Thune: Age of Woe

Finally Someone With an Answer

“Aye ye saved our tails up on that mountain! What be yer name there good man?” Borazan asked the woodsman, who looked well capable of handling his own.

“My name is Jhaeros Nightpath. I’m a warden of the vale. The villagers don’t know me or even know I exist, but I keep the vale clear of monsters that would harm them.” the ranger spoke.

As everyone expressed their gratitude , Borazan interjected rather inquisitively yet not ill mannered. “So where might ye hail from?”

"I was born in Caer Mora and was traveler with my mother at a very young age. My elven father was killed in a battle with orcs shortly after I was born, so it was just my human mother and I. Strange things were happening all over the place. Animals started fleeing and drowning themselves in the sea. Lakes and ponds started moving of their own accord. Then the trees started weeping blood and the rivers and lakes started drying up as the sun bore down on us. Crops withered and the trees started shriveling. When the great upheaval took place, the mountains belched ash, the hills erupted like boils, and the whole of the world tilted. My mother and I were on our way here to the Vale of Dun Volor here, in the shadow of Khardathas, where she had relatives.”

Jhaeros went on… “After the devastation, the land was filled with desperate people. Most people turned to banditry and murder . . . even cannibalism. My mother and I managed to avoid the worst of it, but she succumbed to a crippling fever and perished. After burying her, I decided to continue on toward the dwarven capital, hoping to find answers. I found Dun Volor but most of the town had perished. The fields to the south were full of the corpses of dwarves and orcs; apparently something happened within the mountain itself and the dwarves fled the mountain and clashed with orcs flooding out of the mountains and toward Khardathas. But they didn’t all die from a battle—something else had finished them off. Either way, the town here had been devastated too and the people were prone to madness. I decided I’d live off the land in the vale and keep an eye on things. And I’ve been here ever since.”

Von and myself (Burk) tended to the few nicks and scrapes we attained. Von buy channeling nature’s magical essence, and myself by by channeling Illithion’s prayer. We calmed Gytha in the process, and Cryssan an Spongicus set up watch for the dragon had us all unnerved. Thinking back on it what the fook would we have done in the open against that terror. My guess is nothing, but we managed to rest for about an hour or so as Borazan and Jhaeros conversed a bit more.

“What of that beast Jhaeros, what can ye tell us O that thing?” Borazan asked. Always thinking ahead he was.

Jhaeros answered rather grim, “That is the dark one. She leaves the vale alone in exchange for an annual “tribute” of one villager, which they determine by lottery. She only comes out at night or when it is particularly cloudy, which is fairly often. She’s as black as death is eternal. I stay well hidden from her.”

“So what’s beyond the vale?” Borazan asked. “Town elder tells us that its the edge of the world, beyond it is nothing they said. Between you and I I’m not so sure that its just nothing.” Borazan finished.

Jhaeros went on “ No, the world continues on outside the vale but as far as I can tell, the village elder has always maintained that it was the end of the world. That was probably to discourage people from trying to leave. If even a quarter of that village wandered off, they’d likely die and the village itself would probably wither too. As it is, they are running out of people who aren’t directly related to each other. As it was, I never much liked that elder, but after seeing that whole exchange, I’m thoroughly convinced that his arrangement with the dragon wasn’t one-sided. The only thing I worry about is the village. They can’t leave with that scourge that runs around every night and that dragon is going to make things awfully difficult again for them soon unless they figure out a new arrangement.“ He conitinued to warn us further upon listening to us chatter about how to take down a dragon as wicked as the one we were about to tangle with. “What’s important to realize here is that dragon is deadly—you’re not going to be able to fight her directly without some heavy casualties; if not the loss of your entire group. I’ve seen her tear apart some particularly large monsters herself without so much as a scratch. I don’t know where she came from but she’s apparently not going anywhere.

“Hey Burk, what is that symbol? I recognize that it’s a hammer, but I’ve seen that particular design with the boar before, on old monument in some ruins several days’ trek to the west. I trailed the dark one there once a couple years ago. My curiosity remained unfulfilled, however, as the place is crawling with trolls, ogres, and other such nastiness.”

"Aye good sir, that be the symbol O Illithion, He invaded my dream one drunken night and managed to pull me pickled hide out O the gutter he did, and inspired me to assemble the finest rag tag group I could find.” Burk confessed. “Whatever his will is sounds like it might be in those ruins. Perhaps we’ll even find answers for the nightly undead infestation.”

We all continued back down the trail and met up with a very confused Wardric who eyed our newcomer friend suspiciously. Though upon detailed explanation of the events up on the mountain he really couldn’t argue with welcoming Gytha, Jhaeros and the reast of us back into town for the night so we could get our gameplan and supplies in order for the coming days journey.

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