Chapter 11: Coup!

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Session Number: 34
Date: Sunday 17 January 2010
Venue: Alain's
PCs & Players:

Emily Ftr3/Rog2 (Densial) (kills: 1 humanoid)
Enok Rgr5 (Alain) (kills: Drel [twice], 1 humanoid)
Rowaine Pal5 (Craig) (kills: 2 humanoids [nonlethal])
Troll Wiz5 (Densial) (kills: 2 humanoids)

XP Awarded: TBC

Happy New Year, gamers! Not a bad session considering DM Fergus was drunk.

Can anyone confirm who killed Drel the first time?

Sayed guides the party onward through many wide corridors and T-intersections, attempting to engage the tall newcomers in "shop talk" which no one understands. The route takes them to a wide, straight stairway that descends for a great distance. It eventually ends in a large arched set of double doors, the peak easily reaching 12' high. Sayed opens the doors. Beyond lies a massive area. Rowaine and Enok can see nothing but bare floor. The elven eyes of Troll and Emily see the floor drop away at the limit of their vision, roughly 100' distant.

Sayed boldly leads on. The edge proves to be the sides of a large, sheer hole, about 100' in diameter and plunging down farther than that.

"Have you investigated the hole?" asks Troll.

"Of course. My people, for generations; myself, for the past two years. There is an opening above of similar dimensions," Sayed continues, gesturing upwards, but the light is insufficient to see that far, "although the opening above is clearly blocked with stone rubble."

The chamber is a 300 ft diameter hemisphere with a 100 ft diameter hole in the centre of its floor and ceiling. The only tested exit is the double doors the party can through.


Sayed continues. "Now the hole below is quite interesting… It seems to have no bottom. Nothing thrown in makes a sound. We have lowered hundreds of feet of rope into the hole, and strangely only 200 feet is ever pulled back up."

"Does the end come out cut, burned, frayed..?" questions Enok.

"It just… ends, as if it were cleanly cut."

Enok hears a faint, nonrhythmic metallic sound coming from the doorway.

"<->!" says Sayed and sprints back, drawing his short sword. The party quickly follow, the sound of battle clearly getting louder as they re-enter the passageway.

Sayed and the party reach the top of the long flight of stairs, breathing heavily. Sixty feet down the passageway, a pitched battle awaits them! Two lines of the small humanoids face each other, trading blows. Rowaine recognises King Inler at the front of the closest line, which is giving ground to a numerically superior enemy.

The party close. Beyond the far line is a single figure in what looks to be the act of spellcasting. It is Drel. Troll identifies the spell as arcane in origin. He immediately summons a celestial eagle, which materialises in front of Drel. Rowaine casts Bless, nominating King Inler's line as "allies".

King Inler's men fight with obvious greater skill than their opponents, but their fewer numbers outweigh any advantage that might have granted. The two sides wear different uniforms. One of Inler's soldiers falls. Troll drops a Fiery Burst behind the far line of humanoids.

"Hey! Easy with the death-dealing!" chides Rowaine as she paces past Troll.

"Whatever," thinks Troll. "Rowaine, staff!" Troll arcs the weapon towards Rowaine. She catches it and joins the front line beside King Inler. In the same motion she whirls the staff at an opponent, trying to knock him out. The wood connects with the side of his head; he is groggy but remains on his feet.

Enok and Emily retrieve bows from their allies in front and hurriedly string them. Enok picks up a discarded quiver and shares the ammunition with Emily.

Enok fires two arrows at Drel. They neatly bracket his head without hitting anything. Emily looses a third arrow which also misses.

Wary of the bird of prey threatening him, Drel casts Fireball behind the party. Enok and Troll are badly burned, Emily and Rowaine less so.

Troll casts Fiery Burst, engulfing both Drel and the unfortunate eagle. Drel looks rather scorched; the eagle dissipates.

In the next few exchanges Rowaine knocks two of the humanoids unconscious. Enok (?) lands arrows upon Drel and he goes down. Troll summons a celestial hippogriff near Drel, which turns and rends the rear line.

Their leader down and the enemy both ahead and behind, the remaining humanoids bolt. They pause momentarily at Drel's form but one screech from the hippogriff suggests that any rescue mission is probably a bad idea. They flee, Enok's arrows following them.

Rowaine surveys the king's fallen comrades. "King Inler, I have only enough healing magic to assist one of your fallen. Do you wish to choose?" The king indicates one of the bodies. Rowaine expends her last point of healing for the day to stabilise the wounded humanoid.

Enok approaches Drel's body, noting that he is unconscious but alive. He starts to bind wounds. Rowaine assists and eventually the bleeding stops.

"King Inler, forgive me, but what's going on?" she asks. "Isn't this Drel, one of your men?"

"Apparently not!" the king replies huffily. He barks orders to his remaining men and they all move off, following the withdrawing coup members. Rowaine lifts the unconscious Drel onto her shoulder and the party follows.

King Inler leads them down corridors and T-intersections. On the way Rowaine asks about the different uniforms. Inler's men are palace guards; the others are regular militia.

"We would be of more use to you if we had our weapons," Rowaine says.

"They would be in the armoury," says the king. "That is where we are heading now, if the traitors haven't taken it first!"

The group round a bend to see a makeshift barricade 60 feet away, held by rebelling militia armed with bows. King Inler demands that they surrender; the rebels demand that Inler rescind his crown and be exiled. Rowaine, desperately trying (alone, it would seem) to resolve this with a minimum of bloodshed, suggests to King Inler that showing the rebels their unconscious leader might provide appropriate leverage. Inler agrees. Rowaine carries Drel into the open and Inler reissues his demand. In the ensuing drawn-out silence, a now-conscious Drel wriggles free of Rowaine's grasp and races towards the barricade!

How the *$@& did Rowaine miss that?

Enok thinks quickly and prepares his bow. Drel reaches the barricade and begins to climb. Enok's first arrow plunges into his back and he collapses over wooden debris. Two rebels quickly reach over and drag Drel to the other side.

The King is not amused!

Troll casts Invisibility upon Rowaine and she quietly approaches the barricade. Three rebels guard it with bows, peering tentatively through the structure. She holds Troll's staff horizontally and barges into the barrier, pushing mightily. The barrier begins to collapse, and the three rebels collapse with it. In the confusion a number of rebels grab Drel's body and run, leaving 4 militia to cover their escape. Rowaine lures them out from behind the collapsed barricade. Her party reinforces her and one militiaman is killed. The others break off and escape.

More pursuit. King Inler deploys Sayed and another to scout out an unintelligible area. The corridors now have doors leading off them.

'Are we close to the armoury?" Rowaine asks. "It's that door there," says the king, indicating a large reinforced double door. Its doors normally open inward, but they don't when tried - it is either locked, barred or blocked.

'Are there any other ways in or out?" asks Rowaine. The king shakes his head.

Rowaine turns to Troll. "Would you mind blowing that up?"

Salvo after salvo of Fiery Bursts slam into the door, blackening it but not seriously damaging it. "Oh well," says Rowaine, "perhaps the old-fashioned way is best. Enok, care to assist?"

Enok and Rowaine charge the door a bunch of times but it does not give.

"Sayed!" says the king. "Go fetch one of your gadgets." Sayed rushes off and returns shortly after with a curious mechanical device. "Might this help?" he says with a crooked smile.

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