BY INVITATION ONLY No Good Deed- Shadow of the Demon Lord- Prologue

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Ragoza

Quarter goat on my mother's side.
#41
Runt

Undead. Huh. Well, hopefully they can still feel pain. Runt whips the heavy chain around again, aiming for the creature's head.


The chain goes high, the weight of the giant's axe driving the guard down before Runt's swing can connect. THe orc growls in frustration.
 

Sarky

They're good direwolves, Drozzt
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#42
The guard crumples in a mangled heap, purple light spilling out like water. Things are still for a moment, bar the rumble of distant siege weapons and countermagics.

Then, voices. Shouting. Human, certainly, perhaps an orc or two, and the same clicks and hisses you heard from these guards, cut abruptly short. You hear "Shh!" followed by a deep, echoing sniff from the stairwell. An unmistakably orcish voice rumbles out, "We got living ones down this way. Hold your weapons unless they give you cause to fight." The voice calls out louder, "Hoy, you down there, you gonna give us trouble or do you wanna give us a hand tearing this fuckin' place apart?"
 

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#43
Ruin

The Clockwork considers this, raising their voice to reply. "It is very difficult to meaningfully torture a Clockwork, you know. I do not... experience pain... in a way fleshy beings can understand. However, with experience and patience it is possible to make our existences unbearable in ways I cannot adequately describe."

They pause for a long moment.

"I say we fucking trash the place."
 

Ragoza

Quarter goat on my mother's side.
#44
Runt

Runt laughs, the sound of an orcish voice in theis hellhole like a cool wind on a hot day.
"Grimnir sent a brother my way, eh? Burn it to the fuckin' ground."
He kicks the guard's corpse before striding up the stairs.
 

Sideris

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#45
Orm

"What in piss is going on here?" The giant spat and follow the stairs upward. He looks back at the others. "Oi! Fangs and Snotter, move up!"
 

Hair

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#46
Retch

Retch follows the collapsing guard to the ground, spindly fingers digging through the wrappings for valuables before the cloth has finished settling.

[I'm not hopeful that they have much on them, but should I make a roll or anything here?]

He's moved on to the guard in the doorway by the time the shout comes down the stairs.

"I'll certainly come along," he squeaks. "Maybe I can find out how they made these things."
 

Sarky

They're good direwolves, Drozzt
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#47
Hair Hair

Aside from the decent quality of their swords and shields, here's very little to these figures now they're defeated. Rifling through them reveals they are old skeletons, with dark cloth wrapped around the bones tightly until they are fleshed out, as it were, to resemble a humanoid with skin and organs. The wrappings tingle slightly to the touch, and they make a half-hearted attempt to wriggle like snakes around your fingers as you work Presumably, not being a skeleton yourself yet (and even "humanoid" is a bit of a stretch, one admits), they don't know what to do with you?
Rattling around inside the skulls of each ex-guard you find a lone silver coin. Looks about the size of the few silver shillings you've seen/stolen, although they don't look like Imperial currency so getting ten coppers for one seems unlikely.

Hair Hair Ragoza Ragoza Chaka Chaka Sideris Sideris Excession Excession

Up the stairs, then, as a human voice answers Orm's question. "What's going on is that we're murdering an evil bastard because he works for an even more evil bastard. Then we're taking his stuff and setting fire to everything else." This is met with generally enthusiastic agreement from several other voices. At the top of the stairs you encounter a squad of... Soldiers, is probably the best description. Three orcs, two humans and a small flying clockwork regard you quizzically, weapons drawn but not raised. At first glance you might mistake them for Imperial soldiers, but the markings on arms and armour have been filed away or replaced with blank fabric, black sword on grey background.

Their leader is a hulking orc, almost as tall as Orm, who flips you all a terrible salute and smiles, needle-point teeth framed by a pair of foot long tusks. "Name's Spite, formerly Imperial Sergeant Spite, now freelance. Well now. The battle plan didn't account for prisoners being here. How'd you get loose, and are there any more?"
 
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Chaka

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#48
Ruin

The clockwork steps forward before Runt can say anything. "Yes, there are prisoners left back the way we came. We were unable to free them; our own bonds were loosened when a siege weapon hit the wall of the cell. Some of the others were hurt."
 

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#49
Orm

Seems more orcs on the ground than gobs these days.

The giant nods, backing the clockwork. "Quite a few left down there. We've been fighting our way up."
 

Sarky

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#50
Ragoza Ragoza Sideris Sideris Excession Excession Chaka Chaka Hair Hair

"Ugh, that complicates things. Right, Alvin and Corben, head down and free whoever's left, show them how to get out and rejoin us at at the tower. You lot," he nods at all five of you, "You can follow the two humans, get out, be free, or you can help take down the owner. His name's Callas, and he was an apprentice to one of the empire's mages." He glances meaningfully at Runt. "One of the mages in charge of orc retirement." he spits that last word. Figure while we all have some free will, we'll go and return the favour." The other 2 orcs crack their knuckles and growl at the prospect.

The little buzzing clockwork chimes in, literally, with a voice like a music box. "This will be a dangerous task, mark you. Callus relied chiefly on remaining hidden, but he is not stupid; he will have guardians worthy of the name close to him. We do not need stragglers impairing group efficiency."

"What Melody MEANS to say," says Spite, "is that you're welcome to help put this rabid animal down, but it won't be easy. Come along if you think you can keep up, but we're not stopping until the mage is dead, or we are."

The two humans return from below. One of them is wiping a knife blade with a cloth. "Nobody left, chief. One lad still alive with crushed legs, nothing we could do for him but slit his throat and send him on his way. Everyone else is dead from torture or falling blocks. So," he rams the knife back into its sheath, "we doing this then?"
 

Chaka

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#51
Ruin

Ruins tests the balance of their quarterstaff methodically, checking their garrotte is still wrapped around their wrist like a bracelet.

"I will go with you."
 

Ragoza

Quarter goat on my mother's side.
#52
Runt

When news of the rebellion came Runt was the first to raise his hand against their commanders, first to see the the training manuals for "retirement procedure." Last to finally stop beating the commandant's corpse. He returns the salute, the weight of the chain a reminder of many, many debts owed.

"Corporal Runt. Y'know, back in the old days the Pink officers always used to talk about retirement parties. I say we throw one to remember."
 

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#53
RELICT

Swathed in a dark cloak, scarf pulled up to his nose, Relict merely nods his assent.
Perhaps it will take long enough that night will fall by the time they're done.
 

Sarky

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#54
Ragoza Ragoza Hair Hair Excession Excession Sideris Sideris Chaka Chaka

Spite seems satisfied in your general competence. "Right. Through here then. Keep an eye out for more of those cloth-wrapped freaks, they're silent as the grave without armour on..."

The tiny clockwork Melody buzzes ahead, scouting, and Spite leads, a solid bastard sword in one hand, the other orc an axe and shield, and the two humans taking up the rear, one with a bow, the other a short sword.

You pass the torture room on your way, probably the first time you've seen it with a clear head. The table is rusty brown with dried blood and various other substances, a rack of cruel implements starkly clean and polished standing next to it. Something you hadn't noticed before was the series of pipes and valves underneath the table, disappearing into the stonework of the walls. There is something beyond the gruesome look and dreadful memories of being tortured here, almost as if the room itself is looking back.

Beyond that is unknown territory, a maze of corridors, halls and rooms. Here and there one of the cloth-wrapped "guards" (Melody refers to them as janitors) tries to ambush the group but they are no match for the almost-dozen of you. Suddenly you find yourself on the battlements, or what's left of them.

The day is grey and overcast, the rain further reducing the view, but you can make out a small group of siege crossbows hammering other parts of the small compound. The bolts sizzle with lightning as they fly, and they hit with explosive force. A few recently dead soldiers and many more, much longer-dead bodies and skeletons lie strewn across the ground, part of what must have been the initial assault. Further in the distance, perhaps mercifully obscured by the weather, lies something very large, vaguely suggestive of a humanoid shape but almost 20 feet long, bristling with siege bolts still crackling with energies. The wind sends the stench of burned, long expired meat your way, and you cannot help but shudder as your imaginations fill in the gaps obscured by distance.

At the far end of the 2-abreast (or a single Orm) walkway, which flares into almost a small courtyard itself, lies the mage's tower, obviously in much better condition than even the undamaged parts of the compound. Perhaps 30 yards across and a hundred in height. A large doorway promises entry, should one get past its guardian- A hulking figure, an impressive Jotun by size and build, but skin sickly coloured and sagging, like someone long-drowned. It is unarmoured but appears to have extra slabs of muscle simply sewn into its already impressive bulk. It wields a great hammer casually in one good arm while the other is withered and atrophied, and possessed of far too many joints and overlong, grasping fingers. Its eyes are the milky white of the blind but nonetheless its head swings to look at the group. The human with the bow hangs back and prepares to empty his quiver into the thing, while the others advance.

Spite grunts and gestures silent orders to his friends, before saying "These things take a hell of a beating before going down. We'll hit it from the front and left, you have the rear and right to yourselves. Good luck."

The undead Jotun regards you without moving, until the first of you steps into the mini-courtyard. Then, it raises its hammer and lurches forward with more speed than you had expected, making no sound except for the clomp of its feet and the wheezing of air from ruined lungs.

Ragoza Ragoza
The other orc moves up to his position, but not before clapping you on the back. He makes a sort of clucking sound and opens his mouth- you can see his tongue was cut out, and an imperial brand burned into the roof of his mouth. Must have disrespected someone important. He grins madly and cackles, and is away.

[This is a Frightening creature, Everyone who does not possess the Frightening/Horrifying trait make a Will roll or be frightened for 1d3 rounds. Frightened characters cannot take fast actions and add a bane to attack rolls]
 

Chaka

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#55
Ruin

Ruin's grip reflexively tightens on their staff, but they do not break. Wordlessly they crouch low, staff held to the side and at the ready, and begin peeling off towards the right to try to circle the monstrosity as instructed.


Ruin passes the Will check. They're going to take a Slow turn and try to get around the Jotun to attack its flank.
 

Hair

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#56
Retch

Having lived among goblins for much of his life the grotesque fails to make an impression on Retch. He lifts the wizard's book from his belt and opens one of the pages inscribed with arcane sigils. He raises the book in his left hand and begins chanting in the Dark Speech, his inability to read not impeding the power stored within. As he works his way through the incantation he feels his right hand lifted by the magic, as his voice begins echoing itself in Elvish. A black globule forms on the tip of his finger, slowly pulling itself away from his hand. The globule begins moving towards the grotesque, picking up speed as it becomes stringy and turbulent. All of a sudden it snaps out into seven darts of blackness so dark they hurt to look at, which snap forwards and thud into the grotesque's flesh, even as the page in the book rots away, consumed by mildew in an instant.

[Retch passes the fear check,

He then uses a Fast Turn to cast Unerring Bolts, dealing 7 damage to the monster.]
 

Sideris

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#57
Orm

The giant sees something in the abomination that drags him back to being a mewling child, cuffed about the head by an angered grandfather. He's seen this manner of monstrosity before, somewhere. A terrible wall of flesh and murder. His fingers turn white gripping the axe and he holds the thin implement forward like some devotee of the New God behind their book. Frozen, only shame fills Orm's mind.

 

Ragoza

Quarter goat on my mother's side.
#58
Runt

The brand in that poor bastard's mouth rattles Runt more than he would have expected. For a brief moment he can smell the flesh cooking like it was was just yesterday. It was, after all, less than a year ago. Steeling himself as best he can, Runt prepares to face the stiched abomination, silently beseeching Grimnir for strength.




Pathetic failure on the fear check, Runt is now feared for three rounds. Preparing to take a slow turn.
 

Excession

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#59
RELICT

There is something familiar in the undead hulk. A memory of dead kingdoms, long buried.
I've seen better, Relict thinks, and elects to get behind the thing.

Slow turn to get behind it.
Relict considers himself scarier than this thing.
 

Sarky

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#60
[Fast Turns]

The mercenaries charge and lay into the thing, blades biting deep, hacking at joints and muscle clusters, shredding withered loose skin. The smell released is abominable, rotting seaweed and flesh combined. The Jotun's response is no less savage,bringing its hammer around in a swipe that connects with Spite and the human swordsman, knocking them into a wall, winding them. The tiny flying clockwork reveals impressive ruthlessness, latching on to the giant's forehead with metal wasp-like limbs and extending a stinger the size of a stiletto which plunges into one eye, bursting it like a runny fried egg yolk.

[Time for Slow Turns, everyone]