THE CIRCLE OF LIGHT

CAUCAVIC HORRORS

The Writings of Gron – Obsidimen Horror Stalker

14th to 21st of Rua

Serpents coveWe spent a long week in Serpents Cove, kitting out more fully this time, with better armour a large cache of booster potions and burning oil. Many more sleepless nights ensued until I finally relented to some of this weed Rastin always wanted to share. At first all it seemed to do for me was make me cough and splutter, persevering I managed to inhale and after a short while I started to feel lightheaded and slight dry in the throat. I know I talked with Rastin for many an hour and drank profusely but of what we spoke I only vaguely remember and most of that was pure nonsense.

Upon going to my room to sleep having barley lay down, (or so it seemed,) I was being awoken for breakfast. This weed had worked I slept undisturbed all night long, although I still felt as groggy as if I had had a disturbed nights rest. Now I have to weigh up sleeping at night or not, as the result of smoking the weed or having a disturbed night’s sleep both have the same result in the morning, tiredness.

Apart from replenishing our supplies we also tried in vain to find specify information about where we had recently been and where we were now headed. Apart from general rumours known to all and some interest in our tails nought was gained from many a days’ worth trying.

As the week was drawing to an end we had decided to take a river boat up the Serpent River in the hope that we can get dropped off near the Caucavic Mountains, this would save us 5 days walk. At the docks we couldn’t help but noticed an impressive Green and Gold Riverboat in immaculate condition apart from some blacking around where the Fire Cannons are used. Looking around Karaath noticed a T’skrang female ordering around the many T’skrang hauling goods on and off the Riverboat.

Introducing ourselves to the T’skrang female Kenna Riverchase she informs us that she is the Captain of “The Serpents Hunter.” After determining if the ship was going our way we agreed passage over night to where we wanted to be. We were to set off at dusk and arrive at our destination at the early light of dawn. Kenna had also heard of our recent exploits into the Skytha Mountains and I believe this helped with persuading her to provide us with passage at no cost.

Kaerless over this week had also managed to manufacture an Absorb Blow charm of which he seemed rather satisfied with and rather kindly he donated it to me.

Boarding the ship surrounded by a hive of activity as some 30 or so T’skrang are busily preparing the ship to leave as soon as the sun hits the horizon. With the smell of spiced fish in the air the engine whirs in to action as the wheels of the Riverboat start to turn and move out off port. The air now full of the smell of true fire powering the Riverboat seems to raise the spirits of the T’skrang as they jump around laughing. Soon this giddiness turns to action as in the distance another Riverboat can been seem coming towards us, as the T’skrang still laughing now start to move towards the Fire Cannons.

As the enemy Riverboat approaches we could see then jumping around with as much glee as the T’skrang on the “The Serpents Hunter.” Suddenly a barrage of what looks like bladders full of liquid starts crashing all around us and it soon becomes apparent that this liquid is actually foul smelling T’skrang piss. Still laughing, the T’skrang on the “The Serpents Hunter” start loading large cannon balls and aim them at the enemy Riverboat. With a loud explosion the cannons are fired and upon impact huge plumbs of smoke billow into the air and completely surround the enemy boat. Laughing even louder the T’skrang hurl abuse at their erstwhile foes.

At this the ship continued on her way I then realised why we had gotten free passage, it wasn’t because we had impressed Kenna at all we were now ordered to clean the decks now covered in T’skrang piss. I’d have rather have paid than suffer this. Fortunately the work was made more bearable when Karaath started to cast a spell that magically cleaned a small area at a time and it wasn’t long before the ship was once again clean.

22nd of Rua

After a restless night on board the Riverboat we arrived as the first rays of sun where starting to appear in the East at a small disused jetty. After bargaining passage back when they pass this way again in 8 days we rested and had breakfast. After breakfast we walked for half a day and decided to get some much needed rest and camp early in a safe area about one days walk from the Caucavic Mountains.

23rd of Rua

After an uneventful night we walked untroubled for the rest of the day until we came upon a camp at the base of the mountains. Taking caution we hid on the brow of the hill overlooking the encampment, it was then with horror we noticed that this was no ordinary camp. Looking around the camp we first noticed that the tents appear to be made from the skins of name givers and there are name giver body parts strewn about the encampment. A dozen or so Dwarves and Humans are meandered about a large fire, all covered in blood, wearing torn and tattered clothing and carrying mundane swords are axes. Then a larger man walks out of a large tent roughly dragging a young girl crying and vainly struggling to free herself as she is forcibly thrown in to a wooded cage. Inside the cage we saw that she was not alone, as two obviously dead humans lay within, showing signs of being amputated of various limbs.

Realising that we can’t just charge in and slay this obviously corrupted band we forged an intricate plan to slow them down and gain the surprise. Jace was to pour burning oil over a tent that Karaath had magically seen contained two of their number. Rastin was to cast his ice sheet spell, which worked wonders last time he used it. Karaath was to use a spell we hadn’t seen before which turned out to be very affective.

As soon as Jace applied the oil, we all moved in slowly to the point where we had the advantage then Elora set the tent alight with a flaming arrow. The ice sheet spread out under all of the cannibalistic creatures and one of them became entangled in what looked like a feeble vine growing out of the ground, this was Karaath’s contribution to our attack.

Before the cannibals had even noticed what was happening I slayed the nearest one with ease and a further two others went down under the onslaught from The Circle of Light. Most of the cannibals seemed to be struggling to manoeuvre on the ice and there attempts to approach and attack us were feeble. The cannibal that had the small vine tangled around one foot went to break away and miraculously failed, holding him fast to the ground, this vine surly looks stronger than it looks.

Continuing with the onslaught three of the cannibals were now making their way around to our flank, one took a few well aimed arrows but still managed to open a cage that was holding two ravenous looking large dogs, just before he fell to the ground dead. After only a few minutes all of the cannibals had been slain.

The main noteworthy incident to mention during this melee was that the cannibal who was grasped by the vine failed to free himself throughout and all he was able to do was watch as everyone around him fell until only he was left, but not for long, Elora took care of that swiftly.

Although this little battle was won, we didn’t come out of it unscathed many of us were injured. I was injured to the point that I haven’t been for a long time and felt extremely light headed at which I took a much need booster potion which instantly restored my vigour.

Freeing the small frightened girl and encouraging here to take a booster potion we discovered what had happened. Her name was ”Emlin Wildheart” and two days ago she was out foraging with her Father when they were setup on by this band of cannibals. Her Father managed to escape but unfortunately she was taken. Whilst she has been here they had killed and eaten the rest they had taken as prisoners, and feared that she was now next until we arrived. Fortunately Emlin is familiar with the territory and tells us that her Fathers hut is about four hours walk from here.

It’s now night time, so do we continue and rely on this little girl to guide us safely to the hut, or do we camp up for the night? Deciding that staying here wasn’t such a good idea, as I had previously sensed that these cannibals had been horror marked, we head out in the direction of the hut.

Now in the middle of the night after many hours walk of in the distance we start to see the faint glimpses of light, getting closer we see it’s a hut, surrounded by a large ravine with a drawbridge that is down. Thinking this must be the place we get closer, approaching the draw bridge a man suddenly appears aiming a large crossbow in our direction shouting at us to stop. At this Emlin cried out to her Father, walking over the bridge and letting her go they both are exceedingly thankful for our help. The man then introduces himself as Kenvin Wildheart and invites us in for rest and refreshments.

Inside, the cabin is well equipped, food is cooking over an open fire and there is a large table with crossbow bolts in various stages of manufacture. Taking the stew that is offered it instantly revives us as we are told it contains Garlens Hand whilst we are eating Jace suddenly notices a cloak on the door on the cloak is a clasp with the symbol of the Threan Empire. Kevin noticed this immediately and turned around and could sense we had spotted the cloak. Standing up the man seems a little nervous walking over to the cloak he brushes his finger over the clasp and seems to remain silent for a few seconds. Suddenly he recounts his story.

My name is Kenvin Wildheart scout of the imperial Theran army, or at least it was years ago. The man explains that many years ago now he was born in Thera where he joined the army as a young man, his first post was deep within the mountains where a great construction protect was been undertaken to build the flying fortress Triumph, it was there that he spent his first few years training to be a scout in the great Theran army.

However some years later the great construction project was nearing an end and he was reposted into the ranks of the army where he was sent to Cara Fard to fight the Orks. He believed at the time he was fighting to make his nation strong, that he was fighting to keep his family and home safe from Ork invasion. However after various battles, after various injuries and dark times he came to witness the slaving operations that were been undertaken by the army.

Slowly his heart began to change as each day he could see the Orks who had fought so bravely been rounded up like cattle and ending up as nothing more than any dusty chained slaves crammed into the back of wagons. This treatment became even worse over time as often the elderly or those too young to work was just slaughtered and the rest herded into slavers wagons destined for certain death in the mines of Thera.

It was around this time after many weeks of fighting that he approached a slavers wagon that was filled with terrified Ork children and women. Seeing this brought a tear to his eye and in a rash and daring move he decided to open the wagon door and give them the chance to escape into the night, sadly however this action was witnessed by another guard who sounded the alarm.

From there Kenvin Wildheart was arrested and in a week long ordeal was beaten, starved and even tortured for information by officials who classed him as a traitor and thought he was working for the Orks as a spy. It was at that time that a guard opened the door to his cell and threw a few bits of moulding bread inside, and letting out a laugh said (just so you know they are hanging you in the morning) and from there Kenvin Wildhearts battered and bruised body broke down into tears, tears knowing that he would never see his wife and young daughter again, tears knowing that in the morning he would be hanged as a traitor of Thera.

Clenching the mouldy bread in his hands he crushed it into dust as he prayed to the passion Lochost as he could not understand why his life was been taken for freeing innocent people from the chains of slavery. It was at that moment that a strange thing happened and Kenvin Wildhearts wrists and throat began to tighten like he was been kept in shackles, it became so bad that for a moment he could not breath like there was no air in the room. Suddenly the cell door squeaked open slightly on its hinges; the guard must have not locked in properly.

Taking his chance Kenvin Wildheart grabbed his cloak from outside the cell and slipped out into the night where he blended in with the other soldiers. Injured and battered he ran into the night and was hoping to reach the town where his wife and young daughter lived, however what was to follow was only more pain as reaching the town Kenvin Wildheart found that soldiers had already been there looking for him, and in an aggressive search of his house the soldiers had ended up raping and killing his young wife.

The only person who remained was his young daughter who had hidden in the garden crying while her mother was raped and killed, from there Kenvin Wildheart grabbed his daughter and with his family disgraced as traitors he fled Thera vowing never to return.

After this tale Jace continues to seem uneasy, I guess this is a part of his history he hasn’t shared with us yet. Agreeing to stay here for the night and for Kenvnin to take us back to the camp the following day we all slept soundly. Once again under the mountains feeling at home and connected to the world.

24th of Rua

Making our way back to the camp Kenvin Wildheart tells us of an abandoned watch tower about a day’s walk from the camp. He has been near there before but didn’t approach as he saw several large animals and many tracks nearby. From his description they appear to have been Gribblies or at least something similar.

Muliti head horrorOnce at the camp and seeing that everything we had thrown on the fire had now turned to cinder, we checked the ashes and happened upon a “True Fire Coin.” With naught left to do now but follow the tracks leading away from the camp, we say goodbyes to Kenvin Wildheart and Emlin and head out once again.

After only a few hours following the tracks we are lead to a small cave opening at the base of the mountains. Jace has a quick look down and see’s gold glittering on the floor, getting nearer he hears movement and at that moment sees a grotesque sight. A spider like creature with two heads at the top and bottom of its torso and heads on the joints of its legs, fortunately it didn’t appear to have noticed Jace as he comes out unharmed but slightly pale from the shock.

- Gron: Obsidiman Horror Stalker

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