So, this time on the Anduwin Chronicles…
Seeing the two headed jackal form, Siala ducks around the edge of a pillar and fires twice at the massive beast’s inner thighs. Though it could stand on four legs naturally, it has reared up onto its hind legs, a front paw crushing into stone structure, breaking stonework near where Mr Graves is revealed to be spectating the battle. Both arrows cut deep, with the second striking a blood vessel, tearing it open. She rolls and hunkers down behind the pillar out of sight. The samurai warrior rushes in, his wings burning and blade freezing as he tries to cut into the beast’s hamstrings. His katana bubbles through almost liquid flesh, not damaging at first, before Abraxos brings back his blade and cuts something important for a significant strike. Abraxos stays flying around the beasts legs, to try and keep focus on him. Whilst this is happening, Cato utters some words over himself and vanishes from sight. Unseen, he moves. Only the opening of a draw betraying his location. Inside he spots two beautiful but different feathers. At the same time as Siala and Abraxos cutting new wounds into the two headed creature, Brant protects himself from the beast behind a pillar, before unleashing an impossibly strong radiant blast of energy from his palms. The beam sears into the head on the left side, boiling flesh. Granuaile runs into combat, her half-orc build powerfully leaping into the air. At the apex of her jump she vanishes from sight, reappearing on its back. She swings her glassy warhammer, bludgeoning it’s jaw. As she swings, she notices energy within the mouth flashing and pulsing that seems to power this creature somehow. Orryon then raises into the air, congratulating Brant on his spell, pointing out the weak spot. His magik healing Brant, before the healer weaves his hands and unleashes a bolt of flame into the injured head. Orryon commands Vandrex to help. The high Inquisitor flashes his hands and conjures two floppy red blades which stiffen as he rushes into combat. He leaps and flips, striking a red blade to each side of the wounded face of the beast in an effortless pincer strike. Vandrex continues his flip and lands on one knee with both bladed arms outstretched, and dripping with ichor. His other Sh’ren Ri’la allies appear to be staying out of the fight, and creeping up to the party. Reacting, the beast snaps it’s jaws and bites around Granuaile, before swallowing her. She finds herself in a dark jelly textured place, and without air. The beast then swipes its paw across the chamber, bowling down four pillars. One elf is thrown full force from behind his pillar and splatted as a red smear against the temple wall. The paw continues its path, and throws Siala twenty feet through the air, to make a smear of her own. She survives, finding herself on her back by the wall. Siala takes aim from behind some rubble pillar and fires at its legs again. She strikes the beast, and again. The hind leg starts to leak some sort of liquid, and begins to shrink in size, becoming weaker. It catches itself on its upper paws. Abraxos, still flying swoops in, Snowhearth in hand and cuts again at the hamstrings. Snow burns, the blade cuts and a radiant fire jumps from his wings, into his strikes. The liquid leaking out is starting to freeze in the katana’s path. The samurai cuts again, freezing more and burning with divine fury. With the second swing, the leg fully bursts into water, it’s leg becoming a stump. Cato leaps out, unseen and avoids the fall of the beast. Abraxos was not fast enough and through the stump, is drawn into the beast, unable to fight his way out. As Cato looks behind himself, the desk has also been drawn into the beast, with the feathers in tow. The beast’s form becoming more translucent now it is missing a limb.
The mage spots an elf sneaking along the wall, thirty feet away from him. He carries a firearm which appears to have a long thin nozzle, approaching Brant. Cato stands, and has a type of liquid ichor over his invisible outline. Cato points his hand at the creature, casting a barrage of arcane bolts into the side of the beast. His missiles fail to puncture any number of holes in the side, but do shake the hide. With Cato appearing into vision as his spell is cast and his invisibility ends. The elf sneaking up on Brant lunges into the bards vision, baring a knife in his teeth, looking to threaten the hero of Vespárd. Brant tucks himself up, and rolls away from the elven foe. His acrobatic movement finding himself hidden behind the ruins of the pillars the two headed dog had struck previously. He unleashes another energy beam from his palms. His energy crackles ferociously toward the beasts cut, hoping to free Granuaile and Abraxos from their near acidic tomb.
From within the beast, Granuaile conjures the Chalice of Eternity to her hand. The Anduwin artefact begins to breakdown the beast. The magic of the Chalice beginning to turn the inside of the entity into its liquid form. She then uses the Chalice to tunnel her way towards Abraxos to save the samurai. Outside the beast, Orryon extends his hand towards Siala. Light stretches and wraps around Siala as a pair of feathery wings embrace the elf then vanish from sight. The healer stays in flight and readies himself to catch and heal Granuaile and Abraxos. The High Inquisitor tries to leave the room, but Cato and Abraxos both spot the stealthy movement. Within the belly of the best, both fighters begin to be digested, as the beast strikes out at the pillars again. The balcony above begins to fall, as Brant and Siala dive out of the way. The pursuing elves are both crushed by falling masonry. Siala extends her fingertips from her prone position and green light sprinkles over the last surviving elf. She then stands and moves into the centre of the room, and casts an illusion over herself. Her visage multiplies as three copies of herself appear. Down the corridor steel clinks are heard as soldiers and hotel guards start to approach.
The samurai takes hold of Granuaile, and using his wings as a funnel, drives a way out of the beast, spilling the two warriors onto the floor. Cato turns his attention to Vandrex who has made his way halfway out the chamber. The mage conjures a powerful illusion of a spike blocking the way, as through coming from the floor. He orders Vandrex to stop, as they are not done here. Brant stands and casts a spell to strike at the head of the beast. His radiant beam burns the wounded head. It bubbles and begins to melt, turning back into a liquid, leaving just one head remaining. Brant then rushes up to Vandrex to prevent him leaving if he can.
Granuaile stands and runs to swing her hammer at the last head, caving in blow after blow. Orryon utters a healing word over Abraxos, before dashing full flight towards Vandrex. “Are you leaving” the healer questions the Inquisitor. Seeing Vandrex leaving, the last elf approaches, and and takes aim at Orryon using a long thin tube. A thin dart fires at the healer puncturing his neck. A poison seeps into his veins as Orryon sinks to the floor, convulsing and foaming at the mouth. Vandrex begins to look at the illusion from Cato, but Brant distracts him, and Vandrex is unable to make out that it’s not real. The High Inquisitor places a firm hand around Orryon’s neck, ready to snap it. He turns to Brant commanding him to “resolve this”.
The jackal beast is now so wounded that it falls into a frenzy. His paws and claws thrashing wildly at masonry and fighters indiscriminately. Rubble falls, but Granuaile manages to catch a falling stone and deflect. Mr Graves falls from the balcony without bother, as Abraxos and Cato are pinned under falling balconies. As Cato is injured, he cries out in pain, and he loses concentration on his illusion, and the spike wall vanishes from sight. Siala sets up to attack, until a final boulder tumbles down, and crushes her waist. Unable to fire, she expends her strength to draw herself from under the stone. Abraxos shrugs his way out of rubble, and rushes to the blue mage. He heaves against the stonework and lifts as Cato drags himself out, just in time as Abraxos drops the rock. As he drags himself free he unleashes an array of arcane bolts. They take the form of arrows, bolts and broken glass, as they cut into the jackal’s only remaining head, shredding flesh into translucent ichor and liquid.
Brant spins his banjo around from his back, and strums, enthralling Vandrex with his music, singing “why can’t we be friends”. The musical magik bespells Vandrex, and endears Brant to the High Inquisitor. “Look, you’ve come down here, lost most of your men. Your plan obviously isn’t going to plan. So, why don’t you just stop the fighting and come with us to explain what you’ve been doing” urges Brant as he gestures the wreckage of the room, and the feral jackal beast. Brant pausing purposefully to allow the clinking of the soldiers and hotel guards approach to be heard between his sentences.
Vandrex hears Brant’s words and releases Orryon, allowing the healer to slump, before Vandrex carefully chooses his words. “Now is not the time. Not the time to cooperate, but I will”. Having released the healer, Brant notices the High Inquisitor start to turn away, with a feeling of genuineness to his actions. The elf holding the thin rifle lowers his weapon hearing Vandrex’ words.
Granuaile expels her arcane might into a thunderous blast, forcing the creatures leg backwards, and knocking it prone. She pulls on her inner reserves of strength and swings her hammer twice bludgeoning into the beasts skull. As she strikes the killing blow the beast begins to reduce into liquid. At the same moment, a figure somersaults into view from the tunnel one floor up. A broad shouldered man, short in stature, with a bushy brown beard and adorned in a bycocket, including the typical feather sticking out. His leather boots are enormous nearly bucket sized, with leather strapped cross over the top. His tunic is bright in colour. He lands just before lady Granuaile as the beast screeches it’s death throes. It’s form bubbling into the liquid version of itself. Blood and ichor falling from wounds further up its body as more and more turns into sludge. The colourful short man lands and very visually stamps on the last bit of ooze, twisting and turning his ankle, to grind the ichor between boot and stone. He turns to face the half-orc and simple says, “Your welcome.”As the boot grinds, the clatter of metal and soldiers arrive at the scene of the battle, holding each other back from damage, as they appear to have traveled through the gas the upper floors. The guards arrive to see the collapsed balcony, injured party members, and the final liquidising form of the beast.
One guard calls out, “are you ok?”
Granuaile pauses, and Abraxos looks between Orryon and Siala, hoping they have another medic within their ranks. More guards work their way into the room, until a murmur starts out amongst the crowded forces. One woman bravely speaks up, “Rexmund Legacy!?” Half in adoration, and half in surprise at seeing the colourful hero. “Oh my gods, what an honour. Thank goodness you were here” she looks over to the short bearded man. “Is everything ok? Well, I mean of course it’s ok. Rexmund Legacy was with you”
Vandrex and the final elf take this moment of distraction. The High Inquisitor touches Brant’s shoulder and whispers “trust me” before handing a small glass vial with some sort of root in it, before the two leave.
The hotel guards that arrived bring their healer to the front, at Abraxos request to tend the groups wounded. A harried looking young man, whose hair is bedraggled, and the pack he carries has wound wraps hanging out. The guard’s healer goes to Siala’s heavily bloodied form and tends her wounds. Whilst the healer works, Rexmund Legacy appears to be signing papers and autographs for the guards. Cato takes some time, catching his breath watching Legacy, almost studying his movements and mannerisms. Rexmund Legacy, Brant and Cato recall is a famed hero and adventurer, who travelled the world in the aftermath of the Greyborn war. He made his name as a local hero, and folk legend. However, the detailed exploits are unknown. Granuaile then takes the healer to Orryon’s still convulsing form. But comments that this type of poison is far above his pay grade or level of training. He thinks he can only do so much, and suspects that some form of root, or leaf might work as an antidote to whatever is causing the convulsing. He shares that like most of the dangers exposed in this structure beneath the hotel, the threats and treatments are unknown. However, the site was signed off as safe by Professor Lexler. The medic suspects that Lexler himself might know how to heal Orryon. Brant looks down at the glass vial with the root, and has a moment of clarity and inspiration, able to think that the root in the vial, from the rifleman, could be the suspected root antidote the medic mentioned. He offers his idea to the healer, who then checks it, and is unsure if it will work or not. He manages to pass the root between teeth, and massage the throat, encouraging Orryon to swallow it. The convulsing stops almost immediately, and Orryon bolts forward, vomiting black sludge and the entire content of his stomach onto the stone floor.
Granuaile offers Orryon a healing potion, when he has stopped vomiting. “Are you ok Orryon?” She asks.
“I have not done that in a very long time” he replies.
“You’re out of practice then”
“Qui,” he musters, “how is everyone else?”
“We are ok, and have been tended to” she says, as Cato walks over to where Granuaille and Orryon now sit. “Good thing you had that antidote to hand Brant” she calls out to him.
“..yes…” offers Brant as Cato assists Orryon to stand.
“I’m sure this happens to you lot all the time” suggests the blue mage.
“Not for the last twelve years” replies Orryon, “where did the Sh’ren Ri’la agents go?”
“I didn’t see them” offers Granuaile, “Brant, did you see them?”
The bard responds with a firm “Yes. I convinced him to let Orryon go, as he was threatening to kill him”
“Merci, I appreciate that. The not being killed”
“I spoke to him,” Brant continues, “and he seemed genuine in his conversation, and told me to trust him. So I have given him the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure we will come across him again, and find out more”
“Wow,” comes Siala’s slightly pained voice, approaching the group, “that’s just like in your speech”
“We should probably head back up to the hotel and rest” suggests Lady Granuaile.
“Erm, I do not think…” begins Orryon, “erm, we came down here to find them because of the plot against well, and we have just been very brutally shown that we are not perhaps up to speed with this level of threat, at least speaking for myself. And we are just going to walk away? Ok? Ok”
“The soldiers are here now, it’s their jurisdiction” Granuaile comments, “let them have the investigation. I have diplomatic immunity, but I can speak for you all”
“Aye, Rexmund Legacy is here,” suggest Cato, implying that as far as adventurers go, no more will be needed. This is met with most present not knowing who Rexmund is, or about his exploits. Cato, being a bit of a fan of Rexmund’s adventures tells of the legend of this local folk hero, and how he came to prominence. In the background, Captain Batton is urging all the soldiers to contain the threat, and not let rumours spread into the hotel to the other guests.
The party rest for a short while, until ladders are brought, and they are able to climb their way out the temple, and back into the hotel groups proper. Climbing out, they find themselves reaching a new antichamber. Making their way into the corridor, Lady Stormway is trying to calm the hotel guests away from the tremors being felt through the hotel.
Cato explains that he will need to tell the Ministerium of these events. Granuaile tells she needs to rest and report back to Amelie. Orryon bids friends old and new a farewell, and heads to the kitchen to pay his respects to the chefs that died. There he meets a new chef, in chef blacks who is mourning the deaths of the kitchen staff. His kitchen hat is almost a beret and his arms are covered in sucker marks, or other various scars. The chef suggests that rites should be done in line with the Chef’s Code. Orryon advises that he did not see the attack, but heard the kitchen staff rose up to defend Lady Granuaile earlier that day. After learning about the CUF and the secret order of chefs and the risks and dangers they face daily in preparing food, this new chef explains to Orryon in great detail about how he achieved each and every scar. Orryon politely listens to the impromptu lecture, but his medical mind is able to discern the embellishment on the cause of his scars. The healer thanks the chef for his bravery, and once again offers assistance with proper rites. This offer is declined as the regional chef’s chaplain has been sent for.
And that’s where we left off…