After wandering through the forest for some time, Nixie was getting tired of traveling alone. Spotting a town, she decided to stop and sell a few furs and possibly have a nice hot meal. Shortly after arriving, she had met a man with a very bright and billowy cloak. They exchanged few words when shouting nearby distracted them from the conversation. A merchant was chasing two other men running down the dirt path.
Quick to act, Nixie thrust out her staff and tripped the man carrying a large coin bag. He hit the ground hard and the bag flew from his grasp and littered the ground with small coins. Before she could retrieve any of the money a large smelly, almost hairless, barbarian lumbered up and bent to scoop up the coins. Nixie frowned and slapped the hand of the man with her staff.
“Those are not yours,” she said simply.
Ignoring her, he collected all the coins and started to leave without a word. Irritated at being ignored, she thrust out her staff similarly like she did to the first thief, and attempted to trip the man before he could leave with the coins.
“Those are not yours!” She said again, but she misjudged her reach this time, and succeeded in merely hitting the man in the shins. He turned silently and raised one fist and brought it down heavily on her head. Her vision swan and she swayed in place almost blacking out from the impact. Hearing the commotion, the merchant finally caught up to them and delightfully clapped his hands at the sight of his money bag.
“This gnome tried to steal your coin and I stopped her.” The gruff voice of the barbarian said.
Shaking her head in disbelief, Nixie’s anger quickly flared and she glared at the man standing beside her.
“I most certainly did not! I was the one who stopped that man from escaping with your bag!” She retorted pointing to the man still on the ground.
To Nixie’s surprise, the man with the brilliant cloak strutted forward and came to her aid calling the barbarian a liar. She was grateful he spoke up to aid her.
The merchant seemingly didn’t seem to acknowledge anything that was said and was so happy to get his bag back, he rewarded them all with a few coins as payment for getting his bag back, and left.
Soon, Nixie found herself shuffled along the path of the city with the others and they agreed to help some town folk with a mad wolf problem. The large man whom she learned was called, “Mustafa”, said an apology as they took the job. “Sorry, little one.” Wasn’t much of an apology and she narrowed her eyes at him in his insincerity. The small group consisted of a HUGE hooded man in a robe, a young boy with a large gray hat who kept anxiously polishing a pin on his clothes, a small green Halfling orc who kept singing loudly, Moose-tah-fah, and the very proud of himself- very fancy cloaked man, Aries.
Its turns out the wolves that the town folk were upset about were actually dogs. The first thing Nixie spotted about these poor creatures was the marks around their necks and the ribs protruding from their sides. Someone had beaten and starved these poor creatures. They were angry and driven mad. Starvation had taken over them and she was sad to realize she would not be able to talk them out of this fight. They were beyond help. This was very apparent as one pounced on her and clamped his teeth in her arm swiftly knocking her to the ground. The fight ended quickly with Mustafa killing the beasts with one hit of his fist. The giant cloaked man kneeled beside her and asked if she was harmed. She slowly held out her hurt arm, a bit intimidated by this being large size and strange voice. He skillfully healed her arm and she saw that his skin was… unnatural. Cold to the touch and very very hard.
“What are you?” She asked, not unkindly.
His name was Acolyte and he said he was made of metal.
“Meh-tall.” She tried out the strange word but it felt unfamiliar on her tongue. She had never seen such a substance before. She curiously gave Acolyte a few pokes testing out the “meh-tall”.
Sounds interrupted the group and they stumbled across a goblin camp. More dogs were caged at the far end and the goblins hopped around the fire they had built. They had a cage in the clearing with a very angry looking dwarf inside. The group stormed the camp and Aries quickly started fighting the goblins followed by the others. Nixie’s gaze never left the dogs. They were abused animals not malicious beasts; she was going to free them. They could run away and get food and live happy lives in the forest. They would no longer be used to harass the locals and would likely leave this place to find a new home. Before she could move, she spotted Mustafa on the move. He was aiming directly for the dogs! She took off after him but she was too late! He hopped the fence and mercilessly killing off the dogs, blow by blow. A single hit from his massive fists killed them in an instant. Anger welled up inside of her but she knew there would be no use in fighting the man. He had already almost knocked her out once that day.
The goblins were quickly defeated, the dwarf freed, and soon they were to return to the town. After Acolyte had assisted with her arm he asked for a favor in return. He was looking for some herbs and plants in the forest and was having trouble finding them. Familiar with their names Nixie had no trouble retrieving some of them for him on the way back to the town.
Everything was quiet. Too quiet. Where did all the birds go? Where were all the animals. Something was very wrong. The stench of death assaulted Nixie’s nose and she gaged and vomited of the path. The other kept walking and entered back into the town but she stayed outside the town line afraid to enter within. Could her uncle’s killer have found her? Her mind pinballing from one farfetched idea to the next. No. This was not the same person. The people here were not just slain… There was no blood pooling the ground. No fires anywhere near the partically missing buildings. The people that had once dwelled here were nothing more than skeletons and scrapes of clothing fabric. Nixie spotted a smeared handprint on a brick wall in the town.. It was unnatural and she averted her gaze from it. It almost looked as though Yaarsk had been here… But would no other demi gods rise up and stop the Goddess of Destruction from her chaos? It didn’t make sense..
Nixie stayed outside of the town and nervously watched the others wander around the destruction. She kept an eye on Acoylte as he wandered near the center of town. It looked as though someone has performed a ritual to bring Yaarsk here. But why?
Suddenly a dark figure appeared in the town. They suddenly appeared in the blink of an eye with four arms stretched out wide. Mustafa, who was standing nearby, lunged at The Being and a huge unnatural hand was quickly at his chest. The Being flung Mustafa away from itself effortlessly like a child would toss aside a ragdoll. He hit a wall hard and as he slid to the ground is skin turned unnaturally white… Acolyte tensed and shrugged off his pack letting it fall to the ground behind him and rushed forward. The Being then struck out. Nixie hadn’t moved from her spot was watched in horror as the scene unfolded in front of her. Suddenly pain erupted from inside her and for a moment she felt as if she had instantly gained a hundred years on her life. She felt as if her life was being sucked from away. She glanced up through the pain for a moment to see the dwarf and the young boy with the large hat crumple to the ground as The Being raised its hands in the air and screamed. The sky opened up and at the blink of an eye the pain stopped and the figure disappeared. The ground started to shake. She ran. The others quickly caught up and they stopped on the dirt path just in time to see a monstrous worm erupt from the earth and engulf the town as if it never existed..
Mustafa and Acolyte had grabbed the fallen bodies of the young boy and the dwarf before the town had been taken and they now lay the bodies on the ground in the center of the group. They were dead… But somehow they were not… They were not breathing but their aura remained. They had been smitten the hardest by the attack in which had made Nixie cry out in pain back at the town. But would they recover?
Someone mentioned a monastery a half days journey from where we stood. We had no other choice but to leave immediately. Running through the night at full speed we fell into a spider’s trap but managed to get away unscathed. The monastery quickly invited us in to rest and took our deadlike companions. Nixie wasn’t accustomed to so many people around but she eventually managed to settle into a bunk and laid down to sleep. She would have rather slept outside in the open sky but she was so exhausted and strained she felt like she probably could have slept anywhere… Before falling asleep she absentmindedly touched her skin above her heart and was startled to find that the skin there was cold to the touch and ached a bit. She looked down and found and mark there in the form of an unnatural hand print.. A handprint matching the one back at the town.. A gift from the dark figure, no doubt. She traced the image with one finger then frowned and rolled over on her side. She hoped she didn’t have nightmares in the night.