Posted on November 28, 2013
Castaway Diary, day 24 cont.ALL COMBAT, ALL SESSION! It was a cracking one too, which – in combination with last week’s session – left 25 barbarians, four skeletons and one giant lizard dead. No Player or NPC friendly casualties, although they came awfully close a few times. …almost half a minute passed while nothing happened. After checking that the cannibals really were dead, not just play-acting so they could do a scary anklegrab with an orchestral sting at a dramatic moment, Malicia and Percy advanced to the edge of the jungle and peered out onto the still and empty compound of the cannibals. Rain poured and the storm cloud overhead rumbled but no more enemies could be seen. Victor joined them at the edge of the foliage, but he got there just as the first stroke of lightning hit nearby and was left with a negative image of the compound seared into his eyes. What could be seen from the edge of the jungle were sturdily constructed buildings. To their left, past a little fenced pen, stood a small hut made of timbers and obviously often repaired. To their right, over the path that led to the cliffside trail, a more substantial structure, with solid stone cornerpieces and foundations, thick timber walls and a sagging slate roof punctuated by two chimneys. The space between these two buildings was open, with a sail-covered unlit-bonfire prepared beneath a huge iron cauldron. Past these two, the outline of a squat tower and an attached building could be seen through the rain, occasionally backlit by small flashes of lightning. Orny got Nobody up on his feet and the tiefling wasted no time in adding his eyes to the line of peering people, meaning that Percy had to chase after him to heal him further. Orny had already laid the hex on Nobody so there was no point in chasing him; the witch decided to search the other witch’s corpse. On it, he found a quarterstaff and a wand, which he pocketed without looking at in too much detail. It has to be witchy and awesome and Orny can delay gratification, apparently. Good that Orny moved on so quickly because the rest of his party were about to find more work for him. Uun and Aerys held back, Uun recovering from raging and Aerys keeping guard over Orny. Malicia and Nobody snuck across the road, although Malicia’s attempt was undone by a poorly timed stroke of lightning that lit up the area she was traversing. Victor was above – for now – such low behaviour as sneaking, and he had also heard the faint sounds of a woman whimpering so his Paladinly instincts were flaring. He advanced into the clearing between the buildings and took a look at the small hut. The door was a fixed canvas strung tightly into place, he forced it aside and was rushed by two cannibals who had been lying in wait. They struck at the surprised Paladin and howled wildly. Hearing this, Malicia ran around the back of the large building, hurdling the staircase that led up to a wooden watch tower, while Nobody ran around the front and drawing a bead on one of the cannibals in the dark hut, shot him, but only a little. Whether the howling or the gunshot served as the super-secret signal, we will not know, because at that point the doors of the tower building and the large building opened and cannibals streamed out – over a dozen of them – with most dashing madly into combat and a few (four to be precise) female cannibals stood at the back, waiting. Nobody and Victor were on the front line receiving the charge, but Victor weathered it and began to fight defensively while Nobody took a bad wound, which is the kind Nobody couldn’t afford to take. That isn’t a double negative. Percy, still in the jungle, cast Sun Metal on his weapon, causing it to burst into flame and ready to spread a little sunshine to this dismal place. The muddy courtyard of the complex was now swarming with furiously screaming barbarians, all clamouring for (literally) a piece of the adventurers. Malicia shot an arrow off at one of the women who were standing waiting, but when a grander, more eloquently screaming cannibal appeared on a wooden balcony of the squat tower, she loosed a shot at him too. Shrieking in manic delight, he leapt to the ground before Malicia and advanced on her, slashing at her with a scimitar, laughing like a voodoo priest in a James Bond film and rolling his eyes like a lunatic. His lady barbarian attendants rushed to him just as Malicia rushed away, back around the building as far as the stairs to the watchtower, on which she tripped and sprawled. The desperate tengu fled, back towards the safety of her party and the jungle, but didn’t make it all the way there before the red-cloaked barbarian slashed her viciously with his Scimitar and then, as she teetered, savaged her with his horrible teeth, tearing chunks of feathers and flesh off her as she fell. The rest of the party hadn’t been idle while this was happening, but the situation had changed dramatically. Having borne the brunt of the cannibal charge, Nobody accessed that little infernal part of him that knows how to cast Darkness and created a dome of darkness in the middle of the melee, then fell backwards to get away from it all. Victor also left the darkness, and used the cover of the hut to… ahem… hide. Percy joined him, waiting for whatever hapless cannibal stumbled out of the darkness first. Orny had not been idle and while Uun continued to catch his breath, the manwitch cast Mage Armour on himself and then, rolling with the change in circumstance, cast Darkvision on Uun. Aerys, watchful of Orny’s safety, spotted Klorak the Red, the manic tengu-chasing-barbarian and sent an arrow his way, but it seemed to do little to slow him down and certainly didn’t hinder him in mauling Malicia. Uun ran into the Darkness bubble, a cat among the pigeons; assuming that all the pigeons are blind and can’t fly and the cat has a reach weapon. The good Barbarian started murdering the evil Barbarians with impunity. As they wandered, bewildered in front of him, they were struck down as he passed from one end of the darkness bubble to the other. A spear here, a bite there, it was like a pinata game where the kid with the stick isn’t wearing a blindfold. He speared a cannibal that had just left the bubble, but couldn’t see back in, so had no idea that Uun was coming for him. As the man died, he began to slide towards a pit at the base of the squat tower, which had been covered by planks. For a brief moment before he died, the man looked more terrified of falling in the pit than he did of Uun. Uun let the man slide off his spear and turned back towards the little hut, stabbing as he went. The sound of death and dying caused the surviving barbarians to begin feeling their way away from the area and two walked straight out into the waiting sword ranges of Victor and Percy. Percy absolutely lit the guy up with his Sun Metal sword, an elegant weapon for a more civilised age. As more cannibals cleared the Darkness they began raging again and pressed their attacks against Victor and Percy. Klorak and his attendant ladies were causing problems. Orny put the big man to sleep, but one of his attendants woke him again and as the Cannibal champion rose, he thrust a hand into Malicia’s grievous wound and smeared the blood on his face, cackling and licking his fingers as he did so. Nobody had suffered a pistol accident as he fired at Klorak and dazed himself right in front of the barbarianesses: a dangerous predicament. Orny cast Scare and then Hold Person, causing one barbarianette to flee shrieking and another to stay paralysed in place. That left two others and Klorak, who quickly cut Aerys down. Victor and Percy returned to aid the beleaguered duo of Orny and Nobody and although the scimitar of Klorak couldn’t land on him, the cannibal did much better with his bite attack, finding an unarmoured bit of foil-wrapped Iomedaen to snack on. Orny healed Malicia, who rolled away into the jungle unseen and then re-emerged, shooting arrows at Klorak. Victor called down the power of his goddess, Iomedae, to smite the wrongdoer and smite him he did, landing devastating strikes against the Cannibal. The barbarians attacked back with the barbarianesses and survivors of the slaughter-bubble pressing in on Orny, Nobody, Victor and Percy. Klorak shouted something in his guttural tongue and one of his barbarienne attendants tackled Victor to the ground, the other two piling on top of him too. Klorak began swinging at Percy, but had no luck hitting him either, something that seemed to come as a shock to the cannibal, but to me too, because I knew how good his skill with that thing was… Orny managed to extract himself and healed Aerys in the nick of time, then began Slumber hexing the grapplers. Malicia shot Klorak while he wasn’t looking and then when he was looking, because fuck that guy, right? Uun, meanwhile, had entered the hut containing three confused and puzzled barbarians and used his reach weapon from inside the Darkness to kill those outside the darkness. MURDER HUT. The barbarians tried fighting back, but it was an unlikely and desperate strategy. Uun returned to the rest of the part just as the tide seemed to have turned. He struck out from the Darkness as Nobody was leaving a wake of barbarians clutching bruised joints as the Tiefling had rapped Klorak’s wrist, almost causing him to drop that scimitar and he had taken another Barbara-Anne down with a pistol whip to the knee. There then followed some awkward attempts to intervene in the grappling pile of barbarians on Victor, but that couldn’t keep pace with how fast Orny was putting them to sleep. Another arrow from Malicia put Klorak off balance enough that Percy stepped into the opening and slashed down, his bastard sword burying itself in the cannibals stomach, via a lung, shoulder blade and collarbone. Klorak cackled again and brought a hand smeared with his own blood to his mouth before his eyes rolled one last time and he sank to the ground, dead. All that remained were some Coup De Grace attempts, only one of which failed, and for Victor to clean up that one. Orny helped Aerys to her feet as the party looked around themselves, rain washing away the gallons of blood they had spilled and the sporadic lightning illuminating the carnage they had created.