Mysteries of Aereth

Episode 1 : Strangers in a Strange Land

"Take one more step toward me, longtooth and I'll rip your throat out!" ~ Greymalka, Razorclaw Shifter Druid

 10 Years Earlier…

The 4 strangers began to awaken, as if from a deep sleep, around the banquet table of spoiled food.

Oriel, the blue-skinned Deva Bard was the first. His eyes opened to see the dead man slumped at the head of the table, an ornate songblade longsword plunged into the corpses back…His songblade! The traveling minstrel then noticed the dried blood on his hands and clothing…

The Razorclaw Shifter, Greymalka, awoke a moment later. Her natural instincts sending the Druid pouncing into a shadowed corner, her sharp teeth bared, a feral growl rumbling from her throat

Fang the Barbarian, a Shifter as well, but one of the Longtooth tribes, yawned and stretched his giant frame up from his seat. Calmly, the shaggy warrior sifted through the spoiling foodstuffs in front of him and took a bite from a not-so-far-gone haunch of meat. One hand gripping the pork shank, the other noticebly gripping the haft of his halberd, the big man asked, "Who in the hells are you"?

At that moment, another form on the floor a few feet away sat up with the groan of armor…no, not armor…it's body! An unsteady Warforged climbed slowly to it's metal feet, a scorched and melted lightning scar across it's chest. The living construct had obviously been blasted by majicks lately…

Wary conversations followed. No one could remember how they got to this place, or where "this place" was!

The last thing Oriel remembered was studying a ritual in the elvish library of Oakenmeet, when a man dressed in green robes sat down across from him and smiled congenially…

Fang was dining and drinking at a roadside inn when a man in green robes approached and sat at his table uninvited. The last thing he remembers was rising to teach this little runt a lesson when…he was waking up here!

Greymalka guardedly told of a man in green approaching her camp as she returned home to her clan in the Black Forest. He asked to share the fire and…then she awoke in this awful-smelling place!

The Warforged, who had trouble even speaking, did not remember anything at all. His name was…Morg…or so he thought. He was a…Swordmage. Other than that, he only had a dim memory of fighting barbarians and of a man in green robes looking down at him…

The one thing this group of strangers could agree on though…the Green Man was the very same person as the corpse that now sat at the head of the table, the bard's blade the cause of death!

A hammering at the door ended their speculative conversation. An authoratative voice called for the door to be opened. Peeking out the front window, they saw a troop of armored men backed up by what was most likely a mage in red robes. Outside was a plaza…they were apparently in a large city!

One of the armored men's boots kicked opened the door with a crash! The barbarian roared a challenge and upended the banquet table planting a barrier between the soldiers and the confused party.

In self-defense, the adventurers were forced to kill the armored men, One of the soldiers and the mage ran away, ignoring calls from another group of troopers that had just arrived on the scene. This squad was being led by a big Half-Orc wielding a two-handed sword.

The warforged called Morg suddenly came to a halt and toppled before leaving the room. Unable to help him, the two shifters and the deva took flight, dodging into first alleyway they could find…

The Half-Orc and his men took chase! The three fugitives led their pursuers on a merry run through twisting alleyways and crowded market squares, nearly losing them until they turned into a dead-end street…and interrupted the drug deal going on from the back of a horse drawn wagon!

At a glance, it looked as if pirates and beggars were making a deal for Black Lotus (a narcotic powder from the jungles of the south). Just then the half-orc and his soldiers arrived…and that was when all hells broke loose!

During the chaos, the three managed to open a street grating and drop down into the reeking waters of the sewers. They fled blindly to put distance between the soldier/pirate/beggar melee going on above.

They were very surprised when the impeccably-dressed Gnome and his two Ogre bodyguards were waiting for them in the shadows as they stopped to rest…

To Be Continued…

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