“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”
After Shuriel had completely returned to consciousness, the group decided to set out once again to complete their quest of ridding the Wild Hills of the Yellow Cult’s taint. Jewel quickly took to the trees once more and ran ahead of the group, searching for any sign of monsters like the one that had drugged Shuriel and attempted to carry him away, swearing to make their entire blighted race pay. Zerrik and Omar clutched their weapons in anticipation as they flanked Brevan, who lead the way with the Yellow Sign that Bippy had inscribed on his hand. Shuriel was busy signing Brevan’s direction to Jewel so the group could stay in contact with one another.
After several hours of following Jewel, the sun was quickly setting as darkness began to fall across the forest. In that time, no one had spotted anything out of the ordinary; forest animals would clear away from the adventurers with puzzled looks. Not that Zerrick hadn’t given them plenty of warning with the clanking of his armor. Soon. the group happened upon a clearing of trees with no foes yet in sight. Exasperated, Brevan turned to Zerrik to vent some of his frustrations.
“So tell me, Zerrik, now that night has fallen, just when are you planning on abandoning us out here?”
“I told you that you would have a day of my time. Nothing more, nothing less,” Zerrik said sternly. “That time has not run out. Yet.”
“I not be sure just, exactly, how you can just leave this place after seein’ the horrid creatures that be lurkin’ within it, Zerrik,” Bippy replied coldly. “Ye are a man of faith, and even if ye not be as schooled in the ways of other religions as I, ye be knowin’ foul stuff when you see it.” Zerrick did not respond to the blinded Oracle.
“Wait, quiet, everyone!” Shuriel said suddenly in a hushed voice. “It’s getting dark, but I think Jewel is signing that she’s spotted something. No, wait. Someone. Someone in a black cloak. He’s hiding from us.” As Shuriel finished speaking, his ears twitched slightly. Although the sound was too soft for Zerrik or the halflings to hear, he had heard the mechanical click of a weapon firing and the thud of it striking its mark; he locked at Omar and was assured that the Drow heard as well.
“Jewel’s been hit! She doesn’t look too good, the bolt might have been poisoned,” Shuriel deduced. He watched as Jewel jumped down from the tree, pulling out her rapier. With a well-aimed thrust, she stabbed the hooded figure between the ribs, but wasn’t rewarded with any resistance; a small “clank” informed her that her weapon had passed squarely in between the creature’s ribs, and that the space between those ribs was utterly hollow.
Omar wasn’t one for waiting. After hearing the sound, he ran to get a better vantage point, not only so that he could see the creature, but also so he could strike at it without any distractions. He loaded his gun as he ran, stopping so that he could see the creature clearly; clad in a black cloak, the creature was roughly as tall as he was. It turned its head slightly after hearing Omar stop and load his blunderbuss, but what happened next, neither Omar nor Jewel could have predicted. Abandoning all course of personal concern, the creature charged away from Jewel, who swung her rapier again at the creature, her blow rewarded with a hissing noise from the monster and the splatter of a purple fluid against her clothing, but the creature ignored Jewel’s attack, continuing onward for its true mark; Omar. The monster swung wildly with its limbs, forgoing the use of its hands to swipe or its crossbow to fire, but instead slamming its limbs into Omar, the brute force feeling like being smacked with an iron rod. Now winded from the punishing blows, the creature took advantage of Omar’s weakness and lashed out with a vile, purple appendage from where its mouth should have been, constricting it around Omar’s neck and burrowing into his skin. All of his allies watched in disbelief as the drow immediately fell limp in the creature’s grasp.
“What in the Nine Hells is he?” Zerrik yelled. Neither Brevan nor Shuriel had seen anything like this creature before. Bippy, however, had, and she shuddered as she spoke a single word.
“What? You know what that is, Bippy?” Brevan asked as he regained his composure.
“It is called a morgh, they’re powerful undead creatures made from the bones and spirits of powerful, heartless killers. We need to abandon the drow elf and leave. Now.”
“Wait? Why? Is he dead?” Shuriel asked.
“Not yet. That tongue, the appendage you now see wrapped around Omar’s neck, it secretes a powerful toxin that temporarily stuns its victims when injected their nervous system. The reason we need to abandon him and leave, however, is that those creatures are stupid. They can’t be found wandering through a wood like some lesser skeleton or zombie. They are specifically created as assassins; where this one came from, someone made it to kill Omar.”
“All the better to fight it.” Zerrick said quietly as he focused on a powerful incantation, calling forth living darkness from the Shadow Realm to serve him. “Spirits of darkness, hear my call! Bring unto me a champion of the dark that may fight by my side!”
As Zerrik called out to the planes, Shuriel pulled out one of the shortswords that the group had liberated from the derro and hurled it towards the morgh with surprising accuracy. The weapon missed the morgh by several inches, but the weapon continued to gracefully soar through the air until it struck a tree and stuck firm. Shuriel cursed his fortunes as he resolved to simply use more direct methods against the monster.
“Do you intend to stay, Kindlebrin?” Bippy asked Brevan, who stood by her side. Her question was in vain, Bippy thought to herself, for she could sense Brevan’s courage, his fighting spirit in protecting the people who had sworn themselves to aid him in one impossible task after another.
“Of course,” Brevan said, pooling his arcane energies. Bippy sighed and called upon her own powers. Under her direction, the ground beneath the monster began to slow with a pale light, the grass, leaves, and trees beginning to rhythmically sway back and forth under the influence of her spell. The morgh, temporarily distracted from its kill by the sudden influx of positive energy, loosened its grip on Omar in confusion.
“Now, Kindlebrin!” Bippy yelled as her spell was complete. Brevan launched forth a set of blazing streams of fire, scorching the creature and leaving two coin-sized holes in its cloak. The monster bellowed in pain, but more intriguing to the spellcasters present, the flames launched by Brevan’s ray reacted strongly to the holy ground that Bippy had laid under the morgh. The flames lingered, spiraling about until they had formed into the vestige of a powerful, angelic being born entirely of flames. This new contender, a powerful conduit of good, sufficiently distracted the undead monstrosity as it dropped Omar to the ground.
Jewel, having watched Omar’s plight from the shadows, struggled to compose herself. She moaned in pain as she felt the poison ravage her body, but regardless of the risks, she drew her rapier and charged into combat. She swung wildly at the monster, trying to make sure that Omar was in no danger of having his neck snapped in his weakened state. Jewel stabbed at the undead monster, parrying its blows one by one until finally landing a blow in its gut. Again, she was rewarded with a spray of violet fluid, only this time she whipped her rapier up and around, as to get a better view of her attacker. The cloak, now tattered, fell to the ground, revealing the morgh in all of its undead horror; it was a simple, humanoid skeleton, except where its guts would have been, there was a writhing mass of s purple, fleshy substance that clung to the skeleton. The creature’s ‘tongue’ rooted itself up the skeleton’s neck and out its mouth, writhing about in pain from Jewel’s blow.
The creature, angered by Bippy’s holy magic and wounded from Brevan’s magic and Jewel’s strikes, turned towards its greatest threat, the fiery visage of a solar deva. Swinging wildly, the morgh qickly realized that the creature was no threat; it was but an illusion, the lingering aftermath of Brevan’s magic on holy ground. Instead, the monster turned towards Jewel, its tongue writhing. It struck Jewel heard and tried to wrap itself around Jewel as well, going for her neck. Unlike Omar, however, Jewel knew the monster’s trick and skillfully tumbled out of the way of the monster’s tongue, preventing it from injecting her with the same vile fluid that had immobilized Omar.
By this time, Zerrik’s prayers to Set had been answered and forming from the shadows around him, the soul of a fallen champion of the dark god manifested alongside Zerrik, wielding a ghostly khopesh in its incorporeal hands. Nodding towards his new ally, Zerrik and the spectral ally rushed towards the morgh, Zerrik stepping over Omar’s frozen body.
“Sorry there, Omar, but you’re in the way.” Zerrik smirked, knowing that Omar couldn’t hear him. Although Jewel was hurt, she was still healthy enough to fight, and as the cleric ran into position, Jewel immediately began cutting off the morgh’s attempts to foil Zerrik’s mighty attacks. Calling on Set’s power, Zerrik crashed his axe into the monster, choosing not to unleash his shadowy magic against the undead monster, knowing all too well that its body would absorb the energy into itself. The weapon struck true and annihilated the morgh’s skeleton, its organelles crashing to the ground with a loud squishing noise. Landing directly before the summoned ancestor, the spectral creature raised its khopesh high into the air and drove the blade into the morgh, impaling it to the ground as it writhed in pain until, finally, the creature stopped moving.
Paying no heed to Omar, Shuriel ran to Jewel, who had propped herself up against a tree, holding her stomach in pain. With simple procedures and alchemical supplies, Shuriel was able to halt the spread of the toxin.
“Here, drink this,” Shuriel whispered as he pulling a small flask from his satchel, helping Jewel to drink its contents. The potion immediately spread through Jewel’s body, healing the damage wrought by the toxin. Shuriel picked up the bolt that the morgh had fired and inspected it closely.
“Purple worm toxin? You’re lucky you had a doctor on hand, Jewel. Not many people can survive a poison so lethal. Sadly, prolonged exposure to the air causes it to go inert incredibly quickly. Any poison on the monster’s bolts will be utterly useless.”
“Gee, don’t sound so happy about that,” Jewel smirked as Shuriel mumbled about it being a really rare poison. Meanwhile, Bippy was tending to Omar, with Zerrik and Brevan watching with concern.
“He’ll live,” Bippy said as she finished mending the worst of Omar’s wounds, resetting bones and repairing flesh.
“Why isn’t he moving then?” Brevan asked.
“A morgh’s ‘venom,’ if ye want to be callin’ it that, ain’t like any other substance on dis world,” Bippy said calmly as she picked herself up. “It only be working if it’s injected onta yer spine, in ya brain, or some other place dat be important te movement. It werks by muddling the connections up between yer body, but it only be workin’ if directly applied to those places. Ye could bathe in it, drink it even, and it ain’t be doin’ ya no harm. But once in place, it be incredibly potent stuff. Omar’ll be fine in several moments.”
After hearing that Omar would live, Zerrik and Jewel looked at each other, shrugged, and decided to keep on moving forward. Zerrik planned on seeing that no more of his precious time was wasted, least Brevan talk him into staying in these accused woods for even longer, and Jewel had little concern for her fellow drow, especially would who would so willingly seek petty revenge against Shuriel.
Shuriel, it would seem, wasn’t against seeking petty revenge of his own. “A minute or two, you say?” Shuriel said, looking devilish. He reached down and rummaged through Omar’s belongings until he found a cartridge of rock salt, shaking it up and down to make sure before he loaded it. Looking at Omar, he replied, “Don’t worry, I’ve watched you do this PLENTY of time times!” Shuriel readied the gun and pointed it steady at Omar’s chest and fired the weapon.
Shuriel wasn’t prepared for the blunderbuss’s kick, however, and the gun’s explosion knocked Shuriel’s unexperienced grip to the side, so that instead of shooting Omar squarely in the chest, he instead blasted him in the groin. If Omar could have screamed in pain, he would have been strained not to do so, but frozen in place by the morgh’s touch, the only indicator of trouble was the steady stream of blood that began to leak from in between Omar’s leg plates. Too stunned by Shuriel’s stupidity to stop him, Brevan and Bippy stared at Omar for several moments before Bippy snapped to.
“Uh, sorry drow, but I’m going to need to, well, remove your amror from your nether regions in order to treat this,” she said slowly, stammering a little. Brevan turned away to give Omar his privacy, and after several moments, Bippy had finished her work and the paralysis was wearing off on Omar, who began wriggling his fingers.
“You … asshole!” Omar forced out from between his slowly unfreezing lips.
“Hey, it’s not like you were using those anyway!” Shuriel said as innocently as he could between smirks.
17-2: Yellow Impact
Meanwhile, Jewel and Zerrik were only a fifty yards ahead of the ground when both warriors noticed an odd light, growing in intensity in the night sky. Squinting because her heritage left her more vulnerable to abrupt chances in light intensity, Jewel scanned the sky for the source of the light, fearing attack. Reading her mind, Zerrik pulled his ax from off his back, preparing for combat himself.
“Look!” Jewel said, pointing to the sky. Zerrik followed her gaze and saw what had the potential to be an incredible sight; a massive comet, streaking through the night sky. Neither Jewel nor Zerrik had seen a comet before, but both had sufficient knowledge of them through their various academical experiences, which would have made the sight a true marvel to behold. If the comet hadn’t suddenly spiraled and began crashing directly towards them. Both Jewel and Zerrick dropped to the ground as the comet struck ground about a mile or two ahead of them. The ground shook violently, so much so that even Omar, Brevan, Bippy, and Shuriel were knocked out of their conversation involving Omar’s balls-shot and looked up to notice a bright, white light radiating from beyond the wood.
“What in the Hells was that?” Brevan asked as he and the others who had stayed behind to tend to Omar caught up to Jewel and Zerrik.
“It appears like something crashed onto our world.” Zerrik said slowly.
“That thing we fought, back with the derro, it clearly wasn’t of this world either,” Jewel said slowly. “It is possible that something similar crashed here on that comet.”
“A comet?” Brevan mumbled quietly.
“It would appear like the gods have given us a path, Brevan,” Zerrik said after a moment of silence. The mighty warrior tightened his grip on his ax as he began heading towards the impact site. “Perhaps you will finish your quest in a single night after all, Brevan.” Gullykin’s mayor had no response as Zerrik began walking towards the impact site, spending several moments in thought before ushered forth by Bippy’s voice, now far ahead of him.
“If you be spendin’ too much time thinkin’, we gonna leave you behind, Kindlebrin!” Bippy’s voice snapped Brevan out of his stupor, hastening him along towards his friends.
17-3: Simply Aghast
.p The hadn’t run far when a terrifying sight greeted them. Six ghasts; undead monstrosities that attempted to paralyze their foes before devouring them alive. Those that survived the beasts themselves often died of their deadly fever; and rose into ghasts themselves several hours later. While the ghasts may have been frightening to commoners and farmers, they were hardly a challenge to seasoned adventurers. At the first sign of danger, Zerrik immediately cast enlarge person on himself, growing tall among the trees.
Upon seeing their prey, especially the enlarged Zerrik, they immediately charged the heroes, attempting to lash out at them with their deadly bites. Jewel, ever cautious, slipped behind a tree; out of sight and out reach for the ghasts, which instead swarmed her easy to reach companions. Omar pulled out his blunderbuss and shot one of the ghasts squarely in the forhead; the beast immediately fell to the ground, dead.
“Looks like you ain’t so tough after all, are ya?” Omar sneered at the corpse. Meanwhile using some quick thinking, Brevan conjured a pit beneath three of the ghasts. One of them managed to jump to safety rather easily, but the other two fell to the ground with a resounding crack. Peering into the hole, it was clear to Brevan that the ghasts were still alive; abet barely.
“I think you can rest for this one, Bippy,” Brevan said confidently. “I don’t think these monsters will prove much of a challenge.”
“I certainly hope not,” Bippy replied with a grimace. Zerrik swung his massive sword and sliced two ghouls in half while Jewel pulled out her rapier and dagger, dancing through the night like a shadowy ballet, ripping apart ghasts. Shuriel, who had watched the slaughter with amusement, walked calmly to the edge of the pit and looked down at the pitiful undead within it, clamoring helplessly upon seeing tasty prey so closely within their reach. Shuriel, however, had reached a dilemmia.
“Hrm, what to hit you boys with. A flask of acid or alchemist’s fire? What do you think?” Shuriel held both flasks above the pit, trying to gauge the reactions of the ghasts. Finally, he shrugged and dropped the acid into the pit, listening to the ghasts scream in pain as their bodies melted away.
“Well, that was certainly anticlimactic.” Zerrik said almost disappointingly. “Brevan, did your sign react at all to those creature’s deaths?” Brevan looked down at his hand.
“No, not at all.”
“Those things were running away from where the comet crashed,” Jewel observed. “They’re either a direct result of the comet or they were displaced by the commotion.”
“Either way, it was good of you to exterminate those foul little monsters,” Bippy added. "Let us continue, the comet can’t be too far away now.
17-4: Shades of Green
The light ahead grew brighter as they continued onward, though all the way Brevan was getting a bad feeling, as if something seemed familiar about the direction they were heading. He had little time to worry about such things, however, for the group had barely covered a mile after being attacked with they could all plainly hear the sound of giant, flapping wings above them. Almost instantly, something very large and very green crashed directly in front of the group, a creature that was the stuff of legends. It was a green dragon, though those among the group that had studied dragonkin could tell that it wasn’t a particularly old dragon; with his magic in place, this magical beast was barely larger than Zerrik. As it landed, the monster’s head was turned around, looking behind it. It wasn’t until the beast heard the sound of six little, beating hearts that it whipped its snake-like neck around to view what foolish creatures dared to stick around before it. It was immediately obvious that this was no ordinary wyrm. Instead of the majestic wings of a dragon, the young dragon’s emerald wings were slightly torn, resembling a bat’s wings moreso then a dragon’s. It’s scales were also a deep, forest green instead of the usual bright greens associated with that race of dragon and its eyes were a malicious red, all but glowing in encroaching night.
Wasting no time, Shuriel immediately began grovelling, knowing that while green dragons could be seedy back-stabbers, they were also the easiest of the chromatic dragons to deal with diplomatically. Chances were, Shuriel reasoned, that the group had accidentally wandered into the dragon’s territory while it was flying overhead and it either wanted a quick meal, to see if it could barter for treasures, or both. So, Shuriel decided, why give it any reason to think we might be worth something?
“Oh! Glorious master!” Shuriel cried as he fell to his knees and bowed before the young wyrm, who watched in confusion. “Thank goodness you’re here! There’s something in this woods, in your realm, that doesn’t belong here! Someone as great as you should have no problem repelling such an intruder!”
Among the party, Jewel had also studied draconic, picking up many of the language’s intricacies from Shuriel himself. Upon seeing Shuriel throw himself to the earth, Jewel immediately understood and tried to help him as best she good, grovelling to the ground herself. Zerrik was annoyed by the ploy and refused to bow before the wyrm himself if asked, but he did not interfere, for even he doubted the group’s ability to fight even a young adult dragon such as this one.
After several moments of watching the surface elf and drow elf grovel before him, the green dragon lifted a claw, silencing the two, and spoke to them for the first time since his arrival.
“What, pray tell, are you six doing here, exactly?”
“Well, we were just wandering around the wood, trying to clear it of some monsters when we saw that big fireball crash out of the sky. We were going to go investigate it, but since you’re here and you’re so much more powerful than we are, maybe it would be wisest for you to go instead,” Shuriel said quickly, sweat rolling down his check as he tried to trick an immensely powerful creature. The dragon, as it listened to Shuriel speak, turned its colossal head around to look over its shoulder.
“You’d have to be insane to wish to go back there,” the dragon replied slowly. “That, that thing destroys everything it touches. Stone, earth, tree, or dragon. There is no hope against it.” As the dragon spoke, inspiration struck Shuriel yet again.
“Well then, your excellency, why don’t the six of us go off to delay the beast for you, so you can make your escape?” Shuriel offered hopefully. If the wyrm had eyebrows, it certainly would be furrowing them at Shuriel.
“You little ones? Against the monstrosity that I have witnessed?” The dragon snorted loudly, spraying the ground before him with a stream of acid. “That colorless creature has taken far less pitiful lives than your own. If you know what is best for you, you’d avoid it with your lives. Find a new place to call your home, for your pitiful cities will be destroyed.” Seeing no ground or support to be gained from this dragon, Shuriel decided that his best course of action would be to simply walk away from any potential fight with the dragon; despite its dark heritage, it was clear that the dragon was not tainting the forest.
“Well, your greatness, I believe we simply must see the being for ourselves, so we will humbly take your advice and be on our away,” Shuriel said as he started to try and walk past the dragon. However, the monster whipped its head around with a dark sneer and lowed its eyes to Shuriel’s level, so it was gazing the elf directly in the eye. Shuriel shuddered at the sight of those grisly, crimson orbs that adorned the dragon’s skull like rubies.
“Did you just think you could have my advice without cost, elf?” the dragon asked in a very wicked tone. “There is little more valuable then a dragon’s advice; what do you plan on paying me in return with?” Shuriel cringed in fear of the wyrm, knowing full well that the dragon wouldn’t be happy until he had stripped everything of value from Shuriel and his companions. Just as Shuriel was trying to think of a clever way out of his situation, the dragon suddenly whipped his head around and turned to Shuriel, looking fearful.
“Looks like I’ve found a way for you to repay me after all; you can serve as my distraction!” and with that, the dragon pushed itself off and took for the skies, the brute force of its massive wings knocking everyone save Zerrik, who was still enlarged by his magic, to the ground.
“That was pretty freaking lucky,” Shuriel muttered as he stood up.
“What he did say?” Brevan asked worriedly. “Why did it leave so quickly?” Brevan’s question was answered, however, when his ears and the ears of his fellow adventurers became filled with the sound of a million locus in flight. High above them, four familiar creature flew, and having spotted Shuriel, Brevan, and the others, they descended around the heroes, trying to corral them like sheep. They were four of a kind; the same horrible monsters that had injected Shuriel with a sleeping solution earlier.
“Great, at least judging by the strength of the Yellow Sign, this is probably the last of them, " Brevan said as the monsters hissed and clicked all around them. Suddenly, two of them pulled out strange-looking devices. They resembled the lightning bolt blaster that the earlier monster had possessed and sure enough, one of them fired a lightning bolt directly at the huddled up group. Jewel was able to gracefully dodge the attack, but Brevan and Bippy weren’t as fortunate, each of them screaming as lightning coursed through their bodies and singed their skin. The second monster also fired its blaster. At first, no one could notice a difference until Omar started trying to speak.
“Guys … what … did … it … do?” Omar was speaking and moving slower then a slug in winter. Brevan and Shuriel quickly realized that the monsters were trying to get the advantage by slowing them down. Brevan quickly muttered a haste spell to pull Omar back into real time and quicken the rest of the group. All at once, the battle truly started. The monsters began swarming on Jewel, trying to eviscerate her with their razor-sharp claws. Although they managed to connect several times, the investigator was far too quick to suffer any lasting damage from the monster’s attacks. Noticing that she was being ganged up upon, Zerrick took a mighty swing of his blade at one of the monsters, slashing it in half with a mighty expenditure of his power.
Omar had his own problems to deal with as the monster closed in on him. As the monsters swarmed around him, it took all of his concentration to load and fire his gun without the monsters taking advantage of his temporary weakness. Despite Omar’s master marksmanship, he was getting clawed up quickly, until the creature managed to trap him in a death-grip. Jewel was having a similar problem as the monster she was fighting also latched onto her and began digging into her skin with its razor-sharp claws. Bippy desperately employed her life-giving magic, trying to keep all of the various party members alive through the onslaught and even Shuriel was growing desperate; he hurled a magical sword at one of the monsters, the blade harmlessly bouncing off of its thick exo-skeleton. Desperate, Shuriel backed away towards Jewel and drank his mutagen, allowing Shiddrax and his emotionally unstable personality to flood into his mind.
Jewel watched helplessly as Shuriel drank his admixture, knowing full-well what it was. She squirmed violently in the monster’s grip, trying to escape. Her efforts paid off as she slipped to the ground. Seeing an opening, Zerrik rushed at the monster, carving it in two with a great sweep of his ax. Omar was also able to struggle out of the monster’s grip, falling to the ground with a thud. After being bested and watching two of their companions die, the remaining two monsters decided to flee.
“After them!” Brevan yelled as the monsters skittered away. “Don’t let them escape!” Her speed increased by the haste spell, Jewel rushed after the monster at Brevan’s command, trying to keep up with the monster as it flew away while trying to avoid the various trees and underbrush of the forest. Brevan quickly began launching acid arrows at one of the beasts while Omar took one final shot at the monster that had grappled him, aiming for its wings. Omar had struck the creature, but it was too focused on flying to allow itself to crash to the ground. Overcome with emotion, Shiddrax raced after the monster that had come so close to spilling his entrails, lobbing whatever he could find at the beast. Although his bombs struck true, the creature’s naturally spongy skin absorbed most of the fiery blast.
As quickly as a man wrapped in steel could, Zerrik also rushed towards the monsters with little avail. Growing desperate, he called out to the beast, taunting it.
“Come back and fight me, coward!”
Though it would prove to be the worst mistake of its lifetime, the monster that had attacked Omar heard Zerrik’s voice and turned around, preparing to engage Zerrik in combat. The two warriors clashed, talon against axe and man against monster. Depsite Zerrik’s superior armaments, the monster was proving to be a greater challenge then he had anticipated. Calling out to Set, Zerrick lifted his ax in rage and brought it down upon the monster, throwing his entire being into his attack. At first, it would look as though Zerrik alone was not enough to sotp the monster, but many blows against its hard skin wore the creature town until its exoskeleton finally shattered, spilling its innards across the forest floor.
Meanwhile, Jewel and Shuriel raced after the second creature, which seemed like it was going to get away. From afar, however, Brevan continued to call upon his arcane powers, launching a steady stream of acidic arrows against the monster. The arrows were striking true, and the acid was quickly taking its toll on the monster, weakening its wings and causing it to sputter back and forth in flight. Finally, the strain was too much, causing it to crash headlong into a tree, it’s brain completely eaten away by acid.
Slowly but surely, Shuriel, Jewel, and Zerrik regrouped around Brevan and Bippy in the clearing. Both Zerrik and Jewel returned with an armful of strange and alien devices.
“You never showed me anything like this before,” Shuriel, still possessed by Shiddrax, commented woefully as he looked at the firearm-like devices that were laying before the ground.
“I just tossed everything in your bad while you were asleep.” Omar shrugged. “Didn’t seem all that important at the time.”
“Besides,” Brevan added. “Even though it looks like they kind of work like wands, they’re extremely violate in inexperienced hands. We could easily set them off and unleash all of that spell energy on ourselves. Imagine being slowed or paralyzed for days, or having all of that lightning energy going off in your face.”
“But still, if I could figure out how to control it, I.”
p, “Listen, alchemist,” Bippy scolded. “Sometimes it be best to let sleeping dragons lie. Ya don’t always walk away from such things. It might be for da best if we just break dem gods-awful things.”
“Perhaps,” Shiddrax said between sniffles.
Art by B. Snoddy (Wizards of the Coast, Monster Manual 3.5) and Huth.
~ End Entry #17