Rise of the Runelords

Session 10: Anything THAT Ugly Deserves ta Die

Chapter Three: The Hook Mountain Massacre

Tis a funny wurld we live in eh? Me mission ta save the loives of everyone came ta a most undramtic a conclusion. Wit me disgruntled moral in tact, me tots turned ta me tieves guild in the Glassworks, where me Voices of Reason continaed ta train an steal from th suspectin citizens. The Scarney guild beware of me building reputation. An yet tha life oi began, oi put aside at th victory horn of adventure. Wit Tirion's call ta arms ta investigate a Fort near Hoock Mountain, ta see why the militia ad not contacted Magnimaar of recent dates, wantin ta hit the road took hold. Thinkin of me new equipment, oi tot id be nice ta try some of it out.

As we disagreed on th way ta get there, we of course went wit the majority. That being the usual lovers always choosin the same way while ignorin me own request. They wanted ta take the ferry, which, though faster, bypasted the Shimmerglens. So many wonderful stories ave oi eard of the place. A magical forest where ya might become one wit nature. Where ya could dance wit nixies an be seduced by dryads. Twould a done Tirion some good ta get a little… well, never mind. Twas still a long boat ride fer sure. Nearly ad Vala confinced ta invest in me glasswurks factory, an all the politically incorrect tings tha came with it. Talk also turned to me own demise as usual. Dis toime, the mention of reincarnation came up. An interesting notion fer sure. Ta no longer be a halfling? A paraditical tot, but still not one oi tink oi would want.

After we arioived at the town of Turtleback Ferry, the closest town ta our destination, we spoke wit Father Maelin Shreed, worshipper of Arasteal. Oim not an aimer of gods. Bu dis temple truly spoke to me, almost beconin me ta take up the worship ta dis god of nature. Woulda made me comrads day as they still wanted me ta drop me locksmith profession in place of a mage, er something else dey considered useful. Maelin gave us a couple more details. Seems the militia, or Black Arrows as they called themselves, had indeed not been eard from in a while. Rumors spoke of ogres that ad moved inta the area. Dis at least gave us a clue that der might be killin ta be ad.

We gathered our tings an eaded off on foot. Oi began experimentin wit me hat of disguise, going from medusa, an settlin on a harmless kobold guise. Not to long inta our walk, we eard the pained cry of an animal. No animal suffered on me watch, so oi led us all in the direction of the sound. The branches gave way ta a bear trapped in a lockjaw ankle trap. Not wantin it ta kill me, oi drank me potion ta commune wit varmints, an told im oid free im. E told me we ad ta go save is master. Oi said oi would an started unhingin the claw trap. No sooner ad oi began me work, then the sound of dogs echoed on the winds. Der yips oi understood as "Oi smell bear," and oi knew me furry ally was in trouble. Emergin the trough weeds, five cute doggies emerged, their teath droolin misunderstood demise fer all dose dey came across. Leadin dem was a large brute, whose form was nearly indescribable. Tink scrambbled eggs, bulgin trough yer skin. That e was alive, was a miracle in itself, as any mother u somthin like that would ave drown the kid in a lake bed an claimed ta th authorities "Look at it! Tis an abomination of the nine hells! Would have been sacrilige ta keep the ting alive." An she would have been given a town feast fer her good deed.

Th dogs charged at us, with most going tawards Tirion, thinkin him the larger threat, rather than a harmless kobold. Oi tried ta go faster on the trap but was forced ta defend meself against an attackin dog. Tirion did some sort a Whirling Tornado maneuver ta wound tree dogs while me own quick strikes sent one down an wounded a couple others. The ogre meanwhile charged an impaled Tirion, but the warblade practically laughed the blow off, knowing that is return strike would be much more deadly. And a mighty hit he did land, but not enough ta bring down is opponent. The bear took a couple bites, but Vala was beside im, ealin all is wounds. After th bear brought another dog down, oi realized the main treat was the ogre. A diving roll brought leapin over an attackin dog ta appear right behind the tumours ogre. As oi emerged from me roll, oi plunged me rapier trough the behemoths knee, and did yikes did e howl in pain! Fer some reason, Tirion tought that twould be an opportune moment ta flee the melee. E clicked is eals tagether an teleported a short distance away. Which left me face ta ankle with the ogre. Wit Vala elpin the bear, oi was all alone, an suffered a painful stab from is spear. Outta position fer any of me sneaky strikes, oi still gave it a couple insightful paper cuts ta send it howlin in pain, while sating me own anger at bein struck in the first place.

Gettin over is cowerdly lack of judgment, Tirion charged in, thinkin perhaps ta steal the kill from me. Is sword laced a nice ribbon of red across the ogres ribs, but still it stood its ground. In the corner of me eye, oi saw Vala club a dog to oblivion, while the bear was finishin off the other mutts. The ogre meanwhile decided ta continia its focus on me. With the quickness of a pixie, oi dodged the spear aside an used it ta hide me spin as oi came up from behind and seperated both its kidneys from the rest of its internal organs. Tha was enough, an the beast fell ta the ground. There remained only one dog, an oi couldn't kill it in cold blood. Usin me skill with animals an me ability ta speak with them, oi convinced it ta run off. Oi checked the other dogs an found that, though badly wounded, oi could save em. A couple of charges from me cure wand brought them back ta their feet. While convincin yips sent em off ta join der friends an leave us be. After Vala ealed us all up, oi freed the bear. Frantically e said we ad ta follow it ta its master, an figurin is master ta be a druid er a ranger, oi ad ta elp. Odly, Tirion an Vala didna even question going off the mission path ta elp an animal in distress.

After a short run, we came ta a house, its front yard coverd by piles of flesh, while several human effigies hung in the trees. Hunched over the flesh piles was a deformed animal, which on closer inspection, was another tumogre as oi named it. Seein fresh meat, the thing charged us in a bloodshot-eyed frenzy. Oi decided ta use me newest tool and put on me mask of the medusa. The snakes upon it whipped to an frow an oi felt a warmth in me eyes as a green flash eruped from it. The magic struck the ogre square on, an its eyes became those of a doomed man as is entire body turned ta stone. A nod ta Tirion brought a cleaving sword hit ta decapitate the statue, before it turned back ta flesh.

We came to the front door of thr delapidated ouse. The bear said is master was inside. Before entering though, oi decided ta check ta see if these seemingly stupid ogres were smart enough ta set a trp. Sure enough, me proddin eyes came across not one but two deadly traps. After oi sent everyone back, oi proceeded ta disable em both, a first oi might add fer traps so complex. In the end, the spikes would no longer impale anyone standin on the welcome mat, nor would the swingin scyth vorpal off an appentage. Vala mentioned oi ad more than just locksmith skills it seemed. Twas nice ta get a complement fer once.

The entry room was barren, save fer a couch an another door. Oi walked to th doors and began checkin fer traps again, with Tirion right behind. Suddenly though, the boards below Tirion's feet gave way, an e barely jumped aside from a fall that would ave sent im upon a bed of spikes below. What was worse though was the reachin vines from some sort of exotic plant creature that tried ta drag Tirion down. The warblade saved it the trouble an clicked is eels tagether ta bring himself right up against it. Would ave been nice if e ad used that small brain of is ta think about is action first. In such close proximity, the shambling mound easily grabbed hold of our tank an bit down hard. Tirion's Mountain Hammer sword technique seemd ta do little damage, as the pile of vines an twigs whipped and bit Tirion time an time again. A couple balls of flame from me wand barely slowed it down, an oi ad no choice but ta jump down and give the mound another target or else Tirion would be dead. Vala ad other ideas owever. Usin a spell of ers she created a doorway and pushed us all inta it, emergin on the porch next ta the bear, just as an ogre with two heads came ta elp out the plant monster.

Not wantin ta face that thing again, we decided ta go ta the side door. It opened inta a kitchen covered in cockroaches an blood. The dinin table was obviously made of uman skin. There were several doors leadin ta other places. The first one, oi discovered another scyth trap, and was able ta disable it. As we entered, we found the room ta be a playroom. Two tumogre children were playin with a couple dead raccoons. Such abomintions, no matter ow young, did not deserve mercy. A quick thrust from me rapier opened the first's juggular, and endin its existance fast. Tirion followed me lead and cut a wide gash in the other head. Seemed the things brain were elsewhere in its body as it still flailed around ta strike me. Duckin under its reach, oi finished it off with a slash that severed its spinal cord.

Wit nothin else ere, we went to another door. Me cursory eyes spoted nothin, so Tirion went on in, only ta receive a glancin blow from a decendin scyth trap. Seems oi should of examined above the door, not below. My bad. We found ourselves in a bedroom, wit body parts scattered everywhere. Me search of the bodies turned up a nice ring that fit remarkably well on me finger. A side door led to a latrine, whose depths eld piles of small bones, like those of children. Another door led to stairs going up and it was that way we eaded.

We came inta a room filled with junk, as well as a tempin chest. The trap upon it bespoke of the riches oi would find within. And what a liar it was as the confines eld a pile of fingers. Obviously twas used as currency among these tumogres, an so oi took em with me in case oi needed ta bribe one.

Only one other door was seen, and Tirion kicked it open ta reveal an absolutely disgustin female tumogre, whose weight likely topped 700 pounds. Beside er was the two eaded ogre from below, while three zombie ogres guarded mama. She quickly cast a spell that created six duplicates of erself. A Tornado move by Tirion wounded the zombies, while oi used me horm of blastin ta sent a shockwave through the zombies and mama. Two-head was outta the blast radius an pounded me on me shoulder. Oi defended meself the best oi could, but couldn't get ta any of is vital areas. Mama meanwhile sent a purple ray inta Tirion, reducin is muscle mass. Vala tried ta elp out, but er entry ta the room was suddely impeded by a dire weazel. Two-Head suddenly let out a howl of rage an it seemed is tenacity doubled. Oi stabbed and jabbed enough wounds ta drop a giant, yet somehow is barbarian rage kept im staddin. That was until Vala did probably er best move oi've ever seen, She used er magic ta calm two-head down. And in his calm state, he lost is ragin power, sending him falling ta the ground.

Seein mama as truly the main threat, oi dived under zombie legs an disintegrated two of er images. Tirion, still bein it by zombies round im, focused is attention on mama tumor, an somehow managed ta it er actual body. Blubber girl then reached out an touched me wit a cruesome hand, an magic coarsed trough me. All of a sudden, me actions in me ead didna match the actions of me body an oi couldn't bring me blades ta bear upon er. Tirion kept th fight going, destroyin more of er images, while the zombies continaed ta beat on im. Mama then reached out an touched Tirion, takin some of is life force inta er. Now though, tanks ta Tirion, she ad no more images left. An luckily fer me, me brain got hold a me arms and oi profitted ta bring precision death ta mother ugly. Vala's fight fer her life gainst the weazel suddely came ta an end as the summoned creature disappeared. The remainin zombies, with no master ta guide em, became practice dummies fer Vala's quarter staff, Tirion blade, an me own little daggers.

While Tirion was attended to by Vala, as e was the only one injured, me eyes turned ta looting the bodies and findin hidden treasures. Unfortunately, as it seemed in all cases, our goal seemed ta be down, not up. Meanin round two gainst the shamblin mound awaited us. An unlike the fight wit Malfeshnikor, this prospect seemed not ta Tirrion's liking. But it was the only coarse left fer us. We ad come this far, and oi saw the resolve in the faces of me allies that we'da continia the fight.

And it was all ta possibly save a dryad.



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