What a terrible headache. My mind is still groggy from yesterday’s festivities.
There’s always a price to pay when too much of a good thing is experienced. That is our lot in life, us poor mortals. But no time to contemplate on the virtues of hangovers, for we have some loot to liberate from the clutches of cadavers!
Anyway, who cares! Hasdrubal and I got BUSAYYY last night!! No, not together, you perverted simpletons, but with some witch sisters of stunning beauty and indescribable skills in love-making, especially with their hair, of all things! Hair used as limbs to caress in ways to make a man lose his sanity.
…although I’ll never understand why women of all ilk think it’s a great idea to erm, stimulate men’s ass cracks during a tumble in the sheets. I wish her a prompt hair wash though, especially after the day I’ve had.
As I’m being gently pushed out the door by the Dhavoran sister, I come face-to-face with Hasdrubal, who can’t keep a dumb smile from his face, as I’m sure I have as well, despite the goblin war drums pounding every inch of my skull. Damned cheap wine.
We discreetly make our exit and meet the rest of our group in the common area, ready for the day’s lottery.
At the city centre, all surviving members of the previous day’s loot festival are present. A good fifth of them a missing, meaning quite a few of them ended up as undead meal; a grim reminder of the dangers awaiting our merry band of fierce scribes.
Before the lottery starts, High Priestess, Septi the Crocodile, Party-Pooper Extraordinaire, brings forth prisoners to the chopping block for execution, a clear statement to us all about the dangers of failing to respect the cadavers we are sent to kill and rob. Message received, loud and clear!
This time, we are assigned the villa of a merchant fellow named Pentheru, which bodes well for our group, since merchants, by their very nature, should theoretically have possessed vast riches… and also traps… and otherworldly guards… and more traps. Sigh.
Still, it’s not a brewery or a latrine complex, so I count ourselves lucky.
As we are walking towards our allotted spot, again ignoring Mavrikos’ pleas for strategy, we are suddenly ambushed by a group of thugs.
The first arrow hits Hasdrubal right in the face, a brutal poke I sincerely hope matched his similar attempts with the Dhavoran sister last night.
(To this day I still can’t shake the feelings of guilt I have over that arrow, as if I was the shooter…)
One thing’s for sure, this handsome young man will heed Mavrikos’ words in the future, though with my luck, he’ll be smart enough to send me as a forward scout ahead of the group. Samir the Lightning Rod doesn’t sound as sweet as Samir Goldentongue in my mind.
Aaaaanyway, a mere second after Hasdrubal’s pirate makeover, another thug gets Mavrikos in a net and starts pounding him to the ground. With our two greatest “fighters” out of commission, we were off to a bad start.
Arrows and leg traps are flying all around us, often finding targets. Two of us reverts to a tactic that proved successful yesterday: summoning monsters to our aid. The thugs were clever though, so they peppered them with arrows, with partial success. Turns out the summoning spell takes a long time to complete, making the caster an easy target. Something we should’ve known.
We managed to summon a dire rat to our aid, thus shifting some pressure from us. Rhea was successful in casting a sleep spell against a few or our enemies, but we were still in deep Dhavoran-hair-after-a-night-with-Samir.
That’s where Uncle Samir saved the day, with a simple illusion cantrip, no less! Suddenly, an otherworldly voice scream-whispered “Desecration!” for all to hear. The added stench of death I managed to add to the spell convinced a good chunk of our enemies to flee in terror like the pansies they are and no one knew I did it! Even Miss know-it-all Rhea was oblivious to my involvement. In your FACE, Septi the Croc of shit! In. Your. FACE! Just like Hasdrubal! Arrr dee arr arrrrr!
(Ok, I shouldn’t laugh at Hasdrubal’s situation right now, I know. Well, until I know he survived that is)
We should be able to get the upper hand on the remaining thugs, if Mavrikos can get the damn net off of him. Every attempt he makes is met with bad luck: the net got caught on his shield at his first attempt, the next his scabbard was the culprit. I saw him shake his head at his ridiculous streak of bad luck, which I sympathise with. It won’t stop me from playing a prank on him involving a net in the future though. A man’s gotta stick to his principles after all.
I can’t WAIT to brag to our group when the fight is done. Samir, the saviour of scribes! WAY better sounding than Lightning Rod! I’m in awe at my level of ingenuity. I’m simply a genius!
Ok, maybe I’m an idiot after all. The kobold I saw running in my direction, screaming “ghouls!” in draconic? Well, turns out he was running away from REAL ghouls that probably came investigating the sweet smell of rot-bacon I created. Oh, look: a ghast is tagging along, too.
If I survive this, I think I’ll keep my involvement on the down-low for that one. I’m sure another occasion will rise to make me look the savior.
While the ghouls are busy eating some sleeping thugs, the ghast charges me, but I’m able to retreat to safety and start my own casting to summon help.
Looks like Samir will remain Samir for the time being. My companions quickly dispatched the ghouls and by the time my dire rat appeared, the ghast had ran away, making a joke of my saving-of-asses attempt.
A little worse for wear, we survey the scene around us and, of course, start debating our next move.
We got ourselves three prisoners. Mavrikos is adamant: they are not to be killed, tortured, or to be used as disposable trap fodder. I think Mavrikos secretly hates me.
So, fearing other bands of marauding ghouls, we quickly make our way to the Necropolis’ gates and surrendered the assassins to the city’s authority.
Rhea took an immediate liking to the kobold and pleaded for mercy. The official reluctantly agreed to spare him, but refused to leave it in our care for the day. Too bad, a dunce mascot for our group would have lighted things up a little.
Because of our unfortunate encounter, priests were fetched to patch ourselves up and we quickly returned to our allotted villa.
Most of the dead thugs were long gone, dragged away to Ghouls’ lairs. We had a little luck though, as the legs of the assassin’s dead leader… detached from the body while being dragged away, leaving most of the corpse on the ruined street. A quick search produced a bag of gold marked with the symbol of Nethys, god of magic, an ailing god popular in the past. The same god worshipped by the company of the Scorched Hand, in which members had an altercation with Mavrikos the night before at the Tooth and Hookah, which makes them suspect in my mind. I’m undecided as to the reason why though. I mean, Mavrikos wasn’t THAT bad in his paladinning around them, but nothing positive can come up when dealing with two zealots of opposing inclinations.
Regardless, it is something to think about when we get back tonight.
We arrived at the villa to partially opened doors, swinging slightly with the wind. Not having learned our lesson, the lot of us barged in into the courtyard together like children at a menagerie. The place, long abandoned, revealed to us a dark past: we started to hear the sounds of an angry mob, clamoring for blood, and the desperate cries of what I presume to be the merchant’s wife, giving orders to her servants. The door shook, reminiscent of being battered with a ram. Such a sad event.
This haunting memory of the past shook our group to various degrees, but Orfée and Rhialla took it the worse. They panicked, and ran away in terror in opposing directions: Rhialla to my left, Orfée to my right.
Rhialla quickly calmed down in front of the courtyard’s door, shaken, but recovering. Orfée wasn’t so lucky. She barged into the house, running, screaming like a hysterical housewife with smudged makeup.
As I normally deal in stressful situations, I couldn’t help but quip something out loud, asking her to trigger the traps inside if she could while she was in there. That tongue of mine will get me in trouble someday.
Yet again, everyone rushed after her, leaving me with my wand of armor in hand, with no one to use it on. I sighed, closed the door Rhialla had opened (not without having taken a look inside) and followed the Kamikaze Bunch inside the house.
What I found was a scene of chaos. Orfée was being bitten by snakes (again!), still in the thrall of terror, One-Eye Hasdy was being throttled by death dogs, the works.
Having triggered the wrath of all these foul beasts, Orfée wasn’t yet satisfied with her work, as she crashed into the room at the end, filled with corpses of the animated variety. The gods smiled upon her though, as the beds the skeletons were lying on, rotten by time, ALL caved in, saving Orfée from an immediate death. How convenient!
We were able to dispatch the ad hoc gang of monsters in the end, and we are now taking a small break, catching our breaths. I took the opportunity to use my wand of armor on ARRstrubal and I. Better late than never!
Now for some looting!