East of Winter

The Source and Power of Wind

Runt's Second Outing

I had just finished tracking a Great Eagle when I arrived to meet my companions. I haven't had any friends before. Not sure if that's what these are.

Glim and Esmerelda were there. It was good to see Skulk again as well. Some new faces. There were two brothers, a tiefling, and a skeleton named Ted. I liked Ted. He was as anti-social as I, though I talked more than he. One brother was Ted's master. Not being one to affirm slavery, I went about questioning Ted as to his comfortability with indentured servitude. Being unable to find any presence within him beyond a "will," I determined he was not burdened with his lot — not beyond the burden of existence itself, at least. Still, I liked him.

Imildrak was his master. And Alkadizzar was Imildrak's brother. One a necromancer. The other a flamer. The flamer was cold and uninterested in even things that would please a troll. He did like to burn things, though. In that he seemed to find a semblance of … something beyond dissatisfaction or apathy.

Then there was Abby. A devilish woman of free mind. Her stance against slavery is even stronger than mine. But I wonder how many people have been enslaved by her intimidating presence? We shall be friends, I think.

Skulk and I discussed his barn and how we might profit off of it. I suggested we raise farm animals for use on a farm as well as for sale. He suggested flies. Lots of flies for good eating. Not sure if he was serious. He seems very one-track minded. But more jovial than the flamer. His craftsmanship is lovely though. His clothes are a little wrinkly, but that's what you get from un-stretched reptilian hide.

We set off to complete our clearing of the four forts. Two had been cleared previously, at one of which we ran into a few tieflings. Abby spoke to them and learned they would be watching the forts for us. That was good news. Don't think I caught their names. Of course, Abby spoke to them in infernal so I couldn't understand any of what was said at all.

We headed for the first of two uncleared forts. What I was told was a Ravager attacked us. We fought well together. As a spider, I webbed our enemies to the point of incapacitation whilst the flamer lit them afire, my webbing burning along with their bodies. Meanwhile I could hear Glim cursing downstairs due to his struggles with a particularly difficult-to-defeat locked desk. The layout of the tower was as expected: two floors and a roof, as well as a door to something below. However, unlike the previous forts, when we sought out the below, it was a dead end.

Then on to the last fort. Here we faced some trouble. Glim and Imildrak unlocked the door of the fort and found a trap which they soon unlocked. We saved the door from Esmerelda's fiery destruction, only to then be surprised by apparitional beings who had heard our attempts to undo the trap. Me being stupidly unprepared for a magical attack, I sought refuge beyond their reach.  My companions were more than effective. The flamer seems more than reliable in combat. And Imildrake's wind gust ability is a marvel, though I'm not sure from what orifice it arises. But nothing compares to the clang of Skulk's shield against the head of these apparitions. Much damage, he said with a flailing of his tongue. And he was right.

Esmerelda's magic was a formidable weapon against these incorporeal frights. Her bravery resulted in her being chased down by one such creature who was only then destroyed by another companion.

A few of these creatures were inside the tower, being able to move in and through walls. Abby rushed into the home to chase them down but she was closely followed by Imildrak who immediately exuded another gust of wind which forced these two creatures outside. Abby's untempered glare at Imildrak was enough to release another gust of wind.

Seeing that they were on the run, I changed into my wolf shape and began to chase one down who Skulk was attacking. But the creature was dead before I got to taste his untasteable flesh.

We entered the fort and explored the area. Glim and Imildrak found a trap on the door to the basement. We decided to let it go off. When we then entered the door, we were immediately set upon by a giant of a walking-hyena … and undead at that! And behind him were five more of smaller size. We attacked, full throttle; we packed ourselves through the doorway — I in spider form atop the wall. They were no match. Yet, beyond them we could see a scurrying of many things in the darkness that seemed ready to pounce. The door destroyed, I suggested closing it off with the furniture. Skulk considered crafting a door but, us being in immediate need, happily obliged the movement of our furniture. 

We then decided to rest for the night. Imildrak cast a watchful eye over the area with illuminated lights after placing alarms all along the walls of the downstairs, including the door to the basement. And the flamer cast some sort of alarm system on the roof to detect movement. We slept upstairs so there would be only one entrance. Imildrak took first watch. After four hours, he was replaced by the flamer. An hour into the flamer's watch, all hell broke loose. Every alarm sounded and we awoke in the night.

Several of us rushed to the roof. Bounding up the stairs, I turned again into a spider who took perch atop the door to the building. Glim tied some sort of toy to a rope and held it from the roof, hanging over the door. Imildrak used his owl to scout ahead and spotted an army of walking hyenas — alive this time — headed our way. I webbed the first one I saw, a four-legged hyena who took to my webbing well, or should I say it took to him.

Imildrak, inside, emitted another gust of wind to keep the enemy from entering the building. When the creatures got close, they were no match for Imildrak. Glim dropped the rope tied to his toy which burst into a fog of powerful poison, choking the creatures nearby. Glim seemed unhappy, though, as if he'd hoped for more power.

Flamer shot them, one by one, with his flaming attacks. One by one, they fell. Eventually there was only one left who took to flight. But, in the distance, my spider eyes could just make out flamer's arching firebolt scorch the creature and end its flight, forever.

We desired to head on but knew we were near exhaustion, except the elves of course. So we decided to call it a night. We gathered our belongings and headed out.

I am quite curious what awaits inside the basement we last blocked off with furniture. Hopefully some more walking hyenas. I hope again we can have the last laugh.

Comments

When Alcadizzar cast dancing lights down in the basement the description of the scene below was “You ever seen the movie Alien?” So I’m imagining a zerg hive hell-scape of living pulsing bio-mass.

The Source and Power of Wind
drewsph_dunn drewsph_dunn

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