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  • Demoa 21: Licking Wounds : CradledDnDStories

     Deborah updated 2 years, 10 months ago 1 Member · 1 Post
  • Deborah

    January 16, 2020 at 2:28 am

    A special thank you to all the patrons who have allowed me to turn something I love into a source of income. Alphonse Coco, Dopamine Coma, Eyvindur Bardason, Grimfel, Jack Lemmer, Jonathan Zieg, Juul van den Bosch, Michael Blaby, Rax Ixor, Sid Smith, Simon Fryer and Zancii Kitty. Thank you all for making this a possibility.

    be me; old LizarDM

    be also me; Anene Nolake (Goliath barbarian), Noemi Meltruik (Aasimar fighter), Pali Ogirn (Half Elf cleric), Savar Tolkic (Dragonborn monk) and Zethark Crulk (Bugbear rogue)

    after learning that the regiment had been murdering civilians in order to inspire loyalty among those allied with them, Savar, Anene, Pali and Zethark returned to the town of Carran to confront the Iron Maiden

    there they discovered that Mia’Lee had been killed during the liberation of Waresdan, and the man responsible, Commander Thaddeus Balmoc, had escaped

    while Noemi prepared to hunt down Commander Balmoc, the rest of the party mourned, struggling to come to terms with the death of their friend. Anene, however, decided that the party could no longer afford to work with the Regiment and gathered her grieving friends to leave

    before they left, Savar and Anene broke into Lomar’s tower and rescued Mako, the hobgoblin warrior from Rasan who they had previously detained. In escaping, Anene went head to head with Rorthak, the goliath bodyguard of Lomar, nearly resulting in Anene’s death

    the party escaped Carran with Mako, leaving Noemi and the Regiment behind

    Noemi walked through the town of Carran, her face a blank slate of emotion despite the warm sun beaming down on her

    the town was in a state of disarray, soldiers running about wildly

    she briefly wondered what the fuss was about, but the thought left her mind just as quickly

    she wandered to the large tower beside the town hall and without knocking, pushed the broken door open

    the sound of raised voices hit her, and she lifted her eyes, seeing Verric arguing with Rorthak at the foot of the stairs, Lomar watching from beside them with a similarly emotionless expression

    as she walked closer, she made out more and more of their argument

    “I don’t care what they did!” Verric snapped, glaring up at the massive wall of muscle in front of him, “they took my plaything, and you let them get away!”

    “they won’t be hard to find,” Rorthak replied, “you will have your toy back soon enough”

    Lomar looked on with a disinterested gaze, arms folded within the depths of his armoured robes

    “we leave you alone for a day, and everything goes to shit,” Verric continued, pacing back and forth. His skin was almost pitch black and occasionally flickered with streaks of white, as if his body were a raging thunderstorm, “couldn’t beat a girl half your size. You are going to make this up to me”

    “I’m not going out of my way to get you a new pet” Rorthak said. His voice was quiet, but the tone hinted at an underlying threat. A brimming anger just barely held in check. “My ties are with Lomar, not you”

    “gentlemen,” Lomar said in his calm, slow voice, “we have company. Please have the curtesy to at least pretend to be civilized”

    Verric glared at Rorthak before snapping his head to look over at Noemi

    “well look at that, they left one behind,” he sneered, “what, didn’t they want you anymore?

    Noemi flicked her gaze between the three men, meeting each’s eyes individually

    “I came here because Madame Chutsk said Lomar had something for me. Now it appears I’ve got other business,” she replied coldly, “what in the hells are you talking about?”

    Verric’s lips curled back and he crossed his arms

    “your friends broke in here last night and made off with the hobgoblin. Though I suppose you already knew that, huh? Left you here as a spy?”

    Noemi felt a cold stab in her chest, but her face gave no impression as to her emotions

    “they left?” she asked

    Verric smirked. “Gone. Nowhere to be seen. Guess they decided you weren’t worth bringing along”

    Noemi nodded slowly, feeling that icy dagger in her chest spread through her veins until her hold body was cold

    “so be it,” she replied quietly. “My loyalty still lies with Azriel. Now, Lomar, what do you have for me?”

    Lomar nodded and turned, walking up the stairs

    Noemi followed him, stepping between the genasi and the goliath, ignoring the looks they sent her way

    Lomar took her to a heavy door and with a tap of his fingertip, unlocked it

    they stepped through into the small room and several lights burst into existence, illuminating its contents

    a large stone table sat before them, seemingly raised from the floor itself

    resting on it was an intricate suit of plate armour, the metal inscribed with a series of glyphs and arcane sigils

    the helm was a single piece of metal with open eyes and a long slit towards the mouth. The forehead of the piece held a dark, crystal-like object, several glyphs carved around it

    in the grasp of the armour’s gauntlets sat a long, red bladed longsword

    Noemi stepped closer, only faintly aware of the Vedalken watching her from the side, and she ran a hand along the sword, her fingers slowly moving to drift over the cold metal of the armour

    her hand finally stopped on the helmet, the simple yet deceptively beautiful craft of steel and magic

    “this is for me?” she breathed, her hands closing around the helmet

    Lomar nodded from behind her

    “Madame Chutsk ordered it specially for you. Tailored to your particular…gifts. I do hope my time wasn’t wasted”

    Noemi shook her head and slowly raised the helmet to her eye level

    Lomar watched on in silence as she slowly placed the helmet on her head, feeling the cold metal around her face

    she felt an electricity through her body, a tingling running down her spine. Power, rippling through her, just asking to be used

    she turned to Lomar, and a faint smile touched the Vedalken’s lips as he saw the woman in front of him, the glyphs of her helmet glowing blue, and her eyes burning white

    “no. It wasn’t,” she said, a smile spreading across her face

    Anene groaned in pain as Pali gently grabbed her jaw, the half elf quickly taking the hand away

    “don’t talk, you’re going to make it worse,” he warned. He looked her up and down and let out a low whistle. “Damn. He really did a number on you”

    Anene grumbled and tried to give a snappy reply, but the pain in her jaw turned her words into a pained moan

    they were camped in a small clearing beside a set of large stones, the tall grass girthing their camp shielding them from the roads they had long since abandoned

    they’d travelled all through the night to put as much distance between themselves and Carran

    by the time the sun was high in the sky they were exhausted and had continued only long enough to find shelter, at least for a few hours

    Pali leaned back and looked over at Savar, who was slumped against one of the stones, a bottle beside him

    the bottle, as far as Pali knew, was unopened, and the dragonborn looking at it wistfully

    Zethark lay unconscious on the ground, snoring loudly, and beside him, Mako lay still, unmoved since they’d released him from his prison

    he turned his attention back to Anene and grimaced

    “you can’t tell me whether or not you want to hear this, so I’m going to just tell you all the things I have to fix,” he said, ignoring Anene’s glare. “He broke your jaw, destroyed your nose, knocked out four teeth, cracked at least 3 ribs and fractured an eye socket. That’s not even mentioning all the cuts and bruises. What were you thinking? You could have died”

    Anene dropped her eyes and Pali sighed, placing a hand over hers

    “I’m sorry. I just lost one friend already, I don’t want to lose another,” he sighed. “Give me a few minutes and I’ll have you looking just like you used to”

    his hands began to glow, running along Anene’s body

    she groaned in pain as her ribs reset, her nose snapping back into place

    Pali pumped more magic into the wounds and ever so slowly, they began to heal. Her lost teeth regrew, and her jaw fixed itself back in position. Her cuts and bruises faded away and her body refilled its lost blood

    when the healing was finally complete, Pali sat back, exhausted and drained

    he rubbed his eyes as Anene sat up, looking over her injuries. Letting out a long sigh, she lay back and rested her head against the ground

    “thanks, Pali,” she said quietly

    the half-elf nodded wearily in response. “No problem, I just…need a little nap…”

    he rested his head against the soft ground and had just closed his eyes when Mako started mumbling and writhing

    Anene and Pali sat up, looking over at the hobgoblin

    his eyelids were shut but his eyes rolled wildly in his sockets. He groaned and mumbled incoherently, breaking out into a cold sweat

    Zethark was awoken from the noises and sat up, his ears flattening against his head

    “Pali…what’s going on?” he slurred

    Pali wandered over to the hobgoblin’s side, vaguely aware of Savar doing the same

    Mako stirred and muttered, rolling more and more intensely

    “NO!” he suddenly screamed, grabbing his head and rolling around, “NO!”

    Zethark whimpered and scrambled back, eyes wide in fear while Savar leapt forward

    “grab him, hold him down. He’s going to hurt himself,” Savar ordered, pinning Mako’s arms to the ground

    Anene went to hold his legs and grunted as his boot snapped out and struck her

    she growled and pinned his legs, even while he continued to yell and struggle against them

    “Pali, do something!” Savar yelled

    Pali touched his mask and with his other hand placed his palm against Mako’s head

    his hand flashed, and Mako took in a deep breath before slowly exhaling, and gradually, he stopped struggling

    his eyes stop fluttering and he started breathing normally

    the party slumped back and looked at the hobgoblin in silence

    “what did you do?” Anene finally asked

    “just some emotion calming thing,” Pali answered quietly, “I used to use it on Zeth. Wasn’t sure it’d work. It’s short term, but it’ll do the trick for a while”

    Zethark slowly lumbered over and sat beside Pali, grabbing his sleeve

    “what’s wrong with him, Pali?”

    Savar stood and shook his head, sighing

    “Verric had him for almost a month,” he said, “who knows what he could have done in that time”

    “he broke him,” Anene whispered, “he got the information, and then he shattered his mind”

    Pali ran a hand through his hair and tapped his fingers against his skull

    “whatever Verric did to him, this is beyond me. I can’t help this guy. I can repair bones and close cuts, but I can’t put someone’s mind back together”

    Savar sighed, and his eyes flicked to the bottle on the ground

    “we did this. We went into that place, dragged him out, and gave him to one of the sickest people in Demoa,” his gaze lifted to the people around him, “I don’t know about you, but I intend to help him. I’m going to make up for what we did to him”

    he looked around at the others, and one by one, they nodded in agreement

    “the Regiment will be after us,” Anene reminded them, “we’ve got a few hours. Let’s get some sleep and get moving”

    Zethark awoke in the middle of the night to a shuffling beside him

    yawning, he rolled over and peered into the darkness around him

    after getting some rest, the party had left their campsite and continued north east, taking them further and further away from Regiment territory

    moving on side roads, the only people they’d come across had been merchants and traders moving between villages

    they had camped in a small grove of trees beyond the road, nestled in a clearing with the open skies above them

    Zethark’s eyes viewed the dark world in tones of grey, and he cocked his head as he saw a figure at the edge of camp, leaning against a tree

    his eyes focused, and he recognized Savar, a bottle in hand, looking up at the skies

    the dragonborn hadn’t noticed him wake up, and so Zethark watched on in silence as Savar held the bottle up to his face and sloshed it around

    he pulled out the cork and took a long inhale of the alcohol, raising the bottle to his mouth

    before he could drink, he paused, and Zethark watched him slowly lower the bottle back down

    his hands shaking, he tipped the bottle, and the alcohol poured out onto the ground

    he let it fall empty before finally, he dropped the bottle beside him

    his hands dropped by his side, and he slowly slumped against the tree and slid down to the dirt, staring blankly between his feet

    Zethark watched, holding his breath, unwilling to make a sound

    he felt a wave of exhaustion flood his body and he yawned again, preparing to shut his eyes

    something shuffled behind him and he rolled over, his eyes blinking back sleep

    and he roared in terror as he saw Mako crouched beside him, a dagger in his hand

    the hobgoblin lunged forward and Zethark flung up his arms as the dagger came flashing for him

    tied up in his bedroll, the most he could manage was to catch Mako’s dagger hand, the shining blade hovering close over his chest

    Mako growled, his eyes feral, and he bared his teeth at the bugbear beneath him

    “I’m not going back. Never again,” he snarled, “you can’t take me back”

    his body was gaunt and weak from his imprisonment, but he had gravity on his side, and Zethark couldn’t stop the dagger from plunging into his shoulder

    he roared in pain, and suddenly, Mako was flung off of him

    Zethark scrambled away as Mako rolled to his feet, dagger in hand, Savar facing him barehanded

    Pali and Anene groaned, awakened by the sudden action, and struggled to get out of their bedrolls

    “calm down, we’re not your enemies,” Savar said, palms outstretched

    Mako’s eyes flicked around wildly, and he flipped the dagger in his grasp

    “I failed. I failed. I failed. You’re not taking me back. I’m not going back to the legion. Failed. Never good enough, never strong enough”

    the dagger darted forward and Savar slipped to the side, snagging the knife hand

    Mako ducked low and rammed his shoulder into the dragonborn’s stomach, and when Savar doubled over, that dagger flicked to the other hand and opened a gash along his side

    Savar hissed in pain and lunged, driving in close to the hobgoblin. His hand caught Mako’s wrist and he wrenched, forcing the weapon out of his hand

    he scooped it up and threw the dagger out of range, only to catch a fist across the jaw

    Anene roared and charged, picking Mako up and slamming him into the dirt, pinning him to the ground

    he struggled and strained to break free, but Pali ran over and planted a hand against his head

    his breathing slowed, and his eyes dilated, and he stopped struggling

    “tie him up before he tries again,” Pali ordered, and Savar rushed off to grab a rope

    they quickly tied the hobgoblin up against a nearby tree, and he breathed heavily, his atrophied body drained

    Palli walked up to Zethark and lay a hand on the quivering bugbear’s wound, sealing it with a burst of healing

    “there big guy. Like it never happened,” he assured, “you go to sleep, okay. We’ll deal with him”

    Zethark stared at Mako with wide, terrified eyes and shook his head vehemently

    Pali looked over at Savar and Anene and sighed

    “you’re scared, it’s okay. I’ll make all the fear go away”

    his hand glowed and Savar’s pupils dilated, and slowly, he fell back, resting his head against the ground

    Pali stood and returned to the others sides, who looked over Mako with distressed expressions

    “you want me to help with that?” Pali asked, gesturing to the cut on Savar’s torso

    Savar nodded silently and Pali closed the wound with a word

    “he said something. What was he saying?” Pali asked

    “he doesn’t want to go back to the Legion,” Savar answered solemnly. “He’s a deserter. Like Zeth”

    “he needs help,” Anene said quietly

    Savar nodded, “yes, but we can’t do it here. We need supplies, supplies we won’t get from any small village”

    Pali looked over and raised an eyebrow

    “we’re going to a town? Potentially thousands of witnesses to tell the Regiment where we were?”

    Savar sighed

    “we have to. It’s the only way to get him the help he needs”

    the town of Bamburgh was a large one, decorated with flags of the Urtonian Empire of Gold

    temples of Kaara, Haseet and Kanja littered the streets, gods and goddesses of the sun, death and harvest

    Savar and Pali opened the apothecary door and walked in, a faint jingle of a bell signifying their arrival

    a few customers looked up as they entered before returning to their shopping

    Pali and Savar wandered up to the counter, seeing a gnome with frizzy hair and large spectacles staring up at them

    “hi! What can I do for you?” she asked, a wide smile on her face

    “hi there,” Pali replied cheerfully, “we’re looking for a bit of medicinal help. Is this the right place?”

    the gnome nodded and leaned forward

    “depends what you’re looking for. Maggie’s Medicines and Marvels can supply all your needs,” she said

    Pali briefly ran a hand across a small set of vials on display, as if he were choosing among them

    “are you Maggie?”

    the gnome paused for a moment before shaking her head

    “sorry, no. Maggie’s my boss. I just work here. But I can still help you. So long as it’s not clerical. We don’t do clerical services. It’s not our forte”

    Savar scratched his head and looked around the store, his eyes unfocused

    3 days of sleep deprivation, without a drink to ease the stress had been hard on him, and the withdrawal was beginning to set in

    Pali glanced over at him and gave him a reassuring pat on the arm before returning his attention to the store attendant

    “do you do any work with insanity?” he asked, “any pills that can help with that?”

    the attendant paused, her fingers drumming on the table

    “insanity…is a tricky deal…what are we talking?”

    Pali grimaced, “bad. Really bad. The patient is catatonic. Has been for nearly 3 days”

    the gnome hesitated for a long time

    “I…I don’t think we have anything to help you here…,” she finally answered

    “do you know someone who could? Someone in town?” Pali asked

    the gnome let out a long, drawn out sigh

    “I don’t often recommend clerical services, since they’re kind of our competition. We don’t deliver clerical services since Maggie doesn’t like associating with deities, but I think, for a case like this, you may find better services in the Bamburgh Hospital. They specialize in war related injuries and…illnesses”

    Pali looked over at Savar and saw the dragonborn eyeing up a bottle of rubbing alcohol, his fingers twitching

    “the hospital is aligned with Urtony?” he asked, “they treat Urtonian soldiers exclusively?”

    the attendant shook her head

    “not soldiers exclusively, but a resident of Urtony should be accepted”

    there was an uncomfortable silence and the gnome slowly nodded

    “I’m sorry sir, I’m not sure we can help you”

    Pali sighed and ran a hand through his hair

    “well what about something for sleep?” he inquired

    the gnome nodded and reached behind the counter, opening a small cabinet

    “we have sleeping draught. Normally to help insomnia, but it’ll put someone out in a jiffy. A bottle should last you a week”

    Pali nodded and reached for his purse

    “how much would that be?”

    “25 gold pieces”

    Pali hesitated for a moment before grumbling under his breath and fishing out the payment

    “do you have anything to reduce desire for alcohol?” Savar suddenly asked

    the clerk looked over, surprised at the input

    “um. Not necessarily sir, but we do offer a detox treatment,” she suggested

    “what does that do?” Savar asked

    the gnome collected the payment off the counter and passed Pali the sleeping draught

    “it cleans out your liver of toxins. Helps the body begin the process of recovering from excessive drinking,” she explained, “it’s not an easy process, so having a medical practitioner around to monitor you would help ease the-”

    “-yeah, give me one of those,” Savar interrupted irritably, “I’ll be fine”

    she nodded and reached behind the counter, producing a series of vials

    “sir, you will have to take 3 drops of this every day. Clerical treatment is effective for withdrawal symptoms, but they can be incredibly expensive. This is a much more natural way”

    “sure, sure. How much?”

    “for all the vials necessary for a month sir, we can offer you a package deal for 30 gold pieces”

    Savar reached around and tapped his pockets, grumbling

    Pali looked over at him, and gave a sad smile

    “don’t worry man, I’ve got it”

    he passed over the payment and took the medication

    “you’ve been a great help, ma’am. Just one last question. Do you know where we could find a healer who’s not associated with the war?” he asked

    the clerk thought for a moment before shrugging

    “you could try Goren, in Emisay,” she offered, “we get supplies from them. They sell medicine across Demoa to all factions, so they might be able to help with your friend’s affliction”

    Pali tipped his head and smiled

    “thanks for the tip. I’ll be sure to give your workplace a good review to those I meet on the road”

    the gnome smiled and waved

    “come back soon!”

    Pali and Savar walked out of the store, feeling the cold winds of Autumn rush through their coats, and Pali turned to the dragonborn beside him

    “it’s going to be a rough road giving up the bottle,” he said, “I’ll help out where I can, don’t worry”

    Savar reached forward and placed an unsteady hand on his shoulder

    “thanks, Pali”

    Pali nodded and they started walking down the main road

    “though I have to say. This is going to be a pretty shit ride. Hiding from the regiment, helping the hobgoblin, getting you clean. We’re in for a world of pain”

    Savar sighed

    “there are dark days ahead of us, that’s for sure”

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