Super Mega Monkey Ultra Extreme
Dungeons & Dragons Edition
Recap 47 Supplemental: Enemies Made, Loyalties Earned
May 5, 2012
Having destroyed the Oblivion King's phylactery and his physical body, the Motley Crew spends a little time exploring the room and tending to the wounded.
Zarana appears in the doorway with a group of Zhentils having waded through a corridor full of skeleton bones to get there.
Zarana: Well, you certainly leave a trail.
The group looks at her sheepishly.
Zarana reports that they had been successful in preventing the Oblivion King from regenerating. However, when he suddenly stopped trying to regenerate, they became concerned. Spies she had sent to the city returned to report that the Oblivion King was now established in al-Laquant.
Brecaryn is sure that what they killed was the lich king, so who was in al-Laquant?
Before further discussion can take place, Brecaryn feels someone trying to contact her through the Mirror of Thoughts.
Candelaria: I've got two drunk fools to return to you.
With Malouf's and Klute's sober help, the knights and mages were able to keep the undead from advancing. Aten, the dubious Sun God, had been forcing the barbarians to plow through the battlefield with little regard for their lives. Horribly overmatched, the barbarians were being slaughtered. Fortunately, Malouf was able to assert some influence over his barbarian brethren and stop them. Using druidic magick, Klute was able to block out the sun with some clouds, driving Aten away for the moment.
After a few minutes of discussion, Klute decides return to Chumera with Candelaria. The group will miss his flaming sword, but are sure they will meet again in Chumera.
Preparing to leave the dungeon, the group has one last thing to deal with. With Lieralyn and Flerm on their guard, Snow opens door to Rafiq of Luxor's cell. She sees a man standing in the center of some kind of magick symbol drawn on the floor. She calls Brecaryn over to investigate. Peering around the door, Brecaryn takes one look, closes the door, and walks away.
Rafiq: Hey, wait! I thought you were going to let me out!
Following Brecaryn, the party has a hurried whispered discussion. Brecaryn isn't entirely familiar with that specific symbol, but she knows it's the type used to trap demons and supernatural beings. Demons are bad. Flerm confirms that Rafiq is not someone they should trust, but lacks the chaotic nature of a demon. Hmm...
They decide to free him and use the lie-detecting throne in the treasure room above to "subtly" interrogate him. Brecaryn will make a pretense of studying artifacts in the room while Snow asks him questions. If she doesn't like his answers, she'll signal Flerm and Lieralyn to knock him out. Alana will stand by with an arrow at the ready. They've got a plan. What could go wrong?
Opening Rafiq's cell again...
Rafiq: What's the matter? I thought you were going to free me.
Back in the treasure room on the main level of the pyramid, the group takes a break. Brecaryn makes a show of looking at the artifacts within while Snow claims fatigue and sits on the throne.
She begins to question Rafiq in a conversational tone about his origins and occupation prior to being captured by the Oblivion King. All of his answers are lies. She signals Flerm and Lieralyn.
Alana: Oh no! Look out! (pointing in the direction opposite Flerm)
The pair hesitates, glancing at each other. Flerm shrugs and bashes his hilt into the back of Rafiq's head. Unfortunately, instead of crumpling unconscious to the ground, Rafiq turns to look at Flerm, angered by the attack.
Rafiq: What treachery is this?
He attacks with a tall ring of fire. The Scepter of Anubis protects Josy, Alana, and Malouf. Snow and Flerm manage to escape unharmed. Lieralyn and Brecaryn are less fortunate, going down from the attack.
Horns grow out of Rafiq's head. His eyes are replaced by glowing red orbs. Not a demon - a devil. He thrusts his arms forward, a military fork appearing in his hands, stabbing Flerm. Flerm screams in agony, the pain wracking his body caused by more than the wound itself. Panicked, he runs from the room.
Josy uses the magick captured in the scepter to heal Alana while Malouf steps forward to engage Rafiq.
Malouf: Today I fought a god! Now, I fight a devil!
Thus occupied, Rafiq almost doesn't see the little halfling as Josy runs up to him and touches his leg. His face registers shock before he disappears. Josy has banished him to the Plane of Frost. The group darkly speculates that with their luck, Rafiq will now form an alliance with evil white dragon-turned-dracolich Gloiterwome in mutual hatred for them.
Retrieving the eight humans they saved from the undead mob earlier, the party exits the pyramid and returns the scepter to the guardian statues at the entrance. The guardians bestow Anubis' blessing on the Crew for returning the scepter to them. The blessing allows them to permanently kill vampires by decapitation, burning, or a wooden stake through the heart. Without this blessing, the only way to kill a vampire permanently was to stake it in its coffin, decapitate it, and stuff garlic in its mouth.
Just outside Nizwah, the group camps for the night. The humans start to regain consciousness, so Brecaryn brings them and the halflings they also rescued all out of the mirror. The halflings are still cautious and nervous, afraid they are going to be imprisoned by the party. They take comfort in Josy's reassurances that the group is trustworthy.
The humans awake confused and scared. It seems the vampires kidnapped them from the lower levels of al-Laquant, but they have no idea for what purpose. The Crew assures them that they will be returned to their homes.
Among the group of elite fighters Zarana brought is a bowman named Ottoman al-Balgagon. When he tells them to call him "Otter", Alana's eyes immediately light up.
Alana: I've heard of your skill with a bow! Would you be willing to teach me?
To Alana's delight, he goes on to give her tips such as "tell your arrow its target".
The next morning before putting everyone into the mirror, Brecaryn casts a charm over the humans to make them forget everything to do with the mirror.
Holding the mirror, Malouf is carried by Narasimha the sphinx to al-Laquant.
Arriving at night, Malouf tells Narasimha to land on the fountain at the very top of the city, a ziggurat covered in lush hanging gardens. The Crew and Zhentils exit the mirror. At the center of the fountain is an unguarded door. Snow checks it for traps, finding none.
Opening it carefully, they peer inside. Half of the room is living quarters. The other half is a throne room and sitting on the throne is a skeletal figure that looks very much like the Oblivion King. Flanking him are two motionless men.
Confident the figure on the throne is an imposter, Malouf jumps down and charges forward to attack. Lieralyn follows. Snow carries Josy down with her, but though she approaches the throne, she doesn't enter the battle. After putting Josy down, Snow melts into the shadows to observe.
Josy runs up and sends her boomerang flying towards the "Oblivion King" while Otter and Alana turn him into a pincushion. After the cloaked skeleton falls to the ground, the two men in the room turn, as if waking from a sleep.
Man #1: What happened?
Watching this interaction, Snow feels there is something wrong. The two men are just a little too enthusiastically happy. Running out from behind the curtains, Snow leaps into the air, knocking the "king" back with a kick. He crumples to the ground. Flerm decapitates the other, the body turning to dust - vampires! Flerm takes care of the would-be king, as well.
Upon closer inspection, the elves realize that what they thought was body heat was actually an illusion created to trick someone with infravision. Before they can do anything else, a loud wail sounds from outside followed by a crash.
Malouf: Come! The battle is apace! (runs out through the eastern doorway)
Outside six vampires await. Malouf attacks.
Flerm heads for the southern door. As he rounds the doorway, he sees a nine-foot tall creature with a coiled neck, a ram-shaped skull, ostrich legs, and two scythe-like claws for hands. It is the source of the wailing. Using its claws, it gouges out large sections of the wall, throwing the boulders in all directions.
Yelling for Lieralyn, Flerm engages the monster. The creature feels like it's made of stone. As his second sword hits, Flerm feels the weapon reverberating. It won't sustain many more impacts like that.
The creature retaliates. With his boots of speed, Flerm dodges and moves quickly out of range. To his surprise, the monster follows easily and sinks a claw into his side. For a split second, it seems as if everything around Flerm freezes. He hears a pop before getting thrown through the air. His ring of feather-fall saves him a hard landing on the pyramid's fourth tier.
Meanwhile, back on the east side of the pyramid, Snow runs out to aid Malouf. She attempts a flying kick at the group of vampires. One of them lunges towards her in anticipation of her attack. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't anticipate her completely missing her target, sailing past him and landing on the ground.
Stumbling confused into the room, the vampire ends up facing Josy's holy symbol. As he cowers in fear, Brecaryn finishes him with a fireball.
Snow and Malouf take care of a couple more vampires. Narasimha swoops in and grabs the monster, flying it high into the air before dropping it. Instead of smashing to the ground, it floats gently the last few feet. Crouching low, it launches up into the air, slicing at Narasimha. Another popping sound is followed by Narasimha getting flung through the air.
Teleporting back to the top of the pyramid, Flerm shouts to Lieralyn to attack the creature's legs. This proves much more effective. Shattering its kneecaps makes it an easy kill for the two.
Seeing the odds are against them, the same three vampires that keep escaping break away from Snow and Malouf, dodging Otter and Alana's arrows.
Vampire: Once again, Motley Crew, you have driven us off. We will see you in Chumera. (turn to mist)
As they assess their injuries, Lieralyn hears a groan coming from a few yards away. She finds a merchant crushed by one of the stones the creature had thrown. Freeing him, she carries him to the group for healing.
People start coming up the stairs on the side of the pyramid. They appear dazed and claim not to remember the last few months. What they do remember is their ruler has been imprisoned. They soon realize they have been enthralled by the vampires for years and that the head vampire is named Lablab. Since three of the vampires escaped, they will have to be on their guard as some of the advisors might still be under the vampires' control.
It turns out the "Oblivion King" on the throne was actually a skeleton champion. The wizard advisors recognize the monster to be a sand gorgon. The wizards are quite impressed that the Crew was able to kill it. The only way to control such a creature is to know its true name.
In return for the freeing the king and the people of al-Laquant, the Crew has earned "favored status" in the city. They are welcome anytime and will always be given free lodging. The Zhentils also pledge their loyalty to the group. Whereever the Motley Crew goes, they bring danger and chaos, but always manage to make a few friends along the way.
The Crew spends the rest of the night celebrating their victory and Malouf's name day. Josy frees the leprechaun she found in Nizwah from his jar and invites him to partake in their festivities. He introduces himself as Seamus McGuillicully. And in exchange for his freedom, he tells them that the next time they see a rainbow, follow it and they will find gold, no tricks.
In the morning, the rescued merchant Diya al-Din gifts Lieralyn with a stallion named She-tan. This stallion has the ability to keep other horses with him. So if the group ever needed to leave their horses unattended, She-tan would make sure they didn't stray.
After this, Lieralyn and Alana take Snow shopping...ALL DAY.
Flerm and Josy go off to look for gnome merchants and happen to find one named Wayfoodle in a bar.
Flerm: We're from the North. You might have heard of us. The Motley Crew. Yeah. And we also freed the city...from vampires.
Many tankards of ale later, Flerm discovers Wayfoodle has energy rods like the ones they use to power the wood construct for sale. Now, if they can get the construct repaired, they will have the means to power it again.
Done with shopping, everybody returns to their quarters where Narasimha offers to fly the group to the Oasis of Sehanine Moonbow that night.
Once there, Alana proceeds to shush everyone so that she can get right to sleep, hoping for a dream visit from her goddess Sehanine Moonbow. When she wakes in the morning, there is a magnificent bow under her pillow - a gift from the goddess. Otter expresses admiration for the weapon. Alana can't stop grinning.
Packing up, they prepare to leave the oasis and the desert.
My my your crew does quite a bit of shopping. And that Flerm fellow is quite the impressive character. I dread the day we meet again for I fear it will be my undoing.
Two k's no gnomes.