Session 14 – In the Kingdom of the Cockroach
Gary – Greta the Dwarf & Horatio the Warrior
Mark – The Mighty Broos – Cleric
Ian – Ms Quickday the Thief & Wayne the Valet Cleric
Bob – Roche the Thief & Billy the Gravedigger (Warrior)
The adventure started in Lord Dimh’s fortress where the heroes had rescued the Mykon lord from the siege of the cultists (Session 13). The grateful Lord Dimh had described to them the challenges in gaining entrance to Nikripest – either wheeling, dealing and sneaking at the Gate of Thieves or invading with brute force through the domain of King Cockroach. The party opted for brute force.
Supplied by Lord Dimh with mushrooms to give them darkvision + 4 spore-bombs to help off-set the cockroaches’ numerical advantages, the party set out. First they found an underground sewage river, with a flimsy bridge crossing the river. Though the base was clear of traps, Billy the Gravedigger mounted the bridge and discovered that it was unsound for mammal-weight, plunging into the river where he was promptly eaten by a Mutant Sludge Beast™ Billy was lost to the river, his magical shovel-sword somewhere in the deeps.
The party entered the cockroach fortress and found a strange room with 4 roach-guards and numerous slits in the walls. After easily destroying the guards, they found that wave after wave of roaches kept popping out of the walls at them. They used their spore-bombs and actually managed to fight off 50+ roach-warriors, though it took a heavy toll on the party’s resources.
The party crossed a room full of crawling teeming roaches.
Advancing to the next room, Roche alertly spotted a trap on the ceiling and the party avoided full ambushes by the brood-mother roaches with larval egg-bombs. In dealing with these creatures, Roche alertly avoided another pit-trap before the roaches unleashed larval-zombie-prisoners upon them. A few prisoners were left alive and Rayburn the Rat showed the PCs where to find a secret door that led to the throne room of King Cockroach.
Opening the door, they saw the King Cockroach, a corrupt Radiant wearing the Crown of Vermin, crawling with cockroaches and consulting with their old “friend” Gerhard Blackstone, now apparently a cultist of Ashax- complete with iron circles for his eyes. Blackstone pulled out one of his eyes and hurled it at Broos, hitting him with the unholy iron circle.
Combat ensued, including “the Consort”, a mighty behemoth roach that Broos paralyzed (very, very fortunately for the party.) Gerhard fled the combat, escaping through the sewer entrance that leads into Nikripest (!) After taunting the Radiant King Cockroach, he finally attacked the adventurers and Roche & Ms Quickday decimated him with backstabs, but not before he struck down the Mighty Broos. Horatio the Warrior was also slain during this combat, as well as Shroomy the valiant prisoner.
The Crown of Vermin was gained; the domain of King Cockroach was theirs. The Consort was hacked to pieces while paralyzed. Roche retrieved the crown; Rayburn made him an untoward offer, which was refused. Roche declined to try on the Crown, but Ms Quickday took the plunge and found herself crawling with cockroaches and having gained the powers of the Crown. (The Crown may be removed but then has to be re-mastered each time it’s worn.)
After a heavy toll in lives, the party has gained and held the entrance to Nikripest via the Sewers. Next session shall be their effort to gain the Pale Tree and achieve their hearts’ desire.