Battle of the Healing Waters

After recovering from the physical toll that traversing the sandstorm had taken on the party, they continued forward into the burning desert. They traveled for endless miles. Their only comfort was in Kaladrax’s use of the way stone that Kitu had given them. It glowed a light blue when pointed in the right direction. They were on their way, the storm far behind them, when a low rumbling started beneath their feet. 

Aleera and Kariss hopped on their brooms and lifted themselves up to avoid the movement and scout ahead for any incoming creatures. They saw nothing on the sand, not even the Oasis. Kaladrax and Milo stopped and stood as still as possible when they learned that it wasn’t coming from above ground. 

Just ahead of them, a giant lava worm burst out of the ground. It had a round maw full of rows on rows of razor sharp teeth. A low red glow shone out from within. The sand around it was transformed into glass as the heat from the worm permeated the sand. It attacked and the two ladies on brooms were knocked off. They were about to smack into the ground when Milo intervened with a quick Feather Fall spell. They landed with a gentle puff on the sand. Kaladrax was keeping it at bay with spells while the ladies recovered. Milo was trying to get in to make attacks but, every time he hit, the lava would pour out of the wound and splash him. He was taking as much damage as he was giving. 

They finally managed to kill the creature and stopped a moment to gather themselves and make a plan. They realized that they might be able to reach the Oasis faster if they moved through the tunnel left by the lava worm. It had left a tunnel lined in glass and they thought it might take them to their destination. They moved the heavy body out of the way together and made their way through the tunnel. It was strange moving through the glassy trail. They walked for most of the day and reached the other side of the tunnel right when the sun was going down. 

The Oasis was a little ways off in the distance. Lights were being set by what looked like slaves in collars, all of them were Aaracocra. It looked like a party was going on with drinks flowing and music playing. There were about six people lounging about or dancing and drinking. 

Wanting to get a better view, Aleera turned herself into a shadowy raven that blended with the deepening twilight. She flew closer to the party and scouted them out, looking for the person she had to fight. Meanwhile, Milo simply walked up to the party and hid in an empty barrel. His small size and rogue abilities made it impossible for anyone to spot him. 

Aleera came back to the party and relayed her information. She also let them know that she hadn’t sensed anything but that she hadn’t actually flown over the Oasis just around. They were watching the party wind up and people get more drunk when Aleera doubled over. She was getting a sickening feeling from the center of the lake. That was where her bounty was. 

Kariss, getting impatient with the wait, took off on her broom after turning herself invisible. She flew over the party with no one the wiser and headed out over the lake. She could see a woman floating on her back, basking in the healing waters that were meant for all. In her invisible form she was confident in her stealth and flew directly over the woman. She was beautiful, with pink hair and dark clothing that barely covered her pale flesh. 

Kariss was startled when the woman smiled at her and acknowledged her presence. She could see through the invisibility. The woman raised the alarm and called out Aleera, taunting her to come out and fight her one on one. Aleera saw no choice but to come forward and fight the woman. She revealed herself and challenged the lady to a duel. She agreed and they moved into position. 

She made sure her own people were held back by a man that looked like the leader. Kaladrax recognized him as the leader of The Errant, a mercenary group of wizards that loved to skirt the law. He told Aleera to watch out for the lady as their magic was known to be powerful. The two ladies squared up to fight on a large stretch of sand next to the Oasis. 

The pink-haired lady changed her appearance and, while most of her stayed the same, a pair of demonic wings and a pointed tail were revealed. She was a Succubus and although she couldn’t go after Aleera in that way she could definitely go after Kaladrax. After casting a Charm Person spell on Kaladrax and succeeding she turned to the battle at hand and summoned a chimera. In the meantime, she had instructed Kaladrax to walk towards her, and he was complying. He reached her side and she straddled his body. She kissed him, marking him as her prey. She would always know where he was. 

Aleera, seeing this, boiled with rage. She received a quick vision of her whip and used it for the first time in combat. She managed to overwhelm the beast and removed it from the battle. Seeing the summoning abilities of her opponent, Aleera summoned her own menagerie of creatures, a pair of wolves, and ordered them to attack. They ripped into the succubus’ flesh and, after a few more attacks, managed to drag her to her feet. Aleera received another vision, this time of a rune she needed to carve in the flesh of her opponent to take back the power that The Traveller had entrusted her to recover. She walked up to the lady and held her down as the tigers growled nearby. 

Aleera whipped out her dagger and carved the rune into the back of the lady’s shoulder. She screamed as the power left her body to settle inside Aleera’s being. The damage from the dagger wound was also just enough to kill the pink haired succubus. This did not go over well. 

A masculine scream of rage rang out over the dessert. The leader of the Errant, furious at the death of his lover, moved in for an attack. He screamed at the other members to kill the intruders one and all. He cast some heavy magic and the ground trembled beneath the party’s feet once more. This time they were elevated above the sand on pillars of sandstone of different heights. They fought The Errant with everything they had. They had all held back out of courtesy for the battle of the ladies but now it was over. They killed every single member. Only the leader stood at the end. He saw that his comrades were all dead and managed to teleport away leaving the carnage behind. 

Now that the fight was over, the party moved the bodies over to one designated area and set them on fire after looting them for anything valuable. In the distance, they saw the whirling sandstorm wind down to nothing leaving a clear view on the horizon of the far mountain entrance where they had entered. They cheered, all was back to normal and healing water could now keep helping everyone that needed it. The Aaracocra slaves were all standing around, bewildered by the bloody spectacle. The party started to tell them that they would free them when they perked up as if hearing something. 

All at once they all took flight and went off in a northerly direction. One of the older Aaracocra’s looked back in sadness and resignation, as if acknowledging the party for trying but knowing it was hopeless to dream of freedom. Kariss screamed into the air after them, promising to free them as soon as possible. 

Exhausted from the trek and near unconsciousness, they bathed in the healing waters and set up camp for the night. They used the Tiny Hut again and went to bed immediately. No sooner had their heads hit the pillows than they were snoring. The day had been long and the end of the adventure was nowhere near sight. An amber jewel cast a dull glow in the moonlight as it rested on a table surrounded by several cups and jugs of alcohol and waited for the morning to see if the party noticed it.

Published by dndwife

My husband and I run a dungeons and dragons table together and I write about our crazy adventures both in and out of the story. My husband DM's and I am the table artist. I paint minis for everyone at the table and provide crafted gifts like dice boxes, bags, and artwork.

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