Fighting Fire with Fire

Dar’s Journal - Entry Thirteen

I hadn’t expected a fight as soon as we stepped into the cave, but Cavindel and I were ready for it. The beast man my axe and I faced had swords in place of his hands. Meal times must have been a bitch. And if he ever scratched an itch, OUCH. I shook my head and focused on the fight. I must admit to being surprised at my opponent’s expertise. Most beast men were all muscle and no skill. Some might say I’m the pot calling the kettle black, but it’s not entirely true. I’m not very good when it comes to strategy its true, but I do pride myself on my combat skills. And while I dislike most beastmen and the gods they worship, I respect the hard work anyone puts into honing their skills, even someone who can’t pick his nose.

We won the battle, but it wasn’t an easy fight. I’d taken a couple of deep wounds and felt more dead than alive. I took one of the healing pills we’d taken from the strangers who dropped out of the sky. Its magic quickly mended my wounds. It’s a shame we didn’t know how to make more of these things. While I was busy tending to my wounds the others searched the bodies. While they didn’t find any weapons of interest they did find a few items worth keeping.

1) 3 potion bottles (with wings on the bottle)

2) Wand (?)

3) Pouch (frozen flame inside {feels like glass} that gives light like a torch)

As we were examining the items Felix said he felt someone’s pain, a lot of pain. It seems he could sense the pain of others nearby and just assumed that everyone could do the same. The pain wasn’t coming from me. Felix knew very well what that felt like by now. So we decided to follow his feeling and see where it led us.

We followed Felix through what must have been an ancient dwarven fortress. Felix stopped at a door and said the feeling was coming from the room beyond. We looked inside the door and found a huge torture chamber. In the center of the room was a pair of glowing magic circles, one on the floor and the other on the ceiling above it. Suspended by chains in the air between them was a man or at least what was left of a man. He’d had most of the skin flayed from his body and various torture devices had been left imbedded inside of him as if placed on a shelf for later use. And there, amidst the ruin of his body, hung a glowing amulet. From what we’d seen in our dream, this was Moor’s amulet we’d been sent to retrieve. It also explained how the man could possibly still be alive.

Though the tortured man suspended between the magic circles was the first thing I saw, he wasn’t the only thing in the room. There was also a beastman at a table making a selection between several torture devices. But he wasn’t a ‘normal’ beastman. This guy was huge. He was taller than even T&T. As my friends will tell anyone who asks, my normal response to seeing such an evil creature is to charge in and kill it as quickly as I can. But not this time.

This time I had too many questions. Who was that man in chains? Why was he being tortured? Was he also evil and deserved a quick death? Or was he an innocent victim whom we should try to save before we claimed the amulet? I had a lot of questions and the only one around to answer them was the towering beastman.

So instead of charging into battle, I stepped into the room and called out to him. I asked him what the hell was going on. But before he had a chance to respond, T&T charged at him with his two-handed sword raised to strike and Felix started turning the beastman into a pin cushion. So much for questions. I had little choice but to charge in as well and help my friends. The beastman put up a good fight, but with three against one he didn’t last very long.

While we were battling the giant beastman Markus took it upon himself to deal with the amulet. He walked over to the tortured man and simply yanked it from his body. The man died instantly. The magic circles above and below glowed brightly for an instant and then went out like snuffed candles. At first I felt a bit annoyed. There was a story here and now we’d never know what it was. On the other hand, we had what we’d come for and the man, whoever he was, had been released from his agony.

I thought about what had just happened as we made our way out of the ancient complex and I couldn’t help but wonder if my personality had been rubbing off on them and if theirs had been rubbing off on me. But such thoughts were quickly forgotten as we left the cave and waterfall behind us. This was not surprising as all my thoughts were focused on the flaming woman flying at us atop some kind of crystalline board.

The woman was engulfed in white flames, her hair a mass of flowing white flames behind her. She didn’t seem to be in pain. In fact, from her body stance, she seemed to be pissed and ready for battle. Before we had a chance to recover from our surprise or dive for cover, the woman shot twin gouts of flame directly towards us.

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