Being stationed in a place such as Port Shore Blossom is quaint; nothing but murmurs and rumors, from the active townsfolk who never wander beyond their place. In society and apparently beyond a border wall. New to this port and country I was fascinated by how people interacted and dressed, to mixed to have a dominate society but to bland to be anything of interest. Except for one place, where armor was worn with luster and pride, as if it were a second skin. A tea house, ran by, a conventional mistress, who needless to say lacked of dignity but was wise of the world and its inhabitance, Madam Saru.
She knew our like, those who know adventuring and battles, to well; intentionally seated all us at the largest table in the center, a lively bunch six in total including myself. Across from me was a fellow elf of less structured society, but more natural in all bearings. Next to me was a monk who seemed poised and collected, near him was a man who riddles of high schooling but of low intelligence, and that is an accurate description. Then there were the beasts mighty and powerful in looks and stature but one, male, was 7 foot high while the other, female, was only 3 feet high…
Madam Saru paraded about her establishment regaling us with the “history” of her tea house, which to my dismay is really a tavern. But the libation of teas and meals are plentiful. I only wished her acting was so less obvious, that she wants us to fill in her newest quest table, I pondered for a moment if “I was here” would settle her table graffiti lust, but no that would be rude, and the tea is just too good, and the offer to leave the city and explorer was too great.
With full cooperation we travelers headed to the gates, which indeed were enchanted and mighty. “gods be with you.” Stated the guards, these lowly souls who have never seen battle it was clear in their faces, eyes to soft. It angered me, but I understand that I am one leaving safety, and it is customary to give well wishes. I utter a silent prayer “may the gods be with you”
The outskirts of the wall was vast and jungle like, no order or structure, just wild; leaving me perplexed and unaware of surroundings. Thankfully our party contained two that knew the land. But craving structure and order a path was needed and since on examination of the vegetation it was nothing more than seasonal weeds, “does anyone have a sword? Let’s make a path.” And the dragonborn, Roth, raised his ax and began to swipe away. Nothing of interest for a long, long, long while, until a panther emerged, nothing happened we were at a stalemate with the creature. But I was ready for an attack, arrow knocked, and yet my fellow elf, Eucarion, took a passive approach and soothed the large cat, and stupid one, Frivolity, fed it. I felt a comfort in this party I was among folk who valued life as much as I did.
Night approached and camp was set up. The tiny beast, Odiri, found us a pleasant glen for us to rest. We had discovered an ancient shrine belonging to Earth mother, we had set up a proper offering and blessing. I was to be in second watch since my senses are superb at night and needing little rest it gave me a chance to mediate and balance my energies… it was sadly cut short.
I awake with a jolt to see Frivolity and Odiri wounded a few feet in front of me. An ambush, I quickly come to their aid and cure their wounds, the creature then came for me but couldn't pierce my mighty armor. The battle was over as it had started and we had persuaded a few of the creatures with gold, soaked in its allies blood. The creature spoke of what they wanted, who they were and more interestingly a haunted temple, nicknamed the temple of the dead.
It was morning by now and the party debated about what to do. I was curious about this temple and what sort of demonic presence would terrify an entire nation. We came to the conclusion to head the temple with debate between Odiri and Naligor of which general direction the temple was in. The further we walked the woods became a haze. That is when we encountered another large cat one that was warned to Naligor by the Panther, and to monk Kodu in the glen, the ghost tigers. Its presence was a warning that we are entering its domain.
Caution to the wind we continued onward in the haze, we rounded a corner and found ourselves amongst primitive shrunken ruins, That is when we were surrounded, by more ghost tigers three of them, they moved in confidence, but with a look of lifelessness, these cats have submitted blindly, these cats have allowed themselves to be nothing more than puppets, toys, they have no honor or pride, life to them is something of mundane! EVEN IF YOU ARE TO DIE IN BATTLE KNOW IT IS WORTH YOUR LIFE, WORTH YOUR DEATH! I belted out my ideals to the ghost tigers, but death ears they fell on and one pounced on me, ripping thru my armor and sinking its teeth into my shoulder…and then dark grayness…
Just pulses of world around me in the gray. Slipping more and more feeling dark surround me, then lightness, senses of a foreign world surrounds me, exotic smells, grains of sands brush my face I open my eyes to a vast orange-scape of sands and diamond stars burning in intense colors, I inhale and on exhale a gust of wind launches me back to the field of ruins, Frivolity’s hand on my head.
These cats were fast but not fast enough for Kodu and Odiri, laying them to waste. But Roth and Naligor were in trouble, I would not let down my comrades, for they have not let me down. I cast healing on Frivolity who was the closets and as I rounded to Roth a tiger struck him down.
At that moment Odiri had finished off the second tiger, so Kodu and Odiri headed our way. The tiger glanced at those who stood. I decided to replenish myself, because I am no good to Roth if I am down. The tiger attempted to strike, that is when Naligor attacked with a smack of light from his shalalie. Leaving an opening for Frivolity to perform on Roth as he did on I. Roth awoke and saw the tiger gather itself and lunge at Odiri, with a mighty swing of his ax he split the cat in two.
The skies turned black my armament began to shake and pull the key of shore blossom was thrusting us home. That is when she appeared, a woman of icy aura and dark soul, she told us this was her domain and to never come back. We emerged back inside the gates, if she lies in the haunted temple she will be blessed and see the light, as it courses thru her body like a bolt of lighting, as she begins to value life as it slips away from her.