Rumors out of The Camp

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Rumors out of The Camp Empty Rumors out of The Camp

Post  girdnas on Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:15 am

"The story goes theres this new group wipin' the Desolation clean. I talked to a ranger who told me shit you wouldn't believe! Whirling constructs of metal, hordes of undead, even the bone storms themselves, none have taken em down. Well, not all of em.

I remember when they came in Camp for the first time. Worst timing in the world. I was sleepin off a bender out under the gallows. Woke up by a roar and seen Gurg attackin some new fancy adventurin gang. Thought I'd have a good laugh while he caved in their skulls. But they stood firm. Sorcerous feller in bandages near froze ol' Gurg solid, and then what I thought were a warrior used his blade to strike him down with magic. Some blue-skinned freak was there too but all he did was make a good smashing post for Gurg's club.

Anyhow, they stayed a night at the Bender's and were gone again before I woke up next to Rat-faced Lilla in me tent. If I can't remember it, it didn't happen, thank the Gods. I heard they hired one of Skeribar's lot. Took em out on their first romp. Stories on their return say they looked for that lost caravan, but lost the trail, fighting all manner of the Ashen Wastes denizens along the way. After that, it aint' certain. All I could get out of the ranger is they went into some kind of tomb and found a bunch o' old fancywork armor and weapons, some cache left open after the war. But they came back with a new fella, which was strange; never saw blue-skin again and the healin sort was solid stone! Wheeled that Sarenrae fanatic in on some sort of old-style dolly they did! He got better with some help from one of our illustrious Camp leaders, maybe Grimm or that Death priest. Who knows what they had to pay for that! Especially here in the Camp! HAHA!

They left after that. Gone a few weeks, some of the Campies said for good, some said they got jumped for their loot and were dead in a ditch. Noone really expected em to come back, but come back they did! Lookin' fancy once again, though the wasteland will fix that in a hurry. I couldn't believe they stayed with the Bender's again. Everyone knew somethin' was goin on over there, them surly gnomes keepin to themselves and havin a few too many "sudden, early departures" of guests. Noone smart goes around at night, but I heard the ruckus. Yellin and fightin goin on in the Benders. Two of their group died that night, but they laid the Bender's to rest for good. Found out there were three of those scabs the whole time, triplets, one hidin out and trickin folks so they could ambush em and take their loot. Friend o' mine was hired to come in and clean the place up the next day, said there was blood all over the dining room and the bathroom was too repulsin to even talk about. She got sick right there at the memory of it!

You'd think they'd give up, losin two of their gang, one bein that ice sorcerer that stopped Gurg even, but not even close! Usurer put them in charge of the bunkhouse and they hired that hoity toity Bard's Gate fella who was whinin about his friends in the caravan ever since it left. He runs it now for em while they are out, along with that urchin girl. Surprised they have any silverware left, lettin that girl in. Yah, that spellsword guy, Wedge I heared Large Marge call him once, he must be a cold-hearted son of a ghoul cuz he didn't miss a beat. They just picked up a couple newcomers, some kid with a miniature dragon and a gnome of all things, hired another guide, and went back out! Nerves of steel trustin a gnome after the Benders! But he was the typical goofy sort of gnome, always smilin, though his entertainments make me wanna kill myself. They didn't stay out long. That new girl ranger took em out east. Supposedly came upon some old graveyard, probably full of undead, and turned back but ran into a massive Bone Storm and barely lived. I guess they cleared out the dead stuff and took shelter there. Some rumors about a massive earth beast they tamed and angel feathers. True or not, they came back the next day to drop off the kid and the gnome; guess the Desolation was a bit tough for em. They hung around though. You can catch one of the gnome's "shows" he puts on. Sometimes he even has an audience. The kid practices some kind of weird monster battle out away from town in the daytime. I aint seen it but I'm goin tomorrow cuz Lady Eleen started folks bettin on what critter wins. Maybe I'll get lucky!

Heck, that was just the other day they brought those two back. Merc group was in town, fixin to head out into the Dead Fields to meet up with their commanders and the rest of their squad. Some rich fella hired em to find something, or so the rumor goes. They won't be finding much. Heard some new dwarf started a row and beat several of em to death for no reason! The mercs were dumb enough to tick off Wedge and his crew and half of em ended up dead, with the other half fleeing to the safety of the Desolation. HA! Their boss sure ain't gonna be happy! Another stranger, some girl dressed like death's mistress, apparently impressed em with some kind of evil magic cuz they picked her and the dwarf up and are back out there now.

Who knows what they could be up to, but I'll bet ya a gold they make it back this time too!"

Meanwhile, dark eyes watch your progress through the Ashen Waste, your battle with the demons of smoke and swirling metal constructs. They watch as you meet the druids, resting in the shelter of the first tress you've seen since returning to this place. Honoring your deal with the Reclaimers, as some of the rangers call them, you travel to Tark's Barrow Mound. The basilisk surprised all of you as you entered, expecting ghouls or ghosts, and two succumbed to it's gaze before the others slew it. Luckily, Wedge's knowledge of the creatures leave Bella and Dismass returned to flesh but covered in stinking basilislk blood. Rinsing it away somewhat, you continued on and were attacked by mindless worms that attempted to trap you within their massive pincers and pull you into the crevices in which they lived. Dispatching them easily, you found the first sign of treasure within the mound, left upon a bugbear skeleton. Taking the lead, Wedge fell victim to the first attack of an unheard of creature, a shadow dire bear. Tark was known to have had such a creature as a pet in life. Apparently it fell victim to some sort of vile shadow being in it's final battle, and rose as a unique specimen of undead kind. It's attacks drained the strength from both Wedge and Hue, but was quickly defeated nonetheless. Through narrow passageways you continued, coming upon a wall of strange design that Wedge identified as an Undead Ooze seconds before it attacked. It engulfed both Omian and Dismass in it's cold shifting form, before Bella commanded it to release them with a thought. The final chamber was just past that narrow passage. Five undead barbarians that had risen as wights hissed and chattered madly as they sensed your group approaching. Tark himself, a barrow wight, waited patiently, commanding his men to hold their attack. Sweetpea the Undead Ooze attacked and was destroyed by the readied wight assault. It forged a path but Insanity descended upon Hue as he looked into the eyes of Tark. The wights backed off, knowing the nature of their leaders power. The same fate befell Wedge shortly after but from despair came hope, as the feathers given to you by Azarkites came to life, dispelling the effect. Freed from the insanity gaze, the group made quick work of Tark and his minions, finding what remaining treasure that was interred with Tark and his men. Once the group was healed as much as they could be by the power of Sarenrae, they left the mound, at first intending to travel back. An ambush by intelligent magical ravens ended with a fireball, but changed the group's mind about traveling back so a night was spent within the mound. The following morning dawned a dull gray-white as the dust from a night of bone storms settled thick in the air. Bella kept the group going in the correct general direction but just before arriving at the Oasis, the small force of undead that had been hunting you since your return found you. THe battle was won by teamwork and tactics, with Bella decimating the force of undead with fire while Omian healed the group instantly as the fire struck. Only the wraiths caused some worry before they, too, were defeated. Upon returning to the jungle, with no way of contacting the rangers or druids, the group braved the interior despite the jungle's guardians. The attack was silent and deadly, as two Dire Tigers leaped upon the unsuspecting group. Hue was torn to shreds, going down in a spray of blood on orange fur, standing on death's doormat while Dismass was mauled from the other side but stood his ground. With a heal from Omian, Hue was able to frighten the great cat with a show of force while the group ganged up on the other. Another strike from Hue caused the wounded creature to turn and flee, leaving itself open to attack. It was struck on all sides, and knocked unconscious by Hue's hammer. Before you could slay it, Jeraldus the Druid flew in bird form and angrily questioned your actions. Healing the wounded tiger and directing the other to stop attacking, he led you back through the Hedgewall. Leaving you at the crystal pool in the company of 3 rangers, he conferred with Niva and returned later, saying the proof was enough and as was promised you would be allowed prolonged use of the sanctuary for doing them that service. After that, the afternoon passes quietly, and Jeraldus informs you of a ritual to Telophus that all are required to attend that evening. As you recline on the soft grass near the pool, the afternoon drifts by, and the tireless eyes gaze down unseen.


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