The Shackled City
Jarvyk Entry 10
We are rescued from the enormous beasts, beaten and weary, but alive. It is such a basic thing to be thankful for, and such a fragile commodity in this land. Following our adventure it was the decision of the party to find refuge and regroup. Kaurophon, who seemed as surprised by the recent encounter as the rest of us, urged against stopping in the open wastes. I fear he is correct. The creatures of this realm appear openly hostile and ready for bloodshed. Continuing the path is more prudent at this juncture than resting, and so the group moves forward.
The movement, although useful, is short lived. We find ourselves unable to continue any farther and so must rest.
It is an uneasy rest. Ashton twitches in the night. Kort clutches tighter than usual to his axe. Even our new and imposing half-orc ‘friend’ seems wary. Only Bransen and Karamus appear to rest well. I can imagine what Karamus has seen, and what it must take to unnerve the alien. Bransen, I can only imagine, is too intrigued by the oddities of Occipitus to find the fear welling within. Truth as it is, I too find myself ill at ease with the fleshy path before us.
It is a twisted road one weaves through deals with demons. Devils and Dragons, the lore is clear. You never, NEVER, deal with a Dragon…and always know that Devils want sacrifice before servitude. Demons, as I understand them, are more..subtle and treacherous. History books are filled with the broken tales of those that dealt with such denizens. Clanggedin, let it not be our day to meet with such disgrace. Find me upon the path to righteousness and deliver me unto the doorstep of evil. If I should fall, let the seeds of my journey spark fires of dissention among the oppressed. Clanggedin be praised.
The day’s journey brings us into the realm of a giant frog-like demon, Hezrou I believe. The creature is adept in the magical arts, but ultimately proves to be no match for our superior numbers. It is an agreeable change, having the upper hand. We’ve had the best taken of us for some time now, and it angers me to an uncomfortable end.
As the day, and the journey progress, silence permeates the disgusting fields of ‘hair-trees’. We are again forced to rest under the blood red ceiling of guardian demons. Kaurophon tells us that approaching that mass of creatures, whether trying to penetrate their perimeter or not, can be deadly. I’ll have to remember that when I’m … flying.
We rest, again unmolested. With the lull of the previous hours, and those before them, an uneasiness invades my thoughts. The Cathedral of Feathers lies ahead, and to it we must continue. Let it be known, I have a bad feeling about this.
It took not long before my concerns were realized. Karamus, and I suppose Elias, noticed it first. A trio of vulture-like beasts stood some two hundred feet away, beyond my vision within the strange glow of this place. I wanted to confront the beasts, though their presence I’d never seen. Something drew me towards them, set me against them in anger. A righteous rage swelled within and sought to take me into battle. Kort seemed to feel it as well. Without intervention we would have been at the feet of the beasts directly.
Fortunately, historians would say, others had more conservative perspectives on the situation; Elias among them. In the end, they were able to break me of my compulsion and remind me the merits of purposeful battles. Kort, in all his stubborn valor, had to be forced away from combat. Ultimately, it would not matter.
As we circled the vulture beasts they rose into the air and began to approach our position, Karamus thought fit to detail. At this Kaurophon seemed to become quite worried. We all prepared for the impending combat as Elias described the beasts to Kaurophon. The details did not come to him at that time. Instead, he hastened himself while Kort readied the devil-bow and Ashton granted me the glorious gift of flight. He spoke strange, archaic, words when he laid the power upon me, but I knew the source. Clanggedin places upon the path to righteousness the tools of success. In his living example shall they rise to serve the greater ends.
I flew to a reasonable height and awaited the inevitable. We stood for a moment and when the swirling trio of leg-rubbing vulture abominations got within bow range Kaurophon started. “Hrm…those would be Vrocks, and they appear to be performing the dance of…”, he exclaimed, “RUN!!!” The shrill cry broke all measure of calm, sending everyone but Kort and Ashton into an immediate scramble. I swept down and carried away the lighter, more fragile, Ashton. Kort, strong as he is, would survive whatever these hellions could deliver.
There was almost no time to escape, although many managed. As the trio neared to a stones throw their shocking purpose became painfully clear. Kort and Kaurophon were hit, and badly. To his credit, Kaurophon immediately pulled scroll from pouch and leveled a very powerful spell at one of the now hovering … things. Up close, they were as ugly as they were deadly, possibly more so.
Kort sent a volley towards them, revealing their unusually thick skin. I assessed the situation and could see clear path to one of them. Using the gifts of discovery I strode quickly forward, having dropped Ashton, and engaged the slower Vrock. The other two abominations attacked Kort and Kaurophon. Elias, perhaps because he is new, and Karamus, for commonly known reasons, refrained from getting their shirts dirty.
It was as pitched a battle as ever I’ve survived. The Vrock set against my greatsword felled, dead, as was another. One escaped, using the gift of travel. We were happy to see it leave, if not a bit relieved. I saw my own death approach that day. Clanggedin be praised, I am strong enough to best my foe and alive enough to enjoy it!!
For two days, such as they can be called in a land with no valuable darkness, we traveled unhindered. The rest was welcome, as evidenced by the lack of entry herein.
On the following day, we discovered the Cathedral of Feathers. With great effort, the doors to the former sight of divine presence opened. We strode in, a bit to carelessly it would seem, and were attacked.
A webbing covered the entire party, except Elias, and lightning arced across our tangled masses. Bransen pulled the luck of gods from his soul and instantly removed one of the spider looking beasts; Driders I believe. Elias, being more useful than I would have imagined, stood toe to toe with one of the creatures. It was a notable act of valor.
It was about that time that another arc of lightning burned through us. It’s originator did not live to see much after that. As Clanggedin would have it, these creatures had provisions, of a sort. Ashton found magical writings among their things and other enchanted items as well. Many of us are injured, and the path ahead gets more dangerous as we go. It might be time to rest. I do not know if all will agree. I must go press for caution.