As he approached the hamlet, he noticed several strange things. There was a cold wind blowing from the mountains, and Elquin had circled around to avoid giving his scent away to potential farm dogs. On the courtyard between the five houses and the barn of the hamlet, tens upon tens of dogs moved around. Elquin studied the spectacle from the shadows of a nearby cluster of trees that were bordering the hamlet and the fields. The acorns hung low on the branches, and for the half an hour that Elquin sat there only dogs moved around on the farm. Occasionally they fought, but a huge spotted doberman always seemed to settle any disputes; the alpha male.
It was about three kilometers (2 miles) further down the road that Elquin's eyes really popped open. The ruins of a village, and a huge black crater. Something; some great explosion, had leveled most of the village, turned it into ashes. In the middle of it all was a black obelisk. Roses and other flowers had been thrown at its base. Several people were prostate at the base, and Elquin could see they were crying. The village seemed completely void of life. Indeed the homes on the far side of the crater, houses that still stood somewhat intact, all bore scorch marks.
As evening approached, the obelisk was finally a people free zone; the pilgrims having left for home and shelter, probably at an inn Elquin had spied earlier; the Haunted Pilgrim.
Elquin studied the inscription on the Obelisk.
Here the 13th Hexenjaeger Company
met the Fiery Devil of the Ketangeeshtal.
in memory of
Captain Dirk Karstens
and the 31 Jaegers
that fell with him,
and also to
the villagers of
who sacrificed all
as a human
We shalt not
Kuth studied the blade; let his sorcerous power glide over it, probing its potency and power.
The blade was ensorcelled, no doubt about it. Kuth brought Vitoriel over and they both probed it. Dark magics. The blade was made of volcanic glass; black obsidian. It was a masterpiece and while incredibly heavy, Kuth found he could wield it. There was a distinct smell of brimstone about it, and Vitoriel meant it had been forged in another place. She suggested that it even came from another dimension. Kuth blinked. While it was obvious the blade was magical, and potently so, it was also obvious that the exact magics were unknown, and that there was an unholy aura about the blade. The first time he studied it, he kept it with him for six hours at end, and in the end he flew into a fit of rage and leveled the entire house he lived in.
Later Kuth explored the edge of the forest in bear form. It was a magical realm, this forest, and he picked up the scent of many animals. Doe, hares, sparrows, elks, another bear, wolves, a racoon, and other, stranger things.
At one point he came upon a stone cave leading down into the ground below a small hill. From within came a low rumbling sound, and Kuth deduced it had to be a truly magnificent beast within; perhaps even Draconic. Outside bones of various animals, and even humans, were scattered about.
On his last day of exploring, Kuth picked up the scent of human females. Three of them, traveling together, deeper into the forest. But he had not the time to explore, so he went back to camp to discuss his findings with his esteemed colleagues.