Storm Father be my strength. We meet so many foul beasts as we get closer to the wound, I need your guidance now more than ever.
We continue to lead the army toward Drezen and lick our wounds from the battle with the plagued trolls. The wretched beasts deserve to burn. Who knows what crimes they have committed. Captin Etoras is not pleased with our little adventure. “How the hell can I keep you fools safe if you keep running off into danger?” Stay out of our way and lead the army. We’ll keep us safe.
We will make the ford this day. Artemis, Milo, Anevia and I scout ahead to see what lies in the woods between us and the tower. A cloud of carrion birds circle ominously in the distance in the direction that we ride. A dark omen in a dark land. Once we are in sight of the tower, we can see the reason for the bird. A large group of mindless tieflings are milling about what looks like a battle-ravaged tower. Curse these chaos-worshipping demon spawn! We need that river crossing! One of the others notices that the tower is flying the queens banner. Well, that is bloody peculiar. With what little I know of this country and their heraldry that seems very out of place. Milo offers to investigate. We caution him against it but he assures us that if it his time, he’s prepared. Your god’s speed little one. He takes a potion and disappears.
When he returns, he reports that the queens men still hold the top of the tower though they are not sure how much longer than can fight. There are not many and many more have fallen than remain. Scores of tieflings appear to have died. Many from the battle but more from something else it would seem. These demon lords are always fighting among themselves so I am not surprised.
We alert the army of what awaits us, then mount up and ride on the tower. We position our army with myself on one flank and Artemis covering the other. He rains down arrows on his side a I charge in, screaming blood and rage. “Storm Father, crush these demon spawn!” I take a potion in order to become a small giant and smash my hammer down upon a group of the awaiting demon zombie creatures. The others wade in to the fray along with the army, many still mounted. I trust my two legs better than those of any horse. As the battle rages, I destroy the enemy’s flank and turn and crush their rear guard in one mighty swing. It may have been harder had they not been mindless zombies. But then it would have been more fun too. These undead bastards can barely stand let alone put up a decent fight. I think one landed a blow on me. One! Well these pit-born are what they deserve to be. DEAD!
Our army is victorious and we start clearing the keep and the tower of any enemy stragglers. We are able to reach the top and find the survivors. 11 of the queens men remain. Captain Dann is in charge and tells of the events that transpired here. Some foulest of demons ripped these tieflings to shreds with claws and teeth when they wouldn’t turn over human prisoners for what I would assume is some sort of demon sacrifice. It seems they got their blood one way or the other. It also appears they wrecked the tower on the far side. I scout across to see if it passable and to see if the thing left any trail. Perhaps it could put up a decent fight.
The other side of the river is a blasted waste land, typical of the wounded lands. I have scouted some areas similar to this before and know that nothing but trouble awaits us here. I find some tracks on the other side of the bridge after climbing through the rubble. They seem to lead away from the river and off into what was once a wooded area. Now just cleared land, it seems it would be easy enough to follow. I return and discuss with Captain Etoras and Anevia. Also relay what I have found to the others. We decide to send a small party tonight to see how far the trail leads and if following would prove feasible. Lucious, though I despise his presence, offers to come. As his pit-born brethren, he can see in the dark and that may prove useful should we loose the light on the return. Perhaps he could “fall” off the bridge while we are crossing. No, that would be too simple and he’d probably survive.
With our combined tracking skills, Anevia and are able to lead a small band along the trail easily and we come to a small rise overlooking what appears to be a ruined temple in the distance. As we are almost out of light, we turn back at this point. Lucious seems confident we can follow his aura to this point once more in the day time. Apparently even the sun can’t remove the stench of demon.
We meet again with the captain and he is not pleased, ranting about trying to keep us safe and blah,blah…. we’ll catch up. This could prove important. At the moment it appears to be us keeping you alive. We turn in for the night.
Overnight, I dream of horrendous things. Witch hunters burning my family. My mother raped and burned at the stake. My sister, though she fights many off fiercely, meeting the same end. Many of my companions appear to be taking part and taking much pleasure. Horrible, treacherous, traitors! MOTHER!! I wake. We need to be done with the World Wound soon. I can’t imagine these will get better.
I can see others are equally bothered by their dreams and many men did not sleep well. It seems the troops are almost as disturbed as Lathander normally. That is saying something. The man is out of his head but he seems to keep us alive. Renli is able to calm the men with a most well put speech. There is something different about that little one. I put my gear together and head to the bridge where men have started clear the debris so they may cross. I give them a hand with some of the heavier bits. It seems they like having a Kellid around when there is heavy lifting to be done. It is too bad my brother could not be here to accompany us. I’m spared a few words by our cold god-caller. She believes they treat me like a dog. I tell her I do what I must. The enemy of my enemy is my friend and my honor lies at her feet like unwashed clothes to be aired on a line. I will reclaim my honor in this life or the next. First we must survive.
We gather together across the bridge and head into the wounded land. It is unseasonably hot for this area. Some magics are cast by one of the group and I feel better, as if the heat isn’t pressing on me so much. The tracks are weaker today but through my efforts we are able to follow them fairly easily back to the rise with no incident. During the journey Lathander seems more on edge than usual. Aldrick tries to feed into it, goading and taunting him as he would. That man is evil, I can almost smell it.
Once we are in view of the temple it seems as if it is at the foot of a mountain and that mountain has cast a great shadow over it. There are no mountains for many days ride north of here. Ah, yes, the wound expands. The chaos knows no up or down, no left or right, no bloody idea where the mountains are…
As we approach we noticed the building is not so ruined as we once thought. The door is in good shape and the windows seem all intact if a bit cloudy. Milo identifies some of the markings as belonging to his god, Pharasma. The god of fate if I guess his often musings right. I scout around the side to look in the back courtyard of the building. Its a roughly 10 foot wall so that shouldn’t be an issue lets see if I can… wait, did that thing move. Nah, just this crazy land playing tricks on me. There doesn’t seem to be a good hand or foot… no, I swear it moved. I stare intensely, almost snarling at this gargoyle. I must be going out of my mind. Its a bloody statue. But I stare. I doesn’t budge, not the smallest bit. I ignore it and focus on the wall. A short jump and grab the top and…owch.. spikes. Didn’t see those. Well, the other side has been overgrown by thorn bushes and other odd things. Strange…. that’s the most vegetation we’ve seen since we can across the river. And try to release the these spikes seem to be hooked barbs. I get my hands off but that didn’t feel great. Where is that bottle of clan brew? I could use a drink. I return to the group and notice Artemis is looking at the gargoyles as well. “Did you see that thing move, Artie?” He nods. We may be in for a fight. The building has many of these statues. We are moving to arms when suddenly, the temple door opens.
Dramatis Persona: Capt. Dann
Note: Aldrick finds magic something on a dead tiefling