As Prescott watches his recent companions pass silently through the door, wistful memories pass through his head. He had not known them for long, but they were a fun and interesting group to battle with, despite their inability to handle their experiences and their inefficiencies at working as a team.
Seeing Snorbaugh begin to turn, Prescott quickly raises his voice and resumes a discussion on the best tasting parts of a minotaur. A few moments later, a feeling settles over Prescott, like a sodden cloak. This feeling is one of dread; he senses that his friends of late are heading into certain doom. Stifling a sigh, Prescott knows that he must follow them, hoping to catch them and prevent their demise. None of them were as quick as he, or as sure, or able to deal massive damage from behind with a simple twist of a dagger; no they could not survive on their own, without his aid.
“Shhh!” Prescott whispers, “Over there, I think I just heard a wee lamb in the brush.” He waits for Snorbaugh to grunt and head in the direction of the next nonexistent sheep, then moves silently through the now closed door, careful to leave no tracks that Snorbaugh might detect.
He steps quickly and quietly past several dead bodies, then peers through another door. Seeing several large dead snakes and ichor still steaming from pools on the floor, Prescott hopes none of his friends are still inside one of the carcasses. One, two, three, …, no they are all here; a silent sigh of relief escapes his lips. Seeing no other monsters in the room, Prescott straightens himself and strides into the room, eyes quickly taking in the details of the fight, recognizing Tira’s imprecise spell blasting and Barrick’s neat blade cuts.
Making up an excuse about missing the action, Prescott quickly integrates himself back into the party. After being apprised of the situation, he joins Erik in an attempt to sneak into the large room beyond. Prescott moves in without a sound and then holds his breath as he waits to see if Erik can mimic his skills. Just as Prescott fears, Erik sneaks in as quietly as a kruthik hatchling, alerting the entire room. Knowing his presence is useful, Prescott leads the combat and quickly kills the nearest brigand, kicking his body into the oily waters beneath the shambling bridge. Erik redeems himself by taking out another, and Tira finishes off the last two with her bouncing multi-coloured lightning; neat trick that one.
The now enraged giant lizard she-thing steps forward and grabs Erik with her tail. Prescott wonders at Erik’s future, unstealthy and slower than a lizard’s tail today. Prescott knows he will have to try and watch Erik’s back, lest his friend finds himself dazed or confused.
Prescott leaps forward into the gaseous emanations of the belligerent one and critically wounds the she-croc, but in the process, Prescott’s dagger becomes electrified. No matter, he does not mind a little tingling zap here and there.
The battle progresses in the haphazard way Prescott expects from the group, an advantage narrowly growing. But then, a crocodile larger than Prescott had ever heard of or seen breaches the surface of the water and swallows Rift whole. Prescott falters for a second, seeing the moving bulge that is Rift moving on the surface of the crocodile belly. He prepares to rescue Rift, but even more suddenly than the attack, the beast’s belly shrinks, and standing 40 feet away, is Rift, covered in mucus, but otherwise looking happy; neat trick that one.
Prescott is feeling proud of his abilities to help, when suddenly a bolt of white light streaks from the altar, slamming into Felsmon. Realizing the battle is no longer a given, Prescott turns back to Noomar, getting in one of his wonderful sneak attacks from behind. Prescott glances over at Erik, hoping to find him still in one piece. Instead of attacking an archer, Prescott finds Erik, swords raised, attacking not an enemy, but attacking Prescott himself! “What do I have to do to protect these people from themselves,” Prescott wonders as he tries to evade Erik’s swords.
Stepping and leaping through venomous snakes, attacking and dodging, Prescott all the while watches as his companions take hit after hit. Erik becomes dazed, more than once, Felsmon is forced to use two of the magic jewels on his armour before slipping on the snakes and later becoming dominated, and Barrick almost dies, save for the healing potions he drinks.
Finally due in no small part to Prescott’s heroics, the tide turns. The beast Slitheral is sucked into the larger multi-being beast. Tira kills Noomar, and Felsmon kills Thunan. But then just as Rift determines a magical way to enhance her staff, Tira’s magic implodes and knocks Rift into the snakes. Why does this band stay together, surely there are better fighting companions to be found in any local pub.
An archer dazes Erik yet again. Enough is enough; Prescott begins to wonder if carrying the party is worth it. If they cannot dispel the archer, Prescott will do it for them. He deftly steps forward and, swiftly stealing the holy symbol from around the archer’s neck, watches as the altar changes focus and dominates the enemy. Now that is how that is done.
Prescott does give credit to Barrick, as he was able to rid all dominating and dazing effects with a single chant; neat trick that one. Prescott remembers it went like this, “Be the mayhem, death and destruction you wish to see in the world.” He files the saying away, wondering if he will be able to use it to similar effect in the future.
But before Erik can say thanks, the altar fries his mind yet again. Tired of the novelty, Prescott strides forward and destroys the altar. Expecting praise from Erik, Prescott watches incredulously as Erik turns away, runs, and dives head first into the healing waters.
Tira’s announcement of finding a prisoner and gold do little for Prescott, he knows he must leave the group and will most likely never know the outcome of the quest these folks are on. Seeing everything wrapped up, Prescott heads for the door. Stopping to look back, he can only laugh as Erik shatters the old wooden stairs with a careless jump, dropping the three girls into the snakes. Seeing Tira panic enough to actually fly off the floor is almost too much for Prescott. He shakes his head as he stops laughing and exits the room. Back in the room of the giant dead snakes, Prescott joins in the congratulations traded amongst the friends, secretly wondering how many will still be alive should he happen across them in the not too distant future.