Alani’s account of the raid on the Sacred Stone monastery
We agreed to raid the monastery at night, so I spent the late afternoon with Ralph, my Barbarian brother in arms, preparing the weapons, sharpening the blades and the arrow tips, and fixing our worn armours. The rush of anticipation from the impending battle running already through our veins, it was useless to get some rest. A few hours ago, we had discussed our attack plan with all the members of the group and agreed on sending the Feathergale knights making a diversion at the main entrance while we would fly over to the target site. Dagny would then create a magic opening in the monastery’s wall to sneak inside and find the prisoners, extract them and at the same time, hopefully killing as many cultists as we could.
When the time came, we suited up with our magical flying costumes, some others rode Edna, a majestic Hippogrif, and Rhennya the druidess excused herself for a minute in the nearby woodland, only to reappear a minute later as a fearsome eagle. We were ready and flew in the sunset towards our next and exciting rescue-and-extract mission.
Upon arrival, everything went like a precisely choreographed dance: Stealthful landing, silent intrusion of enemy lines while the clamour of the diversion could be heard on the other side of the edifice, room-per-room neutralisation of threats. Sheratu was doing a great job with his fireballs, roasting every room to a crisp before the knives would go in and detach the meat from the bones… All along, I was daydreaming about BBQ pork ribs, I have no idea why…
The irony was that with all these fireballs, the residents thought to be attacked by fire cultists, and we didn’t crushed that belief at any point: heat metal spells, flaming sphere, wall of fire, Tinderstrike dagger... it was edging on cultural appropriation! :-) until much later in the last room, Rhennya will finally cast an ice knife into the last cultists we met on that day.
But no plan is ever perfect and we hit our first snag when that bulette decided to jump on Sheratu and Seraphus (who, to be fair, gave him a serious beating beforehand). I could hear the bones of the poor and brave Seraphus cracking under the weight of that large crustacean monster as he landed heavily upon him. Ouch…
Fortunately, I was just behind the dragonborn delegation and as such, became the first in line to make that creature regret its very foolish but instinctive impulse. Time was running out if I wanted to avoid our friends suffocating under the load. So I used my newly-trained tactical move and feinted an attack at the monster who didn’t know better: my precious Tinderstrike went right between two chitinous plates and ripped in the flesh, my second attack was just as devastating, a final blow went from somebody behind me but I was too blind-sided by the ferocity of the fight, that I don’t remember who gave the coup-de-grace. We quickly tipped over that enormous bug and Dagny promptly healed our scaly friends.
By then, the tempo of the mission was dangerously quickening, some more enemies erupted in the corridors and from the rooms we opened: Duegars, Black Earth guards and their spiritual leader came to stop us but a combination of magic, prayers and good ol’ swashbuckling kept us well away from harm or worse: retreat.
We progressed some more until we reached the main hall of the monastery: a vast nave with an Altar that turned out upon closer inspection to have been built for the glory of Moradin and later desecrated to accommodate the rituals of the Black Earth cult. In the middle of the nave, a stony staircase descend into the underground and almost certainly leads to the prisoners we need to extract. Dagny lights up her magic orb and we follow up the suddenly warmed-up trail of the investigation that was one of the main raison-d’etre of our adventuring party.
Passing a caged Umber Hulk was another reason to believe that that place was a large jail and our prisoners were somewhere in there...
|Priest, Guard & Bulette Rider|