Post by DM Hawk on Jul 18, 2019 0:41:50 GMT -5
Chathin Zurn, Khazark of the Thayan Enclave at Proskur, rode through the city atop a unicorn. Adamantine mail and plates armored the steed in metal as dark as the magical creature’s coat. An ivory horn, chased in silver, rose from the unicorn’s forehead and beneath the horn gleamed eyes of scarlet that matched the robes of the rider. Runes of midnight and crimson adorned the Khazark’s shorn head in the place of silky hair.
Beside her rode her second, the illusionist Torisk Haut, upon a spirited black stallion. The Red Council rode behind them upon their steeds and around the riders marched a circle of Thayan Knights as the procession made its way through Proskur.
The people of Proskur cheered the sight of the Khazark and her retinue as they rode to do battle against forces they could not comprehend. Forces manifest in an inevitable tide of mysterious wild magic, surging their way. The tide would sweep over Proskur overnight unless the Red Wizards of the Enclave could halt the advance.
The cheers fell behind the Khazark’s company as they rode through the gate into the rocky forest country south of the Bridge of Fallen men. Less than a league from the city Chathin came upon the line. A cadre of lesser Red Wizards stood in formation, surrounded by a protective circle of knights and swordsmen. Nearby a company of gnoll conscripts from the east kept a herd of Proskur livestock under control. The Red Wizard guided her steed around the circle and the Red Council followed. Each of the senior wizards inspected the formation. If lines had been drawn between the lesser Red Wizards their stance would have formed a powerful rune of abjuration. Perhaps they could be spared…
The Khazark looked over the animals, noting their youth and health. She indicated a few weaker specimens which the gnolls removed from the herd. Several gnolls fought over the scrawny goats and cattle. Chathin Zurn paid them no mind. A knight would see to their discipline. Turning back to the circle, the Khazark pointed out a few flaws and the Red Council directed the lesser Red Wizards to adjust their stance until the formation was flawless.
The Khazark’s command was quiet but all eyes were upon her and everyone heard. The Red Wizards in the circle began their chants in peculiar, haunting harmonization. A proud young bull in the herd vocalized a deep rumble before pitching over onto the rocky soil, the beast’s eyes rolling up into its broad skull. The life force flowed into the circle, granting the younger wizards supernatural vigor as they began their work.
The Khazark turned her eyes towards the forest, gazing into the invisible palpable aura of wild magic as it creeped closer and closer…
The sunburned, peeling skin of Ambrose’s scalp ached as it lathered in sweat. The rotund War Wizard felt the warm, damp robes cling to his body has he worked his seventeenth abjuration in as many hours. Fortified as they were with spells for stamina, focus, and protection the work was taking its toll upon the wizards and clerics. Sparing a glance to the left he saw one of the younger War Wizards step back from the line, depleted. He was quickly replaced by an eager young Arcanist from Valkur’s roar but she hadn’t the training of her predecessor. How long would she withstand the strain?
Behind the line, the City of Valkur’s Roar watched and waited. The Baron and his Council watched from afar, the commoners, business owners, farmers, sailors…everyone who was not standing beside him on the line. He had arrived in the city scarcely the day before after surveying the expanse of the Wild Magic as it bled from the west with the help of the Greatgaunt Volunteers and the helpful mage Shander of the unlucky Red Ravens. After engulfing Isinhold…no, Greatgaunt…the tide of wild magic now threatened to overtake Vakur’s Roar and Proskur. It also creeped steadily north towards Skull Crag and beyond that waited the High Horn.
Ambrose and his small detachment of War Wizards from the Suzail Tower arrived in Valkur’s Roar seeking the High Mage and calling for assistance. Several arcanists in the city volunteered but these were untrained for the task ahead and Ambrose worried that they would not withstand the strain for long. He was encouraged however by the arrival of several priests and mages sent by the Church of Mystra and the old merchant mage Vesper of Shallybrook. Still, those he had gathered would not be enough and with the danger posed by the damned orcish Warlord and his growing horde the Suzail Tower had no more resources to spare.
The War Wizard turned next to the clergy of the city but he was met with disappointment. The temple of Hoar was more interested in punishing those who caused the wild magic. In contrast the new temple of Loviatar was more interested in teaching the people of the city to embrace the suffering brought on by the Wild Magic. The shrine of Chauntea was unattended and Valkur’s Priest had been kidnapped or murdered by Umberlant fanatics last year and not replaced…and the High Priestess of the city was away to judge some beauty pageant abroad…it was maddening.
He remembered his words to the Baron.
We can shield Valkur’s Roar for only so long before the inevitable tide of wild magic sweeps over the city and beyond. You must do something, my Lord Baron. Now!
Short of breath and consumed by his task, Ambrose could only pray to Azuth that Crownsilver would listen.
The young arcanist from Valkur’s Roar fell to her knees, spent in less than an hour. Two Mystran clerics ran to her side, the first to stand in her place and the second to pull her back into the care of the remaining clergy.