Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Wretched Earth Chapter 2 : Down the Drain

The party split soon after the tomb incident. Chops the Warlord led Stinky the Fighter, Drum the Ranger and Sandals the cleric away from the main group (led by Toot). On the road, the new party encountered a travelling pedlar. This pedlar gave some advice to the would-be adventurers, that the small town of Winder, some 4 days travel away was renowned as an hub for mercenaries and sellswords. Drum took it upon himself to replenish his dwindling supply of arrows from the pedlar.

Entering Winder, the Dog Leg gang had their first experience of a truly eclectic town. Demi-humans of all varieties wandered the streets freely, including a number of halflings, who were generally despised and reviled in Dog County as a form of vermin. The party had a small tally of gold (recovered from the Hyena Death Clan), and booked into The White Tiger Inn, easily the most luxurious adventurer's lodgings in town.

After exploring Winder for a week or so, including the party district and the notorious nightclub "Kobolds", a contract was undertaken to "Defeat Evil" at a location known as Backdrag Keep, a fortress some 20 miles to the north. The pay rate was promised to be 400g - a fortune for the starters.

Arrival at Backdrag Keep was a surprise - not least due to the undead guards at the gatehouse. This was eventually explained by the Keep's custodian. Apparently the entire staff and garrison of the Keep had been poisoned and laid low for some weeks now. This had been traced to the water supply, which was a well sunk in one of the towers. Due to this, an emergency security company had been called in - SkelGuard - which guaranteed immunity to poisoning, but was horrendously expensive. Furthermore the source of the poisoning couldn't be determined. The Keep was a recent acquisition and it was known that there was an extensive plumbing/sewage system below, although none had ever explored it. The SkelGuard operatives had been sent down, but proved remarkably ineffective at this type of work.

Chops, Drum, Stinky and Sandals accepted the job of "Defeating Evil" even though this had manifested itself in the form of "Cleaning the Sewers". And made their way through a manhole in one of the towers. After wandering the maze of sewers, they ran headlong into a man-sized rat wielding a spear. There was brief panic, and Drum fired several arrows, none of which were confirmed hits. A chase ended abruptly with a meeting in a chamber with several of the rats, including a huge muscular Rat Ogre and a grenade-wielding rat. A whirlwind type ability of the Rat Ogre knocked the party members prone several times, and resulted in most of the combat taking place sitting or on all fours in the rancid water. Prevailing against these, and several others, the party eventually made its way to the headquarters of the Ratfolk and their formidable bosses. Globes of manufactured poison were recovered from the water supply, and the heroes emerged from the well filthy, but victorious.

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