When last we left the Divine Order of the Purple Tentacle, our heroes were caught between a rock (3 of them actually: The Jewels of the Carnifex), and a hard place (the Swords of the Pious, led by Mr. Majestic). Kormaki Lemmisson, 3rd (!) level cleric (who has turned to the forces of Chaos) recounts what happened.
Yep, we were deep in the crypt, and things weren't looking so good for us. Damned Swords of the Pious wanted us to bust up the Jewels, but Denny Smeds had his eyes on 'em, his avarice running high, and we had just determined that the Swords of the Pious do not care much for the Jewels, as they emit some sort of Protection from Lawful aura. So, we could probably use them later. The way they're positioned, though… obvious trap. We'd have to work out how to grab 'em.
We also probably would need that big-ass two-handed sword that the Swords of the Pious had taken from the altar room. It might come in handy later, depending on what went down. So how to get it? Formerly Ian the wizard has a plan. When we was just lads, we'd plundered the Crypt of the Lizard King. Formerly Ian found there a helm (now fully bonded to his skull) that belonged to the Lizard King, a mighty warrior and sailor. This puissant helm makes it easier for him to persuade people, among other things. So he decided to talk to Mr. Majestic, to convince him that we needed it to smash the Jewels. [Meta Note: Formerly Ian Persuades using Lizard King Helm ROLLS 28! Natural 20, plus Helm's +3, plus 1-time +5 bonus from the Invoke Patron thing he did at end of last session].
Sure enough, that glowing old codger coughs it up. Now we have the Sword of the Carnifex. The Sword says "Executioner's Wand"—and it's the same sword as they put in all those ritual beheading murals we found around this place. Vane's the most chaotic mother's son in the Order, so he takes the sword, at least for the moment. Formerly Ian tries to Detect Magic on the weapon, but the Metal Gods did not smile upon him. The spell was lost. Oh, well… could have been worse.
Armed now with the Sword, Denny Smeds checks out the Idol ( some kind of worm thing with rubies in its mouth and two claws) for traps. He figures out that pulling the jewels will make it bite, probably. So, we start using iron spikes to jam its articulations. The jaws were easy enough, but the claws were maybe a little less successfully jammed. Moreover, I started havin' me a VERY BAD feeling about these damned jewels. I told the guys, and (of course) they ignored my premonition. Greedy fucks, the lot of 'em. Denny said, "Okay. Let's do it. We just can't not do it, right?" However, perhaps my misgivings made the thief a bit more cautious than he woulda been. So, we don't do it immediately. I'll get back to that.
In the meantime, Vane's weapon, the mighty Whore Whammer (whose purpose is to slay Lawful beings) wants to kill the Swords of the Pious. Like really bad, it wants to. We told him to hold off for just a minute, 'til we'd figured out how we're gonna get the Jewels and skedaddle out of this place. So, we went downstairs, instead.
There were no traps on the stairway, but it ended in a flooded section of hallway, with a wax-sealed, and runed, door of some kind. We also saw some old bones lying in the water, there. My first thought was, "Nope. Ain't touchin' that door." The others kinda agreed. I figured I'd at least try to Detect Magic on it. Yeah, the Metal Gods… strongly disapproved of that. I spent the next hour chanting a hymn (Living After Midnight, which is sacred to Obhal the Steel Eagle) to get right with the guys upstairs. Sometimes I begin to wonder why I ever became a holy man. Maybe that's gotta change…
Denny Smeds has him an idea, though. With that weird whistle, he raises up those old bones. They look to be the remains of two members of the Swords of the Pious, and they have some holy symbols on chains around their necks. He raises all three of 'em, and sends 'em upstairs to get us the Jewels.
Adam the GM said, "So what's your plan here, pal?"
Phil the Player said, "I miss having a moustache to twirl evilly."
Anyway, so Denny sends the skeletons to get jewels. Two get fucked up pretty bad, losing their arms to the claw attacks. The other one is okay, because we wedged the jaws open. We get the Jewels. Big fist-sized numbers, red like blood. Denny picks up the Jewels, and puts 'em in a sack. They make him feel… WARLIKE, like he wants to make a Snuggie® out of Mr. Majestic's hide.
Then we try to figure out the runes on the sealed door (me and Former Ian and Denny): They say, "Death Bound to the Pit by the Sacrifice Of Four Noble Lives: Liaf, Bauherm, Magin & Azazel." What the hell does that mean? No fuckin' clue. Now it looks like the only way back out is through the Swords of the Pious. So, just to make it work, and to curry favor with the Metal Gods, I drop trow' and piss all over those lawful holy symbols to tell the Swords' gods to fuck off. It also helped me to fix my little disapproval problem.
Meanwhile, Grumble the dwarf is getting' a bit froggy, and hits one of the Swords of the Pious with a javelin. About that time, we decide to take Jewels upstairs. Denny keeps them in bag. We tried to persuade him to distribute them to the rest of us, to spread the anti-Law aura. It took a while, but eventually he saw reason.
I started marshalling the troops, trying to get ourselves into a phalanx, with me and Formerly Ian in the middle, and to escape via the narrower secret passage by the stairs instead of the big, central corridor with the vines. Grumble says, "Let's maybe kill the wicker guy over there, the guy what they been worshipping." "NO!" we say, "Let's get the fuck out of here. Formerly Ian ain't looking so good." So, we 'turtle' and move toward the secret passage.
Mr. Majestic makes a final plea for us to destroy the Jewels. We not-so-politely decline. So, it's on.
Denny sent skeletons at Mr. Majestic and his bodyguards, killing one and wounding the other, and then shoots a crossbow at Mr. Majestic, to no avail. It just bounced right off his armor. "That armor may just be worth something, once we kill the guy," I was thinking.
Grumble hurls another javelin. Nope.
Vane throws a Molotov way off line, and they easily dance back from the burning oil.
Formerly Ian casts Sleep, and somehow manages to nod off right in the middle. Fuck me! Now I gotta carry the fuckin'wizard? [Meta Note: Natural 1. Roll of 5 indicates a Misfire. Gabriel Rolls 1. Goes to Sleep.] I try to slap him around a bit, to wake him up. It'll take a bit for him to come to his senses, but he can stumble along if I support him.
We continue to move in turtle formation.
They attack, but nobody gets hit. As they get closer to Vane, they seem to wither and steam. They … are all fucked up by Whore Wammer or maybe by the Jewel he's carrying, like turned, but with damage. Things are lookin' up at this point, but we got a whole lot of these bastards to kill, and Mr. Majestic is lookin' like a real handful.
We finally get to the hallway, and I carry the wizard. Somebody suggests using some more of that holy water we found, but we're out. We do have that other bottle with the crossed swords on it, and the pasty black gel in it. Hmm… the texture isn't that of something made for drinking… Hey! I got an idea! Smear some of that shit on the Whore Whammer, Vane! Vane smears potion from Crossed Swords bottle. The Whore Whammer is now a very dirty hammer.
Vane ATTACKS. He had an Insight, which somehow helped a miss became a hit! [Meta Note: Whore Whammer is now +3 against all enemies of the Carnifex! Denny gets a bonus too, after smearing his weapon]. It's a hard hit! Mr. Majestic's all pissed about it, like he can't believe how bad it hurt. He says, "What the fuck?" in angelic language.
Mr. Majestic attacks Vane. Two attacks! No luck, though, because Vane's wearing the Sea Dragon scale armor of the Lizard King.
Three of the mutants attack Vane, and take damage from awesome Chaos aura given off by the Jewel he's carrying!
We get to the end of the secret passage, and Denny opens other door. Bad guys there, lots of 'em. He closes it again. Then it's my turn.
I decide to support Vane, while he holds off Mr. Majestic and that crew of his. I cast a fire bomb at Mr. Majestic and his bodyguard, and fuck 'em up pretty badly.
The other group of enemies to the south bash the secret door in, so our guys down there need to fight. Formerly Ian casts Color Spray at Mr. Majestic's Lieutenant. [Meta Note: He burns Luck to succeed. Plus mercurial effect… Major Corruption! Formerly Ian's height changes by 1d20-10 inches.] The damned wizard stretches 10 inches taller. What the hell? Maybe he needs to rethink this whole wizard thing. He's turning into a fuckin' freak. Oh, well… I guess he's OUR freak.
Grumble the Dwarf grabs the two-handed sword (Wand of the Executioner) and fucking attacks the Lieutenant with with it. Badly. If our lives weren't on the line, I probably woulda fallen out I was laughing so hard.
Denny brandishes a Carnifex gem. Some mutant dudes get badly burned by Carnifex power. He gets to go again! Does the "turning" thing again. One more is hurt.
I'm finding myself thinking that my neutrality is holding me back. I'm tired of being such a shitty spell caster, and I've fucking had it with neutrality. Time to pick one side or the other. No more fence-sitting. The Metal Gods are a pantheon, after all, and I've got choices! I appeal to the powers of the Metal Gods of Chaos, and begin to rend my flesh with Their runes, obliterating Neutral ones already there. [Meta Note: Clerics can spellburn for things like this, in our world.] I bless Vane. Spellburned to 14 from 11.
Continued burning from my firebomb kills one more bodyguard.
Grumble got hit pretty badly by the Lieutenant.
Grumble and Vane both attack and they miss.
Formerly Ian casts Chill Touch [Meta Note: result of 24! His hands are charged with negative energy! For the next turn, the caster receives a +4 to attack rolls, and every creature the caster attacks takes an additional 2d6 damage as well as 1d4 points of Strength loss. Un-dead creatures take an additional +4 points of damage], and these guys appear to be fucked, now. He badly damages the Lieutenant.
I try to heal Grumble. Shit! Not again! [Meta Note: A "2" is in the disapproval range. Kormaki gets an immediate -1 to heal. But now must go on quest to heal crippled, etc. before that effect goes away]. Kormaki is really thinking about a change of career.
Denny attacks, and misses, but the Jewel's aura does damage.
Grumble hammers the Lieutenant.
I pick up 2-handed sword, but suddenly realize that, as a now-Chaotic cleric, I can't use this thing. I need an axe or something.
Vane hits Mr. Majestic and socks him good.
Adam: "Tell me how you killed this guy."
Vane: "I smashed his head like a nut."
The other mutant dudes start flipping out. Some charge, but others are moving away toward statue, what we've been calling the Wicker Man.
Formerly Ian tries to Chill Touch the Lieutenant, and succeeds! Killed that bastard by grabbing his face and reverse microwaving his brains. Other guys' morale is broken, and they start to run.
I move to support Vane. Me and Vane fail some Luck checks.
Three guys attacked. The Jewels fucked them up.
Denny attacks the other guys with firebomb.
Formerly Ian makes Luck check.
Grumble rifles the pockets of the dead dudes. Finds 14 very old silver pieces, wants to loot the rest of them.
I say we should get the fuck out here, but they want to loot Mr. Majestic. However, his corpse is decomposing quickly, and then the rest of the Pious follow suit in short order.
We (of course) go back to desecrate the Wicker Man statue, and burn it with fire.
We backtrack through the complex. The climb back up to the sewer is difficult, but we manage it. We were smart enough to tie ourselves off before climbing. We eventually get up there in the sewer pipe.
We each get a Luck point, and Kormaki reaches 3rd level! Woo hoo!
So, now we gotta figure out what to do with the Jewels of the Carnifex. Maybe we should go visit our old pal, Amor Ba'Gish, the wizard. He knows People. The guys kinda want to keep 'em as trophies, but I think that would only serve to attract the worst kind of thieves. Also, possession of the Jewels would provide proof that we'd fucked up the Swords of the Pious, and Ur-Hadad's lawful do-gooders might not be too happy to find that out, if they manage to do so. I say we sell 'em and spend a bit more money on our compound. Hell, with what we get we might just be able to buy that whore house next door. It might also finance some more improvements to turn our house into more of a defensible compound. Things are unsettled in the First City, and we need to be ready for trouble. For now, though, I could use a drink or ten.