War of the Burning Sky Session 15

Once Cyrus returned with Torrent’s glaive, we agreed to take the stairs up, heading northeast.

Ulfgar quietly led the way, while my armor clanked behind him.

Stacks of tall crates filled the hall at the top of the stairs.

A hobgoblin with a bow yelled an alarm from the upper level.

With a battle cry, Ulfgar rushed in and bopped a hobgoblin with his quarterstaff, before taking up a defensive posture as three hobgoblins surrounded him, slashing with their longswords.

A crate toppled over with a crash right in front of me, blocking the corridor, as someone let out a deathly scream, presumably from my spirit guardians.

Cyrus squeezed in front of me and climbed on top of the crate, and killed the nearest hobgoblin with frostbite.

Squeezing past Cyrus, I leaped over the box and into a chamber beyond, killing the hobgoblin archer by the far door with my spiritual weapon.

Pushing between the two remaining hobgoblins, Ulfgar slashed one with his claws, just before it fell from my spirit guardians.

The last hobgoblin lunged at me, but was clobbered by Ulfgar’s staff.

Looking west, Ulfgar warned, “There's a lot of beds over there. There might be more of them.”

By the entrance, Xireas blasted an approaching hobgoblin to death.

Hearing the sound of fighting, Cyrus went back down the stairs, toward our companions, missing a wandering hobgoblin with frostbite. Crystin snuck in through the corridor and hit it with three deadly magic missiles.

I headed south through a corridor to the east, loudly warning, “They’re over here!” as a well-armored hobgoblin approached from a side corridor, followed by a bugbear.

Ulfgar dashed down the corridor like the wind, and past me, smashing the hobgoblin with his quarters as it approached.

Clearly skilled with his blade, the hobgoblin slashed his sword down hard on me.

“You guys need some help up there?” Xireas asked.

“Yeah,” I confirmed, “this guy’s a hard hitter.”

Xireas approached and hit the hobgoblin with three magic missiles, before backing up.

Cyrus reached us, holding his glaive at the ready.

I stepped back slightly as the hobgoblin avoided my hammer.

Stepping up, Ulfgar knocked the hobgoblin unconscious with his quarterstaff and engaged the bugbear, who smashed the monk with his giant morningstar.

Moving up, Cyrus stabbed the bugbear with his glaive over Ulfgar’s head.

Moving up to encompass the bugbear in my spirit guardians, I smashed the fallen hobgoblin warrior to ensure it was dead.

Ulfgar deftly tumbled past the bugbear and up onto a cart behind it, as it turned and clobbered the monk with its morning star before Cyrus stabbed it fatally in the back.

Pushing the cart aside, we explored the chamber beyond.

Scanning the bodies quickly, we found a suit of half plate armor, a giant greatsword, some javelins, suits of chainmail, shields, longswords, longbows, and arrows.

To the north was another chamber, with a chest, and a door to the west, leading back to where we fought the first group of hobgoblins.

“There's a chest up there,” I pointed out. “We should come back for it.”

So I don't think you guys well what's this here like hey or.

Torrent cast prayer of healing on Ulfgar and I.

We continued on through this door, beyond the central chamber to sleeping quarters to the west. There was a narrow corridor leading south.

Halfway through the corridor I saw a pile of stones in a small alcove to the east, but as I approached them, I fell down into a ten foot deep pit, with the pile of stones crashing down on top of me, burying me.

Ulfgar was behind me and dug down until he could pull me out.

We searched the hobgoblin cave, also finding some food and wine.

“Come on Cyrus,” I beckoned, “have a drink with me to celebrate the dead hobgoblins.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Cyrus replied eagerly, “it sounds like a great idea. Let's toast to these deaths of these vile hobgoblins.”

In the chest we found a lot of coins, 20 gold, 1,100 silver, and 2,400 copper. We also found seven gems, a potion of superior healing, and six enchanted arrows.

At the bottom of the chest I found a bloody handkerchief. To my surprise, the symbol of Moradin was imprinted on the center, and on the upper left corner were the initials DH, written in dwarven.

“What's this doing here?” I asked in shock. “This is my father's! These initials. Danvadin Hammerforged. What was he doing on this world?

“What happened to your father?” Ulfgar asked. “Did you lose contact with him? Did he pass? Did he disappear?”

“I came home from a mission to find that the Hammerforged clan had been called to defend the Greypeak mountains from an assault by their ancestral enemy. It was said that Danvadin fought bravely and held the line against overwhelming numbers before falling, though his body was never recovered,” I explained. “He was a legend!”

Taking the arrows, Cyrus decided to abandon his heavy crossbow for one of the hobgoblin’s longbows.

Torrent outfitted herself with one of the suits of chainmail and a shield.

I strapped the half plate armor to my gear.

We split the gems and the gold and silver coins. Ulfgar shoved the copper coins into his pack. He also took the potion and gave his potion of healing to Torrent.

Suddenly we began to smell burning incense and heard chanting from the central chamber. Peering through the door, we could see Xireas in the midst of some ritual. Moments later, we saw two hobgoblin corpses begin to stir and then they rose from the ground. “Come next to me, my pets,” she uttered, and they shuffled next to her.

With the zombies watching the entrance, we took a short rest.

It was late in the morning when we were finished eating and resting, and we headed out. Xireas had one of her hobgoblin zombies carry the suit of half plate armor for me.

After traveling for a few hours, we came upon a small cottage off to the side of the road. A soft glow could be seen through the cracks. Smoke rose from the chimney above. The clattering of wooden windchimes flowing in the breeze broke the silence.

Cyrus noticed that the chimes were dream catchers made of bone.

“Tread carefully now,” he warned. “A powerful witch might live here. We don't want to make her angry.”

“Can we just keep going?” I asked. “Do we have to go in here? We got a mission, and this is not part of it.”

Suddenly we heard cries of distress from within the cottage.

Cyrus approached cautiously, but briskly.

Noting that the windows were all shuttered, Ulfgar peered through the cracks.

“Torrent,” I asked, “do you have another cure wounds?”

“Yes,” she nodded and applied the healing.

“”I see something,” Ulfgar warned. “I see something big.”

Cyrus examined the door and pushed it open, Ulfgar right behind him.

Ulfgar struck a large creature with his quarterstaff.

I cast spirit guardians as I approached the door.

“Who let you in?” moaned a large creature, as it smashed Ulfgar with its giant club.

“Another one over here,” grunted another one.

“What should we do?” Crystin asked, approaching the door. “What's going on over there?”

“You can see them through the cracks,” I urged her, pointing to the wall next to me. “You can shoot him from there.”

Xireas approached with her zombies, complaining “Keep up, you numbskulls.” She blasted one of the big creatures through a crack in the walls.

Torrent also approached the door.

Cyrus spotted a bloody lady lying on the ground. Her clothes had been torn away and flesh rendered off of her body. She was still conscious, tears coming down the side of her face.

He picked her up and placed her in a chair, warning her to stay away from my spirit guardians.

“Devan?” She muttered. “Is that you? Devan?”

“Don't move any closer,” Cyrus called out to me. “There's an innocent in here.” He stabbed one of the big creatures with green flame blade, the flame leaping to another of the creatures.

Ulfgar smacked one with his quarterstaff.

I entered the room to find Cyrus and Ulfgar going toe to toe with three ogres. A dropped the nearest with my hammer, and hit another with a spiritual weapon.

Cast spiritual weapon, Torrent hit one with a sacred flame.

Cyrus slashed the southern ogre with hsi longsword.

Circling around to flank the ogres, Ulfgar whacked the southern one with his quarterstaff, and bashed it with a short punch.

Flanking the northern ogre, I smashed it with my warhammer and my spiritual weapon, dodging its giant club as the southern ogre fell from my spirit guardians.

Xireas rocked the last ogre with toll the dead.

At Cyrus urging, Torrent cast cure wounds on the wounded lady and hit the last ogre with her spiritual weapon.

With a slash of his sword, Cyrus disemboweled the last ogre and it came crashing to the floor.

Cyrus approached the lady.

“Thank you,” she said. “You're not my Devan. I thought you were.”

“No, I'm not Devan,” Cyrus replied. “What happened here? How did these things get in here?”

“They broke in early this morning,” she explained, “and they set themselves to eating me. They overtook me and they were in the process of devouring me when you came along.”

“I'm Cyrus. What's your name?”

“Pleasure to meet you Cyrus,” she replied. “I'm Tallulah.”

“I recognize some of your trinkets,” Cyrus said. “My old nan practiced the same as you.”

“Yes, I suspect our fates may have been similar,” she conferred. “I used to live in the town aways from here, but they just didn't agree with my ways and I had to get out and find my own place here. That's why me Devan set up over here. But at last Devan came of age, and had to find his own way.”

“So he don't live here with you no more?” Cyrus asked.

“Well,” Tallulah sighed, “he set off sometime back and I pray he's not dead or worse.”

“Devan is your son?” Ulfgar asked.

“He is my son,” Tallulah replied. “Yes. Where are you heading?”

“Seaquen,” Cyrus revealed. “Seaquen is where we're heading.”

“Seaquen,” Tallulah commented. “That's a long road from here it is.”

“We got a long road to travel,” Cyrus agreed. “Is there anything we can do to help you here?”

“Well, you could rest your bones if you like,’ Tallulah offered. “We can get you all something to eat and send you on your way proper-like. But if you would do something for me, if you’re going down that way, I think my Devan went that way.”

“You want me to keep an eye out for him?” Cyrus offered.

“Yes,” Tallulah replied, taking off her ring and handing it to Cyrus, “if you run into my Devan, give him this for me. Given this from his own nan.”

Cyrus accepted the ring and put it in his pocket.

“Would you have something to eat here then before you go?” Tallulah asked. “Help me to my bed with you?”

Cyrus helped her to her bed.

Ulfgar perused the house curiously, casually poking around some kitchen utensils and carrots and other odds and ends. He recognized some wards to keep evil spirits away and configurations to help someone get pregnant or to ward off a spirit that may have possessed the body and other kinds of spiritual ornaments.

With the help of Xireas’ zombies, I dragged the ogre bodies outside.

Cyrus looked around for any repairs that needed to be made, and I used mending to help him repair the door frame where the ogres had barged in.

Before we left, Torrent cast prayer of healing on Tallulah, Ulfgar, and me.

As we came to the end of the Two-Range Pass, a valley opened before us. Although winter’s grip was still strong, a river carved a small running stream through sheets of ice that extended from its normal banks. A few fishermen could be seen about a mile in the distance with a squad of armed men nearby. Beyond that, a copse of trees obscured the main walls of a town. Smoke rose from chimneys and we occasionally heard a hint of habitation, the ring of steel on an anvil, a muffled shout, and even the whicker of horses.

As we came closer, the armed men noticed our arrival and two of them mounted a pair of horses and rode towards us. Armed with crossbows and swords, they stopped hundred feet away, with bolts pointed directly towards us. The other soldiers were approaching on foot in the distance. With a half-snarl, one of the horsemen spoke, “What brings ye to Lord Rego’s lands? Speak quickly for we are meager of time and temper!”

“We're just traveling through,” Cyrus declared.

“Where are you coming from this?” a horseman demanded. “This road isn't very often traveled.”

“That's true,” Ulfgar acknowledged. “We haven't seen anyone else on our travels, but we are on our way to the sea.”

“We left Gate Pass a number of days ago,” Cyrus explained. “We’re heading south.”

“Gate Pass?” the horseman seemed astonished. “How the hell did you get here from Gate Pass? The forest is an unpassable.”

“Not anymore,” Cyrus bragged. “We're amazing.”

“Not anymore?” the horseman challenged. “What do you mean?”

“It's not burning anymore,” Cyrus explained.

“How to hell did that happen?” the horseman gasped.

“I don't know,” Cyrus shrugged.

“Do we look like somebody who would be able to make a magical forest fire stop?” Cyrus asked.

“Well, if you come through it,” the horseman prodded, “you must have some information about what's going on over there.”

“Yeah, the fire’s out,” Cyrus reiterated. “You can walk through it now.”

“So what did you see there?” the horseman asked, lowering his crossbow. “Hey Ralph, come on over here. These lads came through the fire forest.”

We closed the distance at a casual pace.

“Yeah, we walked through the force and it was all out,” Cyrus continued. It seemed to be a burnt husk, but there was no fire.”

“That's amazing!” the horseman gasped. “That place has been burning for forty years and nary a soul is coming through there.”

“We thought we were screwed,” Cyrus explained, “but the forest was out, so we just walked through. It was great. There was no life there.”

“No life?” the horseman confirmed. “That's amazing! We might be able to actually get back the Gate Pass nowadays. But then with this damn war going on, who the hell knows when we’re gonna get there again?”

“Yeah, I wouldn't go there if I were you,” Cyrus advised.

“What news do you have from Gate Pass?” the horseman asked.

“It was being seized by the Ragesians when we left,” Cyrus shared.

“Damn Ragesians!” the horsemen cursed. “They’re on the move, are they?”

We nodded and continued to answer their questions, explaining that Gate Pass was filled with refugees and had shut their gates and was now under siege, which is why we fled. We explained that it was being attacked from the skies.

“We’ve had our own share of refugees around here,” the horseman shared.

“Where are they coming from?” I asked.

“Citizens of Ragesia,” the horseman explained, pointing north. “Over there past the Hetkonn Mountains is Ragesia, and a lot of their citizens are fleeing.”

“I'm a monk from the monastery of the east winds,” Ulfgar explained, “and these are my traveling companions and we are on our way through the forest. We're trying to get towards Bresk.”

We learned that Lord Rego’s land was in the Thornwood Valley and Cornerwood, at the edge of Thornwood forest, was a day’s travel away.

Xireas sent her zombies to bury themselves until she fetched them.

They brought us to a small village with a little inn where we could take a load off and rest ourselves before we made the rest of the journey. We paid for their drinks and they found a barn where we could sleep for the night.

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