Gazing across the land, she could make out the distance. Her elven vision picking out details far off in the horizon. It would be a long journey, one that potions of flying might not make. Yet there were other tricks of magic to get them there. If she learned the place she might be able to take them there without any need for a boat.
"All paths hold risk. The potions of flying might be enough to make the journey, but what if they are not? Do you all wish to risk a watery grave? What of other means of magic? Give me time to learn the place, and I can take us there through the silver paths. It is a risk, for sure, but I have magics to conceal me."
Lothor nearly laughed out loud when he heard the suggestion that they make a boat. Perhaps mages just had so much power and so many spells that they couldn't keep track of it all. While he had always liked his sword, he had never forgotten that he also carried throwing axes. Still, as long as they remember eventually it all worked out.
"Make a boat - an excellent idea. I did spend 6 months as a sailor a few years back, so hopefully we can manage to sail this thing. Let us walk to far side of the island so that we need spend as little time as possible on the water."
Moving close to Rayne, she spoke with purpose,"I fear we are not safe here and, as you say, magic might not conceal us. If we can find a way to the island without entering the city, I say we take it."
Rayne nodded to Sirene. "I completely agree. I shudder to think of both the why and how Ara'Kari keeps elves out."
The entire party seemed to have come to similar conclusions. Immediately, they began to head to investigate the castle. Perhaps they'd have some better luck there, without having to expose themselves to the town's inhabitants. As they progressed towards the castle, Rayne stayed close to Roan.
Arriving at the castle, the hopes of an easy time getting a boat were dashed at the sight of 2 blue metal golems, and 3 giants. Quickly, the party ducked back behind the hill, somehow avoiding detection. Once there, they again had to decide the next course of action. They seemed to be getting nowhere, when Sirene brought up an idea everyone had missed: make a boat with a spell. They all moved around to the shore closest to the Isle of Cyclops.
The party agreed that the castle and the city would not be the best plan. Sirene volunteered that once they reached the coast she would fly to Cyclops Island to learn the land and then come back to teleport the party. For moment it was the best plan yet discussed.
Moving carefully to the northwest the party headed for the coast. Peri aided remaining invisible and flying high enough to guide the party by transferring the sights she saw to Ulthok. As the party drew near the shores Sirene was possessed by a new thought. With a wry smile the enchantress turned to face the group, "If it is a boat we need then it is a boat we shall have. One wrought by magic will be just a good as one built by hands. Now let us be off." "A boat made from magic?"The thought struck Ulthok like a bop on the head. The mage remembered that he too could have made them a boat with the Scroll of Creation that he carried.
Cor shook his head. "Well a fine lot we are traipsing around looking for boat when we had ones the whole time. Guys we should get ta sailing." Cor found a spot where he could chum the fish in peace if necessary. Boats and dwarves were not a happy mix.
As the party settled into seats on the boat Ulthok once again pulled out he rough drawn map. "If the map I saw was close to scale then the distance we walked is not too much different then what we need to sail if we could cross direct to the closest shore. Lothor if you can guide us more north by nortwest then even if we miss the island we find one the other north of it. I'd guess that rowing will move us slower than how fast we walked. If your sense of direction is good then maybe if we can get that sail rigged and man the tiller we can make better time......I'll have Peri fly up to keep watch. Once this island drops out of sight behind us the other should start coming into view. She'll need to come back to rest from time to time."
Looking around and seeing everyone getting comfortable for thier voyage, "Well man.. do we row or sail, your crew seems a bit relaxed at the moment."
With the only way to the castle clearly guarded the party moved away from it to discuss it's options. With no way to gain a boat at either the town docks or the castle's they found the choices before them slim. As all discussed what to do next Sirene finally realized all the worry of gaining a boat was for naught, she had, had the answer all along.
With a wry smile the enchantress turned to face the group, "If it is a boat we need then it is a boat we shall have. One wrought by magic will be just a good as one built by hands. Now let us be off."
And with that the it was settled as the party made their way West. Following the road, yet not on it, they traveled for 4 hours and slowly begin to hear the sounds of work. With a cautious approach they climbed a small hill to find below them in a large depression a mine. With Dwarf drivers and Golem guards and a number of slowly filling wagons, clearly this was the Mithral mine. As they watched a number of chained humans, ten by a quick count, exited the mine carrying bags or moving wheel barrows full of blue ore. They were led by two large orc's grunting and screaming at the chained bodies to move faster.
As the chained humans turned to reenter the mine, a second chained group exited. However unlike the first group this chained group of fifteen was made up entirely of Elves! Even more disturbing were the two leading them with cracks of a whip and kicks of a boot. Though with their pointed ears and child like faces clearly also Elves, the party reeled in surprise, for these two Elves were totally black of skin!
Before the party stood two creatures out of legend and rumor. Of tall tales and fantasy, of tales told at bed time to scare the children to sleep. For below the party at the entrance to the Mithral mine, stood two Drow!
(DM OOC: Ok I know you all posted that you reached the coast but I stopped the party's travel because of the reveal of the Drow mine keepers and your reaction to discovering them. Feel free to back post.
Ok sorry for my absence on the inn these last 2 weeks RL, she can be a bitch. Ok my last post of 2015 will be next week the 20th then a 2 week holiday break then my first of 2016 post on Sunday Jan 3rd.)
Cor took in the sight of the mine. It was obvious that mithril ore was being gathered. As if that was no enough, he caught sight of the first elves, Drow elves. At any other time the sight of a mithril mine and the evil Drow would be a call to arms for a dwarf. However, the old knight-cleric knew when discretion was needed. "Well lads and lasses, there lies a most interesting sight. Part of me would love nothing more than ta bash a few Drow skulls and gather mithril ore. But, we have a mission that is more important than such fun. I believe we should give this mine a wide berth and continue to the island."
Continuing to take the lead, as she had previously done, Rayne was the vanguard. Continuously scanning the area around them, she waited for someone, or something, to attack the. So far, nothing of the sort occured. They had been proceeding almost perfectly without a single interruption so far.
As they cautiously climbed a hill, they came across a depression mine. Chained humans, watched by golem and dwarf guards, brought bags and wheelbarrows out of the mine. They were chained up, and were obviously slaves. Rayne clenched her teeth. Slavery was something no one should have to endure. Then, came the elves. It was probably a good thing that she had not entered the city, as these elves were the first ones they'd seen here. Worse, they were led by Drow. Rayne's fingers dug into her palms. But she both would not and could not attack them: they had a mission to continue on.
"Well lads and lasses, there lies a most interesting sight. Part of me would love nothing more than ta bash a few Drow skulls and gather mithril ore. But, we have a mission that is more important than such fun. I believe we should give this mine a wide berth and continue to the island."
Dragging her eyes off of the scene, Rayne reluctantly agreed. "As much as I'd like to free those slaves, we must go forward. We shouldn't go to the Isle of the Cyclops at anything but completely effective." Giving one last look over her shoulder at the mine, Rayne began to move back down the hill away from the mine.
Posted on 2015-12-20 at 15:04:02.
Edited on 2015-12-20 at 15:04:46 by SirSadaar
What tortures would they know at Drow hands? What pains? Would the passage of the centuries so drive them all mad?
Already she felt the hand of the Great Goddess moving through her and with it all the rage of the heavens. With this power coursing through her she could destroy them all. Retribution called to her with the pulsing drum of war and she reached out a hand to answer.
This was no call she could answer, to act now, to free them would send ripples through time that would surely change the face of history. She could do nothing but watch helplessly as the dark elves chained and tortured her people. The fate that would swallow the city of Ara Kari would have to be vengeance enough.
And so, she let the breath of life fill her, clinging to the serenity of a priestess with every bit of her being. She would not break, she would not let emotion shatter the flow of history. Still, she would not look away, her cerulean eyes blazing with rage and hate.
To her side, she heard the gravelly voice of Cor, "Well lads and lasses, there lies a most interesting sight. Part of me would love nothing more than ta bash a few Drow skulls and gather mithril ore. But, we have a mission that is more important than such fun. I believe we should give this mine a wide berth and continue to the island."
A new rage sparked within her. With a dangerous light in her eyes she turned to face the dwarf. "The mission! Fun!" Her voice snapped in a low whisper. "Know this dwarf, it is only preservation of time that stays my hand not your precious mission. Your mortal world means nothing if the cost is elven blood. I would let it all go to dust to free them, and that I would do with joy. Now steer this boat away from the mine, before I change my mind."
With that she turned away from the dwarven cleric and set her gaze toward the island. She would be vigilant against any threat, magical or mundane, that stood before them. Let the light shine in the dark.
A dark glimpse into a dark place - what matters most to you?
"Know this dwarf, it is only preservation of time that stays my hand not your precious mission. Your mortal world means nothing if the cost is elven blood. I would let it all go to dust to free them, and that I would do with joy. Now steer this boat away from the mine, before I change my mind."
Lothor listened, stunned, as Sirene spouted these words. As she spoke he had to restrain himself - every instinct he had wanted to walk up behind the thing, smack her upside the head with the flat of his sword, and toss her unconscious body down into the pits to the slavers. But he didn't. He needed her and understood that sometimes one needed to control their emotions and deal with the unthinkable. What commander had not watched while some of their troops were overrun, unable to send reinforcements because the larger battle demanded those troops elsewhere? He hated slavery above almost any other form of evil, but this mine was a battle, and they needed to fight the war.
But did not Sirene, no inexperienced child herself, have such reserves of calm under fire? He understood, or thought he did, the hatred which the appearance of the Drow and their elf slaves generated in the witch, but it didn't explain her comments. No, he feared this was no simple outburst in response to emotion - this was an ugly glimpse at her soul. A glimpse at what mattered to her. A glimpse of her true loyalty.
She would let the entire world go to dust to save one elf life? Was this not a quest to save the world? And not just for the elves, but to save it for everyone. One did not need to be in the pay of the enemy to be a danger to those around you. You just needed to have other priorities - and to value some lives more than others - to be willing to chuck the mission and the greater good for some personal goal or vendetta.
As the party prepared to move on Lothor simply said, "We keep moving." He did not look at the witch lest his eyes betray him. This "mortal world" was what mattered to him, even if she could be callous about it. The woman of faerie did not appear to have the same priorities as the rest of them. He still needed her and perhaps their goals would continue to prove compatible. But he doubted he would ever trust her again.
Having finally figured how to get a boat and avoid unnecessary contact they moved west to find the bend in the coast. But avoiding contact just wasn't in the future. From the far side of a small hill came sounds. Carefully scouting out the sound they found the Mithral mine and its laborers. Clearly this was a mine of the recently defeated evil empire. Chained slaves of humans and the missing elves endured the grueling work while cruel Dwarvs, Orcs and Black skin Drow forced their will on them. Any other time this sight would drive the Halfling to act, but this wasn't any other time. This wasn't even their time and their actions now could effect the world in unwanted ways. Only Fate herself would force their hand to act. Hearing Cor lament and Sirene's controlled fury he would agree to stick to the plan at hand. So with deep regret he lead the party on to the coast.
Cor turned to Sirene after hearing her words. As his gaze fell upon here, Cor's eyes blazed and his face took on an expression never before revealed to the group. "Be careful lass. Evil often walks wearing a cloak of good intentions. You say you care naught for the mission. You say you would gladly leave the world of 'mortals' fall into dust to save one elf life. I canna believe such racist filth spews from your mouth in the company of those here who risk everything to save not only the world you deride but also the world of the elves. How long do you think the elves would last if they stood alone against the vast forces of evil arrayed in our time? Mark well my words, either commit to the mission or leave us now. There is no room for those with conditional loyalties in this group."