Scarn 16 After

Adventure calls

Horses, Rock Hudson, and the Shack

DMC writeup – May 28, 2017 by Tzar Lenz

Having chased the treacherous Xanthar and his cronies to a broke-down shack, we huddled in the woods deciding upon our assault. Shad had drifted about the entranceway and around the boarded-up windows earlier and had heard voices, so we figured our quarry was inside. Jan considered poking one of her tiny female digits thru a seam in the window boarding to lob in a fiery pea, but then we all feared that that damned Antimagic powder could be on site, and Jan didn’t want to get all the strength sucked out of her (having one noodle-armed party member who needs to grunt with strain just to lift his gaze is enough).

Gwynn casts a bevy of spells in preparation, and we continue to talk strategy, politics, weaving principles, childhood pets, … “That’s 56 seconds” – the voice of DMC peels from the skies like thunder. “Dammit! 2 of those spells I cast have 4-minute durations!” Gwynn notes with alarm! We burst into action… after talking for another 30 seconds or so.

Jan and T.G.R. Tellius enter the double doors and wait for sounds of carnage. Serp guzzles a Climbing poshe and climbs up onto the roof along with Gwynn and Shad [Note: both Gwynn and Shad JUST made their climbing rolls thanks to a round of Guidance spells that the petit druid had laid on the whole team! Those +1s can make a difference]. Once on top of the roof, Gwynn uses a Warp wood poshe to open a hole in the timbers before deftly leaping the 20’ to the floor below, landing among the three horses present like a muff of cotton candy on a pile of sleeping kittens. Shadowspawn, figuring that anything Gwynn can do he can do better, leaps down as well, landing like a fire cracker amidst a gathering of traumatized, caffeine-laced cats!! His legs collapse under him like a bad simile, and the horses lose their shit!! Like three panicked horses in a cramped room, the horses freak out like four panicked horses in a cramped room! Shad takes a hoof to the neck, Tellius comes crashing thru the door and nearly undoes horse 1 with a warhammer to the jaw; Jan tries to diveroll through the chaos but is only partly successful; Gwynn chills out one of dem horsies with some animal diplomacy, logically spelling out to the beast how it is best not to panic in these sorts of situations; but it’s Serp who casts a Calm Animals spell that is like the God of Horses shouting “Whoa, boys!” All three horses are instantly chewing their cud and lazily swatting flies away with their tails. Even Vipet lets out a languid yawn, gently releasing a small crap into Gwynn’s hood.

With decorum restored, Gwynn hoarsely barks an order to Ronn “Dammit, man! Heal that beast you just walloped! There’ll be no dented horse faces on my watch!” The bard wisely complies. Into the adjoining room the crew flock to find an exposed floor hatch and a pushed-aside carpet. Too easy. We study the walls, and the Ronn’s Dwarf-inspired senses sense that the far wall isn’t natural stonework. Gwynn snaps off a harsh whisper to Janella, “Dammit Jan! Cast Det Mag on that wall, will ya!” Jan wisely complies, and it lights up like a son (see what I did there, DMJers?). Tellius loses his cool for some reason and attacks the wall like it’s an Earth Elemental – two rocky limbs shoot out to clout the bard in the nards. It’s an Earth Elemental!! Rocky Rockerman lurches forward, revealing a passageway behind it. Serp hits true with an arrow or two from between the legs of one of the chill horses, Shadowbrawn pounds it mercilessly for 1 damage with a plain-old morningstar instead of the shockerly one (which would have been wise out of fear for the Antimagic powder if we hadn’t already cast 2 or 3 spells in this room). Gwynn throws in Keenu Reaver – it clunks in for a very moderate 5 damage and falls to the floor, Ronn pummels it mightily with his as-yet-unnamed hammer (what kind of bard doesn’t name his trademark weapon??), and Jan tries to twist Rocky’s insides out with a Stoneshape spell (which would have been wise if it weren’t immune to such spells – oh well, that’s how we learn). In the next round, the Great Ronn Tellius brings a determined tear to all of our eyes as he begins to sing one of his greatest Rock ballads, Rue got Stoned. Jannela tries to help by erecting a stone wall in front of the beast, sealing it off from the rest of us, which would have been wise if Keenu Reaver hadn’t been on the other side of said wall! Gwynn, feeling a bit more bossy and perturbable than usual, takes a full round action to berate Jann [Dammit Mageblood! That was Keenu Reaver on the other side of your wall!! What the BLEEEEEP!! BLEEP!! with your mother and a BLEEP!! BLEEEEEP!! with both feet and BLEEEEP!! BLEEEP!! and the whores you rode in on!!!]. The lady mage responds by calmly ignoring the raving halfling and checks out the trapdoor in the floor, investigating with some singing & dancing lights – she doesn’t see much but does hear some sort of creature shuffling around down there. Gwynn regathers his shit and casts Soften Earth and Stone on the wall, causing it to slump like so much clay – the elemental is gone and so is Keenu! Jannela partially shoulders over the wall, Serpy cleverly grabs a plank from the nearby pile of old furniture and lays it on top like a ramp, and the team head into the tunnel with Jannela’s Foxtrotting lights illuminating the way.

There is a side room with maps and the like, and Ronn, Shad, and Jannela pour in to check it out, leaving Gwynn and Serpenthelm out in the hall… which is when the wall to our left reforms as the elemental and moves to close off the room to the right! Behind it, Gwynn and Serpenthelm are surprised by the sudden appearance of… [sorry, no spoilers!!]. At this point, the party is split into two and unaware of what is befalling the other group. Chances are that it’s not good.



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