By Bryant Alexander
Fly by Knight
“She's as likely to bite it off as not,” Aeryn warned.
“I'm not going to put it in her mouth,” Armand said.
“My statement still stands,” Aeryn said.
We stepped out of the dark, gloomy, smelly caverns and discovered that it'd snowed in our absence. Grolsch took the opportunity to roll in the snow. Nanoc took the opportunity to fertilize a tree. Armand probably wanted to enjoy the snow, too, but instead he took the time to wrap the drow up in a cloak. We'd done a good job of stripping her down, after all. As much as I might enjoy watching her freeze to death, or at least freezing her teats off, we wanted her for questioning. We might have stripped her down even more if it wasn't that we didn't want Armand to get too aroused.
“We could attach a rope to her feet and drag her,” Aeryn suggested. “Or make a litter.”
‘Make a litter' was probably poor choice of words. And the snow was growing heavier.
“We could get Pain and Suffering to drag her,” Aeryn said.
Armand was too busy cuddling her up in that cloak to pay Aeryn much mind. We continued down the hillside. Armand didn't seem to be tiring of carrying the drow, but Aeryn kept offering up alternatives, just in case he ever did.
“We could tie a leg onto each wolf,” she said.
“I don't think Armand wants her that open,” I said.
We finally paused in our march when Aeryn spotted something. We waited while she vanished amidst the trees. She scooted back to us moments later.
“Ambush positions everyone,” she said. “There's one very large animal. Toss the wench in the sack. This shouldn't take too long.”
It was obvious that Armand wanted to bag the drow, but he didn't want to do it quite so literally. Instead, he put the dazed drow down on her back, under a tree, and ordered Cinnabar to sit on her stomach for the duration.
We all picked trees and hid. I readied my longbow. A black knight on a horse with glowing red eyes rode up. The horses stopped and whinnied. The knight leaned forward, looking for all the world like he was whispering to his mount. Then he drew a large great sword.
An arrow struck a spark off his armor before bouncing off. Since I didn't see who'd fired it, it must have been Aeryn. If her arrow had produced such unspectacular results, then mine wouldn't do any better. Maybe he wasn't even a bad guy. Armand might look just as threatening if I didn't know him.
I stepped out from behind my tree.
“Hello,” I said.
Dreya stepped out from behind another tree, war hammer in hand. These are the times when us clerical types need to stick together.
“Are you the ones?” the knight asked.
He spoke in an eerie whisper. I hoped he just had a helmet with weird acoustics.
“The ones what?” I asked.
“The sackers of the temple,” the knight said.
“ What temple?” I asked. “Look. Clerical robes. Servant of the temple, not sacker of the temple.”
“…attacked the Cult,” the knight said.
Okay, I could guess what cult he was asking about, but there was no reason to tell him that I knew. I could sense that the clerical ‘hold out an open hand in friendship' routine was not going to work much longer, but I wasn't ready to concede the point quite yet.
“Which cult?” I asked.
“In the Elder City ,” the knight said.
“And which city is that?” I asked.
I was hoping that he might lose interest if I answered every one of his questions with a question. Instead, he raised his right fist. His gauntlet held a sphere of black fire… and now I noticed the smell of the crypt about him. Like I hadn't smelled enough crypts recently.
Grolsch threw a flamestrike at him. I tried a Turning. Granted, our party probably smelled faintly of crypts, too, after our long excursion, but maybe he was an undead. Given my lack of success, I was betting that he wasn't.
“Drat,” I muttered. “Got a live one.”
Dreya tried Turning him, with a similar lack of success. The knight abruptly lifted off his horse. He flew back some twenty feet, while his black fire sphere launched itself at Grolsch. The tree burst into flames. The horse galloped away.
Aeryn flew up at the hovering knight, waving her rapier. I changed over to bat-form. I wouldn't be able to bite through his armor, but I could certainly distract him by flapping in his face.
“Help!” Aeryn called out.
Maybe she'd just noticed that she'd charged in all by her lonesome. Most of this party was less than aerodynamic. Our insane dwarf would probably have launched himself skyward (and missed), but Nanoc was still back at the top of the hill, fertilizing the trees.
Armand pointed his ring at the knight and blew away a passing sparrow in a cloud of feathers.
A pack of skeletons came marching up the road. Great. I changed back to elf-form. I was just as glad to have an excuse to stay on the ground. The knight was swatting at Aeryn, and sooner or later she was going to end up looking like the sparrow that Armand just blew away.
Dreya Turned the skeletons to dust.
“Help!” Aeryn shouted.
“We're trying!” Armand shouted back. “Lead him over here!”
Armand skillfully dispatched another sparrow.
“Get away from him!” Armand shouted.
Maybe Armand's aim would've been better if he wasn't worried about nailing Aeryn. Aeryn took another whack at the knight and finally flew away. She swooped down near the ground, presumably in the hopes that he'd follow.
“Help!” Aeryn yelped.
Wait a minute. I kept forgetting that I could cast Fly on someone else. I charged at Armand. I could send him up to take the knight down!
Dreya tossed her axe at the knight. The knight actually came down for a landing in front of Armand. The two of them swung at each other. Aeryn, having successfully retreated, flipped over the knight's head and stabbed him in the back. I reached out to Armand, intent on casting Fly on him…
The knight exploded, his armor flying off in all directions. I got a faceful of Armand's back as flying armor hit him in the chest. I suppose it was better than being hit directly, but it still stung.
“Now we gotta find out where the goddamn horse is,” Aeryn muttered.
Armand gathered up the pieces of armor. The straps had disintegrated, but the plates themselves were intact.
“Someone heal me?” Aeryn asked.
Grolsch was able to provide for her. I'd used everything I had left keeping myself alive after getting so battered fighting in the crevasse.
“Just keep thinking ‘we're almost back to town',” I said.
“We're almost back to town,” Aeryn repeated. “We're almost back to town… Grolsch, you, me and the dogs can go after the horse.”
“I gotta go pick up the broad,” Armand said.
I returned to Dagger Falls with Armand and his new girlfriend. Nanoc was bringing up the rear, since his rear was still so busy. According to the calendar, it was the third of Uktar. I wasn't sure if we'd made good time or not, but we'd gotten out alive, at least. We reported to Lord Morn, who was pleased to see our prisoner.
“Isn't she cute?” Armand beamed. “I get her when you're done.”
‘Cute' was not the word I would've used.
“The place isn't as nice as when we ruled,” the drow sniffed.
Maybe so, but the ears we turned over to Lord Morn were from her kin, not mine. The drow was placed in Lord Morn's back room dungeon.
“I could interrogate her,” Armand offered.
He would probably do a good job, too, provided that he remembered that she couldn't answer questions with her mouth full.
The rest of the team showed up the next day. They'd finally caught up with the horse around midnight . Unfortunately, they hadn't gotten any information out of the horse. At least it was one less horse in the Cult's service.
The content of Moonshine's Journals is the property and copyright of Bryant Alexander, and are not to be published or redistributed without permission.
Return to the Moonshine's Journals main page
Return to Campaign Logs