Day 125 – Evening
Smoldering structure at the south end of the Ocrian Trade Way
What most would refer to a tomb, I’m going to call it a womb for I feel I have been reborn and the womb I was carried in for 11 days — albeit not a pleasant womb like most others — has nurtured my drive and put me on the path of becoming a more productive being.
My captivity and treatment at the hands of the Melchori Dragon Cult has helped forged me for I am now fueled by vengeance like never before. When Kheg Tealeaf slipped through the birth canal a second time, he emerged as a stone cold killer of the unjust, and a compassionate champion of the tortured and oppressed.
I shall proclaim myself “The Almighty Avenger”, and the world of the Malchori and other miscreants like them shall hear this title ring louder than the cries of those they have tortured.
It was a day like any other day in Ocrey until that pinnacle moment yesterday in that dark swamp west of Myr Derot that a cargo crate was dropped and out sprang 3’6” of terror. It was here in this swamp, the Mere of Dead Men that The Almighty Avenger had risen.
Iarno Albrect, Lord of Neverwinter can rest easy for now for the Malchori Dragon Cult has my full attention. For both the late Hammer and myself and even Hammer’s little pet Pecker, I promise brutal endings for the nutbags behind the dragon masks. With a sharpened focus, the skills I once used to prey upon civilization will become weapons of war against the oppressors and tyrants of Ocrey.
Be forewarned unjust beings, for The Almighty Avenger has been birthed and now stalks the fields near and far.
It was 10:30 am this morning when I made it out of the swamp and by sheer chance ran across Altair and Orlin as they stood in a cindering, smokey roadhouse. I was briefed on Hammer’s demise as Altair tended to the still dying, and told that Peagus was away looking for Flynt who went either MIA or AWOL, but NUTS seems to be the crew’s consensus.
In describing what Flynt did, using the word “goof” would be an understatement, because during a fight with the Melchori, Flynt roasted the entire 2 story building in which they all stood. In the process he scorched himself, his fellow troopers and 13 others of which Altair was able to heal 4 of. Worse is that most of dead and injured were innocent bystanders. Had I not been trudging through the nearby swamp at the time trying to evade crocodiles, snakes and possible recapture, I’d have been with them and possibly in worse shape than I was already in after 11 days of captivity in a crate, in the heat of Southern Ocrey.
Tomorrow, myself, Altair Orlin, Peagus, and some new blue, 8’ freak of nature named Windsplitter will enter a secret passage that was found a couple of days ago inside the former Carnath Roadhouse.
Normally, I welcome new team members, but we have transitioned from purple half elves; to a tiefling; to a half bull; and now to a being not even from this plane. What the hell happened to the most superior humanoids of them all, the halflings? Even humans with their funny looking, round ears are less bizzare than what we’ve scraped together in the last two months.
About an hour into our hike north across the swamp, in a surprising turn of events, I was providing medical attention to our healer Altair as he lay dying from wounds inflicted by some of the 7 crocodiles we encountered. It took a while, but I actually saved the Wood elf’s life. I must admit that I find taking lives more exciting though.
3 hours later into our march we find a campsite at the edge of a massive body of water. It was only a moment later that we noticed 9 humanoid lizards divided into 3 canoes coming towards us. As the canoes split it became obvious they intended to combat us and do it with a flanking maneuver. We adjusted to an according defensive strategy and although the lizards were tactically sound, they just didn’t have what it took to go up against superior warriors. Upon their 4th death, they threw down their weapons and surrendered.
With a lot of effort and patience, Peagus was able to communicate with the leader. He was able to determine that the lizards are also at odds with the Melchori and that they have a hideout deep in the swamp to the north. With our enemy’s enemy now becoming our brothers-in-arms they will take us to the castle tomorrow for it will be a very long canoe trip.
The Winterstorm Troopers are really getting soft on our opposition. I took flak for killing a combatant who dropped his weapons after being stunned by Orlin and this lizard had been trying to kill us and unprovoked I should add only a second before. If Amon Arkham was still around he’d whip these sissies into mentally stronger troops; Amon was a warrior’s warrior. If he knew how limp wristed the Winterstorm Troopers have become over these past 5 months since his death, his few remains would probably be rolling within the pile of gobblin shit he was thrown on outside the castle in Neverwinter Wood.
Tonight we will camp with the lizardfolk in the tents left empty by slain lizards. The other troopers seem uneasy about. Me? …With my stomach full of their smoked fish I helped myself too, I plan on sleeping like a baby. To the victor goes the spoils, and as far as I’m concerned, they’re lucky we don’t have them sleep outside the tents to make more room for us.
We picked up a 6th trooper today…and who would have guessed, another freakazoid? This one’s a lizard named Quetzel. As a ranger his help will be welcomed, but he’s bringing some baggage with him. He’s trying to steer us into helping his brethren take over the Mere of Dead Men, the swamp that marks the western boundary Myr Derot. Although the lizardfolk’s fight is a noble one, I want to complete our current mission and then see what comes next; and with all these mosquitos, ticks and liches, staying in this swamp any longer than I have to is going to make me crazier than Flynt using fire in combat.
After what seemed like hours of tactical discussion, we finally agree that the best 1st step would be for the lizards to escort us to the castle for the purpose of surveying the structure and its surrounding terrain. In hindsight we should have been more tactful in our approach because we were spotted by some cultists standing guard along a high parapet. Our hopes of trying to BS our way in through the front door to avoid the toads is an even longer shot now so it’s time to work on Plan B.
Day 127 – Late afternoon
Mere of Dead Men