The Acts of the Lords of Rannick, LIII

Because of the lewd content of the Cathedral of Sin, there’s almost no images I can post. Suffice it to say that a working knowledge of Robert Mapplethorpe’s muse will help you out with how the stone giants in the pavilion look. I’m almost certain there is a japanese fetish for demon-women, but that’s just playing the odds.

Fortunately, everyone is back in one group. At least as long as someone handcuffs Kerplak to them. Good news is there are lots of handcuffs available…

Edit: ┬áSince the last post that nobody paid any attention to about cones and templates Sean K Reynolds has clarified cones and templates and problems with using them in three dimensions, here. You can use the templates up or down. It also has bullshit about counting squares diagonally, which I take it to mean that the templates can now be swung around. This seems to limit the utility of (S) shapable spells, but makes more actual sense, just not easy gameplay. If you’re going to cast a cone spell, have the template page available (IT IS HERE) because this is going to take fucking ages to figure out whether or not you can angle shit so that it doesn’t hit the guy standing beside you, but who is very short etc, etc. I fucking hate Cone spells. I’m going to cut out some cardboard templates.

Fortunately Lines still have to originate at the caster and fill a 5′ cube, just as Medium PCs do, no matter how tall they actually are… And a burst is a burst.

The Iron Cages of Lust

So Halvard, Albedon, Tersplink and Kerplak were all waiting outside the entrance to the hallway down which Dagfinn and Don had disappeared a few minutes earlier. They’d decided to wait a few minutes and saw no reason to hurry along so they just stood there shuffling around, checking hourglasses or whatever.

Very faintly, a voice floated down the hallway, as though from incredibly far away. They reckoned it was Dagfinn’s voice, so they stepped into the hallway to go investigate. Halvard ran on ahead, quickly disappearing from view. Tersplink, Albedon and Kerplak continued to hustle along, but never caught up with the Ulfen. The end of the hallway seemed as far away as it had when they started. Glancing around, they saw that despite all their walking, they had progressed a mere four yards into the hallway. They resumed travelling, running now as fast as they could. Check back – nope still only four yards.

Returning to the hub, they backed up and wondered aloud what could have been keeping them from progressing. Kerplak had Fly cast upon himself and the three geared up for one more run into the hallway. This time Tersplink zoomed off ahead, while Albedon and Kerplak were left treading hallway.

Rushing back out, they rushed back in, to no avail. Undeterred they rushed back out, then back in. Then back out, then back in and suddenly Kerplak was the only one there, alone in the hallway.

He went back to the hub and thought of some inventive ways to fool this hallway into letting him get by. Fortunately, inventive is kind of what Kerplak does. He tried building up speed before he went in the tunnel. He tried changing cloaks. He tried firing his grapples down the hallway. He tried walking backwards. He tried feeling his way along with a Ghost Touch Gauntlet.

And then suddenly, he was standing at some heavy iron doors, looking at the remains of a combat. The vast room made Kerplak feel awful, repelled, repulsed, revulsed, probably prevulsed. Definitely awful. Here was a room in which countless acts of depravity had taken place but what got to Kerplak was that whatever inventiveness had been employed in the execution of these masochistic or sadistic experiments had all been towards the one goal, personal satisfaction. A thousand twisted paths leading to one result; almost the precise opposite of everything Kerplak embodies. He has spent his life seeking new results, sometimes by doing the same thing in slightly different circumstances. It rubs him the wrong way.

Kerplak had a few moments to think about this and feel gross as his party-mates picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and got on with the business of dungeoneering.

Don and Dagfinn had released the quivering snoo-snoo victim, Mutt. But when they did so, four alu-demons appeared and ordered Mutt back to his cage, their lithe forms clinging to the sexy-lady pillars and perching on the cages. Cowering and whimpering, Mutt scampered back, despite Dagfinn’s calls.

The alu-demons then began a barrage of startlingly accurate cat-calls at the two men, somehow reminding them of every embarrassing sexual blunder or shameful episode they’d ever been involved in. They were light on details, but they managed to dredge up feelings of awkwardness and vulnerability. Dagfinn made light of the cat-calls, but they started making him feel bad. These chicks certainly knew how to make men blush; they are from the Elemental Plane of Fucking, after all. (N.B. That was just a joke, there is no Elemental Plane of Fucking, please don’t use an expensive Plane Shift spell to try to go there.) Still, all the cat-calling was punctuated by occasional lascivious statements that tended to bring a lump to the… uh, throat.

Battling embarrassment and semi-erections, Don held his ground while Dagfinn decided to Fascinate one of the alu-demons, which he appeared to do quite well. The Halvard appeared and everything went a bit more Gorum-ish.

With the Alu-demons having closed in on the men, when Halvard arrived they were close enough for him to start Flamestriking and channeling negative energy, which he did, with gusto. The Alu-demons said some terrible things about Halvard’s wife and he wasn’t putting up with that shit.

Don jumped in with Flamestriking too, then, after the alu-demons had made a sexy fly-by attack with their sexy ranseurs, he caught one of them with a less-sexy Baleful Polymorph. His spell got past her spell resistance and she failed either of her saves, so she turned into a mole and fell to the ground, the fall killing her.

Tersplink had arrived around this point, and he cast Mage Armour and Improved Invisibility on himself.

Tersplink, ready for action. (Close up)

After they hid behind some pillars, the alu-demons popped out again and attacked Halvard. The Fascinated demon suddenly changed her tune and lashed out at Dagfinn with her ranseur too. Albedon arrived and immediately sized up the situation as one which needed a bit more fire. Scorching Rays lit up one of the flying temptresses. Don cast Burning Disarm on one, forcing her to drop her weapon and move into clawing range with Halvard. Halvard was brought down by the number of claws and ranseurs that had pierced him. Don bamfed into a bear and started chomping on the disarmed demonette. Demoness? Is that racist?

Predobear doesn't give a fuck.

The combination of spells and Dire Bear were enough to bring the last alu-demons down, as neither Dagfinn’s arrows or Tersplink’s Hideous Laughter seemed to have much effect on them. Tersplink started getting Halvard back on his feet and then they began searching through the possessions of the alu-demons. Since they had been wearing very little in the first place, there wasn’t much to go through, but they found magic rings, bracers and amulets.

It was at this point that Kerplak arrived. Finally.

Gathering themselves, they approached the silken pavilion at the center of the cathedral, Kerplak set on burning it to the ground. Dagfinn went first, parting the many layers of richly coloured silk that made up the doorway.

Inside, the air was heavy with fragrant incense, smouldering in braziers. But of more pressing importance, he found four brawny and completely naked stone giants, waiting expectantly. They look like born grapplers.

‘S gonna git weird.