ALERT: May Contain Spoilers for the Adventure: “Against the Cult of the Reptile God”
Ezekiel still convinced Ao wants him to bar the gates. So we’ve reached a compromise.
Cirilli is not safe here (and she’s not keen to camp out in the place where she was caged, anyway). So Raven and Kelsier (who are both more likely to be able to climb the wall) will escort her to the Slumbering Serpent Inn. Kelsier is also our best fighter, and the most likely to fend for himself should Raven turn Evil (Monk of Merikka so-called!).
Olwin struck me as a decent guy — he didn’t “smell” like one of these wack-a-doodle cultists. So the girl should be safe with him until we can sort this business out.
The rest of us are going to make hay while the sun shines and sweep the cellars, since last time we were down there we were too busy killing lizard men. (Did I mention that part? Probably concussion or what-d’you-call-it…most of that day is fuzzy or blank.)
Investigated the rest of the temple. Nothing to report, except that the bodies of the Evil Cleric lady and our late companion Lefty are gone.
Got a feeling we’ll meet them again as skeletons, y’know what I mean?
Also found some “cells” or small chambers in the cellars that lent credence to Cirilli’s story. She said she and her family were held down there before visiting “Her.” Looks like we found the place.
Convinced there were no secret doors, we returned to the second floor and Abramo’s suite, since is was the most defensible spot in the temple.
Good thing, too. Just a bit ago, a huge party came to the front gate. At least ten people – including someone who looked like the blacksmith (who was one of the folks Olwin told me has “changed”).
Happily, they were disturbed by the gate being barred, and went off again.
Still no sign of Raven and Kelsier. Regretting sending off our best fighter now, but we’ll hope for the best.
We were resting in the upstairs room when Raven arrived – without Kelsier.
He didn’t seem worried about it (said Kelsier was perfectly able to take care of himself), but Ezekiel rousted all of us, and marched the party downstairs to look for him – while I stayed upstairs where I would have an advantage shooting my bow through the arrow slits.
It was getting dark by now. I saw my companions in the courtyard below because they carried torches.
Another crowd had gathered outside the gate. Ezekiel challenged.
Someone claiming to be Abramo challenged us and demanded that we give their temple back, in the name of Merikka.
Ezekiel asked, “Don’t you mean Explictica Defilas?”
Well, that ruffled some feathers. Over the wall, I could just see the crowd of people and mysterious dark shapes. If Kelsier was out there, his best bet was to stay low.
More shouting outside. From what I could see and hear, it seemed to be the mayor of the town – asking what all the fuss was about.
Ezekiel tried to explain – but when the temple’s priest (and the constable of the militia) were both part of the conspiracy, what hope would we have of convincing the mayor something is very wrong? Especially when he hadn’t brought any men with him, looked like.
At any rate, the mayor was talked down, and left Abramo to handle the “invaders.”
I wasn’t eager for such a battle, but it also made me realize this wouldn’t be solved as easily as we might think. We hadn’t found any artifact in the temple we could “turn off” and everybody would magically revert to normal…and if half the town is “changed” by this cult, we can’t just slaughter them all to clear the air, can we?
Well, while I was panicking and worrying, Raven climbed the wall to scope out the scene.
He remembered he was holding a torch when a crossbow bolt flew past his head — so he threw down his torch and went off to scan the perimeter and look for any sign of Kelsier.
The band outside seemed to have given up trying to knock the gates down. My party milled around some more, and rejoined me upstairs.
Raven held out an arrow. “I found Kelsier,” he said. “Or rather, I was investigating the north-west corner beyond the wall, and dodged this arrow. It’s like the ones that Kelsier uses.”
We all agreed that if Kelsier was shooting arrows, he must be unharmed, and in a position to take care of himself, so we settled down on the second floor to get what rest we could.
Ezekiel took first watch, guarding the door of the “creepy room” that was down the twisty hallway from Abramo’s private chamber.
Not sure how long we’d been sleeping, but I woke to voices. Ezekiel and Lancell were muttering in the far room.
Raven had heard them, too, so we lit a torch and Raven went to check that the secret room with the cage was still secure. (We had dragged the cage over to cover the trapdoor. Don’t want anyone sneaking up on us.)
I joined Ezekiel behind the door. He thought he had heard something in the next room (the torture chamber).
That’s when I heard someone bump something. (Ezekiel didn’t hear it, but I know I did!)
I told him to stand guard while I fetched the others. Something bad was going down!
While I was running through the twisty hallways, someone in the torture room yelped.
Ezekiel called out, “Kelsier! Why didn’t you say something?” and I heard the door crash open.
Ezie. Always assuming people are on our side, never imagining it’s an elaborate trap to murder us in the night.
I grabbed the other two and raced back to the doorway, bow in hand.
Ezekiel and Lancell both carried torches, and were trying to hit a shadowy figure who was attacking Kelsier (yes, the actual Kelsier).
I fanned out into the room as well, eyes open for a shot – and nailed that mysterious sucker right in the voonerables! (Yes! Finally landed an arrow in something!)
That’s when our lone invader turned and ran. I shouted for us to not let him escape, but I think Ezekiel had the same idea and flying-tackled him – full body slam – Pow!
The stranger had a stiletto sheathed at the nape of his neck, so it’s clear he’s one of these sneaky types. Probably Assassin – and therefore Evil.
But he was totally knocked down by Ezekiel – heh heh.
(Raven has taken the dagger.)
We trussed the stranger to the rack, cheered at having Kelsier back, and settled down for the rest of the night. The morning will bring plenty of new worries and decisions.
About the prisoner
We can’t trust him; so we can’t leave him unattended.
We can’t expect to bribe him; and even if we did bribe him to help us, we can’t expect him to not stab us in the back (see #1).
We can’t leave him unattended to escape, and there’s not a good place to stash him.
Can we get him to talk? Will he know about what’s going on? Would his testimony be any good if we could bludgeon him into talking?
Possible actions: 1) leave him tied up (waiting to escape and kill us)…2) take him with us (waiting to kill us)…3) kill him, after we went to the trouble of capturing him…4) take him to the mayor for justice (assuming we can get to the mayor, the mayor doesn’t lock us up, etc.)…5) take him to the Slumbering Serpent and let Olwin the Innkeeper – what? Bribe him with food?
It was largely my idea to capture the guy in the first place (dead men give no answers) but now we’re faced with no good choices of what to do with him.
The world is nasty sometimes. Just feel that, since it was my idea to capture him, I should say a piece in his defense before we “assassinate” him.
- Question prisoner. Hopefully get something useful out of him.
- Go behead the lizard people in the basement as evidence of Evilness for the mayor.
- Take evidence to Slumbering Serpent and ask for Olwin’s help. This is his hometown; he knows these people. How can we get to the bottom of it and stop this Evil?!
- (Remember the hermit Olwin sent us to before. Seemed suspicious of us – but then, we’re kind of weird characters. Might he be some help, also?)
Ha! Time for Lancell’s watch, now! I will get some more sleep, and stop scribbling.
Ezie thinks I’m a goof. But if we die tragically, I want the next adventurers to have a record of just where we went wrong…
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