Sunday, June 22, 2014

Flashback: Summer Shadows

Shar Auvryndar looked into the feline eyes of the Lamia, the so-called Seer, and unleashed a fan of purple scintillating colors that only succeeded in stunning the large creature. Her upper torso was that of a ghastly woman with sharp fangs and blackened claws, while her lower body is that of a scaled wyvern complete with a stinger tail.

Shar, surprised at seeing the Seer’s true form, completes a spell that displaces his true location from her deadly tail and razor claws. Rousing from her momentary lapse she emits a roar that sounds like nothing Shar had ever heard before. A roar that was laced with an enchantment that Shar’s natural resistance easily overcame.

Meanwhile, as the Midsummer Night’s festivities played out in the rest of the Tragidore, the air rippled with eldritch energies as if the discordant harp strings of the Weave were now in tune and playing for the entire realms to hear. Lights whether born of fire or magic radiated a midnight blue color; the effect was surreal and peaceful.

From the side of the Seer’s makeshift hut, where Shar had just entered, Meaghan stood poised ready to move. Her position was such that each of her companions could see her and know when to move. The seven companions split up in three groups, each waiting for Meaghan’s signal to converge on the Seer.  Claudia and Sanford waited along an east to west thoroughfare that connected the southern town bridge to the main boardwalk. Blain, Tyrus, and Elad- or Dale depending on who you ask- hid in an area of magical darkness. They were the farthest from the hut blending with the natural shadow of the town’s outer wall. The combined effect along with the harmonic coherence of the Weave, and their natural camouflage created a deeper darkness that, Tyrus assured his two accomplices, would hide the three of them easily.

Townsfolk would come to refer to the Waterhavians as the Companions of Summer Shadows; seven individuals cast into the Cormynthor forest in the summer months of the Year of the Shadows. Who were these big city individuals? And was one of them a Gundwynd returned from the dead? Soon there will be many people who will be very interested with these Companions.

Tyrus’ display of arcane magic did not; unfortunately, escape the attention of a pair of sisters who were curious of the newcomers to Tragidore. Each young woman wore similar outfits as twins often do but as far as the nature of their curiosity… they could not have been any more different; which is why these three individuals piqued their interest the most. 
The three men were discussing plans, they tried to speak low but closer the twins approached they could hear the men’s palaver easily. They spoke of plots to deceive and betray something or someone; maybe one of their own. Of the two men one was a red wizard and the other… something more, he had a cool way about him. The dwarf however was silent and kept watching, waiting for something. Sometimes he looked to want to say something but changed his mind as the last moment each time.

Silently the twin sisters crept ever closer listening to their devious ploys and schemes. The wizard seemed bent on betraying some sorcerer and bringing revenge upon another. The other man offered his opinions but left the wizard to his wrathful venting. The dwarf deftly stayed out of the conversation. The sisters with a knowing glance silently agreed they had heard enough, so with the stealth and silence of a Midsummer Night’s breeze the twins converged on the three companions...

Tyrus, and Blain were caught completely by surprise. Tyrus was consumed with his plans and Blain Brightmantle was studiously watching for the time to move. Elad however sensed their approach and their eavesdropping. They were skilled, and that intrigued him. It was why he led the whispered conversation with Tyrus the way he did, to see how these two women would react. Where these two out for personal gain or were they every bit dales people, full of duty and purpose? Elad wondered what the nature of their curiosity was; and so with their silent advancement, Elad eventually found his answer.

To the south Claudia Kelton and Sanford Stubblemane posed as a pair of party-goers deep in their cups, as many in Tragidore likely were. They loitered and waiting for the signal to come and offer swords against the Seer. The ruse was a good one Claudia thought; she was actually beginning to believe Sanford was drunk. Claudia however, thought she looked ridiculous so she resigned to a drunken lean against a parked wagon. The wagon was securely hobbled but just as she placed her weight against the wagon Claudia thought she heard the sound of a horse whinny.

The surprise sound made her stand and look toward the front of the wagon to see the creature that had made the sound. Standing amid a halo of red-gold light, proud and noble was a beautiful heavy warhorse. A thoroughbred stallion, by her estimation- a horse that seemed familiar, one that stood on horseshoes that defied the earth. It was translucent like a ghost but Claudia did not run if fear of it, in fact she believed it to be a manifestationof a higher power.   

Sanford drank deeply of his ever full flask, belched loudly and paused, where was Claudia? She was here only moments ago. Cursing he cautiously walked around the nearby wagon and found nothing. He looked east where the others would be hiding and no sign. Lastly, he then looked towards the inner city for some glimpse of where Claudia might have gone. But that way had gone silent too. He looked back to the Seer’s hut and saw that Meaghan was gone too. What happened to everyone? What happened to him? The world seemed to teeter around him...

Outside the Seers abode Meaghan overheard the conversation between Shar and Endrenn Allerendris and then eventually the Seer. While her grasp of the spoken Drow language was weak, Shar had only begun teaching her the complex language, Meaghan could only understand some of the discussion. It was obvious they were expecting a drow caller; but was even more revealing was how the Seer parleyed for her freedom. Something was definitely going on in the dale and it involved drow.

Suddenly she could feel an evil force gathering strength within the makeshift hut. Meghan’s arms began to tingle as a warm tide of magic washed over her. She then overheard Shar’s words, “and now your part is over.”

Gathering her divine power Meaghan burst into the first room and commanded the Endrenn to yeild. The half-drow was not armored but had a dagger in hand, the poison still fresh on its wicked blade. The command was immediate; to Meaghan it felt like Mystra spoke with her lips and her voice. The half-drow woman dropped the blade but Meaghan did not wait for her full submission before picking up the dagger and racing into the next room. As she moved a terrible roar so strange it sounded like a monster and a woman’s scream together. It filled her with fear. Meghan yelled for her companions- who did not come. Meaghan imagined Shar in combat with not just the Seer but her animal companion as well. But when she raced into the Seer’s chamber, she realized her error in such a hasty judgment...

Sizing up his formidable foe Shar produces a glass rod and a bit of fur and unleashes a bolt of purple
lightning. The electrical line of fire burns the creature causing her to drop back cautiously giving the drow sorcerer time to cast yet another spell.

Having the time Shar enables his touch spell with magical reach and fatigues the Seer. The lamia comes on despite her pain and fatigue with black claws scratching for drow blood. Lunging toward Shar she swings and succeeds at scratching a long wound down Shar’s left arm.

As his blood sprayed, Meaghan entered the battle with her dagger in hand- empowered with her inquisitor bane to defeat the lamia. Her attack came low and stung deeply into the lamia’s flank stinging the creature nearly as much as the lightning. The monster screamed.

Noting the distraction Shar stepped to flank the lamia and drew the death priest Nhar-Del’s magical sword and brought it down on the monster breaking her back with a sickening crack. 


Gordzilla said...

You do a really good job in this post of describing class abilities within combat

James Caruso said...

I'm rereading these as you comment. This was fun to write.