The Banishing of a Daemon

Erik Valstrom

UP: Catskills

    It is inevitable that I must return to the lands of Felucca as it remains a continual hotbed of intrigue, villainy, and murder, languishing as it is under the heavy hand of Minax. What drew me there was a need to see how my old friend Beechel was doing... if he had recouped his losses and how he fared of late.

Alas, I did not find him at home. His servants at the farmhouse told me that he and his family had moved into Britain whilst a particular mystery was being solved involving Beechel's friends who frequented the tavern across the way. On my way there I was accosted by a rather dandyish-looking fellow dressed in red and black who seemed far more fascinated with himself than anything else in the world around him. He recognized me, but I had never met the fellow. I would have passed him by without much ado, but when he asked me if I sought Beechel the conversation expanded and I learned much from him.

The fellow introduced himself as Spyte the Knife... an unquestionably odd and sinister name I thought. Thinking he spoke in jest I laughed heartily, which was a mistake. He returned my good humor with a malicious glare and I became keenly aware that he was not one with whom I, or anyone, should trifle. I apologized and asked him what he knew of Beechel Kire and current events surrounding him.

He spoke freely and candidly to me, but all the while I wondered how much of the fantastic story he told was true. I determined to corroborate his word by inquiring from other sources, including Beechel when I found him. Having done so, I am now thoroughly satisfied that he spun a truthful tale.

A daemon, named Tishba'al, which had imprisoned and tormented Beechel's great-grandfather, Lord Stanton Kyre, had been loosed upon Sosaria. It had not returned to its plane when Stanton's spirit had been freed not only from its clutches in the netherworld, but from a forced imprisonment in Beechel's body as penance for a horrible crime. The daemon, in a fit of rage, sought Beechel and Anton Wyrgant, the disciple of Justice, both of whose actions had unleashed it upon the world. It had met up with Spyte who had been hired by Stanton Kyre to kill Anton but who had been forbidden by him from completing the task, and unpaid for services. Spyte, insulted and angry, was, at the time, a quite willing accomplice to the daemon.

On a visit to the Shrine of Justice, Spyte and his hirelings had actually captured Anton and brought him before the daemon who had set up shop, as it were, in the Crypts of Yew. Tishba'al had cast some kind of partial mind-control spell upon him which, at needful times, forced Anton to act as a minion. He then set him free to return to his friends. On at least one occasion Anton unwittingly led them into a trap set by the daemon and they were nearly destroyed. When not under the control of the daemon, Anton sought a spell which might banish the daemon from the realm.

The end of things came quickly. Anton found a useful tome which described the first banishing of the daemon, but it was immediately stolen by Spyte who had been literally shadowing the Druid. Spyte made a deal with Anton and his friends for the tome, thus turning on his own master, who had made him quite wealthy. Anton and the friends journeyed to the Crypts to confront the daemon, fighting undead who tried to bar their way. When at last in his presence, the daemon tried, unsuccessfully, to bend Anton to his will by forcing him to hand the tome over to him.

The friends intervened, tossing a purple potion near him, which exploded and broke the spell's hold over Anton, who shouted the words of the spell. The daemon was not banished, but the protective aura which surrounded him was dispelled. Knowing this, and quite enraged, the daemon attacked the band, concentrating on the Druid, whilst swarms of undead appeared among the group fighting him. The battle was long and hard. Many brave warriors and their mounts fell in combat... yet in the end the vile daemon was overpowered and fell, banished once again from the realms.

Spyte seemed pleased that he had gotten what he wanted. The spell required was an ancient one reserved only for Druidic types and he had bartered the book for Lord Kyre's armor, which he is convinced is made from an unusual type of verite, having unusual properties he intends to discover. He saw, in the destruction of his master, his own freedom restored, along with a hoard of new-found wealth. I wished him well and went on my way. I felt confident we would meet again.