Shadows from the Dark

A1: Storms and Zombies

The first adventure

Syncara had chosen to leave his small elven community to seek adventure, opportunity and growth elsewhere. He had encountered all he could of his town. Some of his experience resulted in scars and learning what not to do others helped him grow in character and shaped him as a young elf and yet still some circumstances worked within him to build a sense of cynicism and distrust.

Raven made the hard choice to leave her family behind. She had been her family’s protector for several years and had served in her town’s active militia for a couple years. In her coastal town there was only so much she could learn in the art of swordsmanship. She chose to start her adventures in the human city of Darromar, capital of Tethyr.

With the Festival of Greengrass past and all celebration closed both new adventurers chose to pack up and head out. Setting their feet toward Darromar within a few days of each other our adventurers were excited to be on their independent paths to their destinies.

In route both Elves notice the drop in air temperature and an increase in humidity. A storm was brewing and by all accounts it was going to be a nasty one. Storms of great magnitude were common along the coast at this time of year with the change between summer and spring with the months switching from Tarsakh into Mirtul. This would be the first major storm of the new month and the first since the first few weeks of Tarsakh.

Leaving the shelter of the Weldath Forest seemed like a mistake as the storm suddenly whipped up its fury just as things started to seem as though it wouldn’t hit after all. Both were anxiously seeking anything that would provide proper cover in the coming fury. As Syncara rounded a bend in the hills between the Sulduskoon River and the great Starspire Mountains, he noticed a massive tower standing in the storm induced gloom. It seemed to be nestled in the hills. He aimed for it trying to keep sight of its heights to ensure he stayed on track.

Raven had just finished her trek through the foothills between the Starspires and the coast. She had noticed the coming storm seemed to have slacked off and that it might not produce the strong storm it seemed to have promised. Knowing the coast as well as she did and the fickle nature of Deep Shashelas she also knew that it could change again at any time. She hoped there would be some decent shelter available should her God show his might in full force.

As she struggled across the foothills that seemed steeper due to her long trek, she noticed the top of a tower in the distance. She hoped it might be a safe place she could rest and find shelter from the weather that was now beginning to return to it early ominousness.

As she rounded the final bend and climbed the last hill she stared up in awe at the tower that stretched above from the cliff side. In front of her stood a massive stone door closed into the side of the cliff face. Standing in front of it admits debris and chunks of stone was a figure with their back to her as they too took in the sight of the tower. Not knowing who this individual was she drew her trident.

When Syncara heard the weapon being drawn he decided he was in a bad spot. He took off to remove himself from immediate threat and perhaps find a spot better suited for his stealthy style of fighting. He had gotten only a few steps when his foot was held fast by a well-aimed trident being thrown by the mysterious person behind him. Hitting the ground hard he did his best to spin his fall to allow him to at least see his attacker coming! He was surprised to see the owner of the trident was and an elf, a female elf. He had once more been beaten by a woman. Thankfully this one was the schoolyard bully but an extremely good looking elf but somewhat more stoutly built; perhaps she was confused about which gender she was?

Raven was surprised to see that the darkly clad individual was an elf like she was, good looking yet somewhat frail, even by elven standards. Perhaps he was a river fisher, living the easy life of no nets and no 250lbs. fish to be pulled in by hand. She deftly removed her trident that held him fast. And helped him to his feet, “Running makes one look guilty, you know that right?” she said. The strong solid way in which Raven pulled Syncara to his feet made him feel like a ragdoll. At that moment he decided that should happen stance force him to put with this elven warrior, she would be ever known to him as “Roughneck”.

As Syncara gathered his balance and composure, Raven sized up this smaller elf. He didn’t look particularly strong and she knew he was light after helping him to his feet, she decided he must either be daft for being out here alone or he was deceptively quick. She was going to go with the first idea, until he proved otherwise.

As the two elves stood on the hill amid the broken chunks of stone, the rain final began to fall. Thankfully the rain was lighter than expected and nothing a good cloak couldn’t protect against. Raven began to inspect the chunks of stone and noticed that they seem to have once been part of a solid piece. Perhaps it was a cover stone for the door in the side of the cliff, or maybe it was once a piece of art from the tower? Who knew? Most likely anyone who did was long dead.

She decided point this opinion of the stones out to the hapless elf next to her, “Hey, look… I think these chunks of stone are part of a whole that may have been a covering stone blocking the entrance to that door.” She pointed at the large stone door ahead of them in hopes this simple elf would catch on and understand. Syncara could see the look in her eyes and knew that this roughneck had underestimated him. Better to let that remain as is, after all in his opinion, it is better to be disregarded which leads to better chances to strike should the need arise.

Syncara and Raven were both rudely shaken from their thoughts as the clouds above split with a crashing roar of thunder and what had been a mere sprinkling of rain became a cacophonous downpour. Syncara adjusted his cloak and looked questionably at the large door. If this elven roughneck is correct concerning the stones littering the ground than surely there would be more than just the cover stone preventing entry. What sort of traps and tricks might be holding a door like that safely closed? Worse yet, what if it was a mages store room with powerful and deadly enchantments cast upon it? Oh, well, better a crispy rogue than a drenched one.

As Raven considered her choices of what to do besides stand under her cloak and still end up wet she failed to notice the scrawny elf wonder off toward the big door in the cliff face. Syncara moved up to the door eyeing it for anything that stood out as an obvious trigger or rigging system for a trap. Surprisingly he noticed nothing out of the ordinary. There were no inscriptions on the door, no lock or handles either. He carefully slid his fingers around what he could reach of the doors edge. Hopefully any traps weren’t installed by ten foot tall ogres. If so then the triggers would all be too high for him to reach. After what he felt was a thorough inspection of the door he began to wonder how much it weighed and if it was even movable.

TO BE CONTINUED….

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