continued from Lydin's Story Part 2
We are forced to shelter in a ruined house in town. The windows are all blocked but the door is open. After that ship I doubt I will ever sleep with the door closed again. The upper floor is collapsed so we are in a huge single room.
Tugwyn and I start to prepare for the next day while the remainder of the group start to rest. Yue is going to guard us while we study. During my prayers Yue starts to wake the group, as he has spotted more of these foul creatures in the streets and heard more screaming outside. Hawber, Yue, and Gworeth watch the door and all seems to be well.
I am trying to complete my prayers but the noise is overwhelming. Hawber yells something out the door. Yue and Pandarus start to ready missiles and Gworeth comes to tell Tugwyn and myself that the creatures are approaching the door.
Hawber stands in the doorway and draws his weapon, it suddenly strikes me strange how shiny his weapon is. He is still yelling at the creatures outside. Tugwyn looks out at the creatures and starts to smile. I am starting to get the feeling he likes these monsters. I can not understand how he can not be completely revolted by them. I am still looking at Tugwyn's strange smile when I realize I have lost track of time. The creatures have reached the door and are attacking Hawber. One looks like it might get past Hawber and into the room.
Scratch has come to my side, after yesterday I have started to work with him and teach him to guard and attack. I look at the creature trying to get past Hawber and tell Scratch to attack. Scratch is afraid but the training is starting to take affect. He leaps at the creature keeping it from sliding past Hawber.
Gworeth, Yue, and Pandarus are firing their weapons over Hawber and Scratch. I am scared that one of them might hit Scratch by mistake. The creatures just keep on coming. They have completely blocked the door now. I start to look for an escape. There is none! We are trapped! I start to hear our half orc tormentors' laughter, I know he is not here but the laughter and the fear are real. I start screaming "Don't leave the room! Don't let them in!" I fear we will never be free of this trap.
Scratch is hurt. This monster has dug is boney claws into his shoulder. Scratch bolts from the door, retreating to the back of the room. I go to him and bandage his wounds, pray over his wounds, and use herbs to stop the bleeding and ease his pain.
Pandarus has stepped into the doorway to keep the monsters at bay. I move up behind Hawber to help him as he looks like he is badly hurt. I pray a blessing on Hawber to return his health and strength. Tugwyn is beside me and he is tiring quickly. Pandarus looks bad, I think the creatures have hurt him seriously. Tugwyn shoots and hits Pandarus! Pandarus falls. I leap across to help him but I stumble and fall over his body. He is conscious but he is very badly hurt. Yue drives towards the door to keep the monsters outside.
I feel the panic starting to rise again, but I swallow it and drag Pandarus over next to Scratch. I bandage his wounds and play for his spirit. As I prepare to apply herbs I hear Gworeth scream. Yue has fallen to the creatures! I rush back to help. I drag him back next to Pandarus and pray for his spirit. He seems to recover but is still unconscious.
I return to the door to assist. Tugwyn is casting spells over Hawber into the creatures in the street. There seems to be more of them that when Pandarus fell. Hawber is cleaving the monsters. Their fouls bones snap as he smashes them with his axe.
Finally we are victorious! The last of the creatures are destroyed. We remove their corpses as much as we can and we await the dawn.
At dawn we take our fallen comrades and return to the fletcher. He says some words to each of the wounded and they are restored! I am in awe of his power. We speak of our trip across the river and our battle last night. He advises us. He and Tugwyn talks of the use of weapons and how these foul creatures are not hurt by the weapons we are using. They tell us to use smashing weapons like clubs, staves and hammers.
Fletcher takes us into his storeroom and allows us to rest and re-equip. I prey for guidance and I am able to seek weapons that have been augmented with the craft. One staff in particular draws my attention. Tugwyn tells me it has a magick aura to destroy the undead.
Each of our group selects new weapons and armor. Hammers, maces, staves and clubs. These weapons will give us the power we need to destroy our enemies and return them to death.
We set out again into the forest.
We cross the rope bridge and start off down the same path we took recently. We are much better prepared this time. We know what to look for and what to listen for. I am still struck by how little grows here, this is a place of death. I work with Scratch showing him how to search and track. How to watch for signs. How to watch my back.
Now that we know that bows and missiles are ineffective I have taken out my sling. When we hear these abominations approaching Yue, Pandarus, and Hawber stand firm in a clearing and await our enemies. I pray over some stones as my master taught me. To my eyes they glow with power. I know these will strike true and with more force than normal. As the creatures enter the clearing I launch a magicked stone with my sling. I strike the lead creature but many are following him. I fall back and allow Yue, Pandarus, and Hawber to meet these creatures.
More creatures enter the clearing. One is huge! I launch another magicked stone at this giant. I am sure I have hit him but I see no effect. Pandarus and Yue are striking down these smaller creatures as Hawber attacks the giant. Tugwyn launched glowing sprays and fiery darts at the giant. He again has that eerie smile when observing these abominations. I have Scratch at my side, I am afraid to command him to attack.
Gworeth moves forward but can not reach the creatures.
I fire my last magicked stone at the giant, but then I wish I had kept it as I see a true horror. These creatures have a wolf-like beast that is dead and still moves. I wish I could destroy it but I can not. Scratch has left! He saw this wolf beast and ran into the trees. I do no know where he has gone.
I want to follow but Hawber has fallen! I rush to assist Hawber but as I do Gworeth steps into his place. I pull Hawber out of the battle and tend to his wounds. I apply some herbs to his wounds and get him to drink one of the potions Fletcher gave us. Hawber is up and off to defend Yue, who is standing but strangely still. It is as if he has been turning to living stone. Hawber pushes him aside to gain access to the creatures beyond him.
I stumble forward searching for Scratch when I see that Gworeth is down. The giant is starting to step over him. I bring out my staff and throw myself at the monster. I feel the impact of my blow but I feel strangely warm and cold at the same time.
I pull myself to my feet and lurch towards the fight. Scratch is no where to be seen. Hawber is again attacking the dead but not dead giant. I feel about my self and realize that I have been sorely injured but saved by someone. Gworeth is trying to help Pandarus and Yue has recovered from his comatose state.
I am a bit confused. I see Scratch beyond these monsters. He is hurt but stands over the wolf beast, seemingly triumphant. I step forward and call for a prayer of healing for Hawber. It appears he has broken open the wounds I bandaged earlier. I do not know how long I was unconscious for but much seems to have changed.
Tugwyn is still casting spell into the giant. I step forward and crush a skeletal warrior using my staff. I step up next to Yue and crush another. Finally Tugwyn's spells and Hawber's might bring down the giant. We have but one or two enemies remaining. Gworeth manages to crush one while I sweep the other from the forest floor.
Now I can check and see how we are doing. We all look tired an hurt. It has been only minutes of time but it seems like hours have passed. Scratch is bleeding again, I pause to help him with prayer and herbs. He has done well defeating this wolf abomination.
We must quickly repair and respond as the noise of the battle has most certainly awoken the forest to our presence. My mind starts to reel as I move from friend to friend checking if I can assist with their wounds. We are beaten and bloody, hurt and wounded. But we are ready again, ready again to face this evil enemy. Pandarus and Yue have gathered the remains and started to burn them. Gworeth has gathered the bits of clothing, armor and metal the things have worn.
I am glad to see the wolf monster burn. I start to hope that we can cleanse this forest and return her to growth and glory.
continued from Lydin's Story Part 2
The cargo ship "Serpents Daughter" methodically moves through the waves. On the surface this ship looks like any other cargo ship. But beneath its deck lay many dark and hideous stories, which would make descent people sick. The ship's crew took pleasure in seeing and creating pain; and there were many smiles from the crew. The crew itself consisted of goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, humans, drow, halflings, bugbears, and other evil beings. They were united under the same banner (a serpent eating the sun), but were united by evil, for evil purposes.
The ship itself consists of many decks. On the Main deck, that's where the animals are kept for trade. There are horses, dogs, cows, and other common domestic animals. There are also exotic animal such as tigers, zebras, lions. At the beginning of this voyage there were many more, many were lost because of crews neglect and size of the load.
The lower decks are where the real valuable cargo was kept; the slaves. Some will not make to the end, but that ok. They will be food for the animals. "Waste not, want not" was the captain's motto. The slaves came from various areas, his clients wanted variety and he provided. This trip was very fruitful with elfs, humans, dwarfs, halflings, and gnomes.
The slaves were kept inline by half orc and his two bugbears companion. Grog the half orc made the rest of crew look like saints. His past time was torturing. He loved it. If he had his wish, he would sail around the world, getting new victims. It was all he wants it to. But the captain kept a tight leash on him now, after the last voyage.
The captain had to threatened the crew include Grog with walking the plank, if any more slaves were killed because there were to many loses. Weeks after wards, Grog imagined what it would be like to torture the captain. Noticing the change in the crew's mood and the ship becoming dangerously close to a mutiny, the captain brought in some changes. The slaves would take over all non - sailing chores, provided nightly entertainment. And to Grog he made one special concession. Grog would be able to kill any slave he want once ever fortnight and if Grog so decide to forgo killing a slave the captain would pick a crew member to dead at his hands once a month. This made Grog very happy, for there is nothing like fresh pain screams of a die creature.
On every expedition Grog always picks his favourites to tortures. Every slave got their fair share, but these brought him the most enjoyments. This trip he had created a special torture chamber for them.This torture chamber had is own cell. The cell was an eight feet by eight feet. The were no lights. They were kept in the dark until playtime.
Grog had four torture chambers through out the ship, but this one is where he kept his pets Lydin Yue, Tugwyn, and Gworeth. Grog like the way that Lydin, a human, would block the pain for a while, but then the flood gates would open. Gworeth, an elf, would screams at the sight of Grog. Grog loved fear as a king loved being adored. Tugwyn, a gnome, would squeal and cry. Grog loved to see adults of any size cry by his hands. Yue, another elf, was a strong, slender being, Grog loved to see such as powerful being screaming for their lives at his hand.
Grog also loved power. Torturing gave Grog power in two ways. It gave him the physical power over individuals, but also gave him power through knowledge. At the start Grog did not listen to his victims, but over time he learn that people would sell their souls, and some did to him, to make him stop. In the rare cases were people resisted, he still gained valuable information. People would talk about happy times, sad times, the weather, their favourite things, basically anything, to forget about the pain and Grog listen. It was power and he soaked it all in.
It was Grog's idea to use the slaves for ship chores. Grog learned from the slave their occupations, their likes, and dislikes. He used this knowledge to help the captain with his problems. The captain was grateful and gave Grog something he want it, more power.
The ship made first of his two stop before the ship reaches its originating port. Here was where most of the animals and slaves were sold and Grog got a surprise.
It was many months since his pets came boards the ship. He thought their backbone was long gone, but he was wrong. After a night of heavy drinking with his bugbear guards, he decided to have some fun with his pets. He was going to lets his bugbear pals torture them under his watchful eye. When the two Bugbears, whom were anxious to start, enter their cell, Yue and Lydin gave charging out. Tugwyn, and Gworeth, froze. The look on the face said much, but their minds could not force their bodies to move after months of torture. Lydin came out live a madman, charging for a Brazier that was lit on the sidewall. Yue, try to fight hand to hand with Grog. The two bugbears came out of the cell and close the cell door and began to watch. It was a funny sight. Lydin was tried to lift a Brazier with his bare hands and Grog was laughing and Yue had the look of a killer in his eyes hitting Grog. The two bugbears step in after a while to take care of Yue, while Grog played with Lydin. In a matter of seconds both were unconscious in seconds. There would be no training this night.
It was a long, but pleasant night for Grog. He punished and punished his pets all night. A part of him was happy, they had tried something. He was getting a little bored. It put back the joy back into torturing again and he was happy.
Several days had past, when he was awoken by aloud crash and the boat stopped abruptly. He gets up to see what happens, and realizes the boats is taking on water and orders his bugbears pals to get him a boat, there leaving. Grog wished he could take his pets, but he was sure he would see them again. Has the ship crashed into the unknown object one of the ship's crew snuck in to the cell area, where Grog pets were kept and unlocked the cell door. That would have to be enough.
It took a couple of seconds for Yue, Lydin, Tugwyn, and Gworeth to realize what was happening. Once they realized the door was unlocked and the boat was sinking, they came charging out of the cell. Maybe a little to fast, as they claimed the stairs and opened the door to the ship's main deck Yue, who had take in the lead, was hit and fell backwards, taking the group with him, tumbling down over the stairs. After they groups, untangle themselves, they move back up the stairs a little more cautious. Once they reached the main deck, they realized the ship was abandoned.
Even after months of torture and confinement the party moved in action, with surprising spend. Lydin moved to save animals, which saw himself as the self-appointed protector of the animal kingdom. Yue, went looking for a boat and Grog. Tugwyn and Gworeth went looking for their weapons and equipment. Lydin managed to release most of the animals with some help from Tugwyn. Yue found a boat, but it contained Grog and was sailing away. Gworeth could not find anything useful but spotted land to the east.
A quick survey of their situation, they realized they had one option for survival. It was to jump and swim for their lives. The party jumped into the water, reaching for any piece of wood or floating object they could find. Yue , made to shore with relative easy. Gworeth and Tugwyn made to shore, but they had a couple of scare moments. Lydin almost drown three or four times. It was shear determination that kept him alive.
As Lydin, come out of the water, he immediately turns his attention to finding his animal companion, screech, and a leopard. He looked at all animals as his companions, same as any humanoid, but from a special bond with screech on the ship. He spotted his friends track and follow them into a near by bush. He greatest fear is realized, she is dead. Lydin is filled with the feeling of dread and failure. He let down a friend, when they need him the most. Little does he know , he is the reason she survived to this point but is trail of blood leading way from her, and their was a strange sound. Lydin recognizes the sound ? Its a young kitten, Screech was pregnant. Screech got her dieing wish to have her baby free.
In their search for Lydin friend the party never noticed the large group of horsemen, which gather up on the beach. There is no way for the party to run. The horsemen, who numbers were close to hundred men, approached slow. There was nothing for the group to do, but wait.