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One should not speak ill of the dead

Seren’s Journal

After the battle, we took stock of our situation and decided to head back to town for the night. This wasn’t a problem until we left the woods and could see each other clearly in the moonlight - I looked around at my companions and saw: two gnomes, an orc, and a wolf walking upright on its hind legs! It was also talking with the chattergnome’s voice, but I took a shot at it just in case. I seemed to miss - but realized that it was an illusion of a wolf around Rook.

Kor’tac and Rowind also seemed unfazed by the spell, but Roywyn got very upset. We could not convince her that Rook was not a werewolf, and Rook himself wasn’t helping the situation by going on and on about how to kill a werewolf when we met one. I shot another arrow at him and told him, “That’s how!”, while Kor’tac quietly walked him away from ‘Wyn and ‘Wind. Next thing we knew, he’d pulled out his axe and whomped Rook in the head with the flat side!

It took a couple of shots before Rook went out cold, at which point Kor’tac slung him over one shoulder and walked off to the tavern. When we found that the bar was closed, Kor’tac went looking for the temple to find the injured halfling. We argued with ‘Wyn the whole way - she couldn’t understand why we were not upset by Rook’s “transformation”, unconscious or not! At the temple, Kor’tac knocked politely, but the poor acolyte on night watch took one look at the orc and his burden and slammed the door in his face.

We did finally get the acolyte to speak to us through a crack in the door. It turned out that the halfling hadn’t come to them for healing, anyway, so we walked back to the tavern to rest for the night. We went to the gnomes’ room, wrapped Rook in some of the nets we’d taken from the goblins, and Kor’tac hung him from a rafter in the ceiling. ‘Wyn decided to “test” him and pressed a silver coin onto his forehead, and the strangest thing happened - he stopped seeming like an illusion, and became a real lycanthrope. The sight of the coin actually burning his flesh did it for me, and I was flying at him with silvered dagger drawn!

*Poof* and Rook was just Rook again, thank Shaundakul! I couldn’t even be angry when I saw ‘Wyn giving ‘Wind a dirty look and figured out he’d been playing tricks. I just hooked my feet through the mesh of the nets, and went to sleep! Just in case, you know...

The next morning we were woken by shouts from the net - one angry chattergnome, of course! Still being cautious, Kor’tac gagged him and brought him downstairs still bound up. This time he was hung from a rafter in the barroom. We then went back upstairs to talk to the injured halfling, who was in room 3. At least this time the door didn’t get slammed in our faces! (He must not have noticed Kor’tac had his axe out and hidden behind his back).

The halfling and ‘Wind got into a long drawn-out discussion of the “treasure map” he’d talked about the night before. Instead of just paying a thousand gold, ‘Wind suggested a down payment of two-hundred fifty, plus healing in full, plus ten percent of whatever we find. And, just like that, they were talking about having breakfast and going to get a contract drawn up!

I was only half-listening by then, but while we waited for the halfling to get dressed I realized the others were talking about Rook, and thumping on him some more before releasing him from the nets. Now, a little fun is one thing, but my conscience smote me - this was going too far. I quietly flew off downstairs and set to work cutting Rook free and lowering him to the floor. I had barely begun when a loud shout right behind me - in midair - caused me to drop the poor guy instead!

I quickly healed him up, and he started in talking about werewolves again. ‘Wyn gave us both a look of disgust, so I shrugged my shoulders and walked off to order breakfast. Whatever Rook got himself into this time, at least his feet were free to run from it! As we all settled in the corner, ‘Wind reminded us that we had to give 250 gold before we got the map. I handed over a moonstone worth fifty, and the others made contributions, then went back to eating. Except Rook was trying to make up for the hours of being gagged; he ignored me when I put my bow on the table and glared at him, but he settled down when Kor’tac did the same with his axe. In the meantime, ‘Wyn and ‘Wind had left the table, muttering about silence spells.

By the time the halfling was downstairs eating breakfast, they returned - with saps for each of us, and about 400 gold each as well! Dalabrac Merrymar joined us for a walk to the notary, who wrote up a whole contract for the gnomes to check out. They got into an argument about the definition of a “full healing”, but the contract was finally signed and notarized and copied for us all. ‘Wind and I healed the halfling, and he handed us the map. Back to the bar we went to check it out!

The map had strange handwriting on it, which thankfully Kor’tac could read. Apparently, the path to find the treasure is only to be found when the moon is full. Tonight, then - we needed to hurry, and hoped not to be attacked by any real werewolves! Leaving Dalabrac to wait at the inn, and disappointing ‘Wyn’s wish for some horses to ride through the woods, we headed back to the forest. I was sitting on Kor’tac’s shoulder, reading the map and pointing the way, when we heard the sound of many folk coming through the wood.

I put the map away, and Roywyn began to sing for us. We stood in a group and waited... only to see a whole group of drow appear from the trees ahead! I can’t describe my feelings about drow, but my actions did - without hesitation I screamed, drew back, and shot the lead drow dead!! ‘Wyn was next, casting an illusionary portal in between our parties, and Rook shot off some magic missiles at the drow who was obviously beginning to cast a spell on us.

A mass of webbing fell from the sky, entangling us in its sticky strands. I was able to get free, thanks to Shaundakul’s blessings, yet not before several drow arrows hit me. I was badly hurt, but managed to get away and hide myself among the leaves and branches overhead. I drank down a healing potion while watching a ball of fire from Rook burn a swath through the webs. It didn’t reach Kor’tac, unfortunately - he was struggling like mad to get free. He looked like he felt the same way as myself about drow!

Rowind had disappeared from view, although we could hear him screaming at us to run. Kor’tac and Roywyn were still stuck, (Kor’tac swearing volubly) while the drow archers next took aim at Rook. Down he went! ‘Wyn shot another drow, singing all the while, and then a wall appeared between some of the drow and the rest of the party. I aimed my next shots at the two drow spellcasters, and killed them both outright - go, me! Unfortunately, this made me a target for the next volley. Several of the drow aimed at ‘Wyn, too, offended by her song.

Kor’tac was finally breaking free from his bonds, and I had killed another drow or two, when I saw Rook was still bleeding out - but I was unable to help! I’d already been hit by more arrows, almost negating the healing potion’s effects, and the others were fighting for their lives as well. A new spellcaster appeared from nowhere as I hid in the leaves and drank my last healing potion, and then I heard Rowind’s voice, telling me where he was hiding so I could fly down and be healed by him. I was determined to kill the new spellcaster, first, but he drank something and disappeared from view.

Kor’tac went on the rampage, mowing down several drow in front of him. I shot one more archer to death, then flew to ‘Wind, who healed me completely. The wall disappeared, and I saw that Rook had stopped bleeding and lay dead before us. Oh, no... but, first, we had to finish off our enemies. Kor’tac killed two more, Roywyn got one, and the last drow ran as fast as he could off into the woods. The last spellcaster, thankfully, failed to reappear, and we were left with the bodies of the enemy and the body of our friend.

I hope Rook doesn’t mind that I’m now using his amulet of protection.

I hope we desecrated the bodies of his killers in a fashion that will bring peace to his soul! He is well avenged!

Posted by Kate on August 9, 2006, 01:18 | Seren’s Journal