The Adventures of Annalax: Volume VIII
When we last left our intrepid Drow Rogue, he was sitting in a tavern with his companions, only for a crazy Paladin to burst in, and start screaming about the Naga.
It soon turned out that it wasn’t actually a Paladin, but rather a Crusader Barbarian. Either way, pretty scary.
The party found itself disagreeing on the correct course of action. Note that no-one actually liked the Naga in the first place, which made our response a tough question. Magni the Aasimar Warlock tried to prevent the Naga fleeing… he, after all, shared a religion with the Crusader Barbarian, and wanted answers about why the Naga was being chased. So he cast Hold Person on the Naga to prevent an escape. By contrast, Ember and the Loxodon attacked the Crusader Barbarian. Daralus threw up their hands, and sat it out.
Annalax did what Annalax does. He successfully hid (19 roll + 11 stealth = 30, so he was practically invisible), coated his crossbow bolts with poison, and waited. Since the confusion did not resolve itself, he successfully Mage Handed two bottles of spirits out of the bar, into his Bag of Holding, to sell later. Disturbances are great distractions, and if in doubt, stealing is great procrastination.
The Crusader Barbarian turned out to be worthy of hiding from. He was not only extremely beefy, but also had some nasty attacks. He comfortably knocked the Naga unconscious, forcing Annalax to rummage around in the Naga’s pack for the superior healing potion. Annalax then saved the bastard Naga’s life by force-feeding him the potion. Mage Hand is a wonderful thing.
Finally, the Loxodon shouted that he’d seen this type of warrior before – they were deadly dangerous. And Ember kept cursing a certain pointy-eared coward. So Annalax was set to join the fray properly… only for things to get complicated. The Naga cast invisibility on himself, preparing to run, whereupon Magni cast Fog Cloud. Since Magni could see through the Fog Cloud (Aasimar stuff), he could also see the shape where the Fog was not accumulating, and as such was able to spot the Naga.
[Note: the Naga’s player was fine with all of this]
Annalax was outside the Fog Cloud, but could not see anyone inside, so there was no use him getting involved. He spent his turn nabbing another two bottles of spirits. Priorities.
At last, the Fog Cloud dispersed. Magni had finally decided to defend the Naga, after realising the attacker was a madman.
This was one tough madman. Annalax only managed to connect with one out of three shots, and even then the Crusader Barbarian made his poison save. Annalax also had to Mage Hand a healing potion over to Magni, to get him up off the ground. The funny thing? I’m actually not sure the Crusader Barbarian was even aware of Annalax’s existence, what with the hiding and the missing, and the other combatants being that much closer.
Eventually, the attacker succeeded in killing the Naga, whereupon the corpse was dragged off into another dimension by tentacles. Enough said. The rest of us belatedly killed the Crusader Barbarian. Speaking of Crusaders, Annalax’s experience this session probably resembled the Fourth Crusade – pretty lucrative, even if he didn’t really do the fighting he was supposed to.
But no-one particularly missed the Naga. Annalax not only disliked him for the Drow women comment, but had also found that the Naga created a growing anxiety. Shouldn’t Annalax have killed the Naga, rather than merely pranking him? He himself would have been killed back home for not killing this filthy slanderer – clearly the overworld was making Annalax soft, and that needed rectified.
Ember did scary demon stuff afterwards, to the point of scaring off the gathered townsmen – Annalax nabbed eight gold in the confusion. The Loxodon also pondered what, exactly, Annalax was doing before entering the fight. Annalax lied about his theft, even when being manhandled by the Loxodon’s trunk. Our Drow ended the session richer, but with a severe headache and general dizziness.
[Note: Again, the Naga’s player was fine with proceedings]
This session was something special. Not in terms of deep poetry (a la the death of Kirius), but in terms of sheer outrageousness.
It started off mundanely enough. Annalax, Ember, and the Loxodon headed off to the Magical Item Shop. Ember purchased a sword, the Loxodon purchased some AC-boosting items, and Annalax purchased a stealthy cloak. Annalax tried pulling a distraction via Prestidigitation (“it smells like burning!”), but did not fool the shopkeeper. But there was no blowback. It was the mutual appreciation of two merchants/bullshit-artists.
Magni was cremating the fallen Crusader (shared religion!), when he ran into the Naga/Dreamland Cat’s replacement character. The new character is a Ranger, with a couple of pets. Annalax and the Loxodon turned up too, to meet him. Ember disappeared off for a drink at a brothel (he wasn’t interested in paid sex, just a drink).
Next stop… the local wizard, to identify the bought magical items. The wizard was rather brusque, and told us to leave the items, and come back in an hour. So we disappeared off to the brothel to find Ember. Again, no interest in bought sex, just alcohol, and general catch-up.
Ember and the Loxodon (both drunk) had an arm-wrestle, while Annalax cheerfully pickpocketed the audience. He couldn’t quite get his paws on a silver necklace though.
Then back to the wizard. And this is where things got interesting.
The wizard handed back the items, gave the details, and was about to leave. He had important stuff to do, after all. Then Annalax had an idea.
He persuaded the wizard to let us in for a shared drink. The drink in question being the looted spirits from the previous session. A succession of failed Constitution saves later… and the wizard collapsed, drunk out of his mind.
Annalax then cheerfully began looting the wizard’s home. He also broke into the wizard’s study, and (after dealing with a rune of warding), looted his most precious possessions. Nabbed his clothes too, because why the hell not?
Magni, however, raised an important question: what do we actually do with the wizard himself, given that we had now literally stolen everything he owned? One suggestion was to simply kill the guy now that he was unconscious and drunk… though that would turn us into irredeemable bandits. Annalax was on board with this… until he had another idea. A much funnier one.
We could kidnap the wizard.
Let the absurdity of this sink in. We had literally got a random NPC blind drunk, stolen everything in his house, and were planning to take him with us into the wilderness, such that he couldn’t dob us in. Indeed, he would be forced to help us, because his only alternative would be dying in the wilderness. Annalax’s initial thought was smuggling the wizard out in a rolled-up carpet, until it was pointed out that that risked inadvertently suffocating the guy.
(Cue a glorious exchange:
- Magni: “We’d have to keep checking the carpet.”
- Annalax: “Why? I can just Prestidigitate away the vomit.”
- Magni: “No, we’d need to see if he was choking on the vomit.”)
So in the end, Ember just volunteered to carry the wizard, explaining it away to passersby as a drunk friend.
Some guardsmen did turn up on the wizard’s doorstep, to inquire about the commotion. Annalax’s solution was Disguise Self, impersonating the unconscious wizard, and telling them to get stuffed. If a wizard wants to wreck his own house, it’s his own business. That worked. Yay (though Annalax had to buy off the Loxodon with a fresh bottle of spirits, which the Loxodon drank whole).
After sorting out the mechanics of the plan, we decided that Ember, the Loxodon, and the (still unconscious, but re-clothed) wizard would go on ahead. Annalax, Magni, and the Ranger approached the two people in town who were planning a trip into the mountains. Daralus, incidentally, has left the party (the player has left themselves).
At the end of the session, the wizard woke up. Ember and the Loxodon explained that he’d got really drunk, and signed a contract to join in our mission to the mountains. Besides, given that he was now stuck… it wasn’t as if he had any choice. We, of course, did have options. We can now kill the poor bastard any time we like.
So yes: we stole a wizard. We are officially not the good guys.
Back to the Annalax Index: https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2021/01/07/the-adventures-of-annalax-a-compendium/