It is perhaps an hour before dawn. A fight has just ended and those of us who had been asleep when it started, are too riled up to attempt to resume slumber.
The disturbance started on the second watch of the night, the lonely hours of dark midway between fall of night and coming of dawn. Pulp and Isis were on the watch. Between the usual sounds of a marsh by starlight and thin moon, there came to them a rustling sound in the grasses, and hints of movement outside the limits of their sight. It has been indistinct, undefined, perhaps at first more a trick of the mind than a real threat, but ours is not a group to dismiss any kind of warning.
Pulp played it safe, and cast Bless on our group. Isis roused those of us who were sleeping, and more of our group became aware of a stalker in the shadows, something weaving about in the dark within the grasses and weeds. When Pulp improved illumination with the Light spell, the creature broke cover and attacked Isis.
We were expecting hobgoblins, I think, because it took a few seconds to register exactly what this creature was. In the bright and out-of-place circle of light from Pulp’s spell, the creature confused us in many ways. It was an animal, not a humanoid, and it was quick. Or, at least, it looked quick. When you could see it. Or when and if you could get a good look at it.
There was something wrong with this creature. The eye simply could not fix on it properly. Almost the way one might catch a glimpse of some imagined movement or sprite at the corner of one’s eye, then look to see it gone – so too was this creature both where you thought you saw it, and not at all where you were looking.
It was big, like a tiger in size and weight but it looked like a panther, if a panther had six legs and two whip-like tentacles growing from its shoulder blades. A Displacer Beast; mildly intelligent and exceptionally dangerous.
This one knocked Isis aside, blurred to another position, attacked BOB, and then reappeared elsewhere. It was everywhere and nowhere all at once. Our Fighters launched arrows and swung at it in vain, but the beast evaded all but the very best or very luck assaults. Alex set to summoning small creatures to distract the displacer beast – a snake, then a scorpion the size of a dog.
Pulp and Spiritz attacked with magic. Pulp used Burning Hands to torch the general area where the Displacer Beast seemed to be. Spiritz fired off several Magic Missiles, whose innate accuracy hit every time and counted as the majority of the damage dealt to the creature.
As the Displacer Beast alternately fended off and killed the Summoned creatures Alex threw in its path, and attacked our valiant Fighters, I hustled about the camp, healing those who had taken harsh injury from this vexing creature. Isis needed both a Cure Moderate Wounds and a Cure Light Wounds spell to bring him back to full health. I gave Xel’Xaran and BOB both a significant healing spell each, and then a massive infusion of health to Pulp with a Cure Moderate Wounds after the Beast gravely wounded our cleric when Pulp critically missed the creature.
The fight took a very long time. At the end it was a team effort; Magic Missiles from Spiritz and Isis, and a most unusual magic attack from Alex that seemed to drain the life essence from the creature before a final, well-placed strike from one of our Fighters killed the creature.
The creature was a solitary one. Nothing else came at us out of the darkness beyond Pulp’s Light spell. Having no tanners in our midst to harvest the Beast’s magic hide, we dragged its corpse out of sight and smell and left it for scavengers.
Now we wait the coming of Dawn. There is ample time for me to finish the Heather story, so I will do so after this entry. My spells for the coming day will be all messed up, as I have not yet meditated but have expended spells from yesterday’s compliment and so will not have those spell slots available to me. We had better not get into another fight. At least everyone is healed up.
Journal of Dr. Marcus Grant
Healing Cleric of Pelor, Order of St-Jude Academy (Silabrek)
30th Day, camp out of marsh village, territory of Ælim.