The Haranshire Campaign : Part 14. Almost There…

If you intend to ever play King for a Day, you should not read this post.

Luther’s body lay lifeless on the cold stone tunnel. His tattered clothing, soaked in blood, looked as though wolves had torn at a rag doll to get to its contents. All around stood eight co-conspirators in his death, as Skye looked on helpless. Shock, terror, fear, derision. A hearty cocktail of painful emotions welled in the stomachs of those who had committed this horrible crime. Luther was dead. Ambushed. Completely surprised by an enemy he never knew he had.

Was it an act of rage? Defiance? Desperation? Or a horrible mistake?

Those responsible turned on each other, point fingers, shouting out at the atrocity they’d been part of, without condemning themselves in the act. Crandel was the most judgmental, calling for the others to bear their shame publicly. Ian countered with his own brand of cynicism and contempt. Skye, the protegee of the man now dead at their feet, turned inward and withdrew from these people her gut told her she could trust. How could this have happened?

Verner walked with her, consoling her, begging her to stay on so her family could be saved… so the Haranshire could be saved.

Stauff and Nadia stepped away, sharing in a warm embrace, seeing that the end might soon be near. This embrace turned to passion.

Crandel and Ian argued, engaging Vasya in discourse about what to do next, while Shepherd and Pearce (two other mercenaries) whispered to eat other, “Were we not supposed to kill him? I don’t understand.”

After some time in their respective confusion and/or consolations with one another, the team re-approached the situation, while Stauff wondered off (again) to scout ahead. His scouting did nothing to advance the cause, so I won’t mention much else about it. But while he was off doing that, the rest were trying to get into the stronghold of the followers of Dagon. Donning the bloody robes of Luther, Crandel entered the keep. The fishman guards let him and ran off to investigate whatever “attacked” him after Crandel gesticulated to something behind the statue — where Vasya and Nadia waited.

Fast-forward to the players re-joining one another again, they faced off against the cloaked figure in the center of the courtyard as mindless fishmen stood by and watched and the others were cut down by Vasya and Nadia in the caves.

The conflict was swift and painful. Whatever they were facing used powerful magic to twist and rend their minds, as they all faced off against it. One by one, they fell, until Ian alone drove it back down into the massive stone complex from whence it came. But not before he saw the horrifying visage of the tentacle-faced beast.

Jason (the player of Ian) was beside himself. He knew what I had just described (on a piece of paper passed to him), as he was the only one to see it. As everyone was coming to and preparing for what lie ahead, the discussion arose about Dagon, about what was going on here, about that servant, and there being two more of them. There was concern over how to beat these guys.

But they decided to push on. It was clear the fishmen were not a defensive force, but a distraction. They offered no resistance and passively performed whatever task they were given by their mind-control masters.

Entering the massive stone building that was clearly alien from all the other buildings, the party gave pursuit.

What follows is a series of chaotic scenes that challenged the psyche of all involved.

• A vertical tunnel that the PCs walked vertically on.

• A confrontation between Crandel and Ian, where Crandel cut the rope and tried to kidnap Skye… believing she was “mine” based on a vision he had months earlier.

• An endless underground sea.

• A spherical castle made from over a hundred different towers, balanced on an upside down minaret.

• A two-square mile scrawled image of the eye of Dagon.

• Three master servants hovering inside the center of the castle, worship a ball of bathing lightæ clearly not Dagon.

• An argument follow where the PCs were forced to attack one another, verbally, using the conflict resolution system.

• One by one the PCs were teleported all over the valley, until only Verner remained.

One session left…

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