|Douglas Muir 406|
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Takka of the Toad
Takka sleep on a bed of straw on the floor. (For kobolds, this is luxury.) Tonight his sleep is restless; grief still gnaws at him, and he misses the comforting presence of Sleek. Still, eventually deeper sleep comes...
The Wardstone is a tall, slender pyramid, very slightly curved like a great claw or hook. It is taller than a man, twice the height of a kobold. It is made of some unknown marble-like stone, tremendously hard and durable. Three metal bands encircle it. Runes of power are incised into them.
The mere presence of the Wardstone is immensely comforting. You can feel the arcane energies around it, immensely powerful yet held in perfect tension. Pure law and pure benevolence suffuse the air. It is like being in the presence of a stern but loving parent. The wardstone is the kindly teacher who will help you earn your grade, the dutiful priest, the honest cop on the beat. It is order and light. Against the festering horrors of the Worldwound, it holds the blade of Law. You could stand here and soak in its wonderful presence for hours, and you are sure you'd be better for it.
But all is not perfect here. You notice a small crack near the base of the Wardstone. That by itself is alarming. But the crack seems... active. It seems to crawl a little in your vision, and there is a faint green glow or flicker that seems to come and go. Seeing this fills you with a deep unease. The Stone should not be cracked, and there's something very bad and wrong about that green light.
The demons attacked it, let by their Storm King, says a great calm voice. They failed. The Wardstone was damaged, but the damage has been contained. Repairs are under way. Soon it will be intact again.
Relief floods through you. It will be all right!