Expedition to the Barrier Peaks

Monkeyshines - 09

The heroes decided that the empty cave was a good enough place to camp for the night. Barovar dismissed his eidolon to his extraplanar home for the night, and laid out his bedroll near the back of the cave, behind all of the others, and offered to take first watch. Aldeen set his backpack down for use as a pillow, putting his left hand behind his head and into his backpack. His right hand held the handle of his earthbreaker resting across his chest. Rhogar curled up with Ripmaw, saying a prayer to Trudd for the spirit of the bear that was forever lost to the maw of the basilisk.

The paladin nudged the druid awake. “It was a quiet watch for both of us.” The druid lay down farther out towards the cave entrance, but was wide awake. Sniffing. Watching. Listening.

The sun would be rising soon, and the druid was running an inventory of their food supplies in his mind for breakfast. Then he heard a grunt from the cave entrance. Then a responding grunt. The dire bear form scooted back to use the turn of the cave wall as cover, and nudged the paladin. The druid put his paw across the paladin’s mouth to indicate that he should be quiet. The paladin moved back further in the cave to alert the summoner.

The druid watched for movement, and figured there were at least four creatures, at least as large as himself in his dire bear form. But one wasn’t as stealthy, and Rhogar could make out a shaggy four-armed creature. Then one came at him from his left. The creature’s claws raked at his face and chest, rending the gashes apart with powerful muscles, and the jaws clamped down, reaching the flesh beneath his thick fur. The druid grunted in pain as his life’s blood poured forth, his snout going pale.

A hound archon appeared next to the druid, greatsword slicing through thick abdomen muscles, spilling entrails to the floor. The creature tried to stop his innards from spilling forth with his two lower arms, raking its own face with the other two from the pain.
The paladin rushed forth and grabbed the dire bear as healing powers flowed into the druid’s wounds. The summoner drew a thin wand, and offered further healing power to the torn druid.

As the druid tried to defend from another round of slashes from the beast, everything went dark. His darkvision could not make out the beast, and the summoner’s orbiting tiny torchlight was gone. The druid sniffed and listened. He thought he heard some low grunts near the cave entrance again.

The summoner quickly went into spellcasting, to combat the darkness. Although he was certain that his own spell had worked, it was still darker than darkness. The other heroes tried to swing at the darkness where the beast had been standing, but did not connect with anything solid.

The half-elf expended another use of his dispelling magic, and the utter darkness was gone. The beast and its brethren were gone as well. There was a considerable amount of blood splattered about the spot where the beast had stood. It was probably dead, and didn’t know it yet.

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