Rownig looks towards Hal, "When you talk about your prior scary life is this what you mean. Ain't ever been so startled, then the last couple trip into this pit." He asks. "seen more than I could forget."
Parry? Haste, Bless, size penalty: 1d20 + 9 + 1 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (18) + 9 + 1 + 1 - 2 = 27 Bam. No clobber.
Hal had again managed to deflect the giant's club right before it had finally fallen. He'd taken a pretty serious beating in that fight, but Windle and old Praggul had him feeling a lot better than he expected to. He wiped his brow and nodded to Rownig.
"Aye. Giants are bad news, but they c'n be fought. There's stuff out there that we just ain't prepared for. Well, Windle is. Th' rest of us ain't got a god up our sleeve."
"We run into Shadows or a Wraith, we're gonna have a really rough time of it."
Mae stares dumbfoundedly at the fallen foes - so....giant.The feral mornigstar, now useless, drops to her side.
The princess wanders stolidly over to stand by Windel, like a parishioner in temple. She stares at the bodies a moment longer, not realising there is looting to be done. Then she realises. And stands still.
Surely someone else will touch the brutes.
Miagnik watched as the last Giant fell to the ground causing a large vibration. Elated, he let the last of the snap dragons flare out in his hands.
"We did it!" he said aloud. "We beat them even though they were so big."
Then at Wendles prompting he went over and began searching their fallen foes.
Hal turned on Altheressa. "That was stupid." he said quietly. He rolled his injured shoulder where bones had been snapped only a few moments before. Windle's miracles hadn't healed it completely. Something in there was still grinding. He dragged a giant's club over to her and dropped it in front of her so she could take a good look. "It's a tree. Looks like the big bastard just ripped it out of the ground, broke the branches off and wrapped some rope around as a grip."
"I get to charge giants because I know how to get hit by that thing and not get knocked sprawling. Mae gets to charge giants because she's a g#&*+~ned lunatic. Rownig's already gotten to 'don't be suicidal' speech from me. Now it looks like you need it too."
Then he shook his head. "No. You know what? You've heard it before. Instead, I'm giving' you a job."
"Him." he pointed a stubby finger to Windle. "You stand next to him and make sure nothin' keeps him from keeping the rest of us standing. You're his bodyguard now. If he dies, we all die, and it is your job to keep him safe. Got it?"
Hal didn't wait for a confirmation. He was keeping calm, but he was clearly bristling. He turned on Miagnik.
"The next time you decide to piss off a group of giants, how about a little warning first? You throw fire. They throw boulders. Boulders win. No more of that, alright?"
He looked around at everyone, taking stock. "We've gotten by so far on luck and gumption. Its over now. They know we're here. They are entrenched. We can't afford to keep going like we have been."
"Row's right to be worried. There are demons down here. They don't give any room for error. You screw up or take risks with them, they kill you. Or worse."
"We need to have a plan."
"Altheressa's got her job. Mae, Rownig, we start working together. We focus on one enemy at a time, together. Me in the middle, Mae, you on the outside looking to flank with Row. We pick off one at a time. Moralane, you focus your fire on our target unless there's an enemy spell caster. If there is, you hold your shots and shoot to disrupt spells. Stay behind cover, or behind Windle whenever you can. Windle, you keep doin' what you're doin'."
He dropped his small pack and opened it, pulling out small satchels.
"Back in town I was puttin' together some contingency bags. Might as well pass 'em out now. Maybe the seriousness of our situation will sink in."
He passes them out and opens his own, pulling out items one at a time.
"Salt's for ghosts. A circle on the floor, or line across a door or window, and they have a hard time crossing. Flour's for them too. They're usually invisible, but they still disturb the air. Particles moving around can reveal them."
"The blackish liquid in the vial is a solution of oil, ground wolfsbane, and silver shavings. Coat your blade in it if you want to hurt shapeshifters. The silver sling bullets are for them too. Silver's supposed to be good against Devil's also, but I ain't ever fought one. The lore says its one of the only things that will hurt 'em."
"The iron sling bullets are for demons. I have fought them before, once. Just an imp. Had to kill it with a fire poker. My axe just bounced off."
"Vampires are the thing I'm best stocked against. I bought out all the garlic I could find. There's two vials of smelly oil in there. It's anointing oil from the church that I've had muddled garlic soaking in for a few days. Vamps hate the stuff. Won't come near it. They'll also run from a mirror in front of their face. Some ghosts will too."
"When in doubt, try fire. If I die, I have a journal in my bag that a wrote down most of the monsters I've learned about over the years and what their weaknesses are. I have a lot of it in my pack."
Hal rubbed his face. "Lets try not to die, alright?"
Each bag contains;
A pouch of rock salt
5 pouches of fine-ground flour
A jar of lamp oil
A vial of anti-werewolf oil
2 vials of anti-vamp oil
10 silver slingbullets
10 iron sling bullets.
5 sharpened stakes and a mallet
Rownig opens his bundle, nods approvingly, and adds the items to his gear. He passes over to small bags of marbles to Hal, "Forgot I had these, sort of handy when being chased, slows 'em down."
He already had a most of those items.
Stephanie released the breath she had not even noticed she was holding during the battle. The young one giving a wan smile to her allies as she sees them all alive.
"That. Th-That was terrifying. I agree with Hallister, next time could we avoid charging into the teeth of a battle like that?" The halfblooded princess responds as she wipes a sleeve to her face. The little gnomes gaze jumping to most of her compatriots but lingering on Mae and Arthalessa.
"I don't know what I'd do were one of you to die from this all. As to your battle plans Hallister in case of future battles we want to avoid I've been studying up on the nature of illusory figments. While they are unlikely to help a great deal in actual battle I could use such things to provide distractions to move avoid battles we are not in position to win quickly."
Ex: Fake wall to let patrols pass us by or other such capacity crap. Ghost sound to make people go look somewhere else than we are. Simple crap like that.
The Palace of the Vampire Queen, level 1
Day 13, Approximate time of day, 1:10 pm (turn, 80)
Atharessa stands still as stone as Hall explains the new role she is to take. She glances toward Moralane and then to Stephanie, once, then twice, and then when Hall is finished she takes a deep breath and is about to open her mouth and agree when hall turns away from her and starts talking to Miagnik.
Hallister goes through the items in the contingency pack, making sure everyone sees the item he is talking about, and then watches to make sure each of the others picks up the same item, can’t afford for someone to through garlic scented holy water at a werewolf.
Moralane walks through the intersection where the giants lay dead and picks up her arrows, three of them are broken and she holds one up to show the others and says
Moralane I’m going to need better arrows, if this is how things or going to keep going, she then separates the two pieces of the arrow, where it was broken almost in two, and tosses the pieces aside.
She then goes to each giant one at a time, and says when she has looked at all of them
Moralane I always heard that giants had large sacks on them, stuffed with things like pieces of meat, or tools, sometimes valuables, but these three have nothing.
Atharessa moves to stand next to Windel, and keeps waving toward Stephanie and Moralane to join her
Windel will pull everyone together and mention, "Me God's a guud one, gives me strength and holy power, but I've got me some limits. I used up a bit of me healin' ability already, that means if we fight undead I'm not at full ability." He looks at the blank look on Mae's face. "Simply, I won't be able to heal AND fight undead. Got t'conserve my actions."
If Moralane needs to get closer to target enemies, we stay close to her, but not too close. Hey, Miagnik, you want to join our little club?
"Yer gonna end up closer than you think." Hal said. "Windle sets the distance. He needs to be in range so that his healing can reach us frontrunners. That means staying within about thirty feet."
"He was right there in the middle of everything during that row. Just imagine what wouldda happened if one of those giants had done the smart thing and pasted him after the first time he healed us."
"That's why he needs you in front of him."
Mae follows the conversations, beaming amiably.
"'Yup...s'right. Loo-nah-tick. That's entrenched. [smiles cheekily at Windel] And fullable."
She pokes at the strange items Hal describes, and makes sure to take her set.
"I do actually have some tactical nous lads. I always aim for those everyone else is wailing on. How else to reduce their numbers? Main thing Isaw was us running around madly. I may lunatic about a bit, but it is with direction. So. Get some." Mae flashes a winning smile.
Mae then strikes a thoughtful pose. With some difficulty.
"Hmm. No, but....Moralane is very correct. [Here lifts the giants loincloths and pretends to peer in] These giants are missing their sacks. So they must be....poor?" The goblin smiles.
"Yes, these are the serfs of the tribe. So their leaders, smart, and proud, and with all their sacks, will be deeper in. So. Let us harry their...sacks."
Rownig grabs a wine skin from his rucksack and takes a long gulp of the fruit juice. He thumps his chest with his fist and lets out a deep belch. With the back of his hand he wipes his lips then reseals the skin, "let's go." He spits on the ground and grabs his two handaxes.
Rownig will scout what is in the room.
perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
+2 for traps.
Miagnik's good mood was disrupted by Hal's serious tone and beratement of him using fire against the giants before the rest were ready.
Sometimes I wish I hadn't shown how smart I am to Hal. Being dumb has its benefits... but then I suppose Stephanie might not like me as much. Hal is right to worry I guess. I mean if giants were the first thing we cane accross... Miagniks thoughts were interrupted by the bag Hal tossed at him and by the groups readiness to continue.
He awkwardly threw the bag over his shoulder and hurried after the rest.
"We ain't quite ready to move.'"
"Mae, Row, Windle, we gotta cut these giants into peices small enough t' be hauled out an' burned before dark. Let's try just the legs an' head. Leaving the arms on will give something to haul by. Moralane, Altheressa, you two are on watch while we work. The rest of you, go get the goblins mobilized. They need to fortify this floor. Once they're moved in an' ready to haul th' giants out, we'll head downstairs."
While he talked, Hal scraped a whetstone across his axe a few times. When it was sharp enough for butcher's work, he moved toward the closest giant.
Miagnik stopped as Hal called for the rest of the group to so different tasks. He was suddenly aware of just how bad things could be for everyone if the giants were to be raised in the middle of fighting.
Why hadn't I thought of that?
He was about to go speak with Gallinea when a thought occurred to him.
"The rest of you do what Hal said, I'm going to speak with King Heelggod. Maybe he'll be able to help."
Then he was off running to Heelggod's resting place. He hoped the ghost king woulf be amenable to helping a group they had all considered enemies just a few days before.
The Palace of the Vampire Queen, level 1
Day 13, Approximate time of day, 1:10 pm (turn, 80)
When Rownig announces it is time to go, and then looks around to get his bearings, he recalls that these giants had set an ambush at the last main intersection of the north-south, east-west passages at the far north end of the first level. From here it is just a short distance to the passageway to the east that leads down to the second level.
That is when Hallister turns and examines the mess in the intersection and recalls the dangers that the group are up against and the possibility of these giants being brought back to serve their master one more time, as some form of undead no doubt. That is when he announces the grueling task that must be done. He shrugs of his pack, to free his shoulders for the task, and then barks at the others to get busy helping.
Miagnik then had a thought. Maybe it was a good time to check in on the Ghost King Heelggod.
When no one objects, Miagnik sets off back toward the entrance, and when he comes to the last intersection before the entrance to the Palace, he turns left, and then swiftly moves to the doors where the King’s resting chamber was found.
When Miagnik enters the room he feels the familiar chill in the air, and wonders what it will take to summon the spirit of the good king.
Meanwhile, back at the intersection, Hallister, Rownig, Moralane, and Windel hack at the giant’s bodies while Atharessa, Maelodakh, and Stephanie keep a careful watch in each direction.
Stephanie stays to the back of the room with a rapibly paling complection as she looks on at the disgusting work in front of her. Unable to turn away from the carnage yet still deeply disturbed by the idea of dismemebering a corpse, even an enemy.
"I hope desperately that we can end this. I'd -Urp- very much like to never have to see something like this again. Oh ancestors below that is foul." the little gnome whines, managing to hold in her most recent meal and snapping a cantrip to clear the air around her.
I don't really have anything that could help here. Well unless you want me to summon some rocks and pulverize the giants rather than let you get on with it. though that burns yet more of my spells.
Miagnik calls out to the spirit of the Good Goblin King, and after a moment, a chill breeze rustles the dried leaves on the floor and the spirit of King Heelggod appears
What, who calls? Who among the living could possibly know my…wait Ah, yes, Miagnik. You have returned, and you are alone? This does not seem like a wise road to risk. How can I help you?
I know it’s only me being picky, but seriously, for like the forth time…your group is standing at an intersection of two major passageways, you are not in a room, well, all of you except Miagnik are not in a room.
Meanwhile, Maelodakh demonstrates exactly how easy it is to separate limbs from a giant’s corpse using a blunt weapon
Hal watched Stephanie's magic trick and raised an eyebrow. "Can you clean things with that finger snap trick, Princess?"
Lets just wait until Miagnik is done. We can assume the goblins will be mobilized and ready to take over this area of the dungeon by the time he gets back. Then we can do a quick sweep of this floor before heading downstairs.
Stephaine who had been concentrating on not vomiting blinks owlishly and looks at the slaughter house on Halister's clothes.
"Umm.." The gnome pauses seeming to strain to remember precisely what Halister had just said due to her lack of concentration.
"Yes?" The little princess half asks, half answers.
"Wise decisions have never really been my fort'e." Miagnik replied sheepishly.
He let a few seconds pass by awkwardly before continuing.
"There is a lot that has occurred since we last spoke, but I'm not sure I have the time to tell you everything." he began. "So I'll be quick about it and tell you what matters to you. Priestess Galinea as you said has come around after we defeated her in combat. She has command of a fairly sizable force of the Goblins that used to patrol these halls and some others besides. But there are Giants that have been called to this place, and other things I do not know yet.
We slew the three guarding the intersection before the stairs leading downward. But before we proceed we would like to have control, or at least have contested control of the first floor of the Palace should we need to retreat. Galinea should be ready to move in soon." Miagnik paused, realizing he was starting to ramble.
"The point of this, I suppose... would you aid Galinea and her followers? They are after all, our people."
The spirit of the Good Goblin King floats above the platform in the center of the small chamber and listens to Miagnik's plea.
Aid, Galinea? the spirit floats away from Miagnik, turns, and seems to cross his arms over his chest. Oh, I don't think I can do that. But then again, well, maybe I will have to take it under consideration. There was a time, once long ago, when this place served the goblins as more than just a tomb for cranky old Kings, haha. Send her to see me, and if we can come to terms we can both agree upon then I will offer her my help. But remember, Miagnik, her motives may be noble, her methods are not. She is capable of doing things that a person of conscious would not, and that alone makes her a dangerous friend or foe.
It was an uncomfortable thought for Miagnik to contemplate. Dangerous... as a friend? he supposed it was much like the Ghouls he had considered letting go in the pit, before he decided to destroy them instead.
But they were monsters. The one that he had spoken to had even said as much.
And she isn't? A small voice in the back of his head reasoned.
Miagnik gnashed his teeth in near frustration.
"I understand your meaning, King Heelggod. I'll be wary about her and I'll see if she'll be willing to meet with you."
With that, Miagnik turned to go back to the others.
The Palace of the Vampire Queen, level 1
Day 13, Approximate time of day, 2:10 pm (turn, 86)
An hour has gone by
Working quickly, the party dismembers the giant’s corpses, and them head back to the entrance, meeting Miagnik on the way.
Meanwhile, the goblins under Galinea’s control had gathered near the entrance, wondering what terrible fate had befallen the strange party of dwarves and goblin-kin.
When the party emerges into the light of day, dragging severed giant limbs, the goblin let out with a cheer, and one of them runs up to Miagnik, and says
[ooc]Random Goblin says,
So, you defeated the Vampire queen that quickly. Amazing, truly you are the greatest heroes in history
Miagnik explains the encounter with the giants, and Hallister reminds him to ask for the goblins help in getting the rest of the bodies of the giants removed, and burned, for good measure, the goblins at first hesitate, but when Hallister scowls and reminds everyone that there are more battles to be fought and the light of day is growing short, the goblins hustle following Miagnik’s directions and soon have all of the giant body pieces dragged out in front of the palace.
Miagnik sends a goblin runner to fetch Galinea, so that he he can tell her of his plan,
After Miagnik has a brief conversation with Galinea, which we can assume happened, or Miagnik can post exactly what he wants to tell her
With a quick cheek on everyone’s readiness, Hallister points back into the palace, and tells Rowning to lead on toward the stairs
Hallister remembers that the last time the party approached those stairs a small force of armored skeletons was ready to attack, and he reminds Rownig to halt the party before getting to close, then to scout ahead quietly to see if the coast is clear.
The party makes quick time to the passageway in the northeast corner of the first level of the Palace of the Vampire Queen, and Rowing moves cautiously to peer around the double blind corner that leads to the stairs.
All is quiet, and he can see the doors that lead to the chamber where the Skeletons had come out the time before. Taking a slow deep breath, Rownig sneaks to the doors and pushes gently, prepared to fall back and sound an alarm if the Skeletons should appear, but when the door is cracked open, Rownig sees nothing,
All that stands between the party and the second level of the Palace, is a flight of stone stairs going down.
"Mind cleaning us up, Princess?" Hal said. The blood he was covered in was mostly dry at this point and was making his clothing stiff. It had soaked through and matted to the hair on his chest and arms, pulling uncomfortably.
I'm ready to head down.
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Stephaine looks at Hal for half a second before looking down at the floor and casting a spell. The magic rapidly removing the crusted blood and filth from all in the room. It leaves a lemon scent in its wake.
"Dirty.. Messy, messy..."
The princess mutters under her breath as she continues to clear the stains.
Unless you decide to stop her Stephaine will be doing the same to everyone involved in taking the giants apart.
With the room being marginally acceptable stephaine follows the rest with no complaints.
"Lets just be careful, from here on out we will be facing new dangers." The little gnome examines where Ronwig steps carefully before doing her best to follow his path.
sticking with the usual plan of letting Ronwig do his scouting with us all behind.
Rownig will weave his way down the stairs he notes the trick step as he goes. When he gets tot he bottom he raises his hand to stop the others while he listens carefully for the eerily sounds of doom.
perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11
+2 for traps
"All's clear...follow me."