BK
01
CH
03
SC
02a

The Doors Beyond
Terror From The Sky

…continues from Book #01, Chapter #03, Scene #01

Synopsis

The 14th Day of Ches in the Year of the Sudden Journey
Tradden and Khalin prepare for the short journey across the lake to the Tower of the Mists.

Cast List

Scene Length

This scene started on Thursday 9th December 2010 and completed on Wednesday 15th December 2012.

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Article Notice
Originally in Google Wave

!

This scene was originally written within Google Wave. The scene has been transcribed here for completeness, and has been edited where required.

The original Wave is now lost with the demise of Google Wave, but the PDF extract of that original scene is provided here.

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Storyline
Blackengorge

01

The sky was overcast with ominous clouds gathering as Khalin and Tradden headed toward the east gate. Checking their gear a last time, they nodded to the guards as they passed out and across the moat. Following the rough trail they wound their way once more to the southeast towards the boathouse. They proceeded cautiously — wary of any goblin attack — but arrived at the boathouse within the half-hour without incident.

The boathouse was barred and shuttered as before, neither Aaron nor Fortune there at the present time. In the early morning light the lake seemed dark and foreboding, small black waves cresting and crashing onto the rocky shoreline. A dull mist curling and roiling toward the shore from the centre drew shivers down Khalin’s neck.

Tied up next to a small wooden jetty was a large rowboat with two carefully stowed oars, a large fishing net carefully folded in the bottom.

Tradden, hands on hips, and sticking his jaw out in an attempt to look heroic, peered out across the lake, trying to squint through the mist.

‘Well, the island is out there somewhere, Khalin,’ he said. ‘Erm, you any good at rowing?’ The young fighter prodded the side of the boat with one boot — it seemed sturdy enough, with no obvious holes or cracks.

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Storyline
The Boathouse

02

‘Right, let’s not mess about!’ he said, gingerly leaping in and assuming a position in the main rowing seat and jostling them into position.

He took a few practice swings in the air. ‘How hard can it be?’ he asked of no one in particular.

‘You coming?’ he queried of the warlord, gesturing to the bow of the boat. ‘We can take it in turns if you like?’

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Storyline
The Lake of Mists

03

‘Aye,’ grumbled Khalin wearily. Dwarves and water didn’t tend to mix, but having survived the epic journey from The Islands, this looked like a mere exercise. The warlord sized up the small craft with an artisan’s eye, and having seen the fishermen in Deepingwald harbour piloting such-like, figured this rowing lark must be fairly straightforward. He quickly took a confident stride into the boat before wobbling and falling flat on his front with a yelp. The small launch rocked but fortunately the dwarf stayed dry.

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Storyline
The Lake of Mists

04

Tradden could not completely suppress his chuckle.

‘Standfast, ye landlubber!’ he cried, remembering the banter aboard The Guiding Fire, before throwing the mooring rope back onto the shore, and took a large pull on the oars to get them going.

Tradden’s rangey arms and well hidden strength soon had them gliding away from the boathouse and into the mists…

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Storyline
The Lake of Mists

05

Khalin gazed out into the gloom before breaking the eerie silence. ‘Strange that our companions didn’t want to join us.’ The mists seemed to draw in closer. ‘Or maybe not so strange,’ he added with a shiver. ‘What do you think Kireth expects us to find? I’m afraid I don’t fully trust that one. Seems a bit too quick to let others do the donkey work. But then he is an elf I suppose!’ he added with a chuckle, trying to keep the mood light.

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Storyline
The Lake of Mists

06

‘Yes,’ replied Tradden — if the effort of rowing in the slightly choppy mid-lake was affecting him, it didn’t show.

‘He is learned but… I don’t know. I know what you mean. I don’t think he thinks much of me. I know we volunteered for this, but the more I think about it, well, did you ever feel like you were running errands for someone?’

Taking a look around as he rowed, Tradden suddenly realised that they were in the middle of a vast expanse of water. Suddenly he started to see large, slimy purple tentacles sliding over the side of the boat, ready to grab them and pull them to their watery doom.

Gritting his teeth, he suppressed his fears and carried on. The tentacles disappeared.

‘Can you see anything yet?’ he asked of the dwarf.

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Storyline
The Lake of Mists

07

Khalin strained his eyesight into the gloom…

[Perception Check: 1d20+1: 10] - failure!

…before taking his bearings relative to where they’d set off — it felt like they’d not deviated from a straight line.

[Nature Check: 1d20+1: 12] - failure!

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Storyline
The Lake of Mists

08

Hearing Khalin ‘hmm’ to himself, Tradden pulled the oars in and turned around in his seat, speaking as he turned. ‘Oh, come on — it’s a big island, how hard can it… oh.’

He saw what Khalin saw — a wall of mist. The boat started to turn slowly.

‘Hmm,’ echoed the young fighter, ‘perhaps we should have… set a course… I think it is called? Maybe we should head back and ask someone?‘

He turned back, to look behind him — the wall of mist was there as well. ‘Ah. Right. Hmm.’

He scratched at his chin, thinking hard. He licked one finger and held it up in the air. He had no idea what he was doing, but he had seen someone do it once.

[Perception Check: 1d20+3: 14] - failure!

Nothing.

He stood up, looking to see if there was any break in the mists that might give them a bearing, or even if there was anything to read in the way the waves flowed around the boat.

[Nature Check: 1d20+1: 19] - success!

Nothing again. Tradden was a city boy, and if the way the little waves and spray flowed and ebbed had anything to tell him, it was lost on the young fighter. Just as he had given up hope he saw a bird fly above the boat — he nearly missed it in the mists. He followed its path, and whilst it quickly disappeared he kept on staring in that direction. Just as Khalin was about to ask what on earth he was doing, staring like an idiot like that, Tradden saw, for the briefest of moments, the glimpse of some rocks in the mist.

‘There!’ he cried, laughing with relief. He jumped back down with a dangerous sounding thump and pulled on the oars. ‘It’s not far actually — have us there in no time, master dwarf!’ The jolt of the boat starting forward again nearly causing the warlord’s helm to spill off.

‘Careful, laddie — if I am going to meet Moradin today I would like it to be in battle with some beastie, not having been drowned by an over enthusiastic amateur sailor!’ he snapped.

Tradden’s bearings were sound and his now practised rowing action soon had them in sight of the island, or at least they assumed it was the island, through the mist. At first all that could be seen were jagged, wet rocks, but having skirted around the coastline for a few minutes they found a little alcove, which whilst rocky, had gentle slope fit to bring in the boat.

Before long, they felt a comforting ‘crunch’ as the boat touched up on the pebbled shore.

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Storyline
The Lake of Mists

09

The pair remained motionless in the rowboat for a few moments, listening for any noises penetrating the mist. Then, slowly enough not to rock the boat, they both clambered out and tried to find their bearings.

The mists were thick here, swirling to and fro, and seeing much beyond twenty feet or so was difficult.

[Khalin Perception Check: 1d20+1: 8] - failure!

[Tradden Perception Check: 1d20+3: 13] - failure!

The ground was firm, so at least that didn’t seem a problem, and rose away from the water on a shallow incline. After checking that the boat was secure the pair moved up the slope cautiously.

Within a few yards they came across grasses and trees growing, rather than just shale and rock. Pushing their way past the trees they came into a small opening where through the mists they could see what appeared to be the ruins of a tower.

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Storyline
The Isle of Mists

10

‘Well, this looks to be it, my dwarven friend,’ said Tradden in hushed tones.

[Khalin Perception Check: 1d20+1: 12] - failure!

[Tradden Perception Check: 1d20+3: 4] - critical failure!

As Tradden turned to face Khalin to discuss how to proceed, the pair heard a low droning noise from somewhere within the mists. Before they had much time to prepare two creatures flew towards them at rapid speed!

[Khalin Nature Check: 1d20+1: 13] - failure!

[Tradden Perception Check: 1d20+3: 6] - failure!

Neither of the two had any idea what the creatures were.

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Scene
Completed

End

[…continued in Book #01, Chapter #03, Scene #02b…]