Poes Adventure Journal
Eleventh Entry (after 8/09 session)
You know, this fort – hell, it’s really practically a town now – is really starting to feel like home. Maybe it’s just because I’ve spent so long convalescing here lately. Or maybe, Alia, it’s because it’s starting to remind me of the little town you and I grew up in. Either way, it’ll be a sad day when I can walk steadily for more than a few paces and can accompany the heroes on whatever their next mission turns out to be. Mission, heh. More likely that it’ll be some greed-fueled trek across the country after some mythical hoard…
Meanwhile, I’ve got plenty of time while I’m laid up here to write it all down. And since the local healers are strongly advising me against drinking (ok, so I sneak one in occasionally, but it’s a little tough to get to the bar and Sunny has so far refused to deliver anything), I’ve even been mostly sober so maybe it’ll all make sense. Heh. So, where was I my love? Oh yeah – the main floor of the orc governor’s mansion in that god-forsaken little town Kobe’d talked us into. We’d just killed everything on that level and Ron was leading the heroes up the stairs to press the attack. Or rather, he’d sent me up the stairs into his stinking cloud. Seemed like a good idea at the time…and as it turns out, Ron’s decision to press onward probably saved the lives of everyone. You see, as I reached the landing on the second floor, I heard muffled chanting. My prayer beads turned so cold they hurt. We’d stumbled into a ritual of the Queen’s hated enemy. Something designed to raise a demon from the depths of hell. Frack. I took off running, yelling over my shoulder at Ron to hurry.
Two arrows whizzed past my ears. For once, charging into the thick of it was working in my favor. Heh. The two long bow wielding orcs fell back as I barreled down on them. I continued straight towards the sound of the chanting, hurtling at the wall to the next room, ready to blast through it and interrupt the ritual. The wall held. I bounced. Ouch. Luckily the wounds were mostly to my pride. I’d started to move towards the doorway when Guss caught up with me. He was a little upset with me – running off on my own. I started to explain but the breath was crushed from my lungs by a blow from a battle axe. My fancy new armor held. I suspect it’s going to need some serious work to get that and various other dents pounded out. Heh.
The chanting was reaching a feverish pitch, so I tried to shove past the three orcs blocking the door. They stood firm, pushing me back. Guss had better luck – all that fancy footwork and years of training paid off. He got the orcs to move enough that I a narrow path into the room opened in front of me. A booming voice reverberated throughout the room, speaking in a strange tongue. Suddenly the back wall blew to pieces. Ron stepped into the room through the cloud of dust. He waved his hands and spoke some arcane words. Darkness burst from his fingertips, striking down all of the orcs and the newly summoned demon. Now that’s an entrance. Heh. I didn’t hesitate to back him up – charging into the room straight at the demon. I spent the next several seconds unconscious…recovering from a vicious strike from a fallen orc. Ron apparently hadn’t killed them, just knocked them down. Frack. While I was out however, Kobe and Sunny joined the fray, each damaging an orc. Ron and the death mages traded magical attacks and several orcs closed with Beros, trying to keep him from using his bow. Oh, yeah, and the demon stood up and one upped Ron, blowing the remaining three walls of the room – the whole side of the mansion really – to dust. Sunny tells me that the demon then asked where his star metal was and that Ron, ever ready with a quip, quickly asked the creature how much he was willing to pay. Heh. Sunny also said that things started getting really interesting about then (as if they weren’t already). The orcs began to flee, led by the indomitable Snarl, who crawled off the edge of the building to get away from the carnage. Ron yelled after him, calling for him to come back with the star metal. Apparently this ploy didn’t work quite as planned. The demon responded with a blast of fire, forcing Ron to throw up a shield to avoid being crisped. Beros launched an arrow at the demon. It flew true, but was, according to Sunny consumed by the creature’s fiery aura before it could do any damage. Kobe and Sunny kept their distance, killing fleeing orcs. Guss moved over to me and rendered some desparately needed first aid. And so I awoke – to a sea of flaming rubble and the entrance of our flaming dwarf, holding in his hand, of all things, a beer. Talk about service. Heh.
I figured I didn’t really have time for a cold one, good as it sounded. Someone had to give Ron a hand. He’d moved the stinking cloud over the demon and then shrouded the demon and the death priests in fire. No one else seemed too eager to take on the creature. Well, I guess that’s what I’m here for…I screamed the Queen’s challenge at him and charged. Our dwarf shouted a prayer, sending waves of healing washing over me and then took up a defensive stance in front of Ron. None too soon either – the demon started towards them. Sunny lashed it with her magical power and it thought better of that plan, instead turning to swing it’s fiery glaive at me. The burning blade crashed into my side, but I kept going buoyed by more healing from our dwarf. Ron’s stinking cloud finally did in the death mages, but they had a last trick up their tattered black sleeves. As they died, their souls flew through him, raking him with black claws. He fell. Our dwarf was there though, exercising his praying muscles yet again, to bring Ron immediately back to his feet. I bought the two of them a second of respite, going toe to toe with the demon and trading blows with it. Ron wasted no time, flinging two magical missiles at the creature as soon as he was back on his feet. Unlike Beros’ projectiles, these penetrated the creature’s aura. Our dwarf started yelling something about the floor. I looked where he was pointing. Cracks were widening in the floorboards and several boards were starting to pull apart. Uh oh. Our dwarf continued praying as he backed away from the fast failing floor. He must have been calling for help for me, because I suddenly felt invigorated. Hell with it. I stood my ground, keeping the demon away from the heroes. Behind me, Sunny’s voice cut through the din, calling down a curse on the demon. You’d think he’d be immune to such a thing, but no, it clearly stung. With that and a final groan, the floor gave way, sending the demon and I plunging back down to the main floor of the mansion.
Good thing we were only on the second floor. Plus, most of the heroes were smart enough to have backed out of the room before the floor fell. Me? Well I was up close and personal with the creature. Close enough to see him draw on some power to close several of the wounds that Ron had dealt him. Frack. I stood up and smacked him with the Queen’s cold blade. A couple of arrows thunked into him as well. Good. Beros was back in the fight, too. Our dwarf continued praying from up above and the ground around the demon and I suddenly began to glow slightly. Soothing warmth spread up my legs. Guss was back, too – swinging at the demon with his blade as it tried to step out of the glowing area. Things were looking up. The demon didn’t stand for long against the combined power of the heroes. Our dwarf hurled a lance of glowing power at him. Sunny blasted him with some sort of magical energy and then Guss finished him off with a sweeping blow from his sword. Suddenly all I could hear over my pounding heart was the crackling of the fire consuming the upper floor. I fell to my knees and thanked the Queen for helping to vanquish the creature.
While I prayed, the heroes stood in the burning building deciding on their next course of action. Stay and search for treasure or get out before the place collapsed. You can guess their decision. Heh. Fortunately, we got word relatively quickly that Snarl had holed up in the guard’s barracks and may have actually gotten some of the remaining human guards to fight for him. We’d see about that. So, off we sped to the barracks. As we approached the building my prayer beads suddenly chilled and I noticed a raven launching itself from a nearby rooftop. Uhoh. I stepped in front of Ron, just in time. Three arrows thumped into my chest, kicking the wind from my lungs. Human archers on the walls behind the building were using us for target practice. I heard Snarl yelling at them. Time to put an end to that frackin’ orc. Before I could act on that though, the humans loosed another volley of arrows. I was hit again. Sunny started yelling to the archers, asking them to join us and throw off the yoke of the orcs. The rest of us took a more direct path – charging the barracks. Kobe got there first and took up a post near the door. Ron and I moved forward together, following him. Ron hurled a spell at the structure…but missed. I looked at him in dismay. That didn’t last long though as the barracks’ door burst open and the orc who’d stabbed me from the floor earlier in the morning charged out. His wicked axe sliced into me again.
Sunny continued talking to the archers on the wall. I hoped she’d be able to talk them down. I’d taken enough arrows for one day. I figured our best bet though would be to get Snarl. Our dwarf must have been thinking the same thing. I heard him chanting and suddenly Snarl himself stepped out into the light of the morning, blinking and looking slightly confused. Ron tossed more fire at the orcs and I took the opportunity to smack Snarl with the Queen’s blade. Orcs now poured out of the barracks. A single arrow threaded through the ranks, finding a home in Snarl’s chest. Beros again. Guss wasn’t quite so lucky – Snarl managed to dodge his blade. That was when I heard the yells from inside the barracks and several of the orcs in the back were mobbed by human guards. They’d joined us. The archers on the walls stopped shooting, too. Sunny’s charm offensive had obviously succeeded. Good for her and us.
I watched Kobe dart around me and bury two daggers in the orc I’d been holding off to my left. I heard Sunny shout “Sorry!” and had a second to duck before I was engulfed in a firestorm. I clenched my teeth and tried to dodge as another orc’s huge axe swept towards my head. Out of nowhere an arrow came shrieking past my ear, driving directly into the axe’s shaft and deflecting it to the side. I breathed thanks to Beros. Snarl screamed his rage at the turncoat humans, “You’ll all die for this!” Well, he’s half right anyway. Heh. Guss shoved his way through an orc, his blade stabbing through the beast’s defenses. Without pausing, he spun his sword as if it were nothing more than a dagger, catching a second orc with his back stroke. Frack, he’s good. Me? I could barely keep a hold of my blade, what with the blood pouring down my arm. Warmth flooded over me, thankfully not fire this time, as our dwarf’s prayers brought me healing yet again. The orc next to me staggered back as a blast of fey energy from Sunny caught him in the face. Not to be outdone, Ron flung a few missiles of his own, two burning bolts of magic that pummelled into Snarl and temporarily at least shut him up.
I’d finally got a good grip on my sword and I swapped blows with one of the orcs. The creature was shifty though and slid quickly behind me to strike a second blow – solidly this time – with his axe. I heard the twang of Beros’ bow again and a grunt from Snarl. Another hit for the elf. Our dwarf yelled a battle cry. The orc behind me screamed as his knee was shattered by our dwarf’s hammer. Kobe materialized out of thin air again, his daggers flashing as he, too struck the orc. A blast ripped the air off to the left. Ron again, I thought as I spun myself around and cut the orc behind me. Another orc came flying into the fray, slashing me with his axe. I smiled as Beros’ bowstring sung again. Snarl yelled. Yet another hit for the elf. Our dwarf brought his hammer down again, this time smashing the orc’s forearm. White light radiated from the weapon. With a flick of his wrist he sent the light towards Guss, who’s eyes widened as several of his wounds closed up. I heard a gurgle and spun again. The orc who’d been threatening me was on his knees, one of Kobe’s daggers protruding from his right eye socket. I was a bit disoriented, still bleeding pretty heavily. Ron shouldered me out of the way, blocking a pair of orcs from closing with me. We needed to end this fight now. I looked around and then found him. Snarl. Cut off the beast’s head I figured. I wasn’t the only one. We converged on Snarl. Sunny blasted him, drawing a howl of pain. Kobe twisted him around and pushed him to the ground. Ron loosed yet another volley of fire at an orc trying to shelter in the doorway of the barracks. Standing over Snarl, I growled at him myself. “Last chance to die quickly,” I told him. He spat at me in reply. The remaining orcs weren’t through yet either. They struck both Ron and Sunny. Beros plugged Snarl just as he was climbing to his feet. This brought him into range though and Snarl didn’t waste the opportunity to strike at the elf. The archers on the wall joined in the battle again – this time on our side – firing on the orc that’d charged out to engage Sunny. Sunny pulled a trick of her own, sidestepping the creature while blasting it with more fey power. Ron threw more magic at the orc in the barracks. It seemed like things were well in hand around me…but Sunny was on her own against that orc. Frack. I charged without thinking, blood scattering from multiple wounds. As I staggered up to the orc, he spun around, batted my sword to the side and sunk his blade into me. Things went dark…
Sunny’s filled in the details of what happened after I fell in what she calls my foolish attempt to save her. Turns out she can more than take care of herself. In fact, she was the one who stabilized me and kept me from dying on the field. While she did that, our dwarf and Ron teamed up to take down Snarl. Ron at one point literally stood over my body fighting off an orc. Together, the heroes killed the remaining orcs. After that, and some well deserved rest, they gathered all the humans who were interested and made the trek back to the fort. I wasn’t much help for most of that, being laid up and barely able to walk. Sunny and Ron insisted I take it easy and since I wasn’t in any state to argue, I did. Hopefully, I’ll be back on my feet and full strength again soon.