1419 D.R. The Year of the Empty Necropolis
Travelers generally knew better than to approach the Spur Forest. Plaguechanged creatures were widely known to wander the forest and Spellplague still gripped sections of the wood.
Despite the warnings a small band of adventurers were willing to brave the dangers following a trail a half-mad wanderer had left. The man had stumbled from the forest with a palm-sized brown crystal which resonated strongly with psionic energy. A travelling gnome Psion, Eldon, purchased the shard for a fraction of its worth along with half-mad ramblings of where it was found.
The story, as he explained it to his companions, was this: In the Spur Forest there was a grove of growing crystals. When the wind blew just right you could hear the song of trees as they vibrated and hummed. At the center of this grove was a huge crystalline building where the man found the gem along with whatever destroyed his sanity.
Eldon gathered a group of like-minded explorers and ventured forth to find this Glass-Spire Forest and see what other wonders, if any, he could find. Although mad, the traveler had good directions in his head. Eldon, using his skills as a psion, dug those thoughts from his mind and used them to plot a course. Within a matter of days, nestled at the base of the Akanapeaks, they heard the song of the forest. Following the noise they finally located the edge of the alien realm.
The crytals grew similar to trees. Thick solid bases which branched into numerous sharp outcroppings, from which small crystals hung. It was breathtaking, but one step into the forest also proved it immensely dangerous. The crystals, many of which littered the ground, were razor sharp. It took a lot of ingenuity as well as a fair bit of luck but the party managed to traverse the expanse.
The group found a clearing near, what they figured, was the center of the grove. In this clearing was a large violet dome held aloft but numerous multi-colored spires. A triangular opening was near the base of the dome with stairs descending into the heart of the shard.
Before the group could approach the dome strange scorpion-like crystal creatures began leaping from the spires above them. The creatures died easily enough at first , but with each strike the group was pelted with dangerously sharp fragments. Larger crystalline arachnids stood near the edge of combat and flung razor sharp barbs off their tails at the group. Barra did his best to stay either hidden or far out of range of the creatures. He had attempted to blind them but realized too late that they lacked any visual organs. The Dragonborn Balasar bled from numerous small cuts but only let the pain guide his strikes. With each sweep of his sword the insect-like attackers lay broken before him. Mariz aided his comrades with words of encouragement as well as well placed strikes when the opportunity presented itself. Only Eldon found the fight non-threatening as he used his psychic abilities from afar to shatter the psionic energy which held these creatures together.
Once rested and bandaged the group descended into the crytal dome. Within they found a sunken alter with an empty setting for a gem, very similar in size to the one which brought Eldon here, crystalline statues of armed warriors, two fountains of liquid which seemed to radiate a soft light, and a purple glass case near the rear of the room. They were not alone though. A ghostlike figure materialized before them, it had wide set eyes, a wormlike tongue lined with small teeth, long needle like fingers with extra sets of knuckles, and a strange spines visible through its torn etherial robes. The creature was fueled by rage and it began pulling crystals from the walls themselves to sheathe itself in an armor of swirling blades.
Being an undead abberation Mariz realized it may be weak to radiant energies, the same type which emanated from the fountains in the room. The Genasi dipped his blade in the fluid and attacked. His strike weakened the ghost and led the way for his comrades to quickly dispatch the far realm horror.
Once the creature was defeated Eldon realized that the gem he held was indeed the very same as which at one point fit into the sconce at the base of the alter. Barra searched the case and found a blade of pure crystal which seemed to cut the very air as he waved it about.
As he showed the blade to his companions he noticed Eldon stooping over to place his gem into the alter...
To Be Continued!