The guild finally got a job. Apparently there has been some killings in a small town to the East in The Hinterlands. The government doesn’t know who or what is behind these killings, and are willing to pay handsomely for a specimen, alive or dead. The bodies of the deceased were dried out husks. They looked as though all the fluid had been drained from their bodies through tiny holes.
We set forth East from Portenheim to discover what was behind these killings, the promise of gold warming our hearts, though for Dunkan I’m sure it was the promise of blood. I expect nothing less from the leader of The Bloodless. As we traveled, we came across a few trees that looked… unnatural. They seemed to be corrupted and burnt. An odd sight to be sure, but could it just be a coincidence, or did it relate to the killings?
The salty sea breeze soon faded to a heavy earthy smell as we moved inland. The flat costal terrain turned mountainous as more and more vegetation began to litter the landscape. It was after a week of travel we saw the smoke of a warm hearth-fire over the hills. A small Inn stood in an outcropping of trees. As it was getting late we decided to stop the cart here for the night.
Upon entering the fine establishment, which name eludes me, we spotted a rival mercenary company. They seemed to be enjoying themselves. Their rowdiness eventually grew to a level where they began to harass the barmaid. Surprisingly a gnome within the tavern stood up for the lass. This netted him a chokehold by the companies biggest brute and a trip through the air to the nearest wall. Thinking quick on his feet Garret offered our services to the gnome. He asked him how much he’d be willing to pay for us to dispatch them. Having suffered much trauma to his windpipe the Gnome was struggling to speak. However, just before the fighting broke out, he lifted five fingers. We took that as 500gp per head, and totaling six in magnitude he had offered us 3000gp; a deal we couldn’t refuse.
Combat broke out with Dunkan cleaving one of the mercenaries from shoulder to groin with his massive great axe, Garret shooting one of the mercenaries in the throat, Adeli injuring another, and getting caught on fire myself. Flagons of mead along with the remnants of our enemies meal flew as tables were knocked over for cover falling into the ever growing fire. Stepping back as an arrow careened off my scale mail I started smothering the fire that had recently engulfed me. Through the flames I could see Dunkan take out their leader. As his axe tore a large gash across his chest, which looked as though it would fell a lesser man, the brute fell backwards, the force of the blow setting him off-balance. With a large crack his head hit the floor knocking him unconscious. Dunkan looked powerful still, though he was injured. Arrow volleys flew as Adeli and Garret killed another enemy. As the fire that once engulfed me had been put out the enemy moved to protect their leader, and that is when Dunkan was downed. In a simultaneous manner the three remaining men acted. One moved to interpose himself between Dunkan and their leader, while one ran up the wall towards Garret. Luckily Garret moved out of the way, because his blade of pure force nearly missed him. However, Dunkan was not so fortunate as an arrow raced towards his neck.
Dunkan fell. We didn’t have much time to act. Was he even still alive? I thought if I knew that mountain man, then he would be. I’ve seen him take punishment any other man would easily die from and treat it as a scratch. I moved to aid my fallen guild mate. I called forth rejuvenating energy from the planes, and though he was still grievously injured, he was at least stable. As I moved to finish off the last of them, I noticed that only one remained. I gave him an ultimatum, surrender or die. He chose the former.
The fire had spread, and my companions began to put it out as I moved the injured outside of the establishment. As I exited the building, I could now see that the sun was beginning to set. The lights of the Inn beginning to cast harsher and more defined shadows.