The Harrowing

Not the Bees!

Sofie's Journal

Moonday, 24 Erastus, 4723

Why does this always happen? Kubo says he is cursed, but it seems like danger and violence follow me wherever I go.

Just as the Shelynite priestess was delivering a beautiful song on the topic of love, two swarms of very angry bees swept out from behind the gazebo to attack the crowd. It was quickly apparent that the bees were not behaving naturally. They had been awakened by some fell magic.

My thoughts turned at once to smoke to drive them out. I called out a warning about their magic nature and then dashed for the cooking fires behind the dining tent. The crowd was already starting to panic, which made the going difficult.

If I was thinking clearly, this would have been when I activated my winged boots.

Kubo started running after me, but was slowed by his strange heavy armor as well as the mass panic.

Then I felt something stirring in my purse. I hastily grabbed the green gem and pulled it out before Tagnus could erupt out of it with an "Oh yeah!"

The dwarf immediately took a long, ogling look while I tried to bring him up to speed. (Why did I get such a low cut on this dress?) Tagnus then waved his big dwarvish hands and suddenly a wall of wind surrounded us. The gale battered the corner of the cooking tent, ripping canvas loose and knocking plates, chairs, and tables over. But our druid had created a clever refuge from the bees and I shouted for the frightened guests to take shelter here.

Taking stock of the cooking fire situation, I used Wyrmsmite (still a sword cane) to cut a chunk of tent canvas, dip it in honey and wine, wrap it around a cooking skewer, and set it alight to create a smoking torch. That was when I saw what was happening to Knives.

The bees had swarmed her as she'd tried to flee and somehow in the chaos she'd gotten knocked to the ground. She was rolling around as they stung her dozens of times. I had promised to watch her back, but at the first sight of trouble I had "left her in the lurch" as the saying goes. The fury erupted in me like a volcano at the sight, taking hold in that all to familiar way.

In some mad attempt to fend off the bees, Knives managed to retrieve an alchemist's fire potion and detonated it against her chest. This was effective at driving away the bees, but it set her beautiful dress and hair alight. Tagnus called forth a ball of fire to further harry the swarm of bees.

With my torch ready, I had the presence of mind to vault over the wind wall to keep the flame from being blown out. It was the furthest I think I have ever jumped, all thanks to the primal rage within me. Tagnus was just looking up at me with wonder in his eyes.

Looking up. As I jumped over him. In my billowing dress. Fuck, I think I just gave the lecherous dwarf another eyeful.

The swarm that had been attacking Knives had turned its attention to the bride and groom's party. Elyin and the Foresthawks were ushering the nearby guests into the small chapel to Shelyn, trying to screen them from the insects. As I charged after the sword, hurling insults and challenges, the thought dimly occurred to me that I should have activated my winged boots but it was too late now.

Tagnus summoned a small fire elemental to attack the second swarm, which was chasing wedding guests around the side of the gazebo. Thinking back on it, it is rather amazing to realize that it was just a few months ago that similar fire elementals were scorching Tagnus and I in Tula Belhaim's tomb, yet now he can command them to do his bidding.

Knives managed to make it to the safety of the wind wall, the alchemist's fire having burned away most of the top part of her dress. It's the monastery pool all over again. She pulls out her wand of cure light wounds to start healing herself.

Kubo emerged from the wind wall after me, shielding a smoking torch in one hand and holding a bottle of expensive brandy in the other. I got between the first swarm and the chapel, swinging with my torch. It did minimal damage to the bees, but the smoke seemed to be keeping them at bay. Kubo arrived to flank them with me. Then he took a swig of the brandy and spewed it out across the torch where it ignited like a miniature dragon's breath. Kubo said he saw this at a festival once. He is a little too enthusiastic and manages to singe my dress.

On the other side of the gazebo, the second swarm and the fire elemental have engulfed each other in a storm of flames and bees. The bees get the upper hand, and the elemental is banished back to its plane.

Tagnus emerged from the wind wall and called fire forth into his hand, then threw it at the first swarm while Kubo gave it another douse of burning brandy. The swarm disintegrates.

The remaining swarm closed in on the chapel, but we were able to put it down with fire as well. I am overtaken with rage and continue to swing at stray bees until the fury subsides.

We regroup at the battered food tent, where Tagnus scavenges what remains. Knives has used a scrap of tent canvas to bind up a makeshift top for herself. We have little more than a minute to recover before the disembodied voice of Tenzekil harangues us, warning that "Queen Rhoswen" will wreak havoc on Bellis and envelop it in her fellnight mists.

It is at this moment that a wall of thorns sprung up around us, sealing us off from the rest of the wedding party. We hear strange battle cries—possibly Sylvan?—and shouts of alarm from the guests. This time I activated my winged boots. As I took off, Kubo asks if I can carry him with me. I obliged and hauled him up and out of the barricade.

Three little gray gnome-like creatures with brambly, almost plant features (what is up with that?) had run out of the wood and were attacking people. Kubo charged one of them and cut it in half with that strange curved sword of his.

Tagnus transformed into a giant vulture and carried Knives up into the air, where she threw daggers at the two survivors. The two gray gnome creatures reacted by growing to gigantic size. One of them lumbered after the Foresthawks while the other lingered to tangle with Kubo. I swooped after the former, but wasn't able to get into sword range. I was close enough to get swatted by its enlarged mace, though. Ouch.

Kubo continued to to be murder with his sword, dicing up the giant in front of him.

The Tag-Vulture flew over to the remaining giant and bit it with his magically enhanced beak. Knives leapt off him to deliver the finishing blow to the giant's face with her dagger.

We had little time to celebrate, however, for a strange mist swept over the entire town. It's still here. You can't see more than a couple dozen paces in front of you. At the time I was still caught in my berserker madness, but Knives managed to talk me down. She's a good friend.

Thankfully, Yuki and Kubo's dog Daigoro each made it through the chaos in one piece.

Elyin informed us that the town council wants us to investigate the situation. The others haggled for a reward, which ended up being 1,000gp each plus a few expensive bottles of brandy for Kubo. Such mercenaries I am surrounded with!

We have two leads. Tenzekil is clearly involved, and has a small bee farm outside of town. There is also a powerful druid, Devarre, who lives in the forest west of town and may know more about the mists, the strange size-changing gnome creatures, and this Rhoswen character. After some internal debate, we decided to seek out the druid.

First, though, Knives and I must return to the cottage to change and collect our gear. Both of our dresses are in bad shape, Knives especially. I need to ask Tagnus if he knows the mending spell

All in all, this is the second-worst wedding I have been to.

Comments

thestarturtle StakeTheLurk

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.