Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fragments of the Last War 1.13

Eifer, Tirane, AC 19

At the ogre cave, Malpais, Alfonse and Nota'Cor meet back up with Grind, who had scouted an ogre encampment on the other side of the swamp and decided to overthrow the ogre leader Moc. Collecting his companions, Grind instructed Cle to pole them across the swamp in a flat boat.

They kept waiting for alligator attacks so I described the ripples, movement of fish and frogs.  No attack came.

When they reached the edge of the swamp, they saw a newly crafted wooden palisade built in semicircle out from a tall, thorny hedge.   In the center sat a faded white stone tower

Grind lead the party to the gates of the palisade, rather than sneaking.  He identified himself as Katar Grind and challenged Moc.  After a few minutes the ogres opened the gates.  They formed a gauntlet on either side and then encircled Moc - leaving room for a fight.  Nota'Cor decided he would rush in instead and was beaten down by the ogres.  Taking a minor consequence and then the player chose to yield.

The ogres permitted Grind to enter unharmed so Mal and Alfonse followed then gathered a battered Nota'Cor.  Moc, as it turns out, didn't stand a chance.  Grind brutalized the poor ogre.  The rest kneeled before him. One of the ogres told him, that Moc had given the half-elven woman they sought to the hags in the tower and that he needed to present himself to the hags as that's who the ogres served.  Grind made a speech about killing the hags and freeing the ogres.  Half cheered and half looked worried.

Entering the tower, they were slowed by skeletal hands emerging from the muddy floor.  Alfonse created a zone of solid rock that prevented the skeletons from reaching him.  They then progressed across the floor in mass.

As they reached the top floor, the party was confronted by a large blue hag, a hideous woman in a circle in the center of the floor and the silver haired man from the inn.  The silver haired man laughed and mind controlled Alfonse.  The great hag fought with Grind, Nota'Cor with Alfonse, while Malpais confronted the mass of cat-spiders falling on them from the ceiling.

Eventually the silver-haired main fled out the window and to the hedge, Grind killed the hag, and the spiders fled.  The woman in the center of the floor was the half-elf they came to find.  With the hag dead, her transformation into a hag ended and she returned to normal.  Thanking them for their help and chastising them for their treatment of the humans (one of whom they'd watched the ogre Cle kill), she told them to hunt for the silver lute beyond the hedge.  Grind found a key in the remains of the dead hag.

Gathering supplies, they approached the hedge and found a bronze gate.  Grind told Cle he was in charge of the ogres until he returned then unlocked the gate.  On the other side they found a flat grassland.  The bronze gate behind them was gone.  Instead they looked off to a giant tree, a small village, and a river.

As they headed toward the town, the approached a windmill.  Malpais realized first it was made of gingerbread and had cookie wafer blades.  Everyone laughed.  Inside they found a gnome who had chewed open his own wrists and a cookie grindstone.  Their laughter stopped.

Leaving they were attacked by a pair of licorice dogs and one ate Nota'Cor.  Still injured from the ogre fight, he took another consequence (major).  Grind freed him, while Mal and Alphonse battled the other dog.  The defeat was hard won.  They burned a number of Fate points.

Approaching the river, they realized it was chocolate milk instead of water, but avoided drinking it.  Guarding the bridge, stood a gingerbread man with a candy cane pike and a teddy bear wearing a metal pot and wielding a giant fork.  The teddy bear asked the party if they were "Grumpy Gusses" or if they had "Frowny faces."  Grind stepped in and informed the pair they they were neither.    The guards let them pass, noting that today was the day of the dance.

Flying gummy bears told them to be happy as they approached the village.  All the gnomes living there were gathered in the center of the town around a giant candy cane for the dance.    A teddy bear told the crowd that someone was a "Grumpy Gus" and had to dance.  The gingerbread people, gummy bears and teddy bears all chanted "Grumpy Gus!" as a group of gummy bears flew one of the gnomes to the top of the sharpened candy cane.  They impaled him on it, pulled out his intestines then pulled down the intestines to the crowd who had to dance around the pole chanting "Grumpy Gus!"

My group likes to think they are a bunch of amoral mercenaries.  This incident put an end to that sentiment. 

Malpais shot the gnome on the candy cane.  And then they began massacring the town guards.  More and more gingerbread people and teddy bears swarmed into the square; the gnome hid in their residences.

They party saw  a bright white stone tower (that looked like a nicer version of the hag's tower)  and rushed toward it.  Once inside, they barred the door with a table.  The guards pounded it until the wood creaked.  Downstairs of the tower was a large table with rotting pastries.  Surrounding the table sat the town's gnome children, their throats all slit, and signs around their throats saying "Party Pooper."

Now, unnerved, they pressed on upstairs.  The next floor they found a chalkboard with written wishes, a silver door with musical notes on it and a row of gingerbread people in cellophane wrappers.  For reasons, I do not know they figured they'd go ahead and open the boxes.  At this point they had to fight their way backwards upstairs, as the gingerbread people attacked them.  Fortunately, Nota'Cor decided fire magic would overbake their foes.

At the bottom floor the guards finally smashed opened the door.  They rushed to the top room to find a young human adolescent woman sleeping in a bed of small teddy bears.  A silver lyre sat on the wall above her.  Nota'Cor grabbed the lyre as the animals began waking.  Grind shook the human woman who blinked at them.  And then asked how she'd gotten there.  Nota'Cor decided he knew her from somewhere.

With guards approaching from the first floor and animals from the top, the silver-haired man appeared to grab the lyre.  Grind cut him in half unceremoniously, though the man laughed and laughed even in pieces.

On the second floor, fighting to keep their opponents at bay, Nota'Cor played the lyre and opened the silver door.  The party plus the woman in white rushed through and as the door closed behind.

Continued on Fragments 1.14