Badromios 3rd Holk, 4 AR – The Year of Feathered Downs
“This was not supposed to happen this way …” Galon says in his head as he surveys the recovery effort. The voyage to the shield was great with very little issues. The fleet of quinqueremes and warships approached the shield. The shield was invisible as everyone only seen open ocean. The Archmage began his ritual. He floated up above the bow of one of the warships, along with four other mages that were on other ships, and the ritual began. Each mage opened a box and out came four solid black orbs and one reddish blue orb, that the Archmage used. The orbs moved towards the shield and began to absorb into it. The opaqueness of the shield started to falter as cracks began to appear. The seas started getting rough and lightning began to come out of the cracks. Fire, both lines and balls, launched out of the cracks as well. Suddenly, a large green bolt shot out from where the reddish blue orb was and struck the Archmage. Additional bolts shot out at the other mages in the ritual as well. All were turned to dust. This wasn’t the end of the assault. The more the shield faltered, the more destructive it became. Bolts of lighting and gouts of fire stuck the fleet of ships, destroying them. Other ships were struck and began to burn.
The ship that the group was on was struck with lightning and began to burn. The fire was quickly put out as they scrambled to get to their gear and safety. Then it all stopped. No more rough seas, no more fire, no more bolts of lightning. The sky was clear and the seas were calm, but the destruction of the ritual was evident. Ships were destroyed or burning and debris littered the area. Before them, however, is what the shield was covering. A beautiful, lush tropical island was before them where once there was only open water. The shield was down. The ship made for land, along with one that was burning. The waves and wind pushed the ships on the beach. The burning ship was next to the group’s ship and was still on fire. Personnel were fighting the fire and trying to get the supplies off the boat before it was lost.
The group, which consisted of Haned the centaur, Khloe and Baelin the elves, Valerie the kitsune, Jomrumir the dwarf and Nikos the human, assisted with the evacuation of the burning boat, tending to the dead and wounded (Jomrumir said a prayer to Demeter for both the dead goats and people), and gathering up the supplies they can use. Only a handful of people and supplies survived. Galon, the leader of the battalion of soldiers that came along, took control of the situation. The supply ship was scheduled to be here in a few months, so they needed to survive until then. The priority now was to get shelter and find a source of fresh water. The remaining soldiers took up defensive positions and the slaves that were still alive took on duties to get the camp set up and the livestock together. Nikos assisted with this by digging a trench around the area. Baelin took charge of the others in the group and were going to explore the immediate area to find a source of fresh water.
Once everyone was together, including a reluctant Valerie, they headed into the forest. Initially the terrain was rough, but once inside the ground foliage decreased due to the high overhead canopy. This made movement easier. Both Jomrumir and Nikos surveyed the area for the best possible place that fresh water could be. With the lay of the terrain and rocky outcroppings, if there was going to be any water it would be in this direction. They were correct. Not far from where they were encamped, a few miles, was a waterfall that was part of a small stream.
Then some tracks were discovered that revealed they were being tracked. Then the deep growls were heard. Before they knew it, a pair of two-headed dogs with glowing yellow eyes and sharp teeth attacked the split group. Though the fight proved tough, the party was able to overcome the attackers. Valerie, who admitted that she has never done anything like this, proved to be very useful with providing assistance to Khloe. Wounds were tended to while they discussed their next move. They found the fresh water, but not able to get it to those that need it. It was too far to have the livestock travel, but they decided to follow the stream to the shore and see where it empties. Hopefully, it was not too far from the landing spot.
Since it was getting late, and not wanting to get stuck out there after dark, the group traced the route back to camp successfully. It was near dark when they arrived and there was already some fencing up and a bonfire being set up. Galon proclaimed that they were going to celebrate the dead, lit the bonfire and tapped a keg of ale. A squad of soldiers kept guard while the rest celebrated. The festivities included a well received performance by Valerie. By nights end, most were either passed out or getting ready to. A couple of empty ale kegs were set aside and the group got some shut eye. That was until a loud roar came from deep on the island. Yes indeed, this was a dangerous place.