it might be poor form to post in these story segments. if so, i will ask an admin to delete my post ...
... but am i the only one that reads these posts and suspects that goonalan is a published author?! who the heck IS this guy? these are awesome.
Post all you like, don't mind me,all comments gratefully received,
As to the published author bit, well I'm flattered, but not at all- these posts represent much of the action from my present game, which is on hiatus for 4e at present- although I've got plenty more turns to write up...
I just endeavour to get all the words in the order right... Oh, I'm not always successful.
This one's for the Warduke-Turn 20. “Dwarves- we don’t float.”The Sinister Secret of Whiterock.
Back up top the remaining pair of Orc Skeletons double team the fat Paladin of Moradin.
Or rather they would do, the second Skeleton loses his head, Cestode’s warhammer describes a furious arc, the offending skull ricochets off all four walls before coming to rest, the Skeleton concertinas into a pile of dried bones.
One left, and Gina’s no help, the Gnome is heading down the rope, now secured by Fandango, she's incredibly light, almost no weight at all.
Gina gets half-way down the line and stops, a light spell flares, illuminating the chamber fully, and the Owlbear growling at the top of the stairs, the creature moans and shuffles backwards not used to the glare.
And that’s all the time Grungarak and Twiglet need, the pair share a look and then thrash their way to the stairs and out, trampling some sort of nest on their way after the monstrosity, a rats nest by the look of things.
The pair dash into the Owlbear’s chamber that stinks like a butcher’s slaughterhouse, the air thick with the smell of bloody feathers. A hulking shape looms out of the darkness, and is met by flashing axes.
The creature lurches forward paws the air before it and for its efforts is gashed horribly, blood and fur fly, the thing squeals like a stuck pig as Grungarak buries his blade in the creature’s side. Twiglet is none too slow either, a downward chop that bites deep into the its left knee, it moans, almost sags and falls.
It swipes out, desperate; one claw catches Grungarak, spins the Half-Orc around and away- blood gushes from the wound on his forehead. Twiglet dodges in, swings his greataxe beneath the creature’s guard, buries the blade deep in its gut. The creature squeals again, wrenches the axe from the Dwarf’s hands and backs away, moaning all the while, blood pours from the wound, a curtain of red making the floor slick.
The Owlbear gets only two or three feet away before finally collapsing, one slow sad eye opens and closes, it takes a good while for it to die.
Back in the first chamber the last Skeleton is giving Cestode the run around, the Dwarf has already taken a glancing blow, his armour absorbing much of the hurt, till finally he backs the thing into a corner and smashes its legs from beneath it.
The fight is over.
Two minutes later the rope has been secured up top and Cestode has finally made his way down, and through the water,
“Not made for water, Dwarves- we don’t float, it’s against nature, the teachings of Moradin, start splashing around in water and where will it end- washing, that’s where.”
The others ignore his mutterings, explore the chamber properly. It’s a stinking mess however there’s something odd in the rat’s nest, interesting-odd, a bone, a rib by the look of it, although much bigger than a human rib, the bone is covered in odd runes, Gina tucks it away, perhaps Quintas can help to identify it.
Then there’s a spiral staircase heading down, and down’s where they need to go, but not too soon, Gina tends to wounds, and proffers friendly words.
“Keep it up Twiggy, you’re a real warrior now- look at the size of that thing.” Twiglet and Gina turn to stare at the corpse of the Owlbear. Twiglet grins.
“There, there Mr. Grungarak.” Gina soothes the hurts of the Half-Orc, who grunts and nods back at the Gnome.
“Chin up brave Paladin of Moradin.” Cestode shrugs and looks along the line to Fandango- grimaces at the Half-Elf.
“I’m fine Gina, I endeavour to avoid sharp objects, at all times.” Fandango winks at the Gnome, and she’s done.
Fandango also makes a discovery, the skull she rescued earlier, on Cestode’s behest, it’s got something rattling inside, the something turns out to be a nicely cut emerald, not of great value but nice looking and worth a gold or thirty. The value of the stone increases dramatically when Gina indicates that the gem seems to have magical qualities- although what they are, another item for Quintas to inspect.
Five minutes later they’re heading down, and this time Grungarak is leading the way, which is fortunate as he’s been in the chamber below before- soft, gloomy light, radiates from overgrown, giant mushrooms. The floor is covered with a thick carpet of rotting humus, and the air stinks of stagnant water and decay.
And at the far end of the room, a pair of golden doors, overgrown by a flailing Assassin Vine that probes the air as they shuffle around the outside of the chamber, keeping as far away as they can from it’s twirling lianas.
“Moradin’s greenhouse, how do we kill that?” Cestode asks.
Grungarak points, buried within the thickest part of the plant is its central stalk, the Half-Orc stops pointing and starts shooting, arrow after arrow thunk into the heart of the plant, a good half of them penetrating the rough bark.
Fish in a barrel time, the others join in, save Cestode who, as it turns out, has an opinion on missile weapons.
“Face-to-face, that’s real fighting, the clash of steel, combat-at-arms- anyone can throw things, fire them… whatsits?” The Dwarf indicates the strange device that Gina is putting to good use.
“It’s a crossbow.” The Gnome states and shakes her head.
“Crossbow, an alien word to a Paladin of Moradin, victory can only be gained in the test of strength.” The Dwarf shuts up a while.
Eventually the Assassin Vine flops onto the floor, dead.
“Where can I buy, one of these- Cross-Bows?” Cestode enquires of Twiglet, in a whisper, when no-one is about.
“I’ll check out the doors.” Fandango heads over, Gina scurries after the Half-Elf.
Grungarak guards the way, which leaves Cestode and Twiglet with time on their hands- they promenade.
Actually march- Cestode insists.
“Marching’s good for the soul, it’s orderly, and in polite societies, Dwarven societies that is, it’s considered fashionable- you can tell a lot from how a Dwarf marches.”
Twiglet tries to keep up, Cestode has taken marching to whole new level- hops, skips, turns, random about-faces, there’ll all in there.
“For instance, if an observer were to see me marching now, well they’d know that I was a serious Dwarf, that I have good intentions, and…” Cestode stops stretches a leg, “feel that”, he indicates his right calf.
Gingerly Twiglet reaches down and rubs the spot, “Nice.”
“Isn’t it- I have excellent calves.” He flexes some more, Twiglet rubs some more.
“Oh.” Twiglet stops, stares hard at a blank piece of wall.
“What is it?” Cestode is all action, greataxe to the fore.
“Secret door.” Twiglet points to the wall.
“Where I’m pointing.” Cestode follows the finger, it’s a blank bit of wall.
“I’ll tell the others, you find the opening mechanism.”
“But…” Twiglet heads off, as good as her word.
Cestode turns back to stare at the wall- he has no clue where to start.
“Bastard.” He whispers and then feels the stony impediment that bars the way, not even sure he’s looking in the right place.