Last Stand of the 5th Crusade

Staying Out of Danger

Kyrk's Journal 11

I’m starting to understand, in a more visceral way, why everyone seems to hate or at least fear Tieflings. So far, all of the ones I have met have been duplicitous servants of evil. Not doing much for my self esteem, that’s for sure. And in our most recent encounter — with the yellow-eyed arcane caster named Barrad Isem — it nearly did too much in terms of ending my life!

I felt like such a fool that we subjected ourselves to such an obvious trap, but Atepna seemed certain to dismiss us (or at least me) from further consideration or respect if we didn’t go in her stead, so it seemed the only course of action. The fact that we retreated successfully (mostly) is small comfort given how we scattered like roaches and I and Barca took so much damage. All for a ruse to kidnap Staunton Vhane’s brother which worked. Now Drezen has lost an ally and learned that a number of tower guards were corrupted. Hopefully, he can be re-rescued and set back upon his path of redemption.

Luckily, we were able to dispatch the recently resurrected (?) chimera Stolengrab without too much difficulty but we were unable to stop the Vrocks from transporting the brimoraks into the fortress. And once again, I was harshly tutored in the consequences of bad tactics when I followed my Hound Archon down the tower stairs into a room full of the fire-throwing bastards. They fireballed my Archon out of existence in one round and sent me back up the stairs horribly burned, even with my natural resistance. Mortifying. And almost dead-ifying…

I have to get it in my thick horned skull that I can do the most good for my friends and our cause if I stay AWAY from danger such as that so that I might stay up and mobile to give aid where I can. It felt great to finally summon monstrous allies, but so frustrating that the process takes so long and opens me up to disruptive attacks (as happened in that battle with the Tiefling).

But it was impossible to resist following the brimoraks into the tower, since there were no other defenders or allies nearby to stop their pyromancing ways. And I wanted to back up the Archon with additional spells. Still, close-quarter combat is a BAD idea for a wizard, and I could see that the towers were small in diameter.

I am sure there are many more battles to come, and I will just have to get smarter faster. For now, it looks as though our next task is to recover a powerful artifact imbued by the goddess Desna: the Bell of Mercy. Apparently, it will greatly protect Drezen (in addition to the Sword of Valor) once the corruption forge is purified. I’m not sure if the Bell will aid in that purification or if the purified forge will aid in harnessing the Bell. Either way, the item must be acquired, and we must face great danger to get it. The demon Arushalae was taken from the place where the Bell remains. I am greatly worried about this demon and her interest and interference in my friend Riva. Is it not enough to be marked by one treacherous demon — now she needs to interact with another?! It is a strange and terrible world away from Promise.

But each day, I feel more and more like I belong here trying to beat back the forces of the Worldwound and, ultimately, assist in sealing it forever. Our former commanders and advisers are looking increasingly to us as leaders in this fight. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not a roll to which I’m accustomed, but perhaps it is what is necessary now and for the immediate future.

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