Saturday, August 24, 2019

In Which We Kill All The Humans

...Now they will be "Los Muertos" indeed.

So at the end of the last session we had gotten the main party back together, sent a keg of poisoned ale to the human raiders ("Los Muertos") and rested up in preparation for tonight's battle (or, preferably, murder spree -- depends on how many of the humans got themselves poisoned). Wendy shows up and offers to help, but Azrael sends her back into the woods -- partly to treasure the memories of their forbidden love in solitude, but mostly because Martini is going to murder her if she hangs around.

Ruin, however, goes and alerts the elvish ranger Damian (the one with the giant wolf) that they've found the humans. This is partly because Ruin feels like somebody local should be involved as a witness, but also because they had a deal that if one of them found the humans, the other would kill them. Or the first one would. Or something. There'd be killing. Anyway, Damian and his giant bloody wolf come along.

After some discussion, we bypass the secret door and head up the hill to Lotharian's house. Lotharian (as probably nobody recalls) is an elf; he's also a "newcomer" to the village, having moved here from Mellicure some fifty years ago. Mellicure, by some curious coincidence, is the only nearby settlement that hasn't been attacked; and Lotharian is also the one who was insisting loudly in the bar that there were absolutely no humans in the area, despite the fact that one had shown up to buy a keg of ale not two nights previous. So, y'know, suspicious.

Lotharian is... not happy to see us. He's been drinking, clearly, and he immediately settles on the downstairs bed, answers a couple of questions in the most passive-aggressive way possible, and passes out. Ruin and Reverend Mercy immediately tie him to the bed, while Martini sets out to search the house. There's a chest downstairs; its lock is too complicated to Martini to pick, but Ruin rips it open. (True Elf Barbarian is an awesome thing to be sometimes.) It's basically full of mementos from Lotharian's family in Mellicure. This is the point at which we note:


Inside this one is a note. It says, basically, that the king appreciates Lotharian's help, and so long as he remains cooperative then Mellicure will remain un-razed. But that still doesn't show us how to get to the humans from here, or how they might get up here.

The house is crowded with junk; Lotharian is a hoarder. But... there's a pallet on the floor in the upstairs room, and unlike the bed it looks regularly slept in. So why...? We go back downstairs, and Ruin and Mercy haul the bed out from the wall with the sleeping, drunken elf still tied to it.

There's a trapdoor underneath. Of course there is.

So we pile all the junk in the house on top of that trap door, because we don't want anybody escaping through here. As a final seal, we move the bed with Lotharian tied to it on top of the pile of junk. It's basically wedged to the ceiling; nobody is coming out this way unless they can burrow through the floor.

Then we head out of the house and back down the hill to the secret door, which Damian the ranger opens. ("NPCs are better than Celestial Monkeys because you don't have to use a spell slot.") Marshall Mercy hears somebody talking from somewhere down the corridor beyond, but nobody else does. So we proceed down the hall and around a couple of corners, until we're looking at one door on our right and another a little ways down at the end of the passage.

The door on our right opens, and two fighters attack us - ineffectually. Another emerges from the door at the end of the hall, and we're in our first real fight -- a nasty one, because apparently these are the guys in charge. We take down the two in doorway, and the guy from the end of the hall takes down Damian. Ruin moves in to take Damian's place, once again nearly dying before Azrael's debuffs weaken the guy enough that we can kill him. We loot the bodies, allowing Damian to claim some better armor; among the more interesting items is a wand of Acid Arrows, which we turn over to Azrael the Wizard. There are also a pair of short wooden rods with perpetually-glowing crystals mounted on the end; they don't seem to have anything to do with opening the door to the next area, and we have no idea what they are for.

So we loot the Big Boss's room, finding Marvelous Pigments in his wardrobe (which Martini once again failed to unlock, and Ruin once again busted open) and Ruin uses a healing wand to bring himself and Damian back up to full health. With that taken care of, we go back to the room the two fighters emerged from. There's one door there we haven't opened yet, and it seems to be made of flesh. The rods don't seem to affect it; mercy tries to dispel it but fails. So, Mercy tries to chat up the door, also to no result. The Big Boss had a key, but there's no indication of a keyhole here. (The key probably opened the wardrobe that Ruin broke into.)

So Reverend Mercy revives the remaining half-conscious Lieutenant for one of his famous hiss-cussions. The guy yells, "Penis!" the door opens, and Mercy and Martini kill him.

Behind the door is a torture chamber. Nobody's in it at present, but... these humans really need to die.

Mercy walks in and gets attacked by what I can only describe as a pair of ceiling mantas. They wrap around him and start trying to take chunks out of him at the edges of his plate armor. The rest of us run in and, after trying various ineffectual things, basically slice at the beasties until they die. More healing ensues.

After that we tap on the trapdoor at the center of the room, which is -- of course -- barred from the other side. A muffled voice calls for the password. The password is, once again, "penis" because... well... bloody humans. There's a small room below, two guards inside, another door with a barred window in the middle of it visible on the far wall. So Reverend Mercy (as the only human in the party) climbs down and introduces himself as a cleric. "Good thing," says one of the guards. "We've got some guys in a bad way here. I think the elves might have--"

Martini promptly slides down the ladder and stabs him. The second guards yell an alarum to the two outside the door, and one of them promptly triggers a fire trap, coating the floor in fire. Mercy is lightly singed; Martini avoids it entirely. Azrael leans down through the trap door and blinds the human in the room, as well as the two outside the door. Ruin leaps down and finishes off the human in the guard room; we can see a much larger room outside, with an awful lot of armed humans in it. We get the door open, and the real battle begins.

Azrael casts Web across a huge section of floor, trapping the humans who are there and making it essentially impassible. Humans from the lower area beyond it can make their way around the edge, but Ruin takes a position in the doorway with Damian beside him. Martini, with her Slipper of Spider Climbing, takes a spot on the ceiling, and Cleric Mercy positions himself just outside the door.

"For half an hour I watched him, and they died and they died." That's a quote, but it's not a bad description of this battle, either. Damian went down at one point, and Ruin healed him enough to stand back up; then he got knocked back down again - three times, I think; Ruin spent an awful lot of healing on him. Each time, a couple of Los Muertos got past the door and tried to kill Azrael, who had taken a position behind us; but with Ruin, Martini, and Mercy positioned to attack them as they moved past, nobody managed to take down our wizard. Meanwhile, he was picking people off with the Acid Arrow wand, until a big group managed to come up together and he hit them with Stinking Cloud, effectively disabling the whole lot of them. (It would have been really useful to have Wendy with us -- she throws a mean Fireball -- but Martini actually would have murdered her, so that was a no-go.)

So they kept coming and we kept killing them -- the healthy ones, the partly poisoned ones, the incredibly ill ones -- until finally their squad leaders tried to move in. There was a brief, desperate struggle-- but after we killed them it was just a matter of mopping up.

At that point we stopped the game, because we were completely out of time. There are something like sixty corpses that still need looting, some underground chambers to explore, and possibly some other things to find... but these human raiders have been annihilated, and let their king suck on that.

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