Sul the 8th or Aryth
The look of grim determination on Pol’s face was intense. When that dark cloud erupted from the still shape of the dire ape that had just attacked us and coalesced into the even darker shape of a demon, there was a shocked moment of recognition, a moment of seeing one’s life purpose being made manifest, a moment where all the pieces of a puzzle show their final shape. The grim look on Pol’s face was a look like that. It seemed that his training and his mission was made to deal with threats such as these and he was eager to confront it.
I had seen this look once before. Deep under Red Mountain on Smuggler’s Shiv was the hidden Azlanti temple that Ieana/Y’sidrious had sought out. She had caused the wreck of the brave ship Jenivere and the death of all of her crew for her own hideous purposes. Once we had cornered her there, Pol’s face was set thus. A known evil, she was, and Pol was determined to stomp it out. Our battle expelled her from her lair and with her went the cloud of evil covering the island.
The sudden fear effect from the shadow demon was unbearable and I had to flee. I did not get far before I noticed that neither Dadak nor Pol had succumbed. That helped me to recover and I returned to the battle only to come up against two shadow crocodiles summoned by the demon. The demon moved away and flung a ball of dark fire at Pol and me which detonated in a silent explosion, though its heat was enough to injure us. Dadak stepped forward to confront the swift moving shadow. Even though Pol and I were threatened by the two crocodiles, I could tell that Pol’s eyes were only on the demon; he longed to fight it. I decided that I had to let him chase it and that I would have to combat the crocodiles alone. I stepped back a moment and cast a spell on Pol and he vanished in a puff of smoke. Then I yelled loudly to draw the crocodile’s attention to me so that I could deal with them while Pol and Dadak dealt with the demon. I dodged their attacks as well as I could. Suddenly, at the same moment the shadow crocodiles disappeared, the shadow demon teleported away defeated!
We regrouped and checked our status. Pol and I were wounded but mostly fine; Dadak seemed to have succumbed to a spell or two from the shadow demon and was sapped of his great strength. At once, a magical darkness surrounded us but I was able to quickly reach into my new haversack and withdraw my one Daylight Pellet to banish it; that was 150 gold well spent. The demon struck at us again. This time, it stayed within melee range and didn’t move away; Pol and I were able to fight it together. It struck both of us several times until Pol was able to defeat it with a mighty double-handed swing of his mind blade.
I remember the tale Pol told us on our short sea voyage from Smuggler’s Shiv to the mighty city of Stormreach on Xen’Drik’s shores. Though he had banished this dark threat, his mission was still ahead of him. He will meet many more of these threats, but with the banishment of this one, he knows that he is on the right track and truly well up for the task.
—From the log of Kreshton Rel’Astra