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 orio

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Phlegm

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Number of posts : 747
Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: orio   Mon 15 Aug - 16:56:59

Orio

I arrived at the fabled city of Orio with its famous mystical barrier that keeps the horrific entities of the underworld bottled beneath, on a less than comfortable cart driven by a misanthropic Bannerman named Egbert, who rather tiresomely keeps droning on about the evils of elves. And dwarves. And humans. And life in general infact.

Turns out that he like I have been sent for by Manuel, noted scholar of this city. Quite why he has been summoned I cannot not guess, I resolve to enquire on the matter as there is no reason that I can fathom why any sane person would seek the company of this troubled Egbert.

His morosity knows no bounds it appears that he has been the victim of some despicable betrayal resulting in the destruction of all that he holds dear but to be frank after the first minute or so I did rather switch off and take to just tutting or nodding or shaking my head sorrowfully as seemed appropriate whenever there was a gap in his discourse.

Orio is little like my native Coronia; its towering walls, cosmopolitan thronging populace, resident gods and of course the famous tower of Babel in the centre all set it apart from any city in the world. I have a feeling that our arrival has definitely made it a gloomier place. I note a number of finely drawn buildings and am impressed by the architecture and design, Egbert however just seems to see it as a melting pot of every race that he hates with a passion.

Also arriving: Eldrakin Smithson, a dwarven warrior who also seems preoccupied with personal misfortune: In his case the recent loss of a pig. Elven cleric Varis Galanodel* and Betty, a sly looking Halfling. When it becomes clear that these are to be our quest companions Egbert’s look of disgust is a sight to see.

*Not pronounced ‘Glen Hoddle’ apparently

We are greeted by no less a figure than the god Hermes and Guild Mistress Alexandria who conduct us to the Guildhall at the tower. Egbert does his best to upset the god but he seems quite tolerant and we are left to make introductions in the guildhall under the eyes of several heavily armed guards.

Varis it seems is a treehugger worshipping some sort of nature god. Typical; a cleric who’s a naturist, just what we need. Meanwhile it is becoming apparent that this delay is unscheduled and when our hosts return it seems that Manuel is late for this meeting but has disappeared, indeed he has not been seen for three days. That will hardly help with my research.

Hermes wants us to find him; it seems that he has vanished into the dungeon, but before we do, he wants to test us in the arena to see if he thinks we have what it takes. On the way I borrow Varis’ handsome looking crossbow and am still looking at it when Hermes orders a tarpaulin whipped off a cage infront of us and a giant lion bounds out to attack Eldrakin.

We engage and under the watchful eye of Herme’s champion, an Elven Amazon named Sky* the creature is slain. My magic missiles finish the job and as it dies it explodes with a magical flash turning to strange purple crystals which I gather up, curious to examine this phenomena. Turns out that this is the normal turn of events for dungeon spawned creatures and the crystals are traded for by the guild.

*Believe in better?

Varis asks for some crystal from me and we share them out although Egbert declines any and tries to suggest that I should take umbrage at the elf asking me for a share. That chap is always looking to stir and cause trouble it seems. Alexandria now brings new intelligence: Returning adventurers have spotted Manuel in the dungeon, traversing the great steps to the third level.

Well I see no reason to rush in after him, after all he’s been gone for days and there is no cause to hurry. I need my spell back and propose a rest. We are conducted to the Fawcett Inn* where I rest up whilst the dwarf and the misanthrope Egbert engage in games of chance under the less than watchful eye of the half dwarven landlady.**

*First nomination for the 2017 TOSSA for horrendous puns
**A more watchful landlady would have noticed Egbert’s blatant cheating.


Afterwards, refreshed we return to the Guildhall and cash in some of the crystals with our guild liaison, a half gnome half Halfling clerk named Dante.* Egbert offers me some money for some reason but I decline, after all what is money when elemental forces are taken into account? Nevertheless I taker the opportunity to bank most of my cash with the guild bank as do others. Dante also offers the nugget of information that most people view the dungeon itself as a living entity, it makes me more curious about the purple crystal, and what is its true value and use?

*The GM was a bit confused at this point and let’s just say that Dante’s race is fluid.


Dante takes us to the descending stairs at the centre of the tower and we descend, our Halfling lighting the way with a torch. Entering a chamber we have a choice of exits and another blocked with fallen rubble. Our elven cleric shows some skill at concealment, blending chameleon- like with the rocks whenever the opportunity presents. One exit proves to be a dead end and we retrace our steps, reasoning that Manuel alone could not have gone through the blocked exit.

A shadow betrays movement in the next corridor and entering the chamber beyond we spot and engage a giant spider. I use the crossbow again and Varis tries to cast his sacred flame on it, initially without success. The dwarf prefers to get into the thick of it swinging his axe. Egbert also gets in there. The spider tries unsuccessfully to web the dwarf but its poisonous bite strikes home.

Varis now manages to ignite the spider and I switch to spellcraft too, missing with a fire bolt. The wounded dwarf now strikes it down, but has clearly been badly affected by the venom. We are forced to rest to heal up the dwarf who is clearly struggling. Egbert proposes a friendly dice game and proceeds to start to swindle the still dazed dwarf shamelessly. I mention this fact but the dwarf seems unconcerned and passes out shortly thereafter.

For some reason Egbert is upset at me pointing out what was obvious to anyone watching. He seems to feel that his actions were fine because Eldrakin is a dwarf. He really is a quite strange fellow. He makes it clear he will be upset if I do it again, an uncharitable person might think he was actually threatening me.

We continue to search, back tracking again we stumble on a giant spider feeding on a corpse. We attack at once, Sacred flame and firebolts once again our weapons of choice. Egbert gets bitten this time and a second spider attacks from the shadows. I try a sleep spell, sending one spider into a magical slumber, the rest of us finish off the other and the sleeper is swiftly despatched. More crystal harvested.

The increasingly deranged Egbert smashes the skull of the unrecognisable corpse on the off chance that it was an elf. Why he chose to do that with a perfectly good live elf standing just a few feet away is a mystery to me but it seems that such obvious contradictions in his behaviour are hidden from his hate infested brain. There is a web filled exit which I burn through with a trusty firebolt bringing us to a room filled with clutches of spider eggs.

We pick our way carefully through as Ripley with her flame thrower was on a break, although the previously ecological warrior cleric Varis gave every indication that he wanted to trigger a fight.* After about 37 attempts I manage to burn away the webs in an exit corridor and leaving we come upon a wounded adventurer in the next corridor.

*He only wanted to subdue the lion for example

Egbert of course attacks the newcomer who has brutally provoked us with a barbed insult along the lines of ‘Hello I’m Norman please help me I’m badly hurt’. Apparently this is the most vicious slur it’s possible to make in the parts Egbert hails from. After restraining Egbert at some personal risk the cleric and dwarf get into an argument with him during which it becomes evident that: 1. Egbert is completely insane. 2. He is trying to provoke his own death by his actions

Confused and frightened,* Norman tells us he had recently experienced a black carpet of death presumably as a consequence of disturbing the egg sacs that so tempted Varis. This is somewhat overshadowed by Eldrakin pointing out that the logical conclusion of Egbert’s argument is that he should kill himself. In a moment of distorted rationality Egbert agrees and opens his own belly and collapses dying.

*Aren’t we all?

Norman scuttles off at this point wondering what kind of freaks the dungeon is attracting these days. Varis, despite my misgivings heals Egbert* who is now even more bitter for owing his life to an elf. We continue on, reaching a point where one pathway is bounded by seemingly bottomless drops – ideal for an easy suicide you would have thought but no, we take the less precipitous path, passing into a room with a waterfall and deep pool which we warily keep clear of.

*My vote was for Norman

On the other side, a corridor and descending stair, and from somewhere ahead an echoing scream, swiftly cut short is an ominous greeting to the next level?

13.8.16
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