Well lads, I seem to have a knack for getting into trouble—and so does Karin Koeffel, apparently.
Got ordered to the prefect office this morning. For once, it wasn’t me they were after. Seems Karin got herself kidnapped. Prefects thought it was a guy named Starent—I wasn’t so sure. We’d seen him protecting Karin during the attack on her shop the other day. He seemed more like a lovesick puppy to me.
With a little help, we managed to track her to an abandoned mansion in the Hills. I went ahead with Briar to check it out. Norshar had me take this “rock spider” thing of his with me, said he could hear through it. Must be some kind of familiar, though none I’ve ever heard of. That ladder he conjured didn’t seem like normal magic either—weird guy.
Anyway, we go in through the roof, and find ourselves in a small attic with a trap door. That leads down to another small room on the second level with two more doors, no locks or traps on any of them—no wonder the place was abandoned.
Now usually the door with the trap is the one you want. Without that to go on I wasn’t sure what to do next, but the rock spider seemed to sense something. It clambered over to one of the doors, and acted like it wanted in.
Just as I go to open the door for it, I hear a noise outside on the roof—somebody really needs to teach those guys how to move quietly. I guess it broke my concentration, because next thing I know I’ve managed to find the squeakiest board in the whole attic and step on it.
What happens next? Well, someone in the next room shouts “Who’s there?”, and when I open the door it’s Starent, standing there with a strange look on his face. Norshar conjured up some kind of ghost-like thing while I tried to talk the guy down on the chance he was trying to rescue Karin too.
That conversation was weird—it almost felt like he was stalling or something—and when I got to the part about us being there to rescue Karin he called us intruders and said something about being supposed to stop us.
The group was ready to kill him, but something seemed off—like he didn’t really want to be fighting us. Didn’t stop him from giving us hell though—that guy was good. Of course I’m not at my best in tight spaces. Give me and Briar room to charge and we’d have mopped the floor with him.
Anyway, we fought for a good while. Wasn’t sure we were going to win that one, even with the pointy hats throwing magic at him the whole fight. Finally I got in a lucky hit with my rapier. I was afraid I’d killed him right there—when all I wanted was to give him a few scars for the trouble he’d caused—but he stayed up long enough for me to knock him out with my sap.
The half-giant met us at the top of the stairs just in time to see Starent go down. Apparently he’d charged the front door and taken out the guards down there in the time it took us to deal with Karin’s “admirer”.
We figured everybody knew we were there by now, so we charged into the next room, hoping to find Karin before her kidnappers decided to cut their losses—and her throat with it.
…was like a slapstick comedy from hell’s own theater. Y’know the kind of play I mean, with all the pratfalls and pies being thrown? Well imagine the pies are being thrown by demons and there’s a gloating wizard popping up like a mad gopher and you’ll have a feel for it.
The sorcerer holding Karin wasn’t that tough, just obnoxious. He kept teleporting around the room throwing magical obstacles in our way, while these two imps did all the actual fighting. Have you ever tried making your way through a web spell and a grease spell while invisible demons claw at your face? Ever had to clean vomit and spiderwebs out of a panicked wolf’s fur?
It’s not fun, my friend—especially when one of your crew starts shooting fire out of her hands and the only one she manages to burn is you. At least it cleared some of the webs away. In the end, we managed to kill the wizard and his beasties just in time to drag Karin and Starent out of there before the whole place burned down around our ears.
And that’s the story. Still don’t know what the wizard was after. Though I think one of the crew took a look at his cloak before we left. In the end, I’m just glad I got to have some fun, show a little bravery, and help a couple’a folks find their freedom. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a cup that needs refillin’…