Episode 16 : The Beast Of Pentyce Island
 

Plans were made for the coming of the wyvern in the night. Grimwold Mindbreaker and Harry Mata took up positions in the boats, Garack and Crayg Rydorsson were just outside the back entrance of the house and Vernon Zarck, Blue Bigfoot, and Serra Ibin Raaviat were inside. The plan was for Grimwold Mindbreaker to try and cast subjugation on the wyvern as it flew by, if the wyvern was able to perceive this attack then all the rest of the party would open up otherwise it would go no worst for being here.

Two hours later a shadow passed over the waxing moon. The wyvern was here, it lined up parallel to the beach, a straight in approach at the goat, and at speed as well, came in at over 80 mph, talons outstretched and Wagner playing softly in the background. As it came in it entered the 100' range of Grimwold Mindbreaker's subjugation spell and was taken over. Grimwold Mindbreaker commanded it to land immediately, or crash if necessary to stop it going outside of 100' away from Grimwold Mindbreaker. The wyvern tried but could only crash into the sand and then bounced outside of Grimwold Mindbreaker's spell range and came to its senses. It shook its head stunned and confused. Twang, Thunk went Crayg Rydorsson's bow. Twang, Thunk, went Garack's bow. Vernon Zarck stepped out and went Bang. A fire ball engulfed the wyvern. The wyvern saw these three standing by the side of the house, rage and murder were in its eyes.

The halfling ducked out the front of the building to shoot the wyvern as it crossed the distance between houses. The wyvern leaped into the air and with a flap was standing before Garack, Crayg Rydorsson, and Vernon Zarck before they could react. Swish the tail came down at Garack who having heard of the effect of the poison parried with everything he had. The tail glanced off his shield, the claws bit into the shield again and left a small wound on his left shoulder. Bang went a fire ball that Vernon Zarck sent above the wyverns head stunning the wyvern for a number of rounds. Whoosh went a vacuum spell that Serra Ibin Raaviat targeted at the wyvern but it resisted. Twang, Thunk went the arrow fired from Crayg Rydorsson. The wyvern was really unhappy, really pissed and now badly wounded. It hissed at the people in front of it. Grimwold Mindbreaker cast subjugation and momentarily held it in sway for a round. The halfling had finally got around to the other side of the building and with his bow lined up the rear quarters of the wyvern. The arrow struck home and sent the badly wounded wyvern unconscious. Bang went a fire ball from Vernon Zarck again, his finger was on the trigger and he had decided to twitch it and did not have time to stop as the wyvern fell at his feet.

The people of the village came from their homes and began to congregate on the beach having heard the wyvern crash and seen and heard the light and the Bangs of Vernon Zarck's three fire ball spells. There were cries of "Let the beast go.", "You have brought doom to this village.", "Let it loose.", and there was the sobbing of women. Grimwold Mindbreaker stood next to the unconscious form of the wyvern and carefully cast the spell transferral with success. The wyvern raised its head and looked down upon the assembled villages who as one broke and fled down the beach. Serra Ibin Raaviat move forward and began to heal the beast, soon it was fully healed. Harry Mata came up to Grimwold Mindbreaker and asked him to inject a wineskin with the wyvern poison that he held in his tail. Boiled down this would make about twenty doses of poison paste to go in Harry Mata's new dagger. Now what did Grimwold Mindbreaker want to do with a 14th level, young wyvern?

Initially Grimwold Mindbreaker stumbled along the beach, hopped a little, glided a little, flapped his wings, flew a short way, demolished a tree, then having finally found his wings leapt into the air and flew. He first headed after the fleeing villages and swooped them sending them on their way. He wheeled and returned lined up the goat and swept down upon it and flew up and dropped it. He landed next to the goat and devoured it. Again he launched into the air this time he headed to towards Pentyce Island.

Grimwold Mindbreaker passed over the strait and surveyed the scene, Pentyce Island was about 50 miles long and 30 wide. It had three active volcano's. There were two abandoned villages, an old castle, and a Temple to an unknown God. There were large tracts of dense forest and some mighty rivers seeping down from the mountains to the sea. The rivers were spanned by bridges in two places, the Temple and a coastal village. Grimwold Mindbreaker landed and surveyed the village, it consisted of thatched huts and was completely uninhabited. The only sign of life was the horse manure left by the plains horses.

Grimwold Mindbreaker alighted again and this time landed at the Temple, again this area seemed abandoned. But the Temple was not completely deserted from the building itself emerge a troll, a very large troll, a troll that stood at least 11 feet tall. This troll picked up a large rock and threw it at the wyvern that stood in the courtyard. The wyvern dodged and took to the air leaving a troll throwing rocks after it and shouting various obscenities in trollish.

Moving to the castle Grimwold Mindbreaker found again it looked abandoned, but he did not land to check. Grimwold Mindbreaker moved towards the first volcano and saw flying below him two wyverns with saddles and in the saddles, riders. The riders were clad in wolves furs. He saw in the side of the volcano a cave entrance and he saw close by about a dozen of saddled wyvern and about two dozen men in furs. The saddled wyverns looked up at Grimwold Mindbreaker in distaste and kept their distance. Grimwold Mindbreaker flew on for another twenty miles and came to the next volcano. On one side he could see a human village and on the other the entrance to the cave of the wild wyvern. He flew in.

On entering the cave Grimwold Mindbreaker could see that the far wall had eggs and above him were the perches of the 21 wyverns that called this cave home. There were three large wyvern, 11 medium sized wyvern and 7 small wyvern hanging from the ceiling. Grimwold Mindbreaker took a perch on the ceiling above and watched. He could see that there was a second entrance to the cavern, one that only a human could enter from and directly ahead of him he saw a pile of treasure. The treasure included a suit of jewelled armour, a sword, a golden box and many coins and other gems.

Meanwhile back at the village we searched the village for what they had of value. All we could find were lots of supplies of dried fish which we took as well as cooking utensils, bedrolls and tent canvas. The discussion began as to what we would do, the final consensus was to first go deeper into the mainland then come back and cross to Pentyce Island. The hours passed and Grimwold Mindbreaker's body still remained comatose as he watched and waited from his wyvern body.

Grimwold Mindbreaker decided that now was the time, he dropped from his perch and sped towards the cave entrance and spying a puddle of water he released the silver coin of the sorcerer Hashem. He flew out of the cave and the coin hit the puddle and the Ice Demon was ripped from its own plane to this plane. A blizzard emerged from the entrance of the cave and Grimwold Mindbreaker watched events unfold from an area in the forest below. Battle raged inside the cavern, snow flew out and there were flashes of lightning. Nine rounds later there was one more flash of lightning then silence. A wyvern emerged at the cave mouth, it was covered in white snow and had received damage, it stood watch for two hours before moving back inside.

Grimwold Mindbreaker took to the air again flew to the cave and entered. Below him were the bodies of 17 dead wyverns. The cavern was covered with snow and at one end of the cave there was the shadow of a very large humanoid figure etched and blackened into the wall. Grimwold Mindbreaker landed on the floor. There was only one large wyvern left, head of the clan, a large male injured and another wyvern damaged slightly. This slightly damaged wyvern stood in the entrance way blocking it. The clan head had a twinkle in its eye and began a spell. Grimwold Mindbreaker drove upwards toward the damaged wyvern above, a lightning bolt shot from the clan head and struck Grimwold Mindbreaker but he reached the ledge above and swiped at the wyvern. Unaccustomed to this combat the wyvern in front quickly disembowelled Grimwold Mindbreaker as the clan head landed upon his back and began to rip into him from behind. Grimwold Mindbreaker quite the body and reappeared at our campsite in his own body.

Grimwold Mindbreaker relayed his tale. The cavern now contained only three wyvern, down from twenty one and we now knew what effect one of Hashem's silver coins could do. It seemed that the Ice Demon summoned was about fourth to fifth level and with access to sixth level demon magic. Something not to be taken lightly. The halfling thought that now there were only fourteen coins left in the party.

That morning we decided that we would sail across to Pentyce Island using the boats available at the village. This we did with considerable ease. Once there, Serra Ibin Raaviat looked at the boat and said, "Begone.", and the boat vanished. The teleport spell sent it back to the village, the only problem was it was 75' inland and 75' in the air. The boat came crashing down and was splinters upon the shore.

We stood in the first village that Grimwold Mindbreaker had seen when in wyvern form. It consisted of 12 huts, only two having roofs, one of these would form our home while we were here waiting for Vernon Zarck to be able to cast his spells again. There were no tracks apart from those Grimwold Mindbreaker had made and some horse manure. During the next two weeks we saw five single, man and wyvern, patrols fly over, in response we hid.

Late that night when Crayg Rydorsson and Harry Mata had been sent to investigate a track leading into the forest nearby we heard sounds of movement coming from the forest. A tree fell and a beast lumbered from the forest in our direction. It approached the hut where we stayed and stood in silence. Garack investigated and could see behind the hut a wall of scales. The halfling also looked and saw a wyvern, wingless but with four legs. People quietly evacuated the hut and readied themselves for battle.

The tail of the fifty foot wyvern cut a swath through the hut at a height of three feet, the halfling gulped as he stood three foot six inches tall. Vernon Zarck raised the Serpent Staff of Mahaaran and let slip a fire ball which stunned the creature. Serra Ibin Raaviat's spell failed, Grimwold Mindbreaker's spell failed, Vernon Zarck's next spell failed, Garack chopped and did some damage, Blue Bigfoot fired his bow and slightly hurt it. Grimwold Mindbreaker cast sleep and the wyvern fell into a deep slumbered at the feet of Garack. Garack lined the sleeping lizard up and prepared to swing was unbalanced and stopped as the flat of the sword came down. The wyvern slept on. Garack drew back his sword again and chopped into its neck. Serra Ibin Raaviat raised Hexgora's Wand of Fire Balls and let rip with a fire ball. Vernon Zarck followed suit with a cold ball at the wyvern, the creature was now badly wounded and then the halfling fired an arrow which entered the neck wound Garack had made and the wyvern slumped to the ground unconscious. From its neck blood poured forth but soon ceased. Garack muttered "Bloody halfling, that's the second time you have done that.".

The group got what sleep they could till morning came and we could survey the scene of destruction. Crayg Rydorsson and Harry Mata returned from their sojourn into the forest. Garack was busy removing portions of hide to make into armour later and a scale or two for a shield. Crayg Rydorsson removed it claws, teeth and stinger for later sale at an Alchemist shop. Harry Mata drained the poison sacks in both the tail and the mouth. The wyvern was covered with the remains of the top of the roof of the huts in the village. We prepared straw mats for use when going through the grasslands here and began to march up the river into the woods.

At night in the preceding three weeks while we were waiting for Vernon Zarck to regain his powers of magic Grimwold Mindbreaker did dream, his first dream was of the silver hands of the Jafnari sisters. Upon a cobbled floor there lay a golem of silver its head and hands had been severed from its body. The next day he did dream of tossing all of Hashem's silver coins into the sea, the Ice Demon appeared but as all the coins touched water only the one Ice Demon ever appeared. The coins called upon one Ice Demon alone each time they were activated.

Grimwold Mindbreaker did dream of the ridden wyverns. He saw a teenage boy approach and saddle a wyvern as it watched on patiently and took off with the boy into the sky. Next Grimwold Mindbreaker saw a man in leather armour riding a wyvern armed with a javelin. The scene changed and wyvern with rider was fighting with an unbridled wyvern. Grimwold Mindbreaker did dream of the troll that he saw in the Temple grounds. Grimwold Mindbreaker saw two trolls sitting at a table talking in words he could not understand, above the table on the wall above the fireplace was the head of a wyvern and just below a large brutish iron club with spikes in it.

Grimwold Mindbreaker stood in the Temple foyer and could see that this was a Temple to the God of Justice. Those statues that still stood, had had their faces scrapped away. Now Grimwold Mindbreaker saw lying in a coffin lined with silk, a girl softly sobbing in the darkness. She called on Grimwold Mindbreaker to release her. Grimwold Mindbreaker moved out of the coffin up the stairs and stood in the Temple proper with a troll standing before him. The dream took him into the distant past and he again saw this girl now younger working in an active Temple. Next he saw her laying dying upon the Temple floor and begging to be put into endless service. Now in the darkness stood an old priest speaking in a soft whisper to someone just outside of Grimwold Mindbreaker's view.

Now the dream drifted onto the treasure held by the wild wyverns of the cave. Grimwold Mindbreaker saw a humming statue of an old woman, the statue told without words it wanted to be rescued. The sword at the centre of the treasure pile appeared and the dream drifted once more to the distant past. A rose Knight stood upon a grassy hillside and he was being circled by seven wyverns. Three landed next to him, he smote the first cleaving its head from its shoulders. The other two attacked from the side and struck the Knight down. The sword he used was in the treasure pile as is the armour. Back in the cave Grimwold Mindbreaker moves to the ledge and down the passageway at the back of the cave. The passage descends into darkness and winds downward before it opens up into a cavern with a small underground village at the centre.

The dream drifts, a very large wyvern sits on the treasure pile and looks at the silver chest. This wyvern tried to open the chest and electricity arcs from the chest jolting the wyvern. Moving on the dream comes to the castle which is as it is today. Scattered about the courtyard and the surrounding area are the remains of dead animals who were ripped to shreds. Now standing in the centre of the courtyard Grimwold Mindbreaker turns to face the gates when he is jumped upon by a huge wolf, a wolf with shoulders at the height of Grimwold Mindbreaker's shoulders, it pounces and rips Grimwold Mindbreaker's throat out, his last image of the wolf is that it is wearing a collar.

Up into the battlements the dream drifts and there is a young man walking around the rooms in the castle. This man has a headband with an eye stone and a small ivory staff with a white bluish eye stone. The eye stone is used to power mentalism spells. He argues with a human who hands him a scroll which he opens and reads, he then screams out. The dream moves on the man is much older, he is surrounded by villages who drag him into the courtyard to a prepared stake where he is burnt to death. The dream rolls out of the castle and moves onto the lake nearby, the surface ripples and breaks revealing scales of a serpent at least thirty feet long, the ripples subside and the lake is still. The dream ends.

Our progress upstream through the woods is very slow, the trail we follow is disused and we must cut our way through in places. Night draws closer and it is time to look for a place to sleep. Serra Ibin Raaviat has noticed that for the last few hours we have been followed by wolves and with this in mind we prepare a defensive position. We select a area with a bramble bush on one side and a fallen tree next to it and set our watches for the night.

While Grimwold Mindbreaker is on watch he spies in the distance a wolf and cast subjugation upon it. The first time it fails but the second time does not and the wolf sits just at visions edge. Garack goes out and brings the wolf back in, he ties it up and muzzles it. The spell breaks, the wolf struggles and howls to its companions who can be heard responding in the darkness. Nothing happens until morning when Grimwold Mindbreaker cast transferral and takes over the wolf's body.

Now in wolf form Grimwold Mindbreaker cast presence and determines that in addition to the party there are two people watching us. He bounds towards them and flushes two wolves from cover, the wolves split and run into the woods. Grimwold Mindbreaker cast mind typing and determined that at least one of these two is actually a human and twelfth level. Grimwold Mindbreaker scratched this fact in the ground for the party to read and moves out of the forest onto the grassland plains.

Grimwold Mindbreaker lollops his way towards the Temple building. As he approaches he sees the river with the bridge across, and the Temple proper, smoke is coming from the chimney. Next to the main Temple building is a courtyard with a four foot brick wall. The enclosed courtyard has at its centre a small four posted open aired structure having only a domed roof covering what once had been a statue. Of the statue, only the feet remained, with rubble scattered close beside. There is a large pile of bones of horses, wolves, deer and wyvern. Finally there is a fenced in area with goats, sheep, ducks and chickens that all start up as Grimwold Mindbreaker approaches.

A troll appears at the back door armed with a club, he spies the wolf which dashes around the corner. The troll starts to follow swearing at Grimwold Mindbreaker one word it repeated often. Grimwold Mindbreaker hides behind the low wall but the troll has stopped his movement and catches sight of Grimwold Mindbreaker as he races back. The troll throws the club at Grimwold Mindbreaker knocking him unconscious and then he suffers spell failure as the troll crushes the wolf's skull. The entire party stood watching this from a distance on a nearby hill. We decided to head back to the forest and come back in the morning.

On the twenty minute journey back to the forest edge a wyvern with rider fly's straight over our initial exit point of the forest and spies us just as we try to conceal ourselves in the grasslands. The wyvern circles our position at about 150 yards as the rider squints at us. Crayg Rydorsson steps forward and waves back and forth to the rider who turns and flies off towards the wyvern lair in the mountains. The night passes uneventfully. Grimwold Mindbreaker did dream of the humans who took wolf shape. He sees a campfire about which there are nine men dressed in wolf skins. The headman comes forward and points at a human, who is transformed into a wolf and runs into the forest. The headman turns to the next man and again points, muttering magic words and this man transforms into a crow and flies off into the night. The dream ends. Morning came and saw us on the small hill overlooking the Temple our journey back was without incident.

 

 
(c) 1997 One Night in Middleburg Rolemaster Campaign Journal by Ross Stopford  
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