“We will travel over land commander, and attempt to rendezvous with Nushala in the Harthalian woods, and aid her how we can, we will take heed of your advice on the oni, and on our journey Mackie Hobbes, Darla Kuren and Stolvia Quale will meet their end, do you have any tactical advice as far as particular weaknesses of these targets you could divulge?”
The Commander’s response to Wayne’s words is simple, and now that a decision has been made, he reaches back inside his cloak. From the shadows of it, he produces a box of dark ebony wood, and as he hands this over, the gathered throng can see that he is … diminished, in some ways. The shadows in the room lighten, and he looks less imposing than he did. The lines on his face are more pronounced, his hair seems whiter, his stance less rigidly straight-backed.
But he still holds an air of authority about him, and there is still little room for argument with him as he addresses Wayne, who seems to be the primary speaker for the group.
“Mackie Hobbes is a strong warrior, but lacks any magical training. If you remove his wardings, he will be weak. Darla Kuren is a sourcerer of some skill, but their constitution is frail and if you can close with them they should fall quickly. Stolvia Quale is devout in her faith to The Saviour. They are paranoid, cunning, and potent. They will be your greatest challenge.”
He moves back behind his desk, and sits down into his chair with a grateful sigh. His eyes meet Wayne’s, deep, and dark, and completely unyielding.
“Do not open that box. If you place the other powers you have with you upon it, they will rest there, but they will be beyond your reach. Give it to Alain. He will know what to do.”
From within his desk, he produces something very different. The dagger he places on the table is onyx black, a shard of night forged into something similar to steel. The pommel of it is a skeletal hand, grasping the blade. He sighs, heavily, as he turns it on the table, handle facing outwards.
“It will take the form best-suited to the warrior who wields it.” He says. “Now go. His attention is elsewhere for now, but I cannot guarantee how long that will remain the case.”
The Journey Begins
Leaving the office of the Commander was strange enough. The rest of the Silent Keep lives up to its name. The halls are solemn and sombre. There is not a whisper to be heard on the wind, and those Tiberiusite warriors who walk its halls do so without making a single noise, even as they manoeuvre armoured forms through tight hallways and halls which ought to echo with the slightest provocation.
Serbasel and Seshmet cannot help but make a fair amount of noise as they clatter their way through the Silent Keep, but for all that they might expect that it would frustrate the serious, quiet souls who serve their Commander here, there is no sign of it. Indeed, it is as though the sentinels of this place are deliberately blind and deaf to their presence. There is no recognition of them as they pass through and out of the Silent Keep, and into the land beyond.
It is stranger still as they venture out into the land proper. Perhaps some of them could remember that Kincaid’s group had said the land of this world was blasted and on fire. They had seen it from above. On the ground level, it does not look quite so dramatic, but it is not the world that they know and have fought for so many times before.
It is calm out there. The weather is still, the air stale, but whilst the landscape is dour and unforgiving, it is not on fire. At least, not at first.
As the day wears on, there is a marked lack of foot traffic on the road meeting them as they follow the map. When the sun begins to descend below the horizon, though, and the shadows lengthen, there is a bright red light which becomes visible to the east. That is not on the pathway that they are taking, but it is only perhaps a few hours journey – by Wayne’s estimation – from the road they are following.
|Inspect the Power of a God||Interact||5|
|Scout the Light Under Cover of Darkness||Challenge||10-20|
|Secure the Camp||Challenge||Variable|
|Continue the Journey Overland Ignoring the Light||Movement||4+2 per person.|
|Explore the Light During the Day||Challenge||5-10|
|Examine the Box||Interact||5|
|Place a Power in the Box||Interact||0|