Chapter One: Back in Town.

After being asked his name he suddenly realized he'd been standing around and not doing anything. He broke into a wide grin, started cackling madly, then ran off into the forest.

Megara opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted by the crazed man's actions. Wondering briefly if he had made a mistake in trusting him, he shook his head and addressed the lady one more.

"Megara Magesteel. This is my home originally, but I have been away for many years..." The half-ogre looks at the remains of the inn they had just rushed in and out of. "Troubles abound, even here it seems. Is this the only noteworthy event that has happened recently?"

"Magesteel, magesteel... oh right! I remember you - the stories I've heard of you, anyway. Is it true you left the valley to travel the world? How far have you been? Did you get to Talon Spire, to the ocean of dreams? I've always wanted to go there...." she realises she hasn't stopped for breath in awhile, and also that Dalt has run off.

"Ummm, do you know that old man? ...anyway, I wish I could say that this was the only fire we've had in awhile, but there was one other. It was about six months back; old Fennigrin's house was struck by lightning. The place burned, and only he survived out of his whole family. Sad that; I didn't know the children well, they lived out past the farms, and pa says I'm not to go near them, but his wife Tam used to visit town almost every day to trade."

She sighs, then looks at the quickly fading light. "Hard to believe it's gotten this late; I'm sorry that I don't have room to keep you, but our house is filled with the Inn keeper and his family. Try the gypsies or the farms." She starts walking off "Maybe I'll see you around. Oh! and try to talk to the cleric at the church, father Belden. If I know him, he'll need help with more healing potions!"

The young woman is talking to megara, and you realise that there is the possibility the more people might want to talk to you. Horrified at the thought of interaction, you make for the hills as fast as you can run. Along the way, you notice that the town has grown considerably since last time you were here; there are two new farms that you can see (at a blur) and there is a wagon train of halflings past that. There are a few halfling children out playing around the wagons. They see you, and start chattering in common with thick Varisian accents
"HERRO!! you race?!" They shout, and start running with you.

Dalt grinned at the children and pranced about them with glee, keeping just out of their reach and playing a sort of game of "catch me if you can" with the ones who were interested in keeping up. Occasionally he would flit up into the trees, but only to go over top the children's reach before coming back down to earth and scampering about some more. "Hohohohohoh!"

The children race around with you for awhile, but as the sun starts setting, all but one of them runs off. The one that is left is just reaching puberty for a halfling, and is about 2.5 feet tall. He looks at you for a while, regarding you in a way that makes you feel distinctly as though you're being sized up.
Finally, he speaks.
"oi. you were what up by burnin, ya? you what pulled Auntie out've 'er?

"I suppose..." Megara pauses as he appraises the burns he suffered. "...I should go and visit Father Belden. Mayhap I can assist him in some way while treating my own injuries." Without further reason to stand around, the half-ogre makes his way towards the church where the young lady had pointed. His mind was heavy; something was very very wrong here.

The old man stopped what he was doing and looked over at the boy with a stern expression. He then walked over and squatted in front of him. Slowly, he inched just his head forward, still keeping his expression, until his face was just in front of the boy's. "No Auntie! Not me!" He said as his head tilted sideways in a grin, then he sprung backwards and jumped into the trees. He looked down on the boy and jumped twice on the branch he chose as his perch, then jumped away into the forest. "Khobura! LALALALALA!"

Some ways off, Dalt looked around for a
Dice Roll:
d20 Results: 5 (Total = 15)
safe spot to sleep in the trees.

@ Dalt:
You run into the forest, leaving a perplexed young
Who will no doubt need years of therapy now
boy behind you. The evening light magnifies the beauty of the forest a hundred-fold. And the dangers, no doubt. This is the time when visibility is at it's worst, and with so many insects out, small noises go unheard. You fly through the trees, confidant you are safe from anything that would wander this close to a settled area. After while, you find yourself on the outskirts of a small church. A few meters into the forest, you find a place to sleep, safe and secure in an Everhut Pine. You quickly climb up, but before you manage to start snoozing, a light floods the scene...

It's not terribly far to the church. You remember the way, even though you weren't welcome there as a child. Thinking back, you wonder if the town hasn't gotten at least a little bit better. Still, you're left wondering what the tension between the cleric and the huge orc you had seen earlier what about.

The walk takes you less that 15 minutes, and you find yourself walking on a familiar dirt path, leading toward the church. Well, for it to be familiar, you'd have to skip the church, taking the back path through the graveyard to the shortcut that leads up to second falls, and the fort that you made there once. As you approach you see something strange begin...

It begins as a tiny emanation, snaking out of the basement of the church as though there were a dozen red torches, all lit at once. The light quickly spread out, creating patterns on the ground. Soon, there are three softly glowing circles, all about 30' out from the base of the church. Glyphs begin to form between the circles. The inner circle fills quickly, and you guess there are about 12 glyphs, if they're all spread as this one is. The second circle begins to fill, but much more slowly, with each glyph beginning to glow in turn. You watch in fascination as the magic surrounding the church continues its' work.

Swiftly, but without hurry, something goes wrong. One of the glyphs in the centre circle begins to degrade, and fall uselessly into pieces of light that are themselves lost into the darkness of approaching twilight. Soon, the entire series of circles simply fades away into darknenss, leaving you to ponder what has happened here.

What kind of magics are these people tampering with? Megara's thoughts were probably more cynical than needed, but he had seen the damage the arcane and divine arts could deal if not handled with care. The half-ogre made his way to the scene, keeping his
Search check:
Dice Roll:
d20 Results: 18 (Total = 21)
eyes open and
Knowledge (Arcana) check:
Dice Roll:
d20 Results: 5 (Total = 12)
mind ready to determine exactly what had just happened.

"What's this? What's this?" the old man proclaims, then approaches cautiously as he
Dice Roll:
d20 Results: 4 (Total = 13)
peers into the darkness to see what's going on.


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