Mandatory Sewer Level

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Log Info

  • Title: Mandatory Sewer Level
  • Emitter: Fidget
  • Characters: Warrick (Ftr3) Lokir (Bard2) Xasany (Wtc5) Aragos (Pal2) Gramarye (Wiz4)
  • Place: Alexandria - Undercity waterways
  • Time: Aug 17, 2023
  • Summary: Hired by the guards to investigate and clear water contamination
  • APL: 3.2
  • Encounter 1: 3 Draugr (CR2), 1 Draugr Captain (CR4) - CR 6

In the last couple of days -

The notice comes from the city guards, and it's low priority, so the pay isn't great, but it's something. The job claims to be easy enough, too.

"Help needed to investigate the contamination of the library square water well, and clear out what's causing the fouling - probably rats or something. Report to the north guardpost if interested."

So the notice had told you, and a friendly if half-asleep guardsman had told you to meet up today where you and the other help could work together on the problem.

- Today -

You've been led over to the entrance to the waterways, and the sound of rushing fresh water below the streets is heard softly through the metal grate that leads downwards, the air has the smell of churning clean water spray, but every so often, you get a faint whiff of something more foul.

"Ahright, then - that there's what we're looking for, so if you lot can find the source of the taint, and report back - you'll be doing us all a favour. If you can fix it, there'll be a bit more in it for you, too. But don't go dying down there and clogging up the waterways - I don't want to have to come down after you and clean up any corpses." The guard, who'd introduced himself as Lax on the walk over, says with a little bit of jest in his tone. "Any questions before I head back to my post?"

Low priority problems with the Watch meant issues that were either too complicated for a simple fix, too widespread to tackle, or- "Let me guess, its going to be putrid in there," Warrick says dryly, the ex-guard in blackened scale mail and a large crossbow slung over a shoulder mentions with an armet helm held in an arm. "But I'll keep that in mind, Lax. Anyone around here been getting sick with anything as of late due to it?"

Lokir eyes the guard politely. A half smile touches his lips. Over his shoulder, a medium-sized potato floats, with what appears to be a small cloth mask strapped over where its nose and mouth would be...if it weren't a potato. "If I may ask...How many corpses have you had to clean up from this sewer job, so far? Relatedly, any criminal activity in this area recently?"

The Gnome floats gracefully down from the sky, seated upon her sturdy oak quarterstaff. A wee, grey Owl is perched upon her left shoulder, preening itself, and hooting and screeching to Xasany. "Yes, yes, if you want to hunt mice, go ahead. But stay close, alright?"

The owl hoots happily, hopping from foot to foot before taking off into the air. "Bottomless stomach, much to the terror of the mice.", she says to herself.

The green-haired Gnome nods to Lax. "Right, so, find the source of the stink, deal with it if possible, else return to you to report. Dying is not an option. Erm, however, it's a possible outcome. Which we'll do our best to avoid."

Xasany eyes Warrick for a moment, and chuckles brightly. "It /IS/ a sewer after all."

There's a war golem in wizardly robes that's the tallest in the room. Her bronze plating looks shiny. It also looks like it might be the first victim of this sewer adventure. Such is the way of the adventurer lifestyle.

"Protocol dictates that adventurers will not be paid their expected wages if they are deceased before the objective is completed," Gramarye intones. "I will endeavor to provide arcane services to ensure the party's survival in the sewers." Notably, due to the way her face is sculpted, her mouth does not move: it's the dark eyes that light up with every syllable that provides a visual cue for her speech.

Aragos looks about as excited to be here as one might have expected from the paladin. Well if one knows him at all. Which is to say that he looks like a man expecting a tooth to be extracted from his jaw. "It's almost never _just_ rats." He says grumpily before looking over the group that he'd been thrust into.

He knows Warrick, and has met Xasany before. She gets a little extra glare. Lokir is new, but the flying potato makes Aragos roll his eyes. Great. Someone with a sense of 'humor' on a sewer trip. Then there's Gramarye. Certainly a known factor.

Aragos straightens a little and eyes the guardsman before waving his hand dismissively. "I got nothing. But apparently these folks have high expectations." The paladin wears blackened armor of his own, and a massive blade strapped to his back that looks liable to cause some trouble in the confined space of the sewers. It's a blue-black blade with an odd handle, but he wears it comfortably.

Lax looks a little sheepish in reply to the first question, "Yeah… yeah… it's not great. S'pposed to be clean water but it don't smell like it. Ah'course, we closed off access. Only one person got sick, and that's cause they ignored the sign." he taps the sign nailed to the well saying "DANGER -Well in need of cleaning, do not use."

To Lokir, the guard replies, "No, no. No corpses so far and we hope to keep it that way. Nothing unusual of the criminal nature of late, that comes to mind, just the usual stuff - pickpockets, the occasional mugging, and at least one bar brawl a night."

He gives a nod to the Wizard, "Aye, I'm hoping nothing magickal has gone awry down there, but it's good to be safe. Plus yer eyes'll light up the way a bit."

Lastly to Aragos, "Sure. Ah'd keep all expectations cautious and tempered. If we knew for sure it was rats, I'd have sent my cousin down there by himself with some traps, but you lot can handle a bit more than he can. And I'd plan for a wash after. Preferably before you come looking for payment if that seems appropriate." he says with a hint of a grimace that says he might have been the unfortunate one to have to go make the first aborted investigation himself.

Warrick raises a brow at Xasany before shaking his head and sliding the helmet on. "Some are less terrible than others. Second Phoenix Lane in the Upper Garden's is a godsend of a post," he shrugs before his attention rests on the potato. Then to its owner, Lokir. "May want to note that on the expense report if rats get ahold of it."

Gramarye and Aragos get a nod of acknowledgement, the visor on his helm sliding down from the motion. "At least this time it isn't animated wine," he proffers to the two. "But yes, never just rats. Anyways. If it is just one person sick, it's not spreading elsewhere, so it shouldn't be too hazardous to our health. I am prepared to investigate."

Lokir nods. So does the potato. "Sounds like a plan. Though, I have a few other snacks up my sleeve." Lokir casually unhooks his bow and holds it at the ready. A small magnifying glass and tweed hat appear in the potato's twiggy hands and round head. "The hunt is afoot."

The little witch squints at Aragos for a moment, an eyebrow slowly rising upwards. "You say that like having high expectations is a bad thing.", she says softly. She shrugs her shoulders then, "No questions come to mind.", is her reply to Lax. Her laugh is sharp and short. "That's because most people believe the sign's not for them. Not a surprise that someone would drink the water, despite the warning against doing so. Change the sign to 'shit water - drink at own risk', and there will be few, if any, others wanting to drink it."

Xasany nods to Warrick. "Yes, the upper gardens is a pleasant place, all things considered. How often did you have to fight to get stationed there? And if it's not rats... I'll wager it's otyughs."

There's a blink in Gramarye's eyes for a moment with Warrick's remark about animated wine. Then she announces, "Analysis concluded. Likelihood of encountering animated wine in the sewers: very low, less than one percent."

Which means that there's still odds it could be animated wine, and given that it's the sewers of Alexandria, it's probably safe to have that buffer of less than one percent just in case. Her head pivots to Aragos. "Father. My analysis indicates that the mouse protocol could become a problem if we are dealing with rats. You may override the protocol if you wish. It was set by the predecessor."

Aragos nods to Warrick when the other man nods to him. His armor doesn't come with a helm to protect his face, or if it does it's long gone now. He gives Xasany another short look. "Expectations should always be low." Aragos offers gruffly in reply, he starts toward the sewer himself and stalls when he hears Gramarye. His eyes turn toward her slowly. "Ah... Yes. Mouse protocol. Override it." He's lightly flushed around his cheeks, and he quickly returns to his effort to get into position to lead the way in. "Last thing we need is you staring after every mouse and rat in the sewers..."

Apparently this is a thing that's happened before?

Deciding that Q&A is complete for now, Lax pats the nearest person on the shoulder, finding the black-plated shoulderpads of Aragos, and says "Okay now, good luck you lot." he gives a final nod and with a grunt, he pulls the grate open, and it squeals as it turns on its hinge, and clunks to a halt standing straight up over the dark hole with a ladder. "That's not a bad idea about the sign, though. Might do that."

The ladder leads down only about 15 feet, the sound of the flowing water increasing steadily as you head down, loud enough you have to speak up to be heard by the bottom of the ladder. It's clear you'll need a light of some kind by the time you get to the bottom.

GAME: Lokir casts Dancing Lights. Caster Level: 2 DC: 13
GAME: Xasany casts Light. Caster Level: 5 DC: 14

"Depends, but otyughs? No. Something would be seriously wrong if we had to fight otyughs. Clean Sewage Peace Act of 983, section 2. Otyughs are designated as essential to city infrastructure," Warrick rattles off as he watches the grate get pulled off. A chuckle echoes in the helmet from less than one percent chance of wine elementals.

He wasn't going to ask about mouse protocol. "Thanks Lax." Taking the cue, he climbs on down, stepping back some to make way as his large crossbow is unslung. "I've a flameless torch if we need light," he comments.

Lokir nods. The potato begins to emit a strong white glow, only to have four vaguely potato-shaped globs of light split off and slowly circle around their spudly sire. "Indeed. We should be well-provisioned against the dark.”

The green-haired Gnome whistles, and a few moments later, the little, grey Owl returns to Xasony's shoulder. "Hoo."

"Yes, there are probably rats and mice down there. Good hunting, but don't eat the rats... actually, probably not good to eat the mice either. Who knows what they've gotten into?" The Owl's ears droop a little, and it lets out a sad sounding hoo. "Oh please, you are not starving.."

From a small pouch on her belt, Xas pulls a copper coin. She concentrates for a moment, her fingers tracing a pattern in the air. A few words of whispered magic are uttered, before she reaches into another pouch. Something wiggly attempts to escape her nimble fingers, but is quickly popped into her mouth, which is followed by a crunching sound. The coin suddenly emits a bright light, and the Gnome wedges the coin into a slot at the top of her staff.

With a few quick steps, she walks over the hole, disappearing into the darkness, with the light banishing a small area of darkness around her.

She only drops a few feet before she begins to slowly drift downwards.

There's a monotone noise that comes from Gramarye, a blink in her eyes. "I must apologize for this inconvenience, Father," she says at last. "I did not prepare a spell to help you with your eyesight. I will rectify this mistake and the previous one as promptly as I am able to do so."

She descends with the group into the darkness of the sewers, following their lead.

Aragos doesn't hesitate to head down in the dark. Though poor Lax gets a 'don't touch me' look before he goes in. Once down the ladder and as situated in the place as he's going to get Aragos looks around a bit. Potato-man illuminates his spud, and though it offers little illumination, it's a neat trick. Xasany comes down into the sewers illuminated. Given Gramarye's words he offers the golem a comforting pat on the shoulder. "Everyone else has the light. You save your magic for later."

If the fight got rough, he'd need her help.

The waterway flows in a slight downward incline towards your left, and comes from the right through rough mined stone tunnels that would be pitch black a few dozen feet away from the ladder were it not for your combined radiance, with a thin walkway cut into each side of the wall, there are periodic thin crossings to the other side of the flowing water, which seems to be about thigh-deep - 2ft or so. You have no choice but to walk single file, or double file if some of you cross over to the other side of the water via one of the walkways. The faint unpleasant aroma lingers in the air here, still subtle.

GAME: Gramarye rolls Perception: (17)+2: 19
GAME: Warrick rolls perception: (7)+5: 12
GAME: Aragos rolls Perception: (13)+1: 14
GAME: Lokir rolls perception: (10)+7: 17
GAME: Xasany rolls perception: (8)+4: 12

Warrick squints in the darkness through his visor, him adjusting his crossbow so one hand can rest on the winding winch. He hazards stepping over one of the thin crossing to get to the other side and open up the space for others. "I'll be over here," he says, tapping his crossbow. "... feh. Something certainly is rank." Lokir finds his way towards the back of the group, but lets the potato-shaped lights float ahead. "Aye, smells like rotting flesh. Looks like its coming from upstream." The floating lights nod in agreement and do their best to light the way to the ick ahead.

The Gnome gently alights on the narrow walkway, pausing to look to Aragos after picking up his comment. "I could cast a light spell on a coin for you, if you'd like? Lasts about an hour, though. But you could see, and also be able to hide the coin to cover the light. But.. well, you're brave, right? You'd have to eat a firefly."

Her eyebrows waggle and she grins brightly at the moody Paladin.

Sniffing at the air, Xas wrinkles her nose, and nods in agreement with Warrick. "With the air so stale and still, it's hard to tell where, exactly, the smell is coming from."

The Owl lets out a noise that sounds suspiciously like "Peeew." The witch snorts. "You eat mice, I don't think you get to complain about the smell."

"Father does not eat insects for sustenance," Gramarye responds to Xasany's offer before Aragos can even respond. The war golem wizard is following along in the group dutifully. "Lokir is correct. My analysis indicates mold, rotting flesh, and stagnant water from the smell of what is upstream."

"Damn right I don't eat bugs." Aragos grumps in response to Xasany and Gramarye's discussion. He pushes on ahead a bit. He can smell the scent of foulness and knows where it comes from. "Guess I'm in the lead then." He doesn't seem to mind this though, clanking forward and wishing that armor was water-proof.

The aroma grows stronger as you move upwards through the waterways, moving through the tunnels for at least a half hour, and the churn and froth in the water flowing by you begins to take on a slight sickly colour, a touch of brown, a hint of green. There are some turns on the way, and those of you with a good nose and a strong stomach figure out the way forward at each juncture. You get an appreciation of the complexity and size of the system that sends clean water through the district. Or was supposed to. As the smell starts to get really unpleasant, you hear a different water sound than usual, picking out slow repeated sloshing of some kind of movement ahead, and the rush of fast falling water from an opening ahead that seems to open out into a wider area.

GAME: Xasany casts Light. Caster Level: 5 DC: 14

Warrick shakes his head at the banter of insects, but doesn't say much more as he walks along the opposite walkway from the party. It's an old feeling of marching through these waterways. But that feeling grows more as the water changes hue, and the stench unbearable.

He winds the winch of his crossbow, clicking the string into place as a bolt is slotted in. "Movement potentially," he signs with his armored hand. <Handspeech>

Lokir raises his left hand and twirls a finger in fhe air, while his potato companion mimics Warrick's hand movements with its starchy body. In unison, the four dancing lights shoot off ahead of the group, to investigate towards the source of the sloshing sounds.

Xasany shakes her head, giggling lightly. "I am teasing, sir. I will give you a light coin, okay? Just in case, we should all have a source of light." Her fingers trace out the symbols once more, her voice low as she says the words of magic, and another bug is quickly crunched on and swallowed. She steps forward quickly to catch up to Aragos, the brightly shining coin offered up to the man. "No hard feelings, okay?"

The Gnome wrinkles her nose again, gagging lightly. "Ugh, it's getting worse. Rotting flesh you say? Great... undead are such a pain."

There are momentary blinks of light in Gramarye's eyes as the group proceeds. Perhaps she's analyzing something along the way. If she is, she's not announcing her findings.

Until Xasany mentions undead. "Initiating spellcasting," she intones as a quiet volume to indicate to her allies what she is done. "Casting spell to detect magic." A short murmur of an incantation and Gramarye's eyes glow blue as she surveys her surroundings.

GAME: Gramarye casts Detect Magic. Caster Level: 4 DC: 14

Aragos blinks as Xasany offers him the coin, accepting it and stuffing it into one of the rivets of his armor. Wedges it in place where it will not blind him. He nods to her, accepting her apology. The paladin notes Warrick's handsigns as he moves forward and stops long enough to unlimber his sword and nod solemnly.

He hisses softly when the potato-companioned man sends his lights ahead, but if it's undead up there... they're not terribly smart. Quickly he moves to a defensive position just in case he's wrong. Or in case all this talking draws whatever it is to them...

With the additional light, you see an archway carved into the tunnel ahead, and the grim flow flowing underneath a crossing at the opening into a wider area. The walls glisten with murky moisture, and you see a large stone pillar in the middle of the large chamber, and at the back of the room you see water cascading down into pools that surround the pillar and then flow towards you. At the light's entrance into the room, some things in the water stir and writhe, though it's difficult to make out much detail from far away, though one bloated hand sticking out of the water and swatting at the ball as it floats nearby does stand out, silhouetted against the orb.

Warrick grimaces as the light flies forward, him leaning against the wall as his crossbow gets shouldered. The once-guard jogs in after Aragos, holding the crossbow up and scanning out of habit formed training.

His frown is hidden, both from the stench and the hand swatting at the light. His own points at it, "Contact. Be wary." He was kind of hoping Xasany was joking about the undead.<Handspeech>

Lokir makes a gentle mime of casting a lure from his composite pole. In response, the dancing lights begin to circle and zoom about, attempting to draw attention towards the back of the room, away from the group---and perhaps entice something onto the platform.

GAME: Lokir rolls perform: (20)+perform: 20
GAME: Lokir rolls perform/oratory: (16)+8: 24

Lokir quietly but pointedly whispers "I think I got a's a nasty one, all right."

GAME: Lokir rolls 1d20: (7): 7
GAME: Xasany rolls knowledge/nature: (5)+9: 14

Xasany peers at Warrick a moment, and then takes a few steps towards him. "I uhm... don't speak hand sign.", she whispers. "Erm, what did you say?"

The Gnome blinks as the dancing lights spin and zoom around. "Interesting tactic." She squints, "So... what are these things, anyone know?" Xasany squints harder. "Is.. that water green or is there something floating in it?"

GAME: Lokir rolls knowledge/dungeoneering: (18)+5: 23

The display draws more attention, and the hand becomes an arm as it tries again to reach the orb, and then as the orb approaches the ledge, the whole body lunges out of the water in an attempt to grab at the insubstantial light, grasping and flailing it struggles to get up onto the ledge with difficulty. More forms in the water begin to stir at the noise and movement.

"There is no magic coming from within thirty feet of us," Gramarye intones. But as soon as there's forms stirring in the water, her blue eyes drop back to black. "Father. Movement detected ahead. Suggestion: initiate combat module."

There's a blink in her eyes before she offers, "Another suggestion, Father: allow me to enhance your strength with my spells as we move."

GAME: Xasany rolls perception: (13)+4: 17
GAME: Warrick rolls perception: (17)+5: 22

Aragos nods to Gramayre. "Agreed. Lets be cautious folks." Aragos says as he moves forward slowly and carefully, but staying within range of Gramayre. Undead. He almost smiles. Almost.

GAME: Lokir rolls perception: (3)+7: 10
GAME: Aragos rolls Perception: (17)+1: 18
GAME: Gramarye rolls Perception: (9)+2: 11

Warrick doesn't answer Xasany's question, him staring hard into the room ahead, crossbow kept leveled ahead. The thought of undead gets him to glance towards Aragos. Thankful that he was there with them.

Something else gets his attention. "There's more drowned, but- something skulking... other side of the room..." he hisses quietly, dropping to a knee and using side of the tunnel as cover.

Lokir continues to fish for rotted sewage. though taking note of Warrick's warning, he follows the warrior's lead, taking similar cover and casting his senses to try and spot the skulker. His potato watches dutifully, its many eyes peeled for threat.

GAME: Lokir rolls perception: (8)+7: 15

The green-haired witch wrinkles her nose, the smell causing her to cover her nose and mouth. "Ugh... that green stuff. That is the stuff of decomposing flesh, contaminating the water. And uhm.. it's quite possibly several to a dozen corpses worth of ... ick. I uhm wouldn't set foot in that wa..."

Xasany's eyes follow the channel leading from the green-slicked water into the sewer channels behind them. "Uh. This could be a lot bigger than we expect. The green's... moving down stream."

GAME: Gramarye casts Bull's Strength. Caster Level: 4 DC: 16

The form being toyed with finally manages to crawls its way up onto the platform, and with a loud groan of frustration it tries to grab the floating light ineffectually, and other groans and gurgles emanate from the doorway as more of the creatures in the room are roused by the activity. Another figure shambles into the light from near the back of the room, looking towards the light, and clutching a large axe in a deathgrip, the armed figure's waterlogged sailor's clothes are a little more intact than the flailing creature you've been fishing, and as it tilts its head with a potentially curious moan, it glances past the lights, past the creature, and to the people shuffling around down the waterway. The moan becomes a groan, then louder, and then a shriek that echoes around the room and ends in a gurgled whine. The creature in the center stops flailing at the light and responds in kind with a weaker groan, its head lolling around and looking for the target of the dinner call.

GAME: Warrick rolls weapon1: (4)+7: 11
GAME: Gramarye casts Unerring Weapon. Caster Level: 4 DC: 15
GAME: Warrick rolls weapon1: (3)+7: 10

Upon seeing Warrick shoot his crossbow and miss, Gramarye's eyes turn crimson-red. "Initiating combat module," she states, her voice dropping an octave. "Delivering spellcasting to Commander-Father. I will assume a support role."

Another arcane incantation with the touch of Gramarye's hand on Aragos's shoulder, and a spell washes over Aragos, making his blade more keen to connect.

Warick only hears half of Gramarye's words as creatures begin to pull themselves to the fore. And the building shriek gets a chill to run down his spine. "Fucking undead gob-shite," he snarls, shooting a bolt out, advancing, and shooting another downrange. <Khazad-dul>

Suppressing fire at best, as he misses both shots. "Contact! Look alive!"

Lokir abandons his phantom fishing as he lands his prey. And more prey. "All hands on deck! Let's send these rotted souls to a better end than fouling our drinking water with their decomposing corpses. In the name of Public Health!" Lokir's potato bravely floats forward to challenge the undead, as Lokir floats back...for a better vantage point.

GAME: Aragos rolls 1d20+6+2+1: (15)+6+2+1: 24
GAME: Aragos rolls 2d6+7+2+1: (9)+7+2+1: 19

Aragos moves forward quickly as the zombies begin to swiftly make their own approach. Once he reaches the edge of the corridor he stops, magic burning through his body and his weapon. _Breathe_. It's a necessary reminder in the stench.

One of the zombies comes around the corner and he swings on pure instinct, lopping its head clean off. It skitters into the green ichor-water and the body falls lifelessly to the floor.

The zombies join in on the screeching and start moving towards you, first at a stumble, then at a run they charge the group, a more elaborately dressed waterlogged threat with a scimitar slinks around the pillar and moves forward a little slower, and another bursts around the corner suddenly just in front of Warrick. All the while, more than a handful of the bodies in the water thrash and struggle to get up, splashing over to the edges of the water, but slowly. The first zombie you saw stumbles as a stronger one pushes it aside, and it slowly crawls after - towards you.

GAME: Gramarye casts Magic Missile. Caster Level: 4 DC: 15
GAME: Gramarye rolls 2d4+2: (3)+2: 5
GAME: Warrick rolls weapon1+1+1-2: (5)+7+1+1+-2: 12
GAME: Warrick rolls weapon1+1+1-2: (19)+7+1+1+-2: 26 (THREAT)
GAME: Warrick rolls weapon1+1+1-2: (1)+7+1+1+-2: 8 (EPIC FAIL)
GAME: Warrick rolls damage1+1+1: aliased to 1d10+0+1+1: (5)+0+1+1: 7

The war golem wizard's head pivots in the direction of the figure that's threatening Warrick. Gramarye's red eyes are a prelude to the lethal intent she has for the figure.

"Distributing arcane ordnance," she announces. Magic gathers in her hands and she spins her hand out, missiles of magic flying from her hand and going to lodge into the zombie in front of Warrick. They're only a little effective, but a little is better than none.

Warrick feels Lokir's tune set a cadence to the coming fight, him turning slightly to spy Xasany floating forward and- jeez, that was a strike! Ordnance flies forth, giving him supporting fire. "Thanks!" he barks across the waterway, him walking backwards as he cranks the winch on the crossbow, slamming in a bolt one after another. One skirts off the wall, but another lands center mass. "Stay focused!"

GAME: Lokir casts Grease. Caster Level: 2 DC: 14
GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20+8: (18)+8: 26

Lokir nods. "Aye! Slice them and dice them! Arrows fly true. Grease them up and put them in a stew!" Lokir reaches beneath his cloak and draws out a...questionable stick of butter. With a resigned bob, Lokir's spudly companion zooms into his hand. The resulting squelch sends a buttery geyser out over the rotted zombie reservoir and onto the walkway, coating area in front of Aragos and making the straight path from the platform a bit more treacherous for their unwanted undead companions.

GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20+5: (10)+5: 15
GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20: (15): 15
GAME: Aragos rolls 1d20+6+2+1: (16)+6+2+1: 25
GAME: Aragos rolls 2d6+7+2+1: (6)+7+2+1: 16

Aragos watches the zombie rush right for him and a wide grin spills right across his face. "THAT'S RIGHT BOYS! SOUPS ON!" He laughs as he cuts into this second one, thumping his sword hilt against his chest with a loud gong. "COME AND GET ME!"

It's his effort to rile the zombies and get them to attack him rather than Warrick or one of the others.

GAME: Xasany casts Burning Hands. Caster Level: 5 DC: 15
GAME: Xasany rolls 5d4: (14): 14
GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20+1: (11)+1: 12
GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20+1: (3)+1: 4

"Bother.", the Gnome says, her expression irritated. "There's a whole bloody horde of them. Someone's fallen behind in their cleanup and blessing work down here, it seems."

Xasany, floating a couple feet off the walkway, turns a little to her left, her little hands coming up. "Warrick, it's gonna get hot for a moment, but I'm not going to hit you." Her fingers begin tracing a mirrored pattern in the air.

"Mori In Igne!!"

A searing cone of fire erupts from her fingertips, catching both zombies in the upper body. One, now a crispy corpse charred to perfection, falls into the water with a steaming sizzle, while the second, behind the first, writhes in pain, blackening as the flames lick over it.

The undead wearing a captain's outfit tries to rush Aragos, but is slowed by the Grease and comes to a surprisingly graceful halt, but not quite enough to get his scimitar up to strike before Aragos buries a greatsword in his sodden flesh. The creature leans in towards Aragos's face around the blade and hisses with revolting breath that spatters the face with moisture and a couple fleshy chunks. The other zombies crowd each other trying to get to Warrick and the others, and one greataxe blow comes close but chinks against the stone walls with a near miss of the heavy blade.

Behind the rushing zombies, those in the pool continue to struggle to get out of the water, having reached the water's edge, they scrabble to get up, but have not succeeded. Yet.

GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20: (13): 13
GAME: Gramarye casts Grease. Caster Level: 4 DC: 15

"Distributing arcane grease," Gramarye intones. She lifts a perfectly rendered hand of a young woman's manicured fingers set in bronze, and she pivots her head in the direction of the platform where the rest of the undead appear to be coming. "Deploying in tactically favorable position."

Something slick and rainbow-colored shoots out from her hand, coating the surface where it lands and making it rather slippery for someone to stand on. "Please take advantage of this tactically advantageous position, Commander-Father," Gramarye politely requests of Aragos.

Warrick can't help but laugh in a spirited lifted chuckle despite the circumstances from the jovial puns and Aragos laying waste into another one. That laugh turns into choked surprise as one swings at him, Warrick barely moving out of the way. The arbalest's helmet turns to the side to see fire building in Xasany's hands, and he twists himself out of the way, flames licking close. "Shit. Thanks!" he says quickly before coughing at the stench of burnt, rotten flesh.

There's a brief opening where he has some room, the crossbow gets thrown over a shoulder and strapped in before he reaches across his back and pulls out a wooden heavy shield, and tightens the straps down to his arm. "Crossbow ineffective!" he makes a point to mention as he sees more grease get splayed out at the entry way. "Smart, Gramarye!"

GAME: Lokir rolls weapon2+1: (7)+6+1: 14
GAME: Lokir rolls damage2+1: aliased to 1d8+1+1: (1)+1+1: 3
GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20+12: (16)+12: 28
GAME: Fidget rolls 1d6+10: (2)+10: 12

Lokir nods approvingly at the additional magical grease, though his potato appears less enthused given its recent butter collision. "Aye! That's the spirit! Boil 'em, roast 'em, chop them, and flay. Grease them good and slay, slay, SLAY!"

Lokir notches and fires an arrow at the zombie in front of Warrick for good measure, though all the grease in the air seems to leave it without the usual punch of Lokir's composite longbow, as it collides and bounces off the zombie's thick hide.

GAME: Aragos rolls Fortitude: (13)+9: 22
GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20+5: (18)+5: 23
GAME: Fidget rolls 1d12+4: (11)+4: 15
GAME: Warrick rolls fortitude: (10)+5: 15
GAME: Aragos rolls 1d20+6+2+1: (11)+6+2+1: 20
GAME: Aragos rolls 2d6+7+2+1: (11)+7+2+1: 21
GAME: Xasany casts Cure Moderate Wounds. Caster Level: 5 DC: 16
GAME: Xasany rolls 2d8+5: (4)+5: 9

Aragos feels the bite of the blade find a place between his armor and pierce his flesh. There's something... in these things. An evil he feels boiling through his veins. Trying to sap his strength. But Vardama is with him. Vardama... is always with him. Bitterly he grins at the zombie-creature. No ordinary undead is this. "Take me to the halls,"

His voice rises, to call out to the Death-singing Dragon. His mistress. He swings his blade again, a scythe to carry the dead back to their end. It drops and he continues to stand against the horde. "Carry me home."

"You should all go!" He calls out, looking at the swarm before them. They can't stand against this many if they're all tainted like the one he just killed. "Retreat! I will stand and cover your rear!"

He doesn't say the rest.

The little witch looks between Warrick and Aragos, worry clouding her expression for a moment. Then Xas's face hardens, and she looks over her shoulder at Gramarye and Lokir, a hand gesturing to Warrick. "HELP HIM, NOW!"

Turning to Aragos, she floats forward. "No, you are not dying here." A prayer is heard this time, to Eluna, a small symbol around her neck glowing. After drawing glowing patterns with her hands, the glow transfers to her hands, and then into Aragos. "We can all retreat. If we can get them to line up, I have a lightning bolt ready. We can fry them all in a go or two."

GAME: Aragos rolls Heal: (20)+1: 21
GAME: Gramarye rolls Heal: (15)+2: 17
GAME: Lokir rolls 1d20: (12): 12
GAME: Xasany rolls heal: (4)+8: 12

Most of the creatures out of the water now lay on the floor oozing putrid water out of massive wounds, or slowly floating face down in the waterway past your bard. Some, however, still shamble, stumble, and crawl towards you. Two more of the zombies in the water have finally found their way onto the walkway, and start crawling towards you.

GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20: (9): 9

The nearest one, that you had been fishing earlier, tries to clamber back to its feet and trips on the grease, landing with a moist splat and a crack.

"Retreat command acknowledged." Gramarye intones. "Enemy analysis concludes: slow and damaged zombies, but too many for our current capabilities to handle successfully as a group. Terminating combat module."

Gramarye turns about and retreats, the crimson in her eyes turning back to black. "Please follow me, Father," she calls out to Aragos.

GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20+1: (20)+1: 21
GAME: Lokir casts Grease. Caster Level: 2 DC: 14

Warrick gasps as the axe cleaves down past his shield, cleaving through armor and catching in the metal before it got anywhere vital. Still, blood splatters across him. He shoves the crispy back with the shield. "This isn't a martyr moment, Aragos!" he points out in a bark after he gets his footing. "Gram's right! They're slow! Form up and fall back together!"

Giving the deathly creature another shove off, he uses it to cover his retreat as he backs up, up, up, bumping into Lokir. "Covering retreat, move move!"

Lokir nods. "Aye...the newer ones are sluggish. Crawling to meet us. And we've got enough grease to clog this whole artery." With a sad pat, Lokir wipes his still buttered Potato affectionately. "Away, dear Spudson. You've done your duty." With a shudder, the growing smell of delicious fries wars with the foul stench of decay. The brave potato flies squarely at the zombie with the greataxe--only to bounce harmlessly off its chest. Down but not out, the brave batata begins to shimmer and explodes into a greasy tar pit, covering Lokir and Warrick's retreat.

GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20+3: (13)+3: 16
GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20+5: (11)+5: 16
GAME: Fidget rolls 1d12+4: (2)+4: 6
GAME: Xasany rolls fortitude: (7)+2: 9
GAME: Xasany rolls fortitude: (5)+2: 7
GAME: Aragos rolls 1d20+6+2+1: (18)+6+2+1: 27
GAME: Aragos rolls 2d6+7+2+1: (7)+7+2+1: 17

Aragos doesn't flee after the others. He steps into the water and brings his blade to bear on one of the zombies threatening one of his allies. He... He's had his disagreements with her. They almost fought. But the sight of her blood makes him cold with fury. He looks at Xasany. "Get her out. You.... You save my... my daughter. Don't let her come back in here." He slices the enemy down and turns toward the horde.

They're his friends. His family. He was never meant to live this long.

"I saw angels, Coming after me Coming forth to carry me home."

The words are just for him now. Just for him. He'll stand here, and nothing; nothing shall pass.

GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20: (11): 11
GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20+1: (15)+1: 16
GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20: (13): 13

The Gnome goes green around the gills, and is violently ill. Luckily, she won't really foul the water any more than it already is. When urged on by Aragos, she nods her head. As the zombie falls to his weapon, she floats away down the passage way, moving to join the others.

After regaining her composure, she wipes her mouth on a shoulder, and snarls. A hand comes up and points down the passage way, her other hand making arcane hand signs. From a pouch on her belt, she pulls out a small, glass rod. As she rubs it over her dress, there's a little crackle of static electricity.

"BACK TO THE GRAVE WITH YOU!", she yells out as a crackling-BOOM echoes throughout the passageway, knocking down a line of zombies. "RUN, ARAGOS, RUN YO ASS!"

GAME: Fidget rolls 1d20: (15): 15

The lightning bolt blasts through several zombies, leaving a seared hole that passes through the whole line of them, they let out a whistling breath and drop to the floor a second later. The remaining zombies slowly move forward, crawling and groaning, and slipping on the grease somewhat but keeping advancing. One lunges at Aragos with a clawing swipe, but it doesn't land well and Aragos's armour holds aside the blow.

GAME: Warrick rolls weapon1+1-4: (2)+7+1+-4: 6

Warrick watches down the hall as Aragos cuts down the charred undead that hit Xasany. Seeing the current situation, as well as their positioning, he shouts down the tunnel. "Aragos! We're clear! Disengage! Regroup!"

Bang! An echoing, thundering boom in the tunnel gets him to reflexively duck with a shield held over his head. Taking a very hazardous bet, he groans as he sees Aragos holding his ground. "Maiden of Battle, why do you give me the hardest battles," he grumbles, reaching over and taking a very hazardous one handed heavy crossbow shot. It sails wide. More suppressing fire.

Lokir takes a last bit of butter and runs it across an arrowhead. "Fly true, and clog these souls to hell." With a twang, Lokir's arrow sails off and finds it's way to the zombie nearest Aragos. It shivers and bursts into yet another puddle of grease, leaving the two zombies on Aragos' flank flat-footed and reeling. More arrows sail out, adding to Warrick's covering arrow storm. "Rats do not begin to describe this gig. Lax is going to need to hire some ghost...exterminators."

As Aragos beings a measure, watery escape, the Gnome gently flies over the water to land on the opposing walkway. Taking extra care to ensure Aragos is out of the line of fire, she hollers out. "Cover your ears, big boom the second!"

Once more the glass rod is used to bring out the barest crackle of static electricity, which causes another bright flash, a crackle of lightning and an echoing BOOM. As before, the zombies shuffling along the walkway are holed, each one dropping to a steaming jumble of body parts.

"Come on, Aragos, you can make it. You better, we're running out of spells over here!"


The word makes Gramarye stop in her tracks as she goes to retreat. She hears it down the way. And considering what she is, it's easy to assume she has no acquaintance with emotion. That she doesn't know anything about love, about family, nothing other than the title that she's given Aragos.

Her eyes turn red again. "Initiating combat module. Objective: save Father."

She turns on her heels and she goes to provide her own magic, slim bolts of frost that go to drive into Aragos's enemies. At one point, she rejoins him. "I am with you until the end, Father," she intones in that octave-lower voice for when she is in combat. "I will not lose you as I lost your predecessor." There's an undeniable crack in her voice, an emotion in there that can't be emulated. It's real. She may not be 'real' like the flesh and blood allies she has, but that feeling is real.

When it's done, she holds out her hand to Aragos, her eyes flickering back to the dark stones. "Please accompany me home, Father, once I am done helping Lax clean," she requests. "Let your daughter help you clean up your armor."

For she is her father's daughter.

Amid the lightning strikes, and arrow flights, there stands a man against the remaining undead. He shines in the pure darkness of the sewer; the light given to him outlining his silhouette. His armor shimmers with gore and the ichor of the water. The water reflects the light from his coin up onto his armor and his blade. He's a man on fire.

He hears a voice in the dark. Calling to him. Not to the dark, but to _home_.

"I'm on my way."

Two more strikes and he's limping out of the darkness into the light. Alive. He lifts his gaze skyward as they exit the sewers. "Missed me again Vardama." He mutters, gripping Gramarye's hand and leading her away from that place.

"I need a drink."