Part 28: Cat to the Face
Cat to the Face
9am: The PCs talk to Xauxo of Ren Star. He advises them that:
“A slave who overpowers and kills a trainer with his bare hands has the makings of a great pit fighter. This Leafstan of yours was difficult and contentious, but I was certain I’d made a smart purchase.
“But five days ago, I described my new trainee to another owner, who suddenly became very interested. He dropped by to watch the man training, and afterward offered me an astounding sum for the slave. I might have earned more from wagers over the lifetime of this Leafstan, but you never know. Even the best of us have off nights, and all it takes is one unlucky slice to end a fighter’s career. Yesterday, I took the money and they took the man. “I know your next question: who was the buyer? Normally, I wouldn’t reveal that, but this man is a nasty com- petitor and, frankly, he . . . said things, as your man was being taken away. They seemed trivial in the moment, but they weigh on me. I suspect your Leafstan is headed for the Qurothaq catacombs. If my gut is correct, his only hope is for you to get him out of Marg instantly.
“The buyer was Tuhawi Dasaab. Whatever you might think of men like me, he’s worse. If you have any friends in this city, or favours to call in, now is the time. Once your friend descends into that pit, it would be better for every- one if he never emerges again. It will be too late for him in every imaginable sense of those words.”
When they ask about the Quorthaq he tells them: “The Qurothaq clan specializes in providing slaves with unique qualifications. Sometimes, that means attributes not countenanced by nature—attributes that can be achieved only through the cruelest types of psychic conditioning, or by cutting and rearranging the flesh, or by abhorrent magic, attributes that make a human into the perfect offering to some inhuman entity. Whatever darkness the mind can imagine, the Qurothaqs can tailor from once-human flesh.”
The PCs discuss their plan for 15 minutes and come to the conclusion that the slaves they have purchased should head back to the dock and the rest of the party will head to Tuhawi Dasaab’s home. The party heads through the crowded morning streets of Marg. They head through the gates of the city walls and after some effort manage to locate the property of Tuhawi Dasaab.
11:00 am: This fortress-like compound is surrounded by window- less walls twenty feet high. A single reinforced wood- en door stands in the outer wall. Above the door, the rotting body of a thief with snakes crawling through its ribcage is nailed to the wall. Passers-by shy away from the building and avoid looking at it, although a crazed beggar shouts and shakes his fist at the place from a short distance away.
Maheen approaches him. The beggar is a wild-eyed, emaciated man covered with scars. He continually harangues the compound, although people passing by pay him no heed. “I have seen your monstrous handiwork, and eternal punishment shall be your reward!” he shouts. “The judgment of Asura awaits you! I have seen those cast into Qurothaq, and they scream to me for vengeance! Your path is the path of downfall! Your ways are the ways of Set! The tormenter will fall and be trampled beneath the feet of the tormented! I have seen your blood dripping from a princeling’s blade!
Maheen starts to speak to him and he replies:
“Only minutes ago, the slaves of Dasaab dragged another to unimaginable doom! Will slayers such as yourselves stand by while brave men are wracked and slaughtered to feed the serpent?”
The party starts to quiz him about the doomed one and he replies:
“The doomed one? A young barbarian from the northern forests, fighting every step of the way. The hooded ones dragged him forth not ten minutes past. They are taking him to Qurothaq to ruin him, but if you hurry, you can stop them. Deny the Great Serpent its prize! Make IT hunger! Leave IT to starve and howl in darkness! This way, hurry, hurry!” The madman clutches at your arms and tugs at you to follow him, then races a few paces away, doubles back, and races away again, like a dog trying to lead its master.
The party quickly confer and then follow. The man leads them on a frantic chase through narrow streets before stopping suddenly at the point where a dark alley opens up onto one of the city’s larger thoroughfares.
The main street is 30 feet wide, lined with one- and two-story buildings with flat roofs surrounded by low parapets. Narrow alleys separate the buildings and connect to the street at all angles. It’s a perfect spot for an ambush. You see armed warriors and three hooded figures escorting a manacled and bedraggled but defiant looking Leafstan up the street toward your position. A block behind this procession, an enclosed sedan chair carried by four slaves follows; you can’t tell whether the two groups are connected. Normal citizens still in the street are grabbing their wares and scurrying to get out of the way.
The party splits up with Maheen crossing the street and heading onto a rooftop of a two story building. Arcandur climbs up one of the close two story buildings. Alena circles around the back of the same building and Ezra moves behind some crates at the front of the group. Arcandur directs Kateeya onto some crates and barrels at the base of the building he sits upon.
As Leafstan and his guard approaches Maheen hurls a flask of oil at them but throws wide. The pool of oil seeps out around the crates that Kateeya sits upon. Kateeya leaps away and the guards assume it was the cat that made the mess.
A second flask flies into the back of the guards and seeps oil beneath their feet. Then a jet of flame flies out from in the shadows ahead from Ezra but it flies wide.
Alena has had enough. She charges out of hiding and begins beheading the guards. A fierce battle ensues as she begins to take hits from the beastmen and cultists beginning to surround her.
Arcandur casts levitate on an unwilling Leafstan and he starts to float into the air. Not before the veteran fighter can grab his ankle. Unfortunately he too begins to fly into the air. He then tosses Leafstan a rope who grabs it and he starts to haul him and his dangling follower over to the roof.
From the rooftop Mahin launches more arrows but misses. She decides to move down from her position on the building and into an alleyway.
From ahead Ezra launches bolts of flame and misses. Having given away his position a foe advances on him but Ezra puts him to sleep before he can get in melee range.
Alena continues battling furiously taking hits as she is surrounded.
From the sedan chair Tuhawi Dasaab suddenly flies out. He is an elven man dressed in fine clothes with a nasty temper. He has cast fly on himself and he launches into battle and aims a fireball at Arcandur. The mote of fire appears in the air and travels a few feet before Arcandur raises his hand and extinguishes it with a counterspell. Arcandur then succeeds in intimidating the man. He flys back a few feet from him.
Mahin from behind cover launches an arrow at the unexpecting elf and it buries into his shoulder. He screams out in pain and rage. He turns to her and a wand appears in his hand. He points it at her but she dodges back away behind the building before a streak of flame can hit her.
Arcandur gets Leafstan to the buildings edge and aims a quick kick at the man hanging from his feet. Unfortunately he misses. He then attempts to lightening bolt both the man and the wizard but now it is his turn to be counter spelled.
Ezra draws on his new found power and unleashes two Eldritch Blasts at his foes. Both of them go down in a heap.
Alena fights on in a rage. She has now defeated all of the foes around her and moves on to the one that is asleep putting him to his deaths before they can awake. Ezra follows suit terminating the other sleeping man.
Arcandur faces the veteran who stands up in front of him. The wizard points at him and the man begins to float against his will. Arcandur then pushes him back off the edge of the building and lets him drop. He falls 40 feet and is severely injured.
Mahin steps out once again from behind her hiding spot, knocks two arrows and unleashes them into the wizard. One into his neck and the other into his ass. He falls from the sky and his head bounces on the pavement like a melon.
The final man gets up and runs. Alena draws her bow and fires an arrow into his back. He keeps running but runs right past Kateeya. Arcandur says: “Kateeya go for the face!”. The cat leaps at the mans face and sucks out his life force. He falls to the ground, drained and unmoving. Kateeya then proceeds to lick her bum.
- Wand of Scorching Ray
- Cloak of Resistance +1