The Reign Of Winter
Hermann's Tales 3
Armed with the brigand’s information we carried on along the trail, heading towards the great hunter’s lodge. As we walked, Benedictus noticed my worrying over the previous day’s interrogation (and execution) and spoke to me, calming my fears. He explained how the bandit and I were totally different. The bandit was a craven fellow, only repenting out of fear, and would no doubt go back to his evil ways. I, on the other hand, had seeked out an opportunity to repent, and given Benedictus’ guiding, would never have to fear falling again.
Relieved, I marched on with a spring in my step. Just as the lodge came into sight I felt a chill in the air and renewed my own magial cold protection, whereupon Kjell asked me where I had learned to speak Draconian. I looked at him blankly for a few seconds until he explained that when I had cast that spell a few seconds ago, I had cast it by speaking Draconian, which is a dragon language. I can only think that it must be another ‘gift’ of my lineage, but a good one this time. Still, has a long way to go before it balances out the ‘get horribly killed for turning into a dragon’ gift I also have gotten.
Several of the party decided to scout out the lodge, with Kjell reporting that he had been spotted. Idrin decided the time for direct action had come and went to bash in the front door. Benedictus thought it may be worth preventing anyone from running out the back door, so we split up the party. One half going in through the front door, the other half covering the rear door.
This plan went all to pieces as soon as the sounds of battle started. Lazarus charged the back door, forcing everyone else at the rear of the house to just fall in and help. By the time I had put away my crossbow and got out my spear the battle was well underway, with only two bandits remaining. Heedful of Benedictus’ request for a survivor, and seeing one of the remaining two drop, I ran over to the last one and told him to surrender. He completely ignored me, attacking Giorgio like a man posessed. He paid for that, as I caught him a solid blow with the haft of my spear, leaving him stunned on the floor.
Giorgio found more bandits in a side room, so after I knocked my prisoner out I went to his aid. I fouled my spear tip in the clothes of the first man to attack me, but freeing the blade I cut him cruelly and he fell. Another charged at me and fatally impaled himself on my spear. Pulling my spear free I went and dropped the last of the remaining foes, who seemed to be giving Giorgio a bit of a hard time.
While Idrin took a rest (it turned out I had completely missed a nasty fight in the kitchen) I checked on the bandits I had downed. All were dead except the one I had knocked out. I felt sorry for them, but as Benedictus says, they would probably have slid back into their evil ways, so the world was better off without them.
There was a sudden noise from upstairs, and Lazarus ran down the stairs pursued by some skeletons. They were odd things, these skeletons, even apart from being undead. They seemed to give off a very cold air, causing harm to all nearby. This added to their exploding when killed (another thing I am told is rare for undead) meant that we were in great trouble from the start.
I used my spear to its best advantage, poking through the bannisters to hack at the skeletons’ ankles, but suddenly a human appeared at the top of the stairs, cast a spell at me, and I was frozen. Stopped cold. Well, not actually ‘frozen block of ice’ frozen, but no matter what I tried I couldn’t move a muscle.
I was forced to watch as the battle swung first for the bad guys and later in our favour. Thankfully something must have broken the person’s hold on me, and I moved in to help kill him. Before I could even bring my spear to bear, Giorgio finished him off, and we went upstairs to secure the rest of the lodge.
After beating yet another ice fairy we declared the top floor clear and continued trying to find the stolen Lady. Luckily we found the trapdoor leading to the cellar, which was where they had imprisoned the woman. I let Giorgio do all the talking (after all he is a noble, as is Benedictus, so knows how to talk to a lady) and helped Kjell to gather all the loot, so as we could work out what was magical or valuable.
After a good night’s rest I cast my protective spell on anyone that needed it (including the lady), we packed everything up, and got to Heldren without trouble. We noticed the cold had spread, covering far more land than it had two days earlier when we went in.
Heldren was overflowing with mercenaries when we arrived – they had all turned up ready to try to rescue lady Argentia only to be faced with our success. The grateful lady gave us a gift of 500gp as a thanks for our help.
As we rested up in the village, looking over our loot, some of the potions seemed to start to ‘make sense’ to me. Another gift of my lineage, I think. Still, has a long way to go to beat ‘get horribly killed for turning into a dragon’, which is still hopefully a long way off in my future.
I did try to identify the magical cloak we had found, but either my gift comes and goes or the cloak is too difficult for me to work out just yet. I will have to get more practice.
Under the safety of our successful mission I also asked a few wise people, in general terms, about inheriting abilities from ancestors. I must have had trouble explaining what I was asking about, ‘cos the only reply I got was about how Sorcerers often get their abilities in that way. They seemed to think I was a Sorcerer, despite me saying it wasn’t about me. I will have to look into this a bit more. But I’ll do it somewhere else, and I’ll have to be more careful about it too.