Yondalla forgive me, Amyalla
thought to herself, sickened by the sight she was participating in. Would
that there was another way…
Using her magical hat to disguise herself as one of
Pieden’s thugs, Amyalla was now riding on one of the slave-wagons Pieden and his
men were using to transport their kidnap victims. The children were carefully
disguised-a wig here, an overly large coat there-and cowed into silence with
threats of all kinds of dire punishments should they reveal themselves or plead
for help. Not that most people would have heeded them anyway-slavery was
perfectly legal and commonplace in Greyhawk, as the markets were far too
lucrative for it to be otherwise.
At least Greyhawkers were open about their lust for
hard coin, Amyalla realized. Other people were more apt to hide their greed
behind purer motives, such as her family. The Reorsas had proudly claimed that
Amyalla had loved the decorated halfling noble and adventurer Kivern Goodleaf
when she married him. House Reorsa was not displeased to find that one of its
daughters had become the friend and eventual lover of such a famous hero, and
their eventual marriage had not changed things. Indeed, being associated with a
name as prestigious as Kivern’s could only better House Reorsa’s commercial
Amyalla had indeed loved Kivern when she first met
him, enchanted by his devils-may-care attitude and air of bravery. But that was
before she learned about his love of fine wine, and the rages he would fly into
on those all too common instances when he was drunk. It was bad enough when he
would shout obscenities at her, calling her a no-good whore. It was all the
worse when Kivern decided to force his hapless wife to “dance” for him by
shooting his loaded crossbow or throwing his daggers at Amyalla, forcing her to
dodge his attacks as he laughed like the drunken sot he was. Even that was not
as bad as all the times he cuckolded her with other halfling women, often after
Kivern had cut her with his sword or beaten her with a mace.
Complaining to her family had done her no good. They
refused to do anything about it, as they had no desire to see Kivern’s good name
ruined by dragging it through the mud, which would of course have hurt House
Reorsa’s own profits. So it was that House Reorsa’s daughter had had no
compunctions about using her wiles and her wits to expose Kivern’s philandering
and cause a hideous scandal that ruined him and nearly took House Reorsa with
him. So it was that she’d fled Leukish, taking Kivern’s cherished magical hat to
help her disappear.
Now, the halfling hated herself for what she was
doing, hated herself for willingly letting these children suffer at the hands of
Pieden’s men and the slavers who would take them. Every time she cursed herself
for what she was doing, she had to remind herself that they were doing this so
they would be able to track the slavers down back to their lair, and rescue not
only Louella’s and Pieden’s children, but also anyone and everyone else who’d
suffered at these monsters’ hands.
Pieden’s caravan was well into the Cairn Hills by the
time they met the slavers, and it was nearly dusk when the children were
transferred into the new caravan. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much to distinguish
the slavers from Pieden’s own men. The slavers were a collection of
rough-looking thugs equipped with a large set of horse-drawn wagons. The
slavers’ wagons were set with the same kinds of cage’s as Pieden’s own, and the
transition was made with a minimum of fuss. The children cried and wailed, their
sobs tearing at Amyalla’s soul, and she cursed herself once again, forcing an
image of Louella’s pleading to the front of her mind. Unfortunately, that image
fought for space in her mind’s eye with memories of Kivern and all the things
he’d done to her.
Once their business was done, Pieden’s caravan turned
around to return to Greyhawk. They stopped briefly to refill their waterskins
from a nearby stream, and Amyalla took the opportunity to give the excuse that
she needed to relieve herself in private. Instead, she disappeared into the
woods near the road, knowing full well that the nervous thugs had no intention
of looking for her. So far, Amyalla’s plan was working well, and she only needed
to wait for Airk and Revafour. Concentrating for a moment, she shifted back into
her natural form, even as she heard Pieden rally his men and get the caravan
going again. The superstitious thugs had no desire to be out in the Cairn Hills
at night, and would be returning to Greyhawk even if they had to travel until
Dozing in the hollow of a large duskwood tree,
Amyalla awakened when she heard the sounds of Airk and Revafour approaching up
the road a few hours later. Emerging from the hollow and making her way back to
the road, Amyalla greeted her companions as Revafour tossed Amyalla her
backpack. They’d hid in the woods as Pieden’s caravan had returned to Greyhawk,
letting it pass them by before they’d continued into the hills. Worn from their
long walk, Airk and Revafour were led by Amyalla back into the woods so they
could get some sleep before setting out at dawn.
Revafour would be able to track the slavers’ caravan
further into the hills, and then, hopefully, they would find the slavers
And see how well the slavers, who were so brave
against helpless little children, dealt with people who could actually fight
them on even terms.
Several days of travel, knowing that they were
getting closer to their goal, had not calmed the worry Weimar, Luna, Seline and
Ma’non’go felt. If anything, it only increased their concern, hoping against
hope they wouldn’t be too late in rescuing little Teddyrun. Luna’s divination
spells had given them a general idea of which way to go, but none of them knew
what the omen from Pelor had meant by the “giant’s cloven beard”. They had asked
at several of the villages they’d stopped in and other travelers they’d met on
the way, but no one they’d asked had any idea of what they were talking
Now in the Cairn Hills themselves, Weimar and the
others weren’t entirely sure of what to do. They’d continued heading north by
northeast, and Weimar had made sure they stayed on course, but so far they
hadn’t come across any giants. They’d thought of asking at some of the mining
villages in the hills themselves-maybe the dwarves and gnomes of the region
would know better what the divination was talking about, but how much time could
they afford to spend asking about it?
“Why don’t you cast some more spells?” Weimar asked
Luna as they rode down a trail that cut through a copse of thick birch trees.
“They take too long to cast,” Luna frowned. “It’s
taken us a long time to get here already, and I don’t know how much more time we
Luna’s horse, which was leading the group, suddenly
neighed in surprise and recoiled onto its hind legs as an arrow shot out from
the trees and thudded into the path in front of it. The adventurers looked
around warily as a group of men and women seemed to appear around them almost by
magic, emerging from the trees. The new arrivals were dressed in clothes of
green and brown to help them blend in with their surroundings, for all that
their spears, maces and shields were of well-made steel. Most of them wore light
leather armor, and none of them wore anything heavier than brigandine. They
carried themselves with the practiced ease of people whose ancestors had spent
countless centuries living in these hills, knowing them as intimately as any
dwarf or gnome.
Most of the settled Flanaess was dominated by
countries established by the Suel and Oeridian peoples who had come to these
lands during the Great Migrations, in most cases driving out the indigenous Flan
who gave the continent their name. Many Flan now lived among other humans as
citizens of these new countries, but others continued to live in their own
independent communities. Some of them were nomads, others were settled farmers,
tradespeople or herders, but they all recognized no authority and belonged to no
country other than their own. A group of these independent Flan now surrounded
the adventurers, many of them with drawn bows, others with swords or maces in
The situation remained tense for several seconds,
before one Flan, clearly the leader from the way he conducted himself, spoke to
“What brings you to these lands?” he asked in the
common tongue. “Why have you come here?”
Much to Weimar’s surprise, Luna answered for them.
“We come to these lands in search of an innocent who
needs our help,” Luna answered in the Flan language. “We mean you and yours no
harm-this I swear as a daughter of Pelor,” she continued, displaying the golden
sun icon she wore as a pendant around her neck.
The Flan leader rocked back on his heels slightly,
surprised at Luna’s answering him in his own language. The other Flan warriors
were just as surprised, mumbling to one another and lowering their weapons
“All we would seek from you is guidance,” Seline
added, also speaking in the Flan language. “We are searching for a child, a
child abducted by some evil that could threaten all the communities around it.
Any help you could give us would be greatly appreciated.”
Once again, the Flan looked at the adventurers and
then each other in surprise at the foreign women who spoke their language.
Weimar looked at Ma’non’go, who glanced back at him
and nodded as if to assure him.
“You don’t hail from the City of Greyhawk, do you?”
the Flan leader realized in the common tongue. “You, do you speak our language?”
he asked, this time turning to Weimar and Ma’non’go and speaking in Flan.
Ma’non’go nodded, while Weimar just shrugged
helplessly, not understanding anything the leader was saying in Flan.
“An Olman from the southern lands, two women from the
east, and…a man from the west,” the Flan leader mused to himself. “Clearly you
all have an interesting tale to tell, and very good reason to be in these hills.
Perhaps we can help one another after all.”
“Help one another?” Weimar asked in surprise, as the
group of Flan turned to continue down the trail, gesturing for the adventurers
to follow them. “What do you mean?”
“Your friends have mentioned a great evil,” the Flan
leader replied, as the adventurers kicked up their horses to follow. “If my
suspicions are correct, we may need your help just as much as those whose child
you seek to rescue.”
The Flan village was a collection of log cabins and
lodges, typical for this part of the world. Luna, Seline and Ma’non’go had seen
many Flan villages of similar, but not identical, make in the eastern Flanaess,
while Weimar was reminded of the smaller elven communities he sometimes visited
during his days in the armies of Keoland. It came as little surprise,
particularly given the cultural exchanges the elves of the Flanaess had had with
the Flan for countless centuries. The village was thronged with laughing and
playing children and adults tending to domestic duties, although Ma’non’go and
the rest of the visitors could detect the palpable sense of tension in the air.
The village was fairly large and prosperous, but there didn’t seem to be as many
people as the visitors would have expected.
Seline was surprised to see how relieved many of the
people in the village seemed to be that their escorts had returned home safely,
far more than she would have expected people returning from a patrol to be. They
spoke rapidly to one another, and soon there were so many conversations that she
couldn’t make out what any of them were saying. The leader of the Flan patrol, a
man who’d called himself Dennine, broke off from the crowd of villagers,
gesturing to the adventurers to follow him. They approached a larger lodge in
the centre of the village, and were surprised as the lodge’s front doors opened
and a group of dwarves carrying weapons and sacks emerged. Several of the
villagers called out good-byes to the dwarves, who saluted back as they mounted
the ponies tied up outside the lodge and rode away, seemingly satisfied with
“Who were they?” Weimar asked Dennine curiously.
“Some of our regular traders, who hail from the
dwarven kingdom of Greysmere,” Dennine explained as he brought the adventurers
into the lodge. “They were here to drop off some supplies we needed.”
“What do you mean?” Luna asked.
“Our chief can explain it to you,” Dennine asked, as
he led them down a hallway and through an open doorway into a large room. The
room was elaborately decorated with fine furniture, while the walls were
festooned with hunting trophies, weapons and paintings depicting war victories.
A large table took place of pride in the centre of the room, around which a
group of older people were seated. At the head was a lean women with dark bronze
skin, her long hair alternately gray and white, dressed in a beautiful doeskin
gown and wearing a colorful sash that denoted her as the main leader of the
The adventurers stood before the table as Dennine
explained briefly how he’d met them, before concluding by saying that they would
be able to help the Flan with their own troubles.
“Indeed?” the older woman asked, looking intently at
Dennine, and then back at her guests. “Very well, then-be seated and welcome at
“You are…” Luna trailed off, giving their host the
opportunity to introduce herself, as was the typical Flan custom.
“I am Melonanne,” the older woman replied, “current
chief of the village of Oakdale. These others are the rest of our council,” she
continued, gesturing to all the other Flan sitting around her at the table. “Now
then, perhaps you can give us more of an explanation as to why you pass through
“We didn’t know these lands were yours,” Seline
immediately replied, bowing her head slightly in apology. “We were originally
hired by a family from the land of Greyhawk whose son was recently abducted by
an unknown evil. Our task is to find the family’s son and bring him home before
he can be injured...or worse,” she continued. “The trail has led us here, into
the Cairn Hills, and we only passed through your lands because we believe that
this is where we need to go,” Seline spoke, deep concern in her voice as she
recalled the plight of poor Teddyrun.
“…This is most disturbing,” Melonanne said after a
moment, as the other council members murmured to one another. “It means that the
evil is far more widespread than we realized.”
“What do you mean?” Seline asked curiously.
“Many of our own children have been abducted in
recent weeks by parties unknown,” Melonanne said sadly. “We’ve been stretched to
the breaking point trying to find them, as we’re also currently fighting a large
pack of trolls that’s come into this territory. Our dwarven allies were just
here to give us a fresh supply of oil, and we’re likely to need every drop of
it. Because of the gods-damned trolls, we haven’t been able to spare the
resources to search for our children, Pelor forgive us. It is all we can do to
“I know for a fact that Pelor would bear you no
grievance for fighting for your survival,” Luna pointed out. “Indeed, perhaps
our presence here is Pelor’s means of helping you. Indeed, I suspect that the
same beings, whoever they were, that abducted Teddyrun are also the same ones
who abducted your children as well.”
“You would do that for us?” Melonanne asked in
surprise. The hopeful look on her face was shared by most of the other members
of her council, although some of them did not seem inclined to share their
“Of course we would,” Seline assured her brightly,
smiling warmly with assurance. “We could use your help, however.”
“With what?” Melonanne asked curiously.
“We were led here by a divination I cast to try and
find Teddyrun,” Luna replied. “The message from Pelor was that Teddyrun could be
found at the ‘giant’s cloven beard’, but I don’t know what that meant. We asked
as many people as we could think of on our way here, but none of them could help
“The giant’s cloven beard…” Melonanne murmured,
trying to remember where she’d heard that before. “I could swear that…”
“I know what they’re speaking of,” another one of the
council members spoke up. “It’s clearly the Bearded Lord’s Hollow.”
“The…what?” Seline asked curiously.
“The Bearded Lord’s Hollow gets its name because it’s
at the base of a large hill that vaguely resembles a giant’s head,” the council
member explained. “The forest at its base resembles the giant’s beard, although
it’s sharply divided by the hollow at its base. No one lives there currently-the
last we heard, it was previously an orc lair, but they were driven out several
“Until now,” Seline realized.
“Tell me, young lady,” Melonanne said to Luna later,
after they had eaten, “how did you and your sister learn our
“We used to live further east,” Luna explained, “and
I often worked as an ambassador from the settled church of Pelor to the
independent Flan of those lands. How long have your people lived here?” she
continued, taking a sip of the delicious cider the Flan had served their guests.
“Is Oakdale a new settlement? Most of the Flan settlements we visited in the
east were more temporary-they didn’t have some of the facilities you do,” she
continued, referring to the village’s smithy and brewery. The Flan had been kind
enough to serve them some cider, and Luna found it to be exceptionally good.
“We’ve been here some two centuries,” Melonanne
replied. “While we’ve had our…difficulties with other peoples,” she
said, referring to the abuses and betrayals many Flan had suffered at the hands
of the Oerid and the Suel who settled in their lands, “we’ve been fortunate
enough to have relative peace. Some of the traders from Greyhawk make regular
stops here as well.”
“Many of the Flan in the east tend to be more
nomadic, or at least live further away from other humans,” Luna noted. “That’s
probably been because of the greater disruptions many of the Flan in those lands
had to deal with, particularly because of the Aerdi,” she frowned. “Things were
never the same after the old kingdom of Ahlissa was destroyed,” she frowned.
“A pity, to be sure,” Melonanne sighed. “And yet, how
did you come to know of such things? Very few would take an interest in these
“I’ve long believed that, in order to understand the
present, we must also understand the past,” Luna explained. “How past events and
decisions lead to the circumstances we see today, and what we may learn from it.
Pelor’s light has shone on it all, and that’s one reason I joined his clergy.
What other mysteries are out there? What other light can I bring to the world?”
“Suffice to say that’s not the typical answer I would
have received from most adventurers,” Melonanne smiled thinly.
“They say you’re an Olman,” Dennine said to Ma’non’go
and Seline as they sat eating with several curious villagers in the village’s
“Why are you here, so far from home? Are you a
slave?” one of the other Flan asked.
“Why don’t you talk?” a third Flan asked. “You’re not
Seline nearly choked on her food at that, but
Ma’non’go’s reaction was all the more striking. He stood up in a fury, casting
an enraged glare at the man who’d asked that question, clenching his fists in
anger. The Flan villagers started in surprise, as Seline place a hand on his arm
in an attempt to calm him down. Ma’non’go signed something in his hand cant,
before he sat down and opened up his backpack. Pulling out a lump of charcoal
and a piece of parchment, he wrote something down on it before displaying it for
their Flan hosts to see.
You impugn my honor with such a question,
Ma’non’go’s message read in the common tongue. I am a
slave to no man-I protect Luna and Seline because I owe their father a debt for
saving my life. And as for why I do not speak with my voice, the reasons are my
own and I will not speak of them.
The Flan villagers all looked at one another,
somewhat shaken and not quite knowing what to make of Ma’non’go’s angry
reaction. Ma’non’go took a deep breath and sat down, trying to resume eating,
although everyone around him could feel his anger.
“So where are you from, then?” Dennine asked. “Are
“No, we’re not,” Seline answered after a moment.
“We’re adventurers who’d come to Greyhawk.”
“Yes, but where before that?” Dennine asked again.
“Are you from Nyrond? Sunndi? Somewhere else?”
Instead of answering the question, Seline began
humming a tune, seeming as if she was thinking about how to reply. Several of
the other Flan smiled at Seline’s singing, which was decidedly pleasant.
Everyone felt the tension in the air relax, as even Ma’non’go seemed to calm
“That’s a pretty song,” a younger Flan boy replied.
“Where did you learn it?”
“An elder from another nation taught it to me,”
Seline explained, before she began singing the lyrics. Her audience was more
than a little surprised at the fact that the song was in the Flan language,
although they had never heard it before.
“An elder taught you that? From what nation?” Dennine
“The Rebballah people of the Menowood,” Seline
grinned. “They were all really friendly, and I learned a lot of interesting
stories from them, too!” she finished brightly.
“Oh, really?” the younger Flan boy who’d asked her
where she’d learned the song spoke up. “Like what? Can you tell us one?”
“Sure,” Seline grinned, reverting to the Flan
language as she told them the story of the king’s three sons and their quest for
the eagle’s blessing. The younger children in the group gathered around, eager
to listen to her tale, and it didn’t take long for the adults to join in as
It had been a long, punishing day for Revafour and
his friends, following the trail of the caravan that had kidnapped the children.
The sun beat down on them, causing Airk and Revafour no small amount of
discomfort in their heavy armor. There was a sense of foreboding all around
them, of hopelessness and worry that they might not make it in time. All they
could do was press on, hoping that they would not be too late. Eventually,
however, as the sun grew low in the west they were forced to stop for the night.
“There’s a dwarven village we might be able to find
rest at,” Amyalla noted, pointing it out on the map Dwaven May had given her
before they’d left the city. “Maybe we could-“
“No!” Airk insisted coldly, his eyes flashing. “We’re
not staying there!”
“It’s not that far,” Amyalla protested.
“No,” Airk repeated, in a voice that brooked no
argument. “We camp, or we press on. What’s it going to be?”
It didn’t take long for the veteran adventurers to
find a suitable place to set up camp, or to get a fire going. In the shelter of
a small wooded clearing, Airk and Amyalla sat next to one another at the fire,
preparing a meal while Revafour went to stare out at the sunset, sitting on a
large, flat rock that made a natural chair.
“You really had that many problems with the dwarves?”
Amyalla asked her gnome friend softly, her words lacking their usual wry tone.
“Was it really that bad?”
“I lost a lot of loved ones in the Hateful Wars,”
Airk replied stonily, staring intensely into the flames. “Flinthold shed so much
of its blood, and lost so many of its youth, that it’s never truly recovered.
It’d have been one thing if our losses came just from the orcs and goblins, but
to be betrayed by our supposed allies was another thing altogether. I imagine
Revafour’s known some of the same problems, considering what the Flan have
endured since the Oeridians and the Suel came to these lands,” he muttered.
“I know them too,” Amyalla sighed, before she noticed
that the stew they had been preparing was ready. Spooning it into three bowls,
she handed one to Airk before they walked over to Revafour. To their surprise,
they saw that the larger man was painting on a piece of parchment. The image he
was drawing reflected the sunset they saw before them, which shone beautifully
over the Cairn Hills and brightened the mood they felt. Revafour looked up at
his smaller companions as they approached, gratefully accepting the bowl of stew
Amyalla offered him. The three companions ate in silence for several minutes,
before Amyalla picked up the painted picture Revafour was working on.
“This is beautiful,” the halfling breathed, surprised
at the skill Revafour had put into the drawing. “How long have you done this?”
“Long enough,” Revafour half-smiled his appreciation.
“My father taught me how to do it. He insisted that it was important to learn to
respect and appreciate the Oerth, and he said that art was one of the best ways
to do it. I also learned how to do scrimshaw and wood sculpture from
Quendamak-it was really popular with the southern traders who would sometimes
come to Blackmoor.”
“You capture the sunlight well,” Airk remarked.
“It’s…yes…” the gnome sighed, seeming to forget his anger as he basked in the
“Are you alright?” Revafour asked in surprise.
“Certainly,” Airk replied with a smile. “The sunset
just gives me memories of home. I spent a lot of evenings aboveground in my
youth, enjoying scenes like these. My brothers would always mock me for being
too elven for my own good.”
“And why would that be a bad thing?” Revafour asked
with a thin smile.
“It wouldn’t,” Airk replied with a smirk. “Besides,
we never got to enjoy the breezes underground.”
They sat in silence for a few moments, before Airk
“I have to admit that there’s another reason I wanted
us to camp out,” the gnome admitted. “If we were staying at the dwarven village,
we’d have never been able to enjoy this sunset, or the stars of the night.”
“Always a beautiful sight,” Revafour agreed.
“To be sure, although there is one greater pleasure,”
“And what’s that?” Airk asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Being able to share the sight with two handsome
men,” the halfling tittered.
Airk and Revafour only smiled at that.
They knew they were approaching their goal, and it
would not be long before there was a reckoning. It would not be long before they
found the evil they were seeking, and could only hope that they would arrive in
So it was all the more surprising to Airk, Revafour
and Amyalla when they saw the four humans approaching them on the trail, and to
Weimar, Luna, Seline and Ma’non’go when they noticed the large Flan man and the
gnome and halfling who accompanied him. The seven individuals had their hands on
their weapons as they approached, knowing the dangers lurking in the Cairn
Hills, but they all noted caution, rather than hostility, on each other’s faces.
They stood in silence for several moments, staring at
one another intently, before Seline broke the silence.
“You’re fellow travelers, I take it?” Seline
ventured, briefly bowing in respect. “Be assured we mean you no harm, and seek
only our own path.”
Behind her, Luna, Ma’non’go and Weimar looked at one
another and back at the travelers, as Airk, Revafour and Amyalla did the same.
Finally, the halfling stepped forward.
“We seek many of the same things you do,” Amyalla
replied, “and you may be assured that we mean you no harm, either. In what
direction are you traveling?”
“North by northeast,” Seline replied, always keeping
her tone even and cautious. “And you?”
“The same,” Airk said, adjusting his dragon-headed
The seven people looked at one another once again,
first at the ones they knew, and then again at the ones they did not. Suspicion
played on some of their faces-did their enemies know that they were on their
trail? Revafour, Airk and Ma’non’go, especially, all showed their wariness.
“I wonder,” Luna ventured, a contemplative gesture on
“Wonder what?” Amyalla asked, raising an eyebrow.
“We travel in the same directions. I wonder whether
we also seek the same goals,” Luna replied.
“We seek the return of children taken from their
homes, children who miss their loved ones and would love nothing more than to
return home,” Amyalla interjected. “What do you seek?”
“Much the same thing,” Seline quickly interjected.
“We’ve been tasked with finding a missing child as well, tasked by the child’s
missing parents who are worried sick about him and want nothing more than for
him to be brought home. Perhaps, then…we can help one another?” she asked,
alternately hopeful and tentative.
They looked at one another, each of them first to the
strangers among the group, and then to the people they knew. Finally, Airk was
the first to speak up.
“You’re magic, considering your clothes,” Airk
realized, nodding at Seline’s robes. “And you, that pendant around your
neck…you’re of Pelor, aren’t you?”
“Quite so,” Luna nodded. Things seemed to be calming,
although some of the people did not seem convinced.
“Your timing is rather good, isn’t it?” Revafour
asked solemnly. “Is it simply a coincidence that we meet one another at just
such an opportune time, when we do not know what we might be facing?”
“We might ask the same thing of you,” Weimar replied
with a half-smile. “Surely there are safety in numbers, my dear fellow? After
all, we don’t know what we’re to face. And think of it-whoever is responsible
for these kidnappings is clearly widespread. Surely it’s not too much to suggest
that this evil, whatever it is, could have struck in more than one place?”
Weimar spoke in his most calm and collected tone,
seeming perfectly at ease despite the tension in the air. Luna and Seline smiled
at that, although Ma’non’go remained as calm and stone-faced as ever. Revafour
also seemed suspicious, and Airk seemed to be uncertain of what to think.
Amyalla, however, smiled in response to that.
“Surely we could use some assistance, particularly
with magic,” she grinned. “And I suspect that your efforts would also benefit
with the addition of some new blades,” she noted. “What say you?” she asked her
Revafour didn’t move, and only stood there, a look of
mistrust on his face. Airk seemed as if he was about to refuse, but then he
looked at Amyalla, then at Weimar, and back at his halfling friend, before he
finally nodded his agreement.
The seven adventurers set off, now sharing a common
goal, and wondering what horrors they would have to face at the Bearded Lord’s
Twilight was one of the weird sisters’ favorite times
to practice their rituals. While the time of day did not particularly affect
their magic, they’d noted how many humans and their related races found the
evening skies and sunset to be particularly beautiful, and so they took
particular pleasure in conducting their obscene rites at times of day the humans
would consider most pleasant.
It began with Dorbella setting the rhythm of the
chant with her harsh, guttural croak, before Ublodine chimed in with her
high-pitched shrieks. N’arghenn then began the actual chanting of the spell,
blending it with the screams and songs of her sisters into a disgusting,
bloodcurdling cacophony that sounded as if it came from the bowels of the Nine
Hells themselves. The weird sisters’ visions seemed to fade in and out of focus,
as a thick white mist obscured everything around them. They closed their eyes
briefly, and when they opened them all of the weird sisters saw the same thing
through their six eyes.
They saw the seven heroes approaching and learned
their motivations, as their foul master granted them a vision. His hideous,
horned face and large bat-like wings loomed at the edge of their minds as the
vision faded. The white mist rose before the sisters’ eyes again, and finally
their individual vision returned.
Their ritual completed, the weird sisters fell silent
as Dorbella gestured to Bruddelmort, who stood nearby with the rest of his kin.
Bruddelmort stepped forward as the weird sisters resumed their ritual, this time
with a different spell in mind. They cast the spell on their minion, preparing
him for the next phase of their plan. Soon, the ritual ended as Dorbella began
casting one final chant of her own, preparing herself for her role in the coming