Shadows From Beyond

Rainclaw's journal

It is late. The moon is full tonight. Insects sing as we make our way into the blasted remains of the poor attempt at life that is New Cyre. The others seem to be unaware of the massive, overpowering stench of humanity here. This shouldn’t surprise me, as I am generally the only one to sense such things. Death has visited this place, made it’s bed with the people. I wonder once more why I feel so obligated to stay with the group, who refer to themselves as the “Drunken Scarecrow Mob.” Plymouth had saved my life, and I had saved his in return. We owed each other nothing, and yet I had decided to stay by his side. The animal inside me scoffs at this sense of kinship with the halfling. I need nobody but myself, nothing but the trees around me, the sky above me, and the thrill of the hunt. I have no particular attachment to any of the rest of our ragtag group, more a marriage of convenience then any feelings of attachment. We help keep each other alive. Pack mentality is not exactly something my feline soul knows, but it is not an unpleasant phenomenon. For the moment, I shall remain with them. Perhaps hunting alone is not always a necessity for survival. Sharing the kill does have it’s benefits.

I keep silent unless spoken to inside the city. I am out of my element here. We are directed to the local tavern after Lobo gave us a vague description of the problem here and an offer of gold, which of course piqued the interest of our two dwarven companions. Dorin’s thirst for ale never ceases to amaze me. I don’t know what Diesa sees in him. The magistrate summons us to his chambers, and after some quick talking from our halfling “leader,” it is decided that we will pursue New Cyre’s princess. As we leave the city, however, I stop the others. Something is there, in the woods. Something unnatural.

A feral growl escaped my throat just as a large orb of inky blackness hurtles towards the group. Is splashed onto the ground, creating a slick of oil that, while I had no problems with, seemed to greatly hinder the others. I roll out of the slick and take on my true self.

I am free of the bipedal form that constrains me. My muscles ripple beneath jet black and forest green fur, my claws dig into the soft ground as I prepare myself to strike. Dorin finds his footing and, seeing a large, rotting creature emerge from the trees, charges. I take advantage of this and leap across the grassy plain, torquing my muscles and pouncing onto the back of the abomination, biting deeply into it’s neck. It roared in pain and flailed in vain, trying to grab me as Dorin hacked at it. As his axe slashed at it, I was thrown from the thing into the woods. I landed lightly, but it bought the thing enough time to grab and throw the dwarf quite a distance. Diesa charged, bringing her hammer down hard on the undead creature. As she did, it seemed to liquefy and then became four smaller, slimmer versions of its previous form. The monstrosities began laying right and left into my companions. I leapt into them in a savage frenzy. I don’t recall the next several minutes, but my next clear memory is of my companions coming together after the fight. My fur is matted with slick black ooze. As they speak, I wander away and bathe in a stream to remove the hideous slime. I return to the group just as we make ready to move on. They look expectantly at me, knowing I could pick up the trail. I find it easily and we set off once more.

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Nocturne

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