A Date with Fate

          We were back on the trail by early morning the next day. The sun was rising over the Bloodtide Coast and everyone seemed to be in good spirits. Everyone except for Peyton, who had a confrontation with George Unty, the night before we departed from Lion’s Arch. George was upset at his daughter’s lack of discipline and lack of respect for his authority. He believed Peyton would be responsible for the downfall of the Unty Clan, with her abrasive behavior and uncontrolled drinking habits. Peyton’s anger was terrifying when unleashed, so the other members of the party avoided her in order to avoid unwanted attention. I smiled thinking that if anyone was foolish enough to try an ambush against our party this day; they would not live long enough to regret it.

          By early evening, the group had made it to Wraithwalker Woods. Once or twice, during the trek I had caught a glimpse of a shadow moving out of the edge of my field of vision, so I decided to move deeper into the woods, and let the group get farther ahead. It was likely that they would be setting camp in Gleaner’s Archway, since it was not safe to travel at night. I would track them down, once I discovered who, or what, was following us. I silently climbed an old tree to wait. I did not like how unpredictable the weather was near the coast, and would hate to get ambushed by an unknown assailant during bad weather. The wind had started to pick up speed during the day, and in the distance lightning could be seen. A big storm was coming from the south west, and was headed straight towards us. I meant to ensure that some of the local brigands were not planning an assault on our group, during the coming storm.

          A couple of hours went by, and still no sign of a pursuer. The wind buffeted the trees, making their foliage sway, as well as old dry branches fall. Rain had started to pour down from the heavens, and lightning flashes were close enough to intermittently illuminate my surroundings. During one of the lightning flashes, I briefly saw a few leagues away, what appeared to be a scholar being escorted by another group of adventurers. The group seemed to be headed towards the beach in a hurry leaving me wondering what could they be doing out in such weather. I shrugged, stretched, and was about to climb down from the old creaking tree, when I first heard it. The snap of a branch, a deep growl, and the sound of dry leaves being dragged by heavy clumsy feet. Someone was indeed following us!

          A lightning flash later, I saw what had made the noise, and my blood froze. A group of risen was slowly shambling towards the tree I was hiding on, and in the middle of the group, was an abomination. The monstrous creature seemed to have been made of many corpses sewn together into a giant humanoid shape. Surrounding that giant aberration, a group of several risen corpses could be seen, slowly keeping pace with the monster, completely ignoring the hellish storm that was now upon us. “Why does it always have to be the undead?” I thought, as the undead shambled below my position. “I must be cursed!” This group was too large to engage by myself, and I would have to find a way to get back to the rest of the group in order to warn them. The memories of my previous encounter with the undead, while traveling with Serene and Toinus so long ago, was still embedded in my mind. Only an idiot would charge against a group of risen without a plan, and my plan consisted in warning the others, but sometimes fate has different plans…

 

~Urebril Sener

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