Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Story so Far ...

The heroes awoke early and groggily the next morning and with a farewell to the elf Tharivol and the innkeeper Garam they mounted their horses and took off out the southern gate of Wychton. They hoped that they would reach Miragar before sunset as they feared another attack by the minions of the Shadow Dragon.

The land south of Wychton was less wild and forbidding than the terrain north of the town.  It consisted of rolling green hills dotted with copses of trees and the fall air of the month of Redleaf was crisp and clean.  Although, to the east the party could still see the line of the imposing Ironstorm Mountains with its ever-present thundering storm clouds looming above them.  As they travelled south the party began to see farmsteads and rows of ripe crops soon ready to be harvested.  The hard packed gravel road to Miragar was also well maintained so travel was easy.  As they got nearer to Miragar the wind shifted and began to blow from the south bringing with it the salty tang of sea air.

Miragar could be seen far in the distance as the adventurers topped another low hill and fields of wheat flanked the road. The sun was now low in the west, sunset was not far off, and it seemed that the party would make it to Miragar without incident. 

This was not to be so.  Ahead the adventurers could see that the wheat on the right hand side of the road was moving and swaying as if something, or somethings, were making its way through it towards the road ahead of them.  From out of the wheat came a pack of what seemed to be large black dogs that ran snarling right towards the party.  As they got closer it could be seen that these were no natural creatures.  These creatures had smooth black coats and they stood more than two feet high at the shoulder with diabolical almost humanoid faces and maws full of sharp teeth.

Most of the party dismounted and made a line to receive the attack but Lono, Norgrim, and Martijn did not dismount.  Martijn the knight set his lance and charged knowing full well his prowess in mounted combat. He plowed into the creatures with great effect.  Svarnos took one of the creatures down with sleep spell. As the battle commenced the party learned that the baying and barking of the evil beasts had an unnerving magical effect causing some of the party and their horses to panic.  Things seemed dire as most of the party was affected and could barely defend themselves against the beasts for the first couple rounds of combat.  Eventually, much to every ones relief, the panic wore off and they were able to take the attack to the enemy.  Eventually the battle was won mostly through the might of the party's warriors with even Lono pulling a sneak attack on one of the monsters and cutting the throat of the sleeping one.

Bloodied but not broken the weary party travelled the last couple miles into Miragar.

The party passed through Miragar when they first set foot in Malavon many months ago.  It is a city of gray stone and cobblestone streets.  Homes, establishments, and stores rise above the street and are stacked on top of each other with arched stone walkways, bridges, and stairs connecting the differing levels.  The men-at-arms of the city wear liveries with a simplified version of the heraldic symbol of the Knights of the Sword (a simple green surcoat with a gold chevron upon it).  The city is ruled by the Lord Farethlon a knight of some renown.  He has a moated keep at the center of the city.

Note: Miragar can be seen in the background of my painting Charge of the White Leopards.

On their way through the city the party noticed an odd structure.  It was a stone tower shaped like an obelisk.  A sign next the entrance read The Red Moon - Purveyors of the Arcane - open noon to midnight - closed on weekends - hours subject to change without notice.  It was obviously a magic shop and the group decided to investigate but they were quickly discouraged by the prices as they had already blown all their gold on the bag of holding.  Lono considered doing a little thievery but he was quickly dissuaded by the party.

A man-at-arms directed the weary adventurers to an inn near the docks where they could rest and possibly hire a ship as their plan was to travel to the Wizard's Isle.  The inn was called the Barmy Kraken.  It was a stout timbered three-story high building with a decidedly nautical decor.  Old ships anchors are bolted on the walls, ship wheels serve as hanging chandeliers for old lanterns,  and painted wood mermaid statues look as if they were pried from the prows of galleons. There was also a beautiful model of a ship in a bottle behind the bar.  The sign creaking in the sea wind outside the entrance depicts a kraken holding a foaming beer mug in each tentacle.

The party spoke with the proprietor Vorgen Larmaster — an old gray haired sea dog with enormous Picadilly Weepers (sideburns that connect to a mustache) that always seemed to be smoking a large clay pipe shaped like a mermaid.  Vorgen set them up with rooms for the night and the party settled down to some food and drink.  They looked around the room to find someone they could possibly hire to take them to Vegraine.  There were quite a few sea-faring types in the inn and after a couple of tries they found an owner of a cog ship named Captain Malrick — a young man with sun-bleached hair and mustache armed with a longsword and girt in studded leather armor.  He would take them for a fee to the Wizard's Isle even though there was a rumor that the wizards were turning away visitors.  The party agreed to this and they were set to embark the following morning.

Note: I know that I'm missing some stuff here.  If anyone can fill in the blanks feel free to do so in the comments.

The cog that was known as The Triton had a crew of fifteen men and the weather was clear as they set sail.  As soon as they were a good distance from the coast the Stormwind Sea grew choppy as it always seems to.  The sky began to cloud over and grow dark and it looked as if a storm was brewing. By midday in the distance the party on the ship could see a land ahead — it was the Wizard's Isle.  There seemed to be a tiny red light winking at them from the land mass.  Suddenly, they could see in the distance a wave forming and rising out of the water.  It rose to thirty feet high and began to rush at the ship!  The crew and Captian Malrick sprung into action trying to evade the wave but it kept changing course right for the prow of the ship.  As it approached the onlookers could see that the wave seemed to have vague semblance of a face upon it with shining sea green orbs for eyes.  Those on the cog braced for impact as the wave approached but miraculously it stopped right before hitting the ship and instead it just sprayed the deck with foam.

A voice emanated from the wave that stood before the ship and it said that the wizards of Vegraine wished to have no visitors at this time.  It also threatened to sink the ship if they continued on their present course.  Svarnos called out that they were invited by the sorceress Aness.  After a moment the voice told them to drop anchor and wait. The wave waited patiently.

Captain Malrick was angry.  He felt the danger wasn't worth the price the party had paid him and he was ready to turn the ship around.  They party convinced him to stay.

Note: Did you guys give him more money?

After about two hours of waiting and listening to a grumbling captain the voice returned and told them to pull up their anchor.  When they did so the wave sunk into the water and then rose up behind the ship.  It then proceeded to gently but firmly push the ship in a direct line towards the blinking beacon in the distance.

The wave sunk away as they approached the shore and the crew steered The Triton to a single long dock jutting out into the water.  An armed contingent of grim faced gnomish warriors awaited them on the dock.  Beyond the dock the Tower of Four Moons with its illusory moon (now red as the Blood Moon approached) above it could be seen  —formed by sorcery of the strange red-hued rock found only upon this island.  The adventurers had made it to the Wizard's Isle.

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