|Trig the Gnome|
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Session 60, Played 10-Nov-2019
Honestly, it was a pretty short chase.
At the end of the room was a giant pair of double doors made o' solid stone. I checked 'em over 'n' couldn't see any traps or locks, so I pulled out my Insistent Doorknocker 'cause why be predictable, but it couldn't get through the doors! Those were some thick doors! So I asked Llew 'n' Forth to pull 'em open, but they weren't paying attention to me (happens a lot), so I tried to pull 'em open myself to set a pathetic example for the group, 'cept they moved! Surprised, I let 'em go 'n' they closed up again, but that got Llew 'n' Forth to pay attention, as planned, and Llew pulled the door open a bit while I was busy gettin' out my Immovable Rod and my Traveler's Any-Tool and turnin' it into a crowbar. Forth, bein' a dwarf, was more interested in the tools I was makin' than the door so he nearly tripped over me 'n' ran into the door, 'n' wasn't much help at all.
The sad thing was, nobody even expected Alembic to help.
So once I had my crowbar I jammed it into the crack 'n' heaved 'n' we could almost see inside and… BOOM!!!! The whole door vanished into a powdery mist o' stone 'n' ash. Darn it, Alembic! Couldn't you warn us before Disintegrating a door we're holding?!?!!??!
Anyhoo, now that we had a good view of what was goin' on in the next room, it didn't look good. Around the edges of the room was a floor-level area, where we were. In the middle of the room, so it could be dumpin' all kinds o' nastiness into the floor-level area, was a bunch o' the machinery from Gillamoor! The giant's brain was there, powerin' some kind o' apparatus, 'n' it was connected to other parts o' the giant by bits of intestine. Which I only knew 'cause I remember the things tryin' to beat the livin' daylights out o' me oh so long ago, 'n' I think it was Llew who helpfully identified them for me back then. So thanks for that, Llew. In the middle o' the platform was a pile o' hundreds 'n' hundreds o' charred skeletons, all goblin-sized, so now we knew where all those goblin corpses went. Finally, in the back o' the room was another image o' the Mother o' Wights, cacklin' 'n' turnin' knobs 'n' sayin' that now we were gonna get it. And between us and her was a massive portcullis that looked like it was made o' solid adamantine. Now THAT'S somethin' worth lootin!
Well, I knew my cue. I figured that had to be the real Mother o' Wights, 'n' I had one job to do against her 'n' heck if I wasn't gonna do it. I flew forward, slipped through the portcullis with ease ('cause a girl's gotta keep her figure, y'know), got hit by another Forbiddance 'n' Unhallow (doesn't she get tired o' castin' those things? At least I'm Chaotic, so it doesn't hurt me so much, or at least that's what Alembic says about 'em). I tingled a bit, so I knew it'd stripped some of Alembic's protections off of me, but I could still fly, 'n' I could still breathe, 'n' that was really all I needed at the moment. I said a prayer to Calistria 'n' kicked off Silency. You wanna cast spells, Mother o' Wights? Well, I have another idea…
So, the Mother o' Wight's no dummy; I'll give her that. The moment I got through the bars she knew the jig was up, so she turned on all the machinery to end the world 'n' such. 'N' I had no idea how literal that was.
All the bones started spinnin' 'n' turnin' into a whirlwind 'n' formin' into some giant undead-tornado-golem thingy, 'n' Llew gasped 'n' I knew that was bad so I called out so she could tell me what it was before I went silent, seein' as I was in the room with it 'n' everythin' and now it didn't seem like the best idea in the world if I couldn't hide from it. So, for namin', it was called an "Undead Mortuary Cyclone". Which seemed kind o' redundant, but apparently the regular kind o' these things (not the undead kind) absorb livin' people to become bigger 'n' more powerful, so once they've wiped out a village or whatnot, they kind of peter out 'n' get killed by paladins or adventurers or whatever. This one absorbed both living critters AND undead to get bigger 'n' more powerful. And right behind us, past the doors and a few hours' journey away, was the biggest sea o' undead the world had ever known.
As far as Llew could tell, if we failed and it got past us and got to the sea, it would be the end of all life on Golarion.
No pressure, though.
So, to hurt it you needed to use magic bludgeoning weapons, so I was out. Plus it couldn't be flanked and had no vital parts, so I was feelin' much better 'bout goin' after the Mother o' Wights. If it passed over dead critters (neither alive nor undead), it turned them into undead. If it killed you, it turned you into undead. Which were more powerful, 'cause it had a Desecrating Aura. But which it could then eat. This was the most twisted, awful, confusin' destructive force of unnature I'd ever seen. I was kind o' pleased 'cause it was so confusing, but much more repulsed 'cause the end o' the world 'n' all that. On top o' just poundin' you with its undead fists, it could breathe bodies on people (eew!), 'n' it was pretty resistant to spells, 'cept Alembic could probably hurt it 'cause he's actually good at what he does 'n' all, even if I do tease him a lot. But the best news of the day: As far as Llew knew, all it had for senses was Darkvision, 'n' the Mother o' Wight's machines were makin' shadows all over the room, so I'd be able to wink out 'n' get her.
'N' she knew it. She targeted me with somethingorother that stung quite a bit, but didn't do anythin' else. Alembic helpfully told me it was a Destruction spell, and if I weren't so lucky I'd be permanently dead from it. Well, at least I knew I had her attention!
From behind me, I heard Llew start in on the bars, then start yellin' at Alembic that the bars were adamantine 'n' she needed him to disintegrate 'em, but he was apparently all out of Disintegrates so instead he just went ahead 'n' Stone Shaped the top of 'em so Forth could knock 'em in, 'n' he made us all Smitey, too. I figured since I couldn't hurt the cyclone anyway, as Silency activated 'n' the world went dead silent I Smote Evil on the Mother o' Wights (it felt good), then winked out 'n' flew over next to her. I could tell from her face that she knew she was Silenced, 'n' I was going to follow her everywhere. Llew ran in 'n' hit the tornado, 'cause end o' the world 'n' all, 'n' it looked like she hurt it a bit, though it's hard to tell with tornadoes 'n' all. I'm pretty sure she was smitin' evil on it, but you can't really tell such things, 'specially when you can't hear.
Unfortunately, what I did notice was the cyclone gettin' all uppity 'bout gettin' hit. It spun 'n' blew 'n' hurled chunks o' bodies at the rest o' the party, which I'm sure hurt quite a bit, but bein' a flyin' gnome in a tornado was no picnic, either, 'n' it was all I could do to stay next to the Mother o' Wights 'n' not reappear in a particularly vulnerable spot, say, right in front of her 'n' her scythe. But I stayed hidden, 'n' she couldn't see me, so she ran away, hopin' to trick me into stabbing her. But I didn't, 'n' I let her run, 'n' I followed her… right up 'til she ran right into the middle o' the darned tornado! Stupid smart bad guys! Once she'd scraped me off, she moved back to her corner 'cause she was even faster than I was, even with Alembic's Haste and flight 'n' everything, 'n' she pulled out a wand and cast a Blade Barrier between us. That didn't seem right, but at least I could probably get through it 'n' keep harassin' her. 'Cept now I wished I'd stabbed her when I had the chance!
Unfortunately, Alembic couldn't see me, either, 'n' didn't know my plans, so he filled up the room around her with his woody guys, then put a lava wall behind her so there was nowhere safe for me to go in that corner! It was downright crowded! Forth came runnin' all the way around the cyclone guy to give Llew a flank (can you even flank a cyclone?), but it moved him into my Silence field 'n' I saw him tryin' to lay hands on himself (not that way, silly! This was a fight!) 'n' nothin' happened, so I knew I had to get out of his way. 'Cept one corner was full o' wood golems 'n' lava, one corner was full o' Forth, 'n' the other half o' the room was all full 'cause o' Llew. And then Alembic was out in the hallway castin' spells from afar. So, bein' a smart girl 'bout not gettin' my friends killed, I flew past all of 'em, out into the hallway and down a bit so I wouldn't even get Alembic, 'n' I started countin' seconds 'til the Silence wore off, 'n' I started cursin' myself for lettin' myself be so useless to my friends, but I was still smitin' evil on the Mother o' Wights, 'n' if they lost 'n' the cyclone went to destroy the world, at least the Mother o' Wights wouldn't live to see it.
While I was sittin' there, I got to watch Alembic's face, but I'm not really good at readin' humans, but he was tryin' to cast somethingorother 'n' he looked a bit relieved 'n' less wind-blown, so I think Forth 'n' Llew managed to do in the cyclone and save the world. While I was out in the hallway bein' quiet, of course. I am never usin' that wand again!
I flew back in 'n' there was nothin' but a big billowin' mist on one half o' the room, so I flew on in, knowin' I was goin' to have to be at my best to dodge all the blades, but knowin' my Silence was goin' down soon so I wouldn't be hurtin' my friends. 'N' Forth looked really bad, so once I got into the mist and through the blades I pulled out a scroll o' Heal. 'N' those blades? They were an illusion! And not some highfalootin' illusion like the kind the Jeggares put out that always fool me; just a plain old, ordinary, everyday, "Even Trig can see through it!" illusion. I yelled out to the team that the Blade Barrier wasn't real, except… silenced! Stupid stupid stupid wand!!
And o' course right after I yelled to everyone the Silence went down, 'cause that's my life, 'n' I heard Forth trundlin' in below me (I was near the ceiling at the time, 'cause of all the tree guys I presumed were on the ground), then I heard a horrific CRACK as the Mother o' Wights' scythe cut into Forth. I was happy I had my scroll out, but I was worried I was goin' to drop down 'n' find a dead dwarf. It sounded really, really bad. 'Cept then I heard a whoosh! as she swung at him again, so I knew he was OK!
I prayed to Calistria (seriously, this time), remindin' her that the end o' the world would cause no end of lack of fun, 'n' tried to activate my scroll o' Heal. And it worked! Thank you, Calistria! It was a simple matter to just drop down 'til I saw the top of his fuzzy head (under the helmet) 'n' kind o' kick him in the head 'n' Heal him at the same time, which would've been all kinds o' fun 'cept I was within a couple o' feet o' the Mother o' Wights' scythe 'n' I was pretty banged up already, but I heard Forth take in a breath 'n' knew he was feelin' much better. Llew came in 'n' started tryin' to kill her, but the fog was messin' with her rhythm 'n' she missed a lot, which isn't like her. Forth landed a couple o' solid blows on her, so her time was limited. The Mother o' Wights had a choice to make: Kill me, or kill the freshly-healed paladin. Bein' a vindictive undead type, she went for the paladin, 'n' barely scratched him up a bit. Then Alembic Dispelled the fog.
I could see her in all her glory. Every tendon. Every vulnerable inch. The place I could hit her to cut off her scythe-claw. The place I could drop her to the ground. I started in on my speech, about the loss of Umok, the orphans she'd created, the pain she'd caused, all the orphans she would never create again…
…'cept Llew asked me to wait. To stay my hand so that she could get the killin' blow.
Llew wanted me to betray everythin'. Betray my goddess, who considers vengeance a really personal thing. Betray my family, who were waitin' for me to strike the killin' blow. Betray my instincts, 'cause everythin' was screamin' at me to kill her now.
But it was Llew. My pale angel o' death. The one who held me when I sat up from bein' dead. The one who got madder'n anythin' ever if anyone tried to hurt me. The one who loved me dearly for who I was, 'n' who I loved right back like the sister I never had. 'N' I waited. 'Cause dead is dead, 'n' Calistria really isn't all that uppity if she knows you're thinkin' of her. And I told Llew, 'You owe me dinner!"
Llew agreed, and laid in, 'n' the Mother o' Wights screamed 'cause Llew was mad, 'n' Llew knew darned well I wasn't goin' to stay my hand a second time. So she struck true, 'n' the Mother o' Wights fell before her.
And I stabbed her a few times after she fell, just 'cause it seemed like the right thing to do at the moment.
Llew strode over, grabbed me (which she had trouble with 'cause o' the ring o' Freedom o' Movement 'n' all), planted a big kiss on the top o' my head, 'n' said we could have anything I wanted. I said the first thing that popped into my head: "Orc food!"
Ah, well, I'd regret it, but Llew was bigger'n I was, 'n' she'd regret it more.
Llew asked me whether I had any holy water on me, but she told me to just stop and behave myself after I'd produced half a dozen vials. She anointed the Mother o' Wights' corpse 'n' said words o' Pharasma 'n' all that, 'n' said that the Mother o' Wights would be the final entry in her book o' killin'.
I sure hoped not! Otherwise I might get bored!
So, speakin' o' Calistria, apparently not bein' the one to get in the final stab didn't get her all that riled at me, 'cause I felt the girls perk up 'n' the cheeks blush 'n' all the other nonsense that comes from bein' favored by her, which is awfully nice when you're in town with a bunch o' eligible young male gnomes to entertain you, or even elves (yum!). But in a hellish dimension full o' undead (includin' a sea full of 'em) surrounded by a dwarf, a hunchback, and a pretty-but-decidedly-female half-elf? Not so fun. I could tell the others were favored, too, 'cause Forth smelled like dirt 'n' Llew started mutterin' 'bout needin' to fight with a dagger for the day, which didn't seem like anythin' to be displeased with, since I had to do it every single day o' my life!
While we were lootin' the Mother o' Wights' body, Llew said that maybe I'd accept Shoanti food instead of orc food, 'n' I was kind o' disappointed 'cause I hadn't had anythin' truly terrible in a few days, but I figured I liked her so I said it was OK. We got some standard clericy stuff, like a rod o' somethingorother that Alembic liked, her holy symbol, some rings, and her wand o' illusions, but when Llew grabbed the Moaning Diamond ('cause it was there 'causing all kinds o' noise, 'n' I just didn't want to talk about it 'cause I think it likes the attention), the whole world shook. Literally. Oops!
We were suddenly in a crisis: There were hundreds, if not thousands o' people in the town at the other end o' the vault, Alembic was out o' spells 'n' couldn't've carried 'em all anyway, 'n' there were all the people we'd rescued 'n' put in a Magnificent Mansion 'til we could save 'em. Fortunately, my gnome brain got to save the day, 'n' I felt much better 'bout not killin' the Mother o' Wights. 'Cause I was lookin' at that big ol' Moanin' Diamond, 'n' thinkin' 'bout how much trouble it'd caused us, 'n' how much I'd like to get rid of it, 'n' how easy it would be to hand over to an azata or other Good outsider for safekeeping, and I had it!
I told Llew I was goin' to save everyone by givin' away the diamond, 'n' she said that that was fine with her, so I pulled out my scroll o' Plane Shift to Elysium 'n' kicked it off… eventually. Yeah, scrolls like tension. So it waited for some more shakin' 'n' rock-fallin' to happen before it finally let me go. I asked anyone else whether they wanted to come, and I was touched when everyone wanted to come along, even Alembic! That's how you know your true friends: They're willin' to travel to an entire plane o' people just like you!
Anyhoo, the first thing I learned is that Elysium is a Big Place. I expected a bunch of azata to pop out at me 'n' welcome me 'n' light my nose hairs on fire or somethin', but we were just in a beautiful, pristine, forest-like place that seemed awfully wonderful 'n' made me wish I didn't have the Life Bubble up so I could smell the air. Alembic started mentionin' somethin' 'bout time runnin' much faster here, so wouldn't everyone be dead before we got back 'n' I realized I'd goofed, but there's nothin' to do after you goof but to keep on goin' 'cause it's the right thing to do. So I yelled out in Celestial for help, but nobody answered! Llew looked at the ground for azata tracks, but I could tell she didn't really know what she was lookin' for.
Inspiration struck again, as always happens with gnomes in desperate situations with bags full o' useful items. I pulled out the lone Raucous Canard I'd bought way back in Logas to embarrass someoneorother (probably Blackburn, but who knew?), 'n' yelled into it in Celestial, "We have a bunch o' mortals who need savin' right now, 'n' there's a giant moanin' diamond in it for anyone who's willin' to help!"
Bein' direct with azata's the thing to do, y'know, 'cause we're all a bit loopy 'n' like everything crystal-clear.
It didn't take but a moment or two before this beautiful flamin' woman with a body made o' lava came flyin' up, leavin' a trail o' fire behind her. She had to be powerful enough! I told ber 'bout the big underground cavern 'n' the people who might be good or might be evil in the town down there, 'n' I needed someone to dig 'em out 'n' get 'em to the surface so we could sort 'em all out before they all died, 'n' she asked a couple o' smart questions like, "And can I destroy everything else?" 'n' I said, "Sure," 'cause fun's fun 'n' all, 'n' she quickly gathered as many friends as I could take 'cause they all liked the idea of a big dark underground smashy-smashy, makin' me like 'em all the more, 'n' I asked their names but then forgot 'em again 'cause I was in a hurry, 'n' then I used my returning scroll o' Plane Shift to get us back.
'Cept it was stubborn, too, 'n' the azata laughed at me 'n' teased me a bit. But they were gettin' a big ol' noisy diamond and some fun destruction time, so I didn't mind. Once it went off, we appeared somewhere in the Mother o' Wights' realm, 'n' Llew got us oriented 'n' told the azata which way to go 'n' off they went to do their savin' 'n' destroyin' 'n' whatnot, 'n' we eventually got everyone out of there 'n' back to Eledir proper, where Llew 'n' Forth started sortin' 'em out (which was all kinds o' fun to watch, but I had to do my payment stuff 'n' such). I cheated a little 'n' used Calistria's eyes on the azata to thank 'em 'n' give 'em payment, but I figured Calistria'd blessed me for a reason, 'n' that reason was to save all those people.
So, Llew 'n' Forth dealt with all the people from down below ('n' I have no idea where Liff went or whether he survived, 'n' I didn't really care 'cause if he'd come up, Llew 'n' Forth would've killed him, 'n' if he hadn't he'd be all squishy now), 'n' eventually the town guard 'n' the king heard about all this 'n' asked us to come visit, 'cause he knew if he'd summoned us I'd've had to stab him in the knee.
We went over 'n' I made Heddy kiss my ring. I'd've made him kiss other parts but I know Llew would've scolded me for it. But what's the fun in emerging triumphant if you can't rub it in a little? Anyhoo, he had all kinds o' proclamations. Alembic's family was restored to nobility, which I didn't understand 'cause they sure acted like nobles before, but Alembic seemed really happy about it so I wasn't going to argue. Forth got to report to his temple that his mission was complete, 'n' they said he'd have to wait a moment 'n' they'd send word of his next one. Remind me never to be a paladin o' Torag. Tough crowd. Llew got praised for doin' her duty, but I was bettin' she was prouder 'cause her book was goin' to get published. Heddy turned to me 'n' told me that the temple of Asmodeus had decided to forgive me for all my past transgressions.
Best… laugh… EVER!!!!
I kind o' regretted not transgressin' more, but I'm sure ol' Blackburn had to swallow a lot o' bile to sign off on that one.
We all had baths (well, at least I know Llew and I did), then a celebratory feast, then I started headin' for the temple o' Calistria for some proper celebratin', but then I remembered the temple was in Logas 'n' I was in Eledir 'n' Alembic was out o' teleports.
I went to bed alone that night, which is a horrible sin for a conquerin' hero, said my prayers to Calistria, 'n' went to sleep.
And yeah. I got my reward. And no, you don't get to know.