Chapter Nineteen –"The Twisting Twindles"

Taking advantage of the natural pause in the dungeon life as all lies empty, Stumpy casts a sending to get us back to town so that we can resupply and retrain. The two fighters are in need of training the most, and so Idjit and Chunk get on with whatever it is they need to do – whack training dummies or something apparently, while McFlurry, Trixie and I get on with far more important things, setting up a show in the market.

Purchasing a showman’s licence we set up a ‘highly entertaining for all ages’ show, with myself as the ringmaster, drawing in the crowds with my shape-changing animal form’s, with Trixie providing lighting and dramatic effects, and McFlurry showing his acrobatic skills and mysterious Monk methods. The Twisting Twindles are born!

The week required for training purposes passes quickly, the two groups travelling to their respective places, and at no time do strange packages need delivering, or weird beasts seen in dark alleyways, or missing farmers that for whatever reason farm near an old graveyard cause us any trouble during our time in the town. When the fighters have finished, the Twisting Twindles have made a tidy 100gp between us, three to four times what we would have made working on the barges.

Back at the inn we check our purchases from the supply shop with our new found wealth and Chunk in mono syllables tells us that he is now a Frenzied Berserker, whatever that is, while Idjit tells us of hobbits carrying a ring with writing on it on a long journey, before adding that he is a mystifying Ghost Walker. Something rings odd about Chunks new profession, and I am sure he indicated that ‘I get really angry, sometimes at people near me’ but the group and I were far too engrossed in Idjit’s tale, especially as he was now up to the really exciting part regarding the ‘Council of Elrond’ to take notice.

Up with the larks the next day, we eat a hearty breakfast and back to the Volcano we go.
Once inside we are taken across the pit trap by McFlurry across the wall with his spider climbing and within moments are causing no end of troubles for ourselves as we open a door to flaring runes that explode in our faces.

McFlurry is thrown to one side and is badly frazzled, and stepping over his burning body, I move up the corridor to see a large Fire Elemental moving to intercept me. I decide to drag it back to show the others, but the Fire Elemental does not want to play my game, and disappears back from where it came from. I move up to peek round the corner, but the clever ball of fire simply waits to beat me round the head as I appear.

Trixie bravely runs up to take my place and fires off an Acid Fireball, and when it still does not get angry enough to chase us out, she moves in and Enervates the creature, sadly missing.

The creature strikes at Trixie again and with just the two of us in this fight at the moment, I move ahead of Trixie and Creeping Cold the huge fire elemental. Some of the fighters eventually start to shift, as McFlurry moves up with Idjit to run in behind and attack it.  Idjit gets hit hard as soon as he gets anywhere near the fiery beast, while Chunk curiously moves away from combat and into a side passage to keep watch on an empty corridor.

Trixie Magic Missiles the Elemental, and I give a little heal to Trixie as I move into the room. McFlurry tries to trip the Elemental unsuccessfully and Idjit’s attacks are not doing very much at all but he still stands before it bravely, looking around for his missing Barbarian partner.

With Chunk still bravely defending the rear, Trixie fires off an Acid Agador’s Scorcher and I cast Creeping Cold on it once more. McFlurry is in fighting, but Idjit is taking a severe beating and so runs off. Trixie “...have you met Agador’s Scorcher, part deux!” is savagely attacked for his use of the French language and the attacks do not stop until Trixie drops to the floor unconscious.

My Creeping Cold goes off for the last round, and rather than hang about, I pick up Trixie and run off with her. I stay back and while taunting the useless Barbarian, who is still looking for cobwebs or something, and noticing my comments have not influenced the Barbarian at all, stabilize Trixie and get Idjit back into the fray with a couple of quick little heals. Chunk, possibly understanding why people can’t be bothered to answer his inane questions, begins to move, while the now upright Trixie hoists her skirt up and runs back into combat, hurling Tasha’s Hideous Laughter. This sadly fails, and I cast my last little heal on Idjit as the front rank crumbles, mostly due to the fact that Brother Ashitaka’s internal organs are now on the outside of his body from the mauling he took.

Idjit replaces McFlurry in this macabre relay race, and Chunk’s participation was merely to check if the door was open before walking off once more. Trixie Confuses the area but this also fails, and deciding enough is enough, I call for a retreat. Idjit leaves, Trixie is taken down by a burning swipe of the Elemental in the fleeing melee, but I drag her by her petticoat up onto my shoulder and am off on my toes to safety.

We retreat completely out of the mountain, and hide in a large clump of bushes some distance away from the entrance to lick our wounds. Soon, Stumpy appears on the path leading to the Volcano, and is beckoned over to heal the wounded. The rest of the day passes peacefully, especially as we all ignore Chunk and continue discussions without him. Childish it may be, but with lives on the line, we really did not understand his motives – perhaps the ‘frenzied’ of Frenzied Barbarian means ‘fearful’?

A new day dawns, and nothing fire related happens, except more whispered mocking of the Barbarian, following the “…perhaps Frenzied means Chocolate Teapot?” and other such jollities.

Into the volcano we go, and then make our way back to the room from yesterday. I go and scout and am predictably struck which causes me to fail the casting of the creeping cold I had, but I do manage to call out co-ordinates for Trixie to drop an Acid Fireball on it. I also prepared Spikes on McFlurry little wooden stick thing he wields, and charitably loaned Idjit my spiked club.

McFlurry is in straight after me, tumbling away, closely followed by Idjit, while Chunk comes along to check on the door once more. I cast Creeping Cold on the fiery beast, while Trixie Hideous Laughter….. and it falls over, gurgling away, thankfully before I can say “….your casting what now?”

Idjit and McFlurry give it a good kick in the nads as it goes down, and Chunk finally moves in to hit it and I Creeping Cold it again. Soon the sounds of combat are at its height, with Magic Missile from Trixie, the rest clanging weapons on stone and flame, the flaming roar of the Elemental, the cold snapping noise of Creeping Cold biting again and the thunderous burst of Trixie’s Acid Fireballs.

The Elemental staggers and gets up, lashing out at Idjit, catching him a burning mark down one arm, but the Rangers return strike smashes the Elemental, and the bright spark of the fiery beast fades and only a scorch mark is left on the stone floor.

I open the only visible door which sets off another sound trap which blasts me to the floor nearly blowing my armour off. Trixie steps over my bleeding eared prone body and shouts through the portal “Is this the best you can do?” which promptly causes lots of flaming skulls to fly up from behind some rocks in the fiery barren landscape. Wanting no more of the things eating our stuff, we run off and close the door behind us.

Trixie spots something weird on the wall which is actually an opening which leads to some passages, and moving closer, we discover one of the corridors ends in a tapestry. There are Iguan words saying “Bathing Room” and when we go in, a trap drops loads of spiders on us. These spiders are all crispy and dead though, killed by the heat of the place most likely, and stepping over them, we find three imps relaxing in a pool of lava, treating in as a sauna.

Thinking of killing them, but knowing they would only disappear into the lava and I am the only one to chase them, I simply ask them about the place, but they are not very helpful and so we leave.

People try and knock one of the other doors down but fail, and then Chunk steps up and more or less pulls the door from its hinges, falling into the room beyond. There is a sarcophagus in the otherwise empty room, a Knight with a great sword embossed on its lid.

Idjit and McFlurry are the two strong men for today, and hoist the lid off between them. The clatter of stone and the dust cloud clears, and a surprising and very audible “Thank fuck for that!” is heard. After the obligatory looking around and wondering who spoke, we find that like all the best stories of old, we have found a talking sword to accompany us. It asks Idjit to pick it up, and suddenly, McFlurry casts Web inside the room covering everyone – thankfully I am resistant. The sword prattles on, some monologue about Wizards and a 50 years imprisonment, oblivious to McFlurry attacking Trixie hidden in the cobwebs and stickiness.

I change form into a Dark Stalker to try and get a better hit on the deranged Monk, but then get stuck in the web I previously was immune to as a Harrsaf – thankfully the cobwebs and the fact that my face is bright red as a Harrsaf more than covers my mistake. Trixie understandably not wanting to be punched in the face while stuck to strands fires off an Agadors Scorcher at the attacking Monk which has the side effect of catching Idjit.

Trixie is tripped to the floor and then smashed repeatedly with dangerously Spiked weapon that I had blessed him with earlier, which puts not only knocks her unconscious, but also down and dying.

Chunk tries to move and fails, his bristling weapons and brawny arms just gathering more strands to keep him stuck, and McFlurry moves sideways along the webs to attack me. Using the same tactics as he did for Trixie, I also get tripped headlong into the web, and then assaulted with a spiky stick, although not as vigorously as he hit the lady Sorcerer. Chunk manages to pull himself through the web to get to Trixie and stabilize her, while Idjit continues to burns more of the web in front of him.

I try and be as defensive as possible, knowing that I cannot possibly hit McFlurry, but he still manages to trip me once more, although his next attacks all miss their mark. Seeing the rest of the party up and making their way through the web, McFlurry runs off and up the wall deeper into the corners where the web is the thickest and I take the opportunity to become a Dark Stalker.

Idjit is pounced upon next by the leaping spider, and quickly tripped, while I burn the web near me moving to stand upon the spiked stick that the Monk dropped. Idjit moves into a flanking position and we are still failing to get through McFlurry’s defences and he trips me and hits me a couple of times.

I am still on the floor but put the spiked club away so McFlurry cannot stave my head in with it, taking a punch for my troubles. Still as my Dark Stalker, I look with my professional eye for a decisive opening, step up as they roll around on the floor and with pinpoint precession, strike the vitals of Idjit, the spiked club smashing into the armour and the Spikes tearing flesh and crunching bone. Idjit lets out a gasp and his eyes roll up yet he still manages to stagger upright, although he is now about five feet away from McFlurry with the force of the blow and bleeding heavily.

Chunk moves over and hits McFlurry, while McFlurry throws a casual punch to the side of Idjit’s head, who after my previous attack on him, promptly collapses into unconsciousness. McFlurry then ignores Chunk and is off and running around in the web.
Trixie drops a confusion that catches McFlurry and I stabilize Idjit with a potion, who then quickly drinks one of his own when he shakes the grogginess from his mind. Chunk tries to move towards the Monk and eventually gets there just in time for McFlurry in his confusion to attack the closest person, who is none other than the mental raging Chunk who is not listening to our cries of “..knock him out!” Chunk does weaken him greatly though with his massive chopping strikes, and before he can cut his head off, I catch him in the side of the head, knocking him unconscious.

 

Played May 16th 2010
Draft started May 6th 2011
Completed June 14th 2011

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