I conferred with Gar as to how to go about our penetration into the mountain. It was this, and no act of martial prowess, that endeared him to me for at this time I discovered that Gar paid attention to Lord Eloc’s many tales of his adventures with me and took away many lessons that Eloc learned the hard away. This display of humility and wisdom, at such a young age, showed promise that I now knew could not be wasted on anything so mediocre as being the staff officer to a border lord- even if that lord is my old friend and companion.
We both came, during our time apart, to the conclusion that whatever hostiles were inside the mountain would swarm us upon detection. Therefore, the wisest course of action was to seize upon this fact and make it work in our favor. I direct you to my adventure some years ago with Eloc where we had this same thing occur to us; that lesson need not be repeated. I ordered Gar to secure a strong point, complete with a funnel and a killspot, and then I made the big clanging noise with some handy debris tossed down a well that would surely bring them scurrying to our position.
We were not disappointed. The men did as ordered, and we cut down the first few waves entirely with massed missile fire. Eventually we exhausted our supply as we could not glee arrows off the dead faster than the next wave would arrive, so it came down to discipline and massed spears. I took the opportunity, as it arose, to apply principles of conjuration and transmutation. I ensured that their worst threats dropped like columns rent asunder as their corpses—scorched, frozen, impaled and worse—slumped to the floor with pleasing whumps.
We fought like this for hours, wave upon wave upon wave. Eventually they had to stop because the funnel we created had choked up with their dead. I’d prepared for this occasion; I had the men toss oil upon the corpses, knowing full well that these monsters could not prevent the flow of air no matter how great their pile of dead became, and then torched it. With some conjuration I blew a forceful wind upon the flames, and soon engulfed the funnel in smoke and flame. I sustained this wind for the rest of the day, until the flames burnt the corpses to ashes and then blew them down into the mountain’s inner halls.
The monstrous swarm within, as I expected, broke. The next day we journeyed into the depths, and at every turn we found the corpses of our foes, suffocated for lack of breath or charred beyond all recognition. This did not mean that these things had wholly died off, but rather they fled to bring forth their master. I knew not what exactly it was, but if it was a remnant of the old demon cult then it was a fiend of power.