Saturday, January 9, 2010

Last Few Sessions, Part 3

Believing that the remaining wounded owlbear was in all likelihood the last of its kind in the cave, Wahleed urged the party to venture after it. Killing the beast would be the only way to ensure safety for the party. There was another reason as well - this many owlbears in one place suggested that they were a family, and that meant that the possibility for owlbear whelps or eggs existed. Immature or unborn owlbears were highly valued in civilized regions, and the sale of such creatures could help offset the cost of their latest expedition.

Meatwad, for his part, was furious at Alaric for his interference with the owlbear. The fighter felt that he had the situation well in hand, and that the magic-user has needlessly interfered. Alaric was unapologetic, saying that if Meatwad had been in control of the fight, he would have killed the owlbear quickly. Meatwad gave the leaner man a shove, telling him to stay out of his way in the future. With that, he plunged into the darkness, the rest of the party close behind.

The remaining owlbear was found hunched over a pile of mud and leaves with a hollow top - a crude nest fashioned by the clumsy claws of the beast. Within the nest, the party could see feathers and fur moving about. The owlbear had young! The expedition might not go to waste after all! Unwilling to try the frontal approach in their wounded state, Meghan and Meatwad moved to each of the creature's flanks, hoping to pin it down. The enraged creature startled them by rushing from the nest with a protective cry and slashing wildly at the satyxis. It's first attacks were clumsy, and Meghan easily stepped aside, readying her spiked chain for a counter-attack. At the same time, Meadwad advanced on the nest. From his vantage point behind Hinda, Wahleed reminded the fighter that the owlbear young were useless to the party dead. In order to sell them, they would need to be taken alive.

Meatwad nodded in acknowledgement, and prepared to use the flat of his blade on the creatures, when they suddenly leapt from the nest in a tide of fur and feathers. As the startled fighter attempted to gain distance from his vicious assailants, Meghan swung her spiked chain in a wide parabola at the owlbear in front of her, hoping to shatter the creature's skull. With surprising agility, the beast ducked under the whirling chain and sunk its beak into her chest. Blood welled up from Meghan's throat as she sank to the floor, losing consciousness as her body went into shock.

With a startled cry, Hinda rushed forward to help her fallen companion. The owlbear reacted quickly, raking its claws against the cleric's armor, but Hinda held the attacks at bay while she whispered a hurried prayer to her God. Blue light streamed from her hand into the Meghan's comatose form. But on this day, the Gods proved fickle, and while her wounds closed, the satyxis' breathing remained shallow and labored. She would live if she could be evacuated, but was still out of the fight. Not wanting to risk another prayer with an owlbear at her throat, Hinda turned away from Meghan and prepared to do battle.

It had become apparent to Wahleed that he would be needed in this fight, even though his magical power was rapidly fading. With a wave of his hand, the Shi'ar sent shafts of green light into the owlbear. As the light passed through it, the creature screamed in pain, but the agony only spurred it on with renewed fury. With an inarticulate cry, the owlbear savaged Hinda, its claws tearing into the cleric even as it grabbed hold of her. She could only struggle feebly against the creature's grip as it tore at her side with its beak. The world swam briefly, but a surge of adrenaline brought it back into focus. Hinda strained against the grip of the strange beast - if she had any hope of surviving, it lay in her escape.

Meatwad, trapped and outnumbered, began to feel fear grip him - numerous wounds has sapped his strength, his mobility was compromised, and was separated from his allies, most of whom were in a similar situation. Panicked, he attempted to break free of the horde of owlbear whelps. He nearly made it before the pack of beasts pulled him down.

As Wahleed threw more spells at the monsters, he commanded Jombi to get help. Even as he spoke, the whelps turned their attention to him, and only a quickly-timed illusion protected the Shi'ar from their wrath. The Gen fled toward the cave entrance, but it wasn't needed - Alaric, armed with his scroll caddy, began to weave a powerful enchantment on the owlbear young. In seconds they were asleep. For the second time in an hour, Alaric had rescued Meatwad. The magic-user let fly his final spell, sending another flaming sphere into the owlbear that had Hinda at its mercy. The sudden pain weakened the beast enough that the cleric could free herself, but she was still too weak to be of much use. With a final desperate flourish, Wahleed sent what divine energy he had into Hinda, revitalizing her just as the owlbear recovered from its shock. Rising, the cleric swung her weapon into the monster's astonished skull, shattering it.

The battle was ended, and the owlbears captured. Charles and Marko went in to the cave to recover their employers, and reestablish camp.