Gunnar was gone, summoned back to Victory, a thousand miles away. Ardin had to go home and fight off an intruder that was trying to eat students. It turned out to be a Shadow dragon which had tracked Ardan’s teleports and found Ardan’s home and proceeded to kill Ardan, his wife and all his students. Ardan’s Wizard Sanctuary was obliterated.
Dargis stayed to see to the evacuation of Secath to the Westros passes. As the villagers set out for the west they were attacked by a mixed band of giants, orgres, bugbears and orcs. Though Dargis fought valiantly he was overwhelmed by the shear numbers and was taken prisoner and brought back to Steading. His sword and crown and shield and boots were all sundered and destroyed for the giant’s amusement.
That left Wenarus, Elden and Calin to decide what was going to be the direction that the party now traveled.
While the party helped the village, a messenger arrived with grim news. The Grand Duke Geoff was defeated at Narill pass by the combined orc, bugbear and ogre army. Geoff’s forces fought well but was overwhelmed by shear numbers and at the light of day waned it became a rout. Geoff’s army is scattered to the four winds and the orc, bugbear and ogre army as divided up to attack the major cities of Geoff’s realms.
With prospects now nil for any organized resistance to the invading forces, the villagers of Secath hastily now are gathering possesions and either going south east to the Alpha kingdoms and the unknowns of the barbarians or to the west to the questionalbe fate in the nands of the Wizard Masters of the city state of Lungold, city of Wizards.
To the North East of Secath and Hocath is a dense wood that was home to wood elves and their town of Derellion. It was decided that if any allies were left in the immediate area they would be the closest. The three started the journey following the river and the guide provided by Gustavis.
Two days journey into the forest and the party ran into a large ogre patrol. Elden used a Wall of Thorns to stop them cold and then killed the remaining ones that escaped. The ones that were trapped were suffocated with a eversmoking bottle.
Another days journey brought them to the elvish town. The guide bid them well and and started on his journey back to the West. The three moved closer but noticed the eerie silence and then the unatural nature of the wood and trees around them. Even though mid morning, light seemed to fade and a torch that was lit guttered and sputtered and its flames seemed to suck inward into the town even though no wind was felt.
Then before the three appeared a visage of not a homely place of trees and wooden buildings but dead brambles and thorns and dirt. There was no live living green thing anywhere to be seen. A few minutes of traveling a shadow detached itself and flew through the party and tried to touch someone. It missed. Calin invoked the name of Hughma and it screemed away from the three. Then another came flying through the brambles and thorns and tried to touch a party member. Calin again sent it fleeing. The three moved in closer and from around a corner came a huge wolf creature that seemed made out of shadow. it launched itself at the party and was met by Elden’s bear.. which tried to bear hug it and then the shadow creature howled and disappeared from site with the bear.
The three hastily withdrew and is in the woods thinking of what next to do. They used the dragon tear and Icing Death felt somewhat amused by the situation explained what had happened at Derellion…
(in sly dragon voice) there wasss an attack planned. The elvish scouts had given warning. There was a human wizzzard that had planned to help. Giants and ogres and bugbears and orcs moved in for the attack. Huge ballista bolts and small boulders rained down on the elvish town. Elvish archer felled the orcs and bugbears and several giantsssss fell (Icing death chuckles) but the elvessss were outnumbered and they werrrreee pusssshed back… The Wizard used a ssssummnon sssshadow ssspell to take down a giant leader… but the sssspelll instead latched onto a ssshadow dragon and brought it into this world… she lay about with sssspelllsss and ssshadowss and struck down all around her… now even the giantsssss have declared thissss off limitssss… sssheee isss a ssshadow dragon… not true… for a price might be taken care of…
The three now seek their fellow adventurers.
Experience for Calin, Elden and Wenarus is 850 xp each.
The three were alone in the wilderness. No guide. No map. A dead city to thier backs. Hostile giants between them and escape. The only terrain that was familiar was Hocath or Secath and perhaps maybe the wizard could find them there.
The party was able to stay true due to the abilities of Elden. Wenarus dispatched the orc and bugbear patrols that happened across them. Calin supplemented the food and water that the druid found.
Perhaps the adventurers would make it. Second day on the road back. Storm clouds on the horizon. And eerie howling broke the silence of the morning. Then was joined by others. Dire wolves. “… a large pack..” says Elden. The party members looked at each other grimly.
The party started to run looking frantically for somewhere that was defensible. Only trees and in the distance the river. Soon, the howls were on 3 sides. Elden said thier pack tactis will be to close the end or they are moving towards a … trap.
From all sides the dire wolves appeared and rushed the party. Then suddenly large arrows flew among the party as did small boulers. it was a giant battle group with wolves. Soon they came from all sides. Elden’s Wall of thorns held the wolves but did nothing for the giants. There was not where to go. Elden tried to wild shape to an eagle but was knocked out of the air by one of the humongous bolts. Then Calin was clubbed to the ground. Then lastly Wenarus. The three came back to consciousness only find themselves prisoners. They were in stone cells beneath the hill giant steading. Only a few weeks ago it had been treasure… now it was torture. All the items were taken from the three and Wenarus’ blade was sundered from more giantish amusement.
It looked grim for the band. But six months ago a band of dwarf adventurers joined together to travel the world and find adventure. Little did they know they would be the ones that would set the troubled three free…