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The Island of Misfit Monsters (TIMM) 11: Full Contact Peek-a-Boo

Updated: Aug 3, 2023


Open the gate enough for my fist!

Welcome back. As you'll recall we left our group of heroes cowering beneath the splash of a magic fountain. (Don't worry, they're still there)

Eventually (after an hour or so) they realized that no pursuit was going to materialize out of the dimming night. That, and the fact that the prospect of walking back in the dark was less than appealing after the ordeal they'd had, pretty much voted for further retreat. So they headed back to the forge.

The dwarf was less than thrilled to hear that they'd managed to lose both of their undead. Well, to be fair he seemed more concerned about the loss of Jimmy then that of Yoric.

Okay, so maybe he didn't even mention Yoric. There, ya happy?

Perhaps he was just so shocked that Jimmy had been reduced to a pile of dust. Apparently the group had unwittingly taken on the role of babysitters to the rigor mortise challenged. Eventually they managed to calm him down by promising swift vengeance.

By swift they meant after they'd had a good night's sleep of course. Sweet dreams and all that.

The next day they proved themselves true to their word (with this group you just never know) by heading directly back to the room they'd lost Yoric in. Strangely, the room showed no signs of battle at all. No pile of Yoric. No dropped gear. No dead demon. The secret staircase was again closed.

The group then remembered that the castle had unseen servants that cleaned at night, meaning they now had another item on their To Do List: find Yoric's stuff.

And his remains. That's what they meant. Find his remains. And his stuff.

Hell, he wasn't even using it anymore.

But first: KILL THE DEMONS! Hey, everyone's got to have priorities, right?

They readied themselves for battle and opened the staircase, to find . . . nothing. Well, besides an empty staircase.

Killgore was again pressed into service as a bit of an alt rogue. This time with much more success.

He didn't trip down the stairs.

As he reached the bottom he found one of the demons asleep. He also heard singing coming from the center room. A bit dissonant, considering that it was the torture chamber. He managed to ascertain that the singing was coming from the pit in the center of that room before he managed to wake one of the demons up. Remember: alt rogue. Not real rogue. Something closer to opposite really.

He hightailed it upstairs just ahead of the two awake, and now very cranky (who isn't after nappus interuptus?) demons.

Strangely enough, the demons stopped on the stairs. Then ensued a strange setup somewhere between a Mexican Standoff and a schoolyard game of dares, as each side attempted to goad the other onto their turf.

Eventually Killgore had enough and slapped the switch to close the stairs in their face. And as the the stairs blocked the closest of the demons Nelzask got an idea.

He stationed one of the gang by the pull lever and readied an action. "PULL THE LEVER!" he ordered. And thus, it was done. As the stairway retracted to reveal one of the demons he punched it in the face.

PEEKABOO!

He then had them pull the lever again. PEEKABOO! Close the lever. Open the lever. PEEKABOO! It went on like that for far longer than it really should have.

Eventually the demons got wise and slunk back to the the dungeon. Realizing that the same old trick just wasn't going to work the seventh time in a row, the group gave chase. The two demons did not last much longer.

But that still left the question of the singing that had been coming from the pit in the center room. They approached to investigate, but the pit was too deep for any of their dark vision to work. In the end, Nelzask attached a torch to a chain and lowered it, providing enough illumination to see to the bottom. There they saw a cage with rats swarming over it. As they watched, a black, cloth covered arm with a red hand snatched one of the rats. This was followed by a wet crunching sound.

The group called out to the figure trapped in the cage, asking who it was, why and how long it had been there. The answers were less than completely forthcoming. They learned that the creature's name was Lucius, he'd been there 'what seemed like forever', and that he'd been imprisoned there for attempting to serve a summons to the prince's demon.

That last, along with his honey'd voice, convinced the group to hoist him up. After all, they were short two men as it was. The enemy of my enemy and all that.

The hoisting was a bit of an issue. While there were mechanisms that suggested the cage had been lowered into the pit, it was clear that none were working now. They couldn't even find an appropriate chain for the task. Forever indeed.

This was solved by having Nelzask and Killgore stand at opposite ends of the pit with a rope: one end each. The found a hook amongst the various . . . implements of the room and affixed it to the center of the rope. Then they lowered it.

Thus proceeded the worst idea in the history of two worlds: a two person claw game. Lord knows one person has a hard enough time getting anything out of those contraptions. Adding interference certainly wasn't going to help matters. In the end they managed to get it within the cage dweller's reach and he was able to affix it to the lifting ring.

Then came the easy part . . . well, as far as a couple of meat heads were concerned anyways. As the cage rose to just above floor level the group finally got a look at its occupant: A Contract Devil.

{Player's Note: While this was a contract devil he doesn't have the full stats from the beastiary. I nerfed him down to 2HD and then added Unchained Monk levels. He's sort of an apprentice if you will. Also, the DM allowed me to have him use his contracts as quarterstaffs instead of whips. I wanted to try out the Stick Fighting Style tree.}

Fortunately for him, the group assumed he was just another overly fiendish Tiefling, an assumption he was not quick to correct. They managed to hoist the cage over the lip and open it. Sadly the cage was five foot tall and two feet square. It's occupant was over six foot, meaning he'd been crammed into the cage. For a while. And now he was apparently stuck. Nelzask solved the dilema by picking the entire cage up, turning it on it's side, and shaking vigorously. The cage, not himself.

The devil plopped out. He took the overly chaotic help in stride though, thanking them profusely while slowly stretching out to his full height. He then asked if he could join the group. Fortunately there was no vetting process. The group needed bodies. He had a body. He was in. {Player's Note: While I'd set the demon up with an inevitable confrontation with the paladin in mind, Dan had other ideas. He insisted that his paladin would not work with evil, even to do good, no matter what. Apparently his character would watch the world fall apart before working with someone that pinged on her radar. No it doesn't make sense to me. It didn't make sense to any of us. But for reasons of stubborn the DM gave in and let him be a LN paladin. Too bad really. I'd have enjoyed knocking her on her ass repeatedly. And if push came to shove I could always have used Ki Metabolism to play dead, showing up later on to save their asses. On a selfish note this also wrecked a large role play opportunity for me. I'd been looking forward to some interesting discussion about the nature of good vs. evil, really.}

The group went about finishing their aborted exploration of yesterday. They found Jimmy's gear amidst his pile of dust. Apparently the unseen servants were afraid of the basement.

They also found a secret passage in one of the rooms formerly inhabited by demons. This led to a long hall with a many colored tapestry running its length. At the other end was a key that appeared to be just the right size for the shocking door they'd found on the previous day. The key was hanging from a nail in the wall right next to an expensive looking portrait of a duck. Now how to get to it?

Killgore suspiciously prodded one end of the rug with his sap. A dart shot out of the wall directly over the spot. Aria then suggested they burn the rug. Nelzask smacked her upside the back of the head and tried to lift the rug. It would not budge, something he found infuriating.

Then it occurred to Killgore that one of the colors might be safe.

Lucius watched with horrified interest as the group put the empirical method to work by hitting each color with a sap, one at a time. All but one color produced a dart of varying nastiness that passed from left to right over the spot hit. Having designated the safe path, he then began jumping from patch to patch of safe color. It looked a bit like a kid the first time they ever played hopscotch really.

He was about ten feet in when Lucius decided he'd had enough and . . .

{Player's note: As it turned out, one of the reasons the DM had been so cooperative with replacing Jimmy and Yoric with Lucius was this trap. Since Jimmy had a thing for riding around on Magic Disks (he'd even taken the trick feat) he'd have been able to sail over this trap . . . literally.}

. . . and Abundant Stepped to the other end of the hallway. He grabbed the key and abundant stepped back, leaving Killgore a mite miffed. It should also be noted that he spotted a lever next to the key, but decided not to mess with it. Ten seconds after he'd stepped on the empty space past the rug a trap door dropped away. Of course, no one was close enough to see where it led. Besides they had a shiny new key to use.

The group backtracked to the door and opened it. Inside they found a barely alive Kirin, which Hermin was able to identify as the source of the silver blood they'd seen so much of. The creature was chained to the floor, giving Nelzask an excuse to do his Wreck-It-Ralph impersonation.

The Kirin woke up as Ralph pulled it from its restraints, and was . . . less than grateful. As a matter of fact it was a bit haughty, and very arrogant. Particularly considering its previous predicament.

And as the only member of the party that spoke Auran, Lucius was elected as diplomat. After its third or forth barbed comment he asked if it would prefer its previous situation. The Kirin responded to this verbal jab with a physical one. Another example of how 'good' people are better than evil people, am i right? In truth, Lucius would have slaughtered the wounded thing right then and there. But killing weakened good creatures does not earn as many points with good adventurers as one might think. So he stayed his hand. The group then brought it to the dwarf in order to remove the clasps around its ankles.

As he did so Lucious posed a question. Having been brought up to speed on the way back he wondered aloud what would happen to those who'd been subsisting upon its blood. Strangely, everyone he asked seemed most content to simply die, now having been treated to its snobbish presence. Some sort of brainwashing he guessed. Perhaps a direct effect of having taken the blood for so long.

He decided not to point out that if they'd truly cared about the creature they could have abstained, thus eliminating the demand for its blood. Instead he took the opportunity to put out a couple of feelers by suggesting that he might just know a way to keep them from dying this pointless death. Aside from strapping the Kirin back down in the milking stall that is.

When no one even seemed to notice his offer he set off on his own to check on the state of the castle. He found Yoric's gear in the treasure room along with a nice set of boots (A combination of Boots of the Cat, Featherstep Slippers, and Boots of Elvenkind).

He also found some clothes to replace the ancient gi that was quite literally falling off of his body. He then headed down to the bath room to take his first shower in ages. Nelzask (who'd never seemed to be far during the devil's wanderings) strolled through with a towel and a shower curtain. Remember; the group had looted pretty much everything from the bathing room under the supervision of their Looter in Chief, Yoric.

Hermin then strolled through playing his bagpipes. Lucius tolerated the intrusion for quite a while considering he'd gotten used to his own company some time ago. But eventually the clingy . . . thing wore out its welcome, a state of affairs he announced by snapping it with his towel. NATURAL 20! The bard slunk away, point taken.

Meanwhile back at the stall, the group filled their growing entourage in on recent events including their replacement hitter. When they got to the part about the secret passage one of them asked why they hadn't gone into the treasure hold at the end of the hall. This of course drew blank stares, but the dwarf was able to give them an accurate description of the hallway right down to the pose of the duck on the picture. He then asked if none of them had seen a lever when they got down to the other end.

Well, only one of them had made it down that far, and he certainly hadn't said anything about a lever. They immediately went in search of their newest member.

They found him in hand to tentacle combat with yet another wolf in sheep's clothes. What had started as a simple stroll in the fresh air in his new duds had apparently turned into a sporting event. This island had a serious infestation.

As they approached Nelzask gave the group a blow by blow of the fight, ending just as the devil's adversary did. They then questioned Lucius about this mysterious lever. A lever he admitted to seeing in a 'so what' voice. There was much face-palming to be had.



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