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Hackmaster episode 15

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 10 months ago

Episode 15 – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

 

You might recall that we had left the party holed up in Frandor’s Keep while plague ravaged the town. Bic had caught the horrible Orc Shingles and was laid up in bed becoming progressively less pretty as weeping sores opened on his face and body. The party’s healer, Cedar, had been quarantined with the Keep’s Prefect and was refused permission to leave. Noddy started to panic…

 

Aseravb’s gonna keep the log, although he was a total slacker at school and preferred to play music with his drop-out friends.

Cedar sent a note to the lad’s at the Tilted Keg saying he is being held against his will by the Prefect. He then discussed the situation with Luge (the Prefect’s second in command), who bought it up with the Prefect and secured his release with a few white lies. Meanwhile our trusty adventurers discussed how to free him themselves.

 

Cedar returned to the inn just as Noddy found a slight rash developing on his arm. The druid spoke to the guards preventing people from entering or leaving the quarantine area and, after a brief examination, declared them free from illness. After further discussion they let the druid into the Tilted Keg where he found Noddy freaking out.

 

”I got the plague!” yelled Noddy. Hero Tops was plague free and Bic was a pus-ridden mess on the bed. Aseravb had recovered from the illness and helped Cedar in caring for the other inn patrons.

 

Cedar had asked Luge for an assistant and supplies to help his healing effort. In due course a young woman, Frances, arrived with herbs and fresh linen. Overcoming her initial revulsion, Frances threw herself into her work and proved a great comfort to the sick and dying. Cedar had failed to diagnose Noddy’s plague symptoms, but was pestered so much that he eventually treated the ill Halfling along with many of the townspeople. Noddy then revealed that he wanted to start a thieves guild in the Keep and there was a predictable debate about the ethics of this. Bic tried to persuade a half-elven dancing girl to teach him how to knit. She told him to bugger off.

 

Cedar enquired at the bar about sales of his herbal tea range. The bar-keep had sold exactly one cup, and that had been to Cedar himself several days ago. Cedar decided to embark on a rebranding exercise built on his burgeoning reputation as a healer and plague saviour. Dandelion tea became “Healer Cedar’s Hangover Cure”, Muira-puama tea became “Healer Cedar’s Late Night Stiff Tonic (for the ladies)”, Blueberry and Sage tea became “Noggin Enlarger Energy Drink” and Parsley tea became “Old Stratos Sophisticated Man’s Breath Freshener (sure to impress)”.

 

Noddy made contact with his Halfling thug employees. Hero Tops patronised them by referring to them as “Noddy’s little friends” and patting them on the head. He later found his purse missing. Noddy found himself stuck with an expensive bar tab. Paying this bill, the dungeon artiste told his staff to keep a watch on the current guild head, Drevan, and report back to him.

 

Aseravb wrote another note to Greytar, counsellor to the Prefect, and enclosed the sage’s appalling book with a request that the author autograph it for “his biggest fan”. Bloody greaser.

 

Bored with the Keep, the party decided to set off back to the mines and do a bit more looting and killing. Returning to the first mine they had come across, they found a ledger documenting amounts of gold taken from the mine and the names Gnat and Nargus. Continuing through the mine (dragging pack animals up a lift shaft and through miles of winding tunnels) they reached the other side of the mountain and the spot where they had seen gnolls and orcs fighting previously.

 

An empty cave mouth beckoned from behind a small thicket of scrub so Noddy donned his cloak and set off on a stealthy scouting mission. Unfortunately the impatient and noisy Hero Tops joined him along with Cedar, who was anxious to try out his new “pass through undergrowth” skills. Cedar, striding around unhindered and trying to impress the others as they cut their way through vines and brambles, suddenly found himself falling into a pit.

 

Pride cometh before the fall.

 

Landing on some nasty spikes the druid looked up to see three grinning kobold faces. As the others tried to cut their way to him, Cedar waved his hands in an attempt to entangle the kobolds with his magic. Unfortunately, before he could get the spell off three kobold javelins started on making a druid pincushion. Cedar’s spell fizzled. Several dozen miles away his mother developed asthma.

 

Bic and Noddy fired a few rounds from their bows as Cedar attempted another spell. Again he was foiled by javelins and this time the spell-mishap had major consequences - he was shrunk to 2” tall. This was not a disagreeable effect as Cedar hid behind a stake in the pit and no longer presented an easy target to the kobolds. Four more of the creatures arrived and battle was joined above the pit. Aseravb too attempted a spell and found this fizzling as kobold claws tore into his face. The others later noted that the mage appeared to have put on a little weight. Cedar finally managed to get a spell off and most of the kobolds and half the party suddenly found themselves entangled in writhing vines. Bic trepanned one of the little creatures and broke the back of a second as the rest either fled back to their cave or were killed in Cedar’s vines.

 

Noddy clambered into the pit after Cedar. After throwing Cedar’s pet mouse out of the hole (squelch!), he shoved the druid in his pocket and started to climb out of the pit again. While pocket-bound, the 2” druid tried to summon his hawk with the plan to go bare-back flying. Halfway up the wall the druid suddenly regained his usual size, split Noddy’s pocket and caused both of them to fall back into the hole and onto the spikes. Eventually, with the help of some rope, they escaped.

 

Noddy snuck into the cave and found another covered pit at the entrance. He disarmed this and called the others forward with strange hand signals. As they advanced into the kobold base, Noddy found another trap, spikes set to fall from the ceiling. Much to everyone’s surprise the Halfling managed to disarm this as well.

 

The party entered a door. Despite Noddy’s best efforts, the trap in this room was not disarmed and the party were bombarded with poison darts fired through little holes in the walls. As Bic dropped to the ground paralysed, 10 more kobolds burst into the room and set about the party. Aseravb managed to get a spell off, his ever effective colour spray, and six of the little critters drop like flies. As Aseravb set about slitting unconscious kobold throats (aiming for the sole kill bonus XP), Hero Tops effected a Matrix-style bending backwards slash and busted the kobold captain’s ankle. Bic regained his composure and then promptly lost it again as he sprained an elbow stretching for an opponent.

 

The kobolds were eventually all dispatched and the party looted their corpses to find a magic short sword and a measly pile of coins.

 

Aseravb put on a little more weight.

 

Opening a closet from this room, the party were set upon by the dead kobolds’ pet weasels. Noddy dispatched two with a single swipe of his sword as yet another of Cedar’s spells fizzled, leaving the 19 year old druid with the beginnings of male pattern baldness. Aseravb managed to hit himself as Hero Tops, Cedar and Noddy all created weasel kebabs with an array of impressive blows (which were really wasted on such weak little things). Eventually the breathless party stopped as all the weasels lay dead around them. Bic began skinning the critters as his companions reflected on a mighty victory…

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