May 24 2008
Trekking through the freezing landscape, Drey and I keep moving not saying a word for it is even too cold to talk, it’s better to keep the warm air in your lungs. We have been travelling for 6 hours now and it is much more difficult, the wind is blowing hard, it’s colder and snow is now up to our knees. Looking ahead, I can only see about 30 meters in front so it’s hard to know what we might be heading into. Just mere moments after thinking of the party, some shapes begin to emerge through the thick atmosphere, moving in our direction. Drey and I both look on, they look familiar but are unsure, a few more steps and it is upon us it is Lysar and Biryn. Behind them from the mist emerge Ash and Ulrich, but looks like Ulrich is carrying something. I yell out but they cannot hear me, we continue making our way towards them, a nice comforting feeling comes over me as we finally make contact. I raise my arms into the air and look to the sky thanking my Lord Shaal for guiding me to my friends.
Looking at Ulrich, “why are you carrying a corpse”? He looks to the ground and says “Kier”. The sudden and deep feeling of a big loss fell straight on me like I had been crushed by a mountain. Even though I didn’t really know him, his importance in our fight was irreplaceable. I bow my head in silence as I try to come up with a way to still give us hope, or even just for myself. Drey moves and talks with Ash, I look around and not much is said between the party. We do have to decide what we are going to do and it is agreed we all keep heading to the Volcano. As we start walking again, Lysar notices 3 bears following our trail but doesn’t show any sign of threat. The cold is our enemy at the moment.
Moving on, some shapes begin emerging in the distance, they look like pillars but their position is very random. As we approach, we can see frozen people inside and there are eleven in total. I draw my crossbow, something is not right here. Drey nods and pulls out his sword. Looking around, it seems empty but I am uneasy. Unable to sense anything, I start to relax a bit but that is quickly taken from me by a hissing sound coming from up ahead. I am unable to see anything, Drey suddenly yells “Ice Demon!!” Both Drey and I move into cover, just as a ball of cold flies at the party. Ulrich the brave stands his ground but ducks like a little pussy behind his shield as the rest of us spread out. The Demon starts approaching, in doing so it kicks up snow and ice in the wind around it. I lift my crossbow in hoping to get a lucky shot in the bad conditions, I fire and it gets blown off course and disappears into the thick white ground.
As it moves in to confront Ulrich, he takes a swipe with the Sea Drake blade, hitting the demon, it shrieks and quickly moves back and around to Lysar, myself and Drey. Drey is down low preparing something and won’t answer my calls; the Demon quickly comes in and strikes him down. Unaware, a cold ball cast by the demon impacts into my back, the force hits me hard knocking me face first into the snow. I lift myself up, looking around, the Demon has headed off down the hill, I must have lost track of what happened. In the moment, I am drawn towards Ash looking at the rock wall on our left and spot some sort of lizard face looking back down. I quickly pick myself up and make my way to cover near Ash. It looks like he is speaking with the creature up there. I look away and see another more grotesque Demon approaching Ulrich. I remember the sponge and its powers and think it might give us an advantage against the ice demons. I ask Ash to pass it to me which he does promptly. I move towards the ice demon and Ulrich but the demon casts an ice wall behind Ulrich. I move to the ice wall thinking which way to get round it, while it is focused on Ulrich, I should have a chance of a surprise attack. As I look at the height of the wall, instinctively I leap over it twisting myself invertedly at the top so to land right behind the demon facing the icy unholy. With the sponge in my fist, I punch the demon right in the back stunning it immediately.
The demon shrieks loudly as I drill my fist into its back, looking at its wound, it starts shattering as the sponge begins sucking the demons matter into its own. Bits of ice burst from its stomach as it starts dissipating. It all ends in a puff of vapour. While holding the sponge which is now very heavy I yell “stop!” It stops drawing in more moisture straight away.
As I calm down and slow my breathing, a chill goes up my spine as two dragon like creatures are looking at Ash from the top of the rocks. Strangely Ash still looks like he is talking to them and steps forward disrobing. His wings spread out wide, striking a pose looking very impressive. He dons his robes and they climb down towards him. Clenching the sponge, I ready myself for more danger. What happened next really caught me off guard, they are drakes and they have huddled with Ash as if they were pets. I didn’t know what to think, feeling in awe but hesitant at the same time. I remain watching as Ash communicates with them. As he strokes one, his other hand reaches out and touches one of the frozen ice blocks and starts to melt it. The body within slumps down in the snow and the Drakes look like they approve his actions. During the next ten minutes, we have found out that Ash has defrosted the blocks to provide food for the Drakes, I think that’s much better than us. Before we leave, a few of us search the bodies for weapons and valuables before heading for shelter further ahead. Three hours later, we arrive at a cave and quickly a fire is lit. The warmth is welcomed by all of us; I sit near and begin meditating focussing on recovering before we set off again as well as trying to make something positive out of all that I have learned today.