Lurker Wyrm - 20 Jul 2006
Out of the mountains and
into the cold mountains, the Kryta-bound companions make their way through snow
drifts, dwarves and just about everything else that can be thrown at someone in
a freezing cold mountain range.
they stepped outside of Yak's Bend and made their way to Borlis Pass, attempting
to secure the safety of their countrymen and comrades, our young and brave heroes
noticed something that had, until now, failed to capture their attention.
so glad I stuck my head in this Jack-o-lantern, otherwise I might be too chilled
to think straight," said Vex. Maybe the cold was starting to get to her.
Maybe it was the rotting pumpkin seeds she'd been breathing for the past few weeks.
Whatever the reason was, she was convinced that keeping her head in a pumpkin
was the best way to stay warm. The rest of the group had a different idea, much
to Arty's enjoyment. Being a fire mage, he was suddenly growing in popularity.
That's not to say that people would normally avoid him, but now they seemed to
be hanging on him like glue.
when are we going to finally get moving?" said Sanskirt, who was progressively
becoming more impatient. "You guys sure are taking forever."
not all of us want to just rush ahead. Some of us would like to look around and
see the sights," Vex said.
there to see, it's all snow. We're freezing. Oh look, there's a dwarf. Can we
fine." Vex looked around and, for a moment, was going to continue the argument,
but realized that once Sanskirt started talking that way, there was little anyone
could do to stop her, short of firing a catapult at her.
just wanna blow stuff up," said Arty. And it was true, he enjoyed laying
the divine smackdown against the enemies more than anyone else on the planet.
After a brief laugh, the group was ready to move out, and did just that. For about
5 seconds. Then they went right back into Yak's.
I forgot something," said Buffy. Specifically, she had left her Buffycat
behind, although left behind is probably the wrong way to describe what happened.
Buffycat, being an animal, was smart. Smart enough to know that it was cold away
from the fires that kept the small outpost warm. Which is exactly where Buffy
found her, napping. "Silly cat, let's go," said Buffy. And the cat obeyed.
This time, they managed to make quite good time. Partly because they were working
as a team more and more, but mostly because they were so cold that none of them
wanted to stand still. Sanskirt, Angela, and the cats were lead scouts, with the
rest of the group traveling back a bit, huddled together for warmth. It was a
small relief when they were attacked by groups of enemies, because that got their
adrenaline going and warmed them up, or at least numbed them to the cold. Moreover,
it allowed Arty to kick out some flames, which kept everyone warm.
the nudist entourage made it to Borlis, they received quite a hearty welcome from
the other Ascalonians who made it that far. Already their fame had started to
grow as protectors of Ascalon and stories of their deeds had begun spreading across
the Shiverpeak range. This would turn out to be both fortuitous and dangerous
for them. They had no time to relax for now, they had to make it through the pass
to catch up with Rurik and the others, and what was more, they needed to get the
storm beacons lit, so the rest of the refugees from Ascalon would be able to safely
make it through.
take it," said Angela as soon as they had talked to the guard outside the
temporary shelter. When they had stepped out, they could see the first of the
beacons that needed to be lit. Someone had to carry the torch though, and that
someone was going to be Angela. Not because there was a democratic vote or anything,
but because she was the fastest one out the gate and got to it before anyone else
could. Sanskirt, being the other lead scout, was able to share in the warmness
of the flame, while everyone else was stuck back with Arty, forced to stay close
to his bad puns and wacky sense of humor so they could get the heat from his fireballs,
which were their saving throw in this bitter storm. They also soon encountered
another problem along their way. Centaurs, who were the guardians of the Shiverpeaks,
and hated humans. In the past, they were kept at bay by the dwarves, with whom
the humans traded with regularly; but over the years, as trading declined, the
way was guarded less and the centaurs began taking over the paths that had been
laid out so long ago.
being easily overcome by such things, the travellers carved and scorched their
way down the mountain, lighting the storm beacons as they got closer and closer
to the dwarven outpost. Farther and farther they went down the mountain, all the
while moving more as a unit in formation around Angela and the torch, keeping
as close to its warmth as was possible. As the last beacon was lit, they were
cold and tired, and ready for a strong drink and bright fire to help them forget
the bitter chill they were feeling, but they soon realized that fate had decided
to play a trick on them. Approaching the gate to the dwarven camp, they were greeted
by an Ascalonian guard, who let them know that the dwarves were in a bit of a
that just great," said Sanskirt. "All this work in the freezing cold
and just when we expect to get some relief, the way is blocked. Great. Wonderful.
a few days ago, Rurik, he went through here, and, he left me here, to umm...,
to oh yeah, make sure that people, who were coming this way, would know where
to go," said the guard.
that would be...?" said Buffy. She hadn't spoken much until now, but she
too was growing impatient, albeit at a slightly slower rate than Sanskirt appeared
yeah, he uh, he went to Creek Hollow, to meet with the dwarven king guy, because
he wanted to, umm, meet him."
then, let's head to Creek Hollow."
yeah, he umm, he also wanted me to keep the torch here, so that I could, keep
the beacons lit." At this statement there was a general moan among the adventurers
because this meant giving up their mobile heat source.
many grumbles they handed the torch over to the seemingly mindless guard and moved
past the gate, greeted by summit dwarves intent on not letting them past. Being
irate after giving up their warmth, the travellers made quick work of the dwarves.
Suddenly, something caught Arty's eye.
said the rest of the group; and then they understood. Sitting there, only a few
feet away, were barrels and barrels of dwarven powder kegs. Faster than Angela
had taken the torch Arty had a keg of powder in his hands. Most of the group agreed
that couldn't bode well for them, but they also knew Arty would never give up
his keg. Continuing to work their way through the mountains, and grabbing several
extra powder kegs, the adventurers soon found themselves outside Creek Hollow,
or at least, close to it. The entry to the place was slightly blocked by an army
of summit dwarves and artillery.
seemed fate really didn't want them getting in to Creek Hollow.
by that point they had learned to ignore fate. Making use of their powder kegs,
they blasted through the outer doors of the siege and began hacking and slashing
their way through the enemy forces, destroying the ballistae along the way. There
was so much fighting going on that after a while they all began to work up a good
sweat, which felt good, considering their surroundings, until the fighting was
done and the sweat started to freeze on them.
cold again," said Angela.
cold," said Buffy, although her Buffycat looked somewhat indifferent to the
stopped the siege, let us in!" said Sanskirt as she banged against the gate
to Creek Hollow.
she said this, Buffy spotted another wave coming at them. "Not quite yet
You've got to be kidding me..."
time, however, fate had decided to give them a break. The wave that was coming
at them turned out instead to be the Ascalonians, making their way down the mountain.
The giant gates of Creek Hollow opened before them and there, by a bright and,
more importantly, warm campfire was Prince Rurik, standing next to a seemingly
important dwarf, who turned out to be King Jalis Ironhammer himself. Although
happy to see them, Rurik still had a worried look on his face.
friends, thank goodness you've made it. This is King Jalis Ironhammer, leader
of the Shiverpeak dwarves," the prince said.
forgetting to show proper humility, even though they were really really cold,
the Ascalonians all bowed, showing their respect and thanks to the king.
he said. "Forgit yer ceremonies, we dwarves won't stand fer it."
up straight and feeling slightly embarrassed, the Ascalonians enjoyed a moment
of awkwardness before Rurik spoke again.
friends, we've come so far, but we must still venture farther yet. Just beyond
this ridge lies the Frost Gate, which is where we'll be able to find food, shelter
and warmth to recouperate ourselves before the next leg of our journey. But first,
we must light the grand flame to signal our arrival, so that the king's brother
will know to let us in." As he said this, the entourage of travel-worn companions
knew that they were going to be the ones to go light the thing.
scouts'll show ye the way," King Ironhammer said. And just like that, they
were once again in the cold, making their way through the mountains. This leg
of the trip, however, proved to be much easier than their last one, especially
with their dwarven allies helping them along. It was not long after they set out
that they found the altar for the grand flame, and once it was lit, it gave off
so much warmth that the worn-out group considered resting there for the night.
on by the dwarves, a few minutes later were passing through the Frost Gate, recieving
a welcome from the dwarves as good as any they had ever had. For the first time
in as long as they could remember, they had warm food and drink in their bellies,
and were lying on beds of warm furs, and were being carressed by flames, warming
their bodies and souls, replenishing their spirits. For that one night, at least,
they were at peace, and slept easy.