The Lorrimor Legacy

30: Hounded

Trial of the Beast

As night settles in, a powerful windstorm whips through the hills surrounding Schloss Caromarc. Retreating to camp at the edge of a cliff nearby, the company sets watches and beds down for the night – the Goblins hunker down near the safety of the campfire, eying the horses with distrust, while Narsius takes first watch with his gang of gigantic monster skeletons, along with two of Nisca’s soldiers who she insists lend a hand. It is not long into first watch the two soldiers earn their keep as they race into camp screaming “Troll! Troll!” at the top of their lungs, doing their best to rouse the camp to the danger. Right behind them comes the last of the Trolls from the gatehouse, along with his Trollhound, and before Narsius can muster his minions both of the guardsmen are nearly killed. But his menagerie tie up the enemy, doing them no small amount of damage as the others wake and rally. With Narsius healing from afar, the two fallen soldiers Rogi Nodder & Margin Lychim pull themselves back into the fray, and soon Troll & Hound are dead. Meanwhile, the winds have gained such sufficient strength as to nearly blow two of the three Goblins off the cliff’s edge, grabbed and pulled to safety at the last minute by Variel’s heroic efforts.

The next morning Variel determines the weather will remain stormy for another day or so, and leads the Caravan to the safety of a new campsite better protected from the wind and the rain, where they wait out the worst of the storm. The next day they strike out again for Schloss Caromarc, leaving the Caravan under the protection of Nisca’s entourage, while she, Narsius (and Narsius’ new skeletal hound), Kendra, Rogi, Margin, Ursus, Shala & Variel head up to push further in to the Fortress and see if they can’t find the Count.

Forewarned by the Goblins of the Flesh Golem Hound guarding the bridge, they establish an elaborate battle-plan involving Variel and several others shooting it (or dropping rocks) from the gatehouse battlements while Shala magically greases the bridge to slow it down. By the time it gets across and breaches the blocked door, it has already been badly damaged, and in the face of Rogi & Margin’s spears, Nisca’s sword, Narsius’ skeletal pet & Ursus’ glaive, the monster quickly falls.

From there they march across to the front door, the skeletal hound scouting ahead, announcing their presence loudly in hopes someone might answer – but none do. Variel notices a bell-string and pulls it, and hears a ringing further inside. After a few moments, an eye slit opens, but they see no one, and just as quickly it closes. A moment later winds pick up, as behind them a huge funnel of air manifests into a menacing elemental of equally large proportions…

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