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The Chroniclers and the Crimson Horde

Aidan Oreland spun his morning star overhead, lashing out with the weapon in a downward arc. The heavy spiked head smashed through a red wax monstrosity that vaguely looked like a man in a cowled robe. It shattered like stone, falling apart before him. Blood dripped down his chest, lacerations earned by the wax nightmares.

His leather vest was torn by their hardened claws, seeping red. Sweat poured from his face, running down his cheeks into his trim brown beard. Aidan was growing tired, exhausted by the endless struggle against a relentless swarm. Through the mist, he saw more figures trudging towards him, their movements erratic. Wax was never meant to move like men.

Drawing in a deep breath, he planted his thick booted feet in the soft soil under him. The night’s horrible darkness loomed between jagged tree branches around his path. The forest held untold dangers. Aidan muttered a prayer to the Archangel, his patron, and lowered the short handle in his right hand.

It was shaped like a wrought cross, made of Aspen wood, and blessed by the Holy Father of the Church of Divine Solace. The spiked ball at the end of the chain thumped in the dirt beside his boot, reddened by wax. Despite this, it was plain to see the scripture chiseled into the metal orb.

Aidan trudged forward, forcing himself to charge and press the attack. He swung the morning star behind him, twisting his wrist to keep the dangerous head spinning round and round. With a roar of defiant vigor, the warrior leaped forward at the first of the wax legion shuffling into view.

He brought the morning star down, slamming through it from head to toe. He landed between the split monster. The morning star arced again, rotating backward as he spun. He swung it forward after his turn. The next cowled head snapped off when it struck, flying away to the side as Aidan continued forward.

More of the melted humanoids shuffled for him, multiplying with each wave—first two, now four. Aidan tore through them with measured steps that twirled his body. He let the morning star’s head fly in broad crescents. As the last toppled, broken, six more ambled for him from the mist ahead. Their red arms were outstretched, deadly claws reaching for him. This wave was less formed than the others. Their limbs bubbled with rivulets as if the wax that made them was still soft when forced to harden.

Six-on-one was a greater threat. Aidan backed up, losing ground to prepare to meet them. He swung forward, bringing the star down on high. The nearest legion fell to its blow, but the others reached for him.

Aidan leaped back to avoid being scratched, cursing his luck and fading strength. His weapon arm ached, weary and heavy. Stars flashed in his eyes, disorienting him. Aidan Oreland resigned himself to death. His hope faltered.

And then, the flashing lights in his eyes overtook him. So bright he threw his other arm up to cover them against the brilliance. Or perhaps to sacrifice a limb to protect himself from the wax shambles.

“Ardeat! Flammae Iudicii!” A man’s voice spoke ahead of him. His ears rang with the roar of a volcano erupting. His skin felt the heat of dragon’s fire. Soon, silence fell. After a moment’s hesitation, Aidan lowered his arm. His brown eyes drank in the sight of three figures and the puddles of wax where the nightmares once stood.

The first was dressed in a long, green coat of a soft material like wool. His hair was graying at the temples but dark otherwise in the hazy moonlight through the mist. He stood tall, slipping his hands into the pockets of the coat that hung down to his booted ankles.

“That should do it. Living wax? How comical. Reminds me of a television program I watched on Holiday back on Earth, you remember? The one about the tall man in a jumper and that blonde girl fighting shop statues?”

He had turned to the other, a young woman with short, mousey brown hair in a wild mop atop her head. Her soft, feminine features struck Aidan. She was so young, yet she held herself with the stature of a noble. The girl adjusted round spectacles on her nose, brown eyes rolling behind the panes.

“Don’t start. That was a play, not real. And all we did on that 'Holiday' was sit on a cushioned bench and eat for three days. That poor man who welcomed us didn’t know what to do with you. You abused the dasher of doors.”

“Well, that was his function. Or theirs. Every now and then, someone new arrived with our meals,” said the man.

Towering over the two, an ogre stood behind. It scratched down the back of the leathery drape around its waist to cover its nethers. The creature sniffed and looked down at Aidan briefly. It was distracted by a small mouse rat that climbed onto its shoulder and began squeaking.

“And we paid that gentleman for his hospitality,” the green-coated one went on, looking about him. “Barely an inconvenience.”

“Keep telling yourself that. And don’t go throwing spells about. You’ve only just recovered, and this is our first assignment.” The woman scolded the man, mothering him. Aidan’s nose and lips curled upward, disgusted by how she treated her elder.

“Excuse me.” Aidan interrupted.

“Y-One moment, sir,” The man offered aside as if acutely aware of him but dismissing his presence altogether. “You…” He pointed an accusing finger at the girl in the shimmering brown robe. “...shut up. I’m fine.”

The girl huffed. The ogre laughed at something the mouse rat seemed to say. Aidan felt rather insane for a moment, a moment that passed when the man in green turned on him.

“Hello! Eliden Theorycrafter. This is Pasho Pyr, my companion.”

“APPRENTICE!” Pasho barked, glaring at him. “Stop it.” She warned.

Eliden cleared his throat, trying to hide a grin. He reached out and clasped his hand around Aidan’s bare shoulder. “The large one is called Grokthnar. Don’t fear. He’s my friend. My good friend, and if you’re my friend as well? He won’t feel a need to crush you. Can we be friends?” The strange man offered, thrusting out his other hand.

Aidan took hold of Eliden by the wrist, shaking firmly. “Aidan Oreland, Seeker for the Church of Divine Solace.” He introduced himself.

“Ohhh. A seeker? Well well. Pleasure.”

Eliden let Aidan go, stepping away and speaking before Pasho released a sound from her open mouth. “He’s a hunter for the Holy See. Monsters. Demons. Things that go BUMP. He keeps the peace for the citizenry by prowling the night.”

Pasho closed her mouth but retained her glare. Eliden was overdoing it.

“Anyroads! WAX creatures! That’s new. Isn’t it?” He asked Pasho, spinning around to Aidan. “Isn’t it?” He spun again, looking up at Grok. “Eh? Well, you don’t care. Nevermind.”

Grok looked down at Theorycrafter, thick lips pursing. “Huh?”

Eliden twirled back around again, then teetered unstable. Pasho rushed to his side and grabbed him. “I told you, take it easy…”

“I’m alright—too many turns. See, the problem with wax people is they must be created by something. Some force or spell animates the wax and gives it form, and if something can animate it to form them…”

He trailed off, watching wax slither through the dirt into larger puddles. Those larger puddles began to bubble and rose upward. First, the vague shape of a cowled head came, followed by shoulders dripping wax down the shape of a cloak. These were twice as big as the ones Aidan had fought, formed of twice as much wax.

“...Eliden?” Pasho whispered.

“Don’t worry, Pasho. We’ve got a giant too. GROK!”

With a roar that shook Aidan to his core, the Hob sprang into action with the ferocity of a bear. His massive fist smashed through the closest giant shambler. It split at the middle with a sloshing sound, the wax not yet hardened. Its top half plopped behind its bottom half. The wax wasted no time congealing back into itself to reform.

By that point, Grokthnar was bounding between the other three enormous nightmares. He crushed one down with double hammer fists. He leaped for the next one and smashed it. At the third, Grok slapped his hands together with the creature between them. Wax smooshed and trickled down his hands.

The giantkin turned to seek approval from his friends, only to find two of the shamblers upright. Grokthnar snarled at them. His head turned toward Eliden, seeking answers to how he should kill the unkillable. Eliden looked up at him.

“...Worth a try. RUN!!”

Aidan needed no further command. Tired as he was, he charged through the reforming wax shamblers. Eliden and Pasho came quickly behind, followed by the enormous Hob. Grok waved his great arms about to knock the creatures down as he broke through their line. Grok’s flat feet thudded on the soft, mossy ground behind them.

“Luckily, they don’t seem very fast!” Eliden gasped, growing more and more winded. Pasho worried that he wasn’t ready for this, and she seemed to be right.

“There!” Aidan bellowed. He ran ahead to a clearing and a small churchhouse outlined in the mist. He gathered up the chain of his morning star, holding the spiked ball in his hand. “Follow me!”

Pasho tugged Eliden’s sleeve, guiding him to stay behind the muscular seeker. She could tell by his labored breathing he was running out of steam for sprints.

“Grok, help Eliden!” She called behind her.

The Hob poured on speed, sweeping the smaller man up into his arms like a babe. Eliden protested but could do nothing about it. He was grateful, though. His lungs burned. He could barely keep air in his chest.

By the time Grokthnar reached the run-down shack of a chapel, Aidan had stopped and knelt down. His head was bowed, and he prayed to his patron once more for protection. Much to Pasho’s gasping surprise, the chapel’s stained glass fore-window lit up from within. The cross depicted in the colored glass beamed down upon the penitent seeker. Pasho looked back at Eliden as Grok set him down on his feet.

The green wizard was winded, gulping in air, and hunched. “...he wasn’t…lying…about…being a seeker…” Eliden wheezed.

“We’ll be safe for now. Creatures of evil cannot enter holy ground once activated.” Aidan told them, rising up to stand.

Pasho stared at the man in disbelief. “Really?”

Aidan nodded firmly. “Yes. Inside, you can trade coins for draughts of healing. The Church positions these all around Arcainon to help those in need.”

Pasho’s expression turned from disbelief to incredulity. “Seriously?”

“Oh, Good Lord…” Eliden groaned.

Pasho turned around to face her mentor, though she looked him over to ensure he was alright. “What?”

“It’s one of -those-. In all the multiplicity, there are a few, A FEW, worlds whose reality is dictated by the most absurd form of logic. Don’t try to understand it, Pasho. Just…go with it.”

The young mage put her fists on her hips, staring her elder down. She got the distinct impression she was being talked down to.

“I mean it. It won’t make sense. It’s not supposed to.” Eliden went on, grunting. He walked past her, grabbing her hand to drag her along as he entered the chapel with Aidan. “Watch.”

Pasho stepped inside, fingers closing around Eliden’s hand despite herself. Aidan moved ahead through the center aisle of broken bench pews. There were no torches inside, no lights whatsoever. And yet, the stained glass window was glowing brightly still. The cross shadow stretched through the interior now. There, at the head of the congregation hall, stood an altar of wood and marble.

Upon it sat three items. A round bottle bearing red liquid stoppered with a cork. A second round bottle, the same as the first, only filled with a blue liquid. Lastly, a silver cross rested propped on its side. In front of each object was a small wooden box with a coin slit in the top and a bronze lock at its front. Below the coin slit on each was a number: 100, 100, and 1,000.

“I don’t understand…” Pasho whispered.

“I warned you,” her mentor replied, upnodding as Aidan approached the red bottle.

Pasho saw the man rummage in a pouch on his belt and produce a set of coins. He placed each one into the small box, then took the red bottle off the mantle.

“Couldn’t anyone…take it?”

Eliden chuckled. “Wait for it…”

Aidan pulled the cork and upturned the mouth of the bottle to his lips. Red liquid sloshed for the long nozzle. Suddenly, the bottle was empty. Aidan Oreland was healed. Not a scratch nor trace of seeping blood graced him. His leather vest was repaired as well in an instant.

Pasho felt queasy, the sort of unease when faced with something beyond one’s mental grasp.

“See?!” Eliden took his hand back from the girl and thrust both toward Aidan like a showman. “See?! Absurd. Drink a potion, and you’re back to perfect health, and so are your clothes. Nonsense. Saves on a tailor, but still, it’s Nonsense!”

Everything seemed to be spinning out of control for poor Pasho. She escaped the impossible chapel and burst through the door, to Grok and Munchy’s surprise. Pasho vomited there in the grass, on her hands and knees. By the time she was finished, Grok had gotten a waterskin out of his harness and held it down to her with a worried look.

Eliden walked from the Chapel, followed by Aidan, who tucked the silver cross from the altar into his belt. Seeing Pasho rinsing her mouth out, Eliden smiled softly down at her. He bent, helping her back to her feet.

“Fear not. We’ll return to sanity soon, I promise. For now, I think Aidan’s quest requires our expertise.” The green wizard turned on Aidan standing tall and strong nearby. “Tell me everything.”

The holy seeker’s head swiveled first, dark eyes focusing on Theorycrafter. “I was charged with ending the blight in this forest.”

“The creatures of wax,” Eliden illustrated, motioning toward the path. There were large, hazy humanoid shapes in the mist.

Aidan nodded. “I knew not what they were when given the task, only that a malevolent force had taken root.”

Pasho sat up on her knees, staring at the mist beyond the chapel’s light. “We should defend ourselves. They’re coming.”

“No,” replied Eliden. “As I said, this realm holds to a certain logic. Here, at the church, we are safe. The creatures will not approach until we’ve left its boundary.”

“That makes no sense,” muttered Pasho, lifting her glasses off her nose to rub her face.

Grokthnar stared down the nightmares in the mist. His arms hanging low and his legs shoulder-width apart. A stalwart guardian against attacks that would not come.

Pasho burped, her stomach roiling. She shifted her hand over her mouth, choking down the second coming of nausea. The sound made Grok chortle.

Eliden chuckled, too, though he focused his attention back on Aidan once again. “Continue.”

The leather-clad seeker shrugged bare, muscular shoulders. “That’s all I know. Destroying them does no good. They only reform with time, as you saw.”

“Indeed,” Eliden agreed. “Meaning the power animating them hangs heavy in the mist or IS the mist. Perhaps a hanging enchantment or artifact; we’ve dealt with such things before.”

“The ring,” said Pasho, understanding once she recovered her wits.

“Aye. Tis a simple matter of silencing the magic that controls them. Knowing the rules of this existential plane, I expect the source to be deeper in the woods. We press on through the hordes.”

Aidan nodded again. “Agreed. I know not where you hail from, and your words make little sense to me. Still, I fear I cannot rid the land of this blight without your aid.”

“We’ve been known to do that,” said Eliden casually. Pasho snorted. “Are you well recovered to take to the task?”

The girl nodded, rising up to stand and affix her spectacles back on her face. “I’ll manage.”

“Splendid. Grokko!”

The Hob turned with a grunt when called to. He looked back at his friends with bushy eyebrows raised on his sloped forehead.

“Crush a path through the opposition if you would be so kind.”

Grokthnar grinned, thick lips spread wide and showing his crooked teeth. Aidan regarded the towering ogre and its tiny pet perched upon it.

“How come you by the service of a giant?”

Grok stretched, arms raised high, then swung down to loosen his shoulder joints.

Eliden smiled. “As I said, he is my friend. No finer one. Isn’t that right, Grok?”

Aidan watched the Hob’s jowled face wobble when it nodded. “Keep friends safe!” Bellowed the giantkin. Grokthnar turned, leaning forward, and charged.

“Quickly now! Try to keep up,” warned Eliden, rushing to follow the massive Hob. Aidan was spurred instantly to dash, followed by Pasho Pyr.

Grok’s bare feet thundered through the soil. The great Hob smashed through the first two enormous wax shamblers. They turned inhumanly toward the hob when he left the chapel's glow. Their hands reaching out. Grok hit them like a train, shattering each. The three smaller humans ran between them at Grokthnar’s heels.

With a mighty roar, the Hob decked the next one. His great, big fist crushed through its center, splitting the nightmare in red. Its top half fell, and Grok followed through to grab the fourth, forcing it back then down to the dirt. He stopped to pummel it to pieces. Aidan could hardly believe the ogre’s ferocity.

Clear of danger, for now, the three kept going along the faintly moonlit path. They slowed, avoiding roots that seemed to arch up from the earth to trip them. Yet they pressed on with the Hob now bringing up the rear. Grok shook wax off his fists.

Fifteen paces were all the peace they received. The mist offered up fresh shambling masses, smaller than the four they’d faced. Their sets had increased. The first was four with arms outstretched and claws reaching to rend flesh. Their wax bodies had fully hardened, the shape of red shrouds and cowls again.

With renewed vigor, Aidan surged head of Eliden and Pasho. He spun, lashing out with his holy morning star. The chain rattled melodic as it extended and stretched through the arc. The spiked ball bashed one into another, crushing it with force. The second teetered, unstable, and one of its legs snapped off. The shambler tilted and fell but began to claw through the dirt to reach them. Aidan whipped the chain around, altering its trajectory in mid-flight. He sent the ball down on the dismembered creature. It shattered and went still, one arm extended for him.

“Globus Ignis!” Barked Eliden, fingers splaying wide. Each hand accepted a guttering flame that roiled and swirled into a sphere shape in his palm. He cocked back with his right hand, loosing the fireball at the next wax monstrosity. It exploded over the red cowled head, melting it down off its shoulders. The cascade of hot wax trailed its entire body until naught remained but a stump of two legs. The green wizard took a single step, subjecting the last to the same fate.

The night was silent save for the breath of four adventurers proceeding through the mist. So quiet that each heard the next wave of shamblers long before they arrived. Wax feet crushed leaves and twigs. Pasho created her own fireballs, clutching them in her hands. Her skin felt no heat from the flickering flames, the magic that forged them all her own and, therefore, safe to her.

Grok pushed ahead again, lusting for the sport of battle. Munchy squeaked a mighty keen on his shoulder. Its little claws dug into the giantkin’s flesh to moor itself to him. When Aidan, Eliden, and Pasho reached him, Grok stood triumphant. The rubble of broken wax statues lay around him. His greyish skin bled lightly from various scratches. The skirmish had only lasted a minute, if not seconds more.

“Are you okay?” Pasho called, seeing the red rivulets seeping down him.

Grok nodded, swiping a hand down his bare chest. His blood, like theirs, left a crimson smear over his belly.

“They’ll overwhelm us with sheer numbers,” Aidan said. He pulled the chain of his morning star with his other hand.

“No, the pattern of their animation is slow. By now, those we felled have reformed into larger versions of their previous shades behind. These will take some time to recover as well. Press on; we must find the source quickly.”

And on they pursued. Deeper into the woods, the moonlight failed to reach their path. Only the small orange light of Pasho’s held fireballs broke the gloom. She held them up, providing more luminance. The moment she did, another wave of red shamblers lurched from the dark. Eight now.

“This is getting absurd!” Eliden groaned, calling for fireballs to toss like a mad bombardier in a riot. Aidan swung his morning star, crushing the horde where he could. It was difficult to find an opening amidst Grokthnar’s violent physicality.

Their pace was not quick enough, slowed down by the larger group. Giant shamblers shuffled toward them from behind. Pasho, the last in line, screamed and stumbled toward Eliden.

A feral war cry preceded the Hob’s rush past them. He hit the first with a shoulder, knocking it down. His hands wrapped around the wrists of the next as it reached to scratch him, ripping the wicked appendages off their limbs. He kicked, breaking through its center, then stomped forward to meet the rest behind.

“GOOOOOOOO!” Bellowed the giantkin warrior.

“No!” Pasho cried out as Eliden pulled her onward.

“We must trust him.” Snapped the elder Chronicler, pushing her as she turned back. “Grok protects our flank so we may press the attack. There’s no other way.”

Aidan prayed to the Archangel for the ogre, finding the idea foreign despite himself. He begged for the flaming sword of righteousness to infuse Grokthnar with strength. To protect him from evil. The seeker had never prayed for any creature that wasn’t a man like him. He thought about reconsidering that notion if he survived.

“We must go faster!” Eliden demanded behind the seeker. Aidan slashed through three of ten half-formed shamblers that met him. They broke, sloshing over themselves instead of crumbling.

“As you say,” Aidan called back, bringing his morning star’s head circling back for another broad path of ruin. Rather than finish them off, he darted through the opening he’d made in the splattering crowd of red shrouds.

“Pasho, after him!” Eliden beckoned, clapping his hands together and then spreading them wide.

“Murus Aeris,” he said, gusts of wind following the direction of his hands. Wax Shamblers stretched away from the opening Aidan made. The soft, viscous fluid was pushed by force until the nightmares looked windswept. Pasho shuddered but jumped through the space and dashed after Aidan. Eliden soon followed.

Aidan saw light ahead, the faint whitish-yellow motes in the mist and dark. He hunched forward, turning his rush to a full sprint with the chain of the morning star held in his offhand. Pasho saw it next, hot on Aidan’s heels.

“Light! I see light!” She cried.

“Wonderful! We’re almost finished this abominable level!” Eliden called from behind.


“Never you mind, keep going!”

Grokthnar’s war cries and snarls faded the further they ran. Aidan was the first to stop. Pasho bounced off his back with a squeal, staggering to keep her feet under her. Eliden careened up alongside the seeker, shifting his direction when Pasho flailed. He stopped, catching his breath and gazing upon the same as the rest.

Before them, two colossal statues of red shrouds stood. Easily the largest shamblers yet. Each one held a curved, jagged blade of hard, magicked wax in its bony, clawed grip. Between, a concave disk like an overturned shield sat on the dirt. Bronze by the glint of the two red candles burning in the bow of the metal. They had melted a pool to the disk’s brim, pouring like a waterfall over the edges. Half-formed wax bodies were rising from the puddles, clawing like the first beasts born of primordial ooze for terra firma.

“Lady, Seeker. I give you: the source,” said Eliden, motioning with a sweep of both hands toward the disk and the candles.

“Destroy that, and the curse is lifted.” Aidan said, though his tone begged confirmation from the wizard at his side.

“Quite so. Though, I suspect…” He took a step forward. The two gruesome guardians turned, alerted to his presence. They marched toward Eliden, raising the blades. Unlike the rest of the shambling horde, their cowled heads were terrifyingly skull-shaped. Each wicked grin was born of red, pointy facsimile teeth.

“You could’ve just SAID it!” Pasho admonished her mentor and friend, jumping forward to throw her first fire globe. It burst upon the shrouded middle of one. The flames ate through the wax that shaped it, yet not as quickly as Eliden’s had liquified the smaller ones.

“AHA! I’VE GOT IT!” Eliden cried out, jumping up and down as if the ineffective fireball didn’t matter.

Pasho threw the other distractedly. It burst at the feet of the second guardian. She spun on Theorycrafter. “What? What? WHAT?!”

The green wizard grabbed Pasho by the shoulders so abruptly that the girl squeaked, stiffened, and went red in the face. Aidan appeared perplexed by the antics in the face of greater foes.

“Aidan and I will engage the guardians. You must overturn the bronze pit and extinguish the candles.”

“Me?! But you usually-”

“Now, Pasho! There’s no time. The creatures form as we speak, and Grokthnar is in peril.”

Pasho closed her mouth, though her eyes trembled with fear.

Eliden set his eyes on hers. “Save us, Pasho.”

The girl’s trembling stilled, and she drew in a deep breath, nodding. Eliden smiled, his gaze turning gleefully mad, and the green wizard spun away from her.

“Hey! Your feet are burning!” He called to the second guardian, pointing down. It ignored the gesture, trudging closer. Eliden circled away from Pasho. “That’s right, over here. Globus Ignis!” Fireballs burst forth into his hands, and he waved them about.

Aidan ran the other way, engaging the first wax guardian with powerful swings of his morning star. Each strike tore a chunk of wax from the dagger-wielding statue, yet didn’t slow its progress. It was, however, well distracted.

Pasho steeled her nerve with a deep breath, beginning to chant a spell after. She surged forward despite her fear. She’d felt a failure, inadequate, ever since Eliden’s brush with death. Still, he trusted her to see this nightmare end. The girl clutched tightly to that feeling of trust and wore it like armor against her worries.

To her right, Aidan swung his mighty morning star over his head. It deflected the dagger the guardian used, twirling back around to bite into its wax core. The nightmare loomed over the holy seeker still, missing chunks here and there from where the enchanted spiked ball struck true. It swiped down into Aidan’s side with its bare hand, sharp claws ripping leather and flesh beneath.

Pasho looked left for Eliden then. The green wizard danced back from the slashing and swings his opponent deployed. He was losing ground. His back was dangerously close to the trees and brush, running out of room to dodge and weave. Every chance he could, Theorycrafter summoned and loosed a small ball of fire to melt at his enemy. Neither seeker nor Chronicler seemed to hold an advantage against these wax warriors.

Her only choice was to break the spell as Eliden bid her. She focused on the candles and the disk-shaped bowl that spilled red wax. Fresh nightmares were crawling from the ooze, taking shape to stop her. There was little time left now. She had to strike.

“Venti!” Pasho’s boots pressed into the forward puddle’s edge, and the young mage threw her hands out before her. Wind burst from her palms, swirling together to form a vortex. High winds first pushed the melted wax backward. The candle lights flickered, leaning their flames back. Soon enough, the slender, red sticks tipped over and fell. Their flames went out. The bowl rattled, upturning and spilling its red goo back over the tapers. Each candle melted away.

The shamblers being born fell, melting into the puddles that birthed them. Both guardians lurched, deteriorating without the magick to sustain them. Aidan and Eliden were left panting, standing before mounds instead of monsters. Pasho turned toward each, sighing wearily.

“Well done!” Cheered her mentor. Aidan smiled, bowing to the girl as well.

“My deepest thanks and thanks again on behalf of the Church to all of you. Perhaps, we should recover your ogre?”

Eliden chuckled, shrugging the question off. “He’ll be along shortly. I have faith.”

Pasho giggled, nodding her agreement. A great weight had lifted off her shoulders. She smiled, standing tall and proud.

The heavy thud of Hob footfalls resounded down the path they’d come. A faint squeaky chittering heralded Grokthnar’s approach.

Happy Halloween!

From Eliden, Pasho, Grok, and Munchy!

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