A Rude Surprise

I Smell A Rat, Session Four (April 18, 2019)

(Sorry this is delayed, and as I don’t have good notes from the two battles, it is necessarily less detailed…)

The heroes are standing around the Peshkali, weapons drawn, while Findley continues to play the Song of Command to keep it subdued. At the appointed moment Findlay stops playing and the rest of the party attacks it.

Several good hits are landed and the Peshkali has numerous head and torso wounds, but somehow manages to continue to attack. It uses its six arms and snakelike body to try to grapple the party. It doesn’t succeed, in part because it continues to take injury from the blows of the heroes. Several seconds later, it is still fighting even though it has taken huge amounts of damage. Desperation begins to set in as they realize they don’t really know how to kill this demonic thing.

Eventually Shae stops trying to hit the torso and swings a mighty blow at one of its arms. It connects and dismembers the limb. The Peshkali writhes and screams, a stronger reaction to the pain than from any blow so far.

Heartened by the demon’s reaction, the band of heroes begins to concentrate on damaging the Peshkali’s arms. After many seconds of combat, they manage to cut off all six arms and the Peshkali screams, thrashes and turns to dust.

After a few minutes of catching their breath, the party begins to examine the room they are in. Drex, searching along the west wall, notices that a foul, musty, rotten-meat smell emanates from it. He finds a section of false wall: upon close examination, there is actually a piece of canvas stretched over a wooden frame and painted cunningly to match the stone walls around it. Sure that there is something valuable here, he tears it open with one of his knives.

The ten foot wide opening on the other side of the false wall contains rank upon rank (pun intended) of rank zombies, each a buff humanoid (humans and half-elves, mostly) armed with clubs. Drex jumps back into the room while the undead march in. The zombie’s tactics are pretty straightforward – they walk straight towards the nearest visible adventurer and swing their clubs. When the entire band emerge from the hidden room, there are 15 of the zombies, attempting to overwhelm the 6 heroes.

In the first few seconds of battle, Shae and Grend manage to take out a few, but the horde just keeps coming. Enok tries to retreat while throwing lightning bolts and manages to damage several with each spell. One or two fall from the eldritch magic, but most, although damaged, keep advancing. Björn shoots arrows into the creatures from across the room.

For several more seconds, the heroes fight bravely, but their luck seems to have turned against them. Findlay is almost surrounded by zombies, and drops his lute to pull out sword and main-gauche to maximize his defensive and offensive capabilities, but still has to rely on retreating dodges to remain, miraculously, unhit. He is forced back across the room and is running out of room in which to retreat.

Shae and Grend are also taking damage from the zombies and having very little luck in reducing their numbers.

Drex uses his agility and annoying taunts to lure one of the zombies into proximity to the altar, trying to get it to touch the altar and maybe(?) getting cursed. He does manage to get it to trip over its own feet and lose its club.

Grend eventually fights his way clear of the zombies on him, and moves to attack those on Findlay. He finds it much easier (and safer!) to attack the zombies from behind and is able to dispatch one or two expeditiously. He slobbers, “Hep each ot’er by attackin’ zombees from behin’!” 

The party adopts his tactic: anyone who manages to break free from melee with the zombies on them then moves to attack, from behind, the zombies on another party member. This changes the tide of battle and the heroes eventually emerge victorious, although badly injured. Everyone except Björn has taken damage; Enok is the worse, reeling from his wounds and barely hanging onto consciousness.

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