The Amear

Return to the Rune

Beomear was as mad as Toroc had always feared. Raving mad. Back at the boats at the landing, the Outsider explained his plan of returning to the “libarary” inside the caverns. Toroc himself had never seen this strange place, but his companions had already met more of the powerful Seldar there twice. And been warned to leave, twice. Yet Beomear needed to return, to collect yet another of his mysterious runes of power. Runes he said were necessary to save our world, and his. If he couldn’t stop certain dark forces it would be The End of the World, darkness and destruction. Chaos. His usual rant.

Unbelievably, Cormyr, the sailor, agreed to go on this fool’s quest almost immediately. Toroc was surprised, and more than a little shamed by this strange Amear’s courage. Perhaps Cormyr was lured by the promises of knowledge only his kind could understand. Perhaps he needed to prove himself. Perhaps he was just as mad as Beomear.

Toroc owed Beomear a life debt, and accompanying his friend on this suicide mission would just about pay it off. Disregarding all sense, he would finish their bloody work here on the island. Besides, Toroc had a reputation to protect. “I will go, Outsider.” Toroc grunted and gripped his sword, Firen, and lead the way up the steep mountain path that had become so familiar.

Beomere followed close behind with his giant wolf companion, and Cormyr followed with bow drawn. They moved quietly and quickly up the mountain path, falling easily into the old routine of an Amear hunting party, ready for the dangers that must surely come.

They didn’t have to wait long. Charging directly down the path at them was a pack of 7 raging Yettia. Moving off to the side of the path, waiting amongst the thick forest growth off the path Toroc simply waited for the creatures to come. Beomere did the same, with his wolf at his side. Cormyr crouched further back with drawn bow. The enraged creatures smashed into the party. Cormyr’s managed to get several arrows off as they approached but his arrows had little effect.

The ensuing battle was short but fierce. The Yettia were creatures born to the mountains, and their immense strength, sharp claws, and endless anger made them deadly opponents. Toroc swung Firen in a fury of blows, felling several of the beasts. He could hear Beomere and his wolf locked in a fierce struggle with more of the beasts, and at his periphery he could see Cormyr dropping his bow in favor of a long spear, stabbing relentlessly at one of the Yettia. With the numbers more even the fight ended as quickly as it started, with 6 Yettia corpses strewn across the path.

One female survived, and Beomere questioned her, promising the creature her life in return for information. The creature spoke of a long standing pact that had been broken by the Seldar, which infuriated the Yettia on the island. They had been looking for a fight. The creatures had chosen poorly. The lone surviving Yettia was allowed to leave, and the party hastily removed the bodies from the path.

They climbed quickly to the gardens and the mouth of the cave. There was to be no complicated strategy here, simply a headlong rush at the Seldar in the libary. Toroc and Cormyr followed Beomear through the passageways to the library entrance, where the Outsider said the other rune of power was.

Moving silently, they spotted one well armed Seldar warrior alertly guarding the passageway into the libary. Beomear told them to wait there and be ready to move. Suddenly the Outsider disappeard! Toroc and Cormyr waited at the bottom of the sloping passage. They heard a blood curdling death rattle and sounds of alarm coming from within the library. Apparently Beomear’s signal.

Toroc ran straight at the alarmed Seldar guard, swords crossing in a series of well matched blows. Once inside the libary, Toroc saw a Seldar corpse lying with his throat slit beside a chair in the center of the large room. A Seldar lord in splendid golden armor and another warrior were charging at them from across the libary. Beomear and his wolf engaged the new threat while Toroc cut off the arm and then head of the first Seldar warrior. Beomear was struck in the head by a well aimed Seldar blow and crumpled to the ground. Toroc stepped over his friend to engage the Seldar lord, who swung a beautiful sword impossibly fast, hammering Toroc again and again. Toroc noticed another of the dark childish figures appearing next to the Seldar and laughing. He became entranced by this creature for a short time, and could not find a reason to swing __Firen_.

After their initial surprise attack, the tide of battle had quickly turned against them. Toroc was wounded from blow after blow from the powerful Seldar. The wolf was engaged with the childish creature, Beomere was unconscious, perhaps dead on the ground. Toroc could almost feel death approaching.

Then from behind him Toroc heard Cormyr mutter something indechipherable, and the Seldar lord recoiled in pain! Beomere, with an incredible show of will, propped himself up just long enough to drink from a vial. He stood up quickly and rejoined the fight once again. Cormyr blasted the Seldar lord with powerful magic two more times, finally bringing the mighty lord down. Beomere and Toroc were able to overwhelm the remaining Seldar warrior, and the childish creature disappeared.

Bleeding from a dozen wounds, Toroc looked around in disbelief. They had nearly died so that they could gain control of a room filled with….paper. Lots of paper. Toroc began laughing hysterically. They were all mad.
___

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The Peacock Angel's Fury

T

he shard of the Rune of Pain had been won.

We returned to the ventilation room after finding no exit behind the locked door. Our options were limited- climb back up the shaft we’d entered by- possibly encountering the yeti that had formed- or try another shaft. Shansu scouted the widest and most easily accessible shaft, and after a short while, our party had managed to climb up to a landing- wolves included.

Beomere sensed another shard of the rune, moving towards him. Something was coming.

We followed the shaft up and into a cave, where Shansu found a yetiah raging against a harpy-like creature. He could hear more screeching from the darkness. He made quick work of the injured yetiah.

Beomere felt the rune grow closer. We decided to go back to the garden area and retreat into the caves- we didn’t want to be out in the open with the shard coming so quickly. We saw a blonde woman streak through the forest from our vantage point in the caves. She was headed towards our boat, Cormyr and Toroc.

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On the shore of the Isle of Daughters
Toroc's solo adventure

Toroc crouched in the tall undergrowth, waiting for the beasts to get just a little closer. Four Yettia were encircling the camp, sniffing for their prey and fanning out to capture it. The barbarian smiled. He would not be the prey on this day. Cormyr of the Otter Tribe crouched somewhere behind, waiting.

When one of the Yettia got within reach Toroc called upon his inner Rage, stood up and swung his mighty sword Firen in a power attack against the bewildered creature. Death was instantaneous. Two of the remaining beasts charged towards Toroc, only to be cut down within a few heartbeats.

The last Yettia suddenly sprouted feathers from its chest as Cormyr’s arrow found its mark. Toroc sprang forward and cut into the beast’s stomach, slicing it wide open and spilling its foul guts. The beast was also enraged, however, and picked up the barbarian and threw him a great distance through the air. Toroc crashed painfully to the ground but sprang back to his feet quickly, somehow still with Firen in his grasp. Toroc squared his shoulders, and grasped Firen firmly with both hands. The enraged Yettia was already closing in for another attack. Toroc waited for the perfect moment and swung Firen, finishing the beast in one final stroke. With typical Amear efficiency Toroc dressed the beasts, taking care to preserve both hide and horn. Looking up, he was surprised to see a child sized woodland creature perched in a tree, staring intently at Cormyr. The creature had long dark hair, and seemed to be wearing vines and leaves. Toroc used an Amear hunting signal to alert Cormyr of a watcher, and as soon as he became aware of the creature it darted off into the forest. Toroc and Cormyr half-heartedly debated the pros and cons of taking the boat back out onto the Sea of Jianukkan, as the landing spot did not seem a safe place for the vessel or themselves. Just as they were gazing out onto the open water, they spied a strange craft approaching the beach. Cormyr recognized the strange vessel as Seldar made. It sailed on an impossible course with incredible speed, directly towards the landing point. Toroc and Cormyr quickly took the camp gear (including the woodworking kit) and sped away from the landing using the forest for cover. They quickly climbed the island and found a good vantage point overlooking the beach that still offered some cover. To their dismay the Seldar craft had already beached at the landing. Three of the Seldar appeared to be warrior-like, and were moving with unnatural grace up the trail towards the gardens and the cave entrance. Luckily they did not find the party’s hidden Amear boat. The Seldar sorceress actually flew directly up the side of the island to the gardens, followed by a small army of pixies. The pair of adventurers decided it best to hold off on an attack. The arrival of the Seldar brought unnatural weather as well, and the skies opened up as a great rainstorm enveloped the island. Toroc and Cormyr quickly found some good cover under an overhang in the cliff face to stash the camp goods and quickly discuss their next course of action. It would be impossible to get the boat off the island while the Seldar brought such weather, so they decided that they must attempt to discover if the landing was guarded and to attack the Seldar from behind using the storm as cover. They approached the landing in the rainstorm and discovered the same small childlike creature eating near the shore. Cormyr was somehow sure that this was the creature that controlled the weather. Toroc and Cormyr launched javelins simultaneously at the creature, but it was incredibly fast and managed to twist and turn in the air to avoid being struck by both. Toroc charged in with Firen, knocking the agile creature with the flat of the sword into a nearby tree, twisting and breaking its spine. The storm began to die down immediately after the creature’s death. The Seldar sorceress flew down from the gardens towards the landing, her pixie army in tow. Toroc managed to throw his javelin and strike the sorceress’ chest from over 80 yards away, sending her sinking to the ground. Meanwhile, the pixies descended. Five of the small creatures flew about Toroc, frustrating him with tiny jabs which carried with them a weak sleeping poison. Toroc managed to kill three of the creatures, but one in particular kept hitting him again and again, frustrating the giant warrior who was unable to kill this one small opponent. A small black cloud suddenly enveloped Cormyr and the pixies that were attacking him. All five pixies were killed instantaneously. Cormyr looked surprised by what happened, then collapsed into unconsciousness. The sorceress slowly approached Toroc; she now seemed to be surrounded by a veil of writhing lightning, which struck out at Toroc in a painful blast. For a moment Toroc and the Seldar locked eyes, and Toroc was able to resist some strange spell that the sorceress was attempting to cast on him. The enraged barbarian charged the Seldar, taking another painful jolt but striking her in chest and disrupting her concentration. He swung Firen again, completely destroying her left leg, again disrupting her. The next blow finished her. The remaining pixies retreated, the pixie hero yelling something profane at Toroc. The barbarian gave the creature a respectful head nod, from one warrior to another, and the pixies flew off into the forest. Cormyr finally came to, and immediately wanted to inspect the Seldar craft, which he liberated of its exotic rope lines. Toroc was more interested in looting the body of the Seldar. He found three wooden figurines, which Cormyr said held some kind of latent magic. He also found a silver ring, a glowing pink stone used as an earring, and a Seldar alchemy pouch. The landing was clear, the skies and waters had calmed, and their escape from the island open once more.
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The Caves of Kareshar

A
s the mist woman died, we thought we heard her say “Father forgive me”, though no one saw her lips move.

A deep howl sounded all around us. A few minutes later, Shansu entered the room, concerned. Toroc asked why he left Cormyr alone and went to go help the Otter warrior.

Beomere wanted to retrieve his spear that he’d dropped into the water fighting the mist woman, so he tied a rope around his waist and dove in. A half second later he surfaced and Eirwen cast Warding of the Winterborn to help him survive in the ice cold water. Shansu went out to scout the garden and mountainside and Charon and Brightfang went up to the antechamber to keep guard. Eirwen and Usul anchored the rope.

As Beomere searched underwater, Eirwen studied the blue flame that seemed to be the center of the convergence. She felt that somehow the flame drew power from the convergence- a strange thing indeed.

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Isle of Daughters

Our arrival at the Otter Tribe was noteworthy- Usul flew in as a bird and Erik wore the pelt of the sabretooth cat. Beomere had told the village that we intended to go to the island to the north on the lake- a place taboo to the Otter. They didn’t move to stop us, but only one was willing to guide our group- the elder Nieran’s son, Cormyr.

As a warrior of the tribe, Cormyr had a good place for himself and was known as an excellent fisherman. His gray eyes betrayed a difference, but Eirwen was not able to identify it. He was known to be able to predict the weather.

After a week of preparations, during which Toroc made steel for the tribe and Eirwen crafted elixirs and traded herbs, we set off. The boat was large enough to fit both wolves and five of us (Erik stayed behind?). Cormyr warned us about the creatures in the lake- sea serpents that could frenzy, who wouldn’t attack the boat but would make a meal of any poor person who fell into the water.

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A New Vision
Eirwen shares a vision with the group




I have shared nearly every vision I’ve seen with the others. Save one.

The Elf Door

I have dreamed of an elf door, waves of a great sea, and the eyes of a cold humanoid figure, a man. I cannot see his face. In every dream I have about this figure, it seems as if he knows I am seeing him, and he turns from me. This vision is the most clear, and the most vivid, yet I cannot make out the figure. This door I see is near water, or covered by water, or leads to water.

I have seen this vision many times, but have held back from sharing it- though I am not sure why. It is different than the other things I’ve seen.

Last night when I drank the Midwinter Draught, I saw it again. I saw the door located under the waves on the western side of the island we are journeying to. I felt the man turning from my gaze and felt myself wary, as if I could be seen, as well- though by what or whom I do not know.

Our fate is tied to this isle, of that I am certain- but going there will expose us to great and terrible danger. There are too many things tied to this place, I cannot see an outcome of our quest. I feel a poor choice on our part will lead to our doom.














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Toroc's choice

I
t saddens me that Eirwen no longer treats with me as a friend. She looks away when I speak. She no longer smiles when I approach. Eirwen may help me out of necessity to further our party’s mysterious aims but never out of kindness.

Did I betray her?
For it was because of Eirwen and Beomer’s intial kindness that helped me escape my bonds forever. I will never forget it.

Her brother Celyn died in battle, at age 23. I myself am 23, yet I feel much older.

My entire family and most of my village died fighting the Duergar, or by serving them.

Celyn died fighting as a warrior—with weapon in hand, fighting his tribe’s enemies. I can think of no more glorious way for an Amear to leave this world. If only many of my friends had been given that chance.

During the battle I led braves and warriors alike to a great victory over both orcs and dogmen. I myself killed the orc leader and many of his bravest warriors. My Amear warriors gained great honor that day.

If Celyn was the brave warrior that Eirwen believes he was than surely his killer would have been an equally accomplished, skillful orc? We killed all such that day.

The only orcs to survive our bloody rage were a scarce handful of male weaklings who were not in the front lines, as well as their women and children.

Would killing these innocent and weak have brought Celyn back?
Would killing every Duergar child bring my family back?

Upon my mother’s deathbed I vowed to no longer tolerate the suffering of the innocent and weak. Instead, I will bring suffering upon those who wish to do so.

If Eirwen cannot forvive me, then I will grieve to have lost a friend.
If she wishes to fight me, then I will grieve to have lost a Nieran.

-Toroc

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Losing Celyn
Eirwen's Journal Entry

N
o Amear may raise a weapon against another Amear. It is a truth I’ve lived with all my 30 years, and never have I wanted to.

Until today.

Our Weagra led us into battle- warriors and braves and others alike. It is what our people do- the orcs hunt and kill us, and we return in kind. They are savage and kill our children. And yet Toroc the warrior will not let us kill them.

It was a fierce battle. Our braves, new to battle, fell. Beomere and I faced an Orc with magic I’ve never seen before, and hope to never see again. Erik killed her with an impossible arrow. We held the rest of the orcs- some helpless, some brave- captive.

They killed my brother, Celyn. He was 23. Am I not to have revenge on those who killed my family? Toroc’s own family, as all Amear are The People.

He let the filth go free. His years in captivity have made him soft, unwilling to do what we must to survive.

And I could do nothing.

There will be a reckoning for this day, between Toroc and I. I fear it, for I do not wish to find myself facing him, but I will not let Celyn have died for orcs to live.

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