The pirates approached the third crypt.
DM: You’re both going in?
Sue: Well, I’m going in.
Tess: I’ll stay out here.
My clarification question was an obvious influence on Tess’ response. Her smirk, out of Sue’s eyesight, wasn’t necessary to tell me that.
The rest of the party waited outside the crypt as Sea Axe entered alone.
A moment later, Sea Axe bolted out of the doorway running. His heart was pounding in his chest; all he could think about was the cut and run. Baz and Krisella gave chase. The men followed.
They found Sea Axe struggling with the ropes, futilely trying to ascend. His mates surrounded him. Tangled in ropes, Sea Axe was clearly possessed with internal peril.
Sea Axe: Phantom.
Krisella: What’s that?
Baz: He said “phantom.”
Krisella: No. What’s that noise?
Baz: What noise?
Krisella: Oh ship!
Nine giant rats poured into the room; the swarm overtook the henchmen on the outside circle, killing two of their Men-at-Arms.
Sue: I kind of miss Killo already.
Images of a ghostly phantom lurking the halls beyond kept Sea Axe from joining the battle. Baz hurled darts and Krisella shot arrows, while they guarded Sea Axe as he quaked in his boots.
Krisella’s bow-string snapped.
Baz: Use your daggers!
The torch-bearers smacked the oncoming rats with their tools of the trade. The smell of burnt fur mixed with the miasma of the Barrowmaze. They pushed the giant rodents back using their torches and the rats soon found other halls to forage in.
Sue: The torch-bearers just saved the pirates.
Baz: Let’s get back to town. We need replacements.
They left the bodies of Killo and Hamish and made their way back up the ropes.
Never Let That Damn Thief Out of Sight
Back in Naerie . . .
Tavern wench: You don’t want anything, lassie?
Krisella: Uh, you have any normal food?
Sea Axe (nursing his Bloody Mermaid): Try the Giant Frog Tongue.
Krisella (shuddering): Sounds disgusting.
Kay has played three halfling thieves at this point. While her thieves are consistently greedy and mischievous, each one is different. Starlight would love digging into Sunshine’s specialty, Shadow preferred coins over gems and Krisella hated the food at The Misty Mug.
In the Keep, her dwarf hated elves and loved his ale. Yes, it’s stereotypical, but she’s only 9 years old.
Sue: She’s 10 now.
DM: When did that happen?
Sue: Why? You don’t even know your own birthday.
Sue: Anyway, it’s really interesting how she just switches like that.
DM: It’s part of the game, but I know what you mean. Like her mage all focused on deciphering ancient tomes and studying . . .
Sue: And would actually stay behind in the ranks when it came to combat!
DM: Unlike her crazy thieves.
Sue: Tell me about it.