Characters: Ozrak, Eindride, Fiona
Chaos Factor: 6
Threads: Give medicine to Fiona, Convey old religion, Investigate Eigans, Help Eindride get her land in Sunsu, Investigate the demon of Doowallee, Find out why the Blind Scar guild targeted the airship, Discover the relationship between the Eigans and the Blind Scar
Ozrak and Eindride approached the town of Hemor in the morning hours in an effort to avoid the complications that the local ghosts caused at night. However, as they got near to the town, they heard sirens that sounded like they were coming from the strip mine area. Ignoring it for the moment, they approached the gates of the town only to find them barred.
“Who goes there?” called out a guard.
“My name is Ozrak, and I come bearing medicinal herbs for one of your sick and dying citizens. Might we be allowed to enter so that I may administer these herbs in a timely manner?” asked Ozrak.
“Sorry, friend,” replied the guard. “Until this business with the mine is settled, no one can come in through the quarantine zone.” The guard proceeded to tell Ozrak how the goblin sappers had set charges that were too strong (perhaps intentionally) and caused a major collapse in the wall of the gaping hole that was the strip mine. It was viewed at first to be a costly delay to operations, but then a great pulsing rock pushed its way out of the blast location. Everyone who approached the rock began to be sick, and it appeared that the closer people got to the rock, the sicker they became. Those infected became more and more raving mad as the hours passed. They would bleed from their ears and scream of a coming lord while accosting any nearby innocents before dying within the day. Worse yet, the sickness seemed to transfer through line of sight.
“So, you’re saying we can’t come in then?” asked Ozrak.
“True, you may already be infected and just not showing signs of the madness yet because you were farther away from the rock when you were first infected.”
“No one gets infected from a blasted rock!”
“The goblins did, and so did the overseers. We’ve even lost some healers who went to investigate. If you’re truly not infected, I’d urge to move along quickly.”
Knowing that he couldn’t leave Fiona dying within the town, Ozrak unshouldered his axe and headed toward the mine. “Best if you stay here,” he said to Eindride.
“Don’t have to tell me twice!” she responded and sat down outside the town gates.
Heading to the mine, Ozrak begins to the hear the sound of maddened screams over the sirens before he can see anyone. He tries to sneak forward to see what is going on. Defy Danger Dex (8, hard choice) Stealth really wasn’t Ozrak’s thing. He was almost to the edge of the mine when he slipped over some undergrowth and fell to the ground. He immediately fell silent hoping he had not attracted any attention. That’s when he heard a different sort of scream, one of fear, one crying for help. And it was coming from behind that shambling goblin right over there.
The goblin looked more like a zombie than anything else, and if he wasn’t mistaken, it’s skin was turning red. “You… AAHHHH… will see the coming… AAHHHH… lord!” it shrieked grabbing its own head and clawing at its ears as if in pain. Beyond the goblin, Ozrak saw a white-robed healer with a blind fold across his eyes stumbling through the brush trying to get away from the raving goblin. If Ozrak stayed still, both would pass by him without noticing him, but that’s not what heroes do.
Ozrak pushed himself up, and yelled, “Goblin, friend! Mining going hard today, eh?” The goblin turned at the sound of Ozrak’s voice and headed in his direction.
“Thank you, whoever you are!” cried out the healer. “But don’t look at it!” What do you do?
Ozrak shoved his helmet down over his eyes and charged towards the goblin knowing that he could overpower the smaller creature. Defy Danger Str (11). Ozrak bowled into the goblin, knocking it to the ground and pinning it beneath him.
“Healer!” called Ozrak. “Come to my voice! I have the creature pinned. If you can make it to me, take off my helmet and cover his face with it.”
“Just kill it!” replied the healer.
“That’s not necessary!” said Ozrak in shock. “What if this person can be healed?”
“Do you really think it wants to be healed? It will just be sent back to the mines even if it is. We’ve a million of these goblins. Dispose of it,” the healer said.
Ozrak shook his head sadly. “They may be mine workers, but they’re still sentient. What right does Adbah have to keep them enslaved this way? Perhaps if you treated them as sentient beings, this never would have happened. It’s the right thing to do. We must at least try to heal these poor folk. Now come over here and do your job, healer!” Parley (10)
How does the healer react? (The healer is named Balast Mercier and is incompetent at his job and dowdy in appearance. He is of a comparable power level to Ozrak or would be if he was competent. His motivation is to discover science. Conversation mood: cautious, but turning friendly.)
“Hmph. You’re a sympathizer, huh?” the healer asked while the goblin still screamed and writhed under Ozark. “May the gods help you, but you are right about one thing: I should try to save this one. Who know what we could discover? This will make an excellent autopsy.” With that, the healer moved towards Ozrak.
“Keep coming, ye’ craven, healer. Yer’ a shame to the profession, but ye’ may yet do the job,” Ozrak replied. Does Balast get the helmet on the goblin? Defy Danger (11). Ozrak felt the helmet come off his head and heard the muffled screams of the goblin below him as the healer slipped it over its head. After opening his eyes, Ozrak moved to tie up the goblin to the nearest tree.
“Thanks for the help. I’m Balast,” the healer said with an awkward bow.
“I’m not sure that yer’ welcome, but I am glad to help anyone I can, including these goblins,” Ozrak replied. “Now, what do you know about what’s going on down there?” (NPC Plot: An ambush concerning an enemy lieutenant)
“About an hour ago, many of the remaining infected stopped screaming and headed towards the pulsing rock. I stayed well back so as to not make eye contact with the creatures, but I saw the whole thing. The rock began to crack, like an egg. A red-skinned creature was working its way out of the rock, and the infected were gathered around almost in worship. To my horror, the emerging turned out to be a demon covered in eyes. It seemed to talk to the infected and gesture towards the town. I know an attack when I see one, so I was doing my duty to head back and warn the town.”
“Fool! They’re already on their way to attack then!” yelled Ozark. “Cover yer’ eyes,” he cried to Balast as he jerked the helmet off the tied up goblin, forced the stinking cap back upon his head, and began sprinting towards the strip mine. Discern Realities (9) Who’s really in control here? Ozrak’s best guess was that this eye demon was controlling the infected. Maybe if he could kill it, the others would be saved, but he’d have to do it without being infected himself.
Coming up to the ridge of the mine, he cautiously looked down. The infected were making their way out of the pit with the eye demon at the back. Is it alone enough that Ozrak may be able to attack without the other infected interfering right away? Unlikely: 37, no. It looked like the infected were too close unless Ozrak was willing to risk, but if he didn’t they would be heading to Hemor within minutes.
Ozrak ripped off a thin strip of his undershirt and draped it over his eyes. He could still make out basic shapes through the cloth but couldn’t see well enough to make eye contact. It would have to do. He charged in to attack the eye demon. Hack Slash (9) The eye demon saw him coming. Of course, it did. It’s full of eyes. But it simply bent its arms backwards pointing towards Ozark in silent command. The axe sunk satisfyingly into the demon (8 damage, 10 HP left), but it didn’t flinch. Ozrak felt an invasive cackle in his mind. “Come to me, child!” it said. What do you do?
Ozrak attempts to shove the creature breaking its concentration. Defy Danger Str (13) The demon toppled to the ground, and its hold on Ozrak’s mind was temporarily broken. However, Ozrak could see more and more shapes moving towards him through the cloth. Can he get in one more attack before they get to him? Unlikely: 92, Very no.
He raised his axe to try to end the eye demon, but the infected were on him. Claws raked his arm (2 damage, AC 3, 25 HP left), and Ozrak let out a cry of pain. Defend (8, hold 1) He stood his ground, looking for an opening to hit the demon who appeared to not be moving on the ground. Or was that only a rock? It was hard to tell through the cloth. Another infected attacked (6 damage, AC 3, 22 HP left), but did Ozrak see an opening? 50/50: (46, yes) “Go back to the burning fires ye’ came from, demon!” he yelled with his attack. Hack/Slash (8, 2 damage, 8 HP left)
His blade connected with the demon, but the infected were pressing in now. (Two attacks for 7, 9 damage, AC 3, 12 HP left) Ozrak fell to the ground under the onslaught, but the eye demon lay below him. If only he could…”Child, come!” came a cry in his mind. Not again! “Rozin, help me!” cried Ozrak. Defy Danger Wis (7). Will Ozrak shrug off the mind control or take more damage? Damage it is.
A flash of light came before Ozrak’s eyes, and the demon voice fled from his head. Then time slowed down. Claw after claw rained slowly down on him (Two attacks for 6, 6 damage, AC 3, 6 HP left) while a quiet voice said in his head, “Your heart is pure. Strike true, my devoted warrior.”
With a roar of defiance, Ozrak slung the nearest creatures from him and tried for one more attack on the demon. Hack/Slash (7, 9 damage, dead) The demon let loose a mental scream as Ozrak’s blade sunk deep into its body. Does this affect the infected? Very likely: Yes. All the infected around him attacked him in fervor before sinking to the ground around him. (Three attacks, 1, 6, 6, AC 3, 0 HP left)
Ozrak felt the weight of the infected pulling him to the ground. Panting heavily, he could feel the blood flowing from his side. He was losing consciousness. The world was spinning. That’s when he heard, “Not bad, dwarf. You saved the goblins.” The cloth was removed from his eyes, and he saw Balast standing over him. “You rest here a while. I’ll get you healed up, but first, let’s take a look at the insides of this glorious demon.”
The last thing Ozrak saw before feinting was Balast rubbing his hands together in anticipation as he pulled the eye demon’s body out from under the piled bodies.
When Ozrak came to, he was in a make-shift hospital and Eindride was standing over him.
“I took the liberty of giving her the stuff,” she said pointing to a cot next to Ozrak. On it lay Fiona. She looked much thinner then when Ozrak had seen her last. Her emaciated form breathed shallowly, but she was no longer shaking or fevered by the look of her.
“Thank ye,” Ozrak said. “All to save her so she could point me to evidence of the old gods, but I think I’ve found signs on my own”
“Figures that would be the first thing you would say. Not even a thank you.”
“Thank you, of course,” replied Ozrak. “And I haven’t forgotten my promise to help you either. I think there are many rocks yet to overturn. Was this demon related to the one that sacked Doowalle? Are the Eigans involved? Why did the Blind Scar bring down your ship? Mayhap Fiona can shed more light on the subject when she is healed.”
“A seer? Your daft as ever, Ozrak, but I’m holding you to your promise to help me,” she replied. Her expression softened just a little bit before she said, “For now, though, get some rest.”
“Aye,” replied Ozrak. “Rest I shall.”