zaterdag 9 november 2013

A taste for revenge

 Early morning of the 18th day of the Dark Season, the weather changes, overnight it became much colder, and the party feel they are in for a cold day.  They return at the farm before sunrise, having traveled overnight to avoid patrols, and learn of the dramatic turn of events at the longhouse.  Herculon, however, has been taken seriously ill, and is unable to accompany them to the Chaos caves, but urges the others to go ahead and scout the place out.  While having a simple breakfast, they discuss the events at the farm, and Alara explains how it has become impossible to remain living here, without the regular Quivini clan patrols, with the constant harassment of brigands, Lunar scum, and now this threat of Chaos so close.  Sharkan feels sorry for the stricken woman and hands her some silver pieces, giving her the advice to move to one of the towns and try and start a new life, if not for her own sake, then for her daughter's.

The party than dons their pelt clothing, and starts off into the hills, led by Daerius.  Before long they arrive at the patch of forest, which is looking ever more corrupted and vile.  Trees have been deformed, the branches no longer upright but drooping down, and the forest spiders that normally inhabited the forest quite peacefully now have no nesting space, and can be seen sitting between the tainted trees in every direction.  The path indicated by Daerius seems accessible enough, with just two spiders in view, and initially there is little reaction as Daerius and Sharkan slowly step forward.  The moment Giomanach advances, however, both spiders spring into action, and attack the sorcerer.

Giomanach charging in before the warrior...
Giomanach has to take a few steps back, keeping out of range of the spiders' attack, before he manages to touch palsy the animal on the head.   The second spider is dispatched by Sharkan with a brutal leap.  The party encounter no further spiders and continue towards the entrance, sneaking to the best of their ability.  They see no opposition and almost stand in front of the entrance, when they suddenly find themselves face to face with two broos.  Giomanach, against better judgment, charges forward, and starts hitting one the broo with his staff.  The others quickly advance, and notice there are more broos in the bushes.  The situation quickly turns into a full fight.  Raiko sneaks through the brushes, and surprises one of the broos that is trying to get behind the party, lopping off its arm as the chaotic fiend blindly runs into him.  Sharkan gets wounded in the madness at the entrance, and collapses, bleeding heavily.  Meanwhile, Giomanach is still hammering away at the broo, and as the last one tries to make a run for it, Giomanach follows him into the cave.  His haste gives him the advantage, and before long he is able to palsy him to a standstill, only to discover two scorpion men, standing guard in a cave, and heading in his direction immediately upon spotting him.  The sorcerer tries to crush one of the scorpion men with a rock, but fails.

Nobody noticed the Dragon Snail, or that Sharkan had passed out.
Giomanach goes down, and Daerius and Raiko charge forward to save him.  Raiko's heal fails, and it takes a miracle from Daerius to stop Giomanach from paying with his life.  The fight with the scorpion men continues, and the party is so occupied that they fail to notice a two headed dragon snail heading their way from out of the dark caves beyond. Just as Raiko manages to kill one of the Scorpion Men, Giomanach, having palsied one of the Dragon Snails' head, almost loses his arm by the other head.  The fight turns ugly, with Daerius and Raiko having a lot of trouble getting the upper hand, when Sharkan, still with witchsight on, notices an old tomb wall, full of spirits, and he steps forward through a stone portal.  Without anyone noticing, Sharkan collapses.  Meanwhile, Giomanach hears a rattling noise down along yet another corridor, and he decides to quickly investigate.  As he stumbles down the rocky slope down, he realizes he has no idea what he is about to find, but before he can have second thoughts, he stands in a lighted, man made corridor, and 30 meters in front of him are several broo's, operating a kind of lever above a hatch or hole in the ground. 

The big broo was surprisingly quick for such a big beast
Giomanach slowly tries to back out, but stumbles, and the broo leader is able to hear him, above all the noise.  Only at that moment Giomanach realizes what trouble he is in.  The broo leader is a huge bison broo, and upon spotting the sorcerer the huge creature starts charging in his direction, with an uncanny speed, especially for his bulk.  Giomanach, not an athlete by any standard, scurries up the rocky slope back to his henchmen, panting and yelling.  Daerius comes to his aid, slowing the creature down with some well aimed javelins, and the party intends to run, when they discover Sharkan lying unconscious.  Raiko loses no time, and loads his big fellow river nomad on his shoulders, ready to run for his life.  Giomanach casts his most powerful haste spell on the entire party, and Daerius assists Raiko with Sharkan, as they run out of the cave, back the way they came.  Just when it looks like they are going to get out alive, thanks to the powerful sorcery spell giving them superhuman speed, they run into the big rock Giomanach tried to crush the scorpion man with earlier, and have a hard time getting the big body of Sharkan over.  As the broos close in, the party tries everything, but they cannot take the obstacle while carrying Sharkan, and Giomanach, in a mild state of panic, fails his Rock magic several times, before he manages to finally clear the way. 

A walktapus tries to block them but fails
The party speed on, only meters in front of the advancing enemy.  They head towards the exit, and see yet another shape looming ahead of them.  A mass of tentacles on legs is coming from a corridor ahead of them, and hurrying to block them in the caves.  With seconds to spare, the party makes it to the exit, and miraculously, the two warriors manage keeping up their speed for several more minutes before having to finally slow down, spent,  with no more sight from neither the broo or the dreaded walktapus.  It seems a barbarian berserker has his uses after all...

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