Our enthusiastic Heroes having cut a swath of destruction through the mobs hindering their advance on Jibrayl now stand before the doors of the town Garrison.
Steeling themselves for the fight they know they will find within, the town guard and former adventurer Crust bravely throws open the massive doors of the building, revealing a majestic foyer quite ostentatious for a barracks. Little time to appreciate the extravagance though for in the hall stands a decrepit and sinister man. His cowl hides little of his haggard, aged face in the bright light of the room. Flanked on either side by what remains of his loyal entourage of corrupted city watchman he looses a phlegm filled cackle of insanity. Raising his hand he points a long nailed finger at the warrior in the doorway. FOOLS! He cries out. YOU HAVE MEDDLED IN AFFAIRS IN WHICH YOU KNOW NOTHING! NOW YOU WILL MEET YOUR DOOM! and with a angry flick of his wrist he sends a ball of dark coruscating energy at our fighter, striking him in the chest.
Crust sags under the weight of dark energy as his life force seeps from him. He cries out fiercely in rage, shaking the lethargy from his limbs and move to intercept the nearest bodyguard charging at them.
As more of the Heroes rush into the main room, two of the four bodyguards, these wielding deadly heavy crossbows, take aim at the entrance. Crust quickly engages the longsword wielding foe charging in but another makes a run at Sayuri and Myriad as they step into the threshold.
The Cleric pauses in her languid arrival onto the scene, takes a moment to appraise the situation. Eyebrows raise bemusedly at the rushing guard and just as the guard has them in range of his sweeping strike, Sayuri dismissively waves her hand, eyes burning with divine wrath and says “Hush Now Boy”
A nearly invisible wave of energy is sent from her hand and the guard collapses face first, with the satisfying sound of a wet bag of meat hitting the stone floor. His body sliding ungracefully to her feet, the sound of contented snoring heralding the success of her sleep spell.
Myriad nods in approval at the cleric’s skill but chooses something a little more flashy. She lets loose with an arcane force missile, the weaving orbs of arcane energy weave through the chaos of combat and strike Jibrayl in the chest and causing him to stagger and snarl.
Jackdaw slips into the corner, taking cover behind one of the looming pillars but it offers little in the way of resistance as Jibrayl casts another spell. This one hits the Rogue with all the terrors his mind can imagine, which is substantial in the darkness that is Jackdaw’s psyche. The fight goes out of him and he wants nothing to do with Jibrayl any longer.
Our guest Hero Aloysius Tiddlewack VII has joined the fray, using his druidic magic to shrink himself down he uses he small form to hurry past the other Heroes, unleashing his own arcane talents as he moves, filling his hands with fire. Recognizing that Jibrayl is a prime target and perhaps hoping that the other four guards are under the influence of the antagonists mind control he moves to directly confront the insane villain.
Sending streaking fireballs from his hands to pierce Jibrayl defenses. A few manage to score hits igniting bits and pieces of Jibrayls cloak, causing the obsidian eyed bastard to scream in rage. Jibrayl counters by slamming a hand to the amulet around his neck, which responds with a blinding flash of light and a rippling wave of necrotic energy rolls through the room. This time stealing life from more than just the warrior Crust.
Unfortunately for the diminutive druid the crossbow wielding guards have gone unengaged and the first of which lets loose a bolt. The heavy snap-twang of the cumbersome device is the first sound of trouble, followed immediately by searing pain as the bolt buries itself into Tiddlewack’s shoulder, hitting so hard that it nearly passes through, instead lodging excruciatingly in his scapula. The second ranged aggressor looses upon Crust, engaged in fierce melee combat with his cohort. Fortunately the battle trained reflexes of the fighter has him shift his stance at the sound of crossbows being fired and he is able to mitigate much of the powerful shot by taking it on his armor.
Jackdaw claws his way free of his mind’s tormenting demons and gets his first understanding of arcane Fear spells. Cursing at his weakness he vows to be more prepared for such antics next time. Filling with internal rage at his failure he seeks out a target to redeem himself. From out of the shadow of the pillar he slides up behind the guard fighting Crust and runs his rapier up into the torso of the unsuspecting foe, while simultaneously bringing his dagger around and leaving a blossoming red line across the man’s neck as he slits his throat. Feeling much more himself, he quickly looks around for another target, his bloodlust not yet sated.
The Wizard stands in the doorway watching the dozing guard slowly stirring awake. Hesitant to waste more of her precious spell components she opts for a more mundane way to dispatch the waking enemy. Although she finds such methods distasteful, she draws her dagger and pokes awkwardly at the man’s body. The Cleric watches besides her, amused. Sayuri stifles a laugh at the mage, lifting her wineskin for a much needed refreshment. she mumbles something incoherent almost as an after thought and sends out her own rolling wave of energy, this one healing her injured companions,
Crust believing the situation to be in their favor moves to assist Tiddlewack engaging Jibrayl, wiping the arterial blood from his eyes he introduces the decrepit villian to his greatsword. With probing slashes, he seeks defensive weakness, Crust grins like a maniac suddenly, swinging his greatsword in a grand arc and cleaving into the torso of Jibrayl. Jibrayl is unprepared for the speed that such a beast man can swing so large a weapon and coughs blood through gritted teeth. Ribs clearly broken. He slumps to the ground. Not finished yet he reminds the party of his potency by unleashing another wave dark life stealing energy. Causing the fire and sword wielding duo to reel back.
Tiddlewack once again spies the flash of energy emanating from the amulet around Jibrayls neck and quickly draws his pickax. In a hopeful maneuver attempts to rip it from the cackling fiend’s body, to no success.
Meanwhile, Jackdaw takes a crossbow bolt glancing off his leather armor. Smiling menacingly as he has found his new target and darts forward to engage the ranged combatant in close quarters.
Seeing that he will not have time to reload his crossbow in time to launch an additional shot at the rapidly approaching rogue, the guard abandons the contraption and attempts to pull his long sword from it’s sheath.
Not fast enough.
The Dexterous rogue is fast upon the guard in a whirlwind of steel and death. A Few short breaths later and the guard is lying at his feet. Blood pooling fast from the dozens of cuts inflicted by the duel wielding thief.
Near the door the Wizard and Cleric begin to take a little more concern in the returning consciousness of the sleeping guardsman. Sayuri draws her rapier as well and almost mockingly pokes at the guard in much the same manner as Myriad. A comical scene of two women trying to shoo away a gross and obnoxious pest. Wanting it gone but concerned about getting dirty in the process.
The last guardsman in fighting condition tries to hastily fire at the women in the doorway but in his distressed state at the bad turn of events for his party does not place his shot well and his bolt thunks into the heavy oaken doors.
Crust sees Jackdaw dispatch another townguard with ease. Instead of taking umbrage at the rogue’s disdain for his former coworker’s lives, Crust remembers the last time that guard bastard took his money gambling. Dismissing his death as justice for succumbing to Jibrayls influence in the first place.
However the fighter does not want another combatant to fall that isn’t to his own cleaving great sword so in a flurry of blows he again weakens Jibrayls magic defense and thrusts his blade deep into the evil creatures torso. Taking only small pleasure in seeing the light drain from his eyes.
With the major threat taken care of the party makes short work mopping up the remaining guards. Even taking the time to stabilize the few who can be saved.
In those intervening moments the rogue attempts to relieve the dead Jibrayl of his fine looking amulet and is rewarded with a shocking blast of foul energy. Sending Jackdaw reeling. In response to the removal the amulet’s gem begins flashing. Steadily increasing in speed and intensity.
The urban druid concerned that he wasn’t able to get a good look at the piece warns the party that nothing good can come from the scene before them. Urging the group to find cover.
As party members attempt to heed the Druid’s advice the fighter recognizes that they don’t all have enough time to flee and places himself strategically between the amulet and those less physically robust.
In a blinding flash of magical energy the amulet explodes accompanied by the high pitched wail of some arcane force, which fades quickly as sight and sound return to the adventurers.
Crust took the brunt of the explosion, pieces of gold have embedded themselves across his torso. Nearly everyone took a shard or two. Except the rogue. Jackdaw be nimble. Jackdaw be quick.
To Be Continued….