Red Mills

Session 2.7 – At the End of the Barrel

Dramatis Personae
Carl playing Bobo the bard.
Tess playing Tinus the sorcerer.
Elliott playing Varis the druid.
Noah playing Monarch the artificer.
Niamh playing Thraa the sorcerer.
Ruth playing Orten the dwarf.

After the struggle with the ivy demon, the group settled down for a rest in the middle story of the gatehouse. When darkness fell a violent storm erupted outside. As far as the eye could see in all directions lightning flashed and thunder roared, but no rain fell. It was as if the world itself was mourning something and crying out in agony. The group got as much rest as they could under the circumstances. Left alone on watch towards dawn, Bobo got bored and decided to draw mustaches on the faces of the others. They didn’t notice until they woke up and it was very obvious who had done this because he was the only one without a fake mustache.
In the morning the storm had disappeared and while they had breakfast Monarch used his skills to make the old wooden duck into a Duck of Holding, capable of carrying a large amount of items. Then he turned his attention to the strange wooden box.
“How do we get this to open?” he mused, and when he said the word open, the box obeyed.
Inside the box was divided into two parts. One had twenty or more books and the other seemed to have a slot marked “In” and a flap marked “Out” next to a tray. They read the titles of the books and then each took one out in turn. Whenever someone took a book out the box clicked and their hand also clicked, but it did not hurt. There seemed to be no way to take a second book. The box only allowed one per person.
While they were studying their new tomes a bell rang and a letter popped out of the Out flap and landed in the tray. It seemed to be from someone called Nessy and it was an apology for killing Amet. If this were true then that might explain the strange storm. They scribbled out a response and posted it into the In slot. Then they closed the box and headed over to The Bad Penny. Rashi stayed behind in the gatehouse, she had had enough of the ivy.
Before entering, Varis called lightning from the sky to strike down the building’s chimney. Then finding the back door locked and not wanting to go back and fetch Rashi, they simply broke it down. The door led to the tavern’s kitchen and inside there were two dead people under the control of the ivy. One was scorched from standing too close to the fireplace. They fought their way in and during the fracas Monarch was knocked out cold. The fight spilled over into the main room of the tavern and on his way in, Orten bent down and took the Duck from Monarch’s unconscious form. Another vine came down from the upper level and it took a while before the group gained control. In the fight Tinus experienced a wild magic surge which cast levitate on him. He clung to the bar in an attempt to control his movements.
Orten and Thraa went upstairs and started searching the room, picking up anything valuable for safe keeping. Thraa found a nice rug and Orten popped it into the duck where it would be safe. Meanwhile Bobo and Tinus entered the store room which was full of barrels of alcohol free wine and beer. Behind the barrels they spotted a stairs going down to the cellar.
Varis noticed that Monarch wasn’t with them and went back to the kitchen where he found him and revived him. The artificer woke with a start, immediately noticed that his precious duck was gone and started to choke the druid. Varis pleaded for his life, his good deed forgotten and unrewarded. Not finding the duck on him Monarch let him go and ran out to find his next victim with screams of “Where’s my duck!”
Tinus and Bobo proceeded down into the basement. From halfway down the stairs they spotted some barrels with dwarven writing on them. Smaller than the wine or beer barrels, this must be the gunpowder. Bobo was about to run down in delight when Tinus stopped him and pointed out the wire running from the bottom step to the barrels. They were booby-trapped.
Varis came in from the kitchen holding his throat. He searched the bar, ignoring the alcohol free beer and the alcohol free wine. “Where’s the good stuff?” he said and his hand fell upon a bottle of Old Parchen Gin. He poured himself a glass, put the bottle down next to it and sat on a bar stool and prepared to take his first drink.
“Where’s my duck!” screamed Monarch at Orten who was coming down the stairs.
“I don’t have it” said Orten unconvincingly.
“Liar!” screamed Monarch.
He grabbed the bottle of expensive gin, smashed the bottom and attacked Orten with it. A shard of glass bounced off Varis’s head into his glass. He looked at it and the broken bottle in dismay.
Orten sidestepped and hammered his fist into the side of Monarch’s head, knocking him out without really hurting him. He caught him as he fell and placed him carefully on the ground.
Downstairs Bobo and Tinus skipped carefully over the bottom step into the basement. Bobo took out his key and started searching for a key hole. “There must be one here somewhere” he told Tinus. After a little while he found it, behind the barrels of booby-trapped gunpowder. As he turned the key in the lock, Thraa came down and Tinus told her about the bottom step.
A secret door opened before a highly self satisfied Bobo. Smiling he looked into the dark and the dark looked back out at him. A second ivy demon emerged and attacked him, knocking him out. Tinus stepped in to protect his friend. Thraa stood in the corner helping from a distance. Hearing the sounds of battle, Orten jumped over the bar and down onto the stairs.
Varis picked the shard of glass out of his gin and took a sip. This world was a strange place. No matter how hard he tried, things always went wrong for him. It wasn’t him really, he reasoned, but the idiots he traveled with.
Downstairs Thraa desperately shouted “Booby trap!” to Orten warning the dwarf about the bottom step.
Then the demon knocked Tinus out in one sweep of a tentacle. Thraa fired again and Orten jumped over the banister to land behind the demon. He slipped through the door there and in the room he saw two cells. One containing a huddled figure the other was empty. But most of the room was packed high with gunpowder and other barrels that appeared to be leaking a bright yellow liquid. He returns to the fray and gets a good hit in on the demon.
Varis looks at his empty glass. Puts it down goes into the store room and rolls a heavy barrel of wine down the stairs.
Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, went the barrel down the stairs.
The demon turns on Orten and he and Thraa are in a desperate situation. But if the barrel gets to the bottom step the booby trap will go off and everyone will die. He throws his javelin through the spindles of the banister and it pierces the barrel, holding it trapped halfway down the stairs.
Varis comes down and takes the javelin out, kicks the barrel onward and then casting a spell morphs through the stone wall of the building to what he believe is the safety of the outside.
Thump, thump, BOOOOOOOMMMMM!
The barrels exploded killing the demon, Orten, Thraa, Bobo and Tinus. Upstairs Monarch groaned in his sleep and outside Varis smiled. He was free!
KA-BOOOOOOOOOM went all the barrels of gunpowder and the strange liquid that Varis didn’t know about. The building vapourized. Monarch vapourized. And outside Varis vapourized. A column of green fire extended hundreds of feet into the sky.
Arlsfort the town that was more of a concept really, could now be best described as a crater. The gatehouse was blown off its foundations and rolled for a hundred yards before disintegrating on the hillside. A blood covered Rashi crawled out holding her ears.
Miles away in Pelville, windows shook and shattered and babies began to cry in this forsaken world without a god and with no heroes left to fix it.

The End

Some campaigns end in victory.
This one, not so much.

Technically Rashi survived, but we will retire her for a little while
and perhaps find her along the highways and byways of our future adventures.

For the next session, could everyone bring a new character please.
I haven’t decided exactly what to do yet.
So please bring the same character at level 1 and at level 5.

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