Note: Written before leaving Arn's Parent's House.
I swore I would never return to that god forsaken place. It started a little over a week ago. I was, barely in the right mind, the night before Variel and I were together... were intimate, it was... it was interesting. I was, in stupid good mood, I swaggered down stairs of our makeshift base Ameilia was behind the counter prepping things in anticipation of real customers. I offered to buy everyone a round, of course as an owner we didn't have to pay anyways, but again I wasn't thinking quite right. My mind was on the previous night, on him. It was the only time I have seen him enjoy feeding... well it was the only time up until that point, but I will get to that.
Arn knew, I think he heard us. We met forearms in celebration, I kind of hope this did not embarass poor Variel. Then a woman entered the Bar, Artemis and Arn greeted her, a pretty thing in leopard skins. (Where she found Leopard skins I haven't the foggiest of notions). She wanted Arn. Apparently she was the sister of the man who challenged us on the road. They were hunters she said (I find this statement odd) She took the news of his death very well, and actually admitted they were from a tribe of shapeshifters. She wanted to hang around the tavern until we could get a lead on her brother. We agreed and I asked Ameilia to take care of her on the house.
Yes, our first customer and I gave her free service and board. Is it a wonder that my family has money problems?
As she sat down Arn went ghost white. He had been sent a message, with magic one assumes by Honda, Honda the Paladin. The Yuan-ti attacked and took her people hostage she followed them into the Coil and thats where the message ended.
Arn and I said it almost in unison. Why? Why did I offer to go to the Coil again? What the hell is wrong with me lately?
Variel was spooked by the idea of visiting the Coil, he was hesitant at first, but I made it clear I was going, and she accepted. Though knowing him he would of helped anyways. He is like that. How such a sweet man can be a product of such a monster I will never know. I used to think what I was was the fault of my own upbringing and that was simply that, however if Variel can turn out better than I am, and with what I can only imagine was a terrible terrible upbringing then what does that say about me?
Chaniud is silent like always. I ask him or Divining Light questions I get no answer. Do I fight for him? Or do I fight for me? Or is it for Variel, or Arn and Artemis? I don't have an answer to this now. I just know to fight. And I know well enough that if an innocent is in danger and you can help you help. For now that will have to be enough.
And Chaniud is still silent.
Violet and Taban did not care to acompany us. Taban would have no reason to. I would assume even Violet would be unwilling to let an innocent be captured and dragged there. But I suppose its not to surprising. Perhaps its for the best, we need someone to over see the digging of the basement and the restoration of the Inn. Chaniud help me if its staffed by undead when we get back I will personally smite them both.
It took a week to get to the portal. A week, what they could do to a girl in a week, it frightens me, and sends a shiver down my very soul. Even now I dare not ask Honda all of what might of happened. Variel fed normally on the way there, about every third day. He keeps insisting he can go longer. I don't doubt it, but I rather him feed to often then not enough and have something happen. Especially if I end up hurt or killed or captured.
After scouting the camping site and finding it clear we drew weapons and stepped in. It was gaurded of course. A pair of archers, we made short work of them, however one bit Variel, he poisoned him, actually he hurt him pretty bad, I was worried. I can't, my magic its, I am useless when it comes to stuff like this. Like always. But Artemis had some anti toxin on him from our last journey, God that was lucky, Variel drank it, and soon the poison ended but it did a number on him. I had him use his wand on himself and I had him feed on me, in front of everyone. I didn't care, I just wanted him to be alright. He didn't seem to have the energy to argue.
Once stablized we moved on, they had called for back up, but despite this we managed to sneak up on the temple. Arn was on edge, Arn was, not thinking clearly I think.
To be honest... I don't understand it. What is Honda to him? They slept together, that much was obvious but they hardly knew each other. I find this strange. I doubt I would of marched off to the coil for every person I ever slept with. And yet whatever she was to him she was less to me and here I was. Though with a cooler head I suspect.
It was a temple, a different design than before but similar, there were several guards outside armed with melee weapons. I hit one with a crossbow bolt, but Arn just walked up to them. To be fair we did make short work of them but not before Artemis took several nasty hits. Not wanting to waste spells I suggested he drink his potions he picked up in hazuk. We walked into the door.
Then it happened. an arcane symbol of some sort though I didn't recognize it, the pain hit us, wrecking pain, agonizing. But it was just Pain. it was hard to focus, hard to hit, but it was just pain. Pain can be blocked. and eased. Any advantage the pain gave them was at least partially offset by my song. And there was Honda, beatened but alive and tied down to an Altar. There were a handful of Yuan-ti in the room and someone who was obviously their leader. Sssslletan I think he said. Yuan-ti names are all like that.
Empowered by grace of a cat, and my Song I managed to work through the pain and the evil aura the room was filled with, Some sort of unholy magic I suspect. Finishing off one or two of the Yuan-ti as the boys took out the rest, Save a single Archer. As his minions fell one by one the enemy, an evil cleric I suspect, Sssslletan, he began casting his big spells. Chaniud help us, I was almost frozen in fear as a collumn of flame struck Arn and Variel. Variel jumped out of the way and avoided, but Arn... it hurt arn a lot worse than he wanted to admit. I finsihed off an Archer and made it to Honda, the cleric had turned his attention to me. He fired something at me but I didgoed it, then He hit me with something... it hurt, it hurt bad but he seemed confused as to why it did not kill me outright.
Then he hit me with something else, It hurt.. a searing blast of light, it burned. I was badly hurt, There was no time for smart assed remarks, or clever debates, I was angry. I think I told him to fuck off. Not very lady like I am afraid. I hope Variel doesn't mind. But I was in pain.
He was surrounded with something, and Aura, something unholy, though it didn't seem to hurt me directly as I stepped in it to help Honda. Then Variel struck. Variel attacked him outright. That aura... it empowered him, probably due to his, eh nature... He attacked and hurt Variel, Variel was injured at this point. And the Yuan-ti was smirking... I think he realized what he was, I think he realized he could take control of him, and I hadn't used my possession protection spell on him, I am an idiot, I should of of course but I did not.
I yelled something, actually I think I said "Don't touch my man!" which is... uhg I hope Variel didn't hear that. It sounds possessive and... we aren't anything official... I don't want him to get the wrong Idea, or to scare him off but.. still. I yelled it and I struck. Piercing something vital I hurt him bad. I got this! I yelled to Variel, step back, drink your potion. He refused, "I can do better he said". I smiled. He was always so passive (Outside of the bed) and timid, but he has great strength and power. I smiled I think because I recognized something of myself in that response. It sounded like me.
But what happened next I have no words.
He attacked and bit the Yuan-ti, He bit him, and he drained him dead. I don't think he had much life in him but still. Variel drained him. This is... this is not like him... Its... I tried to console him. The remaining archer surrended to Artemis, I gently pushed Variel out of the Aura and called Arn to help with Honda.
I kissed Variel. I wiped the blood from hm and kissed him. I was.. what he did... It... it was exciting but it was scary I have never seen him act that way, that Aura... that Aura did something to him. That bloodlust was not him, me maybe, but not him. He realized what he had done, and was taken back by it, I tried to console him, I kissed him again I ensured him that the Cleric had tried and nearly succeeded to kill us both.
We gathered Honda's things, Artemis found the bodies of her men. We took the mace off the cleric I put it in my backpack. I healed Honda and soon she came to. She was sick and tired and hurt, we took her out of the Coil and headed for the Elf Capital. Arn has family there and she needed to be treated for whatever the Yuan-ti did to her.
second half to follow