Dax - 17 Olarune 994 YK - Kythri

The Story Continues…

17 Olarune 994 YK

Dax is a young githzerai monk living in a remote monastary in the swirling chaos of Kythri. He is one of three star pupils, the others being the battlemind Murg and the zerth Izera.

After a lighter than usual practice, culminating in the ritual combat of the amalorkar, their master, Master Durth, ivited the pupils to accompany him on a trip to get supplies from the nearest gith settlement. They booked passage on a small planar cutter that sailed the elemental winds of Kythri. Once on the vessel they met a mysterious and beautiful young githzerai woman with startling blue eyes who goes by the name of Ezhelya.

20 Olarune 994 YK

Three days out of port their ship was attacked by an elder storm elemental. The elemental clearly has the upper hand in the battle, destroying the balistae, killing nearly half the crew and damaging the ship, but before it could finish them off a planar rift opened off the starbour stern and the ship, already listing and out of control, was drawn in.

The ship and its crew emerged in atmosphere, where the ship, having sustained more damage during the journey through the rift, entered freefall. The wind whistling by them as they plummeted toward he earth, the crew struggled to deploy a lifeboat. The four young giths and the boatswain managed to climb aboard before the windshear snapped the mooring lines and the lifeboat was carried away.

Dax watched the cutter as it fell. It seemed like the captain was able to regain some semblance of control, but he doubted it would be enough to halt its descent. Meanwhile, the boatswain, who had been injured in the attack by the elemental, was having trouble controlling the lifeboat. The landing was very hard, damaging the lifeboat beyond repair.

They found themselves in a bleak landscape. The ground was covered in shrt vegetation, most of which was clearly dead, and what greenery Dax could see appeared to be dying before his eyes. The sun was setting on the western horizon, glowing weakly through a wall of sickly grey fog that was tall enough to be seen clearly, despite the fact that it was 25 leagues away.

The wreckage of the cutter was visible from their landing site. The boatswain and the four young giths travelled to the wreck, finding the entire crew dead and Master Durth clinging to life. They discovered that something about the place prevented magical healing from helping them. Durth told them it was a place of death, and that their only chance was to leave through the wall of mist to the west.

They salvaged some provisions and enough food to start a fire; they also found a juvenile howler, protected from the fall by the padding in its crate, which responded to commands in Kthri when it was released.

They made camp for the night, but during the night they were attacked by a gray demon of mist. They managed to destroy it, but nearly everyone was injured in the battle.

Unfortunately, they found that a night of sleep did nothing to rejuvenate them or restore their wounds; it appeared that injuries did not heal naturally. Nor were they surprised to find that by morning there was no green left in the grassy plain. They rigged a stretcher for Master Durth, scavenged what further supplies they could, and set out for the wall of mist.

22 Olarune 994 YK

The party encountered no further trouble that day nor in the evening that followed it. Nor did they see much to break the dead plains other than the occasional dead tree. However, by mid-morning on the day following they found themselves in gently rolling hills, and by noon they were on the site of a battlefield. Oddly, the dead warriors and mounts lying about were largely unspoiled, and no carrion birds or vermin were to been seen. Odder still, many of the bodies showed no visible marks or injury. The party scavenged the odd weapon or piece of equipment of value, but did not tarry; they were nearing the wall of mist and were anxious to leave the place as soon as possible.

Izera was attacked by a large, shambling creature, some land-born crab with corpses and weapons affixed to its carapace as camouflage, but Murg intercepted the creature and was soon clapsed firmly in its claw. Murg was badly savaged as the creature bit chunks out of him while it tried to drag him away, and the creature was well equipped to defend itself from the party’s efforts to save Murg. By the end of the skirmish Murg and Izera were both approaching the end of their reserves of energy, and the boatswain was dead.

Soon after, the party reached the dead-gray mist, stretching north and south to either horizon and perhaps a hundred feet into the air. The fog was so thick they knew they would not be able to see each other once they entered it, so they stayed together, with Murg and Dax carrying Master Durth, and Izera and Ezhelya standing to either side of the Master with a hand on his stretcher. The howler walked at Dax’ heel with a leash of rope.
They entered the mist. That they could not see, Dax expected; but what he did not expect was the loss of his other senses. He could hear nothing, and smell nothing. Even his sense of touch was somewhat numbed, as he could hardly feel the stretcher in his hands, or the land beneath his feet. With nowhere else to go, he moved forward, and as the stretcher moved with him he assumed the others followed. He was soon assaulted with an unnatural feeling of hopelessness that weighed on his will and the strength in his limbs.

In the mist, he had no sense of time or distance, and could not have measured whether he travelled for for hours or days, for furlongs or leagues. The mist itself was slightly luminous, making it impossible to judge whether it was night or day. It was not uniform, however; slightly darker patches swirled among the light. Dax seemed to sense a malignance when he encountered the darker fog, and the feeling of dread and hopelessness increased.

He soon learned to avoid those areas, and to navigate as best he could by his numbed feet, avoiding the ptifalls of the tarrain as best he could. The oppressiveness was wearing on him, however, and the hopelessness sapped the energy from him. He was soon (eventually?) close to exhaustion. Had he not been numb he would likely have been trembling with fatigue. He knew the others must be sharing his experience, though he could not see or feel them. Dully, he felt the back of the stretcher drop against the ground, and he knew that Murg had succumbed. By the weight of it he knew Master Durth had not fallen out; he only hoped that the supplies that had also been loaded in the stretcher with him still remained.

He plodded on, dragging the stretcher behind him. He knew he was close to death, that another hour (day?) would see the end of him. He was just becoming resigned to that fact when he abruptly he cleared the mist. The howler was beside him, cowed but apparently little the worse for wear. Ezhelya stepped out of the mist, clinging to a stretcher pole, and promptly collapsed. Master Durth was not breathing, and appeared to have been dead for some time.

Noone else emerged. Dax looked up and saw …

— The story stops but never ends.

Go to the Adventures of Dax of Kythri

Dax - 17 Olarune 994 YK - Kythri

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