The Lost Boys vs The Sunless Citadel


Turn 6.4 The Discoverers.

Ten minutes later the place has been ransacked, they’ve all made a fair few discoveries.

Grand Alf searches the first chamber on the left; it turns out to be a bunk room for the Goblin guards. He finds some money- mostly copper and silver.

“No…” He grins at the five silver pieces in his hands, “nothing here.”
Rifles another bunk, discovers a pouch of copper coins.
“No… Nothing here too.” He dances a little, honestly that’s all it takes to make him happy.
“Don’t come in here”, he calls out, “nothing to see here.”
He giggles to himself.

Dartamor, Jerky and Saradomin take a look in the first chamber on the right, it’s a rudimentary still, it seems the Goblins in the short pants were mashing a bunch of fungus in a tub to make their homebrew- it looks rank.

Saradomin waits for the other two to lose interest and wander out of the chamber, then quickly sticks his head under the spigot, gives it a twist, gets a mouthful of distilled Fungi.


He makes noises and pecks the air, then lifts one leg, stamps the ground a few times, his whole face set in some sort of rictus death mask pose throughout the proceedings.


He hides a bottle of the foul brew away for later.

“Bless you St. Cuthbert. Bless you Lord.”

Aleso, in the second chamber on the right is confronted by a sight straight out of his nightmares; a Dire Rat is strapped to a wooden bench, amidst the chaos of a lunatic’s laboratory. The wretched creature sprouts twig-like growths from open wounds.

The Paladin reacts instantly, slays the creature and sets to destroying the room’s contents before Grand Alf can get a look at them, Pelor knows what the Sorcerer will make of it.

Dartamor and Jerky head into the second chamber on the left, it’s a repair shop, mostly for leather armour, and ahem… undergarments. Jerky does what he can to improve his reconstituted armour, garnered from a dead Goblin previously.

“Is he always like that?”
“Yep, worse sometimes- I think it’s the sandwiches.” Dartamor answers.
“What sandwiches?”
“Magic Smash- sorta peanuty, actually very peanuty.”

Jerky looks a little confused.

“Magic Smash- never heard of it.”
“Me neither, we Elves like Jam- nature’s bounty, the ambrosia of the Gods, actually Correllon has the widest selection of Jams and Conserves known to Oerth, there’s Blueberry, Loganberry, Nickberry, Cherryberry, Appleberry, Plumberry, Damsonberry, Tangberry, Shuffleberry, Hallyberry, Flinchberry, Chuckberry…”

Jerky gets out of the room as quickly as he can, Dartamor continues to name the holy Jams of the Elves, oblivious.

“Hey.” Saradomin shouts.

Followed by…

“Hey.” Grand Alf calls.

Grand Alf has entered the final chamber on the left, there’s a door, fairly ordinary looking.

Saradomin meanwhile has entered the last chamber on the right, empty except for a huge rift in the far wall, the remains of some tectonic shift; a narrow passage leads away, high walls, a huge crevasse.

The Priest casts a Light spell on a stone and throws it as far as he can, dripping wet walls, the rift heads off into darkness.

Dartamor, Jerky and Aleso enter the chamber behind Saradomin, Bernard haunts the shadows.

“Grand Alf”, Aleso calls, “this way.”

The Sorcerer stops, his hand touching the door, about to open it, he thinks about it, then turns tail and heads over to the others.

Thirty seconds later the gang have squeezed into the rift and are heading along it, cautious like.

About fifty or sixty feet down there’s a paved secondary passage Aleso, Dartamor and Jerky head down it, it ends in a door, which is stuck. Aleso leans on it a while, it bursts open and the three find themselves in an almost empty chamber, dark and dirty.

In the centre is a statue of a Dragon, bearing an empty tray in its mouth, obviously something is meant to sit on the tray, on display.

The trio set about prodding, pulling, shoving and pushing various parts of the statue.

“How does it work Dartamor?”

The Rogue continues to circle the statue looking for a mechanism, “I don’t think it does.”
“That can’t be…”

Aleso gets a little more physical, all to no avail, actually the Paladin breaks off one of the dragons teeth, nothing happens.

“It’s broken. One of its teeth is missing” Saradomin makes the discovery.

Aleso hides the tooth away, it wasn’t him, “Damn, that was probably the missing element.”

Outside Grand Alf, Saradomin and, of course, Bernard, discover a passage heading in the opposite direction, it leads back into the first chamber, the one where they were attacked by Balsag, sorry Bernard.

The threesome head on, further down the rift, which ends in a natural cavern, strange there’s a glowing light coming from a roughly circular hole in the cavern wall, actually as they light up the chamber, there are lots of holes in the chamber walls, it’s like being inside a huge block of cheese.

But only one with a light down it.


Grand Alf leans into the cavity.

Tries to see inside.

“I said, hellooooooooooooooooooo.”

His whole head is inside, he’d climb in if he thought he’d fit, but he doesn’t.

“Nope, dunno, nothing in there, it must be some sort of natural phenoma-noma-noma-nom-nom… Nom.”


Next Turn: Bar-B-Q.

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Just come back from DMing The Lost Boys again... got to say it was most entertaining, you'll see.

And so the last part of the previous session, and yes that's exactly what happened-

Turn 6.5 Bar-B-Q.


A flaming worm emerges from the circular tunnel at great speed, accompanied by a minor fireball effect, enough to light up the screaming faces of the caverns inhabitants, all except Bernard.

Grand Alf flops to the cavern floor, scurries backwards, screaming like a little girl, stamping out the flames that lick at his lab coat, unscathed but a little embarrassing all the same.


He yells.

A series of small yellow-ish puddles track his retreat.

He goes falsetto.


Saradomin is a little braver, he scrambles backwards and shouts.


And vaguely points in the worm’s direction with his heavy mace for good measure.

Bernard has alas got his own problems; the initial rush of the fire worm was only halted by the Zombie Bugbear. The Thoqqua (fire worm) snakes around Bernard’s arm, which sizzles and spits, dead flesh cooking, then recoils.


Bernard’s arm is ripped out of its socket; the creature flails uselessly with his other arm, seemingly patting the fiery creature, which only results in the flames spreading.

Screaming Saradomin and Grand Alf continue to reverse out of the chamber, and meet Jerky, Dartamor and Aleso coming in the other direction.

“Pelor be bugg… I mean blessed.” Aleso states.
“MISSILES.” Dartamor calmly screams.

The Rogue quick draws his bow and lets fly, the arrow crunches into the flailing worm, piercing the creature’s stone like skin, burning glowing ichor drips and pools on the cavern floor.

A puddle of Grand Alf pee bubbles and fumes as the creature’s molten blood runs into it.


Grand Alf continues to scrabble away.

“Bernard- drop and roll.”
“Yeth Marthter- it hurtth uth.”

The Zombie Bugbear falls to the cavern floor and rolls about a while, mainly in and out of steaming Grand Alf wee, the flames are quenched however.


Dartamor calmly screams again, this time a volley of missiles, although, once again, only the Rogue’s arrow pierces the creatures hide.

It’s enough however, the Thoqqua cannot connect with any of its attackers, and so it retreats at speed, back into its hole.


Dartamor, once again, takes charge.

The Goodman Gang reverse out of the chamber at speed, except for Saradomin.

“No, no worm of Satan messes with me and my Zombie. May St. Cuthbert guide my bolt true… yes, you you beastly fiend.”


Saradomin fires, the crossbow bolt, zips into the hole.


And connects.


A gout of flame erupts into the chamber, illuminating the stern faced Priest, who swigs from a bottle of fungal brew.


He pronounces and bows low.

The Lost Boys shuffle back into the chamber, the tunnels light now just a dull glow, the Thoqqua is unmoving- dead?

“That was…” Jerky begins.
“You may kiss my ring.” Thankfully Saradomin proffers his hand.
“Well I don’t know about…” Jerky finishes.

Grand Alf embraces the Gnome, actually circles his arms round the Gnomes waist.

“What are…”
“Shuffle out.” Grand Alf states.
“Bob down.”
“Just do it.”

Jerky bobs down leaving the circle of Grand Alf’s arms intact.

The Sorcerer tramps over to the hole, lifts his arm to the gap- measures.

“Yep, you’ll fit. Get up there.”
“I said get up there.”
“What are you on about Grand Alf?” Aleso interjects.
“Did you see my shot?” Saradomin adds.
“Grand Alf?” Aleso wants answers.
“He fits.” Grand Alf simply states.
“So.” A chorus of Aleso, Jerky and Dartamor.
“POW, straight in there- what a shot.” Saradomin swigs from the bottle some more.
“So we should get the worm out.” Grand Alf looks irritated.
“Why?” The chorus is back.
“I mean… bullseye, I’m ace me.” Saradomin confirms.
“It might have treasure, and… you’ll see.” Grand Alf grins and winks.
“Straight down the hole… Ace.”
“Treasure, you’ll see, now go and get it.”
“Ace.” Saradomin hits the bottle hard, “better than you fiddling fiddlers anyway.”
“I’m not…” Jerky starts.
“Oh yes you are.” Grand Alf counters.


“All the time telling me what to do… Saradomin heal me please, oh please heal me, bloody first aid station that’s all I am to you… NONE OF YOU APPRECIATE ME. NONE OF YOU.”
“What are you going on about Saradomin?” Dartamor enquires.
“NONE OF YOU… D’ya wanna see my elephant impression, go on… please say yes. Go on, you never want to… Please…”
“What, alright.”

Saradomin giggles turns out the pockets on his moleskin trousers, they’re the ears, fiddles with the front of his pants, giggles some more, problems with the buttons on his flies. The Priest staggers, then sinks slowly, still clutching the bottle.

“I’m drowning.”

Saradomin slowly folds onto the floor.


Still waving the bottle.


Followed by snores.

“Right that’s settled- get in there.” Grand Alf grabs Jerky and kicking and shuffling lifts him to the hole.

“Sooner you get it done, sooner we can eat.”

Jerky, exasperated, shrugs and mutters then clambers into the hole, using a grappling hook and rope he manages to drag the worm’s carcass out of the hole, it’s still blisteringly hot.

The Thoqqua corpse flops on the floor, Grand Alf grabs the last of the Fungal brew, takes a swig, rinses and spits, actually sprays- the alcohol ignites as it hits the worm, the carcass is on fire.

“Right, who’s got the sausages?”


“Oh look, inside the carcass of the worm are a cluster of gem stones, Grand Alf uses his spade to worry them out, eventually picks them up.

“Oh, hot potato, hot potato…”

Next Turn: Bit the Next.


Turn 7.1 Bit the Next

“Wow… I mean… Wow… Big.” Saradomin pronounces every syllable of the word ‘big.’

The Bar-B-Q over the Lost Boys have made their way back the way they came and through the only other door that has not yet been explored, the one that Grand Alf found, then through a very very small ante-room, and another door, and into a huge chamber.

Nodules of luminescent fungus hang from the ceiling and walls, and grow in clumps upon the flagged floor. The vaguely nauseous light illuminates portions of grand bas-relief carvings on the stone walls that are not covered with the self-same fungus. The carvings are themed, the theme being dragons in various poses raining down fire upon terrified humans, elves, dwarves and others.

Soil and compost cover the near half of the huge chamber’s floor, which allows a variety of wan grasses to grow. A bench containing simple gardening implements stands along the west wall, there’s a door in the north wall- close by.

“Bleeeurgh.” Grand Alf spits and hawks for a moment and then comes to his senses, “this fungus tastes rotten.”

To which there’s no answer.

Dartamor shakes his head and wanders over to the door, to check it over, and see if he can make it open. Jerky follows him over, warily spying the Sorcerer for his next foolish move.

He doesn’t have to wait long.

Grand Alf’s off, in hot pursuit, and to the table crammed with gardening implements which is being pawed over by Saradomin and Aleso, the Sorcerer grabs at a wooden handle, hefts his new find aloft for all to see.

It’s a garden fork.

The Sorcerer dodges about a bit, parries imaginary blows with the haft of the fork, and then, as quick as… well fairly quickly, delivers a stabbing blow to his imaginary foe.

“Take that.” Grand Alf holds the fork aloft and then dances a little in triumph, somewhat inured to his antics only Jerky bothers to watch the charade.

“Grand Alf’s Staff of Earth… Forking? No, that’s not it. I’ll work on it. I’d like to meet the fiend that could stand up to me with…”

Grand Alf struggles to heft the spade in his off hand, eventually gets it balanced.

“… These.” He finishers and then delivers a left-right series of… oh he falls over.

“I meant to do that.” He states as he clambers back to his feet, “get them off their guard.” He tries the manoeuvre again, perfect, nearly- well at least he stayed on his feet this time.

“Bloody fool.” Saradomin whispers to Aleso, the pair have at last seen fit to provide all the audience Grand Alf needs, the Paladin nods back- which is about the first thing they’ve agreed on.

“Door open.” Dartamor is as good as his word, there’s another chamber beyond, a mirror of the one they stand in, Jerky shuts the door again, “let’s check this one out first”, the Rogue nods.

And so the sextet, including a lumbering Bernard (with one arm remember), trot over to a door in an alcove on the east wall. Dartamor gets to work and soon after opens the thing, and into a smaller but equally odd-looking chamber.

Luminescent mists blur the edges of this octagonal room. Nodules of glowing fungus dot the stone walls and ceiling, as well as the caps of toad-stools and mushrooms, small polyps, puffballs, lichens and other less identifiable growths. The humid air reeks of rot.

“Have you farted?” Grand Alf giggles, holds his nose, and points at Aleso. The Paladin looks, well… stern.


The Paladin strides a little into the chamber, holds his nose and smothers a giggle, all the time pointing at Saradomin’s back, and waving away the aforementioned, trump-like, aroma.

Saradomin eventually turns around to stare at the two giggling buffoons, and shrugs, he turns back, and points- “there’s a light coming from that hole on the wall over there… the one next to the other hole… which is next to the other… hole… sssss.”

The chamber is riddled with holes, like the Bar-B-Q chamber earlier, one of the holes is glowing, like the… you get the idea.

“Oh, it’s…” Saradomin starts.


“Watch Out.” Aleso cautions.

But it’s all too late; Dartamor rushes for the nearest wall, flattens himself against it and sidles around till he’s just to the side of the glowing hole.

Grand Alf has other ideas.

“Come on and get a good forking.”

The Sorcerer merrily capers, fork in hands, a little way in front of the hole.

“I’m gonna fork you.”

The capering continues unabated for a while, then ends with a half-turn and a jiggling bottom in the direction of the illuminated hole.

“This is madness.” Jerky stares open mouthed.
Aleso concentrates his gaze on the Gnome, looks puzzled a while, “What’s your point?” he asks.

Saradomin eventually breaks the deadlock, sees sense, “Grand Alf do it again, lure it to us- get it real mad.”

Eagerly the Sorcerer nods, runs through a few silent epithets, and then begins his capering again, screaming.


And is engulfed in flame, and worm, of course.

“It’s coming.” Saradomin yells, they say the secret of great comedy is timing, the Priest of St. Cuthbert smiles contentedly.

“Ow. OW. OW. BURNY.”

Grand Alf immediately, and on purpose, flings himself away from the worm, he's on fire, on purpose- he meant to do it, you understand.


He screams and has what looks to be a titanic seizure, flapping the flames out with his flailing arms and hands.

His lab coat is ruined… more ruined… whatever.

DMs Interlude- the Thoqqua’s adjusted initiative roll was 4, you’ll see why this is important, or not, much later.

Dartamor lances his rapier out, and in, and through the worm, golden molten ichor spews from the wound, the worm thrashes as the Rogue pulls out his blade.

The remaining three religious types sprout ranged weapons and fire, all three missiles strike the creature but not one of them punctures its tough hide.

The Thoqqua thrashes wildly trying to lash out and back round to catch Dartamor who skitters out of the way, more afraid of the second volley of bolts and arrows that will soon be heading in his general, possibly even specific, direction.

The Thoqqua can’t reach any of them, and being a sensible worm it does the next best thing, it retreats back into its burrow at maximum speed.


Its Saradomin again, his crossbow fires and sends a six inch steel bolt hurtling down the burrow, and smack-bang into the fiery creature, a fatal blow, again, the creature expires in an anti-climatic poof of smoke.

The Priest sinks to one knee, makes to pray, then thinks better of it and instead punches the air, “get in there- I’m ace.”

Aleso looks put out, holds his right hand up high, like a child wanting to be excused to go to the bathroom, “splinter”, he announces, his hand looks fine, he sucks a finger and mimes the word ‘ow’ a few times, hops from foot to foot, as if in genuine pain, for good measure.

“Do you want me to take a look?” Jerky offers his services all concerned.
“No, s’all right- got it.” The Paladin declares and holds aloft a tiny fragment of nothing, then feigns fumbling it- the evidence is lost.

“Must of distracted me.” He declares. “Good shot.” He mutters at a still crowing Saradomin and then wanders back to the doorway.

Next Turn: The nonexistent tentacled horror.
Last edited:


HalfOrc HalfBiscuit said:
DnD summed up in two lines! :p

It was a good session- although...

Make of it what you will.

Turn 7.2: The nonexistent tentacled horror.

DMs Interlude- this may take a little explaining, like astrophysics, algebra and how they get jam in doughnuts. I’ll save the explanation for a little while though- so hang on.

“It’s my tentacle.” Grand Alf pulls hard.
“No. Mine.” Saradomin pulls harder, the elastic (nonexistent) tentacle stretches between the two warring Lost Boys, almost at breaking point.

Jerky Timbers, holy Priest of St. Cuthbert wanders over to a quiet space away from the maelstrom and weeps.

Aleso watches on, “go on Grand Alf”, he mutters beneath his breath.
Dartamor hears him, “I’ll give you 2 to 1 on the Wizard?”

The Paladin thinks about it, perhaps a little too long, he shakes his head reluctantly and then mutters a quick prayer to Pelor, asking for forgiveness for his wicked thoughts, and yet hoping for some sort of divine intervention which will leave the fat cleric of St. Cuthbert on his backside and tentacle-less.

“It’s mine- I saw it first.” Grand Alf yells.
“I killed it.” Saradomin counters.

The (nonexistent) tentacle stretches a little further, the tug-of-war looks like it will be coming to a messy climax some time soon.

“Three to one?” Dartamor stares hard at Aleso, he’s cracking.
The Paladin sweats a little and calculates his prospective winnings, it doesn’t help that he has to use his fingers.

“I made him go in there.” Grand Alf spits at Saradomin, all the time nodding towards Jerky.
“So. I killed it you ragged fool. I killed it. It’s mine by rights.”

The (nonexistent) tentacle stretches a little further past its breaking point, the onlookers take a step back, someone could have an eye out in the backlash if, and when, it breaks.

Jerky looks up, nurses his blistered hand, the second fire worm retrieval operation didn’t go as smoothly as the first. The Gnome shakes his head, hopes it’ll all be over soon.

“Four to one?”
“I’ll wager ten gold coins.” The Paladin quick as a flash has the money in hand.
“You’re on.” Dartamor scoops up the cash.

“BY THE HOLY POWER OF PELOR. I IMPLORE YOU GREAT SHINING FATHER TO ADD YOUR STRENGTH TO THIS POOR…” Aleso tries to think of someway of adequately capturing Grand Alf’s character succinctly, it can’t be done. “POOR MISGUIDED WRETCH, I MEAN…” Grand Alf suddenly takes note of Aleso’s prayer, settles his cold hard stare on the now stuttering Paladin.


Now its Saradomin’s turn to stare at Aleso, if looks could kill, well… Aleso’d be at a funeral now, although he probably wouldn’t catch much of the ceremony, not from inside the coffin.

“You’re next.” Saradomin offers and the gets back to his present endeavour.

“The (nonexistent) tentacle is mine, for I slayed… slained… slewed, that’s it, for I slewed this foul beast.”
“Only after I risked life, limb and lab coat to lure it out for you- the killing was easy, look at my lab coat, it’s ruined.”

Grand Alf hauls some more, Saradomin does the same, the (nonexistent) tentacle is now so thin, so drawn out, it looks like the pair are engaged in a tug-of-war using a strand of cooked spaghetti. Surely it must break soo…

TWONGggggg g g g g .

DMs Interlude, perhaps now is the right time for an explanation of events. The second Fire Worm slain Grand Alf once again sends Jerky in to fetch the beast, on the pretence that he wishes to search it for ‘treasure’, Jerky grumblingly obliges ending up with one burnt and blistered hand in the process. The creatures gut is hacked open, and a pair of shiny gems found- at present they reside in Aleso’s pocket- best not to ask how they got there, it may force further prayers to Pelor for forgiveness.

Soon after, and already bored with his find, Grand Alf decides that he wants one of the (nonexistent) tentacles of the fiery worm. At about the same time as Saradomin decides the same thing.

And yes, I know what you’re thinking, Thoqqua don’t have tentacles, well, you’d be right-

However I don’t have a Thoqqua miniature, I do have a Grick-

or rather-

And they do.

Have tentacles that is.

So you can see how the confusion came about.

And yes, I did point out that a Thoqqua doesn’t have any tentacles, a Grick does… but not a Thoqqua.

This new information fell on deaf ears, it didn’t help that someone had spilt someone else’s orange squash earlier.

The argument had already started.

Remember Grand Alf is really eleven years old and wants a tentacle, no that’s not it- he wants that tentacle, that one, that one there- the one that’s stretched as thin as spaghetti between him and his fellow adventurer Saradomin. Who, one must also remember, is really eleven years old too.

It’s an easy mistake to make, apparently.

The Grick’s, sorry Thoqqua’s… No, Gricks’s other three (existent) tentacles remain attached to the rest of the Thoqqua.

I mean Grick.

They have somehow achieved pariah status.

Where was I?

Oh yes, back to the action.

TWONGggggg g g g g .

The (nonexistent) spaghetti tentacle breaks into two whirling lashing… oh heaven help me, smaller (nonexistent) spaghetti tentacles, their potential energies finally made kinetic.


Followed by…


Both combatants receive stinging, and scaring, lashes.

Their energies finally spent the smaller (nonexistent) spaghetti tentacles flop and curl on the floor.

Saradomin stares at Grand Alf.

Grand Alf stares at Saradomin.

They both stare at the wreck of the Grick… Thoqqua… Thoqqua-Grick.

It has three more (nonexistent) tentacles left.

What do you know- pariah status is suddenly lifted.


A little while later, all the dice now retrieved from the floor, the Lost Boys move on.

Grand Alf totes and jiggles his (nonexistent and imaginary, remember) tentacle, he does a little dance, places the thing beneath his chin, like it’s a very thin beard, then moves it up to his nose, its an Oliphant’s trunk- such is the Sorcerer’s joy he has to stop what he’s doing and clap his hands and giggle, a little.

Saradomin is likewise content; he is wearing his tentacle like a very short and very rubbery scarf, in a daringly casual, perhaps even rakish, manner. The Priest of St. Cuthbert grins to himself.

At the back of the group Jerky follows after, head down, flopping on the floor behind him is the Gnomes new rubbery tail.

Next Turn: A two pronged assault.

Goonalan said:
Jerky Timbers, holy Priest of St. Cuthbert wanders over to a quiet space away from the maelstrom and weeps.

Let me just say, as someone who ran his own kids through this module (admittedly when they were several years older than your lot), I feel Jerky's pain.


HalfOrc HalfBiscuit said:
Let me just say, as someone who ran his own kids through this module (admittedly when they were several years older than your lot), I feel Jerky's pain.

I was actually looking forward to the moment that the Lost Boys sprang Jerky from his prison cell, I thought I would have a little more control, guide them a little... Alas Jerky's main job it seems at present is to act as referee for the inevitable differences of opinin, and to suffer abuse at the hands of Grand Alf who sees him as his little helper. Debbie McGee to his Paul Daniels- you'll like this, not a lot.

Thanks for the comments, more foolishness to follow, the next game is not until Jan 13th so I'm going to have to spin the intervening tales out a little, however the game on the 13th will be the climax of the scenario... the final confrontation with the Outcast and his various minions, who knows what's going to happen then, certainly not the players who seem to just make it up as they go along...


Turn 7.3: A two pronged assault.

The Lost Boys discover another door at the bottom, the southern end, of the huge chamber. They move through into yet another octagonal room, this one sans holes in the wall, in fact deserted, except for the fungal paradise.

After a brief and cursory search the Lost Boys head off, back through the huge chamber and into its mirror, a second chamber of equal proportions, complete with the same dragon markings, this one however without the wan grass, just a layer of dirt, ready to be seeded.

“This’d be nice for a vegetable patch- radishes.” Jerky points, and is studiously ignored.

“What was that?” Saradomin and Dartamor echo each others words.
“What?” Aleso and Grand Alf echo back.
“A door…” Saradomin and Dartamor again in chorus, the pair stop and look at each other, wait a while- see what the other is going to say next.

The silence expands.

“We could have a line of Caulies here.” Jerky mooches about kicking the dirt planting imaginary rows of vegetables.

Time grows impatient, as do Aleso and Grand Alf, “What?” The pair exclaim in unison.

“A door closed.” Saradomin and Dartamor gabble- together.

Then stop to stare at each other.

“O…“, they both open their mouth’s, cut short their proclamations, in order to fool the other, in unison, of course.

Which doesn’t work.

“Over there.” The pair point.

In different directions.

There are two doors, one at the far end of the huge chamber, another about midway along the right-hand wall, in an alcove.

“Hambush” Grand Alf proclaims and swats randomly with his fork.
“I expect we’ll encounter a two-pronged assault, I’ve seen it before- classic manoeuvre, I wrote a thesis on it at Paladin school.” Aleso looks cool collected- worldly, like he’s seen it all before.

The Paladin brushes invisible lint from his armour, “classic manoeuvre but I found a way out of it.” He takes to polishing a nail.

“A FORKING?” Grand Alf half-yells half-whispers, and waves his tines about a bit.
Aleso shakes his head.

“What then?” Dartamor enquires.

“Simple really- when faced with a two-pronged assault the object of the defenders is to prevent the attacking forces from gaining the advantage of fighting on two fronts- in my thesis I came up with what was described later as a classic outmanoeuvring tactic, a tactic to this day that bears my name, 'The Aleso.’”

Aleso polishes his nails some more, admires his own brilliance a while longer.

“What manoeuvre Aleso?” Dartamor insists.

“As I said, it’s very simple- ‘The Aleso’, in order for the defending force to minimise the contact points of the attacking force they will need to reverse formation recede into… ahem <cough> behind… ahem.”

It goes quiet for a while, finally when it seems no further explanation is coming.

“Recede into… behind?” Dartamor looks confused.
“Yes, ahem, as I say- simple really.” Aleso looks a little less convinced of his own genius.
“What does that mean- recede into behind?” Dartamor continues.
“It’s, well… ahem, like I say…” Aleso stumbles a little over his words.

Saradomin grins.

“You mean run away don’t you?” Saradomin grins.
“That’s not…” Aleso looks very unsure.
“The subject of your thesis, ‘The Aleso’ manoeuvre, is indeed very simple, it would have to be, you wrote it after all… when faced with a two-pronged assault your special manoeuvre is to run away- isn’t it?” Saradomin grins.
“There’s more to it than…”
“Not much more, unless you also suggested screaming for your ‘Mummy’, as you ran off.”
“How did you know that… I… Have you been in my diary?”
“Oh everyone, quick ‘The Aleso.’”

Saradomin runs around the Lost Boys with his hands in the air, shrieking a little- “Mummy”, and then, “The Aleso.” It’s all very childish.

Eventually the Priest of St. Cuthbert runs out of steam.

“Whooop-dee-doo Mr. Paladin sir, has anyone got a sensible plan?” Saradomin states hands on hips.

“Dartamor and Jerky, my little Gnome friend, come with me- you three to the far door, we’re heading to the eastern one- it’s FORKING time.”

To prove his point Grand Alf waves his fork about some more, Jerky scatters backwards to avoid the Sorcerer’s wild swishes.

“Right then.” Aleso straightens up, heads north.

Saradomin swaggers behind the Paladin, with Bernard the Bugbear in tow, every now and then the Priest, when he’s sure Aleso’s not looking, flaps his hands in the air, mouths ‘Mummy’ and pirouettes on the spot.

Dartamor, Grand Alf and Jerky get to the eastern door, the Rogue creeps towards it.

“Do you want me…” Dartamor starts up.


Grand Alf rushes past the Rogue and kicks the door open, causing the rooms inhabitants to scatter back- the chamber is another of the octagonal spaces complete with a much trampled fungi garden, however it is far from empty- there are four Goblins and behind them a huge leering bugbear armed with… a shovel.

DMs Interlude, you may remember I told you some time ago that the Grick, I mean Thoqqua’s initiative in the first encounter was 4, well the initiative roll for the residents of this chamber, adjusted mind you, is… 2. You’ll see.

Dartamor tumbles into the chamber, mostly for effect, and comes up with a rope in his hands, something he made a little earlier.

DMs Interlude, look out for the natural 20 roll coming up.

“Right- round ‘em up!” Dartamor yells, and spins the makeshift lasso, something he has never done before, never seen anyone else do before, and has simply no idea about how to make the lasso-thing work.


The rope circles out high and then swiftly descends around the neck of a Goblin.


Dartamor pulls the rope taught, throttling and knocking over the ensnared Goblin.

DMs Interlude, did you spot it- the natural 20?

He’s not done however, momentum still with the Rogue he leans back and whips the rope up and around, the electric pulse travels up the taut line, it’s enough to the lift the struggling Goblin back into the air and then slam the offending creature into a nearby wall.

The Goblin looks to be very dead; it’s the angle of the neck that gives it away, ninety degrees.


Grand Alf skewers a Goblin, his fork connects leaving three holes, drilled in a neat little row in the creature’s forehead, thin rivulets of blood- hardly anything at all, drip from the tiny wounds.

The Goblin lifts its hand to its head, smears the blood there, then brings its hand down to stare at the contents, lots of blood and some flecks of grey matter.

It collapses.


Grand Alf dances.

But not for long, another Goblin lunges towards the Sorcerer, but he’s much too quick, his fork lances out again, and scores another hit.

The Goblin staggers back looking down at the three puncture wounds caused by the fork’s tines on its leg, the creature is… hardly hurt at all, more- what’s the word, angry that’s it. The Goblin leaps at the Sorcerer and lashes out in fury, draws its blade across Grand Alf’s shoulder and chest.

The Sorcerer reacts with lightning speed.

Falls over.

Grasps at his bloody torso.


Jerky rushes into the chamber, there’s little else for it, his charge is met by the remaining two Goblins and the Bugbear, which looms over him- it suddenly goes very dark for the Gnome, he’s only little.

To Jerky’s left Dartamor yanks on his rope, dragging the dead Goblin's body towards him, the reason for this is alas lost to the Gnome.

To his right Grand Alf lies on the floor, actually lies is not the word, Grand Alf break dances on the floor would be nearer the truth, an impartial observer would conclude that Grand Alf was in fact either dying, or trying to steal the scene. Either way there’s a lot of energy being expended for somebody that’s supposed to be mortally wounded.

The Gnome turns back, just in time to avoid an over-head blow from the Bugbear with its shovel.


“Helllllp…” Jerky begins.

At about the same time Aleso, Saradomin and Bernard are ten paces from the farthest door, the two god-botherers turn as one, look back towards the eastern door.

“That was Jerky.” Saradomin states.
Aleso nods his agreement, “we should…”


The door ahead is flung open and barrelling from the chamber beyond charges a Bugbear, waving a huge scythe, continuing the gardening theme.

“The Aleso”, Aleso screams and before he can get the measure of things, that is turn and run, he’s sliced down his right-hand side- the wound deep enough to expose bone. The Paladin stumbles hard left out of the action, trying to heave his longsword around in defence, the Bugbear however has its sights set elsewhere, it charges on… straight at Saradomin.

Next Turn: Bert’s bad.
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