The Arch council has signed off on the removal of Magelord Bien. So, I have tasked our troubleshooters with doing so. Of course, I only really expect a good sounding out of his defenses, but if they actually can manage it, all the better. Overall, it was not quite as discrete as I would have preferred, but there is only so much one can expect given the circumstances.
So, I met with them, face to face, finally, to hopefully impress upon them the seriousness of this task. They immediately started off by trying to pilfer my things, and when called upon their behavior, proceeded to argue with me. Argue with me! I decided to take a light hand for this first offense, and rendered them silent and immobile. Fortunately the summoner luthion, and necromancer Loktar were reasonable, and the rest of the meeting went along quite smoothly.
They started off with a simple scouting mission. Most of his defenses were obvious, walls, guards, the like. The surprising part was the fact he kept bullettes on the grounds. Knowing his proclivities, probably some sort of zombified form, but I do not rightly know, as Zalzis decided to just grab some servant and get out without having to deal with them.
Returning to the safehouse, Zalzis and Molokai proceeded to interrogate their guest. After learning of the possibility of an escape tunnel, they decided they would search the sewers for that, instead of dealing with guards and land sharks. Not content to let the ungifted go about his life, they instead infected him with a plague, removed his vocal chords, and returned him to the grounds. While it is a good idea to weaken the opposition at little risk to yourself, it was largely a hollow attempt, as Bien, in his paranoaia, had replaced most of his livery with undead servitors.
Note on the sewers: Due to years of accumulated folklore, no Ungifted is willing to enter the sewers. Hell, most Gifted are more than a little wary of entering those tunnels. of course, we never talk about it, because it doesnt look good to be seen as agreeing with the superstitious peasantry, but we know that occasionally we lose control of things that are never seen above ground again.
So, the next evening, our protagonists entered the sewers near Bien’s tower. The first hour or so was largely uneventful, finding nothing more notable than a dead thief. Eventually, they came upon a large cess pool. Living in the particular cess pool, was an adolescent Draco Nobilus negrus , who was rather disgruntled at the intrusion, or possibly just hungry. Loktar and Luthion sent their minions in to harry it in the water, while Zalzis and Molokai engaged it in melee. One of the skeletons was able to keep it unbalanced, and Zalzis was able to score an excellent slash across its chest, putting it on a limited clock as it bled out. Molokai decided to speed it along to its fate by jumping on it and hacking away with that massive blade he keeps strapped to his back.
At the end of it, however, no one came out for the better. Molokai was rather bloodied, barely able to keep his feet, and possibly septic from wound suffered in a cess pool. Loktar and Luthion, while relatively unscathed themselves, lost quite a few servitors. And Zalzis, Zalzis nearly died face down in a pool of acid and excrement. In the end, they decided to regroup, taking the dragon’s bones and skin back to their safehouse. They traded the skin to an unlicensed alchemist, in return for healing services. the bones, Loktar kept for his own purposes. Loktar contacted his fellow clergy of Norgerber, in order to obtain an onyx gem, as part of his reanimation rites.
The next day, they returned to the sewers, to resume their search for Bien’s escape tunnel. (Note: what moron uses an escape tunnel with teleportation so common? I suppose the amount of trust it would require in another gifted to craft it for you if you yourself couldn’t might justify it, but still…) Eventually, they found his tunnel, after slogging through more shit than i ever could be comfortable with. They found yet another of Bien’s skeletal minions, who managed to use its entrails (note: disgusting) to strangle Molokai. With the rawbones engaged in that, they proceeded to just overwhelm it.
Afterwards, they worked their way up the tower, finding Bien in the middle of some sort of rite, pants down and hands on ankles. He never saw them coming. Unfortunately for them, one doesn’t reach his rank by being totally incapable, or at least well guarded. In the chamber with him was his new idea, a type of zombie that gorges itself on spells, regurgitating them at its victims, and his personal guard, two whimsical, yet macabre, Red Jesters. Molokai charged into battle, soaking up most of the spells from the zombies, and immediately put Bien on his toes. Zalzis rushed in behind him, landing a few good strokes on the necromancer. Loktar’s skeletons engaged the zombies, while Loktar himself tried to neutralize Bien’s spellcasting ability with Silence. Which worked, only a little to late for Zalzis, who had just succumbed to his death magics. Luthion and his summons were able to occupy the Red Jesters, mostly by being in their way. Molokai eventually managed to corner Bien, and put an end to his terminal incompetence. The real problem, was handling the jesters afterwards. They started laying about with their maces, which, upon striking, would force the victim into fits of uncontrollable laughter. The proceeded to flank Molokai, effectively neutralizing him. Luthion’s elementals and a summoned aurochs were eventually able to overcome the Red Jesters, while Loktar started scything through the zombies like a deadly juggernaut.
Afterwards, they recovered Zalzis’s corpse and fled the tunnels. Excellent idea, not leaving the body, no point in giving necromancers, who have excellent reason to be pissed at you, more ammunition. They then proceeded to find more underground priests who were able to return him to the ranks of the living. Loktar then performed some a rite to animate the dead, raising both the dragon and Bien into skeletal servants. (Will have to watch him).
It might be prudent to move them out of the city for the time being. The necromancers will likely be hunting for them, and they are too useful to give up at this early stage in the game.