Friday, November 29, 2013

PBM: Chapter 1: Arriving in New Phlan: Part 8

In which the first PC death occurs and the party splits up...

GM

You look through the hole into an ancient residence, looking as if it has been used many times through the centuries. The frame of what was once the main exterior door hangs empty to your left and piles of trash, rubble, bones, and other debris litter the floor. Evidence of looters, both past and present, is obvious--holes gouged in the walls and floor from berks looking for secret compartments or pulling down wall-hangings, ancient paint and plaster chipped away, scratches on the floor from furniture being dragged out. One corner bears a pile of debris haphazardly heaped into a mound with a slight hollow--perhaps the bed of the lizard-thing. A half-dozen old doors, mostly indicated by empty arches with the rusting remains of hinges, lead off in every direction.

A single doorway to the east still bears an actual door, an old, heavy oaken thing, nearly petrified with age and bearing a huge, rusted lock. It is around this door that the other party huddles, watching one of the red-cloaked soldiers fiddle with the lock mechanism. Only the white-wigged priestess, standing off to one side, cradling the now withered stump of her left arm, sees you enter. She waves half-heartedly with her good hand and whistles at the others. "Hey guys, our rescuers are here..."

Gendry

Gendry ducks a little going through the hole, notices the lack of other monster corpses in the room, and waves his sword at the group picking the lock in a manner meant to be equally greeting and threat, "Good afternoon. Just so we're clear, two-thirds of anything you find in there is ours...Capisce?"

Shaddup

Shuddup follows Gendry in and watches the red cloak fiddle with the lock.

After a while he approaches the other party flaking an affable grin.  "Hi! I'm Shudrigan Nishal Aribostos McPillflup, but my friends call me Shuddup.  I was thinking perhaps I could be of some assistance. Your friend here seems a fair hand, but these old Amnish locks can be tricky. Would you care if I try my hand at it? I fear my friend here can be a trifle impatient."

GM

The ogress looks briefly back and forth between the minotaur's sword and her already beat-up companions, the nods. "Two thirds it is."

She smiles--a smile that seems oddly familiar, with her white teeth glinting against her pale-green skin, or maybe its the very large mace she is holding--and shoves the red-cloak away from the door. "One side, Vince, looks like we've got a real locksmith..." She waves Shaddup forward. "Nice to see you again, Mr. Gnome, I knew we'd be working together eventually."

Shaddup

Shuddup stares uncomprehendingly at the ogress for a moment, not putting two and two together, "I'm sorry have we met, mam?" Before really waiting for a response he turns to the lock and begins to inspect it for any unsprung traps before beginning, "Oooh it's been a while since I've seen one like this. These have a tricky half pin about midway through the set that has to come a little forward before they'll unlock. I'm not sure if that was intentional or a design flaw, but the keys would have a catch on them for it. Either way it's a fun lock." He closes one eye as he begins probing the lock and sticks out his tongue as the first pin clicks into place. "Now a dwarven thunder tumbler, that's a fine lock they have coaxial keys that rotate in opposite directions on a 2/1 gear ratio. A real bugger to pick if you've lost the key but they're a beautiful design..."

Lyra

Lyra tries very hard not to look incredibly uncomfortable with the exchange between Gendry and the ogress, and stays back near Amara keeping alert for other denizens of the ruins and scanning the area for signs of concealed entrances.

GM

Lyra's keen elven eyes are drawn, first, to the crumbling remains of the old fireplace and the heap of bricks that mark the collapsed chimney. Light shining in through a hole in the roof (or what was once the second floor) creates the tiniest of glints off of something behind a loose brick just above the old mantle. Secondly, not quite hidden, she notices a fairly recent looking smear of blood and gods-know-what-else leading around a corner to the north. At about the same time, there is an audible shrill rusty "clank" and the lock falls open.

Donovan

Donovan walks in behind the others and looks around. "Glad to see you are all doing well...mostly."

He begins walking around the outside of the room, peaking into the various side chambers while Shaddup finishes with his lock work.

Gendry

Hearing the click of the lock, Gendry stalks forward, still balancing Brother Rant on his back. "Would one of you like the honor of opening the door?" He tries to gesture genteelly towards the door with his sabre, but it looks more like a pirate thrusting his blade at someone to make them walk the plank.

Lyra

Lyra drops back near Donovan and keeps her voice quiet.  "I recognize her from the boat, or at least her intonation, coloration, and erm, mace.  A bit taller than I remember, though."  She gestures towards the blood smear.  "That blood smear is recent, but I'm not sure what from.  And there is some ... interesting brickwork by the fireplace."

Shaddup

Shuddup takes a few steps back sporting a satisfied look, "So are there any theories on what's behind here?"

GM

The other group stands quietly for a few beats, looking back and forth between each other, Shaddup, and Gendry's sword. Finally the ogress gives a nudge to the second red-cloak, the least beaten-up looking of the bunch--a plain-looking fellow, whose jaw looks square in an unnatural way, like he perpetually grinds his teeth, and who is holding a loaded longbow with a slight fluttering twitch to the string-hand, "Rahm, do the honors." He jerks a little when his name is said, shakes his head, and walks up, draws the bow tighter, nudges the door open with his foot, and aims the bow through the opening before forcing the door further with his shoulder...

As the door begins to open, Amara tugs on Donovan's sleeve, "Ummmm, that's not a good idea..." Then there is a bright red-orange flash, a faint whiff of brimstone, and Rahm is gone, vanished, bow and all.

The door opens into a vaulted chamber, lit by a pale blue glow that seems to radiate from the walls. The ceiling rises a good 30 feet above the floor. Supporting buttresses meet in the center, as in a cathedral's dome. Alchemical equipment lines the far walls, while beakers, vials, chalk, a couple of large books, and a locked metal coffer litter a table close to the center of the room. Dust covers nearly everything from floor to ceiling.

Between the table and the door, a magical circle is inscribed into the floor in solid gold plating. The circle seems completely free of the dust that has gathered everywhere else in the room, though some of the traceries of the diagram outside the golden circle are not as immune to the steady accumulation of the years. The traceries form a much larger circle which runs all the way under the table and up to the threshold of the door.

Donovan

Donovan replies to Lyra, "Yes, I suspect that the ogress is Miss Rietta. She was actively trying to recruit Shaddup for her team before you arrived on Valkur's Wake. A simple polymorph would do the trick, but that would imply access to some rather powerful magic." He barely registers Amara's tug, but then his eyes widen as the man vanishes. He looks down at the girl, "How did you know..."

Then, turning his attention back to the others, he takes a few steps forward and tries to take control before the other party decides to blame Gendry for Rahm's disappearance. "Those symbols on the floor look like a summoning circle. Not a trap. Perhaps a gate or portal." He looks past the crowd into the room. "Maybe those books could tell us more...if we could get to them."

"Shaddup, do you think there is any way to rig up some kind of bridge? Or perhaps we can get a rope attached to those buttresses and swing across to the table."

Lyra

Lyra also steps forward, keeping Donovan and Amara nearby.  "It appears to be a one-way portal, likely with a specific destination.  The corners of the room, and, say, the table, should be safe.  I think the rope is too risky."  She looks like she's about to say something else, but stops.

"Miss Rietta, isn't it?  I think we should check out what's hidden in the fireplace first, and then see if there is a better way across."

Gendry

"Fireplace, huh?" Gendry looks at the crumbling brickwork, briefly ponders knocking the chimney the rest of the way down with his horns, just to see if he can, then decides against it in case the loot is breakable. He sheathes his sword, pulls out the shortsword he took off an orc, and starts prying loose bricks free from the mantle.

Lyra

With everyone adequately distracted by the fireplace, Lyra whispers to Donovan "Are you truly set on acquiring what is in that room?  If you can get everyone out of here, either after whatever crawled off that way, or taking care of our dead lizard thing before some opportunists do, there may be something I can do to help.  But I don't do it with an audience."

GM

Gendry priest the bricks away to reveal a much older looking stone wall with a small cubby, lined with the moldering scraps of some ancient velvet lining, and containing three ceramic pint jars marked with the holy symbol of Ilmater, the Crying God, two tiny glass vials filled with what looks like a brown powder, and a small, hinged wooden box, maybe two-inches on a side.

Gendry

Gendry sheathes the shortsword and begins pulling the items out. "Alright, you agreed to two-thirds." He takes one of the jars and one of the vials ans hands them to the ogress. He then scoops up the rest and hands them to Lyra. "Take care of these, we can figure out what they are later."

GM

As Gendry take the box out of the hole, it crumbles to dust in his hand, revealing a single pearl of deep golden colour. He [amazingly] palms the thing and passes it into Lyra's hands without it been seen by anyone save the two of them.

Rietta takes the proffered flasks and nods. "Easy math then. Now, about getting into the other room?"

The other elven woman, who appears to be completely devoid of weapons or armor, looks from the door to the table. "The ceiling's high enough...with a bit of a run I could jump it."

Lyra

Lyra places the objects in her belt pouch discreetly.  "If it requires a running start, what about getting back?"

GM

"The tables a bit higher, so I should be able to make it back." She pauses in thought for a moment, then looks at Gendry and Rietta, "I might need some to catch..."

Gendry

Gendry sets down Brother Rant, brushes the dust from the crumbled box off his hand, "You're free to try the jump, and I'll try to catch you on the way back, but I won't be held responsible if you miss." He then looks at the ground and sniffs. "This bloods relatively fresh though, we might want to check it out before anyone tries jumping over an active gate."

He draws his sabre and follows the blood trail into the other room.

GM

Sawdust fills a metal bed frame without a’ mattress which sits at the far side of this rank-smelling room. Inside the frame lies a corpse, which has been there for some months; the bed that had dominated this room is now squirming with vermin scouring the bones. Other bones, clearly gnawed upon and many gouged and burned by acid litter the floor. The smear of viscera leads to a large closet on the south end of the room.

As Gendry enters, his nostrils flare as his excellent olfactory senses recoils from the smell of blood and offal. He sees something crouching in the closet, mostly hidden save for a large, fleshy knob--like the shoulder or knee of someone extremely obese. The thing moves slightly, as if breathing. A large, gaping wound can be seen on the exposed surface, seeping blood and crawling with maggots.

Donovan

Donovan nods and whispers, "Alright Lyra," then pulls out his hurdy gurdy and follows Gendry into the other room, "Your right Gen," he says much more loudly, "let's check it out..."

"Come on everyone, we night some fightin' music!" He begins playing, loudly, slowly, and as annoyingly as possible...

Born high forever to fly
Wind velocity nil
Wanna high forever to fly
If you want your cup our fill
They call me mellow yellow...

Lyra

Lyra cringes, regretting not also telling Donovan that she needed to be able to concentrate.  But a distraction is a distraction.

GM

Similarly cringing, Rietta and her companions follow Donovan and Gendry into the other room, all save the one-armed priestess of Beshaba who at this point seems to be in something of an ecstatic state, contemplating her misfortune.

As the drone of Donovan's music builds up, there is a sudden lurch from the closet and a pair of grotesque, disfigured blobs of flesh stagger out towards you, their twisted, melted faces molded into expressions of horrid anguish. They move forward with crude claw-like appendages extended, leaving a trail of blood and viscera from numerous large bite-wounds covering their forms--wounds which appear to be closing as you watch.

Gendry

"Well that's just gross," Gendry remarks. "Looks like Mr. Lizard had a self-replicating food source. Also looks like acid clearly won't do the trick. Any ideas? Fire?"

He steps in front of the others and strikes an en garde.

Donovan

Donovan keeps singing, and just shakes his head when Gendry glances back, as if to say 'I have no idea'.

GM

Rietta steps up beside Gendry, mace in one hand, her left hand flipping an electrum coin. "I don't know what they are, but we have them outnumbered five to one. Even trolls stop clawing if you hit them enough." She flips the coin one more time and begins chanting something under her breath.

Another of her companions, a half-elven man with dark hair, a creepy stair, and dark robes that smell like he's been swimming in piss speaks up, in a dispassionate monotone, "They're lemures. Tortured souls used as battle fodder in the legions of Hell." He wanders nonchalantly over to the bedframe and looks down at the corpse within. "You'll want to douse them with holy water..." He pours a vial of foul-smelling water and throws a handful of dirt over the corpse. "Maybe this guy can help..."

Teldicia, the other elven woman, peaks her head in and looks at the things. "Not much I can do to help you guys, other than to say, if it is devils we're dealing with. Acid and electricity will hurt them just fine, silver works good, fire is useless. Of course, they heal so bloody fast that those are just temporary solutions at best." She then skips back to the other door. "You guys keep them busy, I'm gonna jump for the loot. Then maybe we can get the hell out of here..."

The white-haired priestess slumps down to sit beside Rant, giving him a wan smile. She pulls a jar of leeches out of her pack and begins applying them to the withered stump of her arm.

Teldicia, runs for the open door to the portal chamber and leaps, springing a good ten-feet into the air and easily clearing the gap to the table. At the same time, the air above the table shimmers. Just as she is about to land, she passes through the wavering field above the table and vanishes, tumbling out onto the ground right in front of Lyra, who now appears to be holding the two books from the table.

The two fleshy blobs surge forward, more undulating than walking. The first reaches out, its snake-like appendage writhing and twisting around Gendry's defenses, latching a claw onto his forearm.

The red-cloak draws a sword and walks up behind Gendry and Rietta, "Vinny's got your back, Hornhead." He then proceeds to jam the sword into Gendry's back, as promised. "Also...Fuck you and your two-thirds."

Rietta flips the coin one more time and says something under her breath. The coin vanishes with a flash and the air between her and Gendry is suddenly filled with little, floating, pink hearts that appear instantly and pop out of existence just as suddenly like little balloons.

Gendry

Gendry drops his sword and collapses to the ground, clutching his side where the sword went clean through and glaring at Vinny. "The Shadowlord smiles on you Vinny, but your timing sucks..." He looks meaningfully at the glassy-eyed ogress.

Donovan

Seeing Gendry go down to such base treachery, Donovan drops his instrument, pulls the scroll of staves from out of his pocket, grabs a splinter of wood off the ground, and begins casting Decastave.

Lyra

Lyra immediately ceases concentration.  "Are you all right, Miss?  Mr. Shaddup, could you please have a look at this?"  She walks over and passes off a small locked chest to Shaddup.

GM

Teldicia looks up, slightly confused by her sudden relocation. "I'm fine...looks like there is more than one portal protecting that stuff...must be good." She stands, brushes herself off, never once looking at Lyra, then notices the commotion from the other room. "Shit Vinny! Rietta I told you hiring the pervs was a bad idea!" She turns and looks at Lyra, Shaddup, and the priests. "Any of you got holy water? It seems like all the fighters are too busy duking it out amongst themselves to worry about the infernal blobs..."

She pauses and looks at the chest Lyra is holding, then back into the portal room. "Well fuck me. Figured out that other portal huh? How 'bout you, me, and the gnome make a run for it?"

Lyra

"Holy water!  Of course!  Miss Rietta has one jar, I have the other two.  Or we could try to lure them into the portal room and send them back to presumably where they came from."

GM

Reacting to Vinny's treachery quickly, Donovan summons forth a ten-foot long staff of glowing, blue force and takes a mighty swing at the back of Vinny's head. Distracted both by his success, and the enraged ogress, Vinny doesn't even see the blow coming until it connects with the back of his neck with a loud, sickening crack. He slumps to the ground, instantly dead. Donovan, meanwhile, feels a sudden surge of vigor as Vinny's lifeforce is sucked through the staff into him.

With Gendry slumped on the floor, the two lemures swing wildly at the next nearest target, Rietta. One manages to catch her across the back, though its soft claws barely break the skin.

Rietta growls and also swings at Vince, just a second too slow. Her huge mace whistling over his head as he falls, spinning her in almost a complete circle and, miraculously, lands a glancing blow on one of the blob-things attacking her, sending a spray of molten flesh against the wall.

Hearing the sounds of combat and talk of treachery from the other room, Brother Rant pulls himself up the wall and hobbles to the the door to see what's going on. The one-armed priestess, hearing the same, mumbles "Screw this..." and runs out of the building.

Donovan

Donovan steps up and swings at one of the lemures. "Lyra, get that holy water in here!"

Lyra

Lyra rushes over to the doorway and carefully removes the two jars of holy water from her belt pouch.

Gendry

Gendry lies on the ground muttering, "I'm not dead yet...I'm not dead yet...I'm getting better...I feel fine...I think I'll go for a walk..."

GM

Still amazingly quick, Donovan slams the staff of force down hard on the top of one of the lemures, its head collapsing inward like a fallen cake with a spray of yellow-brown gore. It swings back at Donovan, but flails ineffectually, unable to compete with the reach of his staff.

Lyra runs into the room, holy water in hand, at the same time as the second blob-like creatures throws itself down and forward, a mouthlike orifice opening to bite at Gendry's prone form. Teeth, or other sharp bone-like protrusions, emerge fish-like from the soup of its waxy body, grinding into Gendry's flesh.

Rietta fumbles with her pouch for a second, coming up with the other flask of holy water. She pops the cork and spikes the flask, full force, into the back of the lemure lying on Gendry. The sanctified liquid splashes all around, fizzing like peroxide against the unwholesome flesh of the two creatures...

...within moments the two creatures bubble away into nothing but wisps of thin, yellowish fog.

At which point, you hear a triumphant shout from the corner of the room, and the robed man shouts "Sick 'em!" He spins around, pointing at where the lemures were, the skeleton, now animate, rising behind him. When he sees them vanish, he drops his finger and sighs in a completely crestfallen way.

From the other room, you hear a sharp "click", as Shaddup opens the small chest Lyra had given him. Within is a small fortune in coins; a shortsword with a rather dull-looking edge; a pair of gleaming copper bracers engraved with a lightningbolt motiff; an 18 inch long, 2 inch thick, silver rod with an end-cap shaped like an open hand, the fingers pressed together; and a small, stoppered flask of opaque blue-white glass.

Gendry

As the yellow blob's teeth grind away at Gendry, he gives a brief anguished cry, and breathes his last.

GM

Brother Rant crawls over beside Gendry and checks his pulse. Rietta falls down weeping over Gendry's body, blubbering such nonsense as "Oh! My love! Please don't die!...blah blah blah"

Donovan

Donovan looks around in shock as Brother Rant checks Gendry's pulse and pronounces him dead. He surveys the scene, taking in the wailing ogress, the depressed necromancer, and his friends, before his eyes settle on the gleaming pile of treasure that Shaddup has just unveiled. He walks over and looks at the items lying atop the coins, examining the markings and inscriptions and touching each of them briefly before shrugging. "If there is anything useful, I have no idea what it is." He looks at them one last time, "If we've got an hour I can properly identify one of them."

He walks over and kneels down beside Brother Rant and the ogress. "Brother, it appears you are relieved of your obligation to our horn-headed friend. However," he gestures towards Amara, "there is the matter of this young girl that was his charge. Gendry had sworn to protect her on her journey to visit her ailing grandmother in Melvaunt. If you wish to justly discharge your debt, protecting this innocent seems like the proper way..."

Lyra

Lyra puts the jars back in her belt pouch, lip quivering and holding back tears.  "There's nothing you - or your brothers - can do?"  She looks at the ogress and the stinky necromancer.  "Your priestess ran off.  She looked like she was feeling a bit too blessed by her Lady."

"If we speak with Mother, I might be able to arrange getting Amara to her grandmother quickly and safely.  However, Gendry also has, or rather had...."  Lyra looks like she's about to start bawling any minute as she corrects herself.   "...another obligation to Professor Aumry to fulfill."

GM

Brother Rant sits up, still wincing, and looks at Lyra. "I'm sorry, miss. There is nothing we can do. His spirit has passed on to be with his god. The Bishop might be able to call him back, but is unlikely to do so for a Maskarran, even if I intervened, assuming that his lord would release his spirit into the charge of our order, which is highly unlikely." He looks back at the corpse and grimaces. "He would probably want to be interred in the manner of his faith, which, morbid as this may sound, means that you should loot his body of all his possessions, making sure to take every last scrap, and then bury him in a shallow, unmarked grave..."

Brother Rant then addresses Donovan, "Mr. Donovan, I would be happy to take charge of the girl and see her safely to her grandmother." He stands, somehow looking instantly more sturdy, and bows, only a little shakily. "I swear, in Tyr's name, to see her safely to her destination."

Rietta continues to weep and wail over Gendry's body, odd, given that they only knew each other for a few minutes. The green-haired elven woman walks in, straitening her dress a bit, "Ry, the theatrics are very nice and all, but I forgot to bring the black veils." She looks at Lyra and smiles, sending a chill up Lyra's spine, "So Beryl ran off, Vinny got his head smashed in, and Rahm went to hell, literally. Our little group is not having the best day, and you've lost your muscle too it appears." Her eyes linger on the books Lyra is carrying. "I'm Teldicia. Care to team up? Six have a better chance of survival than two threes, and I'm sure Sur and Ry would rather be receiving a fifth each of that treasure, rather than a third of a third."

The moist-robed gentleman walks over to where the girls are talking, the skeleton trailing along, and looks down at Gendry and Vinny's corpses. "Can I have them?" he asks matter-of-factly.

"Right," Teldicia interjects, "so, he wants the bodies and Ry will want a full share of the loot. I'll cut myself out of any arguments over magic items we find, but would like a share of the funds to cover my studies."

Lyra

Lyra picks up the silver sword where it had fallen next to Gendry, and then kneels next to his body.  Her shoulders shaking and tears streaming down her face, she quickly and efficiently strips him down to just his blood soaked clothes.  Her face bright red, she turns to Brother Rand.  "When you say loot everything, you mean ... everything everything?"

GM

Brother Rant also blushes, "Ummm, yes. Maskarran morticians are more properly known as rag-pickers. The more devout ones will even shave the deceased hair to be sold as wigs and pluck out their teeth to be sold for...I don't want to speculate what. I think that, as long as you get everything that you believe would be of value, then that will be sufficient." He pauses, looking slightly disgusted even to be discussing the topic, "If it will make you feel less like a grave-robber, you might try to think of it as collecting mementos to remember him by."

Donovan

"Oh!" Donovan interjects, "Horns can be used to make drinking horns and instruments, as decorations, and in constructing high-quality composite bows. Minotaur horn is also ground up and used as an aphrodesiac in some of the less reputable potion-shops. Ox-tails make great stews and broths...I bet more exotic eateries would pay well for a minotaur tail. We could probably sell his testicles too..." He makes a faux-evil grin, but tears are visible in his eyes as he speculates. "You know, getting a nice bow made from Gendry's horns might be a nice way to memorialize him."

Lyra

"I'm sure he would've done the same for us."

Shaddup

Shuddup looks up from the lock box appearing not to have noticed the brief but devastating altercation, notices Gendry on the ground and assesses the situation. His bottom lip starts to quiver, "if you want a bow I'll see what I can do."

GM

As everyone stands around discussing what to do with Gendry's earthly remains, Rietta's head snaps up. Her face is soaked with tears and her eyes are flaming red, with grief or rage it is hard to say. "WHAT!" she cries. Rage, you think, definitely rage. "That's my love you're talking about butchering!" Her gaze falls on Lyra and the sword she is holding. "And what are you doing with that, you bitch?! It's mine by right as his next of kin! Or...had h-h-he not died s-s-s-sooo sudd-d-d-enly, I would have beeeen his next of ki-i-iiiiiiiin..." The last sentence is barely understandable as she breaks down sobbing again, but stands and readies her mace as she does so. She holds out a hand to Lyra. "Give it back!"

Teldicia takes a step back, looking perplexed. "What got into her?" she asks no one in particular.

Lyra

Lyra stands back up, sword and scabbard in hand.  She speaks softly, with nothing but compassion in her voice.  "I am truly sorry for your loss."  She hands her the sword and scabbard.  "He meant much to everyone, and they merely wish to honor his service to his god."

She also hands the scrollcase to Brother Rant and whispers.  "I believe these were originally yours, sir."

Donovan

Donovan lowers his glowing staff, but keeps it in hand, "Madam Rietta, please cease this unseemly blubbering. Master Gendry was certainly a charmer, but you knew him less than a day, such weeping and wailing is unbecoming a woman of your...stature." He rubs his eyes and puts on a sterner look. "As to your rights to his belongings, you are no more next of kin to him than we. I saw no clasping of hands, no signing of contracts, no exchange of rings or vows. He did not so much as cast an adoring glance your way. Per your agreement with him, you could be said to be entitled to a third of what we take from him, but no more Madam. Now please, set down the weapon and get a grip on yourself!"

Lyra

"Mr. Donvan!  She's clearly heartbroken.  Clearly you don't believe in love at first sight."  Lyra steps away from the ogress, not quite hiding behind Brother Rant.

GM

Brother Rant takes the scrolls and tucks them into a sleeve, "Thank you, I should have known that is where they'd be." As the ogress rises, weapon at the ready, he takes a step backwards. "My apologies, Miss Lyra," he says to her in low tones, "but I am not in no condition to aid you further at the moment. The gates are not far. I believe I shall take the girl Amara with me back to the temple and leave you all to your grieving. I shall meet you at the gates tomorrow morning to escort the girl to Melvaunt." He bows politely, keeping a wary eye on Donovan and Rietta, and backs out the door into the other room.

Lyra

"You shouldn't be walking with those wounds, and even short distances in this town seem to be dangerous.  Please, allow me to escort you."  Lyra follows Brother Rant around the corner.  "We'll be at the temple, you can pick up your shares there."

GM

Rietta releases one shaky hand from the mace and accepts the sword from Lyra. As Lyra and Brother Rant vanish around the corner, literally, Shaddup peeks back into the other room and there is no sign of them, or Amara, she drops the mace on the ground and draws Gendry's sabre from the scabbard, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. "What were you saying little man?!" she croaks out between sobs.

Teldicia leans in towards Donovan and whispers, "You probably don't want to make her mad...she looks a little off her rocker...even more than usual." She looks over and makes eye contact with the robed guy, makes a subtle gesture, then turns back to Rietta, "He's right Ry. I don't know what got into you, but you shouldn't waste your tears on that horny joker, or Vinny, or Rahm, or anyone else for that matter. Lighten up..." The soggy guy and his skeleton begin to slide around behind the ogress, the man pulling a short-handled scythe, or maybe a long sickle, from under his robes. "...Would your masters really approve of this behavior? You're on a mission remember. If you're going to get all blubbery over the death of every swordsman who steps in to help us, how are you going to conquer this tow..."

Donovan

Donovan watches Lyra and Brother Rant leave and does some quick mental math. Three to two, four if you count the skeleton, did not seem like good odds to him. Of course, Teldicia and swamp-boy and his skeleton look like they might be gearing up to deal with the ogress, which makes it either five on one, or two, and a skeleton, on two, which is somewhat better. And what is this talk of conquering the town? Maybe if...

"You should listed to your friend, Rietta." he speaks up.  "Teldicia's right, the people of Phlan would never accept a sniveling woman who goes to pieces over every man who falls at her feet as their ruler. Man up and lets discuss your great plans for this city.." Then, looking as shocked as possible, he shouts, "Look! Behind you! More treachery!"

When she, presumably, turns away, he gesticulates wildly at the door, encouraging Shaddup to close the box of gold and run for it.