Super Mega Monkey Ultra Extreme
Dungeons & Dragons Edition
Recap 23: Giant Trogs and Close Calls
December 13, 2008
They settled in at Griff's Inn in Betaya. The next day, the group split up. Josy and Brecaryn accompanied Snow to the Bard's Guild in response to the guild's request for a visit whenever the party was in Betaya. Alana and Oliver left to explore the city. Flerm struck out on his own. Malouf and Lieralyn remained at the Inn to guard the mirror - or rather, Lieralyn guarded the mirror and Malouf got aquainted with the local ale.
At the Bard's Guild, Nerin the Guildmaster inundated Snow, Brecaryn, and Josy with questions about their adventures over the last year. Aware of the influence the guild carried, but uncomfortable with and slightly suspicious of the avid curiousity, Snow tried to end the interview as quickly as possible without offending Nerin. She was unable to extract herself and the other two before Nerin could suggest they include a bard in their party.
Immediately after making his suggestion, Nerin brought in a bard named Don Picasso who claimed a friendship with Lashtal. As Snow had no recollection of a Don Picasso, she was not about to let him join their party. They did their best to discourage the bard by describing the hardships and dangers journeying with them would entail. In the end, Nerin accepted their refusal after extracting a promise of another visit with more information at some future date.
The three then trekked to the Mage's Guild library to do some research on Gloiterwome. Headmaster Kurgen greeted them with a note for Brecaryn from Roesh. It didn't contain good news. Gloiterwome had indeed entered this plane through the Great Pumpkin's swamp. Unfortunately, once she entered this plane, she became undetectable and the Roesh mages could not locate her. One possibility was that the dragon was hiding here in another form. As if fighting an undead dragon with a grudge wasn't bad enough, now they didn't even know what she looked like.
Kurgen pulled Brecaryn aside to talk to her about her method of spellcasting. He warned Brecaryn that what she was doing was extremely dangerous. It was not a method approved by the Guild, and in fact, they believed it weakened the barrier between planes. Brecaryn listened to his warnings quite attentively. After he walked away, she turned to her friends and rolled her eyes.
Meanwhile, Alana and Oliver overheard some city guards speaking about a sewer battle. Identifying themselves as part of the Motley Crew, Alana asked about the battle. Apparently, the troglodytes were not just waylaying travellers. They were making a concerted attack on the city, entering via the sewers. The guards were obviously worried. Their initial encounters with the trogs had not ended well.
Alana nodded sympathetically, saying the Motley Crew could probably help out. Then, "Hey, do you know of any weapons masters in the city?". Taken aback by the sudden shift in topic, the guards hesitated a few seconds before answering. The only one they'd heard of was a member of the Thieves' Guild named Otter, but the guild had been run out of the city years before by the guard.
After satisfying herself that they did not know anything else about weapons masters, Alana returned to the topic of the troglodytes. The guards told them that Knights of Phantar and every available city guard were going into the sewer to confront the trogs. Even the Mages Guild had been asked to help out.
Alana: Well, we can definitely help out. We just have to get our people together and meet you in the sewer.
And so, Oliver and Alana were off to find Snow, Brecaryn, and Josy.
Alana and Oliver soon found them just about to leave the northern part of the city. They related their story to Snow and the others who quickly agreed to help and then made their way back to Griff's Inn.
Meanwhile meanwhile, on his wanderings through poorer section of the city, Flerm heard screams. Against his nature, Flerm ran in the direction of the screams to investigate and saw 2 trogs attacking the townspeople. Remembering how well they fared against the trogs last time, Flerm decided to go back to the inn for reinforcements.
At the inn, Flerm found Malouf in no shape to fight anything. So, after consulting with Lieralyn, they left an inebriated Malouf in the room to guard the mirror while they dealt with the trogs.
The two rushed to fight the trogs. Arriving on the scene, they could see the trogs had set fire to a building and attacked anyone around. Flerm cast darkness over the trogs, hoping to confuse them. After several close calls, Lieralyn and Flerm were able to defeat the trogs and save 3 people from the blaze.
Proving a drunk barbarian is not the best guard, Rumpleplix, the imp Brecaryn rejected as a familiar, cast a spell on the mirror and disappeared before Malouf could gather his wits. If it's not one thing....
When everyone was finally gathered at Griff's Inn, there was a rush for each person to get their story out. It took a while for anyone to make sense of any of it.
First, Brecaryn checked the mirror. Although she could not detect anything wrong with it, she could now see Rumpleplix in the mirror, appearing as if over her shoulder. Yet, when she turned to look, he was not there. Again, he insisted on becoming her familiar, stipulating she had to get rid of Nightshade. Brecaryn refused to discuss it.
Moving on to more tangible problems, the group gathered their equipment and headed for the sewers.
Calling on their vast experience of jumping down dark holes, Brecaryn first dropped her magically lit torch down the sewer, after warning Flerm first, of course. This time they did not stand around at the top looking down the hole while losing the element of surprise. This time, Malouf just jumped right into the unknown and Snow obligingly followed...
...to find 3 troglodytes and 1 trog shaman waiting down below. Such a better strategy.
Once again drawing on past experience with jumping down holes, instead of standing right under the hole, preventing other party members from joining the fray, Snow and Malouf moved far enough away for Flerm, Oliver, Alana, and Lieralyn to jump down. Brecaryn was also able to help out without risking attack by using Nightshade as her eyes whilst casting magick.
Leaving the others to deal with the trog soldiers, Snow went for the shaman - unhindered, one magic user can take out an entire party. Malouf and Flerm engaged the trogs. Alana fired a volley of arrows, piercing the tough hide of one or two. Lieralyn bided her time, waiting for an opening. While everyone was engaged and distracted, Oliver seemed to disappear into thin air only to suddenly reappear directly behind the shaman, taking the him by surprise, ending his life. The remaining trogs were quickly dealt with and the party moved on.
Hearing fighting down one corridor, they investigated to find another group of trog soldiers accompanied by a shaman. This time, the shaman was protected by 2 champion trog guards who did not participate in the fighting. The Crew were able to assist the city guards and mages, but not before some of their number were killed. Instead of being happy to see the Motley Crew, the guard expressed outrage at how long it took them to show. The members smoothed things over in their usual way - with indifference, offended outbursts, or angry blustering.
Once that was taken care of, they all pressed on. Just ahead, the tunnel opened up into a large, circular junction with tunnel openings in every direction. Here was the big fight.
Mages from the Guild, Knights of Phantar, and city guards covered 2 of the tunnel entrances. From another, 3 trog shaman with 2 champion bodyguards waited. And in the center stood a giant troglodyte, topping 20ft, surrounded by normal-sized trogs. The fight was on.
In the ensuing chaos, many were killed or seriously injured. Snow took out the mages and a bodyguard. Flerm took out the second. Malouf decapitated one. Brecaryn's lightning spell decimated the trog's ranks. A guild mage attacked the giant trog with a snake-like wall of fire. Oliver attacked with a fireball - he said he was a ranger, not a mage. Where was he getting all these spells?
The fight was going well. The troglodytes were trapped between the advancing Crew and the city's defenders. Then the tide turned. Snow was felled. Then Malouf. Oliver. Brecaryn. Troglodyte reinforcements from a side tunnel appeared. More than half of the city's defenders were mortally wounded. The wall of fire that seemed to be a good idea before was now preventing half of the group from reaching the other. Disaster.
The remaining members of the Crew rallied in the now familiar face of death. Lieralyn, Flerm, and Alana defeated the remaining trogs with the help of the surviving city guards and mages. Josy darted back and forth, attending to Brecaryn and Oliver's wounds, unable to reach Snow and Malouf just yet.
In a fantastic display of marksmanship, Alana fired the killing blow on the giant trog. He fell with a crash. After that it was just a matter of mopping up the remaining trogs.
Gathering the survivors, everyone exited the sewers and limped to their beds for much needed rest and recovery. The city guards planned to start out the next morning to find the troglodyte lair and eradicate the rest of them. Though invited to join, the group declined. Between missing kings, vengeful dragons, and absentee wizards, they had enough on their plate to deal with already.
Oliver, recovered from his wounds walked over to Brecaryn. Showing her his ring, he asked if she would be able to refill it with spells. It was a ring passed on to him by his father. It could hold 3 spells at one time. A very useful little item to have around.
The next day, the party decided to try checking Beeblebrox's castle before continuing their search for Phantar. Perhaps Beeblebrox's library would contain useful information about the area. Brecaryn activated the mirror. Malouf and Lieralyn followed her in. Hearing movement outside the tower room, Malouf motioned for the others to be quiet. He slowly opened the door and entered the corridor to be greeted by a crossbow aimed at his head.
Turtle and Portentia had come to the island looking for Beeblebrox. They had plans to meet up with Synchromie later. They were off to help Synchromie's people against an elf queen who was trying to take over the land.
When Portentia heard the message from Beeblebrox about her friend Sprungen being with the Broken Bone Orc Tribe, she expressed excitement and relief. Beeblebrox had promised to help her find Sprungen when she'd first come to him.
While Brecaryn and Lieralyn toiled away in the library, Malouf joined Turtle and Portentia in a game of "Let's Get Drunk". Finding little to supplement what they already knew, Brecaryn finally decided it was time to return to the rest of the group.
As they parted, Brecaryn suggested Turtle and Portentia take the mirror in Beeblebrox's castle so that there would always be a way for them to communicate with and travel to each other. She wrote instructions for Synchromie on how to activate the mirror. They also promised to tell Snow of the troubles in Candonia.
After settling some business in town, the group headed south to the Rusty Mountains the next day. Though most of the journey was quiet, one afternoon a few days into their journey, the elves suddenly perked up. Something was out there, and it was getting closer.
As they walked, they could see they were being surrounded. Hundreds of humanoids. They did not charge but moved with the party, slowly closing in. It soon became evident that it was an army of orcs shadowing them. The Motley Crew was good, but not even they could defeat an army.
The party moved tensely, waiting for the orcs to make their intentions known. Finally, a small group of orcs broke off and rode towards them on wargs.
Orc: You should get flag with picture! We almost not know you!
And then they were on their way. They didn't get too far, though. A few days further on, they arrived at the fort put up by the Knights of Phantar. The knights would not let them pass until they gave a pledge of loyalty to Phantar. None of the party members would consent, and it was a serious cause of strife. After explaining their mission of finding Phantar to the general in charge, he grudgingly allowed them to pass, but was not happy about doing so. Diplomacy wins again.
Another day's march further south, they entered a wooded area. Oliver tried his best at leading the party through as quietly as possible, but it was not a very successful effort. Before they even realized what was happening, Malouf was suddenly hanging upside down and the group was surrounded by rangers. South Lukans, by the looks of them. And here was a party full of honorary Knights of Phantar. Oy.
Using a little subterfuge, alot of acting dumb, and Venetto's past association, Snow and Malouf were able to convince them that their group was completely not involved in the politics of the land. They were heading south to the Rusty Mountains in search of adventure.
Venetto: You know it's all desert there. Have you got gear? Water bottles?
Not wishing to arouse any more suspicion, and really left with no choice as they had not thought enough to get those supplies in Betaya, they agreed to accompany the rangers to South Luka. Now if only they can make it back out again is anyone's guess.