WorldEmber2018

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Part 1: On the Primary Continent

Summary

A plethora of imitated noises erupt from the crowd of excited kenku onlookers. The game is about to begin. In the dirt below the crumbling ruin, the trespassers are lined up, brandishing their weapons. Across from each prisoner stands a gameman with his cockatrice of choice. The sound of a bone whistle erupts from the onlookers. The gamemen order their fighting cocks forward to attack. The trespassers, surprised, rush to retaliate. the game looks as though it will be won by the trespassers. They are defending effectively against all attacks thrown at them. Then the first trespasser begins to stiffen. The cockatrice poison has taken hold. He slowly turns to stone. His gameman moves over to assist another gameman. After the first prisoner is defeated the game quickly turns out of their favor. The rest of the prisoners are slowly turned to stone as well. The statues are then blindfolded and carted away. The blindfolds are removed and the trespassers find themselves in a decaying hall. The hall is crisscrossed by beams of sunlight and lined with various statues, many of them grotesque semi-daemonic forms. Every so often a kenku guard will lead a wolf-sized squamous creature through the space. The fat, spiny, serpentine anuran is blindfolded. Soon after the patrol passes the trespassers return to their fleshy forms. They begin to escape but are stopped by the statues lining the hall, for they were animate grotesques. The noise of the conflict summons the patrol and the creature is blindfolded. The trespassers manage to avoid its stony gaze. The prisoners, having been sufficiently swarmed, fight tooth and nail to escape via a hole in the ceiling. They all eventually make it out and go to escape. The tiefling of noble blood seeks out his beloved horse. He finds and collects said horse fairly easily, setting the ruins ablaze in the process. In the ensuing chaos all the prisoners manage to escape.   The prisoners, all more wary than before, make their way towards the mountains, looking for a footpath or road. They find none but do come across an old, empty shack. This shack seems to offer shelter enough so the group decides to rest there until the next day. They light a fire in the rude hearth and get to know each other. The tiefling introduces his horse, Muffin, and identifies himself as Leliel Alistair and is surprised that no one in the group recognizes the name. The lizardfolk man says his name is Schlick. He says little else. The mountain-man states his name: he is Gunther. After the exchange of names and pleasantries the group beds down for the night.   The party is awakened by vague nightmares. They find that mist carpets the ground. Leliel, the only person with darkvision, spots an unsettling figure smiling viciously in the corner. He then spots a pair or tree-like legs flanking the door. The creature to which these legs belongs is hunched over, filling the ceiling entirely. The creatures leer at the party, unmoving. Leliel informs the party of the situation. Before he can finish speaking, the terrible things speak a word and the room is engulfed by blackness. Unseen claws rend flesh from the inky dark. The party members scramble to fight back, collecting their things and running for the door. The door is unmoving. The party crashes through the window into the brightness of the moon. The darkness creeps from the shack like a mist, engulfing the party. Muffin neighs in fright. All is silent. The darkness fades. Muffin stares at the party, his/her face contorted wickedly in fright. The horse's large eyes stare glassily at Leliel. Blood begins to trickle from an unseen wound on the equine's neck. Muffin's head slowly and silently slides off his/her body, landing in the grass below with a thud. The new day dawns.   The party continues to head east. They encounter a butte. About the butte wyverns and perytons circle. The party approaches stealthily. They are spotted by a few of the winged beasts. The creatures attack but are quickly dispatched and the party scales the butte. They successfully sneak onto the butte by hiding among various boulders. An albino wyvern arrests Leliels attention and Leliel, in his excitement, reveals the party to the wyverns. The party then fled and hid, waiting for their presence to be forgotten. Multiple hours pass and the party sneaks around the butte. They come upon a cave which Leliel enters. Said cave turns out to be the albino wyvern's den. It is seen that the albino is a mother. After spending hours in the cave Leliel, recently without mount/friend, befriends and effectively adopts the albino. He emrges from the cave cradling the golden baby wyvern in his arms and the albino looms behind him. He dubs the albino Deneb and the child Bellatrix.   The party treks onward. They reach the mountains and begin to follow a craggy pass. As the party passes through the pass, the crags slowly begin to shew carven stonecursed faces. The gorgons, cocatrices, and basilisks leer down at the party. The party members feel like trespassers yet again.   In the pass the party encounters a couple basilisk and cockatrice dens. The only thing of note about the stonecursed inhabiting the pass is the fact that they turn their victims to precious metals instead of stone. The party camps in a small cavern behind a waterfall.   The party wakes to find a woman silhouetted against the falling water in the morning light.


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