The Curse of Gardmore Abbey

Leron and Quenton approached the crumbling structure cautiously, peering through the early fog of evening with keen elven eyes. Leron had an arrow on the string; his brother Quenton wore a grim countenance as he knelt to examine a withered, stunted shrub.

Growing in the shelter of a fragment of red-brown brickwork, the little plant was twisted and blighted as though wracked by some continuing gale-force wind.

'It is as we feared, Brother,' he murmured. 'The blight is centered here; he must still exert some influence from the Abbey. King Azoun must be warned.'

Leron nodded, then tensed as a grinding, tearing roar echoed over the hillside. 'That she-bear is still out there; we wounded her sorely, Quenton, but she is still a threat.' He frowned, easing the weight off of his bandaged left leg as he pondered. 'It may not be safe to make our way back out past the mad beast tonight; and perhaps she will have bled to death, or moved away, come morning.'

Quenton was incredulous. 'You would have us spend the night in this accursed place?'

'What choice do we have?' Leron snapped, eyes flaring.

Quenton merely arched an eyebrow, regarding his brother carefully. 'This is an evil place, brother. I think perhaps you are right, but we must nonetheless be on our guard. He always strikes when you are weakest, it is said.'

'We shall share the watch and be away as soon as we are able. Cormyr may depend on what he have learned here.'

And so the elven scouts, after whispering a quiet prayer to Corellon for an early dawn, settled in, backs against the ruined wall, to see out an uneasy night.

Readings from the Ruins of Gardmore

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