The paladin in front of us is a rather imposing figure with his gleaming armor and white bushy mustache… and in any other time and any other place I might be impressed. Now, though, after all of the chaos we’ve been through lately… I could care less.
“I challenge your Gods claims to these artifacts!” Melchior declares. Hmmn… apparently he doesn’t care for the paladin’s holy claims either.
Melchior takes the paladin by the arm and leads him off a few feet to have a heated discussion over what I can only guess is a debate about whose god would win in a fight. I look to Lenata and roll my eyes at the two, and she just manages to cover her laugh with her hand.
“Fine, I will allow you and your companions to come with me on my quest… but I must kill the dragon!” the shiny paladin announces in a huff. “It seems that you have obtained some of the tokens I had that were stolen from me by that meddlesome Brambelson.”
“Who is this guy?” I whisper to Vedis.
“I remember a childhood story of a paladin named Alagon that seems awfully similar to this man,” Vedis replies. “He lost his faith with his god because on his quest he slaughtered the innocent.”
My eyebrow rises in surprise. “And we’re choosing to travel with this guy?”
“You know what they say about keeping your enemies where you can see them…” she shrugs as the party gathers and we move on through the brambles.
After a few hours the thorny bushes part into another clearing with what looks like an old worn mansion in the distance. “The Weaver resides here over the Man Molds, where all reborn,” says Alagon with a wave of his hand at the mansion… before it lands on the hilt of his sword. “And now you will give me the rest of the tokens so that I may finish my most holy of quests!”
“What, already? I figured you were going to wait until we got another token at least before you were going to turn on us!” I mutter as I slip my hands into my gauntlets. Suddenly a lariat flies through the air and attempts to bind Alagon, but he is able to cast it aside with his sword before swinging it down on the place where I was standing just a moment before.
Paladins… I think I might have a card just for this! I reach two fingers into my sash and pull out “The Paladin” and concentrate on the card. After a moment there is a faint glimmer of energy around him, and then nothing. Well… I hope that did something helpful, anyway…
Lenata puts her hands together and whispers a prayer to Celestian for a spell… but from the frustrated look on her face it doesn’t look like anything happened. Thankfully, Melchior was ready to tell this paladin what he can do with his holy quest as he whips out his pistols and blows a mighty fine hole in chest, knocking him back into a tree.
With a final slice from Ef Utan and his katana and a few slashes from my claws we are finally able to finish off Alagon… at least until he is remade again in those Man Molds he mentioned. In the meantime, though… I wonder if he has any other tokens on him?
After some searching we are able to divvy up the spoils to everyones satisfaction. Vedis received his Amulet of Natural Armor, Lenata received some potions and a pouch of Dust of Appearance, Melchior received his Belt of Mighty Constitution, I got a nice Cloak of Resistance to help with those pesky attacks on what little willpower I still have, and Ef Utan got a rather pretty sword with flames etched along the blade.
“Nice… I love the style!” I comment as Ef tests the blade with a few swings.
“I can tell it’s magical, but for the life of me I can’t figure out how to activate it!” he replies in frustration.
“Can I see it?” Ef looks at me warily and I chuckle. “I’ll give it back, I promise. I just want to see if I can make it work for you.” He hands it over and I run my fingers down the patterns in appreciation. "_Very_ nice work. Ah… and see, right here in the filagree there is some very skillfully hidden text. It looks like it says….ah yes… Flametongue. " I hand the sword back with a wink. “Just let me stand back before you try it out.”
Once everyone is clear he whispers the name of the sword and with a WHOOSH flames light along the blade and shoot out into one of the bushes. “Yes… that will do,” Ef declares with a grin as he sheathes the sword.
“While the paladin lost his way long ago, this god of his is still worth respect,” Melchior declares as he takes the paladins shield and begins to build a cairn around it. “May his god Iomidac receive him and show him the error of his ways.”
“You know, I have a theory about those balls of lights that we’ve been encountering,” Melchior continues as we finish up and make our way to the mansion. “I believe that they are the souls of previous visitors such as ourselves. Since they are not a part of the story, they cannot be ‘reborn’ in these molds… so they are turned into these balls of light to forever float in this cursed oblivion.”
“Then perhaps our quest to right this broken story will also help these poor souls find their peace,” Lenata replies. “With Celestians guidance I can only hope it will be so.”
“Whatever they are, I just know that I’m never going to become one of those… things,” I scoff. “This story isn’t fit to scare Gheldaneth children with at bedtime… so I plan on rewriting it before that happens.”
“Well nothings going to happen standing around here,” Ef Utan mutters as he strides ahead. “Come on.”