Shadows Rising

All roads lead to Axis

Perhaps we should keep a low profile

After making their way to Arena Town, the district that sits at the very heart of Axis, Alatir, Charlie, Branan, and Serine found a quiet corner at the Respite, a local tavern adjacent to the Bloodlust coliseum. As they began to debrief the events of the last few days, Branan revealed his desire to uncover the architect of the attempted destruction of the Silver Tankard, the mystical order of bards long persecuted by the Emperor. Serine, of course, had her own reasons and hesitations for coming to Axis, and Charlie retold them of her experience fighting the orcs in the northern war, and her disillusionment with the Imperial cause.

Their conversation was interrupted by the sound of the Imperial Procession, a daily event where the lesser nobility (or perhaps an up and coming Imperial Officer) rode through the various districts of Axis in order to remind the people of the great reach and depth of the Emperor’s power. It also afforded the Imperial Inquisitors an opportunity to discreetly see who was and who was not paying their Emperor the homage he deserves. They all politely bowed as the procession marched by, noting the general ambivalence of the local folk who seemed to perform the daily ritual more out of routine than anything else.

Heading back to the Respite, they heard a loud crash and screams coming from down an adjacent alley. Running to investigate, they noticed that several orcs had escaped from their imprisonment, fleeing hard to avoid certain death in one of the coliseums of Arena Town. As the orcs fled down the road, they took whatever shots they could at local citizens who just happened to be caught in their path. Rallying once again to defend the innocent, the group was successful in holding the attention of the orcs just long enough for the authorities to arrive. With the orc captain under lock and key once again, they heard her being dragged back to an Imperial prison to await her day in the coliseum.

Serine suggested that they leave Arena Town and head to Goldenring in order to resupply and seek healing at a temple. Keeping a low profile would be the key to their survival in Axis, Serine thought to herself.


The Song of Eloqwynn
-Branan Bragg the Bard of Draken Bridge

The woods were old, their cedars tall

No ax scar marred the Druid’s Hall
No curse was laid on stream or stone
Eloqwynn rose and walked alone

She named the nameless glens and dells
She formed the hidden sparkling wells
She wove the thickets deep and low
The starling’s song she did bestow
She hung their notes high in the air
And wreathed their nests in lofty lair

Sovereign of the Brambled Throne
Her hall with verdure overgrown
Her keep the ancient pillared oaks
Defenders from the beasts she coaxed
The Wild Wood her vast domain
The streams rejoiced under her reign
The fox, the stag, the unicorn
Her loss they grieve, her loss they mourn

The woods are grey, the forests hewn

In place of grass now ash is strewn

No starling sings, now hatchet falls

The darkness dwells inside her halls
A shadow lies upon her brow

Her song is stolen, wreathed in cloud

But still the hidden sparkling wells
Murmur deep their sorrowful swells
Her song still sings in water deep

’Til once again she wakes from sleep

All roads lead to Axis
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