Hunting Fiends pt7

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When last we left our brave and noble heroes, they had just concluded a deal with people in the employ of the Obsidian Syndicate. Wererats. They appear tro be in communication with the Syndicate itself through some sort of mental means. This is probably no surprise to /wizards/, of course... or actually any of you at this point.

It would appear that they're aware of a target related to Asumit, or so they claim (how far can you really trust the Syndicate?) and they want your help in dealing with it.

It is suggested that they, and you, leave the sewers to find some place more condusive to playing.

Morgan is more then hapy to leave the area "A nice pub after a round of destinking every one here." she takes a look at Baz "So a few cleaning spells will be needed."

Iskandar nods in understanding. Side quest. Occupational hazard, when you are adventurer. "If it makes us a thorn in Asumit's hide, you can count us in," he assures the wererat. Then he hesitates and glances at the others. "Right...?" he says in a lowered voice.

"Wots a cleaning spell?" Baz asks, looking quizically at Morgan. "I can make water, Kor ain't some little piffy fair dat mends shoes and stuff. He is a God o kill'n and War." There's a pause and the big Ork pokes at his chin. "I can fix holes in stuff, equipment gots ta be right, uniforms shouldn't look too ratty."

Disaster has left.

And that is, indeed, how you wind up at a pub.

'Grandma Was A Dragon'.

The hanging sign over the door has the image of a dragon hunched over a human baby, though caricaturized in the manner of an old lady. With a cane in one of its forelegs.

And spectacles.

Either way, you've been able to go out of the sewers, taking Armagash with you, and settle in. It is there that a relatively nondfescript human man approaches you, now that the wererats have parted ways with you. Of course, you STILL feel like you're being observed by them.

This non-descript human is about as bland as bland can be. He takes a seat with you and lights his pipe before leaning back in his char.

"Oi," he says by way of greeting, "So you're the ones."

Morgan shrugs "we are many things, belive it or not. But please tell us what you want to offer us."

The big Ork drains his mug, belches and then tosses a chicken leg into his mouth. Smashing it down with stone crushing force and happily chomping away at the meat, cartilege and bone. Then slowly he eyes the plain normal man. "Oy, I am da Count De Monay. I am de one and only." There's a wrinkle of his nostrils then lifting a bowl of soup, Baz pours that down his gullet as well and bleches again. "Hah, now we gots ta kill something right? You here to tell us wot ta kill eh?"

"I imagine we are," Kore agrees mildly, though she favours Morgan with a faint nod. She'll cross her arms over her chest and observe quietly, studying the man in question from head to toe. Usual kore things, right.

"I haven't the foggiest notion of what you're talking about." Sasha says airily...

Iskandar leans back in his chair, sizing up the man who greeted them. "Pay no attention to them," he grins as if the other party members are joking. Who knows, maybe they are. "But if you know who we are, perhaps you know why. And you'd be willing to share it with us...?"

"Don't worry," replies Mr. Nondescript, "I wasn't." He leans back.

"We do have business. It's been decided at a higher echelon that we need to help you disrupt Asumit's operation. We believe. as we stated, that you'd be agreeable to this. Perhaps we'll even identify additional clues to his present directives here." He leans back. "He has a cult dedicated to his worship." Asumit has a cult? Great.

Sasha says, "Somehow I'm not surprised. He's offered them immortality, I'll bet." She then shakes her head."

"Perhaps?" Baz murmurs. "Wot?" He points a chicken leg at Mr. Nondescript. "You tells us everything den we go and find dis guy and I cuts his head off and wear it on me belt. If he's really lucky I'll dangle it down over me unmentionables and open a door with me hips. Get some Ass-mutt head banging done? Right? Right!." Tossing that leg into his mouth and crunching on it, Baz continues heedless of bits of food escaping his maw. "A cult eh? Heretics burn easy ya? Kor will like a good crop of cultists delivered up for some eternal buggery. Hahah HAH!"

"A cult. Of course. What can you tell us about this cult?" Kore makes a face but it's obvious from her expression that she is not terribly surprised. Instead she breathes a soft sigh and shakes her head slowly, lifting her hand to briefly cover her eyes.

Morgan sighs "So let me guess, you give us targets we take them out. And you use conections to add to your wealth. If that is one of the goals do know we are adventures and we take whats not nailed down for magic items and beer."

"Mn. I mean, you say it like all that is a bad thing." That's to Morgan.

"Besides, you'll be working with one of our kill teams." The man smiles. "You've already met them but they're not cleared to make this kind of discussion. Vandalheim is in a delicate political state. Removing Asumit's interference will be good for everyone. This Cult is operating as best as we can tell under the guise of favoring the old god of magic. The dead one. He had a small temple here."

Sasha stares. "Animus."

"I suppose we ill find out if Vardama has a sense of humour," Kore murmurs then, her eyes narrowing slightly. "So what would you have us do?? ...Invade the temple?"

Morgan nods "are you sure its a cult and not a honest temple. Do you have any proof."

"...well, the demons our operatives saw inside the temple are relatively recent phenomenon, but I understand you won't take our word for it. You'll have the opportunity to scout yourselves. You DO have a capable scout with you... don't you?" The man's eyebrows arch.

"Yes - us!" Iskandar gives Baz a comraderly clap on the shoulder. Then he shrugs. "Sounds like a fine plan. Let's get started." He glanced around theatrically to make sure nobody is watching and then produces a map. One that looks like the one the party has been following since they arrived here, only this one isn't marked. "Where to...?" he watched the man expectantly.

There's a nod for Iskandar, then the big Ork leans over and looks at the map. "Yeah, we go fill dis dead god's temple wit dead cultists. It's like a happy place, yeah?" Lifting a pitcher Baz fills his mug and then starts gulping from the pitcher. Long lines of ale running down his cheeks and neck.

Morgan nods "Well I say lets go and check it out. But what intell do you have on them, numbers and what deamons they have?"

"I understand you have a map of the area. WOuld you mind?" He puts on a pair of spectacles, lookinmg between the lot of you. "Yes, you. Our kill team will get in position, but this way I can mark the approximatre location of the temple."

Sasha tilts head. "Kill team?"

"I mentioned them already. You've already met them," says the Syndicate-Man with a shrug of his shoulders. He means the rats, obviously, right?

Sasha says, "So...If you're right about the they have a way to FIGHT the demons?"

Kore arches a brow when Iskandar mentions scouting and then she gives a faint nod, shrugging her shoulders gently. "If you'd like to do the scouting I suppose that is everything we needed," the littlest Monk muses quietly. "...I'd be happy to go ahead if you prefer. But whatever works for the group is fine. Do we haveyour plan then?"

Iskandar spreads the map out on their table and then stands and moves back so that Mr. Nondescript has room.

Constantin has arrived.

With the map presented, he produces a fountain pen, leans down, and marks a spot on the lower edege of the rift, in the oldest sections of the old town.

"There," he says, "but do take care. My men will find a time to approach you. BEst of luck." And with that, he's on his way out.

Sasha rubs her face. "His 'kill team' has nothing to use against demons." She says to everyone else. "They're going in completely unprepared." She then looks to Morgan. "Be ready."

Morgan nods "Do you want to hit them now or give me some time to prepair for us?"

"You know what works on demons?" Baz doubles up his fist until the leather and metal of his gauntlet creak. "Bazs do, works on all demons. Even da big ones wit da fire and tails." Standing to his feet the Ork tosses a collection of coins down on the Pub's table to cover his meal. "Right, I gots me drink in, I got da food in. Now I need ta work out me aggression. Lets get go'in and find some demons ta kill. Or I'm gonna have ta go around collecting locals for a tusk ride. Ya? HAh!"

Constantin exhales from his place in the back. "Well, it's something." He sucks on his teeth for a moment. "I wonder if this is more wide-spread -- the hiding of a cult in this manner. No matter -- it will be good to demolish this." A pause. "So, hopefully, it's not up to me and the Baz to," he air-quotes, "scout via the front door."

Morgan nods "Well I have a good invisible spell for our sneaky one."

Sasha says, "Don't look at me. I'm not stealthy."

Morgan nods "Well I will cast the spell when we get close to the area to help save on time. But I would like to rest for two hours so I can fix some of my spells when we know what kind of undead and what ever else is in there."

Constantin grunts. "And demons. Always the demons."

Locating the old temple of Animus is perfectly doable. You've got a map, after all, and it isn't long before you've passed into the old town at the bottom of the rift where Vandalheim really shows its age. This city is /old/. Centuries, easily, with generations of families having lived in these ancient stone buildings. They too are mixed with fresher constructions, though most of them are a little older too.

The TEmple of Animus is centuries old, the gargoyles adorning its 10 foot walls and twisted spires make it stand out quite well. It's quite large, this old cathedral to a dead god, multi colored stones shining with ancient magics sitting upon itspeaks.

The doors are shut, but you can hear the music coming from within. A hymn to the old god.

Constantin uses his magical hat to turn himself incredibly average before making this approach. Brown hair, brown eyes, brown-ish skin, brown and grey clothes. Totally normal - just a baseline average of humanity, like a toddler mixing all the paints together.

Sasha keeeeeps back. Why? Not sneaky. Also, she has to prepare for demons.

GAME: Kore rolls knowledge/religion: (4)+6: 10

GAME: Morgan rolls knowledge/religion: (15)+11: 26

GAME: Kore rolls Perform/Sing: (20)+6: 26

Morgan stops to hear the hyms and says "Kore you want the spell to help you scout it out, but mind you it will only last about 10 minutes."

"..." Kore is listening as she proceeds forward, moving with silence. After a time she begins to sing along softly with the hymn in question. She does so with a great deal of reverence, walking with entirely silent steps. Eventually, Kore closes her eyes as she reaches the door. "There's no one here," she whispers after a moment, laying her hands toward the door. Her eyes open and she begins to examine the doorway for traps, not quite touching. "It's--- magic." Then she gives Morgan a brief nod. "I'm prepared."

GAME: Kore rolls Stealth: (20)+16: 36

Morgan looks to Kore and says "Now this is not the better one, you say anything or bump in to anything and so on it will break and you will be seen. Oh and undead will see you so hide normaly." with tat said she says a few strange arcane words that makes Kore vanish from sight.

So the rest of you head to an inn.

Hey, look. There's a bunch of guys hanging out in the corner over there who raise glasses in your direction, inviting you to come join them. Maybe that's your contacts? It doesn't look like they've been there very long, but they're clearly very solicitous of the rest of you.

Meanwhile, Kore is left with the challenge of how to get inside a temple without being noticed.

Sure, she's invisible, but there's that old adversary to confront...

..the door.

GAME: Kore rolls Perception: (11)+17: 28

GAME: Kore rolls Athletics: (17)+13: 30

GAME: Kore rolls knowledge/religion: (15)+6: 21

GAME: Kore casts Create Water. Caster Level: 6 DC: 14

Kore finally returns to the group some hours later, covered in wet soot and smelling mildly of sulfur. SHe's grimacing as she wrings out her tunic on the approach, dripping from all possible corners.

"The Cult is a fake. I found a portal at the top of the fortress where I believe the demons are hiding. They've- ransacked the temple. All of it. All of ANimus's books on magic..."

The half-Mul shakes her head as she pauses for a second to catch her breath. "There are quite a few of them, most pretending to be clerics and all armed." She'll let that sin kin for a beat. "And there are catacombs or crypts under the building. We might be able to find an entrance through them. Or... They might be a hiding spot for even more evil monsters. Possibly both? I couldn't say. Next time I should try scouting at night..."