Hogar’s Journal (Translated from Giant)
Year 781 of the founding of the City
13th Day of Meloramensis – Part III
Thunderspire Mountain – The Seven Pillared Hall
Glen trotted off on Sid to retrieve Vicrael’s body as Rodney made his preparations to transport us back to the hall. When he returned we huddled together, a mass of broken and bruised flesh. Rodney traced a circle around us with the tip of his staff and muttered something unintelligible. Suddenly pale blue light exploded from everywhere at once and a whooshing noise filled my ears. It built towards a crescendo, becoming thoroughly un-enjoyable and even painful. Just as I thought I could take no more it began to subside. The light sank into the structures of the Seven Pillared Hall and the noise coalesced into the familiar drone of many people going about their daily business together. I found myself between the feet of the eighty foot tall minotaur statue face to face with Brugg and one of the mages.
Rodney, Glenn and Krivath explained to the powers that be what had happened down in the Well of Demons and the part that their estranged colleague Paldemar had played in the kidnapping epidemic. Minron accompanied Eligos to the mages’ resident healer to see whether they could do anything about her transformation. That left me to take Vic’s body back to the shop. Glenn offered me Sid’s reigns and the beast allowed me to lead him, laden with the shrouded figurer of Vic, back to the shop. As I made my way across the hall I heard the fluttering of wings which signalled the reappearance of Rook. He landed on the pommel of Sid’s saddle and proceeded to clean him wings with his beak.
“Where have you been?” I asked, “I haven’t seen you since you went for that swim in blood.” He hopped around to face me and flapped his wings in rebuke.
Here and there, his voice sounded in my head, it takes a long time to get blood out of feathers with just a beak. He turned his head to regard the shrouded corpse lay across the back of the boar. I saw his death through your eyes. He was brave, and perhaps a bit stupid.
“Oh he had both of those qualities in spades.” I replied, placing my hand on Vic’s back. “Perhaps a little too much of the latter.”
So now you will burn him?
“It is our way.” I said. “Orcus cannot make use of ashes as he can rotting flesh and mouldering bone. What of you?” I asked. “We will leave this place now and search for a cure for the tiefling. Will you join us?”
I will. A cavern is no place for a crow; however spacious it may be. And your thoughts invade my own in oppressive detail so I may as well see for myself what happens to you.
We reached the shop and I tethered Sid in the small stable at the back before going in to see whether anyone could give me a hand with Vic. The bell tinkled jauntily above my head as I entered the shop to find Charrak and the paladin Robert lounging with their feet on the table in mid conversation.
“Ranger!” Bob stood and came forward to greet me. When I’d last seen him he was clad in shining plate from head to toe, recovering from the attentions of the vampire lord at Silverkin Manor. Here he was dressed simply in homespun tunic and breeches. His sandy hair was cut short and two days of stubble bristled from his jaw. “You have returned.” A mote of confusion passed across his features as he realised that I was alone. “Are the others with you?”
“They are attending to the business of reward with the mages.” I said, “as well as one or two other things. I could use your assistance in their absence.”
“Of course.” He said amiably. “Anything to assist one of my saviours. What is it.”
“Vic… has died. I’d like you to help me carry him in.”
Bob and Charrak both took a minute or so to splutter their surprise and condolences before helping me to carry Vic into one of the back rooms.
“I will offer a prayer to Bahamut for him.” Bob said as we left the room.
“The test that killed him was in honour of the Platinum Dragon.” I replied curtly. “Your god has done enough for him already. The Raven Queen will look after her own.” The paladin had the good grace not to call me up on my rudeness.
Having conducted their business the others returned with a pouch of gold coins, an offer to forge an enchanted weapon for Glen (I have no idea how he persuaded them to do that!) and no cure for the unfortunate Eligos. We are going to rest here for tonight and then go to Silverkin Manor to see whether Jacob can do any better.
As I tried to get some rest Minron was still awake in the shop. Illuminated by flickering torchlight he had hunched over a new shield that he had purchased to replace the one ruined by the warder in the Well of Demons. He was scratching away at the boss with a small knife. Despairing of sleep I roused myself to go and see what he was up to. On the bench next to him was the tooth he had removed from the dragon. Before him a recess was appearing in the shield boss roughly the size of a tooth. By morning his shield would proudly display his grim trophy to friend and enemy alike.
“Minron Dragonslayer.” I said approvingly. Minotaurs don’t smile but he definitely contrived to look happy before replying.
“It was a good kill. Vic would have been proud.”
“It was and he would.” I replied, gripping his shoulder. “I’m proud as well, Dragonslayer.”