Pelenhar the Damned

Chapter 9: The Road to Ascril

The Road to Ascril

For a day after LaKota reappeared you rested and enjoyed being back in the land of the living. The breezes were warmer and filled with the sweet smells of summer turning to autumn, gulls wheeled in the sky above the green-grey sky and crickets sang in the long sea grass. After all you had been trough, it was pleasant.

Lakota located some fresh water and brought down a large albatross to eat. Mako of course prepared a fire and Wylie located some chalets and wild thyme for spicing it and Dr Varn demonstrated an unsuspected talent for cooking. Zhenais even found what probably was a garden gone wild and pulled out some sweet turnips and carrots. As the sun set and the stars sparkled on the horizon, a beach fire kept you warm, and safe.

You knew tomorrow would bring new challenges but for a day, you relaxed and enjoyed just being alive.

With dawn came the urge to be away, to make your way back to civilization and the causes that had brought you to Pelenhar. Based on what you remembered, the general consensus was that you were somewhere between Alsbin and Ascaril.

The question was how to proceed. You had two choices, you could skirt the coast until you reached Ragis Port. This would be a longer path but not only would you be able to avoid the Iron Hills. The other option was to head south, cross the Iron Hills and make your way down to the Salara, head west and make your way to Olikar of the Seven Spires or Ragis Port.

Despite LaKota’s desire for the latter, the rest were drawn to head down the coast. Not only did this open the chance for sighting a ship and reducing your travel time, but this would take you to as Ascaril. The thought of combing through the ruins of the great library of Ascaril was too tempting. All three will workers thought it was worth the chance. In the end, you set off on the next day, making your way down the coast.

After two days you reached a stretch of wetlands which Wylie identified as Erls Fen Wylie’s recollections was that it would take you at least a week to go around it so but slightly over a day to go through it, it was decided to forge ahead. At the end of the first day it became clear that it would take over a day get to the other side but you were committed to trying to get across.

In the distance on the second day you caught the scent of smoke and when you investigated you found a small encampment of lizardmen. Choosing the better part of valor you skirt to the south and avoid contact with them and were much relieved when you found solid ground beneath your feet without incident.

Within a day you found yourself again facing a long stretch of marsh. This time you tried to head inland and avoid more days of water, mosquitoes and possible encounters with Lizardmen. Unfortunately another day and a half it became clear that the solid ground was an island in the middle of the marsh and you once again you were hip deep in feted saltwater.

You tried to avoid the local lizardman population but this time you weren’t so lucky. They imposed a toll of blood. After four more days you worked your way free leaving the bog stink behind you.

LaKota managed to bring down a boar and with your food stores replenished you turned your eyes towards an ancient road towards Ascaril. The air had gotten colder over the next week and the air was pregnant with snow as you came over a rise. Your breath came like a frozen cloud as you took in the sight of what had once been the great elvish port.

Built on a rise above the deep water port, Ascaril had been a jewel of elegant elvish architecture that had gently flowed down to the docks. On the Night of Broken Shadows the it’s inhabitants had been betrayed from within with assassins killing many of the cities leader and it’s most powerful will workers. This left the inhabitant unprepared for the tidal wave that had been summoned by the sea witch Ylondri Greenmantle to rack the northern western coasts.

Tens of thousands died and with them, the dead rose. The slaughter was near absolute and less then ten percent of the city had survived. Few of the fallen cities of Pelenhar had suffered such absolute destruction and the sight that greeted the party was chilling. The saltwater of tidal wave had tainted the earth so plants and animals had been far slower to reclaim the ruins. That and the restless dead.

Even from the bluff above the city it was still obvious tat the city was still occupied by the walking dead.



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