Instinctively I ducked and rolled away from the waters edge. Coming to a crouch I scanned the area. Two huge bird like creatures had dropped from the shadowy recesses of the grotto above us. One had swooped at me and was now circling back the Other had latched onto one of the men.
With an Oath and a cry of revulsion the fellow tore the thing from him and hurled it to the ground. Grotesquely its long snout writhed like an octopus’s tentacle and dripped the troopers blood. Vampire birds!
Chanting a simple spell of warding. I watched as the archers in the squad filled the air with shots at my assailant, two bolts took it down but the thing wouldnt die and instead flopped about the Wharf pathetically until another man finished it off.
The other took back to the skies, weather to escape or to have another swooping attack I couldn’t tell. In a moment it was full of bolts and splashed into the shallow waters of the bay.
I grimaced, that was unfortunate. “Good shooting all of you,” I called rejoining the men in the tower.. “But the blood in the water might stir up any Lizard folk I am thinking. So stay sharp archers. You see any of those scaly bastards shoot it, don’t wait for orders.”
“Got something over here!” called one of the two bowmen on the ruined coastward tower.
“What is it?”
“As I followed that stirge down I saw something in the wreck. Looks like its still full of cargo. I can see a metal box lying on top of the sunken deck.”
“Huh OK take two more and look into it. Far as I am concerned anything found is salvage. Take a careful look and drag anything worth having back to the tower.”
A tense half hour passed.
No sign of the Lizard folk, but the boys dragged a few salvageable items from the barge. Nearly lost one of them to some kind of giant freshwater leech that was using the rotting wood as its nest, but the haul was worth it. Nice gold cup and a few other nick nacks to go in the war chest.
Probably not the best idea to sell them off in Newsandport though. At a guess the “Lads” just pillaged the last funeral barge sent here after the attack… Still the dead don’t mind, just the fanatics of the local cult. “Eternal flame” my arse, call it what it is: A death cult. Lets hope the daredevils in squad one don’t try and flog anything off incautiously they loot from the Temple interior. I just know they’ll pocket some of what they find; only to be expected. Lets just hope they is discrete about it!