Actions over Words
19 Season of the Zephyr 1329 AE
The cavern beneath the cemetery is barred by a locked door with what sounds like guards. I can hear their hushed whispers and scuffling of heavy boots. A voice in my head tries to convince me to smash it in and take out whatever is on the other side. My hammer feels heavy in my sweaty hands. There are people here, and odds are they aren’t Thackery’s men. I fight down the urge to plunge into more trouble, remembering the last time I was outclassed by the bandits. Here, there was no guarantee of a rescue. I’ll need to consult someone with friends in low places before proceeding. However, I must not neglect my primary mission, as the Priory is paying me well for my services. I shall have to report my findings on the bandits to Thackery when I am next in town.
I’ve followed the rumors of a bizarre monster wreaking havoc in the south all across Shaemoor. It is said to be shrouded in a thick darkness not of this world; a blackness that permeates the area around it. My journey has just begun, and I have already seen many strange beasts, but none have the size or qualities of the thing described by the people of Queensdale. I will need to consult a few more of the locals to see if they can shine any light on the situation.
I make my way quickly over to Diah’s farm to follow up on any news from the south, when more bandits turn up to cause trouble. I decide I cannot sit idly by while others suffer. It’s time to take an active role in protecting these people. The bandits come at us with torches, intent on burning the farm to the ground, but I and a few other residents of Shaemoor manage to run them off before any lasting harm can be done.The fires are kept from spreading, but the wurms burrowing through the small fields are still a problem as they disturb the cows and churn the soil to mud.
I scout out the large windmill next to the farm to see if any of the punks are hiding out amongst the timbers and gears. The structure is undergoing repairs, but a quick check with the work crew reveals that no one has seen anything suspicious. Off of the landing outside, I find a small living area with a bed, probably used by the miller.
At Western Divinity Dam, I join the fishermen in time catch a few snapshots of the River Drake Broodmother.
She’s much larger than the other drakes in the area, and true to their name, she spits a gout of flame to ward off her enemies. The Broodmother is also armed with enormous, pointed teeth and claws, perfect for catching the slippery fish inhabiting these waters.
Just as I was finishing up with the Broodmother, a gang of harpies attacks the dam. Once again the citizens of Shaemoor stepped up to defend the dam. The harpies, although armed and armored with air superiority, are eventually dispersed leaving the structure intact.
Moving across the fields from the dam lead me to an apple orchard overrun with spiders, with a massive webweaver at the center of the fray. Without the farm, Shaemoor would be left short on yet another food source.
Eda’s apple pies are renowned throughout not just the small village, but also Divinity’s Reach. I clear out the creatures but find no evidence of why they have grown so large or developed such a menacing appearance. It is certainly not a natural progression found in the wild. I feel something must be influencing their mutations.
I attempt to avoid a couple of bandits roaming the fields nearby since I only have a staff on hand at the time. I found this new weapon, which glows with a mysterious white light, in the orchard. Unfortunately, it lacks the power of my hammer so I have put it aside for now.
The creatures I confront in Pinion Trail will need to be fought with a harder hitting tool. On my way there, I stop over at the Ottley farm. I might have missed my chance to catch the White Lady, but there are other ghosts bound to the land here. I meet Cicely Ottley under the tree where she watches over her husband and child from her grave. A sadness clings to her, and I wonder if something more sinister is what is really keeping her here, rather than a love for her family. She gives no indication of this, however, as she stares tranquility at her family’s farm.
After a brief conversation with Cicely’s shade, I move on up the trail. The seraph on guard warns me about the Ettins, but I pay her no heed as I walk up to the beasts. I wish I had listened as the first few lesser monsters nearly take me out.
The boss, a giant of the beasts called Ert and Burt, ends my investigation of Pinion Trail. Before hastily retreating, I grab a few photos of his Club Shock Wave attack as well as his Might and Fury boons created by his deafening bellows.
While I recover from my encounter with the Ettins, I am reminded of the bandits I had seen gathering near Dalin’s Pumping Station, the reservoir that provides water for Shaemoor and Divinity’s Reach. Just as I make it to the station, an explosion erupts from one of the pipes and I find myself in the midst of a siege by the bandits trying to blow up the pipes and poison the water supply. Just as when I fought these people in Bandithaunt Caverns, I can hear the whispers of the old dwarf king Jalis Ironhammer as I ready my weapon.
Fortunately, a fellow resident is able to help put an end to the bandits’ plans, for now. One of the massive pipes nearby gives a great view of the surrounding countryside and can be used in the future as a lookout point for any further incursions.
With the pumping station safely secured, I make my way over to Shaemoor Garrison to see how the soldiers were recovering from the recent centaur attack. A timber jutting out from the side of the fortification offers a great view of the area.
I assist the seraph guard Barthol in his mission to gather what supplies he can from the ruined armory out in the fields. As I followed him, I found a spot to commune with earth magic, allowing me to gain more strength from the area. However, I am also treated to other images, particularly that of a centaur. Rather than the beatial creatures who surround me, he seems at peace with the green space he stands in. I find myself growing serene, only for the dream to fade as I am returned to the battlefield.
I do my best to protect Barthol, but also find time to revive the other fallen seraph. These fierce soldiers quickly recover and come to our aid in fighting the centaurs.
With the weapons back in seraph hands, I take a quick detour up Scaver Plateau where I can see a variety of skritt racing around clutching ill gotten goods. I defeat a few hiding out in a burrow and climb my way up to the top of the plateau.
Here I witness a hero not unlike myself going toe to toe a vicious warrior, more beast than man. The creature finishes his duel with the other human, then turns to me.
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