The Chronicles of Etinerra

Battling the Damned

Balto's Journal

Once back in Old Fawn, our party rested and took stock. As the mustering of Marshal Roehm’s army filled the town, I met over first breakfast with my adventuring companions Belaldur, Boraen, and Fergus. Boraen was determined to get a powerful bow, and there were rumors that a large party of Legionnaires had disappeared on a monster hunt in the woods northeast of Enonia. Now, they had disappeared decades ago, without a trace – killed by this monster? – but that meant their gear and treasure might yet be unplundered.

As Fergus called Josef and Willie from their weapons practice, and Talvi turned up at Boraen’s side, Grel showed up. By the time we found and rousted the hired tracker Golub, our companion Ostlen joined us. We agreed to seek out the Legionnaires, or what remained of them.

On our way to Ulichton, Grel became increasingly agitated. He finally asked Boraen a question, and Boraen pulled out a chunk of chaos crystal from the summoning circle. Grel said the chaos it emitted would be a threat to us, and his holy water scarcely marred it. We stopped in Ulichton and Grel passed it along to a cleric of his cult, with instructions to take it to Jorann in Enonia for disposal. We checked on Meesha’s cult settlement, then headed into the woods on our quest.

The monster that the Legionnaires had hunted in the Darkwoods was a large beast that only attacked at night, in the dark. After we settled in for the night, and set watches, we heard it crashing towards our camp, but our fire seemed to warn it off. The next day we followed its path of broken trees and undergrowth, until we came upon a well-worn path. We gave off our pursuit of the monster and followed the path.

Late that morning, we heard the sounds of soldiers marching towards us, and we melted into the woods. Boraen leapt high into the tree above the path; the rest of us hid amongst the underbrush. Eighteen Legionnaires, disciplined and eerily quiet, marched two abreast down the path. They did not seem to note anything to the sides, and I wondered if they had been cursed. I cast a stone into the woods to their right and behind them and nine peeled off and searched through the woods before rejoining their fellows, who had waited on the path.

Then things got interesting. Boraen dropped down behind them, and they whirled around and charged towards him. Boraen tried to leap back into the tree, but missed the branch. Grel shouted to me, “Use Entangle,” and I called on the plants to rise up and stop the Legionnaires.

Except they weren’t Legionnaires anymore. They were Damned – the first I had ever seen! And they weren’t all entangled, either! It was a desperate fight. Boraen was surrounded and hard-pressed, and I was injured when a couple came clawing and biting at me towards the end of the battle.

Belaldur and Grel had hoped to capture at least one, but the rest of us shouted them down – how were we to get these terrors through the forest? And could they even be cured, after these many years? – and all these Damned perished.

They had nothing but armor and weapons, but of very fine make. Those of us who needed weapons took them; Boraen cut a fine figure in the armor. Willie and Josef wanted to use the armor, too. but once back in town, we convinced them to relinquish the Legionnaire armor (and the enmity of any Legionnaire they ran into) for some fine chain mail. We left the gear with Amifrey, our contact and fence in Old Fawn, and he arranged to sell it on our behalf.

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