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Misfits, Murders, Secrets III: “Go Fish Out the Monster”

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If you’re a newcomer to the blog, you might want to check out the first two posts in this little mini-series, located here and here.

Finally, the party arrives at the slave pens and the latrine in question. It’s … well … a latrine, which is to say, an inglorious hole in the ground that smells about as good as one might expect, surrounded by a floor that is none too clean (it appears that not all of the slaves bother to aim). After expressing the requisite amounts of disgust (Yrisi launches herself into the air, while Raven scoops up Fling and places the goblin on his shoulder) the party gets down to the business of investigating.

Not that there’s much to investigate; the only possible way into or out of this room, aside from the door that the party entered by, is the latrines themselves. And so, because every adventure has to start somewhere, the party peers into the toilet.

After a moment, someone detects a patch of wall or floor down there which is, well, differently slimy. Since scouting is important (read: no one really wants to climb into a sewer), Xeroz attempts to persuade Alarra to do their scouting for them.

Alarra looks to Yrisi in appeal. “Help. Puppy want me to go down hole.” Yrisi, however, just starts to laugh, in a way that is no help at all. And so Alarra reluctantly flies down into the latrine to take a closer look. Shortly thereafter, there’s a splashing sound, followed by a panicked raven who comes shooting back up out of the toilet at mach speed. “Something down there! Scary monster.”

Well, every adventure has to start somewhere, but we’d really rather not start ours in a sewer (aside from which, the latrine hole is designed for human slaves, and so Raven, the ogre, won’t even fit). So Xeroz decides that rather than going into the latrine after the monster, we should make the monster come to us.

“Hey, bird. Go fish out the monster.”

Alarra, of course, refuses, having gotten close enough to the monster the first time. When he doesn’t make any headway in persuading her, Xeroz pulls out a gold piece and flips it into the air, ostentatiously walking it across his knuckles.

Suddenly, he has the raven’s attention. “Can I have that?”

Xeroz, of course, informs her that she can have the coin if she goes back down into the latrine after the monster. He’s barely gotten the bribe out of his mouth before Alarra takes off again, without even bothering to inform Yrisi of what she’s doing. Yrisi, of course, has managed to get more or less the gist of it, and shuffles a little closer to the latrine to watch, anxious. She’s no longer certain this is a good idea.

Neither, it seems, is Vashra, who glares at Xeroz as they wait for Alarra to return. “You know, if you get her pet killed, she’s going to bitch at us. Forever. And it will be even more annoying because we won’t understand her.” Meanwhile, the raven is fluttering about in the latrine, attempting to distract the monster. Before too long, she succeeds.

Unfortunately for Alarra, so does the monster’s attack roll.

Her panicked squawks for help are followed by abrupt silence and a splashing sound. A glance into the sewer reveals an unconscious Alarra in the tentacles of an otyugh, which is a monster comprised of, well, of the materials one normally finds in a sewer.

Vashra, somewhat surprisingly, wastes no time in leaping into the sewer after the bird, shouting “storm yoooooooou!” all the way down. Weapon out, she lands on top of the otyugh. The rest of the party scrambles in after her. Yrisi, of course, is the first one to start moving once Alarra starts shouting (or at least she would have been, had she scored higher on her initiative roll) and flies down after them. Xeroz, figuring he owes the bird that much, likewise makes a jump for it. Raven, meanwhile, won’t fit into the latrine in any case, so he ties a rope to his leg and waits at the top, figuring that this way the party will at least have a way back out when they’re done. Rather than jumping headfirst into the muck, Fling simply waits for him to finish and scales down the rope to join the rest of the party.

The otyugh, meanwhile, is understandably unhappy with the fact that an armed, screaming half-fiend has just landed on its head, and that the half-fiend has apparently brought along friends. Since discretion is the better part of valor, especially when you’re a literal rust-monster, the otyugh retreats down a narrow corridor leading towards the sewer proper. The party gives chase.

A few flung javelins, magic missiles, general bashing at parts that may or may not contain a brain, and a whole lot of four-letter words later, the party has chased the otyugh into a widening room where the floor slopes down into a pool of black water. The otyugh has taken a few (thankfully ineffectual) swipes at the party members, but it’s mostly focused on running the hell away. It’s taken a fearful beating by this point and is making its slow, painful way towards the black-water pool. Xeroz wades in after it, paying no mind to the treacherous footing, and gives it another good hard whack before it can disappear into the sewer. The otyugh slumps lifelessly into the water and starts to drift away, carried by the current.

Alarra, still unconscious, is likewise floating inexorably away on the current. Yrisi, some ways behind her, decides not to give chase and risk Alarra getting any farther away from her. Instead, she recites a cantrip and the raven’s unconscious body floats through the air towards her. She cradles the unconscious bird protectively in her arms.

The party members head back in the direction they came, climbing (or flying) back up to where a waiting Raven greets them with, “You all smell HORRIFYING.”

Since they all do, in fact, smell horrifying, they decide that the best plan of attack is to put the murder investigation on hold while everyone takes a bath. Even this most noble endeavour, however, encounters an obstacle in the form of Sendric Truthers, who interrupts his own self-important posturing to comment on the smell.

If our intrepid adventurers weren’t in the mood to deal with him before, they certainly aren’t now. Xeroz makes this clear by enthusiastically shoving the Brightsword into a corner before tromping away. The rest of the party follows suit.

It’s Yrisi, however, who gets the last word (so to speak). As she walks past the Brightsword, she gives her wings a vigorous shake, much like a dog might shake out wet fur. This effectively halts any comment that Truthers might have made, as he is now too busy spluttering over the sewage decorating his once-fine clothes. Yrisi gives him the slightest of smirks as she walks by.

Because as long as your heroic quest through the sewers ends with you covered in crap, you might as well spread it around.

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