Sunday, February 12, 2012

On the Road to Waterdeep

The Halfling named Geoff had many gifts, one of which was to always know when he was being watched. Beyond that knowledge, he also received a mental image of whatever the person watching him was paying the most attention to. Geoff had left Triboar for Waterdeep two days ago with a group of four elf friends. They had parted company yesterday and soon after Geoff became aware of someone following him. The halfling’s size made it easy for anyone to keep up, overcoming any minor delay with their greater speed. The first few hours were very tense but Geoff understood if it were a simple bandit the criminal would have already made his move. No this person wanted to know where Geoff was going. The only image he had received of his follower was of a tall, familiar looking human, kneeling down studying the ground. The Halfling assumed his opponent was studying his tracks.

Geoff spied a three story crumbling tower. Years before the tower guarded a bridge over a now dry barren river. Geoff’s uncle had told him what the bridge & river’s name was but he hadn’t cared enough at the time to remember that now. Geoff ran past the tower some twenty feet hoping that whoever was tracking him would follow him past the tower. The hollow stone was still there, appearing to the naked eye to be a boulder, another lesson from his uncle. Back when the tower guarded the river, the hollow stone was used by the river guard to keep some weapons and personal items, such as their lunch, dry. Now there was just enough space for the Halfling to hide inside the stone and await his pursuer.

Geoff’s patience was rewarded after a half hour. Stepping into view, being exceptionally wary of the tower, the human was revealed to be Ilrin Sharadin, a guide from Triboar and an agent of the drow. The dark haired ranger was preoccupied with something at the tower, his attention so captured he did not see or hear his quarry step out of the hollow stone and begin to cast a spell. Geoff needed just a few more seconds to finish his spell when he noticed what had interested the ranger so. An orange brown owl like creature with an obscenely long and pointed proboscis flew down from the tower in a dive, straight for Ilrin. The ranger quickly drew forth his blade, preparing to defend himself against the strange avian creature, but he would never get the chance. As the flying creature buried his pointed beak into Ilrin Geoff’s spell struck the ranger and beast, the spell transformed by a wild magic surge.

Geoff was blown back some fifty feet by the magical explosion into the dry river bed. The area itself was suddenly, chaotically erupting in smoke, the sounds of the ruined tower falling, hidden from view. Geoff shook his head and gasped for breath, the wind knocked from him, his chest aching. Shocked but unable to move, the rumor mongering Halfling’s eyes widened in fear as flying out of the smoke filled area was the strange flying creature trailing smoke from its hind end. Much to Geoff’s surprise the creature merely hovered above him while he collected himself. Catching not only his breath but his wits Geoff realized that he felt a connection with this creature. Geoff wasn’t sure yet why, but he would stay at the tower this night and study his new companion. Moving closer, Geoff spotted a strange metal urn held in the rear talon of the bronze flyer, held close against its body. The urn was emitting smoke at an unnatural rate, thick and dark. Geoff searched for the human who had followed him but only the creature remained. Geoff walked towards the tower, the flyer hovering closely behind him, the tower and grounds completely obscured by the black smoke. Geoff thought back to his uncles lessons and he remembered the name for such a flying creature; Stirge.


Gordzilla said...

The four elves mentioned in this tale are a gift to you James, my elf loving GM.

James Caruso said...

awesome thanks- I know how much everyone likes it when elves come to meddle in the affairs of men