Shadows...
Niiman, day 3 of the month Jastatos in the year 5102

[Chutnee's Home]
A lingering scent of jasmine fills this room. Its rug-covered multi-colored tile floor supports an ebonwood four-poster bed and an ebonwood mosaic-tiled nightstand, and the area is enclosed by walls of textured red silk. A tiny obsidian fireplace sits at the far wall, above it hanging some iridescent peacock tail feathers. You also see a small oval window, a red leather shield-back chair and a brass-hinged felwood door.
Obvious exits: none

A cold breeze filters through the room, chill and full of dread. An odd scent accompanies the breeze, unpleasant, but not unbearable. Shadows drift just beyond your sight, perhaps staring at you, perhaps stalking you.

You rub your chin thoughtfully.

You unlock the door.

You open the door.

You walk through the door.

[Magical Burrow, Dervish Park]
The snow and ice which dominate Icemule Trace stop abruptly at the fenceline of the park. In their place sits a wide open greensward full of laughing children running everywhere. A strange glow hangs about the area, an odd magical field, slightly shimmering, its outer edge falling right at the snowline. A tall statue comprised of ten wizened halflings in enruned robes stands majestically at the center of the field. You also see an ancient dark stone manor, a crenellated dark stone manor, a plain residence, a splendid colorful tiled home, a low mithril gate and a red and black ceramic-tiled townhouse.
Obvious paths: north, west.

The darkness follows you, several strides ahead, yet several strides behind.

You blink.

(Iscikella looks behind her.)

You say, "Hmmm..."

You rub your chin thoughtfully.

You belt out, "Hello?"

You furrow your brow, probably adding a wrinkle or two in the process.

You ask, "Who is here?"

go gate

[Magical Burrow, Dirge Street]
A low mithril gate stands at the entrance to Dervish Park. The fence surrounding the sanctuary is obscured with a silvery haze, blocking the view of the grounds beyond as well. The open gate is finely crafted from the purest mithril, beckoning visitors to enter and discover what lies on the other side.
Obvious paths: west.

You hear your own faint thoughts echoing in your head:
"Anyone else see any strange shadows about?"

search
You don't find anything of interest here.

go gate

[Magical Burrow, Dervish Park]
The snow and ice which dominate Icemule Trace stop abruptly at the fenceline of the park. In their place sits a wide open greensward full of laughing children running everywhere. A strange glow hangs about the area, an odd magical field, slightly shimmering, its outer edge falling right at the snowline. A tall statue comprised of ten wizened halflings in enruned robes stands majestically at the center of the field. You also see an ancient dark stone manor, a crenellated dark stone manor, a plain residence, a splendid colorful tiled home, a low mithril gate and a red and black ceramic-tiled townhouse.
Obvious paths: north, west.

"Hmmmm...You say, "Hmmmm..."

(Iscikella glances at the statue)

You think to yourself, "Could just be a shadow, but..."

north

[Magical Burrow, Dervish Park]
A few small trees flourish in the warmer climate, unable to survive in the frigid temperatures outside Dervish Park. Beds of exotic flowers grow amongst the exposed roots, in turn edged by low-cut ground cover and carefully groomed bushes. A narrow gravel trail winds about, then loops back upon itself headed towards the entrance to the park. You also see a gated fine modwir manor, a plain manor, a plain residence, an elegant red brick house and an expansive white stone manor.
Obvious paths: south.

You say, "Don't see it now..."

south

[Magical Burrow, Dervish Park]
The snow and ice which dominate Icemule Trace stop abruptly at the fenceline of the park. In their place sits a wide open greensward full of laughing children running everywhere. A strange glow hangs about the area, an odd magical field, slightly shimmering, its outer edge falling right at the snowline. A tall statue comprised of ten wizened halflings in enruned robes stands majestically at the center of the field. You also see an ancient dark stone manor, a crenellated dark stone manor, a plain residence, a splendid colorful tiled home, a low mithril gate and a red and black ceramic-tiled townhouse.
Obvious paths: north, west.

You rub your chin thoughtfully.

A red and black ceramic-tiled townhouse's door slowly creaks shut.

You rub your chin thoughtfully.

Search
You don't find anything of interest here.

You hear the faint thoughts of Brandain echo in your mind:
"Shadows, Iscikella?"

You hear the faint thoughts of Sazarr echo in your mind:
"I've seen some strange things done to people in the shadows..."

You hear your own faint thoughts echoing in your head:
"Aye... Well seem to be shadows, only bit ahead rather than bit behind me... seem..."

You sense Brandain looking in on you.

Voices whisper to you, some soft, some harsh, none louder than one another. The tones are friendly, angry, soothing, insulting. Each seems more urgent then the last.

You gasp.

(Iscikella glances again at the statue.)

You hear your own faint thoughts echoing in your head:
"And voices... on the breeze..."

You hear the faint thoughts of Vonka echo in your mind:
"Hey der, folks!"

You hear your own faint thoughts echoing in your head:
"Uh, Vonka... do ye see any shadows?"

You hear your own faint thoughts echoing in your head:
"Or hear any... voices?"

You hear the faint thoughts of Erlyn echo in your mind:
"Just yours."

(Iscikella strains to hear if perhaps can make out what the voices are saying.)

You hear the faint thoughts of Vonka echo in your mind:
"Welp, der's a couple shadders under de altars 'ere."

You hear the faint thoughts of Vonka echo in your mind:
"But dey perty much allus 'ere."

You belt out, "Hello?"

You hear your own faint thoughts echoing in your head:
"Well, Vonka, I think ye'd know these shadows..."

You rub your chin thoughtfully.

You ponder.

You shiver in fear.

You ask, "Who is here?"

You belt out, "Elymir?"

You hear the faint thoughts of Vonka echo in your mind:
"Sommit bad? Mebber de lichs agin?"

You belt out, "Gavrail?"

You rub your chin thoughtfully.

You belt out, "Who is here?"

Brandain came through a low mithril gate.

You curtsy to Brandain.

You say, "Very odd shadows."

Brandain surveys the area.

Brandain nods to you in greeting.

You say, "And... voices."

Brandain says, "I could see nothing out of place as I walked here."

(Iscikella sets her gaze pointedly on the statue for a long moment.)

You focus your mind on Vonka and think:
"Could ye come to the statue of the ten for a moment, Vonka?"

Brandain scratches his ear.

Something touches you, it is icy cold, then blisteringly hot, then it is but a caress. Another touch is harsh and painful, another coarse. The last touch is fleeting, grasping, perhaps a call for help or the last faint echo of hope.

You say, "Well, is definitely here..."

You shiver.

(Brandain glances at the statue in the center of the field.)

Brandain asks, "What is?"

(Iscikella touches her arm, then her neck.)

You say, "Ye didn't..."

Search
You don't find anything of interest here.

(Iscikella looks behind the statue)

You say, "Something... touched me."

Brandain says, "Not I, my Lady."

(Iscikella rubs both her arms.)

Vonka came through a low mithril gate.

Vonka gazes in wonder at her surroundings.

You say, "Vonka..."

Vonka gives you a friendly hug.

You pull on Vonka, trying to get her closer.

Brandain moves into a defensive posture, ready to fend off an attack.

You say, "Something is here."

Vonka softly says, "Hey der."

Brandain removes a translucent white broadsword from in his carved ivory scabbard.

Brandain nods to Vonka in greeting.

You say, "Yet not here."

Vonka shivers.

You ask, "Did it touch ye?"

You blink at Vonka.

Vonka shakes her head.

(Iscikella rubs her arms again.)

Vonka softly says, "Jus' t'inkin' bout it."

A floral scent fills the air, or perhaps the scent of refuse. There is the aroma of freshly baked goods, or simply the stench of death and decay.

Vonka gives you a friendly hug.

(Brandain holds his blade at his side, calm watching the area around them.)

You blink.

You sniff.
You sniff.

You ask, "Ye smell it?"

Vonka sniffs.

Brandain acts puzzled.

Vonka asks, "Be it a burny smell?"

You shake your head.

You say, "No. Smells..."

(Iscikella sniffs at the air.)

You say, "Like baking bread."

Vonka cocks her head at you.

You say, "But then..."

Vonka sniffs.

(Iscikella sniffs the air again.)

You cover your nose tightly. Phew!

Vonka says, "I likes bread."

You say, "Also like decay behind the smell."

Vonka wrinkles her nose.

You say, "Hard to explain..."

Vonka says, "Scept when it be moldy."

You ask, "Ye neither of ye smell it?"

Vonka asks, "Mebber de lichs be openin' a bakery?"

You act puzzled.

Brandain asks, "I neither smell, see, nor hear this apparition. Are you certain, Lady?"

You nod to Brandain.

You say, "Positive."

An unearthly wail fills the air, full of pain and agony. It last but a heartbeat, then subsides. Silence overwhelms the night.

You scream!

Vonka's jaw drops.

You cower.

(Brandain wheels around, raising his weapon.)

You ask, "Ye hear that wail?"

Brandain exclaims, "That, I heard!"

You duck your head.

Vonka asks, "Thulevier? Be dat yer?"

Vonka trembles.

You say, "Something is... with me."

Vonka says, "Mebber he be hurt...."

(Iscikella wraps her arms about herself.)

You shiver.

(Vonka wraps her arms around Iscikella.)

(Iscikella looks warily at the statue.)

You think to yourself, "Is that ye, Elymir? Are ye here?"

Vonka bites her lip.

You say, "Something seems to be in pain..."

Vonka says, "He prolly be weak, since he lemme go."

You say, "Something..."

Vonka nods to you.

You say, "I don't think is Thulevier."

You say, "I feel it... inside me."

Brandain asks, "That was a terrible cry. Did either of you mark from where it came?"

You furrow your brow, probably adding a wrinkle or two in the process.

Vonka asks, "Den mebber it be Elymir?"

You say, "It is... here."

You tap yourself on the chest.

Brandain frowns at you.

You say, "Someplace."

Vonka looks rather confused.

You say, "Shadows being cast from me."

You say, "But not of me."

You furrow your brow, probably adding a wrinkle or two in the process.

(Vonka points vaguely in the direction of statue.)

Vonka asks, "Mebber dat way?"

(Iscikella glances along the ground.)

You say, "But is defintely something here."

(Iscikella tries to look behind her.)

You ask, "Does my shadow look different to either of ye?"

You rub your chin thoughtfully.

Brandain scratches his ear.

Brandain asks, "Your shadow?"

Vonka examines you closely, sizing you up and taking note of all the details.

Vonka says, "Welp...."

You say, "Aye, the shadow behind me..."

You say, "In front of me..."

(Brandain takes a step back and examines Iscikella in profile, glancing at the ground behind her.)

You try to figure out how to ignore yourself.

Vonka furrows her brow.

You say, "Around me..."

Vonka glances at you and paces back and forth.

You belt out, "Elymir? Is that ye?"

Vonka says, "It be sorter strange... de way it be in front o' yer, an' behin' yer."

You nod to Vonka.

Vonka says, "I onny gots one shadder."

Vonka asks, "See?"

Vonka paces back and forth.

(Iscikella looks at Vonka's shadow.)

You nod.

You say, "Usually is only one."

Brandain scratches his ear.

You take a few steps to your right.

Brandain asks, "Indulge me, Iscikella, and walk a few paces?"

You take a few steps to your left.

You pace back and forth.

Brandain put a translucent white broadsword in his carved ivory scabbard.

Brandain rubs his chin thoughtfully.

You rub your chin thoughtfully.

You say, "Rather... strange."

(Iscikella glances at her shadow as it moves in two directions.)

Footsteps fill the snowfall, but there is no form to them. They walk off, soft laughter filling the air. Arrogant laughter.

Vonka blinks.

You gasp.

Brandain says, "Not a trick of the .. "

You say, "Ye hear that..."

Brandain surveys the area.

You shiver.

(Iscikella glances behind her again.)

(Vonka walks in the footsteps, stepping carefully from one to the next.)

You scratch your head.

Brandain says, "Mark there, footprints in the snow..."

Brandain frowns.

Vonka exclaims, "Lookie! Footies!"

You nod to Vonka.

You ask, "But uh... whose?"

You kneel down.

Vonka wrinkles her nose.

(Iscikella closely examines the footprints.)

Vonka checks her footing.

You say, "Those aren't mine."

Vonka says, "Gots li'l feet."

(Iscikella glances at Vonka's feet, then back to the footprints.)

Vonka nods.

You say, "Yers either."

You shake your head.

Brandain says, "Some mage moves about free from sight, surely."

Vonka says, "Littler den yer er mine."

(Iscikella assesses Brandain's footwear.)

You shake your head.

Brandain shows you some elegant black leather halfboots, which he is wearing. You see nothing unusual.

You say, "Not his either."

You nod to Vonka.

Vonka says, "Aye, mebber sum wizard."

You carefully inspect your gold trimmed half-boots.

You shake your head.

Vonka rubs her chin thoughtfully.

Brandain says, "If your hearts are stout, ladies, I suggest following those prints and see what is behind all of this."

Vonka says, "But onny sorcerers give folks shadders, I t'ink."

You say, "Definitely small feet making those footprints."

(Iscikella traces one footprint with her finger.)

You ask, "Halfling feet?"

Vonka glances at Brandain.

Vonka gulps.

You say, "But sort of move in a circle..."

(Iscikella squints at the footprints.)

You stand back up.

Brandain asks, "You heard the laughter that faded as did these marks in the snow?"

Brandain raises an eyebrow in Vonka's direction.

Vonka says, "Dey goes out de gate."

Vonka nods to Brandain.

Brandain says, "I do not take kindly to being mocked. I would know who plays these tricks."

Vonka gulps.

(Iscikella places one foot carefully over a footprint.)

Vonka's face turns slightly pale.

You rub your chin thoughtfully.

Vonka moves to stand behind Brandain.

Vonka says, "Okies."

Vonka removes a fel-hafted rolaren toporok from in her black silk gem pouch.

Suddenly you have the strangest feeling that you are being watched.
The feeling fades as quickly as it came.

Vonka nods to you.

Brandain says, "Take heart, Vonka. If we walk together, all shall be well."

You ask, "So where ye think they go?"

(Vonka holds onto Brandain's belt.)

Brandain glances at Vonka.

You say, "Hmmm..."

Brandain clears his throat.

Vonka dubiously asks, "Mebber ter de bakery?"

You ask, "Ye think so?"

Brandain says, "Out the gate, I believe, unless that was how they came in."

You say, "Uh, no, they didn't come in exactly."

Brandain asks, "Were you here when these shadows appeared?"

You say, "The shadows were in the house with me."

Brandain frowns.

Brandain says, "I see..."

You say, "My daughter's house."

Vonka exclaims, "Mebber dey tooked 'er bread!"

You chuckle at Vonka.

You say, "Well, was an odd scent"

Vonka says, "But it were prolly okie, iffin it were moldy anyways."

You say, "Was decay under it..."

Vonka nods to you.

You rub your chin thoughtfully.

(Iscikella glances at the statue warily.)

***ADDITIONAL NOTE***
Approximately two hours later, Elendr sensed the following:

An odd scent fills the air, perfume maybe. Or maybe not. Something like the aroma of freshly baked bread. Or perhaps simply the stench of death and decay.
***END NOTE***



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