Eternal Winter

It’s raining undead, hallelujiah!

Hello again from your faithful adventurers! Check your local shop for our charming collectible minatures!

Turns out that nice Mr. Crow from the end of my last entry was not so nice after all. He was a raven, the evil twin of the crow minus the goatee, and was joined by about a thousand friends as we entered a strangely quiet town. A church bell tolled, the only sign of life besides the ravens. Since I was getting more and more cold, I set us a goal: for me not to die. So we went to the church. And there we met Kore. He seemed to have heard of me, for he told the party that if they gave me up to him, they could all live. Eep? Guys? Why me—is it because I have the Parsy blood? Wait, do I have it? I lost track. As the party were quite sensibly thinking about giving me up as a tidbit, a wolf charged in through the window in spectacular fashion—Larth Parsy to the rescue! He fought with his brother and told us to run. He did not have to tell us twice.

We did not get far before a nasty black rain began to fall and from the drop arose skeletons. They were fragile but, er, numerous to say the least. Several townspeople were beset and we rushed them to safety as best they could but oh gods, were they dumb. Several died and a few lived by the end. All the same, we were rather enjoying crunching up the skeletons like chips. The party mood evaporated when the big guys dropped in: two Skull Lords, each with three heads and remarkable durability…

… and a few Tomb Guardians, which had extra arms. It was sort of like sale day at a skeleton parts warehouse. Fortunately we had Rita {played by Erin} who flung waves of fire and magic missiles in every direction, clearing out the skellies so we could move around with some alacrity. Markus got a little too interested in smacking skeletons…

Talithe also made a heroic entrance, leaping a fence and rushing into the fray, most notably wiping out a Skull Lord with a powerful radiant blast, which did not mix well with his dark undeadness.

After an epic battle {which did indeed take about five hours, whoof} our enemies were dead and we were nearly so. Larth Parsy then ran in, badly bloodied, to make sure we were OK and to report that Kore had been forced away for now, but keep running. We did. Larth made an interesting exit: he brought out a purple crayon and drew a circle on a wall, then leaped through it like a portal. Grimm, paragon of intelligence that he is, stuck his head through the portal, emerging into absolute blackness, and he could not pull it out. Fortunately a hand pushed him back.

Back to Mooncity we limped, determined to rest and rebuild a bit before heading to the Gnomish Enclaves again. If Kore was going to hassle us, we could use a bit more prep. We made our mansion secure, by the way, with a combination of good locks and the illusion that it was still haunted thanks to a few of my, er, spare supplies…

The mayor Damien asked us to take care of the Thieves’ Guild, who was causing more and more trouble in the power vacuum left by our killing off of the snakey guards in our previous heroic exploits. Damien told us to talk to a woman and child who were in custody after having gotten on the bad side of the guild. Though they spoke only the native barbarian language, a guard helped translate. Her name was Rog Lack Mer, aka Leaf, and told us of a safe house in the poor quarter to go to.

This was a disaster. It was just an adventurer’s club. While in there, it was set on fire, which is a sure sign we were doing a good job pissing off somebody. We barely escaped after Steeply smashed the wall open—thanks, can opener man! Why did Leaf lie to us? Bah, women, who can ever figure them out? I forgot to go back and ask her. She is probably cackling somewhere in an alley with an empty can of lantern oil. But we saw a figure fleeing the scene and it was not her. We chased the dude through the streets. I would have won the race, but I can only remember the streets when I am drunk, since that’s how I memorised them in the first place. Grimm managed to keep up, and tracked the guy down to the real safe house.

We confronted the first guy who came to the door, Arkis. He was blind, which lowered our hero quotient a bit at first, but then found cowering in the corner Gilly, the one who set the fire. Our urge to smack him around was slightly dampened by discovering that Gilly was mute, his tongue having been cut out by the head of the Thieves Guild, the same mage who blinded Arkis. Turns out that these two were just lowly underlings. Impressed by our might and our ability to smush them to jelly if they did not help us, they led us to a big walled-off section of the Market District.

We talked our way in for a while, passing ourselves off as entertainers. See the amazing metal man! The passionate song stylings of a handsome bard! A knight chick who can make her armor disappear! And, um, this undead guy! Eventually we got to the inner sanctum, and crossed a web of cool walkways over the old, sunken, original city. The sneaky ones crept through the sunken streets, and probably found a lot of ancient gum. At the end was a blade-bristling man named Harith and his Tiefling guards. Steeple explained how we wanted to have control over this chapter of the guild. Turns out the Thieves Guild is a wide enterprise, and Mooncity is one of its most important chapters, since it has so much trade. I did not help with the diplomacy; I was dubious about the morality of controlling a bunch of assassins, uneasy about ending up behind a desk somewhere in a boring management role, and in a snit about how Steeple barged into the place with his usual meta-brained my-way-or-the-highway manner. So I sat back to watch what would happen as Steeple tried to negotiate with Harith. It took about twelve seconds for things to go tits-up, and soon we were in a fight. However, it did not last long before Harith surrendered, and agreed to take the role assigned to him.

This amity was interrupted by Grimm killing one of the surrendered Tieflings. I threw a bit of a hissy fit over that and we threated to expel him from the group if he did not follow some basic etiquette of good behaviour. Killing surrendered, once hostile, but otherwise rational and cooperating creatures that are not inherently evil: not cool. I’m still haunted by the Succubus. Besides being smoking hot, she was pleading for her life at the end. But she was a devil, a creature literally of unspeakable evil and devoted to the enslavement of the material plane, a creature whose power to lie and charm and deceive is legendary. It’s just not the same thing, killing her. Not.

Well, Arkis had been pretty helpful, and we needed someone to be in immediate charge of the guild chapter. So I dusted off my ritual books and with a combination of Cure Disease and Make Whole, cured his blindness. All in a day’s work for Dr. Orgoo.

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MatthewFord

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