Season 3: Episode 75 – Violent Vagabonds (Kerubiel’s point of view)
As we were approaching the gates leading up to the Block House, each of us seem deep within thought. Drael seemed to be muttering to himself about the centaur tribes, the ‘Nomen’ and their apparent god, ‘Vordakai’. Finn seemed very agitated and kept looking over his shoulder in the direction of Duskholde, a desperation to get back to the rest of his kin. Glanrim just seemed a little shocked that this place was not as nice as he’d heard us all talk about just a few short weeks ago after Valla’s wedding.
I, myself, have this strangest feeling that Varnhold is sharing some kind of curse similar to what Ervil helped us with the zombies and ruins around our castle grounds.
These thoughts were all interrupted by a high-pitched gnome-ish woman. I say gnomish because she did not have the colourful flair that is normally associated with the race. She was pale and balding and then she apparently knows Aila from Dunkaliar – which the look on her face just spells confusion, not very good at masking any emotions or thoughts there.
Then Aila calls this gnome Jeji and they apparently know each other, but Aila whispers that she used to have a vibrant teal auburn hair, not this grey skinned bald gnome we see up on the parapet of the gate. Finn is on edge and whispers to Aila that she has the same color skin as the spriggan we saw in the inn and if the same thing has happened to Jeji, she is not the same person Aila once knew.
Aila and Jeji then have some small talk about their past – apparently Aila helped her with her roof once, and that the asymmetric architecture of Dunkaliar is something they both enjoyed. She then asks Aila who she is traveling with because we aren’t her family.
She introduces me as King – rightly so, I nod and give a hail, which Jenji just gives a little wave and is somehow not impressed. Truly something must be off with her.
Then after pleasantries, Jenji asks why Aila moved and if it had anything to do with joy, and then wants us all to tell her where we find joy and Aila is talking about Silver Falls and her family and our great kingdom.
Jenji then says she’ll make a deal and tell us where the people are if we tell her what gives us joy. I am getting an uneasy feeling so when she asks me, I say that I find joy wherever Sorath is, no way am I giving this creature more information than that. Drael says he loves flying, Finn says he has herbs that help people find joy.
As I observe her body language, I get the impression that there is something more going on with this fey creature but Aila is talking more about Silver Falls and how great it is there and so I try to also steer Aila subtly in a different direction, but she is oblivious to my cues. Finally, Finn gets frustrated and asks whether she is going to help or not because he’s worried about his people in Duskholde.
Jenji then nods and agrees that we did our part of her deal and says that when she got here the people were gone. That another one of them, Agai, had told them of this place that was empty and free to live in. I want to know where this guy is. He has apparently taught them how to survive.
Drael noticed the mood shift and signalled to Glanrim to check our flank and he subtly slinks off as Aila is apologizing to Finn for wasting any time. I tell Finn that I need to talk to whoever it was that knew this place was empty, and although annoyed he nods and agrees.
The conversation has now escalated, and she is asking us all to imagine a world where the things we find joy didn’t exist, and when she says Sorath I draw my lance, and what would we do if we lost them forever. Her voice dropped during that final statement, and she jumped over the wall as she grew in size to close to the 10 feet tall and slashed out at Finn, who ducked behind Aila.
Finn then yells that she is no longer a friend, and asks if we should try and redeem her? Drael tries to cast some kind of sparkling magic at it, but it seems to have no effect. Finn then tries to reason with giant Jenji saying they don’t have to do this while throwing a bomb at her chest and steps behind Ray Jay who growls defensively.
Aila lets out a primal scream and slams her hammer in the monster’s knee cause it to buckle slightly but on the back swing it brings up its halberd and blocks.
Meanwhile, Sorath and I have moved into position to charge, and I shout at her and say that she should have never threatened my cat as the lance connects right under her jaw and the momentum severs the head as we continue on our charge. The head slowly sliding back down as we turn around to rejoin the others.
Aila and Finn investigate the gate as Drael and I look at the head and body of Jenji, we end up putting her large weapon in Finn’s magical bag. As Finn is trying to figure out how to unlock it, Sorath and I go to the side walls, and she stands on her hind legs so I can peek inside. I see a bit of movement – maybe another spriggan and some wolves but they are trying to be hidden so I can’t be certain on numbers.
Once we come back, Finn has shared that the gate is barred, and it’s decided that Aila will fly over with Drael’s magical assistance to unlock the gate to let us all in. The moment Aila starts to go aloft a huge grin spreads across her face and then it quickly shifts back to gritty determination.
She gives one large heave, but the bar is quite heavier than she expected and a little stuck,” Blighted begonias” we all hear from Aila as we also hear the dire wolves coming up behind her. We need in there now.
Drael thinks quickly and makes himself fly so he can assist her from an aerial vantage point, and he shouts out that the wolves are avoid the regular path as they are rushing over – four of them, so make sure we steer clear. Probably another pit trap.
Thinking that Sorath was easily able to get her paws up to the top of the wall we try and climb it to get us both in there quickly. She scampers up without issue, but the wall is not prepared for her size and wobbles slights causing to scratch her flank on our climbing over, I pat her, and she snorts her assurance that she is okay.
I look around and see Finn poking is little finger through the gate and one of the wolf’s attitudes seems to shift. Looking around I am in the cattle pen and just as Sorath and I are about to move out another spriggan comes around the corner of the livestock shed and steps inside with us. I also hear sounds coming from the block house. I feel some heat from gate as Drael is lighting up the 3 non friendly dire wolves. Yup one doesn’t seem to be hostile anymore. Good work, Finn.
Aila then roars and curses that the bar is stuck. I then do a ride by attack, piercing the spriggan in the chest as I deftly block its blow with my shield. I then hear Finn tell Ray Jay to dig. Looking around briefly I see the ground is littered with gnawed on animal bones.
The spriggan in the pen with me tries to swing hard into me but I am ready and braced with my shield arm. At the same time, two crossbow bolts ricochet off my armour, the bolts having come from the second story of the block house.
Meanwhile, out of my periphery I notice more flames over near Aila and the smell burnt wolf hair tickles my nostrils. Then a roar from Aila and a small yip tells me at least one wolf is down. I then hear Finn shout ‘Now’ and notice that the one wolf who he had befriend is behind the spriggan and locks its jaw into its leg and pulls it to the ground. Good wolf.
Seizing this opportunity, I ride up and stake the spriggan to the ground with Lily’s Thorn and it heaves its last breath. I then let the others know about the bolts coming from the building. Finn calls his wolf back to him and yells at Aila to open the door because he’s doing nothing outside.
More bolts, but I am ready for them, but this time they are accompanied by a small boulder off the top of the block house. I deftly direct Sorath out of its path as I notice more grey arms.
Looking over at the gate, I see Aila still has one wolf on her and is on the ground, but she dodges out of the way and hauls that bar off the gate with a primal scream. Drael also flies up while mirroring himself and shouts down a confirmation of what I thought – another spriggan on the roof.
Finn sees one last non-friendly wolf and he and Ray Jay put it down mercifully and it looks like h send his new friend one out of the compound. Anyways, I urge Sorath up to the front door of the block house, ready to confront anything that might come out, while also keeping my guard up from targets above…rushing into the building, could use the general’s help as the door is a little small for Sorath. Where is he anyway?