Day 78 – The Barrow of Kentos
Just as Felghanis finished beseeching the Warrior Kentos for permission to take the book, the clash of steel and muffled cries of battle reached our ears.
“Damn it, “ I yelled, “The hobs must have known!”
Immediately the dwarves, Don and Herath, headed towards the entrance shortly followed by Felghanis and myself.
We were all shocked and angered as one of the Wraiths vanished in a scream, turned to dust by a Priest of St Fergus. The Church, again?
The battle flowed swiftly, and Fel’s baneful spells found hold on the warriors as well as the cleric, save for one who stayed far out of sight, using the advantage to launch heavy crossbow bolts through the doorway, striking Fel and almost dropping him. Another struck Don, but failed to make an impression on the lad’s stulwart body.
The combat flowed out of the barrow as the warriors, blinded and weakened were driven back and into a panic, screaming for Therebel… or someone to aid them (obviously the crossbow man I thought) as I called up a minor healing spell to stabilise one of the attackers.
Just as we thought we were victorious, a female warrior, the crossbowman, emerged from the undergrowth. Her weapon down she bellowed, “What is your bargain?” Don replied, “Bitch! Tomb robber. We bargain not with you.”
“Bah, she retorted, “You traffic with heathens and the dark arts of necromancy.”
Herath charged after the cleric and she fired upon him as Don tied up the surrendering soldier, binding him to his fallen comrade.
The combat was refuelled, and the dwarves attacked her. I and Felghanis at this stage was trying to approach the tomb of Kentos and were blocked by the wraiths that fled to guard him.
You have not protected my tomb… the echoing voice reached our ears.
A sudden scream of rage and blood erupted, filtering down it was loud enough to reach us. With no more than a look we charged out of the barrow and witnessed the gruesome sight.
The half bear half woman warrior was backhanding and thrusting her way through the diminutive dwarves. She was a werebear!
I had not time to think as Fel launched off a spell or two and was beset upon by the beast. Herath too went down, and I called up a healing spell to bind his wounds…shortly after my dire wolf appeared, laying into the beast, it’s resistance to normal weapons proved a challenge for all of us as most of the damage would bounce off of her.
A sudden overhead chop from the magically enhanced werebear who would teleport short distances or move quickly once tripped over, seemed to cleave Kellor’s head in two – I screamed at the sight of the dark blood that poured from his wounds and felt the burning of mana twist together with the thread of fate itself to pour healing energies directly into the wound, perhaps cushioning it just a bit to spare his life.
I stumbled forward, another healing spell powered by mana saw Herath back on his feet and in the fight. Don switched to the heavy mace we found – the one crafted from special steel – and bravely smashed the bear. My wolf tore a chunk from her thick legs pulling her once more to the ground. She quickly responded by cleaving Funghal to the ground. I protected the young pup with another mana-enriched cure spell.
Mana. Funny thing that is. Codger only called it that once in an attempt to explain how I could cast spells more powerful than my experience would allow. Mana. Funny thing it is indeed, allowing me to cast spells that I have already expended…
The dimension step of the ogre sized werebear brought me back to the battle as I fumbled a Flamus spell, throwing it like a torch at the bear but missed widely. Anier had recently entangled the beast with a Tanglefoot bag, but now enraged he charged into her, ducking under the pole axe and thrusting his sword, albeit harmlessly, against her ribs.
A moment later, my wolf found its mark again, and a followed up strike from Don seemed to finish the beast as it collapsed once more in a cloud of snow and dust.
We screamed victory as I hurried to the body of Kellor… “It’s his ear…” I yelled back “He should live!” I added as Anier came my way.