And the heroes of the eclectic band of six;
A plan was formed to end the gnolls’ joys;
Of slaughter and pain in a woeful mix.
There to keep watch for sign of other foes;
While to the place where the gnoll camp lies;
The six heroes sought to bring mighty blows.
But for one little thing of some surprise;
When the monk’s boon of a past tournament;
Revealed it had more than met the eyes.
And a tiny clockwork fish of glimmering gold;
Which now rose into the air and making a bother;
By shining rainbow light in a statement bold.
Heads peeled to look at the human and her toy;
And screeched as they found something to hurt;
The slavering pack falling to the unintended ploy.
She skewered the hearts of the snapping beasts;
Before slamming shut the gnoll lord’s channel;
And twisting about to stall another gnoll’s feasts.
The aasimar flared in furious angelic light;
Of heavenly Celestia she was a chosen daughter;
Born to mortals to protect and at times to smite.
And then landed behind the stunned lord;
She called on Mystra’s power, old Mystra’s heir;
Strong lightning within her hand was stored.
As yipping hyenas and gnoll archers surged;
An arrow striking the revealed celestial thane;
In one gore-minded frame of thought merged.
While the gnolls focused on the aasimar;
He took a moment to fire a crossbow’s thrush;
Slaying one of the gnoll archers from afar.
As gnolls sought and failed to find his place;
They turned their bows on those of bright hue;
A dart clattered off the armor hosting angel’s grace.
Only to be snatched out of the air by Fennle’s hand;
The monk casually returned the gift most malicious;
Confusing the gnoll as it saw the dart in its own flesh land.
Lohn took up his bow and cast his hand unseen;
Across from the other rogue he took this flank;
He struck an arrow into the gnoll lord’s spleen;
It growled in defiance and still of Yeenoghu stank.
Her blades striking a bewildering pattern of blows;
The rapier striking true into a gnoll’s hide;
While Rezur failed to bring an end to the beast’s throes.
Leaving her to run alongside a different path;
Emris’s hooves and antlers brought forth a red mist;
One gnoll obliterated before the fey creature’s wrath.
Sword slicing firmly to dispatch a head from its place;
Then striding to end the gnoll lord’s demonic trace;
With a skillfully struck sword following a shield to the face.
High in the air and not far from the battle;
It attracted little attention from the gathering rowdy;
With gnolls focused on the thirst for blood and chattle.
Though her own weapon is deflected by its fury;
A kick slips through and wipes off the thing’s leer;
Leaving it alive but of coherent thought now leery.
But neither rider nor beast are turned from their quarry;
As they disappear back into the night’s misty spray;
Concealing the dome of night sky starry.
Turning her angelic wrath on the corrupted hyenas;
She burst the heart of one of the furred locusts;
Removing another foe from one of life’s arenas.
And called a warning of cultists on the hunt;
Driving a beast out of the night’s billowing shrouds;
Then he saw how the gnolls’ fangs had been made blunt.
Forcing a gnoll to cover its throat lest it bleed out;
Then once again he made the brush’s shadow his garb;
And vanished out of sight of the demon-born lout.
But could not find where the assassin had vanished;
The spear in its hand flew across the stage;
Only to clatter against the paladin’s shield burnished.
A rogue launched dart landing in its kidney;
Almost putting out its consuming demonic flame;
And leaving another hand with blood quite sticky.
And failed to grasp hold of any flesh to gnaw;
Unable to find within her steel and meals;
With which they sought to fill a hungering maw.
Rider slowing on seeing the violent show;
By the exchange of violent hew and occasional shove;
She tried to make out what was happening below.
Slicing and twisting with rapier and dagger;
Feeding its fruitless anger and renting a fissure;
With her blades she brought the beast to stagger.
Turning at the last moment on seeing his comrade;
He looked below through so very much dew;
The battle was a scene of phantoms in mist clad.
The Rosethorn Blade slicing heads from bodies;
As Emris turned to the victim of the bard’s torrent;
Flashing hooves cutting short its vile follies.
Teeth triple lined along a jaw greatly distended;
Beneath a face between man and lion but of giant’s girth;
It roared and lashed with tail, barb ended.
Striking the great bald carrion eaters;
But missing the flying soldier of Wind Dukes’ draw;
The beast drew eyes from all theaters.
Tossing his spear high into the air;
And drawing wide of the aarakocra’s lofty stage;
It shrieked and stamped at the fate unfair.
Unleashing her darts on the gnolls remaining;
The spear-thrower ended his skull’s retention;
In a crimson stream, life slipping and quickly draining.
Elivia released a twisting bolt of radiant might;
Striking with wrathful force to half sunder;
The manticore itself in one telling divine smite.
And dived down to the ground to seek cover;
He warned Marle of other parties of aerial culture;
Would soon be coming to this place to hover.
It’s eyes drawn to the manticore in radiant fire lined;
Took aim toward where the beast leered;
The divine fire pulled the bolt into the beast spined.
Catching a last gnoll unawares;
Short sword’s blade, flashing and thin;
Cutting down the fiend as it stares.
Bemoaning the loss of Mystra’s fiery guidance;
His arrow but very little force did show;
Though by closer to death the beast came by inches.
One then winging fast away;
The manticore now boasted many bloody jolts;
And two vultures did stay.
Before turning with a bard’s magic talent;
A childish taunt of power quite strong;
Upon the malignant beast its mind to splint.
To take up her longbow and aim;
One arrow glanced off the hide much frayed;
And the second was lost to minor shame.
Unleashing another spray of quills in a hurry;
The bard’s insult sent the first far from worry;
Shielding Mystra’s cleric from the fiend furry.
The monk drew upon her inner sun;
Releasing discs for the beast to be branded;
Into the air more of its blood spun.
And did not draw off the necromancer’s wand;
But rather from her own holy power and might;
Unleashed a hail of darts of force to push the beast beyond.
One of the vultures dropped lower in the air;
“Who are you that intrudes on our hunting round?”
Called out a voice that seemed noble and fair.
While the rogues below took cover out of sight;
Marle responded with a response most spry;
Of being simple travelers lost in wild night.
And took the helmet from off of her head;
Revealing her to be the focus of Elivia’s deed;
Savra Belabranta, born of a Waterdhavian thread.
And introduces herself as a Moonsilver scion;
About the name she was not in the know;
But Savra picked up Elivia’s client.
And Elivia pushed to convince her to return;
Talindra stepped forward with her own travesty;
Asking about reavers coming from the sky to burn.
And while Talindra spied honesty in her eye;
The paladin also noted a distinct loss of ability;
To distinguish between truth and dogmatic lie.
To speak of her order’s special duty and quests;
When in the distance horns made a complex din;
She reacted to decry them as traitorous guests.
Elivia lashed out with Mystra’s arcane storm;
The shock leaving her vastly unsteadied;
As the woodcarving fey knight lashed out her arm.
Before firing a dart into the vulture’s side;
The great beast resisted the poison but lost its fuse;
Screeching into the night it angrily cried.
The vulture lashed out with talon and beak;
But could not touch either divine’s grace;
Losing speed due to poison from vial’s leak.
Taking aim with crossbow to add to the fray;
The bolt loosed but made no ground;
Hitting the ground where it merely lay.
Gaining the rogue an advantage for his shot;
The arrow struck true sending the vulture to gravity’s collection;
The knight called on power to drift but fall not.
Marle reached for her guitar and trilled a note;
To empower a favorite spell again;
And into the scale armor a burning heat was wrote.
And tried to charge the tiefling that had cursed him;
Hoping to disrupt the spell before reaching hereafter;
But his strikes were nothing to the bard’s fighting trim.
But his misery was ended as part of rogue double act;
While Savra’s vulture was ended by a blade;
The bespelled knight took an arrow in the back.
And encouraged them to leave with great haste;
Before the there was a renewal of battle’s din;
When more knights arrived to the chase.
Elivia responded that she was tasked to rescue her;
They noted it was a fool’s task to free her from air’s blight;
She would only be freed if destroyed was air’s spur.
Taking fifteen barbs from the fallen manticore;
And a curiously whispering crown from gnoll’s hollow;
Then their tracks were covered by Talindra’s woodlore.
Fearful that their quiet watch risked discovery;
Yet the Feathergale Knights on the ground did not stamp;
A simply flew past with a look cursory.
And assured that it was not repopulated by stirges;
Finding only a family of foxes brave;
They settled in to deal with rest and nature’s urges.
And despite a great arcane force being applied;
The attempt rebounded without enactment;
Yet she felt a dark entity behind it lied.
Giving a bearer access to a sliver of the wizard’s art;
As soon as she confirmed there were no minds’ glimmers;
Elivia took the item to be powered by her own heart.
Much to Marle’s much stated relief;
Talindra took a moment to lay on hands a disease to be cured;
Which resulted in being height’s thief.
And a blast of magic washed over the man of Union 271;
Leaving behind a woman of deep stone and pick;
Where once a human had stood was now a duergar woman.
Lohn’s nature had been shifted at the core;
And his old body as a polymorph had lingered;
Slowly stripped away as time did pour.
For a calm chat away from others’ panic;
To discuss matters on dealing with the change of hide;
In a chat that was not quite quick.
And as she took in the surroundings;
Realized that she was heading to be imprisoned;
And when soon she started giving angry stings.
She became a font of incredible lore;
Names spilled angrily from her mental stores;
Thurl Meroska and more.
Who rarely had dwelled in mortal realm;
While the name of Yan C Bin spurned a flood;
Of awareness in Elivia’s helm.
Spouting insane nonsense and lies fed into her;
Of Waterdeep as a true kingdom in the North’s girdle;
And other things falling into a crazy blur.
With Lohn under the influence of a disguise spell;
Appear as a man one foot earned;
And assured everyone that everyone was well.
Finding some pilgrims on the route;
And warning them of reavers on wings alight;
They came to Red Larch as dawn did sprout.
Warning him of her sorcerous nature;
So she would not use it to her cell shirk;
And to these needs he said he would cater.
Had been named Red Larch’s first ever mayor;
And was very busy with problems greater and lesser;
Even now attending a general meeting of many layers.
And investigating their curious baubles;
But that would wait until another ballad’s tracks;
Before they found themselves facing more squabbles.
The Chapters and Cast of the Ballad