The Search for Seryth

Chapter 18: Ezran started his search in the Barrow Dens of the Druids of the Claw. The first one came up empty. The second one had clearly been ransacked. Ezran suspected he knew by who.

Ezran helped a Sentinel up out of the wreckage, staunching her wounds. “What happened here? Where have the druids gone?”

“Demons,” said the Sentinel. “It wasn’t some random raid, either. They were acting under someone’s orders, to target us specifically. I heard them speaking…”

“Rest a bit, and return to Lorlathil as soon as you can,” said Ezran. Was Seryth somehow on to his plans? He wondered.

The third Barrow Den was actively being attacked when Ezran came to it. Unaware of the danger, the druids inside slept on. Even though their vulnerable physical forms would be easy pickings, Ezran noticed the demons didn’t simply kill the druids. They performed a ritual on them, splitting spirit from body without killing the body, effectively making many empty vessels.

Ezran tried to wake the druids to evacuate them, but they slept on no matter what he did, even after he poured water across their faces.

In the end, he was forced to flee the Barrow Den, with none of the druids within saved.

He rode fast to a fourth Barrow Den with the news. The archdruid there informed him of his mistake: the druids took a special ritual to awaken, for they were dream-walking in the Emerald Dream. Ezran watched as they took his warning seriously and performed the ritual to waken their own druids and arm them against the threat.

“Why would the demons target you directly?” he asked, after relaying the Sentinel’s suspicions this was no run-of-the-mill raid.

“Is it because you are so vulnerable while you are sleeping?”

“Perhaps,” said the archdruid, but he didn’t seem convinced. “The report from this Sentinel makes it sound like it was done out of vengeance, by someone who knew us more personally.”

“Who would that be?” asked Ezran.

“I have an inkling,” said the archdruid. “Take this message to the Moonclaw Vale. If it is who I think it is, they will have suffered an attack as well.”

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