The Burning Land

Saving Willow Part 1

Saving Willow from the lycanthropy Curse        Part one                                                           12/19/16

 

As the group stood in the house where we were all given a chance to save Willow and looking around to see the carnage that had taken place there just a few minutes ago.  It was crystal clear to Osfinas he would find some unsuspecting Human to sacrifice to save Willow no matter what the cost was to him.  The group was debating on what the next steps needed to be, and Gimgrum was making it very clear to everyone that the person that was to be sacrificed required to ‘deserve it.'  Osfinas was very quick to placate Gimgrum on his request. Osfinas shouted; “We must find a GRAVEYARD, quickly as time is running out on this and it must be done before the next dawn!”

This was a very dark time for the Paradox Avengers.  They hardly knew each other but was needing to do something that was in most cases was against their morals and beliefs, but it was for one of their own now, and they all seemed focused on taking care of Willow.  This may have been the point that they all started to feel like a family of dysfunctional and misfits but a family never least. 

After a looking around the group have an ancient graveyard about 20 minutes outside of Meeka.  Now they must find the grave that is the oldest in the cemetery.  The team started looking for the grave, and Osfinas ask that they mark it coins and such as to make it easier for him to draw the sacrificial lamb to it.  Hannibal said he would also cast a light spell on it to make it even easier for him to see it.  Osfinas needed to get to Meeka and start working the town folks to find the one that would fall for his lies and unknowingly walk into their death.  He left the others to locate the grave and prepare for the forthcoming battle and headed out towards Meeka with a very focused and purposed walk.  The group was searching for every grave tombstone and even in the mausoleums, and it was proving to be a robust search as more of the markers seemed to have faded over time leaving little to now markings.   The group was starting to lose a little hope that they would not find the correct grave, but then Gimgrum, being a Dwarf, and having tons of knowledge and experience with rock was finally able to find a marker that was undoubtedly ancient.  As he studied the marker for a few minutes, he was able to ascertain that this one could at least 2000 years old and maybe even older it had to be the ONE.  Gimgrum calls out to the group; “Here this is it, let’s get it ready for Osfinas.”  The group started preparing the marker with some coins and such shiny items and Hannibal cast a light spell on it allowing a nice blueish glow just over it.  This will be easy for Osfinas to see it when he came back.

Osfinas was covering ground rapidly back to Meeka and in this short walk allowed him some time to reflect on why he was here and how this group crossed his path.  He was wondering if maybe he should refocus on his purpose here and continue to work with this group of Friends he has found.  It has been a long time since he had anyone that he could call friends but that is why he is here to avenge his lost friends.  He was clear now that he would stay true to his original course but knowing that he had found new friends made it harder on him as he did not want to mislead them or put them in harms path as he sought out his vengeance.  As he approached Meeka, he saw a person pushing around and yelling at Jakey.  This did not sit well with Osfinas, and he took a deep breath and a simple grin came across his face, this is the one he said under his breath.  He approached to find what was going with this man pushing around and yelling obscenities to the young lad, Jakey.  Jakey was clearly sacred and was trembling as this person was in his face and bumping his chest into Jakey.   This person walloped Jakey enough to make him stumble in the wall and knock his helmet sideways. 

Osfinas called out: “What’s going on here?”  At this point the ‘bully’ stopped to put his focus towards Osfinas: “nothing, mind your own business.”  At this point, Jakey looked and was genuinely relieved that one someone was intervening but also that it was Osfinas the “silver giving man.”  Osfinas, seeing the relief come across Jakey face just gave a simple smile and winked to let him know all was going to be good. 

Now, Osfinas turned his focus to the mark.  “Now is that the way you talk to people?” He sheepishly asked. 

The Bully: “This is none of your, concern this dimwit, imbecilic won’t let me into MY TOWN!”  That commitment “my Town” struck a nerve with Osfinas. 

“Your Town?”  Osfinas only asked.

“Well my father is the Reve of this town, and I can go where I want and do as I wish!”  The bully proudly proclaimed. 

“My mistake I should have asked for and properly introduced myself.  I am a business man I am looking for some help in a business manner that will be very lucrative. Now knowing who you are would you be willing to discuss this in detail?” Osfinas said.  Undoubtedly this eased the tensions between them some.

“What is this you are proposing?”  the Bully said. 

“First, what is your name, good sir?”  Osfinas said. 

The Bully stood up and straightened his clothes and said; “I am Dammar, the first son the Harold the Reve of Meeka.”  Clearly, he said this trying to impress Osfinas. 

“Well, Mr. Dammar how would like to assist me in something that would bring you thousands of extra gold to you?” Osfinas said.

Dammar seemed to take slight offense to that ask and looked at Osfinas saying: “Do I look like I need gold?  I have plenty of gold you fool!” At this point, Dammar, shove Jakey into the wall again and stormed off into town but Osfinas quick thinking and knowing this was the right one for this.  In only his way took his left foot and with such a quick movement tripped Dammar (rolled a nat 20 on this check).  He did a face plant right into the ground busting his lip wide open.  Osfinas ran over quickly and helped up Dammar. Dammar was pissed and started yelling and blaming Jakey for tripping him. 

“No, he didn’t do that you tripped on this rock” Osfinas was trying to convince Dammar of this.

Dammar looked at him and was like “NO!”

“Look at me I am serious when I am telling he did not do it.  Do you think he would be able to think that quickly?  You he is a little slow of the mind, right?” Osfinas Proclaimed and Jakey took a little offensive to what was just said about him being slow, and Osfinas gave him a reassuring smile with a quick wink, Jakey was all right again.

Osfinas helps up Dammar and is looking at him seeing the blood running down his chin as thinking that is a small payback for what he did to Jakey tonight but there is the ultimate payback coming to you in a few hours.

“How bad is this?”  Dammar asked Osfinas.  “Well, not that bad?”  Osfinas answered with a tone of his voice to say it is not okay.  Dammar must have picked on his tone and became worried about how bad it was.  “I cannot have this looking bad or anything I am trying to court my sister.”  Osfinas, seeing this as his opening and not wanting to have any more details about his courting habits. 

With a caring smile and sympathy in his eye Osfinas says: “Well, it’s not okay at all.  We need to get that fixed up, and I know someone that can make that happen.”

“You know someone that can fix this?  What why should I trust you?”  Dammar stated.

“well, yes I have a friend that is very in tune with the light and has helped other out with similar issues and in some cases even worse but he is always able to help them get back to normal.  Why should you trust me?  I have done nothing here but try to help you.  Plus, you are the son of the Reve, and we cannot allow you to walk around looking like you lost in a bar fight.” Osfinas said.  Like many times in the past Osfinas ways of saying and using soft looks pulled Dammar right into his deception.

“Well, oh, OK let’s go see your friend.” Dammar said

As they were walking off Osfinas tossed a gold coin over to Jakey.  In hopes that this would buy his silence somewhat.

The group at the Graveyard started to plan and get into some hiding positions to set up a little ambush for when the Hellhound showed up. As Osfinas and Dammar made their way back to the graveyard, they had small talk and the more Dammar talked about how he could do anything, and his boosting, Osfinas was starting to have some patience issues as there was more than once he thought just kill him now!  Then he thought of Willow and was able to stay focused on the task at hand, Saving Willow.

As they walked up the slight hill to reach the graveyard Osfinas noticed a chill in the air that was not present before.  At the gate, to the graveyard Dammar stopped dead in his tracks and looked at Osfinas; “Why are we in a graveyard?  Are you crazy?”

Osfinas looked at him with a very calm almost emotionless express and said; “These are some of the best places to stay while traveling on the road. The group I have can handle themselves, and our priest can take care of the vilest undead.”

Dammar looked at Osfinas, and it showed on his face that he was not feeling comfortable about this place.

Osfinas smirked and said; “Would you, entry a graveyard looking for people?”

Dammar quickly said; ‘’HELL NO!”

“Exactly,” Osfinas said with an even wider grin on his face; “Let’s go see my friends see that light over there?”  Pointing towards the light over a graveyard that Hannibal put up.

Dammar looked “Your friends” with a questioning tone in his voice.

“Yes, a Priest, a Wizard and…”  Before Osfinas could finish saying who else Dammar's demeanor quickly changed to that of a 12-year-old boy getting a surprise gift. 

“You have a Wizard, friend?” He said.

“Well yes, I do.”  As Osfinas finishing say this Dammar took off running towards the light as fast, he could go, and he was skipping and jumping around saying nothing but gibberish but was so happy at the chance to meet a Wizard in-person.  As you reached the grave that would prove to be his final resting place as well, he turned around to Osfinas “Where is the Wizard?”

“He will be here look at that light there he produced that for me and looked at the small trinkets laid out on the grave marker.”  As Dammar was just looking at the light in utter amazement, Osfinas walked up and place his left arm around his shoulder with the intent to calm him down just a bit but more so for him to have total control over Dammar.   Dammar was asking all sort of questions like a 12-year-old child “how did he do this?  Would he teach me? What’s the Wizard name? Where did he come from?”  Osfinas raised his right arm, and the rune tattoos of Shadow call began to glow as he calls forth Shadow call into a punch dagger.  On one quick strike, he drove the Shadow call straight into the neck of Dammar and then just a quick sliced forward to remove his voice box and ultimately severe both of his juggler's veins. Dammar blood supped forth like a fountain all over the grave he dropped to his knees clutching his neck, but the blood continues to gush from his body.  He looked up at Osfinas with a total shock and disbelief at what just occurred. He was trying to say something, but all that was heard was gurgling noises come from him.  Osfinas leaned in close to him and quietly said: “This will teach you to pick on weaker foes, you sick bastard, you will rot in the nine hells and become some pit fiends little bitch.”  At that moment Osfinas saw out of the corner of his eye Gimgrum closing in.  Osfinas stood up and looked at him and said: “Sorry, but Thank you for this sacrifice.” Ensuring that Gimgrum heard exactly what he was saying.  Gimgrum walked placed his hand on Osfinas shoulder as to say we have you back and looked at Dammar and said a prayer asking to take him quickly so as not to suffer.  Now we must wait and hope that this was the correct grave for this sacrifice.

Willow came out after this and was visibly distraught over what Osfinas had just done, but she knew he did it for her. 

She looked at each of the members standing before her and in a very solemn voice said:” When I was a child I would watch the village children play knight and monsters and wish I could play now here I am many years and I have become the monster.”

Osfinas looked up and quickly said; “You are no monster, so don’t worry.”

Each member went back to their hiding places with Willow being restrained in the mausoleum.  It just became the waiting game now.  As this was a new moon, it was pitch black in the graveyard, but the Paradox Avengers all had dark vision, so it was not a hindrance to them, but there was something about this night that made seem even darker than other ones.  It was closing in on midnight when Hannibal noticed something and that was nothing.  The light breeze that had been there just stopped, crickets stopped and every bit of night life that had been so active just moments ago stopped.  Hannibal, all of sudden, had this cold chill run down his small spine, and he looked about then he said out to the others;” Get Ready I sense something evil is now in our presences.”  As the syllable came from his mouth, a little Hellhound appeared right behind him and the last battle to save Willow began.  Gimgrum seeing that Hannibal was in trouble started toward him to help and then there was this howl that sounded it came from the nine hells, and a massive Hellhound appeared right now to Gimgrum.  Hannibal was not caught flat-footed, and he had planned somewhat for this and quickly cast Misty Step to allow him to jump from the plane to another location 60 feet away from the little hellhound.  Gimgrum was somehow able to get the drop on the giant beast, and his strike was on target.  At this point, Maximus came charging forth to provide aid to Gimgrum against the massive Hellhound.  As Maximus was charging forth, Osfinas stepped out from behind a tombstone and was able to land a low blow to the one Large Hellhound and then fades back into the shadows.  Hannibal finally at a distance was able to cast his magic Missile hitting the Hellhound. As Maximus reached his full rage, he brought all of it might and even with that blood rage in his eyes was able to send this Hellhound back to the plane that it came from.  Now the group only had the smaller one to eliminate.  The Hellhound charged towards Gimgrum and was able to land a vicious bite against Gimgrum but Gimgrum was able to take it.  Now, Hannibal seeing how hard this one small Hellhound hit Gimgrum called forth a levitate spell and lifted the beast 10 feet into the air.  Osfinas was able to get in another hard-hitting sneak attack against this one but was not able to drop it.  Gimgrum and Maximus were not able to reach it now that it was suspended in the air.  The Hellhound, on the other hand, had something in store for the group and with one howl it sprays forth a cone of fire right onto Maximus and Gimgrum.  Maximus was totaled amazed at what this creature just did and stood there taking the full brunt of that breath weapon.   However, Gimgrum seeing what was happening dunked behind Maximus and was able to avoid the full effect of that attack.  Hannibal was so stunned seeing what just happened panicked and just took the Hellhound even higher in the air.  At this point, Osfinas came from the shadows and was able to end that Hellhound’s life and Hannibal just dropped it onto the ground with a thud.

Osfinas quickly moved towards the large Hellhound and yelled for Maximus to come over here and help him harvest the heart.  Osfinas figured that Maximus had the knowledge and experience at performing this type of activity, oh how wrong he was on making that assumption.  Maximus clearly does not understand what finesse is.  With his huge hands, he just rips into the Hellhound chest, and as Osfinas was watching this, he spotted something that was clearly not the heart and about that time Maximus cut right into it and a flame shoots right from hitting Maximus squarely in the chest.  Osfinas took a couple of steps back from the scene.  Maximus apparently did not learn as he ripped into another sack and again a burst of flame comes pouring forth hitting Maximus.  Willow now was worried about not being able to harvest the heart was asking for Osfinas to get it but Maximus took a deep breath and searched slowly in the chest cavity was able to find the heart and rip it out.  Now we had the final ingredient that was needed.

The entire group was focused on the tasks needed a fire was started thanks to Hannibal and his firebolt spell.  The pot was set up the blood of the innocent was poured into, the Banshee’s tongue was placed in the put and then the fresh heart of the Hellhound.  As we all sat in there in complete silence waiting for the cure that would help Willow come a to boil that seemed to take forever.  Everyone knew that each minute now was critical as it was closing in on the last hour before this would not succeed.  Then the foul concoction started to boil and change colors from the crimson red to a greenish color with what looked like black streaks in it and then the horrible smell become evident.   Willow stepped forward and looked at this concoction, took a long breath, reached down picked up the pot and started to down this awful solution.  Within seconds of her finishing the last bit and not delivering it back up.  Willow dropped to the ground in the fetal position ad was wailing in acute pain.  Everyone was standing watching Willow squirm on the field and yelling how much it hurt.  We all stood there listening to her but not knowing what we can do for her.  We must make sure that it takes effect but how much more pain can Willow take.  Osfinas looks at Gimgrum and as they lock eyes they both it is clear that neither knows what the next steps should be.  Hannibal, all of sudden, had a look that he just realized something awful has occurred. 

Hannibal looked at everyone and in an ominous voice said: “She lost her baby.”

All of sudden Willow just vanished.  The group was in total shock and stood there trying to ascertain what took place when just a quick as she vanished Willow was screaming again in the woods outside the Graveyard.  The entire group rushed towards the screams and found Willow on the ground clutching a charred black ash bow with silver runes similar to the others runes on weapons that have been granted to the group.  Why is this team getting these weapons what is the meaning of these runes? These are the questions that the Paradox Avengers must find the answers. Hopefully, Thun will offer some guidance in answering them.

The group helped Willow up and took her back the campsite in the graveyard.  Osfinas wanted to put distance between the place as fast as possible. 

“Guys, we need to get on the road as soon as possible. I am going to use the Hellhound’s claws and teeth to hide what happened to Dammar.”  Osfinas said.

Willow spoke up and said; “Hannibal use your Firebolt and burn Dammar as well.”

Osfinas and Hannibal went off to make it look like Dammar was attacked by the Hellhounds The others was getting our gear and horses ready for us to exit this place.  Willow using her woodland skills attempted to hide out tracks in the graveyard as well. 

Off to Thun now.

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