4th day, 2nd ride, April, 1372 DR
Rain had come and I was feeling much better, even though my body was aching and painful all over from the fight with the Zhentarim a few days back and that icy blast coming from that strange, infernal chest in Dialan’s tomb.
We had made camp in an old, overgrown hunter’s lodge. A young, sapling tree had been growing out from the lodge’s ground and had pushed its way through the roof, allowing rain to pour in but allowing us enough space to stay dry and start a comfortable fire.
Taking Abel’s advice, Ebon came to talk to me about possibly doing something to cure the ailment that had been inflicted upon him during his bout of greedy desecration. I told him that I didn’t know whether Abaddon would grant me the power to undo what that curse had done to him. That it wasn’t up to me to decide and that I couldn’t possibly predict the outcome of such an exercise. I told him that I would have to take some time to study the weather, to look for signs of Abaddon’s intention with Ebon. I also told him that it would mean he would be indebted to Abaddon for the rest of his life, and that if it pleased Abaddon, what he would bestowed upon Ebon could also be taken away from him.
Abaddon certainly doesn’t judge the actions of men, but he also doesn’t undo the negative consequences of their actions nor fix their mistakes.
Halfway through the night I was awoken by Abel indicating sounds in the distance. I couldn’t hear anything, but he and Ebon assured me that there were sounds of battle and that it was coming closer. We woke everyone up and I quickly donned my armour and moved outside to get a closer listen. We hear wolves howling and… other sounds that we couldn’t readily identify. I was waiting to get a bead on the direction the battle was taking, trying to determine whether it was coming closer or moving past us, hoping to intercept and take a look. Right when I decided to start moving, a woman appeared out of thin air. She was long and lithe and radiant and beautiful. She was unclothed and her hair was auburn and tangled, but still she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. More beautiful even than Kessla. She beseeched me to help her and her companions against their attackers. She couldn’t tell us who the attackers were, but told us they were wolves but not quite. Thorim then emerged from the lodge, just as the woman sank back into the woods and out of sight.
I made a mistake and told him that a lady of the forest was under attack by werewolves. He charged into the woods towards the battle. I realised at that point that the attack on the dwarves at Eagle’s Eerie some time back could have been purpotrated by werewolves instead of wolves. His cousin was killed in that attack, so his rage had been understood. We quickly followed him and found the battle fairly soon.
Before engaging I asked Abaddon to heal the wounds of his injured son and was suprised at the response I got. I felt rejuvenated and ten times better from one moment to the next. I felt his favour coursing through my and I banged my hammer to my shield, igniting it in Abaddon’s light and allowing the sparks that rang off it to protect and shield my body. I engaged the first wolfman I saw, a gnoll I thought at first. Ebon and Thorim killed one. Abel, Roland and Wren incapacitated another and I fought a third. They were attacking a whole host of different creatures. Small women no bigger than my forearms with the wings of butterflies, led by the lady of the forest.
The fight was short and brutal and afterwards the lady of the forest thanked us, but couldn’t tell us more about herself except that she just wanted to keep the forest safe from the invading werewolves. There were more and they had been getting bolder and more numerous, attacking anything in their path. Before she disappeared back into the forest together with those fairies, she gave Abel a token of her esteem. A strange, feathered talisman that could “call forth the power of the oaks,” whatever that meant.
We returned to the lodge and continued our rest.