An unnatural fog fills the small cove. It brings with it a numbing quiet, which is only broken by the rhythmic sound of waves washing against the shore and slapping the hulls of several small wooden skiffs. The cove is devoid of life, since most of its typical residents have moved aside to make room for the chilling fog. The morning sun will eventually rise, and the cove’s residents will return to their swampy homes. Yet, these things will all wait until the fog has receded to the ocean, carrying its dark cargo with it.
For now, the fog continues to creep up the shore and into the marshlands that lay beyond. The small cove fills with dozens of wooden skiffs. The small boats seem to cut through the water in almost perfect silence, relying only on magic to propel them ashore. A single figure in each rises and pulls its dark hood over its smooth, finned head. One motions toward the dense swamplands to the east. The strange figures seem even more out of place silhouetted against their bulkier, less agile troll allies; yet their authority is unquestioned.
The trolls’ push quickly through the low tangles of the swamp, their savage strength easily clearing a path. It has been some time since they moved through terrain such as this. Their clan has long avoided this place, but today’s activities should remove those old fears. Once they have acquired the stone, the tides will quickly bring a new era with them from Broken Skull Rock.
As the groups reach a clearing near the city of Grobb, they are brought to a sudden halt by the figures that lead them. The robed creatures gather near a small pool. A grotesque webbed hand draws back the robe’s hood, revealing the amphibian’s face.
“Prepare your soldiers,” the strange amphibian says softly, addressing the trolls in their guttural native language. “The doorway we create will not last long and we must have time to follow you in… unless you wish for us to leave you inside with them.” The creature pauses, a slight smirk appearing on its face. “This is not your desire, correct?” A defiant grunt is its only answer.
The largest of the trolls turns to face his soldiers as the robed Luggalds begin their incantation. All around them, the ankle-deep water comes alive with energy. A small growl surges from within the ranks of the Luggalds to become a cacophony of battle cries. The water before the sorcerers rises in a tall, thin sheet of water. Through the portal can be seen a large wooden bridge, the surprised faces of several guards and, just behind them, a sign that reads: Night Keep.
As the last of the invaders climb out of the moat, which acted as their entrance into Grobb’s fortified walls, the raid’s leader shouts, “We only leave when we have the stone! Once you have it, burn everything else!” This command echoes through Night Keep’s halls, barely audible over the crushing sounds of combat and the surprised cries of unsuspecting guards.
The trolls’ cruel nature is apparent as both sides of the battle paint the scene in the savage reds of death and flames. The trolls of Grobb, now fully aware that the unthinkable is in progress, drive the invading clan back to the moat. The clan from Broken Skull Rock, however, has what it came for, and its members fight their way into a position surrounding the crimson moat. From within the cramped formation the murmurs of despicable incantations begin again.
“Your lives, for the fulfillment of prophecy,” a voice shouts from within the dense circle of raiders. A shimmering red portal rises from the moat below, engulfing the Trolls and their foul mentors. Those Broken Skull trolls left behind perform their task well and thwart any disruption to the clan’s escape. Even as the portal collapses back into the moat, the thieves are well on their way back into the fog that surrounds the cove.
The morning sun is now rising, finding the wind pushing a strange fog and several large ships to the west. This same wind carries a cargo of smoke and confusion through the swamplands of Innothule. The fires in Grobb are extinguished, and the descendants of Ykesha prepare for war.