EPISODE EIGHTEEN: Dead Men (Level 7)
Kristy Eagar (Nirvani)
Mike Eagar (Sadhai)
Kent Lloyd (Kloric)
DM: Graham Ward
With the citizenship papers finished, the party headed to the inn for a relaxing evening. Nirvani made some purchases, Kloric got a little black eye from a local, and Sadhai wondered if he should alter his criteria for choosing company. In the morning, they headed to the Bankhouse to open an account in the name of Erassian Glenallen.
They were informed of the benefits and options available to them, and Sadhai made a hefty opening deposit, between his gold dollars and the bank draft from the art dealer. The party also chose to drop some stuff in a vault connected to Mr. Glenallen's new account. On the way out of the bank, some high profile customers walked in.
The Governor, flanked by two bodyguards, Judge Baden Jennish, his native wife, and a shifty-eyed Oden Lojotr, strode into the Bankhouse for some important business. Oden immediately caught sight of Nirvani, but Sadhai and Kloric managed to blend into the crowd (aided by their disguises). Although he recognized his former protege, Oden did nothing more than eye her fiendishly, and maybe with a touch of wounded pride.
On her way out, Nirvani had a moment alone with Governor Eastford's wife, who showed her lack of tongue, and made some urgent gestures at the paladin. Unfortunately, the gestures weren't clear enough, and Nirvani was only able to whisper in Norlythin, "Send a message to the Lucky Lady if you need any help."
As the party left the Bankhouse, they saw a shambling figure in a cloak, hobbling down the highway toward the northeastern gate. Sadhai had an immediate hunch who the figure was, and Nirvani was shocked to see a zombie-like creature out in broad daylight among the pedestrian crowd. He turned his head to one side, and both their suspicions were confirmed. It was the "Last Man," somehow alive and reanimated.
Kloric became a dog, and the party followed their new quarry into an alley between two tall apartment buildings. Just as they were prepared to follow him into the shadows, shouts were heard from the gate down the street. Orcs and half-orcs were streaming through, breaking into shops and killing citizens that withstood them. Two orcs came toward Nirvani, but were soon scared off their feet by her battlecry. They ran to find an easier victim. Most of the orcs seemed to be making their way westward to the High Town District.
In the alley, the Last Man slipped into a small gated porch and waited. Sadhai and Nirvani climbed the closer side of the building across the alley, and watched him from a fourth-story vantage point. Kloric played with some trash not far from where the Last Man stood in wait. After about an hour, they began to hear cannon fire or explosions from across the river. Things seemed fishy. Just at this moment, a hooded figure slipped almost unseen into the alley to stand beside the Last Man.
Tethaylaer peeked out from his hood and whispered to his zombified servant that his sons had arrived. He glanced toward Kloric the dog, and decided to take no chances. He walked slowly toward the druid, staring him down menacingly. Kloric backed up and ran. He circled the building and shifted to bug form, joining his companions on the roof.
Tethaylaer unslung a great burlap sack from his back, and began to loosen the drawstring. He removed from it a twelve-foot long coil of vertebrae, crowned with a large, evilly-formed skull that had been hollowed and shaped into a helmet. It was the devil's spine. With the helmet on, Tethaylaer and the Last Man now began strapping him into the thin leather cords that tied the artifact to his body.
Before they knew what was happening, a furious surprise attack was launched. Two arrows stuck deep into Tethaylaer's shoulder and chest. Kloric did a front-flip swan dive to the alley street, calling a vicious, critical lightning bolt onto the two targets, and bursting into a swarm of scarabs just before hitting the ground. Nirvani climbed down the building halfway, then dropped to the street and rolled.
Tethaylaer was hit a few more times by some powerful attacks, and then used the Devil's Spine to summon a Strafer Devil, a horned, six-legged, tentacle-mouthed beast of burden with a built-in saddle on its demented back. The beast spun around in a raging whirl as the Last Man broke in the nearby door to a ground-level apartment and ran in (getting clipped by an angry Kloric's opportunity attack). A woman within screamed for help, and Nirvani broke through the window to come to her aid, the Ravari code binding her to obedience. She killed the Last Man on the stairs and bolted back to their fray outside.
Tehtaylaer fell dead with an arrow in his gut. The last thing to go was the Strafer Devil, which, at the sight of its master's death, scurried effortlessly up the wall of the apartment building. As it ascended, Kloric leaped up and created a spinning waterfall just above its suction-hold. As it lunged upward, the water seeped between suction-claw and brick wall, causing the beast to fall sixty feet to its death on the floor of the alley, beside Tethaylaer.
Seeing some eager faces watching from the windows in the alleyway, Nirvani gathered blood and painted a giant scarab on the wall with the words "The Scarab Witch Strikes Again." They cut off the enemies' heads, removed any identifying possessions from the bodies, and again got to the top of the building for a hidden getaway. They hopped over two streets from roof to roof, then descended and discussed what else should be done before returning to the inn for an interrogation of the two men's severed heads.
The plan would be to change inns from the Lucky Lady to the Ivory Horn, in hopes of escaping any traces. Someone would need to return to the Lucky Lady, however, for any messages that might be left, particularly by the Governor's wife.
XP: 983 Each
[Escaping Oden's Detection Skill Challenge (2/3): 200 XP
Identifying the Last Man: 50 XP
Intimidating the Orcs: 50 XP
Avoiding Combat with the Orcs: 100 XP
Tethaylaer Alley Encounter: 1,200 XP
Killing Tethaylaer: 150 XP
Finding the Devil's Spine: 1,000 XP
Cleanup and Escape: 100 XP
Critical Madness: 100 XP
TOTAL: 2,950 XP]
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