This story had to be spread across 2 posts in order to fit character limits. Please see part 1 before reading here or nothing in here is going to make sense. Like the previous post this story is written from the persepctive of my character Kordran son of Cordran, Tempest Cleric of Kord.
I start laying the gems into the circle and begin my speal. “Ok so master if I could have your attention please I’ll explain how the game works. Now Sophi, Tristan, Tariel, Alimorn you gather with me, master since this is your first time playing just watch us for a moment then you can join us in the next round.”
The master slinks over to the center like a slug as he watches me with interest. When he gets to the center he holds the child’s skull to me from inside the ooze. "She loooooves headpats."
The thought disgusts me but I don’t have a choice. I can’t risk offending him now that we’re so close. My hand sears in incredible pain as I reach through the ooze to pat the skull. First my gauntlet dissolves and burns away, then the thick woolen glove I wear underneath to prevent chaffing, then the very skin and fat and of my hand dissolves before my eyes. It was like I was being unmade. My hand must have been in that substance for no more than five seconds but when I pulled it out it was a mangled mess of exposed muscle tissue and sinew. I think my nerves were burned off because I couldn’t feel my fingers. I’m in horrific agonizing pain right now and the only thing I can do is grin and bare with it because if I don’t keep it together everyone dies.
With my burned hand in tow I begin the little charade. “Now this is how the game works. I’m gonna lay the shells, in this case gems out like so,” I explain as I inlay the gems I have with my good hand. This is when bad luck finally strikes. As I laid them in, I notice that we were actually a few gems short. The magic only reaches three fourths of the way around the circle. It’s beginning to hum weakly but it’s not fully powered yet and I need to harvest the gems from the other circle in the room.
As I mentally curse our bad luck, the master in the mean time, looks on in expectation with a crazed perverter form of childlike excitement in his eyes. "Well? Well? Well? Well?"
“Oh wait, my bad that’s not enough shells. Wait right here I’ll go get the others. Then I’ll cut my hand off to make the ball ok master.” I pray to Kord for guidance hoping desperately that this little mess up didn’t burn through the necromancer’s patience.
“We just need a bit more time, I promise you’ll be most entertained when the game commences,” Tariel says trying to help me convince him. Tariel is the type of man who has a sword for a brain. The fact that he was also trying to talk his way out of this rather than fight really highlighted just how badly in the hole we were, metaphorically and literally. Sophia is pushing her feminine wiles to their absolute limit to try and get him to wait just a little longer. The necromancer looks annoyed but he waves me off, praise Kord.
Tariel helps me pop the gems out of the other wall seeing as how I’m working with only one good hand now. Meanwhile Sophia keeps up her flirting act.
"This is such a fun game mister!" Sophia says in the best fake cute girly voice she can muster.
The Master looks annoyed at Sophia and snaps with a shrill voice "MASTER!"
"Master, this is such a fun game." She strokes his arm softly through the acidic ooze that he’s floating in, "Masterrrrr- could you please come out I can't see you properly in there. I think I know who I remind you off.” She ends up loosing some skin on the back her hand, but she earns a bit of my respect in the process. Don’t tell her I said that, she has a big enough ego already.
Sophia took the burns like a champ but it seemed to have the opposite of its intended effect because he recoiled from her in disgust and shouted at her, "you would be much more beautiful as a ghast."
He then points a finger at Sophia, ready to launch what I’m certain would have been some form of horrific curse. That’s when Tristan acts fast and uses the very last of his mana and sorcery to subtle counterspell whatever he was about to launch at her.
The Master frowns and pouts like a petulant manchild, "No fun! No fun!"
"I'm sorryyyy. Magic is weird around me." She says apologetically trying to keep the ruse up.
The master groans at Sophia and goes out of the circle, trying to shake her off. "Yes yes whatever, play the game, Zhania is getting bored." he sneers
She continues to bat her eyelashes for effect while gently pushing up her cleavage. She’s laying it on a little thick in my opinion but she’s keeping him distracted and that’s what we need right now.
Tariel and I finish scraping the last of the gems we need off the wall and dash back to the center circle with the others.
"We are almost ready,” trying to keep this overpowered manchild placated. Fortunately for us the Master is too distracted by Sophia to notice what we’re doing as we quickly set about inlaying the gems in the circle.
As soon as the gems are in place I call everyone in a chipper voice that I pray disguises the panic I’m actually feeling. “Everyone in the center now
The master slinks over to the center with a giddy expression as I draw my sword out. I cut a little bit on my acid burned hand to drip some blood onto the circle. The circle hums a bit but doesn’t activate. Tristan and Tariel also pull out daggers to cut themselves with, but even their blood isn’t enough. This circle demands sacrifice. From what I can tell, the blood needs to be fresh and there needs to be a lot of it. I’ve only got one choice. I was hoping I could avoid actually having to cut my hand off but we’re desperate now.
I raise my acid burned hand up and put my sword to the wrist. With gritted teeth and a final prayer to Kord I ran my blade straight through my wrist. The enchanted metal of my sword cuts cleanly through muscle and bone like a hot knife through butter. I cut it almost all the way through, but I end up leaving just a spare bit of skin at the edge of the wrist so that my severed hand ends up hanging off my wrist like a dead fish. My blood gushes out from the stump of my wound as it squirts onto the circle like iron scented ketchup.
I won’t lie to you, I screamed like a bitch, and I am not ashamed to admit that. It was worth it though.
The circle hummed to life as my blood poured onto it. Golden light emanates from the gems as everyone standing in the ring is transported to another place. The last thing we saw before that hell pit disappeared from our view was the master screaming out in terror and his eyes widening in realization as our group disappeared, "NO-"
Sophia blows him one last kiss and we’re gone. The next thing we know we’re outside the dark gates that lead us down into the dungeon, the sun now high in the sky, its warm rays caress our faces. We’re exhausted, covered in blood, slime, grime, acid, and gods knows what else. I’m missing a hand, also it seems we forgot Noneim, but the people I care about are alive, for me that’s all that matters. I know that might seem selfish but I learned early in my adventuring career that you won’t be able to save everyone no matter how strong you are, for me it’s enough that the people I’m responsible for are ok. Plus, to be honest nobody shed any tears for her, she had a habit of running off on her own and leaving us vulnerable at really bad times so we weren’t too hung up about it. We’re not out of the woods yet though. The outside of the ruins still has a lot of stray ghouls lurking around. We have just enough time for Tariel to bandage my bloody stump, and I somehow manage to muster enough constitution to stay conscious despite the massive blood loss. Unfortunately, staying conscious means I’m also conscious of the unspeakable pain that comes with having your hand chopped off, and my screams of agony seem to capture the attention of the ghouls who think they have an opportunity for an easy meal. Sophia manages to stick a few arrows in a couple of the ghouls dumb enough to start crawling in our direction, but they’re quickly replaced by more.
“Let’s get out of here,” Tristan says. For I once I agree with him.
“Let’s go,” I say using my sword to help me get back to my feet. We form up and we fight our way out.
Tariel slashes through undead after undead with ease, though more keep coming. Tristan’s eldritch blasts fly around the ruins and undead fall to it like flies. Even past the pain and having only one hand I managed to holds my own as I slashed past hordes of zombies and skeletons. Sophias arrows hit mark every time, leaving a trail of blood in her wake. Alimorn cuts through flesh and bone like butter, his rage keeping him up despite his wounds, sparks flying around his mouth and a lightening bolt from his maw lighting up the battlefield. Our group holds together against the seemingly endless stream of undead. Finally we arrive at the grassy hill that we started this adventure on, the road towards home stretching out invitingly into the horizon.
And that’s the story of how we outsmarted the necromancer through sheer force of roleplay. End Post.