When Wiliken awoke he saw that Jurgen had left him, but in his place was a badly injured Douglas, hard at work keeping the githzerai from dying. Wiliken cursed the fact that he was still on the battlefield. He’d hoped to awaken in his bed, with his wife at his side, having been spirited away by his allies, but here he was, still in the sand pit, fighting for his life.
The shadow on his face told Wiliken that the healer had at least gotten him to cover, but when the shadow moved this way and that, Wiliken realized that it was one of the boars, perhaps even the one who mowed him down earlier, who stood before them.
Startled, Wiliken jumped back from Douglas’s healing salve and drew an arrow.
“No!” Douglas shouted, and he clutched his side in agony. It appeared that Douglas was in worse shape than even the githzerai, and yet he didn’t use his potions on himself. “I’ve charmed the beast. She’ll defend us from harm until we’re back on our feet, but not if you kill her first.”
With Douglas’s medical assistance, Wiliken was back in action in no time. He scanned for the reptile who had nearly killed him and found the creature, or rather its remains, splattered on the pillar it’d used to hide behind. Nearby he saw Morgan going toe-to-toe with another of the boars, doing his best to keep it from attacking the deva who’d once turned him into a monster. Jurgen pored over a dusty tome, frantically flipping its pages, likely looking for a transport spell of some sort.
The gargantuan sand leviathan known by those who have witnessed it in nature as a dire bulette continued to circle the caged camel at the center of the room. Though it remained unconcerned with the battle, it nearly killed Wiliken all the same. The vision of its huge form swimming effortlessly through sand distracted Wiliken just long enough that the third boar got the best of him. Tusks lowered, the boar charged, but just before it made contact, Douglas’s charmed boar came at it from the side. The two beasts, likely children of the same litter, battled to the death, or rather to the deaths, as the victor collapsed from mortal wounds just moments after killing its brother.
Wiliken noticed Douglas limping toward the dire bulette. Rather than attempt to stop him, however, the githzerai readied an arrow. Douglas was merely continuing the battle plan they’d devised. Though they’d both nearly died, the goal hadn’t changed – the camel was still in need of saving.
Wiliken readied himself for the fight of his life. What he experienced, however, was not nearly so climactic. It seems that Jurgen must have found his place in his spell book, because Wiliken saw the mage’s familiar ambling cloud shoot past him toward the sand behemoth. Upon impact, the dire bulette simply stopped.
“Did you kill it?” Wiliken asked, not ready to put down his bow just yet.
“No. I simply made it helpless,” Jurgen answered. “It is a condition far kinder than death, though I must admit that the kindness only applies if the beast’s nostrils are above ground at the time of impact.”
“Yes, it is dead.”
Campaign Stories continues in Wiliken 6.
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