Episode 4 :
Grasping at Straws (Part 2)
(Warmwind 15th -
The heroes decided that they would need reinforcements, and sent a messenger to Midtown. Although they thought they might be able to wait, many of the townspeople were taken prisinor, and there were large smoke colums rising from the north that needed to be investigated.
The colums tuned out to be the captured townspeople, crucified in a demonic fashion. The smoke came from many of the bodies that were burned, apparently for entertainment.
Lt. Shale discovered tracks leading to the northeast, apparently to a camp of some kind he assumed. Malachi and Shale agreed that it was no coincidence that the tracks led north -
Malachi sent Shale to scout the camp as he and his men, and the last of the fighters from the city, gathered together at a turning point in the path leading to the Rod. There they set up many traps and prepared for an ambush.
Shale returned with news that there were many men approaching, but only a fraction of the forces that were avalible to the villians. When the forces arrived, the few men sprung the traps, killing many of their foes and blocking off the path from escape. The remaining heroes entered the battle and finished off most of the rest of the army.
However, Muthok and Malinda were not among the slain. Now someone needed to go north for the Rod, but Woodway needed to be protected in case the remaining forces were gathered together by the villians and returned to the city for another round of revenge.
Malachi and his troops decided it best to travel for the Rod, and send Shale and his men back to Woodway to protect it until the troops from Midtown arrived.
Thr Rod was supposedly hidden in a cave above a waterfall. Once in the clearing, the heroes saw the cave on the side of a high cliff , with an underground stream that had broken away beneath it, sending a waterfall to the jagged lake beneath. Only part of the stone had fallen, leaving a bridge-
The rest of the heroes began to climb to the top, seeking the Rod, when Muthok came from hiding on the other side of the cliff! The only one to have made it thus far, Malachi had no choice but to face him alone.
To make matters worse, Melinda appeared, with the captured Nathan. She claimed that if Malachi resisted Muthok, she would kill her prisinor.
Malachi decided that Nathan and he would both die if he complied, so instead he acted as if he were to surrender, but had other plans.
Just when Muthok was confident that Malachi was surrendering to his will, Malachi slammed into him using his own body, hoping to knock both of them from the cliff! Melinda, statrled, released Nathan for a moment, giving him time to run. Anthony made sure she did not follow by sending a few arrows in her direction. She lept into the woods, disappearing.
Muthok and Malachi now both clung to the ledge above the deadly rocks, striking each other in an effort to cause the other to fall. Anothony was not able to get a shot at Muthok, although he tried.
In a show of sheer willpower, Malachi sent Muthok crashing down into the water. Safely returning to the bottom, the heroes searced for evidence of a body but found none in the deep waters. Both Melinda and Muthok were not seen again...
The heroes entered the cave, only to find that the Rod had long since been taken by someone else who left no clues to their identity. However, malachi did find a sword that had been well hidden, with mystical writings upon it. Keeping it, they returned to Woodway.
There, the heroes discovered that the army from Midtown had arrived, gone north, and killed most of Muthok's followers. Malachi helped preform the Ritial of Burning for his cousin, who was killed in battle.
Their mission finished, Malachi decided it was time to retun to Portraven. By pure chance, Captain Torlen returned again in the Stormruner, and the men set sail back across the sea...