The Happy Muggers

Confronting Modra

Leeloo complained a bit about the sewers. “Why don’t people hide out in the glens, in the vales? Why doesn’t anyone have their secret lair in a nice airy building?”

“The people who live in the Dark hate the Light,” Tarque said.

It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. This sewer had obviously been cleaned as preparation for its new use; the muck and grime that usually accompanies dark wet underground places was banished by the uniform torches along the walls, the random detritus swept away from the ground and carried off to who-knows-where. But no amount of cleaning would ever rid these corridors of the smell.

It got worse as they went, and they soon emerged into a room that stank of dry bones whose dryness was earned by long neglect. The pile of bones was huge, but no one paid it much attention. They were too busy looking at the three Chitine on the ceiling and the two figures standing on the other side of the pile.

“Congratulations,” the shorter one– a Dark One– said. “You’ve gotten past all my other defenses, so you’ve obviously figured out that I’ve been supplying the Orcs outside the city walls. As they have no intention of honoring our agreement when the city falls, I have no intention of being inside the city to learn of their treachery. I’d like to offer you an opportunity to join me in my escape; we could make quite a lot of money together.”

Montiago stole a glance at D’cafnaet’d. “New experiences,” thought the gnome. “New money,” thought the drow.

“Where were you planning on going?” Leeloo asked.

“I had my sights set for Astrazalian, actually.” Now it was Leeloo’s turn to think twice; her father was headed to Astrazalian the last time she saw him.

But she knew there were more pressing matters at hand, “We offer a counter proposal: we shall hire you to guard the inside of a jail cell.”

Modra shook his head, “I think that I would rather recruit you unwillingly into my zombie guard.”

In a moment everything sprang to action. Aegis swirled into existence and his shell hardened the party. Bolts and blasts flew out around the room, and Tarque barreled forth toward the two cloaked figures. The taller of them caught Tarque’s eye with an orb and Tarque’s will to fight was swept away; he wandered off into the corner.

One Chitine fell to Montiago; another to D’cafnaet’d. Tarque came to his senses and rushed back to the fray as Tortolla’s vengeful spirit friends broke the cloaked shaman’s mind. Leeloo, then Montiago got poisoned. Leeloo pulled reality and tore a Chitine scout apart. Modra danced about the chaos, slicing with rapier and dagger. Tortolla haunted the last scout to an early grave.

Modra nearly killed Tarque, but Tortolla saved his friend with a well-timed push and had Aegis step in between and stop the killing blow. Modra tried to make a run for it, but Tarque called roots from the ground to hinder him and Montiago shocked him back into the room. Shock after shock, and finally Modra lay on the ground unconscious.

The easy part was finding the turncoat. The hard part began now, when they had to usurp his roll and double-cross the Orcs. The city depended on it.

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