Lerral Armonde cautiously approached Mother’s Care Home; she padded the satchel that contained the cache of scrolls Zadrian left for her knowing that if any maleficent supernatural spirit were to manifest, she could get escape. Lerral was trustful of the Nether Scroll group and the report of their findings on the Home, but nevertheless caution was what kept one alive. She did not after all know if the callous orator was about or if he had fled or if the chaos he wrought was lasting.
The night came on fast alongside a thick onset of clouds bringing with it a wind that blew Lerral’s cloak open causing the gust to prickle her dark flesh.
Approaching the front doors of the hospice Lerral could smell the fire from Alan’s fireball and the burnt flesh of the disorderlies. Again Lerral was relying on the trust of the five from Tragidore that there were no remaining threats in the nightmarish care-home.
Entering the social hall she could see flashes and horrifying impressions of the battle that took place only hours ago. On her right she could see Zadrian fighting for his life against dark and twisted folk; the brothers Alan and Arne fighting back to back against the insane Doctor Tiffan and the Vulnudaemons; and even now through the gore she could see six ghastly forms, each in stained hospital gowns watching her with wide eyes, and when four of them rose and turned toward her Lerral became paralyzed with fear.
“Hail,” came an unexpected greeting from one of the group; a physically frail and obvious psychologically broken old man.
Looking again Lerral saw that these were not supernatural horrors but the survivors she was told about, they had grouped themselves together in the absence of their oppressors but had only reached the social hall where the battle took place. Two of the men appeared to be in wheelchairs while two more men and two women stood and were in relatively poor condition with deep rings around their eyes and dry chapped lips.
“Hail, I am Dern Fosimuth did someone send you here young Lady?” Dern asked; Lerral noticed he was one of the men in the chairs.
“Yes and well met, my name is Lerral Armonde and I’m here to help you. Is there anyone else alive?” Lerral asked Dern who shook his head.
“We are all that left Miss Armonde. Let me introduce everyone. Lady Bathia Morn and Mistress Daphne Snow,” indicating the women. “My counterpart inthe other wheelchair there is Gill Elmaran, and then this is Naergoth Bladelord and Lancelin Halaster.”
As each exchanged greetings, Lerral found she could read their personalities and therefore watched and listened as she one by one pushed each man and woman from Mother’s Care Home to the sanctuary of the Mayoral Home. It took her over an hour, breaking both wheelchairs necessitating the mount scroll but when she was done she had a greater understanding of these individuals and of arcane wizardry.
Dern is an old broken cleric of Gwaeron Windstrom who failed his test of faith during the drow siege of Tragidore. He therefore considers himself a faithless man doomed to purgatory. Gill, mayhap as old as Dern, he is consumed with grief over his foolishness between his bride to be forty-years ago and who he now believes to be a fiend and a liar.
Lady Bathia Morn is from Dagger Falls and suspects that she was being followed for some time when she arrived in Hope’s Hollow over a year ago. She could not offer any more details in her tired and paranoid condition. Mistress Daphne Snow was from Tragidore and was arranged to marry a noble but after an affair with Alan Kordova Daphne was exiled. Hoping to start a new life in Hope’s Hollow she became one of Doctor Tiffan’s patents and his lunatic nightmare therapies.
Lerral was beginning to have a deeper understanding of things and the world around her; comprehension took hold in her mind as the secrets of wizardry blossomed.
Lancelin Halaster, also under Tiffan’s care for over a year, was evasive when Lerral wheeled him to the safety of the Mayor’s House. He was grateful however but resolved to return to his uncle as soon as he was fit to travel.
Spellforms swirled into focus bringing knowledge as she used the gifted scroll allowing the secrets of wizardry to naturally open in her mind.
It was Naergoth Bladelord and his recounting that will live on in Lerral’s mind and forever haunt her for simply asking Naergoth about his time in the hospice. In his terrors Naergoth described a large adaptable creature with pulsating mottled gray and brown flesh. It did not have a constant form other than its six horrific arms and snake-like tentacles, but the most disturbing was the dozens of long, retractable and flexible eyestalks that could hold you in place with its stare then consume you over and over. Even more disturbing was Naergoth described these terrors long before his stint in the Care-home.