Friday 2 August 2013

22/6/1480 - Karse

Prince Konn, son of Scargash

22/6/1480 ca 8pm – Pealias: The Tigerclaws set a fast pace northwards, Pealias following. Through the High Forest, past the ring of petrified white oak that marks the outer boundary of the Dire Wood, north… The midsummer sun beats down through the trees, but as the hours pass Pealias does not falter (rolled 16 on d20 for DC 17 Endurance check).

At the heart of the Dire Wood, the Tigerclaws’ trail skirts the eastern edge of a redstone mesa or butte, the flanks dotted with large green crystals – said to be the remains of a flying city of Netheril that plummeted to earth with Karsus; the crystals part of Karsus’ shattered stone remains. The trail winds round north and west to the northern side of the butte, where in the evening light Pealias can see through the trees the silvery scarlet-tinged ribbon of the Heartblood river, lapping the crumbling piers of an overgrown ruined city, Karse. The ruins lie between river and butte, with a trail leading up from the ruined city to an eerie black pyramid that sits at the northern edge of the butte, looming over the ruins. The Tigerclaw are camped in the centre of the ruins – hundreds of tents – thousands of them. They have piled stones and debris into a crude perimeter wall. The last of the men Pealias was following are passing through a gap in the east side of the wall, while the bulk of the warriors are heading up the cliff trail to the pyramid atop the butte, or are already up there, visible on the edge of the cliff. The white dragon, Bitterstrike, sits perched atop the black pyramid, surveying the scene.
The camp has been here for six months, they look well settled in. Deer carcasses and other, larger and stranger beasts are hung for curing over the woodsmoke fires. There are some small spoil heaps, but it looks like they dump most waste downstream into the river.
The forest immediately around the city looked pretty trampled and cleared of game, but the Dire Wood is large enough to support several thousand hunter-gatherers.
Pealias sneaks carefully up the trail... twenty minutes later he reaches the top of the bluff, and beholds the shattered ruins of a vast High Netherese city stretching off into the distance - tumbled towers, broken domes - there is only a little vegetation here atop the butte, wispy grass and sickly trees that are little more than shrubs. The black pyramid of the Temple of Karse is the only intact structure; in the courtyard before it is the 20' wide, green-traced structure of the Gate...
 A small band of Uthgardt - eight robed shamans and a dozen guards - stand before the Gate. Through the Gate can be seen a white plain of ice, grey cliffs in the distance. Snow is falling on a battlefield, red blood splashed from the bodies of fallen Tigerclaw warriors across the snow. Mingled with them are the shattered blue-ice forms of many other creatures in the rough shape of dwarves, men, and other things.

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