|Fire Mage by d3fect.deviantart.com|
The Chapters and Cast of the Ballad
The band awoke on the morn;
To find their locksmith somewhat gone;
But they were not truly forlorn;
As Lohn awoke with shrunken yawn.
Toying with an artifact had some risks;
The belt of gender fluidity it consumed;
And left the locksmith inches six;
A pixie form with gossamer wings assumed.
The priestess of Mystra grimaced;
An epiphany striking home;
That a fragment of divinity diminished;
Was contained within the chrome.
Advising Lohn to avoiding poking with sticks;
They traveled below through lava tubes;
The fire cult's position they sought to fix;
And cleanse elemental foes from all cubes.
Talindra remained behind a spell;
Defenses to organize with the Enclave;
Against any invaders eldritch and fell;
They would have to remain brave.
Approaching the entrance they found barricades;
Manned by a squad of hobgoblin soldiers;
And to their side a gap in the rock cascades;
Once an arrow slit now with much less closure.
The neo-pixie flittered inside;
Practicing on the wing with new form;
And found a door there did bide;
While Aengus slipped before enemy swarm.
A javelin clattered against the wall;
And an arrow to monk's hand did fall;
As heroes followed the pixie's call;
Aengus tossed a grenade of offal.
Bursting apart with a stench most vile;
Hobgoblins retched and gagged;
Choking on the airborne particulate bile;
Such that their reaction lagged.
Lohn opened the door ahead;
Spilling the heroes into an occupied study;
Where a genasi paced beside his bed;
With a complexion ruddy.
"Who dares interrupt Bastian Tharmander?"
He demanded of the assaulting heroes;
As Fennle surged with no meander;
And not one strike was left to zeroes.
Behind them Aengus laid another grenade;
A trap waiting for the hobgoblin guards;
Then joined the others in appointment suede;
Sealing the door with goblins back by yards.
The mage faced a barrage of blows;
Taken down as hobgoblin toes;
Slipped upon another cloud of woes;
Sending a wave of gastric throws.
Outside the study, cultists complained;
As a pixie disabled the doors within;
And a guard captain from futility refrained;
Dashing to bring word of the din.
Opening the door upon the new barracks;
Fennle found two cultists sleeping;
As two others stood up into hysterics;
Her spear soon ended the snoring.
Aengus's short sword bisected a heart;
As one of the flame guardians blubbered;
Leaving just one man in a start;
To face divine wrath and accusation of sluggard.
Torn to the quick by bard's mockery;
And pierced with pixie's dart;
The last guard stumbled amidst crockery;
And the priests nearby failed to start.
Toying with the rotating door;
Fennle revealed two more casters;
Stepping on through to pour;
The assault against their masters.
Elivia and Marle rained blade and lightning;
While Fennle unleashed a flurry of blows;
And soon the priests were much less frightening;
As with death their madness did close.
Lohn meanwhile struggled with genasi's body;
Hiding it under a bed out of quick sight;
Trying the limits of her muscles most shoddy;
While on many other corpses there was light.
Aengus slipped ahead to hear sounds of rally;
Goblinoid voices angry and vicious;
And brought warning of the coming volley;
The heroes still favored by fate capricious.
A plan was made to cross the bridge;
Passing over lava far below;
Leaving behind a gift of oily ridge;
To bring their pursuer's low.
Advancing forward to scout the way;
Fennle found the temple well;
And heard chanting of an evil sway;
South in a room of foes fell.
Sticking her face out of the corridor;
She stepped to far and all did see;
Bringing a host of fanatic ardor;
The cultists within did not flee.
Marle opened a door between dimensions;
Unleashing high magic in name of laziness;
To inform Lohn of their intentions;
And wing her way back to the craziness.
Bundled in an ogre's bedding;
With a pocket of gems most shiny;
Lohn sighed before door locking;
Wth Tyche's Gauntlets tiny.
The goblins and cultists slammed the door;
Failing to note other paths available;
Expending several efforts like stubborn boars;
Upon the portal magically stable.
Aengus spilled oil across the path
Warning Marle and Lohn to stay to flight;
If they wanted to avoid a lava bath;
He backed away with a crossbow light.
As two cultists of more competence fell;
To the last of Fennle's poisoned manticore quills;
One of the host charged wildly pell mell;
And spoke "Truly you have great skills."
As cultists swarmed her position;
Elivia held back confident in her friend;
The monk slipped overhead with a mission;
To unleash on the minions a fiery end.
To the solitary surviving cultist;
She answered his earlier compliment;
With a simple "Yes" and a twist;
Sending her spear his chest to rent.
The sealed door was finally smashed;
And hobgoblins rushed south fast;
Their wisdoms failing them at the last;
As into the lava many slipped past.
As the goblionoids and razerblasts pressed;
Lohn surreptitiously scattered another peril;
Ball bearings across the gap addressed;
While the foes were growing more feral.
One hobgoblin pushed carefully past oil;
Wiped his forehead in relief looking over shoulder;
Angered at the necessity of his risk and toil;
He stepped forward on balls and fell like a boulder.
Another hobgoblin followed behind;
Stopped at the balls and reached down to clear;
Before Marle's bolt struck him dead and blind;
His corpse tumbling off the stone pier.
The hobgoblin captain tossed a javelin free;
Which clattered over the tiefling's wing;
Against the stone wall at a terrible degree;
And failing to make even the slightest sting.
Below in the supplicant's chamber;
A swarm of magmin sprinted forth;
Backed by hounds of fiendish ember;
And a woman of magical worth.
The voice of woman's dreadful chanting;
Reached Lohn's ears with wrathful meaning;
Recognizing she whose violent ranting;
Had taken the life of a love just greening.
The woman's spell reached for the monk;
Who slipped out of its bonds with evasive ease;
As north sprinted a magmin punk;
And the hell hounds pressed her like a foul breeze.
Identifying the magus as the greatest threat;
Fennle leaped to the ceiling and ran across it;
To land from on high and with spear beset;
The mage stunned by ki's painful grit.
One magmin died to lightning grasp;
Trying to slip by Mystra's hand;
As the second slipped the clasp;
But was torn as magic missiles land.
Calling on Mystra for divine aid;
Elivia attracted the fiendish ire;
The hounds did seek to wade;
In a bath of angel's blood dire.
As an angry pixie locksmith;
Darted across the field to the hair;
Of Lyzzie Calderos forthwith;
There to cut vengeance to bone bare.
At the bridge, a razorblast slipped off the edge;
As a second pressed south and cleared the balls;
Only to be tossed by the tiefling's thunderous pledge;
And leaving one hobgoblin captain above the falls.
Aengus then applied his wizardly arts;
To a new Grease spell under the feet;
Of the last of the enemy's fell hearts;
Who slipped and fell below with a tweet.
Fennle left the mage to Lohn's vengeance;
And swept to aid the priestess;
In her desperation to face the menace;
Her kienzan mostly fell harmless.
Two more magmin slipped past the priestess;
Who felt the fiery fangs of the fiendish maw;
And risked more pain to make some distance;
And unleash a lightning bolt down the hall.
The magmin exploded in fiery burst;
The growls of more hell hounds behind;
Informed her as the nature of the magmin's thirst;
And thus failed their attempt for help to find.
A spiritual weapon in the shape of a woman's hand;
Reached down to strangle a foul canine;
But still there was one demon hound upon the land;
And it was determined on aasimar to dine.
As Lohn drew from Lyzzie an arterial spray;
Fennle darted to where Elivia had been brought low;
And slew the beast with an enthusiastic spay;
Then covering Elivia from facing further blow.
The battle running quiet the heroes pulled south;
Laying an alarm and summoning a small house;
They helped Elivia pull breath again through mouth;
And took an hour to rest, quiet as a mouse.
But before they could do much more than that;
The alarm left by Aengus clicked in his mind;
To the north something had arrived at;
The intersection they had just recently been confined.