I had a plan. It was a good plan.
We would hire a group of mercenaries. Two groups, really. All of them would be armed with missile weapons. One group would take the new entrance into the sewers, and set up on the west side of the pool room where a small platform offered space for three or four archers or slingers. The other group would take the canoes to the east side of the pool room, where a larger platform could support up to six. It’s not entirely clear, but the map suggests the pool itself is about 50 feet across. Even slings have a range of about that much. If we have lanterns on both sides, both groups of mercenaries can fire on the creature whichever group it chooses to attack. When it gets within melee range of either group, they can retreat, forcing it to either leave the water to follow or attack the other group. I suspect it can’t leave the water at all, and we can safely run the creature from one side to the other while slowly whittling it down to size.
With the blessing of Denara upon our blows, I can guide them into the creature’s hide. This will reduce its advantages.
The Grey Company has sent us two more recruits, one an illusionist of some talent named Rowen. She has a spell that illuminates a wide area such as the pool for about 10 minutes – more than enough for a combat like this, I think. The creature could otherwise hide in the middle of the pool to avoid our missiles. The other recruit is a paladin of Ygg named Johann. He kept mostly to himself. Unusual for a paladin. We found 8 more willing men-at-arms after announcing we would be seeking the missing children, and unlike last time, they were all willing to go into the sewers.
So, we hired the men-at-arms, including a very expensive elf and dwarf. 24gp. I bought those that lacked missile weapons a sling. 10 gp. I repaired my silver warhammer. 25gp. U-heury bought a second canoe. 50 gp.
And when we got all set up, Dancing Ligts cast, Bless cast, monster clearly blinded by the bright lights in the middle of the pool, u-Heury decided to go buy a cow and feed it to the creature.
Except, worse than that, because the cow cost 50gp.
And thus my plan died. And the monster still wants to eat me because I was the only one who managed to land a blow last time.
The only successes from this venture so far are hiring a small army of mercenaries to rescue the children (hopefully) and making the acquaintance of a competent arcane caster. Hopefully Rowen will stick around.
I did manage to test whether the strange effect of the shield on my eyes helped me to see in the dark. It does not. I will need to get the thing researched properly when I have time. Also, we should bring a hammer and spikes to keep the porticullis open.
After feeding the monster a cow, we reformed the group near the location with three doors, and (remembering the bells) searched exhaustively for traps. The north and south doors had bells; the east door did not. Stria snipped the wires on the north door, u-Huery is working on the lock to the south, and … fuck, did Rowen just open the east door?
Getting a cow for the monster seemed the most expedient way to get past it to the rest of the sewers. Oscar devised a complicated plan to try to kill it. I don’t think we can kill it, no matter how many people he hires, but he was adamant. U-Heury was all on board with killing it as well. It makes sense to remove it so we don’t have to worry about it ever again; I just don’t think we can. But, I was willing to try. I got stuck babysitting the new mage Rowen and the Ygg paladin with a few of Oscar’s new cannon fodder. Including a simpering torchbearer that Rowen was immediately attached to. Children. It pained me to watch. Annoyingly, the portcullis was again down. Did not improve my mood. It was entirely too tempting to accidently shove the simpering idiot into the pool once Rowen got her magic lights up. We didn’t need a torchbearer anymore, after all. Give the monster a snack.
I saw the other team on the door side of the pool. They got in place. Then u-Heury started, and stared into space. Obviously talking to the monster. His hands waved. Then he turned and started talking to Oscar, and there was more handwaving. Then they yelled for us to go back topside. Sigh. Back up the damned rope. Once we met back up, u-Heury had changed his mind and decided we just needed to feed the monster a cow. Which is what I said all along, but nobody listens to me. Cows are regrettably expensive. But if we can get past it, maybe we can find a third entrance and not need to worry about it in the future.
Everyone chipped in, and we acquired a cow. We walked the cow back through the ruins, to the bemusement of the citizens. I prodded the cow from the rear while u-Heury pulled from the front, and we got it down the stairs that Oscar’s cannon fodder had cleared off for us in the meantime. Poor cow really didn’t want to go through the door. With some shoving, we got it through and slammed the door behind it. There were several minutes of horrible sounds, then silence. When we peeked through the door, there was blood and guts everywhere, but the monster was quiet. If I can interest the monster in dead bodies, I’d have an excellent way to dispose of the kills that can’t be found.
Oscar and two of his cannon fodder grabbed one of the canoes and went the hole way. The rest of us made entirely too many trips across the pool with the other canoe. The monster stayed quiet. We met back up, and went to the far east, where the were rats were last seen. Three doors. I disarmed the trap on the south door, while u-Heury tried to do the same on the north door, but missed. Rowen insisted there was no traps on the east door. I switched places with u-Heury, to disarm the north door while he unlocked the south door. Then Rowen barged through the east door. There’s a reason mages die so fast, and that’s the reason. I think magic turns them all into brainless twits without the sense to stay behind people with armor and sharp pointy things who can protect them. Well, that removes any choice we had, apparently we’re going through the east door.