we made good time along the darkened street of the ruined city and can only assume that the large convoy of undead had scared many of the creatures out of the area leaving our path clear. It was around the first sign of light as the sun slowly began to rise that all of that changed. I have to admit it was a strange and almost awakening experience seeing the first rays of the morning light scatter over the lost an ancient city before us and it was in that dull morning light that we came across a large fountain with two large stone statues in the middle, one female and one male statue holding each other as if dancing.
We knew statues fetch a good price back in Haven so slowly making our way towards the fountain we stepped carefully watching around us at all times half expecting a horde of monsters to come charging out of one of the holes or alleys of the crumbling city ruins, however to our surprise no attack came and we had just began to search the bottom of the fountain for old coins or metals when suddenly we heard a slight grinding noise seeing us look up startled and also shocked at what we were about to see, as suddenly without any warning one of the large stone statues in front of us just turned its large stone head and looked directly at us with dust and chalky rock dropping from its neck and shoulders, suddenly within a blink of an eye both statues came alive and attacked us.
The large stone statues seemingly possessed by some ancient magic headed straight for Gron the Obsidimen who possess the biggest target and sadly they caught him totally by surprise delivering several smashing blows onto Gron’s back that nearly sent him tumbling to the ground, however using expert combat training and sheer strength Gron managed to keep his feet and in only a fraction of a second I could see the sun glinting off Gron large axe Night Havester as he span it around in the air and sent it crashing down towards the enemy and from there the fight exploded seeing the two large statues lash out into the group with strong savage attacks as we began to fight off the large rock enemies.
Within seconds the fight erupted seeing my blade smashing down again the large male statue letting out several blows that would have easily killed a man, the large statue however just kept coming again swinging out towards the group which I just managed to avoid. I think even me and Gron were about to back step from the two large attackers until we heard the mystical chanting of Rastin and Kaerless behind us who were summoning up powerful magical energies to launch at the stone monsters in front of us which perhaps bolstered our courage seeing us again lash out towards the statues whilst we tried to hold our ground.
I remember dealing several more vicious blows to the male statue that still kept coming towards us even harder and can remember seeing a huge stone fist heading straight towards my face when lucky an arrow from Elora’s bow impacted the beast sending it stumbling back as its fist flew past my face by only an inch. It was around that moment it happened, the air changed around us and for a second we felt that strange draining feeling like it had become hard to breath when suddenly Rastin stepped into the combat and with a few final mystical words let out a spell of ice and chain towards the male statue that seemed to explode doing the beast damage and slowing him down as he became tangled in the freezing chains of ice, this alone gave me enough time to attack again but it was not long before Kaerless also launch his spell into the combat hitting the female statue with a large blast of mystical energy that seemed to knick it back several steps before it lunged forward.
Seeing the male statue struggling to break the icy shards around his hands I quickly let out several more strong and direct blows with my large double handed sword seeing the beast finally crumble to the ground into various pieces. This small victory only lasted a short time however as the female statue was still lashing out towards the group but it seems that the small Windling Jace and the Elf archer Elora had kept her busy firing repeated arrows followed up by darting short sword attacks that left the statue swinging wildly in the air trying to hit Jace, seeing our opportunity the entire group attacked the female statue seeing Gron smash down his huge axe in a mighty blow seeing the ancient statue crumbling into bits on the floor.
I remember feeling relived as the statue shattered and fell to the floor in peace’s and was about to dust off my armour and check any wounds when all of a sudden we heard the familiar sound of Elora bow creaking as she pulled back a large arrow and sent it flying off into the distance, the entire group span around to see what Elora was firing at and again was taken totally by surprise as a large group of undead Windlings that are called Bone Sprits flew directly towards us ready to attack and can only assume they had been attracted by the sounds of fighting the statues, looking to my right Elora had already began drawing another arrow as the black mass of dusty tattered Bone Sprits smashed into us letting out vicious stabbing attacks as they swooped down.
Within moment the group were surrounded by dusty flying undead Bone Sprits seeing me tackle three enemies on my own whilst the other group members handled the rest, again Gron been one of the main targets as he alone at one point was fighting 4 or 5 of the winged undead. I have to say my armour again did not let me down seeing many of the attacks bounce harmlessly off my plate mail seeing me smash down several of the enemies quickly as the rest of the group killed off the other Bone Sprits behind me. Lashing out at the final undead sprite I sent it crashing to the ground leaving the group with a pile of ancient dusty Windling bodies and two crumbled and beaten statues at our feet, and for those seconds at least we all looked around expecting another attack, lucky however it did not come seeing us quickly search the bodies before backing off to a more secure location in case other enemies were heading in that direction.
Making sure all the sprites were truly dead we hacked up their bodies and also hid the parts of the statues in the old fountain and planned to return later, with that we headed off into the dusty old streets of Parlainth still following the tracks of the undead convoy from the night before. Walking through the narrow crumbling streets of the old city it was not long before we heard more sounds of fighting in the distance, it was almost like the city had come alive in the light so we decided to press forward and investigate sending the Windling Jace as an advanced scout.
Flying back towards us Jace reported seeing a dead Ork slumped over a large Thundra Beast mount and the Ork appeared to have a large spear in his chest, Jace however had made a quick retreat as beyond the Ork were at least 15 or 20 thin and scruffy cloaked figures who seemed to be heading towards the Ork in some kind of search pattern. Who was this lone Ork cavalry man and how did he get such a formidable mount inside the lost city, thinking fast we decided to rescue this Ork before the scruffy cloaked figures found him.
Forming a small line we ran through the dusty and broken cobbled streets where we turned a corner and could see the large Thundra Beast and the dead Ork just before us. I think seeing us startled the large mount and it began grunting and dragging its feet along the ground before it began charging straight towards us at full speed. The group soon scattered out of the way of the huge beasts but having been trained in the art of riding I held my ground until the beast was almost upon me, quickly at the last second I side stepped the beast grabbing its rains and jumping at the precise moment flinging me over the beast landing me right on top where I struggled to gain control of the huge mount until my years of training and experience paid off seeing me settle the mount down whilst the group smiled and looked at the magnificent beast.
Sadly however we only had seconds to spare so dragging the Ork off the back of the beast the other group members quickly secured his body in some of the ruins before the large gang of clocked figures or cultists appeared. I have to say sitting on that magnificent beast in my gleaming golden armour felt good so I decided to meet this wandering cult like figures head on and see how they reacted. Positioning ourselves in the ideal spot I waited until the first figures appeared around the corner that quickly began shouting and drawing basic looking weapons such as rusty swords and cheap daggers, calling out to them we said “we mean you no harm” and gestured peacefully but within seconds at least 20 enemies were charging towards us.
Seeing the mass of enemies charging up the alleyway towards the group I heroically decided to charge the enemy head on whilst mounted on top of the impressive Thundra Beast that began to crash down the alleyway sending the cloaked figures tumbling over like skittles, however it was at that second that Rastin cast his spell of Icy Surface that coated the floor in a thick slippery ice that witnessed the Thundra Beast ice skating towards the mass of enemies where it collided with them before losing its balance, this heroic and selfless act seemed to buy the group more time as the malnourished and scruffy cloaked figures struggled to get up on the ice as the large Thundra Beast thrashed around and gouged at them with its huge tusks, luckily however my expert training managed to keep the beast upright.
Turning my head back I could see the rest of the group fighting a small number of these cultists who had made it passed the icy spell but for now I was holding up the large majority of them which seemed to take the impact out of their charge. Slowly more managed to scramble to their feet getting cut down one by one as they scurried off the ice where the group waited with weapons drawn and spells been cast, and while the group were holding their ground against the cultists several of our number had been badly wounded by basic weapon attacks as the figures lashed out violently with dagger and short swords seeing me again rear the huge beast sending more of the figures crashing back down onto the ice whilst I held the alleyway alone.
The fighting continued and with each passing moment a few more of the cultists managed to scurry over the icy spell only to be met by the groups blades and staffs and while wounded the group held their ground and soon finished off the last of the seemingly possessed figures who looked like horror corrupted followers as they looked skinny and malnourished, even the cloaks they wore were tatty and the weapons old and rusted. Checking over the bodies we found little other than rusty weapons and decided to retreat from the area and check over the Orks body that I had pulled from the Thundra Beast before the fight.
Quickly searching the dead Orks body we found a small amount of silver and gold along with various weapons and even a set of chain mail armour, one thing we did find was strange was clay symbol with a crude depiction of a dragons head that hung around his neck, for now however this Ork was dead and after a brief talk with the group we decided to give him an expensive magical potion known as a Last Chance Salve that perhaps could bring him back from the gates of death if he had been killed recently enough, to our surprise we rubbed the lotion into his wounds and poured a little into mouth and within only a few minutes we heard the Ork take a huge breath filling his lungs with air before starting to breath faintly, he was alive but was he an enemy? Could he help us? We did not know but for now we sit heavily wounded around the Orks unconscious body as we decide what to do.
I have to admit the mood was fairly frantic as whilst this Ork lay stirring on the floor several of the group were drinking magical healing potions and bandaging up fairly deep looking wounds, and all along our friend Sekra and rescue mission to save her got further away with each moment, for now at least we stand bleeding and catching our breath deep within the lost city of Parlainth and for all we know we have a horror corrupted Ork only moments from coming round, do we investigate where the cloaked figures and Ork came from or do we press on to rescue our friend?