Part 23: Hook horror? Damn near killed 'er!
Alas, alack! Such a plodding pace!
Any rate, this here's a pretty big update, so there.
Update #22: Hook horror? Damn near killed 'er!
Some rest and recovery later -- not much, after that fight, but some -- our intrepid band of pseudo-heroes is ready to venture into the vile wyrm's cave.
Urggzob already wants another dragon. That one did not work properly.
Dragons are incredibly rare, Urggzob. I wouldn't hold my breath.
Of course not! Weak little half-man would suffocate if he did that!
I dissolved a pair of ice wyrms, and do I get any thanks?
If your ego gets any larger we'd all be in danger of an untimely death by smothering.
I was in a shiny purple bubble! It was fun!
The fun wears off, man...anyway, do we wanna go in the cave? I don't see anywhere else to go.
Stepping into the cave, we're attacked by a white wyrm.
Another one, eh? Time for another Napalm dissolution special...
I wonder what that feels like...
I'd be in no hurry to find out if I were you, Pip.
Three of 'em? Ah well, nothing we can't rightly handle.
Ha ha! Urggzob will wipe the floor with these teeny pests!
...you're fucking kidding me.
Well, there goes another shred of my credibility.
Yes! Another dragon-shaped notch for Urggzob's axe!
Man, we just had this fight. Am I having a bad flashback again?
Ooh ooh! Do I get to go in the bubble?
No, you'll be fine.
Not pictured is Urggzob hitting the dragon so hard it explodes into chunks.
Well, that was roughly as anti-climactic as last time.
Haaa, more death! More dragons! Urggzob's fury knows NO bounds!
Exploring the dragon's nest, we come up with some treasure.
This belongs to Urggzob now. Will make a fine helmet.
...it's a dragon's HEAD, man. That's repulsive.
Flaming man is just jealous that he has no dragon bits to wear.
Weird trophies aside, uh...where to now?
Well, that merchant who sold us out said something about going underground, so I presume this hole here.
Call me crazy, but I think it might be a poor idea to take his advice after we know he's dishonest.
But how are we gonna get down? I don't want to jump that far...
Watch in awe as Heronius Napalm V, esq. fixes your problems once again.
Where did you get that rope?
I have the good sense to be prepared for things, is all. You may laud me with adoration at any time.
It's okay, really, no one has to listen to me. Never mind my advice.
Come! Into the hole! We FIGHT!
...more bloody caves. Wonderful.
Hey, at least there's no summon drums, right?
Who said drums?
Heee, I think it's fun. Let's go!
Unfortunately, after a half-dozen steps we're ambushed by hook horrors. This would become a theme as the cave wore on.
What? No. No no no. That was a solid wall ten seconds ago, now it's an angry group of hook-handed beasts?
Maybe they're like...one with the wall, man.
Oh my, they're sneaky. Time for a song!
And I thought the ambush was bad enough already.
Things turn south for Pip mighty fast.
Whew. Barely got that resilient sphere up in time.
It's mighty annoying, though. Each time we're taken in the rear, Pip gets the bulk of it.
What? Is there one behind me?
...never mind. Urggzob, how are you doing?
Ha ha ha haaaa! Urggzob's face is more menacing than these puny hooks!
Good to hear.
I'm not sure you should have taken that as a cue to...y'know, block their hooks with your face. Just sayin'.
Pah, feels good!
Thank the gods Pip's in that sphere, or I'd have toasted him right proper.
That wasn't too bad.
Yes, we've certainly had fights go worse for us before. Onward?
Sure, after we rest up. I think I've got a hook lodged in my lung somehow.
Along the way, the path splits. This is not surprising in a cave.
What is surprising is the quality of this (locked) door.
What? Hah, no locks are a match for Urggzob's axe and muscles!
...I bet if we look around there's a key somewhere.
It is a dark day. Urggzob needs a drink.
Good thing those dragons weren't made out of this door, right guys? Right?
Yeah, but...I dunno, I'm just wondering how much terror a "door dragon" would strike into people's hearts.
We find this here hole and, like with other holes, recklessly toss ourselves in.
We're tossed right into a pack of ice trolls. What works best against ice?
Down the way, we're assaulted by a shambler and a few jellies.
Everyone, watch out. Those jellies are resistant to nearly everything except fire, and that shambler can hit like a rockslide.
So what you're saying is that the jellies have no significant resitances and we should just distract the shambler with Urggzob?
Sounds like a good plan! Hwaaaargh!
Jam! Jam everywhere!
Oooh, yeah. I forgot to mention that they split.
I wonder how they taste on toast.
Pip, you're full of awful ideas today.
Taste on toast. Hee he he, that's fun to say.
What? WHY IS SHAMBLY THING DISAPPEARING?
I disintigrated it. Listen, I'm covered in aggressive attack jam, and I need you to--
WHAT did the little man do?
Oh my high heavens.
Ugh. Everyone, pull back for a second; they won't keep up with us.
There we go. Napalm, have at them.
Can I help?
How much fire do you have?
I have this firey morning star. Does that count?
Are you suggesting I can't do this myself? I'm downright offended. In fact, I--
Nevermind, I've got it.
...did you just dehydrate them?
More or less. That was the spell "Horrid wil--"
Gods above! MORE jam!
This is becoming absurd. More so than usual, I mean.
Where are you...?
I'm FLANKING them, woman! Use that pea-sized brain of yours for something other than complaining!
Oh, now that's just rich coming from you.
Umm...it keeps splitting. Can I help NOW?
Yes, fine. Go ahead.
All these jellies are making Urggzob hungry.
Hold on, Napalm! On the way!
Bad idea! Bad idea!
Aieee, my face! And my torso! My very favorite torso!
That was just as satisfying as I remember it, thanks.
It's okay...I've learned to keep some aloe with me by now.
Heronius encounters minor difficulty when fetching the key, though.
Should we help him?
Are you kidding? I'm not going in there.
Some time later...
Urggzob has been brought some degree of closure. Even so...
Well, let's see what this stronghold is all about, at least.
Hear that? No looting.
Pah, Urggzob will loot where he pleases.
If you pillage anything while we're here, we'll have Napalm dissolve the next dragon before you get a chance to fight it.
He wouldn't DARE!
Have I been made a bargaining chip all of a sudden?
I wonder what the little dudes want from us.
Pah, tricky little bit of work here. I wonder if I--
Let me have a look at that.
Congratulations. You've helped invent something which may kill THOUSANDS of people.
Your mother would be proud.
I was curious! Nothing more!
In fairness, that is a pretty nice crossbow. If you like crossbows.
Did Urggzob hear correctly?
Yes indeed. We're being paid to kill everything.
Hah ha, Urggzob already likes working for the shorties!
I wonder if they offer insurance. Or retirement.
So, we prance through the caves killing everything that both moves and isn't us.
Once again, we're under an ambush.
They're coming in the rear again! Pip, watch yourself.
Oh for god's sake. This has to stop.
What? Why do you keep looking at me that way?
Man, just...listen to what you're saying, is all.
Urggzob would rather make CRUSHING than innuendo!
Suffice it to say, that's a LOT of hook horrors.
You're getting mighty sharp with that lightning bolt, Kruskrak.
Thank you. The opportunity for practice has been presenting itself lately.
The fight progresses apace, and they're all slain. See that ring of dead bodies with the spot in the middle, though?
Guess where Urggzob was standing. Still, he doesn't end his death parade just yet!
Hah ha, little bugs! Urggzob needs something to relax, and crushing seems to be it!
He certainly doesn't need our help for this one.
Pip? Are you counting those bugs on his kill tally?
Well...yeah. They're big and icky, and eew.
Truly a learned way to describe them.
We find the edge of the cave, and Urggzob clears the blockage for us.
Yes! Urggzob is ten miners!
Whenever he says something like that, I'm afraid the roof will cave in imminently.
South a bit, we find...gasp, another ambush.
Kruskrak, do you have anything embarassing to say this time?
I have no idea what you mean.
What she means is "how's Pip doing", man.
Oh. Well, we were prepared this time, so Pip is protected.
It's like a shining ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.
And so, Project Kill Everything comes to a satisfying conclusion.
Is that all? Urggzob wants MORE.
And I'm sure you'll have it, you savage.
Upon offering our report and collecting our reward, we're given a difficult choice. How will things go...?
Before we part, a quick update on our heroes.
Not much to report. I'm still pulling more weight than most of the rest of this group. As to the monks, I have no strong feelings whatsoever.
None? Not even vague disdain?
Okay, you've got me there.
Wow. According to my records, Urggzob's killed more than the rest of us combined.
It is just not a party until someone brings the Urggzob.
I don't care what any of you idiots say, I'm a vital member of this group.
Indeed. How would we ever survive without your catty criticisms?
Stuff it. I've saved your ass more than I can remember. Anyway, I don't think I could get on board the idea of killing a whole monastary...
I'm...a lot more violent than I remember.
You'd probably kill fewer things if you were allowed to play your drums more.
You children know how Urggzob feels about drums. Does he have to say it again?
Not even a little bit.
From a purely logical standpoint, I don't think killing the monastary would be a good idea. I mean, they may very well be able to help us against the Legion of the Chimera.
The who what?
...the bad guys, Pip. Please pay attention.
Gosh. I've just been spending so much time singing and supporting, I've hardly had any time to shoot things with my bow!
Also according to Kruskrak, you've been getting assaulted in the rear a lot lately. I bet that's distracting.
Isn't it always?
There, happy Easter. Decision time, though: Do we side with the Duergar against the Black Raven monks, or no?