The battle raged on, another day in Beastgrave, or maybe night, with only fire, the dull glow of amberbone and other jewels, all sense of time is lost. Skaeth’s Wild Hunt clashing against Grashrak’s Ravagers*, not for the first time. The focus of today’s skirmish, a small collection of relics collected by someone who was no longer there. Grashrak was only concerned with their value and destructive capabilities, Skaeth hoped to study the artefacts to discover the way to break into the heart of Beastgrave, dispel the Katophrane curse and halt it from spreading across the realms.

screensaver-1-S

Korsh ‘the sneak’ lurked around the outskirts of the battle, using the darkness as his familiar ally, he crouched low, ready to pounce. The rock crashed above him, and where his head had once been a fraction before, a javelin struck, sending out a spider web of cracks from its centre. Korsh ran off to seek another vantage point where he could strike; Skaeth gave a grunt of displeasure with his aim and gave chase.

skaeth

Draknar swung his giant ripper axe, Karthaen narrowly avoiding the attack. Draknar bellowed which preceded a forceful kick with his hoof, sending Karthaen towards the wall with the javelin still embedded in the rock. Missing the deadly projectile, the Huntcaller broke through the wall, mystifying warped daylight on the other side casting ethereal shades on the combatants, the light paralyzing everyone with unease.

The rest of the Wild Hunt ran into the breach, half concern for their comrade, the other half a mix of curiosity and fear they stepped out of the darkness of the cavern and found themselves standing on a long and wide mezzanine roof, beyond that a city stretching as far as the eye could see, situated in a giant bubble-like cavern, as if the whole of Beastgrave was hollow. Massive houses with domed roofs, towers, slums and large gathering areas littered the landscape. Holes piercing the side of this massive rock dome, allowing light from the outside world to fill their eyes once more. Around those cracks implanted in the walls were spikes as well as other deterrents, acting as a stark warning that if someone wished to escape through these cracks, they should reconsider. Massive pockets of glowing amberbone and a rainbow cornucopia of gems and minerals littered the walls, reaching up until darkness took hold and they resembled stars in the night sky and beyond. Hanging by rusty chains or makeshift ropes, crude mirrors surrounded the holes in the walls, bouncing the light at various times of the day all over the cavern, but primarily focusing the efforts in the air above the city. Suspended in massive chains above the centre of the city was a giant crystal – white amberbone – which emitted a soft white glow over the city, a nice contrast to the yellow light which had been the main shade all things have been in Beastgrave ever since they were trapped inside the cursed mountain. White amberbone is said to nullify the influence of the mountain, which is why many sought to shelter under its glow, and gather as much as they could and surround themselves with whatever additional protection they could amass.

Underground_City

Not original artwork, if you guess correctly where it’s from, you can buy yourself an ice cream

This could not be possible surely, all paths have led downward, for a huge subterranean city to have this much access to light must be the result of some sorcery. They looked back through the hole they emerged from, now a tall archway leading to a large feast hall. Definitely not the hole demolished by battle out of the crude stone caverns that Beastgrave had filled their cup plenty with.

This humongous fortress overlooked this metropolis, the city below broadcasting twinkling lights and signs of activity, whereas the stronghold they stood in laid unkempt. Abandoned. Even looking down at the trail leading to this castle, the evidence was clear of where care was taken to maintain the area of the city, and where it stopped before it went too close to the castle. The fortress was only half visible, the rest secluded from sight as it was hewn into the mountainside, its true size and depth masquerading behind the wall of rock.

It was now clear where the Silent People had settled and why despite so many people wandering into Beastgrave, not much was ever left, or found of them. The mountain had tested them and they were brought here, whether as a punishment or reward none could say, because no one knew of any alternative. The laws of the mountain still applied as the Katophrane curse seeped even here, death would still not be the end and strange happenings which could not be explained with any comprehensive reason still occurred. But in the city little happened if you did nothing to attract the attention of the mountain to the point where no amount of white amberbone will protect you, or provoke those who claim to govern the city from this citadel. That is why many fled the castle, originally thinking it to be a bastion of protection, but with its inhabitants and further curiosities hidden within, became a castle of illusion that many did not want a part of. Now many dare not look at it if they don’t have to, and fear to even mention its name, making a sign to ward off the evil eye if they do, as to invoke the name of that terrific structure, Doomruin, brings only calamity.

 

First warband coming soon…

 

*Or Despoilers. Choose your destiny.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s