Serpent's Skull in Eberron

There’s Gotta Be More
Not Done

That was anticlimactic. We found an obvious laboratory with an obvious magical device that contains green goo of the exact same color of what we found in several monsters in Saventh-Yhi. Not to mention, we just found brains in green goo in the magical device. It is obvious someone has made some evil experiment and removed the brains and put them in the device. For what reason, who knows. One thing I do know is: there is no way that the stupid derhi could have been the mastermind behind all this! Sure, we found him alone in the laboratory, but derhi are shock troops belonging to the Monkey King’s army, not brainiacs! Certainly, of everything we know about derhi, they are certainly NOT magic users or capable of creating Black Tentacles.

Maybe the Monkey King is behind all this? No, that can’t be it. We found Ivohagen, the leader of the Aspis Camp, had this green goo in his head long before the Monkey King and his troops arrived in Saventh-Yhi. If I recall correctly, one of those bogards also had a missing brain. That Bush-Devil wasn’t very smart, I don’t expect that it could be the instigator. There was a chaaru-ki with the green goo, but it was protecting the vault like a good minion would by following orders. That means that there is still someone giving out the orders, but where is he?!

We’ve seen a lot of strange stuff since we entered Saventh-Yhi. Hell, our companion is literally a walking, talking tree for Olladra’s sake! There is no doubt that the Monkey King is very intelligent. Serpent folk have been drawn here and we’ve chased some of them off. I think that this is a whole new thing. Something is going far beyond normal means to control Saventh-Yhi.

But, right now, I think it would be best if we took this contraption apart. Some of it looks quite valuable! If we break it, maybe any other creature who’s brain has been removed will just die and save me the trouble of. Not to mention, we’ve searched the rest of the vault and still haven’t found the crystals we need to open the portal. Maybe in these rags… hmmm. Wha? I just noticed something strange out of the corner of my eye but when I look directly, it was gone. Ollandra! Some force of will just tried to overcome mine! Good thing I drank that protection from evil potion a bit ago, although, I think the potion’s effects will be running out in a few seconds and I don’t have another potion! Crap! Dadak and I need to get out of here!

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Risk
I'm watching you!

Risk is part of the game. And risk is definitely part of adventuring, but also part of life! I took a big risk leaving my comfortable living behind and jumping onto the Jenivere to see the world. I took a risk in confronting that serpentfolk priestess in the underground temple deep below Smuggler’s Shiv. I took a risk deciding to be the discoverer of Saventh-Yhi (or die trying). I took a risk exploring the lost city, both above and below ground.
Now, I am fully committed to discovering the secrets of Saventh-Yhi. Whatever is to be found on the other side of that portal – most likely more serpentfolk enemies – must be exposed. I will not shirk that risk, but lately, it seems that my party members have been conspiring behind my back.

Leif hasn’t been the problem, he hasn’t really changed since the first time we met him rooted to the ground near an ancient crumbling Azlanti outpost. His skill set is extremely focused on the one thing he does best – bash in heads; his hate of the Chaaru-ka and Ketch is formidable. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I would have said that he will never change, but lately I’ve seen someone’s influence slowly waxing over Leif’s actions. That influence – Dadak.

I don’t want to think ill of Dadak, we’ve been adventurers for a long time, and we’ve saved each other’s lives on several occasions since we were shipwrecked together on Smuggler’s Shiv. While party members have fallen to the side – Pol, Chydak, Joffa, Goland, whatever that witch’s name was – Dadak has been a strong defender and rock at my side. He is quite formidable, as witnessed by his single-handed defeat of the Monkey King! Wow, that was some battle and I know I could not have fared as well as he did. That is one tough orc! I’ve also relied on his healing in the past. What was I thinking!?

But finally, I am realizing that Dadak’s true colors are starting to show. Sure, he directed me to Jask to cure me of the influence of the dark mold spores that seem to inhabit every square inch of each vault we go into, but it was Jask that cured me. Thanks to him, I am no longer under the influence of the paranoia caused by the spores. Physically, I know that I am not currently at the top of my game right now, a previous injury is definitely hampering me, but I’m not sure I should get healed by him again. He knows this, common courtesy compelled me to ask him not to cast anything on me before getting my ok, but yesterday, in a moment of weakness I permitted him to heal my wounds and he deliberately cast a different spell! I was watching him closely. I have some skill in reading a spell as it is being cast and the spell he tried was NOT a healing spell.

What? Did he think I would meekly stand by and let him have his way with me (I know how that sounds!). No! Even his companion, Kaylia is standoffish. That cat is quite intelligent and it also knows that Dadak is sketchy and shies away from him. Plain as day! And Leif just stands there, if he had a jaw, I’m sure it is just hanging there, slack. Warrior to warrior, there is some respect there, but I wouldn’t go so far as say “friendship” or remove him from my people to wary of. At this point, the only thing keeping me going back to the Free Captains of the Shackles camp is duty. Plus, of course, Kasada Lewyn is very mighty amongst the leadership.

So, I’m going to have to keep an eye on him, on all of them. Maybe after we clear this last vault and then return to Khalid-Sha’s domain to get the last crystals we need to open that portal, I might have to go on my own. I also have to keep a look out on whatever it is that is eating creature’s brains and replacing them with green goo. But for now, I will look over my shoulder, I will cautiously examine anything cast on me. Risk is part of the game.

—From the log of Kreshton Rel’Astra

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The Tale of I-Da-Dak, Slayer of the Green God

During the night, the humans sleep and I grow restless. In the past, I would visit the island of the Pathfinders and kill serpents for them. However, the serpents have ceased to surface lately. So, with another day of nothing to do, I invited I-Da-Dak to join me on patrol. I would have invited Iyum-Kreshton, but he wasn’t in the mood to do anything but talk. Still, I-Da-Dak was enough of a boon that I could patrol further afield, into the dangerous quarters of the city. Therefore, I took him with me to the wild, unpacified farming district. We encountered an abandoned campsite, but I-Da-Dak was itching for a fight and wanted to skip any investigation. I appreciated the emergence of his warrior spirit and suggested we ascend the ziggurat to get our bearings.

As we approached the pyramid, we heard a chorus of croaks being emitted from the top. I advised I-Da-Dak to take flight and blast any hostiles with lightning bolts. However, his warrior spirit remained strong, and he opted to stay of foot to meet any enemies in melee. I was both surprised and impressed. Trying to take advantage of his newfound bravery, I rushed up the steps of the spire mound. As I neared the top, a frog man gestured sternly at us. I attempted to establish communications, but he wasn’t interested. With little hope of dialogue, I slowly ascended the last few steps, I-Da-Dak by my side.

Reaching the top, we saw a familiar view. A large, rectangular plaza with a tall spire projecting from the middle. The unusual additions were a dozen or so frog men, croaking a chorus at the behest of their leader. Still hoping to establish positive intent, we moved in closer to mingle our personal space. To our horror, a monstrous beast leapt upon the far side of the plaza. It appeared like a common toad, but larger than a treant and with tentacles spawning from its’ back. Certainly nothing the commander ever told me about could prepare me for this terrible sight. The great beast moved forward and immediately swallowed an unlucky frog man that had stumbled in its’ path. Seeing that it could swallow a man whole, I knew I was ill-prepared to win this fight. But, thanks to the beasts indiscriminate tastes, I figured I could use the remaining frog men to my advantage. I told I-Da-Dak to fly away and blast the creature from the air. Meanwhile, I mixed in with the frog men to use them as shields against their gods’ voracious appetite.

And so, the fight began. The leader of the frog men seemed capable of communicating with his god and they both seemed intent on harming us. I-Da-Dak ordered his cat to run away and he transformed himself into an air elemental. Following my instruction, he fired a lightning bolt at the green god, but it appeared to have no effect. Dismayed, I-Da-Dak opted to summon creatures to aid in the fight. A menagerie of beings assembled over the next few minutes and harried our enemy. It seemed like they might turn the battle in our favour, but I sensed victory could break our grasp. I recollected the story of the commander and the cyclops. Her desperate charge against a superior enemy did little damage, but upset the balance, and sealed the giants fate. With her memory firmly rooted in my mind, I moved to flank the great beast. Swinging the commanders’ morningstar wildly, I managed to make contact but did little damage. However, just as in the story, this was a pivotal moment that sealed the green gods’ fate. Surrounded and beaten down by I-Da-Dak’s minions, the green god could take no more abuse, and croaked. The frog men looked on in stunned horror. When we turned our attention to them, they fled into the lake below and were not seen again. I-Da-Dak Orc, had become I-Da-Dak Godslayer.

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After the spider...
...the snakes!

Alone in the dark

I-Da-Dak transforms into a flying beast and leaves with his cat. He says nothing to us. Iyum Kreshton wants to head back to camp, but I’m tired of the constant back and forth. I decide to stay and hold down the fort.

In the night, I stand watch at the caves’ mouth. I look up at the stars and wonder at the change in their alignment. The constellations have changed slightly since my time with the Azlanti army. The commander was a great admirer of the heavens and watched them closely for omens. As I gaze in wonder, I am beset by a quartet of Serpentfolk. Their ambush is well-timed, happening upon me while alone. I wonder if I should lead them into the cave where I can fight them in close quarters. However, blood lust gets the better of me and I charge headlong into battle with them. Two of them move into flanking positions while the third stays in the second ranks to support. The fourth remains hidden in the brush, and fires at me from the darkness. I dispatch two of them in a stand-up fight. I run down and kill the third in the undergrowth. The fourth serpent flees, but its’ escape is planned. While I was fighting the first three, I was attempting to exercise enough restraint to take one captive. I need to know where they are coming from. It turns out my restraint was not well matched against my vengeance. I massacred the first three and decide to avoid engaging the fourth unless it engages me first. With the fourth serpent opting to flat out run, it is careless and does not hide its’ tracks well. Vengeance will be coming for him.

My flighty companions return

As promised, I remain at the caves’ entrance until Iyum Kreshton returns. He has I-Da-Dak with him and they seem to have regained their courage. I relate my story of the serpentfolk ambush, but they seem unconvinced. I produce the evidence; three fresh bodies for them to examine. They rifle through the possessions of the deceased serpentfolk and find some interesting treasures, but nothing that reveals their point of origin. I tell them of the fourth that escaped and suggest we track its’ hasty path through the damp undergrowth. My companions agree and we set off in slow pursuit.

Serpent’s Grotto

We venture for half a day through the jungle until we stumble upon a clearing. There is a cliff face with a door inset and a seemingly abandoned campground near its’ entrance. My keen senses alert me to the serpentfolk therein. I spring forward to attack. The battle is fierce and confused. I am immediately set upon by a cadre of serpentfolk. There casters sling curses at me, but I brush them aside with the war cry of the Azlanti. My frail companions are slow to engage and seem to be rebuffed quite easily. I-Da-Dak calls a great beast to fight for him, but quickly loses control of it. It swings wildly into the milieu and nearly hits me several times. Iyum Kreshton calls for the gatekeeper to restrain the beast, but does not wait for the result. Afraid of the great clash of battle, Iyum Kreshton flees at top speed into the jungle. I-Da-Dak dithers, but this is what I live for. Trained by the very best, I once again gain the upper hand over the Great Enemy and slaughter them. I hope the spirit of the Commander smiles this day.

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The Spider's Lair

After wiping out the enemy at the raider base, we head back to camp for a debriefing. The humans talk a lot, but accomplish little. Our next step is obvious, it just takes them a while to work up their courage to take that step. We strike out into the unknown, destined to uncover the secrets of another vault.

When we arrive at the vault, the humans and orc are scared. They urge caution, so I stow my whistle, but march forward. They follow from a coward’s distance. I enter the vault with my new trainee in tow. We move into a large room in the vault and are immediately beset by a crocidilian creature (a 0ft encounter)! In the opening strike, the monster tears my trainee in half and then lashes out at me. I do my best to counter while my sheepish companions move into position. Thank Acavna that I was able to take a beating while they danced and dithered. Eventually, the monstrous crocodile is deflated, and my companions clamor for retreat. I offer to watch over them while they rest at the cave entrance. They are determined to flee toward camp, a sentiment that I rebuke. Bolstered by my courage, they sleep in the jungle that night.

The next day, an argument breaks out between the orc and the human about our equipment. They feel slighted by the quartermaster, but differ on how he should be approached. I ignore them, as they are like wind chimes; they flutter about and make a lot of noise, but accomplish little else. Once again, I’m proven right. Given the chance to disrupt the system and overthrow the free captains of the shackles, they cry and then demure. Nothing changes.

I continue to press my companions to return to the vault. They agree and we hike back to it. I enter the cavern and find the remains of my trainee and of the crocodile, exactly where we left them. I push forward. As we descend into the deeper darkness, I notice a gossamer web obstructing the path ahead. I advise my companions of this and suggest that the orc blast the cavern from afar. Soften up the big bad before I charge in. Alas, he is not keen to assist, so I head in with shield and mace in hand. Upon entering the cavern, I discover a tangled mass of spider webs. Iyum Kreshton notices something scurrying along the ceiling.

The battle begins. The spider sticks to the ceiling and sprays us with webs. It appears to be avoiding direct physical confrontation. After a brief stalemate, I-Da-Dak kicks in to action and uses his magic to set fire to the webs. This greatly agitates the spider, and melee combat ensues. During close quarters combat, we discover that our enemy is a phase spider. Whenever we hem it into a corner, it teleports away. Still, it decides not to abandon the vault, so the struggle is allowed to continue.

After a brief, but eventful bout (I-Da-Dak’s cat is knocked out), Iyum Kreshton speaks to the abomination and offers it clemency. I feel confident that the Gatekeeper Druid will not allow the abomination to leave with it’s life intact. I am disappointed. The Gatekeeper forsakes his vow and allows the spider to leave. It is an unsatisfactory conclusion.

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Assault on the Raider Base (pt 1)

We debate our best approach into the enemy encampment. We are poorly equipped for a sudden strike, but I think we might be able to pull something off anyway. Because the enemy camp is unfortified, the druid could probably destroy the whole place single-handedly with a few castings of lightning storm. However, we decide that a surprise attack from the lightly defended thicket on the camp’s flank will be our best option. We strike out in the hot, rainy afternoon to try our best.

Travel through the thicket proves to be more precarious than previously assumed. The area is filled with irregular terrain, caused by the collapse or partial collapse of several buildings. We are repeatedly injured by rockfalls and cave-ins. However, we persevere and gather at the base of the low wall protecting this flank of the enemy base. Iyum Kreshton offers me a potion of invisibility so that I may vault over the wall and into the marshaling yard unnoticed. To avoid anyone hearing me, he will also cast silence on me. It’s an especially useful boon for me since I don’t cast any spells and have little need to speak. He intends to also make himself invisible so that he might join me in the battle. I’m excited for the battle. The use of tactics buoys my hopes for a successful outcome, even against these overwhelming odds. I wait the prescribed length of time, then leap over the wall. I charge forth to my first target, but stay my hand. Rather than swing wildly from a charge, I steady myself and setup my swings. Once the enemy realizes that the world has become suddenly silent, I am ready to rain down some devastating blows. I take out two guards by myself. The rest of the party plus a dinosaur, takes down another pair of guards. The alarm has been sounded, but we are up 4-0 and the sap pulsating through my xylem compels me to rush forward. There is only victory or death, and I intend to live forever.

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Raiders!

A new day dawns and we strike out, into enemy territory. We encounter some inhabitants and they tell us a raiding party commonly passes near their area. I advise that we should setup an ambush to reduce the overall strength of enemy force. Everyone is agreed, and the plans are made. I-Da-Dak scouts the nearby area for enemy troop movement and returns with news of their home base. He also alerts us to smoke in the distance. Assuming that the smoke indicates the site of today’s raid, we position ourselves between that location and the raider base. Iyum Kreshton and I take up positions inside a building, adjacent to a road that leads to a bridge. It is the only river crossing in the area, so we feel confident the raiders intend to return this way. We lie in wait and hear the raiders approaching. Iyum Kreshton casts spells to improve his combat prowess. I-Da-Dak assists with additional spells to improve our martial abilities. The raiding party is just outside the building. We are ready to spring our trap. Iyum Kreshton is the first to act. He steps out in near silence, then flourishes his brilliantly coloured cape at the enemy, before skipping towards them. If I didn’t know him better, I would be shocked by his tactics. Alas, the ambush is a bust, so an ugly slog is all we have left. I wade forward into melee combat and hack down the enemy as fast as I can. They have a mage amongst them and Iyum Kreshton is committed to preventing his escape. His determination pays off. We cut down the enemy to a man.

Amongst their possessions are a quartet of slaves they captured from the Pathfinders Guild. We set them free, but offer them the opportunity to join us in our fight. One of them takes us up on that offer. The others flee, presumably returning to their camp.

Once again, we debate our next move. I suggest that we set up a second ambush since the enemy base will almost certainly send out a search party if their raiders are overdue. This will give us another opportunity to thin their ranks. The party agrees to my plan and we prepare. I-Da-Dak returns to the skies to scout for enemy movement. The Pathfinder practices his martial skills, repeating the combat maneuvers that I showed him. Iyum Kreshton loots the bodies of the fallen raiders. I hack those bodies into pieces and spread those pieces around to lure our future victims to their deaths.

After a few hours of preparation, I-Da-Dak returns to warn us of an advancing patrol. It is the search party I was hoping for. We stand ready. I-Da-Dak and the Pathfinder are stationed atop a building, while Iyum Kreshton and I are down on the ground, hidden amongst the detritus.

The battle gets off to a premature start when the Pathfinder fires a crossbow bolt wide of the targets. It has no effect, other than to alert them to our presence. Once again, the surprise is ruined and the battle devolves into another slog. One of the rescuers turns tail and runs. I don’t want us to expend a lot of resources to chase him because I am hopeful that I can convince the party to assault the enemy base next. Therefore, I leave the fleeing man’s fate in the hands of our Pathfinder. He takes a couple of potshots at him, but fails to land a killing blow. The man escapes and will certainly raise the alarm, but the enemy base would be equally alerted if the rescuers never returned. At least now, he might panic some of the enemy soldiers.

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The Lost Tribe

The humans are restless. They gossip amongst themselves about a fallen tribe. They whisper about brutalities and horrors committed. But, they do nothing to stop it. We receive word, contact with an expedition has been lost. The scholars were digging and struck disaster. We are dispatched to perform search and rescue.

The rising smoke is our best lead to follow. We find the encampment. They’ve all been killed. What’s more, they’ve been butchered like chickens. Capped, plucked, and quartered. My travel mates seem to change colours at the sight. A noise is heard. A survivor is discovered. We ask for details of the attack, but few are supplied. We are out in the open. The air is restless. We are not safe here.

We send the survivor back to camp with the witch. The rest of us spread out to survey the battleground. I-Da-Dak’s cat wanders off toward the jungle. Suddenly, there is a big commotion as two large jungle cats spring out from the bushes. This cat fight is one-sided and I-Da-Dak’s cat will lose. I rush forward to engage and distract the big, jungle cat. My presence spares I-Da-Dak’s cat from a messy end. However, without rhyme or reason, I-Da-Dak casts a spell which sets his cat on fire. The inferno bursts forth, scorching the jungle cat and me. I-Da-Dak seems unconcerned by the damage he has caused me. His cat also seems remarkably unconcerned with the fact that it is engulfed in explosive flame. I move away from the fire and kill the jungle cat.

Meanwhile, I-Da-Dak and Iyum Kreshton are fighting a losing battle against the remaining jungle cat. In fact, I-Da-Dak turns tail and hides as a tree. I rush forward once again to provide assistance in defeating the second jungle cat. Once more, I am inexplicably burned by I-Da-Dak’s reckless magic. This repeated poor treatment has continued for days. With no repercussions for his dishonourable actions, I-Da-Dak believes he can act with impunity. A stiff whack with my morningstar should set him right. Since these are not Azlanti soldiers, one lash should do it. I don’t think they’re weak backs could survive two strikes.

After the battle is over and the site is secured, I-Da-Dak emerges from his shell then flies away. I propose to Iyum Kreshton that we move forward, but he advocates returning to camp to await further orders. So, we return to camp with the cat in tow.

Once at camp, we meet with the Captain. She is not pleased with this recent setback and seems particularly miffed by Iyum Kreshton’s request for instructions. She sternly reminds him that he was hired to secure the exposition and ensure their safety. So, it is decided that we will push forward into their territory the following morning. More wasted time.

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Deep vaults and even deeper holes

My reputation as the Last Defender has grown. The humanoids that have flooded into Saventh-Yhi fear me. Most avoid me when they can, the rest tolerate me when they have to. I’m not sure of my traveling companions intentions, but I’m even less certain of everyone elses’. Therefore, I was thoroughly surprised when one of the tribes approached me about my shield. They asked me to accompany them deep in to the vault where I found it. They seemed very interested in my tales of the Azlanti empire’s time in this area. I was happy to share my many memories of those long gone days. They had me speak to someone named Chronicler and he wrote down everything I had to say. He seemed particularly interested in my listing of the emperors. I didn’t have the dates of rulership that he wanted, but he recorded the names all the same.

When we arrived in the Vault, the humanoids showed me a vast mural depicting the original Shield Bearers. They were using their Last Defenders to generate a magical barrier to protect the rest of the Azlanti army. It was an impressive display. I asked my shield what I should do, and it said “Protect them! Protect them all!” I was expecting it to say something else. This profoundly changed my attitude towards this tribe.

Returning to camp, I met up with my traveling companions. They had varied accounts of what they had been up to in my absence, but I’ve grown somewhat accustomed to their erratic behaviour. I pressed them to uphold their pledge to help me find the serpentfolk lair. They agreed and we left for the Government district to search for the second vault.

Upon arriving, we quickly determined that there was too much ground to cover, and no obvious sign of entry. I-Da-Dak transformed in to a Earth elemental and searched underground for the vault. He was able to find it, but was spooked by a monster and could not determine the entrance. He did however find an unlooted basement. Anxious to find relics of the past, I began to dig out the stairwell that led below. I-Da-Dak returned some hours later to assist me. Iyum Kreshton took the rest of the party to walk along the lakeshore.

After hours of digging, we were making some decent progress. However, Iyum Kreshton disrupted our efforts when he returned with news that he found a sewer. I didn’t find the presence of a sewer drain more interesting that an undisturbed cellar, so I continued digging. However, the rest of my travelmates countered that the serpentfolk could be in the sewer, so I relented, and left my digging for another day.

We entered the sewer pipe and found nothing out of the usual. It was muddy and overgrown with vines. There was a huge flytrap hidden(?) amongst the vines. It was an obvious ambush, but there might be undissolved metal bits that could be of interest to us. So, I strolled in, knowing that flytraps do not eat other plants and that the humanoids were too afraid. To my surprise, the flytrap lurched towards me and took a bite. Caught offguard, I thickened my bark to resist further damage. I looked to my allies for help, but they mostly moved away to keep themselves out of reach. To my surprise, Iyum Kreshton took this opportunity to pollinate me. He vigourously stroked his tool until a gooey liquid spurted out all over me. At first, I was confused, then I was flattered, but ultimately I was appreciative. It turns out, Iyum Kreshton’s pollen provided enough lubrication for me to slip out of the tight place I currently found myself in. This gave me all the edge I needed to bash the flytrap to pieces. Now, we must plumb the stinky depths of this exit only hole.
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The Death of Trond the Protector
Dadak's Tales

The shadows grow longer as the sun slowly descends upon the western horizon, gradually melting into the ground as it descends. It grows colder as the sun’s warmth fades. The elder orc, oblivious to the increasing cold, heaves a deep sigh into the breeze. With increasing agitation the pixies and sprites flit about, buzzing in annoying and unintelligible agitation. One more brown leaf falls from the ancient oak tree, gnarled beyond belief in patterns unfathomable and deep. The brown and last leaf gradually descends and gently settles upon the earthy soil. The old orc utters, with tears in his eyes and deep sorrow, “ I release you from your burden. I release you from your burden. May you rest knowing that we will carry the burden forever more. Rest now. With deepest humility and deepest gratitude we thank you for your patron and protection. We thank you. We thank you. Rest now and slumber.”

At first quiet. But then slowly, from the deep, an earthy shudder begins. Softly, full of melancholy, a deep woodsy crackling and rumbling occurs. The very sun halts in its descent. The sprites and pixies intuitively know the occurence, they settle and cry on the branches of the old magnificent tree. Some settle upon the Orc for reassurance. The Great Oak is dying. The Great Oak who has protected them all for millennia beyond fathoming is gone. The Great Oak taught by Vvaraak herself, is no more. The Orc sits with heaving shoulders upon the roots of the great tree. He grasps the little brown leaf which fell to the earth and ponders the significance of the failing of this Great Seal.

The marsh nearby continues to pulse its unearthly sickly purple and green glowe. Unholy aura manifests as it always has.

Yet, hope is not lost. The great orc, with effort and creaking bones slowly stands. He holds the leaf to his chest and begins to hum. With closed eyes and bulging muscles he calls forth the ancient powers of nature. Powers so ancient beyond measure of chaos and Law, beyond good and evil, beyond even the will of the Titans. Dark clouds begin to form as the old Orc hums and chants incantations to protect this Earth from evil. Howling echoes from nearby woods in response to the summons, and slithering gasps come from the nearby swamps. The old Orc, respected and beloved by all of the world’s creatures, asks for help. Mighty creatures come. Some crawling, some emerge from the marsh, some glide from the depths. Some come from without, burning with a fury of vengeance. But none come too soon.

Fore as the sickly purple already pulses with deep malevolence, already challenging the living of this world.

The pixies fly. The orcs eyes’ burn red and wild. The time is now, yet again.

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