[Taocow PBEM] Chapter XVIII - Into The Heart Of Darkness

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Thu Apr 2 21:02:02 BST 2009

OOC Whoops, shouldn't have posted that as an OCC!  Apologies.

> > > [Ted]
> > > Ted lowers his rifle and turned to the others. "We must find that
> > > witch again. She knows the way to go."
> > > [/Ted]

> > > [Koba]
> > > "I would rather not trust an demon or those who freely associate
> > > with them.  I am unwilling to risk it when we know the
> > > Kmurd'a Faka have sent others who are trained in the black arts
> > > against us. Let's head out the way we were headed, unless anyone
> > > feels they know a better path to travel through the swamp." With
> > > that Koba pulls out a fresh eclip and slams it into the base of the
> > > rifle with a satisfying click before slinging the rifle.
> > > [/Koba]

> > [Louissa]
> > Louissa gives Ted a strange look.  "How do you know the witch
> > knows the way to go?" she says.
> > [/Louissa]

> > > [Alex]
> > > "I think I know a path through the swamp. It likely will not be easy
> > > going though,' the red headed scout states
> > > [/Alex]

> > [GM]
> > Alex leads the rest of the company to the finger-shaped white
> > stone that she had caught a glimpse of a little while before.  On
> > the stone is a crudely-drawn picture of a dragon.  Only
> > after she points it out do the rest of the company see the
> > well-concealed path that leads into the swamp.
> > [/GM]

> > [Louissa]
> > Louissa seems visibly shaken at the sight of the symbol.
> > "That's... that's the symbol of the House of Wyrm!  If you
> > were in Poughkeepsie, you may have glimpsed its temple.
> > They are the chief religion in the kingdom, but what would
> > there symbol be doing here.  It is a good omen, though.
> > If a priest of Wyrm marked this path, then it cannot lead
> > to ill."
> > [/Louissa]

> [Ted]
> Ted grunts. "I would not be so hasty to cast judgment, good
> lady. Even if you know this symbol, we should proceed with
> caution."
> [/Ted]

"That's an awfully good point." the Technowizard says.  "I'm
sure this demon is as capable of carving mystic symbols on
a rock as any other magic user."

Carlos nods in agreement, but still casts his vote for using the path.

> [Talas]
> "Lady Louissa my be right about this stone. There is magic’s
> radiating from it. But the question now is, has the magic with in
> the stone been corrupted, or is it still pure?"
> "Regardless of this stone we need to keep moving. Lead on Lady
> Alex."
> [/Talas]

OOC: None of those capable of it can sense any supernatural evil
from the stone.

> [Koba]
> "I agree, we are outside of Poughkeepsie here. Traditional rules
> may not apply, but I say we head this way. It is the best path we
> can find."
> [/Koba]

> [Owen]
> "Irregardless, this path looks to be the best option available.
> Finding that Witch and following her seems foolish.  Let us follow
> the path and see where it leads."
> [/Owen]

The company proceeds down the path.  At first, only with Alex's
skilled eye can the path even be kept to.  It is barely wide enough
for the ATVs, and the murky waters and foetid mud of the swamp
seem more than capable of getting the vehicles completely stuck.
None of the land vehicles can go more than about fifteen miles an
hour, the path is just to winding to make faster speeds safe.

Carlos keeps to the air with his Skycycle, but doesn't go very
high above the tall, pale reeds which seem to make up most of
the plant life of this swamp, for fear of being seen.

It's hard to imagine how anyone could be seen, the mist is so
thick that, without optics, no one can see more than five feet
in front of them.

As the company proceeds, the sounds of battle can again be
heard.  The ring of clashing swords, some gunfire, and distant,
but incomprehensible yells and screams can be heard.  The
path suddenly opens up on a patch of open water, and the
mists open up, revealing it to be about a hundred feet across.
On the other side can be seen four Elvish corpses, three
skewered by black arrows, a forth nearly cloven in two.  What
look to be more bodies can be glimpsed, but they're identity and
number are impossible to tell.

The open water soon disappears, and the path takes a sharp
turn to the north.  The land begins to rise and the swamp slips
away.  The reeds give way to stunted trees; oaks and willows,
that look diseased and nearly as pale as the reeds.  The path
leads to the very top, and finally affords some view of the land.

The company is clearly atop a small island within the swamp.
The mists lap at its shoulders like a foggy sea, but the land
about them can clearly be seen for at least for or five miles.
To the east, the swamp continues on, and nothing distinct
can be made of it, save perhaps for the faintest shapes of
what might be trees, or hills, or something.

To the south is nothing but the inscrutable mist.  To the north
can be glimpsed the northern end of the swamps, giving way
to forests.  They may be no more than three miles from the
northernmost reaches of the swamp.

But it is to the west that their eyes are drawn.  There are
tall standing stones, and in the midst of them what seems
like a small fortress made out of a number of them tipped
together to form a crude crown.  Atop it can be seen a pale
shape, tall, and literally covered in a halo of green energy.

Beneath him is an army of the strange dwarfs, and they are
attacking some small group of people, the number not clear.
One figure is obvious, firing shots of ice at all and asunder.
It must be Lady Frost, and with her are the last remnants of
the futile Elvish army.

The demon seems able to summon great powers, for greenish
lightning screams from the sky, hitting a bubble of energy,
clearly a mystic field.  When it is struck, it glows brightly,
with a silver sheen, a holy power against the wicked and
unnatural powers of the K'murd-faka.

Above the K'murd-faka can be seen swooping three or four
dragon-like shapes, though not nearly large enough to be
dragons.  They are black as night, and from their eyes shoot
beams of energy much like the K'murd-faka's lightning.

And then, in a final assault between the flying creatures and
the demon, the energy field gives away.  A number of the Elves
seem to simply disappear in a haze of energy, others picked off
by the flying creatures, which seem to devour them even as they
fly into the sky.

And then there is only Lady Frost.  The mists clearly almost
fully, making the likelihood of the company being spotted
dangerously likely now.  But it is hard to look away, as the
valiant superheroin from the past, clearly injured and weakened,
remains undaunted.  From her hands leap a solid sheet of ice,
and encase the demon.  For a moment it seems that perhaps
she has won, but there are too many of the dwarfish humanoids,
and they strike at her.  One of them, the armored dwarf that the
company had seen earlier, strikes at her with his staff, and she
collapses, and disappears under dozens of the dwarf things.

The demon, still encased in ice, laughs so loud that it can clearly
be heard; his greenish energy melting the ice away.

Louissa cries out, too loudly, "We've got to help Amanda!"

Suddenly the demon, who had been intent on the destruction of
Lady Frost, seems to turn a little.  Could Louissa have given the
company's position away?

Aaron Clausen
mightymartianca at gmail.com

Aaron Clausen
mightymartianca at gmail.com

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