I pull a scroll from my belt and recite the words of a Shared Senses spell that causes Omen’s eyes to glow for a moment. “Go and share what you see of them so we know what to expect, my sweet… and I will give you a lovely treat.”
Omen soars off into the mist with a flap of his wings and I close my eyes to concentrate on his sight as the others bicker over how best to organize an ambush. All that is except the monk… who seems to have curiously disappeared.
“Probably not a bad idea,” I mutter to myself as I fly up into the mists so that I can hide and get a birds eye view of the bridge. I concentrate again once I’m safely hidden and see a trio of people… one a dark-haired human in black armor wearing a wrapped sword on his back, one a human-sized figure in black and scarlet robes… and the last a human male sporting the faction colors of the Harmonium.
But wait… are there two more in the mists behind them? For a moment I could’ve sworn I also saw a Ratfolk and a Tiefling, but much farther behind… almost like they were following them.
That will have to wait, though… because I definitely recognize the black and scarlet robes. Hard to forget when the first time you see them they’re being worn by a guy ready to sacrifice you on an altar.
“That’s it… Constance and Hodey can talk all they want… these guys are going down,” I whisper.
“Hey… who are those guys ahead?” I hear the Harmonium man ask loudly as he draws his rapier. Well crap… at least some of us know how to hide. But that’s ok… every good plan needs a distraction, too.
The Harmonium’s sword begins to glow an icy white as the cultist begins to cast. Suddenly Jinsi appears from over the side of the path and whacks the Harmonium in the head with a rock in a surprise move before feeling the slice of the rapier across her stomach. Before I can even think to help her, however, she disappears in a puff of smoke.
“Nice to know she can take care of herself. I think I’ve got an idea for something fun… lets just hope the others know when to get out of the way.” I had learned my new summoning spell a while ago but had been nervous that I might summon something with a head full of tentacles after my bout with the book. After a few days in hell, though… it doesn’t sound like a bad idea.
“Let’s see if they want to play Chicken with a Dire Boar,” I snicker as a 2,000 pound, 7ft tall dire boar with red eyes, grizzled fur and sharp tusks appears with a snort in the smoke that hid Jinsi’s escape. Charge until you see red hair…
The boar gleefully obliges and charges into the surprised Harmonium cop with a grunt as he falls off the edge to disappear some 15-20 feet down.
“Yes… now the next one!”
The cultist flies off the side of the path in a flurry of robes… but instead of falling just seems to float there as he stands up and brushes himself off. Damn…damn…damn… going to have to take care of him myself. When he continues into the Hell Knight, however… that is where my entertainment ends as the knight nails my poor boar with an armored elbow that causes it to stumble and fall off the cliff.
“I liked that pig!” I yell as my hands crackle with electricity and a lightning bolt cascades over the black armor of the Hell Knight and strikes the cultist in the chest.
I’m reminded of the two others I saw in the mist when an arrow suddenly appears between the armored plates of the Hell Knight and a magic missile spell launches from the mist. Well at least they seem to be on our side in this fight…
A wave of negative energy pulsates out from the cultist striking everyone on the bridge. In case I haven’t said this enough… flying is awesome.
“What are you all doing?” shouts Hodey from behind a rock. “We’re supposed to fight over here!”
“STOP!” Constance screams as a beam of blinding light shoots from her hand and slams into the Hell Knight. It doesn’t stop him for long though as he swings his sword into Annika and it resonates with a burst of sonic energy. Thankfully for her, it only causes one of her duplicates to disappear.
“Is that all you’ve got?” she taunts as she motions to the Hell Knight with a grin.
“JUMP,” replies the cultist as he points a finger at the fiery-haired tiefling who grunts at the sudden mental attack.
“You…ungh… first…” she snarls before shaking it off and gripping her sword tighter.
“I don’t think you’re done cooking yet, you sonofabitch…” I mutter to the cultist below. “Omen likes his snacks well-done.” There’s another flash of light and crackle of ozone
as a lightning bolt sizzles across the Hell Knight’s armor and nearly fries the skin off of the cultist. “Where’s your God now?” I yell in glee. My joy is soon cut short, however, as I notice the cultist is still moving. “Damn, you’re a tough one, I’ll give you that… but you don’t have long to go.”
I wasn’t far off… because a few seconds later a fiery ray of light emerges from the hand of the other stranger slamming into the cultist and turning him into a flailing inferno before he plunges into the mists below and disappears.
Another arrow appears in the back of the Hell Knight, and it seems to have hit a nerve as he collapses to the ground. “Be careful with that sword!” I warn Annika as I fly down to rejoin the others. “I wouldn’t want to touch it if I were you… it’s made for holy paladins… not the likes of us.”
“Seems fine to me,” says one of the strangers as he picks up the bundled sword. Upon closer inspection of the stranger it looks like he’s not a Tiefling at all… more like… a Drow, perhaps. “Well… just keep it bundled, anyway. We’ve literally gone through hell to get that thing.”
“Hodekin? Is that you?” questions the Ratfolk as he steps closer to the Kobold. “Fancy meeting you here!”
“You must be from Sigil… I recognize the Planewalkers Guild badge,” says Annika as she points to her own on her lapel.
“Yeah.. Hodekin and I go way back with the Entertainer’s Guild. Dad owns the Portaljammer Bar.”
“Reunions are grand and all… but tell me… what brings you two down to Dis to get that sword?”
“We’re trying to stop an evil plot,” offers the Drow.
I snort as I unroll a parchment from my pouch to show them the names of all the people trying to kill us for different reasons. “Which one? The one about the rogue Harmonium and the Tennari trying to conduct some ritual with the sword? Or the one about the satanic cultists? Or what about the Tennari who took off to 12 Trees? Or the one about Area 51? That’s a good one, let me tell you…”
“Um.. the first one.” offers the Ratfolk.
“Yes… we are trying to stop the plot between the Harmonium and the Tennari… and there is also a Yugoloth involved. The ritual they were to conduct in Fortitude is just a cover for something much more dark and sinister.”
“Well you know… we were actually hired by one of those rogue Harmonium to retrieve that sword. They’re back in Ribcage… so if you’re wanting to stop them, perhaps we can work together and arrange a ‘meeting’?”
“I’m not sure what we would have to say to them, honestly,” replies the Drow.
“Oh I wasn’t thinking about talking to them,” I say with a sly grin as I let the tips of my fangs show.
“You now, I like the way this lady works,” says the Ratfolk. “I’m curious, though… what makes you so interested in fighting them?”
“Ever since we first took that job back on Refuge our lives have not been our own… and I’m sick and tired of it. I’m going to take my life back one rogue Harmonium at a time if I have to.”
I turn away from the others and focus on rifling through the equipment on the Hell Knight as I wipe the angry tears from my eyes. They won’t take me like they did you, mother… I swear it!
Thankfully the Hell Knight has a lot of interesting goodies on his person to distract me from my angst. “Hmmn…” I hold the potion bottles up to the light and inspect them closely. “Looks like a number of healing potions here,” I reply. “He’s got some other magical things on him, but I can’t quite identify them.”
“Oooo… looks like some protective magic in the amulet, ring and cloak there,” offers Hodey as he steps over. “If nobody minds… I could turn the armor into something we could all use instead of that tacky black stuff.”
“Knock yourself out,” I chuckle as I find a folded packet of sheepskins in a pouch on the knight’s belt. “Just do me a favor… take these too. If you can’t keep that thing in your pants when we get back to the ship, at least you can use protection.”
“Oooo… good idea!”
“Speaking of the ship… shouldn’t we be heading back?” asks Constance. “You two wouldn’t have a better way of getting out of here, would you?” she asks the Drow and Ratfolk.
“Any other way than the way we came would be great, considering that Harmonium is waiting for us in Ribcage,” I remind them.
“Let’s see… there’s that portal to Arboria…”
“But you need the blood of a Celestian to get that one to work,” the Ratfolk laments with a shake of his head.
“Yeah… I’ve got Owlbear and Baazetu… but no Celestian,” I reply.
“Wait… isn’t there that portal to Sigil?” asks the Ratfolk with a snap of his fingers.
“You happen to have a grey ioun stone handy?” replies the Drow doubtfully.
“Wait… I think I do!” says Constance excitedly as she pulls out her Darkwood Wayfinder and opens it to reveal the grey ioun stone within. “Will this work?”
“PERFECT!” they reply in unison.
3 Cure Light
2 Cure Moderate
1 Cure Serious
+2 Plate Mail Hell Knight (Hodey)
+1 Thundering Longsword
+1 Amulet of Natural Armor (Katya)
+1 Ring of Protection (Constance)
+1 Cloak of Resistance (Annika)
+3 Condoms (Hodey)