The Island of Misfit Monsters (TIMM) 3: Pavlov's Gravekeeper
Updated: Aug 3
The group quickly got into formation and headed out. This consisted of Yoric riding on Nelzask's shoulders and looking like he was a sailor on the lookout for land. Killgore followed, which was probably a bad idea; he kept getting whipped by all the tree limbs Nelzask thoughtlessly kept pushing to the side. The Bugbear was followed by Jimmy, Rhiltix, and Herman. A Jimmy sandwich . . .
They had no trouble finding the cemetery, despite the dwarf's vague directions. I mean, define 'the big rock'. 'The tall tree' is even less helpful when you consider that the director is four foot tall.
Once there Yoric decided to test the environs for any occupants. Every time he yelled 'Bring out your dead' a bell would ring in the distance. The group quickly homed in on a small building with a bell tower tucked off to one side of the cemetery.
Once there Yoric went in search of a back door while the group prepared its frontal assault. They ran into a dark room that appeared devoid of any creatures. Rhiltix called out once more experimentally.
A small shape darted from the general rubble in the room to ring the bell before hiding again. All of this faster than any of them could react.
They tried again. This time the creature darted to the rope, yanked it, then climbed up to the bell housing. Rhiltix continued uttering the magic words long after it was established that the creature was under some sort of compulsion to ring the bell.
[Player's Note: I'm fairly certain this was an ad lib by the DM]
Hearing the commotion Yoric entered through the rear door he'd found and joined the group under the bell. They tried to coax the small creature back down, but to no avail.
This was not helped when Nelzask pulled the rope down and yelled 'bring out your dead'. The creature tried to pull on the rope, but Nelzask already had it at max extension. Then, with a hiss of annoyance, it reached out and slapped the outside of ye old great ringer.
At this point Yoric had decided that more aggressive action was called for. He quickly climbed the rope up to the creature. After another round of failed diplomacy (I mean would you trust someone without a face?) he made a snatch for the thing. In this he failed utterly, instead falling off of the rope. Fortunately Nelzask was barely able to catch him. I swear that Ogre must be all thumbs. The creature found it funny at least, but still would not descend.
What did bring it down was the mention of remains to be buried. It slid down the rope, examined the sack, made a few disgusted remarks about the lack of separation of the body parts, and took them outside. Nelzask was quickly put to work digging the grave.
Once in the light they were finally able to identify the creature as a Berbalang, a rather ugly one too.
Yoric, in something of a relapse, kept telling Jimmy that Nelzask looked hot. Each time Jimmy would obligingly create water over the half ogre's head. This continued until the Berbalang insisted that its very hard to dig a hole in mud. Jimmy seemed hurt that his help had been rebuffed. Yoric felt . . . well, its hard to tell. One can hardly read the facial expressions of those without a face after all.
After the bodies had been buried and Rhiltix had performed last rights (at least they assumed that was what the senile bat was mumbling) they headed back to the castle. Any thoughts of killing the Berbalang were short circuited by the thought that they'd likely have to bury more people at some point.
Once back at the castle, the group decided to explore its inner wall for any more doors. This brought them to an exit at the back of the castle. Yoric scouted inside, finding a secret door that led to the throne room. He explored the massive room as best as he could in the dark, finding nothing. He then lit a fire, in hopes of finding . . . anything worthwhile. He did.
A couple of Spider Eaters rose from the benches in the center of the room, clearly quite annoyed at the sudden interruption of their nap. They immediately charged the skeleton. He managed to sidestep the first, causing it to crash into the recently lit fireplace. As it screamed in rage and pain the rest of the group came crashing into the room.
As if trying to keep things fair, two more Spider Eaters rose from the benches to attack.
The fight didn't last very long. The only strange part was Jimmy. On his first turn to act he maneuvered to line up the new Spider Eaters and lightning bolt them. But later something changed. As he lined up another duo of targets for electrocution a memory of his own tortured past surfaced. He found that he could not bring himself to hurt the creatures even if they were trying to kill his friends.
Fortunately, his assistance was no longer required. After clearing the throne room the group headed back out the secret passage. They continued counterclockwise around the castle, discovering yet another secret door in the west wall. Again, Yoric explored ahead.
Here he found nine Cadavers strewn about a long hall. Finding nothing else of value, he stealthed back to the one nearest the door and administered a coup de grace. The noise of which alerted the others, waking them. The party charged in and made short work of the group of hateful dead. Particularly when Rhiltix started channeling positive energy to harm. Fortunately, he had Selective Channeling, or there would quickly have been another fight.