Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 36
|Rad||Thief level 3||A young, short and malnourished rogue.|
|Gomm||Thief level 3||Swarthy, good looking, dark-skinned thief. Sweet opium-like aroma is his fragrance of choice.|
|Rhovar||Fighter level 3||A generic Nordic guy.|
|Brawley||Dwarf level 2||Stocky, baldy, scimitar-wielding sea knave.|
|Flamthwynn||Magic-user leve 1||An older gentleman sporting fashionable dark blue robe with purplish overtones. Seeking arcane objects and offensive spell.|
|Eccy Throi||Elf level 1||Wears a dark green cloak to hide his bulging muscles and crippling anxiety.|
|Norwell||Thief level 1||A finely dressed slim fellow of few words. Carries the scar of betrayal.|
|BuddyPuddingBottom||Elf level 2||Peppermint scented elf followed by jingles, on a quest for the perfect gift.|
Sunstrong 5th, Spiritday
Battered and demoralised, Eccy, Gomm, Norwell, Delphine, and Herat rested in Bathdawn, awaiting for the arrival of the Hydra Company main force. Their delve into fungi-men caves did not go as planned. Several of their fellow adventurers were killed by a giant mushroom-mound.
“Buddy, you're alive... you don't look it!” Gomm exclaimed.
“PuddingBottom, you are a sight for sore eyes.” Eccy welcomed the elf whom all thought was gone for sure.
BuddyPuddingBottom survived by throwing himself into the stream whilst Taegen was electrocuted. He floated deeper into the dungeon. There he found another cave system, navigating it until he faced a ten feet wide chasm.
Giving it his all, he managed to jump it. Moving forward, or rather, downward, led him to a large underground river. Luckily for him, a crude, but functional, canoe was lying in the nearby dirt.
Using his last atoms of strength, he hauled the canoe, threw himself in it, and allowed the river to carry him as he faded to black.
Seagulls pecking his face were the rude awakening he didn't expect. Obviously at the open sea, Buddy resorted to paddling with his bare palms. He made it to Bathdawn against all odds. It was a gruelling journey... Some say that was the day BuddyPuddingBottom lost his peppermint aroma...
Rhovar, Flamthwynn, Rad, Brawley, and thirty mercenaries reached Bathdawn by the end of the day.
After some back and forth, Hydra Company has decided to march to the ruined keep Rad had been to months ago. The one where he had left behind Taaz. The one where Taaz broke down the doors and charged in alone. The one that already claimed many adventurers' lives.
Sunstrong 6th, Airday
Herat had been hired by Sinai, and since they failed twice to recover him from the fungi-cave, she decided to stay behind in Bathdawn.
Herat bid her farewell to the party: “I need some time to think. I still have some unfinished business in Antil—perhaps we run into each other there!”
The company marched in a column, with the adventurers mounted on their riding horses. Rhovar, the aspiring general, led them unaware that his leadership capabilities will soon be put to test.
Half an hour or so after crossing the bridge over the Highcourse river, Rhovar heard familiar howls.
“Men! Fall into formation! Footmen up front; archers into two ranks!”
A big, fat wolf strolls out between two trees.
Rhovar recognised him as the gluttonous chubby wolf who had gasped when the warrior offered to bring some fat clerics in exchange for his life.
Little did the big bad wolf know that he was walking into a trap. Taken by shock, rather than surprise, the company unleashed a volley of arrows at it.
Many shots found their target, making the wolf look more like large flabby hedgehog. The wolf made a large O face. Then it shook off the arrows and charged the front rank, ripping into doughty Brawley.
“Rhovar, watch out!” Rad yelled.
Turning to his left, Rhovar could see two more wolves running through the trees. Again, he recognised both. The lithest one was Meza, the only one to oppose her canine brethren in letting Rhovar go.
“Never trust those who soil themselves.” she'd often wisely say.
Archers rained volleys on the incoming wolves, while Brawley, Delphine, and heavy footmen engaged the fat wolf chewing on the dwarf. Gomm and Norwell threw their nets; one hit the mark. The adventurers quickly piled themselves on the ensnared wolf.
Eccy used the opportunity to smash its head with mace. Alas, it bounced right off the wolf's large head. Chubby canine shed a single tear and whimpered.
Rhovar roared “Men! You listen to the Hydra Company now! Follow their orders!” as he counter-charged the two wolves going for him. Alas, his horse had different plans and took him in different direction.
Regaining control over his horse, Rhovar galloped south, insulting and throwing stuff at the pursuing wolf.
“Form ranks! Retreat in order!” Eccy assumed command without missing a beat. In the chaos all unmanned horses became spooked and fled in different directions. So did the draft horses, pulling the VVagon with them.
Chubby wolf thrashed around until he managed to get himself free. Unfortunately for him, by now Brawley has completely mounted him. The dwarf used the opportunity to repeatedly hit the wolf on top of it's muzzle, causing the hairy critter to weep inconsolably.
Before that, the dwarf and Delphine tried to open its jaw in order for Gomm to throw in some natural poison. They failed, despite their best efforts.
It wasn't a good day for that wolf. Gomm, in a fascinating display of skill and quick wit, rode behind the wolf, whilst leaning to the left side. As he passed by it, he lowered the lit torch underneath the wolf's ballsack and sprinkled it with some oil.
Yes, it went as expected.
The wolf started thrashing around violently.
Brawley rode him like a pony.
“Meza! MEZA! I'm on fire! My balls are on fire! Save me, Meza!”
“Calm down, you imbecile! You are not hurting! It's all in your head! Stop it! I can't bite him with you jumping around!”
Delphine mounted Gomm's horse. Lithe thief looked like a small boy by the gargantuan plated woman. They rode off, joining the retreating force.
Eccy orchestrated the retreat to Kestizar. And not only that. He also managed to catch and calm the draft horses, ensuring the supplies hauled in the VVagon.
Rhovar led the wolf pursuing him on a wild chase, ultimately outrunning him. Whipping his horse, he rode alongside Highcourse river until he masked his scent, and then broke off for Kestizar.
Meza ripped out Brawley's throat as the chubby wolf dragged his bottom through the grass.
Hydra Company had reached Kestizar by the end of the day. Rhovar joined them few hours later.
Gomm proposed Delphine. At first she blushed and rebuffed the sly talking dark-skinned man. His persistent attempts paid off, as attested by her picking Gomm up like a little toy and carrying him off behind a tree. Their marriage was promptly consumed.
Mercenaries protested to Rhovar. They were unhappy with countless days of marching around without hitting any attractive targets, culminating with a retreat from three invulnerable wolves. They demanded better pay and a full day of rest. The adventurers collected all the back gold coins from the VVagon and paid them.
Sunstrong 8th, Earthday
“Is this the support you promised, Rhovar?!”
Elidarth the Elder confronted Rhovar. The latter had passed through Kestizar days ago. Then he promised to bring some reinforcements to alleviate Kestizar's problems with raiding bandits.
“Your men made a huge mess at the inn! They hired a bunch of whores, had an orgy, slapped other patrons, and took a shit in the flowers right in front of my home!”
“Uh, we promise to besiege the chaotic evil in that keep to protect the town. Remember, to fight evil, a little evil must be employed.”
“Just control your men. Otherwise you are no better than Roenald's lot.”
Without too much scolding, the Hydra company marched to the ruined keep on the morning of Sunstrong 8th. They reached it at noon, stopping a hundred feet away from the ruin.
Given that Rad was the chief scout during his previous expedition here, he immediately picked up that something was very wrong about the east tower.
Focusing his gaze, he could notice that the entrance Taaz broke down was covered with an ill fitting doors, which in turn were barred from the outside.
The improvised doors were splattered with blood; the splatter rising for nearly ten feet above the doors.
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