14th of Mirtul of the year 1492
A most feeble utterance from Fogo to get the action started. With only Fogo and ISAC in the room, the combat quickly became a bottleneck as they moved further in and allowed the ogre to move to the doorway and prevent any of the rest to enter the room. This severely limited the party’s ability to gang up on the Ogre and did not allow all of them to display their powers to their full extent. It became a battle of slow attrition on both sides.
An added wrinkle was added in when they discovered that the Ogre was able to heal itself by grabbing a character and taking a bite. This proved difficult for Angelica who was grabbed twice for a munch and some healing for the Ogre. Sky was able to summon from within himself and several astral arms appeared around him allowing him to strike over and around Angelica providing some additional support, but just not quite enough. Eventually after the second bite, Angelica was tossed unconscious into the room behind the Ogre so he could move on to the next snack.
It was then Vladimir’s turn to also suffered a small chew, and it was when he was about to be grabbed a second time and smokey ghostly figure of a thin man with glasses and a large smile appeared in front of him and blocked the blow. The figure disappeared after that and left Vladimir a bit shocked.
The Ogre was somewhat quickly dispatched after that point and the party tended to their wounds and started pestering Vladimir on what had happened.
Going through his feelings and what happened, Vladimir felt sure he could replicate what happened. Concentrating he focused on his thoughts and feelings and tried to bring Benny back again. But nothing appeared in front of him. Benny was gone and had saved him once again. Until that is, a hand was on his shoulder, not very heavy, but carrying a great weight. As he turned around, he could see the smokey and wispy Benny once again standing behind him. They were once again together, connected through Vladimir’s growth and strange powers he was able to demonstrate.
Just seeing his old friend, even as this wisp of something, made Vladimir feel better, like something settled in his heart.
Searching the room, Fwoosh was able to notice a shabby clock in the stained Ogre bed that seemed to be of higher quality than the rest of the rags. There were several remains of arms and legs on the side of the bed. It seemed that the Ogre enjoyed late night snacking while resting, although his snacks were from parts of people.
Taking a short rest to allow the group to heal a little and prepare for whatever might be found next. They dragged the remains of the Ogre to the front of the door to the south leaving the door to the west somewhat uncovered. Angelica used her Ring of Biting Retort to insult and then apply healing to Fwoosh which made him feel a little hurt and healed at the same time. Deciding that the larger Ogre room was better for a rest, everyone spread out with Fwoosh diving into the nasty, stained, and smelly pile of clothing in the corner where the Ogre used as a sleeping area.
Once everyone had a little rest and additional healing they moved on to the doors. When inspecting the two doors to the west and south, Fwoosh heard a very faint voice from the south door.
While checking the south door, ISAC discovered that the door had six heavy latches hidden in the door frame that were not visible from a distance. ISAC was able to muscle one open. Concerned that there might be something bad on the other side, Fogo started looking for anything magical and noticed that the cloak that had been found was magical, and when looking around further, he also noticed that the shield and sword they had found upstairs were also magical. When peering at the south door, nothing magical was seen. Vladimir was excited to be able to replace his Ogre chewed shield, but when attempting to work the items through their paces, he found that they were resisting his use of them. He would have to spend at least an hour focusing on them to gain more insight.
Girding their loins and shaking their bravery awake, they started opening more of the levers to get the door open. After a fair amount of time, Vladimir was able to finally open all the levers and pull the door open. Everyone was ready for action, but to their surprise, inside were two beaten humans and a scrawny gnome. Piled in the corner were more arms, legs, and torsos that had been ripped off more humans. This was the Ogre’s larder. The smell that wafted out was pungent and sickening. Blood, offal, and body parts made for a ripe sensation. Looking inside Vladimir noticed that the two humans had small insignias on the clothes. They were people from the Ammakyl family. It seems they had found some of the missing merchant train.
“Help us, food, water, hurry, the Ogre is going to come.”
“Don’t worry, the Ogre is dead.” Replied Vladimir. Fogo rushed in and gave them some Good Berries to give them a little healing and food.
“There should be over 30 of us, there is a prison nearby here. The Ogre just pulls some of us out and eats us.”
Requesting assistance from the party to help find the remainder and help them get home. Only after mentioning the possibility of a reward, was Fwoosh a lot more motivated to assist. It seems that they had been ambushed on the Long Road and then knocked unconsciousness. The party was also informed that they had been attacked by at least 40 bandits. Their wagons were filled food, arms, and armor.
With the healing and food, the gnome approached Fogo and gave him an iron ring and told him that he could seek help from other gnomes in the valley if he showed them this ring. Avery was able to determine that these rings are made through some alchemical means and given to their benefactors when something extraordinary was done for them. The gnome clans had a unique ring for each area where they lived. Using another alchemical substance, the gnomes could identify any specific ring.
With a tremendous amount of effort, they were able to bring the three former prisoners up the stairs and finally the ladder. With them being very feeble and weak, it took a lot of effort and time to bring them upstairs. They were moved to one of the rooms with a door in the corridor. Planning to rescue the rest of the prisoners and then making a run for Red Larch to drop them off and then finishing their exploration of the Ruined Moathouse, Vladimir realized that if there is an organization here, they will either reinforce and set up ambushes, or just leave and take any clues with them. Understanding that this was their best time to complete their mission and waiting would not be good in any way.
Heading back down, the group moved to the west door in the Ogre room hoping that it led closer to the prison cells and the remainder of the prisoners. Having found out that that there were wandering Bugbear guards, Fogo warned everyone that they are nasty creatures and master of ambushes. Everyone needs to keep on their toes and watch out. Opening the west door, they found it filled with odds and ends covering the floor. Any attempt to move across the room would most likely make noise and would have been a wonderful warning for the Ogre if he had been alive. The party seemed to make the most of it and stomped on much of the junk on the floor, with only a few tripping and falling on their faces.
Opening the other door, they could see cells lining the west wall of the corridor heading to the south and an opening on the east wall halfway down of the southern corridor, and to the west was a staircase going up with piles of boxes lining the entire west wall. Splitting the group up with Sky and ISAC heading south, and the rest waiting for something to happen. Which it did. As Sky came to the opening there were a group of Zombies that waiting were for them, which then also signaled for some to come out of the one open cell and additional ones behind the southernmost pillar. All the Zombies were wearing the Ammakyl uniform.
As Sky seems to frequently do, he ran into the room with the Zombies to engage them leaving ISAC in the hallway. Activating his astral arms, he applied some additional damage. It did not take long for him to be knocked unconscious and once again turned into smoke and reappear naked elsewhere in the torture chamber. The rest of the battle moved to the hallway and the rest of the party was able to start engaging. Benny made several appearances since every time he showed up a Zombie would whack him. The Zombie elimination seemed to be going smoothly except that they did not actually fall. Angelica informed everyone that unless they are killed with magic or a direct hit to their head, they would not die and be able to continue to attack indefinitely. With that information the group was eventually able to kill off the zombies with Fwoosh killing one most spectacularly by tossing a playing card through a Zombie’s head.
Once the Zombies were cleared out, they started exploring the torture chamber and the cells across the hall. A heavily tortured Ammakyl merchant was found hanging in the room who was carefully brought down and healed with a good berry. It did not help much with his overwhelming wounds, which included broken fingers, amputated toes and fingers and many broken bones throughout his body. When exploring the cells, they found four men and two women in three of the cells. All were battered and in poor condition. The women seem to be most wary of all the men in the party and were quick to take cover behind Angelica, the only female in the group. When questioning the Ammakyl merchants they found out that there were also some Ghouls that occasionally came and grabbed prisoners as well.
Avery, Fogo, and Fwoosh moved over to the stairs and the boxes on the west wall of the more northern hall. When walking past the stairs Avery noticed a ledge above the stairs with some Green Slime on them. These slimes would have been difficult to see on the way down and could easily drop on top of anyone unaware.
While Avery was observing the slime, Fogo and Fwoosh were inspecting the boxes, most of which had the Ammakyl symbol upon them, but more importantly, there were a pair of doors hidden behind the piles of boxes.
And that is where the session ended.
The group killed the mighty ogre Lubash with only a few pieces missing. Many prisoners were rescued, but what will they do with them. It seems everyone has forgotten that is much below freezing outside and all the prisoners are weak and barely able to walk.