Tak – The Infernal Menace

Episode something – The Infernal menace!

So we’d killed Dwarves and Goliaths, supposedly the enemies of the Stone Breaker Tribe, and destroyers of the River Hunter Tribe.

Onenu had told us they rained destruction on her tribe, but this Journal, written in chicken scratch over a long period of time documented the Dwarves escape from a fiery beast. How it’d destroyed the River Hunter tribe. How they were determined to stop it and had enlisted the help the Rock Tanner tribe. Something unheard of, but that by itself demonstrated the lengths they would go to get help in destroying this threat.
On one hand, shifty betrothed of Brak Githson, who instantly gave us the Heeby Jeebies.

On the other hand, Dwarves begging for aid from the Goliaths to stop a volcano beast. The Volcano that we have seen and know of.

This required some talking.

In hushed whispers, I spoke with Maeb, Drax and Izkin about this. I’d have spoken with Tia and Arn, but Arn was scouting for more Dwarves, and Tia’Vari seemed to be buried in a book she’d brought with her.

Drax was of a similar mind to me, in that the whole thing smelt fishier than a Dragonborn fisherman after a hard day at sea. Maeb was concerned about the morals of what we’d just done, and was concerned about what would happen to the village if the hunting party returned. They were, after all, incredibly blood thirsty. This raised a valid point. If we mentioned Onenu (who by now, we’d given up trying to pronounce, and were deliberately butchering her name in the worst possible way) to her Betrothed, and stated our concerns, he’d do one of two things.

1. – Murderous rage. Big fight between us and him for us daring to cast aspersions on his pretty princesses intentions.

Or
2. – O.M.G. It was her all along! Off he rushes back to camp to murderously slay her. She, being a possible agent of Corsinar (and to be honest, with a name like Firehart probably breathes… Fire?…) destroys him, his family, his friends, and the dog he once stopped to pet.

I’ll be honest, neither of these options were sounding impressive, so instead I suggested option 67.

Tell him nothing. Instead, we go off, deal with Volcanosaurus Rex, grab all the loot, stroke all the puppies, look amazing, and be back for supper.

His first question, on Drax suggesting this (because Goliaths take news better from Golliaths. Apparently they don’t trust Tiefling bards) was “Are you looking to take all the loot for yourself!
Honestly, I’m hurt. Where’s the trust?

But, he accepted it, and once more we got ready to set out. Before we did though, I wanted to try a new spell I’d been practising. I’d watched Maeb summon forth her steed a number of times. Now through a bit of “Whoops we’re on a floating tower”-ness we’d managed to leave our own horses behind. Being able to summon Bunny at will would be awesome, so I watched Maeb each time she carried out her spell, and I think I’d got this one sorted.

I made a few minor adjustments because Maebs horse looked far too angelic for me, and I cast the spell.

This spell takes a little longer than my normal ones, so bear with me.

Ten minutes later, a silver Horse stood impatiently stamping its hoof in front of me. Its mane glittered as it shook its head, and it fixed me with one of its eyes, and said “Oh no. I was promised a mighty champion. This won’t do.”

Ok. Firstly… This horse can talk. That’s just blooming weird
Secondly, why in the nine hells has this horse got wings?
Thirdly, this horse is just rude! I’m not sure it should be sassing me!

I was tired though, so I glared back, leapt into the saddle, and pointed it in the direction we wanted to go.

A short distance off, Izkin was practising his flying. He’d managed to get airborne, and that was quite an achievement. He still resembled a drunk seagull, but he was getting there!

We travelled for another five or six hours. I took this time to re-read the Dwarf’s Journal. It hinted at a south entrance to the mine, and as we knew roughly where the volcano was (spoiler, there was a big plume of smoke, and the sky glowed) it wasn’t a major issue leading the way.

By evening we had reached the foot of the volcano. The air had a sulphurous tang to it, and when the wind switched direction, it made breathing a little harder.

We decided it was probably best that we camp down for the night before heading in to the cave, and I dismissed the winged horse. I’d be sending a stern letter to his manager.

I spent another 10 minutes casting my spell once more. This time, I requested a mount a little more in with my way of life. I didn’t get a horse this time. Instead I stood face to face with a beast with the head of an eagle. I took a moment to meet its gaze before taking in the rest of it. Bunny Two had the body tail, and rear legs of a lion, and its front legs held viscous looking talons. The similarities between Bunny Two and my old pony Bunny were amazing.
Bunny two nodded to me, I nodded back, and we settled down to keep watch.
Obviously, scared off by Bunny two, all of Corsinar’s forces didn’t attack us in the night.

The next morning, we headed for the cave network. Bunny Two left to hunt, and I said we’d catch up when we came back out. Bunny never used to hunt, so that’s a bit of an upgrade.

I’ve spoken at length before about the joy of caves. How its lovely that every single foot of rock looks like every other foot of rock, and how that is somehow fascinating. No, not fascinating, what’s that other word? Oh, yes. Dull.

Caves are dull.

We spent several hours heading deeper into the mountain. Every so often, there was signs of small structures built into the rock. Guard points maybe? Resting posts? Who knows. We examined the first few, but after a while, it became an exercise in “oh look, bricks.” So we stopped checking, and pushed on.

It was getting close to tea time, or so my gurgling stomach claimed, when we started to hear voices up ahead.
It was a language I’d not heard in a while, and a strange dialect, but it was definitely infernal in nature. Several somethings were fighting over food, and they’d not heard our approach.

Maeb and Izkin crept closer, whilst Drax took a stand ready to engage. I’m not sure what came over me. Perhaps it was hearing my native language, perhaps it was sorrow at not having spoken to the dwarves much before we attacked, but I felt the urge to should out to them.
“Full Buffet here! Everyone gets to eat”
Yeah, I’m not sure why I shouted that either.

Maeb, by now, had worked out that our enemy were fiendish in nature. I was angling for Friendish, but…
They fluttered towards him (they could also fly… Imps! How cool!)
Then, the fight was on.
The cavern contained a central fire pit, which the imps had been cooking dinner on. Around the pit, roughly ten imps all turned to face Maeb.

Maeb raised her shield, roared, and…
Well, most of them screamed and ran away.
Yeah, that happened.

With three Imps left in the room, it was a lot easier. A few spells from Izkin and myself. A few hits with Maeb and Drax’s maces, and the room became a lot quieter. I sampled the meat they were cooking before Maeb pointed out that part of it had a beard. Let’s not bring that up again eh?

Emblazoned into the walls were two signs in dwarven. To the West (I’m assuming west, the tunnels curved a lot) was the armoury, to the north was the forge. In the Dwarf journal it suggests using black powder from the Armoury to blow a hole in the forge. A good plan is a good plan, especially when it involves making large explosions. To the armoury it is.

En-route to the armoury we discovered the remains of a rather maggoty corpse. This dwarf seems to have met a messy end, but he had a rather awesome shield and cloak, and we’re not one to pass on things like that. (He also had a half-skin of ale, I nabbed that too, just in case we get desperate).

As I rolled him over to nab the cloak, six of the imps that had fled tried to ambush us. I say tried. Drax has this aura that surrounds him sometimes. He calls it guardian spirits. It’s a little weird, and a little religious. He doesn’t tell me how to sing, I don’t tell him how to pray, it works out. Anyhoo, these ambushing imps got sucker-punched by Drax’s guardians, and once again the fight was on. This time they didn’t run though, which in hindsight was a bit stupid, because Izkin picked this moment to unload as many spells on them as possible. Ice storms, ice bolts, Iced lattes. He brought it all.

Unfortunately for the imps, they bought it too. Between Izkin, Drax and Maeb, most of the imps fell. I waved my pom poms from the side-lines, and in moments the fight was over.
Perhaps these guys really WERE the right replacements for the heroes of old!

We pushed on though, after claiming our loot, and after an hour or so, found a good spot to camp for the night. I set up watch with a couple of Phillips stationed a little down the tunnel. Nothing happened for my watch, so I passed over to Izkin for his.

Poor little Kobold. First time on watch, and he has to deal with a swarm of Goblins.

For the record, a swarm is the correct terminology here… We’re not talking one or two. There were so many goblins, it became difficult to see where one ended and the next began. They poured down the tunnel searching for intruders, and with Maeb being the world champion at losing hide and seek, they spotted her straight away.

She reached up, grabbed a glowing gem from her helm, and with perfect aim, pitched it down the tunnel on an intercept course.
It made contact with one unfortunate goblin, and blossomed into a forty-foot fireball. A large number of goblins were instantly incinerated, but where one fell, another two took its place. The swarm charged on.
I tried to come up with a quick plan, and summoned a water elemental in the doorway. In my head I saw it sending waves down the tunnel washing away the goblins, but in reality it was swiftly over-run, and spent most of its time lashing out left and right at passing Gobbos.

Izkin stepped up to the fray again, pouring spell after spell at the swarm. As fast as goblins fell, more swarmed in from the two doorways. Drax tried to stop the swarm with his freezing magic, but the goblins pushed past it. Eventually though, they ran out of extra bodies. The elemental remained, so I dismissed it.

We were exhausted, but we weren’t even half way through the night. Let’s hope the goblin corpses don’t smell too bad in the morning!