Suddenly Tomast let out a shout, pointing to a hideous stooped creature I had not seen creeping into the cave from a stairway ahead. “Kill it quickly, it is evil!” was his exclamation, and it is a measure of the faith I have in him that I hesitated for not a second, striding forth to do battle again. I did not even falter when two more of the creatures emerged, although Tomast got considerably more excitable, although I must confess I didn’t completely follow his reasoning.
The battle was went in our favour, our assault overwhelming their defences quickly, although I took a few choice hits before they were done (and that damn irritating little Yapp got underfoot again, I mean how can I seriously set an example when I bump into an invisible creature every 5 foot! He does try so hard though, can’t stay irritated at him) As the second creature (Tomast called them Hags I think) fell, the third fell to the ground, crying out in a loud pitiful voice and covering her head in submission.
I immediately lowered my blade to guard, and called for the others to do otherwise. They were less than impressed, with Drake and Tomast struggling to understand why I was not slaughtering her out of hand. Minority seemed less interested in the dilemma, and more interested in shaking her down for items.
Using all of my persuasive powers, I slowly brought the others around to at least grudging acceptance of my decision, if not complete support. The hag told us of how her and her sisters had been pressed to serve the leader of the tribe, a giant named Baal Breakbones, after he slaughtered the previous leader and any who opposed him. They were made to control the weather, and so were responsible for the constant rain we had been experiencing.
She seemed to genuinely repent her actions, and association with Baal, and begged to be spared. Who am I to deny any creature a second chance at life, whatever she looks like or has done? If only the others could see that our role is to fight evil, not to kill it.
Once she had told us everything she knew, I allowed her to take her sister and flee the cave. I suggested she may want to live in the wilderness for a while, and think on why I had spared her life, in Sarenrae’s name. I hope she takes her second chance, and tries to forsake her previous acts. I may try and track her down in a few months, and see what has become of her. If she has mended her ways, then all the good, but if not then she can see the other side of the Dawnflower’s mercy.
(Mental note: must try and have a talk with Tomast about repentance and trying to save those who have fallen from the path)
Healed and with newfound resolve, albeit with dwindling resources, we moved to find Lamatar and confront Baal. The hag had told us (oh, and another thing. If yours truly hadn’t said about saving the hag we wouldn’t have known half the things we do about what is going on, although I do have to confess I am still pretty much in the dark!) that Lamatar was just ahead, and Barl just beyond him.
We moved into the cave where Lamatar was, having been told Baal was somehow controlling him, and as our eyes slowly pierced into the back of the cave Lamatar reared into view. He had his longbow ready, ice crystalizing around the strung arrow, and without a word he released. Three arrows found their mark in my breast, and although the warmth of the Dawnflower protected me from the chill of the arrow I still staggered back under the awesome impacts.
He had succumbed to undead, a crown of ice on his head and long claws of ice on his hands.
We had had a good time of things so far, and here is where everything went wrong. Minority and I rushed into the room, trying to close the gap with the archer. I took more arrows on the way in, healing some of my wounds but not all. Tomast and Drake moved into the room, taking up firing positions at the back.
As Minority and I stepped up onto Lamatar, closing him down, he ignored our closeness and continued to pierce my defences with his arrows.
Eventually it was too much, even girded with my faith as I was, and I slumped into blackness.
Coming around, I can hear Minority battling with Lamatar still as Drake presses a wand into me. Looking around I see Tomast slumped in a corner, sprouting arrows as a pool of blood slowly expands underneath him. Minority looks in a bad way too, as a couple of arrows have found their mark on her.
Lying where I am, I call upon The Everlight’s grace and begin to fill the room with her healing, my friends wounds beginning to heal (although sadly Tomast was beyond help, one arrow looking like it had gone straight through his head). Arrows struck the ground around me, two finding their mark in my side again, as Lamatar redirected his fire towards me as I had hoped. I would rather he target me than Minority, as she stood a good chance of damaging the creature that Lamatar had become.
I continued to heal, and hope I could protect my companions with my flesh as arrows continued to strike. Minority was still struggling to pierce Lamatar’s defences as I rose to take position behind Drake.
Suddenly bolts of energy flew from Tomast’s corpse, striking Lamatar. Still not really sure what happeneded there, but assume it was one of the fey.
At this point Lamatar switched tactics, and before I could blink Drake was thrown to the floor with no fewer than four arrows piercing his body.
Minority and I exchanged glances; healing was low, we were sorely wounded and our options were even more limited. I nodded to her, and stopped any attempt to heal. Calling upon the fury of the Everlight, I focused the raging power of the sun through my body, and burning with holy light I struck out at Lamatar. The holy power struck hard against the undead creature he had become, dealing him a grievous blow. Moments later, more bolts of energy struck him and he crumbled to the floor. I grinned at Minority (who had looked a bit worried at some points, even with me backing her up!), and I began to heal Drake.
Sorting through the equipment of the undead Lamatar, Drake happened across a scimitar whose hilt was encased in ice. Knowing my preference for the weapon he hands it to me. As soon as my palm touches the blade and the tattoo of the Dawnflower presses against it, the ice explodes into shards revealing a magical scimitar underneath with the Goddesses holy symbol worked into the hilt. A very strange occurrence, and something I should investigate when I have more time!
Taking stock of our resources, and the corpse of Tomast, I decided we should fall back and recover, rather than trying to take on Baal.
Once I had rested, I called upon the Dawnflowers compassion. Using my body as a channel for her power, combined with my soul energy, Tomast’s soul was recalled to his body and we set off to return Lamatar’s body to his lover.
We’ll be back to Hook Mountain however; we have a giant to defeat, a people to protect, and a whoever heard of a group of heroes who leave a job half done?!