Vandis Isle

Spirefall

Wherein Savra discovers that the air cult has retaliated.

Savra Belabranta knew something was wrong as soon as The Feathergale Spire came into view. She applied pressure to the sides of hippogriff, Winddancer, with her knees urging the beast to quicken its flight. Savra felt the “thrum-thrum” in her chest as the hippogriff beat its great wings. Savra sped ahead of the foppish Waterdahvian youth of The Feathergale Society she had been escorting, but they didn’t notice, all regaling one another with tales of their recent outing.

Winddancer took a long pass over the top of the tower. Savra didn’t wait for the creature to land. Swinging a leg over the hippogriff’s muscular back, Savra plummeted three hundred feet through the air, racing towards the top of the spire. Holding her free-fall longer then most probably would, the young woman uttered her arcane words and produced a feather she had plucked from Winddancer’s plume before she dismounted. Suddenly Savra’s descent decreased to a lackadaisical wafting, like a feather on the wind. The elegant great sword once belonging to Thurl Merosska, now Savra’s, was out and at the ready by the time her armored boots hit the stones of the spire’s top.

Three corpses, one belonging to a tower guard, one to the bird men known as kenku, and one a feather cloaked priest Savra had once seen as spiritual leader, were scattered across the top of the tower, their bodies twisted and horribly broken. Progressive splatters of gore showed the tower guard had been lifted and slammed into the stones repeatedly. Savra’s hair flitted crazily, as persistent sorcerous currents of the air magic used in the fight still lingered slightly.

Savra could hear the Society members circling over head, curious of what was the matter. She had all but forgotten about the youths in her gruesome discovery.

“Fly home now! Be it Waterdeep, or where ever, but leave this place!” Savra called to them. “You are in danger.”

Despite all their feigned bravado, the young nobles were easily dissuaded. Within minutes they were black dots upon the horizon.

Savra made her descent into the spire, and was immediately assaulted by the charnel scent of slaughter. Strange and erratic winds howled through the lower levels, seemingly appearing from no where before vanishing. The gust carried with them the coppery tang of blood. The spire looked as if had been hit by a dozen hurricanes, and in some ways, Savra knew it had been. Doors were splintered on their hinges, the floor was heaped with wind blasted debris. Savra saw a window shuters blasted apart and bloody finger prints drug half way up the sill on either side. Savra knew some poor soul had tried to hang on before eventually being blasted out the window to plummet to the canyon below. Other bodies, mostly the inhabitants of the tower, however an occasional kenku or priest were found, the corpses crumpled and folded onto themselves leaving something horrific. Their bones broken repeatedly by gaels, their bodies eventually crashing into a stop in small nooks and corners of the stone walls. There were not enough bodies within the spire to match the blood spatters on the wall, floors, and ceiling, but Savra was certain the missing corpses would be found in the canyon at the base of the spire.

Making her way to the main gate, Savra found it twisted and wrapped around the huge bronze eagle that had served as a ram. The raw destructive power was almost too much for Savra to comprehend. Gusts had broken stout timber, hundreds of pounds of iron, and human bone in bludgeoning gouts of savagery. The drawbridge that spanned the great chasm was now twisted back on itself towards the middle, the twisting having snapped the bridge and sent the majority of it crashing to the canyon floor.

Finally, Savra arrived in the stables. They looked to have suffered the least damage, and there was no sign of bloodshed or Beeboo Steadhand. The stables were empty. As an after thought, Savra made her way to Winddancer’s stable. There she found a note hastily scrawled that read:

Spire is under siege. I have taken the remaining mounts and fled for Red Larch. They came from the sky, and there were too many. I fear many will not make it out.

Beebo

Savra read the note, tears welling up in her eyes. She knew the battered heaps of flesh, now crammed into impossible angles, had been the staff that she had come to know and befriend since Panapapi Ticcotarp Copperspackle had asked her to recreate the Society. A howling anger began to well up inside her. She held back her tears, letting her anger build to gust away the sadness.

Savra’s heard Winddancer’s cry of alarm as the hippogriff was warning her of something. Perhaps the cultists had returned? Savra’s grip became white-knuckled on the pommel of Thurl’s sword. She would have her vengeance now. She would shriek like the gales, she would quicken her blade as Thurl had taught her, she would rend, whip, batter, and crush those who had done this to her home. Her hair begun to swirl wildly around her, straw and debris flew out from her as a swirling wind formed around her. Savra shot through the halls of the spire, hovering a few feet of the ground and shoving her way off walls, ascending the stairways of the tower in quick leaps. She burst out on to the top of the spire, seeing the silhouette of kenku coming from the west.

“I will have my vengeance now!” Savra shrieked, and her voice echoed of the walls of the surrounding canyon like thunder claps. Her form blurred and she began to move with an uncanny quickness as she took a few test swipes of her great blade. Behind her Winddancer circled and dipped, launching into short intimidating dives, emitting his raptor shriek and showing his long fore-talons.

The kenku stopped some distance off. Through her rage Savra, barely noticed that these birdmen did not look the same as the dead among the tower ruins. These were light brown in coloration, with white under belly feathers and black facial feathers creating patterns like a sparrow.

“We come to warn you,” a voice sounded from their direction. It was obviously augmented by some kind of magic, as the creatures were little more than shapes, far enough out or range that could not have been reached by a bow. “We did attack the man-perch,” The voice continued, it struggled with the Common, and the voice squawked and whistled. “That was another tribe. Yet the men bring too much strife to our valley. None shall have the perch for a time, as it was before. We have spoken with the griffons, and the manitcores, and they agree. The perch shall stay empty. You and your tribe were respectful while here, and so you shall be granted safe passage. But you cannot stay. We mean no harm, but if you persist, we will destroy you as we will destroy any who come to reclaim the perch.”

Savra watched the beasts fly off after having had issued their warning, unsure what to do. She would need to get a message to Panapapi immediately. Beebo had fled to Red Larch, Savra that would be as good a place as any to regroup and figure out what to do next.

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Mars

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