In which some of our protagonists fall victim to mischief (of their own), secrets are reveled, and bad mood is spread, down to the underground.
Still with us? good. so, the next day.
Laxatives. for some reason i didn't see that coming in a fantasy game. next morning, soon after breakfast, everyone at Rod's place had a sudden urge for the lavatory. including Lynn and Ayla. ample use of the country side (freezing as it was) was had. Killpi needless to say, was quite pleased.
neither of the humans connected the little halfling to the deed, (it was tricky to decide, so we let the dice decide for us) and quickly demanded compensation of Rod, like many others. but the poor owner was himself quite distressed.
which is just as Killpi had planned. hurrying from the Swenson house he planned on visiting the vault when everyone was away. but he had a not-so-chance encounter on road.
the best defense is attack
Judith the village healer rushed on him. "you! you did this! you used my remedies for this?!?" but Killpi's player is a lawyer, he knows how to circumvent accusations- by making ones himself! "and you! you are keeping a secret! a secret that could save the village! what do you say? what do you say?"
Judith was surprised at this tunr of events, and tried to state her initial displeasure again, but Killpi wouldn't let her. "does the village know? does the dead know? what are you hiding? eh Judith?" all this in hushed town to the sound of people happy to relieve themselves.
finally Judith relented. "not here, in my place. come in 5 minutes." Killpi looked at Rod's place, the vault beckoning. "what? now? can we talk a little later?" the halfling begged. "no! now, or never! you're a strange little man" Judith said, looking at him oddly, as she strode away. Killpi whimpered as he weighted his options. finally he cursed some small gods of benevolence and hurried after the healer. "why yes, yes i am..." he said somberly.
a disturbing secret
"Kate was not killed by the plague" confessed Judith. "there were no marks on her. 3 or 4 years ago Andrew came to me, to seek my help with the unnatural. Kate was... developing powers. things floated, strange lights, sorcery stuff." Judith Sighed heavily, this being a major secret apparently.
"it might have something to do with this. Kate showed no marks of the plague when i examined her. nothing to compare to the rest. instead there was some great wound at her neck. bite marks of claw, i don't quite know. Andrew swore he heard nothing. he found her as if she died while still asleep."
Judith turned to Killpi. "so now you know, but this must never get out! do you realize?" Killpi smiled "but of course, and my little amusement shall remain hidden as well, yes?" the two stared at each other, and seemed to have come to an agreement.
Decisions and plans
Killpi, Glimji and Teal'c told Ayla and Lynn everything (well, except for the laxatives) the two humans were a bit pale and in a sour mood. "i'm never eating here again!" vouched Lynn. they checked what they've found and decided on the following course of action.
first they will go to the catacombs. too much is unknown about Kate, they must see for themselves. they will alert no one, not even Ed. then they will continue to the blockade and see if they can somehow get Eric from the Fist (though they had no ideas how). Glimji told the Swensons of this, and they arranged for their friends to wait for them under the bridge 1 hour after dark for Eric.
preparing for the small Journey Killpi bought 2 tents for them, which Lynn and Teal'c carried. ("where did you get so much money?" "i told you, i'm a business man!") and they received several packages of herbs that can emit great heat if pressed.
(In hindsight we sould have inquired more about the Fist, their composition, maybe a map of their position from the hunter and the like. in hindsight)
Our XP rules grant XP for achievements, not just killing monsters. how you achieved those is immaterial.
we are now level 2. several more hp are nice thing. Lynn also gained the improve trip feat. i'm unsure what the others got.
A town's warm welcome
So our town trudged off in the sunny snowy mornin. about 2-3 hours have passed with all the "festivities" at Rod's place and the tent purchasing, but they had a good start. instead of going through the apple grove they circumvented a bit to avoind looking going to the catacombs.
but soon enough they realized they were followed. Glimji and Killpi went to hide, while the rest "moved on". But Glimji was seen, and the 8 coming hillbilly humans quickly called to him. "yo! midget! get out of there!" Glimji quickly extracted himself, a bit fuming. "I'm not a midget, i'm a gnome!". "Gnome's belong in lawns!"
this fabulous shaksperean level conversation continued as Ayla, Lynn and Teal'c made their way back to the rest of the humans. "what do you want?". "we don't like you in our town! you are scum! we take out the scum!" to which Ayla returned "We are but travelers strung out here, we mean you no harm". this was responded by a leering and some whisteling. "and we take out who sleep with scum!"
at which point the battle broke. Lynn called out "don't kill them!" while Killpi and Glimji almost took personal offense at this suggestion. Teal'c took out a sap (??) while Lynn tried "cushier" places to hit.
1 of the village people lunged at Glimji, another At killpi (which climbed the rock he was hiding on, grinning) while the rest forcused on the remaining trio. Tealc' fell 1 or more, but they clubbed him heavily (including a crit) and Ayla hd her hands filled healing him. Lynn avoided most strikes but her merciful techniques proved lousy with hitting. Killpi on the other hand shot the men freely, but let them run away disabled or the like. "how is that "not killing?" going for ya?"
the trio was surrounded by 4 of the crowd, when suddenly a sleep was cast, and they all fell slumbing. at first they were revealed. well, all except for Lynn. "another sorcery?! another sleep?!"
there was no hiding it this time. there were no other people here, Killpi was busy shooting the entire battle, and in this battle as well as the one with the goblin sorcerer ("i'm not a-") Glimji was the only one unaccounted for.
Lynn progressed on him like vengeance. "you did this?! you cast that spell? you are the sorcerer?! tell me the truth! enough with lies!" Glimji stammered and bumbled, not finding the right words. "those spells saved me once, and now Teal'c, but they are still sorcery! are you behind this?" finally the miserable gnome mumbled. "maybe..."
that was enough for Lynn, she turned from him, moving a few paces, fuming, breathing hard. after a few seconds she responded. "i don't know if i can trust you no more. but so far you saved us. i don't want to talk about this, lets just get this over with".
meanwhile one of the 4 (now unarmed) was woken. "don't follow us, or you'll turn up bleeding or face down in the snow." Lynn added "i'm not in a good mood, you really, REALLY don't want to make it worse! now git!"
the party continued on their way, this time in silence.
Brink of death, the revelation of secrets
after 2 more hours walking the party reached the entrance to the catacombs, the arch displaying symbols of Lilk, goddess of death.
they entered the first door but then found the next doors locked. they were frustrated, when Killipi, in a most nonchallant way produced his thieves tools. Lynn hissed at him "a sorcerer and now a common thief!"
Killpi checked his tools, not quite looking at her "oh, and sorry for the... misshap at the morning, couldn't be helped- you chose to sleep there.".
Lynn and Ayla realized what he was talking about. Lynn got angrier. "trickery, theft of vile magic. and you wondered why i distrusted you both earlier, you prove to be the worst example of your kind."
At this Glimji and Killpi did not remain aloof "oh yeah? well it's society's fault. we have to make a living somehow. quite impossible with all you humans hogging everything for yourself."
Lynn turned on Teal'c, who didn't desreve it "what about you... orc? you have any secrets as well?" to his credit Teal'c did not rise to the bait.
"Secrets? what about yours?" demanded Killpi. "no longer with the Fist? how did that happen? eh?"
Lynn fumed for a few seconds, and then hissed back "i thought they were wrong. i tried to save people. halflings and gnomes, your kind of people, but they proved cowardly and spineless. so i was let out of the Fist. biggest mistake i made."
the gnome and halfling exchanged wondering looks, when Killpi's attempts gave the door a "Click". the bad air was full around. "let's just get over with it."
some of you might wonder why we went this way with the party. it was from 3 reasons:
- first it felt quite the natural thing to do, and the way to progress. we played the "hiding a secret" for a session and a half now.
- it enabled Killpi and Glimji to act freely. Glimji's player was going bonanza at being unable to cast spells.
- it enabled the characterss to start developing. (especially Lynn i think. perhaps i'm a drama queen?) but everyone seemed to enjoy it.
exploring the catacombs
the party came to the ritual chamber, one large door to the east, two to the west. the party explored to the west first and found one door locked, which Killpi lock picked quickly (Lynn: "just like a thief". Killpi: "just like a traitor". Ayla: "just like a virgin". group: "... what? um, no!") it proved to be mainly supplies.
the two remaining door opened to burial caches on the west, and burial sections for wealthier families on the east. the party went on the east, and searched for one that included the Grunt's name and crest.
then they came upon an open door to the Coral family. they saw a walking skeleton disappearing to another opening. "Chrone protect us!" whispered Lynn. "do you know anything about this?" she shot Glimji. "no! these are the black arts! not my expertise." there is a small argument of whether to check it out, but they decide that they must check any anomalies.
a few steps later Lynn and Teal'c got to explore the anomalies of the pit they were falling to as it opened up between them. then they explored the spikes at the bottom, and then the venom they were laced with.
Cold furry trickery
meanwhile, 6 white small figures jumped at the 3 above figueres from side chambers with hungry teeth and claws.
"dwarven Yeti!" yelled Glimji. Killpi swiveled his spiked chain and downed one. Ayla shot arrows while Glimji cast distracting spells. Teal'c picked himself upp, and with great speed climbed over the short pit. Lynn however hurled spear after spear after the creatures, those that came close to the pit's edge at least.
the party were too much for the yetis, and after 3 were killed they ran to one of the sarcophagus in the room and... jumped in? lynn climbed out as well and they explored.
apparently the creatures duge from underneath to one of the sarcophagi and used it as their tunnel. they also saw strings and rings through which they marionated the skeleton. "they are known for such trickery and foolery" added Glimji. they decided not to pursue the 3 dwarven yeti in the tunnels. the cramped location will be difficult for them to fight in.
thoughts of the encounter
I think the Dm might have had a few things to say with this encounter:
- things are not as expected: no undead in a dungeon.
- things are not as expected: dwarven yeti? what? i mean- what?
- expect fights with more complications: deception, trap. nicely done. made the party face enemies with their two front lines dropped
Kate and one other
the party continues the search, acutely aware that Ayla is at the end of her healing power. they find the Grunt section, and search though it, mostly choosing doors that Killpi is sure are free of traps. more lucky than thorough perhaps, but the party finds Kate's Sarcophagi quickly, opens it (after asking forgiveness of Lilk) and found that Judith was right. the body is shriveled but well preserved (due to the great cold).
there is a great wound at her neck, and upon checking it Glimji speaks in hushed disturbed tones. "nothing natural could have made this. there are lots of sharp sharp teeth in scores. i've seen something similar on sharks at sea, but nothing on land. this was done by something supernatural" ("Outsider" in D&D terms). the party gives a prayer, suddenly feeling very much at unease.
They decided to get out, but think of making one last comparison- they seek out any of the other dead from the plague, and find the one belonging to Mark. it looked shriveled, bad. definitely not the same cause. after putting everything back in place, the party decides to head out.
Judith story was now backed up, but what killed her? and how is that connected to the other killings?
so this is where the session ended. it was a long yet fun one. we have a mystery to solve, but first thing- next time there is the Fist. some of us already make guesses at what we might encounter, but i guess we'll see next time. the interaction between characters is starting to become interesting (or so i hope) and i'm looking forward to where it will lead.
i don't yet know when the next session will be, or the update, but hopefully not too long.
thoughts? comments? ideas? questions?