The last several weeks had been extremely busy for Vlad, between having to put up the Doctor for a week or 2 while she sorted out her spider infestation, and Calibration rolling around where the more paranoid among the nobles had made many demands on him for wardings and other defenses during that week. Although he had collected everything he needed for the exorcism, time was simply not on his side, and the child would have to wait. Once the Calibration celebrations were done, there was the yearly family get together with more stress due to his brothers non-appearance.Finally, Vlad gets back to his house in Vendig, and has a chance to rest up. During this period, he also made use of the ‘Artisan Flower’ he had received from the Wood King, and had the artisan craft a beautiful doll for the child.

A few days later, Vlad is surprised to receive a lunch invitation from Hailong. One of Hailong’s young ladies escorts him to The Blue Lady, causing him a little embarrassment. This was not the type of establishment he chose to frequent. To his relief, Hailong merely wanted to discuss his scholarly knowledge, along with Demi. Apparently he needed some translation work of some documents he had ‘acquired’. Vlad wasn’t able to help him, as he is not familiar with the Realms noble language – High Realm. Relaxing and enjoying the lunch, Vlad was amused watching Hailong manipulate Demi into doing the work, and taking relatively low pay for it.

The following morning, Vlad payed a visit to the harbormasters office. The ‘ghost’ ship bringing his bones shipment was still wrecked in the harbor and no work had been done to recover it. Vlad had decided to look into acquiring and repairing it, so that he could use it for acquiring materials on a shorter timescale. Besides, when he didn’t need anything specific he could always make some spare coin as a merchant.

Upon arrival, he coincidentally ran into Hailong. After some discussions, the pair convinced the harbormaster to ‘sell’ them the wreck, Hailong and Vlad each becoming part owner. Vlad was happy about this, for Hailong was an experienced captain (and likely pirate) and would be able to find them a good crew when one became necessary. Repairs would take a while, but there was no rush. A brief visit to the repair yards office got things underway on getting the wreck towed and the repairs started.

After a quick lunch, Vlad located Pyotr (who had been inquiring about demons lately) and headed off to finally perform the exorcism he’d spent so long preparing for. Entering the heavily warded room, he finds the possessed child sitting on the bed, staring at him with fury. At one end of the room, away from the door Vlad places the pile of bones, covered from the sight of the demon for the moment. Next to the door at the other end of the room he places the doll. Pricking his thumb, Vlad uses the blood and quickly murmurs the ritual that will allow him to perceive immaterial demons, as this one will surely become once his ritual succeeds.

Calming himself, he finally turns his attention to the demon. As he pulls the cover off the pile of bones, he addresses the demon (which immediately started drooling with hunger):

“So, here we have a pile of bones, to which your kind are particular partial I believe. By the door we have a toy I procured from the forest, which the child you possess loves so much.”

The choice was obviously causing a conflict within the body, as each wanted to go in a different direction. Fortunately, this was a somewhat weak demon, as the child would likely not have such influence over a stronger one. Vlad started his incantations, exerting his will on the demon and forcing it from the childs body. Surprisingly quickly, the demon is forced from the body and its misty form settled on the bones. Vlad quickly grabs the child and pushes her out of the door to safety (with the doll firmly in her grip).

Drawing his sword, Vlad casts his prepared prayer strips at the demon, allowing him to damage its immaterial form. Thrusting wildly at the demon, with as much force as he can muster, he causes a large wound in its form. It screams in pain, and starts babbling incoherently. Nearing exhaustion from the mental effort required, he again swings on the demon, and its misty form dissipates with a wail as it is sent back to Malfeas.

Shaking and sweating from the effort, Vlad sinks to the floor, his sword slipping from his hand as he announces to the family that the demon is vanquished. The ecstatic family gather round to thank him for his efforts and for saving their daughter.

Gathering his strength, Vlad starts to collect his materials, glancing at a pale and clearly disturbed Pyotr. More mysteries to solve there, apparently. Still, shortly he will need to question the child, and see if she can give any clues on who summoned the demon that was possessing her.


Belicht Dionysus