The Hidden Hand

Session 7

'Helping' the Halflings

From the Chronicles of Athon Bewick
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During my training, Cadarin had always told me that it was a fine line between being a hero and being a villain, between the light and the dark, between being good and being evil. I never thought much about it until that time we entered that tower near Spellgard. After Gregg had (for all purposes) destroyed the door and then proceeded to launch into an attack into (from my perspective) the first person he saw had caused me to pause before following. At this stage, we had been looking for the Halflings that had been rebuilding the wall and then what Gregg had been attacking suddenly changed into something completely different and at that stage I had felt honour bound to join in.

That battle was now over, and we had a door to our East and a spiral staircase. We had heard voices from the door and that was the way I wanted to go but everybody else seemed to know best so we put a table against it and then ventured up the spiral staircase. On the first floor we encountered fire beetles, seemingly innocuous, they quickly came to attack and bathed some of us fire before they could all be killed. Delamor harvested some fluid from them into a bottle he thought might come in handy later on. The next floor up was empty save for some bare evidence that something had been living here.

Moving all the way down the staircase we found what appeared to be a cellar, with another door in the same orientation as the one on the ground floor, thinking this might be another way round to whomever was waiting we cautiously opened the door and found the corridor blocked. After careful examination several of us declared the obstacle to be rubble.

Returning to the ground floor, we then proceeded through the doors, Zyanne and Delamor led whilst the rest of us followed a short distance behind. We eventually came to another set of doors, he were discussing what to do when a voice from the other side challenged us. Delamor, quick thinking responded and seemed to almost earning some trust when we were asked a question we could not answer and at that stage Gregg started to kick the door in. This one was obviously sturdier than he thought as it took a couple of attempts before it splintered and gave way.

What waited for us in that room would prove to be our toughest battle as yet.

Spitting drakes, monster bats, men with crossbows and halberds, another of the Halflings we had encountered before already changing.

Before any battle there is a pause as the two opposing forces size each other up, that time it seemed to feel an eternity until both forces rushed to meet each other on that small field of battle.

What a battle it was, certainly the fiercest any of us had fought at that time. From the clash of sword to the flash of magic, we were in the fight of our lives and we knew it. At one point, seeing Delamor was possibly in trouble taking on three, I summoned my powers and was able to take his place and tried to take on all of his attackers at once. Although striking them I was unable to bring them down before their combined might brought me down. I was not the only casualty, Gregg and Aradon also suffered similar blows, it took the combined magics of both Aradon and Delamor to save the party (and some potions from Delamor, the existence of which was questioned by glance). Just as we thought we were gaining the upper hand we heard a noise from above, we then saw what looked like undead dogs descending from a spiral staircase in the corner of the room. Delamor hurled his bottle of liquid that he had harvested from the Fire Beetles and Belgarath did his best to ignite it, which he did. However, four of themn entered followed by another Halfling, this nearly destroyed us but due to the perseverance of all of us we prevailed and the Halfling fled nursing his wounds.

We tended to our wounds for a short while and then went after the Halfling, he was not far away and he was quickly subdued and then we started to question him and then the truth began to emerge. They were the Halflings that we had been looking for, they had been cursed a long time ago and the whole clan had come here in order to seek an audience with Lady Saharel. Delamor seemed to take this to heart and offered to help, the Halfling offered to take us to the Clan Leader. We went back to the room of the battle, and descended down the staircase…

Cadarin’s words were ringing in my ears even more loudly now.

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Bogart

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