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Against the Shadow  |  Runes of Power  |  The Old Road
The Old Road
The Old Road

    The air is heavy and still, bringing no relief from the oppressive heat. Overhead, the clouds dip low and are menacingly dark, filtering out most of the sun’s life giving light. What little solid ground there is, is covered in marsh grass or the tangled roots of cypress and mangrove trees. Carefully picking their way across the morass is a small well-armed group that bears signs of recent combat.
    “Eoawan, Tani’s not going to be able to go much farther and that hunting party can’t be more than a few hours behind us.”
    The leader of the group, a slight dark haired warrior turns toward the rest of the group, “Just a little further and we’ll be safe. They won’t be able to pursue us once we get to the next hummock. Keep moving; it’s not far.”
    The party pushes forward toward a small hill, dominated by an ancient cypress tree. With effort they climb the hill and collapse at the base of the tree. While the other warriors rest, the leader Eoawan hacks at branches and vines that cover two small stone pillars, pitted and cracked with age. With the excitement clear in his voice, he says, “It’s here, just as they said, our path to sanctuary.”
    The statement draws stares from the other warriors and one stands to get a closer look. “What path, there’s only water as far as I can see. We’re trapped if that hunting party finds our trail, which is likely. The wargs will have Tani’s scent from his blood. “
    A slight smile appears on Eoawan’s face, “we aren’t trapped. Our distant ancestors left us a priceless gift, a path to sanctuary.” The Danasil places his hands over matching symbols on the two pillars and whispers words in a language that is strange but stirs memories buried deep in the other Danasil.
    Eowan stiffens like he was lifting an incredible weight. The two stones start to glow and the swamp goes silent. To the south of the small hill, the water froths as if something massive were rising from the depths. Moments later, where there was once water as far as the eye could see, there is now a perfectly straight causeway of cut stone, covered in algae and mud.
    Eowan, clearly weak, turns to his warriors. “We have to move quickly, raising the road took far more from me that I thought and it wanted more. I don’t know how long it will stay above water. By the time the hunting party gets here we and the road will be long gone.”

    The Old Road is the remnants of the eldethar roads that crossed much of the Erethor and parts of Eredane. In past ages, before the coming of the modern fey, when the swamp began to expand, the eldethar built the rune enchanted pillars that could lift the road up from the swamp and provide safe passage. The runes require a key phrase in ancient eldethar and at least 12 spell points. The amount of spell points expended determines how long the road remains above water. Most of the old eldethar roads have not survived the ravages of the centuries, but a few are used by the fey to access isolated portions of the Druid’s Swamp.

    (Final note, I'm not sure about the spell energy, but I wanted to make it high with the option of adding in more points to extend the duration. The mechanic wasn't that important, the story and the effect was what I was shooting for).

Author: Kane

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