Last week we left the gang standing outside the entrance of a Kobold lair eyeballing their Rust Monster security system and making plans to snatch one of the beasts to fulfill their contract to Thelray.
As they debate their strategy a small draconic head pokes from the entrance to the Kobold lair and inquires as to what they are doing. After some not-so-smooth talking fails Zattera steps up to the plate and convinces the Kobold guards to agree to a meeting with their leader, “Big Boss”. Hoping this will give them an angle to depose Big Boss so Bih can take over the clan as leader. The Kobold agrees to take a single representative to meet with Big Boss; debate begins withing the Curio Company as to who will go and represent the group. Gax pleads to be sent in, the Kobolds size up the group and agree among themselves that Gax is their pick as well as he is the, “biggest and meatiest” of the group. Sidron drapes his weasel familiar across Gax’s neck and Gax steps forward to be lead away.
Once inside the entrance the lead Kobold pulls a filthy rag out of his satchel and having Gax bend down, blindfolds him. Then another Kobold steps forward and each of the Kobolds take one of Gax’s massive hands and begin to lead him into their lair. Meanwhile outside in the ruined Modron Sewer tunnel… the gang starts to have second thoughts about sending a member of the team in alone…
The Kobolds carefully lead Gax around various traps and dangers, all the while Sidron keeping a perfect mental record of everything by observing everything through the eyes of his familiar. Gax is lead through some winding natural tunnels and, through a pen of tame Rust Monsters, and then through a sturdy wooden door (barred from the other side and opened with a special knock to the guards there). The floors become smooth under his feet and Sidron can now see that this part of the lair was at sometime an underground structure. The crumbling walls and ceilings having been carefully carved out long ago. Gax is lead into a large chamber where he hears heavy raspy breathing and is introduced to Big Boss.
Out in the tunnel Sidron, blind and deaf as he’s linked to his familar gasps to his friends, “MANTICORE!”
Back in the large chamber the eyes of the weasel familiar are locked onto the massive form of a corpulent Manticore with one broken and atrophied wing. It pushes its massive form off the floor and panting makes its way until it stands face-to-face with Gax. Hot putrid breath, that smells of death and rot, washes over Gax’s face as Big Boss asks what deal he brings to him. Gax makes an offer to fix the Modron problem that plagues the sewers but Big Boss feels that they have it under control with their Rust Monster deterrents. A few more moments of awkward conversation take place until enraged Big Boss slaps his fore-paw across Gax’s face carving a set of bloody gashes into his cheeks and dislodging the blindfold. For a split second Gax’s eyes flash to orbs of solid white then return to normal.
“Mr Manticore… i SUGGEST you sit down and we continue our conversation,” Gax calmly (but firmly) says as a pulse of arcane energy pulses our from him and washes over the Manticore. As Gax’s Suggestion spell flows into Big Boss he cocks his head from side to side, his eyes squint, his teeth bare. A great internal battle is raging within the massive Manticore… Then with muscles still tense as steel cables Big Boss begrudgingly sits down in front of Gax, hatred burning in his eyes. “So let me tell you why you should listen to me and my friends…” Gax begins his magical filibuster as the two Kobolds who led him into the chamber watch with interest and confusion.
Out in the hallway: when Sidron sees the giant paw strike Gax in the face he instantly releases his link with his familiar and snaps back to his friends, “We’ve gotta go!” he yells and leaps into action: bolts of magical energy leaping from his hands as he casts Magic Missile at the Kobolds watching them from their lair entrance, one is struck dead and the other wounded critically. The rest of the gang follows Sidron’s lead and leaps into action!
“So, yeah Torrik is sort of mopey sometimes but i think he just needs a hug… and boy do i want to just pick him up and squeeze him reeeeal good…” Gax continues as Big Boss grits his teeth, “I Don’t CARE!” he bellows.
What follows outside is a group of close companions rushing into a Kobold lair with wild abandon to save their friend! (Who they think is being torn limb-from-limb as they hack through all obstacles! Here’s an overview of the mayhem that takes place: MANY Kobolds are beheaded, cleaved in twain, de-brained, and dispatched by other various means. Wolrf takes such a savage blow from a perfectly placed sling stone that he is concussed; Magnus steps on a filthy stick hidden in a puddle of filth driving not just a sharpened stake into his foot but also whatever diseases it may carry, Torrik slides down a greased ramp and through a false floor into a 20′ deep pit that is filled with fungi harvested from deep underground, Several of them begin ear-splitting shrieks alerting any who don’t know of the party’s presence that they are there and two other mushrooms begin to lash out at Torrik striking him with root-like tendrils. Eventually the party makes its way to the Rust Monster Pen…
“…I do think Magnus is lonely. He’s very smart though. I mean VERY VERY smart…” Gax continues on. Meanwhile the two Kobold guards have decided to slide out of the great chamber and pursue a plan of their own.
The two Kobold guards approach the gang cautiously and after making a hasty truce they agree to lead them to their friend safely if they’ll dispatch Big Boss. The Kobolds have been swayed by seeing Gax use “strong magic” to make Big Boss sit down and listen to all he has to say. If one of them can force the Manticore to do their will alone they figure the whole group can surely kill him, freeing them from his reign.
“… so then the big mean boar attacked us and Torrik was thrown into the woods and i thought he was dead,” Gax sees his friends rushing into the chamber at this point, “Oh Mr Manticore, my friends are here now!” As Torrik rushes in blindly savagely bringing his hand axes down into the sides of Big Boss the rest of the party unleashes hell on it. Swords and bolts, spells and arrows strike home sinking into the thick sides of the Manticore. As Gax’s spell is broken and Big Boss’s rage is at first uncorked, then quelled by the amount of damage he’s taken, then transforms into fear as he realizes he’s outclassed in this fight Gax calmly pulls out his cannonball, “And now we’re done talking Mr Manticore…” With that Gax casts Catapult and hurls the metal sphere into the Manticore’s forehead. It strikes home deflecting up in a lazy arc to land on the floor to the side. Big Boss scowls and begins to move foward toward Gax. His knees buckle and instead of springing forward he crumples forward onto his face and with a great sigh slips into unconciousness!
That folks was our crazy week this week! Hope your party-splits turn out to be this entertaining!