With their scouting done for Lord Tovran the party gathered their things that morning to meet Don’s obligations to the Fey. Sheriff Daeus was to go with them and they were told that Lady Sipran, Varnia not Murelle, would be joining them as well.
They waited at the edge of Vrim for Varnia. A courier had told them that is where the lady would meet them. And she did, albeit a little puffed, but excited.
Through a light snow they crossed the hills to the Lutemakers’ Wood. Hours passed as they chatted about the Fey and what each knew of them. Iron shaped without fire was one thing they all seemed to know but it was Varnia who stated that they were tied to the land through the old trees, but the most potent thing that would upset the Fey was the horn of a Unicorn fashioned into a weapon.
It was nearly dark when the reached the stone circle. Three figures appeared as dusk took hold.
“The worlds met in this time, it is said.”
They beckoned Don forward and he went. Felghanis was quick to follow, as did the rest of them. The goat seemed oblivious and munched at something under the fine snow.
“You have our offering?” Asked the Fey in silver scale armor.
“Yes, I see her now,” said the one in dark mail.
“The price must be paid,” added the figure in clothes that looked like leaves and bark.
“The goat is yours,” Don’ offered the animal.
“We accept her,” said the fey in dark mail, nodding towards Varnia.
“The huntress is appropriate.” She donned in plants confirmed.
“What we offer is the goat. Do you accept the goat as the offering?” Felghanis was getting angry yet he seemed to contain himself well.
“Enough!” yelled the figure in dark mail. “It is the huntress that we take.”
“Come to us,” called the one in leaves and bark, the Seelie.
Varnia was struck by forces of enchantment and began moving towards them. Chaos quickly ensued.
Entangle was cast and Don’ tried to tackle Varnia out of the circle but she had good training and was strong. She shrugged him off and he fell flat on the ground.
The Fey were unaffected by the Entangle and moved freely. The one in silver scale armor seemed to frown and separated from the others.
“Help us cousin, she resists,” Called the Unseelie in dark mail.
“No. The pact is broken. You have contravened it!”
With a snap the circle was empty. Only the party stood about. The Fey were gone.
Confused the left the goat in the circle at Don’s insistence. He wanted to make sure he had done everything to hold up his end of the pact. His power relied on it.
At the top of the hill Kalista glanced back. The sheriff was unhooking his cloak from a snag. The were all clear of the ring.
It was well dark by the time they made it out of the woods. Kalista called into being a Secure Shelter and they took their rest in it. The Daeus and Varnia were ready and willing to ride back in the dark. They both had commitments in Vrim. The sound of their horses’ hooves pounding off left the party’s ears quickly.
Uneasily the settled in the small hut of stone and clay but it was warm and the had good food. Soon they slept soundly.
It was just before dawn when they were awoken with a sharp snapping sensation. Some massive amount of mana was just poured into a spell. It was like a roaring storm of power that stank of time, ice and bitterness coming from the East.
In his mind’s eye Felghanis pin-pointed the location compared to the maps he had been studying a long time. It was the Iron Teeth Mountains.
“Oh no…” he despaired.
“Tell me it’s not,” Kalista was hopeful.
“I think it must be,” Don’ added.
“We failed. The ritual has been cast,” Kalista said, down-trodden but angry, too.
“The tear! It is there. Alabrahni told us it was there.”
“In the crypt of a Frost Titan. What do you think might be in there?” Don’ said cynically.
“What we need to break this curse,” Felghanis spat back.
Don’ conceded that well and nodded.
Aenir woke up, “What’s gong on?”
Of course, thought Kalista, they did not feel a thing. They have no sensitivity to the mana.
Kellor awoke too and the filled the Dwarves in on what had happened.
“It’s decided then.” It was Aenir who spoke. “We head to the mountains for this tear.”
They all nodded sombrely.
“Doesn’t seem to have made the weather any worse, yet.” Don peeked outside to the dim light of pre-dawn and saw it much as it was when they stopped here. “I want to see if the Fey have accepted the offering.”
Before they even reached the circle it was obvious something was wrong in the woods. Old trees that were vigorous just yesterday seemed to be dying.
“What has happened here?” Aenir asked.
“The Fey… they are gone.” Don was bewildered and Kalista’s face echoed his sentiments.
In the circle, with a small heaping of snow gathered about it, the kid lay dead. Its ribs pierced by a heavy dart of black horn.
“This is unicorn horn,” Don said pulling the dart free.
They tracked the area but it was only their own footprints from yesterday that they found.
It was the last rise that the dart probably came from.
“Daeus,” said Kalista. “He was last over the rise.”
“But why? And how did they get a dart made from a unicorn horn?” Felghanis asked, truly puzzled.
“Who knows? But we know that Lord Tovran knew about the gate to Stonecrest.”
Don’ kept the foul dart and they all left. More questions on their minds.