The low whir of lightning moving thousands of pounds of steel hummed along the route from Thrane to Sharn. One creature, a dragonborn, clad in a heavy plate armor with a mace and shield resting on the seat beside him sits in a soft rest. He hears a noise and his eyes open, noticing the human across from him. The human wears leather armor and a dagger hangs from his belt. He eyes the dragonborn quickly before averting his gaze out the window.
“Hello friend…” the dragonborn says as he stirs forward and stretches his back. His nostrils flare open and he lets out a quick breath.
“Greetings. What brings you to Sharn?” The human looks directly at the dragonborn.
“I’ve never been there before,” the dragonborn shifts and moves his arm nearer to his mace, “and I hear its a nice city.”
“It is, I’ve been there a few times. What’s your name sir? I’m Henrik.” The dragonborn delays his response for a few moments before answering.
“You can call me…Poe.”
“Nice to meet you, Poe.” Henrik leans back into his seat and glances at the large chest in the storage shelf above the seats. His eyes move away from it quickly. Poe notices the human, and looks at the chest.
“Mind if I ask what you’re carrying in such a large trunk?”
“Honestly I don’t even know. I’ve found in my line of work it’s usually better not to ask. As long as I get my due, it’s all the same to me.” Henrik shoots a slight smirk towards Poe, who does not reciprocate the gesture. The train continues onward for another hour, with the two men hardly speaking any more words to one another.
Sharn. The city of towers. A bustling city full of dwarves, humans, gnomes, even a few refined goblins walk around the city streets. Several “Lightning Gnomes” are wearing the same grey with red trim uniforms, indicating that they are workers for the Lightning train. They are arguing about how to fix an energy flow problem in Gnomish. The train stops and the passengers begin filing towards the exits. Henrik grabs the chest and slowly lowers it down, letting out a few grunts and awkwardly maneuvering to prevent himself from falling. “Hey friend, do you need any help with that” Poe asks as he eyes down Henrik.
“Sure…why not.” Poe grabs one handle as Henrik grabs the other and the two shuffle out of the train. As they reach the busy platform, the two men place the chest on the ground. “Thank you, Poe.”
“What have we got here?” A Goliath says as he slowly walks forward. His sword sheathed and strung at his waist, his hands are resting on the butt of the handle. He eyes down the dragonborn, and then Henrik, as if to evaluate if he could fight both of them if need be. “Looks a little odd to me, two men needing to carry it.”
Poe starts, “I was just helping my frien—”
“I’ve never seen this man in my life. He offered me a gold piece to help him carry this chest” Henrik says as he stares at the Goliath. The Goliath looks over the both of them and then looks down at the chest again, never breaking his assured stride.
“Let’s open this and see what’s inside,” he says as he crouches down to grab at the opening mechanism.
Just then, a loud screech is heard from several hundred feet down the train tracks. Bustling down the tracks, a train that has been crafted with a wedge on the front is running full speed ahead. It collides with the stationary train and explodes into a fiery mess of twisted steel and flames. The bodies of worker gnomes scatter through the air and are ripped apart. The dragonborn ducks and uses his shield to cover his body. The Goliath turns around to see the damage. Henrik is in full stride nearly 30 yards away already.
“Dave, hold onto this” the Goliath says as he picks up the chest with one arm and heaves it towards another worker he knows. Dave catches the chest with two hands and falls over from the weight of it. The Goliath and dragonborn look back, and then to each other, “He’ll be fine” says the Goliath as the two men move toward the wreckage.
“I’m Poe, by the way.”
“Name’s Dyak, nice to finally meet another useful person.” Dyak walks towards the doors of the train as Poe searches for people in need of aid further down the line. He finds a gnome with a piece of steel rod through his chest and lifts him up to get him to help. Suddenly, a large hatch on the ramming train slides open before Dyak and standing before him are two warforged, equalling the already massive stature of the Goliath.
Dyak takes a few steps backwards as he draws his sword. Poe looks up and notices the warforged. He puts the gnome down and draws his mace, standing upright and walking towards Dyak. The two nod to each other and face the warforged, both notice the awkward structuring of the automatons, appearing to have been crafted in unusual fashion. Poe swings at the head of the warforged in front of him, but his mace swings high as the machine ducks in anticipation. Dyak smashes the side of his warforged enemy and caves in a small panel of the robot’s body. Poe glances out of the corner of his eye at the goliath’s wild swing, and in doing so he does not notice his warforged step forward. The warforged grabs Poe and throws him nearly 10 feet out. Poe lands on the mysterious chest and it splinters and bursts open under his weight.
Impossibly, a human, nearly six feet tall, was inside of the chest. He squints his eyes open and rubs his face, making a reactionary frown. Poe stands up quickly and stares down the enemy warforged, not noticing the chest-dwelling human. The human, quickly pulling his hood back over his head, sits up, “Dragonborn? What can I do for someone as rude as yourself?” Poe, slightly startled, looks back at the man.
“I don’t know who you are but we need your help.” The human leans over to look past Poe, and notices the two warforged, who Dyak is fighting. The human stands up.
“No thanks, not my battle.” He walks away casually towards a utility building. Poe watches the man walk away as his shield and mace slowly lower, until he hears Dyak scream and notices the warforged landing several rapid blows on him. Poe runs forward and screams out as a glow of light surrounds his body and sears into the warforged’s metal shells. Dyak, now on one knee, stands up and swings over the head of the warforged, going in full spin and then crushing the knee of the warforged on the returning swing. Bladed gauntlets seemingly swing out from every direction from the mechanical men. Poe deflects a punch from the warforged and smashes at its shoulder joint in return. The warforged reacts abruptly and punches him in the chest, causing him to stutter backwards. Dyak blocks the punch of his warforged with his arm as he swings his sword in his left hand at Poe’s warforged. The light around Poe continues to burn into the warforged, but they make little notice of it.
The mysterious human staggers behind Poe, as if he doesn’t notice a fight taking place. He taps Poe on the shoulder, “Excuse me, dragonborn?”
“What?!” Poe says as he pushes off the arms of the warforged trying to grab him.
“You can’t defeat these things. You have no idea what you’re in for really.” The human walks in between Dyak and Poe as they struggle with the warforged. He looks left and right at both of the warforged, and even taps his finger on one of them twice before slinking between them and ending up behind the two machinas. He takes a few steps back before taking out some sort of object from his robe. Poe and Dyak are still watching the human as they defend off attacks. The human shifts his weight and enters some sort of pose, as he channels energy through his body and directs it to the warforged in front of Poe. The warforged slides backwards towards the human, grinding the cobblestone ground it stands upon. Poe runs forward and lands another blow at a joint spot on the warforged, who in turn swings at the human, who ducks under the attack with the greatest of ease.
The warforged in front of Dyak turns to look at what is happening with the other warforged, and as he does, Dyak throws his sword in the air over the robot, foot plants off of its hip joint and catches his sword, extending his arm as he turns his hips and then swinging down with the sword so hard that the blade rips apart the neck and chest of the warforged. Dyak flips over from the momentum but never lets go of his sword, landing on his back in the rubble of the machine. Poe bashes the warforged with his shield, and in return is greeted with a fist to the face from the warforged. He snarls in anger and bends down recovering from the slashing, screaming lightning out of his mouth at the warforged. The human steps to the side and avoids the arcing lightning blast. The warforged powers down. Dyak rips his sword from the remains of the robot, and walks over to Poe, who is in some sort of meditative state, controlling his instincts from taking over.
“Impressive Poe. You fight almost as well as I do!” The human glances at the chest remains, and then at the two men. He decides it better to leave now, and walks away into the shadows.
“Where’d that guy go,” Dyak asks as he looks around.
“I’m sure he’s running from the daylight.” Dyak looks at Poe and pauses.
“Daylight? He wasn’t…”
“He was,” Poe starts, as he wipes off blood and dirt from his armor, “vampire. Dealt with them before. I’d bet my life he was one.” Dyak walks over to the chest remains and finds a small black sack with some tools in it, a dagger, and some sort of crudely pieced together ornament. He keeps the sack.
As the two warriors recover and begin looking to where they can help the most, a sea of warforged file out of the train, at quick sight, at least a dozen of them. Without hesitation, Dyak takes off in full sprint, with Poe struggling to keep up pace. The two jump over dead bodies and mounds of debris as the warforged hastily follow. Dyak veers to the left and grabs onto a handrail from a building and rips it off the foundation while in full stride. He leaps into the air and spins to face the warforged, throwing the handrail at the group of them, hitting the front two and slowing the group down ever so slightly. Poe ducks under the rail as it’s in mid-air and keeps on stride. His jaw unhinges as he screams out for help. The two men are still running when a strange natural beast appears in front of them. Skin made of wood and wrapped in ivy and leaves, the creature has a demi-God-like aura to him.
“I can help you” he says. Rapidly sprouting from under him at high speeds, vines and tree branches form a linked fence that blocks off the warforged from continuing through a small alleyway. The warforged try to rip down the new fence, but it is too strong. Poe and Dyak look at the natural beast in equal awe. The being points his arm towards the warforged, and a mighty roar is heard. Behind the warforged, a spiritual bear has appeared and is swiping at the warforged without discretion. As metal chunks go flying through the air, the tree-man turns to Dyak and Poe, “Are we in danger?”
“It doesn’t seem like it anymore…” Dyak says as he and Poe run with the tree entity towards higher ground.