This is part of the ongoing narrative of our D&D campaign, which is graciously being run by Proud Lion, a fantastic comic shop in Cheltenham. Their RPG Encounters nights are a lot of fun, and give me some entertaining material to work with.
[Before reading, please be aware that there may be spoilers ahead for the D&D campaign books. Equally, our stories are fluid, so things may not follow the books too directly]
In the cage room, most of the group were alerted to Jester’s yell, with Trystan being quickest to react. As he pivoted and sprinted back to Jester’s aid, a sickle slid down his arm and into his hand, and he rounded the corner back into the corridor, only to be shocked by the appearance of two flying imps.
One imp seemed to shimmer in a heat daze effect whilst the other was forming into solid chunks of ice, the forms of both constantly changing.
“What did you do?!” he called out as he plucked a dart from his habit and launched it at the icy imp, catching an icicle-like limb with its full force, shattering it, only for it to reform moments later. The monk Rand raised his torch in a protective stance and brandished it at the frosty form.
Burian followed him into the corridor, prepared to summon his Thorn Whip and crush whatever monster was assailing his companions, and summon it he did when he saw the two imps escaping the previously-closed stone doored room. The root growth ruptured the floor as he called it, but it only managed to do splintering damage to the panes of ice in the air.
“It’s a mephit!” he called out, trying to warn all the party of the danger, not realising most of the party had never even heard of one before.
Trapped in the keg room, Jester made a break for it, tumbling through the forms of the imps and into the corridor beyond, then sprinted past his would-be saviours towards the main chamber. Turning as he ran, a hasty arrow from his bow turned into an incredibly lucky shot, piercing the ice mephit through the patch of snow composing one eye. Cracks seemed to spread down the mephit’s frozen body, spreading from the hole where the arrow sailed through.
At this point, the steam imp seemed to flow straight through the air around both Trystan and Burian, settling between the two, and span rapidly, expelling huge gouts of boiling air from its non-existent lungs at the pair. Burian was hit with the full effect of the roiling steam, and felt scolds blossom over his skin.
The naturally agile monk danced away from the rotating blasts, but still felt his skin break from the attack. His sight was now getting a little hazy, and it seemed as though heat stroke might be having an effect on his breathing.
“Stay here, Meepo. We’ll protect you from whatever they have unleashed.” Enna reassured the shaking kobold, before making her way to the corridor entrance. She looked back to see Meepo hiding behind a pile of dirt in the cage, and Kalashnikov eying up the green sheeted bench.
From the corridor mouth, it was evident Burian was in a bad way, the red welts of fresh scolds showing all over his face, and the cleric cast Healing Word on the stricken dwarf. Scolds healed over and he straightened his back, squaring up against the imps she could see hanging in the air.
The ice imp now seemed to be leaking, swaying in the air a little before a great gust of fog enveloped the corridor in all directions. Suddenly the crew were not able to see anyone else, except the red glow of Trystan’s torch.
Drenk took advantage of this waypoint, walking into the corridor and heading towards it. Unfortunately, his way was blocked by the shimmering, heated imp. Fortunately, he had his maul raise, and he brought it crashing through the apparition, connecting with some part of it and sending it sprawling away into the fog, and all could hear his roar of combat.
While the rest of the group fought these new and deadly monsters, Kalashnikov was taking advantage of their distraction to do a little pilfering. He snuck over to the bench, and investigated the knick-knacks scattered on and around it. Most of the stuff was useless, and he swept it to the ground, but two little jade figurines caught his eye.
The warlock pocketed these, reckoning he should at least be able to get thirty gold pieces for such intricate trinkets, before he spotted a couple paint pots of the green daub used for the walls, as well as a goblin-hair brush used to paint it on. Carefully positioning and wrapping with the green bench-cloth allowed him to hide these safely in his pack, and happily occupied him for the rest of the fight, giggling over his gains.
Back in the thick fog banks of the corridor, Trystan looked around carefully, hunting for any sign of the dangerous imps. His sickle sailed harmlessly through the air, but he suddenly caught sight of the steamy mephit to his left. In one incredibly slick movement, he threw the torch into the air, channelled his chi into his fist and punched directly into the chest of the heated mephit, bouncing it back. He even managed to catch the torch again before it hit the floor, and the group could hear him calling out in excitement, “I did it! Guys, guys, did you see that?!”
All anyone saw in the fog was the sight of an erratically moving torchlight, sailing in the sea of fog, but it illuminated the halls enough for Burian to catch a glimpse of the steam imp. Forgetting his sores and scolds, Burian clenched his quarterstaff tight in his grip, felt the power of Shillelagh flow into the weapon, and charged the troublesome mephit.
His blow split the gaseous mephit from feet to forehead, destroying it utterly, and with its dying act it exploded outwards, dispelling the fog around him and blasting into Burian’s body. Drenk and Trystan managed to avoid the last gasp of the steam imp, while Burian took the full force and somehow remained standing.
[INSERT PICTURE OF BURIAN STANDING TRIUMPHANT BUT HAIR BLASTED BACK]
Still fogged up at the corridor entrance, Jester waited calmly with Enna, notching an arrow to his bow while she gathered magical power in prayer to Eldath. Neither could see into the corridor, but heard the great whoosh of the steam imp’s death, and suddenly the ice imp was swiping again at Jester, the destroyer of its home/prison. His reaction shot went wild, narrowly avoiding Drenk as he stormed back up the corridor.
The angry half-orc finally reach his prey, and with an almighty crash he caught the retreating ice mephit and shattered it between his maul and the wall. Having heard the boom of the steam imp’s death, all three warriors at the corridor mouth dived to avoid the explosive decompression of the icy imp.
With both imps finally destroyed, the party regathered their wits and took a look in the room Jester had opened without telling anyone. They gazed into the room, saw a key with a broken lid, and all eyes fell upon Jester.
“What? You don’t know I broke that keg! It was like that when I got there! Honest!” the shifty half-elf protested, to no avail.
Burian and Drenk looked in the room, and within the keg were five sapphires, each probably worth a pretty penny, or ten gold pieces. There didn’t seem to be any hidden messages to the room, but Burian took a quick sketch of the dragon-like fish engraving anyway.
Kalashnikov looked over from sitting on the bench when they came in, dragged Meepo out from hiding and then saw how badly scolded his brother was. Instead of any medical aid or even consoling words, the warlock threw one of his hides on his brother, just so the hairs could irritate his wounds.
“Gah!” the druid exclaimed, balling the hide up and throwing it back at his brother, before turning to Meepo.
“You there, any chance you could tell us what these mean?” he said, showing Meepo first the scratchings from the tower entrance, then pointing at the daubed walls.
“Hmmm, Meepo hasn’t seen this one for a long, long time, but Meepo thinks it was the old dragon’s name, and those all say Here there be dragons, we like to right it, see to tell others where there is dragons,” the kobold explained, “but Yusgril knows all, if you ask him the right questions. Meep takes you to Yusgril now?”
Waving Meepo down, Burian walked over to the cage, inspecting it for whatever items may have been showing up as magical before the fight. The detection light seemed to be fading now, but he did find a bunch of white scales scattered around the cage and the hole.
“Mmm. I don’t think these a’ regular scales. I think these are probably the scales of that dragon, Calcryx was it you said? It don’t look like much more than a wyrmling, we can find it for ya, I’m sure.” The druid said, collecting all the scales before heading off with the group in Meepo’s wake.