The water upstream of the Ebon Wall was calm on this cold windless day, and the clear surface reflected the arches of the black elms that touched above the waters. Once this river teamed with salmon smelt, and chorus frogs added their voices to this cathdral of nature. Now Mire Crows lurked beneath the surface and ate anything that swam, while other predators hid along the banks. Today, only a lone lasher hid silently by the Compass plants near the banks.
Soon the slience was broken by voices, and a pair of rowboats paddled into view like two lost ducks.
"Look, all I'm saying is that you shouldn't call me 'Thief'" Said the first voice.
"But you are a theif, you have to be a thief, we have a fighter, a wizard, a druid who counts as a cleric so the fourth must be a rogue and you don't have a musical insturment so you aren't a bard. Besides, those side classes are rare is small parties and we already have a druid so..." Replied the second.
"So, I have to be a thief because none of you are? Or is it becuase something got stolen and it must have been a troll who stole it?"
"No, not at all, nothing got stolen. That's not what makes you a thief."
"Right, I didn't steal anything so I'm not a thief."
"No, you have the skills of a theif, so you are a thief."
"But I didn't steal anything."
"So I'm not a thief."
"No you are a thief whether you steal or not."
"But that doesn't make sense! How can I be a thief without stealing?"
"Well, I'm not casting any spells right now, but I'm still a wizard. Besides who else goes adventuring in leather armor?"
"I don't know. Someone who can't afford chain mail?"
Finally Belladonna could take no more. She turned from her Figurehead like pose of vigilence and hissed "Quiet you jaybirds, danger is near!"
Almost as if this was the signal the black lasher lumbered upright like living ink and coiled it's striking tentacles like vipers. Mr. Tarnish reached for his pickaxe, but The Tacomancer was quicker pointing his staff and declaired a cryptic word. "QUESO!"
Waxen Strands shot out from the staff engulfing the beast. It soon was enmeshed in the web, and a smell similar to spoiled milk filled the air.
The trees, once silent were now abuzz with various bird calls and the rustling of small animals fleeing the area. The water rippled with the sudden movements of the boats and a lone tentacle flopping in the water. Gradually both grew still, but not nearly as peacefull as before. The four heroes continued rowing ountill they could no longer be seen. Finally even the waves stopped splashing, leaving only one sound. The creak-crack of the Mire-crows. They always seemed to know when dead or helpless meat lay nearby.
If someone was still there, they would have seen one of the rarest sights in northern Nocturnus. A Lasher....afraid.
Here is a good overall view.
And I thought it would be a shame not to have some closeups of the trees.
Here is a link to part 3 Here are the links to parts 2 and 3
Edited by Jareth, 01 May 2012 - 12:27 AM.