So much has happened the past few days.
The first time we set off for the mountain fane, we were trapped by the dwarf. We sought the gypsy camp only for me to accidentally set off sleeping darts. Luckily I and Jolias were up, but we had to resort to potions and ipecac to get everyone else moving back to town.
The cursed place we found on that mountain had not just one battle but a few. Some incorporeal creature that could only be hit from within a circle. Then down below in a cavern demons.
At the time I wasn’t sure what happened or how, but then lightning and fire began to rain down as the cavern started rumbling. Jolias became critically injured. Others had a few nicks. We found out Max had fallen off a ledge, and Axe had that “I’m gonna do something incredibly stupid and noble” look about him.
So I prayed. And I had never felt that close to the Austere Lady in my life. I had previously heard her wisdom and insight before, but this was pure knowledge flowing into me. It was as if I could see us on a warboard and the Lady moving us piece by piece into the proper place. It felt as if the knowledge would protect me and my allies
I instructed everyone to get out. I fell and landed unharmed. I picked up Max’s body and placed him in the circle as the knowledge instructed. He came back and I claimed the fane and left. If literally anyone else was there I would have gladly had them claim the fane, but I was not sure how others would react with Max claiming it. Dakras already seems to have a deep disdain for him. After I found out Max did in fact cause the lightning and fire in the cavern I felt a lot less guilty about it.
Then the euphoria left when I saw Jolias, a hag standing over him. Axe and I made quick work of her and we were left to carry him back (where of course, he milked his condition for as long as possible). I had a heart-to-heart with Max. If he (and the party) decides to allow him to keep traveling with us, I swear to the gods of the old world and this one that I will work with Max to knock some sense into him.
What I am concerned about is what Max told me about his death. He did not come back right away. He claimed there was a sinister shadow chasing him, and only a figure in red armor brought him back. I’ve only died once. I hate the idea of coming back – I want to be able to treat every chance at life as the only chance, not to consider death a way to wipe and reset. If what Max says is true, we may not be able to take death so lightly going forward.