Nevertheless, we finished by 11, and Brad had an early night (well, early compared to the usual).
Our unit is called to report to an officer of some description. Another dragonkin, this one a silver. Apparently our unit is being cut loose of the usual chain of command – we’ll just be tossed from one braid-wearing fool to another. With lucy, one of them will drop the catch and we can simply sit out the war. But, for the moment we have orders.
The sewers below the town are inhabited by three Otyughs. This is quite normal. It seems the surfacers also take advantage of these creatures to manage waste. We are to capture one, load it onto a wagon, and accompany the caravan to a dwarf settlement to replace an otyugh which has died.
This will be difficult. The beasts are quite savage and dangerous. Subduing it without killing it is a fine line. We appropriate a net and some tanglefoot bags (5). We ensure that the caravan will in fact be able to transport the beast, which it is: all is in readiness and we simply have to catch it and load it. I also suggest obtaining a bag of garbage – food scraps with which we might be able to distract it.
We had some magic cards floating around, so we used 5 forest land cards for the tanglefoot bags and a swamp for the food scraps. This cleared up the whole issue of who was carrying what. I really do like using tokens. One way of handling magic items in treasure is to print out the cards, toss them on the table, and then sit back and let the players work it out amongst themselves.
We enter the sewers. The smell is … predictable. We negotiate the first large chamber. As we approach the other side, we are attacked by a horde of rats – swarms of small ones, and a few larger ones. For a moment, our dragonborn paladin is out in front on his own and he is attacked by large numbers of them. I do not change, as there are so many of us that we are a little cramped for space at the front. Instead, I content myself with calling the winds to kill the weaker ones, so that our front-line fighters can concentrate on the stronger. I am not as efficient as I could be, because our fighters are among the swarms and splitting it up. While they certainly deserve to have me unleash the winds and catch them in the blast, it’s wiser not to. I have to catch just the rats around the edges.
Kriv the dragonbon paladin had three swarms on him after that first round. It was tight on the battlefield. I have to find a different mini for Brinjin. He’s using a bugbear whose arms are posed spread out, and it makes things awkward.
After a moment a gap opens up on the front, next to the dragonborn, and I change. There are many, many rats. We all of us fight. After a little while, some more rats come, and then a pair of man-rats. My allies attack them, but I am still busy. There is some more fighting, then we hear the garbage beast. I have a way to keep it back so that we are not overwhelmed, but I need to change back.
One of the otuygh is coming down the passage towards us, and many of us are still engaged in combat with the rats and the wererats that called them. I call entangling roots out of the ground to keep it out of combat, and the shaman positions his spirit in front of it to block its path. I run back to get the bag of garbage which I hope will distract it a little. Some of us are still fighting rats, but some of us head down the passage to use our tanglefoot bags. Most importantly, the dragonborn carrying the net heads down to deal with the beast. It’s gratifying to see that he is competent enough to know that he must attend to the real mission. There are enough to mop up what is left of the rats.
The most mobile is the shaman’s spirit companion, who the shaman can summon 10 squares away.
Oh – and I screwed up the rules on the night: Earth Roots has a range of 10, and I was out of that range while I was sustaining it. I realised that after a couple of rounds but didn’t mention it because of the noise and chaos at the table. I will be more careful in future.
I head down the passage to help deal with the beast. The rats are all but mopped up. The dragonborn is attempting to net the thing with the help of Brinjin’s half-orc handler when: disaster! The otyugh strikes the half-orc and knocks him unconscious. At this, Brinjin goes bezerk and attacks everyone around him, nearly killing some of us. The other knight is hit and decides to repay in kind – a catastrophic move, as it will only provoke him further.
At last the dragonborn gets the net over the thing, and we proceed to secure it. Someone heals the half-orc who, conscious again, begins to calm Brinjin. The other knight is … behaving oddly. I finally use my tanglefoot bag – emptying it over the beast and the net it is in, binding the tentacles. But as we secure the beast, it begins making distress calls and is answered – obviously by at least one of the other two which we know to be further down into the sewer.
At this, we all fling ourselves at it (well, those of us with muscle) heedless of injury to begin dragging it away. Our bard – in an impressive display of resourcefulness – mimics the “all is well” sound of an Otyugh as we close the mouth of this one with tanglefoot liquid.
And we drag the thing out of the sewers and load it into its cage.
So. To the dwarves, who may be difficult about my race. Their kind and mine sometimes contend when their mines intrude on our territory. More importantly, I think that I did not understand just how dangerous this bugbear could be. From now on, I shall be giving him a wide berth. A little extract of natariim would calm him. Permanently, if enough were used. But these surfacers are generally ignorant of useful substances.
The knight’s behaviour – very, very odd. He seemed to be containing himself. Is he also prone to uncontrollable rage? This could be awkward and dangerous.
So. A wild and dangerous bugbear. A half-orc with only tenuous control of him. A gnome busy destroying his mind with hallucinogenic mushrooms (crude but effective). A painfully noble dragonborn. An apparently unstable human knight. A somewhat competent bard, and a cleric about whom I can say nothing yet except to comment on his habit of glowing.
Were I not certain of what awaits be, I would return home. This will end badly.
I’ll bet the dwarves take a real shine to him.