The Inquisitor inspects the corpses for signs of lethality. The bodies are slowly starting to pile up as we head upriver toward the tributary and I don’t feel very positive about what we may come across. Though, unlike my usual self, I feel a little more disdain for the amount of corpses piled up. It didn’t necessarily bother me before as I was trying to follow in Your footsteps my Grace, it’s just that… well. I feel odd. I believe ever since that cataclysmic night of rampaging through Kenabres and shattering the Wardstone I’ve been feeling … for lack of better terms, off kilter. I can vaguely remember the etherreal spectre that moved in front of me as if letting me know things would be alright. And let’s not MENTION the trip to Heaven. They scoff… but I doubt they’ve ever died before. To my knowledge, if you are some of the few that go to Heaven – you are dead – end. of. story. But that aside, why yes… different.
Following the steep embankment, the bodies clogged the rapids. They hung over each other and rocks as a putrid sacrifice and food stock for what lay crunching their bones. They were green, moss of various variety creeping upon their backs and fronts like a bad affiliction, to which they should probably do something about, upturned teeth and hideously bad as a whole, river trolls took up the desecrated bodies, ripping their limbs, a snacking like the carrion birds would in the sands. In some stories apparently, they are more feircesome and taller. These two were simply … well- short, stocky, and brutish.
As that seance wielding know-it-all bellows an infernal blessing, I’m not sure why I am driven to do so… there was a compulsion… a jerking. That asshole, I wanted to strangle his smug face… and I knew I could, but then something held me back. And I believe it was my right mind, but then my new left mind came into contact with my right mind and wrenched it away so hard it felt like snapping. Startled by the mental gynastics, I saw as my associates began the attack after one of the miserable monsters ripped a body in two. Artemis, to which I will later describe as the human seige weapon, got in the first few shots which made the troll drop their new meal. But he did his best assassin work, the little scamp, and sliced at the monsters throat. Wailing and baby-like, these tantrum toddlers picked up the already desacrated bodies and hurled them around hither/thither trying to knock us off balance. It didn’t work. It merely incited us.
The Asmodean leaned in and conjured his famous smoke screen… and I certainly moved away because he is bound to try and kill me again one of these days. In a volley, the Inquisitor, Seige Weapon, and I fired hotly into the trolls from the edge of the red mists. A displaced Milo with refracted images in tow blurred across the river from the other side of the bank within the blink of an eye… I was very surprised to see him dart out there because I did not hear or see him leave our company. I don’t think he was around when the devilish sycophant made his mists…
BAH! Those damned things multiplied as 2 became 4, and then the most protective, guttoral, and horrible noise came from the steeper sides of the hill. The trees all snapped like a charging elephant through a forest.. but the elephant was 20 feet tall and was fiendishly tainted by the abyss… and not an elephant to begin with but an, I could only assume, mother river troll. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a screech and coming in sight near Milo upriver was a river dragon. I had not seen a river dragon before… but as for trolls and dragons there are many things I can think of that are alchemically used for more potent potables, baubbles, charms, and tinctures… and more debilitating resins. The dragon cantered down river with a body strewn in its gorey mouth and was fired upon instantly by Artemis. So Artemis… yes. YES! Artemis, where was I, he when first met, was a normal archer of human stock, quite good in fact (forgetting the climbing down for an advantaged area – in a miniature fortress no less- and running straight to that witch, to which we nearly died) seems… less human. I’ve seen a few archers in my time, even elven… but this – is ODD! I’ve seen so many various shots by this man. He, as an aside, moved with more the celerity and puntured everything with such accuracy and such ease (to which I am surprised because the capabilities and hides of these creatures were extremely difficult to overcome by normal means) he stood in a fixed point and unloaded volley after volley of arrows into these monster with ease. It was INhuman I’d say. The only other time I’ve experienced such a thing was walking by balistas on the walls maned by 5-10 people for the quick load and unload of pikes.
The dragon moved acording to the, I could only assume as mother until closer inspection, as it dove and swiped at Artemis. Within the mists, I could hear the shameless Inquistor barking the “Law of the Land” to the fiendish monsters. Yeah… like they’d stop to chat about how they need to organize and follow into a law-abiding society of men. And with that thought… again Artemis pushed arrows into the swooping dragon (to which I later learned was not a true dragon, but of its kin… but I’ll take it). And then for a split second, most of them just calmed down. For a few breif seconds I heard… nothing. And then the raucous Lucious started running his firey mouth off, AGAIN, and buried that bastard sword of his to the hilt into the mother.
I guess these things don’t die unless you use a little bit of fire… well why not. I took a few pokes and wound up on cleanup duty as I began expelling both healing dispersals and holy fire all at once. Not really holy though… I don’t think. For some reason though, that doesn’t sound like an off base statement. Ahhh… Milo. YES Milo. He danced around the toddlers taking wacks at them here and there, and put a few down, but had no fire. So, as I mentioned cleanup duty he seems relieved. And then the fun part! Except that son of a bitch got there before I could. Although he didn’t take much… or the right things for that matter… the Asmodean grab a few teeth, scales, wing pieces, and trophies… I on the other hand got Artemis to carve out glands, and bile sacs, and bio-iginters, and blood! WHAT A DAY! WHAT A DAY! It’s very hard to find these on the open market these days.
Thinking there was more to it, we set up the steep slope from the direction of where the mother had come crashing down (yes, it was a female – nevermind the exposed breasts, two heads, and grim appearance… that could have been any gender of these things) and came up a cave. Well. We went spelunking down into the depths… and guess what we found… BILLY AND SQUIB! THOSE imbeciles… thought you could sneak away huh!? Thought you could take my Medal of Valor… YOU KILLED ME! And this well be sweet and swift when I ring your grubby li- [patience… forgiveness…] What?
The carvern was natural, strew with refuse art, hides, a fire pit. It seems they recognized me, but I was able to hush them up as quickly as I took back my Medal without anyone seeing. I tried to make a quick cover for them, but again the Inquistor stepped
in… continued poking and prodding until he got an answer he liked, Squib took up a rock and hit Billy with and and Lucious began yelling for god knows what and killed Squib outright. These men should die. They shouldn’t have behaved like that. Nothing could excuse them from this kind of justice. Their ties ran to deep and foul retain any sense of compassion. … THERE IT IS AGAIN! … I can hear it… and feel it nagging me like a batty ol’ wife or one of those law people telling you to move along when you’ve had a bit much to drink… And without pause, somehow I stood up to Lucious… really resolute I must say, but it almost felt like I was taking a back seat… like a was being directed and when I came back to, Squib was dead… I don’t know how he did it… but he managed to find a sharp object and did himself in. I guess that was his recompense… BUT he was still breathing… I can save you Billy. It’s ok. You can do better next time. We all will. There are such things as second chances… Seranrae knows this.
So catching before he was completely gone, I roped him up and harnessed him to me to I could drag him up through the cave mouth. Even though I’m doing a bit more harm than good, Lucious and the devil worshipper impart advise and act as if they was total dominion over the comings and goings of this little operation. HA! I am NOT dropping him and I am NOT giving up on his. I am well within my rights. Lucious tasked me with showing justice to this criminal, well I am… showing justice… my version… in a way. I’m going to have him help us get that banner. It’s practically a suicide mission anyway – and with the lay of the land it would be less torture to have him with us than have him walk about the wastes. But he couldn’t let it go… And he killed Billy, that self-righteous, pompous faced, dehydrated geriatric quim.
The unconscious body weighed a TON! But I managed to start dragging him as the sounds of screams and battle were heard in the distance toward the deathzone were created. Lucious still badgering says SOMETHING about a tree but I needed a cot… and what do you know that smug son of a bitch denies me the cot… it IS for medical purposes and it IS used by an enlisted man and it IS being utilized by said enlisted person… Instead he went straight for the kill. Not caring or considering the potential hazards that had befallen whatever innocent souls that are down in the screams, he tries to murder Billy in front of me in cold blood. So I ran with Billy – dragging him along. By some divine grace I heard a thunk as an axe in a stump… but I heard the crash of leaves and battle cry of the partially demonic man behind me and the lighter load that freed itself from my arms.
Billy’s dead. Another one for the Gods of Chaos I suppose. I have to wonder why I was so adamant about this miscreant. Its perplexing and jarring really… this Inquisitor that stands “for the law”. Etores and company in tow finished with what looked to be the smaller father of the trolls, save for this was a detestable and dispicable zombie thing. So I burned it with some flint and steel. And the grave looks of those around me sent me packing on a one way ticket to 1000 mile island that seemed to say, keep your beliefs out of our business.