The Haunt II

I took a step backward. I know, big surprise. Anyone who has ever adventured with Gilderony the Green knows that I am as likely to take my move away from action as it is towards it. What can I say? I am magic-user; if I wanted to brawl, I would be like a couple of these other maniacs I have joined up with the last half year.

It has been one crazy encounter after another since we were kidnapped [note for later research: can half-orcs and halflings get kidnapped?] by a bunch of drow and transported to the Underdark where we got to check out some fairly bad-ass demon-on-demon fighting, which, helpfully enough, helped lead to our escape.

At some point, I will try to catch dear readers up on what got us to where we are now. And where we are now is a party fighting a flying, extremely evil-looking baby. I am not one to generally judge monsters or NPCs or friends based on their exteriors, but I don’t think I am being deceived here.

Remember me mentioning a group of maniacs a couple paragraphs ago? Well, Uthor is one of them, if a fighter whose goal in life is to protect children, kill drow with a glaive, and eat cabbage can be called a maniac. Last encounter, Uthor managed to pick up a wraith that maybe can do his bidding. I am not real sure on the relationship yet, but whatever it is, the wraith is doing a pretty good job attacking the evil baby.

The rest of us are all doing our parts on the baby. A dwarf that was imprisoned with us hit it with a couple arrows, and even your humble narrator managed to have a couple magic missiles work. But the major damage was done by another recent addition, an archer of indeterminate race, who blitzed ol’ babyface with what looked like an arrow of slaying, and you know how much damage those things can do.

The real end to this encounter was set up by long-time partner in literal crime Tiny Nuggins. I don’t want to know the terrible things a bard tells an evil baby: maybe that it was never loved or that its father was a manes or whatever, but that baby was getting dissonanced. Mix that with another incredible hit by the crystal wraith [note for later: see if there is a exotic dancer in Waterdeep named Crystal Wraith] and that was that for team Baby. We watched it fall to the floor and break into a bunch of pieces. Now, under most circumstances, one’s enemy falling to floor and breaking into hundreds of pieces would mean that we had conquered and the DM could start handing over all those rich, rich experience points. Alas, that did not seem the case with Evil Baby.

One thing that was the case: we needed to grab some a long rest. We knew that there was a bunch more of this terrible hospital to explore, and we are experienced enough as a party to know one way to have things go bad is to push one’s luck. I mean, Tiny and I have several stories of times spent in various lock-ups because we pushed our luck. In the Underdark, luck pushing seems an even less good idea.

An important character trait to know about our friend Tiny, he has a fair amount of spells and incantations that are based around giving us a little comfort and/or entertainment. I think he has a magical stage and maybe some magical tap shoes. One thing I know he has: Leomund’s Magic Hut. How do I know this? I sleep soundly in one every long rest.

After waking up from our rest, stretching our various-sized limbs, eating our various meals, and oiling our various weapons, we fell into our usual marching order and kept on exploring. I mean, what else is there to do in an abandoned hospital in the Underdark? Realizing that one of our routes was blocked by what seemed like an extremely large brown mold, we did what any reasonable party would do: kick in the next available door.

After the door was kicked in, I noticed two things very quickly. The first was the altar at the center of the room. The second was the red, multi-pseudo podded monstrosity perched on top of the altar. In what I assumed to be proper maniac fashion, I yelled out “Let’s attack” and launched a couple of my consistently unsuccessful acid splashes. Well, the streak continued: I horribly missed again.

Constant reader: you know who did not miss? The somewhat conflicted Uthor. I later learned that Uthor suspected that the oblix was “not bad guy.” At least that is what he suspected until the oblix gave him a pretty good whack with one of its pseudopods, one of those whacks that even a far-removed magic-user can hear. That oblix must have hoped and dreamed that it could kill Uthor in one smack because, let me tell you, no one wants to face the glaive of an angry Uthor. Face the glaive this oblix did, and, faster than gnome can fashion a pair of pants, Uthor had mangled this monster, and Tiny was harvesting some supergoo out of it.

But this was not a party that was going to wait around after harvesting the guts of a monster. Nope: this party was going to keep walking down halls and looking for babies or drow or whatever to kill. I haven’t mentioned another of our melee maniacs–he goes by the name of Ulo– but now seems an appropriate time. Ever see a 400-pound monk tortoise who wields a magical sword? I hadn’t either until joining this group. Let me tell you readers, that having one of these fighters on the front line is a fantastic way to keep encounters from being problems.

Also as fantastic: acid splash finally worked. As we were walking though one of the hallways, we stumbled onto some fiendish maggots. Insert usual combat here–chopping, smashing, biting, etc.–and then, it was my turn to unleash the acid. But this time, unlike literally every other time we have been in the Underdark, I hit. Frankly, I was surprised as anyone. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. Do I celebrate? Do I give praise to Boccob? Do I give my patented finger guns? Really, what I did was nothing since by the time I figured out what I was supposed to do, Nastra, Ulo, Uthor, Fiacra, and Eldreth had killed the rest of the maggots, leaving only their stinky, stinky corpses.

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