Lykos awoke feeling worse than he ever had in his life. He was no longer bound and he was curled up in Siku’s bedding. Unable to stand or even speak more than with a hoarse, guttural, growling, the barbarian never the less summoned the energy to sit up and look about. Seeing his two companions laid out on the other piles of fur and no one else present in the house, he collapsed back into a near coma-like sleep.
Waking again some many hours later, he had little more strength. He managed to see that the gear that had been acquired was still present as were all their arms and armor. He looked to the doorway to see beams of sunlight and that the mysterious mist was gone. Lykos ate and drank deeply trying to recover some strength. He then investigated his companions, both of whom were alive but slumbering deeply. Four days passed thusly. Every day the men grew stronger and ate a little more. Lykos ventured outside after a couple of days and found that their mounts were still in the clearing and had been grazing at will. The barbarian found a well out back and brought water to the horses and his companions as well.
Feeling the desire to be gone from this foul place the three companions led their mounts south back into the forest. In short order, they emerged from the woods into a rougher, colder plain than was on the other side of the woods. A great lake could be seen in the distance and the signs of a town as well. They rode in to Vorhees, a town with many tent-structures, a large stone tower in the center and all surrounded by a feeble wooden palisade, and were admitted with little investigation. There they discovered a people known as the Vorheen; a Turkish-like race of traders. A watchman informed them that they were to keep their weapons sheathed, brandishing was a criminal offense and to keep their hands off of the local women.
The travelers made their way to the bazaar which was established around the base of the large tower. They traded furs and a few small tourmalines that they had scrounged from inside the witches’ house. They also sold their extra arms and armor to a small smithy that was keen to acquire the steel items, for the Vorheen seemed only to be armed and armored in bronze implements. After making some quick cash, they retired to an inn that catered to outsiders on the eastern side of town. There they sought information regarding the whereabouts of their missing companion, Tulukaruk, to no avail. They spent coin on proper meals, a fine room and the Viking and Barbarian availed themselves of steaming baths attended to by buxom women.
Later that evening, while supping in the common tent, they overheard a tale of a young boy that had ventured off with friends to an old hunting outpost in search of the famed “ghost of Lake Kristal”. The boy, it seems, returned alone, bloodied and near death with a tale of a masked beast that hunted them and killed all but him. This intrigued the three companions and they inquired about more details from the other guests.
Seeing an opportunity to solve a mystery, they rode out the next morning to the camp which was located 10 miles to the east along the shores of the great lake. They soon rode up to a sparsely treed, wooden palisaded compound. The gate was ajar and they dismounted and led their horses inside. There were four small, single room cabins, a dock and a stack of four canoes. A large fire pit sat in the middle, between the cabins. The cabins, dock and canoes were investigated but contained no clues as to the what had allegedly occurred here.
Sensing some level of danger, however, the party decided to settle into one of the cabins for the night. Each taking three hour shifts, in turn they each heard suspicious noises. But it was not until the barbarian’s shift, the last of the night, that solid evidence of some intruder was discovered. Hearing a scratching outside, the Kimmerian drew his bastard sword and exited the cabin and followed the noise around behind the building. There, he stumbled upon what appeared to be the five missing youths. He was preparing to chastise them when he realized that something was not quite right…
Lykos felt the sting of a slash across his back. He was saved only by his animal-like instincts and whirled around to face his attacker. A large man in a mask pierced with many holes and bearing a now-bloodied short blade was before him and preparing to strike a killing blow. With cat-like reflexes, Lykos struck out with his bastard sword and landed a mighty blow, causing the attacker to stagger backwards. Hearing the sounds of combat, Theron and Birgir ran out to support their companion. The masked attacker struck at Lykos again, landing a glancing blow, and then fell as all three of the companions landed mighty (and very lucky) blows.
Smiling at the ease with which this foe was dispatched, Lykos was unprepared for the attacks that came from the rear. The five youths, all bearing short spear-like implements, stabbed at the barbarian, two striking home and felling the warrior. Witnessing this, Birgir flew into a rage and waded into the young man with a ferocity not seen in some time. Knowing when to be out of the way, Theron tended to Lykos and pulled him clear of the battle.
In short order, Birgir killed the five and left his rage behind. Lykos was still among the living thankfully, but he was in poor condition, barely clinging to consciousness…
Last edited by Druvas (2/05/2017 11:36 am)