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Friday, November 13, 2015

Tromping through the Shudder Mountains, Part 2

Continuing from my last post of our ongoing Tromp Through the Shudder Mountains campaign; we last left our heroes(?) Pinky, the Halfling brewer; Hans, the manic Braar and Darcy, the elf musician, in quite the predicament.  An angry mob of townsfolk began storming the Temple of the Sovereign after the town's Braar (Priest) was killed by Pinky.

Suddenly, Bildad the cat appeared and meowed, "Follow me if you want to live," as he ran through an open door in the back of the temple...

Chapter 2: The Past is but a Dream, continued

With little hesitation, the three followed the talking cat into the room beyond, only to find they were now separated from each other!

Darcy found herself in a wooded area at night, running from a burning cabin in the distance.  She, now a little girl, is crying.  Something horrible has happened, but what?  She paused only briefly before running deeper and deeper into the forest.  She was suddenly met with stranger; half goat, half man.  The Goat-man spoke, "Hush child.  Hush now.  I will keep you save."  He picked Darcy up and carried her away...

Hans was submerged in cold dark waters.  Sinking in front of him is a young boy.  Feverishly he swam towards the boy, but was quickly running out of air!  Hesitating, knowing the boy was already dead, he let him sink into the water.  As the darkness swallowed the boy he uttered one word, "Father..."

Pinky found himself lying on the side of a forest trail.  A sweet lullaby filled the air.  He looked down the trail and spotted a young woman, humming to herself, carrying a basket.  The woman heard a strange sound and stopped.  Pinky heard it too and to him it sounded like the cry of a babe.  She walked off the trail to investigate a rabbit burrow set in the roots of a nearby tree.  Pinky quietly moved to secure a better vantage point.

Wrapped in a cloth inside the rabbit burrow was a smaller than usual and chubby baby; pink from the chill air.  The woman picked up the baby, quieting it, and started to walk briskly walk home, forsaking the trail completely in order to make better time.

Time seems to have past rapidly for Darcy was now an adolescence.  She had lived with the Goat-man for years and now considered him to be her Father.  She sat in tree near their abode playing a flute carved of bone.  It was a birthday present from her Father.  As she played there was something in the way the leaves rustled that gave her chills.  They seemed to whisper too sweetly... 

She then heard a cry and jumped from the tree, rushing in the direction of her Father who was splitting logs.  When she arrived he was surrounded by a group of revolting, nasty little humanoids.  Though the Goat-man swung his axe with in defense there were too many of the creatures and he was overcome.

The leaves rustled and a voice whispered to Darcy, bidding her to play her flute.  She obeyed and played a melody she neither knew nor had heard before.   The melody conjured a devil of white flame and burning ruby eyes.  The devil bid her hullo and asked how he could be of assistance.  Darcy begged that her Father be saved and the devil agreed, but in turn would ask for something in return upon a later date.  Darcy agreed and in a flash of white hot light the wretched little creatures her disintegrated and devil gone.

Her father was saved and Darcy rejoiced, but because she had used dark magic and conjured an evil the Goat-man said, "You can no longer be allowed to stay here in this enchanted wood.  It is time to seek out your twin sister of whom I have made you forget.  Duneth is her name and she is the one that set blaze to your home so many years ago."  At the edge of the enchanted wood he spoke again, "When you leave this place you will forget me forever.  To you it will all seem a dream.  But do not for get what I have taught you and never again use your flute.  For it's music now belongs to the white flamed devil." Saddened Darcy left.

Hans crawled out of the cold lake and walked cross snow covered fields to his farmhouse.  He did not want to go, but was drawn by some unknown force.  At the door he hesitated for he had some inkling of what he might find.  Finally, he slowly opened the door.  Inside, his wife dangled from a rope tied to the rafters, dead.  Her eyes opened, staring wide eyed and she moved her lips horribly, but only gasps of breathe came.

Behind Hans was the sloshing of wet feet that creaked across the wooden boards of the porch.  He turned quickly to find his son, covered in moss and weeds, approaching slowly.  He screamed and cursed all the gods and devils! This can't be happening he thought; they were dead!  He didn't save them...  He couldn't save them!  He wasn't there...

Pinky followed the young lady as she hurriedly walked home.  The sun was setting and there was a howl that echoed throughout.  Pinky saw two great wolves snarling before the young women.  She dropped the basket and gripped the crying babe tightly.  In her free hand she produced a knife.  Pinky ran to her resuce and tried to fend off the wolves, but they were too great an adversary.  He soon lay dying on the dirt when a whizzing of arrows stuck one of the wolves in the neck and forced the other to flee.  He saw a young man with a bow just silhouetted in the light of dusk just before he faded and a coldest like he'd experienced before engulfed his body...

To be continued in Part 3...

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