With the wolves at a safe distance, the Xaniqos take a moment to catch their breath and heal themselves. Meanwhile the wind picks up and dark clouds roll across the sky. Big fat raindrops fall upon their upturned faces, while lightening etches paths of fire across the sky.
What sorcery is this?!
As in reply, a thunderclap echoes through the trees. When nothing bad seems to happen, they continue on their path through the dark forest. Her eyes on the tracks, the scouts follows the imprints. Hours pass, and the trees become less dense. A valley opens up and in the clearing, they see a big building with a thatched roof.
There seems to be movement inside the barn. Phaedra signals the others to stop and keep their distance, but Alvra, intrigued by the new world that surrounds him, is oblivious to his sister’s sign. Lilith has to drag him back behind the tree cover.
The scout sneaks towards the shuttered window and takes a quick peek. Light and music spills from the structure, and people are dancing to merry music. Two drow are piling food on a cart. On her way back to report to her cleric sister, Phaedra sees people walking down the road towards the barn. They look like human farmers and speak common.
Hmm, it is strange that drow are mingling with humans,
Go back and see if you can find out more.
Phaedra obeys and runs back to the barn under cover of the night. Another human nears the building, wearing armor. Is there a party going on? Suddenly she hears a male voice.
See you next time!
and a guy walks straight through the wall. The music swells and laughter roars through the night. Two more women approach and disappear into the house. The party is getting more boisterous by the minute.
It is a very weird house, and the wall seems to be fake!
Upon his sister’s words, Jharrath steps out from behind the trees and casts a spell to detect magic. Then he is spotted by a man who comes around the corner.
Hey, come inside! It’s cold out here and we’re waiting for you.
The guy gestures towards the building.
Come along now, it’s warm and cozy. The hostess has prepared a nice dinner, there’s lots of food and drink. Plus company!
The wizard tries to sense the guy’s motive and though he seems to be sincere, Jharrath still doesn’t trust the situation. The man is a bit too pushy towards a total stranger.
Yes yes, I’ll be along in a short while. I need to smoke a pipe first.
The two women who went inside earlier, step out with flushed faces.
Come on, dance with us! Don’t be so shy, we don’t see you enough!
And -overflowing with enthusiasm- they try to hook arms with the wizard. Too close to his liking, Jharrath teleports to a safe distance.
Wow, that is SO neat. Tricks! You just HAVE to show this to the others. You’re a pro, come on inside.
Alvra and Lilith are watching the spectacle from the edge of the forest, ready to intervene if necessary. Phaedra checks out the other side of the building and sees two drow, dressed in black, who are hauling a large bag onto a cart. One of them looks up and yells,
Who are you? Where do you come from?!
From the woods,
the scout replies, trying to sound nonchalant, but the two male take off at full speed. When Phaedra peeks into the bag, she sees lots of food: potatoes, cakes, fruit. She chases after them, but gets hit by two bolts. The last thing she hears before she becomes unconscious is “Take her!”. Drow knock-out poison works fast.
Jharrath is close enough to see what happens to his sister. He immediately takes out a candle and walks towards the still form of Phaedra. The women grab him again, and because of the ongoing exorbitantly cheeriness, the wizard suspect an enchantment. The wizard summons a large elemental, and he orders it to pick up his sister and carry her towards the trees. Upon seeing the elemental, the drow in black run away.
The armored human takes out his sword and pokes Jharrath.
Come, you must help,
He hits Jharrath with the flat side of the sword; the blade is icy cold.
Take her inside!
The male is getting very insistent, and two more appear. The situation is getting grim. Lilith, who approaches at the first signs of trouble, notices that the human’s feet don’t leave any tracks and they feel unnatural. When Alvra pokes the shape with his finger, it goes straight through. The ‘humans’ move back into the house. What is going on here?