When we last left off, our party had a disastrous encounter with a yeti, but we did find the diamond. We ticked off the mysterious Eldritch Society some more. And most importantly, Sariel’s mother had been kidnapped and was being held ransom for the diamond.
And now on to the adventure!
After some discussion, the Scooby Gang took Sariel’s mule-cart and headed down to the Warrens (Narcisse refused to use the cart, and walked the whole way). We wanted to case the joint, see what the place looked like. We didn’t even bother making a replica of the diamond or anything. Just headed down there. We passed through the nice part of the city, then a less-nice but still-nice part of the city where the merchants lived, and then literally headed downhill, into the windy Warrens slums. We arrived at the place, Shillelagh.
We didn’t want to draw attention to ourselves. Morthos suggested that he and Sariel enter the pub together and check the place out. We didn’t want to split the party, since that was usually disastrous. But we stuck out like a sore thumb, particularly Narcisse, with her fine clothing and finer attitude. So Rollin suggested that the others could enter one-by-one, staggering their entrances.
“Literally,” said Vibe.
“I am not a loiterer,” sniffed Narcisse.
So Sariel suggested that we could go back to the Adventurers Club and change into something a bit more…slummy. We all agreed. So Vibe lead the way back to the Adventurer’s Club (as he had grown up in the Warrens and therefore knew the way back best). Once there, we summoned Jobbins and said that we wanted to disguise ourselves. He was delighted, as the Costume Closet hadn’t been used “in ever-so-long.”
Narcisse hesitantly put on plain clothing, and even more hesitantly put on two small dabs of soot.
“If I may be so bold,” said Jobbins, “Just do what Master Vibe does.”
“What?” said Vibe.
So the Scooby Gang went back to the tavern. We agreed along the way that since Morthos had an established disguise as a criminal, he could pretend to be a criminal looking for work. Vibe would be his bodyguard, and the rest was just…his gang?
It turned out that we had overplanned the whole thing. When we entered the Shillelagh, there was only the bartender and two lowlives, hunched over, nursing their drinks. The bar covered an entire wall, but there were only a few bottles behind it. The air was filled with stale smoke and the scent of stale beer. The bartender was ancient and coughing.
We paid two gold pieces for five pints of warm, thin, tasteless beer.
“You look familiar,” said the bartender.
“I’ve been around a bit,” said Morthos.
“I’ve been around a lot!” laughed the bartender. The laughter turned into coughing.
We sat at a table and looked around. Vibe started drinking. There were eight tables in total, and one unused fireplace. The only doors were the front door and a second door. We had no idea what was behind the second door.
Morthos used Speak With Animals to ask Rufus if he smelled anything familiar. “Well there’s you,” mused Rufus. “There’s her. There’s him. There’s her. And there’s him. And the door smells like Mistress.”
“Does it smell like Sariel’s mother or does it smell like the crime lady?”
“Oh! Oh it smells like Mistress. But it also smells like the bad lady, yes. Yes it does.”
So Narcisse decided to check out the door. She stumbled over to the door.
“Is this the way to the privy?” she asked the bartender.
“No, no, just a dirty cellar! You’d be better off using the alley! Cleaner!”
We decided to check out the alley. About halfway down the alley was the wall of another building. We returned to our warm beer. There was only one way in and out. The Crime Family had chosen this place well.
We approached the bartender. We handed over a drink and asked him what was behind the bar.
“Nothing, just more tanks of beer and ale!”
We gave him another drink.
“Oh, it’s a secret passage!”
We gave him another drink.
“The crime family uses it as the entrance to their hideout!”
We gave him the last drink, since Vibe had finished “99 percent” of his.
“I’m going to take a nap!”
Once he was good and snuggled onto the bar, we went downstairs. First our tank, Vibe, then me, Morthos, Narcisse, and lastly Rollin, holding up the rear with his bow and arrow. The stairs were narrow and twisty, and stank of stale alcohol. At the bottom were five men standing in a semi-circle, wearing armor and carrying crossbows. They looked confused that we were there.
“Have you seen Aunt Primrose?” Vibe asked. “We think you kidnapped her.”
“What?” said one of the men.
“Where’s the privy?” asked Narcisse.
“Not here,” said another man.
“Can she just go down here?” asked Sariel. “It’s not like it can make it smell any worse.”
“Did you just come down here to insult the cellar? Who are you people?”
Narcisse cast Web, entangling and trapping them.
“Where is my mother?” Sariel yelled.
“Close by!” said one.
“Where is close by?” Sariel demanded.
They didn’t answer. So Sariel managed to dodge and side-step around Web, and then slash-stabbed one of the crossbow men. Her sword was bloody, and the man bled out at her feet.
“Where is my mother?” Sariel demanded.
Narcisse used Mage Hand to smack one of the living men around. She wanted to intimidate him into telling us where Sariel’s mother was.
“Ouch! It’s! Ouch! Behind the! Ouch! The Cask! Ouch! Over there! Ouch! Turn the knob! Ouch!”
We had what we wanted, but what should we do now? Vibe answered that question. He jumped right into the Web, reaching angrily for a man’s throat. He turned into a bear. The man screamed.
“Who’s that guy next to you?” Rollin asked one of the men.
“Brinx,” said the man.
“Do you like him?”
“I don’t…I don’t hate him,” said the man.
Rollin knotched his arrow and prepare to shoot it. He aimed it for Brinx.
“Oh no,” said the man. “No no no no no.”
Rollin let loose. The arrow landed squarely in Vibe’s bear-butt. The crossbow men all laughed. Three of the remaining men managed to struggle out of the Web. Now only one was left in the Web. That was the man facing Vibe. The three free ones went to attack us. Morthos turned into a direwolf and snatched one of them up, snapping his neck. Another tried to run for the door, but Sariel slashed his legs and down he went.
“Can I roar as an action?” asked the eight-year-old.
“What do you want to say?” asked the DM.
He managed to free himself from the Web and finally attacked the now-brown-pantsed dude. He bit his head, tearing off his skull and revealing the brain.
“This is the worst day ever!” sobbed the man.
“It’s also your last!”
“I figured that!”
Sariel tried to leap into the fray and instead got caught in the Web. She screamed and flailed against the Web, staining blood against it. Rollin shot an arrow into the poor dangling brown-pantsed man, but it bounced uselessly against his armor. So Sariel crossed her swords and cut the man’s head off.
It was all her first kills. Sariel walked into a corner and started silently weeping.
“You really care about your mom,” said Narcisse.
Everyone sort of stood around while Sariel cried and Vibe mauled one of the dude’s bodies. Finally, we unlocked the secret door and moved on. The doorway lead to a narrow hallway. It was dark, but fortunately most of us had darkvision. We were still surprised when two arrows sprang out of nowhere and hit Vibe square in the chest. He screamed in pain — they were poisoned!
As the rogue, Sariel would be best and dealing with traps. So she leapfrogged over Vibe and Dashed down the hall — only to trigger a trap in ten feet. The floor collapsed beneath her, and she only barely managed to catch the edge of the floor before falling into giant, goo-covered spikes.
I hissed, “Yessss, dungeon-crawling.”
But she was that much closer to the end of the hallway. Her darkvision could see the wooden barricade at the end, with two small heads poking out of it.
Morthos Direwolfed again and rescued Sariel from the pit. Sariel reported to the others about the barricade. So we kept covering fire, with Magic Missile, javelins, and arrows, as we made our way down the hallway. Vibe triggered another collapsing trap like the one I had encountered, but easily leapt out of danger. By the time we got to the barricade, both snipers were down. We leapt over the last trap, raided the bodies of the shooters, and moved on.
We had three doors to choose from. From behind one, we could hear arguing. So Vibe kicked down the door, and found himself in the barracks. Four men were arguing over a dice game. He tried to throw a javelin into the fray, but it landed in between the floorboards three feet in front of him. It vibrated heavily as the four men stared at him.
And so now we got involved in another fight that wasn’t anywhere near Sariel’s mother. The others leapt into the fight, but Sariel sighed. She prepared her lasso. Her intention was to tie up the men and then move on. In the time it took for her to prepare her lasso, each member of the Scooby gang had found an opponent and was trying to wale on them. They were all missing. It was pretty pathetic. Sariel tried to rope one of them in, but she missed as well.
Vibe tried to intimidate the biggest one, who was 6’3. He failed miserably. “Ohhh, look at the big scary man!” said the men. “Oh, he’s such a good shot!”
“I’m bigger than you!” roared Vibe.
They attacked with clubs. One smacked Narcisse, getting hit with her Armor of Agathys. She pointed her finger and him, bringing on Hellish Rebuke. The air around him burst into flames. Equally frozen and charred, he was finally finished off when Narcisse stabbed him with a poisoned arrow stolen from the snipers outside.
Vibe punched the 6’3 dude. “Who’s short now?” he shouted.
The guy hit him with his club, and down went Vibe. “You,” spat the dude.
Sariel jumped at him and surprise-stabbed him in the gut. “I’m short,” she said.
Rollin had been struggling in his fight; he finally gave up on the bow and arrow and began dual-sword stabbing like Sariel, becoming much more effective. He and Narcisse teamed up and defeated the guy, using swords and magic.
Morthos, despite being a direworld, was getting his wolfbutt kicked by his dude. Or more specifically, his wolfhead. He kept getting smacked upside the head. After Sariel finished off the tall guy, she jumped in and finished off Morthos’ dude.
It had been several long, drawn-out fights, but we were finally alone in the enemy territory. Our wizard had run out of spells. Our fighter was out, stabilized but unconscious. The rogue had killed five dudes and injured another, but was down to only 6 hit points. We had no idea when anyone would enter the room and find us. And we still had no idea where Sariel’s mother was.