Booty Shake was in pretty bad shape. I healed her before I considered anything else. She isn’t very big, so it didn’t take a lot of effort, but I knew how she’d feel about scarring so I took my time and only healed her a little at first. I gathered up the netting from Morning Glory’s crew and saw to their wounds. The net was barbed, but they got off pretty light. If the frogs had been given a chance, they would’ve been killed easily.
Bob helped me collect the rest of Booty Shake’s crew and I settled them all on my bedroll, along with Morning Glory’s squad. One quick blanket healing sent them all off into slumberland. I got Booty Shake’s wing patched up and applied a bit of poultice to help it heal without the shock of magic. I’d juice her again later as she was the one nearest to death. Magda sat with her, assuring me she would watch out for her old squad leader. When I turned away I just caught her stroking Booty Shake’s forehead and telling her how pretty she was.
Liz and Lilith still had not woken up, which was bothering me. I had hit them both with my strongest healing (divine version) and was not surprised that they slept, but with a battle raging around them, I was concerned. I examined them both and found they were still breathing, and that their wounds were healing nicely. Lilith would wake nearly as good as new. Liz still had some ways to go, but her color was much better. I especially liked how the blues and reds were growing more robust.
I called a council and built up the fire while the others cleared the frogs off to one side. We had two prisoners which Rufus and Alfred were questioning. They had the grace to take the frogs outside of camp to do the questioning which made me feel a little less squeamish.
By the time I had the fire going the sun was fully up. We all went to the river in teams to wash the blood off and return to warm up by the fire and get a bit of food.
Bob sat next to me after I returned from the river and handed me the note I’d left for him. “Add this to your journal,” he said to me, grinning. “You can make a note that we ignored your very prettily crafted implication that we all head to the great city with Johann to save all our lives and let you run off into danger without us.” He hugged me, then punched me on the leg. He had a strong punch, I can tell you. It hurt worse than the frog spear that had slammed into my shoulder during the skirmish.
Clarisse had found the note and plotted the course of the next two days. She is a clever girl. She decided to accompany Johann to the big city and to take Calladil with her for reasons of her own. They felt confident that they could make it with the one wagon pulled by Rufus weasel gnome’s steam contraption. Which left the other wagon with armor and weapons stashed in the underbrush near where I’d left the note. Turns out that was in the territory of that hydra we’d found frozen. Bob, Alfred, Just Jacob and Rufus had scouted out that situation, just to make sure the hydra was truly dead.
They found a bit of treasure there as well and sent it along with Johann to help cover expenses and to buy supplies to eventually take back to the dryad and Scarlett. Rufus would want restocking of certain supplies and they would need more excavation material to clear up where the explosion had collapsed many of the tunnels. Also they would use some of the money, and Calladil’s help as a mercenary, to hire some workers and men-at-arms to help fortify the ruins. All that seemed perfectly legitimate to me.
I had Just Jacob help me recover what weapons I could from the dead frogs, and went with the brigands out to bring in the rest of the dead hobs. I wanted to burn them on a pyre. Just Jacob thought that was a bad idea at first, but I was formulating a plan. I just needed to hear what news Rufus and Alfred were able to garner from the prisoners.
And the timing worked out fairly well. I used the firewood gathering spell again to pull in what remaining wood I could from the surrounding area and the brigands produced several flasks of oil from their stores. Who carried flasks of oil? Seemed very dangerous. But then, I remembered that Wizard Tim and his crew had done something similar to decent affect back in when we first met. Possibly something I needed to consider in the future.
The brigands set about building the pyre, going out to recover larger downed logs that my spell just couldn’t gather up. Which, I think, proved a good thing. Can you imagine huge fallen trees flying through the air to smash into my camp. Someone could get maimed.
I left them to their task and went to check on Lilith and Liz once more. With a little prodding Lilith lifted her head and glanced around, her eyes a little foggy and her hair disheveled to the point of being architecturally threatening. I helped her over to the fire and sat her next to Bob who handed her a mug of something steaming, which she accepted. I introduced them and they made their pleasantries while I went back to Liz.
She proved harder to wake, but she’d been more sorely wounded. I sat with her, stroking her shoulder and arm, singing to her a quiet song my brain delivered in that moment. It was a song she had taught me when we were lost in the Stronghold of Kithri’s Fist.
At first she didn’t stir, but everyone in camp settled down and before I realized it, everyone present was listening to my voice. Even Bob, who had a voice that mesmerized, smiled and nodded along to my rhythm.
When I finished the song and the words faded from the glen, Liz stirred. She took my hand in hers and whispered for me to sing it again.
So I did.