Hell's Medicine Part 1
Hell's Medicine - Part 1
Player DM: Xenarchy
Selia - Halfling - Rogue 4
Valadhiel - Dawn elf - Ranger/Wizard 6
Shaelyn - Storm dwarf - Fighter 4
Karl - Human - Ranger/Rogue 4
Investigation - Non-combat
3x War Golem Fighter/Ranger 4 - CR 3 ea.
The Scene Begins
Just over the last few days, there have been strange stories spreading through Alexandria. These stories tell of war golems going mad. Rumour suggests they are breaking down and malfunctioning or it's the work of meddling gnomes. Some folk suggest that war golems are just naturally violent. They have war in their names, don't they? Whatever the cause, there have been injuries and people fear it won't be long before someone's killed.
The party finds itself in the Southwestern part of Alexandria. It's no surprise that most of the rumours have spread from an epicentre in the seedier parts of the city. The mana lamps offer illumination between the shadows of the night, this time when most uncouth sorts are active. There, across the street is the Jailhouse, that wretched hive of scum and villainy.
Selia prefers the term 'homey' when it comes to the Jailhouse, but not everyone has the same sort of home-life she does. Investigations aren't usually her sort of thing, but some of her friends are nutty War Golems.
Valadhiel glances around at the others, then shrugs, "Well, shall we confront matters at the source?" She nods towards the Jailhouse, then shakes her head a bit, "Seems like a strange place for it, in truth."
The Jailhouse is a step down from the usual bars that Karl frequents. Only a single step down from those bars, mind, because he's usually hanging out somewhere on the docks or near the airstation with sailors and other rowdy folk, but it is a step down. "Try not and look too..." He pauses, glancing over the group as they head inside. Halfling girl. Elfmaid. Well, Shaelyn should be alright. "...attractive while we're in there, alright?"
Selia gives Karl a wry look as she strides confidantly into the JailHouse. "Obviously, ya ain't never caught one o' me shows." Peering around a bit inside, Selia looks for some familiar faces, heading over to join the conversations a bit before turning talk towards War Golems and if anyone has direct information, or knows someone who does, drifting freely to follow any leads of potentially useful gossip. With, of course, a eye open for the regular trouble-makers who make the place home.
GAME: Selia rolls diplomacy: (15)+8: 23
The efforts at seeking information prove fruitful, with barely a word spoken in reply. There are shrugs, grunts and a point toward a burly lad sitting in one corner of the room and trying to be unnoticed. The fellow looks like your average patron of this place - muscular and crude - and bears some rather interesting bruises over his face and upper torso.
Karl crooks a brow upwards. "...she does shows?" A question asked to one of the others, before with a shrug he pushes in after her. He drifts along casually through the bar listening to the general conversation drifting about and keeping in ear-shot of Selia's conversations when he can, trying nott o look like he's with her. When the man in the corner is pointed out, he grabs an ale from the bar and wanders over - not for his table, but for one nearby.
Valadhiel glances over towards the indicated man, before she walks towards the table that Karl's at. Taking a seat, she does have a mug of ale, though the wizard seems to know better than to try and actually take a drink from the noxious brew.
Shaelyn smirks a bit at Karl, "She sure does." She informs him then, and she looks about the bar, glowering. She does that a lot. But otherwise, she leaves Selia to her work for the time being. When an apparent witness is pointed out, The dwarven woman makes her way over.
Selia takes a moment to eye the indicated individual, making a best guess to his drink of choice before procuring said guess and heading towards the table. Ploping the drink on the table-top, she slides the offering towards him as she climbs into a chair. "Oy mate, looks like yas 'ad a rough day o it. Wot 'appened?"
"Bugger off," the man says as a reaction before he even realises someone is saying things to him. He gives Selia a dour frown and rubs his nose. "'s no laughing. Some metal boys think it's fun to go around picking fights. I'm good for some good fair pugilism, but these lads are all metal skin and stink." He lifts his mug to his lips and gulps down half of his drink before slamming it back down. Cheap booze sploshes out. "Dunno what's with the green smoke. Something wrong with 'em?"
Selia nods in sympathy. "Could be, ain't never 'eard o' green smoke 'fore. Me and sum mates is lookin ta sort out da wrong. Where'd da fragger pick a fight wit ya? Pits?" she inquiers, nodding towards the tavern's popular fighting pit.
Shaelyn nods her head a bit as Selia and the man speak, mulling things over a bit. "Green smoke? Might be some kind of alchemical... thingy." She says. Hey, it's a miracle she knows the word 'alchemical'
Karl tosses back a swallow of ale, leaning back in his chair and listening quietly from beneath the shadow of his hat.
Valadhiel considers quietly, pretending to take a drink of her ale as she looks over at Shaelyn, "Possible. Or symptoms of a greater level of problem." She keeps her voice relatively low, eyes flickering around the room.
The man grumbles. "What, am I telling my life story? I get in a scrap with some bloody stinking golems and now I have the inquisition on me? Shove off."
Selia shrugs mildly, making ready to leave the man to his drink. "Did na mean ta bother ya. Still, be a 'elp iffen knew where ta find dat golem, sort 'im out proper."
GAME: Selia rolls diplomacy: (11)+8: 19
"You're not my mum. I don't need anyone looking after me." The brute's position shifts, starting to look more threatening. He's irritated by all this questioning, but does reluctantly give a bit of help, "If you're so desperate to get smacked by a metal fist, last I saw they were down Goblinton way. Now leave me be. I'm done talking."
"Right." Karl sets down the ale-mug with a soft thump, pushing himself up to his feet and glancing over to his companions with a crook'd smile, "Goblinton it is. Shouldn't be hard to find some golems amongst all the shorties, eh?"
Shaelyn nods her head a bit at that then, and she turns back to Selia and the others. "Sounds like that's where we're heading next." She comments, and unless anyone objects, she'll make her way out.
Valadhiel nods, "Indeed. Should be pretty obvious to find a smoking war golem in that area." She smiles faintly, leaving the mug on the table.
Selia nods and slips away, circleing wide around before joining the other at the far side of the other table. No reason to annoy further if can avoid it. "Ya'll 'eard? I dan't na nuthin 'bout na green smoke." Nodding as the others head out, the halfer follows, tossing a coin to the barwench along the way. *Always* tip the wait staff.
GAME: Selia rolls perception: (13)+6: 19 GAME: Karl rolls Perception: (16)+9: 25 GAME: Shaelyn rolls perception: (2)+0: 2 GAME: Valadhiel rolls perception: (15)+11: 26
GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d20+9: (17)+9: 26 GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d20+9: (14)+9: 23 GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d20+9: (11)+9: 20
The streets on the way to Goblinton are unpleasant to say the least. This part of the city has seen the most neglect, and its reputation as dangerous is not undeserved. A few of the mana lamps have been smashed or stolen. There are large stretches of darkness.
There in the middle of the street, maybe a hundred feet away and lit under a flickering lamp, is a hunched figure. Valadhiel and Karl can tell it's a war golem. The metal gleams. Faint wisps of green flow from its head. It's hard to tell what the golem is doing at this distance, but it seems to have something small and flexible in its hands.
"There." A quiet, terse word from Karl as he brings up a hand to halt, pointing down one of the streets, "It's a golem and it's... leaking... green... stuff." After a moment's pause, he adds, "I've never seen a golem leaking green stuff before."
Selia pauses, stepping slightly off to the side more from habit then any real worry. "Did, once. Drinkin contest gone wrong. Reckon dis ain't da same."
Shaelyn frowns at the sight of it, "Should we just attack it?" she wonders then. "We have the element of surprise. But it might just be a freakishly similar war golem."
Valadhiel shakes her head, "Not sure if attacking right away is necessary, we should probably investigate this first."
Karl looks to the others, considers their words... and then with a shrug he starts walking down the street towards the ominously smoking war golem. "Evenin' bloke," he calls out casually as he draws nearer, "Nice evening', wot?"
As soon as the voices are heard, the war golem looks up. Its eyes glow a sickly green and it rises, body held in a bestial stance. Torn goblin flesh hangs from its mechanical mouth. It screams, a terrible sound of grinding and screeching metal.
"...guess not," Karl says, stopping dead in his tracks.
Selia mutters something her mother would be shocked to hear, grabbing for her blade and moving for the deeper shadows.
Shaelyn glances back to Valadhiel, and then back to the Golem. "Not neccecary my arse!" she bellows, readying shield and axe.
Valadhiel draws her bow, "Well, I think that's a rather quick investigation." She smiles wryly back at Shaelyn, then arches a brow at the war golem.
Shaelyn strides forwards, not charging just yet, but certainly making her presence well known as she strides forwards, putting herself at the front of the group. "Put the goblin bits down and come along quietly!" She commands it.
GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+8: (2)+8: 10
"Is that a... is it eating a..." Yeah, Karl's unslinging his rifle, now, bringing it up to his shoulder and snapping off a shot. It seems that he's a little shaken by the sight of a war golem /eating a goblin/ though, because the shot whistles past the construct's blood-spattered shoulder without contacting.
GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d20+9: (13)+9: 22
The war golem surges forward, bounding like an animal and frothing green smoke from its mouth, eyes and joints. The mechanical creature howls and launches into Shaelyn, lunging with jagged claws welded onto its fingers. The claws scrape her shield and it bounces off.
Meanwhile, two more golems make an appearance, one to each side of the party as they step out of dark alleys. They both wield bladed polearms and appear jittery in their movements. One begins laughing with the sound of chattering gears, "Hahahahaha! More meat for the grinder!" The other clacks its metal jaw, seeming calmer, and says to the party, "Give us your gold and valuables and we promise not to have too much fun with you."
GAME: Selia rolls 1d20+9: (15)+9: 24 GAME: Selia rolls 1d4: (4): 4
"Ahw, but I like 'aving fun!" Selia replies, taking a few rapid steps towards the giggeling golem before hurling an iron cored ball. The weapon impacts with a solid thunk, leaving a visible dent as it bounces away.
GAME: Valadhiel casts scorching ray. GAME: Valadhiel rolls 1d20+7: (13)+7: 20 GAME: Valadhiel rolls 4d6: (9): 9
Valadhiel chants quickly, then follows up Selia's skipball attack with a blast of fire, "I daresay we shall have fun with you three." She smiles with an almost wicked expression, "I always wondered what makes a war golem tick, so to speak." The flames don't do that much, unfortunately, being deflected by the metal plates of her target.
GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d20+8-2: (14)+8+-2: 20 GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d20+8-2: (15)+8+-2: 21 GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d10+3: (10)+3: 13 GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d4+3: (4)+3: 7
Shaelyn scowls as the creature attacks, "You just made my day!" She declares, and pushes back with the shield she used to deflect his attacks, the metal spikes punching holes in his metal carapace. She swings her axe then, causing a huge dent in his side, before wrenching it back out with a horrible screeching noise.
GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+9: (11)+9: 20 GAME: Karl rolls 1d8+2: (2)+2: 4
A second charge of powder and bullet are loaded in the breach, the rifle's snapped shut and Karl raises it smoothly--a shot gets off, cracking into the golem's shoulder with a solid impact, more of the metal plating shredded from the impact. "There's definately something wrong with these mechanical bastards," he barks out, slanting a look at the more 'rational' one, "What are you?"
GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d20+7: (17)+7: 24 GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d20+7: (2)+7: 9 GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d20+7: (5)+7: 12 GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d4+8: (4)+8: 12 GAME: Xenarchy damaged Shaelyn for 12 points. 31 remaining.
The bestial war golem roars and howls as weapons cut into it. Shaelyn's axe comes away greased in a green-black fluid. That's not usual. The claws smash against Shaelyn's shield and the second blow breaks past the defense to deliver a raking slash.
The laughing, jittering enemy steps up to Selia and swings the hooked glaive down, failing to account for her shortness and sweeping over her head. The other replies to Karl, "We are high on hell's medicine," He lifts a faintly glowing vial to his mouth and downs the contents. The green light intensifies and more smoke pours out of his body. "And it makes killing you feel good!"
GAME: Selia rolls 1d20+10: (16)+10: 26 GAME: Selia rolls 1d4+1: (2)+1: 3
Selia sighs, drawing her blade and returning attacks with the laughing golem. Though she does a better job accounting for the height diffrence, bringng a sharp spark as her blade slips between a pair of plates. "Great, golems on drugs. Jus wot dis city needed."
GAME: Valadhiel rolls knowledge/arcana: (1)+15: 16
To Valadhiel only: 'You know that war golems are immune to poison and disease. This is something different.'
GAME: Valadhiel rolls 1d20+9: (2)+9: 11
Valadhiel nocks an arrow, frowning as she says to herself, "War golems are normally immune to poison and disease... this is something different." She seems distracted enough by the quandary that the arrow she fires goes wide. But at least it wasn't going to hit Selia.
GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d20+8-2: (20)+8+-2: 26 GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d20+8-2: (3)+8+-2: 9 GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d20+8-2: (12)+8+-2: 18 GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d10+3: (6)+3: 9 GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d4+3: (3)+3: 6
Shaelyn acks as the yellow gunk covers her axe, and she swings her axe again, this time sinking it into his neck. She follows up by smashing it three times with her shield, and driving it back. She brings her axe up to finish it off, when its eyes go dark and it slumps over, and she realized she doesn't need to hit it anymore.
GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+10: (2)+10: 12
A bullet ricochets off the heavy armour of the golem that's guzzling the horrible green fluids. Karl drops back a step, his brow furrowing in dark worry as he reloads, "...Taara's tits, what have you /done/ to yourselves?"
GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d20+7: (19)+7: 26 GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d10+12: (10)+12: 22 GAME: Xenarchy damaged Selia for 22 points. 2 remaining. GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d20+9: (20)+9: 29 GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d20+9: (12)+9: 21 GAME: Xenarchy damaged Karl for 49 points. -14 remaining.
The laughing war golem doesn't stop laughing despite the multiple hits. The glaive comes down true this time, slicing Selia's flesh with brutal, madness-fueled strength.
"I'll show you what we are!" The lead war golem yells, lunging forward in a charge and plunging the glaive right through Karl's midsection. The wound is ghastly, utterly terrifying. The weapon is drawn back out with a sickly squelch. Without closer examination, anyone would think Karl was killed stone dead. "Soon all our kind will know this glorious oil!"
GAME: Selia rolls 1d20+10: (3)+10: 13 GAME: Selia rolls 1d4+1: (2)+1: 3
Selia pales, not only from the sight of Karl's massive wound, but also from her own rapid bloodloss. Holding the slash with one hand, she stabs with the other, her blade sliding along the armor a moment before slipping between the plates again, severing a few components inside.
GAME: Valadhiel casts scorching ray. GAME: Valadhiel rolls 1d20+7: (3)+7: 10 GAME: Valadhiel rolls 4d6: (18): 18
Valadhiel shouts, "Karl!" She then sees the other adventurer fall, then focuses her ire on the war golem that gloats. Fire gathers around her hand as she chants loud and angry tones in Draconic. She unleashes the bolt, fire melting into the war golem, scorching plates and scouring the wooden framework.
GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d20+8+2: (5)+8+2: 15 GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d10+3: (2)+3: 5
Shaelyn's eyes go wide as two of her allies are brutally attacked. With karl already going down and apparently dead, she only has a moment to decide to try and stop Selia from meeting the fate. She charges towards the creature, "Pick on someone yer own size!" She yells, swinging her axe and winging the war golem, but it's a bad angle and the axe barley dents the surface.
"Rrkk--" The glaive's hooked blade plunges through the leather armour like it was paper and into Karl's guts, dragging back gore as it's pulled away. The hunter's rifle hits the pavestones with a clatter as his hands move to his stomach... and then he drops down to one knee, wavers for a moment, and collapses. His hat falls off, the feather fluttering in the breeze.
GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d20+7: (18)+7: 25 GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d10+12: (1)+12: 13 GAME: Xenarchy damaged Shaelyn for 13 points. 18 remaining. GAME: Xenarchy rolls 1d20+7: (6)+7: 13
"Urk!" The laughing golem is surprised by Shaelyn's charge and whirls around, swinging the blade over Selia's head and into the dwarf's side. This one is looking severely battered.
The leader steps forward over Karl's body and thrusts the glaive at Valadhiel. "Hahar! You don't know how good it feels to be burned like that! All of this is so incredible! If you weren't made of such flimsy flesh, I would show you."
GAME: Selia rolls 1d20+10+2: (12)+10+2: 24 GAME: Selia rolls 1d4+1+2d6: (3)+1+(11): 15
Selia steps deftly around the distracted golem, searching a moment before driving her blade deep into it's inner workings. If it had a spine, it would be severed, but whatever she just cut, the giggeling mechanoid falls, inert. Panting softly, she nods to the dwarf. "Thanks fer da assist."
GAME: Valadhiel casts magic missile. GAME: Valadhiel rolls 3d4+3: (9)+3: 12
Valadhiel scowls, nimbly dancing around the glaive as she takes a step back, raising her hand again. "Abomination. You sacrifice all that is noble about your kind, and for what? To be some sort of street mongrel? The equivalent of a rabid sewer rat?" She says a simple word of command, a trio of magical bolts flying from her fingers to hammer the war golem.
GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d20+8+2: (17)+8+2: 27 GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d10+3: (5)+3: 8
Shaelyn flashes a grin at Selia. "Happy to." She tells her, and then turns towards the last remaining one. "You made a mistake!" She yells, and then barrels across the street at it. She leaps at the last minute, over Karl, and then brings the axe down into the war golem's shoulder. She braces both feet on its chest, and then wrenches the axe free with a series of horrible screeches.
Selia sighs softly, and plops down where she stands in the street, fishing thru her things a moment before pulling out some strips of old cloth to bind her wounds with. "Oy, sumbody wanna check on Karl der? Bit busy, meself."
GAME: Valadhiel rolls knowledge/the planes: (9)+11: 20
To Valadhiel only: 'As you examine the inert bodies, you notice that the oil they have ingested has been spreading and binding into their systems, preparing them for... something. It's not the raw stuff of the evil realms, but it's clear the 'medicine' is distilled from some fluid of evil outsiders.'
Valadhiel glances to Shaelyn, "Look at Karl, please? I need to take a closer look at these golems. They are immune to most poisons and diseases, but the thought of an oil doing this..." She crouches, pulling out a dagger to probe carefully at the innards of the one Shaelyn felled. "See, here. It looks like this is some sort of... ichor, distilled from outsiders. Evil ones."
Shaelyn nods her head then, and she looks towards Karl. She leans down to check his pulse/poke him, to see if he's alive. After she determines that he is indeed still alive, if just barely, she reaches into a pouch and retrieves a small blue-green vial, and holds it to his lips.
GAME: Shaelyn used a Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds. GAME: Shaelyn rolls 2d8+3: (11)+3: 14 GAME: Xenarchy damaged Karl for -14 points. 0 remaining.
After the first few splashes of healing draught spill down his throat, Karl coughs a few times--blood staining his lips as he tries to focus. "What in the... name of Angoron's hefty balls hit me...?" Yeah, he'll be fine.
Selia frowns faintly, looking over at Val. "...so..... demonic drugs fer golems? ...wish could say dat were da weirdest thing 'ad run across in dis burg...."
With that done, Shaelyn is now able to wince in pain at her own wounds, and put away her axe to poke at the holes in her armor.
Valadhiel nods, "Indeed so. And Karl, you were hit by a glaive. A rather vicious arc, from a demon-tainted war golem." She frowns over at Selia, "Before we continue, we should attend to a temple of healing. And take these along as well, I'm sure that the churches of light might have some additional insights into demonic oils or other things infesting the city."