The unchained gathered in the ships Library. We were discussing the facts that we knew, just making sure that we had all the information. I asked Vridich if he could track the creature that attacked the back door of Tago’s house with the shadow hunter spell he had used before. We had a piece of the creature, the splinter; I thought that had to help somehow. Vridich said that he could try but Grimlock had told him that magical scrying was being blocked by something.
Urgral came out of the back with a large tomb in his hand. His eyes were milky and he looked at everyone in the room slowly one at a time. His eyes cleared and he looked to Vridich and then nodded to me.
“What?” I said
Both Vridich and Urgral refused to answer me. Every one was looking around trying o figure out what as going on. “What is it?” I said again.
“Your marked.” Urgral said, “Horror marked.”
“How the hell did that happen?” I shouted. “We have not even seen the horror.”
“You and Dremnin must have gotten close to it earlier when you went to the nest.” Vridich said.
The only thing we saw there was three crystals that were growing out of the floor.
Urgral looked to Vridich, “We should go and check the crystals out.
I had a feeling from the back of my mind that I did not want my friends to go there. I protested that there were no fresh leads at the grotto and that we need to stick with the area around the back door and there were tracks there to follow. I was questioned about why I did not want to go there. I was becoming agitated by the questioning. Finally I shouted that I had enough of this and I was going to go to the back door area to look for more clues. I jumped up out of my chair and stormed out the door. Dremnin ran out after me. He wanted me to come back to the library. He told me that Vridich was going to try the shadow hunter spell. I did want to see if that worked and I felt less agitated getting away from the argument, so I went back to the library with him.
Vridich had already started the spell he was chanting in the magical language, I had no idea what he was saying. His hands wove in a hypnotic motion around the shard that had started floating off of the floor. A form developed slowly. A shadow about the size of a dwarf that was not there before was there now. It collected the shard off of the floor and pulled it in to the core. The shadow grew larger as it gained strength. Vridich finished his spell and stood. The shadow held the shard up above its spectral head, then pointed to the west up in to the mountains. It left the room at a fast walk. We all scrambled to grab our gear and chase after it.
We were going through town when I heard a voice, “You don’t want to do this. You don’t want to go in to the mountains.” I looked to Dremnin who was next to me, “What do you mean I don’t want to go?” Dremnin looked confused. I heard laughter in my head. “Damn it all!” I shouted I saw the rest of The Unchained looking at me, worried. “Why do I always get horror marked?” I shouted at them. The laughter stopped, “Don’t come looking for me. You are mine.”
“Oh piss off.” I said.
Bam! White light exploded in my head. I rocked to the side and fell down. I could feel blood running from my nose. I was laying on the gravel of the walking path. The Unchained were looking down at me. Dremnin helped me to my feet. I looked at my friends, “Let’s find this thing.” We headed up the mountain.
After about an hour Dremnin told us that we were being tracked by a pack of wolves. Well not just wolves, it was a pack of the wolves that the trolls use as mounts. They were staying on our left, further up the mountain. That urged us on to a faster pace.
We found a cave entrance after about another half hour of climbing. The entrance was large and very dark. We could see nothing in the cave till we got inside. We found that the cave was a great cavern with natural cat walks of stone. We could see around twenty large natural looking crystal formations that glowed with a blue light spread throughout the darkness.
We started down the first cat walk. We all looked over the sides. There was no way to see the bottom. It looked like it was thousands of feet down but it could have been fifteen feet, that was all the further we could see. As we made it to the next platform our first threat came charging out of the dark. It was a troll at least it used to be.
It was covered in glowing crystal spikes and its eyes were wide with the look of a mad man. Urgral and I moved up to block the cat walk it was approaching on. Urgral sliced deep with the devastator and I followed up with a solid hit from the hammer. We were feeling confident that we could handle the horror troll. Then I watched a second one climb at a spring right past me on the side of the ledge. It charged towards Vridich and Suulin. Dremnin got in front of it and blocked its path. Suulin snapped a large bolo around it and the horror touched troll ended up in a pile on the ground. Vridich cast a spell as it fell. Dagmar shouted in pain and then ran over to a crystal formation and bashed it with his sword. The formation exploded in a shower of shimmering shards. The light faded out. Dagmar shouted that the crystal are living and can attack. Urgral finished off the troll in front of us and moved get at the second one. Vridich cried out, you could see that crystals were growing from some of his joints, as well as Urgral and Suulin. We bashed all of the crystals in the area. For an enemy that did not move or have a physical weapon were in bad shape after.
We decided that we did not want to proceed further in to the cave. We headed back to the village after Dagmar sealed the entrance. That way nothing could follow us for 3 hours. We went back to the boat to rest. We doubled the guard on the deck for the night and went to sleep.
I woke to the sound of combat on the main deck. I shook Dremnin as I headed for the door, Urgral was already up and grabbing his sword and axe out of his foot locker. I ran out the door in to the hall. I saw Dagmar climbing the ladder on to the top deck. I followed after him.
As I climbed out of the hold I saw Vridich run out on to the deck from another path. I saw his eyes go wide and he ran up on to the aft castle. I looked over my shoulder to where Vridich was looking, I almost fell back down the ladder.
There was a thirty foot tall two headed troll fighting with two members of the night watch. As I turned to face the Mutant I got a better look. I knew the faces it was Vargus and Elgorn. The brothers looked like they had been sew or melded together to create a mutant troll. They had large crystal growing all over their body. My some magic they had been grown to the size of a giant. The Nutant brothers had a huge axe in the right hand. I dodged a slow flat swing that came at my head. I bashed the mutant troll in its thigh with my hammer. I heard Womax scram out and I looked to see him covered in small explosions. He fell to the ground rolling around. I saw the troll slash the axe across the chest of Harod and he went down to the deck. I thought that one of the trolls was casting spells or using horror powers.
I ran up in to the air on the mutants left side, around and behind it till the back of its head was right in front of me. I bashed the Vargus head as hard as I could and caused the giant head to rock forward. This is the troll I blame for the death of my children. The tail mace slammed in to the back of the head.
As I turned in the spin I saw Womax had stopped moving. He was still exploding. The power of the spell was growing. In one of them I think I saw his arm go flying.
The Unchained had grouped around the Mutant troll. We were bringing the pain. Weapons rose and fell blood was dripping to the deck from many wounds on the mutant troll. Another crew man went down to the large axe. I could hear Vridich screaming that there was a spell caster involved in the fight. I could not see one.
The troll finally fell to the deck. Urgral rammed his sword in to its chest to make sure that it was finished. Dremnin shot up the stairs towards the spell caster that Vridich had found. It was the spell caster from Vargas’s ship. A single spell caster did not stand much of a chance against The Unchained.
We sent a runner to tell the elders what had happened. I was looking over the body of Vargas and Elgorn. They had shrunk down to their normal height. What a mutated disgusting mess. I heard a voice in my head,”Look close.” “That will be you.”
“That will not be my fate.” I said
Laughter loud and malevolent echoed in my head and then slowly faded away. My nose was bleeding again.
“This will not be my fate.” I said again to reassure myself, or at least I tried too.