By Xaus Nebes
GM : Lake Watkins
John: as Aeislun
Katie: as Rymyr
Daniel: as Dahloy
Michael: as Nebes
Tim: as Scarlett
Anna: as Nizhoni
Other characters present in the game: Conor, Zwaithe, Skelly, Aliin, (plant and naked elf presumed dead)
Well, having got rid of those nasty snakes that were infesting the room due west of the poison gas washbasin chamber, we decided to proceed into what looked like a cave entrance in the west wall of the giant snake nest chamber. The Bvanen were amazed by our power and skill in wiping out all the snakes, even the giant “queen”.
The cave turned out to be only a hole in the thick wall rather than a cave, and gave into a stone walled corridor running south, putting it parallel to the hall in which we first got attacked by the snakes. It turned to the left (East) a little way ahead, and then looked like it turned back right (South), as if it were following the outer perimeter of the momma snake den and the poison gas room.
Roughly built at 45 degrees across the first corner in the passage was a low battlemented brick wall about 3 feet high. The floor was stone. The wall is only a barrier, and we could get over it easily, but the floor beyond was all covered with sharp cowtraps gleaming wickedly, and there was another low wall at the next corner, where the passage seemed to turn right again to proceed south once more behind the chamber in which we first encountered the snakes.
When a cowtrap was touched, there was a noise from the dark passage beyond.
We wondered if they were magically booby trapped. (they weren’t)
We talked Aliin into going down the corridor for 50 silver. The gang wasn’t too happy about that. (the blighter should have done it for free! I guess I am beginning to appreciate why some of the others would like to do him in. Perhaps it is good he has never realised I was never part of his contract with the others. I don’t get involved in employers dealings like that. Don’t get me wrong, Rhymyr is a cool scholar, treats me well, and I like her and working for her, but I don’t feel I necessarily have to sell my soul just because an employer does.
Actually, I personally don’t have any quarrel with Aliin, for that matter. He hasn’t tried to hurt me, at least, not yet. Frankly, he seems rather useful a lot of the time, but I think he could use a better attitude sometimes).
Conor was dumb enough to want to go with him.
Scarlett jumped on top of the battlemented wall for a better look at the corridor ahead.
A slig hiding further down threw a spear at her. Fortunately he missed, and double fortunately Scarlett didn’t fall off the wall onto the cowtraps. Daredevil Aeislun and Conor followed her by jumping up onto the wall. They almost all fell off but managed to hold on to each other.
At that point, Scarlett sensibly decided not to try proceeding.
Rymyr came to the rescue by deciding to fly down the passage safely above the cowtraps.
She was a bit worried I’d get upset that she can fly. Different religions in conflict etc. My mother would have probably had a fit, as she was an Earth worshiper, but Dad had a completely different approach to these things and wouldn’t have worried. Well, yeh, it was a surprise, but right then hardly seemed the time to bother about it. And in any case, I grew up in a fairly cosmopolitan environment, and so for the most part, have pretty much learnt to live and let live. I’ll worry about it later – maybe.
There was no more noise and it seemed the slig had retreated. Hopefully he was terrified of whatever could get past the snakes- like us!
I suggested we just clear the cowtraps out of the way. They weren’t fixed into the floor. Where is a good broom when you need one? Somehow the folks that live in this place don’t seem to have much concept of clean. The others thought there were too many cowtraps and it would take to long. They were in a panic about rescuing the children, but I’ve noticed that every time we rush into something we seem to get a bit beaten up.
Any way, Rymyr flew over the cowtraps and landed safely beyond the second battlemented wall, where she had a view (North) past the right hand bend in the corridor. She called back she could see into a dirty room with fire pits in the floor, but couldn’t see any sliggs. No one tried to attack her.
So we all set about clearing out the cowtraps, to save those with bare feet, and so our path of escape wouldn’t be blocked if we were attached by something nasty. Those with boots only had to kick them aside. I thought they might come in handy later and gathered up quite a lot of them in several bundles. Never know when they might be useful to jamb a door open or shut or cover a retreat.
We all went forward into the dirty room. There was yet another waste high battlemented wall ahead with a doorway beyond it. Scarlett tried to sneak over the wall but tripped and fell over it so that she was in full view of whatever might be in the room ahead.
Something made a slig scream in the distance, but nothing else happened. Apparently, she wasn’t detected, or they didn’t care.
In the next room we found humanoid looking targets with spears sticking in them, and to the North was a fire pit with cooking pots hanging over it. They looked like brass, so I grabbed them. After all, I figured we might need to eat eventually, and if all else fails, you can always use a good pot to whop something on the head when you’re out of better weapons. There were some dirty blankets lying around. It looked like we had wandered into some sort of quarters and mess area.
The floor was the usual cracked cobble stone. (Well, it obviously wasn’t wood, or sliggs wouldn’t be lighting fires on it.) Speaking of fire, Nizhoni said she smelled some ahead, together with something like Kank nectar plus wool and jerky, and some nasty smelling oil.
There was in fact a fire in the pit beyond the crenulated wall, but no one was around.
The whole place was very dirty.
Aeislun quite sensibly tried to check for traps but did it badly and couldn’t tell if there were any or not.
The west wall had a locked door in it, and there is yet another little crenulated wall to the north, with a door behind in the north wall. Aeislun jumped over the low wall with his usual careless abandon and found an elfin flask of nasty fermented Kank nectar called Broy, which he promptly (and irresponsibly) drank. Good grief, it might have been poison, or full of cockroaches or something!
To our surprise (and probably some peoples disappointment), nothing happened. He didn’t even get drunk. Either he is very strong or it was lousy booze. Probably that was just as well, since we needed everyone to be alert.
Aeislun decided to try and pick the lock beetle on the southern most door on the western wall of the chamber we were in, and he managed to open the door. Scarlett sleuthed in to investigate, and found a long low stinky dungeon. At the end was what looked like a child trapped in a small square cage made of living tree roots that had a weird white colour. On one side wall were sets of manacles with Bvanen skeletons in them, and the remains of two scaled humanoid creatures. There were also 4 malnourished but still breathing Bvanen tied up with crude ropes. Scarlett immediately untied them. They said they were guardians of Hrungo, whatever that might be.
Nizhoni and Aeislun went in to examine the boy in the cage, who turned out to be a “Mul child”. It looked unhappy and evil, and Nizhoni and Aeislun felt their blood being pulled towards the fronts of their bodies and their heads began to feel like they were burning. I felt it too but was still far enough away not to be badly affected. It was creepy, and the hair on the back of my neck stood up.
Conor went in and tried to talk to the child, who looked about 10 years old. The boy said he was called Dren, and was not a child. Then he asked if we had come to kill him?
“Good heavens, no”, we told tell him. We said we wanted to rescue him. He didn’t look particularly convinced. In fact, he almost looked like he wanted to die.
Rymyr tried to identify the plant so we could know how best to attack it, and found out the tree that formed Dren’s cage was Verrin Wood. It is extremely toxic to elves, and they despise it, so Aeislun got sensibly out of the way. And this particular one was also mutated and magical.
Apparently, it was the same tree that produces the fruit that is sold yearly in Rymyr’s home town. But that fruit must be produced somehow from blood the tree pulls out of or “eats” out of people. I bet she’s lost her apatite, and probably so would the whole town, if they knew.
Dahloy used supernal clarity to look at it and then to attack it. He tried to burn it and did some damage but it spurted blood that douched the fire and it grew back when damaged. The trick was to kill it without hurting Dren. Dahloy and Nizhoni persisted carefully until they eventually succeeded, and the newly liberated Dren decided to stay with us.
Aeislun decided to take the freed Bvanen prisoners back to their queen. What he was really after, of course, was a chance to loot the giant snake nest while the rest of us were preoccupied and had forgotten about it.
Well, better him than me. The snake nest room now reeks horribly with a heavy sickly sweet odour like fresh cow dung, ‘cause it is wall papered all over in Elf Puke – floor, walls and ceiling!
And he didn’t even chew the lumps, (probably cause Rymyr didn’t get a chance to make it taste good first) so there are great green gobs of poorly chewed semi digested snake plus whatever garbage you normally find in an elf’s stomach all over the place. (No, don’t ask me what’s in an elf’s stomach. I’ve never looked inside an Elf’s stomach and hope I never have too!)
Mind you, I have to admit that at the time it was really quite entertaining. Aeislun’s mouth suddenly enlarging and sucking that 20 ft reptiles into it and him swelling like a balloon and rising up in the air, spinning like a demented windmill… and then BANG, a mighty crack as pieces of snake flew back out faster than arrows and completely smashed another snake to pieces, and covered the whole room in splatter. Good job I ducked just in time. But that’s the curious thing about elves. They can be deceitful, selfish, mischievous, conniving, backstabbing cheating little turds, but, if you can get past all that, they are actually a whole lot of fun. Sort of like women.
We continued ferreting around. There was another doorway on the east facing wall but the room only had some more junk and bedding and blankets inside it. In only a seemingly short time Aeislun was back dragging a big blanket full of loot and a human body over his shoulder. The body was dead, uh, long dead. Now I’ve carried bodies on my shoulder too, but they have always been alive – well, at least when I started carrying them.
All this distracted us for a while.
The body was heavily tattooed, but we couldn’t see it clearly and decided we would have to examine it in detail later. There was a copper ring on its finger, which said “Karakus” in elfin on it. Besides the body, he had a good haul of loot.
In the giant snake nest he had found (apart from the human body- humm, wonder why the snake hadn’t eaten the guy when he was fresh?) 3 gems, 5 obsidian daggers plus bone studded armour (obviously no use to its owner or it wouldn’t have been in the nest), a great bow (strength modifier 2), a water skin (probably full of snake piss by now. Maybe we could get Aeislun to test drink it? – OK, that was naughty), a bed roll, a flint and steel, 3 torches, 6 obsidian arrows, a sack full or rations (probably rotten, or the snakes would have eaten them), a healing salve, some elf hazel and a pouch with 17 ceramic pieces and some copper. There might have been some other stuff, but that’s all I remember. Any way, we all got 19 copper from the loot and Aeislin gave me one of the torches.
Aeislun also gave me back the bow I lent him, since he found another one, so now we have a spare.
Then we noticed that the room had been slowly filling up with smoke that was now getting down to our level. It was coming out from under the North most door on the west wall, from a room that must be beside the dungeon where we found Dren. Rymyr touched the door and found it was quite hot.
The walls were all stone and the ceiling vaulted stone so there wasn’t much danger of the whole place going up, but we decided we didn’t want to die from smoke inhalation. We were worried about the children again, so we didn’t have time to retreat and just let it burn out.
We decided we had better try and put it out. Scarlett opened the door. The room was smaller than the one we were in but was full of burning furniture and supplies and oil. There was an open door in its west wall, and some sligs were in the doorway fanning the fire.
Scarlet went in and managed to put out about 50 square feet of area and Rymyr managed to douse about 25 square feet using water and old blankets. I saw they would need lots more blankets and ran off to grab some from the other rooms. Scarlett went after the sligs with the fans and disarmed them. They ran back inside the next room and slammed the door shut. I got back with about 500lbs of blankets and snuffed out the rest of the fire.
Then we saw there were marks on the floor where the sligs had apparently rolled something into the next room to the west.
While Scarlett, Rymyr and I were putting out the fire, other stuff had been going on.
The Mul child, Dren, had begun to recover and told Dahloy he had been in the tree root cage 11 years. He decided he wanted to hang with us, and it was obvious he didn’t have any love for sligs (he wanted payback).
Aeislun, Dahloy and Aliin decided to go walkabout and see if they could get through a door in the north wall of the main room. That is the door north of the fire pit in the big room that adjoins the room that was on fire. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be attached from the rear by whatever might be behind the door while trying to put out a fire, but they seemed fairly sure there wouldn’t be anything there, and in any case, the sligs seemed to have retreated into whatever was beyond the door that they slammed shut at the west end of the fire room.
With the fire finally out we decided we would have to pursue the sliggs, and see what was behind the next door. The sligs had locked it.
We could hear noises behind the door. It was wood, and not particularly strong. I thought about simply charging into it. I can get up to about 30ft per second running and with my weight hit the door with up to about 21,000lbs of force depending on the rate of deceleration. In simple terms, bad news for me if the door were solid and totally unyielding, otherwise, very bad news for the door and who ever is standing behind it. The problem was that there was no way to know if anyone was standing behind it, so I might have just gone sprawling across the floor into a room full of sligs. No thank you.
Instead, Rymyr said just smash it open with my sword, so I did. It broke open easily enough and revealed a long narrow room with a row of marble columns down each side. It was hazy with smoke from torches and the fire in the other room, but I barely had time to notice anything before 6 sliggs over by the wall each throw a javelin directly at me. 4 either missed or bounced off my armour but two got in between joints. Fortunately my tough hide prevented serious damage but it hurt like H—well, it really did smart. At least my bulk protected the others from the initial onslaught.
Then a lot of stuff happened at once. Someone started playing some battle-music.
As I tried to take a step backwards out the way, a slig rushed up and got me with his obsidian sword. That Chitin armour was bloody useless – more accurately, I was bloody, and it was useless! Mind you, I was no where near done for, simply loosing some blood and in a bit of pain, and coughing a bit from all the smoke.
Scarlett, bless her heart, disarmed the blasted slig that hacked at me before it could have another go. Conner tried to get past me into the room to hit the slig on my right but somehow ended up punching the nearest column. I think he might have tripped over my foot in all the scuffle.
Nizhoni then unleashed her dreadful wrath on a group of sligs and demoralized one on the right just ahead of Connor, helping protect him.
Meanwhile, Aeislun had opened the door a head of him to find another door directly in front and a corridor going off to the left ((West) Aliin went off down the corridor and Aeislun opened the unlocked door in front of him and found an empty room with some evidence of occupation, but nothing more.
Oblivious to the raging battle, Aliin walked on and tripped a trap door and somehow fell into a pit. There was a one foot wide catwalk around the pit but he didn’t see it.
Aeislun and Dahloy finally heard the battle and headed back to wards us.
But I was still in the thick of it, and Connor was now surrounded by about 5 of the sliggs. Little Dren suddenly went over to the fire pit, grabbed a burning stick and appeared between my legs to jab the firebrand into the face of the sligg directly in front of me. Its greasy dirty fur caught fire and it dropped dead. I think the stick went through its eye or something. Dren seemed ecstatic.
But there was no time to gloat. Another slig was in front of me bent on mischief. I hit the miserable creature with my bastard sword but failed to damage it fatally. I went to finish it off with my steel dagger but my balance shifted on the uneven floor and the slig twisted so that the dagger only got entangled in its hair. I should have yanked back with all my strength and tor the dagger loose along with a few square inches of slig fur and skin but I lost my grip. I think the hilt was slippery from blood as I was still bleeding from the obsidian sword blow earlier.
I finally managed to retreat a bit and Aeislin, who had come back into the main room, shot the slig with an arrow. That left it bleeding, but still not dead. Darn, those things are tough.
I finally got a chance to pull out the remaining javelin, and can you believe this. Aeislin asked if I could carry his dead human body for him. I politely pointed out that I was sort of preoccupied like in the middle of a battle, and besides, the body stinks!
I like the fellow, but sometimes I’d just like to grab him by a leg and toss him somewhere!
I actually did that once – tossed an elf. I was only a teenager and there were a couple of elf families in my town. Never mind, long story. Anyway, one day we were out sitting by the bank of the oasis and this elf kid, who was actually a friend, put some insect down the back of my neck and the beeping thing stung me.
Wow, did it sting. Almost by reflex I grabbed the elf by the ankle with one hand and as I stood up I flung him with most of my strength. He flew about 60 feet doing cartwheels in a nice graceful arc until he splashed down into the oasis, much to the other kids’ delight.
Oh, don’t worry, he was quite unhurt, as I knew he would be. The water was deep enough to break his fall but not over his head, or I wouldn’t have done it. (I didn’t exactly plan on 60 feet, but I usually don’t mention that part)
I guess his leg might have come off, but he was a tough little tyke, and you just don’t think of things like that when playing teenage pranks. He hadn’t known the insect would be capable of stinging me either, and just wanted to make me jump. And yes, we did remain friends.
I wonder if I can get someone to place bets on how far I could toss Aeislun if I really tried, using both hands. Ok, he’s an adult elf, but I’m much bigger now too. The ratio should be about the same. I guess his leg might come off, but I’m sure that would be a risk the rest of us would all be willing to take! Have to wait until there is a suitable body of water, though, or other guaranteed soft landing. I wouldn’t want to really hurt him.
So there we were with 5 sligs still very alive and kicking, and poor Conor in the middle of them, and Aliin off down a pit. Unfortunately, you will have to read the next log to find out what happened, as this is where my notes ended.
Dren (GM) 3