Way of the Wicked
20 - Banner Verdant
Chapter 19: Banner Verdant
Over the next few days we spent a considerable amount of time debating what to do with Vetra-Kali once we freed the beast. We knew that we would trade the first of his eyes for our own security, the second for the Tears of Aklys but the third remained a point of contention.
Frohike and Tylus visited Zikomo and partook of his vision juice although were not able to get any clear answer to their queries. Tylus wanted to command the great demon to attack the Cathedral of Aroden Made Manifest located in the Vale of Valtaerna where the highest holiest of that dead religion reside. The hope being they would either destroy the demon or the beast would do our work for us.
I was of the opinion that we should simply force the beast to leave this world and Dunn didn’t seem to care all that much one way or the other, his philosophy being that we had a task and Asmodeus would handle things thereafter.
As we debated these things the alert horns sounded from the lower caverns of the Horn of Abbados. By the time we reached the scene of the fight the Boggards were in full retreat. A hearty band of adventurers blew through them easily. Apparently they knew where they were going; for our allies told us they spoke of heading to the first floor.
We rushed to the first floor and through the complex arriving in the nick of time. The invaders were led by a little gnome who knew not only our defenses but our names and supposed crimes. He was supported by a fearsome archer who all but sent Tylus to an early grave.
The little gnome knew us by name and when he spotted Tylus he alluded to the events that led to our friends imprisonment in Branderscar. The words spoken by the gnome seemed to strike directly to the heart of Tylus who, in his rage, almost charged to his death. While my own experiences with the clergy of Aroden was unpleasant I suspect that Tylus suffered far worse. I’ll say no more on that topic.
In addition to the archer our foes had a potent healer and a stout warrior but as they stood on the landing it was The Alchemical Golem who saved the day by lobbing fire bombs, down from the third floor overlook, onto our foes. This drove them into the hallways where our Boggard crossbowmen were finally able to bring their presence to bear.
I manage to stabilize their healer but the others were too far gone to save. The battle in the lower caverns was particularly costly as we lost half of our Assassin vines, several mudmen, and a number of Boggards. This caused a general rearranging or our defenses and there was still no sign of the dreaded silver dragon we had heard so much about.
We found a journal on the gnome which told us that Elise and either Trik or his twin-brother Trak betrayed us to the Banner Verdant. One of the two gave all our secrets to the gnome and his friends clearly under the orders of Elise. We were to learn much of Trik and Trak in the coming days but I will save that for the next chapter. The fate of twins rests heavily on my mind all these years later. I did not know that our solution was the best and after years of soul-searching I’m convinced that I will never know. Such is life … and death.