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Old 06-20-2020, 06:34 AM   #33
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 36 (2020-06-07)

Half an hour later, they felt rested enough, and Leopold called for Mattea. I straightened my dress, and Mattea put on her armor again. I peeked out from behind our boulder, watching Mattea sashay away. Having moved to the side, I couldn’t see the troll corpses anymore, but the pedestal was visible again. Ilzo came into sight from behind the stone wall with a troll corpse across his shoulders. He staggered towards the pedestal and heaved the corpse at the statuette so it toppled off. He shoved the corpse away and grabbed the statuette. The troll corpse exploded! Bone splinters and chunks of rotting meat flew everywhere.

Mattea wisely ducked behind the stone wall with Leopold and Va’lyndra when the troll blew up, but she pulled herself up and looked over the wall as soon as the debris settled. Ilzo lay unconscious on the ground. Serves him right for being so reckless! Va’lyndra felt compassion for him, and dashed for the orc. As she started pulling on him, I saw the remaining intact troll corpse stand up and laugh. I couldn’t see the pieces of the last two trolls, but they started moving towards Mattea and the others, somehow laughing too.

Mattea tried to pull an arrow, but instead hooked the entire quiver off her belt so it fell on the ground. I felt a twinge of guilt. If I hadn’t made her take it off while we were canoodling, she wouldn’t have put it on hastily. The troll summoned a fireball between its hands. Va’lyndra shouted that it was going to explode. By “it” I assumed she meant the fireball, but considering what just happened, she just might refer to the troll itself. She dropped Ilzo and summoned an ice dagger.

Calmly, Mattea picked up the fallen quiver and replaced it on her belt in one smooth motion before pulling an arrow. Va’lyndra shot her magic projectile at the troll, but it didn’t react at all to being struck. It only stood there, its fireball growing. Leopold had pulled out his lightning wand, and peered out from behind the wall to aim at something I couldn’t see. Va’lyndra came running back towards Mattea and Leopold, shouting that they mustn’t let the fireball hit them. I should think they were smart enough to realize that on their own. Mattea jumped up on a rock and aimed at the troll, over the stone wall. Leopold shot a lightning bolt at a troll piece.

Va’lyndra was nearing the cover of the wall, and called for Leopold to move out of the way. One troll piece had made it all the way to Ilzo, and exploded over his still body. He was wearing plate armor, but that still couldn’t be good for him. The intact troll launched its fireball at Va’lyndra, but her flying shield blocked. The fireball exploded, shooting flames everywhere, reaching as far as Va’lyndra and Leopold, and the shield fell smoldering to the ground; better it than Va’lyndra, I thought. Mattea returned fire, but the troll ignored the arrow as far as I could tell.

Covered in soot, but moving easily, Va’lyndra made it behind the stone wall. She told Leopold that he should try earth magic against the trolls. One troll part made its way towards Ilzo, but the rest converged on the trio behind the wall; one was almost upon Va’lyndra. The intact troll laughed again and bellowed that we all would die.

Mattea moved out, leaving Va’lyndra and Leopold between several troll pieces. She drew Scorchmark and tried to slice one of the pieces as she moved past it, but missed. Dropping Scorchmark, she pulled an arrow and fitted it to the string. The troll piece nearest Va’lyndra exploded, and one near Leopold started shaking violently, giving away that it was about to blow. Va’lyndra and Leopold were struggling, but I had only eyes for Mattea, who foolishly had exposed herself to the fireball-wielding troll. She aimed at it while the fireball grew.

A troll piece exploded on top of Ilzo again, and two more blew up near Va’lyndra and Leopold. Mattea released, and her arrow struck the troll in the arm, but it didn’t drop the fireball; I assumed that was her goal. The troll launched its fiery projectile at Mattea, and I squeezed my eyes shut and hid behind the boulder. I didn’t want to see any more. Va’lyndra called out “The fireball arrow!” I didn’t know what she meant by that, but the message wasn’t for me. I could hear the pain in her voice, though. She wouldn’t be much help against the last foes.

Leopold had been staggering, likely on the verge of unconsciousness, like Va’lyndra. I took a deep breath and forced myself to look again. If Mattea had succumbed to the fireball, there might not be anyone between me and the troll, a decidedly unpleasant thought. I sighed with relief when I spotted Mattea. She was standing upright, looking light on her feet, but the troll started running towards her just as she drew an arrow. If the troll had run out of magical energy, Mattea could run circles around it and fill it with arrows. But no, the troll accelerated to something near Mattea’s sprinting speed, so she dropped the arrow and seized Scorchmark, willing it to return to her hand. In a tremendous burst of energy, she moved sideways out of the troll’s path, while giving it a deep cut with the fiery blade. The troll crashed to the ground behind her and started shaking. Mattea ran, as fast as she could, and the troll exploded. There was one last troll piece that still followed Mattea, but she put an arrow through its head, and that was that.

“Olivia! Healing!” Mattea called, running over to Ilzo’s still body. I rose on unsteady feet and ran towards Va’lyndra and Leopold. The elf lay still, but the gnome was conscious. As I began pulling my medicine gear from my backpack, Mattea shouldered in and grabbed a few potions before heading back to Ilzo. I bandaged and treated Va’lyndra and Leopold, while Mattea administered to Ilzo. Leopold dug Walter out of the troll goo and explained what had happened. Mattea pulled Ilzo back to us and deposited him next to Va’lyndra. Then she asked me if I thought Ilzo and Va’lyndra needed more healing salves. I double-checked our supply and told her we didn’t have that many left. We still had quite a few liquid potions, though, which I said we could share with Va’lyndra when she woke up, if she had run out.

I checked on Mattea. While she was still able to run around, that didn’t mean she wasn’t hurt. I discovered to my great relief that although her left side was rather sooty, the only real damage had been done to the end of her braid, and she needed a haircut anyway. I’d see to that when we got some time alone. Mattea always gets hungry after I’ve given her a haircut or a shave.

I realized that lying in the middle of a field of troll goo wasn’t good for my patients, so I instructed Mattea to pull them away. I also went over them again, removing bone splinters. Va’lyndra woke up while I tended to her, and took a few potions of healing, before summoning a water jet to cleanse herself and Leopold. I told them that they had been filled with pieces of rotting troll flesh, which couldn’t be wholesome. If they started feeling ill, they should let me know immediately.

Mattea asked Leopold if he wanted some of our healing potions. His backpack had been in the blast zone of several explosions, and the fragile glass bottles inside had shattered. Mattea offered five, but he would only accept three. I pulled them out of my backpack and handed them over.

When we get back to civilization, I want Mattea to find me a teacher. If I had been trained in surgery, I could have made the necessary cuts to remove all the corpse bone fragments from Va’lyndra and Leopold. I’d even treat Ilzo, if Mattea insisted. I don’t hate him, at least not enough to want him dead.

Ilzo took a full two hours to regain consciousness. After being told about the battle, he said he felt something invade his head when he touched the statuette. He stood up and walked over to the demonic artwork, using Surkalpi and his pickaxe to lift it up without touching it directly. I flinched when he shifted it, but nothing happened. Va’lyndra wrapped a blanket around the statuette, using that to carry it with her. In an inexplicable moment of stupidity, she poked it with her finger, reporting that something pulled mana out of her. Regaining wisdom, she wrapped the statuette up again.

Suddenly, thunder crashed against the mountain and dark clouds gathered in a circle above us. Va’lyndra started a spell dance, and Mattea came running towards me. Ilzo called to Leopold and asked if he could make a big hole in the ground for him to hide inside.

Lightning struck. Two bolts hit the ground between my friends, but the third felled Mattea, who tumbled to the ground, spasming with sparks dancing over her corpse. The lightnings continued to pummel the ground around her. Choked up, I decided it was time to get away. I ran as fast as I could towards the path down from the mountain.
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Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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