It was early morning and the streets of Darkwell were deserted. Of course the streets seemed to be deserted much of the time these days. No one wants to walk the streets when the threat is on the inside of the city walls as well as without. I ponder the absence of any other Druids in the area as I walk alongside the conniving Cleric, Malachi the Healer. I became acutely aware of being watched from the shadows ahead, the street wasn’t so deserted after all.
With a barked order my faithful companion, Burpy charged who or whatever was attempting to hide. The sight of a ferocious bear charging straight at you tends to inspire beings to turn and flee, but to the newly revealed Gnome I had to give credit. She was either too brave or too stupid to run. Malachi had quickly followed my bear to question the Gnome’s intentions. It was while he attempted to grapple with the Gnome that I spotted three creatures advancing on us from a rooftop across the street.
It was as the creatures got within striking distance of Malachi when chaos erupted. The creatures sought the Cleric’s demise with almost reckless abandon in regards to their own health. This was what led to me only having to fight two of the creatures who had nearly blindsided me before the Gnome gave a shout of warning. I wheeled about using my scythe to parry as many attacks as I could but one inevitably got through my defense and scored along the seam of my armor. The pain gave me pause and my focus shifted to Malachi who had been dealt a grievous wound to his leg. That was all I saw before Burpy’s shaggy hide blocked my view of the ensuing melee.
I was holding my own against these lizard like humanoids but the furtive glances I kept stealing towards my companions told me their fight wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I felt the unmistakable drawing of magical energy being cast and I could see the Gnome had just doused two of the lizard men with what looked like grease causing one of them to immediately fall down. My adulation was short lived however, when Malachi gave a short yell as he was overpowered by one the the lizard men. I knew I had to act fast so I reached inside and let my own magic out trying to give what aid I could to Malachi.
Having stopped the Cleric’s untimely return to his god, I returned my attention to the two lizard men keeping me from my friend. I showed them what a determined Druid with a scythe at hand and one pissed off bear can do. With a mighty roar Burpy fell one lizard man as I cut down the two I was fighting. The Gnome meanwhile, was furiously trying to keep the rest occupied as they stooped over Malachi’s bloodied form. It looked as though they were trying to dip their claws into his blood.
In the time it took me to fell my attackers, the others had started to walk off, satisfied by some strange ritual it seemed. I wasn’t done with them yet. After cutting down two more of the beasts it was over as suddenly as it had started. Malachi was thankfully still with us; us now including the mystery Gnome Meriyda it seemed. Before any of us could ask anything else a member of City Watch came upon us, conveniently after we had dealt with the lizard men, and begged us to go to the scene of a terrible event. People are hurt? Evil Temple? Yeah the rest of the group was likely there or had been recently. Probably a good place to look at least. And I figured that we could bury Meryida there if she turned out to be less than trustworthy.
After a short time for Malachi to put his cripple posterior back into working order we followed Watchmen Fife to the temple. It doesn’t sit well with me how well Meryida has fallen in with us, but even so, she seems to be genuine in her intentions. Perhaps this is just the way Gnomes are? Anyway I digress, when we reach the temple Meryida proved her worth in dealing with the local lord.
I could tell by looking at the former captives of this dark temple that they were very sick and likely near death. I knew of no plants that could aid these poor peasants locally or elsewhere for that matter. It was up to our cunning Cleric. With practiced ease he healed them of their most pressing wounds and seemingly in the same motion was trying to outfox the local lord into giving us a donation for the hard work we had done in the name of his god. Amusing though the ploy was, it worked fairly well. We were given some coin and Malachi was likely going to be given this dark temple to use for worship of his own god. Even better, we met up with another of our group Tyzyn who told us of how he and others from our little fellowship had worked over the inhabitants and paid a good iron price for this accursed place.
I’m willing to work with this band of misfits and con artists if it means I can start a new Grove and bring a Druidic influence to this land once again. Maybe in the years to come with the help of fellow Druids I could bring balance to the hordes of goblins here. Or kill them all, whichever’s easier.
We had learned that this building had not been fully explored before our arrival and so we set upon the place to reveal it’s tricks and secrets. We searched also for breaches into our new refuge in need of barricading. It had grown apparent that we would not get the stricken villagers back to the safety of Darkwell before nightfall. It is during this frantic search that I discovered a room warded with magic, I called for the others as things were likely to get dangerous.
All it took was me opening the door to the crypt to trigger the magical trap. With a flash of light a score of skeletons rose from the various tombs in the crypt brandishing weapons. Knowing the skeletons outnumbered us three to one, myself and Tyzin stood shoulder to shoulder in the doorway acting as a human wall clad in leather and steel. Meryida cast that grease spell in the threshold of the door, which gave Tyzin and myself the time to leisurely hack them to pieces.
At least that was the plan. Skeletons are not easy to dispatch with a blade. While my armor was deflecting their own rusting blades my own blade was barely making headway. I needed another plan. I realized that Burpy had the necessary bulk to smash the skeletons into bone meal and knew my best bet was to allow the bear to take my place. Instead of a hulking bruiser of an opponent the skeletons were greeted by the psychotic visage of Malachi as he had taken my place and began trying to shoot holy flames at the undead horde. I say he tried because his first salvo set himself ablaze. His second attempt ended with his eyes bleeding. It was not a good day for the Cleric. After taking a beating Malachi had decided enough and the killing funnel was set up. , Burpy, and myself began to land killing blow after killing blow until finally there was nothing left to oppose us.
Tired and bloodied we secured ourselves inside as best we could and got some rest. The following morning Meryida and Tyzyn decided to go to town and for the life of me I can’t remember what the Cleric was doing. It’s safe to assume he was trying to get somebody to cough up some gold for a good cause however. (OK my character doesn’t know this but for the record, Tyzyn and Meryida get the banners found in the temple appraised, they’re not bad. The two of them then go to meet with the Steward who they deal some critical tete-a-tete with and secure us the right to the temple and a way station for guards to come and protect the place for us. Ah, I remember Malachi was hiring laborers for his new temple and securing provisions.) I spent the day scouting the area around the temple, looking for any herbs that Meryida could use.
Upon my companions return I was interested to see that Malachi had bought supplies and labor to begin working on the temple. It struck me at the time as being a bit premature but I wasn’t going to say anything, I wanted to see where this road was going to lead us. The rest of the day was spent picking through the dusty remains in the temple and keeping inventory. In the blink of an eye it was dark out and time to turn in once again. As there hasn’t been enough time to shore up the defenses of the temple, we had decided to turn in on the second floor by the murder holes.
It turned out to be the correct decision because in the middle of the night we were attacked. It was more of those damned lizard men we had fought in Darkwell! Employing the same tactics as before Tyzyn and myself used the doorways to force our bewildered opponents to face us one at a time. Now what happened next is rather fuzzy in my minds eye as I was busy cutting down a screaming lizard man. But I swear I saw Meryida covered in grease dip, dodge, dive, duck, and dodge her way between the legs of three of those lizards and they had the most priceless looks on their faces. At least until we struck them down.
We decided to fight our way up to where they had come in as it was likely the first floor was surrounded. We were certainly expecting a fight but what was found instead was far more menacing. A raider style longboat was seemingly floating outside of the the rooftop breach in the temple. The first problem, was that we were at least 30 feet off the ground. The second problem was that a large imposing figure was waiting for us aboard that ship. And we have no idea what it wants.