Welcome all, Monday has come and it brings a new weekly adventure and the 3rd (and maybe last) in the Beneath the ways adventure series. So let’s get looking into what we have on the table for this week.
This week I want to get back to what we started doing but still attempting to stick with the more narrative story driven style that I have adopted more recently, a few options that are a bit shorter should give me more time to be able to produce a variety of content that is still more engaging than a few small bits of information from the DMs point of view.
As the party lay in their bed rolls, the inn no longer having space enough for their group of 4 they were able to secure lodging with the soldiers of Arciryas, they were suddenly jostled awake by a scrawny boy who looked like he had avoided having a bath for weeks.
“Sirs, Sirs, we need you at the docks. The Elves they are back and Blake has requested for your presence at once!”
“I don’t know what use I will be considering that I have not had more than a few hours to rest. That last battle consumed the last of my magical reserves and I fear that I have not had sufficient time to recuperate my reserves…” Zander began, not being a fan of being woken up. Before he could open his mouth to continue complaining Ray spoke up.
“Tell Blake we will be there momentarily.” Ray looked to see Dusk and Mike standing and buckling on their armour. Even Zander had pulled his robe over his head and began attaching his hooded cloak and retrieving his staff that bore the motif of a snake as the body formed the pole of the staff whilst the head of staff resembled a snarling viper.
As the party left the tent they had been housed in they followed the scruffy boy and jogged towards the docks more and more soldiers funnelled from other tents or houses and moved towards the docks, all of them wearing battle ready armour, holding their spears or swords and had a shield strapped to their wrist ready for battle.
Walking down the narrow path to the docks, a defensive design decision to restrict the number of invaders that could take the city by sea the boy shouted to get the soldiers and sailors to make way for the party as they hurried down the slippery path toward the docks, much to Mikes dislike.
As they finished their march down the steep path and the footing underneath became more stable the party noticed a ring of guards, Sir Blake and Rafnir standing behind some of the more armoured of the men who had formed a ring against the edge of the docks.
“Ah, adventurers. I am glad you came with as much haste as you could. Sadly none of us speak elven and we have been unable to establish what this lone elf wants but they have made no move to leave nor any sort of aggression and we are at a loss. However my men, after losing friends and family to these sea elves, are losing their patience and I fear that violence is just under the surface. To punctuate his point a chorus of shouts erupted from the ring of guards and a few guards moved forward before being commanded back into line.
“We have two who can speak elven.” Mike said, looking towards Ray, the sudden ability for him to understand and speak elven appeared at the same time as they wrestled that cursed blade from the banshees tomb.
Striding forward and being of average build and height Ray used his presence to part the guards in front of him, the soldiers parting ways for him with a respectful bow of the heads given that word of his nobility had spread this far and he was the talk amongst many of the soldiers, and the women of the city.
“Hail, what brings you to these docks. I fear that if you were expecting a friendly reception you have chosen the wrong city friend.” Ray spoke, the soldiers looking between him and the sea elf.
The elven male, dressed in a warriors plate made from some form of coral or shell, produced a bow that was both full of grace and purpose but laden with martial prowess that was not lost on Ray.
“My name is Mathias, well met. I did expect to be received as I was,” he look around a faint smile of sadness present on his face. “But I did not expect to be spoken to in that dialect of elven – it is very old for such a young race to have so evidently mastered.” Mathias curiously mused out loud a he looked towards Raynor, his eyes flicking to the blade at his side. If any recognition of the history of the ancient weapon glinted in the eyes of the elf it was lost on all surrounding him. “However failure is not an option for me and I am here as an emissary. Prince Sellis is waiting my return with the permission for himself and his personal guard to seek audience with the ruling body or person of this city.”
Raynor turned and translated the message back to Blake, a nervous murmur spread amongst the guard.
Pushing through the ring of guards Blake came to stand next to Ray. “Tell him that he will have his audience.” the old warriors face revealing none of the thoughts buzzing through his mind.
King Felris smiled, it had been many years since he had felt the rush of cold water on his face as his massive steed sped through the water heading towards the divergence, the divide under the surface where the warmer water met the ice cold water of the deep, where he ruled.
“Smell that Slakeesh, there has been blood spilt. Ahh, it has been so long since we have hunted surface dwellers, their warm blood, their little wooden boats that they hope in vain will protect them. Even when our claws, spears and jaws break through their hulls they cling to the wood as if it a a saviour. They need to stick to their land, and after our hunt they wont dare to venture out on the water again.”
The large shark he rode swam faster, its massive head thrashing from left to right as it too began to smell blood in the water, its speed increasing.
King Felris laughed as the other steeds of the deep sprang forward, all of them blood drunk as they punched through the divergence. Great Eels, sharks, rays and a single giant squid rushed around the king, swarming through the sea as the great hunt began in earnest.
“Sire!,” a young elf swam up to him, his steed, a sea wolf – a rare breed for this part of the ocean, lithe and quick in in the water “We have found a boat, they appear to be non military but they are heading toward the surface dwellers city.” he warrior said, his face giddy with untested excitement.
“Good. Send word that we attack at once, leave no survivors. These surface dwellers have tested our good will for long enough and will need to be taught respect. Make sure to send some of our Ilnari to conduct their rituals. We need all the bodies on the land as we can, and I need more souls to save our children” King Felris spoke, a sadness in his face and voice. The surface dwellers had taken everything from his people, poisoning them at first and causing them to turn upon brother, sister, wife and child. When the king had fallen ill he alone had been strong enough to supress the madness and in his exile from his people he had found it. The cure. The souls of those who were responsible for this poison, this curse could cure the burden his kind had been left with.
As the warrior sped off, signalling for a few other warriors to speed off towards their prey the old King felt remorse. How had his son, a prince of the sea elves, been so soft and weak to believe that the curse was not the fault of the surface dwellers. It was their wrecked war ships that had spread it, their wild, uncontrolled magic had ripped into his people, into his father – the king. To save his wife and pathetic son a terrible fate He had send himself off into exile hoping his son would find the cure but as decades past and no word from the palace, his home, came the king took matters into his own hands.
This was the only way forward, the only choice. It had been so long since he had partaken in a great hunt and he was going to let nothing or no one stop his quest to save his people. A laugh came unbidden to the king, him not even aware that the laugh had taken place as somewhere his warriors dragged the souls of a merchant and his family into the shards of the great Clam, the birthplace of a new race of elf, the rightful rulers of under and above the waves.
Well that’s what we have for this week, the prince coming to offer aid to the city in attempt to save his father from committing something he couldn’t come back from or the King breaking forward and perhaps beating his son to the city, his madness spreading through his army of sea creatures and elves.
Depending on which way we go with this week we may have another week left of adventures in this story arc, but we will have to see what the rest of the week brings. Don’t forget that if you like a particular direction that the adventure could take to leave a comment. Ultimately I want to leave the decision of the adventure to the readers of the blog, or fate and roll to see which one I write-up at the end of the week where we have multiple options.
Oh, and always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe