Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Shapechangers: Chapter 8

Hieronymous Tigana won't leave his lab and indeed has turned several mages and members of Watch sent to apprehend him into toads. Yes you read that right toads!

The Party are asked (told) by Mayor to go get the crazy Alchemist and drag his abnoxious behind to prison for a substantial commission of course.

The Party head to the Guild of Wizardry and once there are lead down underground to the Alchemy lab of Hieronymous Tigana. It doesn't look like much! Arcane equipment, supplies, alchemy gear...pretty dull. The voice of Tigana taunts the newcomers from a side room and sounds quite, quite mad...

Unfortunately the side "room" turns out to be a 4 story structure that is totally out of proportion to its underground locale. There's no way all that could possibly exist a mere 20 feet below ground.

Tigana peers down from level 4. Flights of stairs lead up and onto each level, a large, open area is adjacent to the flights of stairs and contains vast, glass vats of bubbling liquids that stretch upwards into the higher levels. The hum of machinery and arcane powers crackles around the lab.

The Party attempts to cross the open area whilst Tigana pelts them with Alchemical firebombs from above. A few dudes get splash damage.

The quick KC sets off a series of fire traps before the first flight of stairs and then gets assaulted by animated arbalaster machines situated on little platforms on the wall adjacent to the stairs.

Ulric gets busy and takes a Relentless Hammer to one of the bubbling vats, Tigana asks him (maniacally) if he knows whats inside? The Dwarf pays him no mind ... crazy mage.

KC, The Bard, Sir Kelly and Teckcos head up 1st flight of stairs dodging missiles from above.

Ulric finally smashes open one vat and a deluge of liquid (water thankfully) gushes out into the lab. It laps up against the walls before reforming into a fearsome, whirling, raging Water Elemental.

The Party on the 1st floor find a vast, cavernous room extending out into the distance which contains all manner of supplies and alchemic materials and components.

Tekcos spies a foot, then another, bigger than the first, and finally the grotesque form of a mismatched man (who has been stitched together) lying on a table is fully revealed. The Psioncist decides not to take any chances and proceeds to saw through the Flesh Golem's neck with his dagger. Nice 8-)

Ulric and his watery foe duke it out, however the Water Elemental's primary "drowning" power is completely negated by the Dwarf's SeaShimmer cloak (breathe underwater property). Ulric smiles and gives the churning watery thing a good pounding with his relentless hammer ... sonic shockwaves pummel the poor elemental pretty good.

Tekcos continues with his macabre detail, while KC, the Bard and Sir Kelly continue around and onto the 2nd flight of stairs. The team is assailed by more Arbalaster Hommunclus constructs.

More maniacal laughter erupts from above and the fire spout traps on the ground floor roar up once more, the raging inferno forms into a Fire elemental that follows the party up the stairs.

KC continues her route upwards, while the Bard attacks the arbalaster mechanisms. Brother Kelly and Teckcos fight the Fire elemental on stairs 2.

KC steps out onto the 2nd floor, or so she thinks ... a moment of confusion before comprehension, she is back on first floor! Teleporter?

The Fire Elemental burns Brother Kelly and Tekcos pretty good. The Bard pushes 1 arbalaster off it's platform and sends it down to to smash on floor and then moves closer up the stairs towards the Teleporter.

Fire Elemental smashed by KC, Brother Kelly and Teckcos. The Bard susses the Teleporter and it is bypassed. The 2nd Floor contains another Flesh Golem ... very much alive! Golem Ramage!

Ulric batters the Water Elemental into submission and then plods up the stairs to try and help his friends ... the ravaged water elemental reforms after a time and stalks the dwarf's movements from a discreet distance.

KC, Brother Kelly, Teckcos and the Bard feels the size and power of the Golem's mighty rampage! *Pelvic Thrust* HUH! 8-)

Floor 2 is another dimension defying room this time containing a vast library. Tome after tome, shelf after shelf stretch back into infinity.

The Bard minces past the Golem's grasping arms and heads up and onto the 3rd flight of stairs, moveing up he spots a trap door and halts! Just in time as a section of stairs gives way. Phew! 8-)

The feisty Flesh Golem takes big chunks outta KC, Sir Kelly and Tekcos.

Ulric goes up to the second floor followed by the skulking Water Elemental ... Ulric finds himself on the 1st floor again, as does the Water Elemental!! A mighty hit from the relentless hammer returns the conjured creature into harmless drops of H2O.

The Bard notices a weird green aura emanating from the top of fourth floor and the sounds of machinery increasing. He notices that pipes run from the vats to the 4th floor and that 1 particular vat is slowly diminishing. He shouts down to Ulric to go smash that Vat. Ulric doesn't need to be told twice to go smash stationary glass objects. He spits on his hands, grabs his hammer in both hands and gets to work ...

Tekcos runs past the Golem and gets onto the 3rd flight of stairs (just behind the bard and the gap). KC and Sir Kelly retreat back onto the 2nd flight of steps, leaving the Golem to return to it's rest table and back to it's inert state. Hmmm ... if your not physically on the 2nd floor the golem doesn't attack. KC and the Cleric double move through floor 2 and get past the golem and onto Stairs 3.

The Bard jumps the gap on stairs 3 and then runs up onto the landing of floor 3. Tekcos and Sir Kelly blasts some more arbalasters while fit and firm buttocked KC runs, leaps and skips her way up onto the third floor.

Floor 3 is unsurprisingly massive also, a vast labyrinth of bubbling, plopping vats, cauldrons, alchemic "things" and pipes all interconnected and giving off the sounds of active operation. The Bard checks the piping and then starts smashing critical points, KC runs past him and then onto flight of stairs 4.

Meanwhile, Ulric start smashing the vat indicated by the bard ... Booom! ... small crack ... Booom! ... crack gets bigger ... BOOM! ... faults lines begin arching up the vat structure ... liquid drips out ... drip drip onto stone floor ... ssss!! hisss ... ssss!! and starts sizzling and eating it's way through the granite floor. Ulric's bushy eyebrows rise ...

KC on stairs 4 takes no chances and moves slowly, cautiously up the stairs. Checking for mechanical and arcane traps ... sensors on full wide beam alert ... the floor beneath her suddenly disappears! She flails about for any handhold, critically fumbles a saving throw to hang on ... plummets down ... 4 floors ... tries to heroically and acrobatically and vainly to slow her plunge (like all novice Thieves' Guild trainees can do) and possibly reduce some damage ... critically fails again and lands smack bang in the middle of a pool of A C I D forming by the ruptured vat ... you know the one with a large crack running up it ...

The sly sorceress suffers MASSIVE DAMAGE... 8-)

The Bard witnesses KC's plunge and also that the green light has increased in intensity and that Tigana hasn't spoken for some time. He heads to Stairs leading to floor 4 and watches what happens ... a section of the stairs disappears in a smooth interval running all the way up to the landing on fourht floor ... timing the disappearing sections, the Bard reckons he can run behind the disappearing chunks and arrive on floor 4 with ease. He gives it a go ... and suceeds.

Ulric the Mighty is running, running away from the acid, the vat, the lab and all this Thor forsaken magical death trap of a crap place ... he is flat out gone man! 8-)

Sir Kelly seeing the sorceress's rapid descent and subsequent splash down in a growing pool of acid figures that she probably could do with some help and quickly. The noble cleric leaps off the third flight of stairs, in full scale armour, in slow mo and to gasps of astonishment from the viewing audience to save the life of the stricken KC. He plunges down but expertly slows his descent by snagging handholds and arrives on the ground with nay a scratch.

The knight then rushes into the acid pool to lift the stunned form of sorceress out of the danger zone and to safety before kneeling to perform healing on the shattered form of KC. The feisty sorceress heals quick enough and still has a little fight left in her. She rushes back up the stairs once more, followed by the slower cleric.

The Bard and Teckos arrive at the top of the alchemy lab and are faced by 6 arbalasters mechanisms, luckly, these are inert. A strange artifice projects a green beam of light at an arch which forms a shimmering portal ... the machinery up here gives off showers of sparks and plumes of smoke as the portal aperture contracts and dilates at irregular intervals. No sign of the mad alchemist.

The Bard tries to comprehend the apparatus, while Tekcos moves closer to the portal and peers through ... he sees murky buildings beyond. The Bard tinkers with the apparatus and suddenly brings the portal into sharp focus, just as a series of detonations rumble up through the stone floor from level 3.

Tekcos Tik, catlike, steps through the pristine portal and he finds himself in a street. Buildings stretch out in both directions, all gray and well worn. The air smells stale, musty and warm, the sky above is a uniform gray color ... through a gap in the murk he spies more buildings arching up and around the 'sky' ...

What the feck? The Psioncist keeps looking upwards, mouth agape.

The Bard steps through and he looks around quickly to try and get his bearings. He glances at Tekcos and noting the look of amazement and direction of his gaze ... the bard looks up ...

What the feck! ... the pair oblivious to their other surroundings continue to gaze upwards and backwards until they both go too far and topple over!

KC arrives on trembling level four, safely this time, and notice the portal and 2 figures beyond the shimmering aperture. Sticking a tentative hand through divide and suffering no adverse effects the sorceress takes the plunge and step across.

She looks around and immediately notices a pair of massive red feet a short distance before her ... hmm ... that can't be good ... slowly, ever so slowly KC continues looking up and eventually the sorceress gazes into the glowing, red coals that form the eyes of a Balrog!


KC grabs the 2 prone idiots and drags them back through the portal. The Bard and Teckos recover from the reverie and get to work trying to close the portal. They don't need to bother as another set of detonations from below shatters the delicate array of instruments casting the green beam and the aperture slowly shrinks into nothingness.

Through the retreating point the party members watch the Demon walk down the street, from around a corner emerge an group of angelic figures. The Balrog hisses and roars at the quartet while the glowing figures reach for weapons ... after an uneasy standoff the 2 groups walk away without a fight. The portal then blinks out.


Count Ptreides will pay for the Bard renovations on his abode. Ulric gets his warehouse at the docks.

The Bard appropriates a title ... from henceforth he shall be addressed as Lord Caerendil Egremont Beaujolais of Greyhawk.

The Party jointly buy the Nightwatch building across the street from McGloogan's (now Ulric's) warehouse. Partly to be used for Ulric's industrial endevours and partly as a barracks and billet for a small contingent of Knights of Holy Shielding lead by Sir Kelly.

KC buys the Green Dragon Inn.


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