Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Death by Sunset - 15th of Mirtul, Year of the Ageless One; 447 North Reckoning.

As their popularity seemed to hit an all time high in the Western Heartlands, once more the Ivory Scimitars were summoned by Lord Bron of Iriaebor. Stone Vale was a bustling mining community of Gnomes nestled in the Sunset Mountains to the north that contributed greatly to the economy of Iriaebor and the wider Heartlands. Pleas for aide against humanoid raids had reached Lord Bron’s ear, however; with reported military activity of Amnish troops in the south, she was hard pressed to send any military aid to the suffering Gnomish settlement. The Ivory Scimitars would be sent instead to investigate and assess the situation and surgically remove the threat if at all possible.

The Gnomes welcomed the Scimitars with great enthusiasm, holding a feast in their honor shortly after arrival where details of their oppression could better be discussed in a very Gnomish forum. The Gnomish town was a flurry with activity with miners going to and fro to their specific dig sites, inventors testing their brilliance with strange devices that might cause even a Gondsman of Lantan to scratch his head in befuddlement; Bakers, Restaurateurs, and other vendors beckoning the crowded streets to sample their wares and press a penny or two in their mitts – it was indeed a busy little place.

After the quaffing of many mugs of the sweetest mead this side of Eagle Peak, Lord Laird Gwaylar addressed the Ivory Scimitars about the raiders. Most of the raiders were of a peculiar sub-race of Goblin known as Norkers, though other fell races were well represented, up to and including a Mountain Giant called Groorg. Generally, the raiders would attack miners on their way back from the dig sites, but recently they began attacking the mines themselves, killing miners and claiming and defending the mines themselves. Gwaylar also mentioned that there was one particular dig site that was, while the greatest concentration of the fiends, was also one that was recently unearthed. He was flippant and even evasive about further details of that site, but the Scimitars decided that was the best site to investigate first.

What the Scimitars found at the site was astonishing. Here sat an unearthed pyramid of black stone of great size. The stone itself was probably of great mineral wealth to the Gnomes – and probably why Gwaylar didn’t want to discuss it. At the only visible entrance to the structure was a three foot high wall and beyond the small wall, only darkness. With no small measure of trepidation, the Scimitars entered the structure.

They were met with arrows fired in the darkness – Norker guards whose eyes could easily be seen in the dark reflecting a sickly yellow-green the light from the entrance. Darkedge and Thyrr met their missile assault with barbs of their own, while Korrick met them with Goliath might. Yuri cast numerous insect related spells that tormented those shining yellow-green eyes with fury. Norkers tried using pillars in the pyramid for cover, but to no avail; and in a short while, the battle was concluded. That’s when the loud foot falls of a new threat were heard coming up the stairs in the back of the black pyramid …

Grime laden claws and yellowed teeth bit from the darkness. The smell of fresh blood assaulted them from the darkness. Entrails hit the floor like so much slop in the darkness. Growls of primal ferocity cut the blackened chamber over the sounds of steel and spells. The crunching of bones and the slurping of viscera were the last things Yuri heard. Korrick fought valiantly, but in vain, for he too succumbed to the hunger that gorged at his flesh. The dizzying savagery of the Trolls sent the Scimitars into a fighting retreat, what few were left …