Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 32
|Flamthwynn||Magic-user leve 1||An older gentleman sporting fashionable dark blue robe with purplish overtones. Seeking arcane objects and offensive spell.|
|Blutvarth||Fighter level 1||A skinny man with sharp features, curly hair and a sneering smile. He swears that he is friendlier than he looks.|
|Adkin the Butcher||Fighter level 3||A hot headed warrior quick to fury trained by Marco Vitelli, retired quartermaster of the army of the Invincible Overlord.|
|Rhovar||Fighter level 3||A generic Nordic guy.|
|Taegen Ianlynn||Elf level 1||Tan skinned wood elf of magnificent physique. Doesn't hide it.|
|Eccy Throi||Elf level 1||Wears a dark green cloak to hide his bulging muscles and crippling anxiety.|
|Ulster||Fighter level 2||A former caravan guard with a promise to fulfil.|
|Alestone the Brave||Dwarf level 1||Overdressed coward.|
Warmshade 12th, Waterday
“We've got company!” Rad yelled while slamming the doors behind him.
Most of the party was focused on naked and groggy Eccy. His arms were lined with bloody dots; needles hanging from the alien recliner he was lying on being the most probable cause of these mysterious injuries.
In the confusion the party had been joined by two newcomers:
Alestone the Brave, an absolute coward dressed in heavy armour from top to bottom. He even had matching knee pads. The dwarf seemed to materialise out of thin air—as if he came out of the fog.
Blutvarth, another heavily armoured figure. He was much less cowardly than the dwarf and had a sneering smile to prove it.
With little time to act, Adkin and Rhovar shook the elf back to his senses, while Taegen the passed healing potion to him. Eccy downed it without hesitation. The ghost of Saint Zagyg smiled upon him.
All warriors—Adkin, Rhovar, Blutvarth, Ulster, and Alestone—rushed to form a bottleneck at the entrance into the chamber they've been in. Whatever will come through that doors will suffer hell.
Herat stood her ground in the centre of the room, firmly holding the torch and providing much needed illumination. Freshly rejuvenated Eccy noticed his equipment in the corner and rushed towards it. Flamthwynn exercised tactical retreat in the direction he judged to be safest.
THUD. THUD. THUD.
The cave ground vibrated underneath their feet as something approached the closed doors.
A moment of silence was gone before Alestone had the chance to relent, and the doors came down with a tumultuous noise.
Gigantic fungi-man squeezed sideways through the door-frame, revealing two massive hammer fists. Dwarf immediately set him alight with precisely lobbed oil flask. The giant reached the party in one step, and enveloped Alestone with another.
Alas, the dwarf tried to wriggle out of it but was crushed to bloody by the monster's hammer fist in seconds. His blood splattered all over Blutvarth and Rhovar; the only reminder of his existence.
The warriors were swift in their vengeance, each carving out a chunk of the humongous fungi-man. Taegen went all in and cast Light upon the monster's head.
|“Crushed dreams” illustration by one of the players.|
Giant monster now acted as a lighthouse, revealing yet another curious figure just outside the smashed doorway. Rhovar, Blutvarth, and Adkin could see a eight feet tall mushroom with huge cap and two mean looking narrow eyes. They radiated sickly yellow light and looked as if the creature was scowling.
It focused it's gaze on Adkin the Butcher, and shouted in Common: “Protect me mighty warrior! Save me from these barbarians!”
To which the fighter positively responded and implored his friends to stop this violence at once. To say that he was ignored would be an understatement.
Distracted by their traitorous peer, Rhovar and Blutvarth hadn't noticed a number of purple-coloured orbs flying towards them at incredible speed. The former suffered two strokes, while the latter went down after a single hit.
“You! YOU!” Ulster boiled with rage. “I will kill you Sorcerer!” he roared as he charged past the towering fungi-men, and went straight at the mushroom-wizard. He was checked by another fungi-men, but not before he took a swing at the target of his rage.
His mace bounced of invisible barrier.
The creature fought back, striking him with a staff-like object.
“Adkin, what has gotten into you?” Rhovar pleaded as he tried to wrestle down his friend. Alas, he was no match for the man trained by the famous Marco Vitelli. He was thrown to the side like a little pebble.
“Don't you remember all the wine and ale we guzzled together? All the dungeons we ransacked? And the women too?”
Overwhelmed with all the fond memories of their tight camaraderie, Adkin managed to snap out of whatever charm had that mushroom-wizard placed on him.
Herat and Taegen finished off the blinded monster. Flamthwynn maintained safe distance throughout the engagement. Let the kids perish, he did not reach his age by rushing in first.
“Ack! Savages! Savages! Savages!” the Sorcerer yelled as he turned and fled into the north-east chamber.
Still outraged, Ulster smashed the head of the fungi-man who had stopped him with a single strike, and charged after the fleeing monster. Other warriors, as well as two elves, followed.
Flamthwynn, feeling safe, went over to inspect Blutvarth. The boy was still breathing but needed urgent attention. He quickly instructed Rad and DJ Basic how to help him. Then he went through the potions shelf that DJ Basic started, but hasn't finished ransacking.
“Hmmm... What might be a healing potion here... Hmmm... Probably something red?”
Lo and behold, he did find two vials with dark red liquid. Putting his nose to both revealed one had a rusty smell while the other had a pleasant cedar aroma.
“Here, this one will... Make you feel better...”
Blutvarth, barely conscious, placed the vial to his lips as carefully as he could. Then he took a few shy sips. He felt tingles on his lips and warmth in his belly. And then he down it all in one go.
First few seconds were rather uneventful. Then he started to itch. A lot. Then his hair started to fall out; his skin started to crack and split; his teeth and nails came loose before falling off. He could feel his asshole burning, as well as stupefying pain in his face, as if great force was pulling it forward.
Flamthwynn got to enjoy the show from first row. The man in front of him went from broken boy in metal armour to a blob of pink flesh in matter of seconds. Blutvarth's face elongated into crocodile like shape, and razor-sharp teeth replaced human molars; pinkish skin was no more, replaced by shiny green-scales; nails replaced by claws, and swimming skin between the fingers; and finally, a long tail stretched from just above where once his anus used to be.
Clearing his throat, Flamthwynn spoke in lizard-man tongue “Ahem... So... Are you feeling better?”
Blutvarth, still recoiling from the horrific experience, took some time before responding. He did indeed feel better, but was thoroughly confused with what had just transpired.
As this macabre transformation took place rest of the party chased after the mushroom-wizard, charging into a large circular room. Unlike Ulster, others were not blind to lavish furniture. Four large masterwork tapestries adorned each wall; a large, alien-like reclined couch with silk bedclothes; a glass cabinet containing three cut-glass decanters and a silver goblet; a water pipe on a low table in the middle of the room with an enormous brazier full of unlit coal right next to it.
Ulster had seen his victim run through the eastern doors. They were similar to other doors leading into this chamber with one exception: they had iron bars running up and across them. Next to the doors were two holes carved into the wall. Both were filled with pale green, stringy substance, quite similar to the material fungi-men are made out of.
Using the shafts of their long weapons, Adkin and Taegen pushed the substance aside, revealing a small mushroom in each hole. Both felt wooden to touch, and did not budge even when pulled or pushed. They did move once they were twisted. The duo pulled both up simultaneously. The wooden mushroom rose as two small penises, and then limply fell back once they were released.
At this moment Ulster and Eccy judged they had enough of this, and invited invisible Taegen to force the doors open. After all, this wood elf was known far and wide for his impressive pythons. He earned his reputation once again, opening the doors as if they had never been closed at all.
Alas, Ulster was left disappointed, for around the corner laid nothing but a dark corridor and lowered portcullis. Party ignored his calls for vengeance, opting to plunder the lavishly decorated room instead.
Rhovar and Adkin gently lowered, rolled up, and then tied two of the majestic tapestries. They were so heavy that two men had to carry one. Herat helped herself to the glass cabinet, nicking all the stuff within.
Finally, Flamthwynn introduced his new friend to the rest of the party. Fighters deemed wholly unimpressed, unlike Eccy, who wondered who are these accursed folk whom he had partnered up for this expedition.
Once they finished taking all the valuable they can carry, the adventurers headed back into the chamber with three vats. As soon as they left, five fungi-men assaulted them form behind. Neither had proven to be any significant threat to this well oiled machine, not even the four-armed buff fungi-man. In fact, he was the first to go down, chopped to thin slices by Adkin the Chef.
Whilst discussing their further plans, Flamthwynn scanned through piles of parchment on the workbench. He recognised the spidery alphabet: goblin. But language was elvish. What a weird combination. The notes were either of an alien or mad mind. They were on combining plant and flesh to create new life; on something called “snagwort;” and numerous diatribes on “surface-dwelling folk.” Was there anything there worth of further study? Only time will tell.
At the moment the party stood in the dimly illuminated chamber, discussing their next move. Embers beneath one of the cauldrons quietly cackled.
What is this place?
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