Chapter Eighty-Three

December 22, 2012


24th of Vintagemonth


            I throw a grappling hook through the hole in the ceiling and climb up while Finn boosts Boian through.  Just as he and I get through the hole, Boian yells, “Something’s here!” and his tattoo begins to glow brilliantly.  Nine “men” step out from the walls in that room, surrounding Briggette, Boian and the rest of our friends.  At the same time, we hear the roar and gout of flame coming from Arany below.

            Upstairs, Ulric and I are in a lavish room with a bed, a desk, several bookshelves, a cage, and two magical circles carved into the floor.  A middle-aged man with a neatly trimmed beard stands in the middle of one of the circles.  I fire immediately, and strike once fairly well.  Ulric yells at him, “I am Ulric von Zurwald-Heltragen!  I am here to destroy you!”  He charges, slamming into the wizard.

            Finn swings his gruisarme at the men as it screams its high-pitched shriek.  Three of them are tripped, and he attacks them.   Korvinean fires at nearly the same moment, striking several of the men solidly in the process.

            The mage casts and Ulric stands back amazed, stunned.  Law’s Claw clangs to the floor.

            Brianna begins to bang her fists into one of the men, and Boian slices through two of them with ease.

            I step to the side and fire twice, hitting him both times.  Ulric continues to just stand there.  The wizard casts, sending a lightning bolt hurtling toward both of us.  I manage to dodge, but Ulric takes the hit directly.  Off to the side, I notice a mist form and coalesce into a strange creature with mandibles on its face, one pincher for a hand, one human hand and one foot and one hoof, one vulture wing and one bat wing.

            Finn and Briggette run through the last remaining men downstairs, and Briggette drinks a potion of levitate. 

            Once again I fire at the wizard, this time having to jump on the bed in order to get a clear shot.  The creature charges Ulric and strikes him in the back.  The wizard steps out of the circle and says, “Tell Nicodemus I’ll be calling.”  With that, he simply disappears.

            Finn runs downstairs to help Arany who has a snake wrapped around one arm, a hyena latched into one wing and a giant dire bear attacking his flank.  He slices through the snake, and begins to move toward his next target.

            Briggette charges the creature, and I fire at it.  Ulric seems to regain his reason and attacks as well, just as I fire at it twice.  Within a few seconds, the creature is dead, and we all take a moment to catch our breath.

            Downstairs, Finn and Korvinean quickly help Arany end that particular fray.  Briggette feels Chancellor panicking, and begins to run in that direction.  As she steps onto the staircase, she hears Arany scream, “Briggette, hurry!”  She comes out at the foot of the stair and he tells her to climb on, then with two strong slams, he crashes through the window in the side of the tower.

            Boian grabs my rope and grappling hook from the hole and throws it though and out the window, jumping out behind it and shimmying down the tower.  Ulric follows, at an albeit much slower pace.

            Briggette and Arany reach the area where the horses were left, and they see a 150 foot long snake trying to eat the horses.  Arany drops Briggette on the beast’s head just as it lunges to bite Chancellor.  He looks as though he is hurt quite badly, and is very shaky on his legs, so Briggette dismisses him before attacking the snake in earnest. 

            Boian arrives shortly thereafter, slamming his rapier into the snake up to its hilt.  Ulric is next on the scene and slices his sword almost completely through the beast.  By the time I arrive, everyone is recovering.  Boian calls me over to look at some runes on the side of the snake.  The runes spell out a name in Abyssal, “Eater of White.”


            We spend the next eight or so hours cleaning up the tower and going through it.  When we are done, we set the tower on fire and make sure it is burning truly well before we leave.  We head out and light up the fields as we ride away.

            We head to our rendezvous with Hoffmann.  As we exit the Nevers area, Hoffmann has his rear guard light the entire area on fire.  After about five weeks of travel, we arrive in Tulcea.

            We head in to see the Duke and are telling him of our successes.  At one point, Finn pulls Ulric back and whispers, “Look at your wife’s cloak now.”  He looks to see that it now has another stripe going down it.  He says that it just happened just now in front of him.  Ulric decides not to say anything for now, but rather, just waits for the visit with the Duke.  This means that Brannick is, in all likelihood, dead.


            After a while, once we are all sitting drunk and depressed at the Golden Dragon Inn, Silas appears at the door.  He is torn up, in very bad shape, but wants to suffer his wounds and will not allow Briggette to heal him.  He explains that Brannick died while attempting to rescue Laurana, the woman he has loved for ages.  This is the same Laurana that Sir Stefan loves, though he married for duty and honor.  She had been captured on the mainland, and the friends raced to her rescue, but a sorceress killed Brannick.  Silas managed to escape with his life.