Virei trudged along on the road beside Mirale. This was only their second mission, but the woman seemed trustworthy enough, despite being a demon like most of their enemies. And yet she worked with this idiot...
They'd been sent out to Lirner to deal with a big guy with red hair and a knack for swinging big swords. Who, as it turned out, had gotten Mirale, Joe McBob and Bubs into their quest to gather the pieces that held Rapthor. And was also the general's brother. I guess compensation runs in the family
, he thought amusedly. Given the size of the general's sword, which he used as a bludgeon, it seemed possible.
Virei shielded his eyes from the sun. "I think I see someone," he told Mirale. She nodded. "I wasn't sure if it was someone or just a mirage," she responded. As they got closer, they found it was a large man in armor, carrying a big sword. He walked toward them, his legs slightly stiffer than seemed right. Virei muttered to Mirale. "Do you think that's him?" "Yeah, it is."
The paladin sighed and readied his shield, preparing his sword to be drawn. "Chrono von Power! We've been sent to detain you! Would you mind coming with us?" The man's gaze focused on them, and Virei realized he hadn't seemed to be looking at them. A groan was the only response as the larger man stalked toward the pair, drawing his blade. Figures. What a jerk.
Virei dashed toward him, drawing his blade and swinging, with golden light flowing along his blade and the ground he covered. Their blades clashed, and Virei roared a wordless challenge. Mirale followed him, drawing her maul, which had a head roughly the size of his chest, and slamming it into Chrono.
Chrono's great sword smashed into Virei's shield, nearly knocking the stunned paladin over. Virei could feel several bruises forming and suspected his wrist was sprained. Mirale, noting his pained look, used a healing spell. Then, Virei and Mirale began to attack Chrono full force. None of the three could land a solid hit. Virei felt a growing, pulsing evil on his opponent's chest. He suspected it was radiating from the amulet hanging there, which looked... suspicious.
Chrono's blade stopped midswing. "Nnnnnnnnnnnoooooo, dooooonnnnn' wannn' tooooo," he said. His speech seemed to be strained, as if he were struggling to control his own body.
By the gods, was this idiot really stupid enough to accept an amulet that possessed him? Someone as dangerous as he apparently is? ... What the hell.
Virei's blade struck faster as he searched for an opening in Chrono's defenses. Despite the awkward, jerking motions of a possession, he still managed to deflect most strikes Mirale or Virei threw. On the other hand, Virei was able to avoid almost all of Chrono's attacks, and almost none were directed at Mirale.
An arrow zipped past Virei and lodged in Chrono's arm. He swung at Virei, much weaker than before. A second arrow stuck into the ground, and a third pierced his armor and went through his leg. He let out a bellow of pain. Virei took advantage of the distraction and kicked the other man in the chest, denting his breastplate. Mirale's maul slammed into his helmet, and he keeled over. Sheathing his blade, Virei took the great sword away. "That was a hell of a fight," he said. Looking back, he saw Joe trotting out from the trees. "Didn't you have a mission with Bubs?" he called out.
Joe shrugged. "I was in Lirner and heard about this, so I came out here. I saw you two fighting him, so I decided to lend a hand." Virei nodded, accepting the explanation.
He rolled Chrono onto his back and looked at the amulet. The symbol was vaguely familiar, but he couldn't quite place it. He grabbed it and tore it from the thong holding it around Chrono's neck. The pulsing grew faster, almost seeming frantic. The amulet broke in his hands. "That was barely enlightening." He stared at the pieces in his hand, mulling over what had happened, as Mirale and Joe removed the arrows from Chrono and cared for the wounds. Virei looked up. It was around noon, so the sun was at it's zenith. "Hey, Mirale, didn't the bartender say Chrono was headed toward the elves' village for something?" he asked.
"Oh, yeah, he did. And... Chrono was possessed... Uh-oh," the succubus said. Virei nodded; that was what he had thought. He picked up the other man, slinging him across his shoulders. (for reference, a fireman's carry)
"Come on, let's see what we can find out." The trio began walking, with Virei in the lead, carrying the massive fighter. They got close to the village not long before sunset. A pillar of smoke rose ahead of them. "Oh, crap," they chorused. Virei stopped. "If there's something malevolent in the village, I don't want him
weighing me down. Let's tie him up beside the path." Joe pulled out some rope, and the archer and paladin worked together to tie Chrono's arms around a tree. At some point, he'd fallen asleep, and even their work didn't wake him. His loud snores were irritating, to say the least.
The three covered the short distance to the village, which was hidden by a screen of trees, quickly.
They stopped, shocked.
"Boop," said Virei.