Sundered Empires Session Report 21a

Read the previous play report

We did some wrap up over email to try and get things back to where other characters could get involved.  Here is some transcripts of what happened in the follow up.  Sorry for the disjointed nature of this post, but it’s a quick paste up of the various emails that flew back and forth dealing with the interrogation.  Mostly it’s between myself and Alfric’s player as Long Tom’s player was lost to Guild Wars 2 for the most part.  After seeing the cost of the battle, Alfric goes kind of grimdark, so you have been warned:

Thorwell loses his left hand…the Ash Goblin’s bite tore so much of it off it can’t be saved.  He’ll die if not healed to 1 HP in a day, but if he is, he’ll need a week’s recovery

Interestingly, Long Tom severed Bone Shaker’s Right Hand…same condition otherwise.

Anika is both better off and worse.  The zombie threw her done on the ground and bashed her face repeatedly against the cold stone.  Though she recovers with 1 hp and is in shock, she’ll need magical healing and one night of bed rest, or a week of normal rest.  Further, she will be horribly scarred.  +2 to intimidation, -4 to nice reaction rolls.

Bone Shaker’s awake, groaning in pain.

Thorcigar cradles his crippled brother, tears streaming down his grim face as he eyes the priest with black hate.  Cronyan holds Anika close, her painful moans quieter now than they were.

Alfric – with his charisma mod and sunny disposition carries out the interrogation of B.

* What’s your plan?
* Who are you working for?
* Why are you attacking now?  Is it a diversion…
* Give me a good reason to let you live.
* Where do you keep the loot?
* What kind of traps are there?

Thorcigar will remove finger nails with the pliers if Alfric is unhappy with the answers.

Devoid of his bone helm and thick armor, Bone Shaker is a far less imposing figure.  An average man, with a wild eyed truculance, his waxy skin and thinning, greasy hair indicate an unhealthy fascination for life underground amongst the dead and the monstrous.

He’s in a lot of pain, and even brushing his stump is all that is required to incapacitate him with vomiting and, eventually, dry heaves.

When he starts begging for you to not hurt him anymore, you know he’s seasoned enough to talk.

“Not my plan, not my plan!  I’m just doing what I’m told, what I have to do.  They sent word from the Shadow Temple, conquer the Inverted Spire.  So we did.  Well, mostly.  There was still Asterax to contend with, but we plied her with gold and jewels and she’s our ally now.  Yorex,  the Corpse Grinder won mastery of the Inverted Spire and I was sent here, to forment unrest and make the coming easier for the beastmen, and barbarians and those southern wizards our coin bought.  Tie up the keep till it could be overwhelmed, till Yorex could gather all the disparate tribes to our banner, then all the lands from here to Threshold would fall to the hands of our allies.  We’d carve out our own Empire.”

He looks angry when asked why he’s attacking now.  “You violated my holy chapel! You affronted Enkath the Devourer!  I knew we could not reach you behind the Keep’s walls, but I could make the people bleed for this affront!”

“Treasure?  There is gold and gems in my room.  Take it, just spare me!  There’s a trap, but if you let me heal myself, I’ll tell you how to avoid it.  But if you want more, I’ll tell you where more is.  Uttred the Flayer, the champion, has the most, the choicest pieces of treasure we have gathered.  Uttred is a powerful champion of Chaos, follower of the Lord of Slaughter.  The beastmen follow me because they fear my god.  They follow him because they fear him.”

“Why should you let me live?”  He smiles a bloody toothed smile.  “Because I know where your friends are.  The ones the medusa bitch turned to stone when you let her escape.  They are in the hands of a friend of mine, enjoying a…warm welcome.  And if you don’t let me go, they’ll die.”

Interesting.  Alfric strokes his beard and drags the rest of the group back to discuss, leaving a brooding Thorcigar watching Boneshaker and stroking his knife.

I don’t trust him.  We can’t let him cast any spells, and any trap may be a diversion so he can escape.  I have no problem with lying to him, he’s pissed me off and I intend to kill him or see him face justice. Don’t then be deceived by what I say as I have no intention of letting
him go.

We’ll get his advice.  The person with the most health should get the loot in the room – Cronyan.  If he’s lied about disabling the traps, we kill him.

If he has any healing potions we will use them ourselves on the wounded party members.  Everyone okay for me to talk to him?

Alfric then returns to Boneshaker, “I don’t trust you enough to cast spells.  I don’t need more enemies so I will let you go if you vow to leave the valley and not attack us or the keep again (or assist indirectly).  Tell us how to disable the traps in the room, if you answer correctly you can take one of your healing potions and we’ll let you go.  You will have a day’s head start to run.  If you lie I will kill you with a great deal of unnecessary suffering and I will bury your body in consecrated ground.

You are not in a position to negotiate – this is the best deal you will get.”

Bone Shaker regards you venomously, then seems to break as another wave of pain causes him to curl defensively around his stump.  “The statue…in my room.  It’ll fall if anyone but me touches it.  The jewels in the temple…you’ll be cursed if you take them.”

Alfric is happy to take Long Tom’s silence as consent.  Knowing there is treasure, Long Tom would be hard pressed to stop the greedy dwarf.

“Fine”, states Alfric, “this is how it is going to work.  We will gag you so you cannot cast, you will retrieve your treasures from the statue and the room, under our close and attentive guard,  and hand them to us.  If you need to tell us anything, hold up your hand and I will ungag you.  Once we have cleared your room, we will then leave the caves.  At the edge of the caves, we will release and ungag you.  If you have a healing potion, you can take that then.  You will leave the caves and never return.  If you attempt anything or try to cast we will feather you with bolts.”

“And, the mace that was formerly yours – is it affiliated to your god, what are it’s properties and is there a control word?”

“For your sake, it would be best that we never see you again after we part ways..”

<<Alfric is hoping that B will identify any healing potions so we can use them on ourselves instead once outside.  If B struggles once outside and he realises we are not ungagging or releasing him, Thorcigar will knock him out.

During clearing the room, Alfrix with his high saving throws will stand with a blade and Anara / Thorcigar will have leveled crossbows.

Long Tom is shaken by the cost of this battle, and says ” Alfric  do thy needful work and then let us be gone from here”

Bone Shaker limps into the room and, with some difficulty, manages to pry the two (100gp) gems from the eyes of a statue over his bed.  Further, in the wardrobe which conceals the secret entrance into and out of his room, there is 500gp and 50(!) semi-precious stones worth 10gp each.  He also smirks as he hands you a stone jar with a salve in it.  “The Medusa’s,” he says with a leer.  It’s obviously been used already (there are maybe 3 doses left).

Further, in the antechamber outside his room, he points out a golden flagon worth 800 gp and 8 cup golden cups worth about 200 gp each.

Oh I see, that’s why he’s smirking. (I reminded them about B’s mention of having their hirelings).

I’m guessing that they are inside the monstrous beast man’s lair but Alfric is happy to ask him again.  Probably more thematic if Long Tom interrupts as Alfric strokes the shineys.

However the missing characters are stoned, and we’re not in any position to rescue them right now so it may be… yet… another…  expedition…   And do we have to share loot recovered on that expedition with revived characters, asks Alfric 🙂

Alfric turns to Bone Shaker.  We have the salve for the statues then. One last thing you can help us with, where are they and who has them? Why are they going to die? Can we rescue them?

He sneers.  “You took my medusa and left me two statues in her place.  Of course I was going to turn them back to find out who the fuck it was that kept invading my home.  They are in the hands of an ally continuing their interrogation and, should I not return, they will undoubtedly be fed to something horrible tomorrow.  Let me go and I’ll trade them.”

Alfric is… Not… a… big… fan… of sneering. Alfric breaks B’s (sole remaining I believe) index finger.

I think you forget who you are, who we are and where you are.  I do know for a fact that the human body contains 126 more bones than you’d think.  Allow me to demonstrate.

*snap* *crackle* *pop* – that’s 3 more fingers.

Bone Shaker screams and wails and his fingers break.

“Nargo!  Nargo has them!” he screams.  When he finishes panting, he says, “Nargo is my torturer.  He lives on the lower level, to the north.”

(I.e. down the stairs and to the north…you guys went south and met the medusa).

That was easy.  Alfric is disappointed and breaks a couple more.

*crunch* *graunch*

How can we be sure you’re telling the truth?  How many allies does Nargo have?  What is he – goblin, beastman, human – what?  I’m not sure if I’m running out of patience faster than you are unbroken bones…

He screams more.  “Stop! Stop please!  He’s human.  He lives alone in the torture chamber.  Ah, don’t hurt me anymore.”

Alfric grunts – somewhat disappointed.  Checks B to make sure there are no remaining digits…  I’ll be right behind you, if you’re lying you will be in more pain, for about a day, then you will die.

I think all the good characters may be recovering from their shock.

Long Tom, may be worth a quick trip down the north to retrieve the others.  Suspect they’re dead if we don’t.  What say you?

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