StoneWynd

To Save Akela

Storming a Shadowy Keep

As Lorick the Summoner and Wheysinu the Sword Mage relax in the Feywild they are startled by a mechanical owl. “Find, Aurum I must…” the owl clatters and schreeches. Lorick’s ponders the creature and wonders about the inner workings of this clock work marvel. “A friend in need sent me to return with Aurum.” Lorick and Wheysinu share that they haven’t seen Aurum in months. “With your eye, Aurum I can find.” the owl whirls, schreeches and clatters. With a flurry of mechanical wings, the owl swoops down and reaches into Lorick’s skull with an ephemeral claw! The emphemeral claw withdraws a glowing eye, complete with optical nerves dangling. Lorck and Wheysinu gasp in astonishment as the owl devours the eye after finding a perch.

“Find, Aurum, I now can do.. come… come… " as the owl flys off between the towering trees. Wheysinu and Lorick mount their war horse and thunder off behind the owl. Many twists and turns later through the towering trees, the group comes to a fallen gargantuan tree. The group easily rides into the shadowy hollow of the tree. Lorick and Wheysinu’s are startled by the deep and strong sents of the earth. Abruptly the hollow within the tree ends in a rotten wooden wall. Wheysinu hacks his way through the wall and they group continues on. Just beyond the wall, the darkness is absolute. With a quick lighting of his flaming sword, Wheysinu illuminates the situation.

Oddly, they find themselves in a crypt. The path behind blocked by a stone wall and steep set of stone stairs ahead. To their left and right, several tiers of open graves are filled with bones. "Come, come, up the stairs… " screeches the owl. Lorick pockets a scull and then pushes open the stone slab that was blocking the stair exit.

Lorick and Wheysinu find themselves in a small graveyard filled with several burial mounds similar to the one they just exited. The owl, flys off and they follow. The streets of the city are fairly deserted and the few people they see are heavily armed and warily eye them as they pass.

Shortly, there after they come across Aurum, Ariana and Cactus the Wilden Shaman. Lorick and Wheysinu quickly share their tale and discover from Aurum that the owl is named Archemedes and is the totem of an old friend, Akela the Shaman. After questioning Archemedes the group learns that Akela was captured while trying to free some troubled spirits and that Akela’s life is in jeopardy.

Aurum summons a set of spectral steeds to help speed their journey. They mount up and with Archemedes at the lead, return to the buril mound. The group crowds into the narrow confines of the tomb. “Close the opening you must…” Archemeds instructs the adventures. The doorway is shut and completely drowns out the morning light. Aurum draws his floating lantern and Wheysinu ignights his flaming sword. The are surprised to find that the far wall of the crypt has yet again transformed but this time into a thick expanse of whispy spider webs.

Aurum burns their way through the spider webs with his arcane might and discovers a rough hewn passage beyond. The journy thorugh the passage is uneventful other than the occasional scrape against the rough walls. After a breif time, the passage opens out onto the side of a mountain. As they look out from the characters view of a large farmland encircled by high mountains. At the center of the farmland is a walled keep with a central tower. The farmland is seperated into four quadrants by a wide road and each quadrant has several small buildings clustered together. Dark grey clouds blot out the sun and place the valley into an calm twilight.

“To the keep we must go…” Archemedes schreeches while hoovering in place. The characters debate strategies on how to best reach the castle. At last they decide to fly down the mountain and sneak into the keep. Archemedes, warns “Attacked was I by creatures from the sky.” Depite this warning the adventurers take to the sky.

Moments later they spy a dozen screaming winged creatures decending from the mountains above. As the creatures close, the party realizes that they are Harpies. A wicked back in the sky begins. After Lorick and Wheysinu are snatched from the saddle and take massive damage from their fall, the party realizes that the Harpies have the advantage while in the sky. The Harpies are driven off after two of them are killed.

On foot the characters decide to sneak their way into the keep. Through the dried crops they creep unti they come one of the groups of buildings. Cactus decides to go explore the buildings. Wheysinu then uses his fire blade to set the crops in one of the neighboring quadrants aflame. Under the cover of the flames and smoke, Aurum, Lorick, Wheysinu and Ariana Toox skulk toward the keep… and come across a tall, armored humanoid. Before it can draw it’s weapons or cry out, Aurum kills it with a burst of arcane magic. With a quick search of the body, they surmise that they had quickly killed a vampire! On to the keep the proceed.

The crops end about 100 yards from the keep, with no cover between the edge of the crops and the walls of the keep. With a quick dash to cover the space and a harrowing scramble up the walls the adventurers enter the keep. Down the walls into the courtyard they go. Despite their efforts to keep quite Aurum stumbles and make a considerable amount of noise as his lantern scrapes against the keeps walls.

Wide eyed, the adventures pause and look around to see if they are discovered. Above on the walls of the keep they see 16 shadowy creatures materialize from nothing. Heavy armor materializes on the bodies of the creatures as they begin to moan and howl, shattering the quiet.

Aurum, befuddles the minds of two of the creatures to make they see each other as enemies. Wheysinu scales the wall to attack the creatures. Realizing that two are befuddled and attacking each other, Wheysinu runs toward another pair of creatures. As Wheysinu engages in battle, he recognizes the creatures as some kind of Wight. The clawing attacks of the Wights, suck away some of Wheysinu’s life force with each blow.

Lorick sends his Imp to engage two of the Wights and summons other creatures to aide in the battle.

Aurum and Ariana Toox move to the door of the inner tower. The doorway is ringed with arcane writing that Aurum deterimines to be runes of protection. After a moment’ study Aurum determines how best to hinder the magic and proceeds to do so. Just as he finishes, he hears a cry from Lorick that Wheysinu has fallen to the Wights.

Aurum runs over to lend aide to Wheysinu. Aurum sees two of the creatures fighting against Wheysinu’s sword familiar. The sword familiar is the only thing standing between Wheysinu and certain death at the hands of the Wights.

Ariana Toox, leans against the huge doorway and attempts to push it open. He strenth is not enough to move the door. Just as she summons all of her strength and will to make another attempt, the doors swing inward. Standing before her is a 7 foot tall thin man. Streams of darkness billow about him as if blown by a strong wind. His mouth opens and Ariana can see a pair of sharp fangs. He extends his clawed hand and in a booming voice, the vampire says “HOW DARE YOU!!” …

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