Kingmaker

The Shrine of the Elk

Session 7

Liluye’s memory of the purification of the Shrine of the Elk came in fragments. She remembered seeing the bear for the first time:



The blighted monster hurtled out of the shrine in a shower of rubble. The beast was gigantic. Its enormous paws tore the earth open where it trod; its hulking shoulders smashed trees into toothpicks where it passed. Its eyes were like fogged glass marbles. The ursine abomination roared; an earth-shaking bellow that sent out a shower of gray spittle.



Liluye remembered how nature obeyed her call.


The behemoth lunged forward. The ground shook as it charged – Liluye reacted. The bear needed to be restrained, to be slowed down. In Druidic she called upon nature and it responded more powerfully than it ever had before.

The vines in the area erupted into action, slithering to life like black-thorned anacondas. The radius of the vines awakening was tremendous, ensconcing almost the entirety of the visible battle field. A maelstrom of ivy seized the blighted bear. The bear jerked to a halt. A moment later a crossbow bolt from Jac thudded into its flank.

Liluye had been shocked by the ferocity of nature’s aid in response to her plea. Never before had nature given itself so freely to the elf. In the past, the most Liluye had been capable of doing was make leaves twitch of their own accord… and that was when the new druid was concentrating so hard that sweat dripped down her brow.

Something had changed.



Liluye remembered her animal companion’s will.


“Wander! Rhoi’r gorau i!” shrieked the elf to her animal companion, commanding him not to approach the viral bear. Liluye was terrified for her friend; if Wander engaged in melée combat with the diseased bear it would surely rend him to pieces.

Wander ignored her.

The stag tossed his antlers proudly and let out his war cry; a bugle that came from deep inside his chest. The megaloceros’ muscles rippled under moon-pale fur as he reared up and charged into the fray. The vines did not discriminate. Their thorns sliced crimson ribbons into the elk’s pallid fur. Wander ignored them and stomped gustily through the difficult terrain.

As he charged, a golden halo surrounded him.



Liluye remembered seeing evidence of her god in the battle:


Jhod‘s bow glowed with that same golden aura and his shot was truer than any Liluye had ever seen. The cleric’s arrow pinned the bear’s broken arm to its own ribcage.

Wander glowed with shimmering light and when his antlers struck the bear they sent out a shower of faint gold sparks. Similarly the blighted bear’s blood was black ichor. Shadows poured like vomit from its unhealthy maw. Wander’s white body was soaked with black and red blood, a flag of battle. The elk was badly wounded.

The bear’s neck was strangled by toxic vines. Bannon and Kelak were flanking it (Kelak was actually standing on its shoulders so he could more effectively chop at it). The eagle she had summoned screamed as it harried the bear’s back. The diseased bear slashed into Wander twice with its claws and then sunk its teeth into the elk’s shoulder. Wander’s furious bugle was cut short and the companion fell into unconsciousness, slumping in the bear’s jaws. Black toxic slime oozed out of the ursine monster’s mouth and onto the fading symbol of Erastil.

Purest gold light began to pour out of Wander’s wound. The light from Erastil was at war with the bear’s evil… but Wander was dying.



Liluye remembered how it felt to see the stag she’d raised from a fawn dance on death’s doorstep.


Liluye dashed forward, calling upon nature’s power in the hopes of healing her beloved companion. Mikmek and brother were within the bear’s range for its next attack. Jhod, from behind the slight elf, roared, “FINISH HIM, LILUYE!”

The druid reacted immediately. Instead of raising her hands in preparation to heal, the slender blonde skidded to a halt and hauled aloft her antler bow. If her friend the elk was to die, then this sick abomination would at least go before him.

The audial world, for Liluye, became muffled. Everything but the bear blurred in the elf’s keen vision. She could see thumping pulse in the animal’s straining neck, a tiny window revealed between the clutching vines she had summoned earlier. The elf whispered in Druidic: “Gadael iddo fod yn wir, Erastil.” In response, her arrow lit up like an ignited sunrod.

Liluye fired true.

The bear’s head separated from its shoulders as though a giant’s axe, not an arrow, had cut through it cleanly. Its body collapsed into the vines, dissolving away into the form of a decayed man which in turn transformed into ashes. The bear was felled.



Liluye remembered Jhod’s solemn suggestion that it was Erastil’s will that Liluye be the guardian of these woods. But more than anything else, Liluye remembered the incredible strength she felt inside of herself.


Liluye ruminated on her newfound power. She was growing exponentially in strength in only the short period of time she had spent pursuing this charter. Nature responded to her call with a ferocity she could only imagine in her dreams. Beasts rushed to defend her. Healing energy came from the earth through her hands. The very earth rose up to restrain her enemies.

This power was… intoxicating.

Comments

This is epic. I wish combat had these good of adjectives when I blurt it out! I especially like that the whole party gets mentioned!

The Shrine of the Elk
Cunningdrome malignantlibrarian

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