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The Architects of Betrayal (TAB) 54: The Set Up . . .

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Remember, always keep one hand on the safety rail . . .
Pictured: the path of my player's self esteem . . .

{DM's Note: Hope is an important thing, even for DND players. And it is equally important for a DM to give the false hope before leading them off a ledge. Um, I meant, not false hope. Uh, what's the opposite of false hope? True hope? Yeah, we'll go with that . . .} As I'm sure you've guess, I was not about to let my group get away with cheesing my puzzles with their nefarious powers of chaos. Even if I hadn't planned an ambush the moment they got back in the tower I certainly was going to do it now!

I had every floor of the tower stocked with level 15 worshipers of Baphomet. And they had armor sporting the brand new Deflecting ability (of my own personal design) based off of the Scales of Deflection Bloodrager spell, and MODERN FIREARMS!

Cause, you know, Baphomet's a boss.

{DM's Note: The Deflecting ability was a +3 enhancement that conferred a shield/armor bonus to touch ac}

Oh, and the modern firearms in question were the Madsen Light Machine Gun. Brand new, never heard of before inventions of the Minotaur King. Sure to get the Gnome's attention.

And the best part was that they were medium guns. THE GNOME COULDN'T USE THEM.

But I'd forgotten that they still had diamonds capable of filling in as material components for Wish. Of course, the TRICKSEY FUCKING GNOME didn't! After clearing the third floor he charmed the Samsaran (may he burn in hell) into using said wish stone to shrink one Madsen Light Machine Gun one size permanently.

One lightning bolt tearing down from the heavens. That's all it would take!

No, no, I can't do that.

But I really want to!

No. Must not give in to Evil DM compulsion.

But what about just a little smiting?

Fine, maybe next session.

Sorry, was I typing that out loud? Well, never mind that. Now, where was I? Oh right!

Two things were learned on the second floor. Numbers One and Two, respectively. One: You should never charge an enemy holding a repeating weapon who just happens to have all the snap shot feats! Zornesk learned that the hard way. The Kobold showed his bravery and determination as he leapt from the spiral staircase to fly charge the nearest of two gunslingers. There was an upside and a downside to this. The upside was that he became significantly more holy. The downside was that those holes were spurting blood. He fell, dead, 5 feet from his target.

Don't worry, the Samsaran (may he burn in hell) cast Breath of Life.

Two: 4 is apparently an unlucky number. Why? Number 4 (who happened to be a gunslinger) had 2 misfires (despite the difficulty of misfiring with modern firearms), shot an ally, shot himself, was blinded, and found himself standing in a pool of hot tar. Yep, I think that's all. It gets hard to keep track after the fifth or sixth natural one. This was repeated on the next floor down, and on the ambush outside (spoiler alert). So, to make a long story short, if you ever find yourself in my army don't be number 4. Then again, all my minions die, so silver linings.

The first floor was quite anticlimactic. After a few rounds of the back and forth the Samsaran (may he burn in hell) cast Weird. He killed three outright, and stunned the other two. I imagine its quite terrifying to only be able to watch as your enemies hack you to bits. Especially that giant rabbit.

Then the Samsaran (may he burn in hell) cast wish again to shrink armor for Quagrim. The group divied out the loot, ensuring everyone had ROP 5's and other miscellaneous goodies. Everyone but Zornesk was also sporting a celestial chain mail with deflecting (slightly used).

Which meant it was time to venture outside. As soon as the last of them stepped out six gunslinger rose from the field. They were arranged in a semicircle 60 ft away from the door, and were armed with either Mossin Nagants or more Madsens.

The group was just working into the pre-combat glaring contest that ritual required when a level 25 Minotaur Ironbreaker (a class of my devising based on the Warhammer Online Ironbreaker) did a superhero landing . . . on top of them. Then found themselves stunned for 13 rounds. There actually was a chance 2 of them would beat the save; they rolled low. While the group cursed their dastardly DM the cultists quickly went through their possessions searching for only two things: the blade and gem pieces of the ax.

Once acquired the Minotaur and his mage friend dimension-doored to the edge of the glade where the overpowering magical aura of the wizard's tower wouldn't interfere with teleportation. Just before they left he bellowed for the remaining cultists to bring the group, stating that they'd need a few sacrifices.

And that's where I decided to leave them. Vindictive? I think yes . . .

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