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Posted by on 1998 Feb 22 |

Fear of the Fylgja

(Crossing, Zoluren: 140 Shorka 353)

The bard guild commons in The Crossing is a place where bards young and old meet to trade tips, tales and motifs. Only bards and those trusted companions in their close company can pass through the silvery portal found there that leads into the performance hall adjoining.

The performance hall is one of my most favoured haunts, a place for good company, good cheer, good stories, as well as good song and dance. And it was just so on the 140th day and 353 year since the Victory of Lanival the Redeemer. That is, the 4th month of Shorka the Cobra in the year of the Amber Phoenix

That day my delightful companions were Xeltiec the cleric, Xilven, Hallmir, Solidale and Alamine who are guildmates of mine, Tale Singer Betana, Taleweaver Deannyia, and last but no means least young Selicra the Skr’Mur cleric whom I had only a few minutes earlier escorted I into the hall.

The performance hall was the last place in the Realms I’d expect to see a horrid bony little creature pop up… yet one did.

If like me you have never seen a Fylgja you’d be forgiven for staring at in dumfounded amazement. And that is what all seven of us did. Its very aspect was that of death incarnate. I garbled a string of strange sounding words, words that seemed to add inches to its stature, right before our eyes!

One by one we slowly reached for our weapons, not quite believing what our eyes were seeing. Each and all looked askance of one another searching for an explanation for the creatures appearance and what exactly it was. In those wasted moments not one of us moved to attack the thing. We for the most part were Performing Bards – tending to song and reason. Though before this episode was done each of us had cause to regret the absence of our more seasoned Battle Bard brethren and their skaldic skills.

Those moments of vacant minded puzzlement were soon shot with stark fear and terror. The bony Fylgja singled our poor Selicra and let loose a stream of abuse so foul that it left her stunned in fear and revulsion.

That was enough to put to put us all on the defensive, slipping smoothly into positions that would allow us to leap aside or block any physical attack with our weapons. Still – none of us made a move to attack the creature. We were all intrigued by the bony Fylgja’s mocking chant:-

"Chaos turns, burns,
Bracken thatches
Mortals never learn,
Emuin fetches!"

Our hesitation proved fatal for in that instant more Fylgja’s condensed from deathly cold fog that had formed about our knees. Each and all vomited foul recriminations that froze our arms to our sides

"Dead walks
The absent come
Unlife talks
We have fun!"

"Here the call,
Fight us not:
We are all–
You we got!"

"Art thou strong?
Think on fear
You are wrong
Thy death near!"

"Bright dark
Cold fire
Unetched mark
Thee expire!"

At least I had sense enough to begin chanting Redeemer’s Pride, I have always found that enchant emboldening to the extreme. But I fear my bass alone was not enough to cut through the combined might of the Fylgjas foulness.

Xeltiec and Xilven, were the first to meet the dire threat. Working as a team they advanced on a Fylgja. Xilvence voice raised in a glorious rendition of Rage of the Clans, filling our ears with burning battle lust even as Xeltac cast some mysterious cleric spell. Xeltecs eyes locked with the Fylgja in a strained contest of wills. Once angered in this manner the rest of the Fylgja selected opponents and advanced.

Unable to contain my disgust at the foul servants of death I addressed the Fylgja nearest to me. "Be gone foul fiend!" I exclaimed whilst fixing it with my coldest glare and whipping out one of my steel throwing knives.

Ignoring my demand the creature swung its axe at Selicra and landed a light hit to her back. The creature had no excuse to attack the young Skr’Mur! If anyone, it should have swung at Xilvence, being both cleric and an aggressor. The injustice burned in me. In hot anger I launched my throwing knife in one fluid movement but even as I did it I began to feel the insidious fingers of cold fear. I usually have no trouble sticking hogs with the first throw of my knife but this Fylgja nimbly dodged my missile with apparent ease. I knew myself to be overmatched.

Through my gweth I heard the thoughts of those in other guilds, namely the Cleric and Moon mage guilds experiencing a similar attack of Bony Fylgja. Many of us in the bard guild added our thoughts to the general clamour. Shrieking for assistance against this most unusual menace.

Selicra’s cry "Help me! Don’t let it kill me" focused my panicked attention on her once more. But I was too late, her foe swung once again lightly cutting her leg. Another Fylgja joined in the attack swinging its axe in a devastatingly vicious arch. The axe intersected with her white scaled face and made a sickening sound as it cleaved a bloody hole where the left eye used to be. She collapsed in death before my eyes.

The victorious Fylgja shrieked in triumph and turned to focus its death hungry eyes to me. I swear it seemed to actually gain strength from the life it took!

Even with the chant I was singing I was unprepared for the foul words of the Fylgja as it worked aether through its fingers and chilled my heart with its magic. My hands clove useless to my weapons, I stood rooted to the spot, unable to force my feet to turn and flee never mind attack! Distantly I heard the cries and clashes of my guildmates as they too fought for their lives. But I could do nothing as I saw death approaching with a malicious leer on its bony face.

But even as I started in horror at the Fylgja a blood-curdling wail heralded the arrival of a vengeful shade to my left. I heard it shrieks a bitter curse as it fixed me with a cold stare from its empty eye sockets. Gracefully and with cold purpose it slowly lifted its arm and clutched my wrist in a moment of searing cold that chilled my blood and spread ice through my whole body, leaving me as weak as a newborn puppy. I gasped and slumped unable to continue the enchant I hand been performing.

Even in this condition I could see it was not going well for my guildmates. Hallmir was struck down and Solidale, Betana, and Deannyia were ether engaged in desperate combat or as stunned as I was. I could not see the others.

Thankfully Betana continued the chant Redeemer’s Pride where I left off, for the shade was not yet through with me. It made a flinging motion almost as if it was chucking some invisible something-or-other at me. To my surprise my steel throwing dagger which had been lying on the floor lifted off the ground and hurtled toward me! I barely managed to snap out of my stupor and dodge out of the way.

From out of nowhere Xilven tried a new tactic his voice sliping into the warm smoothing caressing tones of Albreda’s balm. Xilven’s silver voiced mastery of the enchant lulled most everyone – except one Fylgja, who, on seeing me off guard brought its axe up and down quickly in a good strike to my chest that all but split my leather breastplate.

Call me a coward if you will but all I could think to do was get out of that hell. I scrabbled for the exit, turning from one foe to another searching to find an escape. I knew with sick and fearful certainty that if I remained there without help and without blessings for my weapons I would die, and so would my guildmates. Finally I dived through he exit and landed wide-eyed and panting.

In the common room were a few hardy souls who had heard the racket in passing or through our pleas over the gweth. If I had any presence of mind I’d have assisted Danner who I saw there escorting warriors into our guilds sanctum. But I was too charged with fear to think that clearly.

Instead I dashed out into the street and up to the guild hall of the protectors of the realm – the Paladins. There I balled without shame for their help and assistance three times without receiving a word of reply. Next I ran to the Empath guild and told them of the dire situation. By the time I made it back to the Bard guild breathless and shaking it was virtually over.

It seems that while Xilven lulling enchant had calmed most of the Fylhja for a few moments it soon wore off and caused the undead to flee the performance hall. Unfortunately for them they fled into the waiting arms of those who had come to our guilds assistance.

Someone told me later that Mistress Silvyrfrost let out an encouraging "Go team!" as our Battle Bards and allies ripped into them in the common room. I’m grateful to one and all who came to our aid in that time of need.

Though it chokes me to think, that, of the seven light heated friends that were enjoying one another’s company not so long ago, only three survived for sure, that’s including myself.

I heard that the moon mages had it worse, who can say.

Who can say what sacred place they will try to rape next? While I’m not a religious man those Fylgja could not have found a more sacred place to my mind. Who can say where these foul things came from? Who can say who Emuin is? Who can say what their purpose is in the Realms?

Who can say . . . Yet I know this as truth:

I for one – want to know more
I for one – want to settle the score
I for one – want to do what’s right
Who is with me – in this fight?!

You will find the full and edited versions of the actual log in: The Codex of Events