Perverse Osmosis Manticore Madness - Perverse Osmosis

Manticore Madness

Manticore2The last two encounters had not been a good ones for the party and for Rodericke in particular. He had not been charmed in a long time, and he never liked the feeling of regret that followed. And this time it was worse than usual. Not only was he involved in the brutal mongrelman massacre, but he helped lead it. There is nothing he could have done, he knew this; the charm was too powerful. He also knew that St. Cuthbert would forgive him; although the Forthright One held his paladins to a higher standard, this occasion was entirely out of his hands. Still, he did not look forward to bringing news of his transgressions to the Council.

Rodericke’s musings were interrupted by the sound of fluttering wings and the whizzing of bolts. He felt the impact in his chest; his chest plate protected him from one of the manticore spikes but not the other. The paladin felt a sharp pain in his lower chest, knocking the wind out of him. Around him he could hear the party drawing their weapons and preparing for battle. Recovering, Rodericke drew his longsword and pulled his shield closer.

Hovering a arrow’s cast away was the bearded visage of the manticore. The smooth, powerful strokes of its wings kept it afloat as it surveyed the battlefield. It could see that two of the party still lie on the ground: Treilor was holding her arm and moaning; the druid, Crandorth, had taken an unlucky blow in the neck. With three powerful bursts, the manticore moved leftward, whipping its tale and firing another hail of bolts. Karyn saw the tail in time and dodged into some of rubble that filled the giant cavern. Drogan was not as lucky. As he dove, the half-orc felt a hot sting in his right leg. He looked down and saw the spike protruding from his lower thigh. Drogan hobbled towards an outcropping in the cave, hoping to get out of range.

Jindar released the bowstring and watched the arrow fly. He had waited for the manticore to hover again and fired. The arrow made a long arc through the space and drove into the manticore’s flank. The monster spun with incredible quickness and launched its counterattack. Four spikes flew from its tail towards the ranger. As Jindar dove, he felt his foot slip on the floor, robbing him of his momentum. He grimaced as two spikes broke through his chain mail.

The barbarian had timed the manticore’s attack to correspond with his movement up the wall. Imlari had battled a manticore once before, when he and his fellow Snow Barbarians sacked the keep of Ra’thryl. The lawful evil magic-user kept one of these hellish creations as a minion, and during the raid, the monster and Imlari had exchanged arrow fire before two other barbarians jumped on the manticore and killed it. He continued scrambling up the easily maneuverable cave wall, realizing that he was still not noticed by the flying monster. Imlari stopped about thirty yards up the wall and settled into a natural ledge.

Liligar stepped from behind cover and fired his short bow. He was not hoping to kill the manticore; he was trying to attract its attention. He knew that if he could draw the manticore close enough to him, the barbarian could jump down on top of it, hopefully ending this battle quickly. Liligar could see the manticore jerk as the arrow hit it. It pivoted in the air and started flying at the now-smiling halfling. Liligar waited as the hideous creature flew towards him, trying to remain the bait for as long as he could. He never considered himself brave, but he did consider himself prideful.

Imlari saw the manticore begin to hover and jumped; his sword in right hand, his left free to grab onto the monster’s hair and coat. He timed his leap perfectly and landed squarely on the manticore’s back, driving his sword deeply in. With his left hand, he grabbed the mane, knotting the hair around his fist. The manticore began to buck madly in an effort to dislodge the barbarian; Imlari felt his back crack from the violent motions but his grip never loosened.

Drogan watched in amazement as the barbarian appeared from the wall and jumped on the manticore. But he did not let his amazement distract his attention; he continued to follow the movements of the manticore in his crossbow sights. He drew his breath, waited a moment, and fired. The bolt flew true out of the crossbow; its sleek body ripping through the air. He could see the manticore react when the bolt hit, but he could not see the damage.

The barbarian felt the impact of the bolt in the manticore’s body. He couldn’t see where the monster had been struck, but it had certainly been a solid hit. He drove his already bloody sword again into the manticore’s back. He could feel the manticore start to lose altitude; its wings beating frantically. The creature suddenly twisted to its right in an effort to dislodge the barbarian. Imlari felt himself start to slip but tightened his grasp on the hair. The manticore was now almost completely on its side, and Imlari could feel his hands growing tired.

Drogan waited until the underbelly of the manticore was visible before he fired again. He saw the manticore shudder and then drop twenty feet to the ground below. The assassin was still running when the manticore hit the ground. Drogan saw the barbarian moving as the beast was falling, and he hoped that the barbarian’s dexterity would save him from being crushed. As the half-orc neared the fallen monster, he could already see the barbarian limping away.

Liligar watched the manticore fall. He put his bow away. Now was his turn to shine. He had also dealt with a few manticores in his time, and one thing that they all shared was treasure, lots of treasure.

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Brushing yourself off, you continue to move forward deeper into the cave.

In the distance you see the vague shape of a large tentacled creature, facing the other direction and seemingly unaware of your presence.

From a passageway jutting off to the side of the main path you smell the distinct tang of trolls.

Do you moveforwardor take the passage to theside?

{ Currently playing in VERBOSE mode. - Switch to TERSE - }
      Manticore Madness

Sing Along!

With his claw, claw bite or his flying iron spikes
This terrible creature is easy to dislike.
Head of a human, wings of a bat
Devouring humans just like that.

Lawful evil minion of doom
Protects the treasure hiding in his room
Nowhere to go, nowhere to run
Manticore ambush surprised everyone.

Manticore Madness, Manticore Madness
Manticore Madness, Manticore Madness

The way to slay this bearded beast
Is all to attack most and least
Elf and dwarf, fighter and thief
Counterattacks give no relief

Sword and knife, axe and bow
Three straight 20s -- the killing blow
Poke at the corpse, cut off the head
Find the gems buried in its bed

Manticore Madness, Manticore Madness
Manticore. Madness.