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Hell Squad Pbp


451 to 500 of 519 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | next > last >>


You have heard of disturbances in the sewer system to the West end of town, beneath the Street of the Gods- not so much by reputation, but by a lack of any information- you've just stopped hearing about anything there. Sound suspicious?
Ye Gods, yes. You stinkers are nothing if not a superstitious lot, given to obeying omens and warnings. No noise and no light often means a wave coming from that direction (watch Die Hard 3, the bit in the tunnel!). If you were to warn your companions, that would be the area you'd warn them not to go to...

"Worst sort of rumors really. Nothing. People dissapear and don't come back--even the sort of people who normally know what they're doing. Would be, I'd tell you not to go near there, but as that's the only way to stop it, I guess that's where we're goin'." he gives a weak shrug, his eyes losing a bit of their focus, his face taking on a worrisome, slackface fatalistic expression. He stalks his way over to the sewer entrance, a muck grating where the uneven street dips low enough to let someone in.

"Well we can get in--but for the first ways there's not going to be room for armor--or beer-bellies for that matter." With a huge strain he leans back and pops out the crude rusty, handmade grating, standing it off to one side against the unusually high curb. For a moment he pauses at the entrance to listen and make sure the coast is clear, then crabbing forward on his hands he slinks, legs first into the dark hole and tumbles in with a splash and rolls into a crouch.

Male Human

Riven steps up to Hagues' exit grate, "We had thought there might be in an entrance in the watch house that we might use, as someone or something gained entrance into the house without using the door. There has to be something there we missed." Riven turns back to the others, "Besides if are advesary is watching and is expecting us to return should we really dissappoint?" Riven laughs.

Liberty's Edge


"Well, it's open now. "

Looks out for witnesses, then if there are none...

"No sense putting it off."

He lowers himself into the darkness, thinking 'No way am I taking the rear...'.

*amend amend*

Stops short of pulling the lid free, brow furrowing. "Right, so back to the guardhouse then?" He steps back for a second, mulling things over as if lost and trying to find his place again. "I won't know my way around as well if we go in somewhere I haven't been. Guess I could look around until something looks familiar. The sewers are big, really big, and I haven't spent as many years down there as most--but if we spend some time getting bearings I should be able to figure it out."

Male Human

"Perhaps we should converse in the gaurdhouse either way, so as not to make our conversation so public?"

and one Bigby's Retroactive Action later

The guardhouse is as you left it, with a lingering smell of sewer on the door, where Hague was leaning. Rain is still pelting down outside, and time is beginning to run short.

Scarab Sages

Male 3.0: Simulationist 8 / Dramatist 5; 4e: Actor ( Explorer multiclass) 4

AAARGH! So the building they met me at was where we were headed? Oh man...*shakes head* just strike everything...I feel so dumb. Let's just go inside before I mess things up more *faceplant*

Male Human

Once everyone is inside Riven turns to Hague, "Can you tell us of what to expect in the sewers? Myths and such? I just would like an idea before we delve into the sewers expecting only the dead walking when there could infact be more to be prepared for." Riven pauses looking at the others, "For example if there are trolls below or believed to be trolls...the myths of my homeland fire was needed to be sure the creature vanquished."

"Nothing like that, I'm afraid. We've plenty of tales down in the sewer, but they're a practical kind. Follow the rats. If they're goin' a way there's a reason. Dark and quiet means water coming. There's rhymes to tell what mushrooms to eat, or how bad something can rot before you can't eat it."

"Afraid there less down there by way of trolls as there is desperate people hungry and angry or sick. So if a one down there catches your gaze and holds it like he's watching you, keep an eye on him. The dangers in there aren't nothing fanciful. It's big hungry rats that chew you when you sleep, big fuzzy red spiders that can mimic the sounds they hear to lure you close--even voices, and of course the molds and oozes that can melt a man to pudding."

Liberty's Edge


"What, no alligators?"

Shakes his head. "Nah. Just an urban legend, that."

The grate leading from the dungeon down to the sewers is hard to remove- it's been rusted in place for at least a few years, and there's an odd crusty substance on the bottom. Riven and Hellard's muscles soon shift it, though, and the narrow shaft vanishes into the darkness. After the first 4 feet are set iron rungs into the stone, providing slippery hand- and foot-holds.

The smell is awful, stirred up by all the recent rain.

Ignoring the handholds, Hague clamps the worn handle of his kama in his teeth and drops down the pipe--hands and feet spreading out to apply friction to the inside of the grime slick shaft speeding him down into the sewer at something of a controlled fall, landing at the bottom, folding like a ragdoll with the force. He comes up with the kama in hand and ready for a fight.

With his other hand he finds the walking stick behind his back and spins it free, using it to probe the darkness around him. He sweeps it over the ground to figure out how wide the path is, how much water there is and how deep. He passes it at shoulder height along the walls probing for torch sconces--or of course enemies. Mostly he just relaxes and lets his senses paint the inside of the chamber, lets the sounds and smells and vibrations on the air mix together and paint a scene for his mind. His face pinches tight under a flood of trauma, his training and his master, the old callouses of the cane marks on his back flaring to life fueling his sharp lonliness and loss.

He blows out a deep breath, clearing his mind and finding focus and composure again, staff swishing silently around him as he takes a few careful steps forward in the black, kama held close and coiled in a striking position.

Male Human

Riven turns as the smell erupts from the new opening, "Why must it always stink on the path of Heroism?" He pauses looking to the others then laughs as he begins his decent to the below.

The group makes its way to the bottom of the shaft, dirty rainwater sloshing around their feet. Tunnels seem to stretch in two directions, both vanishing into pitch blackness within a few short feet. The small amount of light from the dungeon overhead illuminates a circle about three feet wide, dropping off alarmingly quickly.

For all those but Hague, a myriad of unfamiliar sounds (and, dear Gods, smells!) barrage you- drips, creaks, squeaks, scurries, and splashes. The alien feel of your surrounds is suddenly very claustrophobic. Hague feels right at home, now no longer threatened from all directions- only feeling what immediately matters.

OK, you need two things: directions, and light. Well, maybe three- great big gumboots.

Hague lingers at the rim of the circle of dim light, his voice a low hoarse whisper to his companions "We go west then? Towards the disappearances...beneath the Street of the Gods? Some of the gasses down here don't respond well to open flame so be careful if you use them. Also the most visible thing down here is a man with a torch. Light tends to draw out all sorts of things. As for me, I have learned to find my way by touch."

He crouches down, staff in one hand and prowls his way forward staff skimming the way ahead like a blind man in natural quick sweeps. He tries to keep a slow pace to make himself easy for his compatriots to find, whether they opt to chain up with him or light a torch a ways behind him. He listens intently for creatures in the dark, smells for odd smells that stand out from the thick greasy plume of decay.

He steps forward, trying to stay above the waterline where walkways are present, keeping to the dry stones to avoid squelching his feet in puddles. Where he must step into the water he probes it first with his staff--kama in his off hand, fishing around for the bottom, and for signs of anything amiss down in the fetid black water. Then he eases himself in, making as little disruption to the water as he can and glides along as smoothly as possible, feeling with feet and staff for signs of trouble.

Passing under an archway, he peels some muck out from between the bricks, touches it tenatively, then rolls it between his fingers and smells it and touches it to his lips before balling it up and tossing it away with a frown. Have to be careful what you eat down here. Can't take chances.

Suddenly he pauses. He goes taut and holds his staff back to stop the others.

There's a snuffling sound--like someone rubbing at a runny nose. The air has a honey undertone to a stench more wretched than elsewhere. Probing ahead the ground is spongy. Some obstruction has blocked the pipe and now all the sediment and sewage has formed a thick mound. In it, something moves very slightly, snaking around to search the area with a long toothy tentacle. More thick mucusy movement.

"Otyugh." Hague turns and whispers through his teeth "Caught scent of us. Up ahead. Its feeling around for us. Sounds like she's got pups too...but we need to go this way. Looks like we're in for a fight."

Male Human

Riven pauses to light his lantern and holds it aloft to see the their new surroundings, "Gods, perhaps I should've left the light off!" He laughs with his remark, "Well if it wishes to die in the sewege it will die in the sewege!" Riven laughs again and follows after Hague...

Still not certain of where the creature is in the settled muck, Hague steps gingerly into it, weight entirely on his back foot so he can yank it away if he feels contact. Slowly he wheels around. "Unless there's a better plan..." he begins, between ragged nervous breaths "I'll try to get it to bite down on my staff and someone...get around behind it." As he decends into the waist deep filth a smell comes up that is beyond noxious, forcing even Hague to recoil and move a hand up over his face.

Slowly he picks his way toward the wet shifting sounds--when suddenly they shift in tone from slobbery groping to a kind of deep bellows hiss. Hague freezes, oily beads of sweat running down his face. It's getting ready to attack. Not knowing where it is he sticks his pole in front of him like a boarspear, leaning way back hoping its toothy arms or vast maw will find his weapon rather than his legs. He clamps his lips together, eyes wide as terror numbs his hands, legs and face...

Liberty's Edge


Thomas casts Light on his holy symbol, that can be easily concealed if necessary, and starts down the rungs, aiming the beam toward the noise.

"Riven, I think you may need both hands on that weapon of yours..."

Should have posted that last night but my connection conked out. Don't want people thining I'm a lollygagger...

"Mmmnnnnnooooooaaaaa!" Howls the hungry Otyugh, joined by a higher pitched "Mnaaaa!" from somewhere nearby. As the waste is disturbed, the stench becomes chokingly strong- Brother Thomas, Riven and Hellard are almost immobilized with foulness, while even Hague must blink back tears.
"Mmmnnnoooott fooooddd!!!"


You know these creatures have a basic intelligence- they can be bribed and threatened, unlike most animals. If your companions are careful not to antagonise it, your weight of numbers, and some calming words, may be able to get you past without a battle.

Liberty's Edge

DM Blue_eyed_paladin wrote:
....a higher pitched "Mnaaaa!" from somewhere nearby.

It's Richard Pett! Flee!

"Be careful! There may be a youngster around!
She? lash out to protect it."

The stench wrenches Hague off balance, pitching him forward choking and palming his face with his hand. When the little creature actually speaks it's too much for him. He lurches backward in horror, his feet skidding out in the deep sewer detrius and falls backward into a slick of it. Already he can feel the onset of some terrible illness setting into him, fighting to take hold in him. He cradles up the stick with one arm, pinning it to his chest hoping not to lose it. There's no way the otyugh didn't feel that splash--it knows exactly where he is. Panicked he tries to kick away from the gnashing arms he knows are coming, splashing and sinking in the muck unable to find leverage to move himself. Desperately he tries to keep his head above the sewage level as the stinking glop surges with the heavy body moving in his direction.

Augh! It said "food"! Whah! I totally didn't see that coming. Eeagh!

A terrible sucking noise can be heard as the mother beast wrenches itself free of the sewage, with the accompanying rivulets of ?water? running from its back. In the light of Brother Thomas' holy symbol, the disgusting enormity of the beast can be seen.

(News just in: Call of Cthulhu now not the only RPG where making your Spot check isn't always a good thing!)

The creature has a body like an ovoid sack, covered in filth, with three stumpy legs the thickness of a man's gut holding it up. A gaping maw issues a bellow of warning, with a foetid gust of its breath washing forth- more awful than the creature's outside scent, if possible. From its back protrude two- no, three stalks, each a good eight inches thick. Two end a man's length later in great fleshy pads with surrounding spines, while the third gleams with a trio of wide-open eyes, almost humanlike if not for their vertical arrangement.

At its side crouches another of the creatures, closer to the size of a small crate (maybe the size of a kitchen dishwasher?), mouth snapping and tentacles waving.
"Gggnnnnrrrhhhhhh!" The abominable chorus of their voices rises to a claustrophobic level as they prepare to defend themselves.

Oh cool, I was hoping this wouldn't just be a 'ho-hum' encounter. That's made my night!

Male Human

Riven flinches from the stench, "This beasties won't smell much better dead I imagine!" then bursts into laughter, he quickly ditches his torch and whips out his blade, "This space will be difficult to swing the blade, perhaps the creature can be reasoned with, after all it speaks...somewhat."

Male Human Ranger 4

The big noble has been uncharacteristically (and many would say mercifully) silent through all this. Glancing at him, you see that he has a silken handkerchief, doused with some sort of cologne (Panther Piss?) pressed against his nose and mouth.

Liberty's Edge


"What do these things eat?"

he asks, fearing the answer...

"Maybe we can keep it busy?"

Like poling the ground on a riverboat, Hague twisted, probing the stone floor of the sewer with the end of his staff until it found a friction point between two heavy stones. Using this leverage, pulling against the muck, feet still skidding out, he's able to stand, pulling up on the worn rag wrapped staff handle with both hands, a white-knuckled deathgrip.

Covered in muck like chunky mud, Hague hobbled away from the monster now wheeling toward them. The eyes loomed upon him, but in this near total darkness he couldn't tell if they were fixed or searching. With a thump he backed into the rounded arch of the spillway wall, just about coming out of his skin. Good to have a solid wall behind him. He leaned against it and prepared for the coming fight--staff in front of him to give the creature something to latch onto. Though now seeing it by the sputtering light of the fallen torch, it seems trying to fend off something of that size and power would be utterly hopeless, even the tentacle arms seemed thick enough that to pick him off of his feet would be no effort.

For a moment he glanced into the black, thinking perhaps the other two might be able to hold it off long enough for him to escape. His eyes went back to the priest who had saved his life--now nothing but a gray sillhuette against the darkness.

"It's warning us! It's not about food. We've enraged it." he could feel his teeth chattering together, having to force his voice above a breathless gasp.

"Mmmmnnnnoottt Fooooddddd!" The angry creature howls. "mmmnnnnnggggoo 'wwwwaaaaay!" It seems the monster isn't hungry enough to want to fight all of you.

You have the option here, you can still go kill it, or you could try to get around it without combat. Up to you.

Hague blinked in the dim light. Go away? It said go away? Relief spilled out of him as he held his hands out. He tried to keep his head down, to look as nonthreatening as possible, as he slowly circled around the family of creatures and up over the massive mound of sewage. The whole encounter left him feeling somewhat giddy the further he backstepped away from the confrontation, an unexpected miracle in a world devoid of mercy or good fortune. As he slid down the far side of the obstruction and into another black tunnel he felt a huge upwelling of laughter rise out of him--pitching him forward against the wall unable to proceed and sputtering out the muck that still caked him. He washed himself in the filthy brackish water that ran in the channel next to the ledge he stood on--no cleaner certainly, but at least no longer caked with foul mud.

"Just go around...slowly!" Hague called out exhultantly "It's telling us to go away. It was saying NOT food! Be careful, but I think the way is clear if you behave!"

At that Hague collapses into the corner, pulling his feet up near his chin, shaking and wiping the slick hair from his face unable to stop laughing, a huge idiot grin full of rotten teeth splitting his face.

Liberty's Edge


"Uh..ahem...we do still have some...err ...'food'...Upstairs, wrapped in a carpet...and we were going to have to dispose of it, soon."

"It's long past its best, and it would be extremely difficult to transport it through the streets..."

"...If that's not too callous for you all...?"

Male Human

"A good idea I would say"

Male Human Ranger 4

"It's all true, about the lower classes being all alike. Zounds! Meseems the difference between Watchman and Grave Robber and Monster Tamer is even less than I had suspected."

Sorry for being offline for a few days, guys- my dog ate the cable on my wireless keyboard/mouse receiver.

Riven fetches the carpet-wrapped corpse of the sage from upstairs and carefully brings it before the hungry otyugh, which howls "Mmmnnnfooood!" Before letting its spawn tuck in and begin tearing at the body. The mother keeps its eye-tentacle on the group, but shuffles over, allowing the party to pass.

Moving through its threatened area, but it's not hostile at the moment- just behave...

Male Human

That glad mine doesn't chew on cables...that much.

Riven places the corpse down and slips past the creature, not too concerned with quiet, more focused on not agitating the protective mother; once past the creature, "How long will the light last you have created?"

Liberty's Edge


"A good forty minutes. Plenty of time to get where we're going...I hope..."

Thomas also squeezes himself flat against the wall, so as to avoid treading on either of the two repellent coprophages, as he passes.

After a few minutes getting his bearings, Hague finds a familiar passage and the speed of the expedition increases greatly. Hague leaps from dry section to dry section of crumbling masonry, probing his way carefully along for memorized landmarks, keeping just enough ahead of the group to scout the way, his senses probing his surroundings for signs of disturbances, charting the safest (if not the most direct route) to the ill omened tunnels where the disappearances and dark superstitions abound--beneath the Street of the Gods.

Now whether we get there uneventfully or not...

The remainder of the journey takes almost an hour, crossing from wet sewers to dry ones (still wet, in this weather, though) and passing through cramped, claustrophobic tunnels and large shafts with narrow ledges around them.

Besides Hague, none of you knew such a vast space existed beneath Refuge, and the facts of its dark and dripping existence creep you out, to put it mildly. You do not encounter anything living as you make your way to the areas you are seeking- nothing larger than several large, terrier-sized rats, anyway.


This is very unusual- ordinarily, there would be scattered groups of refugees from the streets above (even though this is the 'quiet area' of town). However, you're shocked not to encounter anyone at all...

"Well..." Hague says, collapsing winded against the side of the tunnel, breathing deep through his nostrils. "We are where you said. Neath the Street of the Gods. As y'can see, ain't nobody around. That's real unusual. Scary kind of unusual--means somethin's been happining to them. Be cautious. Something down here in the dark and slime has taken every soul's been living down here."

He gets up and raises his staff in front of him in a fist, still breathing heavily. "Now where did we want to go from here? Best we travel quickly...and not linger."

Male Human

Riven looks about, how anyone could live in such filth...his mind pauses as he reflects on that this could've been him, he looks up at Hague and manages to smile thinking that could've been him.

"Can you tell if all that were here had been carted off by the dead, eaten, ran in fear, or simply moved on?"


You have heard rumours of a deeper, much more scary series of ancient passages and chambers below here, ruins of an earlier incarnation of Refuge. It is known as the Demons' Playground. No-one you know, not even your old, decaying master Kairn, would dare venture into those tunnels. Even magical light seems to dim that far beneath the earth, and things seem to move in the dark. No matter how much you hate it, that's probably where they want you to go, and if you continue down this passage, there's an old tunnel that drops swiftly into the Demons' Playground area... you think.

"Hard to say, really." Hague begins, scratching at a lesion under his jaw with a blue-rimmed fingernail. "Signs don't last long down here. Things are always changing, whether by rats or dripping water or worse--the signs are always passing. I heard stories of ranger types who can tell a lot about goings on from just minor clues, but I don't think even they'd get much from all that goes on down here. The sewers like them secrets."

Suddenly Hague's eyes go distant. "There is a place, a place no one goes, that leads into this part of the sewers. I ain't never heard no more than rumors. Folk call it the Demons' Playground. Nobody goes there, I hear. Not even the most cutthroat, hardened killer. Light barely works down in that dark and there's things...awful things that live in it. I just thought of it. Haven't been down here hardly ever. That's likely where we need to go--and if we're gonna' go, we better move."

Taking a few steadying breaths, Hague is loping off again, trying hard to move through the less familiar tunnels as quickly as he can but trying to keep aware of the others behind him. Not a good place to be lost, especially if you're not a stinker. He continues on to the tunnel he's heard about, stopping just at the edge of the entrance.

...unless something else complicates the situation first.

Hague navigates the group through the eerie, deserted sewers for another half hour, before coming to a large chamber that seems much like a hall, with vaulted ceiling and pillars supporting the roof. The group passes through, warily looking about, but nothing seems to threaten them except a foul stench and a constant dripping.

There, in one wall, is a great section that seems to have been blasted away- into the room. Through the breach is a long, hand-dug passageway, which leads downwards in a long, slow dip. The roof of the passage has small stalactite deposits, matched by the rough and slightly spiked floor.
OHS warning: Watch your step! Hardhats required. Evil working zone!

Male Human

Demon's Playground...Riven lets out a laugh, "Well perhaps we will find our culprit there!"

His voice is quiet, a tense trembling murmur through partly open lips. "So...what do we go in...don' wanna' be down there a moment more than we need to..." Every muscle is taught, eyes wide as he looks down into the almost mythical darkness of this place, evil and deadly like a cruel children's legend made real, shuddering and fighting the urge to flee.

Male Human Ranger 4

"Meseems that all other avenues have been blocked," the noble says reasonably. "Our mentor has been taken from us; efforts to gain the bauble -- or even to learn where it was taken -- have been for naught, and clearly we can't fight zombies forever (not that they could harm heroes such as we are, but we might get tired, or even run out of brandy!). Therefore, as much as I mislike these sewers -- and like even less the sound of a 'demon's playground' -- nevertheless we have little choice but to press on.

"If we never come out, well, then eventually someone will piece together what we were up to, and we'll be remembered in songs... unless of course the world is destroyed, in which case we'll be in no position to regret the trip anyway!"

The choice made, the path is clear: the group heads down the long passageway, walking carefully to make sure they keep their feet. The little stalagmites, though useful, crunch underfoot, and are uncomfortably reminiscent of teeth, as if the group were walking into the maw of some monstrous beast.

Brother Thomas' spell dims as it moves into the passageway, leaving only the tips of the protrusions showing. The floor and roof both fade away into the dark.

An hour later; the intrepid band has passed through passages and chambers alike, all cloaked in filth and eerily reminiscent of some ancient temple. Blocks of cut stone lie fallen on the ground, and thick pillars support the roof, far out of sight. Finally, a trail of burnt-out candles provide a trail, and ahead, you can hear an odd chanting in some thick, forbidden tongue.

Brother Thomas:

The language is Rhoskelo, the tongue of the ancient (so far, mostly theoretical) kingdom of Eph-La. Its use is recorded only in profane scrolls bearing images of a fiery red monster devouring the people of the kingdom.

Liberty's Edge


"I think I'd best take that lantern; you'll all need your weapon arms free."

"From their speech, I suspect diabolism is afoot. Maybe they are subhumans, of bestial aspect."

"We do not know how far they are through their ritual; I think I had best even our odds by way of a consecrated blade."

Bless Weapon on Riven's Greatsword - counts as magic & good, confirms all critical threats.
Unless it's already good or keen, in which case, cast on someone else.

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