Call of the Ravens

Prequel: After the Sun, The Dark

prequel

The long rays of the summer Solstice Sun ran shadows across the stone columns of the Eladrin ritual site at Greenshere in the feywild.

Meriele watched the ritual of the Sun take place in an open clearing. Seven stone columns stood proud. Nature gathering around.
Meriele thought that she would get a better advantage to see this once a year sight from a vantage point in a nearby tree as she knew she was not allowed to be there as she was still young of age.

The priests chanted and raised their arms in praise and joy.

The tranquillity of the event soon came to an abrupt end as bursting through the trees came three War boars. Tusks and teeth glinting in the light of the setting sun, sending branch, twig and dirt shattering ahead of every ferocious foot fall.
The Eladrin priests were taken completely by surprise.

The boars as if they knew what or who to attack went straight for the priests. Tusks flailing. Out for destruction. The first Eladrin was gored deep in the abdomen while a second just managed to avoid the same injuries.

Meriele was stunned and shocked by this sudden attack by these creature but she knew their origins at an Instant.

A tribe of Centaurs led by Bell a warmongering Sorcerer who saw the Eladrins lands as rightfully theirs and was not averse to taking things he wanted by force.
Bell stood tall. Taller than most Centaurs with strong powerful muscles that rippled with every move. Arms that looked like they could rip trees up from their roots and atop his head, Antlers, tall and majestic.

At the next moment coming through the gaping hole in the trees came both Bell and his second in command, Brown, a female Centaur with outstanding Archery skills who fired her bow at a priest. The bow string whined from the tension and sent a thick arrow straight towards an innocent priest.

Meriele on seeing this took to action. Shooting at one of the Boars and wounding it deep but not enough to take it down as it charged again into another priest. Meriele Fey stepped to the ground and entered the fray.

The battle is short and bloody with both side taking injuries but the Eladrin coming of on the wrong side of bad. The high Priests change the chant to open a fey gate to give them somewhere to escape to. Between two stone columns a smoky spinning vortex of light and energy gradually getting bigger appearers and the priests turn to head through shouting for others to follow.

A boar falls to the onslaught but not before killed one of the young priests. Magic is cast and one wild boar is thrown through the air like it was hanging from string of a puppeteer, sending it off course as it was about to charge down another.
Bell waved his arms as light sprang from his fingers. Brown fired her bow again and again and Meriele did her best to avoid everything as she dodged around the small but bloodied battle field. But even with her agility she still seccomed to a deep wound in her left leg. That will leave a scare she thought.

A sleep spell was her now only option as the combatants were just to overwhelming for all to survive. As she saw a brave priest take the full force of a boars charge. As it raced ahead with the priest impaled upon its tusks the priest pounded upon its face and its eyes but to no avail. The boar crashed into a fallen pillar with the priest crushed between the two and his lifeless body dropped to the ground with his life blood draining from his body.

Meriele cast her spell. The effect was almost instantaneous but only Brown fell to its effects.
Given enough time she could cast it again. all she need was the time.
The high priest and companion couldn’t wait any longer and started to engage the fey gate. To get away from danger. To late the priest was gorged by a boar and both he and the boar forced through the open gate, disappearing.
Now for some reason the Fey gate behaved strange with the crackle of static and strange colours spinning. The gate was failing.
The young Eladrin Meriele saw her chance to save the the last priest and ran for the priest and the exit. The gate and safety.
She made a great leap for the gate just as a boar bit at the priest grabbing him in it’s powerful jaws.
Meriele sailed through the gate with only the priests hand in her hand

Part 2.

If we all had wings.

The gate was there to take Meriele to safety. If this was safety she hoped that she could return to the fight. At least it was on the ground.
The land spread out beneath her but was rushing up to great her at a fast pace.
Meriele found herself falling. The gate had opened up some 30 or 40 feet in the open sky.
The land below was going through some strange event, the she realised. the land was suffering and earthquake. The chances of that was incredible but maybe the collapsing fey gate had some influence.
Meriele wound never know. She fell faster and faster and she saw herself passing on to the next life before she had even started this one.
The ground below shook and trees waved like grass in a wind storm. She was going to close her eyes and except the end but unable to stop staring at the spinning green land. She saw the broken bodies of the high priest and War Boar that had proceeded her through the gate.
Then like an eye opening after a sleep the ground split apart directly beneath and like a ball at the fair she plunged through the gash into darkness.

She tumbled and span. her head struck something then her legs and the her head again and then nothing as she fell into unconsciousness.

Bruised, battered and bleeding Meriele woke. The darkness was total. Not even a hand in front of her face could she see. She cast the spell, light. It illuminated a small area around her.
A tunnel stretched in two directions, forward or backwards. Above she saw nothing, not even a hole from which she fell.

She bandaged her wounds and rested for a short while, then choosing a direction she set off walking. She walked for hour upon hour, stumbling upon rock and slipping on slime and mould. The dark was continuous and stretched out in front what seemed like forever.
Meriele slumped to the floor in exhaustion.
Rest was short lived as a noise was heard in the dark from the tunnels ahead. Expecting to find rescuers she stood waving her arms and shouting hello.

A large Bear came around a shallow corner followed by what she could only describe as a lizard on two feet. Then another then another. The bear was tethered to a cart which it was hauling. At a quick glance she also spotted a white haired dark skinned Elf tied up in the cart along with bloody meats and slimy looking fish of some sort.
This did not look good.

The troglodytes saw a chance to capturer yet another slave that their masters could sell and started towards the young Eladrin. The Drow in the cart saw a chance that he had waited for for many long days in the tunnels with these foul smelling creature and kicking out at the bears backside tried to spook it into running. this didn’t happen and the Drow slopped around in the back of the bloody cart.

Meriele turned and ran, with half the troglodytes chasing. The Drow bounced around in the cart and the bear raced also. The cart wasn’t built to move this fast over this rough terrain and it cracked and creaked and every rock and boulder it met. The Drow took another chance at jumping out of the cart but again this did not work out well. Gaining his footing he lept onto the bears back just as it turned a corner. Slipping and rolling to the tunnel wall. the cart overturning and crashing and smashing towards him. sending bloodied meat and rotten fish slimming along the moss and mould covered ground.

Meriele saw this and was partly impressed. Seeing his predicament she assisted by cutting his bonds.
The Drow , now free leapt into action . Drawing his bow which the Trogs had not though to take from him before tying him up. fired at the beasts. While Meriele cast a Chasm spell in the tunnel between them. A beast fell to the arrow and five others fell to the floor as if trying to stop themselves falling down a great hole that had opened up beneath them. All was in their minds, placed there by the Eladrin. Yet more beasts raced forward and in the back a few Bugbears could be seen drawing weapons and coming forward.
Meriele had to stop them, She drew her hands together and cast burning hands a spell of pure devastation but all it did was set fire to the bodies already dead upon the ground. This had a secondary effect as it then filled the tunnels with stinking smoke. The Drow shot blindly through the thick smoke in the hope that his arrow would strike something. He will never know as they both turned and ran. hard and fast until the sounds of the creature were no longer audible.

Part 3

Old Enemies make New friends

Running until they could not run any more. They stopped to rest in the dark. Maybe the Drow knows his way around but alas it seems the Drow is as lost as the Eladrin.
The two new companions walked alone in the dark hardly speaking to begin with but as time went on the conversations turned to their pastes.

The Drow introduced himself as Sandor. apprentice to the High priest UUsa (ooosa) of Omur a Drow City now lost to him somewhere in the Vastness of the Underdark. He had come across Tor-Gat-Oka a high commander of the Cities army and security, arguing with UUsa about what he could not tell but it was something to do with the Magic and knowledge that UUsa stored in his tower. An argument started and ended with Tor-Gat-Oka killing UUsa. Then calling the priests guards and accusing Sandor of the murder and ordered that Sandor be killed for such treachery.
So Sandor had ran. What else could he do, he was innocent and he needed time to think. Getting lost in the underdark was not hard as it is so vast. after days of hiding from the searching eyes of the City guard Sandor ran straight into a wandering slaving band of bugbear that had got dumb troglodytes to do the heavy work. so he had been a captive of them until you showed up.

Meriele told Sandor of how she had arrived in the Underdark. so over many days the tow struck up a friendship.
Sandor taught Meriele how to find food in the tunnels and Meriele taught Sandor how to cook and steer clear of minor perils.
Days of wondering turned into weeks of darkness. They saw no end to the endless tunnels and Meriele thought she would never see the day again.

Resting by and Underdark stream they both fell into a restless sleep. Only to be woken by the sting of a carrion crawlers tentacle.
Leaping to their feet they both took on the enormous creature.
The Drow drew his two shining blades and stepped up to do battle. the injured Eladrin teleported away to get around the rear of the creature. The green gelatinous monster lashed out with teeth and tentacles. catching Sandor with a heavy bite to the body. Blood found release from the confines of the Drow’s skin.
Meriele gained the high ground behind the Sluggish body of the crawler and attacked. It’s rubbery hide was thick and hard to penetrate. Again the greature lunged for the dark skinned warrior again this time biting Sandor on the head, a tooth catching the Drow in the eye and blood half blinded him. The Eladrin ported again to the head of the creature and tried to attack from this vulnerable spot. But, it’s head was thicker than it’s body. Sandor struck again taking as daring a chance as he could allow. the creature took many bloody his from the Drow and it turned to flee. Meriele struggled to keep her balance upon the green head but soon fell as it moved off trying to get away from the blades of the Drow.
leaping the Eladrin landed gracefully on the floor drawing her bow as she tumbled through the air ready to shoot as her feet planted firmly. The shot was true and before the slug could squeeze back down the hole that it had climbed in from the Arrow buried itself deep into a weak spot just below one of its shorts legs. Severing the leg and disappearing inside the creatures body. It screamed in pain then slumped to the ground slithering in a dead heap it slipped down the hole following after the severed leg that fell down the hole ahead of it.

The friends rested again, to gather their wits and then again they moved on. Days passed by until their breath became cold and visible. The warm damp air was being left behind. Was this the surface. Had they eventually found the way out.
Ice now covered the ground as they continued forward. The tunnels became brighter, the cold clawed at their skin. they had forgotten how to be cold. Eventually they saw some ice carved stairs ahead just beyond a chasm. They would have to climb.

Sandor had a short rope, he tied them both together and started around the lip of the dark icy hole that looked to go down forever. The Eladrin was not as good upon the ice, slipping several times and then falling. Dragging the Drow after her. Sandor caught hold of a small fissure and held on. drawing on all his strength he eventually pulled himself and Meriele to the safe and solid ground.
The walked on. The tunnel eventually came out. The sky was bright the snow and ice was brightening and they shielded their eyes from the glare.

The ice waists stretched out in front of them. All they could do was walk, again. Two days later, they crested a rise. down below was a small Ice covered town. The Red tile roofs lost below long covering of ice and snow. They moved closer. A sign was obscured by snow and they brush the ice as to be able to read what it said. Shiverton.

The town was quiet with a small bay. Moored in that bay was a tall ship. this was their way out of the Iceland and away from the danger of it’s Dark places. They read the name on the bow of the ship.

Harpsicord.

Comments

symatt

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.