Tuesday, November 24, 2015

(Hackmaster) Burning Trogs Rule! #20: Escape the Slavers

Our Burning Trogs:
Cecilia Darkspruce: Half-Elf Warrior Priest of Sif,
Gwendalyn Lorax:  Half-Elf Druid
Marek the Learned:  Human Double Invoker
Brother Thomas:  Human Monk
.... are stuck in the slaver city of Roark, not in physical chains, but in economic bounds, flat broke, working menial jobs for coppers a day, a whole silver if they're lucky.  Something needed to change.

20th of TriDec, 1134:  The Slaver City of Roark, Location Unknown.
While Cecelia works a double at the inn, The fellows take Gwen to see the Temple of Ikka Patang. The guards (hobgoblins and a bugbear or two) give the men dirty looks and not much more.  Outside of an earthen trench and a drawbridge, there were no other entrances into this odd citadel.

Cecelia tries to work the staff and clientele over any details about the Temple.   Not much known is known the locals about what goes on there, except they are guarding something BIG.

Back at the Temple, Brother Thomas wants to attempt to crawl through the sewers to gain access, but Gwen vehemently vetoes that plan.

Upon returning to the inn, all four went back to their rooms to discuss their intel and plot their next move, only to discover a dead stable boy in the room, and the town guards already arriving at the inn.
Brother Thomas punches one out and everyone jumps out a window into a side street below.  Cecelia jumped first, but as the others followed, they could not find her.   Brother Thomas, Marek, and Gwen blasted through the streets escaping into the hills, and going off the path to avoid the pursuing patrols.

21st of TriDec, 1134:  Outside of Roark.
Organization fell apart quickly as the three remaining Trogs traversed a relatively barren landscape. Water could be found, but nothing remotely edible.  Gwen found a small copse of trees, and even befriended a squirrel who provided limited directions, but as Gwen slept, the other two caught the animal and ate it.  Once an infuriated Gwen woke up, Marek set fire to the trees, found no apparent reason.

Gwen: "We need to go back for Cecelia. These people do not care about her at all. Things would be much better if Cecelia was here."

22nd of TriDec, 1134: Still Outside of Roark.  
The group ran into a pack of frothing, feral gnomes who attacked them.  Gwen could muster an Entangle on the majority of the gnomes, Marek just set fire to the tall grass and brush .  Brother Thomas just punched and kicked as many as he could.
Frothing gnomes want to fight.  

The feral gnomes were finally all put down, but not before one of the gnomes bit down on Gwen's foot, nearly biting off her toes.  A hobbled  and woozy Gwen used her last healing spell to stabilize herself, infuriating an almost equally hurt Marek.  Marek tried to attack Gwen, but failed miserably. Realizing all the goodwill built up with Brother Thomas was gone, Marek tried to run away, the monk chasing right behind, and Gwen stumbling behind him.

It's unsure what exactly happened in what order during the chance, but the invoker began summoning fire spells just from his willpower.  He set fire to a small woodland, chasing out all the wildlife, including a pack of velociraptors!

Marek couldn't control his powers and a burst of flame spread through the area, killing a few giant lizards, but turning him into a wizened husk in the process.  Brother Thomas tried to fight back, but soon the beasts overwhelmed him.

Gwen escaped from the lizards by barely managing to surf down the side of a rocky hill , riding down on two bucklers they had scavenged.  The wounded velociraptors did not wish to pursue any longer, as they had a feast already in front of them.

It looked  a little like this....
Gwen had survived, but now she was all alone.

Brother Thomas and Marek had stood out like sore thumbs while scouting the temple, so the inhabitants tracked them back to the inn, killed the stable boy and put him in their room, and called the town guard as soon as returned from their morning stroll around the outside of the temple the following day.   

The women survived on pure luck, guile, and for Cecelia, the fact that she zigged when everyone else zagged.  Her story will to told soon enough, but for now, we'll turn our entire attentions to Gwen, as she navigates through a strange and hostile land....

...and looks for Cecelia.

Next:  #21 Gwen's Journey

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