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The wall of the cabin burst open and a huge monster bit Kori’el munching on her as it rended me with it’s claws. Kori’el was dragged from my side as I tried to reach her to teleport her to safety. With her out of reach and still in it’s mouth I did a healing burst to keep her alive. I didn’t notice how hurt I was until Desna’s power rushed into me and healed my broken body. I was afraid. Not just for my troupe mates but for me as well. I did another healing burst to keep us alive. Kori’el transported herself to safety and the rest ran out to engage the beast. Kori’el was yelling something as the others headed outside but I didn’t understand what she had said.
Time stood still and I heard a voice, one that I had not heard before, say “Give it to me.” “Give what to you?” And who was I talking to? The creature was other worldly so I attempted to banish it back from whence it came.
Just then did I realize what I had done. As I banished it, the creature had a look of disappointment but that look changed into horror as it moved from this plane into where it went. I won’t tell the troupe of the horror I saw in the eyes of the beast as it poofed out of sight. That’s all I need is for them to think that I might, by accident, make that kind of mistake on one of my teleport spells. I’d never hear the end of it. After the beast was gone the troupe re-assembled in the cabin only to find the two spirits still at war with each other. As I was about to throw some positive energy into them, what appeared to be the cabin spirit won the fight.
It warned us of the path we were on to be deadly but gave us the missing pages of the journal that Kori’el had spoke of. From these pages Kori’el, Friedrich and Davok discerned a path that would take us some 200 miles North to some ice fens, where we would need to wait until the next full moon, (some two weeks away) fast, and then a path to Xin Shalast would be revealed.
So we wind walked to the start of the Ice fens then Sheldor and Davok tried to guide us through the semi frozen marsh. I wasn’t doing so well and kept slipping into the muck. Moxie came over to help me at one point and that’s when the otter surfaced close by. Moxie froze, Sheldor said “Hold” in an unfamiliar tone that made me freeze in my tracks.
The otter changed into a beautiful woman and even though I had never seen her, she was somehow known to me. She spoke to Moxie and I and said that she was Svevenka and her sister was Myriana. She knew that we had helped her sister as much as we could and for this she would return the favor and help us in anyway she could. As long as we did not damage her fen. She also spoke of a monster that we may encounter. A monster that has been haunting (to soon?) her fen, and that she had no love for the beast. If we found it she would be grateful if we destroyed it.
We agreed to her terms and were just settling into camp. I was going to softly play some music for her when Kori’el and Rikert started quarreling about the quality of our lodgings. Sheldor was right in there arguing on Kori’el side. They liked the company of Svevenka and the beauty of her fen. Rikert on the other hand had nothing but contempt for the cold ice fens and wanted to teleport to Magnimar. He went on about hot baths and warm food. I had never seen Kori’el so adamant about anything. She called Rikert all kinds of slurs, things I had only heard sailors say. She was quite animated. She went as far as to hand him some items from her pouch that only women use. That even got a laugh from Svevenka. I told Rikert he was about to lose this fight and he needed to rethink his tactics. He shut up and started thinking. During his brooding GrAnnie started having troubles breathing. At first I looked at Rikert to see if he had somehow caused the coughing fit and wheezing of GrAnnie but he looked just as surprised as the rest of us. It was determined to be caused by the lack of breathable air at this height. The troupe was about to side with Rikert, I thought, until Kori’el said in a very hushed tone “We should just go back to the mining camp and hold up there as best we can, to help us acclimate to this higher altitude.”
We all knew how much Kori’el disliked the mining camp. She would rather suffer the altitude sickness than to go back to that camp so for her to say this showed us all how much she was willing to go through for the sake of the troupe. Rikert was the only one to complain any more on the subject. Moxie looked sullen, Sheldor kept looking back to Svevenka, Kori’el was lost in her thoughts and so was Friedrich. Davok didn’t care. I think he was looking for the fen monster until we were long gone from there. We wind walked back to the mining camp and Sheldor Davok and I started repairing the wall of the cabin that the (Wendigo?) had torn off.
That night I had a terrible dream. I was witness to Moxie’s death by Kori’el biting off strips of Moxie’s flesh and chunks of meat and muscle. Only for Kori’el’s visage to be replaced by my own. I was nastily biting huge pieces of Moxie’s flesh, right off the bone while she screamed in pain. The more she screamed the hungrier I became. I would wake, drenched in sweat. I thought it might be the altitude and asked Kori’el if she was sleeping okay at night and I asked if she had any nightmares. She looked at me quizzically and said “No. Why?” Embarrassed I said “I had some nightmares and was having a hard time sleeping.” I left it at that. The same kind of dreams interfered with my sleep the next two nights. I wasn’t able to commune with Desna for three nights in a row. I was starting to worry, I’m sure everyone had to have noticed but by the forth night I was able to collect my thoughts and Hanna was there waiting for me by the white tree.
Hanna was in her fine armor, a troubled smile on her face as she greeted me. “Where have you been my little gypsy?” I didn’t know how to answer. I felt flush as embarrassment took hold. I did not however look away. ”I think I was lost.”
She smiled, I melted but still held her gaze. “Lost? Yes, you were. You look no worse for wear for your part.” Her voice still held a command that I can’t relay and I listened. “The creature you fought, the wendigo, put a curse on you and instead of seeking help from Desna like you should have. You for whatever reason, decided to take it on personally.” She walked around me arms folded as she spoke. “I do not know what you went through in your fight for your soul but I do know the kinds of things the wendigo do to their victims. I can only imagine that it was something along those lines.” Coming around to my front she reached out her hands and took mine. “I’m pleased that you made it. This place would become very boring without you.” Holding my hands tight, I don’t think I could have broke free if I wanted to she looked deep into my eyes and said “You have had a shadow over you for three days and at first I thought it was the curse of the wendigo but I think now that it was something else. I have never seen the likes of it before and it worried me, so I asked Desna what it was and she said only this.
“He makes the strangest friends in the strangest places”
“Can you tell me what Desna meant?” Hanna asked.
I was dumbfounded, I had no idea what Hanna had just asked. Desna said I made friends? What? I don’t know. Feeling very out classed I winked and said “She must of meant you. You’re my friend aren’t you. How many other human friends do you have?” As soon as the words were out of my mouth I wanted them back. What was I thinking? Holly crap I never meant to ask Hanna anything of the sort. And the wink? Really?
Hanna took a step back letting go of just one hand and I could feel the blood draining from the other as she held it tighter than before. Her free hand sought her blade and rested just atop the pommel. She smiled a smile, you know the kind, I knew without a doubt that she could take my life at any second and I think she was weighing that option. Instead she tapped on the pommel rolling her fingers rhythmically.
“You know, for a human, you are either very brave or very stupid. I think the jury is still out but you do have a charm about you. Yes, I am definitely your friend. If you must know you are also the first human friend I have had.” Her grip lessened and the feeling slowly came back to my fingers. Whew!!!
We talked more of what I’d had gone through and where I was going. She was very interested in the troupe and our adventure. As a matter of fact we talked a lot about the troupe and each person and their personalities, more than we did preparing spells. She really liked the fight between Rikert and Kori’el. I could tell she favors Kori’el and Moxie but she plays it pretty safe when talking about Moxie. To tell the truth, I think I do too.
It was a good visit and I slept well for the first time in days.