Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Albinor Chronicles Chapter 13
"Black Rain"

By Marcus Pan

March 20, 003

The clouds gathered over Drow Castle, for Lolth had been given a high one on which to feed. Mysterious webs and unidentified spiders began to grow and multiply throughout the wooded areas around the castle and they moved further, encompassing more and more ground of Alfeim. Small raiding parties moved out along the borders of Lolth's Wood and attacked the communities of wood elves that dwelt in the area. Slowly, the borders of Lolth's Wood grew ever outward and not long after the country of Drow was born. The elven folk around these borders fled further away, not wanting to be near the evil that was being spawned in the area. Quickly hither and thither through the realm of Alfeim they ran. Many came for aid to the capitol, the city of Alfeim, and were sheltered as best as possible. Mayor Faeiriewalker provided as best he could, still reeling from the great defeat before the castle just weeks earlier. The raiding around the surrounding countryside of Drow increased. The high elves and wood elves formed their own parties and they patrolled the area somewhat keeping the raids to a minimum. A few on either side fell, but neither Drow nor Alfeim wished, nor could barely provide, for another battle.

As the spiders multiplied, they began to be known as killing machines of the drow, some nearly growing to the size of an elven man's outstretched hand. The poison they injected into the unwary who were stung killed nearly immediately, allowing no time for curing. The spiders resisted all attempts at being captured and their bodies fell to dust not long after death. For this reason a suitable antidote could not be manufactured. Those bitten were as good as dead as far as all the elves were concerned. Calds enjoyed the havoc they spread. By day, the raiding parties slew as many of these hairy beasts as could be seen. Some parts of the woods even became so populated with their loathsome webs that one could barely move throughout the forest without getting caught in one. And they were quite strong as well. The wood elves that stayed in the area helped to clean up the mess by following behind the Alfeim soldiers to burn away the webs. Some archers became very skilled, even beyond elven renown, with the bow and arrow, able to hit a spider off a tree at fifty paces. The spider population dropped and the deaths by poison did as well, but they still existed and defeated all attempts of extinction nonetheless.

One night, when the stars were out and shining high above Cannolbarth Forest, an elven patrol from Alfeim slowly padded through the forest on foot. The air was unusually crisp and clear. The smells of the forest bark, tree, leaf and soil molded together in a strange, but not bad, scent. As the patrol leader leaned against a tree and gazed at the stars above something strange passed over the sky. A large, black cloud, sparkling with electricity and lightning, passed before the stars until only the cloud was left to the vision. There was a flash of light and thunder raged. The men scurried for shelter, for this was not a natural storm they were witnessing. Huge drops of rainwater pounded the forest. It washed away dirt and caused rivulets of murky water to caress down the sides of the trees cascading into muddy puddles at their roots. A sharp smell of electricity was in the air that mingled with a scent of smoke. More thunder raged and more lightning arched through the sky. This was a strange rainfall. The drops were of a murky blackness and they stung when they touched flesh. Trees withered and blades of grass died. The men hurried out of the storm.

After the fall of the black rain strange plagues wreaked havoc throughout the realm. Both high and wood elven folk took sick and died in the night. Those that remained near the evil country of Drow took flight quickly and with only the belongings they needed most. Patrols rarely trod through the paths anymore. And after the black rain fell the drows took the land for their own. First a whitening spray of rain cascaded into Cannolbarth, washing away the death, dirt and plague that the evil black rain had brought. Then the dark elves came out and posted signs border signs for the country of Drow. Now residing in the northwest of Alfeim, Drow controlled 400 square miles of Cannolbarth Forest and transformed it into a dismal, evil form like a huge Lolth's Wood. Mayor Faeriewalker began gathering masses of men, all who could bear arms. "'Tis time to act or die." he proclaimed. All agreed.

Still there was no sign of King Corellon Avantar. He was last seen in the city of Celltum on November 26 of the second year. Whether he was dead or alive, none knew. And Glamour took up his position and began to organize his army. Doom was knocking on Alfeim's door.

The above item may have been edited by the author since its first appearance in Legends No. 35.