Lydin's Story Part 4

continued from Lydin's Story Part 3

Day 74
We retreat again to the Fletcher's house. He takes us in but warns that we have a job to do and can not continue to come back to his house whenever we want. He encourages us to rest and return to the forest.
"Our common master has tasks for us all." He says, "You should complete your tasks as soon a possible."

We return to the room we have used in the past. I sink into a deep slumber, trying to forget the horrors of recent days. During my rest I start to question my dedication to the forest. Is it enough? After a long and restless night I awake and start my morning prayers. I start to beseech not just the forest but all of nature, reaching out for help in my battle against these abominations.

I receive no answer.

Day 75
With fear in my heart I prepare for another trip into the cursed forest. I hardly notice my companions. Scratch comes and gently paws me. I am amazed at his size, he seems 6 months old, not a dozen days. I feed and groom him, it makes me feel better that I am making a difference, even if it just my cat.

I am starting to get more and more leery of Pandarus he seems more and more blood thirsty everyday. I watch him as we move towards the forest. He walks next to Yue, as the walk the seem to be having a conversation but it is almost like Pandarus is having a conversation but it is not with Yue.

Hawber as usual is more concerned with his reflection that the reflection of this dying forest in the river we are crossing. Gworeth is joking with Tugwyn, and as we go into the forest Gworeth stops joking, and Tugwyn starts smiling. The little gnome scares me, he seems more at home within this perverted landscape than with us.

We start traveling into the forest, following the paths we have taken before. Striking deeper into the woods. I take Scratch and show him signs of passage. He smells the woods, he tracks that smell. He learns quickly. I have asked the forest for a powerful spell for Scratch. When these beasts attack today they will find his bite bigger than his bark.

Hawber yells that creatures are coming from the right. The group tightens up and prepares for the assault. Scratch starts for growl to the left. I feel the bile rising in my throat. "They come from the Left as well!" I yell.
"And the front!" Adds Pandaurus.
"and behind!" Giggles Tugwyn.

I lose my focus, I feel Scratch heading to the front to assist with the battle. I grasp Scratch and whisper a spell over him. "Go, my friend. Rend the monsters. Cleanse the land." As he lopes off to the battle the creatures break into the open. I move to the front, but I start to find it harder to breath. The forest starts to close in on me. The creatures are closing in, they are all around us. I have to gain space, I have to escape, these creatures must leave.

I feel a warmth inside myself. I feel like I am more alive than before, power fills me, the very earth seems to be feeding my strength. "Begone from my presence foul creatures, lest you face my wrath!" It seems to be me speaking but it sounds unlike me, the forest, no the land itself is speaking through me. The foul beasts attacking Hawber start to flee. I am exalted, the power to defeat these beasts is within me. This power is terrifying, is this the answer to my prayers, or is this the terrible path that Tugwyn has taken.

Gworeth and Hawber are attacking the beast that have not fled. But they are being overwhelmed. We can not get past to help. Yue grabs my arm and leads me into the woods. 'We can circle around, I will strike with my bow as you take these monsters from behind." Almost immediately we are separated. I hear him cursing, but I can not see him through the underbrush. I break through into the trees into the clearing. I am not where I anticipated. The creatures tear into my arm.

I slash the creature and it drops at my feet. I start to feel like we can defeat any of these creatures. The last of these beasts is defeated. Scratch returns to me and is looking smug. I ruffle his fur and look around for my sword. In the melee I dropped it to free up my hands for spells. I finally feel like we are making a difference.

Suddenly a mass of creatures steps onto the path. My heart sinks, the feeling of power I had only a moment ago is starting to retreat. I start to feel the despair rising again. These creatures are too numerous. We will be overwhelmed and destroyed. Scratch is fighting bravely, he is dragging these creatures down and killing them. Pandarus and Hawber are striking them down but are being slowly weakened. I feel the warmth filling me again, I call forth this power again, but it has no effect.

Once again I am filled with horror and fear. Scratch is hurt. I strike out to him and call forth the
power of the forest to heal him. Hawber is hurt as well, as is Pandarus. I heal them as well. Another wave of these foul beasts stalk down the path towards us. Yue finally reappears from the forest ready for battle. The tide of battle seems finally to be in our favor. The creatures are being overpowered.

This is when Tugwyn finally snaps and flees into the woods. I call after him, but his only answer is laughter. Fiery blasts we have seen strike our enemies are now striking us. Hawber is the first to feel there burn , then Yue. Now the undead start to overcome us again. Only the arrival of a mysterious warrior saves us. He helps slay the last of the creatures and heal our wounds. This warrior is named Lex, and he has agreed to accompany us back to town.

We limp back to town fearful of another attack. We arrive back in town and go directly to the Fletcher's house. He is not happy to see us. He tells us that we can rest and recuperate but this will be the last time we will be welcome in his house. I am a bit surprised that Lex will not join us in the Fletcher's home.

I again retreat to our room and collapse. It has only been a few hours but it feels like days since I awoke in this very room. Scratch senses my mood and curls up by the door, being my guard, allowing me to sleep.

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