Chapter 2: Vie

A black spike, the size of a spearhead sliced through Loral's dwarven chain and bit into the skin of his shoulder with a single powerful blow. Never had Loral been so viscously hit. The blow knocked him down and slid him against the ground. Apparently, this creature wasn't to happy about him restoring the health of Kormac, the steadfast fighter and a recent friend of Loral, during their battle. A set of black bug like eyes stared at Loral from a beautiful female Tier'Dal face on top of a spiders enlarged body.

Loral regained his composure and whispered a prayer to Tunare. The wound healed up to just a scratch and he attempted to stand. Before his footing had settled though he fell back down again. There was more to that spike than the initial sting it seemed.

Loral's vision blurred and the last thing he heard was the sound of the Drachnid's inhuman voice voice chanting dark words as her hands began to glow red. Before the blast hit, Loral fell unconsious from the poison.

"Poison. That is what Fulgor of the Tusk said when he saw the wood Elven city of Kelethin. It is often the same among the other races and religions. If it does not follow the same path as you, their society is poison." Loral sat in the small and quiet tavern in Felwithe with Ciric Azilebane, his friend and mentor. Loral had just returned from Antonica after his adventures in Ro and was catching up with his old teacher. Loral had described a strange lizard creature, armed and dressed as a fighter, he had seen in the tunnel bazaar a few weeks past. Soon after, Loral learned of the lands of Kunark and the lizard-folk who resided there, the mighty but fallen empire of the Iksars. Loral had told Ciric of his decision to travel to these lands and remove this dangerous menace. Ciric just smiled at this statement and told Loral of the story of Fulgor, the barbarian leader who had told his people of the strange and dangerous wood elves.

"All creatures of Norrath have a social system, Loral. All believe their society and their deities are the right one. Any threat to that social system is looked upon as dangerous to their way of life. Veeshan has worked a mighty puzzle with all of us and we each have our part to play. While you have the word of Tunare to spread, do not forget that those who oppose it feel just as strongly towards their way of life. Neither is right or wrong."

Like all statements coming from Ciric's mouth, this one had Loral thinking all the way from his beloved city of Felwithe to the dark and dangerous lands of Kunark. His excitement seemed to have no bounds as he boarded the mighty Elven vessel that traveled faster than he thought possible to the wonderful outpost in Fironia Vie. The giant statue of Tunare made his heart soar and he stepped off the pier with a new sense of purpose. He was not going to destroy the Iksar menace. He was going to attempt to understand it, learn its culture and its motivation. After all, had Ciric not given him the understanding to treat all of Norrath's creatures individually he never would have sworn himself to Dalhea, the leader of the guild of healers. An alliance he has never questioned.

Loral traveled outside the gates with a party of adventurers like himself and saw the giant millennia old Iksar statue shaking it's fist at the sky as if in defiance of the Gods for bringing their society to it's lowly state. It wasn't one of the fallen Iksars that met him underneath the statue near the mouth of a river that fed into the bay, but the black eyed Drachnid. At first he thought a beautiful naked Tier Dal was coming out of the water to greet them, a site that had him gasping for air all on it's own, but the site of the eight giant legs digging into the earth on both sides of the stream, almost 5 meters apart from each other stunned him even more. The mouth of the cursed creature of Innoruuk opened, revealing the inhumanly sharp teeth. Then the leg tip came in at him.

"No time for dreaming friend" the lovely barbarian shaman, Desjadins, said as her desease curing potion destroyed the vile ichor that entered his blood. "This battle still needs you".

Loral stood, feeling as if he had slept for a week to discover his party continuing to battle the vile creature. Aleustria, a powerful and deadly ranger, sliced and slashed the beast along with Kormac's mighty blows until the demon-spawn lay in a pile of cracked shell and blood.

The party cheered in victory over the corpse of the vile creature, but an inhuman scream of horror and anger broke their victory cry down as fast as it had started. Above on a hill, a male Drachnid stared at it's fallen mate. His hands raised and clouds of green gas began to seep out of the ground.

Even these dark creatures had a social system it seemed, and their party had just cut it down without a thought. Now they would have to pay for it.