...It had been several hours since Naeradil, Netherin, Zaka'rath and Thaluk had departed from their origional patrol. They had taken a tunnel that they had never seen before and the journey had been uneventful. After deciding to stop for a rest from their seemingly endless march the group had decided to turn back and make for Szith. As they began to make their way back to known territory their scout Netherin ushered them to hold. Something wasnt right and he knew it. Several small footprints had appeared on the ground surrounding them which were not there before.
Then abruptly the quiet patrol turned into chaos. From all around them small creatures about a quarter the size of the drow with human characteristics began to appear. A battle quickly ensued. None of the drow in the patrol had ever encountered creatures like this and their diminitive size made them very hard to strike with their blades. With the aid of the house wizard, Thaluk, the first wave was deflected.
When the fight ended, the group paused to determine what had just occured. They had never seen these creatures before and did not know how many might be nearby. It was decided by patrol commander and house weapons master Zaka'rath that they would move slowly, ever prepared for another assult.
As they made their way towards home a second strike took place. One of the Quicklings appeared behind Naeradil with a crudley fashioned dagger. The creature severed the male priest's achillis tendon, dropping him to the floor in agony. The moment the large drow fell, the patrol was swarmed by the small enemies. They appeared from the shadows peircing Naeradil from all angles with their tiny blades. The priest could not resist and soon darkness overcame him.
The creatures would not so easily win though. Zaka'rath, Netherin and Thaluk, now aware of the next wave of assult were able to form a defense around their fallen comrade. The combined efforts of the trio made short work of the Quickling assailants. When the last of them fell, Zaka'rath produced a scroll that would revive Naeradil.
He quickly chanted the incantations on the parchment and watched as life came back into his brother's eyes. Naeradil shot up with a defiant scream as a testament to his will to live. With the priest now slowly recovering from the battle the group was forced once more to pause and rest.
As they prepared to move out another creature made its presence known. The creature looked like a surface fowl, but its skin was covered in small scails and its tail resembled that of a serpent. Thaluk immediately idenified the creature as a Cockatrice. A legendary monster known for its ability to petrify its foe. As quick as anyone could see, Thaluk chanted a magic power word to the arcane weave and instantly the creature's body twisted until it exploded from within, covering the drow in blood, gore and feathers.
Something had caused such strange and foriegn creatures to assult the patrol and they knew it. After a quick discussion it was decided that they must take a prisoner. Such rare creatures would no doubt come with a reward if they could be taken back to the Sorcere alive for study. To do this they knew they had to coax the creatures out of hiding.
The group formed a circle and laid down pretending to rest. As if on que another group of the Quicklings came out of the shadows. This time they were met with a prepared patrol though. With minimal resistance the enemy forces were cut down. Naeradil focused his efforts on a single Quickling, stricking swiftly with the flat of his blades to render the creature unconcious. When the battle ended, Thaluk provided a length of spidersilk rope which Netherin tightly tied around the fallen humanoid's hands and feet. Naeradil then tied the tiny creature to his belt, where it hung by its arms bound an unconcious. It was time they pressed on.
They traveled down the long winding corridore until they reached a fork. Netherin once more commanded them to halt as he silently indicated with the drow hand sign. He pointed to a great deal of footprints that littered the ground. Among them were several tiny footprints of the Quicklings, Several three pronged tracks from a group of Cockatrice and a single pair of tracks from a very large creature that none in the group could determine. They quickly prepared their spells and rounded the corner to see a large gathering of Quicklings, Cockatrice and a single very large stone Gorgon waiting for them.
Zaka'rath and Naeradil charged the group with their deadly blades scoring blow after blow. Netherin provided ranged support with his shortbow and Thaluk blasted into the enemy ranks with deadly spell after spell. As Naeradil approached the cluster of Quicklings, one of them took note of him and began casting a spell on the priest. Naeradil's eyes lit up as every horror imaginable played itself out in his mind. The drow lost control of his body and took flight from the battle in blind fear.
While he was fleeing, his companions finished off the rest of the enemies, though none could be taken alive. When the spell ended and Naeradil returned he found the aftermath of the battle where he saw the crushed corpses of the quicklings, the mangled corpses of the cockatrices and the rubble that had once been the gorgon. He smiled knowing that the battle had been won without him having to do much.
He then looked to his belt where the prisoner had been hanging. The quickling was gone! It must have escaped durring the battle frenzy and in its place was a small teddy bear doll bound with the rope that had been holding the tiny captive. The group began spatting curses towards Naeradil and the quickling but quickly stopped. Something had taken their attention off of the failure of the Elg'hin Velve, Naeradil.
In the back of the chamber a glow of light began to shine. They carefully approached it to find that a portal had been opened on the floor, which was causing the light. The drow did not know what the portal was there for, but their guess was that it was how the creatures had appeared. Their thesis was proved correct when yet another batch of Quicklings came fourth from the portal. This group was larger than any they encountered and the drow were hard pressed to fend them off.
Knowing that they were overmatched, Thaluk began to open his own portal back to Sorcere. When the spellcasting had finished the wizard quickly dove through it, followed close behind by Netherin. Zaka'rath and Naeradil delayed to kill a few more of the tiny creatures before Zaka'rath finally turned and dove into the portal.
Naeradil was the last to follow. As he moved toward the portal one of the quicklings jumped in his path only to be trampled by his boots. Before he reached it he remembered his failure with their first prisoner. He quickly turned around to face one of the many quicklings that had descended apon him. He reached out at it with his free hand and the creature plunged its tiny blade into his wrist. This did not stop the drow however, and he latched on to the Quickling, his hand much larger than it, he managed to clasp it around the creatures body. He then jumped through the portal to follow his companions...
More to come later.
Naeradil Kor'ali: Elghin Velve
Vorne Kor'ali: Acting Ilharess
Viz'aun Kor'ali: Lost in the Mist.