Chasing the Devil

02: A Fight for Dinner

After the events of the day, what with killing the basilisk and discovering a devil under the hills outside of Cair Marin, our heroes were a little spent.  Rapture, the Tiefling Cleric wanted very much to sleep and regain his fortitude, others were more wary of spending the night outside the home of a known threat.  Most everyone else decided there was more comfort to be found in town then out amongst the grass and trees.  The wood darkened with the end of the day, threatening to spew forth some other fowl beast for the party to tackle, but it was kind today revealing nothing more than the normal fauna until the town was almost in sight.  In the woods, off the path, not half an hour's walk from town, the smell of blood mixed with the smells of the evening meal.

It was Prospero, the Half-Elf Sorcerer who noticed it.  A man had been savagely attacked.  Multiple claw marks raked his body. The ground around him was mashed down with the violence of the struggle, even the tree branches above were bent and broken, and the spot itself was open to the sky.  It was no animal that did this looking for it's next meal, almost as if the kill itself was the point.  The poor man had died some 2-4 hours before.  

Ever respectful of the dead, Rapture decided the body must be buried.  Gilmund, the Paladin Dwarf, and Leton, the Human Monk, agreed, and started to dig.  Leton was, unfortunately, not much help, but gathering their strength, Rapture and Gilmund made short work of the burial.  Having no such compulsion, Emtree, the Halfling Rogue, Cael, the Elf Ranger, and Balusar, the Dragonborn Warlock, parted ways, continuing the hike to town.  

For reasons of his own, Prospero stayed with the burial party, was but was not of it, as his passions lay in chasing butterflies.  His gaze skyward after the latest shiny wing, something strange in the distance caught his eye.  A large cloud of something was dark across the sunset sky.  It moved and pulsed like a flock of birds, but it was not any type of bird he knew.  Rushing to the fresh grave, he exclaimed to his friends, pointing toward the now closer cloud of things.

"Not Bird!"

"Knot Bird?" they responded.

"Not Bird!"

Meanwhile, reaching the town, the party of three discovered that the gates were shut.  Reaching into her bag, Emtree pulled out the Basilisk fang, and held it as high as she could, a full four and half feet in the air, continued to walk toward the gate. Balusar and Cael rushed forward.

"What are you doing? We have to do this differently!" Balusar said as he pushed her arm down.  Emtree slowly put the fang back in her bag with a little cock of her head.  Balusar turned away, striding off with Cael.  He didn't notice little Emtree relieving him of all his gold and his two daggers.  Together, they approached the gate, shouting up to the guards to let the Elf, the Dragonborn, and the Halfling into the city.  After a brief exchange to establish identities, the guards wanted some proof that the basilisk had been killed.  Forgoing the clean lines of the fang, Emtree produced instead a slimy eye for inspection giving it a little squeeze as she handed it off to Balusar.  This satisfied the guards, and the proper authority distributed a prize of 100 gp each to Balusar, Emtree, and Cael.  Emtree took this opportunity to relieve Balusar of his money again.  The job finished, Emtree and Cael retired to the inn and camp respectively.  

(I don't remember where Balusar went. To the wizard tower?)

The rest of the party finally makes it to the open city gates.  Recognizing the rest of the party, the guards guide the newcomers to the town hall.  Gilmund raises the head of the basilisk, eyeless and fangless, above his head and parades through the main street.  After receiving the prize money, the group runs into Balusar in the main square.  Leton, the Monk, asks Balusar about the "not birds".  Balusar looks at the still approaching cloud, but now can make out that it is a large flock of imps.  After a consultation with his order, the alarm goes out Rapture and party split up to man the gates and defend the city.  Rapture and Leton head to a side gate while Gilmund and Prospero head to the main gate.  Balusar climbs the wizard's tower, to overlook the battle field but doesn't end up seeing very much.  

The bells ring out across the city.  In a quieter part of town Emtree hears the bells, pokes her head out the window, but with nothing to see shuts it tight, retreating back to her room.  Out the side gate, the bells ring faintly across the plain to reach Cael's ears.  He slumps his shoulders, wondering what trouble they've gotten themselves into now. He turns and trots back to the gate to find it closed behind him as 24 imps arrive and start to land.  With nothing else to do, he starts to pick them from out of the air.

Inside, the battle starts to rage.  Our heroes, aided by the city guard hold their own, mostly.  Rapture amplifies his voice and manages to scare away one imp, but is eventually knocked unconscious.  Hearing the sounds of battle, Emtree also arrives at the side gate, firing arrows to aid the defenders.  

At the other end of the city, Leton and Gilmund fare about the same.  Gilmund is the first to go down under the onslaught, but is saved by a medic attached to the city guard.  Leton tries to assist, but he too is knocked out.  Coming from the Wizard's tower, Balusar attacks at range with fire and arcane energy killing imps.  His aim is not perfect, and in the process kills at least one guard who was too close to a imps, and in a critical misjudgment kills the medic just as he was about the help Leton.  Not immune to damage, Balusar also earns the wrath of some of the imps.  

The battle is won.  Many guards fall, as do most of the 48 imps at the two gates.  Cael tries to climb the gate to assist in the clean up, but sadly only makes it up about 10 feet before falling straight onto his back.  Well, he tried.  Cael stands up, dusts off his pride, and starts his walk back to his camp outside of the city walls to rest and heal.

Rapture, Gilmund, Leton, and Prospero are carried to the guard hospital, followed by a limping Balusar.  They will get the care they need after a very long day fighting Ettins, a Basilisk, a Devil, and a horde of imps.  

After confirming all is well, Emtree walks back to her room at the inn, flush with profits and the excitement of the day, having survived without a scratch.

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