One night ago…
The Kobiashi Maru caravan, according to Sandru, was just one day out from its destination of Brinewall Castle. Everyone settled in for the night, including Tengu.
That night he dreamt a particular dream.
It started in a damp, dungeon. Next, he saw a wagon wheel begin to spin. As it spun faster and faster, ice began to build up around it. The frost grew ever increasingly larger as the wheel spun until finally the wheel slowed from the build up. The ice begins to crack and the entire wheel shatters with the sound of a bird shriek. Obstructing his view of the now exploding wheel, a black raven flies straight up. This sudden burst of movement jolts Tengu awake immediately, drenching him in sweat. What did it mean?
The next day of traveling came and went as the days preceding. The sun was beginning its decent.
Sandru called out the top of the castle, seen in the distance. That’s when Ameiko fell into her coma. When the operatives thought to consult Cephor on the matter, the four brought Ameiko in. After he suggested that some spell or curse which felled her was connected to Brinewall, the others agreed to head for the castle. Cephor however, made notice of Tengu’s reluctance. Something was on his mind. He caught Tengu’s attention as the other three were leaving the lodge.
“Mr. Ebonwing, you look troubled. Is there something about this quest that’s bothering you?”
“Nope. Had a wierd dream.”
“What did you see?” Tengu recalled the story of the dungeon, the frozen wagon wheel, and finally the black raven.
Cephor took it in and considered what he had been told. “I’m no reader, but in my research on future events… fate, if you will, images like that are often tied to not only your possible future, but of the past. I won’t pressure you to go into this castle right now if you are not up for it. Though because the Kaijitsu girl is my friend, I’d hope you’d consider it anyways. Sometimes visions like these, while they could just be our imaginations cobbling memories together, they sometimes can help guide us down a certain path that we’re meant to take.” At that, Tengu departed the Resplendent Lodge for the Material Plane once again.
While Koya and the rest would care for their patron and friend, Haweeha, Draugnir, and Thordok chose to head towards investigating the castle. Tengu, on the other hand, just perched atop the Roach Coach, looking more solemn and contemplative than usual.
“Hey guys, you go on ahead. I’ll… help keep an eye on the caravan this time around.” The others seemed baffled their friend decided not to join them, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to scout on ahead. Traveling for weeks on the road can take tolls on different peoples. Additionally, who are they to know the peculiarities of tengus?
As the sun began to set, Tengu felt ready and more focused on the task at hand. Maybe there was something to this raven image that he couldn’t shake off. Maybe something about this old castle had something for him…
So he nodded to Sandru as he grabbed his gear, and hopped off the wagon, heading towards the village. Following the road in a hustle, he passed the ruins of an old lighthouse, abandoned village homes, and an oddly well kept cemetery, he eventually came across the road leading up to the front gate of Brinewall Castle.
His instincts however, especially considering hearing squawks and shouting from inside, gave him the impression that knocking on the front door was not a good idea right now. Instead he hugged the outer wall and moved his way to the northwest, between the walls and the embankment to the Bunyip River. After observing the cliff side, he noticed a peculiar inlet. Sliding and carefully hopping down the cliff, he discovers a damp cavern. Lighting a torch, he makes his way along a tight path along the southern wall until he comes to the end.
With his keen eyes, he spots a locked secret door, which he successfully opens to reveal a small L-shaped hallway, leading to another locked door. On the other side of this room, he finds a large kitchen that doesn’t look like it’s been used in decades. Dust is caked all over the utensils, broken tables and chairs. Tengu decides to quietly stealth over to the door to his left. Listening, he hears nothing. Opening it, he sees a winding hallway with some lit sconces on the wall. Moving forward, he sees a door to the south, with another door at the end of the winding hallway to the east. He opts to listen at the door that is slightly ajar, and where the air is a little more foul. He peers through the opening and sees pillars and iron cages. A large horrible face gets in Tengu’s view and before he can react.. blackness. And a ringing in his ears. Then nothing.