Carrion Fields

Passage to Freedom - By Llohuir

It started out as just another routine march from Udgaard to the mines. But something was different this time, something seemed just a bit off. The forest was unnaturally quiet this morning, lacking the usual robust chattering of squirrels, the calls of the songbirds. We slaves could see the darting eyes and sense the uneasiness of the slave drivers as they forced the chained column along the worn path. They too seemed to sense something amiss. Something stirring as if from a deep slumber. A large bush in front of the column suddenly rustled. The lead guard signaled a stop. A duergar slave master quietly drew his mace and stealthily approached the bush...

When suddenly a deer bolted out from the bush, bumping into him before bounding away into the surrounding forest. Startled by the outburst the slaver stumbled backwards, tripping over an exposed root and landing on his mailed backside with a loud "Ooommph!". Unfortunately for him, his landing site was squarely atop an ant hill. Angry ants boiled forth, quickly swarming over the unfortunate duergar. Scrambling up, he cursed loudly, and began capering about and shaking his arms and legs vigorously, trying to dislodge the swarm of biting insects. The ants had easily crawled beneath his armor, which the slaver immediately began to tear from his body.

This drew loud laughter from many of us; even the dark-elf slave mistress who usually hid her emotions stifled a smirk. Then there was a loud *thud*, strangely incongruous amid the laughter. The dark-elf blinked several times before pitching forward with an arrow protruding from her back. A female slave near her screamed.

Pandemonium broke loose! More arrows rained down, and a magical bolt of lightning slammed into a wagon from the shadowy recess between two trees. Flaming seeds of fire flew unerringly towards their target, embedding themselves fatally into another slave driver. The pungent odor of charring flesh filled the air. More screams. With a magical *click*, the chains binding us to one another broke loose, and we scattered into the relative safety of the surrounding trees.

With trained agility and practice, the slave drivers drew their weapons and formed a hasty defense by overturning the wagons. Some of them focused on returning arrow fire into the trees, while others began to cut down the escaping slaves.

I found myself running alongside a dwarven slave towards a grove of birch trees.

Suddenly a large shadow stepped out in front of us, and with a blurring swing of a hefty axe, the dwarf's head sailed into the air. I stopped suddenly and stared dumbly down at the headless body, then slowly drew my gaze upwards to the hulking shadow before me. I was too petrified to move. With a gap-toothed grin, a hulking fire giant strode from the shadows, heaved a gigantic axe onto one massive shoulder, and winked at me.

Should I plead for mercy or should I try to escape, no matter how remote the chance of success might be? Or should I assume he is on my side and not a slave driver? If so, do I have the courage to join him in his battle against slavery?

Welcome to the Carrion Fields, a world of untold dangers, opportunities and intriguing politics, where it is your decisions that will determine your destiny.

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