Back up Pavis overall

Attempts at tracking

"How in all the hells can it move so fast?" Graylor lets out a longer string of expletives. Yenda looks at him with mild distaste.

"Now you have finished making yourself feel all grown up, how about doing something useful?" she comments.

"Uh." Graylor says usefully. He looks inwards for a short time.

"The cohort guardian says that Egil is still alive and is between the mortal and hero planes. Unfortunately he can't tell us where he is." Graylor looks round determinedly. "Right, Yenda, see what you can do for Jalmal. I'll have to report to Siggyr. Then we can get after this foul beast before it decides to kill Egil."

Graylor runs back to Siggyr and reports their mixed success. Good news; the vampire has been chased off the zebra lands. Bad news; Egil has been abducted and Jamal bitten.

Siggyr nods "And now I suppose you want to go after the wounded one to rescue Egil? There is no point in ordering you not to go I suppose." He looks up at Graylor. "No I thought no, then go with speed. If you have a choice leave attacking till daylight. I'll rouse the temple and see if we can't provide some rapid backup."

Graylor collects Irnar and Elgan and returns to Yenda. "Right, let's find this vampire's trail, we may not have mystical help but surely that wound should give us some sort of trail to follow. Yenda and Irnar help me find these tracks."

Mauvin and Gerras see what happens to Egil, they look at each other and roll their eyes. "Mav, that cousin of yours will be the death of us. I suppose we'd better go and rescue him." Gerras yells.

"Yep. I think me and Elgan will have to introduce him to some Heler style punishment for his poor behaviour." The blue man wears a wicked grin that makes Gerras shudder.

"Hey guys, wait for us!" they call in unison as they dash after Graylor and his companions.

As they hoped, the trail of blood the vampire leaves makes it easy to track him over that first few hundred yards - though the speed at which he seems to have moved means that the splashes are almost trails, and footprints are hard to see. Then there is a much larger pool where he seems to have stopped behind a wall, and a depression where something heavy was put down. And then - no more blood. But footprints in the dust, leading south and east. Dust, and stone - not many plants here, or mud, not in Pavis in Fire Season. It's stiflingly hot. A low rumble of thunder, miles to the north.

The tracking is harder now, with no blood trail, but the footprints are clear: deep prints, where they are visible, sign of a heavy load being carried.

Still that oppressive heat, as they run on. Skirting Manside, past the Mint, paralleling the road here. The Rubble is alive at night, full of sound, but the usual noises are subdued now: in hiding from what has passed? That rumble of thunder again: closer.

Past the Twin Hills. Mauvin has been here long enough to know what that means. "He's heading for the Devil's Playground. Are you sure...?"

He is interrupted by a crack of lightning and thunder, right overhead. And the rain falls, at last. A torrential summer storm, washing away dust, heat - and any chance of seeing the tracks.

"Hey, where did that come from? Oh Yinkin's nether regions!! It has washed away the vampires trail, so bang goes our chances of finding Egil." Graylor exclaims. He eyes Mauvin and Elgan suspiciously.

"Was that one of you two?" He asks.

"Anyway there is nothing we can do except return to the temple and see if anyone there can help. Unless there is some other weather miracle you can conjure up?"

Mauvin looks a little sheepish, "It may have been me, I asked Heler for rain while we fought the trolls. I guess it took a while for it to get here. Still I'll send a killing rain into the devils playground to see if we can hurt the wounded one and help get my cousin back. He's so pretty when he's not got that angry scowl on his face. It might take a while to do, Elgan care to help?"

"Yes, sure. What do you want me to do?" Elgan quickly replies. "Though isn't this rather a large area to cover with a Killing Rain?"

"Hang on a moment." Graylor stops their discussion. "If you flood the whole of Devil's Playground then we're going to get a lot of company very quickly. Can't you summon a daimon between you to try and locate the vampire and Egil?"

Mauvin thinks for a moment. "Well I can but Heler's Urothtroroli aren't really suitable. Perhaps Elgan can use the Umbroli that blew the clouds here? Aren't they supposed to be good at carrying messages and such stuff?"

"Yeah they are, but they are no good at spotting chaos from non-chaos." Elgin responded.

"OK. Jalmar has a couple of feats that are good for that sort of thing and Alusar is good at spying. So if we offer the Umbroli our magics to help do you think it will be able to do it? If it can then we can combine our magics to produce the worst anti-chaos storm seen since it last rained Uroxi!" Graylor grinned happily "Let's see if we can drown us a vampire."

"Ok then Elgan, you control the umbroli, I'll lend some help and when we spot where the vampire is I'll unleash a killing rain."

Elgan begins a soft chant more in the line of heavy breathing than real words, at least to Graylors point of view. Within a few minutes a subtle change appeared in the wind part of it separated. With soul vision he could see a humanoid form in the wind. Elgan spoke to the figure before turning back to his companions.

"Whistler here is willing to try and locate the vampire and Egil, though his ability to relate to human geography is very limited. He would like your magics to identify the vampire from all the other chaos out there."

Graylor took the icy fingers of the wind in his hands and gave Whistler the ability to detect chaos and to know what chaos he sees. Irnar gave Alusar's enhanced senses to aid in his search. Whistler acknowledged the powers with a swirl of thanks and was off.

Whislter enjoyed flowing round the complex shapes of the buildings, he spread himself out to cover as much ground as possible. Almost immediately he was upset by various prickles in his being, until he realized that these were effects of the magics cast on him. He began to sort out that these marked the presence of some corruption. As soon as he focused on any point then the type of entity cam immediately to his thoughts. This was going to be fun. Whistler quickly breezed over the entire region and failed to find the vampire. This puzzled him for a while, he could not have missed him. Then he remembered that the human dwelling places had insides too, he would have to look in each building. This was not so much fun, he disliked being inside human places as they confused him. Oh well it would be better than upsetting Elgan. So Whistler swept back over the Devils Playground and looked into every dwelling.

A large building caught his attention. It felt really bad and on closer inspection there was a lot of corruption here. From on the surface it was difficult to make sense of. Though the thought of going underground filled Whistler with such dread that his winds almost failed. Then there it was a single touch of the vampire clearly rising above the general blend of lesser creatures, there was even the feeling that undeath was in this place too. At that moment too he sensed the presence of another bound to the great separator. This must be the place he was asked to find. He left the building with great relief and soared high in the air reveling in being free from walls again. Playfully he blew into Heler's rams and made them bleat and stamp their feet with thunderous noise. Then he remembered that he was supposed to return.

Swiftly he returned to Elgan and reported that he had found the place. Unfortunately, as predicted there was a great deal of difficulty in matching human and umbroli geography. The one relying on physical objects and the other on the spiritual objects.

Elgan brought the bad news to Graylor.

"Boss, we can't place Egil with any precision. I guess that we know within a half mile but no better. Even worse Whistler says that Egil is underground and there is a lot of chaos with him and probably undead too."

The news that Egil and the vampire were underground filled Graylor with dismay.

"So we know he is underground and have some vague idea where but with no precision. What do we do now?" Graylor asked, and without waiting for an answer he continued. "Humakt's teeth, I'd like to drown that blasted vampire!"

Mauvin looked up.

"Say that's not a bad idea. We can't use the killing rain but we could use a flooding rain! It would certainly get the wounded one out of his hidy hole!" He looked round for support. "What do you think?"

"Let's hope that Egil isn't in a hole where the water collects!" Graylor comments dryly. "It sounds good to me. How about we still combine our magic and I'll help with some anti-chaos stuff that should help the flood become an anathema to the wounded one and his minions."

"Irnar, I think that we may need some help. If the water forces the vampire out of his hole then we may be facing the vampire and all his hordes. Run back to the temple and rouse those there. Go to Dori first if she is back, rouse Illig if you have to but get as many as you can. Be swift."

"Boss." Elgan interjected. "Using Whistler would be quicker. She understands the wind well for a Death-stalker."

"OK. Do it that way then." Graylor decides. "Mauvin, how long would it take to call up this flood? We don’t want to set it off too early. I don't want to see the vampire until after dawn! Hopefully, Egil's well being is going to continue until at lest then."

"Well" says Mauvin "Now we have the clouds starting the rain is fairly easy, maybe quarter of a candle to get it started but if the place is Krasht infested then it could take months to fill all the tunnels. By the way when Whistler speaks to Dori get her to send Kristen. Those Babeester Gor babes can track a scorpion in Prax if they think it stung a woman. You know I always wanted to make it with one of those women but don't like the idea of being gelded before, during or after."

Gerras coughs and the butts in "I know you lot all say you're already dead but I'm not and in the pens we have a word for people who stay in the Devil's playground at night - SUICIDAL! I suggest Mav gets the rain going then we head back to the temple and wait for Yelm to light the way. At least that way we've only got the vampire to worry about and not stray broos, scorpionmen or whatever the hell else is in there. Come on Mav cast your spell then you and the other blue fella can get back to your tent."

"A good idea Gerras. If it's going to take a while then let it build up slowly, aim for Yelm rise for its peak. Then well report back to the Legion and see if Whistler has roused some support." Graylor looks at his companions. "Any objections? No. Then lets get to it."

"Mauvin, do you need any support apart from Elgan? I could make the rain an anathema to chaos if you like but I'm not sure if that will show our hand too much? I mean we've already got thunderstorms in Fire season and making it rain chaos burning water would be too much wouldn't it?"

Mauvin just looks at Graylor and sighs. "Let me and Elgan do what we do best.! You save the chaos magic for when the beast is at your throat!" With that he stalks off with Elgan. Graylor is sure he hears some comments about "Death nuts" and "polishing swords" followed by crude laughter.

Less than a chime later the two blue men return having completed their invocations. Somewhat wearily they return to the temple to rest for a while before returning at Yelms first light.

They get back to the temple to find it already a hive of activity. Siggyr had reported Egil's abduction some hours ago, and Whistler's message had prompted further action.

Illig is on his way from the New City, and apparently plans on most of the senior members of the Legion or those with specific anti-undead powers spending the morning at least in some heavy-duty magical preparations. If this is the same vampire that took on the entire Tourney Altar temple on the hero-plane, and won, then it is nothing to be taken lightly. Seledd and the Second will be strengthening the temple's magical defences and wards: this could easily be a ruse to draw the Legion away from home. Scouts are being sent out now daylight is here to try to find any more about the vampire's base or regular feeding grounds.

Dori had returned from the New City during the night, and has been sending messages out - if help is needed the following night, Geran and his trolls will be there. Vindana has gone back to the Lhankor Mhy library, to find a sage called Ingeran Blackstaff who had been mentioned in the past as having an interest in the history of Vivamort in this area.

And Dori herself is about to leave for the Yelorna temple. She was due there for a training session in any case, and even a vampire is no reason to break her word. The Yelornans know the Rubble, they know light magic, and their cavalry can sweep the area fast. And they owe her a favour.

"You went back there? Alone?" Graylor spluttered. "Don't you think that was kind of risky?"

"And chasing after vampires capable of defeating entire Humakti temples is safe?" came the cutting reply.

"It did what? I had no idea; nobody told me that piece of information, there didn't seem to be time. I just knew that you had encountered it on the way here," a stunned Graylor responded. "I thought that is was just another vampire like the many I have faced in the Marshes."

"I suppose to be fair we weren't sure it was the same one until it said as much to Jamal. But yes, it attacked the Tourney Altar temple on the heroplane and nearly killed their warleader, it attacked the caravan we were guarding despite a full Ten and a band of Uroxi, then here in Pavis it ambushed us on the heroplane and tried to steal Hrolf's magic. It's powerful, and very dangerous." She grins. "I thought Jalmari were supposed to be patient and careful and spend a few years checking all the facts before acting?"

"Jalmari!" Graylor interrupted. "Has anyone gone to them to see if they will help? This something we do well hidden chaotics and specific powerful individuals."

"No, at least not to my knowledge."

"Right I'll go to General Vur and then on to the Zebra riders; I'm sure that they will lend us a few riders especially if Gerras talks to them." He looks Dori in the eyes. "I meant what I said in Pavis. You won't be going alone to see your father. We'll make time once we have Egil back safely. But don't underestimate him, he knows how you think. He left the note knowing that you would return. He knows you will meet him. Let's hope that he underestimates you, but I think not, you have escaped him twice before. He won't want it to happen again." Suddenly his mood lightens.

"Anyway, I could always rely on Kristen to keep you from being silly; if she knew the truth." He grins at Dori's appalled expression.

"Come off it, I want to ask him questions first and kill him afterwards. She'd definitely get it the wrong way round. I'm not telling her a thing, and she's spending time guarding the healers, or scouting, not following me around. She's not even coming to the Yelornans today."

"Could you take Yenda with you? She has a hankering to see the unicorns. And she could do with the blade practice."

And then she's off, with a few of the other women. Kristen, today, is joining the scouts as requested. Details here...

Graylor goes off looking for Gerras. "Hey Gerras, is there anything to ride round here? We're going to Vur and the zebra pens and we should be quick if we want any rest at all."
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