Mallard has turned on us. In truth, I almost could see this coming, but I did not see him sinking to the degree that he has.
Mallard formed a pact with some kind of powerful demon— Antonio called it a “Lord of Chaos” or something like it. The very thought of its visage fills me with dread. In doing so, he forced us into some death gauntlet— whether it was constructed for us or already extant I do not know. Antonio lead the way and managed to avoid many traps, though several times I decided to simply move forward and take what damage I had to so as to speed up the group, as we were under a time limit. Good thing too… we were almost out of time when I reached the door to the final chamber. There, we entered (after an accident with one last trap) only to find Mallard speaking with a huge bird-headed man.Duck greeted us, claiming that the being was some demon who was discussing a reward for us. Though some of what he said rung true, I suspect this was simply because I could not sense his lies for what they were. Antonio made a huge production of claiming to be willing to sell us to the demon as servants, but he later told us that this was a lie. Not that I knew this during the combat that followed. All things said, it’s probably a good thing he kept away from me. Especially since I used the ring.
The ring… what an odd experience. On one hand, the power that flowed through me was enormous. I was swinging my axe with such strength that I’m surprised I did not break it, and I was significantly sturdier as well. However, I was filled with such rage that I consider myself lucky that I did not kill one of my allies. I don’t have much memory of what happened. I’m told I brought down one giant beast and continued to attack it until it was dead several times over. Still, I have learned one thing— it is much easier to cancel the rage than it would seem. Also, deactivating the ring can cause one’s wounds to catch up with them. I passed out after using it, and as such I have little knowledge of what happened for the rest of the fight. Evidently Jolias died again, as did Mallard, and he fled with the aid of his demonic patron.
We exited the room by means of some magic pool, and arrived on the beach. I am saddened by the apparent loss of the Screaming Gull— they were good to us through our trials and tribulations on the way to Five Ports and if they are dead they will be missed. I hold out some hope, though I see no reason for Mallard to have spared them when he pulled us into that nightmare realm. We set up a memorial for them, using one of my javelins and some items the others gave me, and Antonio threw some liquor out to sea for them. Now we make our way to Five Ports, by land.
I kind of wish I hadn’t used my bedroll on that poison trap now.