Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 21


Character Class Description
Gon'd'elf Elf level 1 “Surely magnificent, am I not?” is his favourite opener. Works every time, 40% of the time.
Amanda Hugencuise Thief level 3 A new girl in town, claiming to be foreign exchange student, up for some “exciting missions” and enjoying the local cuisine.
Rad Thief level 1 A young, short and malnourished rogue.
Deter Darker Magic-User level 2 A stable boy whom got tired of shovelling horse shit.
Winslow Fighter level 2 A dirty warrior reeking of urine, body odours, and rotten wood.

Deter's and Winslow's reports linked at the end of the post.

Longrass 4th, Fireday

After few long weeks, the Hydra Company Headquarters were cleaned up. Whatever wasn't deemed to be worthy of adventuring had been either sold off or thrown out. Outsides have been repainted, windows refitted, and roof retiled. Spartan bunk beds have been procured—just enough so every company officer has one to sleep in.

Further, the company had plastered calls for employment at the main square, inviting “young men with brave hearts and hungry bellies. No equipment necessary as all training will be given. 1gp/per month, with room and board.”

56 people showed up, mostly locals, all eager to get their gold coin, some warm food, and a place to sleep at. Most are ganged up in front of the freshly painted entrance, eager to speak with Hydra Company officers. Sailors and dockworkers seemed to be slightly annoyed with this crowd, as they made their job more difficult.

Winslow devised two tests:

In the end, 14 men passed both tests. Winslow paid each a gold coin for their first wage packet. As men came to collect the coin, he'd whisper “Hail Hydra” in their ear. Some were confused, and yet others simply repeated the words.

“Welcome all you young lads of strong body and courageous heart, welcome to your new abode, it isn't much now but its home. Take a bowl of this stew and a good cup of ale. We are all family now!”

Longrass 5th, Spiritday

“We can't clean the cellar given all the lepers down there. And we did promise to help them retake their home... In return, they will show us what they know of the sewers.”

Winslow, Rad, Gon'd'elf, Amanda, Ariad, Ehrman, and Deter Darker prepared for the sewage crawl. Ariad and Ehrman were tasked with carrying a ladder. Winslow picked out Hamnet as the most promising recruit, and assigned him torch-bearing duties.

The leper led them through a secret passageway in the cellar. They traversed in a single file through a dank and dusty corridor for almost an hour before reaching the “sewers.”

Part cavern, part hewn stone, the tunnel was 15 feet wide with a three feet wide gangways on both sides. Trench running through the middle was filled with filthy, offensively malodorous, chest-deep water.

Unwilling to risk contracting leprosy, the party moved in a single file on one gangway, while the diseased guide walked on the other. Their steps echoed down the seemingly endless tunnel...

“We need to extinguish the torches before moving on... A massive swarm nests in the coming room... We have to be quiet and no harm will come to us.”

The party obliged. Gon'd'elf carefully took the lead, leveraging his elven infravision. The man wasn't lying—there were hundreds of tiny heat signatures above him, forming a domed shape. It was as if a gigantic, moth-eaten canopy was hung above him.

“We are here... I dare not go further! The hairy monster dwells there!” It's been nearly three hours since they descended in these foul tunnels—Winslow the only one who seemed unphased—so this were rather welcoming news.

The party could see a corridor connecting to the tunnel, albeit no sewage went into it. “We made this our home because no one passes here. It is, sorry, was, abandoned.” Rad peeked around the corner, only to see a number of thick spider webs.

“Light up?”

“Light up.”

Few oil bombs later, some of the webs were burned away. What little light that provided revealed the corridor expands into a triangle-shaped room filled with even more webs.

Rad took few steps in so he can throw fire deeper into the room. As he was about to lit up a new starter, a massive spider lunged out of the darkness. In fact, it was so large that it filled the full width of the corridor.

Winslow jumped forth to protect the scrawny thief, while the rest quickly formed ranks in the corridor; for fighting in the tunnel itself would be very perilous.

In the ongoing chaos Rad managed to set the spider on fire, while Winslow successfully defended him and avoided the spider's relentless assault. Alas, Ariad accidentally shot the fighter in the back, nearly killing him.

Gon'd'elf's quick tactical suggestion ensured that Ariad and Ehrman take the front rank, switching with wounded Winslow and fragile Rad. The monstrous spider jubilantly dove in Ehrman, downing him with shocking ease.

It did not get another chance, for Rad took it down with a shoot between its many eyes. The spider twitched, stumbled, and finally, fell over... completely blocking the corridor.

The ladders came into play, allowing adventurers to enter into the room one by one. Deter was the first, followed by Rad and Winslow. Gon'd'elf tended to Ehrman, for he noticed the man was still breathing.

The room was full of debris composed of broken wood, torn clothing, and skeletal remains of small critters. What little web was left held three cocoons. Rad watched in confusion as Deter ran to cut each one open.

A desiccated diseased corpse fell out of first one. Second one revealed a robbed corpse with nice looking backpack. Deter respectfully ransacked it, finding a spellbook, some coin, and golden statue of a bear. Third, final, cocoon, took him by surprise.

Perhaps it was greed, perhaps it was tiredness, perhaps it was the awkward position of the cocoon itself. Whatever it was, a desiccated leper fell straight on Deter, pinning him down to the ground. Their lips nearly touched in the process. The mage quickly threw corpse to the side, scuttling up as fast as he could.

“Thank you! Oh, thank you so much! We will leave your cellar as soon as possible. Could I please ask you for one more favour? Could you move the spider out of the way? Some of us are in a quite a poor shape, and any physical exertion might kill us.”

“I want to milk it.” was Deter's response. He took out an empty vial, and starter massaging the giant spider's corpse. When he found what he believed to be glands, he squeezed, until few tiny drops formed on the mandibles. Lo and behold, he managed to capture one.

Unhappy with the quantity, he asked others to help him chop up the corpse, so he can continue working on it in their headquarters.

“Oh no! He is here! The albino hunter is here! Run! Run!” the leper was long gone into the dark tunnel. Amanda, Deter, Gon'd'elf and his retinue bravely retreated, while Winslow and Rad covered themselves with one of the open cocoons.

A massive albino crocodile emerged from the sewer trench. Poor Hamnet never stood a chance. He looked in confusion as men he looked up to scattered in different directions, without telling him what to do.

The crocodile bit him diagonally, crushing his collarbone in the process, and then dragged him down into the sewage. And then they disappeared into the darkness.

It took our courageous adventurers half an hour to gather enough courage to check if the albino hunter is gone. Indeed it was. Unwilling to spend too much time in the sewers, Deter had to settle for “just” chopping off the giant spider's head. And so they marched back home...

A little bit over two hours later, they saw the light of day once more.

Deter Darker spent the next five days dissecting the giant spider's head using two spoons. His hopes of extracting any venom were obliterated by woefully incorrect assumptions that the process is akin to milking a cow.

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