Chains Unbound

Queen's Gambit story update for 20100301 (Marpenoth 9)

Skizzikt, the Queen's Knight; Hanzo takes one for the team

After resting, the group headed deeper into the dragon’s lair. After a few winding tunnels, the party came upon a huge room, about 80’ around and 60’ high, and crawling with slivers. Flying around the top of the room, near the great domed ceiling, was the blue dragon Skizzikt. Althea, who volunteered to scout, stuck her head into the room briefly and saw the assembled horde by the light of the luminescent fungi that the slivers were growing along the walls. She reported this back to the group, and they quickly formulated a plan.

Apparently, the plan was to have Hanzo go out and draw the ire of everything in the room, because that is exactly what he did. The large horned slivers made up the vanguard of the enemy’s attack force, charging the group and knocking Hanzo on his back. They then alternated between ripping into Blaze and charging through the entire group, until finally they were brought low. As usual, Balasar landed the killing blow on one of them, with the other’s killer uncertain. With the big ones down, the group focused on Skizzikt and the remaining slivers.

Hanzo created a circular wall of hellfire in an attempt to burn the raider and spined slivers. This attempt was thwarted, however, when one of the spined slivers impaled him on its spines and held him in his own wall of fire. The wall did manage to injure two of the spined slivers and kill a raider, but Hanzo was forced to dissolve the wall or be roasted alive by his own power. This he did, but it still left him impaled and bleeding, at the mercy of his tormentor.

Elsewhere, Skizzikt had begun his attacks. He swooped in and unleashed his lightning breath, then quickly darted back up to the ceiling, out of range of most of the group’s powers. While he caught his breath, the spined and raider slivers on the ground relentlessly tore into Hanzo, Blaze, and J’tal, dropping the first two and severely damaging the latter. With Skizzikt out of range, the rest of the party desperately attempted to both save their fallen commrades and hold off the tide of slivers, who began pouring out of the walls.

Althea, who’d remained relatively untouched for the whole battle, suddenly felt a stirring from the bodybag of holding. Suddenly, Lady Tron spilled forth from the bag, just in time to greet a new wave of slivers. After waiting for a good position, she waded into the thick of battle and became a blur of blood and metal, and after a few seconds six raider slivers lay dead at her feet. Having tipped the scales a bit towards the heroes’ side, she decided to take a break with Balasar, who both took turns taking pot shots at Skizzikt with their shields.

The situation looked grim for both Hanzo and Blaze. They’d both taken numerous attacks from the raiders and suffered multiple impalements by the spined slivers, and both were fading in and out of consciousness. Blaze made a valiant effort to rescue Hanzo, slaughtering a few of the raiders that was on him, and Hanzo added to this by setting the spined sliver that was impaling him, and Blaze, on fire. While the other slivers around it died to various members of the party, the sliver that held Hanzo ran off with him, towards the back of the cave. Another spined sliver covered it’s broodmate’s escape by impaling Blaze from the back and holding him in place.

With most of the slivers defeated, Skizzikt decided to follow the spined sliver that had Hanzo into a hidden tunnel in the back of the cave. This proved to be his downfall, however, as the group quickly converged on the tunnel’s entrance and hacked him to pieces, with Althea landing the final blow by killing the sliver buried in Skizzikt’s brain. Now, the party is resting amidst the corpses of their fallen enemies, counting the meager treasure they found in the room (117 gold), and licking their wounds. The tunnel goes deeper into the floating landmass, but can the group handle what may be waiting beyond? Find out next week!



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