Mharreff's Journal

Quill-scratchings of a city-Sleeth

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Perhaps Not the Best of Ideas [3 Oix 4260]
Truly this is the strange morning. The dried meat is tough, bland, and unpleasant. The hyprie berry is sweet and strong and heady, almost like it ferments on the vine only without any actual alcohol; the fruit is very much the finer morsel than the meat.

We creep closer to the pool. If the gunch notices, it does not think us close enough to worry about, and keeps lounging in the water. Tantamerakis sets down the hunk of wood and works a careful, silent spell, and the wood reshapes itself into the large, stout beetle. Chrysomerax makes sure none of the arrows in his quiver are the arrows with bound Fire Flowers, and sets one of them to string. The others make ready in their own ways.

Keeping track of those ways quickly becomes difficult. Every moving thing around us inspires thoughts and imaginings; only with difficulty do I keep my attention on what we are supposed to do. When it seems like the very patterns of magic show themselves in the rustling leaves, I flex my forepaws and tilt my ears forward.

Chrys is around Sleeth enough to know some things of the silent language, and nods to the others, and draws his bow.

Then everything happens quickly. When the arrow strikes, the gunch lurches up out of the water with the great angry bellow. It sees us and starts to lumber forward, only to meet the wall of thick air; and when it forces past that, there is the wooden beetle jabbing its hide with great thorny pincers. The gunch has quite thick hide, but the beetle is quite strong.

With the twist of magic and two cley, I bind the gunch's left hindleg, and it stumbles as it turns toward the beetle. Then the Herethroy is there and the Orren is there, hacking and stabbing. The rapier drives in deep, and a flailing forepaw sends the Orren flying - another twist of magic seizes the Orren to levitate him, but it is too slow to keep him from hitting the splintered snag. Only when he has pulled free of it does the spell seize him, and he yelps in surprise.

That is not my finest spont ever, but I do not have time to fret about it then. I do not concentrate on that spell; instead I put as much force as I can into the next, and with three cley lift the gunch away from ground and water also. It flails greatly and makes much noise, and the thrashing is a peril to the Herethroy and the beetle, and the Orren when he splashes back into the shallows and wades forward. Probably he is not at his best, fighting pain and his own instinct to change to water-form, but still he delivers many pricks in the gunch's hide.

More spells I use, binding this or that of the gunch's limbs and forcing it to stumble. The hyprie makes the currents of magic so easy to handle, only twice does a spell fall apart unfinished; but making the right spell at the right time is not so easy.

Still, we are many and somewhat prepared; the gunch is only one, and small, and surprised. Though it batters the fighters, smashes the Thorn Beetle, and breaks many trees and bushes on the shore, it slows and falters; then it stumbles, reeling, and the three-handed sword bites deep into its side and the rapier pierces its neck, and it slumps and moves no more.

A few more blows to be sure, and the fight is done.

The quick thoughts of the hyprie already are fading, leaving my mind feeling full of cobwebs and cotton; but I try to remember that I am the healer also, and I still have some few cley left. The Herethroy has some bruises and some cracks in her chitin, but Sablemask is badly hurt early on, impaled on the dead stump, caught by blows and claws and flailing branches after; on him I spend my cley.

Dinah sees what I mean to do, and starts to protest, saying she Heals him Once already; but by then the spell is cast.

Even with my head still fogged by hyprie, when her words catch up with me I can think it the odd thing that my spell seems to have full effect.

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Maybe he's one of the lucky folks who can be healed twice?

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