Dayereth paused. “Looks like we have a door to the north, and a passageway to the south. Which way should we go?”
Light-touch stepped up to the open passageway. “Here, let me have a look. You see that loose stone there, and those holes—”
SMASH! “Intruders!” A door slams.
“Never mind. Rho’Shel says we’re going north.”
Krag held up a stubby finger. “Hold up a sec. Rho’Shel, you KNEW there was were more hobgoblins behind this door? Right? You made a tactical analysis with regard to the most urgent danger and took bold initiative. Right? Tell me I’m right.”
“Nah. I smelled beer.”
[If Russell misses this Thursday, the house rule will be that every time the party comes upon a door, I flip a coin to see if Rho’Shel immediately kicks it in.]
- * * * *
The hobgoblin Warchief’s ambush had only been partially successful. His warcaster had swept two force blasts through their group, knocking various folks to the floor. But now the warcaster was down, the Warchief was down, and Dayereth was trying to figure out how to dislodge the remaining hobgoblins from the room where they had holed up.
They’d had a long day. Enna took stock of the situation and fought back a wave of dismay. Her comrades were drenched in sweat and blood. She had taken some stunning blows from the Warchief, but Light-touch was hurt even worse, and the close quarters kept him from being effective in hand-to-hand combat. Alrin had taken the brunt of the warcasters’ blasts, and his arcanic energies seemed low. Krag and Rho’Shel and Dayereth were being held at bay by the Warchief’s soldiers, and everything seemed at a stalemate. Everyone needed a rest, and if it didn’t come soon, someone would make a critical mistake.
She thought of the Raven Queen, and of the Raven Queen’s gift. Now seemed like the perfect time…
She gripped the amulet around her neck and murmured her oath…
… but no relief came. Instead, her head swam and she stumbled. She thought she’d been tired before, but now all of her muscles suddenly constricted and her skin went cold. She heard a voice—she heard the Voice— She looked up to see everyone staring at her.
“What did you do, Enna?”
She couldn’t answer. But she could see their heads lift. She could see their eyes brighten.
“What did you do?!” Krag was almost insistent. Rho’Shel turned him back, but the dwarf resisted. “No, something’s wrong with her.”
“We’ll figure it out later. Whatever it was, it worked. Get in there and give ‘em their beating. Then we’ll talk.”
Everyone turned back to the fight. Enna dropped to one knee, allowing Drac to shelter her as he cast spell after spell into the crowded melee. Light-touch moved past her, almost stepping over her as he hurled his deft and deadly shuriken.
Not thirty seconds later, Drac heard a sound behind him—something familiar—something deadly. Too late he realized what he’d heard. He turned and in turning he stumbled against one of the bodies behind him. He steadied himself and looked down.
Enna lay pale and motionless, a raw wound across her scalp. It took him a moment to place the sound that had given him a chill: it was the fluttering of relentless wings, and the soft sigh of the cleric, too weak to even cry out.
He stared at her, feeling the anger rise. If he had known what to do, he might have bent down to help her, might have staunched her wounds.
But what he knew to do was curse, and so he turned from the thing that needed doing to the thing that he knew, and the curses flew, fast and hard and venomous, more furious with every second.
- * * * *
Update on the Amulet of the Raven Queen:
Amulet of the Raven Queen (Level 5)
This obsidian raven figure dangles from a leather strap. It can be activated to heal you and your allies.
Item slot: Neck
Property: You gain a +1 item bonus to your healing surge value .
Power (Daily | Healing): Standard Action. If you are not bloodied, you may spend a healing surge to heal you and all allies within 5 squares of you for an amount equal to their healing surge value. If you are bloodied, instead you must spend all of your remaining healing surges, and each of your allies (but not you) is healed for an amount equal to the number of healing surges you spend times that ally’s healing surge value.