I don't really care to ride out all the tiny details of whether you finish off the last mites or no
Exploration & Mapping
Hexes: C3 +25XP Each
The next day rose as if nothing had happened the night before. A quick inspection of gear proved that nothing had been mislaid by the mysterious pranksters overnight. At least for one night.
The sky the sky was grey and overcast as the group travelled further upriver along the Thorn, looking for a dry passage around as they explored. Though spring had come early and it was already late in the spring season, the heavens threatened constantly to fulfill the proverbial 'Gozran showers make Desnus flowers'.
In addition to the looming threat of rain, the group was harried by another phenomenon—wherever they seemed to go, the sound of crickets chirping in the bushes seemed to follow them for miles up the river. It came to the point where nobody was especially surprised to hear chirping suddenly coming from inside the wagon itself.
The chirping from inside the wagon sounded twice more, at different pitches, sounding strangely more like a tiny violin each time. Then, without further ceremony, the music began. The chirping sound grew into a disembodied fiddling originating vaguely from somewhere in the wagon.
The tune was catchy, but before anyone had a chance to seriously consider investigating, the song became quite literally a toe-tapper. Zeran's foot began tapping entirely outside his control, and the passengers in the wagon began standing up one-by-one, helpless but to start dancing suddenly, accompanied by sounds of their own and each other's confusion and bewilderment.
Frodrick, with his feet twitching slightly in the stirrups, couldn't even help from shuffling his body in the saddle. “What in the nine hells!?”
Even Bogdan, Miguel's horse tied to the wagon, was bobbing his head and swaying slightly, though none of the other horses seemed to be affected. Of the passengers, only Miguel threw off the compulsion as it struck him.
The bard looked around for some kind of attack, but when he saw none, he shrugged his shoulders. Bogdan had the right idea, he decided. Miguel joined in the dancing with the rest of the party.
(The effect is only as if you were staggered, so technically you can still perform 1 action per round if you want to figure out what's going on; regardless, nothing attacks during the fiddling. If you do nothing, it ends 1 minute after it began.)
For the rest of the day after this unusual incident (punctuated by the laughter from the trees the party'd come to expect by now), the persistent cricket song disappeared and did not disturb them again for the rest of the day.
In fact, it was not until first thing the next morning that the party was certain they'd been followed from the general area they first encountered the fairy pranks.
The party awoke with the strange feeling that they'd overslept. Almost at once they snapped awake, straining their senses to be alert for some kind of danger, when they realized they were never woken for their watch...
It was in that next moment they simultaneously discovered that every one of them had been stripped to their underclothes overnight, somehow without alerting them. Most the party was struck with momentary embarassment and immediately rose to find their clothing—or tried to. With sudden cry Kyrie fell to the ground again, having stepped on something very slippery.
Zeran went next, collapsing straight into Frodrick, putting an end to the dwarf's own attempt to get to his feet. From the ground Frodrick saw that the forest floor immediately around their campsite was covered in sheen like a well-buttered hog.
After the initial surprise and alarm, it was no serious difficulty to stand on the greased ground—except for Frodrick's stiff old bones, who had to spend most of his concentration to stay upright, and only dared moving far enough to get a solid grip on the wagon.
Riotous laughtered filled the forest the whole while until the party's clothing and armour was discovered draped over the horses only a short distance away.
Following that scene, the rest of the day went nervously undisturbed by any kind of supernatural occurances. The party followed the river further west around its headwaters and was able to begin exploring the south bank.
Dead Trapper; C3
The mischievous sprites again did not make an appearance the following day. What did make an appearance, however, was the body of a dead trapper, pinned underneath a pile of logs. Moondays.
By all appearances the man had been attempting to set a deadfall trap with a handful of logs when the rope snapped and pinned him underneath. Notably there were no markings or posts to alert humanoid travelers of the trap's existence, and the man did not appear to have any among his possessions, making Frodrick nervous for the possibility of running into more hidden and poorly marked traps like the ones they had encountered further north in the forest weeks before.
The only item of note in the area besides the trapper and the deadfall was a hatchet—excellent in quality—stuck into a stump less than a foot away from the trapper's outstretched arm. (mwk handaxe)
(You may backpost over any of these details, including if you want to attempt to interact with the unseen pranksters, or if you want to investigate the trapper's plight further. I don't know if I'll get the next part out before it's time to get to work, so I'm posting this to arouse your excitement now)
Posted on 2014-02-15 at 21:50:01.
Edited on 2014-02-15 at 23:15:19 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Exploration & Mapping
Hexes: D2 +25XP Each
Skunk Headwaters Pond; Hex D2
To cover as much of the northern bulk of the forest as possible, the party left the area of the river and travelled further south, to the region their map told them should include the headwaters of another river with an equally picturesque name to the Thorn—the Skunk river.
When they finally came upon the river itself, they learned the truth of the name before they ever saw it—the smell of rotting eggs filled the air. As they approached, they soon discovered a pair of bubbling hotsprings forming together into a large pond that made up the headwaters of the Skunk.
The pond was just about 150' across at its widest, bubbling intermittently, and covered in places in algae, contributing to the distinct stench. It was a disturbance in the algae that first alerted Frodrick to the movement of something large and dark in the waters, coming toward the party. It was too late by that point, however.
A pink blur burst almost impossibly fast from the algae-covered shallows. It travelled 15' in the blink of an eye and struck Frodrick in the chest. A bare second's realization that he was caught by some kind of massive tongue was all the time he had before he was tugged in his saddle. His training kicked in and he resisted the force, keeping himself mounted.
At the other end of the long pink tongue was a massive frog, an easy 6' long, head peeking just above the surface, pulling back like some sort of macabre reverse fisherman. In the middle of the pond the original motion Frodrick spotted was still approaching, increasing the likelihood that it was another giant frog on the way toward a hearty meal.
(No pressure, by the way, if you're not done responding to the above post--consider this just an addendum to that post that I wasn't sure I was going to finish before I had to start packing up to leave. That said, Kyrie and Frodrick win initiative. Zeran follows. Then Giles and Miguel.)
Posted on 2014-02-15 at 22:40:24.
Edited on 2014-02-15 at 23:15:51 by Sibelius Eos Owm
The abomidable appendage had itself latched onto Frodrick's armor good and tight - the mucous held fast and it irritated the dwarf to know that he was going to have to clean it once this day was through.
WIth his one eye he noted the tell-tale signs of another being in the water, and hoped to warn his friend's of the potential threat.
"There be somethin' else in the water! Hold fast and get outta range!"
His weapon and shield were not drawn, and they would do very little in this sticky situation. But perhaps he had a slight advantage being on Jargon. Gripping the tounge with one hand and the reigns with the other, He implored his valiant stted to press onwards and away from the body of water.
"Onwards Jargon! If the critter be wanting dwarf meat, he be needin' to get it on or below solid ground: not with wetted feet!"
I don't really know what this would be considered... I think I am trying to become the grappler instead of the grapplee. I don't know what bonus/penalty I might get for being on a horse while doing this... could we also say OOC that Jargon does an Aid Another or joins in the grapple for my grapple role?
Backposts and a frog? OH GOOD ANOTHER THING THAT WANTS TO EAT US!
20 Desnus, Dancing!
Zeran simply shrugged, this was one of the least annoying things that had happened by far so he simply let his foot tap away even joining in with the movement of his head. "Well, this isn't as bad as it could have been at least I can still steer." He mused to no one in particular, sighing and keeping his eyes ahead. It was going to be, a LONG journey.
21 Denus, Greased up Pigs?
"Kyrie what hap-" Zeran was cut short as he lost his own footing when he tried to stand, and with much regret splatted onto the dwarf wincing a bit hoping the dwarf really was made of sterner stuff then an old man. When Froderick didn't collapse and keel over as it were Zeran let out a sigh of relief and carefully got to his feet helping the dwarf up. "Sorry."
Fighting the urge the entire time to start cracking jokes or comments of a flirtatious nature towards Kyrie and the rest of the group he took his time getting dressed letting out another sigh. "Well, despite all of us looking absolutely fabulous. Especially you Kyrie and Froderick." He grinned at them both, clearly his will power for his own shenanigans was non-existent.
Dressed and ready he carefully got Froderick his things before making ready to leave. Karma was against him as he ended up going splat face first, universal retribution for his antics. He didn't stand, he just laid there and laughed and laughed and laughed until he had to move, it wasn't all good laughter either he was starting to get angry and upset.
23 Denus, dead man!
Zeran looked at the dead guy and scratched his chin. "So...is anyone else thinking we should move the logs and strip him of any valuables and then skirt him off to the side and make his body look a bit more respectable, then, well, flat?" He stopped scratching his chin and shrugged. "But if any of you are going to get angry with me over that, then shall we simply de-log the man and right his body some?" A simple suggestion, he already had an excellent ax from their good friend Kressle. "Oh, if anyone else wants that ax by all means. Kressle, uh, 'donated' one to me when we parted ways."
25 Desnus, why does everything want to eat us?
Zeran cursed under his breath before he started grabbing for his pistol. "Froderick you hang on, don't you dare let that thing swallow you!" He shouted, sounding distressed and a bit paniced, unusual for the former pirate, though being a potential meal was usually a good panic inducer.
He cursed again. "Really? really? More of them? Why, why does everything want to eat us!" He wracked his brain as his hands followed the reloading motions, also making sure he was skirting back as Froderick moved, keeping himself away from the water and the other potential tongue.
"Giles I don't know your strengths or weakness but you seem to be a crack shot. Mind helping our dwarf out a bit while I load Mr.Boom here?" He called, giving the man a grin. Now that the initial shock of potentially being devoured had passed for the moment it was all action and wise cracking.
Posted on 2014-02-16 at 13:22:02.
Edited on 2014-02-16 at 13:23:58 by Zeakol
Frog Pond; D2
Frodrick bent low to Jargon's whithers, bracing himself for a tug-of-war in which he was the prize in the middle. Kyrie leapt off the wagon, shovel in hand, and hustled down the sodden edge of the water. The frog held fast to Frodrick while it faced Kyrie, but her shovel arm already had much practice. She brought the flat of the spade down on the frog's back with a wet 'splat', half-forcing the frog under the surface (-7dmg FrogA).
Frodrick urged Jargon on to pull away from the bank, but she get much ground under her hooves, turning up muddy soil. Frodrick's grip was tight enough to avoid being pulled from his saddle, but the frog's grip was strong enough to stay put. With a grunt, Frodrick took up his axe.
Zeran hopped out of the carriage and jogged a short way along the edge of the lake. He dropped a ball into the barrel of his pistol and looked for an excuse to and exotic meal.
Giles and Miguel stood up in the wagon after Kyrie. The newcomer loaded his crossbow and took aim at the frog still crossing the pond. With a second thought, he drew a small wooden disk marked with a bullseye and held it up at arms length. The handsome scarred swordsman uttered a chant under his breath and suddenly the world around him seemed to slow down just slightly, and he foresaw the exact angle and path his shot would take and the precise correction for his target's motion.
Miguel meanwhile followed Kyrie down the bank and thust his sword at the frog, but it jumped back faster from him. The frog released Frodrick and its tongue snapped back into it's mouth as it took a full step back deeper into the pond. Its bulging eyes zeroed in on Miguel, and just as the bard understood what was happening, it launched its pink tongue back out and struck his arm and shoulder as he tried to dodge.
Miguel tried to resist, but his footing on the back gave way and he slid into the water shallows, reeled in by the frog's strength. Within moments his free hand was halfway down the frog's throat, with the rest of him soon to follow save for his efforts to pull back.
The other frog was swimming quickly toward the shore on powerful leg strokes. Once it got its feet under it in the shallows it took a moment to line up its aim, opened its mouth, and launched its tongue at Kyrie. Kyrie turned quickly to avoid, but the warm, wet muscle struck her with unerring accuracy. The paladin hastily pulled away. It was a glancing shot, and Kyrie was able to avoid getting wrapped up and stuck—the tongue lost hold as it flew back into the frog's mouth.
Giles nodded to Zeran and leapt from the cart and began walking, cautiously to the pinned trapper
"Knowing what he looks like might prove useful to finding out who he was, at the very least his body might yield something useful"
Picking up the axe on the way and using it to aid in the removal of the offending logs Giles (possibly aided by Zeran) revealed the man to the light of day the man seemed to be middle aged and had the look of a foul tempered and mean spirited sort, his face was roughly shaven and his teeth less then taken care of, without searching the body the only other point of note was his attire to be fairly standard for the woodsman of the area, his body yielded little a few traps a meager amount of gold and more interesting a pipe filled with a foul smelling weed that Giles carefully took so as to preserve as much as the weed as possible if the dwarf couldn't identify it perhaps someone else could and any family might appreciate the pipe to remember the man, Giles collected anything worth sale and took the body laid it on the ground and made a sort of above ground burial tomb with the logs and rocks laying around.
(Frogs are bastards)
*in response to Zeran*
Giles stood and drew his crossbow loading a bolt and aiming down the sights
*Zeran:"Giles I don't know your strengths or weakness but you seem to be a crack shot. Mind helping our dwarf out..."*
Giles took a deep breath and glanced at Zeran
"I don't have any weaknesses, they were beat out of me in the military"
Giles resumed his aim blocking out all noise and thought aside from his target, with a cast of a spell and a deep breath he finalized his shot and pulled the trigger.
Another curb stomp battle (well, plus a few good rolls)
Kyrie splashed into the shallow water following Miguel and the frog. “Bad frog,” she said. Kyrie smashed it in the head with her shovel. “Don't eat that.” The frog dropped Miguel and fell limp into the pond shallows.
The other frog never had the chance to realize the danger it had stumbled into. Giles and Zeran both turned their aim to it and pulled the trigger. Zeran's lead ball exploded through the side frog's leg and Giles' bolt stuck it just below the water's surface in the fleshy gut (-5dmg, -4dmg FrogB Bloodied).
The frog began to turn away to flee, but Frodrick was not going to have any giant carnivorous amphibians loose in his province. He lead Jargon splashing into the water, her experience and training serving her as she sunk into the watery muck, and surged into the pond up to the depth of Frodrick's high stirrups. He raised his axe as he came down on the frog and dropped it against the back of its skull (-7dmg FrogB Dying).
Unbearable puns to come as soon as I can think of them.
Exploration & Mapping
Hexes: D3 +25XP Each
Despite early examples such as the monstrous shambler, the heart of the Narlmarches was proving to be not nearly as dangerous a place to travel. Or at least not so densely populated with monsters as earlier feared.
The next couple of days passed navigating the undulating forests without disturbance, whether from wild, malicious, or mischievous intent. Rounding out their circuit of the northern woods the Charter Party turned east back toward the general region of the bandit camp previously explored.
Late in the afternoon the party encountered a particularly thick tangle of brambles around the base of a stripped hill-face and were about to navigate around it when they saw something in the clearing through the thorns. It looked like some kind of structure, but it was impossible to tell from outside the tangle.
Blades out, the party progressed by cutting clear the worst of the thorny plants surrounding the clearing and squeezed through one by one, with Frodrick leading Jargon at the rear. What lay just inside the clearing, almost completely invisible from the outside, was impressive to behold.
The edge of the clearing was partially defined by aged, ruined stone pillars in a half circle surrounding a large oval pool of stagnant water. The west edge of the circle was bordered by the hillface, revealed to be a rocky upthrust ridge over 300' across and reaching a moss-topped height of 100' at the centre. Carved into the rock face was an immense elk head looming down, massive stone horns framing a wide cave entrance marked with columns. Both the elk and the crumbling stone steps leading up to the entrance were thickly encrusted with moss and the 50' oval pool was covered with more algae than the Skunk river from the previous days.
The whole shrine—for that's what it most seemed to be—was in a state of advanced overgrowth, seemingly long abandoned by whomever had established it this deep in the forest, presumably one of the many attempts at colonization this region has seen over the years. If the massive elk head weren't enough indicator, Giles thought the site might have once been a dedicated to Erastil, the elk-headed god of hunting and farming.
While the party made these speculations, they discovered the site was not quite so long-abandoned as they had thought. As they approached the far side of the stagnant pool, their speech disturbed something within the cave—a gigantic grizzly rumbled out onto the top of the steps. The powerful brown bear swayed in place for a moment, as if unable to find its balance, then shook its head in a very humanoid gesture and issued a tremendous roar, warning the party off its territory.
(Zeran, Miguel, and Frodrick all win initiative almost right away. Since Frodrick's not on Jargon, he'll have to issue a command to direct her in combat. Everyone has drawn their preferred weapon prior to entering the clearing just in case trouble like this ensued--though in Kyrie's case this is sickle/shield, not shovel, especially to cut through thorniage)
(The grizzly is somewhere in the area of 100' away from the party, across the length of the oval pool and up the steps, as seen below)
Map of Temple ~here~
(Oh yeah, there's also further information on Erastil in the Q&A from way back, if anyone's interested. It's the basic general info your character might know.)
(Finally, note that while every hex around it is explored, the C4 hex has not yet been fully mapped, and so is not an explored hex yet--that's the very next part of the journey)
Posted on 2014-02-18 at 19:34:04.
Edited on 2014-02-18 at 19:51:40 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Zeran sighed as the bear stumbled out and he stared at it feeling very uneasy. "Uh, that is a very big bear. I don't like the head shaking either. Uh...after you?" He motioned to the dwarf, getting ready to follow close enough behind. "I'll shoot it once I'm in range." He said keeping his eyes on the prize.
[Follow Frodo, use 1 grit to buff damage, shoot Bear.]
It didn't take much imagination or insight to figure that the cleric Jhod would be wanting to hear about this place. The large statue of Ol' One-Eye was probably the only thing in this whole region that even hinted at civilization, and surely the only shrine for this particular god.
Then the bear came. Its grumbling caught the acute ear of the dwarf, and he was glad he had his axe and shield at the ready. Not as intimidating as a stone golem guardian, but an opposing guardian none the less.
"Let's get this thing-o a taste of steal people. I want me a nice bear skin rug for our residence, and some grissley meat for me belly tonight!"
Being one of the first to respond, Frodo decided to lead the charge. The zest for battle seemed to be coursing through his veins this day, and defense was at the back of his mind. Considering he could have died to a small whisp or repugnant blue ass-holes, dying at a bears claws seemed honorable and desirable.
Giving a high pitched whistle, Frodrick signaled Jargon to join him in the glorious fray against an apex predator.
Double move, command Jargon to attack.
Posted on 2014-02-20 at 19:47:45.
Edited on 2014-02-20 at 19:56:34 by Shades331
Temple of the Elk
Zeran automatically poured a shot of powder into his pistol at sighting the bear. He nodded to Frodrick. “Uh... After you?”
Miguel paused. “I don't know. Maybe we shouldn't disturb a creature in its home. I've always heard it's better to back away slowly in times like—”
Frodrick banged his axe against his shield. “Let's get this thing-o a taste of steel people. I want me a nice bear skin rug for our residence, and some gristly meat for me belly tonight!” The dwarf threw a signal to Jargon and began to charge around the pool, with Zeran following close behind.
Jargon Hooves, fleet of foot and swift to obey, cantered ahead of the party around the left side of the pool, outstripping the humanoids easily. She was already at the rubble-strewn foot of the stairs by the time the rest had traveled half the stone wall of the stagnant pool.
The bear was no dawdler either. It rumbled along the top of the stairs to the unbroken steps and lumbered down, crawling over the rubble to Jargon. When the two beasts met Jargon broke off her charge and stomped aggressively on the flagstones. The bear rose on its hindlegs and bellowed her down.
(A couple actions pending on exact distance moved, or if Miguel actually initiates music this round, but most of the party is just around the middle of the pool, while Jargon and the bear have made it to melee range with each other at the foot of the left stair.)
Posted on 2014-02-21 at 20:15:32.
Edited on 2014-02-21 at 20:21:00 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Temple of the Elk
The party was playing catch up to make it to the fight Jargon had already started. Near the head of the pack, Zeran drew up, paused, and took aim. He fired a lead ball into the bear's broadside. (-5dmg Grizzly)
The angry grizzly barely took notice of the shot, and practically didn't see Miguel as he closed along the one side. Its attention was focused on Jargon.
The warhorse reared up on her hindlegs in challenge. She kicked out with her feet, glancing off the thick hide with one hoof. To add injury to insult, she bit it hard in the thick, haggard fur of its arm (-5dmg Grizzly).
In retaliation the bear clawed a bloody wound with its other arm across Jargon's side (-4dmg Jargon), then with the other claw freed from Jargon's grip it caught hold of her neck (-5dmg + Grab Jargon). The bear held on with both paws, trying to bite her while she tried to pull away.
Giles waded in beside Jargon with a cry and took his longsword to the bear's exposed flank. His quick strike struck the rough, thick fur but did not penetrate the layers of fat and hide.
With a couple intense moments to observe it, the party began to suspect something was not quite right with the bear. It looked rather haggard and weak, with a slight sway as it stood up. The season for coming out of hibernation should be over by now, and the bear hardly looked starved—merely disoriented, albeit clearly enraged.
(I have spent at least 20+ min trying to visualize a horse biting a bear and I keep giggling or breaking my mind. Work it out for yourself how it happened, the Internet does not seem forthcoming on sources.)
Posted on 2014-02-22 at 10:03:14.
Edited on 2014-02-22 at 19:01:14 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Temple of the Elk
Zeran reloaded again, moving around for a better position as bodies started to crowd around the bear. Miguel took up the attack on the bear, trying to strike it off Jargon. He charged his sword with magic. With a hearty bellowing chorus he flashed his Aldori sword in an arc through the bear's bellyfat (-12dmg Grizzly Bloodied).
The heavily armoured, shieldbearing warriors were blocked off by their mobility behind the faster, lighter armoured fighters and Jargon's bulk. Miguel glanced back over his shoulder and stepped aside so Frodrick could get in.
If his horse was being mauled, Frodrick wanted a piece of whatever was doing the mauling. He hacked at the bear's long shanks, but the tough hide refused to give to his axe.
Jargon fought mightily in her own defence. Caught around the neck she reared her head back and bit the bear in the ear and pulled. The mare kicked out as she pulled away from her attacker, trying to convince it she was not worth the effort. More than anything the bear seemed merely to grow angrier by her actions (-7dmg Grizzly Enraged), though clearly it could not keep up this assault much longer (Badly Wounded).
The grizzly surged forward with its hindlegs, pressing down on Jargon. It raked its massive claws through her flanks (-6dmg, -7dmg Jargon) until finally her strength gave out. Frodrick's valiant steed stumbled backward under the grizzly's pressure, stumbled, and finally collapsed to the flagstones, beginning to bleed out (Jargon -3/19).
The terrifying mass of fur and muscle rounded on the blond bard that struck it and bit out at him. Miguel stepped back as the bear came, avoiding the savage teeth.
Giles stepped forward in the same motion, attempting to draw the bear's attention back from Miguel, but the beast was too wary and quick.
Meanwhile Kyrie was right next to Jargon when the warhorse went down. She went to her side, settting her sickle down on the flagstones beginning to turn red with the horse's blood. With one hand she grabbed for the pouch of medicinal supplies she carried with her and started rooting around for bandages.
The paladin worked quickly, loosing the shield off her arm to give her better mobility. She applied herbs and dressing to the wound to slow the bleeding, but after a moment the bandages were soaked through. The war horse was losing blood faster than Kyrie could keep it in her.
Heal vs. DC 15: 2 + 7 = 9
Frodrick 22/22 –
Jargon -3/19 –
Giles 19/19 – 20 bolts
Kyrie 21/21 –
Miguel 17/17 – 19 arrows, Inspire Courage (3/9)
Zeran 19/19 – (loaded) 22 bullets
Temple of the Elk
The bloody grizzly stood up on its hind legs, wobbling slightly as it towered over Miguel. The bard hardly spared the monstrous beast a glance—Jargon was his first priority right now. He held his sword out to the bear automatically to warn it off while he looked for the moment to break and run.
As an ex-pirate's luck would have it, a sharp crack rang out. Zeran had finished loading and fired a lead ball into the bear's oblong behind (-8dmg Grizzly). The grizzly lurched a two-legged step toward Miguel, then lost its balance, reeling back to collapse on the massive crumbling stairs to the temple.
There was a tense moment as the bear drew in a deep, rattling breath, partially turning itself over, and finally fell back again to the bloody stairs. It released the breath as a long, final sigh of relief.
Before the party's eyes the bear's form wavered and shrunk, rapidly losing fur until it took on the form of an ancient human man. The tranformation rested in this form for a second, long enough to catch the peaceful, restful expression on the dead man's face. The body then crumbled rapidly into a skeleton until all that remained of him was dust.
A rush of wind from the wide cave entrance blew over the shrine, carrying away the dust. At the same time the whole shrine seemed to grow brighter and more vibrant. The pools of the bear's blood and Jargon's blood rapidly shrank and vanished. Miguel poured a healing spell into Jargon's body, sealing up the wounds and bringing consciousness back to her (+5dmg Jargon 2/19).
The warhorse jerked up to her feet with a violent motion, stumbled, and stomped around in a circle, until she saw that there was no more foe. Frodrick stepped in to help calm her nerves—but gingerly; he'd had more than enough experience to know better than to get too comfortable with a horse recently engaged in combat, even his own mount.
Jargon accepted Frodrick's comforting. As the wave that washed over the shrine passed, it left the temple looking brighter and cleaner. The moss remained clinging to most surfaces and the stone steps were still broken, but the stagnation and griminess vanished. Even the pool seemed to shimmer, growing crystal clear.
After a thirsty battle, Jargon was the first to the stone wall around the pool. Miguel's next spell to heal Jargon died before he could begin it as he watched her drink. Jargon's wounds rapidly closed with the faint shimmer of life-giving magic (+13dmg Jargon 15/19). Frodrick's mare drank her fill from the pool, and came away as fresh as a spring daisy (+8dmg 19/19).
The fight had ended just as quickly as it began, Giles stood motionless for a moment his mind trying to wrap itself around the events that had just taken place, he could gleam from the mans assumed age the brief glance he got before turning to dust that he had lived a full life if not longer, it would depend on the spell, a curse perhaps? Giles shook his head clean and began into the opening of the temple stroking his blade as he marched up the stairs like a man possessed causing it to glow in unearthly brightness.
The inside, as he could have guessed was sparse and now looked more like the den of the bear that inhabited it then the temple it would have once been, perhaps erected by earlier travelers trying to settle the area, its age was to him unknown though he could take a shot in the dark, the only thing of note he could gleam were scratched words on the wall upon closer inspection it wasn't hard to tell there were made by man not beast and read only "they have won". They have won Giles muttered to himself trying to wrack his brain as to what it could have meant, was this man cursed to live here as a bear or could he have done the magic's himself in hopes to protect this place and over so long become of the beast then the man, so many unanswered questions it was madding to the point that he could scream but was able to calm himself, perhaps he could gleam answers from Oleg or the Old Priest he had spoken to while waiting for the parties return, perhaps one of them could shed light on to what those hollowed words could mean.
Leaving now the den and returning to the party, with only his mysteries and no answers he surveyed the temple once more before taking a seat on its steps.
"Well, I can already tell traveling with you folk is going to be a barrel of fun"