The Isle of Dread

Marina applied her best healing spell to the smoldering form of Viper. Most of the burns dissipated leaving only reddened skin. His chest remained blackened somewhat, and he kept a horrid scar there from that point on. The barbarian got up from where he lay, confused and disoriented.

Marina got up, reeled back, and slapped Everett in the face. Unable to face up to the shame of what he had done, she turned around and walked off. How could he? She loved him with all her heart. They were connected in every way. His wants were her wants. His joys were her joys and his pain, her pain. How could the person she considered her soul mate be someone who could bring such destruction? Kage hated Everett. Kage had worked feverously to keep the group together, to make very different people cooperate towards a single goal. And Everett destroyed it with his carelessness. Kage wanted nothing more than to banish him from the group, and leave him stranded on the this cursed isle. But with Everett would go the most powerful warriors and only healer in the entire party, and his chances for stealing the pearl and saving Yoy would be slim.

“Never attack someone in our party again!”, he snapped, and turned around, following Marina.

Everett laughed, “Or?” Kage ignored the comment.

He didn’t fear any of the others there and he cared little about what Kage or Viper thought of him. His one concern was Marina. It would be a long time until she trusted him again.

Back at the camp, Marina was too hurt to listen to Everett’s explanations. They spent their time apart. The news of Kirby’s death hit Marina hard. She felt especially bad having been somewhere else, while her healing spells might have helped him.

“Who’s the boy?”, asked Kage. And compared to the large, well-built and heavily armored warriors, Gandalph’s small frame did make him look like a child.

“Gandalph.”, the mage replied, insulted.

“What are you doing out here?”, Kage continued.

“I might ask you the same question.”, Gandalph retorted.

“Don’t bother, he won’t tell you anything.”, said Viper.

“All right.”, announced Kage, “Let’s start moving down. The temple has got to be here somewhere.” Coming to the center of the volcano, they looked at the cold mist that rose out of it’s gaping mouth, forming a circle in the air, as if the volcano was doing a perpetual smoking trick. They walked blindly through the cold mist, finding the ground taking a steep dive down. Keeping careful hold of the mountain, they slowly slid down the ravine though the cold mist blinded them. They then came to a long bridge, which took them even further down. At last they could see that in the center of the volcano, about 80 feet from the highest point, was a plateau with a lake in the center. In the middle of the lake was the temple they had been looking for. The temple had a very grand appearance and Stalfor felt a good deal of profound respect for them, although that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to steal their giant black pearl.

Coming closer to the lake, they found a sleepy village on the outside of the lake. Not wanting to alert the natives of their presence, Greegan snuck into the village and stole two of their large canoes. They party piled into the canoes and sailed across the lake to the hidden temple.

Greegan took the first look around. He was surprised to see no guards for such a building like this.

“Deserted.”, said Greegan when he returned.

“Deserted?!? How do you know?”, demanded Kage.

“No guards. There’s no way a civilization that built this wouldn’t have guards.”, says Greegan.

“Who are they going to guard it from? The other tribes on this island probably stay away from here.” With that, the party snuck into the dark temple through the huge entrance. Some of them pulled out their lanterns, providing the only light, and began creeping past the stone pillars. They could hear the beating of drums in the distance.

Soon, a light appeared in the distance and they could hear voices singing along with the drums and the smell of strange smoke. Again, Greegan was the first to sneak up and take a look inside the huge room.

Men and women by the dozens fell to their knees and worshipped the silver wyvern. Colored smoke and incense filled the hot room as warriors painted their bodies in lavish colored oils and lovers immersed their dark bodies in dry, glittering sand. Their shadowed figures danced around a communal fire as they sang and worshipped the gods that gave them their power.

He looked up to see a bridge way on the second story of the altar room, held by pillars, leading from the same side Greegan was on to the silver statue on the other side of the room. All the worshipers were directly in front of him and in pits, but masked by shadow and smoke. He recognized the silver statue to be a wyvern, a mindless dragon-like creature with a stinger. He also noticed two ladders on second story walkways on each of the sides of the room also leading to the statue.

Suddenly, horns began blaring. Greegan jumped back, scared that he had been seen. But then he noticed men marching across the central bridge, carrying a stone ark. They brought the ark directly in front of the silver wyvern. They then bowed to their knees and walked back the way they came.

As Greegan began to start back, he realized his mind was a little fuzzy. He needed some fresh air.

“Greegan? Are you okay?”, asked Kage.

“Yeah… the smoke… it really goes to your head….”, he replied.

“Well?” “Well what?” “Did you see the pearl?” “Uh… Yeah! I think so. They brought an ark up to their god- it’s a wyvern. If they’re giving a gift to him, it’s probably the pearl, right?”

The party then slowly entered into the temple, where the chanting grew louder and the smoke grew thicker. Kage watched as the crowd focused on the altar at the head of the great chamber.

“This the plan: Everett, Stalfor and Marina, I want you to start a diversion over on the other side of the room, opposite the stone ark. Viper, Billard and Denier, you stay here. When the natives close in on Everett’s group, I want you to come in from behind and try to stab as many of them in the back as you can. Greegan and I are going to go for the ark.”, said Kage. He then looked at Gandalph and said, “You should stay outside.”

“Okay.”, said Gandalph.

Everett, Stalfor, and Marina were half way to their positions when they were spotted. A general call came out and then the entire temple became alive with motion. The rabble, at first unfocused in their devoting rants, some bowing incessantly on the ground, others dancing in intoxication, all of them turned around and cried out in one voice, one that deep into psyche of the companions.

Within a few minutes, weapons were brought in and it was then they charged at the three trespassers. Viper was about to jump into the fight when only half of the natives passed, but Kage held him back. It was only when all the chargers had passed, that he signaled for them to go, and the four of them ran into the fray, slicing into the natives who had decided to stay back. The first three natives were taken by surprise and were killed easily and without alerting the others who were so focused on Everett’s party. Billard drove his sword into a temple, while Viper chopped a head clean off. Denier stuck behind the two fighters as backup. Meanwhile, Kage and Greegan ran for the ark.

With so many different weapons coming at them at the same time, Everett went into a defensive drill, using his long swords to bring the attacker’s weapon high while Stalfor came underneath and attacked low. Marina hit a native in the ribs before having her mace hand grabbed by another attacker. With Everett’s nearest sword busy parrying a spear, the elf brought his further arm over and stabbed the man in the shoulder, causing him to let go of Marina. Stalfor’s sword then caught him in the knee, and he dropped his weapon. Marina then saw a female native about to hit Everett from behind, and she unleashed a spell on him, and the native froze in place, just a second before she would have hit her husband. Turning to see Marina’s work, Everett backed himself up next to the frozen native to cover his back. Then the natives realized they were being attacked from behind, and for the first time panic set in the group. The natives weren’t sure which way to face, since the elf and dwarf proved to be far better fighters than they ever could have imagined, yet the new warriors were already driving deep into their ranks.

By on May 30, 2001
Last modified on June 9, 2016

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