Decem Reliquias

Muirn's Pass

Finally finding themselves at the foot of the Frostback mountains, Cathal takes the lead in her familiar homeland and guides them to Muirn’s pass. Warning once more that the area is known to be haunted, they venture into the narrow canyon, hoping to catch Banur and his Avar minions off guard by coming from such an unexpected direction. Not ten steps in, just after Cathal and Dog round the first corner out of sight, Broga exclaims and falls to the ground, out cold. Corryn hurries forward to inspect the dwarf, who unexpectedly leaps to his feet and stabs at him. Confused, Corryn looks around, seeing another dwarf on the ground, with Armon leaning over and stabbing him. Marius approaches Armon, blasts him back from the dwarf and utter chaos ensues.
Everywhere Corryn looks, his companions are fighting one another, but unusually, there seems to be two of each. Not sure who is who, he yells for Berchan to retreat back out of the narrow ravine. The boy simply cowers in fear, unable to move for the sheer horror of the sight of a twisted copy of himself. Tyree approaches, ostensibly to come to the boy’s aid but swings his maul rather than pick him up, luckily missing the youth. Corryn grabs him, pulling him back and yells for retreat, hoping only the real copies follow. Too busy gleefully massacring one of the Mariuses with the glowing, singing blade Aamar Fin, Armon ignores the suggestion and stands his ground. Cathal and Dog return from around the corner and follow a Corryn, Tyree, and Berchan back out of the pass to regroup.
Gathering his wits and focus to head back in to extricate Armon, Marius and Broga, Tyree is caught completely off guard when Cathal stabs him in the back, literally. Dog assaults him from the front, and he and Corryn realize the real versions must still be around the corner. Corryn heads back into the canyon while Tyree engages the copies, but the Avar soon finds his mundane weapon all but useless against the unnatural specters.
Upon reentering the pass, Corryn fires an Arcane Lance at the Broga attacking one of the Mariuses, and it disappears into a wisp of smoke. Now knowing the copies can be defeated, the real Armon and Marius redouble their efforts and also strike the final blow at their opponents. The Marius and Armon copies dissipate, the remaining pair only slightly annoyed they didn’t ‘accidentally’ kill the real one. The magic wielding trio then quickly dispatch the Tyree specter. The Corryn copy, seeing his companions defeated, runs in to the wall and disappears. Armon and Corryn then finally heed Tyree’s calls for help, though he easily dodges the imposter Dog and Cathal, thankful that they seem to be just as ineffective in battle as their real counterparts.
Marius sees the real Cathal stumble back around the corner, battered and bloody. He runs to her aid and begins to dress to her wounds, but notices the marks seem to be dog bites. Worried, he asks where Dog is, and she responds simply, “He attacked me. I killed him.” Realizing her error, Marius tries to quickly explain the situation and does his best to conceal the bite marks with the bandages but worries what the unstable Avar might do to her should he find out the truth.
He does not have to wait long. After a brief discussion at the mouth of the pass, they decide not to abandon the plan and proceed forward. Around the bend where Cathal and Dog fought, Tyree finds the canine’s body lying on the ground, peppered with familiar Avar arrows. He calls for the mage, but Corryn’s magic does not revive Dog. He solemnly picks up the corpse and carries it forward into the mist, not looking back or speaking to anyone.

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amethyst_marie

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