A Different Time
The Continuing Story For Simo and Tau
Stuck in customs
Our player characters get to know each other as well as they can as both are stuck in line trying to get through the dwarven highway that had been carved directly through the northern mountain range. In an effort to reach the Equus kingdom south of them. Their reasons, like most of those traveling in this direction is to join in the famous Ink festival of Nuk Su. Though at first the only thing occupying their minds is just to get through the damn line they have been in for the past few days, both characters start to notice that the only ones who seem to be leaving the kingdom are all non humans. This is odd because the dwarven highway is a major trade route and in the past has always been used by the human merchants to sell their wares.
Finally after little incident both the wild Elf, Tau, and the gladiator, Simo, are able to cross into the Equus kingdom. As it was in their individual visits in the past the terrain is blanketed in snow and ice. There is little snow on the road itself since it is painstakingly taken care of by the Dwarves, the path can be seen cutting through the five foot deep snow as it winds down the trail peeking through the thick fir trees that cover the area. As is usual for this time of year the sky is clear, the air is crisp, and the breeze is bone chilling. What is off is the fact that there are no other travelers in sight, not one. Both Simo and Tau take no heed of this or the cold and start down the road eager to get to the festival that is roughly a month away. Walking the highway is tedious, but safe as it passes many towns, and has designated campgrounds for those in need. Trudging forward for the next few hours the two make it with relative ease to the first campground, and the sight is all together unfamiliar. It’s off…just off, there is no bonfire, no smiling and jovial faces, no communal cook pot like before, and no sense of warmth or welcome as there has been in the past. The few travelers that are at the campground have huddled into small groups of two or three with their backs facing the others. Any attempt to talk to or enter a group is met with distain and a cold shoulder, but there seems to be one man who is having the same problems fitting in as Simo and Tau.
The older gentleman seems to be a farmer of local descent, wearing the traditional thick furs of the area and a straw hat, he seems nice and eager to make friends so the PCs invite him to share in their food. They light the bonfire that had been prepared by the Dwarves at the beginning of winter and began to prepare for dinner when Tau notices something odd in the snow bank that lines the path. Suddenly (after some debate whether or not “snow snakes” exist) an ice snake (totally a different thing) bursts from the snow at takes the PCs new friend in it’s mouth. The PCs rush to the man’s defense and slay the snake, making it explode into tiny sharp shards. The shards pierce through the other campers killing them instantly, and as Simo and Tau stand there in utter disbelief that such a thing just happened they are relieved to find that their friend has only suffered a minor injury. There relief is short lived however as the corpses start to get back up. The shambling undead seemed to be infested with disgusting fat purple worms, they are wriggling out of every orifice and wound plopping out onto the ground and creating a terrible stench.
After defeating the zombies the heroes go about making sure that every single last worm is burnt before they throw the corpses into the woods and make camp for the night. In the morning their new friend has made a breakfast known to be a favourite of the “Nallies” (a derogatory name for the native villages in the North Western part of the Kingdom, call this because "Their eyes go diagonally) . The next week goes uninterrupted for the companions, they go through each campground meeting neither traveler nor monster. All seems fine, if a bit lonely, until they reach their first town.
Right away something is amiss, this should have been the third town that the PC’s come to. If the path had not been altered. The banners leading to the town, usually kept nice and mended as a type of greeting for travelers, are tattered and faded.