The Order of the Shrub

Evil vs. evil

Well the dwarf met the angel in heaven and the wizard met the angel in the modron library and both got magical items for being allies of his husband. Then they were returned to their friends.

Problem: One looks like a hobgoblin, the other like a dwarf. But some disguise and careful bluffing got through that.

The plan was to get some trumpeters around the back of the hobgoblin camp to make a fuss as if of an elven army, while the party tried to gank the leader and the citizens then staged an attack. The captain agreed to this plan.

Meanwhile, the five priests of Zarus had convinced the populace that the way forward was power and men, women and children all accepted the earrings to gain the power to defeat the hobgoblins. One priest sent a raven, which turned invisible, to the other cities, with instructions that were whispered in a language other than common.

Anyhow, the party was waiting for the trumpeters to get into position. The ranger noticed that the trumpeters were accompanied by the captain of the guard and also changed somehow to look like hobgoblins. All well and good? But then a cry from the office of Azune. A maid found a body in a closet. It was that of the captain of the guard, who had been dead for hours! So who was out there? And no trumpeting sound came . . .

The party was debating what to do. A suicide run on the hobgoblins? But then there was infernal chanting from within the town, and the skies opened, and flying devils came out, attacking the hobgoblins and anyone without an earring. Like, say the party members at the back gate . . .

The paladin turned a flying spined devil, but this also turned Lord Amor di Cosmos! The hobgoblin was finally free and grabbed a sword from the ranger but was cut down by the paladin. A bearded devil troubled the party, but only hurt the owl in the end, before falling.

Then more fiends sprang up from the city. 3 succubi and 2 incubi. They didn’t attack anyone, but laughed and enjoyed the show. The warlock took a potshot at one, which got her attention and she and party engaged in combat and she fell.

The two remaining (now wingless) pegasi came out the back gate and the party finally fled. The hobgoblins fell to the humans, at the cost of half the humans in the town.

Then the party heard some hoofbeats and saw . . . .The Captain of the Guard and 4 trumpeters! The ghost wizard tried to possess the Captain and the latter revealed he was not an ordinary humanoid, and showed an interest in the Scarlet Egg (although the party had been careful not to mention it in town). The party attacked and the Captain tried to flee, but was beheaded by the paladin, and his form reverted to a strange greyish biped. The others fled, taking on the shapes of party members, but were cut down by spell and arrows. So whatever those shape-changers wanted to do, they didn’t do it. They miscalculated on the strength on the hobgoblins and the weakness of the party, and the latter was fatal to them.

So the party is wondering whether to warn off the refugees from the first town, or just go back to their primary mission and put good souls into the egg. They decided to leave some of their treasure behind in Tuom-rak, rather than go back to that accursed town

Tune in next week!



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