The Stein and Sword
I’ve seen a sight I hope not to see again any time soon. We arrived back at the dragon’s home to find a horde of demons surrounding the city. Hundreds of them were attempting to climb what pitiful walls the city could claim. We circled around to the front gates away from the bulk of the horde. As we got closer to the gate we could observe them more closely. They didn’t appear to be acting how I’d consider ‘demons’ to act, though I’m not entirely sure why I’d say that. There were several different kinds of demons, but seem to lack any kind of organization or hierarchy, instead attacking anything and everything in a crazed and disorganized fashion.
As we debated how to get Cantankerous to the palace, Lead Tiger shifted his unconscious form across his shoulders. We knew that the only way to take care of this mess was to get the dragon switched back into his original form and the only person that could do that was Cantankerous. There wasn’t much for it. The only thing we could do was attempt to run straight towards the palace, as fast as we could, keeping Cantankerous safe.
Everything started out well as we ran past half a dozen naked demons. We had a good head start before we drew their eye, though they quickly started to chase us. Then we ran past a couple of larger size demons that also started to give chase. We were doing well until we ran into a pile of bodies and all the entrails and blood from them. It was a bit slippery and almost one by one we slipped and fell. On the plus side the demons chasing us also fell. It became a bit of a messy fight then. I decided that getting things slick seemed like a good idea where the demons were concerned and cast grease multiple times to keep them falling all over each other. Konraad took the brunt of the damage from the foul beasts and was in very bad shape. Davian put up a great defense, guarding the rear so we could all get our feet under us on solid ground.
Once we were able to regroup we helped Konraad regain his vitality and proceeded to attack the demons while we had them in a weaker position. Myrna lopped the heads right off two of them and the rest of us finished off the rest.
We started running again as fast as we could, surrounding Lead Tiger as he carried Cantankerous. All went well until we spotted a large set of demons we had to run past. Davian was in the lead and spotted the ogre, Gumbock, laid out, eviscerated with her bowels spread upon the ground and being feasted on by one of the large demons. She still had a spark of life and reached out to him. Despite the size of the creature, he charged at it in a valiant, if futile attempt to save her. He let an arrow fly and all it gained us was its full attention. Rapidly realizing that this was a fight we could not win we all tried to disengage and run onward even faster. Luckily, we could see the square and the palace ahead. Unluckily, that square was full of attacking demons with two very large, tough demons close behind us.
There was nothing for us to do other than to go forward. Dodging demons of all kinds we made for the palace doors. We spotted our old friends, Chippy and Jumpy ahead. Chippy (the squirrel) was gnawing on the head of a ‘demon’ in front of the steps and Jumpy (the stag) charged forward to help us.
As we made it to the steps we formed a line just out from the barred doors to protect ourselves and the wizard Cantankerous. Davian shouted to the people on the second floor to open the heavy doors. All the demons packed themselves at the entrance to the steps thinking us a very tasty snack. We had Konraad behind us calling on the aide of his god to give us strength with Cantankerous unconscious body pressed against the door he could be pushed inside at the earliest opportunity. We held the line while slowly the door started to open. One by one our companions entered the palace, but two had to stay behind and hold the door or the demons would be free to enter the palace. Lead Tiger and I held the line while our friends escaped to safety. At the final sound of the doors closing, leapt off the fallen body of a ‘demon’ in front of me and took to the air and into the palace from the windows on the second floor. I scrambled to get a rope dropped down to Lead Tiger. Holding the horde was costing him and he decided to tie the rope around his waist as he expected to fall unconscious before he’d have a chance to climb and this way we could pull him up, conscious or not. Unfortunately, seconds after getting the rope secured he fell unconscious and was ravaged by the horde below.
It was a sad sight what little of him we were able to recover. It was with heavy, but determined hearts we regrouped in the palace entrance. I found Cantankerous awake and being, well cantankerous. He was drinking ale and shouting loudly at everyone around him. We urged him to complete the spell to change the dragon back as he was brought the cat where he was leaning against he dragon scale coated wall. Picking up the cat by the scruff he slammed it into one of the scales declaring “You’re lucky I didn’t do that harder.” As he gives the stunned cat back to the young princess he starts taking the dragon scale from the wall and gives us the bad news. “Now you just have to find the dragon and put this scale back on.”
We’ve made it through impossible odds so far, but out luck is bound to run out as it has for our companion Lead Tiger. I hope to write you again soon, but in case I do not, drink an Ale and think of me.
Your Loving Daughter,