Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Worms and Slavers - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Ten




 
With the corrupt priest and his fellows ended;
The eclectic band turned to their new friend;
And with the language barrier they fended;
Using pantomime for meaning to send.


Then they turned to the bard’s magic;
A spell of understanding cast in the music;
Marle could discern the hulk’s vocal logic;
And help prevent misunderstandings tragic.
 
Lohn gestured to the replacement bronze claws;
And made silent offers of seeking healing;
The hulk was able to glean the gist with little pause;
But doubt for their ability lay in its feeling.

Meanwhile Angus had carried the prisoner down;
To the Hall of Thirsting Earth for a chat;
He planted the seeds of fear in the duergar clown;
Until Marle came down and sat.

With Angus’s lies in his ears giving a sinister coat;
To the genial tiefling’s cheerful attitude;
The duergar quickly gave up the cult’s goat;
And he began to spout information he’d accrued.

Of seventeen prisoners including a dwarven scholar;
And their jailers: four orogs and an ogre;
The duergar this information did all but holler;
Explaining all as one terrified sober.

The tiefling feared he was holding something back;
And pressed for dangers not connected to the cult;
Bringing the subject of worms with no appetite lack;
And deadly fungus of danger most occult.

Marle and Angus stepped to the side;
The duergar left bound in rope;
And discussed where his fate did ride;
But then was the prisoner there? Nope.

Vanished in the twinkling of an eye;
The prisoner had left not one sign;
Talk of predators and escape did vie;
And searching his tracks was a useless line.

Clearing the monastery was the next concern;
The defiled hall echoed empty, masters dead;
Though in the west wing there was not much to learn;
Three scrolls were found where priest lay his head.

The garden out back they were content to avoid;
As the three gargoyles therein likewise stayed away;
And the umber hulk in hall to eating its time employed;
So that they looked down below to make their way.

They found a stairwell, locked and barred;
Of ancient dwarven make with perfect skill;
Behind a lock that the passing of was not hard;
Between the mistress’s key and the locksmith’s will.

They left the downward passage for the moment;
And began quietly clearing the mine tunnels;
Voices raised through the halls echoed and bent;
Drawing them onward on paths subtle.

An orog and slave they soon discovered;
The bluish orc found himself much mismatched
By blade and spell and kienzan they endeavored;
To be sure the slaver was quickly dispatched.

The commoner followed along behind them;
Much was heard as they came to the door
Raised voices ordering others to keep mum;
And ogre’s breaths like a waking snore.

Angus and Marle suggested a maneuver of pincers;
But Fennle and Elivia argued there was danger;
Of finding a new threat and being caught in scissors;
With gricks before and behind an ogre banger.

They pushed through the door in a swarm;
The ogre Drool caught picking his nose;
Barely was there time to get warm;
Before the heroes buried him in blows.

Sounds of approaching orogs came to their ears;
The paladin called on fey powers to bless;
Fennle and Angus readied for whatever appears;
Though Lohn heard anomalous sounds within the mess.

The sound of coming orogs raised a din;
But before they opened the door;
A voice raised an alarm the room within;
Warning the slavers of the potential gore.

The door kicked open and a javelin was thrown;
Striking the paladin in the shoulder firm;
Though arrow and ki discs slashed the orog to the bone;
And the locksmith’s magic shut the door against harm.

Marle kicked up a hail of dust to her left;
Covering the invisible dwarf in a grey coat;
Now that his spark of courage had left him bereft;
The duergar’s body grew as he growled from the throat.

Elivia stepped in with hand covered in lightning;
Sending a shock through the duergar’s flesh;
The giant dwarf’s muscles failed against the power frightening;
And he feared that he was facing death afresh.

Talindra stepped to the door with a woodworker’s eye;
As orog’s on the other side argued about the path;
She spiked the hinges and stepped back in wait to lie;
Her blade ready to deliver wrath.

Fennle stepped in at the duergar’s side;
Spear, foot and fist snapping his knee;
Sending him to drown a bleeding tide;
Before turning back to face another enemy.

The orog burst through the door with a mighty thrust;
Only to find himself torn to pieces by Angus’ blade;
Then Lohn’s arrow settled in his forehead to rust;
And to the Waiting Place his soul did fade.

Marle turned her crossbow on the second orog;
The bolt skittered off the orcish plate;
The slaver decided that for this he needed more grog;
And turned tail to run at his highest rate.

The party quickly pursued save all but Marle;
Who remained behind to heal the duergar;
A second time she spared his life with a snarl;
And this time warning to get to a place far.

The last orog fled from assassin’s blade and monk’s darts;
The paladin closing on his very heels;
He turned a corner past a pair of mine carts;
When the stone opened up and sought new meals.

A massive grick, the sized of great bear;
Lashed out with tentacles and beak to rend and tear;
The orog screamed in pain as he faced this fare;
Then the paladin sliced him free his life but a hair.

Then the massive beast turned to grab Talindra;
It’s tentacles she held off valiantly;
But the tail slammed hard and blood it did draw;
Still the Oath of Ancients held her stubbornly.

The Sun Soul monk stepped with a hail of ki;
Ending the orog’s life but failing to cut the worm;
Angus moved swift to a space that was free;
And stabbed but failed to bring the beast harm.

Fennle turned her spear against the beast;
Stabbing hard into its body and drawing ire;
Her fists and feet found little to deter its feast;
Though the grick still had to face much fire.

Elivia stepped in to summon Mystra’s grace;
Filling the half-elf with renewed vigor;
With which she could now this foe again face;
A truly massive and lethal chigger.

Talindra hefted her shield and slammed forward;
Forcing it back into its hidden burrow;
Holding it fasting and rendering its stance awkward;
Its tail now trapped and no longer able to strike a blow.

It responded trying to grip her and bite;
But she fended off its attacks with holy might;
Her shield and blade twisting left and right;
Back to an even field she had brought the fight.

Angus and Fennle flanked to her side;
With spear and blade slashing in;
Many blows were turned aside by its hide;
But the grick’s life was growing thin.

Lohn tried to move back to another room;
Seeking to find the worm past the other wall;
But found that he’d miscalculated its place in the gloom;
And placed him too far out of line to aid in its fall.

Marle appeared to throw a blade;
But it clattered aside unable to find purchase;
A barrage of missiles Elivia then made;
Then stashed away her wand lest it become ash.

Talindra lashed out with her sharp long sword;
Striking true and drawing brackish blood;
Her skill and mail again acting as her ward;
When the grick lashed out with tentacle flood.

Fennle’s blows landed much harder;
And paved the way for Angus to strike vitals;
Ending the grick’s attempt to add to its larder;
The group took a breath to celebrate their survival.

They turned to the slaves within the pens;
Humans and Halflings and one dwarven man;
Of bookish sort he was and through the lens;
Of past memory likely one whose rescue was in the plan.

But one orog still lay unaccounted for;
And first the slaves were taken above;
While the heroes the rest of the mines did scour;
Including some fungus that with fire they got rid of.

A second grick, much smaller than before;
Was heard in a darkened corner;
Lohn applied his magical hand to the floor;
Tricking the beast out of its cover.

Then it was destroyed but the heroes actions;
In one brief round it had no answer;
Falling in pieces after falling for the distractions;
Leaving the heroes to return to their banter.

A small pile of coins and gems was found;
Along with a pair of slick black gauntlets;
Holding a definite aura of magic bound;
This was set aside while they continued dauntless.

A passage out of the mines was uncovered;
Half-hidden by rockfall but easily managed;
It showed no signs of an orog having clambered;
Over its debris and thus not where he’d vanished.

However, the paladin’s skill and tracking eyes;
Found nearby the tracks of passage;
Back to the where the stairwell lies;
The bars once again locked against masses.

Again, the locksmith opened the gate;
But the decision was made to seek the lich;
The way to be blocked against enemies late;
And securing the monastery against earth witch.

Thus secure, the gauntlets were examined;
And found to be a trickster’s aid;
Letting arrows and darts fly from the mage hand;
Rather than the rogue’s true place.

Lohn clapped the gloves on as the party settled in;
And planned to speak to the prisoners again;
To learn what they could however thin;
From among all the freed women and men.

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