Gritty Realism

Session 49

A New Path, an Adventure and a doggy.

Five days I’ve been stuck in this dank, fetid hole now. Not a single word about why I’m here from the guards. The last thing I remember was having a bit of a friendly drink and then waking up in the dark with the mother of all hangovers. I assumed it was the usual of course, a few drunken high jinks, a night in the cell to teach me a lesson then business as usual once a few people had been tipped for the inconvenience.

The first couple of days were dreadful. No angelic voices, the food they gave me was abysmal and I don’t think the stink of decaying faeces will ever wash out. I really thought they were trying to poison me. Just as I feared I’d hit rock bottom, they stuck a filthy tiefling in with me. As if this cell wasn’t cramped enough as it was. Naturally I was cordial enough to it, I am a Spoffington-Smythe and circumstance should not dictate etiquette. Then these guards decided to add two more prisoners, a human (I think) bard with at least a semblance of manners and a human blacksmith. Still, compared to the cell next to mine these crowded quarters seemed preferable. I’d seen more prisoners brought in, some kind of mix of an orc and dwarf, and what I thought must be a mountain man, the goliaths of which I have only heard rumours.

Then everything changed. The door next to our cell opened smoother than I’d ever heard, I only knew the patrolling guard outside was dead when I heard his body hit the floor. With barely a sound, our cell door opened, and the hooded figure announced ‘Come with me if you want to live.’ before moving to the next cell and repeating himself. We looked to each other, but we knew he spoke the truth and followed down the corridor. It had to be better than waiting where we were. He repeated his actions in the third cell, where an old woman answered that she was simply an old lady wrongly arrested. As the cell opened, a feeling washed over us of some unseen force dissipating and her voice lost the croak of age and became the beautiful melody of a far younger, and probably more beautiful lady. She told us her name was Jenina Maganti and that her coven would not forget this. By the time I could see in though, she had vanished. In the fourth was a timid man by the name of Darrick Oatinhan, who claimed to be innocent yet was here on charges of espionage. He agreed to follow us, but he did so cautiously, letting the rest of us guide the way. In the fifth cell was a shackled and noosed man covered in scars. He was given the same choice as everyone else, yet he did not wish to leave.

In the final cell, there seemed to be nothing. The sign on the door simply said ’ Blaine Morgante ’, but our rescuer throught the cell worth investigating. The moment the cell was unlocked, an unearthly apparition appeared before us, striking our new friend. We retaliated in kind, I let loose with the angelic powers within me, blasting several holes in the thing. It moved towards me and for a second I felt a compulsion to run, yet I am a champion and my resolve held firm. It was finally felled though.

The party moved on, around a corner and began to investigate what appeared to be sleeping quarters. I moved on, thinking to keep watch for more guards. As I waited, the mountain man walked down towards a heavy portcullis which blocked our way. I have never before seen such a display of strength as that great metal thing was lifted above his head, though he did not look like he could hold it long. As the party split to investigate what would turn out to be an interrogation chamber, I continued my role as sentry, moving forward to watch for guards, I felt the flagstone beneath my foot click, and a moment later I was in agony, bathed in fire from above. Who the hell puts that where someone could stand on it so easily? Recovering from my very literal baptism of fire about traps, I cautiously edged around the corner, the tiefling right behind me. I swear he enjoyed watching me get burned.

I checked down the next corridor, but as soon as I saw the guard he saw me too. My feet were moving before I had time to think about what I was doing, and fearing he would raise the alarm I channeled the power of an angel through me. I hit him harder than I thought possible, and killed for the first time. It felt too easy, and without guidance I did not know if what I was doing was right, wrong or just necessary. The tiefling had followed me, though whether I was the target or the guard I couldn’t say. I rummaged through the guards possessions, but apart from a key and a few coins there was nothing of use for me. As I did this, the tiefling moved past me, into what looked like a storage room. There were five locked boxes, which opened easily with the key. One of the boxes held my signet ring, but the large sum of coin was nowhere to be found. I realised then that the guards had not expected me to get my belongings back, that the stranger spoke the truth, I would have died in this place. In a pile of clothing I found what I had been wearing plus my travelling cloak. My quarterstaff had been added to a weapons rack, and as a measure of compensation I also took a spear for myself. The rest of the party took what they could find of theirs, though much like my money not everything was present. The half breed barbarian fished some paper from one lockbox, looked at them for a second as the man who introduced himself as Derrick claimed they were his. Before the barbarian could give him the papers, I intercepted them. One was a map of the kingdom, that alone would have been enough to put him in this place, with it was a couple of pamphlets, an advert for adventurers and something about a sausage festival which looked of no importance. The stranger took the map, claiming he knew something of them. The tiefling was toying with what looked like the witches spell pouch, though as he pulled some disgusting viscera out everybody was a little surprised when he kept the thing. There was a scroll of pedigree and a necklace for the box corresponding to that of the muzzled man, and one final hidden box which contained a black dagger with a ruby in its hilt. My last act here was an attempt to conceal the guards body within the pile of clothing.

With the party better equipped, we turned to the last door in the corridor. I followed the group into what appeared to be a large storage room, stacked with crates and barrels, one of which the barbarian had broken open to take some fish. However, as I entered I saw the tiefling fly up to inspect a heavy chain attached to the ceiling, before a great troll leapt up and smashed him back down before me where he lay unconscious. As the fighters moved around to engage it, I used a little of my angelic power to heal the tiefling, who swiftly took flight to blast the troll with magical fire. I had feared he might react badly to the angelic power, but as he recovered I realised I may have misjudged him. Hearing the fight in progress, I scaled the crates before me to see the mountain man and the barbarian taking some damage. I readied myself and blasted the troll, finishing the thing off. My second kill, though at least this one wasn’t a human.
The party did a quick search of the storage room, but finding nothing headed towards the only door out.
More experienced than I, they seemed aware of the traps in this corridor, and with some investigation realised that there was a weighted system that disengaged the system. As I followed the group, I could hear what sounded like guttural language, more beast than man and too many voices to make anything out. I heard the sound of steel on steel and rounded the corner to see another guard, and what looked to be an officer in better armour. It wasn’t a tough fight, yet as I finished off the officer, my angel praised my actions and I knew that what I was doing what was right. It didn’t take long before I saw the source of the racket. Orcs, goblins and some creatures I didn’t recognise were shouting and jeering, although a lot of this was directed at the half-orc dwarf who was even spat upon. As the mountain man and the barbarian figured out the traps within the next corridor, the stranger opened the last cell in which a man was chained to the floor, gagged, fingers all locked in place and chained to his knees. He was surrounded with runes, on the floor, walls, door, and there were scratch marks on the floor. The stranger unlocked his shackles using the keys from the guard we had just killed and he agreed to follow us to freedom.

The corridor had only required that we tread on the correct flagstones to avoid triggering the traps, and we all passed through without harm. In the next room we encountered what was obviously a torture room, with several orcs and goblins in various conditions having obviously been tortured. Some of the group began to put them out of their misery, but one pleaded to be released if he gave us some information, which the mountain man agreed to. We found out that the next door led to the guard room, which would be full of guards at the moment. He was rewarded with the release of death.

We successfully snuck past the door, however the group broke into a dispute about whether to leave the guards alive as it would mean our escape was discovered at the change of the guard. The tiefling disguised himself as a guard to infiltrate the room, but there wasn’t much confidence for the success of the plan. Eventually the discussion was halted by the mountain man throwing the tiefling into the room. We cast silence on the room, and with barely a sound we slaughtered the sleeping guards. We made a quick search of the room, found a few coins and some equipment.

We made our way to another corridor, but this time found no traps. I heard something scurrying behind us and went to investigate. Following us was the strangest looking dog I’d ever seen. About four foot long not as tall as a hunting dog but with strange facial features. No stranger to dogs from my days hunting I quickly befriended the strange creature. It was then that I learned that this animal was our stranger’s companion. A man who has won the trust of a dog is often a good man, and a man I should trust. My angel had guided me right once more and I felt more certain about this path.

We found the exit, and dispatching the last few guards we found alive before we left this place, pondering our next move to escape Reinmann before the alarm was raised.

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