We've all returned to Immoren. No idea where everyone went as we’ve been split up. Again. I'm back in Corvis, a year before the first visit.
The Longest Night’s been and gone. Everyone has gathered outside the city at the grove. Torendra’s looking scarred and branded – someone’s been over zealous with the whips & rack… not my idea of fun.
It’s been a while since I’ve had such competent people to play with, so I decide to lurk and trail the party – eavesdropping on the conversation. Seems everyone’s been getting down and dirty with the locals. There’s random talk about the grave diggers going on strike for more money due to the backlog of bodies. As the conversation continues, the group head back towards the Cathedral. What’s happened to the stuck-in-the mud Thranduil Lominlindi? His hair is completely mad! He looks like a cross between John Lennon and Rob Smith.
The morning is grey. A very dirty, very upset Father Dumas (to be expected, the Longest Night’s just happened) is busy directing the cleanup. Upon seeing the group he sends them to the Quad – to pick up groceries. More specifically broccoli. Dumas hands over a scroll and the money to Tûd. Even I know that’s not the brightest idea! “Ohhhh… shiny”. All the while I lurk quietly in the shadows.
As the party wanders about the Quad, looking for what I’m assuming is broccoli, they pass Holer Ironarm, who does a double-take at Thranduil… and mutters “Must be his twin”. I trail them as they purchase the items on the list. Seems Tûd has some inkling about the value of money.
Thranduil suddenly realises I’m missing from the party. “Where’s Forgileill?” Typical. Kamilata doesn’t seem that fussed. Thranduil “Should we go see if she’s staying at her old place?” Torendra “Do we know where that is?” Errrr... no. Seems no one knows. It’s amusing watching this play out. They all stick out like a sore thumb – but that’s mainly down to the wackiness that is Thranduil & Kamilata – what is Kamilata wearing?
They all suddenly seem to realise they’ll need money. And no one has any. Tûd’s managed to gamble all his coin, on really mad bets – and won. But he’ll have to travel miles to retrieve the winnings. Thranduil spots a small, Iosian fortune-teller's tent and ducks in to speak to Crysania Galanodel Nailo - on the off chance she knows where I am.
Crysrania is pretty switched on. “You’re not from around here are you?” Thranduil denies being Iosian or Nysian which leaves being one of the undead – an Eldrich. Stupid Thranduil, he’s scared the seer, so much so she makes a bolt for the back door – and bumps straight into me - the undead. Whoops. With a quick, non lethal throw, Crysrania sports a broken finger as she’s pushed back into the tent, straight into the arms of Thranduil. Kamilata “Bet you didn’t see that coming!” Groan.
Crysrania sits in the chair as Torendra introduces herself, apologising for everything and explains we’ve found the item we’re looking for. As Kamilata continues to explain his appearance… he’s NOT a werewolf – just looks like one and can turn into some huge hairy wolf-like beast. Hummm. Yup. NOT a werewolf. As they were going to ask Crysrania to find me, and they’ve already got what they wanted, everyone decides to finish Father Dumas’ errand. I decide to speak to Crysrania. “No, no. If you’re going back to the Cathedral, I’ll catch up with you later.” As I pull up a chair.
During the consultation, Crysrania starts sweating & shivering, she looks petrified. In this world it’s too late for me, I’ll never be human… err, elf again. Damned to forever walk this world as the living dead. Should I return a third time, it’ll be worse, and I’ll become Eldrich. Fantastic! Life, er death, just gets better! I’ve also been finding out what I’ve been up to during my year with Pelyth. It’s all very hard to take in and believe. It happened to a different person.
As I leave the tent, I ask about and follow the trail, ending up at The Falling Star. “Hello!” The party’s taken a job from Draegyn the Bastard. Name says it all really, and we just know we're being set up. Ho hum. So, we're to recover a device that has been stolen. We've no idea what it looks like or how big it is and we're not to involve the police. Dodgy. Tûd & Torendra agreed because of the money. The Bastard is a well known, double-crossing, back stabbing bastard - but he's worth loads of money!! It's the only clue we've got to advance the plot, so on on!
Filchers crossing – lovely place! All flowers and butterflies. We're told the old smelting building turned warehouse is where the “stolen” item is suspected to be. We step over a dead body – the pockets have been emptied… I think it's about dinner time. “Is it fresh?” It’s fairly fresh. Not fresh enough. In the bodies hand is the coin of the Gerten family. As we frisk the poor sod, a lone boatman passes by, and suddenly becomes deaf and blind... So hungry! Footsteps, barking then more footsteps fade away. Masonry falls into alley. Just another average night-time trip across this part of town.
I climb onto the rooftops and stealthily follow the party from above. Draegyn’s map and directions lead us to a recently vacated, very dark, padlocked warehouse – which looks new. The padlock I mean. Kamilata, Torendra & Thranduil struggle to climb the wall, so I climb down and pick the lock (187) and Tûd strolls in. This might come in handy - so I pocket the lock. Ahead of us is a 60’ open area. Double doors to the front, a side door (which is barred) and a high row of windows on W & E of the building. I take a look at the door, with the intention of picking the lock, but it's barred from the inside. Torendra pulls out a boot stiletto (she's not wearing stiletto boots, just storing dangerous weapons in it) and stabs the wooden beam barring the inside. Kamilata lifts the bar and the plank falls away, making a huge noise (like a large plank falling to the floor). Someone’s been here before. Kamilata perceives (98+81) something that smells like a Jack and there are several (more than 8) people in the building. Thunderwicket comes into the light followed closely by something out of Madmax. It’s Mad Malek Redgrave. Could do with a bite to eat about now.
Malek starts on with some speech that accuses us of being Gertens but Torendra doesn't let him finish as she shoots him with a silent shot “puncturing any container” His dying screams cry out “Kill them all!” The idiot. The steamjack begins with those closest to it - which happen to be two of Malik’s bully boys. 3 down, 5 to go! Kamilata goes right, Tûd goes left. Fresh blood. Too much – must eat. I must finish Malik off; he’s an unstable violent sociopath and we don’t want him dogging our steps forever [as we already have one of those - Ed]. Besides, there’s a chance that whatever happened, he’d recognise me and that could make things difficult for one or two people I care about.
Thranduil & Torendra are being shot at – but they’re pretty safe as it’s a dark environment with a very distracting steamjack to divert everyone’s attention! And whoever's shooting at them couldn't hit an elephant if it was 2mm in front of them. Kamilata continues round and past a couple of storage cells. He looks about and finds a ladder. There are two people in the furnace and a number of others lurking above. I can hear Tûd chanting under his breath. Torendra heads towards Kamilata reloading. I sink my fangs (00) into Malek and quench my hunger, finishing him off. Thranduil stumbles into the furnace and stabs the nearest bowman (128). The other chap tries to club him.
Meanwhile, Kamilata reaches the top of the ladder and bumps into the back of the lookout. He stabs the idiot, who's too focused on the skirmish below him, with his spear (99) and strikes through the heart from below. Kamilata climbs back down the ladder to retrieve his spear. Thranduil lets go of the sword and sweep throws (107) and breaks his opponent's back. I finally finish drinking. Thranduil becomes the target for Thunderwicket, who's attacking the furnace with a mindless passion (oh, it is mindless). The only way is up!
So Thranduil climbs up the flue (79+39), Thunderwicket climbing the outside to get to him. Oh, he's so loved! Suddenly the building lights up – Tûd has finally cast his spell. Kamilata dives out of the way - not sure from what. The illumination has disclosed 8-9 people hidden in the rafters. I retreat to the stalls. Thunderwicket stops at the sudden brightness, and Tûd casts seize gears, which causes the poor old metal giant to seize up and fall backwards, dragging the flue, Thranduil and everything about it down into the gaping big hole it's just made, into the sewers.
Thranduil manages to land safely, but he's now 30’ down. He's going to smell lovely! As the dust settles, it's near darkness and Thranduil is knee deep in “muck” with 2 attackers and Thunderwicket trying to right itself. Everyone else in the building flees. “Chuck us a rope” 20’ of rope lands on Thranduil’s head. (Hang on, Kamilata doesn’t have rope…) Torendra throws the end of the rope at Thranduil, who tugs the rope, pulling Torendra into the sewers on top of himself. ”What did you do that for you twit?” “I thought you were Kamilata” “So you wanted Kamilata to land on top of you?” “No, I wanted Kamilata to land in the shit.”
One of the bully boys wakes up and Thranduil tries to (v. camply) intimidate him. The bully boy is scarier. Kamilata tries and succeeds and Torendra waves a gun in his face. He’s scared and throws his hands in the air. Kamilata “He’s behind you! And he’s dropped his knife!” Thranduil gets out his ‘big shiny weapon’ “you’re going to cooperate right…” puts sword away.
Tentacles appear from the sewage followed by teeth and it leaps at… Thranduil who parries, forcing the beastie to swallow it’s own tentacle. Meanwhile Torendra climbs the rope, reaches the top, prepares slam bullet and shoots. It grazes & distracts the beastie.
Thranduil attacks from behind, stuns the beastie and shimmies up the rope. Thunderwicket rights itself (it’s v. battered and bruised). Tûd lays bets. Beastie recovers and fastens itself on Thunderwicket and eats the cortex. We interrogate the prisoner who still thinks we’re the Gertens – apparently someone informed them the Gertens were coming and Thunderwicket had just been refurbished. We’ve been had. It was what we expected… the Bastard. Beastie has gone. So, someone wants to start a turf war or they’re trying to get rid of the party. Ho hum. We wrap up the name plate. Thranduil gives Torendra a rifle that he's forgotten he's been carrying for ages. She searches Malik and finds a double-barrelled military pistol and 4 crowns.
Everyone heads back to The Falling Star. I blend into the background and follow the party into the Galley - the Bastard doesn't know I'm with them. Best to keep it that way. Whilst they're busy settling with Draegan, I head off to get changed and find Vader the info-dwarf, to tell him about the sting, not quite telling the whole truth… “My services were purchased. Upon arriving at the agreed rendezvous, I was attacked and accused of being a Gerten… Managed to escape. Suspect someone is trying to start a turf war.”
The party enter the Galley, where The Bastard and three others playing in the corner await. Kamilata gives over the parcel with the Thunderwicket plate. Bastard hands over parchment and bag of money - 300 gold pieces in assorted small mixed uncut gemstones and a gift voucher for Bodak’s Blades. They chat a while longer and the group of four leave. Kamilata rings down to the kitchen and arranges a bath for Thranduil & Torendra.
I made it back to the Galley in time to trail the Bastard and his goons. One of the four trails off. Can't make out which one, so I stick with the main party. Someone's following me, and is being quite loud about it. So I slide into the shadows and counter ambush. As the cut-throat walks past, I break his nose and interrogate him. Turns out he works for the Bastard (needed a degree in astrophysics to work that one out [dammit, I knew I should have been there - Ed]), who’s working for Hamil Bodak - the owner of the weapons shop. I lighten the load by removing 23 farthings, 2 talons, and a tower in coinage. I also remove 2 daggers and a Silver ring – ooh, pretty. Then decide a quick snack wouldn't go amiss and drink a little, just enough to knock him unconscious. Think Thranduil is rubbing off on me. I've lost the others.
I rack my brain and remember that “Bodak's Blades” offers full service armour & weapons at reasonable prices. Hamel is a middle-aged man and used to be a mercenary and has seen action. He's got a scarred face and missing fingers. There's some sort of mysterious scandal in his past. Seems he doesn’t wear armour at work. Bodak is the place to go hire high calibre muscle. I sound like a walking advertisement!
I head back to the Falling Star. Thranduil “We’ve been in the bath.” Torendra “Separately!!”
The party returns to the Cathedral and I return to my accommodation.
Father Dumas tells the party that Alexia has gone in search of the Temple of Cirrus. He asks that we go retrieve her (without harming her) and to also bring back the sword. The sword comes first. Apparently Cirrus (the Clockwork goddess) worshippers are generally good but misguided. There are a few temples, each is a giant machine. Seems Alexia has left within the last day, and probably by boat. Kamilata “Follow that river!”
I wait on the bridge, at the usual meeting point, and everyone seems to be running late. When they finally do appear, they all seem a little excited. Tûd “We’re following Alexia up river”. We decide to cash in the vouchers and head to Bodak’s weaponry for a spot of shopping. Torendra & Kamilata pick up a +10 broadsword each and Tûd picks up a longsword +10. Thranduil is pretty adamant he wasn't hired for the job, and some sense of honour won't allow him to cash in, so I get him to pick up a set of daggers. The shop keeper's not having it, he's only allowed 1 dagger. Cheapskate. I get Thranduil to pick up a +10 short sword instead.
A small person (Twister) delivers a message, and I head off to see Vaden - oops, forgot to tell the others where I was going. Vaden's “Got something that’ll interest you, but it’ll cost 50 crowns” I consider it, then agree to the price - as I'm in a rush. “Not got the money now, will send it via one of the girls.” He hands me a piece of paper that has info about Draegyn; where he’s staying & how long he’s staying for – 7 nights. Hummmmm.
I return to the others “You found a boat yet?” Seems the 1st boat & 2nd boat are bloody useless. 3rd boat (manned by dwarves) aren't going in our direction - which is a shame, because dwarves are renowned for being very competent. The 4th boat is HMS V, a warship. Maybe not. The 5th boat looks promising. It's called The Comet, a 3 man team and the Captain actually has a name, Eddin. Could this be 'The one'. Seems not, however, he suggests Squint, Captain of The Fortune (who looks like some reject from Dixie's Midnight Runners).
And so the questioning begins. “Any ships left in the last day? Charted by someone who looks a bit like her? Only not dressed as a whor… working girl?” “A girl matching that description left on the Principa the other day. It's a small steam craft, crewed by 4 people” “Follow that boat.” "And where are we going?" To a mythical temple. No need to call the men in white coats, we'll go get directions…
I leave Kamilata to haggle and return to my room to arrange payment to Vaden and to change into clothing more suited to adventuring. Thranduil & Torendra visit the seer, seeing as she was so helpful the last time. Seems the seer is not all powerful and requires a personal item to scry. Torendra returns to Dumas to borrow something of Alexia’s.
Meanwhile, Thranduil & the seer have a 1 on 1, heart to heart. “What’s the deal with the thing yesterday?” You referring to me? Thing? Humph! Thranduil explains about the Eldrich & Sythyss. Crysrania goes into a small fit and tells Thranduil stuff - think the records broken, she's not told him anything I've not head before. Torendra finally returns and the seer tells them Alexia is in the swamps, NE of here. They ask about the Clockwork Temple and surprise surprise, she needs something mechanical. So Torendra goes to borrow Tûd's watch (bringing Tûd back with her) and offers it up as a sacrifice to locate the Temple. (“Hey! That's my watch!”) The seer sketches a map and marks “It’s here”.
I meet up with the party outside the tent when some urchin hands Torendra a parchment from Vahn Oberen. Seems he's not twigged yet. Bright he is - but good for us. Whilst Tûd & Tor debate the letter, I take Thranduil to one side and persuade him to accompany me to The Bastard, who's staying at a Tenement, in the Armourers Bourg.
Thranduil starts lecturing me about the political role of assassination, for some reason, I actually listen and agree not to kill the bastard but to make an example out of him. I knew he was rubbing off on me. =( We decide a course of action… and I finally take Thranduil back to my room as I change into a seductive little number. “I’ll take the rear entrance, you take the front.” Oh groan!
I walk in the front door, and wink at the watch on the front. Thranduil climbs onto the roof. He wasn't joking. I knock on the door and walk in when invited, staring straight into the barrel of a gun. “Who are you?” “I’m your present.” "Who sent you?" "Dunno." The charade continues and I eventually seduce the bastard using the hard to get approach. =3 After a quick release from all this tension (puns intended) using my very handy charm, I take a quick lunch break, leaving the Bastard alive. I search the room and find random stuff - it's actually not a bad haul. We make our way back to the dock and the awaiting boat (we're only 3 hours late, and I'm still wearing a dress). The steam boat departs – all aboard! Two days later everyone's been bitten to death (except me, the bugs are laying eggs… EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!) and find the entrance to the bayou.
Cygnar bye bye, Bad Lands hello! The Fortune creeps forward into the swamp and fog. It's very slow going. We stop at Krim – population 13 12. The Principa was seen a day ago, but she didn’t stop. The people waved and carried on their way. Tor asks for insect repellent, the locals don't have any, however swamp shamblers walk this part, and for 100 crowns this old geezer will sell you a talisman. Errr, I don't think so.
We hole up in Krim overnight. There's no milk as the cows gave sour milk (the witches have definitely been this way). So they tried to milk the bull. Black coffee thanks! Seems the swampies earn their keep by farming, hunting and piracy and are considered unsophisticated. I'm a walking encyclopaedia! The passage of the boat the other day has unsettled them, it's wasn't just the milk turning sour. Oops. They've said too much. After some prodding, we discover the entire population of the Graveyard has upped and left after the boat. Tûd “Could be the sword…” He's dead clever! Only 5 followed – 1’s a bit fresh. Apparently the Gobber territory starts about 5 leagues up. The evening passes uneventfully, but it's been 3 days since I ate anything and I'm really, really hungry! Everything looks good to eat. Day breaks. We thank the cousins/brothers/sisters/all of the above for their horse brutality and skip along on our merry way.
The Fortune chugs along and enters shallow water. The fog thickens. The twisted black trees grow thicker. Someone spots a large dark shape ahead. “All stop!” A tree has fallen across waterway. The boat stops as it thuds into the tree... It’s been chain sawed. Dum dum duuuuuuuuuum!! Kamilata makes an assessment and ties a rope at the bottom end, to move the tree out of the way by reversing the boat. “I think they know they’re being followed. But, they’ve blocked off their escape route...” A gobber slips and falls into the swamp. SPLASH. The other gobbers starts flinging mud at Kamilata, who dives out of the way. Arrows whisper in. Arrows miss. They really aren’t very good. Arrows whizzing past and Thranduil and Kamilata doing some rendition of morris dancing… The barrage of small arrows continue and they strike the boat, which is reversing slowly as it's dragging a tree. Everyone takes shelter behind the cabin. Tûd shoots all 4 pistols and misses in a cloud of gun smoke, deafening retorts and powder burns. He'd be dangerous with a brain. Tor gives him a look that says ‘You’re a complete amateur and you’re squandering valuable ammunition’. It’s the sort of look that makes a Troll flinch but Tûd is safe in his own little world of smoke and sparks. Thranduil nocks and fires an arrow. I think gobber inaccuracy is catching, 'cos he misses. Everyone sucks! It's really frustrating. I can't join in the fun as I have no missile weapons! Argh!! And I'm seriously hungry now.
The gobbers stop shooting and Thranduil fishes the drowning gobber out of the water… and manages it without stabbing it in the head. It starts to run madly about the boat. Squint tells us to get rid of it. It's very funny to watch Thranduil grapple the gobber, as it bites into his armour. Feisty little toad. Kamilata “Who hired you to ambush us?” "Jibber Jabber..." Tûd casts Comprehend languages on himself and the gobber. Oh heaven help us!! “Secluded gobbers more aggressive. Astonished to see 1st ship, take advantage of 2nd ship. They cut down the tree and staked out this spot as boats have to return this way.” It took 20 mins to pull tree out of the way whilst dinn… er the gobber was being questioned. It's finally untied and thrown back into the water. Darn it.
As the weather clears, Squint becomes happy. Apparently a rarity. Ahead we see 2 stone squat towers appear on the horizon. Tûd: “Remains of Cygnar outpost.” A swan symbol can be faintly seen as the boat comes closer to locked gates. We check out the gate, and notice the padlock is below the water line. Time for a swim. 20 mins later I manage to pick the lock. The crew doesn't question my ability to hold my breath so long…
The party still hasn't found anything useful amongst Tûd’s spell lists. However, they do stop to admire the craftsmanship of his spell book – and how much it can be sold for. I think the chain & padlock will come in handy. In the dress it goes. The Fortune continues to chug along. Are we there yet?
We spot a wrecked boat. Gashes and claw marks, blood stains, splashes and drips. Fun!! “Oh shit, oh shit, we’re all going to die!” “Too late!” Kamilata smells it before he can see it (99). Oh look. A severed green scaled, large human sized hand attached to the boat. Gatormen. “YAY!!” They got the Peter Pan story wrong! Hook's supposed to loose the hand. We keep an ear out for a ticking clock. The boat’s been wrecked recently and is still seeping oil. Kamilata breaks the lock off the fastened down chest we find. Not a bad haul, as inside the chest is a box of rifle ammo – couple charges and slugs. Humm, the gobber did mention they’d seen 2 boats, we'd all assumed we were the 2nd boat. And the village didn’t mention the 2nd boat either. This one must have been really anti-social and travelled past in the night. With nothing else to salvage we continue on. According to the seers map, we should be pretty close to the Temple.
It's a pretty boring trip, “It’s quiet, too quiet.” About 30' ahead, I notice (120 perception) an ambush. Ooooh, that tree stump looks spiky and, isn't that a gatorman ready to cut the rope? “Full speed ahead!” Tûd takes his chance to waste more ammunition. He’s useless! So Tor shows him how it's done, stunning the gatorman before he can cut the rope. But, typical, more cannon fodder step forward. Torendra shoots again and the gatorman dives for cover, biting through the rope. Guess we're not meant to win this one then. Kamilata contemplates catching the oncoming log and thinks better of it. Wise choice. The log trap crashes into The Fortune and luckily, no one manages to fall overboard! However, Letto the Cabin boy is now sporting a fine bruise on his butt. Refurbishment complete, the Fortune drifts. “All stop!”
A Gatorman with a death wish leaps and runs across the log. Thranduil intercepts the oncoming (69) enemy, twirling sword Indiana Jones/Jedi manner and makes it to the base of the log, just as Torendra shoots past the gatorman into the water [? Not sure - Ed]. Kamilata moves alongside Thranduil to lend assistance. The gatorman really does have a death wish and it rushes Thranduil with an improvised club, falling over his own tail, in time for Thranduil to catch him and dance the jig. Two others swim towards the boat - I feel so sluggish. It's like walking through treacle. As more gunshots resound, the gatormen hesitate. Humm, maybe not so stupid after all.
With Thranduil 'controlling' the situation, Kamilata and I head towards the swimming gators. Thranduil continues his dance, managing to trim the gators fingernails and provide a couple of broken ribs. Kamilata stabs his gatorman with his spear (155), which leaves him defenceless and clinging to the side of the boat. I'm too hungry to care at this point, it's the gatormen or the crew. I yank the gatorman onboard, loosing my grip in my haste, which allows it to bite my arm. Hey! That's my attack! Thranduil’s still having fun with his dancing partner. As Kamilata spears his gatorman in the shoulder, I'm bitten on the leg. Think it's time to back away. I'm moving far too slowly. Need to eat so badly!
Torendra very helpfully shoots the gatorman and hits it in the thigh - spurt spurt. Thranduil continues his dance, but it looks like the gator has had enough, as he's sunk to all fours. Kamilata (98) manages to force his gator back into the water. Tûd helpfully keeps. All that blood!! I manage a mouthful. This hunger is so distracting. Thranduil taunts “come on darling” before finally putting the creature out of his misery, chopping a limb off. My gator seems to be scared as it's trying to escape. Blood!! Kamilata stabs the gator (00+30 = 207), shattering its arm. Then I remember. Gatormen are reptiles, not mammals! D’oh! I'm still hungry – tetchy in fact, and fast becoming ravenous.
Squint returns to the top deck, covered in oil “it's going to take 10 hours to repair everything. Get hiking and be back in 10 hours or we go without you. What did I miss?"
We land and track the gators back to their village, which conveniently sits on the edge of the lake on the way to the temple. Thranduil & Kamilata set traps for small mammals - they don't like the way I've been eyeing up their necks. “Oh for a guinea pig smoothie!” We notice human footsteps lead towards the temple, giving the gator village a wide berth. As I lag behind, the chaps offer to carry me. Errr… maybe not the best idea. Feet dragging, we finally make it to temple. It's all very clean & straight lines. Seems the Temple doors unlock at sundown and remain open 24 hours. Synchronise watches everyone. Oh, Tûd's the only one with a watch. [not any more, you gave it to the bloody seer - Ed]
It's very noisy as we enter the cuckoo clock, makes it very hard to hear anything. This place is a Health & Safety nightmare! It suddenly dawns on Kamilata that this might not be the best place for him, as he and mechanical stuff do not mix (50% likely to not work). The floor is laid with patterns, one symbol (/US) seems to repeat itself. Tûd makes a smartarse role “It’s a clue for a puzzle for later on.”
We find ourselves looking at three doors and examine them. They're metal, and normal for this environment. Nothing to it, we start randomly opening doors, which lead onto long corridors with yet more doors. One leads us to a small balcony with copper railing, and very loud machinery. It's a Jedi trap, where we're nearly fried by lightening. But I like my food rare these days - not well done. We retreat and wander down to the large chamber - it's an auditorium. We bumble into 3 Clerics, standing around a gruesome sight of bodies and blood soaked cloth. FOOD!! One breaks away and runs for some apparatus on the floor. They're all dressed funny, with diving helmets, so we can’t understand a word they’re saying. Torendra shoots the running Cleric. He dies - (00+). NO!! You're killing dinner! Tûd shoots another Cleric, fortunately not killing him immediately, but he's got too big a hole in him to be saved. I lick my lips at the thought of feeding on the Cleric. He’s dead after all. Shame to waste it.
The remaining cleric charges Torendra, and Kamilata grabs his weapon with his glove. We pause, momentarily worried as thoughts of this Cleric being 14 lvl enter our heads. Too late now. Thranduil tries for a nerve in the neck and hits his helmet, the cleric counters and misses. Kamilata skewers the Cleric, and the floating brass eye attempts to leave the room. Torendra shoots down the eye. I'm happily feeding and feeling less sluggish. Thranduil (103) & Kamilata bundle the stumbling Cleric and remove his helmet. He’s not very happy – he is human and looks uncomfortable. Not sure what we were expecting. We look at the item the first Cleric was running towards. It's a gun shaped thing, attached to a container… probably acid.
“We’re looking for a young girl who looks a bit like her (ignore the fact she’s drinking your mates blood).” “Gibber jabber.” We try a different line of questioning “So, how’s your mother?” Not quite what we had in mind. “Don’t blame us. You started it. He ran for the gun.” “Heathens!” “Which way did they go?” “What does the temple do?” “It studies life after death!” “Undead arrived first (probably Alexia), followed by someone else. Who?“ “Look to the top of the Jedi trap – explore the temple.” Darn it!
Tûd’s attention is drawn to a wall of shiny buttons. Worrying; Kamilata joins him to prevent anything bad from happening. 4 doors lead from this room, and a corridor. Eeny, meanie that one! We pass the accommodation block, and more accommodation, and yet more. The noise has lessened, so we must be in the higher ups bedrooms. We randomly open a door onto someone reading a book.
“Hello! We’re looking for a coven of undead and a girl with a big sword.” The startled Cleric grabs his weapon, brandishing it as he casts spiritual hammer. Thranduil tries to engage the priest in a philosophical discussion. Seems he can multi-task… is he really male? It's dawned on us that he’s not a junior Cleric, and Kamilata is hammered, and he points a gun at Thranduil. Kamilata "dives out of the way" whilst Thranduil sweep throws (00) and kills the rotter.
The other rooms are dull… just bare or filled with crap. We find a room full of machinery, and Tûd calls dibs on his playground, as he happily randomly pulls the levers. What's that noise? We head back into the round room, ooh, it’s an elevator. Up we go. Onwards, to right door into room with protective gear. We all put goggles on and head towards the next door. Apparently it's warmer (wouldn't know, can't feel the temperature) and nosier. Despite the fact I can't feel the heat, I still don all the protective gear - do you know how hard it is to heal dead skin?
20’ below is the robot factory from Star wars II – Attack of the Clones. I'm ignored as I wave hello to 3 guys in welding hoods on the shop floor. Ooooh, more protective gear. This skirt's itchy. Everyone finally catches up. Seems all corridors lead to Jedi trap. From behind a door Thranduil hears a conversation between a deep male voice and a squeaky man, who mentions working for Raccoon. I barge in, hey this room's cooler. “We’re not here to start a fight!” “Who’s the dead man?” “One of the risen!” “Who’re you then?” “Freelancers.” “Really. For Vhan moron?” “You're well informed” “You’re walking on my patch!” They split to circle. Must think I'm alone. “Stop, or I’ll shoot." Torendra & Tûd step forward.
Conversation ensues. Not too stupid. Turns out, they’ve been working for the Racoon for a couple of weeks and they're after the sword. They're even willing to share spoils. They're so agreeable! Must have to do with the heavily armed party behind me. Thranduil must have been surprised, as he actually calls me lyio! I'm doing something right. Following all these corridors is making me dizzy. We blunder into a room with a stainless steel mechanical monster parked in the middle. It's not moving. Yet. We spy a door behind the monster. As Tûd prepares Seize gears, Kamilata gingerly edges around it and makes it to the other door. I follow close on his heels, opening the door, then remembering to check for traps. Too late! Oh well. Nothing happens. Yippee!! Another corridor.
Off we go into a storeroom of food and water. Down another corridor onto another elevator thingy. We head right, down another corridor to a T junction then left. Behind the door we find pretty tapestries and unarmed worshippers. We leave them alone and enter a room with a glass ceiling. Oooh, pretty stars. Tûd points out that there’s something wrong with the sky. It’s not Immorean. We take the next door back to an elevator! We’re going around in circles!!
The elevator goes down fast. We find another elevator and head up a floor. We’ve not been here before. The front door slide open - whish - and I run to look out the window “Ooooooh. So this is the control room!” The Cleric turns about and grabs his 3 prongs [f'narr - Ed]. Think I startled him. "FG come on!” “OK! Bye!” I skip off, back into the maze, past rooms with gauges & levers then to another elevator which leads onto… another 20’ corridor!! ARRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH! We head through another door on the other side of the machine room. Rush the door! Straight, left, through the small door to see dirty, greasy tools. Back down the corridor, round the corner for aaaaaaaaages onto another room with a door filled with Cleric clothes. Are we there yet?! Back to the Jedi Trap! We’ve finally made it!! Yippee!! It's the catwalk we saw from the bottom level.
Alexia finishes off the last Cleric. “You again!” One of the inquisitors blows a big hole in Alexia. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I see red as I kick seven kinds out of the squeaky idiot. His mate tries to skewer the poofy elf. Both elves roll 77 for initiative. Spooky! Alexia takes up the Witchfire sword, and I'm a goner. Oops! Must keep everyone away. Kamilata unbalances Deep Voice by sticking his spear through him. Squeaky Voice makes an attempt to stab Tûd and misses. I carry on attacking the Mouse.
Thranduil manoeuvres away from the edge of the ledge. Kamilata rushes Alexia, and I (acting on Alexia’s subconscious desire to keep the PCs away from her) throw Kamilata (99), knocking him out cold. Not bad. Shame he's not the enemy! Tûd casts Burning Hands on Mouse, toasting him and pushing him off the ledge. Torendra half-heartedly waves her sword at the oncoming zombies, unwilling to kill them. Seems everyone's of the same mind, as Thranduil sweep throws Deep Voice, leaving him teetering on the edge on the platform. Tûd tries to engage Alexia in conversation. The voice of reason? Ha ha ha ha ha.
Deep Voice advances on Thranduil. Torendra changes her mind and pushes the inquisitor over the edge of the platform. He plummets to his death. I move in front of the party, placing myself between the party & Alexia. Thranduil is goaded into grappling me. “Well, it is the climax!”
I ready my daggers, as Thranduil shuffles forward. Torendra makes a run for it. My attention diverted, Thranduil tries to tackle me. We wrestle and I win, getting up to chase after Tor. I manage to trip her up (132), leaving an opening for Thranduil to rush Alexia, who drops the sword, allowing me to regain full control of my faculties. Unfortunately, Alexia falls backwards over the edge into the maelstrom. The zombies collapse where they stand. Thranduil takes possession of the Witchfire - I tense. Nothing happens. [what, tea and cakes are not served?! Dammit – Ed]
Kamilata eventually wakes up (sporting a fantastic bump) and helps Tûd heave the zombies over the edge. Kamilata heaves mummy dearest (Lexaria) over the edge. We all retreat. Quickly. The boat leaves in 3 hours and temple doors will seal us in forever in 15 hours. The boat’s more important.
As we make a quick getaway, the pretty metal spider we’d edged past earlier blocks our path. Kamilata rushes forward to hug the mechanical monster, and the machine shuts itself down. We edge past it and run for it as fast as the slowest PC will allow. Tûd trails! I dash past the first trap – missing it and not setting it off.
The Fortune is still waiting, engines not quite fired up ready to leave. The crew weren’t expecting us back and even offered to be Buggered. Hummm… I don’t think the chaps swing that way… Thranduil might take up the offer though, he’s got odd tastes.
As the boat chugs along, a few birds fall dead from the sky. A day and a half later we return to the entrance of the bayou. We’ve not been attacked by the insects – the sword’s good for something then. Tûd considers and decides the sword is a powerful necromantic energy radiator. No shit Sherlock! He continues to make magic bullets.
The Bayou leads onto the black river, where we run into several ships, heading North. Squint: “That’s odd.” Some of the people wave and continue on their way. One of the smaller ships pulls closer – The Comet. “Haven’t you heard? Sphincter-rail-thorn, he’s back!” The boats are fleeing. Corvis is swarming with inquisitors, just like the old days. All the boats are being searched and any sword found is removed. Hummm... maybe we’re to blame for this. Nahhhhh.
Squint drops the menfolk and all swords off on the west bank. They head to Fort Ryker. Torendra and I continue on to Corvis (being less distinct and more likely to blend in). The watch searches the boat when we dock and we immediately head towards the Cathedral. I wait outside whilst Tor goes in search of Dumass. She bumps into a couple of inquisitors, who take an instant disliking to her (which I can understand). But she's saved, as Helstrom and other guard pummels the inquisitors. The bad news is that the King has returned. The even worse news is that Dumass has been taken. Torendra reassures them that Alexia has been stopped and the sword is safe. Turns out, the watches families are being held hostage, that's why they're going along with the flow. Seems Raccoon is obsessed with retrieving the Witchfire to help Sphincter to retake Cygnar. We're told the sword needs to be taken to Kaspia, to be stored in a Van Helsing style laboratory under another cathedral. No imagination.
Helstrom explains where Dumass is being held, and provides alternative entry - via the bogs. Before we leave, Helstrom hands Tor a whistle – sound this lightly as a last resort and help will come. Perhaps. But don’t rely on it. Torendra returns to the boat and organise return trip whilst I change into adventuring gear. It's hard to move in a dress!
We wait two days (as that's what the plot demands and because it's perfect breaking priests out of jail weather) and it's pouring down with rain. In the 'borrowed' punt, we await the cover of darkness and head towards the entrance of the sewer. I shimmy up and attach a rope - to help Torendra and to secure our escape route. With the rope coiled up, out of sight, I take point and head off. We’re soon overrun by rats as we bumble headlong into an oncoming monster with teeth & tentacles. I remember something from past eavesdropping and tell Tor to fully unshutter the lamp. The monster runs away. Bonus!
As we traipse down the corridor, we overhear a conversation above. Seems Dumass is holding out - it's all those high level cleric healing spells. We find the rusty iron ladder, and Torendra heads up first, surprising the unfortunate soul occupying the cubicle. Tor grapples the man as he pulls his trousers up. It's taking to long and there's too much noise. Dashing up the ladder, I kiss the bloke to shut him up (99+69). He’s very, very quiet. Torendra daggers him in the head. Shame really, a bit of a scrub and he'd look pretty respectable.
Tor searches the man and finds a crudely printed porno book. He died a very happy man. We leave the lantern in the toilet and sneak a peek at the corridor. It's clear. I padlock both the gate, which leads up into the rest of the building, and the guardroom. The cells are empty as we make our way to the interrogation room, which is occupied by a 7’ tall pale nasty non human thing and an inquisitor. A flailed, nearly dead man lies on the metal table. We back track and head down the other set of cells, finding Gatria Solor (Evie’s mummy), an unlocked storeroom and Lord Cedric Korant – the tax man for Corvis.
I manage to sneak across the gap and peer into the cell in the corner. Bingo. Found Dumass. Through silent signalling, we come up with a fantastic plan and I sneak behind the paingiver (94) whilst Torendra shoots the inquisitor (177) who gets blasted halfway across the room and dies. The beastie collapses stunned, and I finish it off. Tor opens the cell door, and I pick the locks on the shackles whilst she releases everyone else and make a quick getaway to the sewers. We run into the toothy beastie, who causes a wave, attempting to put out the lantern light. The light holds and Torendra waves the candlelight & soft music at the monster. She refuses to kiss it. And the atmosphere was just right! The monster lurches backwards hovering on the edge of the candlelight.
As we lead everyone to safety, I can hear Dumass worrying about his niece. Never mind your knees! Get in the boat! Someone’s fire-bombing the sewer, and we're showered in lightly crispy fried calamari. Torendra poles the punt away from the sewers, slowly and we start to spin. The voices and explosions are getting closer, so I dive overboard to push the boat - we need to get moving. We find The Fortune, and Squint rouses his people, grumbling. We need to leave in a hurry and Squint notices the courthouse on fire – profanities ensue. Not our fault! We didn't torch the place! As we head North, Squint takes a look at his passengers and recognises everyone we’ve rescued.
Meanwhile the chaps have explored Fort Ryker and found loads of stuff. As we pull up to disembark, Thranduil is on lookout. We hand over a book of sea shanties and say farewell Squinty, with a strong recommendation to not return to Corvis and to forget they ever saw us. We make our way to Fort Ryker and Thranduil entertains our two extra guests as Torendra tells Father Dumass we suspect Alexia has died. On the plus side, the sword can only be found by physical means, Apparently Kekless himself put a spell on it so that no one could detect or scry it. Back when only he knew where it was. Now he's lost it he's probably thinking that was a bad move! How thoughtful of him.
Dumbass insists that (a) he's going back to Corvis (and wants us to go with him), to lead the underground resistance or something. And we decide that since the ruined fort might soon become a lodging post for Sphincters new army, it probably isn't the safest place to stow the Witchfire. So on a 'it's the last thing he'll expect' we decide to try to hide the Witchfire under Kekless's nose. Kamilata shows Dumas the collection of coins – who politely ooohs over the collectors items. Dumass and I start organising the smuggling in of the party. Thranduil is smuggled in via a burlap sack, under several other sacks of potatoes. Which was better than the original plan, of smuggling him in under piles of manure. Oh well.