20 Ollarune 998 YK
As the meeting began with Bren ir’Gadden, I could not help but wonder what I was doing in this wretched place. If not for Cyranthus, I have a good feeling I would have rid Bren from this world. What kind of man spends all his time and money on booze and sins of the flesh? Even just looking at him I could feel god’s fury growing inside of me. Sitting down I looked around the table at what weaklings I would have to carry along with me on this mission. To my surprise it was the same three men that I protected at the tower four years ago. God must have a plan for these three if he is having them team up with me once more. It seems each one of these people is in search of somebody dear to them; that will be their downfall. Friends and family are only enemies in disguise and are as likely to stab you in the back as to hug you.
Sitting back as the other three asked their questions in hope of finding their loved ones alive and well, I looked closely at their faces. The barbarian Kolgarth looked worn and tired from obvious overexertion in searching for his family members, I doubt he will survive the day….I will lend him as much aid as god wills but it is not my job to keep him alive. The artificer Satoris still has the hopeful eyes of a much younger man; he honestly thinks at the end of his journey he will see his friend Cedric alive. I fear that if god has chosen otherwise the man will end up a lost soul that must be purged. As my eyes wander to the last ally I stop in amazement, finally a man of my own cloth. Dominaro Walsh, the paladin of the Silver Flame a man who I have battled with before, was sitting before me. Although the man’s battle prowess is questionable to say the least, his faith in the lord is unwavering and I know he would gladly die if that is what god willed. Nothing but complete trust in the lord almighty will guide us through these troubling times.
Bren rambled on about another person lost somewhere near Winterhaven…great another rescue mission. What sort of hold does this man have over Cyranthus to have him waste his greatest apprentice on such a remedial task? As he continued his tale I lost interest and looked around the bar. Men and women drinking and carrying on, my blood boils knowing that god is looking the other way from these hoodlums. Alcohol of any kind only leads those who partake down a road full of sin and regret. I willed a surge of holy energy to course through my veins as I prepare myself to rid this world of these insects when I hear Bren mention his old aid Aric and an unknown dragonmark that appeared on him the day we saved them in the tower. Upon hearing of such an unnatural thing I lost all interest in the patrons of the tavern and turned back to Bren. Although Bren hasn’t heard from him in 4 years and believes he is dead, I know otherwise. Those dragonmarks are a curse. They are a scar on this world and shall be removed forcefully if necessary.
Before Bren left he ordered a round of ale for the group, which I immediately declined as I scorned Bren for his decadent ways. Before I had a chance to leave, the bar maiden asked if we were headed towards Winterhaven, as she thought she had heard. As I was about to scorn her for her intrusion, I heard the lord’s words echoing in my head and knew this was part of his grand scheme. We accepted her plead and embarked towards Winterhaven.
A few miles outside of Winterhaven we were attacked by a band of kobolds. Although Dominaro and Kolgarth took a great deal of damage the lord saw fit for me to survive the battle unscathed. As we looked over the corpses for any evidence of where the kobolds came from we heard a whimpering in the woods. As we went to investigate, I knew there was something amiss. A petite girl was sitting tied up sobbing against a tree. Although she claimed she was attacked by the kobolds and tied up, I knew there was something off in this scenario…she was too unscathed to have been tied up by those animals… it seemed too tidy. I knew this girl should not be trusted and the only safe way to avoid an ambush would be to destroy the trap. The group argued against it and I decided to let them have their minor victory. I would not, however, let her travel with us in ease, I had her tied and gagged most of the way to the town gates….suffering cleanses the soul and suffer she must.
We entered town prepared for the worst. We kept her in the middle so she had nowhere to run to if her deceitfulness was proven by the townspeople. Luckily for her, we ran into two of her associates as we entered and they quickly vouched for her. Although they got her away from us this time, I will be keeping my eye on her, for a girl who was just saved there was much deceit in her words. While the others asked around about Douven Staul I kept my gaze steadily on the girl, I watched her until she entered her house… then I knew if we needed to catch the rat, we had found the boat she was hiding in.
After we finished talking to those two noblemen, the group decided it would be best if we all split up to do our own things while we waited for nightfall. I went to the local temple of the Sovereign Host to demand that they explain what my purpose was, here with these nonbelievers. Unfortunately the Sovereign Host does not see the light I bring to the world. Not caring about the evil around, they greedily kept their secrets for themselves.
As nightfall fell, we met up outside the inn. As we entered the inn, Kolgarth did not waste any time in causing a scene and giving away our intent. While I give him some credit on his brute strength, it might be best for the group to leave the imbecile outside during meetings. Luckily, I was able to see an individual particularly taken back by the brute’s demeanor. I immediately went over there and was able to deduce the identity of the stranger. Although he fought it at first, Eilian knew that his number was up and divulged the information I requested from him.
Eilian warned us about Delphina… I knew that girl was trouble. I needed to know what she had planned, and I needed to know quickly. I knew that if I wanted to fulfill my mission she was the key. I quickly left the bar and stationed myself covertly outside of her home, as I saw her leave I snuck in through the back window. I mis-stepped as I leapt through the window and crashed on the table. Momentarily dazed, I knew there was no time to revel in the pain; I began my search of the place. I was able to find a note hidden behind one of her drawers, it read:
“Be very careful to extract the third rib from the sinister side. I want the entire thing; I don’t know how much I’ll need to perform the ritual.
I have got to find this K fellow if I have any hope of finding Douven. I went to put the room back the way I found it but in my haste I have forgotten how it was set up. I knew I had to cover my trail but how…..Forest fires are nature’s way of cleaning up after itself, perhaps fire would work in this situation as well. I laid a candle down on some papers as I stealthily dove out the window and made my way up the street. I miscalculated the speed at which the house would burn and was quickly caught up in the mass of people forming around the house. As the crowd spokesman ran up to me to ask what happened, I devised a plan to keep our group from being detained from our mission. I spoke of a group of kobolds attacking the town and managed to get the man’s trust. As he ran off to gather the town militia I ran off to gather the group and to show them the proof I found.
I met up with the party at the local blacksmith. They asked what the commotion was and, although they are my allies in this quest, I could not trust them enough with the truth. They would not understand the greater good that the fire would cause. I showed them the note before they had a chance to press me for information. It seems in my absence the group was unable to keep a guard on Delphina and she managed to slip out of town right before we could apprehend her. Typical group of thugs, they think that their weapons and muscles will solve this. Only wisdom and faith will lead us to Douven and the answers they seek.
Just outside the village we were attacked by a small group of kobolds, probably sent to cover Delphina’s tracks. The group was quickly surrounded by this new foe, it seemed as though our barbarian ally was caught in a root spell, weak minded buffoon, I laughed to myself for a moment as I saw him fidget around like a baby learning to walk. I couldn’t help but think how useless he would be in the fight, moments later a giant maul whizzed past my head and into the chest of a wyrmpriest. Crafty bastard has been taking notes from Satoris I see….Maybe he’s not as dumb as he looks. As I ripped out the soul of the heartless wyrmpriest, I heard him mutter that he must warn somebody named “Irontooth” and looked towards the waterfall in the distance. Finally, we could destroy the source of the kobold situation in this area.
We burst through the waterfall before they knew what hit them. I whispered words of defeat to the cavern as we entered and watched as minions fell before us; fear burned into their eyes. Where I was carving my way through the masses I was surprised to see myself distancing from the group. The minions that fell so quickly to my magic were holding their own against the barbarian. His swings seemed to be slow and inaccurate; it seemed that the taxes of his travels were finally being paid. I spared what divine bolts I could to help diminish the mass of creatures that began to surround him but there were bigger worries than him. After one particularly strong astral wind I heard a shriek yell and saw a large goblin-like creature wielding two axes running towards us. It seemed we had located Irontooth. Dom knowing I was too valuable to be harmed quickly stood his ground in front of the much tougher opponent. Against all odds he exchanged blow after blow with Irontooth. Sadly even with his godly protection he fell victim to that monstrosity. Knowing that the tides have turned Irontooth turned his eye to his next target, Kolgarth. I managed to recite the holy words of our lord and stun Irontooth along with his 2 denwarden assistants, but he was able to shrug it off after only a short period of time. The 2 denwardens however had a much harder time clearing their minds of such immaculate words. After clearing his mind Irontooth charged Kolgarth, as that happened I managed to get to Dom’s unconscious body and protect my fallen ally. No soldier of the light would lose his life today. With the clang of metal ringing in the background I stood my ground and held the advances of the hordes of kobolds. I looked in amazement as Kolgarth landed a blow that would have destroyed any lesser foe in one blow only to realize that, as usual, it wasn’t enough. Only moments later Kolgarth crumbled feebly before Irontooth. Even though the outcome of this fight looked bleak I knew my faith would carry me through. Satoris tried his best to hold off the advances of Irontooth but for all the advantages he has in ranged combat you could see the weaknesses in his melee combat. Two crushing blows later and I alone stood against the might of these fiends. Standing defiant against these beasts, I prayed to the gods to give me the strength to destroy these abominations. One skirmisher made his way to strike me, but out of nowhere a holy glow came from Dom and he rose to join the battle. Evil cannot smite one who gives his life willingly to his lord. I knew then that holy justice will be dealt today. Commanding Irontooth to attack him and leave his friends alone Dom stood before Irontooth not as a man but as a warrior of the light. God has seen fit to bless his soldiers with his presence today. Irontooth paused for the first time during this bout and for the first time realized his imminent defeat. Not wanting to die without taking some of us with him he turned his sights on our two fallen allies. As he lifted his axes to end their pathetic lives beams of light shot out of his body. Kolgarth and Satoris will not die this day; God has bigger plans for the both of them. With Irontooth gone and the remaining forces seeing me, the angel of death before them they had no choice but to run. With the immediate threats gone I looked around the room to assess the situation, it was then that I saw him standing there in the middle of the floor. It seems that the denwarden that heard the words of god was still stunned from my earlier attack. Anger filled me….anger I haven’t felt since that day outside the church. Anger for all the lives these kobolds had taken. I grabbed the denwarden and threw him under the waterfall…although he could not move, I could see in his eyes the fear for his life….I held him under for two or three minutes before I felt the life leave his body……Never again will that monster take another innocent life…