Decem Reliquias

An Old Friend

Three ooze covered skeletons claw their way out of the ground underneath Armon, between Broga and the fish-laden donkey. He fights valiantly to defend his his dinner, but seeing that he is outmatched by the ravenous undead, is somewhat relieved when they rip out the donkey’s throat and become too preoccupied feasting on its flesh to notice the warrior’s retreat. Broga meanwhile, uses his typical hit and run tactic, trying to draw one of the creatures away from Armon and the donkey, shouting for the camped companions he hopes are near enough to hear him.

While none of the humans at the campsite notice the distant sounds of battle, one of Felayne’s puppies hears Broga’s shouts for help and takes off into the forest. It’s siblings follow, with Tyree and Dog in close pursuit. Reluctantly, Marius gets up as well, and Cathal, the Avar huntress, volunteers to accompany him, leaving Corryn to look after Felayne and the wounded Avar. The puppy finds Broga first, knocking the dwarf down and giving his face a nice cleaning while Tyree engages the nearby skeleton, easily finishing it off. Another puppy locates Armon, but greets him in a less friendly manner. After quickly receiving news from Broga that more of them lie ahead, Tyree runs towards their last known position. He passes up the fleeing Armon, who seeing that reinforcements have arrived, changes his course back towards his fish, still hoping he might have a chance to salvage his dinner.

Marius and his Avar companion casually stroll through the woods until they come across a corroded crumpled skeleton on the ground. Cathal is surprisingly not fazed by the gruesome sight, but Marius recognizes it as one he fought earlier, a creature summoned by a Revenant accidentally released from its prison by a bumbling mage. An eerie voice calls out, confirming his suspicion that the Revenant they thought defeated has returned. He makes haste to join Tyree, Armon and Broga battling the abominations near the slaughtered donkey but follows the dogs’ cues and takes care not to get too close. As Tyree nearly finishes off the last one, it sinks back in to the earth, a sinister cackling fills the air, and the Revenant takes it’s place. The once-mage uses his arcane powers to surround himself with a green fog that saps the energy from the front line fighters. The severely wounded Armon breaks off his attack again, retracing his route back to the campsite seeking the help of Corryn. The undead mage does not relent, inflicting serious damage before Tyree splatters him back into a black puddle that sinks back into the earth. With great effort, Marius fights off the lingering effects of a Curse of Mortality, leaving him emotionally and magically drained. The battered and bloody group traipses back through the trees as a slow drizzle begins to fall.

Corryn takes care of their physical wounds while listening to the account of the battle with their old friend. He curses the incompetent Duon for dropping the vial as they discuss their options for the creature’s inevitable return. Outside of tricking it into being defeated on top of a tarp, they come up with no tactics for combatting the immortal mage. They put the topic away and focus on the task at hand, getting Berchan to the Gray Wardens.

Still unsatisfied with the dry and tasteless trail rations, Armon sneaks out of camp at first light and heads back to the site of his lost meal. In its death throws, the donkey had rolled on its side and crushed its cargo beneath it. While contemplating how to move the heavy beast to get at the fish, a slight twitch in the animal’s leg alerts him that not all is as it seems. The mangled remains of the donkey slowly struggles to stand, then advances on the stunned Armon. Though its bites tear through his armor and flesh, Armon stands his ground this time. Though he may die, at least it is not of the shame and ridicule of being bested by an undead ass. After trading several blows, he finally removes its head with a stroke of Amaar Fin, redeeming himself, in his own eyes at least, from last night’s retreats. Seeing the flattened blood-soaked pack, he at last gives up on his fish and his twenty silver. Upon rejoining the group he does not explain where he has been or what he has seen, nor does he seek treatment for his wounds. They return to the road heading west again, gloomy, unsatisfied and short one donkey.

Comments

It was 20 silver.

An Old Friend
amethyst_marie

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