Birth of a new nightmare

In the newly rebuilt town of V’ral, life was slowly returning to normal. The farmers had adapted to some of the strange grains, fruits and vegetables of the new world, seeding old staples like corn, wheat, rice and beans among the native-growing crops here. Woodsmen had learned which trees made better building materials, and along with the druids were harvesting old wood while planting new. Likewise, the livestock of far-off Faerun were adapting to a new diet of the odd-colored grasses that grew outside the city, while their human masters stayed busy putting up new fences and spreading out inside the “safe zone” within sight of the city’s obelisk.

It was this same obelisk who, one evening, suddenly shuddered as if struck by a hammer – sending out a warbling chime of warning. With a strobing of incandescent multicolored light, the massive city shield blinked into existence for just a moment before vanishing once more from the dusky, late afternoon sky.

Working atop his tower, Sorvani heard the chime and scowled – figuring the damn Laputans were spoiling for another fight. Watching the city shield form and disappear, he quirked a hairless eyebrow and, with barely a thought, vanished to reappear next to the massive spire of crystal. “Problem ?”

“I’m….not certain. For some odd reason I suddenly felt compelled to double-check the city’s defenses.” The uncertainity in the obelisks voice was disconcerting, something the former drow had never heard before. Placing a hand on the crystal’s surface, he used it’s lensing function to project his own scrying ability out far and wide to spy on the Laputans in their nearby cities.

In a hidden room of V’ral’s castle, floating a few feet off the ground and bathed in a golden radience, the duchess Varalla was shadowed by the transparent divine head of her deity Roland. Abruptly, a shiver passed over him as well, a moment before the coutenances of Torm, Mystra and Reorx/Damien did likewise. The double-faced dwarven avatar spun to frown at Mystra. “The fuck was that ?”
The goddess of magic looked skyward with divine eyes – seeing the native gods of this world likewise shiver involuntarily. Some of them looked around, others brushed it off – none seemed to know anything about it.

“A grave miscalculation was made. Something….. wicked and terrible briefly awoke. Something nearby. It’s ripples spread outward from here, disturbing the other gods as well. I know not what.”
All four of the avatars frowned. The glowing head of Torm, lit up in white gave a knowing nod to the crimson dwarf – who responded with a grim look of bloodlust and formed in its hands an axe and hammer. “What’ere it be, best it don’ come lookin here !

Outside the west gate, a bored battleogre sat playing guard – largely ignoring the comings and goings of the smaller races, who were recognized or checked by the town guards. When the shield went up, the giant leapt to his feet – drawing his mighty shovel with a recognizable SHIIING noise. “Hells yeah, it’s go ti….” his exuberance died as the barrier vanished again, and the sudden rush of humans at the gate broke apart into sheepish confusion. Three dark circles appeared as a trio of his brethren, eager for combat, emerged to see if there was an ass-whoopin to be dealt. “Awwww, that sucks ! I was hopin ‘ta break in my new shovel handle…” one grumbled after seeing nothing hostile appear.

Bitching and complaining, the three recent arrivals shouldered their weapons and trudged off back to the brewery – where they worked their day job. Idly wishing they’d brought him a barrel of beer, the battleogre guard plunked his butt down against the wall again and went back to staring at the clouds. “Wunner what that was all about ?” he mumbled to nobody in particular.

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