The Darkwinter Company are back in Phandelin selling their loot and making plans.
Xaven takes his time to cast Detect Magic as a ritual on the elf statue from the Owlbear room. It is fey and is Divination/Augury magic. He asks it “What is the greatest threat to us in Wave Echo Cave?” An answer is heard in his head. It says “Rohkthwar.” Xaven then asks “What nature of creature is Rohkthwar?” He receives no answer. Niki then asks the same question and she does receive an answer which is “A devil.” Yikes! So the statue might answer only one question per person per day or maybe even only one per person. They stash the statue for later use.
The Company realize there are threats to Phandelin that they have not yet dealt with like a band of orcs they were told of, and some undead at Old Owl Well. There is also the Banshee that the priestess wanted them to go to for her and of course, the dragon at Thundertree.
It is decided the orcs should be dealt with first.
Having been told the general area that the band of orcs have been terrorizing, Niki is easily able to locate their base. It is on the lower slope of a hill. A rugged ridge runs up to a plateau from which smoke is rising from a campfire.
Scarp scouts up in the trees and sees a pig-faced orc standing guard at a cave mouth where the campfire is.
Niki and Gavaris sneak to the plateau and hide behind some boulders. Gavaris readies his bow in case Niki’s assassin’s arrow doesn’t down the guard. Her arrow flies true however and pierces the orc’s brain through its eye. He falls in a heap. “Surprise!”
The sign is given for the rest of the party to join them. They wait for 2 rounds to see if there is any response from the cave to the guard suddenly falling down with an arrow sticking out of its eye…. nothing.
The party sneaks up closer, while Niki and Gavaris sneak closer to the cave mouth. Gavaris recognizes the orc as part of the Many Arrows Clan… The clan that destroyed his home.
Xaven casts Mage Armour.
The not-so-quiet members slowly make their way closer to the cave, staying hidden behind boulders.
Getting ready for their assault, Gavaris whispers to Niki, “These guys are mine. I know them… They slaughtered my people.” He has Inspiration.
Niki takes point and peers into the cave. It is quite small and there are 9 orcs and 1 ogre in there. They are playing games and hanging out. Totally unaware. Just how we like it.
Sam gestures and whispers some divine words while sprinkling some holy water. Everyone but herself and Gotha are now Blessed.
Gavaris (22) delays for Gotha.
Gotha (21) whispers an incantation. Two of the four orcs he targeted are now glowing with a violet outline, making them easier to hit.
Gavaris, with a gesture and a prayer to Meiliki, is now filled with divine radiance (Divine Favour, bonus action). With Sam’s Bless and advantage gained from Gotha’s Faerie Fire he just manages to hit one of the violet orcs. The arrow, glowing with Meiliki’s radiance pierces it’s chest and it falls, dead! (14pts).
Gorm (16) moves out from behind the boulder and sends two hand axes twirling through the air. Both ka-chunk into the Ogre (the 2nd thanks to Bless. 19 pts). He’s still up.
Xaven (13) holds a diamond while arcanely gesturing and chanting. A Chromatic Orb appears in his hand and after fluctuating colours it stops on green. He throws it and it splits in two. One slams into the ogre (14 pts) who remains on his feet, and the other into an orc who falls, barfing poison with his last breath. (17 pts)
Niki (6) sends an arrow flying at the ogre. It buries deep in the ogre’s chest (32 pts, assassinate). He grabs the arrow and falls on his ass.
Sam (5) says a payer with words and hands to Fharlaghn, and the ogre turns to ashes in the Sacred Flame.
Niki drops her bow and impulsively enters the cave drawing Talon and her scimitar. She sneak attacks an orc with Talon, the blade piercing its lower back, and slashes with her scimitar opening a bloody rent in its armour (19 pts) but it doesn’t fall.
Xaven using his diamond again, conjures an icy Chromatic Orb. He hurls it and it splits in two. Two orcs are hit… one right in the face. He freezes solid then breaks into frozen bloody bits (crit 25 pts). The other remains standing (12 pts).
Orc Group 3 (#1,2,3) all move to the mouth of the cave where Xaven is standing. #1 passes by Niki who manages to stick him (8 pts). They proceed to slash at Xaven with great axes. All three manage to penetrate his Mage Armour and the sorcerer falls, bleeding.
Gavaris delays for Scarp.
Scarp moves to flank an orc (#1) with Gavaris.
Gavaris says a quick prayer to Meiliki who imbues his main-hand short sword with thunderous power (Thunder Strike, bonus action). He stabs it at orc #3 who is pierced by the blade and knocked back by the booming thunder (19 pts). He falls and does not get up. Gavaris then flicks his off-hand blade at #1, bloodying him (7 pts).
Orc Group 2 (#5, 6) converge on Niki. #5 fells Niki with a wicked slash of his great axe. #6 continues to move to the mouth of the cave. His axe swings at Scarp and the pseudodragon disappears in a cloud of bats.
Gotha doesn’t care for that at all. Taking some sand from a belt pouch he says the incantation for Sleep and blows the sand towards all the remaining 5 orcs. 3 of them succumb and lie down for a nap (#1,2,6).
Sam creates some divine fire to rain down on one of the orcs who didn’t fall asleep (#5) who gets singed. (2 pts)
Gorm moves and flanks #5 with Gavaris. His maul thuds sickeningly into its stomach. Gorm then activates his Action Surge and brings his maul up, taking the orc in its chin, snapping its head back with such force that it snaps its neck..
Only one orc is left standing… it looks like the orc boss who was standing beside the ogre before the attack.
Gorm kills him.
Gavaris leans over and lays his hands upon Xaven’s terrible wounds. He murmurs a few divine words… the wounds close and Xaven awakens. Gavaris then does the same for Niki while the rest of the company dispatch the sleeping orcs. They finds some coins and perfume bottles, and collect the great axes and javelins (see Loot).
One orc is kept alive for Gavaris to have a word with. The orc says they were following orders from the Eye of Grumsh. Gavaris asks him if he has ever been to High Forest. The orc claims to never have heard of it. It’s possible… the Many Arrows Clan is very large and spread out. It seems this was just a raiding party. The orc says “You’re gonna let me live for talking, right?”
He shuts up. Gavaris slits his throat.
They decide to rest in the cave before starting back to town. They talk about Rohkthwar, this devil in Wave Echo Cave. Gotha has heard a story of Rohkthwar. He was a ruler in the First Age but was cast down by a god and broke the earth. Oh, great.
Gotha re-summons Scarp. Yay!
A post-mortem of the last battle is done around the camp fire… Niki apologizes for going into the cave… “I can’t help it. I just get caught up in the moment. I’ll try to stop that.” Gorm turns his gaze to Xaven… “And you, sorcerer… You should know by now that squishies stay in the back!”
During his watch, Gavaris sees a shadow pass over the plateau. Looking up he catches a glimpse of something that looks like a lion with wings. It passes by, then returns. And again a few times. Gavaris says nothing but puts some bodies at the mouth of the cave.
When it comes back and looks like its coming in for a landing Gavaris wakes up those who are asleep and gets the attention of those who are not.
A manticore lands and warily approaches the dead bodies at the mouth of the cave. It starts chewing while keeping an eye on the party watching back in the cave. It then lifts its head and lets out a roar. Shortly after a Hill Giant comes lumbering up the ridge onto the plateau.
Gotha… “You are both welcome to eat your fill from our kills. We have taken everything we need from them.”
“Orc meat… stringy.”
Niki… “Hmmm, yes. But it doesn’t bite.”
The monsters consider the obvious power of the Darkwinter Company and decided to eat their fill and go.
Back in Phandelin…
The heroes check in with a retired adventurer (name?) to find out about Old Owl Well and the undead there. He says it was built by the old Netheril Empire. Human, and very old. Netheril doesn’t ring many bells among the party… guess they didn’t pay much attention in history class. They remember the Netheril were known for aqueducts and dangerous magic.
To the well!
Approaching the ancient ruins they see a tower. It’s 15’ tall at most and crumbling badly. A colourful tent has been erected in the courtyard but there is no one in sight. Niki recognizes the coat of arms outside the tent as being from the Kingdom of Thay… where the notorious Red Wizards come from. There is also a deathly odour coming from the tower. Looking for tracks, Xaven finds some. They look like dragging feet in the mud… zombies?
Scarp flies discreetly around… looking into the tent he sees a man whose entire skin is tattooed. On the back of his head is the stars and balls of the Red Wizards. He is holding a stone and working on it with a brush… an archaeologist? The tent is sparse with a bed and washbasin and desk.
Going to spy into the tower Scarp tells Gotha “I see dead people.” There are zombies… a lot of them. Maybe a dozen or more all huddled together. Sam knows for sure he is a Necromancer.
Testing the number of questions the elf statue will answer, Xaven asks it what the name of the Red Wizard in the tent is. No answer. Ok… one question per person.
Xaven concentrates on the tent and immediate area around it while casting Detect Magic… nothing.
Quietly moving around the wall, Niki sneaks into the courtyard and gets into position to cut the ropes of the tent if Gotha’s Sleep spell doesn’t work.
Gavaris moves steathily along the crumbling wall.
Xaven casts Mage Armour.
Xaven (20) delays.
Scarp (19) watches the Red Wizard who continues, oblivious.
Gavaris (15) delays.
Gorm (13) delays.
Gotha (9) sends his sleeping sand blowing at the tent.
Niki (6) hears the Red Wizard fall to the floor of the tent. The rest of the party see her enter the tent where she binds and gags him.
Xaven moves and talks to Sam about possibly using Silence.
Gavaris moves to the well where he can see the zombies in the tower.
Sam moves towards the well but not quietly enough and alerts the zombies.
Gorm moves into the courtyard.
Niki (24*) checks the wizard for wands or rods etc. Finding nothing, she moves to the desk where she sees rocks with runes carved on them. It looks like he’s been cleaning them too.
Xaven (20) moves then holding out his hand and uttering the proper arcane words sends a Ray of Frost shooting from his hand, but it misses the zombie it was aimed at.
Gavaris asks Meiliki for Divine Favour (bonus action) which she grants. His arrow, glowing with radiant power flies true and pierces zombie G6 (12 pts).
Zombie Group 3 (G1-4) (13) move out of the tower. Zombie G1 lunges at Gavaris but the elf dodges the attack. These zombies have tattoos on their necks.
Scarp (10) keeps watch over the slumbering wizard.
Zombie Group 1 (Y1-4) (9) all move towards the door of the tower.
Gotha (8) moves and with a well aimed Repelling Eldritch Blast sends zombie G3 tumbling into the well with bits of rotting flesh flying. Willhelm scream!… or wait… do zombies scream?
Zombie Group 4 (G5-8) (8) all move and G6 is able to attack Gavaris but not able to hit.
Sam (8) brandishes the symbol of her god and says “Run from me fetid creatures of the night, in Fharlaghn’s name!” 9 of the 11 zombies that are out of the tower cannot withstand the might of Fharlaghn. Two can however as do all 4 that haven’t yet made it out of the tower.
Zombie Group 2 (Y5-8) (3) start moving to try to get out of the tower towards the brainzzzzzz.
Gorm (2) brings his mighty maul down on zombie G8 (not turned). The maul smashes into its shoulder which crumples and the rotting arm falls off.
Xaven (17) tries again with a Ray of Frost, this time hitting zombie G8, and an icy film covers the undead thing. (8 pts)
Gavaris (15) drops his bow and pulls his swords, readying an attack on any unturned zombie that comes near.
Gorm (15) shoves at zombie G7 who topples backwards into the well!
Scarp (7) continues to watch the sleeping wizard.
Gotha (7) dashes around the tower.
Zombie Group 3 try to flee from Sam back into the tower but cannot get very far in as unturned zombies are trying to get out.
Gavaris grabs G1 and throws it into the well!
Niki (5) moves and readies an attack on any unturned zombie that comes close.
Sam (4) shoves G6 and it too topples into the well.
The remaining turned zombies are all jostling to flee back into the tower while the unturned ones are struggling to get out… a stalemate.
Gotha (23) delays.
Niki (18) figures her comrades have the situation under control and returns to the tent to search.
Sam (17) tries unsuccessfully to bring her Sacred Flame down upon an unturned zombie in the tower.
Gorm points out the keystone of the tower to Gotha who throws a Repelling Eldritch Blast at it. The crackling power easily blows the crumbling stone to bits and the rest of the tower comes crashing down to trap all the zombies amongst the wreckage. Yes!!!
The Darkwinter Company enter the tent for the interrogation of the Red Wizard. They keep him bound and gagged and use Scarp to communicate with him so he has no chance of casting any spells.
He seems angry and frightened. When asked what he’s doing here he responds “I’m here to study… their secrets and magic. The spell engravings on the rocks.”
“Whats’s with the zombies?”
“They are cheap labour. It’s common practice where I come from.”
“Well, we aren’t where you come from right now, are we…”
Niki and Gotha, using their Insight, agree that they think he’s lying about something.
With his Warlock power crackling up and down his arms, Gotha shouts ""Liar!!"
Cowering the Red Wizard breaks. “Don’t take it from me! The ring… it’s my thesis! They were so sophisticated…”
Niki finds this ring, along with a scroll, a potion, a pearl (spell component) and some coins in the desk.
“Why should we spare you?” asks Sam.
“I have an 8 year old girl…”
“As what?”… ouch.
Xaven suddenly kills the wizard… he’s done that before.
Xaven takes a look at the ring which is a series of shields. Protection, he figures.
Sam takes the scroll which is Darkness. Niki gives Talon to Gavaris and takes the ring. The potion is of Healing (?)
With that little mystery all wrapped up the Company are headed back to Phandelin when they hear a ruckus… it sounds like fight between very angry, big birds. Other birds and animals are fleeing the area.
Suddenly the corpse of a Hippogriff crashes through the trees to land at their feet! A black ooze is leaking out of puncture wounds on its body.
Looking up the escarpment they see another Hippogriff fighting a Wyvern. Neither have noticed the party.
NIKI (23) dashes up the escarpment, moving 45’ (bonus action). She gets a bead on the Wyvern and sends her assassin’s arrow speeding through the air. A solid hit (25 pts) but the Wyvern takes it and turns to look at her.
Gorm (20) delays.
Sam (17) casts Bless on Gavaris, Xaven and Gorm.
Gorm takes a double move up the escarpment.
Scarp (17) flies to flank the Wyvern with the Hippogriff.
Gotha (15) readies a Repelling Eldritch Blast for when the Wyvern comes into sight.
Xaven (14) readies a thunderous Chromatic Orb for when the Wyvern comes into sight.
Hippogriff (10) cannot capitalize on Scarp’s flanking and misses both claws and beak attacks.
Gavaris (8) dashes up the escaarpment.
Wyvern (1) sheds the hippogriff with its claws, killing it and takes to the air, flying 80’ up.
Gotha, his spell readied, Blasts the Wyvern (5 pts) sending it tumbling in the air. It drops 30 feet.
Xaven throws his Chromatic Orb, and with Sam’s Bless manages a booming strike the on the wyvern. (14 pts)
Gavaris feathers the creature (10 pts).
Sam (10) also finds the mark with an arrow (5 pts).
Gorm (9) throws two hand axes… one keeps twirling through the air but the other buries it’s head in the monsters shoulder.
Scarp (8) flies over to his master.
Wyvern (8) dives at Niki with it’s claws outstretched, meaning to pick her up… however, the axe in it’s shoulder makes it miss badly leaving an opening for the rogue. Niki feathers it (5 pts) and it crashes, ba-dumping over and over on the ground. It’s dead.
The party then sees what the hippogriffs fought to the death for… a nest containing 6 hippogriff eggs! “Hey, you can ride these things, right?” They take the eggs back to Phandelin to ask Syldar the Griffon rider if he knows anything about training hippogriffs.
The Darkwinter Company, after this fight, feel better than ever. Techniques and spells that were previously too hard now seem easy… 4th level!!!!
Syldar doesn’t know much about Hippogriffs but says there is a place in Neverwinter that could hatch, kennel and train them for us. The Darkwinter Company decide to escort their precious cargo to Neverwinter themselves and research Rohkthwar while they’re there. Before leaving Gorm trades in his splint mail for plate (party kitty).. and his maul for a great sword… what? Really??
It takes 4 hours to get to Neverwinter at a leisurely pace. There they find Weirdo Animals & Co. They leave the eggs with them (price? – 1500gp as a downpayment?rod)
Sam and Niki find little about Rohkthwar. He was a sadistic tyrant on the Prime Material Plane during the 1st Age. Something about a Sceptre and a Crown. He was defeated and killed in combat by a god.
6 healing potions (50gp each) were purchased along with a climbing harness, a wagon (35gp) and two stout mules (Will & Tom) (16gp).
TO THE CAVES!!!!
As The Darkwinter Company follow the road that according to Rockseeker’s map leads to Wave Echo Cave, find that said road disappears. They are forced to leave their wagon behind. They take a wheel off the wagon, bury it and overturn the wagon on top of it and camouflage the lot with foliage.
They find the waterfall they expected from the map and 300 paces beyond they find the hole that is the entrance to the cave. The hole is located at the muddy border of a rivulet that cuts across a field of tall grass. It’s like a sewer at the edge between the street (rivulet) and the sidewalk (the grass).
The party bring Tom & Will about 50’ from the hole and tie them off to tree branches… tight enough that they can’t wander but loose enough that they could bolt if they needed to.
The hole goes down at a 30 degree angle. There are foot/bum prints indicating that someone fairly recently, went down on their bum.
Gavaris goes down similarly and the rest follow.
They enter a natural cave and follow a crevasse to another hole. Steps are dug into the descending wall creating a crude ladder (like this image, but without the handrail):
“It’s really fucking dark down here”, remark the humans. Xaven casts Light on a rock and puts it into an open pouch so that it sheds a dim light.
They descend at least 180 feet, sometimes on bums, sometimes using the dug out ladder… arms are aching “…and we’re going down, unencumbered!” Continuing down on their bums they reach an abyss. Scarp finds another dug out ladder in the wall at a more friendly angle.
Scarp does a flying scout and reports a huge hole coming up… a 30’ gap in the ladder and there is a wall 120’ across from us.
Using pitons and rope the party descend the gap and find a small dug out where they can rest their aching limbs. Scarp does some more reconnaissance. He hears squeaking and reports seeing some “large, fat hairy bats with gripping claws and large nose stingers.”
“Ugh, Stirges!” Well, let’s bring them up to us… Scarp leads the overgrown mosquitos to the party.
Gotha targets all the Stirges with Sleep… they all fall… a few onto the ridge where the party is but the others, well, it takes a while before the splatter, splatter is heard.
Finally the party reaches the stirge-splattered floor. An opposite wall angles down towards what looks like a mithril mine! There are vapours down here… causing headaches. There is also a body at the foot of the ladder… A dwarf, with the look of a Rockseeker… must be the brother. He’s been sucked dry by stirges and has fallen a great distance… There go us but for the grace of the gods…. He doesn’t have any weapons but does have some good climbing gear and a VERY nice pairs of boots… Gorm seems the one to try them on and testing them in a quick race with Niki he realizes he can move much quicker now in his heavy armour… and jump really good too! (Boots of Striding and Spinging)
There are two passages… one to the left, one to the right. Scarp scouts to the left which continues without change for 100’. Checking the right passage, he finds it is a dead end.
The party goes left. Scarp leads, then Niki… checking, checking….
This passage opens up after about 100’ to a cavern. (with passages leading out of it??)
Niki checks the floor etc leading to the cavern… all appears safe. The party has a short rest here. (Time check 3-4pm)
While resting here they realize they can hear the distant sound of a hammer echoing through the halls. Taking a more concentrated listen, Gorm thinks it sounds more like a hammer on an anvil… smith-like sounds as opposed to mine picks and hammers.
Continuing along the path (no mention of other possible passages commented on earlier) they enter an area where the walls converge and there is a stone disc (5’ radius ?) with a step to up it. It is covered with Dwarven runes and is hovering over the floor.
Looking at the magical Dwarven runes those who know how to read such things say it translates to “Safe Passage.” hmmmm…… well, the ladder cut into the wall sure isn’t is great way to haul stuff out of a mine… maybe this was the previous owners solution.
Xaven stops as he nears the disc and simply stares at it, almost entranced by it. Much to the surprise of the rest of the party he sits down and begins to study it. He continues to study the weave as it swirls around the disc, bringing his Detect Magic ability into focus. Almost absent-mindedly, he pulls out the scroll case of his traveling notes and sketches and begins a new entry in his list of wonders that he has found. (Jeff-what did he discover re:school and such?)
The party decides to do a little investigative problem-solving. They throw a pebble onto the disc. It disappears. Ok… wonder where it went… The disc also moves slowly if pushed… quite easily.
Checking the cavern, 2 ways are blocked but there are 6 other passages and a set of stairs going down. In this cavern there is also a broken statue of Moradin in the area where the hallways converge.
The party’s curiosity leads them back to the disc.
Scarp is instructed to land on the disc… he disappears… count, 1, 2, 3… Gotha dismisses him, then re-summons him. He reappears and tells Gotha what he saw… A foundry… an enormous room.
Checking the passages off the disc room the party finds them to be nothing more than mine tunnels…
So, it’s either the disc to foundry or the stairs… The Darkwinter Company are polite guests and decided to take the stairs.
Down they go with Scarp on point… down… and down… and down… and down again. 900’ and still down. An hour traveling and still down (2 miles). Two hours (4 miles) and still down!
Shortly after the 4 mile mark… maybe after 10 minutes, the party feels it getting warmer and hears music drifting up from below… a flute and drums playing a miners song. It’s coming up… towards them.
Scarp checks it out and sends a message back to Gotha… “11 dwarven skeletons coming to you!”
SURPRISE (party has higher ground)
Xaven (19) sends down an Eldritch Blast (a little something he picked up from Gotha) but the curve of the stairs stymies him and the blast goes wild.
Niki (17) sends an arrow to smash the skull of Y3 (Assassinate 23 points). Down.
Gotha (12) sends a Repelling Eldritch Blast (showing Xaven how’s it’s done) shooting down the stairs to slam into skeleton Y2 blasting it back prone into Y1, hampering it’s movement.
Gavaris (11) moves down the stairs and brings his momentum down with both swords onto skeleton Y1 (8 pts).
Sam (6) directs her mace, smashing it into Y1’s skeletal face… it explodes!
Scarp (6) delays.
Gorm (3) misses (with throwing axes or that stooooopid sword he traded for his awesome maul… notes don’t say).
Niki (16) drops her bow and moves down the stairs drawing her scimitar and short sword. She sends them spinning at Y5 (6 pts).
Scarp (16) delays.
Skeletons (16) Y1 misses.
Y2 stands up and it’s bony hand swings its pickaxe at Niki. Ouchie (7 pts)!
Y4 misses Niki.
Y5 misses Niki… she’s working on the not-rushing-in thing, OK?
Y6 has it’s choice of Gavaris or Gorm… chooses the fellow dwarf but can’t penetrate Gorm’s new plate. Gorm reacts to the attack with his own (16 pts) and Y6 falls in a clacking pile of bones.
Y7 manages to bloody Niki further (4 pts).
G1-3 move and G1 manages to make it into a position to successfully strike at Gorm (4 pts).
Gotha (14) casts another Repelling Eldritch Blast (with Scarp giving him Advantage). Y7 gets smacked by the Warlock’s power and is knocked back.
Gavaris (12) sends both blades stabbing at G1. The two swords put the undead down (hopefully for good) and he moves.
Xaven (12) moves, then targets Y8 with his softball of fire (C.O., 2nd lvl) and splits it in two to also flame into G3… both skeletons shriek as the sorcerer’s fire consumes them.
Sam (11), enjoying the heavy feel of her mace, sends it into Y2, splintering bones and life force alike. All Praise Fharlaghan!
Gorm (2) brings his stooooopid new blade down onto Y1 splintering bones and spattering marrow. (14 pts)
Niki (25… get used to it) again sends scimitar and short sword whirling… but Y4 is still up (12 pts).
Gotha (23) also on Y4 with help from Scarp manages to take it out (spell or weapon unclear… probably a regular Eldritch Blast).
Gavaris (21) sends Talon in his main hand piercing at Y5… it severs it’s spinal cord dropping it in a heap of scrap bones. He moves and sends his other short sword towards Y7… chipping off a few ribs (3 dam).
Xaven (16) gets the hang of Eldritch Blast enough to hit Y7… kind of (1 pt).
Skeletons (16) Y7 brings its pickaxe around hard and it slams into Gavaris’ side (Crit, 7 pts).
G2… well it doesn’t matter… the Darkwinter Company dispatch the last couple abominations. And Sam feels really good… a little more in touch with her god. (4th level) Yay!
Reaching the bottom of the stairs … six miles below the crust of the Earth … the party sees a group of 11 skeletons excavating the bones of a devil, as well as a black metal crown almost loose from the floor’s grip — a floor of oddly green-tinged rock speckled with light-reflecting, green gemstones.
“Peridotite!” Gorm exclaims, wiping the sweat from his eyes, “We fight on the mantle of the Earth!”
Each member of the Darkwinter Company, drenched, exhausted, legs cramping from the descent, eyes, teeth, and forehead pounding with an ever-worsening headache, steels for another fight to the death.