Chapter Forty-Five

March 31, 2012


12th of Saltmonth


            Briggette and Brianna follow a group of dwarves down into the lower dungeon where the children are being held.  They hear fighting up ahead.  Briggette pushes into the area and finds a fight raging between hobgoblins and dwarves.  She attacks and decisively kils one of the hobgoblins, but cannot get close enough to strike another.  No matter, however, as the remaining hobgoblins are quickly dispatched by the dwarves.
            The dwarves continue leading through the room, where there are cells on either side.  Briggette stops a dwarf and asks, "Who are these people?"
            "They are all captives," he replies, "but we have no keys!"  They keep searching the room until they find a key, and they begin unlocking the cells to free the prisoners.
            Meanwhile, Ulric, Ravassaadi and I run up the stairs to join the fray.  When we arrive, we find a pile of dead hobgoblins.  Korvinean is alive and seems healthy, but looks like a pin cushion with several arrows stuck in his armor.  Ulric grabs Finn and they begin to climb over the bodies of the dead hobgoblins to attack the others.  I climb onto the back of one of the horses to get a better look above the pile of carnage, and I begin firing at our enemy.  Finn and Ulric make a great team, and are able to mow through the beasts easily.
            I climb over the pile and run up to one of the fiends, upper cutting with Frostfang directly into his crotch.  He dies instantly, and we start to remove the bodies from the entrance.
            Down in the cells, Briggette realizes that there are roughly 300 captives, about 200 of which are children, mostly girls.  They begin leading the people up the stairs, and momentarily burst into the room where we are still busy retrieving arrows and moving corpses.  The group begins to file through and out, with the intent of the dwarves leading them all to safety though the mountains.
            Suddenly, we hear a gut-wrenching roar coming from the cave on the other side of the compound.  As the portcullis begins to rise, Briggette senses an overwhelming and terrible evil emanating from the same area.  As the gate locks into its upright position, even Ulric and I an feel the wave of evil.  Briggette summons Chancellor back, and the rest of us mount up.

            The creatures which emerge are about four feet tall with broken flesh and maggots crawling through their skin.  Most of us charge, using momentum and skill to swiftly kill many of them.  When they die, they explode into a cloudy mist that, if it touches your skin, you are burned as if by acid.  As we come to the end of these foes, we are again accosted by a second wave of beasts, this time a group of twenty dretches.  We continue to fight our way through them until the third wave, a single babau appears to try to do us in.  He is unsuccessful, and we end his miserable existence with aplomb.