The Coming of the Astar Uln, Part 3

The table was carved from the Tadilisus tree itself. The gods that sat around it would fade from memory long before the table turned to dust. It was carved by Drugar himself with axe, knife, and chisel forged by his own hands. Hewn from a single piece of wood, the piece was near unbreakable.

Around it sat the nine gods of the Astar Uln. They had been called to council by Silwyn to discuss leaving the realm of Yurilda for the first time to explore Samsarras. There would be danger and none knew what would happen to Yurilda if all the Astar Uln were not present. The debate lasted a long time.

Mishtil, Goddess of Health and Healing wore robes crafted from light itself. The waifish child had watched the proceedings from underneath her upturned brow, her thin lips drawn downward in contemplation. Her russet brown forearms were covered in thin grey peach fuzz that stood on end, betraying her anticipation. 

Misthil voted yes.

Markkesh, God of the Sea,  sat with calm as the debate raged, wearing nothing but short trousers that ended just below the knee. His black chest was muscular and seemed to ripple like waves going out to sea, his dreadlocks bobbing about his head like drift wood. Markkesh’s eyes were the blue of a calm day in the deep ocean. There would be nothing there for the god that did not exist in Yurilda.

Markkesh voted no. 

Silwyn, Goddess of Travel, shifted nervously in her seat for the entirety of the counsel. Endlessly did she fidget, her fingers twirling her whitish blonde hair. Her porcelain skin took on a reddish hue as accusations were leveled against her for being impatient and impulsive. Silwyns narrow eyebrows never failed to betray what she was thinking. 

Silwyn voted yes. 

Drugar, God of the Craft, stood as much as he sat during the meeting, often arching his back to relieve tension. He was stocky with wide shoulders and a stomach that bulged slightly under his smock. The gods bushy mustache was impeccably groomed and swooped out to either side of his mouth. On occasion, he gripped his hands into fists, tightening the muscles under his tanned loose skin. There were time when the discussion became heated and Drugar’s face and cheeks adopted a red, ruddy hue as if billows were stoking some internal flame of his.

Drugar voted no. 

Druhaus, Goddess of Magic, paced the room. At times she leaned far over the table, eyes glaring at anyone who dared to speak. Others, she perched upon a chair, her tangled hair hanging every which way and serving to mask her pink face. The goddess’s fingernails dug into her staff repeatedly, pulling up slivers of rotted wood underneath them. Her want was great.

Druhaus voted yes. 

Mugan, God of Magic, remained calm for the entirety of the counsel. He sat in perfect posture, his crystalline staff  never wavering from its upright position in his right hand. The single braid that contained all his hair laid upon his right shoulder, creeping upon the boundary between his purple robe and golden skin before making its way down his chest to his stomach. Mugan gave his answer without passion, as if it were the product of nothing but reason. 

Mugan voted no. 

Venul, Goddess of love, could not help but stare at Silwyn. Her deep set eyes stared out from under a heavy brow as her top lip consumed its counterpart. Among all of those assembled, her speech was perhaps the most passionate, punctuated by supple movement and a shaky voice. Her vulnerability was tangible and hung in the room like a delicate spiderweb of pure silk.

Venul voted yes. 

Brenisch, God of Poetry, spoke eloquently. His sepia skin seemed to warm as he spoke, his soft words weaving incantations that even the twins took note of. Each word of his rough voice was like a musical note. Each gesture of his wrinkled body was like a dance. For Brenisch, there was only contemplation and the perfection of his art.

Brenisch voted no. 

Tadis, Divine of nature,  seemed to be barely paying attention. Their hair sprouted from their head like pea sprouts, curly and tangled. Twigs and straw clung to it as dust clung to their skin. Only a simple cloak clothed the divine, their bare feet not feeling the cold stones beneath them. Never once did they speak to question, answer, or accuse. 

The seeds of thought had grown slowly in their mind and was fertilized by their secret dissatisfaction. Yurilda was beautiful, as was their orchard with in it. The thought of such deep wilds as Silwyn described had fallen on deaf ears at the time, or so she thought. Such ideas took a while to take root and reach the soul. Tadis had also seen the twins on their own and had seen the elves with their own two eyes. So apart of nature were they. So fragile and so strong…

Tadis voted yes, and so would it be. 

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Digging in the Sand

Bones. So many bones. How many people have been buried here?

You find a rusty long sword and a small, golden vulture head worth 250 gp.

Red Sand

The sand here on the edge of the sacrificial ground is loose and looks recently churned.

Vulture Priest

The Vulture Priests are the enemy of knowledge and enlightenment. They seek to bring the eternal silence, the end of all things. Decay and obedience is their only god.

Armor Class 6 [13]
Hit Dice 1 (4hp)
Attacks 1 × Beak (1d4 or by weapon)
THAC0 19 [0]
Movement 120’ (40’)
Saving Throws D12 W13 P14 B15 S16 (1)
Morale 8 (11 when at their temple)
Alignment Lawful
XP 10 
Number Appearing 2d4 (1d6 × 10)
Treasure Type D
Immune to the Divine: The spells and powers of clerics and paladins have no effect on them.
Weapons: They frequently use wickedly curved daggers, which they use for sacrificial purposes.
Soul Clouders: There is a 10% chance that any Vulture Priest can use the sleep spell once per day. The targets are still awake, but they are beset by such a deep depression that it has the same effect as sleep. They may only watch what unfurls around them.