- Kobold Tomb-Looter (70 Platinum, 70 XP, 70 Energy, 8 HP, 9 HP Hard, 10 HP NM)
- Beastman Cave Guard (80 Platinum, 80 XP, 80 Energy, 8 HP, 9 HP Hard, 10 HP NM)
- Beastman Warrior (80 Platinum, 80 XP, 80 Energy, 8 HP, 9 HP Hard, 10 HP NM)
The darkness here is unscathed by the light of the distant fires. Blackness lies before you, its inscrutable depths perhaps concealing a dozen deaths - from lurking ambushers to fissures waiting to swallow you up.
"Should some of us-" Jaren begins.
Tessa's command stops you in your tracks, and the murmur of voices from behind is extinguished like a smother flame. In the sudden silence you hear the distant sounds of footfalls coming from the black mass that fills the cave.
"No," you reply.
The reply is instinctive. Like all the Kasans, you spent years learning of the Drake War and its belligerents. By all accounts beastmen use lights in their lairs, as a human would. But somehow such book-learning seems rather less reliable when you're standing in a pitch black cave, awaiting their arrival. You hope you're right...
The words of bard and scholar are validated a moment later, and you breathe a sigh of relief. Lights appear in the blackness, burning glows that blaze into being from nothingness. The suddenness of their appearance is striking at first, but its meaning is clear. They must have come round a corner, one rendered invisible by the amorphous darkness.
Monstrous faces hover in the torchlight, fur and fangs floating before you - drawing closer.
"Hold back until I'm done shooting," Tessa whispers.
There's a susurration as the instruction is relayed among your companions, rippling through the dark forms behind you.
Then comes the twanging of a bow string, the thud of metal meeting flesh at remarkable velocity, and roars of anger.
The beastmen run, their bobbing heads and pools of flickering light hurtling towards you. But another falls, and another - their torches tumbling to the ground to throw pools of light around their corpses. Picking them off is child's play to Tessa. The lights they carry serve as her allies, rendering them visible and vulnerable against the black backdrop, as though crying out for their bearer's deaths.
But at least the beastmen are too close for archery.
"Now!" she cries.
And your swords continue where the bow left off.
Butchered corpses and burning brands litter the ground, turning this part of the cave into an artist's rendition of hell.
This is the path you chose when you came to West Kruna. From now until the day you triumph or perish, slaughter will be your constant companion.
First you sigh, then you smile. You're walking in your ancestor's footsteps. A worthy life, and perhaps death, for a Kasan.