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Finn’s Journal #17 – The Windmill

Nim had located the lads home and deduced that the area was not now sanctified by any holy bones, but that likely if the bones were truly there, they would do nothing as they probably needed the connection with the church to have any power. Nim was put to the task to find out what he could from the young man, Milivoj. Janlynn led the Vallaki parishioners in prayers to the morninglord before we prepared to rest. We settled down in the church to sleep for the night with some trepidation, for we knew that the increasingly painful dreams would come again for some of us. Uphir, once again, decided to forego a second nights sleep.

The night was long and full of terrors for some of our troupe. These nightmares were becoming more powerful and having a more dire effect upon us all. My pain had been constant since last I slept and I knew that my turn would come the next night and I could barely contain my anxiety. Mayhap I should follow Uphir’s lead at least until we kill those damned Night Hags and escape their supernatural dream control.

The villagers within the church were startled and frightened by the violent nightmares of my friends, perhaps thinking them possessed by the Dread Lord of this land. On his watch, Nim spent some time with Milivoj, getting to know him and feeling him out for information. This went fairly well at that time. When early morning came, some of us got up and attended the funeral of our friend Ismark. I felt very deeply for this experience. We had come so far, and through so much hardship to get Ismark and Ireena to Vallaki, only to lose Ismark when we were so close. I said a few short personal words over his coffin, just for myself. I still did not have it in me to give him the Eulogy I know I could have, and should have.

Nim had asked Milivoj to bring in his family as some of his siblings were ill and in need of healing. Janlynn checked the children over and Nim was able to heal one of the children of their disease and promised to help the other. That morning we all felt pressed for time – we wanted to find the holy bones for the priest Lucien, but knew we must confront the Hags as soon as possible before the effects of their nightly corruption of our dreams began to take our very lives. Nim was somewhat more blunt with Milivoj, but this did not bring him any closer to finding out where the bones were. Milivoj was defensive and swore he knew nothing of which he spoke. Nim had also let him know that it was Yeska who told him.

Following Yeska and Milivoj through the village as they fetched water brought some more queer information to us about this place. Apparently the Baron and Baroness of this village were completely mad! We witnessed a person being arrested for “Malicious Unhappiness”. Apparently it was a crime that could be punishable by death to say negative things about the town, it’s leaders, and the festivals going on in the town. More likely, the Baron has them thrown into the stocks and taken to his manor to “Purge them of their evil”. The Baron only wants to see fake smiles upon his people’s faces even though they live in fear. This land is truly proving to be more horrible at every turn. It is becoming hard for us to remember what not seeing insanity everywhere you look used to feel like.

Having not achieved any further leads on the stolen bones, we set off to the battered windmill in earnest, knowing that we would have to pass by the same area as our previous ambush from the bats and miniature blow gun firing terrors. Tetsuo impressed us greatly by using some of his mysterious abilities to pass on some of his stealthy capabilities to us all, shadowing our movements in silence and shadows. I believe it was Janlynn who concocted the cotton and candle wax solution to plug our ears against the sound of the Siren Bats. We trudged up the mountain trail trying to be as inconspicuous as possible and were not attacked again.

Soon we followed the trail that led down to the battered windmill and positioned ourselves within a copse of trees several hundred feet away, just as Tetsuo’s mystical eastern powers diminished. Nim once again showed his wisdom in that situation. Some of the group wanted to rush at the windmill and kick in the door to confront whatever lay beyond, but Nim demanded at least to observe the situation first.

A Raven sat above the doorway and up on high cliffs could be seen a cave entrance with some more of those Siren Bats. The raven flew directly to our position and perched itself upon a branch above. I once again called upon what gnomish talent I possessed to speak to the Raven as best I could. This had never been the greatest of my skills (Unless it is for squirrels of course). The raven proclaimed “Beware!… Bone Grinder!… Witches!”, and then flew off. I will say this – the Ravens in this land are quite articulate as far as birds go, if not necessarily the friendliest. Sparrows were always the friendliest to me. They would often tell jokes as they flitted above the trees. How I wish to see sparrows again.

As the raven flew off, one of the large bats peeled off from the cave entrance and raced off after it. After terse discussion, it was decided that we would quickly, and as quietly as we can, cross the distance and make it to the door of the windmill. No sooner had this plan been put into action than a dozen or so of those great bats dove from their cliff perch and headed to intercept us. We could feel their siren call once again, but I truly believe our makeshift ear plugs gave us protection, as none of us succumbed to their beguilement this time.

They were not heading towards us, but rather to intercede between us and the windmill. We approached and began to attack them with ranged attacks, but they just retreated closer to the windmill. We would have to rush them and defeat them before gaining entrance. The major down side to this was that the Hags within would be warned of our attack…..