That’s What Friends Are For

(9 Ivastaen 5115: Ta’Illistim)

Not every rescue is from the jaws of death.

The Adventuring Guild assigned the bardess to recover an heirloom from a spectral lord. It seemed like a good enough match for her. Aetheri went with her to that area regularly so she could earn her next step for the Order of Voln. She would just save the job until he was around.

She came in from a successful hunt in the Teorainn Dale, and tarried on the dais in the Ta’Illistim Hanging Gardens visiting with people. Mister Kreager, in town for the weekend Ord an Dragan series of helping sessions, asked her about her Voln steps progress.

“That is quite the blessing, Mister Kreager,” she was a bit wide-eyed in amazement just watching her own weapon swing so well.

“I have gained 2 more steps,” Luxelle told him, feeling good about that accomplishment since she left the Landing.

It was time to get back hunting, “All right, back I go!” she told him.

“Whaer ya goin?” Kreager asked her.

“Hunter trolls, and the other things near them,” she answered.

“Bleh, trolls, no fun,” he told her.

“I cannot stand up the spectral lords on my own,” she explained. “Trolls, I can. Well, you know, most of the time.”

“Hrm… gotta be somethin’ undead ye kin hunt round here,” he mused.

And there really was. She did hunt a couple undead things, just not when she was alone.

“The adventuring guild keeps sending me to spectral lords,” she volunteered.

“Oi, they annoyin aye.  Though I kin help if ya ever git em agin,” the cleric offered. She already knew he was a great help hunting undead. He was the first cleric she had ever gone out on a hunt with.

She explained about her existing bounty, and how she would appreciate the help. She was pretty sure she could not face down spectral lords on her own. Off they went to find the missing pin that someone wealthier than she was had lost to a spectral lord. The person really wanted this thing back.

She took her first couple swings at a ghostly mara and was amazed at how hard her blade hit. She had forgotten about Mister Kreager’s song; no, clerics did not have songs. His – blessing?

“Benediction of Eonak,” he told her.

“That is quite the blessing, Mister Kreager,” she was a bit wide-eyed in amazement just watching her own weapon swing so well.

They made their way past the (mostly) ghostly mara area into the place that held more of the spectral lords. Mister Kreager gestured at the first spectral lord we encountered and it froze in its tracks, unable to move.

“Git it!” he told her.

With that holy binding, it was a sitting duck to her weapon and song, and in short order, it was dead. Before she even had a chance to finish the followthrough of her final swing on the creature, it disappeared! There would be no looting that corpse. She was a bit disappointed, but they were poor anyway.

They found a couple more and in the middle of it all, the holy blessing on her falchion wore off, but Mister Kreager noticed immediately and delivered another blessing on the blade in a matter of seconds.

After a few more spectral lords, she knew she was earning both favor for the Order of Voln and having a great hunting experience. She had to be careful here, and was concentrating on that. While she might have  a cleric for a companion this night, she did not really want to end up dead and making him raise her.

She watched carefully for additional foes to come in, and did her best to keep herself guarded when one of those big spectral lords might be able to haul off on her.

“Ach… thas gonna make thins harder,” he said suddenly.

“What is?” she asked between swings, not taking her eyes off of her opponent.

“Ye hafta loot em… and they disappear before ye kin loot em,” Kreager replied.

She’d forgotten about that in all the activity of hunting. She was here to find a pin. She paused, figuring that she needed to get a new task. He was right, this was going to be nigh impossible. It was the very rare spectral lords’ corpse that stuck around long enough for her to loot.

“Ye have any spells that do damage?” he asked.

“Nothing to speak of. I am a bard,” she meant … inexperienced bard. She knew one day her songs would strike fear into any opponent’s soul. But, not now. It was the promise, though. She was not there yet.

They wandered around a bit, pouncing on the next sighting of a vile spectral lord. Her head was pretty full already, and she still had a bounty to complete.

“Got an idea,” he said, explaining, “Here’s th’ game plan.”

She nodded to him, listening to his good advice.

“Ye hit em once,” he said with a wink, “Then I kill em, as ye git ready ta loot em.”

“OK!” the bardess was in; it did not technically sound like cheating. Or at least no more cheating than hunting with haste was.

What a brilliant idea! She would never have thought of that, she had already given up the bounty in her mind. So that’s exactly what they did. She helped him with a few swipes, then hung back, ready to pounce on what was left of the fell undead carcass. It took a little practice, she was not exactly used to this tactic.

Before 10 of those lords had been released from their sorry state, she found the pin.

They returned to Ta’Illistim with the job done. She would never have finished that if Mister Kreager had not figured out that perfect tactic.

Friends. It was great to see Kreager out in the Nations over the weekend.


Author: GSBardess

A young bardess named Luxelle is currently learning her trade and hoping to one day make a name for her songs in GemStone IV. Follow along with her adventures in life and song.

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