Cover image by …
B10 – NIGHT’S DARK TERROR
24 FYRMONT OF 1005 AC
BIXATA, HUTAAKANS VILLAGE. THE LOST VALLEY.
“High Priestess Kforedz, here the ancient manuscript recovered in the Vault of the Ancients.” While I deliver the heavy tome with a thick cover of dry skin covered in ancient runes, the female hutaakana’s gaze meets mine. In his eyes I see a vague light, I do not like these beings and, especially in her, I see not even the slightest empathy or gratitude. Many of her followers died last night to protect her and yet she doesn’t seem affected by it in the slightest. The hard, aloof and cold way to speak with us is the same with which she treats her followers, creatures willing to sacrifice themselves for her, to blindly face death and yet …
“Titus, what is it?” it is the voice of Thoragon. No one knows me better than him in this group and he has noticed my distress.
“Golthar and his partner, the woman with dark skin and icy eyes, they were there, at the Temple of Pflarr. They have somehow tried to enter but the undead horde has rejected them. And no doubt they will attempt a new assault and it is likely that next time they will be more numerous.”
“Guri-ben-Kaal has betrayed us. He and the Traldars have sided with the Yellow Wizard. We can not hope to tackle an entire village and come out winners.” Marjana had given free rein to her young teenager concerns.
“It is likely the Traldars think the same about us, that we have broken the covenant I mean. After all, they have seen us with the Hutaakas of Bixata  ” cut short Dan.
“Dan is right.” mumbles Adrik, who immediately resume his reasoning. “Thanks to the intervention of Glimreen that interrupted the fight and stopped us from killing all of Ronkan warriors  that Golthar has pitted against us to cover his escape, they now know that it is true, we are cooperating with Hutaaka but for a good purpose, to break the curse that afflicts all the inhabitants of the Valley. Our goal was not them, we have been clear about this. Our goal was the wizard. “
“So what do you suggest we do?” I ask trying to follow his reasoning.
“The Temple of Pflarr is infested with undead. Golthar evidently underestimated the enemy forces or simply overestimated his power and that of his woman and the Traldars of his escort. We know that Guri-ben-Kaal fears the undead and it will not be easy for the Wizard of the Iron Ring to convince him to set up a new expedition to the Temple, except by resorting to magic. “
“We must act before him!” interrupted Thoragon beating with his fist against the palm. Like a hammer that drops with force on the anvil.
“Patience man dragon.” For the first time I hear Adrik speaking to my friend and brother in this way and for the first time, probably, I realize that this is the most fitting definition of the unique creature that is Thoragon. “It was very easy to retrieve the tome at the Vault of the Ancients. In the end, there was a single undead guardian protecting it. Our numbers and our strength had an easy game of the spectre. The Temple of Pflarr will be another matter entirely. I saw the inside, through the eyes of my familiar and .. “
“Yes, yes, dwarf, afraid of your own shadow. You said it: undead everywhere. But perhaps you forget that Shango , the God of Thunder, and Lord of War, is on our side. Right Titus?” His heavy and clawed hand strikes my shoulder making me stagger.
“I would like to share your enthusiasm and your optimism, brother, but I think this time Adrik is right. It will not be easy. Golthar is a powerful wizard, we already saw it in Threshold and Jolenta, the priestess of Blissard that travels with him has far greater powers than mine, I have to admit. Yet they failed. They were forced to flee. The undead of the temple are not only numerous, they have something .. unnatural that makes them stronger and more resilient. “
“Your chief is right!” I hear the voice of Kforedz interrupting our discussion. I realize only now that the High Priestess attended our discussion and that she understood every word so far. “That’s why tomorrow morning I and my best warriors will accompany you to the Temple of the Supreme Pflarr and that we will free His sacred ground from the presence of the walkers, ending the curse caused by the Traldars and their wicked betrayal.” Our eyes cross again and I am certain that the antipathy is mutual.
“Do you know how to break the curse?” asks Adrik.
The female averts her cold stare from my own, shifting her focus to the dwarf. “The Water of the Musical Pool. The Knowledge of the Ancients. The third element, the receptacle required to complete the ritual, must be in the Temple. “
“Must?” I ask with doubt.
She looks at me again and from her not answer I understand that the war between us has began.
- Bixata, the village of the Valley where Hutaakans have found refuge after the expulsion from the Temple of Pflarr by the Traldars.
- Roncan, the village of the Traldars.
- Shango is the name by which the Immortal Thor is known in the territories of the Serpent Peninsula and the Wild Coast, lands from which Thoragon comes.