The weeks flowed past. Suddenly the assaults that deluged the fortifications, that became the very metronome by which one could determine the passage of time have…
In the roaring silence of their absence, there was something more frightening… hope. At first it was subtle and few would remark upon it, but the stars returned slowly to the sky and a new star would shine increasingly more bright as now discernible days would pass. The skys when from inky black to deepest blue, to now a powder blue, when the ever present clouds would allow for it. Sulky gray clouds, pregnant with rain.
A week passed and then the boldest of adventurers began to slip from the gates, making rounds, collecting the detritus of countless battles, the remains of those lost – who upon being returned to undeath to seek out their fellows, were felled.
The whole world seemed to be holding it breath…
The work was begun, and just as quickly it was found that the demons and drow may have retreated, but they did not fail to leave their mark. ALL around Deception, the ground was devoid of plant or animal life, and worse than that – those plantings that did sprout were not just anemic but seemed to leech life from those that tried to sustain their own life from such. A wasting Disease has hit the lowest income who upon finding the ability to leave the crowded rooms and cellars began setting up shanty towns nearest the walls, and tried to subside on a quick crop of roots and grasses.
Meanwhile the outriders return, dolluped and caked in the fetid mud that dominates the landscape, reporting fungus forests in which remnant goblinoids hide and make their life.
In a great meeting, the Ruling Council of Deception, and the Heads of the Various Merchant, Mercenary, Guild and Racial relations groups meet and develop a plan, all children of age will be tested for their aptitude for becoming a Druid and helping fostercare the Lands back into health – to bring animal populations back into the world.
The world is a new type of barren landscape. Devoid of traditional vegetation, now fungi thrive in the moisture and ‘biological mulch’
Returning to normalcy means returning to world in general and the call goes out. Re-settle and reestablish the lines of trade, we WILL recover, we will prevail.
To this extent Richard Turtlerider,Lolaansar McRawr, and Joesphe Forgedawn are called upon and given a Map of the old roads (now buried beneath a mud sea that is the world around them). Their mission: find an above ground route to Hawk, establish good will toward the townships that still remain along this route, and – for the druid – to determine the relative health of the Land along the route and bring the Druid’s report to the Druids in Hawk’s council. Separately Richard needs to register himself at the Mage Guild.
Along the way the party runs into the smoldering remains for several villages/towns and cities. Each town left only the bones of its cities mired in the mud and ash of its grave. Time and time again [[:lolaansar-mcrawr | Lolaansar McRawr]] traveled through parts of the Landen what made the bile rise in his throat, as the spirit of nature itself had retracted from the barren mud and blood of blight spots. Places where no Druid would be able to remain, or recover lost Mana, spells cast in these areas tended to have slightly different effects.
Richard’s Edge comes into MASSIVE effect – as his wandering across the seas of Mud shows battle after battle’s after images and he in turn begins digging at these sites,a finding swords, bowls, carpets, rings and the like.
A bit more than a days ride from the ferry to Hawk in the marshy swampland around the sea, the party is attacked by Stirges. Lolaansar McRawr and his chocobo is beset by the Stirges, one of which punctures into his lung.
After dispatching the Stirges the group races to Hawk, cache of magic items in hand. Inside Lolaansar McRawr‘s wounds are treated, and Richard Turtlerider makes a few deals. Their arrival brings a certain degree of note, and Richard’s actions draw interests it may not be the best to have.
Secretly in the chambers of the Arch Magi – Primal Scream is given refuge. Once again the Elf Slayer is in Human hands, and it has slept too long. In a city bubbling with political aspirations and greed… what dreams can be realized?
Joesphe Forgedawn meets a curious exiled Elf – turned Duke the Runehouse, their son “Hopdiddy” Runehouse plies his trade wtih the one of the minor local thieves guilds – a rebellious youth, stuck in the walls of this fetid human stone sarcophagus – he longs to reclaim his family’s honor and return to the reconstructed Elven home… and meet the Fabled High Elves on their Majestic Living ships.
While Richard Turtlerider tries to find a way to properly sheath his new acquisition… a demon’s hand and half sword – whose blade is impossibly black, and apparently the sword apparently knows no resistance to its cutting edge, flesh, wood, even stone are no match for its bite.