This post continues the story of our brave adventurers in search for the evil people who desecrated a dragon newt shrine and has been written by Steve Bond our party scribe
The second day of the expedition began with Saronil the Yelmalio disciple, Andrin the healer and Kazmar the scribe camped a distance away from a ruined stronghold they believed the bandits responsible for the attack on the Dragon newt site were holed up.
They decided to scout the area in order to assess the strength of the bandit group and to this end Saronil enlisted help from the skies casting a spell to engage the services of a Hawk through whom Saronil could also observe the bird’s viewpoint. Upon Saronil’s encouragement the hawk flew over the stronghold and ascertained that there were at least three figures in view, one of which was undoubtedly a troll. Armed with this information the group decided to approach their target in an attempt to cajole their way into the building but were unsuccessful and chose to leave before a straight fight broke out.
The three returned to the site of previous combat and scouted the area where they successfully spotted a tunnel entrance that they hoped would lead inside the building. At dusk they were able to approach the entrance undetected and entered the tunnel. Whilst in almost complete dark Saronil cast a cat’s eyes spell leading the others in. After a short distance they encountered a group of large lizards, one of whom attacked but the group were able to injure the animal causing the other lizards to retreat enabling the trio to pass. After a short distance they discovered the entrance to a shrine dedicated to Jakaleel within which there was a rotting figure that turned to attack the group.
Whilst Saronil and Kazmar drew weapons and engaged to Zombified man Andrin began to scan the rest of the room, locating what appeared to a line of prison cells. Before he could act further out of a cell rushed forward the Witch that they had come to capture. She muttered an incantation and a diseased spirit formed to attack Andrin. Whilst the other two fought the Zombie Andrin found himself in spirit combat with the Witch continuing to cast again. Saronil landed a damaging blow to the Zombie giving Kazmar the opportunity to break away from the melee and rush the Witch, who in turn tried to flee down an adjoining passageway. At the end of this hall there were steps leading up. Presuming that the other bandits were above Kazmar dined to tackle the Witch but missed and she ran to the foot of the stairs.
Whilst Kazmar rushed after the Witch the spiritual battle between Andrin and the diseased spirit carried on with neither able to gain advantage. Andrin changed tactics and called upon a healing spirit who took up his position opposing the diseased form. Saronil meanwhile made short work of what was left of the Zombie and moved to help Kazmar, hoping to capture the Witch before she could muster help.
The witch was approaching the top of the stairs when Kazmar lunged again and this time a critical success, he was able to pull her back to the bottom of the stairs and the two grappled, whilst the Witch began uttering yet more incantations causing direct injury to Kazmar. The fight seemed to be turning against the three further when the sight of an armoured warrior appeared at the top of the stairs and he began to descend. ‘Don’t hurt her’ Andrin pleaded as Kazmar raised his sword to deal the Witch a telling blow.
The two instead grappled further and the fight laid in the balance, after all there was still the potential of a troll to help the Witch, an opponent surely too strong for the trio. It was at this point that Saronil turned the tide. With a critical strike he thrust his spear into the approaching warrior who crumbled and collapsed down the remaining stairs. Despite further injury Kazmar was finally able to overpower the Witch who was tied up whilst the spirit battle ended with Andrin healing spirit triumphant. A fearing that an incredulous Kazmar may deal further retribution to the Witch took both control and protection over the prisoner. They were able to leave through the passage they had approached and escaped the stronghold having avoided a volley of rocks thrown by a confused troll still placed in the fortification
The party made their way back south via a second river crossing, once again having to subdue the uncooperative Witch who tried one last spell in an attempt to escape but was subdued again. The group eventually approached the Dragon newt site of Whee Lee a dragon newt priest who was deep in contemplative prayer and meditation. Fortunately a younger dragon newt, apparently in servitude to Whee Lee met the group and after finally overcoming language and cultural differences the group together with a donation from the merchants box found previously were able to persuade the Dragon newt priest to journey to the damaged grove that had been desecrated and perform a healing ritual on the site.
Saronil and a nervous Andrin (he is scared of dragons) escorted the Witch back to the village and handed the Witch over to the inhabitants. A congregation then travelled to the grove to witness the ritual performed by the dragon newt before the Adventurers were welcomed back to the village to a heroes return and were grandly paid, fed and watered. On the following day, complete with bounty including a group of pigs, the adventurers set off.