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Tholam Urrith – Into the Mist

Into the Mist
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Tholam Urrith, a dwarven kingdom fallen to ruin and monsters, lies forgotten in the great mountain chain of the Eastern Continent – until recently. The fire dragon Askendaraudr, also known as the Red Asher, came out of the East and drove the monsters from the peaks, earning the undying loyalty of the dwarves who still dwelt in the ruins. The depths of the kingdom, however, remained lost. To win them back again, Asher sought out a band of adventurers – brave and capable warriors – to delve into the dark beneath the mountains and reclaim what was lost.

Of course, omitting certain details from the job description, such as the fact that he and the dragon are one and the same.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

The four of you proceed uncontested and in good time, moving along the dim woodland trails of Persistence for several hours. Your immense vitality keeps them going where others might have stopped to rest, and Sabrenn’s horse, being well-fed, does not falter. Eventually the channel comes into view – the great body of water dividing Persistence and the great Eastern Continent. The ocean sparkles in the sunlight, as the faint smell of salt tickles your senses. As you draw closer to the ocean, a rickety wooden dock comes into view, beside which floats a large, somewhat ornate ship. What appear to be the splintered remains of smaller ships line the shore – only the big one remains intact, and untouched at that. Beside the dock stands a short, straw-haired man, eyeing the ship with suspicion. He notices you approaching, and waves you over. “Greetings,” he says, his tone noticeably dejected. “I’d say good day to you all, but I’m afraid that wouldn’t be correct.”

Sabrenn

“… Well isn’t he all sunshine and roses.” -Sabrenn mutters under her breath, dismounting her steed and leading him over to the dock, but once she’s close she gives a polite nod of greeting.-

Beremud, the Barbarian

“‘Lo.” Beremud is somewhat puzzled. He was used to seeing ships smashed by storms, even whole fleets, but seeing an entire bay of ships in splinters save for one… he regretted his craftsmanship taking so long, or they wouldn’t have to worry about the variety of ships available. “Seems we miss one Hel of a storm eh?”

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

“Like you wouldn’t believe,” says the man, looking back out at the boats. Upon closer inspection, one might notice that he is dressed in fishing garb, and has a tattoo of a woman’s name on his upper arm. “It came just yesterday – winds howling like a dying demon; waves crashing against the side of my shack. I’m lucky the roof didn’t come down on my head.” He indicates the broken ships with a sweep of his arm. “And all my girls, smashed to splinters. Except her.” His eyes fix on the large, yet floating ship, once again narrowing in suspicion. “When the storm is over and I come out to check, what should I find but her, sitting pretty on the still water, smug as you please.” Suddenly, as if remembering himself, he turns back to the four of you and bows slightly. “Excuse my poor manners. My name is Kerrick; I’m the proprietor of this dock, and all the boats moored on it. Well, was- not much to own now, is there?” He rubs his hands as if anticipating business, though his heart is visibly not in it. “What can I do for you?”

Sabrenn

-With that much damage done, Sabrenn was willing to believe a sea monster had been responsible. Frowning she casts a good look over at the remaining ship.- “What did they make that one out of?” -She murmurs to herself, before addressing Kerrick.- “Well our party was looking to commission a ship for a journey… “

Beremud, the Barbarian

“If she can withstand whatever monster wrecked all these, she’s a hell of a ship.” Beremud stroked his beard, contemplating. He turned to Asher with his brow furrowed. “Ye said you’d charter us a boat, but do ye reckon you can afford something like that?” He looked to the dock manager, a somber look in his eyes but his face still hard as stone. He wanted desperately for Asher to be wealthy enough, if only because he knew what it was like to lose everything. He dare not show it, but it hurt.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

“I can definitely afford to charter that one.” Asher tapped his lip in consideration. “Curious. Take a look:” He walked closer to the ship, his fiery eyes peering intensely at it. When he turned back, the suspicion in his eyes mirrored Kerrick’s. “It’s not just that it’s still standing, but that’s it’s quite literally untouched. Not a scratch on it.” Walking back to the dock manager and unintentionally towering over him, he asked in a low voice, “Do you own that boat, Mister Kerrick?”

“N-no,” said the smaller man, backing away with his hands raised defensively. “Like I said, once the storm abated, she was just… there. I’ve never seen her before yesterday, and as such she’s not really mine to lease.” He bit his lip, eyes darting about nervously. “Though… if you have coin to spare, I’d appreciate any help I can get. Odds of bringing my business back from this aren’t pretty, you know?”

Sabrenn

-She frowns and leans in to whisper to Beremud.- “Whadaya think, love? Pay out for a mysterious ship that this guy doesn’t even own? On one hand, it’ll get us to the continent.. on the other… hmm.. ah what could go wrong, anyway?”

Beremud, the Barbarian

“Hmm…” Beremud considered what could go wrong. It seemed tempting, yet… he heard his blade whispering to him in its strange tongue. It didn’t seem clear whether it agreed or disagreed, but the adventure must carry on. “Perhaps we will. If the owner comes looking for it, you can pay them back with the gold. Good will for a good deed, perhaps…?”

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

“Sounds fine to me,” Kerrick says quickly, obviously eager to receive any sort of payment. When Asher draws a clinking pouch from his cloak, he brightens visibly – which is immediately shadowed by Asher’s looming over him and soul-piercing gaze. “We are trusting you to be honest, dock manager,” the pale man says softly. “Do not disappoint me.” He hands Kerrick the gold – how much, he doesn’t bother to ask – and heads towards the ship. “Come, my friends – let’s cast off at once. We’re already packed; no use staying here.” The manager simply stands there, goggling as he pours gold coins into his open palm. Evidently he’s never received this much for a simple ship charter before.

Sabrenn

-She casts a warning glare at Kerrick and follows Asher, leading her horse carefully. Her writer needs to step away for a shower and such, now, so she’ll just get settled on the ship.-

Beremud, the Barbarian

Beremud set his stuff next to his wifey, save for his weaponry. He stood at the bow of the ship, letting the cool sea breeze hit his face. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, trying to remember the last time he’d had a proper ocean voyage. It’d been ages since he’d last left the land, and was more than ready to embrace adventure.

Tearlach

Tearlach would walk along the deck, putting the majority of his gear with the others, his claymore however remained strapped to his back. It hasn’t been long since he was last on a ship, he actually hoped it would of been longer to be honest. “So once we are on the Continent, how do we get there, those mountains are a wee bit off the beaten trail.” He watched the group around him.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

“We’ll go by land,” Asher replies without looking at Tearlach, stepping carefully across the wooden deck. He seems to be wary of it, as if checking for loose planks. He is on the verge of saying more, when a cry rings through the air. “Wait! Wait, please! I’ve been waiting for a ship for ages!” From the treeline burst a slight young man, hair pulled back in a blond ponytail, wearing a long blue coat with a lute slung on his back. He hurries to the ship, racing right past the still-dazed dock manager and shooting up the gangplank. Still out of breath, he puffs out, “Got any room for one more?” Asher looks extremely put off by this boy’s sudden appearance, looking around at his companions. “Did any of you happen to invite this one?” He asks.

Sabrenn

“.. Only invited myself and my crossbow.” -She looks up the boy (not a man.. they have no beard) with disapproval. A.. bard, maybe? They have a lute. But she’d prefer the pipes. She likes the pipes.- “.. Is this the ghost that might haunt the mysterious ship? Suspiiiicious.”

Beremud, the Barbarian

“I’m as in the dark as you are. Yer the host, wouldn’t you know who ye invited?” Beremud shrugged as he made his way down from the bow towards the boy, looking him over as he loomed above his head. “I’d certainly hope ye brought more than a wee blue coat to the journey, laddy.” Beremud looked him over, but it looked like he would need to borrow one of Tear’s weapons to prove any bit of useful…

Tearlach

“Cannea say that I invited him.” He looked to the others, and that was the general thing. No one invited the man, was this just coincidence? Fate doing something? Or just some poor schmuck on the wrong boat. He seemed to have read Bere’s mind, leaning over the gear he had, as if sizing up the fellow and looking for the right option.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

“Hmm.” Asher frowns, looking the new arrival over. He clearly shares Sabrenn’s disapproval – the person before him is visibly an untested boy. He scrutinizes him for a moment longer, arms folded, before giving a single nod. “For your sake, I hope that lute on your back is magical. None of us will babysit you.” Ignoring the boy’s answer, he snaps his fingers, uttering a magic word under his breath, and the sail unfurls with a loud flapping noise. Immediately, the ship begins moving forward – not the lurch you’d expect from such a start, but a smooth gliding motion away from the shore. If any of you look back, you see the dock manager waving goodbye.

Sabrenn

-She waves casually before stepping away. She’d like to explore this ship. Maybe she can find hints about the true owner, or the nature of the vessel, if she does a little snooping. And who better than a wifey to do a snoop?-

Beremud, the Barbarian

“Well boy… welcome aboard I guess.” Beremud shrugs and gives the lad a pat on the back before going to stand by Tear, giving a wave back to the dock worker before sitting down to give his own weapons a lookover. He retrieved his whetstone and a bit of pork fat so he could give his ax a proper attention. He looked up to the lad with a puzzled look. “Never caught yer name. Who are you and where do ye come from?”

Tearlach

He would watch, not too happy with the random addition on the ship. An odd sign if there was ever one. He would listen and observe, his mind attuned to hunting and stalking, this was nothing different. He looked over his weapons, and checked which ones needed maintanence, oiling them, sharpening, or tighting screws or polearms.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

“Never gave it.” The young man bows to Beremud rather elaborately, ponytail flopping over his shoulder. “Gwion Simulus, at your service. And, for the record, the lute is magical.” Asher grimaces, making sure the wind is fair and the ship is in good shape. On a superficial level, he and Sabrenn find the same thing: the ship is in immaculate condition, as if she had really been put to sea that very night. If Sabrenn continues exploring, a weird feeling descends over her, as if there’s something missing from the ship.

Sabrenn

-She can feel an unease set in her stomach like a bad batch of mead. Without realizing it, her fingers make their way to her back where her crossbow is holstered, ready to whip it out at a moment’s notice. She continues her search, checking below deck.- “.. Any ghosties down here?”

Beremud, the Barbarian

Bere nodded, listening both to the boy and the sounds of the ship itself. There was much that was getting under his skin. The boat moved on its own, or at the whim of their charter it seemed. He’d never get used to such magic being used so casually. More importantly though, he heard nothing else. No crew on such a large ship, other than the 5 who’d boarded mere moments ago? He finished sharpening his ax, but dare not put it away. Something was surely afoot.

Tearlach

“There be no crew.” He whispered to himself, as if he felt Bere’s issues. He kept working on his weapons, and sharpened his claymore finally. “It’s odd…. I am not a big fan of that.” He shook his head. Scratching his chin he looked to everyone else and squinted at Asher. He shook his head for a moment and just kept working

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

“No, there isn’t,” Asher muttered. It seemed the disquiet was universal – save for the boy, who seemed to notice nothing amiss, and was sitting down and tuning his lute. He looked up at the sail. The wind bearing them seemed natural, even if the magic he was using to man the ship was not… the shore was already growing faint. Ahead, the water and air seemed to grey. He made his way to the prow of the ship to get a closer look, while Sabrenn snooped around below deck. As she searched, it would eventually click. The missing thing from the boat was everything: no supplies, no tools, no cannons, no ropes, no crates. Nothing. Either the ship was nothing more than a great, beautiful ornament – which was unlikely, given how smoothly she sailed – or she had been devised for a singular purpose. If the latter was true, then that purpose was likely being met at this very moment.

Sabrenn

“… Well ah think this is all a bit suspicious.” -The demon huntress mutters to herself, making her way back upstairs to her companions and sitting at Beremud’s side, muttering her findings to him.- “This ship is as bare as a wee babeh fresh born. It is given meh the spooks… Am starting to think we made a mistake but..eh. We can handle anything that goes wrong..”

Beremud, the Barbarian

“Good thing we packed ahead…” The barbarian looked to his comrades, his expression stern. He stood and gazed into the dim horizon, stroking his beard as puzzled over the implications. “Well, no regrets. We knew we were in for a treacherous journey. If we must take a ghost ship to the continent, then so be it.”

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

“Speaking of treacherousness,” called Asher, pointing towards the rapidly graying air and water, “it seems we’re sailing into fog. You might want to come have a look- it stretches on to either side as far as I can see.” And Asher could see very far. Gwion looked up from his lute tuning, looking out of the boat and into the oncoming fog. “Oh, are we? How exciting!” He grinned, missing the danger of the notion completely.

Sabrenn

“More like how dangerous, ya dense lassy.” -She gets up and heads over to Asher to take a look. Yep, there be fog, and it seems rather dense.- “Ah’m not much knowin’ in the way of sailing, so ah’m not sure what would be the best course of action to take.. but we know our destination is ahead past all that… ” -A mutter under her breath now.- “And ahead may be some ghosties coming to take their ship back…”

Beremud, the Barbarian

“Ghosts may be the least of our worries.” Beremud stepped up to the bow once more, squinting. “If we find a stray rock er reef it could down us just as easily as many sea serpent. Not being able to see more than a stone’s throw ahead sounds… less than grand.” He looked back to his wifey, and then to the boy. “Wee lass has no fear at least. Won’t ‘ave to worry about them jumping ship when we see some sort o’ leviathan come to swallow our boat.”

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

“Not in the slightest,” the boy says, rising to his feet and giving his lute an experimental strum. The loose, naturally euphonic chord hums with magic. “This is exactly the sort of stuff I’ve come for.” Caught slightly off guard by this answer, Asher looks back at Gwion but makes no comment, quickly returning his attention to the mist. Closing his eyes, he reaches into the fog with another sense – and is back almost immediately. “Your weapons are enchanted, yes?” he asks Beremud and Sabrenn. The mist begins to stir, like a curtain blowing in a gentle breeze as the ship sails inexorably onward towards it.

Sabrenn

“… Aye, you could say that, though it technically is a bit different than that…” -She draws her crossbow and gives it a loving pat before reaching into her blouse to pull out a pendant that hangs on a chain around her neck. The silver piece resembles a pair of lovely feathered wings. It has a demonic aura to it.- “This is my inheritance.. the Raven Wings of Brennus. I can use this to enhance my weapon with great power.”

Beremud, the Barbarian

“Does uh… does being the housing for an eternal duel between a Baron of Hell and me pa count as enchantment? Or being particularly common allergy?” Door jokes aside, Beremud put his ax back unto his hip and placed a hand on the horned hit of his weapon. He caught Asher’s hinting at great danger ahead, and was prepared to finally give his sword some much needed exercise if his ax didn’t do the job. The greatsword glowed beneath the barbarian’s fur wrapping for it, whispering warnings of trouble ahead amidst its calls for bloodshed.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

“That’ll probably do.” Asher leaves his longsword untouched, hands glowing with the light of magic. “Just make sure your crossbow is powered up when you shoot, Sabrenn.” Gwion smiles, softly picking his lute strings. There is no wind, no noise save the whispers from the mist as it engulfs the ship. You can hardly see off the sides, or in front of you. However, it is easy to make out the lights dancing in the fog, floating closer and closer to you. Whispers hiss from either side of the ship – yearning, soothing, beckoning you to come dance with them. “Steady,” says Asher, before spreading his arms, fingers splayed, and giving an arcane command. There is a white flash, and suddenly the lights dim, replaced by horrific creatures. From what you can see, they vaguely resemble goblins, but are sickly pinkish white, and their ribcages poke out from their stomachs in a gory mess of blood and bone. Their lower halves are shrouded in mist – until they float through the side of the ship, their clawed feet slapping on the wood. Hisses issue from misshapen, toothy mouths, and vicious claws twitch in preparation for the carving of new victims.

Sabrenn

“…. Ooh, now this is the sort of thing I’m here for.” -A smirk graces Sabrenn’s rosy lips as she removes the pendant and raises it in the air. A bright flash of light reflects against the fog in blinding radiance. The pendant disappears, but the demon huntress’s crossbow suddenly grows to 3 times its size, and on it appear the silver wings. That demonic aura spreads, feeling almost as thick as the fog itself.- “Wake up, Brennus, it’s time to play!”

Beremud, the Barbarian

“Aye, come on then ye wee bastards…” Beremud hefts his greatsword from his back scabbard, the blade practically screaming as it hits the cool misty air. Steam and smoke rose from the runes that adorned its thick blade, the symbols ablaze with what seemed to be the fires of Hell itself. In forgotten tongues the huge weapon seemed to be antagonizing both Beremud and his foes alike, eager to drink of their blood and devour their souls. “The Argent Oblivator hasn’t had a proper meal in a while…”

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

Three of the creatures lunge for Gwion, who is the closest to the side of the ship. He slams a series of power chords, and a wave of sound slams into them, knocking two of them back and one overboard. The latter dissolves into the mist, becoming a light once again and floating around the side, looking for an opening. Others scurry towards Beremud and Sabrenn, half-walking, half-gliding. Their hisses become screeches now as they surge forth. Asher unleashes twin tongues of flame into the mist from his hands, careful not to hit the ship, provoking additional shrieks from unseen foes. Through it all, the ship sails forth, even without any wind. It is clear now; its purpose has been to deliver you to these creatures in the fog, to be their next meal. To join them, as dancing lights, luring sailors into the mist to die.

Sabrenn

-.. Well, she can’t be helped if she fell into such an obvious trap. She didn’t trust her husband’s unfinished boat. Besides, fighting monsters is just her cup of tea… or tankard of ale. Letting out a battle cry, she launches herself into the fray, taking well aimed shots at the beasts. Despite her weapon being nearly as large as her, she is not slowed down in the slightest. She is fast and deadly. A true chief of a demon hunter clan.- “DIE YA BEASTIES! Set one grisly claw on me husband and ah’ll make ya feel things the hells WISHED they thought of doin’!”

Beremud, the Barbarian

“DAAAAAAAAAH!” Beremud met their shrieks with a roaring war cry, lunging forward and giving a wide slash at a group of the aberrations. His blade wove crackling trails of hellfire in its wake, burning away the physical form as it leached both blood and spirit from its victims. Bere’s hacking was frenzied but not mindless, aiming to cut through as much of their bodies as possible to make sure each stroke was a fatal one, and that the moment the blade left one corpse it was already hurdling into the next victim.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

Sabrenn’s shots are true and fatal when they land, and Beremud’s sword spills blood and reaved souls. However, the monsters prove resourceful and tricky- for every one downed with a quarrel in its head, another vanishes into the mist, flickering around to slash at Sabrenn from an opening. For every one Beremud’s huge blade cleaves in twain, another turns their midsection to fog before slashing at the barbarian’s muscled arms. Their bodies aren’t terribly resilient, as proven by the ease with which you’re able to puncture their skin, but they are strong, and their claws sharp. Despite his lack of armor and slight stature, the boy is holding his own – if expending his magic at an alarming rate to keep the creatures at bay. Asher, for his part, is weaving gracefully between the creatures, dancing around the rending claws and flinging poison arrows, fire globes and rays of frost with accuracy nigh on par with Sabrenn’s shooting. More lights emerge from the fog, moving swiftly towards the boat as you give them a taste of your prowess in battle.

Sabrenn

“Fookin’ clever ya think ya all are, huh? Goin’ all misty spooky and shyte!?” -Sabrenn has to keep on her toes to avoid the attacks from the creatures. She decides to tap into the demonic power of the Raven Wings a bit…as she does her eyes turn from gold to black, and her veins seem to darken, should anyone actually be able to notice with all going on. Each bolt fired splits into three, and they seem to act like homing missiles, following her dodgy prey.-

Beremud, the Barbarian

Beremud felt the sting of claws rending his skin, a sensation he’d felt more times than he cared to count. But his arms were almost more scar tissue than they were skin, and his pain tolerance quite stout. It wasn’t so much the pain that was raising his ire, but the fact that the creatures kept phasing away into little puff of clouds. It seemed…unfair. The barbarian’s anger grew, and his sword only seemed to add fuel the flame growing in his heart. His strikes grew more rapid and vicious, and soon his testosterone pulsed so furiously that he would dare to wield his hefty weapon one handed so he would have the pleasure of bashing in their little skulls with his own fists. If he anticipated well enough, he could block with the sword and retaliate with a crushing grip to shatter their bones. No words came from Beremud. Only frenzied screams.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

Beremud’s rage mounts, to great effect. The fog wraiths, unused to their prey growing stronger after being hurt, are caught off guard. One shrieks as its forearm is crushed in the barbarian’s vicelike grip, just before it and two of its kin are hacked to pieces by that swinging greatsword. Distracted by Beremud’s onslaught, several fall prey to Sabrenn’s homing arrows, though a few of the more alert ones evade- just in time to be incinerated by Asher’s burning hands. The boy’s magic caused a few of them to stop, chests spasming in hideous laughter before they are finished by bolt and blade. Despite not knowing Asher very well, it seems you fight well together with him, and Gwion has pulled his weight thus far. You press your advantage as the monsters close, luring them in and trapping them before taking them down in a concentrated effort. There are many of them, but your ferocity and vitality pulls you through, and the lights gradually begin to recede into the fog, leaving you on the blood-spattered deck, not unscathed but clearly victorious. Yet, you get the feeling this isn’t the last you’ve seen of them. Asher takes a deep breath and nods to you. “Good work. Seems I brought the right people for the job after all – not that I ever doubted you.” He chuckles, nods again, and returns to the prow of the ship, a globe of light floating above his open palm as he scans the mist for more danger.

Sabrenn

-She sighs in relief once the threat thins out, leaning on the railing of the ship. Her eyes slowly return to normal, as do her veins.. and her weapon shrinks back down to travel size. With that, she takes up her pendant and adorns it once more. The demon huntress gives a nod to her companions.- “Aye. Good thing we all work well together.” -A genuine good word from her? A rarity, but genuine none the less. Of course she knows Beremud to be a fantastic fighter. But Asher’s pyromancy is impressive, Tear’s bladesmanship is spot on, and even the silly little bard girly seems to pull his weight just fine.-

Beremud, the Barbarian

As the danger fades, so too does the flame within both the warrior and his blade. The blade’s incandescent glow disappears as Beremud finally stops to catch his breath, wafting a small cloud of ebony smoke into the mist above. His feats of strength and endurance were certainly worthy of song and boast, but he was still human, and relished the opportunity to rest his aching arms. He turned to his fellows and smiled as he gave a hearty laugh. “That’s what the ship was missing! Looks much more like home when the deck is drapes in demon guts and wayward spears!” He rested his greatsword on his shoulder, the blade now as cold as the northwinds.

Tearlach

He wipes his dirk clean, the only weapon he had that had silver to it, and he guessed it would work better than the cold iron of his claymore. “Well that’s a good sign for a journey. Not even at the blasted place and already getting our blades wet.” He was marked a bit by the fight, not used to his new size, and for sure not used to the lack of his Chloaihm and divine power. He walked along the deck and sighed, looking at his wounds. “Damn” was all he could mumble to himself.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

Gwion, while out of breath, seemed invigorated by the whole thing. Nodding brightly to each of you, he moves towards the prow of the ship, seating himself beside Asher. He is about to begin strumming a tune when the maroon-haired man places a warning hand on his shoulder. “Best not attract any more attention to us than is necessary,” he says gravely, pointing off into the fog. The lights have receded, yes, but every so often you can catch one winking along, sometimes only a few metres away from the ship; The fog-wraiths are following you. “We’re not out of the woods yet.” Asher holds up his other hand, from which a light of his own shines, and his nostrils flare. “If anything, the mist is thickening. Rest and tend to your scratches, but be on your guard.”

Sabrenn

-Sabrenn gives a low growl of irritation. Sure, she loves a good fight, but she doesn’t like having to repeat herself to drive home the fact that she’s won. Will these creatures need another lesson? For now, she steps over to lean on the railing near Gwion instead, staring out at the fog apprehensively. She’s been lucky to not get any marks from this fight, but she knows she won’t always be so fortunate. Battle brings blood.- “So, you… what is so important over on the next continent that ya felt compelled to join a party of complete strangers on an obviously cursed ship and face misty beasties for, anyway?”

Beremud, the Barbarian

Beremud looked out at the little lights. At first he was annoyed, but he thought of a joke to raise his spirits. “Sorry, ya wee bastages. Harbor’s closed. Allow me to show ye the door.” The muttered this just loud enough to be audible, before chuckling and inspecting the Obliviator for signs of wear and tear. These little bastards didn’t have much meat, but he knew better than to get complacent. Content it was in good enough shape, he took his door over to beside his wife before going to look around for bits and bobs to improve its value as a shield, sword still at the ready.

Tearlach

Tearlach sat and watched and listened. He too was wondering about the bard. It seemed a bit strange, some random bard, a cursed ship, and these people all brought together for an adventure by some mysterious being. It didn’t feel right, and he cursed himself for the change that happened shortly beforehand. He didn’t expect to be weakened

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

“I, my lady?” Delighted to be given attention, Gwion smiles cheerily and flourishes. “I am northward bound, to seek the treasures of a fallen dwarven kingdom. You know, standard battle-bard stuff. I intend to compose an album worthy of the old gods of Hellifyno – me, my lute, and a thirst for adventure!” Asher’s eyes immediately snap over to the bard, blazing with suspicious fire. Tholam Urrith, for all its grandeur, had fallen into obscurity. How had this stripling learned of its existence? Had he perhaps been too vocal in his retelling back at the Red Sun? Meanwhile, in his poking around, Beremud finds nothing of any use – as previously mentioned, the ship is completely barren. However, he does hear a curious noise from below deck – a scratching noise, like claws scraping on wood.

Sabrenn

-Her eyes narrow and she jabs a finger into Gwion’s chest rather roughly.- “.. Look, ah don’t know what yer up to, but ah’m keepin’ ma eye on you… ” -What are the odds that he’d actually be heading out for the exact same reasons as them? She doesn’t like it. Maybe he really IS a ghost or on cahoots with those strange creatures.- “Ya don’ wanna be findin’ yer lil guitar there up yer arse or anythin…” -With that warning, she turns back to continue watching the mist.-

Beremud, the Barbarian

The giant man’s interest his peaked, his focus drawing away from the deck as he descended in to the bowls of the ship. He held his greatsword in an ochs guard, prepared to strike or block with a simple twist of his wrist. It wouldn’t be as devestating as a proper swing, but it could be employed quickly incase of a surprise attack. His approach was slow, scowling as he dropped into the hold, making sure to let his eyes adjust to the darkness before venturing in…

Tearlach

Tearlach watched Beremud, but also picked up on what the man said. More and more he became uneasy about all this. Too many strange happenings, all of them didn’t seem at all proper for just being random. It was if fate did have a greater plan for those ruins, and for this group.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

“I… just told you what I’m up to…” Gwion scratches his head at Sabrenn’s response, clearly confused by her suspicion. All he’d confessed to was a yearning to write songs and adventure. Was that so odd? Upon further thought, he realized it might. He sat back down, fingers picking the air idly. Meanwhile, upon descending into the belly of the ship, Beremud is greeted with a startling sight – three fog-wraiths, standing below deck, carving away at the wood. Already they have succeeded in damaging the wood – much longer and they will have caused a leak. One of them turns to the barbarian and hisses, alerting its comrades. Together, the three of them creep into a flanking formation, preparing to overwhelm the lone man.

Beremud, the Barbarian

Beremud knew he’d been lured into an unfavorable situation, but he went in expecting trouble. While caution may have been prudent in countering their attacks, but he knew he wouldn’t be much help if he died quietly. Besides, even if we managed to slay them, the damage to the hull was cause enough for emergency. The blade ignited in a flash as Bere sprang forward with a mighty scream, taking a swing at each of the beasties as he dove to protect the damaged hull. He took a risk as he turned away from the misty creatures to shout back up to the crew on deck. “HULL BREACH! WE BE BOARDED!”

Sabrenn

-Her wifey sense starts tingling… of course, before she can respond to that, she hears her husband’s voice, confirming her suspicions. Growling, she lunges forth, grabbing Beremud’s door… shield… thing… from nearby and hightailing it to meet up below deck. As she’s hurrying down the stairs, she hoists the door, throwing it to her husband.- “Catch! Fookin’ stowaways…”

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

Of course, Gwion comes hurrying down, eager to meet the danger with open song. Asher hesitates – is it a good idea to leave the deck unguarded? His eyes scan the mist again. Something is different now, he can feel it. Hopefully, Beremud and the others can handle themselves…

The closest one to Beremud feints, while another phases though his arm, trying to get through his guard and slash at his chest. The third flickers towards Sabrenn, shrieking fiercely, claws prepared to rend the woman’s flesh. As this occurs, however, the first few notes of a Nordic battle song ripple from Gwion’s lute, and you physically feel your senses sharpen and spirits rise.

Beremud, the Barbarian

It was as if the battle drums of his people had pounded in his heart. The barbarian’s eyes seemed almost aglow as he through his weapon aside to wrap his arms around the little scraping creature and SUPLEX THE LITTLE FUCKER INTO ON OF THE STUDS OF THE WALL, the wood no doubt strong enough to withstand the impact. The little beasty? Less certain. He hopped back to his feet, grabbing the door handle flying towards him as he knelt to grab his sword, prepared for whatever strike the survivor who hadn’t gone for his wife as he hid behind his makeshift shield.

Sabrenn

-She does her best to side step the creature, but she’s a bit mid-toss of a door so she’s encumbered. A gasp of pain escapes her as claws rake into her side… oooh that makes her mad. And Gwion’s song makes her mad and ready to turn that little fooker into misty haggis. As she whips out her crossbow and enhances it once more with the Raven Wings, her eyes go black once more. No messing around.- “Oh now you’ve done et….”

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

Beremud’s arms wrap around the fog demon, lifting it up and over his head into the wall. It lets out a shriek as its brains paint the belly of the ship, leaving its cranium a messy, viscous ruin. As Beremud rises, his upper half covered in gore, the other one surges onto him. Though these creatures superficially resemble goblins, they are roughly the size of normal men, and a deal stronger. It attempts to rip aside the huge man’s shield and shred his chest with those long, sharp claws, while the other doesn’t let Sabrenn catch a break; drawing blood has only emboldened it. Gwion’s song crescendoes, and the blood from Sabrenn’s side stops flowing.

Beremud, the Barbarian

As Beremud’s shield pulled, he decides to save energy and move WITH the creature’s momentum rather than against it. He swipes the shield to the side as if to parry, meeting the creature’s attacks head on -literally in this case- with a headbutt aimed for right between its eyes. He feels the pain of claws in his skin, but is even more enraged when he feels them pull at his chest hair. He would cry out in both rage and pain as he brought down the pointed pommel of his weapon toward’s the little bastard’s throat.

Sabrenn

-She has no time to notice whether she’s still bleeding or not. Too busy firing bolt after bolt at her attacker, a flurry of incomprehensible swears coming through gritted teeth. At least now without worrying about a stupid door shield she’s more agile, granting her better dodging chances.-

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

The creature fighting Beremud manages to carve bloody strips into his chest before being stunned by the headbutt. It is dazed for a split-second, recovering fast, but not fast enough as the spiked pommel stabs through its neck, staving in its windpipe. It flails, lashing out in its death throes, growing weaker and weaker until it falters altogether. Sabrenn meets with less success; the creature weaves cleverly, long arms lashing out between shots to nick her arms and slashing at her face. Between its dodging and its ability to turn into mist, it is looking dicey; until its claws slash ineffectually against an invisible barrier just before Sabrenn’s face. It has the time to look confused before a crossbow bolt lodges itself between its eyes and send it sprawling dead to the floor, as Gwion lets out a satisfied sigh.

Beremud, the Barbarian

Beremud growls a curse as the creature slumps off of the horned handle and unto the floor. He feels the intense sting of missing skin and grits his teeth, but his focus is not on his own wounds. The moment he’s sure the creature is dead, he sprints up the stares to check on his wife. “Sabrenn! Don’t tell me the little cocksuckers got to ye,” said the barbarian as he tossed his weapons to the deck, bending down to inspect his wife’s wounds.

Sabrenn

-Wincing in pain, she slumps against the wall, letting Beremud look her over.- “It’s fine… ah’m fine.. Probably will only get one.. maybe two new scars? Mah face was abouta meet a worse fate than this if…” -A quick glare shot in Gwion’s direction.- “.. Well, things coulda been worse.”

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

Gwion shrugs. It’s clear that he will not be getting much in the way of gratitude from the gruff barbarian woman, so he moves over to check out the ship wall where the monsters were clawing. He whistles. “Damn… they really went for it- if you’d have found them but a minute later we’d be-” His observation is cut off by a shout from on deck; Asher’s voice, thick with urgency. “Everyone on deck, now!”

Beremud, the Barbarian

Beremud had no time to bleed. No matter how much the scratches stung, he had to fight through the pain. The pain however, proved to be a boon, for it pumped him with enough testosterone to heft both his door great shield and his massive great sword with ease. “To the bow lasses! With haste! ‘Ere there be monsters!”

Sabrenn

“.. Ye gotta be kiddin’ me there is never a fookin break is there with these things…” -Grumbling, Sabrenn hoists up her crossbow and scurries off upstairs after her husband, ignoring her current pain to focus on the pain that must be incoming.-

Tearlach

Tearlach moved up to the deck behind them, he needed to be careful. He realized quickly that death was a very scary possibility for him now. “What’s goin on?” he kept his dirk up and ready, and readied his targe, felt having the shield would help a bit since the last encounter.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

Asher stands at the prow of the ship, looking up at something. The mist rises high over the ship, arcing, curving. It grows more and more cohesive, a semi-clear figure beginning to emerge as the sinuous movement of the mist becomes almost sensual. At first, it is unclear what you are looking at; this unnatural movement might initially be mistaken for the wind rolling the fog across the water. However, you eventually begin to make out individual features. Long, slender columns of smoke become fingers; thick curtains of gloom become robes and long strands of hair. The curves of a woman’s body are outlined in the fog, and above it rests a pair of eyes in an otherwise featureless face. No light comes from them, but still, they are discernibly white- pure white, staring at each of you in turn. Evaluating you. Asher holds his ground, while Gwion’s mouth drops open to curse softly. The mist woman easily towers over the entire ship – her hands easily big enough to grip the mast. Along her ghostly robe twinkle all-too-familiar lights. She glides backwards in time with the ship, fingers flexing, eyes narrowing, and as you look into her lightless orbs, you begin to feel lost – and accepting of such a fate. The feeling creeps over you like mist over a hillock, inexorable and alluring.

Sabrenn

“….” -She steps in front of her husband to try to block the view of the giant mist lady. What a fookin’ whore showing up like this… trying to seduce her husband… making everything futile.. Without realizing it, she’s lowering her crossbow slowly as if its grown heavier… –

Tearlach

Tearlach, as if on reflex upon seeing the eyes, took his kilt’s extra material, and used it as a hooded tunic, putting the ‘hood’ over his eyes. His mind flashed back to the basalisk, and having to fight blind folded to be safe from it’s gaze. “Cover yer damn eyes.” He moved to where the younger lad was and threw him down. His stance then widened,, to make up for the rock of the boat, and the size of the beast. He moved carefully, feeling with his eat to where his weapons where.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

“Oof!” Thrown heavily to the deck, Gwion’s lute squeaks dissonantly beneath him. The magic in those notes, piercing and strident, seems to have momentarily broken the hold of the mist-woman over you. Tear’s instinct is right – however, he will notice that upon covering his head, the feeling didn’t lessen immediately. It is likely the lost feeling comes from somewhere other than her eyes. The mist-woman notices the breaking of the spell immediately; her smoke fingers ‘sharpen’, as superheated steam begins rising from them. The lights on her robe surge towards the ship, and her featureless face rips in half to unleash a chilling howl. Both Asher’s hands ignite, as he shouts, “Start playing, boy!”  The illusion is broken, and the dance has begun!

Sabrenn

-She blinks a couple of times, snapping back into reality and raising her crossbow once more.. now she’s ready to retaliate.- “Fookin’ tryin’ to bewitch me husband ya sloot!? Eat ma bolts ya plookie vile-stoochie milk drinkar!” -And the bolts start flying three at a time as her veins darken once more.-

Beremud, the Barbarian

Beremud was red not from betwitching, but from the blood that stained his face. His eyes locked right unto the giantess and he stared hard. Not at any of her feminine features, however… he lifted his sword up at his eyes level, pointing right to her neck. “I’ve found it…” His sword lit up as a grin spread on his face. “Ah found the figurehead for our boat!”

Tearlach

He’d kept his eyes covered, he didn’t trust this situations, he would smell the see air, and listen. He knew the general location of those on the ship, and knew what people sounded like. His focus was on the wind. He reached down at his feet for something with a shaft more than a small handle, he felt for the runes he marked them with. One had to be the willow, willow usually did something with spectral beings… or was it rowan? He shook his head, and went with the willow handled spear.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

Quick as a cat, Asher dances back across the deck, narrowly missing the claws of some of the fog-creatures as they drift aboard. His fingers interlock and his eyes close as he begins some sort of ritual. “Cover me. I’m going to try and find out what sort of creature we are dealing with here.” Gwion plucks hastily at his lute, trying to string together a coherent melody at the drop of a hat. The result is nothing spectacular, but it is enough so that the mist-woman’s illusion over you doesn’t affect your reflexes. Even so, you feel your vision cloud slightly – except Tear, who has wisely covered his eyes. The mist-woman roars, her hands coming down to slam onto the prow of the ship, rocking the vessel and sending a cloud of hot steam spraying towards you. Through it, come the fog-creatures en force, claws extended and numbering in the dozens.

Sabrenn

-Sabrenn hasn’t been able to come to the conclusion yet to cover her eyes, too enraged to think properly. Instead her attacks keep coming in a flurry as she rushes to position herself properly to help provide the cover Asher called for, allowing herself to risk being a bit more vulnerable if it meant giving her party member some leeway to work his magic.- “Best be quick on it, ah am getting real sick of this shyte!” -Like in a previous battle her bolts are acting like homing missiles, though that means she is getting more hits in on the lesser creatures that are storming the ship than on their boss, who she’d REALLY like to be hitting.-

Beremud, the Barbarian

Beremud raised his shield, charging forward through his watery eyes with a scream of both valor and pain. He closed his eyes to brace for the impact as he smashed into the crowd of monsters and steam. His sword hand was high and at the ready, his blade behind his back to act as a makeshift shield from any flank attacks, and his arm in perfect position to leash a mighty blow should he see an opening. He was at once a one man battering ram and testudo, and he presence of so much potential prey lit the Argent Obliviator up like a beacon in the fog.

Tearlach

Tearlach would move his spear in a circle, holding his dirk still against the shaft, the silver blade at the ready, in case he remembered wrong. He would use the nose of their steps to keep track of his allies, the scent of the ocean and the noises of the wind helping him direct his strikes. “Careful getting near me, lads and lass… I cannot promise I won’t strike you.”

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

Asher remains motionless in the back of the group, still focusing on his ritual. Gwion steps up in front of him, casting support cantrips here and there in between his holding off the encroaching illusion. Sabrenn’s homing bolts work much better than her regular ones – even when the creatures phase through them, they usually wound up stricken from behind as the bolt returns with a vengeance. Tearlach’s spear techniques confound the monsters; used to fighting sight-based prey, his use of his other senses catches them off guard and sees several of them skewered. Beremud is like a tank, ploughing into the creatures. Vicious as they are, his monstrous strength is more than enough to throw them back and disorganize them. Once his charge ends, though – with several more dead fog creatures to his name – he finds himself smack in the middle of the pack of monsters, and dangerously close to the prow of the ship, beyond which towers the fog woman. Letting out a kettle-esque shriek, she reaches out for the greatsword wielder, her hand easily big enough to wrap around his door-shield and impale him on those fingers of superheated steam.

Sabrenn

-If she wasn’t so focused on guarding Asher and fighting her own slew of monsters, Sabrenn would have cried out in warning to Beremud. But she can’t afford to rip her sights away from her current targets, lest she be met with their wretched claws once more. It’s already bad enough trying to dodge any that come right at her while standing firm to protect Asher.- “Cmon hurry it up…” -She mutters through gritted teeth, carefully ducking for a moment to quickly yank a couple bolts out of the floor to restock her supply.-

Beremud, the Barbarian

With the last visages of his sight, Beremud looks up just in time to see the assault of the sea witch. Swinging his sword backwards in a wide arc to try and stave off the squadron of monsters, raising his shield high to block the incoming strike. He monster’s huge size and strength force even this barbarian behemoth to his knees, clinging to the door handle as best he could under the pressure. His dire sweep had left a side effect as well, for behind him, on the deck of the ship, there lay a half circle of flame behind him. The flames flickered brightly, but did not spread, instead sitting in its geometric pattern forming at the tip of the Obliviator’s resting point. And as Beremud focused all of his strength, the whispers of the devilish sword intensified and grew louder, almost audible to the others…as if the beast within were performing a ritual of its own…

Tearlach

He took that shriek as his signal, Releasing his spear with a full forced throw, reading his dirk again to use as his main defensive tool. He let it sail in the direction he heard the monster, but no guarantee it would actual work. He kept moving his dirk around him to any unnatural noises he heard.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

Tearlach’s spear flew straight and swift towards the huge woman… and sailed on through her body of mist, sinking into the water beyond. As it did, Asher’s eyes flew open, blazing with recognition. “That’s not a ghost – she’s a hybrid elemental, air and water!” Gwion blinked, not understanding the classification but not letting that get to his playing. The red-haired man continued his analysis: “She’s superheating her fingers to use them as weapons… that leaves only one option: freezing. And to do that… Tearlach!” Asher turned to the man, speaking quickly and sharply. “Help Beremud- your silver dirk can cut her body apart. Sabrenn, help Tearlach mop up the other monsters and keep the giantess distracted.” He grinned, a savage light in his eye as his hands became encased in frost. “I’ll handle the rest.” As he finished, the mist-woman, tired of having Sabrenn’s bolts punching through her chest, reached out for the barbarian woman with her other massive hand. The merest touch from those fingers would burn clean through flesh and armor; even Beremud’s door looked on the verge of collapsing.

Tearlach

He would nod, and move to the other barbarian man. Cutting at things as he got close. He wondered exactly how he’d get closer to the monster woman. He had ideas, and none of them sounded good, especially the thought of being thrown at her. “So then, what do we do know?” He kept cutting the creatures around them waiting for the right opening.

Sabrenn

“Got et!” -She grins and quickly takes evasive action, tumbling out of the way of the giant’s hand and trusting Asher to get a move on as well. Of course she can keep that stupid bitch distracted.. she just needs to focus more power onto her to keep her agitated. But since she also needs her missiles to keep the little monsters at bay, she’ll have to tap into her power more… the flesh of her arm starts to turn gray, and her hair seems to get mussed up.. no? Feathers. She has sprouted a couple of raven feathers, though the color of her hair makes them blend in so well. Now along with the three small missile bolts that come with each shot, a regular sized one goes to where aimed; the giantess’s chest.- “Is THAT the best ya got ya snivelin’ wet wind wench!? Caaaahm on then come an get meh if ya gat ya undagarmies so twisted up yer cooch!”

Beremud, the Barbarian

Beremud felt the handle of the door heating up. That was one design feature he was DEFINITELY going to need to revamp when they hit the mainland. Luckily having his eyes clenched while huddling beneath the steamy fist of death had given his sight a chance to recover, and seeing that Tearlach had helped thin the crowd behind him gave Bere enough information to formulate a plan. He dropped to his back, kicking his feet into the door to send it up long enough to roll away from the giantess. He looked like he’d been in a sauna for too long, his skin pinkish-red and his face drenched in both sweat and tears, but strictly speaking alive. He turned to Tearlach with a grin. “I’ll make sure she has reason to strike for me. Wifey seems to have her end of the tanking taken care of. When she strikes, remove those bloody arms w’ tha’ silver dagger!”And with that Beremud lept back into the fray with a wave of hellfire before him, the sword’s mumbling now a visible scream. The demon in the sword said, “Et venite mecum ut canis!” In latin, this was roughly, “COME GET ME BITCH!”

Tearlach

He would nod and move to where the strain on the shield could be heard, His dirk coming down, once he felt the blade bite in, he would move it again, chopping down on the creature. “Come on, ya moistened bitch! Piss off already!” he would roar in fury, his divine power gone and this only serving as a reminder to that fact.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

“Good work, friends!” Asher leaps into the air, making a sweeping motion with his arm. Where Tearlach’s dirk has bitten, now fangs of sheer cold bite again, freezing the mist-woman’s wound. She screams in actual pain as the frost infects her wrist, preventing her misty flesh from crawling back together. Her pain allows Sabrenn to easily avoid her grasping claws of steam, and Asher calls to the crossbow-woman: “Fire on her wound!” Beremud’s reaping sword, Tear’s slicing dirk and Sabrenn’s hail of bolts massacre the remaining fog creatures, leaving the four of you (and Gwion!) against the huge elemental. “Beremud, wait for my signal. That sword of yours is the key to all of this.”

Sabrenn

-She follows Asher’s command without hesitation, letting out a round of bolts to the arm with a battle roar.-

Tearlach

He backed off for the moment, catching his breath, and feeling the sudden cold near him. With asher’s commands, he knew the final blow was coming, and he did his part for now. “You two got this! Take down the briny whore!” He growled out those words, keeping his eyes covered still, he didn’t want to risk any magic, even with the bard’s song playing

Beremud, the Barbarian

“Vos bet sexus sum! (You fucking bet I am!)” called the demon blade pridefully, and Beremud boastfully laughed, happy ot finally be on the same wavelength as Argent fro once. “Aye, I think I can do that!” He held his sword in a near ward, or nebenhut stance at his side, and the blade seemed to scream to life. Jets of flame and demonic runes glowed on the blade as it charged up the power of Hell itself.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

Sabrenn’s bolts meet the frostbitten wound with a crash, splintering the ice and severing the mist-woman’s hand entirely. Asher freezes it before it hits the deck, causing it to shatter like a fallen ice sculpture upon impact. The elemental lets out another tortured scream – its arm and body momentarily lose their shape, becoming less like a woman and more like a self-contained storm of wind and water. She reaches out for the greatsword wielder once again, hatred blazing in her white eyes, but is off-balance from the sudden loss of her hand. Her upper body is impaled by the ship, her hand of steam scrabbling for purchase like a giant spider. One finger nearly burns through Beremud’s leg in its flailing. “Hold!” roars Asher. “Open the bitch’s stomach, Tearlach; I’ll bind her to the deck, and then Beremud can finish this!”

Tearlach

He unocvered his eyes just long enough to charge forward and jump to her, stabbing his dirk in and dragging himself down before forcing it to the side roughly. “Come on, let’s get this over with! This cursed tub is beginning to piss me off, and I’d love to be back on solid land!” He called out to them, doing as he was told.

Sabrenn

-She falls back to watch and wait, keeping her weapon poised and aimed at the giantess just in case, while her gaze darts around in case any other lesser mist beings happen to still be around.- “Thas’ right, lets put a fookin’ end to this! Bere ah want ya to tear that bitch apart!”

Beremud, the Barbarian

Bere struggled through the pain, dropping to a knee again. As his blade channels the nine hells, Beremud calls to his patron, Kiltor, in his time of need. Still, he holds. “As soon as Asher’s ready!” he half screams, half gasps.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

A huge, gaping tear in the center of the mist was opened – another screech came from the creature. She tried to pull herself up off the boat, but Asher was quick: large hands of frost sprouted from the ship’s deck and gripped the mist around her wound, freezing her midsection and trapping her with the ship. With a yelp, Gwion narrowly evaded the steam hand, which had burnt away the fringe of his long coat. With a snarl, Asher pulled his arms down, as his hands of frost yanked the elemental to the deck. She lifted her face to stare directly into Beremud’s eyes, mere feet away, her gaze conveying unfathomable hatred. One last screech of defiance was mixed with a blast of hot steam spit from point blank. “Do it!” Asher roared.

Beremud, the Barbarian

“DAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” Beremud swung his sword with such force that the weight up the blade carried him skyward in a mighty uppercut. As he flew up, the sword leashed one final swear: “Morietur(die).” From beneath the frozen midsection, there was a sudden black glow. And with a scream the sword’s work became apparent, as a hellmouth opened beneath the giant misty wench. As the pillar of hellfire rose into the sky the sword prepared to leash more curses… but was silenced, suddenly terrified of another presence. The hellgate snapped shut, bringing much of her body with it, and Beremud seemed to be held aloft for a split second… before an old set of runes, from before the demonic infection, written on the original casket it was forged from, crackled with lightning. In a flash, Beremud slammed his blade into the sea elemental with the might of his patron slamming his hammer against the anvil of creation. Kiltor had answered his prayer.

The Red Asher, Askendaraudr

Half consumed by the maw of hell having opened beneath her, the elemental could do naught but shriek in agony as the fires of the underworld burned away at her lower half. This shriek reached its peak when the mighty barbarian came crashing back down, his blade screaming with the might of Kiltor as it hammered into the mist-woman’s face. All at once, the mist in the air became a storm raging inwards, being drawn towards Beremud and his opponent. The howls of the elemental echoed in sync with the howls of the wind, and she, the barbarian, and the blade between them were momentarily consumed by a cyclone. The feeling of being lost from become came surging back, overwhelming you like a tidal wave, crushing your every sense beneath its gentle despair – and, just as suddenly, it is gone. The cyclone disperses, and there stands Beremud, his blade planted nearly halfway into the deck of the ship. The elemental is nowhere to be seen, save for the remains of her shattered hand. The Argent Obliviator has devoured her soul; and with it, all the thick, unnatural mist. Suddenly all is visible; the ocean glitters beautifully in the sunlight, the smell of salt and sound of the waves against the ship rush up to assail your senses. And, in the distance, you can see it: land, vast and green, towards which you slowly drift. The air tastes of promise and adventure, as you realize that in but a few short hours, you will have landed on the shores of the great Eastern Continent.

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