We had no other option but to rush forward to engage the strange bats and then try to gain entrance to the imposing windmill. Rushing forward did come with it’s own set of problems, for directly in front of Tetsuo, three giant insect-like creatures erupted from the ground. They viciously attacked Tetsuo, severely wounding him and capturing him in a chitinous grasp. Furious battle erupted as all of our troupe fought intensely to save Tetsuo from a gruesome fate.
I managed to call upon my power to blast the assaulting creature even as I cast a minor curing spell upon Tetsuo in the hopes that he would find the strength to escape. It shrugged off my attack but the combined assault of all of my friends brought the creature down and freed Tetsuo, who deftly dodged back to catch his breath before jumping back into the fray.
The battle continued for several moments before we had two of the great insects dead and one severely wounded and withdrawn back into it’s hole. The Bats took this moment to swarm towards us, their leathery wings filling the misty air with a shudder some sound. We loosed ranged attacks against them as they closed the distance, with Nim especially excelling at archery with his crossbow.
They were upon us in mere moments and brought their savage attacks against our front ranks at first. I had managed to enchant about half of them with green faerie fire, aiding my comrades in their attacks against them. It quickly became obvious that the bats had a diabolical plan to try and carry off the smaller folk in our group. First Nim and then I became the main target of the bats’ aggression. Both of us were severely wounded and almost carried off by the evil creatures and it became a desperate battle to save us from certain doom.
We needed to be healed once our brave friends managed to save us from their claws. Uphir bravely stepped over me to shield me from attacks and for this I cannot find words enough for thanks. Being drawn upward to the bats’ dark cave to be devoured was not something I looked forward to, but could readily imagine. The battle lasted only a few more moments as the last of the bats were either dead or severely wounded and fleeing back to their cliffside lair.
With so many of us wounded from the two consecutive assaults, we felt it wise to rest before continuing on. Nim called for a tactical retreat back up the long track to just beyond a natural obstruction in the terrain so that we could not be seen by the Windmill, but could watch it if needs be. It is a strange feeling – stopping to catch our breath after a desperate battle with the knowledge that our enemy must have been alerted and now has time to implement more plots against us as we are gathering our strength for the next assault. It is an uneasiness that borders on terror waiting for something to happen.
We were not forced to wait long, however. Soon enough about a dozen strange, loping, half-bat half-monstrosities were coming up the dirt track into the mountains after us. Akkir spoke knowledge of these creatures and named them as lesser fiends of the underworld! Our wounded and sore members formed into defensive ranks and used ranged attacks to good measure as they approached our position.
The track was just wide enough for Akkiir and Uphir to stand abreast, with a high cliff to one side and a deadly drop-off to the other. Akkiir began his elven Blade Song, Uphir gripped her mighty axe, Nim readied his shield to protect Uphir as much as he could. I used my fey blasts as best I could – angling them to send these strange creatures off the cliff if I could.
This battle went much better than the last. Uphir and Akkir were untouchable as they brought death upon our attackers. Janlynn kept a steady watch upon our back trail and was prepared to heal any who should need it at a moments notice. Tetsuo weaved in and out of the battle as agile as ever. Strangely, these netherworld creatures dissolved into brakkish ichor upon their deaths, perhaps banished back to their own dark realm. The battle was over almost as soon as it began with no new wounds falling upon any of the group.
We rested some more but soon another assault was brought upon us. this time from our rear – not from the windmill directly. Half a dozen Lost Wolves (Veggie Dogs) charged us and we set up ranks once again to fight them. We used roughly the same tactics as our battle with the fiends, with as much success, if not as quick a battle. We remembered that unless fire is applied to these creatures, you could kill them multiple times and they will always come back to attack again.
I managed to knock a few off the cliff during the battle, with the force of my fey blasts. Oil was thrown upon them and the mystic fire of Akkir’s precision sword attacks caught many of them on fire. The terrain certainly played to our strengths once again and we prevailed. One Lost Wolf broke off from the pack and was pursued by Akkiir, whose magical attacks finally finished off the last of them.
Having rested, we felt revigorated and strong once again. We were ready to face whatever awaited us within the Durst’s Windmill….