Poison Most Vile
The party checked the warehouse for any final clues of where the cultists had come from and what their motivation may have been, but they come up empty handed. Gumbo begins looking more and more worse for the wear, and under Kamesh’s urging they quickly head back to the temple of Teven to seek healing. Indeed Kamesh’s initial attempts to stabilize the wound were met with complete failure, and the pious warrior knew they would need a master to deal with this.
Gumbo begins to act slightly delusional, and the idea of just cutting off his arm is tossed around. “By Merrin’s taint I swear it’d hurt less!” Toshi chuckles and makes note of the creative curse for later use. Gumbo asks why they don’t go see the priests of den Morrad, and Kamesh explains that Teven’s healer’s are far more skilled (no offense meant to den Morrad of course).
They make it to the temple in the main plaza of the city, still disguised in their priestly robes, and by this point they are drawing attention to themselves from the moans coming from poor Gumbo. Kamesh rushes into the main chapel and shouts for the high priest, who under the tutelage of Teven is always the most skilled healer. A stooped, white-haired man rushes to the party and immediately sets to delving into Gumbo. “High Priest Jarad is the finest healer in the city, fear not. He can surely aid you Gumbo.”
At those words Jarad shoots Kamesh a worried glance. In a kindly voice he explains that he’s afraid this won’t be as simple. “Arthur, fetch kit!” He calls to a nearby priest. “You know which one…” The priest Arthur looks grim for a moment and then rushes off, shortly returning with a leather satchel filled with various knives, saws, and other devices suitable for relieving a patient of a limb.
“This is just a precaution, in case we can’t move quickly enough.” The kindly man explains. “I’m afraid you are beset with a most fearsome venom, know to many as ’Thrall’s Kiss’. If not treated within the day, you will surely lose your arm if not your life. The real evil of this poison is that it was designed knowing that most healers would not be keeping the antidote on hand. I certainly do not, nor have I ever had the heart to retrieve any…”
Kamesh and Toshi share a concerned look, and then ask Jarad what the antidote is. “I’m afraid the wicked minds that created this poison used the blood of a Pegasus to brew it, thus the blood of a Pegasus is the only thing that can cure it, short of divine intervention.”
“Then we kill a goblin sucking Pegasus!” cries out Gumbo in his feverish state. Kamesh reminds Gumbo that a Pegasus is a divine creature, believed to be the ascended soul of someone that is of such purity and love that they are blessed with flight and immortality. Indeed, to kill a Pegasus is to remove that soul from existence, never to live again. A Pegasus may voluntarily usher its soul back to the realms of the living to be reborn as a new being, but this is rarely a gift given up.
Toshi steps back, looks at his friend Gumbo suffering, and asks Jarad where he can find a Pegasus.
Within the hour, the party is heading along the coast north of Port Klaenth. They had heard rumor of a nesting ground that is sometimes used by a small flock of Pegasus. Indeed as they travel on, they soon see traces of Pegasus feathers on the rocky shore. They track the trail to a covered outcropping near the sea, and as they approach they hear the hideous laughter of what could only be orcs. Drawing steel they rush to seek out the source, and are horrified to see a bloodied Pegasus standing on the edge of a rock slab, back against the sea. Her wing is badly broken, and cuts cover her once beautiful hide.
The heroes rush to attack the orcs and do anything they can to draw them away from the wounded creature. The orcs prove to be little challenge, however as they drop the last foe they quickly see that the Pegasus is beyond the point of repair. They comfort the creature as best they can, and suddenly hear its voice in their mind. “I know what you seek, and I thank you for trying to save me. My time in the world in this form is at an end, but do not fear for me. Had those creatures slain me outright, my soul would vanish from the world forever, but you’ve given me the chance to choose to be reborn, and for that my soul is eternally grateful. Take now what you have come for, and take it without guilt. Quickly, now.”
The creature shudders as Toshi gathers the blood dripping from its once-brilliant coat, and as the last light of the sun sets they see a flash of white light from the Pegasus as it leaves this world. The party lingers for a moment in respect, but realizing Gumbo’s plight they leave the poor creature and head swiftly back to the city.
At the temple of Teven, Jarad has a poultice ready within the hour and has applied it to Gumbo’s arm. Gumbo at this point had fallen unconscious, but soon is visibly better and the purple color slowly leaves his arm. The rest of the party, exhausted from the urgency of this mission, retire to their chambers at the temple of den Morrad and are soon asleep, despite the celebrations continuing on the streets of the city.