The Obsidian Spire

A Shared Vision

The trek through the Blacksteel peaks is exhausting and takes a couple of days to complete. During the last night before reaching the Verdant Plains, you and your companions make camp under a clear sky. The cold mountain air is crisp and sleep takes you almost immediately. You quickly realize that you do not begin to dream, rather your consciousness is pulled from your slumbering forms and is drawn to a turbulent storm. Black and purple clouds swirl low in the sky with flashes of white lightning crackling throughout. Your spirit form flies into this maelstrom and you fight to keep from being ripped to shreds. You will yourself to land and you crash down forcefully. You look around and see that you are in a town and you know this town is Greenvale. You look around and see the streets are full of gnolls, cackling to each other in their strange barking tongue. Several dead humans lie in the streets, their bodies torn to shreds and feasted upon by the gnolls. Suddenly a loud shriek comes from above and the gnolls look up and you find yourselves looking up and what you see is a female gnoll with great bat-like wings swoop down from the sky and lands upon a nearby building. It barks at the gnolls below and they jump at her command. A man is brought through the crowd by several gnolls and taken to a large wooden cross being erected by other gnolls. The man is forcefully strapped to the cross and the slavering gnolls step back as the winged gnoll barks more commands. The beaten and bloody man, barely alive, looks up through swollen eyes and you turn to see what it is he watches. Behind you, coming through the crowd of gnolls is an enormous monster of a gnoll and you immediately know this to be Gnarmak. It’s booming bark rumbles through the town and it stomps its way past you as though you weren’t there to stand before the crucified man. The winged gnoll flies down and lands next to the giant gnoll and holds a scabbard out to Gnarmak. The giant gnoll stares down at the sheathed blade, pulls at the pommel and as the sword slides out, a brilliance bursts forth blinding you momentarily. Gnarmak hisses in pain and shoves the blade back in the sheath. He uses the scabbard to raise the head of the crucified human and snarls in his face, a line of saliva dripping from it’s fanged maw. Gnarmak then turns from the cross and moves back through the gnoll crowd towards the end of town. It stops before turning a corner into darkness and barks one more command, then disappears into the darkness. For a moment, there is silence in town with only the sound of the storm above, then the winged gnoll rises up into the air and begins barking out a chant. Arcane sigils burn to life throughout the town and streams of energy erupt from the earth and arcs like lightning through the each and every gnoll standing in town, burning through and killing them. You know the deaths are a sacrifice and that the ritual that you observed in other towns in the Southland has now been activated here using the gnolls themselves as the catalyst. The force of the ritual seems to affect your spirit forms and you find yourselves forcefully ejected from town. You tumble back through the storm and awaken in your camp. You look out into the Verdant Plains toward the direction of Greenvale and see dark clouds forming…

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