Marai: The Long Dark
Episode 1: The Fading Light
Next: “Jade and Stars”
The end has already begun…
5th of Umbanth, 444 NC
In the dead of night, the Tuusshan town of Tanno is stormed by large group of well trained soldiers. Their black armor betrayed no allegiance and there are multiple races involved; Orcashir, Yuanti, Naktu and Shen. They raid homes seeking children, dragging them out, pulling them in front of a commanding officer who runs through with his sword.
A young girl, Watseka is pulled from a deep sleep, a dream, and a vision. Strong hands pull her outside to face the commanding officer. She watches helplessly as the officer kills others, moving down the line towards her.
Jogaila, in his home, and Connor, in the inn, are awakened by screams and sounds of violence. Investigating, they witness men charging into homes, cutting down townsfolk, and dragging children to the slaughter. Connor sounds an alarm, dodging an archer’s shots, while Jogaila charges forward, sword and shield in hand, to attack the closest enemy.
Thrush, who hears the voices of his dead children crying out to him, runs from the tundra wilderness into the town, attempting to stop the slaughter.
The officer reaches Watseka, and runs her through – all hell breaks loose. As the blood flows from her wound, it begins to trail around her, first to the officer in front and the guards that are holding her, but then to the slain and living children and finally to the surrounding buildings. Within moments, the blood ignites, and the town. Watseka finally succumbs as she explodes into pillar of fire, obliterating the town of Tanno.
Thrush is thrown across the town square, Jogaila is trapped beneath the razed alarm tower, and Connor is trapped beneath an overturned cart. Soon Watseka awakens and finds herself whole and complete. As she wanders through the town, she finds only the three survivors of four hundred. Looking out to sea, she finds an armada of black sailed ships heading towards her former home.
Tanno has been destroyed, with the exception of Watseka’s things. The others are saved, but they are the only survivors. Jogaila has a hand print from a small child burned into the flesh of his right arm. They move four hours to the north. Jogaila discovers he can only move 500 yards from Watseka.
6th Umbanth 444 NC
Their scent is caught by a snow shark, and the stench of rotting fish begins to envelop the party. Connor begins to wretch. The snow shark dies and Thrush harvests five pieces of shark leather.
7th Umbanth 444 NC
They discover a tribe of Oomingmak, all items and beings frozen and dead. Connor, using a detect magic spell, deduces that the Oomingmak shaman was casting a protective spell which killed the entire tribe.
Connor later asks to see Jogaila’s brown leather head band, discovering a bit about it: A keepsake of Jogaila’s father, it bears an enchantment of enduring strength.
Watseka speaks to the spirits of the Oomingmak shaman, discovering that when he cast the spell, his hands charred and melted. She touches the Shaman, whose hands are healed, and the tribe’s spirits are able to move on.
Thrush soon becomes annoyed with Connor’s taunting words and half veiled insults, and proceeds to punch him the face to demonstrate how civilized people deal with people they don’t like. As they continue to bicker, Watseka pleads for them to stop, they agree, but the tension continues to mount between them.
8th Umbanth 444 NC
In the mountains of Moor’s Teeth, they discover diced goblins, killed by something surgical and sharp. They soon discover it is Blade Spiders, with legs of swords. Killing the three spiders, the group tries to harvest the sword legs, only to find they shrivel when removed from the carcass.
9th of Umbanth 444 NC
They head to Kanko Torus, a town noted for its frenetic energy and find it a town filled with apathy. They meet a Dwarf who is slowly turning into metal and Connor speaks to him, learning of a gift box that fell from the sky, believed to have been sent by the elves. When opened, it revealed a a large black egg made of steel, with small holes that expelled green smoke. Soon after the dwarves began to change… and not to care.
Originally, Connor had come here at the request of his father to see a Dwarven wizard named Gorgas Stonespell, who would lead him to Myrikin’s Wall. Unfortunately, due to the oncoming illness, Gorgas begins to lose coherance. He tells them that he needs Gorgonsbane, a weed that the Oomingmak consider to be evil, in order to save the Dwarves of the Torus. He tells them if they bring back 20 lbs of it, he will take them to Myrikin’s Wall.
The group begins their journey to the Himdall Hills to help find the cure for the Dwarves of Kanko.