Has it really only been a few short months since we received the charter from Duke Hoffstead founding the Dragon’s Eye Outpost? O! The industry of man! Construction of the palisades, stables, barracks, and main hall proceed without incident. Time does not waste for want of hands in the labor of the shorter lived races. Justiciar Norik Morast, our most righteous paladin, oversees the erection of the outpost. Norik leads an able team of his dwarven kinsmen from their city of Greyrush. Their superior engineering skill is greatly appreciated; may their hammers strike true with the guiding strength of Moradin.
Patrols from our outpost reported to Reverend that our nearest mountain neighbors are less than pleased with our presence. Orc! Situated as we are in the lower Cold Rock Mountains, we are the northernmost outpost fielded by Duke Hoffstead. Needless to say, we made haste to greet our neighbors, and only just returned from this first encounter. We were surprised to discover the servant of the Eye, wizard Teraseth, commanding the orc. Only with the fiercest battle were we able to kill the dark wizard, dispatch his minions, and return triumphant to the outpost for a well-deserved rest. A considerable fortune of gold and gems were found within Teraseth’s mountain camp, along with magical bracers, a wand of fireballs, and a ring of free action. Among the Orc plunder we discovered a missive from the Great Eye commissioning Teraseth to destroy the Dragon’s Eye Company, once for all. Our endeavors draw the attention of the Terrible Eye.
Hours after our victory Wojtek Wyvernjack, the half-elf superhero and fighter of renown, was found collapsed with fever. His illness is of magical nature. Wojtek’s only cure will be found in his birth-land territory, in the elven city of Moondale. I am stirred to accompany my elf-kin to our ancestral home where we may find the treatment for his strange ailment.
I am struck by the compassion of the stalwart band of adventures known as the Dragon’s Eye Company; once again the companions of the band rally to noble cause in departing upon this quest. May history long recall the deeds of: the gnome Garvin Goldpebble (Nibbles to those of our number), Canon of Garl Glittergold and footpad; halfling Kaden Broadfoot, Initiate of the 6th Circle, a druid of particular acumen; Trigal the Hunter, human clansman from the wild Northern Kingdoms; dwarf Norik Morast, Justiciar of both Moradin and Lathander; our troupe’s Muse, Rozlyn von Wolfhausen, whose human voice lilts with such melodious strains that even the greatest maiden singers of Lathander would envy; and I, Skyfel Cavernburner, high elf Magus of fire and time. We depart with urgency and angst from the shining new frontier outpost without the accompaniment of the war priest Reverend, Patriarch of Torm. He promises to remember us in his daily devotions to his deity. Reverend, Longo the monk, and Xandark Wrathsong the sorcerer shall remain to direct the construction of the mountain base.
Our travel to the city of Hoffstead was as quick as it was uneventful. We departed early in the morning from our outpost on the southern slopes of the Cold Rock Mountains seven days ago. Horses are a luxury and needed for work at the outpost, so many of our number travelled by foot to Hoffstead. It was not long before the populace sensed the urgency of our quest (and the coin in our purse). Fortunately, I left a tidy sum of four hundred forty four gold sovereigns with Master Higgins, the outpost’s quartermaster.
My companions and I sought to outfit what provisions we thought necessary for our trek to the elf lands. With no small amount of skill (and some luck) we should see Wojtek safely to Moondale.
Deciding that the populous may desire to help further deplete our reserves, we called upon the hospitality of the city’s ruler and spent the evening feasting in the halls of our benefactor, Duke Hoffstead. Our lord Hoffstead was very interested in the progress of the outpost and in the well-being of the Dragon’s Eye Company. I expressed the desire to place enchantments necessary to teleportation circles within the Duke’s domicile; he shall consider with council my proposal. I am hopeful that we will be able to place a portal here in the Duke’s capital city with his agreement, at the very least.
Our troupe set forth in the morning with the glorious sun shining upon our faces, a cool breeze blowing against our back, and the spring’s pleasant bird-songs to cheer our march.
The farther we travel from Hoffstead, the more irregular the road becomes. We travel past several farm houses and are greeted with some interest. Trigal’s fame as a wrestler grows with every stop along our way. It also seems that our endeavor at the outpost continues to reap dividends. Several farms are thankful to see the return of Kaden Broadfoot. Kaden’s blessings upon their fields this past October are showing forth the bounty he promised. Perhaps we will be able to garner a few more settlers for life at the outpost.
We approach the foot of the Black Hills and begin our ascent through their pass. Transforming himself into a falcon, Kaden scouted the terrain for safe passage through the wastes. We are fortunate to be kept upon our course.
Temperatures are cooler than we expected, but we have the magical hut I am able to conjure to keep us safe, warm, and dry throughout the night.
Overcast skies, cold winds, persistent drizzle. Such conditions dampen the spirits of even the most cheerful soul, but the effects of the weather are even more telling upon poor Wojtek. We are forced to extend our midday rest as the fighter’s strength abates. Conditions being what they are, I conjured Leomund’s Tiny Hut for respite against the weather. Wojtek seems somewhat better within the confines of the magic shelter.
Battle! As we readied to continue our trek, the keen eyes of Trigal spotted a pair of stag-headed eagles flying out of the north towards our position. Here in the ragged wasteland of the Black Hills there are few creatures would attempt such a brazen daytime attack. Peryton, monstrous eagles each with the head and antlers of a forest buck, swooped in upon our company. Their shrill cries extinguished what little hope remained un-dampened against this day’s dismal gloom.
Swift arms rose against the terrifying aerial assault. Rozlyn’s voice rang out as the party braced itself against the sortie, her song set with magic to stilt the battle in our favor. Trigal’s arm, taught as compressed spring-steel, launched a harpoon at one of the birds. Feathers scattered in all directions as the missile sailed through the bird’s rear-most pinions. With unparalleled courage, Kaden shouted at the other bird with words familiar only to the druids. Time appeared to stall as the peryton hung motionless in the air awaiting the commands of the halfling. Kaden commanded the bird land near him.
Wojtek’s brow broke with a fever’s bead of perspiration. Though he would be protected within the hut I raised for shelter at our noontime break, I would be forced to withhold my hand from the encounter. An enchantment such as Leomunds’ Tiny Hut requires the caster to remain within the confines of its barrier if it is to remain effective at protecting its occupants from the elements and outside assaults. So long as I remained, nothing from the outside world would be able to breach the magical barrier protecting us. There would be nothing we could do to penetrate the magic shell to aid our comrades, however.
A shriek called across the landscape, originating above a distant hill to the north. Mid-battle, all eyes cast baleful glances towards the slate-gray northern sky. A huge creature pulled itself with alarming speed from the northern reaches. Against a sunless sky, silver light arced from outstretched wings; each stroke of its powerful muscles propelled the beast faster and farther. Nibbles shouted, “Wyvern!” in alarm.
Trigal readied a second harpoon. A rope connected this harpoon to the first. He watched for an opening as he reeled the first harpoon back. Opportunity presented itself as the free peryton circled overhead. Trigal catapulted the spear at the feathered monstrosity and found his mark deep within the bird’s breast. Quickly, the barbarian king prepared to launch another salvo against the animal.
Now upon us, the wyvern looked at the main group of the party (Wojtek and I were secure behind the hut’s magical protective walls). In an instant, the wyvern streaked through the muted sky like a bolt of lightning. I could only watch in horror as the ground beneath my companion’s feet erupted with the blue-white electric glow of nature’s plasma. Lightning caromed from body to body, and arced back to the dragon-kin. An oppressive wave of stench which combined the smell of burned ozone, singed hair, scorched clothes, and scrub grass smoke, choked the lungs of everyone outside my hut’s magic barrier. Surely another attack like that would be detrimental. Even though Wojtek was not well, I could no longer remain still inside the projective shell as our friends succumbed to the wyvern’s ferocious lightning attack.
I stepped from behind the barrier of Leomund’s hut. It vanished back into the Aether and exposed Wojtek to the beasts circling overhead. “Chronus turbis tardus!” I cried and launched my magical assault against the winged reptile. For a moment it appeared that time stood still, but the wyvern shook its head in denial of the Weave. It then bit the ensorcelled peryton, driving Kaden’s control from the bird’s mind. Thank the stars that Trigal, Norik, Rozlyn, and Nibbles were able to combine their efforts upon the second peryton to cause it to fall as a stone from the sky.
I was amazed that the wyvern was able to shake the effects of my incantation, yet I would not let one lone failure deter me. I summoned magic against the creature again, to include the freed peryton in the effect also. My incantation resonated over the hill-top slowing time in the area around the wyvern. It struggled against the tides of time, striving in resistance to the closing envelope of time, and bellowed in defiance to my power. The wyvern’s roar deepened to a growl; even sound slowed in the barrier worked within the Weave’s magic.
Roslyn plucked a chord on her lute and instantly transformed into a peryton. Airborne, she swooped upon the remaining peryton and brought it crashing to the ground.
Sensing that our band was too much of a challenge, the slowed wyvern hastened to depart the fray. Though magic impeded the wyvern, it was not to be delayed. Even magically restrained the magnificent creature found speed its ally. If not for the range of my magic we would have to travel with a wary eye watching the sky for retaliation.
We quickly recovered from our battle with the trio of winged horrors. After a brief search, the party discovered a few valuables. In addition to some coin and baubles, I was able to salvage the gland which enables the wyvern to surge forward as lightning.