ALERT: May Contain Spoilers for the Adventure: “Against the Cult of the Reptile God”
Hand shaking so bad I can hardly hold the pen, but I don’t want to forget what happened today.
Hard to believe just last night, our whole party was limping along the road, holding each other up. After a full night’s rest at the inn (the Slumbering Serpent) and an amazing breakfast, we hashed out a plan of attack.
You see, we’d looted a chest of treasure from the cellars of the Temple of Merikka. Did I mention that? Must have been too low on blood. Well, we did – it contained a load of money, and a silver brooch.
Ezekiel the “Cleric” (hard to call him a real cleric, but he has had some education) and Lancell the Paladin (went to better schools than I did) both looked at the ring we looted off the evil priestess, and decided it wasn’t evil.
(She also had a gold snake necklace, but we didn’t trust something with a snake on it.)
So Mikael the Druid is wearing the ring. He’s about as thick around as a beanstalk, and can use all the magical assistance he can get.
Jill the Magic User was really done in by the fight. I guess pretty robes aren’t much armor against weapons. Anyway, we decided she should stay here with the chest of loot (with Lancell to guard her) while the rest of us investigated the strange goings-on in this town.
(I have the key to the chest. We’ll divvy the money up among us later, because math is hard.)
Innkeeper (Olwin? nice guy) says people have been “changing”. Like, they’ll disappear for a couple days, and then come back more hostile. Like mean, and suspicious. And then, of course, some people have disappeared completely. It seems centered on the Temple of Merikka (he says it’s not a place people should want to go – which doesn’t sound like a Lawful Good goddess!).
(By the way, his wife can cook like a dream!)
Suggested we go to the old hermit who lives in the woods behind the inn for more answers.
We went to see the hermit. Seemed suspicious of us…maybe because I couldn’t keep my big mouth shut, and spilled the whole story to him from beginning to end.
(Should’ve let Kelsier talk to him. I know he’s a Halfling, and not a pretty one at that, but once he opens his mouth people really seem to take to him. After all, he chatted up a stranger in the inn pretty well.)
Didn’t get very far with the hermit, except that something very wrong is going on in the town. Merikka is Good. So, her followers should be Good, also, right?
The whole party decided to do some more digging – starting with the abandoned house north of the inn.
We checked around (making ourselves look kinda weird peering in the boarded over windows) and decided that someone had removed all the furniture several months ago. Couldn’t find any trace of the family, or who they might have been…or where they went.
The mystery centered on the temple, so we headed there.
(Covered the party’s footsteps on the dusty floorboards of the house. Not like anyone will investigate, but it exercised my skills.)
Through the open gates of the temple, we found the bodies of our victims still strewn through the courtyard. Out of human decency (and to cover our tracks) we buried the bodies, and Ezekiel said a few fitting words.
(I guess they were fitting words. That’s outside of my line. I don’t know if Ezie’s god, Ao, actually takes charge of dead spirits. I’d never even heard of him until Ezekiel showed up, and from what I gather he – Ao – doesn’t concern himself with mortals. He’s the upper god, the one the others – like Elohnna and Merikka – supposedly serve. Feels cheeky for a human like Ezekiel to try serving him, but it’s no skin off my nose.)
Searching the courtyard got us nothing. We searched the ground floor of the temple, and found nothing except the body of the priestess we had killed (and of course our late comrade Lefty). Nothing new.
I supposed we should have been thinking, but we trooped upstairs with the Druid (Mikael) in front. The top of the stairs was a narrow room, with one door…and Mikael opened it.
Next thing I know, he’s yelling about skeletons, and white arms are hacking at him in the room beyond.
Ezekiel surged forward with his mace, while Kelsier started sending arrows into the room beyond.
Finally, I had enough of a target where I could shoot over Kelsier’s head (I’m short, but I’m still taller than a Halfling!).
Mikael hit the ground, and while Ezekiel was bandaging him, the skeletons landed a blow or two on his back. (Didn’t want Mikael to bleed out before the combat was over.) There must have been at least five of the animated monstrosities!
Kelsier dropped one after another, sending the creeps into clattering piles of dust and bone fragments – but after Ezekiel went down, I had to step forward and make the enemies focus on me.
Just as well. Sending an arrow through a spine or ribcage is a lot harder than you might think. And so is landing a sword in their vital parts.
I was cradling an injury when…
A swish of robes, a flash of Merikka’s colors, and a monk was there. Leaping over us, he threw a punch at one of the skeletons.
Attacking the skeletons.
Shortly after, I got felled to the ground. Huddled in the corner on the bodies on my companions, desperately pressing my bloody wounds, I watched the strange monk take down a skeleton or two before being pummeled to the floor.
An arrow split the last skeleton, and it crumpled to the floor in clattering shards. Kelsier joined us in the room.
I couldn’t do more than give him a triumphant smile. He’s really a tough little guy. He’s even shorter than I am, but he rearranged the benches in the room to block all the doors, and settled down to keep watch while his battered and bandaged companions slept it off.
Good thing he’s our best fighter. None of the rest of us will be moving in the near future.
Already soaked through my bandages. I hate soaked bandages.
No idea where this monk came from, but he was fighting the skeletons, and he’s currently incapacitated and unconscious on the bench.
Hope Kelsier can keep his eyes open.
Tired sleep now.
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