Deathless Gods

Dinner With Wererats

The crew had a trio of successes-with-consequences.

First, we happened upon a lynch mob, headed up by followers of Enato. They wanted to kill a fisherman because he did not display Enato’s emblem on his boat. With a quick ditty from the Songceror, nine tenths of them were hypnotized and we intimidated (or killed) the rest. We put out word that the fishermen were under our protection, and could come to us if they were harassed further by cultists.

Next, we returned to the sewers. With Nettie’s magical bell of opening, we cracked the sliding statue and acquired its precious treasures. On the way out of the crypt, we realized we had been surrounded by sewer crocodiles! They milled about, but were not immediately aggressive, so Nin worked her amiable-to-animals ability and won them over! Of course, we immediately used them as mounts and swam upstream in search of the wererat den.

And we found it! A dozen or two were bro-ing out over drugs, beer and were-rat-women, and a fight erupted after a short argument. Snickersnack! The leader’s head rolled. The others quickly lost their nerve, and we discussed whether or not to execute them. Our final agreement was that we would provide them with booze and food until we could return with a cure. Those who accepted the cure could return to society. Those who refused would be sent away, to somewhererats are more welcome.

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Twas the Day After Battle

Twas the day after Battle, and all through the fort
Not a hero was stirring, not even the dwarf.
The weapons were hung by the altar of Enroy,
In hopes that our exploits the god had enjoyed.

The henchmen were nestled all snug in their beds,
While half-shares of treasure hoards danced in their heads.
With the Cargos away, and Asmo at school,
There was little to distract from the odor of stool.

When out from the street there arose such a squeal,
We sprang from the beds to see what was the deal.
Dropping my crossbow I leapt like a flea,
Tore open the shutters and looked out to see.

The sun through a blanket of sea-wafted haze
Kept that below from immediate gaze.
When, what to my hungover eyes should appear,
But a slew of dumb cultists, their motives unclear.

With a hoop and a cry, they looked like gestapo,
I knew in a moment it must be Enato.
Before I could curse them, the scene seemed to change
As they jostled, and shouted, and chanted a name.

No sigil! No worship! His vessel’s profane!
For payment! For penance! We’ll eat his remains!
To the town’s only gallows! We’ll raise him up high!
Now rush along! Rush along! Rush along guys!

As men of conviction, we gathered our gear
Knowing the cult we would have to make fear
Our magic and cunning and axes to boot.
We strode to his aid, not looking for loot.

They turned, all asudden, their anger acute
To see our small band obstructing their route.
Said one “Let us through! His will shall be done!”
Muttered the dwarf “this might just be fun”.

And then, in a moment, a song split the air
Nine tenths of the crowd simply sputtered and stared.
For from our back ranks, there were words being chanted
That mesmerized suckers and evened our chances.

“Look now” said the dwarf, “you have clearly been beaten”
“No man will be hanged, be he cultist or cretin.”
“Impudent digger! Go back to your cave!”
Were the last words he said from this side of a grave

The cultists were shaken; their lynch mob undone,
One powerful strike had ruined their fun
But I heard them exclaim, as they sped out of sight,
“Enato be praised, he’ll show up next fight!”

(now somebody write Dinner With Wererats)

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On making things worse

Today we set out to eliminate the were-rat problem once and for all. We collect all of our gear and head for the ancient sewers to the north. Picking up where we left off, but deciding to leave the resting mummy alone for the time being, as we didn’t see any treasure and we aren’t really keen on the idea of being pursued by and angry mummy, potentially forever. We start looking around. We almost immediately find a giant pile of desiccated bodies estimated to have died almost 10,000 years.  Careful sorting through them yields us a few small treasures but no clues about the were-rat problem. We continue through the sewer, searching every door, until we come to a large room filled with around 60 interred people who are also probably 10 millennia old. I turn undead just to be careful, and after no response we pull one of the vertical skeletons on a pillar near the door and search him for valuables. He disintegrates almost immediately with nothing of value. Deciding that took way too long and put way too much dust in the air. We opt to more quickly walk through the corpses looking for anything of value. That was when I spotted a faint glow coming from behind a body. It is an ancient, but truly magnificent magical sword.  Suddenly things are looking up for us. 

Emboldened, we proceed to the next door to encounter a most horrible sight. Cats, dead cats, about 30 of them are encircling a grotesque rat statue. There is also a size able patch of grass (for a sewer) to the left. Behind the door is what must be a rat symbol. After breaking the cat semicircle, our newest dwarf friend attempts to learn the secrets of the idol. She is given two choices. Turn or slide. Unfortunately, she chose wrong. The idol slid to the right fairly easy, but once there, refused to slide back. It was then that it started. Thousands of rats started pouring into the room. When we finally left and shut the door behind us there were 3 ft of swarming rats in the room.  I went to check the sewers beyond the crypt room only to discover the water in the channel had turned blood red and there is a dead crocodile floating that definitely wasn’t there before.  Group decision, we have to stop this. We decide to quickly throw some oil and alchemist fire into the room to clear out some rats. 

Our plan is successful, the rats are all either dead or have left. My companions try again to find the release to reset the statue. When they aren’t immediately successful they decide the only way to fix this problem is to deface the statue. They start beating away, successfully chipping off a lot of the nose and some other parts. Again, we hear a clicking noise and again the rats start flooding into the room. Out of alchemist fire and out of ideas, we return to town.  On the way back, we notice a new problem, the red water is seeping into town. Other than the sword, we would have been better off  staying home today. 

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Plans and Forgetting

Well, it could have gone better. Then again, it could have gone much much worse.

Plan 1: "Excuse me, fair teammates. Those bandits are quite uncouth and I believe the area would be better served by their extermination. Let us away, for to finish them post-haste!

Doo bee doobeedoo. An exquisite morn for a lively jaunt. I am quite glad we have these two spry elves to scout ahead. They shall undoubtedly alert us of any sudden dangers. Take heed, comrades. They seem to have halted in the road yonder. What shape do mine eyes see? A robed fellow propped upon a stump up aheAOHMYGOD ARROWS EVERYWHERE. BANDIT AMBUSH. BAMBUSH. FALL BACK. What are those, priests with SHIT THEIR ARMS ARE UNHOLY MAGIC CLAWS. Okay, fighting retreat. We’re hurt but at least we’re making FUCK Datodel’s down! Do elf spines repel arrows? Hope so. I’ve got him. There there, light little elfman. Shhhh. They won’t follow beyond the range of their archers. My stars, what a turn of events!"**

Plan 2:

How should we best bring our strengths to bear against this possible cult leader? I’ve got it! We’ll send our badassiest, best-armorediest killer to a dinner party. Then, our sea elf will scale the manor walls (where he’ll feel most at home) to carefully collect any documents that might implicate the councilman in nefarious plots! Our elf. Who can’t read common. Welp, some busted desk locks and stolen bundles of papers later, Oceanus and Lady Nin made it out. We learned that the councilman leaves town for three days at a time, but we haven’t yet read his business papers. He knows we’re onto him. Oh, and if you’re ever sneaking into a house, don’t hang out in dead-end hallways because they are HUBS OF ACTIVITY.

Asmo whipped up an Elixir of Bone Knitting, so Datodel’s spine will take a week to repair instead of 17 months. Alchemy!

**Mumbles’ internal monologue

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Worst Poker game EVER!

So me and mickey decided to get together have a little poker game and watch the football game we rented this cozy little room that had nice high ceilings we thought we were some serious high rollers. That is until we get to the place man the place is a mess falling down around our ears kinda shit. We can’t do anything now about it so we press on its the five of us Mickey, Vinny, Spinelli, Tony and myself. So we make our way down and let me tell you about creepy we make it down the stairs and there are freaking insect heads on the wall this point we are like screw this but Tony says we are already here so we might just make the best of it. We find our room and the damn thing has a chair outside of it like it was a prison and some guard is gonna watch us. Anyway things start looking up once we get in the room its pretty nice. We unload all the money for the poker game by the door and go sit down to watch the game. Man it is wicked I mean the Oizys maulers are going against the Dyssebeia Titans it should be a rout but ole Tony thinks he has an inside tip and has 100g’s on Dyssebeia poor bastard. It’s getting good it’s the fourth quarter and Dyssebeia has got the ball they are making this wicked drive down the field all of a sudden we hear all this noise coming from the hall. Sounds like somebody’s smashing the place up. Who cares it’s 4th and 1 on the 20 they get ready for the snap but it isn’t a run they drop back for the pass they are going for the win he puts the ball up. All of a sudden the door to our room bursts open and these mooks come in and start going through our poker ante that’s it we have had enough of this shitty ass place. We all pull out our piece’s and start lighting this fool up. All of a sudden this freakin midget in some sort a monkey suit made outta metal comes in followed by the two biggest guy you ever seen dammed if they didn’t look like brothers. Tony he ain’t no pushover so him Spinelli, and Vinny all go to meet these clowns and give them a beat down. Me and Mickey hang back and keep shooting damned if these guys don’t start cappin Tony and his boys like they were nothing then one of the brothers comes chargin our way. Just before he gets to us I swear I see a dude with freaking lizard claws for hands. WTF worst game day ever. DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT GO to the Moat House INN that place is murder on your vacation.

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A Cultist Waits

Ten men huddle together in a dank basement. They wear only stained undergarments, their black robes long since discarded in a rotting pile. All of them have sunken, sallow features. Skin is taught against ribs and lips ache from thirst. Still, a fanatical defiance is in the air.

The smallest man’s eyes dart to each of his companions. Half of them are sleeping. The other half are delirious from thirst and boredom. He raises a hand to the iron bolt above his head. He can see the light peeking around the edges of the trapdoor. Too long. This is madness. He’ll die down here.

“For the hundredth time, Salaan, you know we can’t go out there. It’s war.”

“How do you know, Adolpho? We’ve heard nothing. Not even a guard. Maybe those men just had the wrong idea, and don’t even know what we are.”

“Oh, sure, a murderous group of zealots comes knocking, slays our Blessed Eater and what…just forgets about us? Goes off on some adventure, like there’s not a " his voice lowers to a tight whisper " cult under their very feet? No. Mark these words. That group of vicious killers is out there, hunting our brethren. They have our number, and they won’t stop until they’ve cut us out of Seamoore. They spend every hour of every day seeking us because they fear us. We wait until they feel confident in their victory, then rush from our hiding place and take them by surprise. It’s the only way."

“I suppose you’re right. We can make it a few more days off the rats”, says Salaan. He slumps back onto the stone floor, but takes out his dagger and begins to sharpen.

At that moment, a call arises from the street outside. “The tarragon! We’ve slain it! It took us a month, but we bombed it dead. Truly, we are this region’s premiere problem solvers.”

“Well, fuck” mutters Adolpho.

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Battle Map
Exactly what it looked like

Battlepic b w
Photoshop Master

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Kill the Dragon, KILL THE DRAGON!!!

 While I was completely ready to spend the rest of my existence hiding or running from the terrifying beast we met last week in the moat house, my cohorts ultimately convinced me that he would only get stronger and our world would only increasingly become populated by more over-grown monster beasts if we did not act immediately to take him out.  Still shaking in my boots, we traveled to a nearby seer with expert knowledge of tarragons and paid him well to learn that poison would likely be completely ineffective. We considered at length how to convince the 100 or so nearby bandits to help us take him down, but the idea of bringing two unpredictable enemies together with us anywhere near seemed a volatile recipe for a most unpleasant slaying of our entire party. Our next thought was to get him to swallow some shrapnel grenades, but ideas for getting him to eat said grenades reliably were in short supply.  Finally, and with unknown potential consequences to any treasure or captives within the moat house, we settled on bombs (having an alchemist around is useful after all).

Oceanus did our reconnaissance and we learned that the dragon periodically left the moat house and flew in random directions for about an hour at a time, giving us plenty of time to set up an exploding trip-wire trap just inside the large moat house doors.  He also learned that the mayor is more corrupt than we had previously though possible.  It would seem that he is in league with the dragon as we he was seen traveling solo into the moat house and then leaving and heading back to town a short while later.  We definitely need to take that guy out sooner rather than later if he is working with evil entities from other dimensions bent on taking over and destroying our world.

So Asmodeus works hard and gets two mini kegs full of black powder and around 25 vials of alchemist fire ready to go while Oceanus sneaks back into the moat house to ensure that we will have a good place to set up the trap. At the same time, TBD and I hire some locals to make us come ghillie tarps and outfits.   We were finally ready.  All of us head down to the moat house.  Oceanus submerges in the water preparing to signal us once the dragon finally leaves again.  The rest of us wait in the reeds nearby under our tarps.  It’s not long before we hear the signal and we rush in to set the trap.  The trip wire is strung across the floor and carefully camouflaged.   About 25 vials of alchemist fire are hid just behind and over the door waiting to fall on his back.  Finally, two single vials are hung over each side of the door readied to fall onto the fuses of the two mini kegs of black powder on either side of the door.

With the trap set, we go back out and wait under our tarps once more.  Before long, the terrible beast returns.  He lands in the courtyard and there are many long seconds of silence while we wait and hope that the trap will work. Finally, we hear the giant explosion and everyone rushes the moat house.  I transform into a radiant angel planning to drop more alchemist fire onto the tarragon from overhead.  As we enter the courtyard, we do in fact see that the moat house foyer has collapsed onto the beast and he is down but not out.  Our ranged attacks prove useless, but our warriors work well stabbing and slicing out his remaining life.  Unfortunately, just before succumbing to the complete loss of the top of his skull, the dragon is able to get a single nonlethal swipe on Will and a final breath attack on Hamrock leaving us nothing to mourn but a single pair of smoking boots.

And then silence. It is all over as we stare in stunned silence that we have accomplished the impossible.  We have taken out a giant dragon and almost all of us have survived.  I am shocked beyond belief. Sieg-Freed Enroy must truly have stood by us today.

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Overheard

Overheard at the Fish’s Cock

A tall man hunches over a table. Two empty wine bottles and dozens of scroll fragments litter the ground. He’s been here every night for weeks. A parade of odd-looking characters stop by every hour or two to check on him.

<to himself> “…but the goddamn thing roasts us. Can’t risk open ground. A way. Those precious bodily fluids. Gallons…” He hushes as a barmaid makes her rounds near him. “…thirty and a half by width. Where will it be? Will poison spoil? Don’t want it blown to chunks for the river to sweep away. Never afford my master’s program with these interest rates”

A dwarf wearing leathers and a platemail breastplate slinks in, apparently having entered through the kitchen. He approaches the gangly mutterer and puts a rough hand on his shoulder. The scribe jumps at the intrusion, but his eyes soften as he recognizes the dwarf. The two sit and share swigs from the dwarf’s flask. The tall man repeatedly jabs at two papers, becoming more animated.

“It WILL work. I know more now. It won’t be like last time. They’ll give out, and we’ll have a window to rush in and finish it off.”

The dwarf nods, but scowls and remains silent.

“Who knows what’s in there? Maybe enough for us to retire. Go back to the city. Or the hold. Just follow the plan. Stay clear of its mouth and nothing can go wrong.”

The dwarf’s shoulders slump, and he leaves.

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Here there be dragons

So today we thought we would take a quiet stroll around the area to the east of town, and maybe look for some clues as to why more people don’t travel this way.  It started out as a lovely day, and before long we ran into a nice country-boy elf sitting on the side of the road. He kindly warned us of the thieves camp to the north, no doubt the clue we’ve been looking for, and the nearby moat house rumored to house a dragon.  

Being the curious group that we are, we of course head straight for the dragon assuming that in reality this is just a rumor spread among the locals to keep them from finding the treasure. 

Upon reaching the moat house we spot a 6 ft tall dead frog floating in the moat. It appears he has served as an incubator for several unknown creatures that have now moved on. Clearly not killed by a dragon, we cross the newly constructed bridge and peer into the courtyard. No one is about, but there are many footprints and a giant dark stain on the stairs across the way. Upon noting that some of these prints are 4-5 feet long, Asmodeus and I feel that perhaps we should leave while we can.  I can only assume that TBD felt these print were left here to further the ruse as he continued across the yard to confirm that the giant dark stain was in fact blood. 

About this time, the broken doors of the moat house fly open revealing something worse than we had imagined. Not only is it a dragon, but it is a huge evil dragon from another plane of existence bent on invading our peaceful land (oh, and eating us). Using my mad talking skills, I am briefly able to delay our doom. We learn that he has other captives within that serve as his playthings, and futilely attempt to get him to attack the thieves camp nearby by telling him they are an army amassing against him.  Ultimately his patience runs thin and he approaches Asmodeus intent on a snack. Thinking quick, Asmodeus flings his entire sack of alchemical items into the dragons open mouth giving him the slightest head start at escape. Everything in the sack explodes at once injuring the dragon slightly and healing him almost as much. It does have the happy effect of preventing fire breathing and after only receiving one tail swipe, we are all able to escape to safety. Oddly, it would seem that something is holding the dragon within the moat house’s walls, but we are not fool enough to stick around and test this out.  
We run for our lives back toward town  long after the moat house and the dragon are out sight.  Eventually,   out of both breath and energy, we slow only slightly to rejoice in our narrow escape. Reaching the intersection that will lead us home, we notice the ground before us erupting only a second before we are confronted by three giant four-foot-long black angry beetles. Asmodeus and Will take the foreground while TBD and I start shooting. Quickly Asmodeus is gravely injured and starts to retreat.  He doesn’t get far before Will also goes down. Just as all seems lost, miraculously, TBD puts one to sleep and one of our shots smashes in the skull of another.  We slay the sleeping beetle, and Asmodeus loots them for ingredients to replenish his empty alchemy stash. 
Perhaps next time we consider taking a stroll across the countryside, we will remember this day and stay at home instead. 

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