Chapter 27

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The Ghasts and Ghouls stayed away for the rest of the night.  I guess
they figured all those muscles would be too tough and stringy.

          Navero, male human cleric, 4th level
          Dania, female 1/2-elf MU, 4th level
          Kortul, male human fighter, 4th level
          Razuli, male human fighter, 4th level
          Arlor, male dwarf thief, 4th level
          Kory, male elf bard, 3rd level
          Topash, male elf druid, 3rd level

     After fighting off the Ghast pack and getting the paralyzed party
members up and healthy, there were no further incidents.  Over half of
the sky was covered with dark, a black as black as black could be.
The stars in the eastern half slid by normally, but were being
squeezed out behind the consuming darkness.  There was neither rain
nor wind, and the woods and grasslands were filled with moving shapes.
We kept the fire burning extra-bright; nothing came near us.

     In the morning, we continued on.  The rising sun shone underneath
the canopy of darkness and illuminated the landscape, which
immediately took on a fresh tone; but the sun "set" at about 11 am.
After a while, the road turned northward.  We elected to follow it,
rather than strike off into the wild lands, which even Topash was
reluctant to enter.  As we went northwest, a clearer patch in the inky
cover became apparent, far, far ahead of us.

Dania: "What's that up there?"

Topash: "I believe we should be far more concerned with what is around
     us right now."

Kory: "That, (makes Legend Lore role) I do believe, is Methigor, the
     smallest and westernmost of the capitals.  It seems it would also
     be a good place for us to go right now."

Navero: "I don't like it.  That is a very bad place for us to be."

Dania: "Nav, be more specific."

Navero: "I don't know!  It just feels... bad."

Topash: "I'm surprised that everything here doesn't feel bad."

Razuli: "We'll be careful, kid.  I'm good at going where the sun never
     shines, right, magic-user?"

Dania: (Glares)

Topash: "Ah-hah.  Quite appropriate that you bring that up when the
     topic of `feeling bad' is in the air."

Kory: "Or feeling badly.  Sensitivity is required here!  Sensitivity,
     and certain harmonies..."

Topash: "To bridge the dischords between us, bard?"

Kory: "Oh, no.  The short and sweet of it is, of course, the short and
     sweet.  Dania, DEAR; having trouble sleeping at night?"

Dania: "No.  I have pleasant dreams of you getting gelded.  Fuck off."

Razuli: "Wizzerd, why don't you scout ahead and look for an ambush?"

Dania: "Shut up."

Kory: "Hmph!  I'm starting to dislike her.  I'm sure she could be fun,
     but GOD is she unfriendly!  Maybe if we cut out her ovaries she'd
     be nicer."

Razuli: "Nah.  Just find another priest of Gothard."

Kory: "Oh, that'd take care of the problem in a BIG hurry.  How does
     one go about locating one?"

Razuli: "Well, first ya gotta get the right bait..."

     Methigor was peculiarly situated; the cloud cover above it was
less dense than it was here, but not enough to allow too much light
in.  The land around it was even darker and unpleasanter than where we
were now; we could see no light or green at all. We rode until sunset,
then camped and prepared for the coming night.  Everyone was quiet;
the setting was somber enough to shut most anyone up.  We collected a
LOT of wood, and kept it burning very bright.  Methigor was not far -
two or three hours ride, we guessed; we could get there by noon
tomorrow, at the latest.  Night deepened in the unpleasant lands
around us.  It felt as though we were being watched by unwholesome

Razuli: (...boring...boring...boring...I hate watch...boring...)

(Suddenly, something falls out of the sky and lands in the fire.  It
turns out to be a big sack filled with water.  *SPLOOSH!*  Everyone
springs up.  Dania casts Dancing Lights, Kortul unsheathes Sun Sword,
Navero casts Light.)

Dania: "Razuli, you idiot!  Why didn't you see that coming?!"

Razuli: "Aw, fuck you, magic-user!"

Kory: "Now, now, you'll have to wait on that."

Razuli: "Shut up!  Incoming!!"

(Great globs of sticky gunk are lobbed into the clearing.  Kory and
Razuli are hit, knocked down and stunned, and covered in goop.)

Topash: "Ah, slimeballs."

Dania: "I knew that already.  What's the gunk?"

Topash: "A product of certain fungi that grow in unhealthy places.  It
     is worth noting that it is strongly attracted to its own kind."

(Spectral forms and rotting bodies approach the campsite.  The
spectral ones were indistinct and easy to miss (Shadows, I believe)
with all the corporeal ones running around getting in the way.)

Navero: "By the power of the Lords of the Correct and Unalterable Way,
     I doth Command thee to Depart!!" (Rolls a 2 on his dispelling

Undead: (guffaw slightly)

Topash: "Hmph.  To be expected, I suppose.  Put your new mace to use,
     good boy, and see if you can do anything." (Cuts at a shadow.)

Kortul: "Useless priest..." (Cleaves a Ghoul.)

Dania: "#*!*&/!$%&@!!" (Magic Missiles a Zombie.)

Arlor: "AHHH!!!" (Runs franticly about hacking with a short sword.)

Undead: "gibber gibber gargle snort drool" (Zombie claws Kortul.
     Shadow ignores Arlor.  Shadow hits Navero.  Ghoul hits Dania.)

Navero: "Where are they all coming from?  What do they want?"

Topash: "They wish to kill us.  Do something." (Slices a Ghoul.)

Kortul: (Mangles a shadow.)

Dania: "Urk!" (Shadow grabs her by the throat from behind (Critical.)

Navero: "YAAHHHH!" (Charges to aid Dania)

Dania: (Oh, no, please Lords, don't let him fuck up AGAIN...)

Arlor: (Hacks Shadow's knees out, it lets go.)

Navero: (Rolls a 3.  Dents the ground.)

Undead: "gibber gibber gargle snort drool fuck you" (Kortul hit by
     Ghoul and Shadow, makes save vs. paralyzation; Topash is missed;
     Dania is coughing; Arlor hit by Zombie; Navero is missed.  A
     Wight appears, and something large can be heard approaching.)

Navero: "Go away!" (Swings, rolls a 1 - critical fumble.)

Game Master: (Rolls dice) Navero, roll to hit Kortul.

Navero: (Rolls an 18.)


Navero: "Oops, sorry."

Kortul: "Grrr...." (Masticates a Shadow.)

Dania: "Navero, go heal wounds or something!"

Razuli: "Whaa...?"

Topash: "Wash the goop off with alcohol.  Or burn it."

Razuli: "But I'm in the @$&$%!! middle of it!!"

Dania: (Bashes a Zombie with her staff.)

Undead: "gibber gibber gargle snort drool fuck you all" (Kortul is
     missed; Navero is missed; Dania is hit by Zombie; Topash is
     missed; Arlor is missed.  Big thing is getting closer.)

Wight: "Surrendur!  Can hav posishun in armee!"

Kortul: (Purees Wight)

Topash: (Cure Light on Dania.)

Arlor: (Hides under a blanket.)

Razuli: "*^#%!#*&%@!*~fuck}&*!&$%@*!" (Struggles with gunk.)

Navero: (He misses, again.  Ever had one of those lives where you just
     couldn't do anything right?)

Kory: (A ghoul approaches him with knife and fork.) "Oh, my head...
     Hey!  Something is chewing on me!  And it's uglier than Razuli
     AND Dania!  Yeuch, get away from me!"

Undead: "gibber gibber gargle snort drool you in trouble now" (Kortul
     is hit three times; Topash missed; Arlor pulled from under
     blanket and clawed by Ghoul; Navero hit twice, drops; Razuli and
     Kory attacked)

Great Shape: (Approaching Big Thing appears from night.  It's some
     kind of Zombie Giant.  Many more undead accompany it, including
     Wights and Wraiths.)

Kortul: (This is no good place to die...) (Liquifies Ghoul)

Kory: (Cures Light Wounds on Navero.) "Navero, the Giant.  Now."

Navero: "By the Unconquerable Lords, please go away!" (Rolls a 5)


Topash: "Navero, I'm beginning to lose confidence in you."

Arlor: "Maybe we should run away."

Dania: "Where the FUCK are we gonna run to?  We're <censored> fucking
     surrounded, IN CASE YOU DIDN'T NOTICE!!  Where are the horses?!"

Arlor: "They ran."

Dania: "Shit.  There must be a million of the fuckers!"

Razuli: "Well, at least your fate is known, magic-user."

Kortul: "Hold them a few minutes."

Dania: "WHAT!?!" (MM's a Ghast.) "What difference will that make?!"

Kory: "Oh, it's obvious!  That's when the nick of time comes, and
     we'll be rescued by a troop of riders coming from the city!
     Dania, you don't seem to understand the way the world works at

Dania: "What riders?!  WHAT FUCKING RIDERS!?  I don't see any godamn

Topash: "Those ones over there.  Now resume thrashing, young lady."

Undead: "gibber gibber gargle snort drool aw shit"

(Riders from the castle arrive (in the nick of time) and race through
camp, beating back the undead.  Many clerics are in their midst as
well; they drive the legions of darkness before them, etc. etc. ad
nauseam.  Party is picked up at a fast clip.)

     The ride back to town was relatively relaxing.  The riders were
very grim-faced, and did not talk at all.  Nonetheless, they acted
with surprising single-mindedness, thoroughly professional.  They
smelled strange, like decay combined with perfumes.  This was rather
unnerving, despite the rescue, but as we raced towards the city, we
realized that EVERYTHING around here smelled of death and decay and
rot.  It was as if every churchyard occupant for miles had come here
for a big convention, and decided to bring all their friends with them
as well.

     Methigor was very small; a low castle on a hilltop, with only a
few outbuildings.  Most of these had been razed. The place was
crawling with undead of all kinds, but the riders got in safely, and
once inside, we met with a high dignitary in plate mail, who greeted
us with all of the warmth and respect we were accustomed to.  It was
very gracious of him, that even under these trying circumstances, he
took time to speak to us.


Topash: "Hail, fellow!  Well met!  I am..."

Dignitary: "*YOU ARE INSANE!!*"

Kory: "Here now!  Not all of us aspire to that condition!"

Dignitary: (Blood vessels in forehead throb menacingly) "WHO THE
     &^%!!* &*!*#%&^#@!*$!! DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!?!"

Kory: "I think I am The Incredibly Famous Kory Silvertongue, Master of
     Music, Keeper of The Faith, and general studmuffin.  Whom do I
     have the great honor of addressing?"

Razuli: "Who's Faith?"

Kory: "A girl I met in Minneapolis."

Dania: "SHUT UP!!  Sir, we are truly sorry, it won't happen again..."


Kortul: "Grrr..."

(Rog and Carmen appear.  They are Hill Giants.)

Kortul: (Pauses to consider how many hit points he has.)

Razuli: "Does this brig have a lock on the door?"

Dignitary: (Eyes bulge dramatically.) "WHAT!?!  O' COURSE!!"

Razuli: "Good!  Kids, lets go to that nice safe dungeon where they
     can't hurt us!  Ok, Big and Ugly, take us away!"

Dignitary: "Not so fast!" (Crafty look creeps into piggy little eyes.)
     "Now, what WERE you doing out there, camped in the middle of an
     undead army?"

Dania: "We were trying to find out what all the clouds in the sky
     meant, so we came out here."

Navero: "Truly and honestly, sir, we never had any attention of
     risking your men or any others.  We didn't know."

Dignitary: "You must be stupid."

Kory: "Now, now, don't leap to the obvious conclusion.  We are but..."

Dania: "SHUT UP!  We came in complete ignorance to see what was going
     on, and got caught in the middle of it.  Simple."

Dignitary: (Stares for a while.) "You are stupid."

Navero: "We're sorry."

Dignitary: "Sorry....  SORRY?!  THREE OF MY MEN DIED ON THAT!  WHICH

Kory: "Oh, this could be cleaned up in but a moment.  All you have to
     do is call for The Three..."

(Entire party jumps on him before he can complete the sentence.)

Topash: "I think not."

Navero: "Surely there is some other way.  I think they would not stop
     with the enemy."

Dignitary: "Oh, hell.  Get bandaged up and man the wall.  Maybe we can
     get some good out of you.  His lordship the Duke will want to see
     you tomorrow night."

Dania: "Why not in the daytime?"

Dignitary: "He's a day sleeper.  We all are, here, `cause they only
     come at night.  Now GET THE #*&^%($* OUT OF MY SIGHT!!"

     We got wounds bandaged, quaffed healing potions, had Navero heal
us, and generally tried to restore our strength as quickly as
possible.  The things outside the wall snarled, wailed and proved very
difficult targets.  The soldiers on the wall were untalkative - they
stared out into the night, and either ignored us or looked through us
with what seemed like contempt.  Everything smelled sickly-sweet, from
perfumes and oils that were doing a terrible job at covering the smell
of rotting bodies.  The dead army did not attack the castle, but it
was a long and unpleasant night.

Daniel Parsons        "This place gives me the creeps.  And Lord knows
                      there are enough of them in this party already."

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