Wednesday, January 28, 2015

No Quarter Sessions 5 & 6 - The Assault on the Creeper Cave

PCs:        Sir Durhum Lentilles (250 point Paladin of Saturn).
NPCs:     Trapper John (unknown) and 57 villagers (unknown).

The following day, Father Robert gathered up the villagers while Durhum did a little investigation into the whereabouts of the heart-shaped cave, and fortunately for him, Trapper John knew where it was. He talked John into attending Father Robert's meeting, where he was convinced to help out, finally. All in all, Durhum and Robert drummed up about 57 able-bodied men to go wipe out the creeper. They decided to leave the next day.

Come the morning, the mob of villagers, along with a number of others to haul supplies and help establish and maintain a camp trekked to Ashby without incident. They spent the night, not realizing that the creeper had sent a couple of sporbies to keep an eye on the town for trouble. The posted guards missed them, and Durhum awoke the following day fresh and rested. After a short prayer for luck conducted by Hilda, he asked her if she had anything to protect him against any spores that might be released during the upcoming battle. She took him to the abandoned temple at Ashby and made for him a balm he had to put in his nostrils and swallow, which he did despite its contents.

John led the group of men through the forest toward the cave, approaching it from above and behind. At the foot of the hill into which the cave is set, they encountered two dozen sporbies, some of whom were turned caprigors. A fierce battle ensued, and the 59 took casualties. Thankfully, their hero, Durhum, came out unscathed, thanks to smart use of his reach and his repeatedly removal of sporbie legs.

They continued their trek up the hill until they were nearly at the cave. John spent most of his time running ahead of the main group to scout for more sporbies, and just before reaching the cave, he found three more standing guard above the cave mouth. A brief war meeting between Durhum and John brought them to the conclusion that John would lead the bulk of the villagers around the front of the cave to create a distraction while Durhum and a three of the wounded men would enter the cave to destroy the creeper. The wounded would carry torches so Durhum could fight, and John would draw off the rest of the sporbies.

With confidence, the set out to execute their plan. Durhum waited for John and his men to give a signal, which came in the form of an arrow through one of the guard sporbies and a lot of panicked screaming. Durhum didn't hesitate. He appraoched the sporbies cautiously and de-legged one of them and sliced the other to pieces. He and his companions then seeing that the cave was unguarded, dropped down to the mouth. Entering, they found the creeper clinging to the ceiling and cave walls about 30 yards in. A few test chops from Durhum revealed how the creeper defended itself: swift vine thrusts and clouds of spores that stun those who inhale them. Thankfully, the balm Hilda provided kept Durhum immune to the spores, despite a lot of pain to his sinuses. The balm didn't protect against the enraged sporbie grizzly the creeper kept as a guardian, though.

Durhum took some time to kill the massive, beastly sporbie, and after downing it, finished it off by spilling its entrails all over the cave floor. Unfortunately, this made the floor rather slick. Still, he got to chopping at the creeper while parrying its vine attacks. The men remained stunned for most of the combat, but eventually, one came around and grabbed a torch. He began trying to set the creeper ablaze while Durhum sliced away at the largest mass of ivy. After a while, the vine still hadn't caught flame, still being green and supple with the blood of its victims, so Durhum thought hard. It came to him. His oil. He gave the man a bottle of oil to help ignite the mass of vines, and it worked! The vine quivered and shook in the heat, and the din of battle outside drew nearer.

Durhum continued hacking a maw-shaped tangle of ivy and vines while the other two torchbearers came out of the spore-induced haze. He gave each of them more oil and had them set about burning every bit of the vine. Pretty soon the vine was ablaze, but sporbies were starting to lurching toward the four of them and the battle raged at the cave's entrance. Durhum launched himself into combat against the sporbies, cutting them down, one after the other until he reached the cave mouth and what remained of John's militia. He helped hold the line, and together they held the cave while the creeper burned. After a few minutes, a loud rumbling thump echoed from the cave and the torchbearers rushed out yelling, "it is done!" The sporbies faltered and the villagers seized the opportunity to dispatch their foes. The creeper was no more.

Afterward, the men gathered up all of the sporbies and remaining bits of creeper in a great bonfire at the cave's mouth. They burned everything so that it could no longer reproduce, and ocne that was done, they traveled back to Ashby. There they slept before returning to Robston heroes. The innkeeper extended an open invitation to Durhum to stay there free of charge as long and as often as he desired. For now, Durhum is helping Father Robert finally put in that second story floor at the Church of Saturn. What adventures lie in wait for him he knows not, but Saturn will guide his way. He always does.

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