Kast

Chapter 15: J.R.R. TrollKing

Tuiz

So far, most of what we’d found in the sewers was pretty much what you’d expect, right? Trash, trash monsters, cave-y bits, running water. The weirdest bit was the faefolk’s little kingdom. It gets weirder, trust me.

But first let’s start with the weirdness of the fae. You remember I said that Queen Christmas gave us presents when we passed through, but told us to open them later? Well, right after we got cleaned up after the fight with the trash monster, they started blinking like we should open them. Which is, like, five or ten minutes after we got them? Maybe she wanted us to prove ourselves in one fight first? Who can tell with the fae.

Anyhow, we opened them up. I got a nice blue cloak that’s surprisingly tough; it should help keep me a bit more safe. Some of the other gifts were useful, like Daevon’s boots, Tharn’s quiver, and Fourth’s belt. Others seemed like useless junk, except that they were magic, like Caleb’s little eagle statue and Telsin’s ring. And of course Lucky’s rock. It sure was nice of Queen Christmas to give us these, and while I said bad things about the timing before, I wish more folks would give out useful gear before the fighting starts like she did.

I mentioned the sewer would get weirder. We left the clean water to go into what the fae called the “drumming walk” and we could see why since not far down it we heard a very regular set of footsteps. Then we saw what the fae had called “clanks”. Now, dwarves would have been weird to find. Mechanical dwarves would have been really weird. Mechanical dwarves with one big eye in their belly instead of heads would have been bizarre. These things were mechanical dwarves with one big eye in their belly instead of heads with wings. Super weird. There were about a dozen of them, and it seemed like they were cleaning the tunnel.

The fae were clearly afraid of them, but advised us to play it cool. We tried following slowly behind the clanks hoping they wouldn’t notice us, but they did. A group came over and… looked at us. Didn’t say anything. But they didn’t cause us any trouble. I should mention that they had javelins and swords and things, so I was real glad they didn’t want a fight. We kept slowly following them instead of trying to push past, and soon enough the fae led us through a side door.

The room we came into… it was a huge round room with a giant glowing blue crystal just floating in the middle of it. After only having the light that Daevon cast, it was nice to be able to see a bit better, but damn. Did you know that sort of thing was under the city? I did not. It makes me worry what else the Necromancer King might have left hidden under there. Speaking of which, at the bottom of the room were more mechanical guys, including one that looked bigger and meaner than the others we’d seen. We followed the fae down around the edge of the room and out another door pretty quickly.

The clanks clearly hadn’t been to the next hallway, because it was covered in a gross layer of slime. It wasn’t too bad to walk through, but it apparently caused trouble for the fae. We found Twiggy, one of the missing fae, stuck in the gunk. The squirrel, Poppy’s animal companion, was there too. Which is good, because the squirrel was fighting off another fae we hadn’t met before. He called himself Nyx, and apparently he was from a competing fae court, the Bitterroot. Tharn wasted no time shooting at him, and he ran away pretty much right after. So now the Bitterrot Court has a reason to hate us, which isn’t good. Might not be a problem, though; the Shining Throne fae told us that the troll king was guarding a secret entrance to the Bitterroot Court that they could use to ambush them. I hope they did.

Speaking of the troll king, Twiggy told us that Poppy had been taken by minions of the troll king like we thought, and that his place was near. Sure enough we found a door covered in danger signs in Sylvan and Guttergab, and the fae said they wouldn’t go any farther, since their weapons couldn’t hurt the troll king. So we went in without them.

Sure enough (we thought), there’s the troll king. Big guy, fancy plate armor, huge sword. And a crown floating over his head, to show he’s the king I guess. Tharn took a shot at him maybe trying to catch him off-guard, but it seemed to just vanish before it got near him. This has us worried. Then a beam of heat shot out of the crown nearly frying us, which had us more worried. Daevon rushed up to draw his anger, but that’s when we found out we were all wrong. This thing couldn’t even get angry. When Daevon got close to the troll he went shluck like he ran into a wall of thick oatmeal or something. Daevon told me later that the right word to use is “gelatinous”, and that other people have found these things before. Anyhow, it turns out it was actually this giant clear cube that was trouble, and the troll was just a statue.

So, now that we knew what we were dealing with, we went to town on it. Lucky blasted it with spells, I yanked Daevon out (which is how I learned it’s made of some sort of mega-acid that stings like hell), then chopped it with my glaive. Tharn actually pulled out his sword after the first arrow seemed to vanish, but eventually decided arrows were more effective, and he had no trouble hitting it.

I should mention that Poppy was there like we hoped, and after Caleb got him conscious Telsin rushed him to safety. Which was good, because that cube didn’t stand still while we wailed on it. It could make some kind of jelly arm thing, which it swung at me, which hurt a lot. Worse, one time it slid quick across the room right at us! I managed to jump out of the way, but Caleb didn’t. He got caught deep in it, and passed out pretty quick. (Don’t worry, we got him out and he was okay.) Also, the crown kept shooting beams at us.

I figured the crown must be what was making it so angry, and managed to rip it out with my glaive. Sure enough, the very next pair of shots from Tharn made the thing explode into harmless goo without the crown to hold it together. Phew.

Lucky us, there was even a bunch of cash hidden in the room, along with some potions and magic horseshoes. I don’t know if someone rode a horse down there, or what. It wouldn’t have fit very well. Anyhow, with our work done we decided to retrace our steps and get out of there back to some fresh air. Firo stayed right in the “Troll King”’s room, to try to trick the other fae into thinking it was still a dangerous place. The trip out was pretty easy, but it was late by the time we got out, so we called it a night. Tharn went with Caleb, who cured his poison the next day.

Now that the threat to the fae kingdom was dealt with we got back to the business of protecting the real kingdom from gnolls. We caught a ride on Isaac Hull’s boat upriver to Woodbean. On the way we could see some of the impact the gnolls had had, with some refugees heading towards Glissana and some soldiers riding north.

Once we got to Woodbean we thanked Isaac and set about looking for horses. There weren’t any to be had, though. One merchant said we should ask with the couriers, but as we were heading that way I spotted a shifty-looking guy tailing us. I walked up to him and asked him directions, to get a better look and see how he reacted and so on. But then it turns out he’s with the Queensguard — Tenaius he said his name was. I don’t know why he didn’t just come up and introduce himself. But anyhow he says he has horses we can take, which is good.

But before we left, since I was thinking of the couriers anyhow, I figured I’d send you a letter. You know, just in case. Take care. I hope the new place is nice — maybe I’ll get a chance to see it once these gnolls are dealt with.

Your son,
Tuiz

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MikeBuchanan

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