Still stuck seven thousand years from home and carrying the magical stone, they needed to find hair from a lion’s main and ashes from a vanquished vampire. After thwarting the attempted assassination of the king and queen of the Southern Seas the rangers spend some time on lock down. While not a suspect they are kept under guard for a week while the king’s guard investigates. Eventually they find that the Carrion Clan, an established enemy of the king is responsible and war plans begin to form.
Meanwhile the Seer has been working on the rangers dilemma. Using his influence, along with the king and queen they strike a deal. The Whitecapp clan has several prides of lions on their home island of Korindia and with some reluctance they allow the group to hunt them for their spell component.
The rangers travel with the Whitecapp clan dignitaries back to Korindia and are treated as honored guests by the state. The group was concerned over the isolation being forced on them but as their security detail explained, they are under the protection of the king who just had an attempt on his life. They were taking no chances.
The valley was high in the mountains away from any cities. It was only accessible by rappelling down a cliff. The guide Bram, explained to the rangers that valley was seen as sacred to many. Their was a village but they were uncivilized and should avoid them. They were allowed to hunt one male lion and that was all. The rangers agreed and headed through the clouds and into the heavily forested valley.
The forest was teaming with life, wild flowers, tall trees, birds and apes. Travel was easy and things were going well. Despite some thieving baboons, everything went smoothly. The second day in they arrived a a river and while searching for a place to cross they discovered some ruins. Bram discouraged their exploration, seemingly upset by the discovery. Kath, Dagon and Anna insisted they give them a look.
The river had claimed part of the ruins. Though at one time this was some sort of bunker. Inside they discovered words etched into the stone they didn’t understand. Bram translated it “Beware the whispers of the quiet dark”. Bram only grew more nervous as the group arrived in a open, plains are of the valley, They camped for the night and clouds rolled in over them obscuring the stars and moonlight.
The attack came in the middle of the night, the watch was able to see the fire on the horizon. A pair of wraiths riding nightmares swooped in and attacked the group. They fought valiantly, protecting a terrified Bram. Quickly the rangers realized they didn’t have the Everwood or White Silver weapons to destroy the group. Quick thinking a eagle eyed, Kath spotted a grove of Everwood tries and took flight towards them. A couple of branches and their fighting skills allowed the rangers to win the day but left them with more questions.
Anna and Kath scouted the area, with Anna going out further and finding the village. It was small, in disrepair. To her it was obvious that it was abandoned. Upon returning to the group she said nothing. The group continued to search for lions only to find old tracks. These lead them to the forest. While exploring the area they made discovered something unsettling. The world was eerily silent, no bugs or birds or wildlife in the area. Bram was growing more and more disturbed. They found a gully full of bones and rats.
Anna and Kath spilled the beans on the village. Bram was upset but the group decided to head their. Hoping to find answers they arrived at the abandoned village at night fall. Dagan wanted to wait till daybreak to search but Anna mocked the rangers as superstitious and went in, torch in hand. The rangers reluctantly followed.
It wasn’t long before the village spilled it’s secrets. Beneath the buildings were dungeons with warded locks. The cell walls were covered in graffiti celebrating the Quiet Dark. They also found ledgers and journals about who was there and numerical notes. The village was a prison for the cult of “The Quiet Dark”, a group that believed in a far off monster that would destroy the world. The cult members were initially put to death but they wouldn’t stay that way so they were brought here under the protection of the Ironback clan. Bram panicked, wanting to flee. The group wanted what they came for though Dasyra swore an oath to protect him.
As the exited they found they were surrounded by a hundred skeletons animated with purple fire. They stood silent watching the rangers. Within moments from the cloud cover flew a monstrous creature that’s landing shook the ground. At top the black manticore their was a rider. She wore black iron plate with a large banner bolted to her back. She pointed her warhammer at the rangers and shouted.
“I am Lady Marlow Ironback, paladin of the Quiet Dark. I demand the stone!”