“DUCK!” Korath shouted as he expelled lightening from his hands, taking down a couple of them. I can’t say I’d recommend ‘eau de burnt hobo’ to anyone; the smell was, quite frankly, an affront to the senses… though it was somewhat satisfying to watch their robed frames convulse as a result of the electricity.
Tensions were high before then, but that was what really initiated the skirmish…
We didn’t make much progress against them before Rindle shouted “WHERE?” and summoned incredibly dense, wet fog, encapsulating everything within sight. Everything was black – I could hear the sound of my confused companions thrashing and slashing, but I can’t comment to what avail; I couldn’t even see my own hand in front of my face, let alone anything they were doing…
To try and aid my group, I thought I’d give my new toy a whirl. It was a long shot, but by playing my flute, I thought I might be able to help my friends see each other and light them up in the darkness (I believe Korath called this particular magic ‘Faerie Fire’). It must have worked, because everyone seemed less confused and there were more yelps and whines, which made me think we were having more success causing them injury.
I navigated my way out of the fog, only to be pounced upon by another of the filthy cretins. Not sure what hurt more, its stench assailing my nostrils, or the dagger it stuck in my side.
Okay, definitely the latter, but there’s an artistic satisfaction in the comparison.
Before I knew it, Rindle was atop the savage brute, slashing away. The brute was taken down quickly enough, though he did leave me badly wounded. I have to say that without Rindle’s help, I might have been out of action…
Once he knew I was safe, Rindle left me to take on another of them.
The next thing I know, Rindle’s screaming “ARTHUR, NO!” and tearing up. There seemed to be less danger now, so I went over to him. He was getting… ahem… intimate, shall we say, with the bloody corpse of the rat that had led us to this dump. I think he was trying mouth to mouth, but without success.
At Rindle’s request, we held a small service of remembrance for the rat that gave us a good lead on finding the Mayor’s daughter. Rindle explained that Arthur was the sole provider of his extensive family, so I suggested we try to find the rat’s relations and give them a gift to cushion their loss. He eagerly agreed. So we’ll see where that leads…
When we’d finished, we were called over to where Korath was negotiating with the remaining survivor of the group that attacked us. Joe. What he had to say was interesting. He told us about mutblood – it seems to be some sort of high level drug that “makes you see things… you feel so good”. ‘Need more mutblood’ is in the Mayor’s daughter’s diary, so it seems she was into some serious substance-abuse. The cretin claimed the Barghest took her…
Looks like this missing person quest just got a little supernatural.
Then he tells us about a man who knows how not to get eaten by the Barghest, which would be useful, should we face the fowl beast. Hazy description… Not the smartest hobo. Something about warding off the bad spirits and carving a figure of 8… the true face? Apparently the details are important though… perform it wrong and the Barghest comes for you.
We know that the legend of the Barghest is about a shapeshifting creature, always seen as a giant bear-dog with black fur. Its eyes glow red like hot coals while it roams around forests and wandering paths waiting for people to pass by… the truly alone.
Then it claims them as its next victim.
But for what, who can know? Nobody has ever escaped to be able to tell us…
We decided we’d wait for the leader of the cretins to appear. Only, before he does, a stray dog with no collar appears. A cute, scruffy brown mutt that Rindle and I immediately fawn over.
Rindle then shows off another trick of his – apparently he can shapeshift into a small black dog.
While Rindle is chasing down Korath for some reason, the brown mutt and Joe seem to be communicating. Obviously this isn’t just a dog…
I take matters into my own hands and slyly attack the dog with a little psychological magic. The animal starts whining and changes into…
We’re all a little startled.
The Barghest starts running.
Everything seems to speed up.
It climbs over the wall as we try to attack it, with limited effect.
We all give chase.
Rindle’s a horse now?!
My stamina is awful.
What happened to Rindle’s clothes?
I definitely need to do more cardio.
Andrin takes the beast down.
That man is a machine.
The Barghest is dead?
I guess we killed a Barghest.
…I need to write a song about this.