Thread: Destiny
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Unread 17th of April, 2009, 06:53
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At the Foot of Mount Hotenow

Destiny – At the Foot of Mount Hotenow

As the morning mists began to burn off in the glare of the wintry sun, a call went out through the animal kingdom. A call that announced there was to be a great battle…a battle among those with two legs.
And in the shadows of the woods and depths of the swamp, creatures gathered to watch. Most of these creatures watched in silence, but just like in the two-legged world, there were noisy watchers.
Ravens had been gathering since the break of day and by the time the two-legs reached the “sleeping giant” (the name the creatures of Neverwinter Woods called Mount Hotenow) the trees were black with them.
They talked and squawked, cawed and cooed to one another, placing bets and making proclamations of how the battle would go. Who would win…and how much meat there would be.
And no matter how much the other creatures scolded them, the ravens of the north would not be quiet. In fact, they scoffed at their scolders and threatened to peck out their eyes if they didn’t leave them alone. And so, after useless pleas, the quieter creatures of the forest watched in silence, while the ravens raised a ruckus.
Watching with the quieter creatures was a beautiful elemental spirit, a Lady whose gown was like the fresh snowfall. Her hair was the color of the sun, her eyes the shade of pine needles, her lips the tint of holly berries. She watched and walked among the trees, visiting with her creation, celebrating recent births and unions, healing old wounds.
Yes, the Lady of the Forest even spoke to the ravens for they are her children too, and they greeted her loudly but affectionately.
They invited her to watch with them in the tops of the trees but, she declined with a smile and a wave and returned her attention to the three groups at the foot of the mountain.
The Lady knew what lived in those caves. She knew what atrocities had been committed in those dark dens. And she knew that a Prophecy was about to be fulfilled.
And so she waited…and watched…and this is what she and her forest children saw…

“Spread out!” Mirko said, hefting the great mace, the Burning Blade of Jundar Swordbreaker. His gait was slow and determined and his new beard was flaked with wind-blown snow.
Celadon and Barnes echoed the command to their companions, the Wood Elves and the Aurilians.
Dreys stepped up beside of Mirko and several of the Aurilians stuck close to Alison, the bearer of the Statue of Kane, the Freezing Rage, a holy icon of their faith.
Raynal, wild-eyed and breathing heavily, plowed through the knee-deep snow at the foot of the mountain, his eyes on the caves; Shirl followed close behind him, her face a tapestry of worry.
Amra eases through the snow, following in the wake of Samson, who moves so quietly and cautiously that she fears to disturb him.
Hudson propped Franklin’s body against a tree and covered it with a heavy winter blanket, tying it tight with rope to keep the ravens off of it; the rest of the Lathanderians, Graham and Swindell, stood ready with faces lifted to greet the morning sun in the name of their lord.

When do you intend to eliminate your play thing? Asks the Shadow within. Almego flinches and tries to ignore the voice, but the Shadow is relentless.
She now has her own followers – they will die to protect her and kill you if she commands them so. She cares nothing for you – her new ‘god’ is the Frostmaiden; you are now forgotten.
(Tag Almego)

High on the slopes of Mount Hotenow are several large openings, while at it’s base two caves are easily visible. The ground is more solid here and there is a sulfuric tinge is in the air that even the light snowfall cannot dispel. “I’ve been finding a lot of tracks leading straight toward the base of the volcano,” Swindell says. “Perhaps we should...” The ranger’s voice trails off and everyone looks at him and then follows his gaze to stare at Raynal.
Raynal is standing in mid-stride, his legs locked, his body in a crouch; his captain’s coat billows slightly in the wind. He holds his longbow in both hands before him. Blue-green flames lick around the arrow he has nocked; Raynal whispers, “Trolls.”
“Where?” Mirko asks. And after a few seconds Raynal replies, “Up ahead somewhere. Probably near the volcano. I think there is more than a few.” “Damnation!” Hudson swears. “I hate trolls.”

Weapons drawn and spells ready, you move forward even more cautiously than before. As you approach closer to the volcano, the ground solidifies and movement is surer. The air is bitterly cold and there is only a slight drizzle of snow. With only a hundred yards to go, the trees thin and the volcano looms before you. You can clearly see the openings in its side, probably 200 feet above you, but more importantly are the caves at its base; large, ragged openings, unprotected and uninviting.
Shrouded by scrub brush and vines, the caves appear to be natural formations, and the tracks you’ve been following lead directly to them. Amidst the brush and bushes are several huge boulders, probably shed from the volcano during an eruption. Spreading out, you approach with extreme caution.
(OOC: Spells and preparations? Do it now!)

With arrows nocked and weapons gripped with whitened knuckles, you follow Swindell’s lead toward the caves. Without warning, large, wolf-like creatures burst from the caves. Their skin is a mix of violet, gray, and green flesh with patches of coarse, spiky black hair. Their eyes are pitch black as are their fangs and tongues. They look like ugly dire wolves, standing nearly 6’ feet at the shoulder, bulging with muscles. A smell of death proceeds them as they move to attack, snarling and snapping their teeth.
Even as the strange wolves charge toward you, your attention is suddenly diverted to the huge boulders lying about. They are moving! Rising on massive legs which appear to be stone, the huge creatures look at your group with hunger in their deep black eyes. Their fang-filled maws hiss and they stand nearly 11 feet tall! A few hoist large boulders in their massive claws while others move to meet you crouched to attack.
A horn sounds to your left and turning you see a large force of hobgoblins, armed with halberds and marching in formation toward you. There are at least 50 with two hobgoblins who appear to be leading the group standing in the front.
And if that isn’t enough, a keening sound overhead announces the arrival of the surviving bats which burst from the large caves high upon Mount Hotenow. There are only three of them, but they are huge.
Over the din of grating stone, marching hobgoblins, and shifting forces, rises a cackling laugh. Seeking it source your eyes turn upward where standing in the mouth of one of the large openings are the Storm Sisters. This is the first time you have seen all three of them together. They are standing shoulder to shoulder, arms raised, fingertips glowing with black power. Clouds boil overhead and thunder rattles the air shaking your bones and faltering your steps. The Aurilians shout and your horrors are made true as you turn to look behind you. Corpses stagger and stumble out of the swamp, arms outstretched, toward you. Rotting flesh dangling from them, maggots falling to the ground in wet, frozen clumps, they march toward you heeding a summons which cannot be ignored. You are surrounded and there is no escape!

In the trees the ravens cry out, anticipating the coming feast…
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>



Alison –
Almego –
Amra –
Dreys –
Graham –
Mirko –
Samson –
Shirl –
Swindell –

Edit: Amra and Graham spent some time passing out a little bit of healing, thus, everyone should be up to full hp before the start of the battle.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Hotenow Battle Map 1.JPG (42.1 KB, 3 views)

Last edited by hedgeknight; 17th of April, 2009 at 20:16.