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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Wonderful World of Mystara

A Manuscript about the Natural Magical World of Mystara

Chapter 2

The Start of our voyage.

As penned down by Salechaam Deraan

Darokin Province of Calair 1014 AC, 26th and 27th Flaurmont
An uneventful night, in a small town, with a strange history..or legend...depending on the speaker.
The breakfast served however was not as uneventful. The grits and beans with blackbread, fried eggs and marmelade, still use our stomachs as a battleground. The populace didn't want us leave, but anyway we did. The further away we went the worse we felt. 
It was already two hours underway that we noticed even the horses seemed to be sick, and Row. The only one not sick was Separim. Maybe because she is the only elf?. Gaston thought the reason could be that she was the only virgin female, and it had to do something with the legend of the village. As resistent as we Dwarves are, I decided to go back. I took Samen from the wagon. Readjusted the reigns and carefully climbed on his back.Samen disliked humans on his back, and I was very careful not to frighten him for disliking me doing the same. But my fears were not needed, and with all the speed he had within himself we travelled back to the village.
Within a hour I noticed the familiar structure, but also a crowd preparing to go after the wagon. These farmers had no riding horses, so they walked. 
I took a sidecourse through the fields, hidden by the bushes. The other townsfolk, fled into their homes, doors and window shutters were closed. Clearly these people were afraid...afraid of those enforcing them to do something. My inner gut steared me to the temple of Darokin on the townsquare. The doors were closed, but not for Mahawudi, my precious axe. With only seven strikes the door broke down. The acolytes within approached with maces in hand, but a growl in name of Kagyar, caused them to bolt away. 
The Evil shrine before being destroyed.
I noticed the shrines to all immortals were covered in dark cloth, and a new unknown shrine was placed in the center of the main room. A red crystal figure of an orc...could it be a shrine to the evil god Orcus?. My rage brew and I commenced. With a heavy smash I destroyed the shrine. Waves of reddish light came forth. Including an explosion. When I came around, blown away by the blast, I saw the temple was damaged partially. The roof had come down. I saw some clergymen pinned beneath it, and decided they had to be saved.

Three I pulled underneath the debris, from them I took seven potions of Healing, and left them to the populace. Whatever happened here they would know to do justice. When I neared Samen, I saw them coming from their houses, looking outside, as if the world was new. Clearly vile magic had taken control of them, but for now they were free.
The small temple of the Village "Sword of the Lake" just after Salechaam left
With the potions I travelled back to the wagon.
About halfway I noticed the populace that had followed them...they were all dumbfounded. As if none of them knew anything anymore. I passed by, slowly, but without being disturbed.
When I finally reached the wagon Dolos was lying on the ground, as was Gaston. I assumed the others were inside. I carefully gushed the potion down his throat, in the hope it would work. The silver glow that momentarily washed over him confirmed it was doing its work. I did the same with Dolos, and then went inside. Here I found Straddle and Row. Two more potions doing their job.
When I came outside I saw Separim arriving, clearly affected by the vile effect, but still able to move. I gave here the potion, gobbled down one myself and another for Samen.
Whatever it was the potions removed the effect in only a few rounds.
I didn’t spill a further word, pushed everybody inside the wagon, placed Samen next to Dolos in the Reigns and took of as fast as I could.
It was not until several hours after noon, that Gaston, beckoned to be on the driver-seat with me.
I told him what I did.
“Evil Clerics” was his response. “I don’t know if your assumption of Orcus is right, but it could well be. These evil Immortals always fight for supremacy over the mortal populace. It seems that they try to spread their vile influence over the humans here, with the use of some controlling magic. But it seems you struck the right blows with your axe, and easily ended the threat. The source of this control clearly lies within the shrines that replaced the original shrines. How they got to this remains a question for now. We have to continue”.
After several hours the horses became tired, both due the ordeal, and the distance travelled.
We were in the neighbourhood of the small village of Arong, but did not want to take any further risk. Just a mile passed the village juncture, we settled on a small creek, behind several bushes. And together with an Invisibility 10’radius only the horses could be seen, smelled or heard, and our fire we just placed outside the magical aura. As long as we didn’t attack anything the spell would keep us unseen.
That night we heard in the distance Kobold screams, but they never came within reach. Separim and Straddle took guard, changing after a few hours.
The next morning we were awakened by rain, not heavy rain, but that one you get very cold from. And as the temperatures were not high enough to warm upon, this would become a heavy day.
Our estimate was to arrive at Fort Nell just before dinnertime,…at least there we could warm and rest.
Day 2. Darokin Province of Callair 
The whole day it rained, as driver I became soaking wet, my beard clung to my wet shirt and armor. The leather reigns became slippery and hard to handle. The old broken tiles of the ancient road, were used often, and made travel clear. When the shape of the fortress and village became visible we felt as if relief was found.
The wooden gate was open, guards checked our names, listed our weapons and description, but let us in. According to Separim, this was common behaviour in this region.
We came to a combined Inn and tavern; the Silver Stag. This was clearly a silver tavern, as all seemed clean, and well kept, and even the silver seal was pinned next to the door. After stabling the horses and wagon we went through the backdoor in the boothouse. Here we shed our mantles, raincloths, and wet and muddy boots.
Welcomed inside by the warm fire of a great hearth, and several people drinking, eating and chatting, we felt at ease. “Greetings in the Silver Stag of Fort Nell. My name is Esmerelda. How can I help you”?  “My name is Salechaam, this is Gaston, Separim, Straddle and our dog Row. First bring us something warm to drink, please”. “Very well sir. Would a warm grog do?” “That’ll be fine
Darokin. Fort Nell, Tavern/Inn "The Silver Stag"

A few moments later the woman returned with warm grogs, “Four silver please” Gaston replied; “This is upon me”. And laid down a Thyatian Platinum piece. “Me thinks this will do for a bowl of soup fow each of us I pwesume”? “Of course sir, even though it is foreign currency, we accept those at a 5% exchange rate as according to Darokin law. We have Pea and Tomato soup ready with warm garlic bread. For me a Tomatosoup” Separim replied, “with the meat separate please”. Gaston, Straddle and I choose a Pie soup. Not even five minutes later, she returned with warm steaming bowls, clean metal spoons, and a basket of warm sliced garlic bread and a small bowl with two sausages. Separim took this bowl and handed it to Row, who heartily gobbled it down. A warm, feeking washed down upon us, we were content. While Gaston called forth his pipe sharing it with Straddle, Separim made some herb mixtures, and I viewed the locals. It was about nightfall, when a soldier approached us.
Greeting visitors. My name is Julian Excelor. I am the current chief of staf here. May I sit with you, and listen to your stories and goals in the region”?
We agreed, and told what happened earlier. Julian explained that the humanoids sometimes spill over into the region and bring their vile magic and immortals with them. It must have been clearly something like this. “I will send a contingent of soldiers to the village for help”.
We explained that we were exploring the region north of the Dwargate Mountains, and therefore intended to take the seldom used pass through Inlashar, along Calor’s spur.
“That trail is indeed available, but inadvised, as the humanoids there are Gnolls. They are aggressive, but also tacticians. The best way is to keep as near to the mountains as possible, rest in farms and not in the open, as these farms are often walled enclosures. Until you reach Fort Brindolhath you will be reasonable save. However the fortress itself sometimes is overrun with Gnolls, and has to be retaken. Not now that we know of, but it happened before, so will happen more often for sure. Large rocks  painted red with an invisible seal to make copying impossible, but visible to most elves and mages with a detect invisible spell. These rocks can be found at each bend, or twist in the road…for as far as you can speak of a road…it is more a rough trail, ..and guide you further into Ethengar. Be aware Ethengar does NOT accept foreign currency. So if you need money use nuggets, and be careful not to carry any accepted Tangs out of the country. Their punishments in this can be very primitive and harsh”.
“Thank you fow da wawning”, Gaston replied. “We will go to bed and leave eawly in da mowning”.
With that Julian shook our hands and left.

The beds were clean, and no bedbugs in sight. Even the linen was pressed. This was a very good  silver tavern, and in our opinion worth a gold mark.
Day 3. Darokin Province of Callair, towards Fort Nell.

Earlier chapters;
PreludeChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3,
Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands 1
Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands 2
Following Chapters;
Chapter 4Chapter 5