We survived our first night in Averton.
We decided to head toward the Outcast King, to see if we could gain any information there. As we started out, we encountered some goblins tied to the wall. One was just a torso and arms, barely alive, which Alice whispered to death. The other was missing one leg, and was undead. His assessment of things was that he was completely fucked, his people wouldn’t take him in, and even if they did, he’d eventually turn on them and try to eat them. He didn’t * want * to die, exactly, but he knew he was going to die anyway, so I put him out of his misery.
There is a miasma of death and disease in the air.
Tiny toothy scavengers came in a pack and looked as if they were considering picking a fight with us, but they didn’t. The lithe …elf (?) who was following us yesterday was still trailing us today, making no effort to hide herself.
A small shrouded figure with an epic-level protection spell on him stepped out and told us to give them “everything”. He could smell through our disguises. He had a small pack with him, and demonstrated that he had hidden archers as well. I activated my hat — and I’m really curious who he saw — but we agreed not to come by that way again if they’d let us through that once.
We kept on moving, until at length we came across a zombie constable. Yup, I know. And then a zombie wagoneer. And a zombie street sweeper. Until eventually we got to a full-fledged zombie marketplace. The zombies didn’t seem to have any minds, they were just corpse-puppets that someone was animating for their own personal … hobby, I guess. There was also sound in the air of appropriately marketplace-y chatter, although it wasn’t being generated by the zombies.
It was eerie, but they seemed to take no notice of us. Until one little zombie girl looked straight at us, and it was pretty clear that she saw us. We kept on moving.
Dark fell eventually, and despite vowing to myself that I wasn’t going to shapeshift in front of people, it was really the only way to see.
The elf who had been tailing us started fighting …something, on a rooftop. About 15 minutes later a gout of flame up there was accompanied by a mushroom cloud, a roar of sound and a palpable pressure wave. It seemed to attract a lot of attention, including a whole swarm of those tiny scavengers. The fire behind us, and the newly-risen moon, provided enough light to navigate by.
There were bodies tied to walls as we progressed, like snack food that predators had put out for themselves. Some of them were very clearly dead, but let’s be honest, many of them probably weren’t — I mean, what better way to keep your snacks fresh? We didn’t slow down to find out, and I didn’t call Varus’ attention to the issue, lest we get sidetracked with trying to save or mercy-kill every victim in Averton.
We reached a large barricade, on the other side of which was “Vareth”, a ratty-looking ghouls with Takara’s virus. Byron made a binding magical contract with him, which will keep his folks from ambushing us if we pass this way again.
The stench in Averton is pervasive, but it’s not consistent. After traveling a time, the smell shifted to dusty. Dessicated. Still.
There was a manhole into the sewers with no cover, and an unlit candle. The sewer was set up like a hallway, then opened into a large vaulted area. Candles lit all around us, revealing a humanoid…thing, made of tentacles. It didn’t seem to have a mouth, but it spoke in our minds, saying “Welcome. You have my hospitality.”
At first I thought that the crown he was wearing was a replica of the war crown of Korpesh, which seemed egotistical, but not puzzling. Then Varus called our attention to the fact that it’s the real war crown of Korpesh.
This is going to be interesting.