Something Wicked

It was a dark and stormy night

Session 0

The accounting of Livianus Hollergath, half-elf

I found myself walking down the mountain at night, when suddenly the skies opened and unleashed their oceans upon me.  The pitter-patter of the rain against the brim of my hat was rhythmic enough to use as the basis of an internal chant, and soon I was in my center, and my peace, despite the cold and wet.  Firelight from a cave caught my attention, and I decided that my mission was not so urgent as to require me to push on through the night; I approached the mouth of the cave.

Inside, I found a small woman, apparently of elven heritage as I am, tending to her horse.  She seemed pleasant enough, and she would not have caused me to look twice at her, were it not for the thickness of frost coating her leather armor.  While the weather outside was by no means warm, it was certainly not cold enough to explain her frozen appearance.

Years away from others had not atrophied my manners, and so I asked her permission to join her.  My voice cracked, and I had to clear my throat several times; I suppose it had been many years since I last found need to speak.  This was when she turned and addressed the other person in the cave.

Back further, and behind a large rock, I saw a single, elven eye, and an arrow trained at my heart.  The young woman addressed the archer, asking him the very same question I had just asked her.  A barely-perceptible shrug was all the response given, and so she turned back to me and smiled in acquiescence.  As I walked past her to the fire my new archer friend was sitting near, curiosity overcame me, and in a fit of indulgence, I complimented her armor, hoping to elicit an explanation for its frozen state.  She told me, in as many words, that it was a spell she had cast, which explained everything perfectly, and my curiosity was fully assuaged.

At the fire, the archer kept his arrow aimed directly at me.  I assume he thought he was being threatening.  Eventually, he seemed to grow bored, and settled down.  I could tell from this distance that he had elven blood in his veins as well; for some reason, being around others who shared my heritage put me at ease.  They told me their names, and I told them mine, though I doubt any one of us committed them to memory.  In the morning, we would go our separate ways, so getting to know each other seemed largely unnecessary.

A sound from outside drew my attention.  I went to the mouth of the cave and saw two giants fighting, throwing large stones at each other.  Were it not for the cave-in they caused, I would not have cared, as the giants in these mountains are largely concerned only with their own kind; as it was, I was inconvenienced to have to clear a path outside before I could rest for the night.  As I worked, the archer disappeared, and then a loud screaming echoed from further back in the cave.  The young woman insisted we go try to help the archer, who had undoubtedly gotten himself into trouble, and I saw no reason to object.

Eventually, we found a larger cavern through tunnels in the back of the cave.  The cavern was filled with screaming mushrooms – a sight I had never seen before!  The archer was nowhere to be found, but as soon as we heard the sound of fast-approaching entities, the young woman slapped my arm, turning us both invisible.  As I used my new advantage to conceal myself, I watched nearly two dozen large creatures emerge from other openings into the mushroom cavern.  They possessed humanlike heads and arms, but their bodies were as to giant centipedes.  When it became obvious they were only protecting their territory, and I still could find no sight of the archer, I quietly left back the way I had come.

At the entrance, the young woman and I went back to work clearing the cave-in.  At some point, the archer returned, and watched us, never once offering to help.  When the way opened up again, I saw that the victorious giant was dragging the limp body of the other giant away, back up the mountain.  Satisfied I had a means of egress in the morning, I settled in near the fire and found slumber.

Comments

Hey, Haadran. Long time no see. Or, meditate, rather. I realized it’s been a couple weeks since I last sent thoughts your way. I’m sure our queen wouldn’t let a soul as useful as yours, get away clean – so I suspect you can hear me, even if you can’t – or won’t – reply.

Did I ever tell you how I hate the smell of wet horse? I mean, they’re incredibly useful creatures. Haul loads all day, keep churning the earth long after I’d take a break. All they really need is a good brushing, hoof check, maybe the occasional tick removed. This one hauled a full pack up the side of a mountain today, in the pouring rain. And now all I had to do was brush the water from its hair (which is to my benefit anyways), and give it a smallbag of oats. Remarkable.

I found this cave with a fire in it. There was another elf, or half-elf, who had made up a fire. He liked to point arrows at people, which I guess I can’t blame him for. I did walk into his cave covered in a shell of ice. But he did it to that strange smiling monk, that looked like he had everything but the ‘hermit’ down pat. Nice seeming guy though.

Anyways, those spells you helped me learn came in handy. There were these weird bug-people, and I mean that literally – they were half people and half bugs. Really, really gross. They couldn’t see through the invisibility though, and they didn’t eat the arrow guy either, so maybe they were just mad we were in their tunnels. We left pretty quickly.

Oh! And there was a cave-in. Or an avalanche, I guess. It buried our little cave entrance, which is why we went looking and found the centi-taur people though. (Seriously, what in the Spire would you call those things?) They wound up getting over it, or getting knocked out, or something, because when we dug ourselves clear one was hauling the other one off.

Oh, man. I hope he wasn’t going to eat the other one. That would be awful.

Anyways, the floppy hat monk guy seems to be snoring, so it’s probably time to hit the bedroll. I haven’t forgotten about this task, though. I miss you, and I want to make you proud of me, and I will find that man if I can. I’ll talk again when I have the chance.

It was a dark and stormy night
NatheDM

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