Sir Horatio's Habitation for Wayward Planars & Primes

Chapter Six, Part Three

Sending His Regards

Venturing out towards the Hive, fop in tow, the party shouldered past the crowds of the now "safe" Heap, making their way towards the drain that the overdressed socialite had been loitering close enough to for thugs to jump him and run off with his things.

Before they could make it very far, however, the party noticed something odd in one of the many piles of garbage that made up the bulk of the heap.  It wasn't uncommon to see bits of clothing and boots sitting in the piles, but, it was fairly unusual to see a pair of boots, heel out and kicking from a pile of trash.  A soft cry came out from the pile of garbage, a clear plea for help.  The Elven Arrow and Honeypot were on the boots in a flash, ready to pull free what looked to be an unfortunate cager who somehow got himself overrun by refuse.

Each grabbing onto a boot, they pulled as hard as they could, so hard that the boots came sliding off, relealing not a pair of feet, but, instead, a pair of leathery spiked paddles.  The otyugh, who the aforementioned graspers belonged to, lashed out at Honeypot, hoping to make a meal of the oversized ball of fur, but Honeypot deflected the now ravenous pile of filth with a newly found boot, flailing at the thing with soft leather.

Quick to act, the rest of the party rushed to fight the ovoid monstrousity, bearing down on it with everything they had before one of them was forcefully given a tour of the otyugh's digestive system.  Clease and Savina charged to engage the thing while Haxxium, Lydia, the Arrow and Katerina harried it with all manner of attacks from a distance, hoping to burn the creature down quickly.  In return, the creature defended itself by vomitting a cloud of gaseous brown-green sick, obscuring it from view.  Flailing and firing wildly into the cloud, it was Haxxium that saw that the beast had snuck out of its own stink, nearly invisble to the eye as it prowled towards the smallest (and it hoped, easiest) meal, Lydia.

With Haxxium's shout of warning, Lydia vanished into a puff of shadow, reappearing a short distance away in a film of darkness, while the rest of the party dove towards the beast, or at least, its approximate location.  Eventually, it revealed itself, as it began to charge the unfortunate fop who was watching from the sidelines.

Coiling the fop within its tentacled grasp, the otyugh was ready for a quick get-away.  What it wasn't ready for, however, was the full brunt of a newly-formed and underpaid adventuring party coming to defend a meal ticket.  They brutalized the triped, pummeling it into obvion, unleashing all they had to release their escort.  The otyugh didn't stand a chance.  

Brushing themselves off, and kicking the beast unceremoniously, the group proceeded on towards the grate leading underneath the ditch, not a few blocks away.

"Down there," Honeypot asked, reluctant to dive into filth, "You said he went down there."

"They," the fop said, correcting him.

"They," Honeypot continued, "They took your belongings and high-tailed it into the sewers."

"Saw it with my own eyes."

With a sigh, Honeypot lifted up the grate, and took one last look at the fop before jumping in.  The rest of the party followed suit behind him, with the fop peering over the edge of the manhole to see if he could get a good sight of the action.

Upon decending into the sewer, the the group saw, in the darkness ahead, a number of rats and rat-men, not 100 feet beyond themselves.  There were some disparaging remarks made towards the fop for failing to mention anything about ratmen, but, they couldn't press the issue, as they were concerned with their new company.  Besides, no reason to hurt the ratmen's feelings.

Still, it was odd that they were simply waiting down there for them; with all the time that had passed they could have gotten away, even with the portculii on each side of the sewer system.  The party asked if the ratmen had seen a pouch, or any documents, the ratmen said no, they had not, but, they were more than welcome to come closer and look around with them.  The Elven Arrow, knowing a thinnly veiled trap when he sees one, decided to try some old-fashioned diplomacy, and launched an arrow into one of the ratmen's throats.

Hissing and screaching, the rest of the ratmen and giant rats charged towards the party.  Honeypot quickly dispatched a clot of giant rats, releasing the stored electricity from his sword into a violent burst, filling the already pungent air with the smell of burning fur.  Haxxium moved forward to engage one of the bigger looking ratfolk, while the rest of the party took up their normal distances from the baddies.

Sticking his head down into the sewer, the fop inquired how things were going.  In concert, the party told him to shut up.  With a smile, the fop took this as a cue.  Dropping down between Katerina and the Arrow, the fop's features melted away into a rodent visage, and lashed his sword into an unexpecting Katerina.  With blood drawn, he whispered, "Nesterfettle sends his regards" to the stunned warlock, and pulled the blade back for another stab.

The ratmen were quick to move past the group biting and gnashing at anyone that got in their way; they all swarmed whatever unfortunate individual the fop was focusing on, and with the sudden appearance of a quarter-dozen swords cutting at her, Katerina quickly succumbed to the pain, and fell to the ground.  Like a swarm, the rats then swarmed towards the Arrow and Lydia, as Haxxium, Savina, Clease and Honeypot strugged through the filthy waters to defend their compatriots.

The fop struck first against the Arrow and Lydia, both who were trying so hard to keep their distance from the sudden onset of anthropromorphic rats, and failing.  In a flash, the fop-rat tossed out a fistful of tiny dagger, lashing at the pair, and gashing their foreheads, filling their eyes with blood.  The Arrow show wildly at where he had last seen his quarry, while Lydia did her best to defend herself against the sudden swarm of blades.

While things were looking badly, the combined might of Savina and Clease broke apart the stabbing party, Savina skewering a number of the ratmen on her pike, while Clease hacked a number of them to bits.  Honeypot contested with another ratman who was trying to avoid him and jump into the fray, and Haxxium fared a bit worse; in a desperate act, one of the ratmen leaped on Haxxium's armored form, and drove him down under the sewer water, a particularly gross version of mud wrestling.

Hacking down his combatant, Honeypot strode over to Katerina, and revived her, just in time for her to see the fop-rat, the last of most of the ratmen, get cut down.  He struggled for a moment, his wounds knitting together under some regenerative power, but, the stomping action of Honeypot's foot put a quick end to that.  

Finally, Haxxium had reversed his situation, gasping for air, no matter how foul it might be, and putting his ratman's head under the sick.  Incapacitated, the rest of the party quickly joined in on a communal beat-down of the last concious rat, which I'm sure can eventually be reflected upon as a bonding experience.

Katerina, slumping to the edge of the sewer walkway noted that the fop-rat had whispered that Nesterfettle had sent them.  Clease, not wanting to risk any more swordplay from a constantly healing rat, gleefully hacked the arms off of the fop-rat, beginning a particularly harsh rounds of questions for the unfortunate lycanthrope.

 

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