Over, Under and Through.

The (un)united assault on Ironguard

Our party were at the southwestern perimeter of Ironguard‘s towering walls, at the very edge of the forest of Guadix. The first rays of sunlight were glinting off the pale golden timber of Shrike’s elven arrow, embedded in the stone of the wall’s peak. He gripped the rope, tested his weight, then started up the wall, only to realise that Ludwigron and Egil had disappeared into the sewer system.

Shrike led the way up the rope, and had nearly reached the top, with Felix close behind, Ellisendre further down, when Baldric tangled himself in the remaining rope and sent them all sliding backward, a stray yelp escaping the ranger’s lips. Hearing the approaching footsteps of guards, Baldric hurriedly dentangled himself, dropped to the ground and knocked an arrow in readiness, as Ellisendre began murmuring a preparatory hex. Shrike tried a last-minute acrobatic move to get himself atop the wall, but fell magnificently to the ground instead..

After descending the ladder into the darkness, Ludwigron cast light on his staff and Egil took a moment to study their surroundings. It was clear to the shaman that the sewer had more mobile and reckless inhabitants than the fungi the wizard was raving about. There were scratches and smears on the walls. They explored the area until they found a cluster large enough to engage in telepathic conversation.

A pair of guards peered over the wall, training their crossbows on the group. Ellisendre had been for this moment, and loosed her hex at the guards, whose hands were suddenly burning hot. Instinctively, they dropped their crossbows, one on the walltop, and the other plummeting toward Felix’s head. Felix and Ellisendre hurriedly slid down the rope to join the others, and Baldric asked the guards what it would take to get them to help the group over the wall. “Make it stop!” they cried, and as Felix claimed the fallen crossbow, a third guard appeared, crossbow at the ready.

Ludwigron put his hands to the fungus and opened his mind. The fungus communicated its trust and offered an audience or protection. The wizard, as usual, chose knowledge over safety, asking for a path into the city, and the fungal sprawl asked if he wished to be directed to the tired, the hungry, or the busy. Egil paced back and forth with the decision, discovering a hole in the floor and accidentally dunking himself in filthy water. Luckily, he came up with something: “The tired” he spat, and Ludwigron saw the fungus light the way in indigo waves for them to follow.

Ellisendre was glad to oblige the guards’ request; she took their pain away and gave the new guard a blinding migraine. They ran off for reinforcements, and during the distraction, the witch scrambled up the rope to meet him. Baldric followed, arriving in time to see her applying a healing salve to the guard, who swatted her hand away and started to regain his weapon and footing to save face. Felix arrived as Baldric began pleading their case to the guards, and by the time Shrike had almost reached the top, the guards were hauling him the rest of the way to join the party for a guarded march to Eldon Saviero, who might verify their story.

The shaman and the wizard found the trail’s end at a ladder to the surface, but the telltale puff of a blowpipe told Egil to reflexively raise his shield, all too late. A dart struck him, injecting him with who-knows-what, and the darkness giggled in response. He glimpsed a small figure moving between shadows, and called upon the spirit of desire to draw his assailant into the light. It was a goblin, who Ludwigron hurriedly charmed into revealing his allegiance to “the lady” and calling his friends in the dark to join them in conversation. The fungus seemed to react angrily to these events.

As they marched along the wall, Baldric peered down into the Dirt, to see that Lady Eshrigel was no longer slumming it among the poorest of the city. Her tower hadn’t moved, but was grander and clearly standing apart from the rabble as some proof of recent prosperity.

Egil healed himself and grinned at the goblins, revealing his forked tongue, which sent the creatures into a fearful, defensive posture, hissing “Librarian” at each other. Ludwigron attempted to heal negotiations and build rapport, but murdered his goblin friend, and the fungus released a cloud of spores into the chamber. Egil held his breath and raced for the ladder, but Ludwigron’s sense of self-preservation saw him push past and into the open air above.

Gasping and stinking, the pair burst onto the street amidst a throng of masqueraders observing the Day of Masks. Needless to say, our heroes made plenty of interesting first impressions among both the guards and the citizens.


Matt_Horam Matt_Horam

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