Posts Tagged ‘Dungeons and Dragons’

I won’t make you break your Hippogriffic Oath.

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Dael’s Adventure Part 14

Start from the beginning

Here is a map of the Ziggurat as a visual aid. Every other round the water raised 5 feet, slowly flooding the area. The party started in the large blue squares, Doldrums in the center black square, and the Hexer, Protector, Shadowcaster and Reaper in the other four black squares.

Map of the Ziggurat

Ziggurat of Doldrums

Did I mention that the Ziggurat had 4 spires, one at each corner, and on these spires four minions. Solei and I were a bit separated from the rest of the party. We started in the NW, while everyone else was to the south. I spotted a hexer and rushed towards her, knowing full well the havoc casters can cause, however I was unable to reach her before she could cast a spell at me.  I’ve seen this one before, and steeled myself for an uncontrollable laughing fit, but the joke she chose to empower the spell with was one I’d heard before, so I was able to “kill” it by explaining how the original Elven version was better. It was about a thief who fell from the 4th story stairway, and the guards mentioned that it was his last theft, however in Elven ‘flight’ (as in flight of stairs) and theft sound nearly identical so it was a funny because of word play. However by this time I’d closed and she decided that gravity was safer than me and did her best impression of the thief, stepping off the side of platform. I swiftly slid down after and gave her a few thumps with my staff.

Meanwhile Solei climbed towards the other baddie on the nearby spire and Vyrez and company faced off against a Reaper and Shadowcaster. I did my best to climb up to the next level to the south, but I’m fairly certain everyone was to busy to see my first attempt fail disastrously. On my second try rather then going for climbing, I jumped off the back wall and then up. Did I mention that the water was steadily rising? By this point the lowest level of the ziggurat was completely flooded. Climbing the tower was tiring work, but I did make my way up to were Doldrums had been directing the battle. She was a worthy opponent, and was able to deflect many of my blows that would otherwise have connected. Solei was doing well against the protector until Doldrums called on the water to push her away. Vyrez, Hubert and Mortia were having some difficulty with the other two. Vyrez managed to get up a level but the other two were stuck treading water.

The Protector was trying to protect Doldrums, but he should have tried to protect himself. A few blows to unprotected pressure points left him paralyzed on the ground and I was able to get in send a dozen blows reigns upon Doldrums, a few of which even connected. Solei meanwhile had Misty Stepped back, though she overstepped a little and ended up in the water. Mortia who had been enwrapped by watery tentacles managed to break free. Doldrums shadow jaunted away from me again, forcing me to leap back and forth around the ziggurat in a most unbecoming manner (jumping has never been my strong suite).

Hubert was surrounded but cast some sort of protective magic making it difficult for the Reaper and Shadowcrafter to even attempt to attack him. I found out at this point that there were elemental sharks in the water, I managed to dodge and grab onto one, though once it realized it was pulling me where I wanted to go it dispersed. However it was enough that I could make it up the Northwest spire again and close with Doldrums, again landing fewer blows than I should. Now Vyrez was entangled by the water tentacles, and threatened by the Reaper, so when yet again Doldrums Shadow Jaunted away from me, I made the much shorter trip back and finished off the Reaper. During all of this Solei had achieved the central summit and began flinging magical bolts at Doldrums, finally finishing her off.

The water and ziggurat receded, and in it’s wake the entire Red Light district was revealed to be gone. Worse, the rest of the city was on fire. The smell was disturbingly delicious. As we made our way towards the clock tower Hubert discovered the Manticore, which apparently got wounded sometime in the interim since we last saw it. He was able to heal it some and gain it’s trust, though it’s wings will probably take some serious magic to be fully healed. Once we got closer to the clock tower, we tried to disguise ourselves as “on fire” people… and while I knew the plan wouldn’t work, I didn’t want to say it was because I had doubts about most of their acting ability. It turns out my hunch was born out, as only Solei and myself went unnoticed, and the others where ushered inside by the guards.  Solei and I then decided to try and sneak in, there were a couple of the exploding ninjas and Solei tried to convince them that we should be on the other side of the door, while behind their backs I picked the lock and strolled inside.  The two guards “escorted” us inside … though really they were just following us. It was at this point that the four Diviners we’d defeated appeared, though something wasn’t quite right. When their mouths opened their heads split open, and fire began spewing forth it was obvious. In seconds as we sought cover, the rest of their bodies melted, leaving only a flying flaming skulls (well 4 of them!)

Splish Splash, this isn’t my idea of a bath.

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Dael’s Adventure Part 13

Start from the beginning

In the central hallway a giant water form emerged. Hubert explained that it was a water elemental but didn’t have any great advice on how to deal with it. So Vyrez tried stabbing it (splish) and I tried punching it (splash) to no effect. Then we noticed a small whirlpool in each of the six rooms. The first whirlpool investigated had some sort of terrifying dream nightmare beast full of blades and pain. Hubert later said dispatching them was as simple as hitting them in the “no-no” place, and that he’d dispatched one easily, but none of us saw it. Further it became apparent that some of the whirlpools contained icy monsters that were practically indestructible. Finally there was occasionally a third type of water monster, a smaller elemental I guess? This was easily dispatched and each time we did so all of the other whirlpools (and the monsters within) would dissipate and then reform. Better still, doing this seemed to hurt the big watery monster in the center of the room. I won’t bore you with the precise details, suffice to say Honch and Vyrez were both on deaths door, and if it had taken us but a minute more Vyrez would probably have bleed to death from the wounds inflicted on him by the Stabby whirlpool monsters. Fortunately I was able to move through the water fairly quickly with a slightly modification to the Sake Stumble Home technique and get to the last of the vulnerable monsters after which the water began to recede and the monsters disappeared. Then Solei, Hubert and Mortia were able to stabilize Vyrez at the very last moment.

After a brief rest we climbed the stairs and were able to make it not only to the third floor, but eventually to the roof. Honch suggested an area of the ward that had practically no lights as the likely “home” of Doldrums, and using another ladder that Hubert produced from his wonderous cloak we were easily able to travel from roof to roof and arrive at what turned out to be the Post Office. Solei let us in as it was closed for the night. After searching the building to no avail we ended up congregated in the break room trying to decide where to go next. I examined the “coffee” which was so old it had practically turned into tar, and Honch worked some sort of cooking magic on it, turning into not just palatable, but exquisite espresso with decorative foam on top. Just then the center of the break room opened up into a yawning abyss, a whirlpool of form and darkness that was hard to look upon. We fastened Solei’s grapnel hook to a wall and descended as there seemed little other option in this dream scape. It turned out to be the appropriate choice, as the whirlpool, after a brief disorienting journey deposited us in a great plaza in what may well have been the center of the Red Light District. Moments later a great stepped  Ziggurat raised out of the ground, as if multiple separate dreams where colliding. From the top burst Doldrums who proceeded to whinge that Darkness was so angry, and only she’d be able to keep her happy or something along those lines.

The Big Pillow Fight

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Dael’s Adventure Part 12

Start from the beginning

Upon “defeating” Desire we returned to the Drawing Room, where Honch was indeed encaged.  However Desire’s henchmen were ready and waiting for us. A square room, with one end raised higher (where Honch’s cage was) with a smaller rectangle in the middle of the room full of pillows. So many pillows in fact that moving threw it was a bit difficult. Arrayed at the back of the room were two Dread Reapers, a Hexer and a Shadowcaster.

I threw a couple of feints at one of the Reapers and then proceeded to Honch’s cage but, being unable to pick the lock while wildly swinging on the cage I abandoned him and returned to the fight. After a couple of attempts things were looking pretty dire, so I abandoned him and returned to the fight. The Shadowcaster apparently had some sort of Aura that made it hard to see or connect with her minions, and Vyrez was knocked out of the fight , and then Hubert shortly after also succumbed. Finally it was down to just the Shadowcaster left, and upon realizing that Solei and I pretty much had the combat in hand she fled through some magical means. Her retreat may have also been precipitated by Honch’s escape from his cage, which he finally managed via main force.

Mortia was able to revive Hubert who was able to revive Vyrez. We then scarped off to the Baker Guildleader’s house where we’d previously set up as temporary home base. Cilla was able to do a little for Vyrez’s weakened state, but some of the effect of Dread’s curse on him were too strong to completely remove apparently.

It was decided we’d stop in the Adventurer’s district to see if we couldn’t find some sort of magic item to finish curing Vyrez, but the entire district had been transmogrified by the dream into essential the biggest tavern ever. I succumbed to temptation and join in the revelries whilst the others looked for something that might help. Eventually they gave up, and I finished up the song I was singing as payment for the fine spirits I’d been drinking and then lead the party out of the tavern, and we proceeded on towards the Red Light district where the penultimate diviner was likely located.

Knowning this was likely Doldrums’s domain it was little surprise that the area was rather boring, what was interesting was that as we proceeded the area got more boring… less shops, less differences in the streets. We eventually entered a tenement building that was particularly boring, and entirely empty. As we proceeded the second floor was basically identical to the first. The third floor was literally identical to the second, the rooms number 2A, 2B, etc … after a bit more going up, and then going back down we discovered we were trapped on the second floor. After many false starts and much experimentation we eventually broke through the walls and smashed open one of the pipes therein. From this pipe flooded water which slowly filled the floor, gushing down the stairs, but fortunately not pouring down from the floor “above” us… as the water reached waist high, forms grew out of the water and battle was joined.

Apparently we’re not the only pawns

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Dael’s Adventure Part 11

Start from the beginning

After a brief discussion we decided the mostly likely place that Solei would be was the Noble District, which conveniently was just a short ways away from the park area… We had no trouble at all crossing the wall and entering the dark, yet somehow jovial swamp surrounding the area. Once there we discovered a series of guarded areas which… well this is going to sound crazy, but we were able to discern the patrol patterns of the guards, and use that to sneak by them. After skirting through a half dozen different estates we finally found the Lord’s Manor where we suspected one of the Diviners was located. Hubert was sure it was Doldrums, which would have made sense considering the ease with which we slipped by the guards.

We found a side entrance that lead to the wine cellar. No one seemed to have a plan so while Hubert, Mortia and Vyrez discussed the situation, I liberated and sampled a few of the finer vintages. I’d just started on sampling a very fine white grown not too far north of the Monastery when it was decided to venture deeper into the mansion looking for Solei. We talked to a servant (very snooty) from whom we discerned that Solei was to be some sort of “Entertainment” … My supposition that it was to be some sort of gladiatorial fight turned out to be wrong, instead she was held in a cage suspended from the ceiling, and apparently she was to be auctioned off as a slave later in the evening.

Unable to come up with a plan for busting her out on the spot, Vyrez tried to mock start a duel with me, but he basically said “I challenge you to pretend to have a duel” which kind of gave the ruse away before it even had a chance to be swallowed. Hubert decided there was little point in waiting and lofted a vial of acid at the support holding the cage but it had little noticeable effect. Meanwhile the guards were trying to escort us out so I did my best to get their attention and then lead them on a merry chase through the crowds, drawing them away from the rest of the party. The orchestra managed to switch to an amazingly timely tune and as I drew them away Hubert put up a ladder, which Mortia climbed; however she was unable to pick the lock on the cage, so I followed up the ladder, drawing the guards after me which ended up being more than the ladder could easily support. Vyrez valiantly held the ladder up as the comedic climbing continued. Then the music stopped and Desire appeared and offered to release Solei if we’d stop interrupting the proceedings. We agreed and move from the Drawing Room to the Parlor where we had a very long and interesting discussion about Darkness’s plan; Desire’s willingness to allow for someone else to enact it; injustice and inequality in whom is considered a civilized race. His arguments where actually fairly persuasive and reasonable, and he seemed willing to work out a favorable deal in exchange for us letting him fake his demise and granting our desires we’d assist him in bringing equality to civilization on the continent. Of course the first step is to rescue our erstwhile companion Honch who apparently was also to be sold into slavery but we somehow missed him amongst the slave cages in the Drawing Room.

There’s nothing to Dredd but Dredd himself.

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Dael’s Adventure Part 10

Start from the beginning

We barely had a chance to exchange greetings with Mortia and Hubert before Dredd and his 2 cohorts joined battle. Well, that’s not exactly true. We were in a large room, 6 sided, but not hexagonal, rather more like a square with two corners cut out. In a big arc around the back (and sides) where the “cut outs” were was a large raised wooden and metal platform without railing or adornment. A tight spiral staircase surmounted each end of this platform so there was a sort of central area surrounded by this raised stage. If you’ve ever been in a church you might be forgiven for thinking there were stained glass windows, except these were all done in blacks and reds, and even the reds might be better described as black. I didn’t really get a chance to examine them until after the fight, which is probably for the best. I won’t describe the actual content of the pictures, suffice to say the scenes they depicted were terrifying and had I known their contents before hand I’d been much more hesitant to engage Dredd and his malefic minions.

As I said Dredd finished his monologue about how scary he was, which lacked a certain weight seeing as he’d claimed Teawrecks was more terrifying and we’d already bested the metal beast. However when Solei accepted his baleful deal to trade her presences for our previous companions, with a logic that only seems to work in dreams, she disappeared and they returned, and Mortia was evidently quite upset for before anyone could react she was calling down magic upon them. Honch moved up to attacked the heavily armored one on the left while Hubert stepped forward and tossed acid at Dredd. Vyrez judged the distance to far to reach any of them so drew a pistol and began firing upon Dredd. It took me but a second to get my bearings, and I vaulted up the stairs on the right, focusing my Ki and rolling forward to deliver 17 Fist That Silence the Tiger just as the Hexer began her incantation. After only 4 blows she reeled back and collapsed. Dredd then cast some foul magic which made everyone so afraid of failure that failing to connect was physically painful. Hubert later told me that this was called Kakorraphiophobia, but I suspect he’s making it up; that can’t be a real word. This ended up working against them as we were as able to dodge as they. Honch meanwhile had stuck to his oeuvre and knocked the other minion off the platform and then come down on top of him like a ton of bricks (or an angry half-ork, which might be worse.) For a brief period I was pretty sure that Dredd was not a person at all, but rather a suit of armor piloted by spiders. Fortunately I was unable to communicate this to the rest of the part because Mortia had put a zone of silence on us, and as it turns out this was some sort of dreadful illusion put in my head by Dredd. However with the full focus of the party on him Dredd was not able to stand up to our combined might.

Unfortunately Solei was not returned to us upon Dredd’s demise, so after a brief rest we continued on, heading to the last major landmark in the area, the Silo. We found it without too much trouble, and climbed it where we were set upon by some more ghosts and Shadow folk. We managed to dispatch them, but during the fight Honch got into a tug of war with one of the ghosts over one of Hubert’s potions and together they vanished 80 feet or more below to whatever was at the bottom of the Silo.

Some day soon you’ll ride a duck

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Dael’s Adventure Part 9

Start from the beginning

Fortunately for us  Teawrecks wasn’t very observant and we were all able to sneak past it. We quickly decided we’d try and lure it into the elevator shaft and so I trailed it to give warning if it  came back whilst the other three devised a cunning plan involving steel cable and industrial strength mayonnaise. Fortunately the mechanical beast made it’s way back just after they’d completed the trap. Solei hanging from a rope in the elevator shaft got it’s attention and pulled herself up just in time, the dinosaur slipped on the mayo-slick Honch had prepared and then tripped over the steel cable tripwire Vyrez     had strung in front of the the elevator shaft. Or it would have worked, except Vyrez had tied one end of the wire to a barrel, and the other to the support that Solei was hanging from. The monster did end up going down the shaft but was able to launch itself across and land 3 floors down. Unfortunately it also drug the support that Vyrez and Solei were hanging from after it, and if Honch and I hadn’t been very quick to rescue them they’d have gone down the shaft after the terror.

Apparently Mayo is flammable! Who knew? Well, Honch is a cook, so I guess he did, which would explain why he lit a couple of torches and tossed them down onto the now Mayonated monstrosity, setting it aflame. Then the three of them started hurling the spikes they’d prepared as a fallback defense down at the Teawrecks. With the terror looking a little worse for wear the three of them decided to descend in the elevator with the remaining spikes to try and finish it off. Turns out it was doing better than expected and had stopped, dropped and rolled, putting the condimental fire out. They got past it, but it then leapt on top of the elevator car. I tossed the remaining Mayo and just to be sure the remains of my liberated jar of whisky on top, hoping to reignite the flames of it’s demise. Solei and Vyrez enacted some complicated plan which involved rubble and flying, the exact details of which I’m still a little unclear on, while Honch rode the elevator back up. Honch used a spike to rub sparks off the elevator cable and reset the undying thing back on fire and finally we were reunited a few floors above the beast. Solei was suggesting going back down, but I could see the elevator cables didn’t look to sturdy so I lowered the elevator back down empty and sure enough it was stupid enough to climb in, as the elevator struggled to come back up to us Honch hammered the cable while Solei cast some sort of mystical power at it and moments before Teawrecks returned to our floor to wreck us the cable snapped sending it plummeting dozens of stories to it’s destruction.

We made our way to the bottom, and were pleased to find a distinct lack of the remains of Mortia and Hubert in the rubble. However we found a magic gem, which nearly killed Vyrez, and a note that said: “They haven’t been eaten, it’s worse than that. -Love Dredd”.

Upon exiting the tower and heading to the next spire we eventually found Dredd and he offered us a terrible choice, one of us would have to trade our lives for that of our captured companions. Solei quickly accepted the martyrdom, but both of our missing companions were returned within a hairs breadth of death.

Victorian London meets Blade Runner

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Dael’s Adventure Part 8

Start from the beginning

While we recovered there was a short discussion of which of the remaining options to investigate, and while a few of us thought it might be worthwhile to check in with Cilla, the majority felt that pressing forward and heading straight to the park was the best option. We made it there without incident, well aside from the fact that the beautiful park had been transformed, likely by the nightmares of the city residents, into a calamity of metal, spikes and fire. Rusty steel spires pierced the the sky, which was obscured by exhaust from the multitude of oily fires gushing blood red smoke which provided an eerie flickering light.

Vyrez and Honch climbed up one of the towers to scout ahead and then they quickly climbed back down, warning us nearly too late of the return of the Manticore. This time he brought a giant animated shrubbery, apparently the official name of which was the TREE MAN FIGHTER OF THE GROUND MAN. Mortia launched a warning shot into it before it could surprise us, but it still managed to get the drop on Solei, engulfing her and pulling her inside it’s writhing mass. Whilst trying to knock it senseless, or pull her out she managed to stab me. I’m sure it was an accident though and eventually Honch managed to pull her out and finish it off with his hammer. All the while Hubert was running around providing healing droughts and Mortia and Vyrez were shooting at both monsters. Once the fighting tree was still I tried to entice the Manticore to come fight again so I could bop it on the head but instead it fled.

Solei lead us deeper into the nightmare park, though not where she intended we found ourselves in a vast, towering building full of machinery, metal walkways, and a confusing profusion of interconnected devices beyond my ken. Hubert (I think it was Hubert, I may have been a bit distracted) told me I was standing in an “elevator shaft” and once I moved out they called down a terrifyingly rickety platform which then took us up. And up. And up. After several minutes of ascending, hundreds of feet up in the tower, shadowy hands sprang from the floor, though as only Mortia was wearing a dress she was the only one caught by them. Three shadows took form, and Vyrez made short work of them with a little help from the rest of us, but before they were finished they managed to touch bare skin on both Hubert and Mortia, sapping their vitality and leaving them particularly weakened.  Thus enervated they decided to stay at the elevator to see if Hubert could concoct some sort of remedy while the other four of us proceeded onwards.

A bit more search and Honch again found a room he didn’t want to go into, which is of course were we needed to go. Inside the Diviner Dredd, most desirous of making us live up to his namesake tried to convince us that he was only the second scariest thing in the tower, we were all doomed, everything was terrible, and each time we defeated one of them the remaining ones would become even more powerful. Yet he himself dreaded facing us and fled, warning us that the true threat was menacing our erstwhile companions.

We returned to the lift only to find Mortia and Hubert absent, and as we set out to search for them we heard an arrhythmic thumping that sounded different from the machines within the structure. Seeking the source was for not until a terrifying metal monstrosity emerged from a corridor behind us. Apparently this was the Dinosaur, or some nightmare dream version of Teawrecks at least. The beast everyone keeps telling me we aren’t supposed to fight. So we’ll have to devise some other way to best it… maybe we can lure it off a cliff or something? A weak catwalk? We’ll have to think fast!

To die, to sleep – to sleep, perchance to despair

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Dael’s Adventure Part 7

Start from the beginning

And yet again Honch’s military training is counting well for us. Entering the barracks, he conducted a surprise inspection, keeping the two guards busy while Solei and I snuck into the laundry room and liberated some uniforms. Mostly they fit, though since Solei was the one to smuggle everything out her uniform was hilariously voluminous after departed and distributed the uniforms to the rest of the party. I feel like we all looked quite fetching in military uniform.

Next we arrived at the armory, but it turns our out clever disguises were for not, for some massive mastiff hounds were guarding the entrance. Honch attempted to bribe them with food, but apparently they were too well trained, and so Vyrez bopped one on the head. With little other option we quickly entered a scrum with the devilish dogs who upon expiration discorporated in fantastic and disquieting manners. The first turning into a goo and then growing into animated grass. Whilst we were fighting Solei used some mystical trickery to appear inside the gate but failed to pick the lock, following which Hubert tossed acid on it and Solei used a cannon to ram the weakened door open. Once we had finished the second dog it exanded and the shrank, fluttering around and making a shrieking farting noise like a pierced balloon. Hubert and Mortia raided the armory whilst Honch gathered up the requisite materiel to operate the cannon.

Once we headed into the prison proper looking for the Diviner Honch figured out that the feeling of dread was actively trying to keep us away. The less we wanted to go a direction, the more likely it was the right way and with his direction it wasn’t long before we found ourselves in an amphitheater like room designed as a fighting pit. Here stood Despair as well as three of her minions.

They used all manner of magical and psychological tricks to make us despondent and unwilling to fight, but we managed to hold it together, encouraging each other and fighting off their malicious malaise long enough to best them in combat. The destruction of the Diviner resulted in weirdly pulsing, expanding and contracting shadow ball that finally expanded to encompass the entire arena faster than any of us could react. However it’s wake left a temporary area of invigorating tranquility, allowing us a chance to rest and recuperate.

 

Basingstock has such lovely sewers

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Dael’s Adventure Part 6

Start from the beginning

As we made our way to the tenement district Hubert explained a bit about Night Hags to us. Apparently they are super powerful dream creatures that consume the life force of people through a straw. Enroute we got into a bit of a discussion about whether to take the main streets or a more direct route through smaller streets. As we traveled through the apartment district several of the Basingstock natives commented that the area seemed shadier than usual, with a certain menace to it not normally found. This grew even worse once we reached the tenements. There was a river that looked to be full of crocodiles or worse, but it didn’t take too long to figure out that we the likely place for a Night Hag would be under the district in sewers or catacombs.

There weren’t any big signs saying “Sewer Entrance Here” so I suggest the possibility of smuggling tunnels leading out from the basement of a bar. Ultimately this was mainly an excuse so that Solei and I could liberate some top shelf whiskey, and whilst we were doing so Vyrez found us our secret entrance into the sewers. Once down there I was the first to hear it, but it wasn’t long before others did as well, an ominous, nay creepy, echoing laughter, as if from a child coming first from one tunnel, then another. Moments later we were ambushed by more of the exploding ninjas. I spent much of the battle flailing ineffectually, mostly because I never did pay much attention to the blind fighting lessons and I was closing my eyes each time I threw a punch to try and avoid getting blinded again.  Though on the bright side, my blind drunk defensive technique was actually pretty effective at avoiding their blows in return.

Once we had defeated them, a bit more wandering in the sewers eventually led us to a weird portal, and we found the Night Hag. Apparently she was limited to sucking up a single soul per night, so was tired and sullen. We explained the situation to her, and she suggested that probably the Diviners were anchoring the city in the dreaming, and if we could defeat them we could restore the regular cycle of day and night. She agreed to help us locate where they were likely holed up, I think largely to get us to shut up. After climbing to the top of a temple she suggested our likeliest targets were the Clock Tower (which we kind of already knew) the Park, the Red Light District, the Lord’s Keep and the Garrison.

We decided to attempt the Garrison District first, Hubert was brash and used acid to burn a hole in the iron fence, and when we were confronted by a guard, Honch used military discipline to tell of the guard. Once inside we decided to attempt to disguise ourselves as soldiers while we searched for the Oneironaught responsible.

Maybe the zombie works here? Oh, you already killed it.

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Dael’s Adventure Part 5

Start from the beginning

With the location of our new headquarters picked out, Cilla began setting it up while Team Intern went to investigate the Temple  of Pharasma. I really should have paid more attention during religious studies, though to be fair the Order never really put too much effort into explaining the gods, but Master Thevarada always said worship was a personal affair, that it was tangential to the pursuit of appreciation. Regardless, if I had spent a bit more time I might have realized that since Pharasma is the goddess of death, it would be the obvious place to look for information about a corpse! Plus apparently the Necromancer Sammael was friends with the Medical Examiner who worked there. Boy, a city sure is complicated. Though I have read several logs of initiates who went to Hornshroud, it all seemed to make much more sense; I wonder how much of this weirdness is due to the whole waking dream situation? I kind of feel like not so much since none of the others seem particularly bothered by any of this.

The Temple, once we arrived and went inside seems awfully decrepit but we perservered, splitting into two groups this time, with Solei, Hubert and I heading to the administrative rooms to look for records, whilst the others headed down to the morgue in case the Medical Examiner was there. Spoilers, she totally was, and I heard later from Honch that she had a weird zone of music that was so loud it was physically painful, but was limited in area. I really wish I’d gone with that group as that sounds amazingly unusual, and much more interesting than looking through records, a thing I was basically no help with. My boredom did end up working out for us as I spotted the first zombie well before it got to us. I closed the door whilst we discussed what to do, then I opened the door and again and Solei made short work of the foul creature slicing off it’s arm and head almost before Hubert could even ask what was going on.

Shortly after the rest of the group returned with the Medical examiner, I think her name was Abbae; She looked weird: pale and washed out as if seen at dusk, yet that may have just been an illusion caused by the fact that everything else around her was not just thrown in stark relief, but appeared more real, and also more clean and upkept, almost as if she was providing window into the waking world. She seemed to have a better grasp of the filing system and agreed to help us look, which is when I again noticed more zombies. It was a good thing we’d regrouped, as there were a lot more of them, and I’ll admit this was one of my least favorite brawls I’ve ever been in. Half the time when I punched or kicked one of them, rather than sending them sprawling my fist or foot would end up going into them and come out covered in rotting bits.

We had almost finished off the putrescent corpses when there was a great crash and a huge skeleton, that looked like it was an agglomeration of man and bison smashed through the wall into the main admin chamber. It was then that I had what might have been a tremendously foolhardy idea, but I went over to try and get a closer look, as I’d never seen anything like it before. It was far too big to fit through the door so I might have taunted it a bit, as at that time I hadn’t realized it had already smashed through one wall. When it rushed forwards to try and gore me I dodged to the side, thinking it would smack the wall and  the rest of the interns would come to my aide, but things didn’t play out that way at all… for starters several of the zombies had some sort of paralytic effect, stunning both Honch and Vyrez making it so they could barely walk meanwhile the Skeletal Minotaur’s charge missed me but destroyed the wall. Vyrez called out some sort of challenge to the beast, which it seemed inclined to accept, except that it couldn’t figure out how to get around me. At this point it occurred to me to try the Fist of Cracking Boulders technique which is well known to break ribs in normal people so I rarely have used it outside of practice, but this thing was basically all ribs! And low it was effective, every punch I threw cracked and shattered ribs, and emboldened by efforts Vyrez and Honch joined battle drawing it’s attention off of me. There was also some mystical light of some kind which I assumed was manifested at the behest of Mortia, as I’d seen her create a similar attack against the Ebonbiter thugs.

Anyways, we were able to defeat the undead hordes, and it wasn’t too long afterwards that Abbae found the information we needed. Or rather, that what we sought was basically unattainable as Sammael had pretty much split the corpse up into pieces and sold them to a variety of customers across the land. After a bit of discussion, and some more investigation by the more bureaucratically inclined a new plan was hatched, go to the tenements district (where there might be a living night hag) and (this is the part I’m not super clear on, I was kind of busy cleaning the gore off of myself) either killing it and presenting it to the diviners, or convincing it to help us break the spell on the city and have us all wake up.