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 Maharajah Massacre

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Number of posts : 761
Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Maharajah Massacre   Tue 10 Jul - 13:38:06

The party assembled under the leadership of the paladin Sir Cumfrence. In the hack and slay division, the powerfully muscled half orc fighter cleric, Bob. Also lending to the party’s religious nature, Ol’man, the druid. Lending magical support; Mhyyrlynn the young wizard. Bringing his unique blend of naivety, stupidity and whatever the opposite of wisdom is, Lucius the fighter; last and least making up one twelfth of the party, (Bob counts as three twelfths) the only completely non human member: Smiler the halfling thief.

The mission: Destroy the bandit cultists raiding on commerce in the area ensure no resurgence by eliminating the relics of the evil Maharajah at its centre. Guided in the dead of night to the entrance to the cultists’ lair, the patron’s agent disappears with a whispered ‘good luck’. The good luck failed to materialise at this point as even as the party steeled itself, a patrol consisting of two bandits with three trained fire beetles on chains emerged from the great double doors. There was a brief dispute centring on the right to life which was resolved in traditional manner involving sharp pointed objects, a few gnashing mandibles and a magic missile.

Scouting, the doughty (they’re always doughty aren’t they?) halfling descended a major flight of stairs and entered a large ante chamber below. Finding nothing, the rest of the party joined him in a rattling and crashing of metal armour that negated any chance for surprise. When the paladin came to detect for evil beyond the exit, he received a strong indication, which at least forewarned the party of what might be about to happen. The party set up for ambush and pulled open the doors revealing ten charging scimitar swinging bandits. Battle was joined, unfortunately an equal number of bandits began emerging from a second, secret door, outflanking the party and jeopardising their whole position.

Party members began to fall, subdued by the overwhelming odds and the halfling, pursued by three bandits took to his tiny heels and flew back up the stairs. The magic user, cut off and similarly in peril could only run through the secret door, shadowed by another of the horde. He then made a crucial decision: Badly. Right instead of left. He ended up behind the main force rather than following a possible escape route and two more bandits pursued him deeper into the complex. Meanwhile, the halfling had made it out and his pursuers, perhaps fearing ambush had closed and barred the door solidly behind him. Back in the ante chamber the paladin was finally overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers and bundled into captivity with his wounded comrades.

Mhyyrlynn meanwhile had discovered usefully that he could comfortably out distance his pursuit. Less usefully, he now arrived in a dead end. His three pursuers now stopped as he entered the chamber at the end, with an air of those settling down with a bag of popcorn, and the magic user decided quite rightly, that something bad was about to happen, and ran back into their waiting arms, just avoiding the portcullis that tried to trap him in the room with something large, unseen and doubtless unhelpful.

The party awoke in a comfortable suite of open plan slave pens, their prized equipment reduced to one loincloth each. With only rats for company they pondered their likely fate, which apparently was likely to involve an emphasis on the mining industry with no health holiday or indeed payment plan. The good news was that the cleric and druid were able to recover spells and carry out discrete healing as a result. The druid meanwhile befriended a rat and started the laborious process of attempting to move it several million years up the evolutionary scale to a point where it could comprehend what a key was and how to find and fetch the right one for the cells. Bob meanwhile was applying his considerable strength to the patented ‘Bob’s Bar Bending work out’ and made some progress during the day succeeding in breaking into the adjacent cell eventually.

On the outside, intrepid halfling had made it back to his employer, who seemed to feel that his emphasis was more on the strategic/ financial side than your actual hands on rescue involvement. He did suggest looking for the exit from which the bandits emerged on their camels, as this did not seem to have been found from the halfling’s report. He lent a tracker guide to assist the halfling’s return, and by nightfall tracks had been found suggestive of a secret entrance to the north. Settling down to observe, just after dusk a force of some dozen bandits emerged from stabling hidden behind a camouflaged tarpaulin. Watching patiently for some hours the halfling noted a faint light showing occasionally as some sort of observation took place. From time to time a guard would emerge and answer nature’s call.

The next such event was the cue for the thief to unleash a hitherto unsuspected dark side as he brutally murdered the poor hapless sentinel as he did nothing more offensive than water the desert. A second sleeping guard in the stables also had his throat ripped out as camels impassively chewed their cuds. Checking corridors beyond our mini murderer found the cells and eventually managed to pick the lock to the silent cheers of his comrades. It was friends reunited although the halfling did appear a little disconcerting covered as he was in bandit blood.

The party now left and rallied in the stables where the druid decided to have a chat with the camels, who proved somewhat more intellectual than his rat who had so far reached the ‘Hi is this rusty nail the key thingy you were looking for?’ stage of development. The camels were released and the party decided to press their advantage. (What advantage you may ask? Surprise; the fact that half the bandits were out). Abandoning the old ‘let’s stay in the cells and take them by surprise’ ploy, which risked discovery of the two missing guards, the party resumed scouting, resulting in the halfling getting another chance to solve someone’s problems with his now trademark permanence. This time it was the gaoler who unexpectedly discovered today was blood donation day, and our heroes were reunited with its equipment.

Tooled up once more, the party now discovered a guardroom with three bandits playing dice; once again they piled in weapons blazing. The noise of the defeat of the three watchers did attract unwelcome attention and six more bandits arrived from two different directions once again splitting the party’s resources. The numbers were even but the bandits were all fighters and the new group included the leader and 2 lieutenants. It went hard for the party, and soon all but the thief and magic user were down with the leader and two of his minions still standing.

Fleeing, the two then rallied, ambushing their pursuers with their trusty slings and the leader, already badly hurt (especially after another treacherous back stabbing by you know who), fell. The remaining two surrendered rather than face the terror that is Smiler. (Taking them alive, strange new concept?). After a much needed rest and healing session, the party moved south to explore the unknown once again. In doing so they found more empty quarters and then moving down a long winding corridor discovered a teleport trap that caught all except Bob and Lucius. The trap sent them to the portcullis sealed area and two giant snakes joined the prisoners and began to set about the druid and paladin. Fortunately, though bitten, the druid resisted the effects of the poison and the snakes were duly despatched. The party now had a quandary: No where else to go; but no maharajah or his regalia.

Ignoring the obvious too easy expedient of interrogating the prisoners, they laboriously searched until they found another secret door. However, this only led them to the fire beetle quarters and a trap which fired three iron spikes into the lead character (out of 20). Another dead end, another secret door, this one just led into the snake ambush room. Hmmm, never an elf around when you need one. Another secret door later and a classic challenge scenario: A quarterstaff armed fighter stood on a narrow beam crossing a spike filled pit. Bob it was who stepped forward, only to find his armour and weapons teleported to the other side and replaced with a quarterstaff like his opponent’s. To encourage him onto the beam, the floor began to heat and his colleagues could only watch as they were cut off by an invisible force wall.

After a desperate combat in which fate intervened (there was a lot of that about) the luckless fighter fell to a spiky doom leaving the way clear. The party crossed over to find a room with three animated statues, which the party were able to destroy using their superior speed and missile weapons in an unprecedented flash of tactical brilliance (possibly combined with some inept monster placement). A body strewn approach led to the final room. Sir Cumfrence wisely abandoned body checking at the first sign of rot grubs.

The final encounter was the maharajah himself, a super zombie of some description armed with a magic sword; he was dealt with by the fighter crew whilst the druid and magic user stood in reserve. The treasure recovered was around 2200 gp in copper and silver plus the sword and another horde of gems. This together with the orb sceptre and crown. With pay included, the party ended up about 800gp a head richer though several had had at least one brush with the cold hand of fate.
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