The Beast Stirs

4th Day of The Melting, 1479

Rakkar Oakwood

Twentieth Chronicle of the Order of the Phoenix, Free Company of the Sword Coast

I’m not bitter, but keeping a man of my nature cooped up all the time lends for a disgruntled druid. So when I ask for a replacement, I don’t mean by way of death. This will be marked as a grim day in the history of the company. I think we’re all just moving on emotions right now, some of us more so than others – my campfire companion being the most heated of them. I’m keeping watch for us right now, not that I could sleep anyway. Captains dead, and I’m pissed.

As per Captain’s orders, I’ve been reading passages of the annals to our brothers once a week to invigorate our resolve and ground our sense of purpose. Not just within the company, but in this world. It’s worked to some degree, but I think that now, more than ever, we need to stick together – even if it means chasing after fledgling maniacs.

Tonight’s readings came from the year 1391, from the first recorded entry in these annals. The author was Corfer Bittlewold who, from what’s recorded, was a newer member fighting to survive. They were entrenched outside the mad wizard Ostegrath’s tower. It was during the years just following the Spellplague. They were trying to break through, but were being decimated by creatures of unknown origins. You could clearly see in his writing he was desperate, laying everything out there as if he knew he was going to die. Before I could finish my readings, an explosion fired off from outside our hall. Yorril’s alchemy lab blew. Seemed as if we had another Zook on our hands, except this time the suspected culprit was sitting within eye shot. But this was no accident. Soon after, so too did our forging and woodworking stations. That’s when we knew Easting, or more importantly, we were under attack.

The explosions were a decoy to lure us away from them breaking through the main gate. Soon some twenty or so men and these dragon-dog-like creatures came storming in. While most everyone took their damn time figuring out what the hell was going on or were putting out the fires, myself and the meathead known as Zombie took on the bulk of the horde. By the time we finally got some support, those sons-a-bitches blasted down the south wall and another few dozen of them attacked from our flank. Those that weren’t engaging us were looting anything they could find and shove in their packs.

With our forces split and more men spilling in through the gate, we made our retreat back to the hall. Ethalus and Khallid were knocked out in the process, so it slowed our progress. Captain fended them off in an impressive display of swordsmanship, but not well enough. As we all funneled into the hall, I failed our Captain – my Captain – in getting to his side to support. Before I could reach him, he took a solid blow to the head and fell. Taking to the spirit of the giant eagle, I grabbed hold of him and got him aloft, but those ants were relentless in taking him down. They cleaved his dangling left leg clear off above the kneecap and part of his left arm too.

Once we were out of reach, they seemed to completely forget about the rest of the company within the halls and continued pillaging the merchant stalls. It’s like they knew that the layout of the town and had to have known about us being here as well, otherwise why target our stations? They knew that’d serve as a sound distraction. Within minutes of looting, they were back out and marching off north in a hurry. Horse-drawn wagons carted away their plunders.

With the Captain lying dead before us, the lot of us were in utter shock and disbelief. All save for Zombie. I swear that devilspawn’s rage is eternal. Despite Oswith’s command to recover before mobilizing, he took off north chasing after them even with the threat of breaking his oath with the company. While I can’t say I don’t blame him, as acting Captain, Oswith was well within his right to make that statement.

After paying our respects to the Captain, we surveyed the damages and what was stolen, and more importantly looked for clues into who these attackers were. The only distinguishing marks were on the rods some of the men carried. They had the sigil of “Flamebrand” scribed onto their handles. I thought I had noticed some fire coming from them, but I was too busy mauling scores of them to death. Other than that, the dragon-dogs were notably from some fire breed. But as for who they were associated with or sent from, not a scant clue. That is until sleuth detective Ordonis managed to get his hands on the burnt remains of a piece of parchment beyond the wall. It took some time, but Oswith eventually mended the piece whole enough to recognize most of the text. Our suspicions were true: this was a planned attack and they knew full well we were here, though their intentions were only to harm us and not take us out. Simply loot and scoot. They poked their dicks at the wrong damn bees nest.

Also on the note, it made mention of the town of Greenest as the next target. Greenest is a two day trek west of Easting. We quickly set in motion a plan of action: Deelia would lead a group west to Easting to warn them of the impending attack. I would take to the air north to scout after those that attacked us to see where they were headed. I failed to mention to everyone that I would also make sure Zombie didn’t live up to his name. If these annals have taught me just one thing, it’s to look after your brethren. The rest of the company would remain in town to look after the wounded and keep a watchful eye.

With nightfall quickly upon us, it didn’t take long for the raiders to settle for the evening. Either downright stupid or unsuspecting that anyone would dare follow them, they lit up campfires without any attempt at camouflage. Unfortunately, the wagons and their horses were no where to be found. I flew around for a short while, but was unable to make out any sign of them. Either they took a very discrete passage within the mountains or knew of a cave entrance that led underground.

Seeing all of their men bunched up so closely to one another gave me the warm and fuzzies. Or the static and discharge. They needed to pay for what they did, and by the wrath of Tempus, they would feel pain. I found Zombie trailing them in the distance. He seemed eager to exact his revenge, so I allowed him the opportunity to share in their bloodshed.

Once they were good and asleep, I called down a storm of lightning inside their camp causing them to scurry about like little ants. I could have let them just completely fry within the storm, but it’s so much more fun to rip their throats out. I think Zombie was trying to keep up with me as he kept yelling out the number of them he sliced his great sword through. Serious mental case he is. Soon enough they were all dead save for two that managed to flee. We tracked down one of them. Conveniently, the little piss ant was a hired hand and knew nothing about the reason for the attacks other than their objective to loot, retreat, and then move on to Greenest to do the same damn thing. I think they’ll be in for a surprise in that Greenest is a little more fortified than our small town of Easting.

It’s about time for Zombie to take his turn at watch. I think I’ll have a bird shit on his head to wake him. For the Captain, of course.

Comments

Great stuff! I laughed. A lot.

4th Day of The Melting, 1479
kkuryliw

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