Shadows Rising

The Search for Nerryn -- Part III

Echoes in the Deep

With the sound of defeat echoing in Branan’s mind (he had once again failed to answer the riddle correctly), a fight commenced with the third demon chieftain of this hell hole. The battle could have gone poorly — Charlie had exhausted many of her healing spells, and Branan struggled with the singing of his songs. Alatir, stout as ever, maintained the interest of the demon captain, and Gortek, despite being knocked out briefly in battle, landed many a brutal blow until finally the last demon was slain.

After the last enemy had fallen, Serine explored the furthest reaches of the now vanquished hell hole and discovered Nerryn lying on the ground in a near catatonic state. Zomi observed that Nerryn seemed caught between two planes of existence, and Serine discerned (with the aid of Aliaga) that it was Nerryn’s amulet that had seemingly trapped her in this state of existence. The amulet, which draws on the life force of any nearby enemy or place of power in order to protect Nerryn’s life, had become entangled in the demonic energies of the hell hole.

As they discussed how to help Nerryn, Branan heard the approach of distant footsteps. From the deeps, the Dwarf King had dispatched a contingent of the Dwarven Guard to assess and tear down the newly formed hell hole. Branan and Gortek quickly intercepted them and pleaded with their leader, Nostrix, to give them more time to help their friend.

While Nostrix insisted that the hell hole be torn down at all costs, Serine, Zomi, and Charlie devised an enchantment that would allow them to protect Nerryn until they could discover a way to safely remove her. Surprisingly, their combined magical energies allowed them to move Nerryn from the hell hole itself, although she remained in a near catatonic state, only briefly moving in and out of consciousness. Emerging from the hell hole, Branan asked Nostrix if he would send a message to Pannan, which Nostrix did with great haste.

The path forward remained unclear — Nerryn needed help beyond their skill, but the places with power to potentially heal her carried their own great risks.


From the Diary of Branan Bragg:
The demon prattled on smugly – something about ears and mouths. Good – all the better to survey the field of battle. The riddles of fiends without honor – who don’t even obey the rules of their own game – can only be met with one answer: the sword.

Or spells. So two. Two answers.

I guess really as many answers as there are ways to kill – and we rained down an impressive number of them. Drawing on the strength of dwarves who built this hall, I was able to rattle our foes’ infernal carapaces with Thunder – and my comrades and I made swift work of the lot them.

There is no expressing my relief in finding Nerryn. After what seems like so much time, I wasn’t sure we would ever see her again. I just hope she comes back to herself.

Upon hearing a party approaching, I went out to intercept. I began to prepare an impossible riddle (something about a table or desk?) and to tell whoever stepped forth that they must answer rightly to pass unharmed, or a terrible curse would befall them. But bludgeon my biscuits – who did I see but Nostrix Granite Hewn.

The Search for Nerryn -- Part III

Nostrix got word to Pannan Soulaxe about our intent to make for Forge – but the old Stone Singer replied, advising we turn for Axis. He seems to think this is the safest place for Nerryn – and also where I could find answers about who led the attack that killed everyone I loved.

Axis. Somehow all roads lead back here. The seat of the Emperor. I have a long list of grievances with the Emperor. His alliance with the Crusader. The persecution of the Silver Tankard. Draken Bridge? My parents? And Eloqwynn…

Enough. It will not stand. We’ve been running to and fro so long, attempting to fix the symptoms of the disease, but never the disease itself. Maybe Axis is exactly where we should be headed.

The Search for Nerryn -- Part III
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