Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dungeon Squad: Down In A Hole

Lady Korynn of Mennatyre. Yeah, her pose is a bit awkward, but I had originally intended this to be a part of a larger composition, where she would be standing and looking irritated while Cedrick tried to charm some bar wench or something. That was a little more ambitious than I can really do right now, so maybe she's trying to stretch her shoulders or adjust her gear or something. If anyone mentions that I forgot to draw a baldric for her sword to hang off of so help me...
In our last installment, we had wrapped up Q6 as Cedrick and Lady Korynn evaded the Vizier's Guard and tried to use the sewers to exit the city.
They were heading, as best Cedrick could tell, away from the center of the city. Most big cities had their sewers empty outside the wall, and Cedrick was hoping they could use that as an impromptu egress. Most cities also had very bad things in their sewers, so his plan was not without an element of danger.

Suddenly, Korynn asked, "Ok, my turn. Why don't you have a family name? I've known enough Umbarrens to know they usually do."

He didn't turn back to tell her, he wanted to focus on the route ahead. "Easy. I'm an orphan. No family, no surname."

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be," this time he did turn around and smile, "it's just one of the things that makes me the wonderful fellow that I am." 
So, for Q7, I am going to break the rules a little and have the story cube decide what they encounter in the sewers, since the context of Q7 is largely covered in how I concluded Q6. I roll a story cube, and get a...magnet? I also roll a 6 and a 6. So I better make this combat a doozey.
"Shh" Cedrick hushed Korynn and whispered "There's something up ahead." He peered around a corner and saw it. He sighed. "Oh, it's just a Rust Monster, he might not even notice us, they're not really aggressive unless you have a bunch of...metal." At the last, he turned around and saw Korynn's eye wide and pale in the dark. She was, of course, wearing a great deal of metal. 
The monster snarled and charged around the corner, knocking Cedrick aside in its haste to reach Korynn and her armor. She swung her morning-star, and a side of the monster's chitin collapsed under the force of the blow, spattering ichor over her weapon and right arm. Immediately the head of the morning star began to fizz and drip, and Korynn screamed as her arm plates began to hiss and smoke.

Cedrick drew his pistol and dropped the match. The boom of the discharge was deafening in the enclosed space, but through the gout of smoke he could tell he'd hit the monster. It recoiled, then charged Korynn, knocking her to the ground and falling on top of her.

Her morning-star useless, Korynn was smashing the smoking ruins of her gauntlet into the monsters neck and face, trying to kill it with her fingernails. Cedrick ran up and kicked it off of her, not wanting to risk his dirk. It flopped once, on the floor, then died.

"Help, Cedrick, get it off, get it off!" Korynn was in an uncharacteristic panic, unhooking her plates as quickly as she was able. The ichor the Rust Monster used didn't hurt flesh, per se, but the sizzling metal could burn pretty badly.. It was clear the plate armor was a loss, but if they acted quickly, enough of the mail underneath could be saved to for Korynn to still be fully armored.
So, I took a little artistic license, but I don't know the current way the Rust Monster works. It's changed a few times in my life, but I think my way makes a great encounter. The monster rolled first activation, and attacked Koryn, hitting her armor. She hit back with the only weapon she had, the morning star. With her armor and weapon ruined, things are looking grim. But lead don't rust, and Cedrick pulls off a clutch shot for 6 damage. The Rust monster attacks again, and Korynn's armor is well and truly totalled. She attacks and does 2 damage (a d4 for unarmed) and Cedrick does the same (he does the same unarmed as with his dirk, so I just figured I'd save the dirk), killing the monster.

Now I need to decide what to do about Korynn's armor and weapons. She had chainmail underneath the plate, so I suppose I could downgrade her armor to a d8, but since the way values are assigned in Dungeon Squad, her d10 seems to represent her skill with defense as much as what she's wearing, so maybe it's mind over matter...
Cedrick returned to where he had left Korynn so he could dump the carcass into the flowing effluent. He had  rinsed the ichor off his belongings as well. Even though the sewage could hardly be called cleansing, it sure beat accidentally dissolving any more of their gear. When he found her, she was sitting against the wall, hugging her knees. Cedrick realized he had not seen her much without her bulky armor, and she seemed...smaller.

"Rynn, are you...crying?"

"My armor was all I had left from...from..."

"Hey, Rynn, come on, it's just a thing. Things aren't important, people are important. We're both okay, that critter could have really hurt one of us. Or, what if we hadn't got the armor off in time and your other eye sizzled out. Or your hair."

"You're not helping."

Cedrick could see it was true, so he tried another tack. "Hey, how are you doing that? You're only crying on one side!"

She flipped up the eye patch, and Cedrick could see the crater of twisted scar tissue underneath. "No tear ducts." She flipped it back down. "An arrow."

"Shouldn't that have killed you?"

"I wore a helmet back then. The nasal deflected the arrow, so instead of going straight through into my brain, it punched out the right side of my face."

Neither of them said anything. Cedrick decided that he had to get her up and moving, or this would only spiral down further. "Hey, I have an idea, when we get out of this stinking sewer, I'll find you a shield. I bet you're pretty good with one, right?"

"Yeah, I never needed one with the plate, but paired with mail, it works about as well."

"We'll get you a sword once we're topside too, but until then, here, take my dagger."


"Hey, it's okay. I'm just glad you're all right."

And with that, they started working their way out of the sewer. Cedrick was right, the current lead them to an outlet beyond the City's curtain wall. and when the pair emerged, it was to the clean sand and fragrant breeze of a cool evening in the Qalim desert. 
That's it for now, folks. It seems like I am getting fewer and fewer Qs into each installment, but there seems to be so much going on worth writing about. Until next time!


paws4thot said...

Ok, I'm not sure why, but my brain just regurgitated an old "Dragon" carton, of a girl wearing a padded leather string bikini with about 4 clothyards sticking out of each pasty, and captioned "Fortunately, all their arrows hit my armour".

CounterFett said...

I remember that one. Poor Korynn seems to have the opposite problem.