Off Topic: The Chronicles of "Of Course Brugo Did" - Chapter 13: Maids, Prisons & Alchemists, Oh My!
>>> Chapter 12 <<<
>>> Prelude <<<
This one's gonna be a long one.
We made it to the Capital without any further problems. Unfortunate, from an experience perspective. Fortunate, from a plot progression perspective. I'll call that a win.
Anyway, when we got in town we did the usual adventurer "we just got to a major city" dance. Found an inn. Drank. Repaired gear. Bought new gear (FINALLY got those Slippers of Spider Climb). Sold our spoils. Drank. You know, the usual.
Everyone else wanted to eat at some of the local cuisine, but I urged them to eat at the food carts set up on the street. If you've ever been to a major city, you know some of the best food comes from street vendors. Apparently, that holds true in fantasy worlds too. But, they had to have ribs (apparently the speciality of a local eatery).
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd... as advertised, they were awful (although my character, the Thief, enjoyed them). Burnt "crust," and dry, cracked meat. More like burnt ends or jerky. Yum?
Yeah... they ate at food stalls for every meal for the rest of the visit. Also, the Raptor got four extra helpings of ribs. Just saiyan.
We also immediately split up to start working on our individual and group plans.
We discovered that in a few towns back most of the Thieves' Guild had been arrested and were imprisoned in The prison of the Capital city. Being a Thief, I really wanted to give that a shot. Our Cleric ran with the idea that he could maybe get into the place to offer aid & comfort to those os death row (everyone there, apparently).
The Bloodrager & Fighter spent time drinking and eating. As well as hunting for new gear.
Our Druid decided to accompany the Cleric in his prison-break attempt.
And I decided to contact the local Guild. Given that it was a huge city, the guild was broken into countless Cells. One of which, the assassins, were known as The Maids. Why? Because they often took the attire of servants to move in & out of public places to reach their quarry.
The use of the term "The Maids," became a bit of a spectacle later as the Cleric assumed I meant that I'd been interacting with normal, everyday maids. And I'd mentioned groups of them had been attacked (apparently the Guild's had some problems lately). So... while he was out & about, he started asking around about maids being beaten in the streets.
Ah well. Could be worse, right?
In the meantime, our noble-thief contact & I shared some information on the army's activities & I also discussed some of our findings with the Guild. Although we ran into a few dead ends, we were eventually directed to infiltrate an alchemist's shop outside of town (a goblin's shop) as the shop was suspected of supplying "unusual" alchemical supplies to the army.
We really didn't have anything better to do, so... while the Cleric & Druid (our ONLY healers) went on their pilgrimage to prison... the Thief, Bloodrager & Fighter went to break into a shop.
Good idea? GREAT idea!
I can't even pretend it wasn't my suggestion... It was, by the by.
You might ask, "Why not just wait?" Well. That's because the Capital is so massive it takes multiple days to get from one side of it to the other. Best we could do was send Message spells, but that comes later.
Anyway. So, so we set out to the shop (which wasn't far from where we were, so that's nice). And we discovered some mercenaries acting as guards outside the place. The Bloodrager Bull Rushed one up against the shop's door as I knocked the other one out (and by knock out, I mean accidentally killed him because he had too few hit points). Afterwhich, we discovered the door was slathered in Soverign Glue. And the guard was now stuck to the door by his armor & clothing. Because why not?
We chatted up the guard as to how to get in & who's in there. He mostly didn't lie, but we weren't exactly thorough either, as we were in quite a hurry. We hid the other body & told the guard if he agreed to be chill, we'd let him loose once we find some Universal Solvent. He agreed. And in we went.
I may have failed to mention (I did), that the shop was sitting inside the side of a hill... actually, a mountain... actually, a small volcano. Yeah... so it was balls hot in there. Heck, their blast furnace was the natural lava flow. It definitely had the look of an older, more dwarven-mine. Very Legend of Zelda meets DnD, spacious-square-room-dungeon look. I can dig it.
At first, we don't find much. The outer part of the shop appears to be the blasting area for glass blowing. One-stop shop, for sure. And, sure enough, we find the glass maker. And his apprentice (who's asleep). After chaining him up, and explaining that if he plays nice, he gets to live, we interrogate him. Unfortunately, he proves to be "just the glass maker," and has little to do with the alchemy portion of the gig. So, we leave him chained & move on.
Too easy? Yeah. No.
Beyond the first area's outer doors, we find a precariously-inappropriate bridge across a river of lava. We're talking Temple of Doom precarious here (slight exaggeration, but STILL). So, I start making my way across it & as I do, I start to see the other side through the heat haze. And... a golem.
A Lead golem (whatever that is).
Metal golems are top-tier-tough.
And as I get close, I notice a magical trap, emanating from... the ceiling. Remember how I said I'd finally gotten those Slippers of Spider Climb)? Yeah. Literally, our saving grace. I went back around & up the ceiling, around to the trap & disarmed it. Discovered it was a trap that would suppress magical effects for a short while. That'd've been terribad if I'd have inadvertently crossed that...
With the golem in the way of the other two, I decided to do a little scouting & quickly ran into the proprietor of the place in a back room. Little bugger did not want to deal, at all, and instead of even trying, while I had him at dagger-point, he pulled a wand & tried to make a break for it. Not so much. Unfortunately... his squeals were loud enough to alert the golem... who then punched through the door to say hello. I would have ducked away with Hide in Plain sight, but...
Brugo charged. At least he has chicken?
We quickly found out that Lead Golems apparently exhude poison when they're hit. And the poison does Wisdom damage (take your bets now on what that does later). Fortunately, both Brugo & the Bloodrager do a metric ton of damage & neither are reliant on sneaks or criticals (unlike me). All I could do was chuck Tanglefoot Bags at it, which surprisingly mattered during the fight. Brugo took the brunt of the assault, and being a good warrior, he was able to avoid a great many hits & soak the rest. Although, all of us took quite a beating, but we were able to wear the golem down, just in time for the shop's alchemist to throw open the doors to the back lab. Yeah... the goblin turned out to just be the owner, NOT the alchemist.
First thing the alchemist did (who was a dark elf by the by), was drink a potion of invisibility & started throwing alchemist bombs... which were basically mini-fireballs at our level. My Stealth was too high for him to beat & his Invisibility was too high for me to beat. We didn't have a choice after that.
I yelled for the other two to retreat as I hid. I'm happy to say, they both did. The Bloodrager can run like a track star & the Fighter... recently upgrade to Mithril armor as well as Boots of Striding & Springing. Needless to say, they outran the Alchemist. But, what matters here is that the Alchemist have chase. And SLAMMED the entrance door.
That meant he was a good, long way from my position & he didn't know I was still lurking.
So, a long while back, when we helped the Stone Priest & the Cleric's grandma escape, I removed some slave collars from them. The collars were magically bound with Fireball traps. I'd kept them the whole time, not knowing what they're for. Well, this is what they were for.
I set up a quick trap in the hallway leading back to the lab. Just a simple tripwire of fishing line, tied to the hair-triggers of the collars, which I hid just past the open double doors. And then I crossed my fingers.
Ahem... this is dedicated to Mr. Torgue.
His arm hit my face.
So, there we were. Heavily injured. Poisoned. Ability drained. No healing other than a handful of basic Cure potions.
And what did we do?
Can't stop now! Everyone aboard! Time's up, let's do this!
Did you bet on what that Wisdom drain did? If so, collect your winnings.
And in we went!
... ... ... To find nothing else within.
We rummaged through the place. Found a few crates of fire potions, several manifests, and a few other odds & ends. But... nothing "unusual." The manifests were in goblin, so we couldn't read them. Maybe important?
So, we did one final sweep & headed out. I set the place up to appear as though an alchemical explosion occurred, killing the owner (just toss Greek Fire on random alchemical compounds, always a good idea 0.o).
The Fighter collected the apprentice & the Bloodrager collected the glass maker (and his pet raven & canary). And then they pointed out that other than a few bits of flesh, the doorguard (pun!) was gone. Guess he had a solvent tucked away on his clothes after all. Good thing he was a mercenary & not a city guard, or we'd have had to hunt him down.
Now, you're asking, what happened with the Druid & Cleric? Turns out what we expected to happen, actually happened. The big house doesn't often call for priests to visit & when they do, they only call for specific, local priests. So, unfortunately his entire visit was basically a bust (not if you ask him though, as he got to provide healing to a ton of people in the meantime). They did learn of some of its wards & a little more of its Templar jailers (zealot Paladins, really).
We sent the other two a Message spell, letting them know what was going on & headed back to the inn to recover. The other two were less-than-happy about our state when they returned, although the Druid was back first. We should have bet on how long it would have taken the Cleric to say "I told you so." Whoever bet "immediately" would have won.
Also, then druid named the canary "Opera" & the raven "Murder."
Next time, on The Chronicles of "Of Course Brugo Did," Left Turn, at Albuquerque...