|The Hidden Village of Aeketh|
Designed by Desultir, Vryce & Numerous others
Lifespan: 18 minutes
Medium Groups: 20-25
Large Groups: 18-24
The winds blow throughout the land, carrying words and songs long forgotten; their echoes haunt each hurricane and drive every tornado. In the walls of a cyclone may reside the conversations of a boy, or the words of a Legend. Some are lies, but words of forgotten truths are held by the winds, to be returned to the ears of any who are ready for them. Among these:
The last rays of the sun streamed past the spires of the palaces of Lyryanoth as Vinlos paused at the door to his Inn. He spent a moment resting in the glow, and then with a sigh turned to peer into the darkness behind him. As all was in order, he reached into a pocket, and took out the key that would lock the door; once it would have seemed strange to be closing so early, but there was a tension in Lyryanoth that caused an unreasoning dread in all its citizens - thus none ventured from the perceived safety of their homes.
As Vinlos could feel the lock begin to click into place, he heard a noise behind him. His fear gripped him, yet he turned to stare as two ragged adventurers, their clothes torn and blood-stained, slammed into him, causing the door to groan in protest as they fell exhausted against it. Dazed, Vinlos watched as the light of the sun slid up the warm wood of the door, and finally disappeared with a last burst of color on the tip of the Inn. The moment of calm was broken when one of the men grasped Vinlos and peered at him with panicked eyes, "Beware! The tales of the Hidden City of Aeketh are true!" Disoriented by the blow, Vinlos reacted to the man's panic and could think to say nothing but, "Beware? Why? Aeketh is a myth - and even at that, a myth of a city with powerful magic supposedly used to protect the world from terrors. Terrors just as real as the city!"
The man nodded at Vinlos, his eyes became less panicked and slowly focused at something inside of Vinlos, while his voice began to drift, "You know of it as well?! Then you understand why someone must act..."
The other man mumbled throughout, but slowly his words became clear, "...Aye, that was so. But recently the evil that has covered the land has come even to the great city. The natives who inhabit it have been forced to retreat to their great houses in the trees, their magic not ready for their most recent foe....lizards and their ruler, a great wizard, who never gives his name....always wears pure black..."
The night was warm, yet the speaker began to shiver as he spoke to Vinlos, "We were just travelers. We were welcomed in by the natives..."
Suddenly, he stopped speaking and sat up, looking at Vinlos for the first time with cold eyes. He continued to speak, but drew out his words as if each required special consideration, "We must have stayed there for about a year, though it took us six months to find it, and even then we found it through luck only. There were four of us when we arrived. Then one day the skies went black, and a hoard of scaly creatures appeared at the gates. Total chaos reigned throughout the city for their magic had not warned them of the attack. None knew where they came from, but two of our companions were slain as we attempted to escape. The last thing we heard from the city's denizens was that they feared more that the sorcerer was to use the magic of the city for evil than for their own lives!"
Vinlos heard a noise approaching the place where they lay, but the man continued on, "You must not let this happen! Remember this!"
With his final words the man threw Vinlos into the street; guards stream into the street, surrounded the doorway, and took the two travelers away. After the commotion settled down, the captain of the guards, Toronfyr, approached Vinlos, with a stern look on his face, asked him, "What did that man tell you?"
Vinlos went on to tell the accounts of the night, visually frightened by the occurance, and concluded, "What if it is true...what if Aeketh is no a rumor?" Toronfyr simply snorted, and replied, "Don't put your faith in such silly rumors. Those men were obviously lunatics, don't pay any attention to them. It's getting late, shouldn't you be closing up shop?" With that, Toronfyr and the guards disappeared into Castle Daenar.
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