Shadows Grasp

The Story of the Once and Reborn King

Book One: From Ashes of Empire

Part II: The Seawolf

Adventure One: Journies Afar

Act III - Shadows Grasp

Chapter One: Facing the Music

January 1-12, 639
Tristin, Ander, and Gurney begin packing and readying to set out for home. Grom has disappeared, angered over the slight done him and never rectified.

January 13-22
The journey home, finally arriving the 22nd.

Marik explores the ancient crumbling tower after finding some old papers of Grimgroth's. He discovers a laboratory and workshop hidden in the basement.

January 23-27
Much feasting and fun are had these days for the returning heroes.

January 28-30
Ander tires of the castle life and heads out with just Britta to hunt. Heavy snows make the tracking easy, and on the 30th he bags an large elk.

On his return to the castle, Ander runs into a party of elves headed to visit the castle. They are escorting the Lady Arryanna, a beautiful elven girl, and the apprentice of the Enchantress, a powerful sorceress who lives in the wooded hills south of Tristin's father's lands.

Tristin is smitten with the pretty elven lass.

Febuary 1
Late that night, after the feasting on elk, Ander retires to his room. He is awakened in the dead of night by a breath of cold air. Sensing his danger, rather then seeing anything, he snatches up his greatsword and swings into the darkness. A patch of shadow, just a little darker then the room dodges from his attack. He makes out two sets of eerie eyes in the dark and fights desperately against the shadows. He is victorious.

Ander searches his room for more intruders, and discovers a forgotten secret passage leading from his room out into the countryside. Ander follows the passage in little but his nightgown, weakened by the chilling touch of the shadows. At the end of the passage is a small river. Exiting the passage he finds tracks around the river's edge. He follows them.

It is almost dawn when Ander steps into a snowy clearing to find an immense man waiting for him. The man is encased in archaic-looking plate armor full of strange scrawling and etchings. He wields two flails and launches an immediate attack on the unarmored boy.

Ander fights the best fight of his young life and holds the being off, dealing several powerful, yet seemingly ineffective blows to the iron-clad monster, while taking only a few grazing wounds himself. The being identifies himself as Lord Ullas of the Twisted Bole. He claims an ancient vendetta against the House of Laaw and swears their destruction by all that is unholy.

Meanwhile, Tristin and the elves are seeking Ander after finding his room empty. They come upon the battling titans. The elves drive through the undead minions of Ullas, scattering them. Ullas retreats with them.

Chapter Two: The Festival of the Pearl

Febuary 2-4
Ander rests up and heals his wounds, both of the body and the soul. The elves leave to warn the Enchantress of what has transpired, while Lady Arryanna stays at the castle. Tristin's father knows nothing of this Lord Ullas, and says so.

Come the 4th, Aeluin shows up looking for Ander. He is on a quest to find a Great Treasure for the Festival of the Pearl in Gana, one of the Pearl Cities of Zakhara. He thinks Ander and his tale will do nicely if he cannot find anything better. He offers the boy a chance for adventure, fame, and fortune in the south. He also tells Ander that some of the greatest wizards and most powerful genies live in Zakhara and that surely they can help his plight.

Febuary 5-6
Ander ponders this new turn of events. He has been chaffing at the slow pace of life in the castle and wishes to be off on adventure soon. Tristin doesn't look to be doing much soon, and Britta is a wolf again. He decides to go with Aeluin. They take their leave on the 6th.

Febuary 7-20
Ander and Aeluin travel to Riverspring, the nearest town with access to the sea. They spend till the 20th looking for suitable transport. They begin their journey to the far south and the land of Zakhara.

Chapter Three: The Binder of the Ways

Febuary 21
Aniki goes into labour early on the 21st. Marik leaves the birth up to the village midwife, he waits downstairs in his tower. It is night, almost midnight when the birth occurs.

Tristin and Arryanna are walking on the battlements of his father's castle, under the moon. Ander is standing at the rail of the ship at sea, taking in the night air. At precisily the moment of birth, Tristin and Ander both feel a coldness pass through them like a burning numbness. Time seems to stand still, holding its breath. A shadow darkens the moon on what was a cloudless night. Both boys feel their attention drawn in the direction of Marik's tower. They too hold their breath.

Marik is suddenly overcome by a seizure during which he has a prophetic vision. He sees seven towers looming above a city. He sees darkness swarm out of the towers engulfing the city. His perspective changes, draws further out. He sees the darkness rushing to consume the world. He sees his tower from far above, sees the darkness searching about for his home. He sees Tristin on the battlements, sees Ander on his ship. He sees both their futures laid out on an unchangeable tablet. He sees Tristin at war, he sees Ander fighting in a beserk rage. He sees Tim and four others he doesn't know but feels he does know. One is a woman that looks at him in his dream and smiles. He feels a prickle of recognition. He sees an eight-sided wheel; three grey, two white, and three black sides to it, spinning and whirling through his vision.

Marik sees a great man, a wizard. Long shining beard and robes flow from him, he stands next to a young man on a field of battle. The man is Ander…no Tristin…he is neither yet seems to be both and more. He holds a mighty Greatsword up, tears running down his face as he threatens the shining figure. The wizard holds his arms wide, awaiting the stroke, but the boy cannot finish it. He whirls and runs to the front of his great host. Elricson is at his side, and another figure dressed in the brightest, most polishest platearmor Marik has seen. They ride forth against a cloud of black. The cloud of darkness even now searching him and his tower out.

The darkness sees him! It is coming! He feels it reaching toward him, to Mark him, to track him, to kill him and consume him! He awakens with a scream.

Febuary 22
The midwife is there. She is grey and haggard. She holds two bundles in her arms. Marik has twins! He looks at them, so innocent and blithe, then looks at the midwife. He already knows what she will say, the ring of prophesy still in his mind like deja vue. Aniki is dead.

Chapter Four: An Old Pact

Febuary 30
Arryanna is kidnapped from the castle by Ullas's minions. Tristin and his father's knights ride out. They meet with the elves, their old friend Turin (really Jayne in disguise) and their leader Aeluvar Duathan who are in search of the Portal through which Lord Ullas and his minions are accessing this world every full moon.

Aeluvar tells Tristin that many centuries ago, this land was part of a great faery kingdom. Tristin's ancestors drove the elves from the land they now claim. Lord Ullas is the spirit of the elven lord of the area, returned now to wreak his vengeance.

The party tracks the enemy to a dead-end canyon. In the middle of the canyon stands a gnarled and twisted tree, a mighty oak, warped and blackened from the evil and arcane energies of Lord Ullas.

At the far end of the canyon are many prisoners in cages. A plan is made and put in motion. A diversion draws off most of the guards and Tristin, Aeluvar, Gurney and Turin slip into camp to free the prisioners.

Sir Ullas appears with more undead and attmepts a counter-attack. Aeluvar is grieviously injured in the assault by Ullas, and he vanishes. Gurney, who was fighting his way to the beliegured elf, finds himself in dire straits, surrounded by undead. Gurney and Lord Ullas duel. Gurney takes a wicked hit which caves in the side of his chest, from the deadly flail of Lord Ullas, who seems unstoppable today. Turin scoops up the injured Gurney onto her horse and rides for the woods to meet at the appointed rally point.

Tristin and some elves unlock the cages and free the prisioners and Lady Arryanna. They ride for the woods.

March 1
Everyone left has found their way to the rally point. Turin has fought long in the night to sustain Gurney, but his injuries require more than she is able to give. His life hangs by a thread, it is up to Gurney's constitution whether he lives or dies. Tristin is there by his side, weeping unabashedly at his friend's predicament. Tristin feels Gurney's life breath slip from him.

Everyone bows their heads at this loss. A chill wind blows across the camp, the fire gutters and splutters. Everyone feels a dark presence pass over them.

Gurney sits up and asks what all the weeping is for.

On to Adventure Two: The Land of Fate

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License