The Way Forward
It had been three days of us drifting at sea, watching as the towering Icebergs crashed into each other and shattered into pieces. The Yuustler men told us that they had begun to think that Famine was masquerading as their brother from when they all were brought before the Queen. If the oldest bowed to her surely the younger siblings would as well. It was unclear if William was alive or dead and Balfore refused to accept that his son was dead.
As we were deciding what we should do next, Hortos God-Dragon of Travel appeared at a speed that made the air break around him with a thunderous boom and the sea split below him leaving a great wake behind him.
“BROTHER! IT IS TRUE YOU HAVE RETURNED!” Hortos called out in celebration. “A TRULY GREAT VICTORY THIS IS! THE PEOPLE OF SKRAYHORN ARE CELEBRATING AS THEY CONSTRUCT A NEW HOME.”
“THE CELEBRATION SHOULD CEASE. WE HAVE LOST MORE THAN WE HAVE GAINED.” Jorgund lamented. “FAMINE HAS TAKEN THE EGG OF UTHER’S SON, AND WE BELIEVE HE FLEW TO THE CAPITAL.”
“THEN WE MUST MAKE HASTE, THE OTHERS FROM THE BLONDE HAVE BEEN BUSY AND BELIEVE WE ARE CLOSE TO MAKING OUR NEXT MOVE.” We all looked at each other exchanging quizzical looks.
“What might that be?” Alessisa asked. “Has Morgul returned from his exploration?”
“YES, HE HAS RECLAIMED AN OLD ELVISH OUTPOST AND BROUGHT THE PEOPLE OF SKRAYHORN THERE TO SHELTER THEM FROM THE QUEEN AND HER FORCES,” Hortos explained. “IT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST CRYPTS. THROUGH HIS MASTERY OF THE NECROTIC ARTS HE HAS TURNED THE UNDEAD THAT WAS CREATED THEIR INTO A SMALL ARMY TO PROTECT OUR FORCES.”
“This is incredible news! Where is this outpost?” Queried Tahn.
“YOU WILL BE MOST PLEASE TO HEAR THAT IT IS MADE INTO THE MOUNTAINS THAT BORDER DWARVEN TERRITORIES AND A TEAM OF UNDEAD WORKERS ARE TUNNELING TOWARDS THE DWARVEN CAPITAL, WHERE AKOR SLEEPS AND WAR FORCES YOUR PEOPLE TO MINE ALL THE RICHES THE QUEEN COULD EVER NEED.” Hortos said. We all knew what this meant.
“You mean to tell me that our next course of action is freeing my people?” Asked the Dwarf.
“YES TAHNMGRIND, SOON THE DWARVES WILL BE AMONGST THE FREE PEOPLE OF SOVEREIGN AGAIN.” Hortos explained. A wave of peace overcoming Tahn in a way that could only be described as watching hope return to the monk’s body. “IT IS CLOSER THAN EVER BEFORE BUT THE TUNNELS STILL HAVE TIME BEFORE THEY ARE COMPLETE. ONCE WE ARRIVE AT THE OUTPOST WE WILL ALL HAVE WORK TO DO, I SHALL TAKE US THERE NOW.”
With that, the God-Dragon of travel used his powers to lift the five of us into the air and onto his back. And within merely seconds the cold of the northern sea gave way to the warmth of a forest at the base of a mountain range. Within the trees were a series of bridges and huts made out of the still-living trees themselves and as we landed we could see the entrance to a cavern going into the mountains. The people of Skrayhorn were running towards us smiling and celebrating our return. In the crowd, we saw Morgul, Ylloh, Remba, and Raphiel standing towards the rear of the gathering.
Ylloh walked to the front of the group and with arms outstretched said “Welcome to New Skrayhorn.” We gazed around in wonder at the way the trees were shaped and transformed. Life and energy had returned in a way that I had never seen in the people of Skrayhorn. “Look at what we have been able to reclaim in these woods.” She said leading us up one of the taller trees near the center of the outpost. “Over here, this pool lets us see the outer reaches of our new base.” Waving her hand over a stone basin with a few inches of water in it. “Here you can see Morgul’s forces patrolling our border with the rest of the woods.” We watched as numerous corpses shamble around the trees and rocks of the nearby forest.
“Now you must see what used to be the crypt itself.” Ylloh said as she guided us down back towards the cavern. She lead us through the town of people that all seemed to be busy with one task or another. It was all so incredible. I never would have known that people could be so different if you removed the threat of a tyrannical Queen.
“Well it has been quite some time my friends and boy can you see it on your faces and in your steps.” An elf said as he glided from the shadows. His body covered in black leather, worn from countless scuffles with the Queen’s forces, and no doubt a few new gashes from taming the undead guardians of this crypt. Morgul one of The Parliament of Owls. The Necromancer that brought us back. “We have a lot to talk about.”
“I thought you were scouting out the Captial for weakness for our offensive?” I asked.
“True, that is what I said I was doing.” The words almost flowing off of him.