And now we have the first part of a great story from Arkah EMPStrike, entitled Arkah’s Doings
Background music by Smartsound
Arkah set his last trunk down on the floor in his house. That made 5 large trunks, 4 backpacks, 2 sacks, 3 barrels and 3 crates. “Phew” he wiped his forehead as he stepped outside his door to tie up his horse, Trots McHorsington. “Sorry about all the work buddy!” he apologized and fed McHorsington a carrot.
“His name is awful!” said Xalia, who made herself very unhelpful in an armchair by the fireplace.
“Well,” Arkah scoffed, “it’s not Your name.” He said this while tossing stuff out of a trunk placed on his bed. “You don’t have to introduce him at parties. Besides, we’re so far out in the boonies that noone’s gonna care.”
Ever since the gas incident in Caelestis Canton, Arkah felt it better to move his research even further away than Malas. To the edge of the world in fact: a little known backwater village called Goti on the far shore of Norgard, about as remote as a man can get.
After packing everything away and thoroughly scattering his notes about, a knock came at the door, which was still open. “Greetings, Arkah.” A black hooded figure poked his head inside. Arkah stood up, from his paper-scattering, “Do i know you? Because you know me, Arkah, and that makes me suspicious so forgive me, would you like some tea?” Arkah offered the man a cup of demon tea he had been drinking and the man briefly declined and moved on to his purpose for being there.
“I need to discuss your recent research with you. The research that prompted you to move so far away from civilization.”
Arkah took on a more serious tone, “Go on” Xalia was quietly writing on a piece of paper by the fireplace, barely listening.
“I saw what transpired in Blood Bay, and though it was not your intent, I believe you may have stumbled upon something that could both kill people and cause certain others to want to kill you and your partner Professor Teekington.” the hooded man said pointedly.
“Oh.” Arkah was rubbing his beard in thought. “Well I don’t know who would want to hurt me but I can definitely see what you’re on about the…..curse or gas or whatever it is being dangerous.” Arkah thought back to a rather large flesh-eating plant he had to dispose of before moving. “I contained what I could and relocated here.”
“Indeed.” the hooded man replied, “But I am afraid you left unintended, and not surprisingly undetected lingering effects behind, and Grunvald may be in danger.”
“Well….dammit.” Arkah said, almost nonchalantly. “I had hoped any traces of what was left would be so dilute that it would be benign.”
The hooded man shook his head, “It grows, almost as if alive, and seeks out hosts. If you have done what I think you have done, Nature could turn against Caelestis Canton, and possibly a larger swath of northern grunvald.”
Arkah stopped rubbing his beard for a moment and narrowed his eyes. “Deez?”
The hooded man nodded.
Arkah’s jaw dropped and he began yelling, “You caused ALOT of trouble around Ordinis mister! I spent DAYS looking for Deez and Johnny Mark, and you just disappear and never even…wait you didn’t actually kill anyone. Then, who did we find in the river and behind the inn? Why were you-“
The hooded man interrupted, “Come, let us travel to Grunvald. Give me asylum in Ordinis Mortis so that I may conceal my location while we work, and in exchange I will explain the happenings of the past.”
Arkah and the hooded man rode Trots McHorsington up the hill in Ordinis to the Guild hall. “I posted a bulletin letting folks know not to attack you. Some of them might still remember you.”
The hooded man, who had been adorned in cultist garbs felt his appearance was more of a concern but felt honesty would avail him better than deception with these people. “I thank you Arkah. I will begin my concealment ritual and remain hidden here while we begin our investigation.”
Arkah helped the hooded man down off Trots and turned about. “Well, I’m off to Caelestis to see what’s up! Join me as soon as you feel it is safe to do so.”
The Hooded man nodded and waved as Arkah rode away on Trots, and then began setting up the stones for his concealment spell.
Several days later: (This event has already happened)https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/f…ent-defectors-and-curses.166127/#post-1305833
Arkah returned to Ordinis at full gallop and almost vaulted off Trots as he approached the hooded man, clearly in a panic. “You ahhhh…..working a concealment spell are ya? Keeping yourself hidden, hmm?”
The hooded man’s tone betrayed confusion, “Yes? why?”
“There are a lot of cultists gathering just up the road.” Arkah said wide eyed and nodding. “So, why are there cultists outside the city? Why do they feel like camping out there?” Arkah had a nervous hand on his dagger.
The hooded man sighed. “I… honestly don’t know. They couldn’t have possibly detected me and I haven’t spoken to-” Arkah interrupted, “spoken to anyone, yea, except there’s a bunch of guys dressed like you amassing outside. Why?”
“They are after me.” Said the hooded man.
“After you?” Arkah replied sharply and in the exact same tone, “Why?”
“I am a ‘traitor’ to the cultists.” The man spoke without hesitation. “They want to see that I face Their justice. But they couldn’t possibly be so sure that I am here as to be amassing a force outside the city. I am at a loss, I do not know how they know.” he said more quietly as if in deep thought.
Suddenly a voice boomed over the plains. “We know the traitor is here, and we will take him. You will give him to us so that he may face our judgment, for true Justice.” It was echoey and loud yet calm-toned. Suddenly screams rang out from he Docks down the hill.
“WHO ARE YOU? HELP AAAAHHGGG” Someone had just been killed. “Arkah ran out of town to try and find help and returned with a small band of powerful fighters
“This is the place. The traitor is to be captured alive. Advance on the town until he is found.” The Ebon Dawn commander’s voice echoed everywhere at once from an unknown location. A vicious battle ensued as cultist soldiers poured into the city, at best being slowed down by the small band of fighters.
“Hold them off until i can prepare a sufficiently powerful Cleansing Rain spell to wipe them out!” The hooded man projected his voice to the fighters the same way he had communicated with Teeka so long ago. And they fought on.
One cultist spotted a magic stone pillar hidden in an alley behind the markets in Ordinis. “”I see…an illusory field, very clever.” The Ebon Commander’s voice boomed, “Once it is destroyed, you will face justice in disgrace like the coward you are…”. The Defenders became more determined, and even the most elite of the cultists could not push through them. “If you fall…you will do it again. ASEN-IGNIS-CORP-OBIX”. A smouldering red fog began materializing near the injured cultist soldiers that remained, and they began writhing and screaming as their forms were twisted and flesh melted from their bones, leaving only charred flaming skeletons that immediately began spewing and tossing fire at all of the brave fighters defending the city.
‘Oh gods my magic does not work on them!’ One of the defending wizards said to herself, as the burning undead chased them through the streets. Just then the hooded man’s voice rang in their minds, “”It is ready!”. His incantation quickly echoed over the plains. “”Desen-Wast-Umbra-Obix-Vatu”
Clouds began to gather and rain burst forth from the sky in a fierce thunderstorm. “What…what is this?!” The ebon commander screeched as the screeching became more 3 dimensional allowing the fighters to find his location from the sounds. The remaining skeletons were quickly extinguished. The first fighter on the field was the last, as she approached the screams only to find a spirit remained, which she quickly banished.
The Battle was won!
“Thank you, strangers.” The hooded man’s voice rang in their minds one last time as the skies began to clear.