Archive for May 14, 2017

The Devil’s Riddle: Session 34

Posted in The Devil's Riddle on May 14, 2017 by Carl

In short order the thugs are trussed securely. Lisandra and Cayleb emerge from the shadows, to be greeted by a string of curses. “Cayleb! You filthy double-crossing filth!” snarls the fat, bald fellow.

“Good to see you too, Fat Rollo.” Cayleb replies, reloading his crossbow. “Skunk, Kurnak. I’d say it was a shame about Shivers and the boss, but we all know they were the lowest sort of scum. I’ve found me a better class of crew.”

Fyn approaches and claps Cayleb on his shoulder. “Great work, Cayleb! Your knowledge of this place was invaluable. And that one-two on the gap-toothed creep? Priceless.”

“Good work all round.” Lisandra nods, as the slender young mother morphs into the wrinkled, diminutive form of Idril. “We successfully drew them out from hiding and prevented them from sounding the alarm. Now Cayleb, you said you only know the camp as far as the barracks beyond this room. Perhaps one of these men will be able to provide us with a little more information.”

Rufus, who has been cleaning the blood from his blade, strides towards the kneeling, tied men. Tomas falls into step behind him. The blademaster studies each in turn, searching for signs of fear. He sees only angry defiance in the face of Fat Rollo and sullen resignation in that of Kurnak. But he stops at Skunk, a whippet-thin fellow with long, greasy black hair and a tattoo of a bird of prey covering one side of his neck. This one is sweating, barely able to stop himself from trembling with fear.

Rufus points at Skunk with his sword. “You. You will tell me…”

Words come spilling out of the skinny man before Rufus can complete his request. “Sure, I’ll tell you everything, just don’t hurt me, OK? I can help! The boss has a healing potion on his belt, and money too!” 

Fat Rollo splutters in outrage. “Skunk, you worm, shut yer mouth you…” Rufus’ sword moves in a blur and Fat Rollo stops dead, the blade touching lightly to his adam’s apple. Tomas leans down to search the dead bandit chief, and Rufus moves the blade slowly back to Skunk.

“There’s a room beyond this one where we rest. Out through the hidden doors and right, or you can go through the other hidden door.” Skunk nods at the eastern wall and upon closer inspection a section of wall resolves itself into a door. “No others there, this is all of us guards. We ain’t allowed nowhere else in the camp, off to the left up there. That’s just for the… others.”  He gulps, ignoring the look of ill-suppressed fury on Fat Rollo’s face.

“The Jesters. Their undead things. But there’s something else out there, something even worse. I don’t know what it is, but I overheard some of them talkin’, and they were scared of it! Those things, scared!” Having started talking Skunk doesn’t seem able to stop. “Have you seen those things? What could make something like that afeared? Oh Light, you’ve got to let us go! Please, just let us go, we…”

“Enough.” says Rufus, his blade an unwavering inch from the man’s tattooed throat. Skunk stops. Turning to Lisandra he raises an eyebrow.

The channeler sighs, but before she can speak Fat Rollo erupts. “Skunk, you snot-nosed coward, I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you all…”

He gets no further. Rufus’ sword flashes once and the fat man’s head topples from his shoulders. The remaining bandits stare at the blademaster in horrified silence.

“Go. Leave this place and do not look back.” Lisandra says, her face hidden beneath her white hood. The bandits, hands still tied, scramble to their feet and oblige her, racing from the chamber as if all the hounds of hell were on their heels.   

The Devil’s Riddle: Session 33

Posted in The Devil's Riddle on May 14, 2017 by Carl

Before the thugs have time to get their jaws off the floor  all hell breaks loose.

Without warning the young mother ducks to the right and tosses her baby towards gap-tooth. The startled man’s instincts override conscious thought; he reaches out to catch the small bundle, only for it to pass right through his outstretched hands. In it’s place he sees Fyn’s blade closing fast. It punches into his gut in the same instant as Cayleb’s crossbow bolt takes him between the shoulder blades. He stares down in astonishment at the bolt tip protruding from his chest, then starts to topples to one side.

Simultaneously Rufus, who has used the concealing powers of his elven cloak to sneak in close behind the bearded bandit chief, makes a short chopping strike at the fellow’s outstretched hand. The blow opens a line of red along his wrist but he manages to hang on to his handaxe.

There’s a bellow of “For the Light!” from the darkness to the south and Tomas closes fast, bringing his enormous axe down hard as a shard of brilliant light erupts from behind him. The bandit chief is just quick enough to avoid being eviscerated or blasted by Lisandra’s lightbeam, but he takes a resounding glancing blow from the axe nonetheless.

The bandits gather their wits and move to attack, but not before Fyn acts again. He brings the torch around in an arc of sparks, but the bandit captain chief sways back on his heels, neatly avoiding the blow. Fyn follows up with his sword, eliciting a howl of pain from the bearded man as both the rapier and another of Cayleb’s crossbow bolts strike home. The grinning rogue ducks back sharply, then dashes to his right to close with the fat bald thug closest to the exit.

Idril, still under the illusory disguise of the young mother,  rubs her hands together, and slick grease oozes up from between the flagstones at the feet of two of the thugs. Both struggle to keep their balance and fail, landing hard.

“Screw this!” snarls the bandit chief, and turns to make a run for it. As he does so both Rufus and Tomas see their opening; Rufus plunges his sword into the fellow’s thigh and Tomas finishes the job, his greataxe opening the bandit from shoulder to opposite hip.

The remaining bandits look on in horror: in a matter of seconds they have seen a member of their crew and their boss cut down by overwhelming force. “Drop your weapons and lie face down.” Lisandra calls out from the darkness. “Do it now or I cannot guarantee your safety.” Her answer is the clatter of falling weaponry as the bandits scramble to comply.