The sun was high as the small child walked through the streets
of Loures. Dressed in rags the little urchin begged for coins, as
a couple passed along the cobblestone street. A coin was tossed through
the air, from an old wagon headed towards the bridge. Daniel watched
curiously, as he noticed a few other children sitting in the back
of the wagon. He watched them laugh and play, and turned to stare
sadly at the coin he had caught. Walking slowly, he followed the wagon.
The marketplace at Milleth was crowded, and Katrina was pushed
and shoved as she held unto her mothers hand. Her class at school
had been canceled. And now they were caught in the mornings scuffle
as the shouts of the vendors rang out offering their wares. Suddenly
a flower cart was pushed over, blocking their path. Katrina was pushed
aside, falling with the betony and vanilla flowers. A pair of strong
arms reached for her, as she looked up dazed.
It was dark, the streets were deserted as where the docks. Just
moonlight glowed over the sea. On a nearby wharf, a cargo ship bustled
with activity. Wagons arrived with live stalk, others with food. In
the center of the vessel, under the tarpaulins, stood tied up a half
a dozen children. The ship was bound for Undine. A few days later,
it landed in Undine where once more children were brought in. Once
again, the ship departed into the waters headed for Astrid.
Meanwhile not too far
Sybil had wandered into the tavern at Undine. Expecting the normal
boisterous crowd she was shocked as a dead silence met her. The tavern
keeper and a village girl were in tears. She learned of the mysterious
abduction of the children of Undine and nearby. Vowing to help, she
turned to leave when a priestess walked in, and pledged to help. Then
a monk and another rogue walked in. Soon they had formed a rescue party
and quickly took leave.
Through the green countryside they walked looking for traces of children.
And so it was that they headed for Astrid. There they found a lone path
hidden through the bushes. Every few steps a goblin or wolf appeared
distracting them from their path. And the further deeper they went the
fiercer they attacked. Many times she went ahead laying her traps, while
hiding in the undergrowth. Other times they were ambushed, had they
not been prepared they would have met Sgrios in another realm.
Suddenly, they took a sharp turn, and the wind seemed to wail.
Shh, look, whispered the priestess. Up ahead was an altar,
with a strange hexagram symbol. As Sybil turned to see, she turned pale,
could this really be? She asked herself. This looked all
The wind howled and leaves and branches shook. Dust and debris clouded
their eyes and the wailing of children reached their ears. Both watched
in horror as a couple of children were taken to the center of the altar
and Carroun appeared. For a split second one lad turned as if knowing
where Sybil hid, and looked straight at her, tossing a coin in the air.
Then the childrens wails got louder, then deadly silence for they
were no more. Sybil closed her eyes, trying to block the horrible images
from her mind.
Taking a step towards the coin that glimmered in the bloodshed, she
heard a whimper. She bade to the priestess to follow her, as she put
one finger to her lips, signaling to walk quietly. Up ahead lay a makeshift
pen, stealthily she hid and set her traps, then ran towards the pen.
The Kobolds ran after her and used their magick, while Delaine the priestess
tried to counterattack their magick. Finally, Sybil reached one corner
where she saw a small girl, with dried betony flowers caught in her
hair. The child looked up dazed as she felt two strong hands reach for
Several days later in Abel, Sybil sat alone drinking. She shouted
at the barkeep for more rum. She fingered a coin in her satchel, pulled
out the shiny coin and was about to toss it when she remembered the
lad. She was sure he had seen her and a lone solitary tear trickled
down her cheek. She would go back, again.