Party: Q’ithos, Abel, Khaos, Birk (Trailblazer), Quinn (Scout), Rose (Leader)
Rose’s War Diary, Fourth Mission
new day, new mission: there’s a road that needs building near white moon cove. we’ve got a capable-looking team assembled, mostly new faces to me but at least i know birk as a capable front line fighter. from what they tell me, most of them are good in melee. with us escorting roadworkers, that sounds excellent to me, more people to intercept enemies that would otherwise kill those poor souls.
after meeting with the roadworkers, we head out to the west to get to our assigned stretch of land.
the trip here was mostly uneventful. we made quite good time, too, arriving right at the end of the road when it is time to set up night camp.
i miss those uneventful nights i had before. this land is madness made manifest! so, no shit, there we were resting up for the new day, most of the team had just gotten to sleep, when a bloody drow and her companion stroll by the camp. peacefully! telling us that they’re hunting some aberrant creature from the void! then heading off, again peacefully! i tell you, next thing there’ll be flying pigs!
come to think of it… with what i recently learned about ezekial, that’s not as far-fetched as it should be. they call this land sleeper island. i think they got it wrong, it’s madness island. but i’m getting ahead of myself.
so, the drow having left, us keeping an eye out for them in case they come back, what happens? lionesses with human heads ally with monkeys, and attack us, that’s what happens. can’t make up madness like that. predators joining forces with their prey to fight us. well… maybe they were magically coerced into that, since their tracks only started out a little bit away from the camp, and their corpses just vanished, but still. also, no sign of someone summoning them. and of course, one of the lionesses decides that our charges look way tastier than we do and goes for them. and even worse, those people are too shell-shocked to back away from it, no matter how often i tell them to. at least we got that one engaged before things went even worse, but still we lost one of the workers even before we got started.
another thing that passed by during the night was some other weird experiment: looks like some madman decided he wanted to cross a cow with a sheep and a unicorn. well, the horns were a bit further to the nose, and it was two horns and not only one, but i guess you get the drift. we decided against disturbing that thing, and it returned the favor.
the workers started on their job in the morning, and we stood watch. a couple of creatures passed by, but none seemed hostile. birk was happy to get a closer look at that cow-sheep-unicorn creature. made it sound like it’s not an experiment gone wrong, but a regular animal around these parts. i stand by my assessment: madness island.
we set our camp again, keeping an eye out. some sort of well appeared at the edge of the light of the campfire, stinky and abandoned with only debris and dead animals in it. when we investigated it, some sort of rodents of unusual size, and with their brains exposed, snuck into the wagons from the far side. when we looked at that noise, they scrambled, and we got about half of them before they were gone in the darkness. good thing we looked at that right away, those things were stealing food from the wagons – but we got them before they got much.
the road makes steady progress. we see several oddities, but they are not interested in us so we can keep our distance as well. don’t want to needlessly risk the lives of those entrusted to my care. around noon, we get near something that looks like a fortified building. it looked like some kind of fight was happening there, or maybe a siege. but no people, just a couple of fireballs or the like, it was difficult to judge at the distance. we decided to turn the road to the north-west a bit early, we had planned to go about half a kilometer further before doing so but that’d have put us right on top of that thing. we should investigate it later, without having those workers to worry about. anyway, the road progressed more or less on track, and we set up camp for the night around where we had hoped to get to for the day.
that was a bad spot for a camp. well… i guess the spot itself wasn’t bad, but the company we got was. some sort of woman with bad makeup, lots of tattoos, and powerful magic. she conjured up a f*ck-ton of crabs, then proceeded to sling tons of spells at us. mainly at my companions. with my attention divided three ways – keeping some crabs at bay, casting eldritch blast on other crabs to take some pressure off of others, and casting healing spells on others to keep them alive, i was barely able to keep up with all of it. in the end… i was just not good enough. that woman did not rise to my challenges, but focused on q’ithos, and though i cast spell after spell to get him up again, as well as others feeding our falling companions goodberries to free me to focus on q’ithos, in the end i failed. with at times four companions at the same time mortally wounded, and the fight looking far from over, i decided to not put all i had left into one heal, but to meter it out to rescue as many from the brink as i could. but the fight turned within seconds – a few of my companions got some solid hits in, on others the gods had mercy, and the rest got fed some more goodberries. so, sensing that one the crabs that had latched onto my leg early in the fight would soon overwhelm me, i only then put what i had left into that final healing… but it was too late. q’ithos had fallen for the last time, and no magic that is available to me could bring him back. i sent one last eldritch blast at that infernal woman, knowing the revenge her dark powers would enact upon me would fell me, then blackness. i came back to khaos instilling the healing potion into my mouth, just in time to watch birk, then in the form of a giant toad, munching on the finally-defeated witch.
the road workers put the remains of q’ithos on their wagon, for burial in white moon cove. the rest of us, most gravely wounded, tried to settle back to sleep as this was only the first watch of the night.
sune watched over us for the rest of the night – none of the other strange happenings turned out to be threats.
in the morning, we broke camp as quickly as we could, and hurried back to the safety of wmc. we succeeded in outrunning the strange happenings before they could hurt us, and we made good time and made it back to town before nightfall.
i would like to commend all my companions on this mission for their bravery and skill in battle. the losses we faced are to be attributed to failure of leadership – leading others and giving tactical commands in battle are not something i’ve trained for, and i failed my team in that regard. i also commend q’ithos for at least the distinguished service cross for valour in combat: never before, and i doubt ever again, have i seen someone fight as bravely as him. engaged with multiple enemies, being brought down by their attacks many times just to be healed back from the brink, he held the line. he held it against superior foes, keeping the pressure on them, saving his companions in the process. not once did he waver, not once did he try to break combat, knowing that if he’d do so he’d doom us all. his sacrifice saved many others from the same fate that ultimately befell him.
i also commend able for the bronze star of valour in combat, for he held the right flank against several enemies as well, keeping them from advancing on the defenceless civilians at great personal risk and getting injured many times in the fight, also getting healed from the brink of death multiple times and still pressing on the enemy. i have no doubt he’ll be a valuable asset to any team that he chooses to accompany.
birk, quinn and khaos also have performed admirably in battle, and i’d be honoured to have any of them accompanying me on future missions. only my limited knowledge of awards and commendations prevents me from suggesting any appropriate to their actions. they most assuredly deserve them.
may sune bless them all in their future endeavours!