The rangers managed to get themselves snowed in at Dremar for what was one of the worst winters they’ve seen in a while_ (OOC: to explain our long hiatus)._ Once the thaw hit they set out toward the cave that they knew Juku and his men inhabited. They crept into the cave entrance just as the great storm that has been threatening began to s pew rain and lightning and thunder.
Amid lightning flashes they saw ahead in the dark cave eight people pulling cards and when the lightning stopped and the darkness crept back in they saw their eyes glowing yellow. The orcs launched an attack, thinking that they had stumbled upon victims easily without even having to haul the cart outside. The rangers spread out to create many targets and began to fight back: Kodiaster with his bow, Sabine and Carn (who enacted a daring charge) with their hand weapons, Kithain with his lethal magic, and Solvayus with a flurry of fists and feet, aiming for damage over precision. Shayna managed to confuse and distract some with illusions and did not attack with even one bad pun!
The fight was fast and brutal and it would have been complete had Levi not snuck away during it to warn Juku. One of the orcs proves to actually be a hobgoblin and dispatching him was harder, but also proved that they were, indeed, dealing with creatures of Darkness.
The lightning began to increase in frequency and the Rangers knew that something was wrong. They saw that much of it was striking on top of the hill that the cave was in and began to head up. There they saw Levi and demanded that he surrender. He told Juku that his guests had arrived and the massive (nearly fourteen feet tall) form of Juku the Fist, a Troll in service to the Darkness, came around the corner, leaving the Rangers in a state of total awe.
Sabine, unfazed, charges, telling him that the Lord of Light would be his undoing. The staff struck him and it’s Everwood burned his flesh, stunning him for a moment: Juku the First was unaccustomed to feeling pain. Juku’s taloned fists hit Sabine and sent her flying backwards, blood spewing from her front in a tangled mess of woulds that Solvayus was fortunate to get to in time to heal, flooding her with the Light in the hopes of staving off death. Arrows and bolts bounced right off Juku harmlessly. Shayna circled around back in an attempt to climb his massive body … and was thrown clear as bolts of powerful blue lightning crashed down from the sky and soaked into Juku. Shayna managed to catch the edge of the cliff with one claw, but it was dangerously close.
Juku glowed with a faint light and the arrows and bolts now hitting him, while not causing true woulds, did seem to hurt. Shocked, he aimed for Kodiaster, who was swooping in for another attack … and rose from the ground, crackling with electrical energy. Kodiaster didn’t see that coming nor did he expect Juku’s fists to crash into his head like falling trees and send him sprawling to the ground. In the hopes of stopping some of his seemingly sourceless power, Shayna created mystical Silence in the area. Juku landed and thrashed out at both Sabine and Solvayus, each sucking and narrowly avoiding decapitation. Lightning struck again and Juku began to shrink and deflate, down to merely the size of a huge ogre. But he now had a cunning look in his eye and he stalked out of the silenced area and rose his giant hands to gesture at Kithain, speaking arcane words and attempting to launch a deadly spell at him with triumph in his eyes. He failed, unaccustomed to the arcane arts.
A bolt left Carn’s crossbow and it struck Juku square in the neck, sending him sprawling to the ground where he was stabilized, placed in the giant manacles (now with padding to account for size lost) and hauled back to town where he could be paraded around and the people could see that he was no longer a threat. Then, amid swirling storms, it was back toward Karas.
- Juku The Fist: darkness tainted ogre, former ranger
- Levi: Orc formerly of the Golden Eyes Brotherhood who was working with Juku.