So apparently, the last thing I remember was taking all my explosives and blowing up a gargoyle for the party. Which was then followed by the weirdest psychedelic dream of other dimensions and succubi. When I opened my eyes, I was lying in the middle of crater I made, completely singed and internally bleeding, no biggie. The next few hours flew in a blur, but I woke up back in Grug and Val’s farmhouse. I tried to say something about the dwarf looking really gaudy and awful, but Val gave me some soothing tea that promptly put me to sleep.
I woke up the next morning feeling pretty good, with my organs in place, bleeding less, and skin less crispy. Eric had been examining the artifact and said that without further reference, he couldn’t decipher it. He needed very specific tools, tools which can be found only at one place, Gnome Mountain.
We made our goodbyes and thanked Grug and Val for her hospitality and made our way back to the trading post through the mountains. First night was uneventful, on the second night, a pack of wolves decided we were a tasty night snack, but we showed them otherwise. I decided to forgo my usual method of throwing sulfuric delights at the enemy and decided to do the next best thing, I shoved a bomb into the open mouth of a wolf and hopped away. The radius of the gore spread was impressive (I can’t believe that actually worked, whoohoohoo!).
Other than that, we made the rest of the trip through the mountains without anymore trouble and found ourselves on plains. As we were passing through, we found a farmhouse to spend the night in and a farmer to chat up for information. In exchange for shelter for the night, we agreed to do some chores. I’m making omelettes in the morning.
Fast forward a day or two and we were at an inn for the night; as everyone dispersed to their rooms, Catlynn noticed that Grimr was looking at Belborin strangely and mentioned it to me. I needed to get to the bottom of this, so I went to go talk to to Grimr at Catlynn’s suggestion.
Apparently it was a bad timing for Grimr because he was taking a bath as I busted through the door. He was rightly outraged as he tried to stumble out of the tub, so I thought he needed so cheering up first before starting a heavy conversation. Everyone loves a bit of sparking and explosions, so I threw in a small handful of elemental sodium. Grimr told me that he detected an aura of evil surrounding Belborin and thinks that he is possessed by a demon, which made sense since Belborin threatened to kill Eric if they both shared a room together.
After telling Catlynn of my findings, I approached Belborin to see if he really was possessed or his homicidal internal voice was just getting louder. As I talked to him, Belborin retreated into a dark corner of his room and disappeared from site. Thinking that he was just hiding from the conversation, I walked to the corner and tried to poke him to get him out of the cloak if he was.
Bad idea, he mind blasted me with some the most disturbing images possible, I never knew it was possible to do that with a ginger cookie and a jar of oil. After great effort of will power fighting the bad images with food, I emerged from my mindscape and immediately alerted Grimr and Rolim the danger that Belborin now represented.
To the temple we went to find ourselves a priest that specialized in demon extermination which they told us was out of their league. Guess it fell to us then to defeat our possessed companion. With some holy water from the temple, I turned my bombs into three holy hand grenades.
Catlynn and her big house cat rounded up the villagers to the temple for safety and we set about lighting torches everywhere to not give the shadow demon a place to hide and attack from. As we finished up lighting up the town, Belborin emerged from the inn’s basement ready to do battle.
Grimr launched towards Belborin, leaping 30 ft into the air, into a domain that a dwarf had no business in, striking at him with his divine sword. Belborin unleashed a jet of magical fire at him that missed by scant inches, but lit a nearby house on fire. Rolim responded in kind with his holy arrows, but like Belborin, missed by mere inches, and unlike me did not hit our dwarf fighter with his missed shot.
Damn’d dwarf, I’m a half-ling, I can’t run at fast as he can leap so while he got the first stab in, I was running towards them. Ten feet from the fight, I took out the first grenade and threw it. I missed, but some of the holy water splashed onto the demon and he took off into an alleyway, jetting fire onto the ground. Grimr with his boots leaped over the fire and engaged in close quarter combat once more. I’m not sure if Rolim’s second arrow hit as I took off running again, only to be stopped by that searing flame, but I was close enough. My luck with throwing hasn’t been all that good, so there was a real danger that it might hit my dwarf companion, but the demon needed to be defeated.
My second grenade soared through the air and demon-Belborin was kind enough to catch it with his face. Unfortunately, Grimr was in the blast radius as well and took some of the concussive damage from the explosion, but none from the holy water as he was a divine champion.
With that last shot, Belborin fell unconscious and the demon took over his body, emerging with his black shadow wings in full display. With a parting roar of how he was darkness, death, and unable to be defeated, he spread his wings and took off into the night.