Chapter Fifteen –"Don QuiTrixie"

Chunk rushes at the sleeping lads and within seconds has killed two of them with deft strokes with his extremely large sword. Trixie is next to react and drops a Fireball on the other few sleepers including Chunk, catching all in its fiery embrace. More Orcs rush from the darkened edges of the room and as Chunk is the only visible party member, they naturally target him first.

I continue to let the party know where the darkness ends while also feeding coordinates for spells or where the fewest Orcs are for people to attack.  As the others move in to help Chunk, Trixie and I discuss the various types of special and mostly organic eye glue that would be required for McFlurry’s to re-apply his missing eye, none of which he seems to be that taken with, although he is distracted fighting Orcs I suppose. Soon a large number of Orcs are dead with only minimal damage to Chunk, who we have left out in the open while those with Blind-sight - such as myself, simply appear from the darkness, smash an Orc to his temple with a spiked club and then fade away again.

Trixie’s next spell fails due to her insistence of wearing armour in case she catches a chill in the night and the Orc’s pile into the smaller gap that funnels away from the angry Barbarian with the bloody big sword. I drop a flaming sphere under the largest attacking Orc, just as Chunk smashes him in the face, but with a subsequent strike, he then drops his weapon. As usual, the first bad attack prompts the rest of us to do wrong, as Idjit steps up full of fresh Barbarian rage and promptly misses with all of his attacks.

Stumpy remedies this by charging in and killing the burnt and bruised larger Orc and then it’s our turn for some bad luck to happen to the other side as an Orc that was about to strike Stumpy about the head drops his weapon instead. Stumpy continues to strike more Orcs while my sphere happily ravages anyone that is caught in its path, setting fire to the tightly packed Orc’s trying to get at us. Chunk has started to suffer through the constant fighting now though, but gratefully receives a Shield Other from Stumpy as the Barbarian took an especially punishing bating when retrieving his weapon. One particular Orc had given Chunk quite a large cut across his arm which only infuriated Chunk more as he first cuts him down before cleaving another Orc standing next, whose only crime was standing nearby while trying to escape the Dwarven Cleric and the burning fire behind them.

The Orc number is whittled down to just two before my Sphere and Idjit’s claws take out one of them, leaving just one green bottle sitting on the wall. This one does take quite a beating, and if we find its relatives we will tell them how brave and sturdy he was, shortly before we kill them all obviously, as this lone Orc is burnt, clawed, crushed, slashed and survives just long enough for reinforcements to pile into the room as he drops dead to the floor.

Chunk greets these new Orc’s with his usual excitement and screams angrily before charging into the breach once more, only to drop his weapon again. Idjit also runs in with gay abandon and pretty soon they are both surrounded like the good meat shields they are.

The rest of us start whittling away at the edges of the mob to protect the back of the fighters, as Trixie’s Magic Missile finally starts working, and my Dark Stalker form allows me to sneak attack one attacking Idjit from behind, killing it with a single fine strike to the kidderlies.

Chunk has obviously not been using his hand cream recently and so his big ham-fisted sweaty hands cause him to drop his weapon for a third time in as many minutes, while McFlurry’s new fancy dance  moves only cause pain and embarrassment as he slips a disc and misses as well.

One of the other Orc’s that has dropped his weapon is seized upon by the Ranger and has his throat slit with pointy claws, while Trixie nearly burns on my Flaming Sphere as she moves to a better position to fire off an Agador’s Scorcher. I move deeper into the melee and crush the hips of a poor Orc while Chunk picks up his weapon, suffering the beating that is normally associated from retrieving a weapon within melee only to immediately drop it again!

Three of the nine new attackers are still alive but are still fighting strongly as one pokes his sword more or less into McFlurry empty eye hole, knocking him down to the floor. The Dark Shadow that is I is here to save the day though, as I loom from behind and break the Monks attackers’ spine. The last of the Orc’s really lays into Chunk once more as he again bends down in combat to pick up his sword. Barbarians are not the most intelligent of creatures – it’s practically a class requirement, but some survival instinct must take over surely - “Why me hurty when picking up sharp stick from floor?” ….because that’s the level of intelligence you get when cousins marry.

So now Chunk is bleeding from places he was already bleeding from and feeling very groggy lurches forwards and attacks one of the last remaining Orc’s, only to drop his weapon again! An Orc caster steps from the darkness and casts a Magic Missile barrage at Stumpy, which due to the beating he has already taken from Chunks weapon dropping activities cause him to crumple to the floor very near death. Idjit is on hand to get Stumpy back on his feet with a potion though, allowing Stumpy to cast Silence on the Orc spell-caster, who unfortunately seems to shrug the Clerics spell off. Trixie tries to cause two of the larger flanking Orc guards to go to sleep but gets two normal Orcs nearby instead.

I stabilize McFlurry by stuffing some goodberries into his raw eye socket and Chunk picks up his weapon takes yet another beating and then charges the caster smashing it in the side.

The caster works his magic despite Chunks presence and blasts the Half-Orc barbarian dead with some vital organ placed Magic Missile. The caster is put off by slightly as Chunk collapses on top of him causing him to fluff his lines and miss-cast his spell, which allows Idjit to rush in and attack him, but he also fails, striking Chunks dead body instead.

Stumpy casts a low level healing on McFlurry, while Trixie tries another barrage of Magic Missile at the spell casting Orc but they wink out of existence a foot or so from his body, the results of a Shield spell in place.

I land a weak Creeping Cold on the caster,  who tries to put off Idjit with some weird colourful light show type spell and when this works and Idjit is momentarily distracted, the caster runs off shouting “Drugella!” at the top of his voice. With his target gone, Idjit charges the Orc attacking me and Stumpy finishes it off with a club to the back of his legs. With no opponents near me still upright, I step over and smash my club down onto one of the sleeping guards, and as I don’t quite finish it off, it starts to get groggily to its feet.

Idjit hefts the Orc corpse carrying Chunks old gear, while McFlurry picks up Chunk and hefts him over his shoulder. The poor Orc that got up to face me is stunned from the previous unsportsmanlike blow that I gave him so much so that he drops his weapon at my feet allowing me to line him up with a perfect strike to the chest, causing him to fall over and crash to the floor.

With no time to finish off the last sleeping Orc, I grab Chunk’s fallen weapon and we all move off, quickly leaving this entire area and back past the watery barricade, before moving upwards and out of the complex completely.

Without stopping, we trek as quickly as we can with a near 7’ long corpse all the way back to town. The next day or so see’s Chunk raised from the dead by our friends at the temple, and we use the last of our meagre funds to stock up on healing potions, making as much fuss of this fact as we can to get some compensation naturally, before making our way back to the Castle the next day.

As a War Pony, Trixie is once more in my saddle and we silently trot along after an uninterrupted night and then morning’s travel. By midday we have returned to the castle, where we find the door is shut but not locked – something that is different to how we left it. There is a whisper of noise and suddenly Chunk has barged past the party and run into the room and then out through the door on the other side.

McFlurry runs into the room to help, his new bow drawn and cocked and finds Chunk battling the Orc Lady and the caster, once again is covered in swirling colours and patterns. Chunk is smashed once very hard by the female Orc and so is McFlurry as he passes through, causing him to change tactics and drop his bow to move in to combat. The caster at her side fires his trademark Magic Missile barrage at me, but as a Gnome, they fail to penetrate my natural spell resistance.

Idjit, uncharacteristically slow on the uptake for this fight then appears, looming behind the caster and thrusting his claws into the caster’s back. The claws bite deeply, and with a cry of pain, the spell caster’s swirling energy concentrates to dance up the blades before discharging into the Ranger. The previous blow that hit McFlurry was a quite telling one and after a quick but unsuccessful riposte, he reluctantly backs out of combat leaving a space for Stumpy to cast a spell through.

His chosen spell is Dispel Magic, which seems to have done a good job judging by Stumpy’s triumphant “Yes!” Her apparent reduction of spells notwithstanding, this does not slow her down to much and with a mighty strike she hits Chunk again. Idjit groans as the hasted caster tops up the Vivid Discharge spell and then sends in a barrage of Magic Missile in his direction.

Idjit is now in a very bad way and knows that his next attack is going to hurt through the Vivid Discharge but stays strong, and again slashes the caster. The first attack strikes his leg, which bleeds profusely, but not in any way life threatening, but as predicted, the spell explodes back at him in colours and pain. Gritting his teeth, he lashes out once more, and this time catches the caster in the upper leg, hitting the vital artery. The caster mumbles a spell but it’s already too late as the blood pulses and stains his leggings and cloak. He tries to grab at Idjit, but the Ranger pushes him to the floor, already moving towards the Lady.

Chunk is already raging at the peak of his strength and finds his next two blows are both true, hitting her on the shoulder and the side. With the first blow knocking her to her knees almost, the second makes one of those noises that can only indicate snapping ribs and tearing flesh. With the fighters of the party doing so well, it’s time for the casters to earn their keep, but its our turn to let the side down as Trixie’s armour once again breaks her concentration and my spitting attack hits an elbow rather than the face of my target.

One of her defensive spells, Blur has definitely gone, but she is still Hasted and begins to cast more spells. A healing spell is given to herself, followed by a powerful back handed strike from her weapon that tears up into Idjit’s stomach, lifts him off his feet and throws him out of combat. Idjit does not have time to cry out and it is obvious to all that he is dead before he lands in a heap on the floor. Chunk gets another hard strike in, again not turned by her armour and Trixie fails again to cast a spell as her armour affects her concentration. I move in to attack, changing form to flank as a Dark Stalker.

With Chunk and I fighting on opposites sides, Trixie fires a successful barrage of Magic Missile at her, followed by my casting of Creeping Cold while Stumpy is casting a healing spell on Chunk. My Creeping Cold spell sends a slight chill to her bones, and suddenly she turns and runs off before disappearing around a corner, which I am sure came from my influence and nothing at all to do with another fine attack from Chunk.

The body of the wizard is expertly and quickly looted as Trixie and Stumpy reclaim their stuff, while the rest of us ‘keep dog’ and can hear spell chants off into the near distance. I drag Idjit into the room accompanied by Chunk and Trixie, soon followed by the rest of the lads just as Drugella appears once more near the corner.

Chunk closes the door and we prepare for action as she then bursts the door open, swinging wildly. I catch her with another Creeping Cold as she breaks through, and then hit her again with another just to make sure.

Trixie half way through removing her armour is caught short, but manages to cast Greater Sleep without any problems. What’s more, the spell lands successfully and Drugella falls face forward to the floor, snoring her head off. McFlurry, with a flash of utter brilliance, runs in and scoops up the weapon before heading out of the room, running to the shore and throwing it into the water. Stumpy takes the opportunity to cast Doom on her sleeping form and it’s then when it dawns on me that the Creeping Cold spells that I just stacked up on her are about to give her a chilly wake-up call ….

Shouting out a warning, I hit her hard, but despite the critical attack on her, it’s not enough and she quickly but groggily climbs to her feet, looking about for her club. Deciding that fleeing the scene is in order, she barges out through the door, followed by the explosion of Trixie’s Acid Fireball and the icy piercings of my Creeping Cold spells.

I become a War Pony and wait for Trixie to get on as we bravely charge into battle. Something strange comes over Trixie however, as her eyes seem to glaze and she begins to quote scriptures from long forgotten books:

"Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Tenpast, the hulking giant? I intend to do battle with it and slay it. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless."

"What giant?" I ask.

"Those you see over there," replied Trixie, "with its long arms, well nigh two leagues in length."

"Take care, sir," I cry. "Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone."

“No, over there you idiot, Drugella is hiding behind that bush.”

“Oh, right.”

Stumpy is ignoring the parody of pantomime that is unravelling before him and rushes out to try and get a better look for Drugella, but finds her Hammer-sphere created Spear of force, which rips through his stomach and exits a bloody spray from his back.

Trixie and I ride out, with Trixie casting Sleep again, which sadly fails. Stumpy picks himself up and ducks back into cover so that he can heal his wounds while myself and Trixie gallop across her bow and Fireball her again.

Losing her as she once more runs off with magically induced speed away from the obvious frightful presence that Trixie and I radiate from every pore, we keep a look out as we round corners, only for myself to become target to the spear of force as it nearly nails my large and very vulnerable pony arse to the wall. Chunk then antagonises the Duchess by cutting off the dead wizards head and running round showing it off, arm aloft to make sure she can see what has happened to her aide, and Trixie spurs me onwards so that we can cast more spells including an Agadors Scorcher at her as she still does not retreat like a good npc.

 

Played 29th November 2009

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