You race through the mountain passes as arrows whizz by. Beside you, Boborygos the Orc the Jerosian Orc shows no sign of weariness as he slides down the mountain pass with the aid of his constructs. Where did this group come from and what do they want with Boborygos? One would expect little to do with him as he is usually a loner ad his only contact with the outside world would be through his Stonescrying.
“Your gaze is annoying me,” he says
“I couldn’t help but admire your ability to go through each dangerous encounter with the attitude of a Derovian monk” you reply.
“The Derovian Monks would be insulted at that statement, and unlike you humans, we orcs have a higher physical capacity, we should take the right route if we want to double back and take them by surprise,” said Boborygos as we both head down the stony ridges of the Jerosian mountain ranges.
Immediately after he said that we raced through the right passage only to be knocked out by a blinding flash, followed by muffled tones between metal clashing, and crumbling stones.
3 days earlier….
“So your ineptitude lost the Dagger of Uktamow in an encounter with dwarves? You lost in a bet with dwarves??..” Boborygos mused.
Considering how rarely he smiled, the small smirk on Boborygos feels like a slight against you but in an attempt to explain the dire situation as well as the chance to escape with your LifeCore intact, you explain further.
“Ok, I get it dwarves are stupid when it comes to gambling, but I was drunk, and also I believed I had more knowledge of Tyranium ores compared to them, especially if they were Dwarves of Krong. So I got cocky and bet the Dagger, WHICH…..I did not know was the famed dagger you were looking for” you muttered dejectedly.
Boborygos who was perched in a diamond throne construct rose up to invoke a magic circle, placing his bodies leylines in direct contact with it. It is a special skill that only the most elite Jerosian Orcs can accomplish, and that is Stonescrying. With this ability, one can attune their magical affinity with the earth, allowing you to sense all that has happened within a region from the past to the present.
“I have verified that what you have told me is the truth, but what you did not tell me was how you came into the dagger, to begin with. I remembered that all artefacts of the Prince were kept in Grottgarts Vault and it cannot be opened without the Tempest Dawn”
Your memory then flashed back to a dark and stormy night outside the Vault. A red-haired lass running pass you before the Vault exploded.
Your vision is shortlived as the orc smacks you on the side of the face
“Focus, Blood Jester, or we will be cutting short this moments reprieve”
“Ok..ok…, as for how I came by the dagger is a rather long story, the quest of importance here is to head towards the northern valley where darkness has been rumoured to be festering, and it is coming in the same way it did all those years back, when the Daemon Prince first rose, and we all know that cults these days are rampant and one Daemon Prince was bad enough, we do not need a repeat of the Battle of Shalagrad skirmish.”
Boborygos looks at you solemnly and releases your stone prison. You stretch out your body after hours being confined to a stone equivalent of an Iron Maiden. After popping a few salves to dim the pain on your palms, you walk over to the stone hearth of your favourite orc.
“The dwarves must have headed north in search of Demonium, which is why they have been so eager to gamble with you after taking a peek at your dagger. They knew immediately of its properties, but have no knowledge of its purpose.” Boborygos states as he stokes his fireplace.
“Nevertheless, why did you seek my help for this matter, was it not you who lost the dagger in the first place?”
You explain to him about the intricacies of fighting necromancers if they have resurfaced once again, and of the many interests from shady groups who might have already picked up on the news that the Dagger is now roaming free.
A loud explosion rocks the stone hearth. Both of you would have perished if it was not for the enhanced enchantments placed upon the stone house, taking the brunt of the damage. As the dust settles, you look around for the perpetrator but the sky has gone dark, and you can only see outlines of a shadow ahead of you.
“Can we stop greeting people through unwarranted use of magic” you shout into the empty space as your sword is unsheathed.
The darkness replied your retort with a few arrows whizzing forth, with one hitting your leg. You immediately feel sluggish and your best guess is a Heftyness enchantment has been placed on these arrows. It looks like they are not aiming to kill but rather they want you alive. As for what, you can only ponder in confusion.
“RUN, YOU FOOL” bellowed Boborygos as he clapped his hands together creating a burst of sound which immediately revealed five shadowy figures stumbling in the darkness.
You run with your tail between your legs, stumbling in the darkness until a brutish and drags you across the mountain pass, flinging you towards the nearest cliff end.
Deja vu hits you as you once again reel from an explosion, this time you manage to gather yourself and channelled some willpower into your LifeCore. Your blood is energised, filled with magic. The leylines within your body open up allowing you to move each aching muscle in your body.
A figure materialises in front of you, swinging a flail towards you. Your body, now with heightened senses, react to the attack by materialising multiple spears from the open wounds on your body. The figure is surprised by the sudden counter-attack and falls limply onto the ground.
Near you, a scene of carnage is seen as multiple figures are all laid upon the ground decimated by stone fists crushing their bodies.
“These are no ordinary cultists, they don’t seem to be from Dwendil,” said Boborygos.
You cannot begin to fathom the weight of those words, as the Strife had all but closed down the borders between continents and if outsiders can cross in, who knows what other races might appear once again.