Deathless Gods

Reckless Completionism

The two doors opened to a larger room with odd devices along the walls. Large metal clappers hung vertically along stone wall sections. If the clappers were pulled away from the wall and left to fall against the stone, they would send vibrations into the surrounding earth and draw out—what, some great worm? We weren’t about to find out. There was a natural burrow to the west that led to the river, and rooms to the south. We encountered no resistance and maybe picked up some items.

Bruised, low on spells, and feeling like even a tiny dagger stab would somehow explode our innards, we soldiered on. It was our moral duty to eliminate this bandit scourge, and reinvest their precious illbegotten wealth into the local economy.

We traveled to one of the last unexplored areas of the moat house and headed east down the wide corridor. On and on we walked, deeper and deeper into the ground. After 20 minutes of monotonous descent, we started imagining emerging in some sort of subterranean hell plane. We returned to the known corridors of the moat house and headed to where we thought the last bandits might hide.

We were right. We took a sharp corner and broke into the bandits’ kitchen. One man came at us with a cleaver while another raised the alarm with pots and pans. Of course they didn’t last long, but they probably didn’t expect to. Their compatriots had us cornered. A moment after the last cook fell, grenades rolled into the room from the corridor. A mass of twenty one bandits (including their leader Red) blocked our only exit. Noxious smoke filled most of the room, and we took cover to the sides of the door. Another round of explosives failed to finish us off, and we formulated an escape.

Antares’ dragon phased out of sight and reported on the bandits’ positions. When it returned, it summoned six dragonny friends and we prepared our rush. Two smokesticks were tossed out for cover, followed by an Alchemist’s Fist to knock them over if they were still grouped in the hallway. The summoned dragons led, followed by Nin, then Oceanous, then the rest. The bandits had retreated to either side of the previous corridor, and cut down half of the dragons immediately. Nin charged into the right batch while Antares burned down the left. The bandit lieutenants were a bit hardier, but even Red couldn’t stand up to Nin’s vorpal slashes. We won, gathered any gear we could find, and hightailed it out of there.

After a rest in the Alchemist’s House or anywhere safe, we plan to confront the false mayor, which will probably be a tough town-taking-over fight.

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Of Frogs and Men

Another day breaks, and Antaris is chomping at the bit to go back to the most house.  The last time they went, they brought back an amazing haul, and he is certain there is more to be found. 

We still haven’t figured out a cure for the red water, and the ignorant town folk are still drinking from it, convinced we are trying to hoard the magic water for ourselves.  However, there’s probably not much treasure there, so the moat house it is. 

Having learned better than to approach directly, we take a much longer route out and around. Nin only has to soothe seven crocs, and we are in. We head down into the lower level.  Everything looks much as it had until we reach a new area. We find a room full of toad cultist robes and quickly swipe some for later, just in case. A few rooms later we hear about twenty people talking on the other side of a door.  After several minutes of deliberation, I cast Silver Tongue and we agree to attack at the first sign of aggression. We walk in and I greet them. There are two frog-like priests in large hats and around fifteen other frog cultists hanging out in their barracks.  Suddenly, we are met with the most heinous voices I have ever heard. I can’t even think straight, they are so annoying. Truly anything that sounds that awful must die immediately. One of the priests starts casting, and black mist starts rolling out from him. It’s the aggressive action we were waiting for.  Nin rushes forward and beheads the two priests while Antaris incinerates the ones on the left with his flame breath. I cast song of discord on the group of cultists to the right causing them turn on each other while Oceanus charges in with a lightning fast staff flurry takes out seven of the nine. Two remain alive but surrender immediately. They begin speaking again, something about joining their cult, but again the sound is so grating I am unable to feel sympathy for these wretches. Thankfully, Oceanus deftly puts them out of their misery allowing me to think straight again. We find some loot on the guys and start checking the room. Oceanus finds the head priest’s quarters in the next room with a open door leading away from it. He fears someone has heard and fled our mayhem. We decide to chase this creature down. A room and a hallway later, we open the door on their sanctuary.

At the front, before a large altar, and at the top of several steps  is a frog man with a giant hat. In front of him are two more frog men flanked by six archers in the alcoves on each side. In the aisle up the middle, are several more frog men. Just as we are walking in the priest begins chanting and a giant fireball explodes just in front of me. The pain is outrageous.  My bodyguard, who mysteriously wasn’t there when I needed her, runs up and helps put out the flames. I notice that the same thing has happened to Antaris, but he appears unresponsive at the moment. I crawl behind the nearest column for cover and heal myself. Now that I can think of something more than pain, I realize that Nin has been seriously injured by a couple of well-placed arrows and has retreated behind a pillar in an attempt to survive. Oceanus, while hit, is still up and taking down bandits and toad cultists. The head priest has taken an arrow but is still going strong. Nin’s boa has just succumbed to attacks from six short swords. Things are not looking good. Quickly, I rush to the far alcove full of archers along with Antaris’ mini-dragon. Antaris lines up to breathe fire on the priest and his two protectors on the platform. Oceanus readies an attack against the head guys for as soon as the fire dissipates. It is do or die for all of us. 

Antaris breathes fire taking out the two body guards and knocking the head guy to the floor. Oceanus rushes in for the coup de grace, and takes out the leader then immediately takes cover on the floor as four arrows fly by and two find their mark.  I cast shout on the six archers in the right alcove exploding their heads. Fortunately, the remaining five archers have seen enough in the past few seconds. They surrender we tie them up. 

The party begins searching the bodies and the sanctuary while I take time to heal everyone.  We find some platinum bracers and an enormous cache of coins and gems. Antaris uses his rod of detect magic to discover a hidden chamber in the priest’s ready room containing even more gems, money, and a giant 800 lb ivory worm statue ( Everyone needs one of those. ). Antaris again uses the rod on the sanctuary but discovers nothing; however, Oceanus taps on all of the columns, checking for any hollow sounds and strikes pay dirt, literally. Opening the column reveals a short dirt tunnel. At its end is a single stone set into the ceiling. Carefully, Oceanus pushes it up and out of the way revealing a room. Within it are a single skeleton and mosaics on the plaster walls. Leaving no stone unturned, we demolish the plaster walls revealing two doors. 

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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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