The Fall of Coheed

Having my gut punched through isn’t something a fella expects to wake up from, but come morning, I was breathing. That Tiefling what came in with Coheed was in the room, along with the white ghost-witch thing that was sent to hunt me down. Kathleen’s her name, I think. She just stood there, like she did when we were sailing back to Ashan. Starin’ at nothing, not saying nothing. I looked around a bit more, and saw that the gang was all here. Peregrine, Tibles, even Mersh. And those two that’d just joined us, Moira and Albion.

Belgaroth was the Tiefling’s name, and he was rousin’ us by the sound of it. He got to explaining after we’d celebrated a spell. Teresa was Coheed’s wife. From the looks of the company, I was the only one not up to speed on that. Okay. Official story was that she’d married him sixty-something years ago, and they’d bound their souls together in an immortal bond. Essentially, neither of them could physically die. Explains a lot about that Bard, if you ask me.

It’d been about a day since Coheed came in and massacred us. He was gathering his forces, but wouldn’t set out on his mission for another couple days. Our window of opportunity was short, but we had a plan.

Teresa and Coheed were soul-bound, and immortal. Belgaroth just so happened to be the Tiefling that bonded them. He knew how to reverse the immortality shtick, so long as one of ‘em was willing. And because of the soulbond, if one of ‘em died, the other would go along with ‘em. Teresa’d already agreed to this. At noon today, she was gonna complete the spell, and for a short window, become mortal. During this time, she’d take her own life, and Coheed’s reign would be over. I asked what Belgaroth needed us for, and he said he had a feeling it wouldn’t be so easy. We were on standby. If anything went wrong, we’d have to make sure of Teresa’s death.

We suited up, and waited inside Coheed’s great hall, under a magic veil that Belgaroth had prepared for us. Church bells rang, and the midday funhouse kicked off. Looked like Teresa could tell when it happened. She retched, looked like she was gonna be sick, and then pulled out a dagger. But, as luck’d have it, Coheed was too quick. He cast some kinda spell, and the ol’ bard was rooted on the spot, unable to do the dirty work. That’s when we struck.

Me and the new blood, Albion, charged in first. Coheed met us head on, but I didn’t see much of the world-breakin’ power that he carried when he massacred us. Teresa’s mortal state must’ve been takin’ its toll on him. Even so, he was still more than a match for all of us. It was Peregrine who won us the day in the end, with one straight shot fired true at Teresa’s heart. The wound replicated itself tenfold on Coheed, and the demon-spawn was easily felled before us.

Now, our task was complete. The tyrant and his spouse were deader than a chicken in a pie factory. Finally, this dark chapter could be over, all that was left to clean up, enjoy the crescent isle beaches, and catch up with the company.

Wait, shit.

Coheed’s army wasn’t fully formed, but it was still a force to be reckoned with. We learned this the hard way when the alarm was sounded, and they started pouring into the great hall by the dozens. We were exhausted, but we fought anyways. We’re The Tiki Company, after all. And I gotta admit, there ain’t nobody I’d rather die beside.

But today it looked like that’d be unnecessary. Followin’ the horde of Tieflings, was the well-armed and numerous Goothonian army. They had the island all but surrounded with at least fifty military vessels. Coheed’s army didn’t put up much of a fight, and a surrender was quickly negotiated. When the captain of one of the regiments came to speak with us, he walked right past me, Tibles, Peregrine, and Moira, and straight to Mersh. I think I speak for all of us when I said I didn’t see this one coming. He arrested the scoundrel, and then departed, takin’ a couple hundred war prisoners with him. We didn’t know what to say.

Later, we learned that Mersh had turned himself in, in exchange for the King’s assistance. He was the prince slayer that had allegedly been apprehended two years before. No-good dirty-rotten scoundrel. I trusted the brat, and it turns out that all this time he was the Prince Slayer. I'm gonna need some time to get my head around this one.

In any case, The Company needed a bit of R&R. The residents of North Crescent Isle were grateful that we’d liberated the island from the hands of the Black Dragon Company, not to mention perhaps saved the whole durned world. Again. They offered us a residence; the abode that used to belong to the Black Dragon Company. Since we didn’t really have a solid place to stay, it seemed like a hero’s reward. As I’m writing this, I’m kickin’ back on the balcony overlooking the harbor.

Moira’s off in a tavern someplace, no doubt singin’ her heart out. Albion’s gone on a visit back to his homeland, somewhere near Osgard I believe. Tibles has gone south, passin’ through Gootham to maybe see Mersh, headin’ to Almernae to check on Kiana and Ogden, and getting his personal effects for a move-in. Peregrine left this mornin’ to head home to Bonnie. I ain’t sure but I think he’s planning on taking her up here, along with his little boy. And as for me? I been on the run for the past few weeks. A few of my buddies from the 104th in Lavanda are comin’ to visit, and they’re bringin my horse, Volkin. Figured I’d catch some shut-eye, clean the place up, and get to know the townsfolk. Teresa’s got a grave by the sea. Funny, we did as much searchin’ around as we could, and nobody seems to know nothing about her family, or where she grew up, nothing at all. It was all we could do to give her a tombstone and a proper burial. She won’t be forgotten any time soon.

Moira tells me she’s left The Brass Buckle in safe hands, but truth be told, I been thinkin of selling it. This place has a smithy, for whatever reason. I could move my craft up here, and take a break from the city life. In any case, I’ll head down south in a few weeks’ time to see how the house sitters are holding up.

Yep, looks like the Company hit it big, once again. And with any luck, things will stay golden. We’re gonna settle in here, looks like. It’ll be the first time the company’s been under one roof since – well, since the beginning, I suppose.

—Richard J. Buckles

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