Well, I survived. Obviously or I wouldn’t be writing this. Just barely. And, I am learning that I do not do so well in caves. Not enough air space to shoot, I think.
We were joined by an Aevakar male that Thunk and Rak know. Jossifer was still inside with one of Oggo’s men. The three decided to go in through the front. I searched for a second way in, just to make sure no one doubled back on us. I found it. Unfortunately. I followed the riverlet around the cave, passed the men that we had staged as playing a game of cards. I do not think I will ever forget the look of shock on their faces as an ogre charged forward screaming, “Help! Help! Thunk need help!” I do not know that I would have done any better. Once I entered the cave, I heard a tinkling noise. And my skill with a bow failed me utterly.
I was confronted in the shallows of the cave pond by two men. They looked like red, hairless dwarves. One pulled out a crystal weapon and shot me with it. It looked like a bow, but instead of arrows, it discharged an energy bolt.
I am no idiot. Compared to an Ogre, Orc, or Dragordian, I am still crunchy. I screamed like the little girl I am inside, switching from bow to sword in an attempt to maybe perhaps not get dead. Hey. I am not so overly proud that I won’t ask for help when I need it.
Rak came to help me. I thought. He killed the one on the other side of the pond, while I tried very hard not to become further mobile target practice. I failed at that too. I heard more fighting up ahead, and knew that Rak would be the only one able to come. He killed the second one as well, his blood heating. I stupidly ignored that, grabbed my bow, by passed the two boats in the cave’s pond, and rushed ahead to help Thunk and the Aevakar. On my way, Rak ran me down, nearly killing me. I learned later, that he really hadn’t meant to. But, as I am learning with this group, I should always remain at least Thunk’s arm reach away from any of them. The bird man healed me. Rak went forward to help Thunk. Once stable, Corvus and I went to assist. I kept my distance from the lizard guy. Head reeling, I think I shot one more of the Prelacy Pri… uh, the enemy.
Thunk dispatched the leader. Once things were quiet, we healed one of the Prelacy soldiers and began to question him. The hairless guys were called Builders. I do not know much about them, but they do not like other species.
While the healing took place, Thunk and I looked around the cave. There was another room, complete with maps, books, tables, and sleeping quarters. One map had several of the southern cities circled. Battle plans perhaps?
The soldier kept insisting that our southern churches would burn. Thunk let me question him. Or, at least, didn’t stop me. I sat the guy in a chair and shot him through the leg with an arrow, embedding the head through the seat. That way, I didn’t have to worry about his possible ability to squirm out of any bindings. He threw several insults at us, but refused to translate his language. As he is Prelacy, he does not like non-humans. I looked at his bleeding leg and decided some wet work was in order. Thunk turned around, and Corvus and Rak decided to go through the hole in the floor under a hoist, as I dropped my trousers. No washing the mingling of body fluids out of that wound. He was now tainted. And it got us a little more information. Such as that it was almost too late. The orders had been given.
I thought hard. This guy was a fanatic. The idea hit me that defiling his holy symbol, as he had, or his group had, planned to damage the Church of Light, might not be a bad idea. I dropped one of his beloved trinkets into a used chamber pot.
My work done, Thunk and I got out of the guy that several churches would be targeted with flame inducing bombs.
Once Corvus came back through the hole, avoiding the lift, he described what was in the chambers below and handed over two pieces of broken crystal. This cave had once been a Builder lair. Rak appeared a moment later. We talked a moment, collected the Builder weapons, and decided to pack up the war room. Corvus flew ahead to Lanthor with a warning. Which, by now, you know all about.
The two boxes that had grunted were two Grey Lanterns that the group had wanted you to help find. They had been gassed with some sort of vapor. I do not know what happened with them in the middle of combat, or about Jossifer or Oggo’s last man.
We packed the war room details in the crates, loaded everything on the cart, and put the soldier, still arrow-bound to the chair, on the back. I sang Brinchie lullabyes to him on the way back. As Da would say, “Mother would have a cat.”
I got a bath soon after we delivered the news and the captive to Lanthor’s Grey Ranger HQ. It was there that I discovered that I do indeed, have a tail. We all got some rest, then headed over to the Church of Light, in order to keep watch. By location was the back of the building.
It was a good idea of Thunk’s. Mid-morning, the next day, there was an assault on the Church. Through the graveyard. Rak inspected one of the mausoleums, being watched by a couple of humans visiting the walled area. He left to get a key, and combat broke out. Thunk intercepted a man trying to break into the same locked crypt. We shot several people. But Thunk was a hair too late. The device went off, and Thunk nearly died. His neck is now scarred, with the Church of Light symbol permanently burned into the side of his flesh.
I hope this tells you who these people are, Johanna. Some of them may act a little strange at times. But they have the common good’s interest at heart. I will remain with them for a while longer. I can only hope that other groups of Rangers took the warning seriously and saved the Churches in other cities.