Eddings burst into the tavern, sweating and panting. The muck and dust that clung to him in an illustrative way. It told the story of someone who had recently taken a dirt-nap and then spent long hours on the road; a story oft-repeated on the island.
“SORCERY! ANCIENT RUINS AND CURSES! This is what we found by trekking West of our peaceful little oasis.
On our very first night, we were accosted by the foulest of ghoulies. Karash waded into them with no hint of fear and was rewarded with a curse. The barbarian’s skin turned orange overnight, but he noticed no other ill effects. Morning brought us the corpse of a fellow traveler and investigation yielded clues pointing West… and to Karash.
We followed both trail and trace as the Mountains drew nearer. It wasn’t long before we happened upon a large meteor and the trail of destruction it had left. Expert analysis determined that the rock was not hollow and made mostly from iron. It had the disconcerting tendency to billow black smoke any time it was touched. Unfortunately, we exhausted our tools, and ideas, before learning all of its secrets.
All signs again pointed West so into the foothills we went. We’d barely donned our cold weather gear before a gnome woman came barreling down the trail. On her heels were a pack of half man/half boar creatures. Cynder was quick to throw a wall of flame between them and their prey but that barely slowed their charge. The bounded along the sides of the trail as if crossing a meadow… terrain that I would have struggled to cross.
They came from either side of the flame wall they seeking to harry our flanks. I managed to hypnotize those on our right with my illusions but was quickly outdone by our warlock. Vraela’s magics were tossing them ten, sometimes twenty feet in the air. If they were the tide, we were the rocks that crashed upon.
Within short order we had cleared the field and questioned the gnome. She turned out to be part of the overall puzzle and led us to an excavation site where she had previously been employed. Ambush! Dwarves rushed in from all sides as springing a trap. I tried again to hypnotize the enemy but this time I was countered by one of their number. I ran for safety as arrows and licks of flame went overhead.
Some battles are a dance, others a brawl… but this was an uproar. Karash again smashed through the enemy lines with no regard to his own safety. Our Sorceress let loose the most blistering spells. The dwarves did their best to counter this onslaught but fell as the sun set.
We made camp again and vowed to seek their origin on the next day. The night was just the calm before the storm though. Our morning’s investigations focused on a statue of Demathoin; a dwarven god. Inhabiting this sculptor was a spirit named Megamum. He confirmed for us that Karash’s curse was tied directly to our current mystery. Further talks revealed a nearby fortress as the source of all our troubles. I need your help to go back to that fortress. I barely made it back alive. I’ve left out more details than I’ve told but I promise to fill you in on the way. What are you waiting for? Grab your gear!”