Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 67


Character Class Description
Ert Fighter level 1 Lean and dexterous fighter with disheveled hair and wincing eyes.
Algon Thief level 1 Handsome and friendly heartthrob; shifty at heart.
Brent Goose Cleric level 5 An eccentric, but charismatic, cleric seeking the Holy Bird. White robes and black cloak conceal his tall, frail and anemic frame. His eagle-like nose is exposed for all to see.
Hist Fighter level 1 Young, overeager, and clean-shaven. Muscles practically bursting out of his armor.
Rashomon Elf level 2 A dangerous looking elf.
Llyfed Elf level 3 Thin and balding elf whom also happens to be Rashomon's friend.
Tarkus the Promising Cleric level 1 Follower of Bachontoi, God of Red Wisdom.

Maggotfeast 7th, Waterday

“Our enemies cannot see in the dark.” Hist perched and continued “We need not fear the night!”

“Whoever they are, they also had a whole day to prepare” Ert the Pessimist sighed heavily “and a good night sleep!”

“Might makes right. Shang Ta will bless our swordarms when it finally comes time.” Hist continued, unperturbed. His heart and mind were set on cleansing the fallen temple of Shang-Ta—even if it'd spell ruin to him.

And ruin did it spell already; for Hist's grasp of reality wasn't as it once used to be.

“Hail, friends! We come to help!”

Brent Goose, Algon and his retainer Briaron, and newly recruited Tarkus the Promising, arrived to reinforce the party just before the nightfall.

“I needed just one good gig to turn my luck around... how did I end up in this situation? Ah yes, too much alcohol and stupid dice, I'm sure that bastard was cheating... but here I am with but a few gold pieces to my name...” Ert lamented in his mind as he sharpened his sword.

A crude tripwire he set up earlier—some string and a pot full of copper coins—should awake them in case anyone tries to sneak up the stairs.

“We need to agree on guard duty schedule.”

“Everyone is already exhausted.”

“No fire; we sleep cold again.”

“Perhaps elves should take double shifts? They can spot anyone approaching us in the dark.”

Henceforth, the party had decided that Rashomon and Hist would take the first night watch; Rashomon and Ert second night watch; and Llyfed and Tarkus the last night watch.

Fourteen of them crammed into the stone house resting on the plateau just north of the temple. They closed and barred both of the shutters to the north west. Rashomon sat by the sole window looking to the south-east, scanning the environment for any heat signatures. Hist, and later Ert and Tarkus, has the door guard duty. Meaning they were standing just by them in case anything tries to come in.

The sister moons were shy tonight. Howla was completely obscured, while Vannis showed only her right half. It was poised to be a dark night.

Maggotfeast 8th, Earthday

“Hist, something is happening!”

Some time during his second night watch Rashomon observed patches of soil changing colour! Soon some thirty by thirty foot area became warm, pulsating. From it three bulbous masses appeared.

The elf fired an arrow into the darkness. He heard that familiar twang when an arrow hits something hard and bounces off.

“Brace yourself!”

Unwilling to take any risks, Rashomon did the right moves paired with the right words, and two of the three skittering bulbs were stopped in their tracks. The third one burst through the doors.

Now, although there were no lit light-sources in the house, Ert could still see a round black mass, roughly up to his knees. It rammed him, hugging his left left. And then it thrust something log and sharp into the warrior's leg!

Ert could feel the blood sucked out of him.

By now other adventurers slowly began to wake up.

Tarkus the Promising lit up a torch, both to offer light, but also to use it against whatever is assaulting them.

Illustrated by kickmaniac

“It's them, again!”

A giant, deformed tick was hanging from Ert's left thigh. Its hard shell was covered in purplish-spots. And its proboscis was deep into the fighter's leg.


“Huh, what, eh?!”

Algon and Briaron had a rude awakening as another large insect crashed through the barred window.

By now everyone was awake.

Brent Goose kept sending thoughts and prayers as he held torch in the north-east corner of the room.

The rest fought in cramped conditions, ultimately repealing the invading insects. Six of them in total. Hist slayed three, Dorn slayed one but suffered a prick himself, Algon and Briaron crushed one as well, and the remaining two were executed in their magically induced slumber.

“I want to circle the house!” Tarkus announced as he held up the torch outside. Rashomon joined him, while Llyfed went the opposite direction.

Just as he had joined the cleric, Rashomon immediately felt something was off. And then an arrow stuck him in his back.

“Fall back, fall back!”

The trio ran back into the house, and party closed the doors and all the windows shut. It was a stone house—no one could smoke them out!

And then they waited, poised to crush whomever is dumb enough to storm the front doors.

And waited.

And waited.

“Damn, they are just taking pot shots at us...”

“Just like the last night...”

“Brent, can you help with the healing? You know many divine prayers.”

“Sorry, it's bit complicated between Kadrim and me at the moment.”


All but those with guard duty tried to catch few more hours of sleep.

Sun came too soon. Everyone was still red eyed, sore, and hardly well rested at all.

“I'll spend the morning in meditation. I need to center my mind before I return to that horrid place.” Camus shared wearily “Buy me some hours and I'll be ready.”

At this moment all but Hist decided to sleep through morning until noon.

Hist sat on an improvised stool and stood guard by the window looking at the summit where the temple ominously loomed over all. A perennial, dominating reminder of horrors he had witnessed last time he was here. Horrors so horrific and horrible no one believes him.

He'd see a large, rotting bull pace around from time to time. By now he had convinced himself it was all an illusion. What else might it be? They haven't seen a single animal in a three-mile radius, and suddenly there'd be an undead bull trotting around? Come on, let's get real. Illusion. Illusion it is.

Wait. What is that? No... Who is that?

A large, blood-skinned man walked through the bull. He was high up, on the edge of the temple itself. He held a longbow as large as himself in his right arm.

The man grinned, pointed his finger at Hist, and mouthed YOUR HEART IS MINE. And then he fired an arrow. It lodged deep into Hist's shoulder.

The fighter shoot back, missing. Then he yelled, and soon all hell broke loose.

“Damn, what is this, a wagon station?! Have you no manners?!” Brent protested to yet another rude awakening.

Tarkus ran up to Hist, and started shooting at the large man with his sling. Llyfed opened the doors wide open, only to be shot at by another red-skinned man. Algon went through the back window, sneaked around the house, and then hit the other man from afar.

The giant with longbow laughed heartily as he was first stuck with a pebble, then an arrow. He stopped laughing as he got an arrow to torso.

Two barbarians turned around and fled.

The party charged out of the house, giving chase. Alas! Great majority of them was in chain or plate mail, and they had to run all the way around the mountain top before they could reach the stairs leading to the temple.

Ert was slightly disappointed to find his trap disassembled and enriched with relatively fresh turd.

Blood spots on the stairs confirmed that the barbarians were here moments ago.

“They are naked and fast. We can't catch-up with them.”

“They might be leading us into ambush anyway.”

“Let's cleanse the temple and get out of here.”

Rashomon, Llyfed, Dorn, Ert, and Hist decided to spend rest of the day resting in the stone house. Hist's wound was burning. It felt like his flesh was melting away.

Camus, joined by Brent Goose and Tarkus the Promising, went back into the temple. Yes, to the accursed spot where several weeks ago party fought a bull-shaped flesh golem. There they went to close the gaping wound; a festering wound; a Sinkhole of Chaos.

Camus commanded his four acolytes to guard temple entrances. Algon and Briaron spent their time sorting through all the debris, trinkets, and coins threw out from the temple just a day before.

They found 726 silver pieces, a vial with chunky green liquid, a rolled up scroll, and a wand-like object.

Camus focused his blessings on the heart of the temple. Even disgraced Brent was of help, as was Tarkus. All three of them could feel the temple rumbling and shaking and throbbing and roaring and screaming. Except that it wasn't the temple. It was the Sinkhole resisting.

A high-pitched shriek disturbed Algon.

He looked up, to the north.

A sleek, black, serpentine figure with large wings was flying southward with incredible speed.

“I have a feeling this one will be hard to avoid” he thought out loud.

But there was no room for such wishful thinking.

The beast was coming straight for Algon.

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