Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: caged in...
This party has faced many horrible experiences of late. So very much death... and worse, death that refuses to stay that way, that rises back to claw and bite and rip at the lviing. Cruelness and evil and treachery, abominations that should have never seen the light of day, unspeakable acts that should not exist within the realm of reality.
And yet... the pack of malevolent, insane walking dead advancing upon the party in this reeking, oppressive den of corruption is every bit a waking nightmare of its own.
Gib and Cedric raise their holy symbols aloft, imploring the gods of goodness to turn back these hateful creations of the grave. Midge begins chanting words of arcane power. The gods of good are faithful and respond to the entreaties... though in this space sanctified to evil, they perhaps lack some of the influence they may have otherwise had. Even so, the first line of the undead are turned back, bade to flee the fight by the powers of Solanis and Therassor.
Midge completes his casting, and from the cracks in the stones, a massive swarm of centipedes, scorpions, and other stinging creatures arises, which immediate set to biting and stinging, ripping the flesh away fromthe advancing ghouls.
And yet, still they come.
Just as the first of the giggling monsters reaches the companions, a voice from behind the undead chants away, plunging the cellblock into total darkness once again.
The companions fight against both the creatures of the grave and the panic of the darkness. Aranwen stikes true, very nearly dismembers a ghoul even in the dark. Gib catches one on his shield, stabs, pushes it back. Ch'dau is cut by the claws fom the grave, feels that awful paralysis seep into his bones... yet somehow, be it by the frothing rage he is gripped by, or perhaps by the grace of his feline god, he is able to resist the grasp, and instead rips the creature nigh asunder in response.
In the dark, a ghoul slips past the warriors and launches itself into Midge. The cidal goes down with a scream, the undead beast on top of him, clawing and biting.
Cedric calls to Solanis, and the god of light answers, dispelling the supernatural darkness. Aranwen uses the opening to cleave the ghoul on top of Midge nearly in two. The little caster is still alive, though he is quite obviously in the grasp of the paralysis. For her trouble, the Bladesinger is ripped from behind, though she is able to shake off their power.
The fight becomes one of attrition. For every mighty blow the party lands, it seems that a ghoul lands a scratch or bite in return. The blessing of Solanis appears to have been useful, as for a time, Midge is the only one who succumbs to the paralysis. Still, each time a giggling abomination falls motionless, it is replaced with another.
The initial charge is halted by Midge's paralysis and the rush of the attacking ghouls. Soon, it becomes a situation of desperation similar to the feeling in the woods when the horde was faced; there seems no end to the undead foes.
Still, the party fights on gallantly. Gib slashes a ghoul open, bashes its skull in with his shield. Ch'dau roars in violent fury, rips the arm off of an undead abomination (which actually seems to give it pause; this one turns and flees), but is cut again. Aranwen shrugs off lesser wounds, lays about in the full glory of the sword trance, twisting, flashing, spinning, slaying.
On the ground, Midge feels motion return to him. However, the cid mage also feels despair clutch at his heart. His wounds are deep and very serious. The party is sorely beset by ghouls, and the gate behind the party is locked. There can be no retreat.
To add to it all, he is out of spells. The cid grabs his sling, though the area is not condusive to firing missinles without risking a strike to an ally's back.
A ghoul pushes by Gib, leaps onto Cedric. The young man struggles valiantly, but is no warrior. The warriors are all involved in their own fights. Midge bows his head, closes his eyes, and begins to chant.
Pulling himself painfully to his feet, the little wizard feels a little bit of his energy slip away as the flames spring from his fingertips. He reaches into the ghoul's back, sets it ablaze, causes it to release the young priest, who is able to then smash its head with his staff.
The fight wages on. The first wall of insects was dispersed when Midge fell; the diminutive caster creates it anew, carefully placing it so as to chip away at the strength of the ghouls without harming the companions.
Ch'dau is finally injured enough that the paralysis takes him, forcing Aranwen and Gib to try to help protect him, meaning that Cedric has no choice but to defend himself. Aranwen is staggered. Gib lays another ghoul open, but his own wounds are draining him.
A ghoul leaps on the helpless Kazari's back and begind to bite at him. Gib, Aranwen, and Cedric are too entangled to intervene immediately. Midge, barely strong enough to stand, considers his options. "Ch'dau!" he cries with a strained smirk, "put in a good word for me with your cat god, yes?" He then chants a different incantation. When complete, he flings a bolt of green energy at the ghoul on Ch'dau, striking it fully in the back. The impact eats a large hole into the creature's body, and its flesh sizzles in several more places from the splash of acid droplets, causing it to slip to the ground off of the Kazari.
At the same time, an ashen-faced Midge also wordlessly collpases to the ground.
Despite the spellcaster's touching sacrifice, the situation is still desperate. Soon, Gib and Cedric and likewise paralyzed. Everyone is heavily wounded. Aranwen fights on alone, though there can only be moments until the end.
Suddenly, a man's voice calls out. "Stop."
Instantly, the remaining ghouls cease thier attacks and step back. A black robed man steps forward into the light - though leaving several ghouls between himself and the party. He is tall, solidly built. He is clean shaven and has close cut dark hair. This is not the same priest who lured you into the trap.
"You have fought well," he speaks in a calm, smooth tone. "You have all acquited yourselves admirably. Even so, you cannot win this fight."
He smiles softly. "You need not all die here, however. Surrender now, and I vow before the gods that no harm will come to you."
The priest glances around the party, where all are motionless save Aranwen. "It would seem that this choice is yours alone, Bladesinger. Live or die - make your choice now."
Posted on 2019-11-08 at 13:48:10.
Edited on 2019-11-08 at 13:53:09 by t_catt11