I told my players they could mark XP if they wrote up each session from their characters perspective 🙂
The Priest’s Tale part 2
In morning, the adventurers gathered in the church to discuss the details of the party. Realising that it would be wise to take a guide, Sinathel introduced a local ranger who was keen to make a coin or two. Baking several loaves of bread to an old recipe taught him by the ascetics of Worley, the priest carefully prepared provisions for the party, wrapping the fish that the strange blue-haired elf women brought back from the ocean. The elf-woman stared at the holy man with a look of uncertainty, hesitancy even, as though something was troubling her.
As morning turned into mid-day, the reformed rogue, honest Jack, pushed the door to the chapel open, wincing slightly. “Are we… err… going to get out of here any time soon?” he inquired.
Heading out across the dune ridge and keeping the stinking swamp to their left, the intrepid group made their way towards the distant hills, hopefully following the footsteps of Father Michael. As the edge of the large, watery red sun touched the horizon, the ranger, who was taking the high ground a few hundred yards away from the main party, whistled a note of warning. Against the setting sun, the outline of a dozen or so crocodile-beaked creatures could be seen moving out of the swamp and towards the party. The spear-wielding swamp dwellers stood off on the far side of a small tributary and it was clear that they meant to attack. Their leader, a slightly taller creature whose appearance was even more foul and ugly than his companions if such a thing were possible, signalled to the rest in a series of barks and arm movements. A group of three split off along the left flank, and another headed right towards Honest Jack, who had let out a cry revealing his attempt to out-flank the swamp kobolds.
The priest stepped forward and raised his hand. Intoning a plea to Allus to reveal “his” might to the savage animals, he swept the air in front of him with his bouquet of thorns and a rain of blue, thorn shaped flashes streaked down from the sky onto the disgusting chief. A cry of surprise and pain was cut short by the savage energy that the cleric’s spell had released, but the explosion of the crocodile skinned beast only served to enrage the others, who charged at the priest. Jack raised his bow and loosed a volley of arrows which struck down another of the creatures heading towards him. As the kobolds reached the priest, the cavalier and dapper “The Hawke” drew his sabre and cut at the beasts. A roar drew their attention as a blue-maned bear materialised behind them and tore into the horrid animals. A volley of arrows on the right flank signalled that the ranger had joined the affray, slaying another attacker, but at the cost of drawing attention to himself.
The priest stepped forwards, towards Jack, swinging his holy mace of thorns and reciting verses from the Book of Painful Restitution. Bringing the heavy weapon down onto the kobolds head, the beast’s skull crumbled under the onslaught, but not before the foul creature had managed to jab a spear into the cleric’s shoulder. With a cry of thanks to Allus, Father Mullah saw Jack catch the throat of the last kobold in that group with a jagged-edged knife. Young Jack ran towards the still smoking remains of the kobold captain and started rifling the beast’s body whilst the priest lectured him on the dangers of allowing himself to succumb to the urges of greed.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party, in a flurry of bear claws, arrows, swordsmanship and naked steel dispatched the fleeing animals, but at a cost. Wounded heavily, the elf-woman refused any aid and instead grabbed the crocodile-faced beast, tore a limb off to eat whilst she dragged the remains behind her. The foolish Jack attempted to skin one of the beasts, but the foul smell made him wretch and give up. Quickly moving to the shelter of a small copse of trees in the foothills some two miles south of the battlefield, the priest sanctified the ground with prayers and spices whilst the others cleaned their weapons, made a fire and broke bread.
Intoning a plea to Allus to bring to close the lesson, the cleric bound the wounds of Sinathel using an impregnated bandage. The edges of the wounds left by the kobold spears knitted together in front of the elf’s almond shaped eyes, leaving her slightly amazed. Looking at the holy man with somewhat more respect than earlier (though still not very much), she invited him to move to a more private location where they might talk. As they moved off, Jack shadowed them, unseen by his targets, but watched carefully by the rest. Out of earshot of the others, Sinathel delivered her sinister warning. A dark and evil shadow was following the priest from over the water. The spirits of the land, air and sea had warned the elf of this. The priest clearly misunderstood the severity of the warning, believing himself protected by his deity, but he thanked the elf anyway and attempted to persuade her to listen to some tales of Allus and his disciples. She cut the conversation short, secure in the knowledge that she had at least delivered the warning.
On returning to the camp, the priest rested a while, communing with his deity, before laying healing hands on the others as the daylight gave way to the stars.