The Shadow Circle

Escape from the black dragon

(between sessions)

I gemmer jer i ly af bjerget mørke bag dets yderste vægge ligesom dragen flyver forbi hvor i løb udenfor. I lang tid hører i vingeslagene fra det store væsen, som om hun ved hvor i gemmer jer. Dværgen som i tog med ud fra fæstningen begynder at lede lidt inde i mørket efter noget tid kalder han på jer og beder jer følge med ham.

Trods at I ikke kender ham og ikke ved om i kan stole på ham, står i mellem valget drage og mulig forræderisk dværg. I følger dværgen, da I mener at det er det mindst farlige af de 2 valg. Hvis I bliver i hulen ved i at enten vil Zentharim patruljer, Halrim eller dragen med tiden finde jer.

Ned i mørket drager han med jer i hælene, lyden af tunge vingeslag forstummer langsomt som i kommer dybere ind i bjergets indre. Efter en rum tid udvider tunnelen sig en smule til en lille hule, her stopper i op og hviler. Mens i hviler lægger i mærke til at dværgen ber sine bønner til Moradin og en sær varme fylder hulen mens han beder.

Da I er færdige med at hvile knæler Moradin tilbered på et knæ ved siden af Ronalds krop, hans ene hånd spreder noget sten støv ud over hans ansigt hvorefter hans ene tykke pegefinger begynder at tegne nogle runer i støvet mens han sagte messer. Gulvet af sten under Ronalds krop begynder at synke sagte så hans krop langstom forsvinder ned i stenet. Halvvejs stopper det og et sagte blåt skær omhyller Ronalds krop som langsomt skifter til et rødligt ildskær. Pludseligt slår Ronald øjnene op og hans øjne gløder som kul i en brændeovn.

Dværgen sukker dybt med en tilfreds undertone mens han rejser sig og smiler ned til Ronald og bevæger sig over til Seranyllas side. Han står ved hende og kigger meget eftertænktsomt ned på hende, I kan se på hans ansigt at han diskuterer med sig selv hvorefter han ryster på hovedet og går fra hendes side. Han leder jer dybere og dybere ind i bjergets mørke og i er ved at miste al sans af tid, I kan ikke fornemme om det er nat eller dag eller hvor mange dage eller timer der er gået siden i forlod bjergets yder vægge.

Han begynder at udspørger jer om Seranylla mens han leder jer videre, det lader til han har sine tvivl omkring hendes person, i gætter på det er hendes race der gør ham urolig. Efter noget tid får I ham overbevist om at i ikke har oplevet noget ondt i hende, hvorefter han tilbringer noget tid dybt i bønner. Da han endelig knæler ved hendes side er det uden bekymring i ansigtet eller stemmen, hans ene hånd fisker hendes hellige symbol op på hendes bryst. (har man point i religion, kan man genkende Elistrae’s symbol, en good aligned drow gudinde.).

Mens Moradin præsten messer og skriver runer i sten støv, synker Seranyllas krop også langsomt ned i stenet mens hun omsluttes af et blegt hvidt lys. Over hendes ansigt danser små stjerner og det er som om hendes krop oplyses af månelys. Seranylla slår ligeledes sine øjne op og i et split sekund er de helt sorte med små stjerner glimtende , inden de vender tilbage til deres helt normale farve.

Da alle er vågne og ved godt helbred, fortæller Moradin præsten at han har fornemmet at noget divination magi, som om nogen har forsøgt at lokalisere jer, om det er lykkedes ved han ikke. Men eftersom der var både præster og troldmænd i den Zentharim fæstning er det nemt at gætte hvem det kunne være der forsøgte at finde jer. Han fortæller at de tunneller han har fundet kan lede ham og jer tilbage til hans hjemby Sundabar hvis man navigerer dem korrekt. Han fortæller også at disse divinations forsøg gør ham lidt bekymret over at lede jer til Sundabar, det sidste han har lyst til er at bringe Zentharims til Sundabar.

Han mener dog at nogle andre tunneler hernede vil kunne føre dem tilbage til overflade. Han beklager at måtte vise dem døren på denne måde, men han tør ik risikere uskyldige liv i Sundabar.

Han giver jer nogle kyndige instrukser i at finde frem gennem tunnellerne og forsikrer at hvis de nogensinde er i nærheden af Sundabar vil han altid gøre hvad han kan for at hjælpe, så længe det ikke bringer Sundabar i fare. Han fortæller jer at hvis i tegner Moradins tegn i jorden indenfor 2 kilometer af Sundabar og siger præstens navn vil han høre jer som stod i lige ved siden af ham. Han vil ydermere vide hvilket verdens retning Moradins tegn i jorden befinder sig så han vil ku opsøge jer der umiddelbart efter.

Han fremkalder noget mad til jer gennem bønner til Moradin, så i har til jeres rejse. Jeres veje skilles da i er færdige med at hvile og tale sammen, i fortsætter efter hans instrukser videre ned i mørket, videre ned i jordens indre…

(next session begins)

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Galens Keep

On the other side of the two heavy gate portals that was meant to keep the old dwarven keep secure, the group waited in the shadows and out of normal sight for the patrol of Zentharim soldiers to clear out.

The soldiers continued further into a large tunnel that seemed to serve as a huge long central hallway in the entire keep. They put up their horses nearby, it was apparrent that this was not meant to house animals.

Immidiate dangers gone, the group began locating each other, some invisible and some hidden very well in the shadows. Once together again they went about figuring out where Sarah’s mentor Garr Twinblade could be. They soon found the usual hired orcs quarters and dispatched of them without much hazzle and alarm. Even some of the more experienced Orcs suffered death at the hands of the shadow circle.

Daxx snuck down past the mess hall, and into the kitchen and servants quarters, getting an idea of the layout. As he passed by the mess hall he overheard the soldiers chatting.

“That guy from high wood sure can take alot, I wouldnt like to be the subject of Halrim and Galens interrogations.” another responded “yeah, I think he’s one of them ranger folks”. Another one chimed in just then “Maybe Halrim is gonna feed him to his lady” with a slight humour in his voice someone responded “Maybe they want some information from him about high wood, maybe Galen wants us to attack high wood?”.

As Daxx was sneaking back through the main tunnel leading into the mess hall he was passed by five soldiers chatting about the dwarven monk “He didnt look too happy that monk when he returned, and neither did Zortan when he was finished debriefing him!”. “yeah I sure wouldnt wanna be at the other end of eithers bad mood. Maybe Bane found himself another favorite now” the youngest of them all mused aloud “I wonder if this means those Black Galens is taking over Juewe’s mission?” they all shrugged and wandered into the mess hall.

When Daxx returned to the group Ronald suggested that he go back with Daxx and cast a charm spell on one of the servants to find out where Garr was being held captive. They surprised an elderly man and chatted with him about the place and the prisoner, the man was puzzled as to who they were and why they were there, but he trusted them none the less and told them that he most likely was held further into the keep near the tunnel leading into the mines.

As they snuck back, five soldiers were also leaving the mess hall, Ronald encouraged Daxx to try and see if he could find anything of interest in their pockets. Which they didnt really, but luck wasn’t with Daxx as one of them noticed him in the corner of his eye and yelled in alarm. Ronald quickly covered the area in darkness and in a half a minute all five soldiers lay dead on the ground. But they now had bigger problems, it sounded like those in the mess hall had heard the yelp of alarm and was coming towards them in a few heartbeats.

Their companions had heard them and was rushing towards them in the cover of shadows, Seranylla kept back towards the entrance of the tunnel Daxx and Ronald had fought in, keeping an eye on the grand hall in the center of the keep. There she saw two figures coming towards the tunnel, a man and a woman clad in full plates, shields and wielding maces. In just a few minutes Sera had covered them in silence, charged them and chased the female out of the silence to end her life with a perfect thrust in her heart. That was when she felt magic surround her being and being defeated by her race’s natural resistance to magic, the man had tried to blind her with magic. Seranylla silently thanked her mother Elistrae and rushed to finish him off.

Sarah had snuck back into the grand hall and saw Sera just as she cut down the fullplated cleric, together they quickly pulled the two into the shadows of the tunnel leading down to the mess hall, hoping none had seen them from the opposite side of the hall where the keeps antechamber to Bane’s temple were situated.

Before they had completely finished their hiding of dead clerics, Ronald and Daxx finished off the oncoming rush of soldiers from the mess hall, Daxx tucked away his fireball wand and Ronald seemed quite pale as he finished his sonic ball. Ronald had to stand against the wall, his use of the ancient forbidden blood magic had taken its toll.

Together again the group debated what to do now, and what the elderly servant had told them, while some of them began rummaging thro the burnt corpses looking for loot. Daxx had snuck off towards the temple’s antechamber where he overheard a higher ranking officer talking loudly wanting to know what the rucuss was about and making it very clear that he wanted a report of what the two clerics found out. As he left the stairs with his two guards, Daxx snuck his hand towards his belt pouch. But the lieutenant saw him and snatched his hand, looked at him in utter disbelief “what the … !” Daxx turned his face into utter surprise and fear and pointed terrified behind the lieutenant “look out!”.

Even tho he knew it was a trick, reflexes got the better of the lieutenant and when turned his head back to look at Daxx, Daxx had snuck off into the shadows once again. Knowing this was a bad turn of events he tried to reach his friends as fast as possible. He managed to get back to them and explain that he might have sort of blown their cover alittle bit. This turned into a slight debate on how to proceed. They didnt notice how much time passed by while they tried to figure out their next steps, suddenly they found themselves talking without making and sounds and in the next heartbeat darkness engulfed them. They had seen nobody but only heard a faint chanting in the distance. They were under attack !

They instinctively rushed from the darkness and into shadows or out of sight behind the stone walls of the keep. Time passed, none came forth from the darkness, a scary thought dawned on them all, the Zentharim were gathering on the other side preparing for them to come out to them. Daxx crept along the wall into the darkness doing his best to hide in the natural shadows but came to an abrupt stop as he came upon a stone wall crossing the width of the tunnel. They had been sealed in!

They spent a few minutes checking the area they had been sealed into, it was closed off by servant quarters, kitchen and the privies. They gathered around and decided to let Sircha punch a hole in the conjured stone wall and have Seranylla rush out followed by Sircha, Daxx and Sarah, Ronald holding the rear. But surprise hit them as Seranylla and Sircha lost all pull of the gravity and turned upside down being pulled towards the ceiling. Sircha quickly grapped ahold of the conjured stone wall and just hung there up along it with her head down. Seranylla clung to a small crack in the floor, but then decided against it and let go and up up up she went until she hit a gooey mess on the ceiling, her natural agility kept her out of it tho.

Seranylla quickly alerted everyone else as she ran across the ceiling heading out of the darkness, luckily the silence had dissapated awhile ago. Dax cast a enchantment on himself giving him clingy hands and feet like a spider and began crawling across the floor also heading out of the darkness.

Sarah strung her bow and shoot several arrows out into the darkness to scare off any would be awaiting ambushers out there. Ronald waited, the darkness completely threw him off and the goo on the ceiling did not sit well with him at all. Seranylla was fast, she quickly came out of the darkness and reversed gravity and saw three rows of five soldiers behind a shield wall waiting for them, as soon as she came into view silence suddenly erupted around her. Cursing her luck she made a quick decision, she ran as fast as she could towards the soldiers and at the last second made a long leap tuck and roll above them landing perfectly behind them all forcing the last row with crossbows to draw weapons, thinking she would force her silence on any invisible spellcasters here and drawing the crossbow fire away from her newfound friends.

Daxx crept out of the darkness to see Seranylla jump behind the soldiers and start fighting, he pulled out his wand of fireballs, knowing full well the advantages Zentharim trained soldiers benefitted from a shield wall. Sircha did not feel comfortable at all hanging along the wall surface and had doubts about how to proceed. Sarah let a few more arrows into the dark while Ronald found himself doumbfounded by something so simple as darkness, what was he supposed to do, if he went out there he would be stuck in darkness and goo on the ceiling unable to help his friends, yet if he stayed he could not help out either.

Seranylla discovered first hand how well trained the Zentharim soldiers were, all five in the back turned and pulled forth their short swords and took stabs at her. She only managed to deflect a few stabs, many hit home and thoughts of fleeing surfaced very fast, she would not survive long here. Fire erupted around the soldiers as Daxx pointed his wand and uttered the command word for fire. Sircha finally thought to hell with it and let go and as she stuck to the ceiling she surprised herself by escaping the goo with a nimble roll and began making her way out of the darkness too. Daxx kept the fireballs raining down on the soldiers but he noticed that he didnt see much fighting in the background anymore and suspected the worst.

Seranylla thought to herself that she should have listened to her gut and she should had run off saving herself, just as one of the short stabbing swords effortlessly slid into her heart and stopped her dead in her tracks. As she fell down, she noticed out the corner of her eye a female shadow at the entrance of the tunnel, with bright green eyes and the shadow of tail behind her, then she closed her eyes.

Sircha hit the ground running from the darkened ceiling and tore into the shield wall with her raw dwarven power. Daxx still kept raining fire on the soldiers, trying carefully to avoid Sircha and tossed his onyx dog figurine into the midst of the soldiers and yelled the command word as it flew thro the air and in the bat of an eye the soldiers had a huge black furious war dog clawing and biting at them. Ronald had scorched an area of the goo in the ceiling with some alchymist fire and when he finally made his way out of the darkness, people in the tunnel witnessed a spark of the amazing power firewielding wizards possses as the ground itself under the soldiers began erupting in geizers of fire throwing them in all directions trying to avoid it and left only 4 of them standing whom very quickly got dispatched by the dwarven warrioress as the shield wall was disrupted.

Picking up Sera the survivors crept into the shadows in the grand hallway, sneaking deeper into the keep. They could not give up now, if they left now it might all have been in vain.

As they came further into the keeps shadows, they saw in a huge chamber one of the amazing Zentharim portals which is connected to the main Zentharim headquarters and could supply troops and materials once a week. By the portal stood an elf, clearly male, with white hair braided in 10 thin braids falling gently down his black robe with a golden Zentharim emblem on it’s back. By his side stood a slender female, just half a head lower, with snow white hair braided in 10 braids as well. However each braid ended in a thick silver ring with small symbols carved into them, her skin was ebony black. She wore tight red leather pants and a thin golden chain serving as a symbolic belt ending in long ends at her front. She turned half around casting a glance down the hall as if her bright green eyes saw something.

“I have no patience for these petty ambitions of Galen, I need to research that rod! I might have stumbled upon maybe the greatest weapon ever in our fight with those crazed Cyric vermin.” Halrim the hawk summons one of the nearby servants and tells him to fetch some holy water from the temple for his study. The young man quickly runs towards the temple.

The group creeps across the big hall and hides in the shadows moving towards the old ancient mines, when they spot the Zentharim General Galen at the other side of the huge cavern. He walks with his closest guard and talks with the dwarven bald headed monk about some purple dragon spawn in Everlund.

They ventured abit into the mines but turned back towards a door they had passed, silently moved up the nearby stairs and began searching the hallway they came into. Behind one of the wooden doors, they finally found the chained Garr Twinblades, but also another prisoner a dwarf who had no recollection of how he can come to be there.

Ronald searched the halls other end, that went on and turned around a corner. He saw the servant Halrim had summoned step out of a door in the hallway. He convinced the group to search the rest of the hallway, for the stone that Raargh had died for had begun to feel warm he was convinced the rod Halrim had talked about was what Ronald was searching for himself.

They encountered a few traps on the doors, a frost circle of binding and a nasty acid ball spell splashing into the hall. But they found the rod Halrim had been talking about and his notebook. Ronald was uneasy, he had noticed magical symbols of an alarm spells on the top corner on the door. They rushed out of the room, the male dwarf they had found severely singed by an exploding glyph on Halrims floor when he picked up a few weapons in the room.

They rushed out into the shadows in the portal cavern, where they saw Halrim appear thro a magical dimension doorway with narrow piercing eyes as if he was trying to peer thro the fabric of reality itself. He began chanting a very powerful spells of air magic, and turned the beginning of the grand hall into a swirling vortex of vacuum while he watched intently around the room. He began floating up in the air until he stood on top of the big portals stone frame, further down the grand hall his lady exited a door and nodded his way and began walking toward the gates while suddenly in midstride transforming into a huge black dragon that took to the sky as she came out of the gate.

The shadow circle knew this mage, this skymage. He had led them on several occasions, giving them missions and debriefing them. He knew without a doubt who they were if he saw their faces and if he found out, they would be in trouble every day until they confronted him and his followers. They crept slowly along the walls shadows, by the time they reached the hall’s entrance in the cavern the vacuum had dissapated. They were relieved to see that he still had not noticed them in the shadows, they silently thanked each their gods that he did not know it was them, because then he would know to look in the shadows.

When they came further into the hall, just across the mess hall tunnel Daxx rememebered he had forgotten his onyx dog figurine. They all saw Halrim come flying down the grand hall, slowly he swept forth until he was midway he began chanting again and down by the second gate a huge gas cloud suddenly began forming, Ronalds nerves began jittering alittle, he knew what that was he had recognized it from his studies. That was one of the nastiest clouds you could conjure, a killing cloud that moved.

Daxx crept across the hall, very slowly and silently praying that Halrim wouldnt look down and spot him, but when he came into the mess hall tunnel he saw that all the soldiers corpses and gear had been cleared, so had his figurine. He glanced back at the grand hall, bit his lower lip as he cast a simple illusion on himself making him appear as the elder servant they had interrogated with a charm spell and began running into the hall as if wounded screaming that the intruders were down by the mess hall hoping Halrim would buy it and rush down there.

Halrim looked down at the servant, his brows furrowed and suspicious. He wondered, had the intruders cast a spell on this servant to throw him off guard in the wrong direction while they fled out the front door? He could not risk it, the rod was too important, he flicked through his memorized spells and cast the strongest disruptive magic he knew at the servant removing any enchantments on the elder man, unless these intruders were very powerful he would get the truth of this matter. He looked in disbelief as the hair and skin of the elder man changed into a more virile younger look, he could not get a proper glimpse of the face, but something looked familiar to him he just couldnt place it, but this must be one of the intruders for sure.

Daxx acted quicker than the eye and pulled forth his eversmoking bottle and unstopped it, immediately covering a huge area of the hall where he lay with smoke and ran as fast as he ever could towards the gates.

Halrim snarled, they were still inside!! They could not be allowed to escape with the rod, he reached into his memory for one of his more powerful prepared spells. It was a simple fireball, but with a twist, he had maximized the damage of it and turned it into a ball of pure lightning and cast it just infront of the killing cloud where he had noticed a slight move of a shadow.

The imprisoned dwarf was blasted well into the entrance hall and there he laid, unmoving a hairs breath from death. Ronald sat against the wall, his head lolled very unhealthy downward and his arms slung limpy down his sides. Sarah supported Garr as they ran all they could for the front gate, Sircha popped her small legs with Seranylla and ronald on her shoulders half dragging half carrying them into the fresh air. Daxx quickly grapped the unmoving new dwarf and did his best to pull him out of the gate. As they came out Sarah called out for her wolverine and Bird as she began searching for some place to hide, for above them in the sky they could hear heavy wings beating and rushing air about.

They ran for their lives, for their lost comrades, for the dying ones through narrow winding paths and rocks on the mountain and pure luck was with them yet again as they came upon a crack in the mountain. Sarah led the way into the darkness, and the rest rushed after her, just in time, just as a huge shadow and the rush of beating wings went past above them.

Here they huddled in the dark, waiting, holding their breath…..

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High Wood Trek

Sarah has become increasingly distraught with worry about her mentor and decided after finishing the Falchion assignment that her path was east, to the northeastern border of High Wood. Even tho she was banned from the forest by her kin, she would not abandon her mentor.

Although she had never told the shadow circle about her banishment from High Wood, they insisted on coming along.

So they began their trek to her mentors camp in High Wood, not long after reaching the northern border of the forest did they notice shadows moving about in the tree tops. Elves were watching them, closely. They decided to move east along the forest, letting Sarah lead the way as she was the only one who knew the place and where they were headed.

Soon they came upon the trail Sarah was looking for, the trail that would lead her to a small clearing where she usually waited for one of her mentors animal companions to come to her and guide her to him. But none came.. she knew it would be so already and she didnt wait long.

Behind her, unbeknownst to her, Daxx and Seranylla crept in the shadows both wearing magical rings of invisibility. They stalked her deeper into the woods, intent on keeping her safe from harm.

In a few hours they came upon a simple dwelling, a small cottage with obvious signs of fighting and struggle. He had been taken by force that much was clear, Sarah took some cloth from his beddings and called out for her newest friend.. a wolverine and bade him smell the cloth and follow the scent for her. Before she left the forest, she was hailed by her cousins a trueblood elf. He told her that he had seen not just armed men in the woods, they looked to him like trained soldiers with uniforms. Black clothes with a light grey tabard where upon a black coin above a blackdragon was marked on the right side of the chest. He gaver her his condolences and quickly left her again, even tho his kin had banished her, he always kinda liked the halfblood girl but he dared not stay longer fearing the scolding he knew he would no doubt recieve.

The elves had no quarrels with the ranger mentor and so let him stay in the woods even if he did keep in touch with the banished girl.

The wolverines keen scent led them out of the forest and northbound, across marsh and river and soon they found themselves in the foothills of the great mountains. And they werent alone, for not far away they spotted a group of men on horseback, they looked like hunters.

The group passed up the hunters and asked them if they were responsible for clearing all the large animal life in the area. It turned out the hunters were in the employ of a Zentharim fortress up in the mountains, deep inside in an old Dwarven mining fortress. To convince the hunters to answer them truthfully and answer at all, Ronald polymorphed one of them into a sheep. At the end of the interogation one of the hunters had the unfortunate notion of whispering that maybe the wizard could only turn someone into a sheep once a day. It was an unfortunate notion because as soon as Ronald heard the whispered words, his impeteous mind launched a fireball straight into the midst of the hunters blasting them to their deities side in the afterlife.

The group decided to head into the mountains, searching for this Zentharim keep and do what they could to rescue Sarahs mentor Garr Twinblades from the Zentharim captivity. They did not ride long before they were confronted by one of the Zentharim patrols in the area, but it was a short confrontation which ended in the death of all the black networks soldiers in the patrol. They rode into the mountains and soon found the ancient dwarven gates and sat down to watch for awhile.

When another patrol came home to the keep, they snuck inside the gates by the use of magic rings and stealth, and sooner than they knew found themselves in the midst of their old foes.. the Zentharim..

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The Dark meets Shadows
seranylla

Sircha and Raargh were down in the gauntlet, the underground gladiator bare knuckle fighting ring, blowing off steam. While they were waiting to get into the ring, Sircha noticed that suddenly Raargh flew off through the crowd as if in a mad chase. Before she knew it he was almost gone, she began elbowing her way after him, thinking she might be missing out on a good fight.

Her chase of Raargh took her up to the surface and into the streets of the city at night, turning corners and plowing streets. She got a few glimpses of a dark and fast moving shadow, very nimble and agile.

By the time she caught up with the agile shadow and the strong legged half orc, they both keeled over in a mortal struggle that stole away their life in the dark night. When she turned Raargh over his last breath left his lips, in his one hand she saw a odd uninteresting rock. The shadow he had been chasing and killed, seemed to be an elf in dark clothes, with a black coin tatooed on his chest. Not wanting to be found around 2 dead people and considering the fact that the one was an elf and the other a half orc she didnt like her odds if the city gurad caught her here. Not that she couldnt beat them in to a pulp, but they were usually young boys and did not really deserve to run into her fist or weapons. She picked up Raargh and wandered home to the silver goat.

Behind her in the shadows, white hair glinted under a dark hood hiding Seranyllas heritage, Drows were not a welcome sight on the surface. She had been watching the end of the chase and the curious dwarf lady examining the corpses, something intriequed her about the rock. The small simple rock had seemed to be what the half orc had given his life to get back and what the elf had risked his own to steal. She quickly stepped from the shadows and palmed the rock when the dwarf left and decided to follow the dwarf.

Seranylla tried several times to get in contact with the dwarf, but without much success, it seemed the dwarf woman was determined to ignore her. But Seranylla kept on, feeling something bigger was happening here as if her moonlight dancing mother had let her witness this for a reason, so she kept following the dwarf.

Eventually Sircha stopped and turned around, abit annoyed by this constant chatter and was abit put off that it was a Drow. A quick inquiery ensued from both parties and Sircha decided to bring the Drow into the tavern, it appeared the female was looking for them and it might entail a new job.

Seranylla met the rest of the shadow ring, who listened to her story and Ronald became quite interessted in the rock and quickly began researching. None of them had seen Zeldalar of late but they werent overly concerned as he usually knew how to take care of himself. Sarah left for the outdoors and Daxx began roaming the streets listening to the street chatter. Which left Ronald, Sircha and Seranylla alone together. The evening ended with Sircha and Seranylla bonding thro duelling and testing each others strength and weaknesses in battle and Ronald watching intently.

The two duelists ended the evening in sweaty respect for each other.

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Sølvet i Sølet
Sera's ankomst

Tusmørket kom hurtigt denne aften og de tunge skyer der hang truende over Everlund og det omkringliggende land, gjorde det ikke bedre. De fire vagter skuttede sig under deres kapper og kiggede skulende mod karavanen af otte store trækvogne, der langsomt trillede hen af brostens vejen der førte til Everlunds vestlige port. De fire vagter kiggede på hinanden og trak på skuldrende, hvorefter to af dem trådte frem og holdt deres hænder op. Karavanen stoppede langsomt og de to vagter gik hen til den forreste vogn og indledte en samtale med en mand i fine og rige klæder.

Hun benyttede chancen til at forlade hendes skjulested bag en gammel husvogn uden hjul, der var efterladt tæt ved porten. Hun træk hætten på hendes kappe over hendes sølvhvide hår så hun var helt dækket og med en stille bøn til månen over hende, sneg hun sig hen til porten og de to vagter der stod der. Heldet var med hende, da de ikke lod til at bemærke at hun kom nærmere, og sandelig så ville det også have taget dem alt deres opmærksomhed, hvis de blot skulle have haft en lille chance for at opdage hende. Hun smøg sig ind under deres krydsede spyd og videre ind i Everlunds travle gader, der så småt var ved at dø ud sammen med dagslyset. En af vagterne rynkede kortvarigt på næsen, da han duftede en blid behagelig aroma af parfume, men rystede blot på hovedet og tænkte på hans kone der uden tvivl var i gang med at forberede aftenens måltid derhjemme.

Seranylla trippede blidt ned af de mange gyder ind i en travl by som hun ikke kendte. Everlund havde altid været den anden største by I Silver Marches riget, og har altid været en stor handelsby, ganske takket været at stort set alle handelsruter ind og ud af Silver Marches går gennem byen. Skønt meget besøgt og dens formidable bymur og militære styrker, er Everlund en smuk by, bygget i en flot sammenblanding af Elver og Dværge design i træ og sten. I en så stor by, hvor ordensmagten og byens ledere har stor magt, vil der altid være smuthuller for den handel der helst undgå de officielle magters årvågenhed.

Mens hun fulgte de snoede gyder, gik hendes tanker tilbage til Adbar dværgen Lokhar Stonebrow og et smil glid over hendes læber. Allerede nu savnede hun ham frygteligt, men han havde været ganske bestemt, da han havde meddelt hende at deres veje nu ville skilles. Hun skulle søge sin nye vej i Everlunds gader! Hvad var det nu han havde sagt? Ah ja – hun skulle søge efter Sølvet i sølet. En mærkelig sætning men det passede den gamle snedige dværg. Efter et par times vandren i Everlund, kom hun til en del af byen som mest af alt lignende en røverhule, og kort tid efter fandt hun en drikkestue ved navn Sølvgeden. Sera smuttede stille ind af døren, stadig skjult bag sin kappe. Krostuen var fyldt til randen med drikkende folk, en hel del af dem mennesker, men så sandelig også en god del af andre racer. Hun fandt et ubenyttet hjørne oppe ved bardisken og brugte et par timer med at lytte til snakken herinde, mens hun nød en af de velsmagende vine som man kunne købe på stedet. Hun forstod ikke meget, da hendes forståelse for common sproget stadig ikke var faldet helt på plads, men langsomt fik hun en god ide om stedet. Hun lod hurtigt mærke til at barmanden, en stor mand ved navn John Threewaters, holdt øje med hende.

På et tidspunkt så Sera en ganske flot dværge kvinde med en underlig kompagnon, et stort brød af et menneske med mange ork lignende træk, forlade kroen. Hun undrede sig over dette, og kunne igen mærke den fornemmelse af at noget træk hende imod de to. Før hun kunne bestemme sig for hvad hun ville gøre, blev freden brudt af skrig og skrål kommende fra gaden. Folk stimlede derud og igen så Sera fire andre personer skille sig ud fra mængden, en kvinde blandt dem som helt sikkert havde elver blod i årene. Alle 4 var sunde og veltrænet som der bevægede sig mere som militært trænede folk end som ordinære kro gæster. Da hun endelig fik sneget sig ud på gaden, så hun de fire gå rundt blandt befolkningen og spørger ind til hvad som der var hændt. En kvinde var blevet myrdet, og åbenbart på åbengade. Skønt at alle i befolkningen mente forskelligt om hvad der havde taget livet fra hende, samledes de fire ved en skakt ned under vejen og forsvandt derned. Seranylla stod et øjeblik ubeslutsomt. Ønsket om at gå efter dem blandet med frygten for hvad hun skulle sige, når hun mødte dem, holdt hende fanget.

Et andet skrig, et tydeligt udledt fra smerte, drog hendes opmærksomhed og hun besluttede sig for at undersøge det….

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Thieves in the night

The Shadow Circle concluded their latest meeting in the hideout, Sircha and Raargh left the meeting with comments of flying fists and some kind of tournament. Shortly after the remaining members heard shouting, screaming and commotion from the surface street coming down a ventilation shaft.

Sarah, Ronald, Zeldalar and Daxx ventured into the street to see what was going on and found that a bit down the street in the doorway of Lady Zihren, a halfling brothel “mom”, one of the Joy girls of the establishment lay dead. Her strawberry blond hair mattet i blood and her face smashed into the back of her skull, eyes and nose gone.

Daxx did a quick search of the girl, found no other remarkable signs, although there was a black bird feather lying near her right hand. He quickly ‘lifted’ the feather and handed it to Sarah so she could try and determine which kind of bird it would have been. Sarah very quickly determined that it would have been a raven og crow, unless it was a magical beast in which case she wasn’t sure what it would have been.

Several explanations were already flourishing about the scene of the murder, some mentioned it was a darkhooded man with red eyes glowing with the fires of hell, some said they saw some kind of nobleman fleeing the scene, others had seen a shadowy figure creep into the sewer through a nearby manhole, yet another said that a wich came by and wanted to collect on an old debt, another still claimed creepy monsters had attacked the girl and vanished into the night.

Sarah wanted to check out the sewer and went over to a nearby drain, where she patiently waited and searched for a rat to communicate with. A little fat nasty rat soon emerged in the filth and with some sausage from the Silver goat she asked the rat if it had seen big people go past in the sewer. The rat had indeed, always, and what sounded like all the time, noticed big people walk about the sewers. So eventually the rat was convinced to show them where it had come across these people.

Alittle way down the sewer, Ronald pulled forth a stone with a continual light enchantment on it to better see in the darkness below the streets. The light scared away the rat and Sarah went searching for it. Ronald stubbornly acknowledged that he was not about to running about in the dark in a dirty sewer and went back to the surface, when the others complained alittle about the light.

The rat led the remaning three through the sewers, when suddenly Daxx noticed a shadow move quickly and around a corner further down the sewer tunnel. They continued slowly and stealthily further ahead and soon came upon an intersection. Daxx and Sarah began searching the area for clues or tracks, while Zeldalar melded into the shadows keeping a watchful eye.

Ronald went back home, on the way he was bumped into by one of the street urchins living with Mother Delli, the mute one. He pressed a crumbled note into his hand and scurried along. Ronald went back to the Silver Goat, outside the doorway he felt a odd sensation it was like a foreboding feeling, ‘something’ was on its way or was about to happen in the near future like feeling. He took it in and decided to let it simmer in the back of his mind abit while he distracted himself with the study of the note, where he came to the conclusion that it was some sort of secret directions to a watchtower. So he went into the city, looking for something ‘odd’ about the nearby watchtowers.

On his way back, he walked by the tavarn ‘hellgate’ and was struck by a strange sensation, a disturbing feeling of cold and as he looked in the direction of the sensation he saw a 7foot tall hulking figure clad in heavy dark hooded robes enter the tavern. He shook of the feeling and went back to the silver goat.

Sarah came upon a little finger bone hidden in the cracks of a wall, Daxx examined it for a minute and determined that it could very well be a secret indicator for scoundrels running about in the sewers. So they snuck further along the direction the finger pointed. Soon after Sarah noticed a tiny movement in the shadows ahead for a very brief second, Daxx also noticed a distant rattling of metal possible a chain or ringmail.

Unfortunately, Zeldalar was the only one who was quick on his toes when suddenly 8 men in dark clothes sprang from hidden covers in the wall and ceiling. A burly dwarfvoice bellowed to them that it was time to die. A pressing battle ensued, where Sarah quickly found herself hard pressed for survival, she found herself faced with a halfling female infront of her wielding two deadly daggers, a skinny looking man swirling a spiked chain on her left and a axe wielding youngster at her back.

Zeldalar was pressed even harder facing off 5 of them almost completely surrounded, he swung his blackjack thinking to subdue one of them while his wicked scimitar sliced a nasty wound across the face of the dwarf. Daxx quickly put up a magic shield protecting him from another halflings fast daggers coming at him and a heavy morningstar sweeping in threateningly crushing swings at him from the right.

Soon though, one of the female halflings and the dwarf was lying dead in the murky sewer water. Sarah was hanging on to dear life at this point, luckily Daxx had on him the wand he purchased some time ago containing healing powers to keep Sarah on her feet. Soon there was only 3 of the ambushers alive, 2 female elves and the skinny guy with the chain. The two elf girls surveyed the situation and bolted for dear life leaving the man with the chain behind, Zeldalar had a different idea and charged after the girls bent on pursueing his own plans for those girls.

Daxx and Sarah sent the chain guy, who was swinging his chain hellbent on defending himself from further attacks, but the glasssteel flais in Sarahs hands smashed away his defence and sent him to his early grave.

Having located and searched several watchtowers, Ronald came upon one at the docks where he quickly, due to his training and experience, noticed a stone that could possibly hide something. He found a black silken mask tugged in behind it and wondered why there was nothing else there. He gathered his composure and went back to the silver goat to ponder and wait.

Zeldalar lost the elven girls when he came down to the intersection they had stopped at earlier, so he faded into the shadows and surveyed for a moment. Soon after Daxx came running very fast, under the influence of a hasting enchantment, along side him was a onyxblack musclemountain of a dog. They stopped for a second in the intersection, not noticing Zeldalar and then the dog picked up a scent and went down the western tunnel with Daxx in pursuit.

Zeldalar gathered that the dog was on to the scent of atleast one of the girls, but that if they were clever they had split up. So Zeldalar left his position in the shadows and went down the opposite tunnel.

Sarah had been left with Daxx’s gear and hurridly, with a shaking hand, found and gulped down a potion with healing powers. She breathed a breath of relief as she felt warmth beginning to spread through her body again, too close she thought to herself.. too close. She began searching the bodies for valuables and gear, packed them up and crept into one of the hiding alcoves in the wall and waited for abit.

Daxx and his statuine summoned onyx dog came upon a slightly moved manholecover and crept into the streets above, bent on catching the runaway elves. Meanwhile Zeldalar also found a manholecover that wasn’t put proper in place. Zeldalar snuck up on the street above and surveyed the area, looking for people who could have noticed something. He saw the local tanner hard at work in his shop, even at this late hour, but the man hadn’t noticed a thing. Neither had the strange fobbish multicolored clad elf sitting at a table with a lantern and wine writing, apparently some playwright who thought highly of himself and none too much of Zeldalar.

Daxx had better luck with his dog, they went through streets and at one time a glassworkers shop and soon came upon a dead end alley and after an intense thorough search Daxx found a loose stone that after a certain manipulation opened up a secret door in the brick wall, revealing a dark corridor with wooden plank walls.

Sarah began tracking Daxx through the sewers and soon after the streets of Everlund and came upon the same dead end alley where the dog was sitting guard. Daxx had left a note by the dog explaining the secret door and Sarah following the directions entered the dark corridor only a few minutes after Daxx. Together they crept down the corridor and came upon a wooden door, Daxx slid a small mirror under the gaping bottom of it and saw 4 men sitting inside a gloomy room gambling dice. Sarah and Daxx decided to go back to the SilverGoat report what they had discovered to Ronald and Zeldalar and maybe come back all 4.

Zeldalar didnt survey much of interrest regarding the 2 elves so he went back home for a bath to get rid of the sewer stink.

Zeldalar was done with his bath when Sarah and Daxx returned, explaining what they had found. Ronald showed them the mask and explained how he had gotten ahold of it but nobody had any immediate idea what it was about. Sarah emptied her packs and spread the loot from the ambushers, among it she found a small note with a coded message that after Zeldalar had cracked it said “On the day of the Jesters in the old Asylum”.. they pondered that for abit, no one knew of any holiday or celebration in town that had anything to do with Jesters.

They decided to go back and infiltrate the secret house, which they expected was a rogue guild of sorts. But none of them knew of a Rogue guild in town, so it could very well be a newly established guild or a very well kept secret one. Either way they planned to find out.

Without any complications they came upon the wooden door again inside the house, only 2 men were sitting inside the room. One of them a halforc with a bright purple set of short cropped hair. Zeldalar and Daxx expertly snuck into the room while the two guards had dozed off, while they sat and surveyed for awhile one of the other two doors inside the room was unbolted from the other side and opened up to reveal the dwarf from the sewer strolling into the room. He cast a disgusted look at the dozing halforc that was waking up and went to the other door and did quick 3 raps on the door. Zeldalar overheard the code words exchanged a throaty voice said “box” from the other side and the dwarf responded “cox” and the door was unlocked and opened form the other side to let him in.

Zeldalar and Daxx quickly decided what to do, they snuck with impossible grace and stealth around the room and behind both guards and with quick determination assassinated both. Now they just needed to figure out how to proceed, meanwhile Ronald and Sarah was waiting in the corridor behind the wooden door…...

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Shadow Cirlce Gossip

A blog for posting shadow gossip.

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