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The Island of Misfit Monsters (TIMM) 10: Ashes to Ashes . . .

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

How in hell am I supposed to putt with this?
After the Paladin finished with the necropolis . . .

Say what you will about the undead, but at least they self cremate upon their deaths. Not that it was necessary, even with the addition of another demon. More's the pity.

{Player's Note: I'd originally hit upon the idea of a zombie necromancer that makes his own friends when we'd first discussed this campaign nearly a year ago. Recently I'd come up with the idea of playing a devil that was actively trying to buy the souls of the group. What fun! Unfortunately I still had the little matter of the deathless duo. Not only would playing three full characters have been a bit taxing, but it would have destroyed the minor semblance of balance the DM was working with. Which meant that the only way I could play my devil was if both of them died, first.}

The first of the Demons (which our resident caterwauler had finally recognized as Herensugue Demons) didn't last a full turn into the fight. The second critically failed an attack and stunned itself. FOR FOUR ROUNDS! The group was quick to take advantage of its blunder.

The group then began exploring the area. The fight with the demons had taken place on the patrol area opposite the stairs, so they started there. Most of the cells were your standard prison cell (because, benevolent King Cole right?). One, however, had a metal door in place of bars. And it was locked from the other side.

Yoric tried to pick the lock, failing miserably. (My dice were apparently still holding a grudge). Then Killgore (who fancies himself more a rogue than he actually is) gave it a go.

And while they were at it, Aria (the brand new healer) decided to wander off by herself. We don't know why. Perhaps she has ADD. Perhaps she's suicidal. Perhaps she was actually sent to lead the entire group to her death.

{Player's Note: Note to self: Ask next session}

Whatever her excuses, she wandered back to the stairwell, only to find two previously locked doors that just happened to be flanking the stairs opened. And inside those cells were four more of those same demons. Cue scream of alarm.

The group rushed over to help. Overall she did surprisingly well at keeping the party alive. From my perspective, frustratingly so. A good paladin has no right to be able to keep undead alive as well as she did, let alone heal the rest of the party at the same time.

I know, surprising right? But this was no ordinary paladin. It was a Divine Defender Invigorator mix (yes, I'm aware it technically breaks the rules; the DM approved it). Sadly, she had to use her shared defense while the group was on the other side of the dungeon in order to stay alive. Because she'd decided to go scouting by herself. BECAUSE HEALERS ARE NOT ROGUES EITHER!

Even so, she was nearly dead when they showed up to take the heat off of her. She managed to hide around a wall and touch herself repeatedly. She then used her Bestow Hope to give the party DR 3/-. She also cast Shield Other on Skeletor, thus making it annoyingly difficult for him to die.

The group managed to kill one of the demons, but was in a bad way. They'd all taken a decent amount of damage, with Aria being the worst off. Even worse, one of the demons had successfully used its lure on Killgore, effectively removing him from the fight.

Yoric and Jimmy whispered to each other in Necril before charging to block the doorways to the occupied cells. As they had the most hp and immunities to many of the demons' mind affecting abilities they were uniquely suited to bar the door whilst the others ran.

Aria was first up the stairs. Hermin followed quickly. Nelzask grabbed the sleepwalking Bugbear (on the second try) and charged up the stairs.

Jimmy was pummeled into dust before he could follow suit. (One down!) Yoric wasn't looking much better as he disengaged and charged up the stairs.

At the top he hit the switch to close the secret passage. That would have been it, but for reasons we cannot fathom, Aria decided to stop at the top of the stairs. This in turn forced the rest of the group to stop, lest they lose yet another healer.

Worst of all, one of the demons managed to make it up to the stairs before they could rise into the ceiling. It popped out of the top as the staircase closed, and resumed its attack.

Thus ensued a bizarre set of circumstances. Killgore, no longer under the influence of the Lure, effected a strategic retreat further into the dungeon. Nelzask and Aria attacked the demon. Yoric got into an interesting tug of war with the demons still consigned to the dungeon. Every time they pulled the lever to lower the stairs, he would raise them again.

He eventually got tired of watching the group whiff at the demon over and over and jumped into the line of fire. He got a couple good hits in before the demon dustified (what? its a word) him as well. Aria quickly took up his previous post. {Player's Note: SUCCESS!!!!}

In fact there was a good chance that the entire group would have wiped if Hermin (the only member still at full health) had not charged the demon, taking the heat off of Nelzask. In the end it died before they did. The group then hauled ass all the way to the fountain of healing, where they waited with tense, bug eyed expressions for the remaining demons to catch up.

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