By Brian Flood
Chapter 13 - The Cleansing Flames
Along the Uldoon Trail
Within the Reaching Woods, The Sunset Vale
Midnight, 23rd Day of Eleint, Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)
Keeping her position, Slyvia continues
to scan the surroundings forest for any more of these horrifying monsters.
She yells out to the others, “We
can't keep a fire going in this downpour, move the bodies under my
shelter and we can burn them there.”
“I've got greek fire and lamp oil both in the satchels on my mule,” Kjira yells out from her new position.
yells, “Just defend yourself, don't bother attacking and wasting your
time. You cut one of their limbs
off, it becomes another one!”
As Lucas is removing the stopper from the first of Dolak’s oil flasks, Kryian interjects. “Slyvia has a point, lets drag the bodies to a shelter where it is dry and THEN burn them.”
Dolak pauses for a minute, weighing the options. Then, Cyzicus says, “Grab the first one, them come back for this one here.” The halfling nods at the second creature. “I’ll keep him down.” The halfling stands poised near the second creature; he holds his two short swords at the ready in order to attack at the first signs of movement. His raises his eyebrows as he notices the creature’s wounds closing before his eyes.
Dolak attaches his axe to his harness and then he and Kryian reach down to grab the first creature. The two warriors groan as the start to drag the lanky corpse toward Slyvia’s lean-to.
As Dolak and Kryian drag the corpse away, Darius moves forward to kneel at Alric’s side. He immediately begins inspecting the fallen paladin’s wounds, and frowns at the massive loss of blood that the warrior has suffered.
Zell returns to the coals, hoping that the heavy rain hasn't fallen too heavily upon the cold timbers. She searches for anything warm to aid in lighting the oil.
Kjira remains nearby, her quarterstaff held in the crook of her arm and her hands freed for spellcasting. “Once we have doused them in oil, I will use my magic to set them afire,” states the lady mage.
“Ouch,” groans Alani as she flops back down on the wet ground. “What hit me?” she slurs softly as her vision blurs in and out of focus. The rain falling on her face helps a little to revive her. She strains doggedly and attempts to rise to one knee. Unfortunately, she is overcome by weakness and collapses back to the ground, again.
Dolak and Kryian groan under the weight of the dead creature as the drag it toward the shelters. Lucas steps out of their way, clearing a path to the shelters along the east side of the campsite. Seeing their way toward Slyvia’s shelter blocked by Alani and Soft-Fang, they move the corpse toward Alani’s shelter instead. Slyvia sets down her bow and arrow and helps from the opposite side of the shelter, grabbing the corpse’s arm and pulling and the other two shove the body under the roof of the shelter.
As the two warriors turn to head toward the second corpse, Dolak grunts to Slyvia, “Better git ‘er pack out o’ that lean-to before we set these traligarn ‘afire!” Slyvia grabs the Alani’s backpack and pulls it out of the shelter and back to where she has been providing overwatch of the battle. She leans her bow on the pack and then steps forward and prepares to help with the second corpse.
Darius reaches into a bag tied to his belt and produces a roll of bandages and some herbs. As he begins to administer to Alric’s wounds he yells over the rain to Cyzicus. “I have no further power to pray for healing. I will need your assistance.”
Dolak and Kryian grab the second corpse and drag IT toward the shelter, as well. Once again, Slyvia assists as they shove its dead weight under the roof and onto the corpse of the first monster. The two warriors then turn and take a few seconds to work their way free of the suddenly congested area in the southeastern portion of the campsite. As they do so, the two mages – Lucas and Kjira – step forward to the lean-to.
Zell moves toward the center of the action, finding a spot near the rear of the group.
Cyzicus, remains watchful as SEVEN members of the party – Lucas, Kjira, Slyvia, Zell, Dolak, Kryian, and himself – focus on the action involving the corpses.
Lucas, seeing the creatures’ wounds closing, hurriedly pours the first flask of oil on one of the corpses. Then, he reaches for the second flask. Kjira stands nearby, her hands still ready for spell casting.
Darius places several leaves of a strange herb in the open tear in Alric’s mauled and bloody side. The leaves begin to darken as they soak in the blood flowing from the wound.
As Lucas readies the second flask, Kjira notices the first creature’s eyes open as it begins to stir. “Look out!” she cries, jabbing forward with her quarterstaff. The oaken shaft spurs the creature in the ribcage, resounding in a crack as bones give way. The creature howls in pain.
Working quickly, Lucas pours the second flask of oil on the second creature and then moves out of the way so that Kjira can cast her spell. He steps in the only direction that offers a path – toward Soft-Fang and Alani. The wolf growls softly as Lucas’ intrusion forces him to leave Alani’s side.
As Kjira readies her spell, the first creature’s movements begin again. Kjira holds her hands in front of her, thumbs touching with her fingers pointed at the monsters. In a commanding tone, Kjira speaks a single word in an arcane language and a fan of flames springs forth from her hands. The flames ignite the oil on the bodies and the waking creature howls in pain as the sickly smell of burnt flesh permeates the air. The flames also lick over the thatched roof of the shelter as well as a nearby stand of saplings. Fortunately, the rain-soaked wood fails to ignite.
Darius frowns at the use of fire but continues to administer to Alric. The druid places a wad of cloth over the leaves and then begins to wrap a bandage around the paladin’s chest, over his armor.
Meanwhile, Kjira watches the smoldering corpses and notes that some of the bleeding wounds are still closing. She readies her hands and repeats the process. A second gout of flames washes over the bodies. Once again, the wet wood in the shelter and the nearby trees remains untouched by the magical fire.
Kjira repeats the process two more times until she sees no more regeneration on the part of the creatures. Unfortunately, the fourth casting of the spell causes the shelter roof and the nearby trees to ignite. Flames begin to lick at the two areas ignited by the magical flames.
By this time, Darius has completed wrapping the bandage around Alric’s chest. The druid looks up from the still-unconscious paladin and stares aghast at the sight of flames consuming portions of the campsite and the forest.
Dolak nods approvingly at the destruction of the beast. Then, he turns to the others in the campsite and yells over the storm. “Everyone take a care, I saw a rather large cat out there lookin' to have a snack out of the vanquished or the tired victors. It may be circlin' to come from behind, so keep a weather eye out.” The dwarf fingers his double-bladed battle-axe and eyes the surrounding forest.
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