Sympathy with the Devil
*23-25 Mirtul, The Year of the Trusted Covenant (1479 DR)
Weighing up the options it doesn’t take long for Malus to decide that out of weeks of digging, fighting Balol or simply meekly acquiescing to his bizarre request even though it is sure to lead to no end of trouble, he opts for the latter; noting that this is not the first questionable pact he has ever entered into.
One fiery handshake later the party are free and Malus has a strange mark on his palm resembling an incomplete sign of Asmodeus. The question remains if Malus made the deal out a sense of self sacrifice for the good of the party, or whether the promise of arcane knowledge from the Astral Sea, albeit from the home to legions of devils, proved too strong a lure for the warlock.
At last able to breathe the relatively fresh air of above ground the party notice the entrance to cave shows signs of activity, leading to the conclusion that the cave-in that had trapped them had been no accident. Although it s fair to say that advanced detection work really isn’t this lot’s strong point so no further information was gleaned from the site.
Eventually the party arrive back at Helm’s Hold, having found no sign of the poisonous dwarf or her devil-worshipping cohorts. The town appears peaceful and busy, apparently freed from the fear of assault by the werewolves.
With several of the party preferring to sit around drinking in the Hungry Flame it was left to Malus and Danforth to go to the monastery and look up Brother Vartan who confirmed the translation of the ritual in Karadhan’s journal to activate the staff and presumably destroy any tainted crystal such as the one found at the bottom of the chasm.
An audience is found with Brother Satarin, who is pleased to see the party return but is disappointed that no news of his old friend’s fate has come with them. He too confirms the chant but also thinks that the handwriting in the journal seems to be subtly different, and that it is possible the chant was written by a different hand to that responsible for the other journal entries.
Meanwhile, back in the tavern, the drinkers’ sojourn is interrupted by a dark shadow passing over the ground accompanied by a series of oohs and ahhhs from the citizens outside. As the heroes investigate the biggest response to the sight of a green dragon flying rather erratically in the sky comes from Bodahn, who, letting out a fairly appalling roar of anger, runs demented in the direction of the beast’s flightpath, which eventually takes him headlong back into the forest with only around 60 miles to go before reaching the foothills of the crags – the mountain range the dragon appears to be heading towards.
Eventually the rage passes and Bodahn falls to the ground exhausted and lost, or at least he would have been lost, had not Kierke followed his friend form the bar, either from concern over his safety, or for the promise of a fight.
But, as is becoming a pattern for these in-between adventure type sessions, Talak manages to end the day with a song as he performs in return for the party’s stay in the pub’s bunkhouse. This time, as he sings the saga of the party’s adventures, he even has the songwriting help , or at least the ‘I’ll say it but you’d better right it down ‘ songwriting help from Kierke:
There was a half elf called Malus
Who was faced with a devil so callous
His bravery fake
He took the handshake,
To be forever in Hell sucking ph*****