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Madnes: Mistakes were made . . .

Updated: Oct 17, 2021

When you realize the rest of the party isn't intelligent enough to run for their lives.
Many mistakes . . .

Welcome back. When we last left off, the idea of going shopping in a Dwarven cemetery had been tabled. Now, if you've ever tried to get something from a Dwarf well . . . you don't live in this universe. But if you had the opportunity you'd learn they were a surly bunch that cared a great deal about their possessions. A great deal.

And, from what I hear, they aren't the best morning people out there. What? It's what I heard.

And is there any doubt that, in this campaign, with this DM, said Dwarves wouldn't reanimate and take issue with our shopping spree? Not in the slightest. So that idea was quickly tabled.

{Player's Note: Okay, okay. We forgot about it. There, happy?}

Instead, the group decided to try their luck with one of the doors they'd bypassed earlier. Now, if you've read the title of this particular entry in our decent into madness, you've probably come to the conclusion that this was a mistake.

Well . . . not quite. Actually we could call it the first choice that led down the road to a massive mistake. But that takes some telling.

This particular door connected to the passageway the group had previously found above the kitchen adjoining the ballroom. They'd checked the right door, but the left had been locked. Ironically, it was just past the right door that they'd found the key of devouring that would eventually allow them to open the door on their left.

But, at the time they were committed to the right hand passage. But now they knew there was a zombie parts filled yard with a ghostly carriage that way. So the left door was looking pretty damned good.

Hazel slid the key into the lock and reported that she could feel clickings coming down its length, as if the teeth in the key were setting themselves in the lock.

{Player's Note: I could use a key like that, just sayin.}

A moment later the key turned itself. Hazel then pushed the door open, revealing a chasm with no apparent crossing. As the others were declaring it a dead end Loki snagged some sand from Hazel's pouch and tossed it out into the air. Yes, before he stepped out on it, because he's not an idiot.

Hazel was half way through berating him for touching her stuff before the fact that some of the dust had alighted upon thin (actually I guess it would be thick) air registered. She then took the lead, carefully checking for invisible platform as she went. Loki brought up the rear.

As she went she was able to identify the cavern they were in as the one she'd originally awoken in. But this time she was suspended way into the air. She could see that the massive doors she'd assumed were an exit were actually gates leading into a massive barracks.

She was quite certain of this because as she made a ninety degree turn on the invisible catwalk that lead over said barracks she was able to make out a group of Gnoll archers on its ramparts. Gnoll archers that immediately began firing at the group. Big arrows, the size of ballista bolts.

By happenstance one of these arrows landed in an invisible wall, revealing a T intersection that Hazel had missed. She could be forgiven that lapse as there was a five foot gap between the path they were on and the left had branch of that T. Loki quickly called the group back, who all agreed that going that direction was much preferable to braving the hailstorm of small, tipped logs currently being fired in their general direction.

That path led straight into the wall, above and to the left of the Gnoll Barracks.

{Player's Note: Would that be a Gnollacks? Naw . . . sounds too much like 'Gnoll axe' right? Then again. They do probably keep Gnoll axes in the Gnollacks . . .

I'll stop now. . . }

Okay, technically the path led to a normal sized (something the DM failed to mention) door in the wall. Through that door was a sixty foot square room with stairs leading downwards. Stairs that had the sounds of creatures rushing up them.

By common assent the group flattened themselves against the wall flanking that entrance and prepared to greet their first contestant.

Which was quite possibly their second mistake when you consider the size of the arrows being fired at them. But we weren't thinking about that. We were thinkin 'oh you did not just shoot that shit at me'. Yep. That's what we were thinkin . . .

The first Gnoll up was some sort of caster. They never did find out what as they cut him down quickly. The overlarge body had barely hit the ground before the sounds of his brethren following his footsteps (Note: not following in his footsteps) came to them from the stairs. Again they flanked the wall.

But this time Loki decided he'd get a little creative and create an illusion of the wall being five feet forward of where it actually was. All the better to ambush you through my dear. (Insert cackle here) Which was their third mistake. Or fourth, if you consider cutting down the first Gnoll so quickly. Because these were not casters.

Sadly these Gnolls had little trouble noting how the entrance to the room seemed much more hall like than they remembered, and no trouble disbelieving the illusion.

Still, the Cupcakes weren't worried. They could take them. Look how fast they'd taken down the first. The one that happened to be a caster.

Sadly, these were not casters. The fight started poorly, when one Gnoll tossed three smoke bombs into the room, which had Steve retching his guts out. It continued down hill as one Gnoll picked out Thor and began wailing on him.

At one point Hazel was stuck in a corner, trying to attend Steve. She looked at the rest of the party and . . . stole Gandalf's line. At which point the wings she'd been sporting detached themselves from her and flew back the way they'd come. Bad choice of words there, I guess.

The fight ended with Thor and Hazel unconscious and being dragged back down the stairs. Steve (laden one unconscious (but stable thanks to Hazel's final act) gnome) and Nebula managed to book it out the back door. They fled all the way back to Mayfer. We're fairly certain Nebula wasn't even touching the ground, as fast as she was running.

Some fifteen minutes later Thor and Hazel awoke. They found themselves sealed inside cages hanging from the roof of a large cavern. Also they had been stripped bare, and left at one hit point. It was at this point that Thor announced that 'Little Mjolnir' was cold. Hopefully he wasn't stuck to the cage.

Shortly thereafter an elf woman entered the cavern. She said nothing, simply summoned a massive Earth Elemental which reached up and grabbed each cage like apples off of a tree. He then turned and followed her out of the bottom level of the Gnoll barracks and across the massive cavern to the medium sized stairwell leading down to the room with the sleeping Salamander. It had to earth glide most of its body through the wall in order to carry its burdens.

The elf air-walked over the lava covering half of the fiery creature's bedchambers, heading upwards towards an office/workroom. The elemental followed with its charges. Little Mjolnir was no longer cold.

Once in the room, the cages were set into alcoves carved into one wall of the large chamber and drapes were placed over them. Recognizing that it must be naptime, Thor went 'Tweet, Tweet' in a tone sounding not at all amused.

Back in Maipherre's quarters, Steve quickly laid out what had happened, whilst also laying as much of the blame as possible on Loki. Not very Captain America like if you ask me. Then again, what if the Avenger movies are just their idealized versions of events? Makes you wonder doesn't it?

#Madnes #ItsAllLokisFault #TheWinnersWriteHistory #ManyAlternateDoorsNoExitsInSight

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