Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Part 2: The Funnel With Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2

After dinner we picked up right back up where we stopped...

Cole knew that they needed more bodies to build the ranks and with having no luck recruiting in the village he called in some favors from his army connections.

The new recruiting roll went very well. Instead of rolling low for success we use the roll-high option with 15 as the base target number. As GM I adjudicated the great roll using the margin of success (> 15) as a rule of thumb. The result was that Cole now had a small host of warriors at his command one of which became a named PC - Edmond, a soldier who has seen much of the world. The rest were treated as henchmen of sorts in the classic D&D sense. AFF2 makes this incredibly easy to do: Skill 7, Stamina 7.

With their ranks swollen, the original cadre of adventurers are now confident that they can take the hall and expel whatever dwells there.

They split up into two asymmetrically sized teams. The smaller team took the side entrance that was tried earlier while the larger team burst through the front door. Advancement was decidedly quick so as to keep the bad guys on their heels. It worked.

As the teams cleared the passages of debris and wreckage they made contact with a single bowman from up on high who loosed several arrows at the teams but never managed to really threaten anyone. Without waiting for the adventurers to be on top of him the bowman rappelled down behind a stack of stuff and made his way toward a secret exit made from a fallen portion of the stone back wall.

Cole and Wystan caught movement up ahead and recognized the figures as the ones seen before. This time it was obvious that it was they who wanted out of there.

Up over piles of debris Cole, Wystan, and their men gave chase. Up one pile and down its other avalanching side they slid to the ancient dais where the lord sat when the hall was new. But they found none of those who they saw just a moment ago. Instead, before them was a hunched figure wrapped in crude cloth. A face, not just any but the one of the dark creature killed in the kitchen. It peered at them in anguish and surprise. It shuddered and convulsed in contempt.

Cole gripped his weapon to strike it down once again. But this time it grew.

The body of the hunched figure stood and twitched on pivot to face its adversaries.

It was naked from the waist up. Its skin was the mixed hue of dark grapes and the blackest night. As it stood, it leered over the adventurers with many faces for mixed in the beast's body was that of the goblin, missing locals, and Kenrick.

Cole and Wystan stumbled backward at the sight that towered above them at eight or nine feet tall. An extra tinge of fear pinged against their hearts. The others fell back from a baser fear.

Outside, Audrey, Edmond, and their cadre began to give chase to the men who escaped through the secret passage but too soon the hunted melted away into the woods.

Back inside the great hall, the faces intertwined in the body of the demon wailed not for salvation but for their misery to be put to an end. Fear seeped into hearts. Several of the men understandably  turned and ran but most didn't. Wystan, who just days before, who had his resolve all but melted by the lesser dark creature, strode forward and swung his axe into the body of the dark thing.

It was gargantuan, but, apparent to anyone who could see past the terror, it was not yet fully formed. It lumbered to and fro and swung clumsily its fists and malformed tentacles that emanated from its body apparently at will. It took a step forward like a baby on the verge of becoming a toddler. Its knee buckled and it fell onto a shriveled deformed leg of one of the fallen that jutted awkwardly from the base of its haunch.

While nearly prone the thing lashed out and knocked Wystan back against a pile where he tried to regain his breath.

Again, Cole ran toward the exit and grabbed Wystan dragging him along. The rest of the men were already on the move. Some before and some after.

Once outside, Cole called for Audrey to come to their aid. He wanted as many bowmen as possible there to take this thing on. Edmond barked, calling in men who were still searching the tree line.

At the portal they launched volley after volley of arrows. Some hitting their mark with most sticking in the doorframe or disappearing through the decrepit wall. Suddenly the door frame buckled and exploded outward. The demon was on the loose and ready to take as many lives as possible. (Perhaps to finish its incarnation?) Men cried out in fear. Some ran to find safety while some gave no regard running as fast and as far as their legs could take them.

Soon the demon was mixed amongst the adventurers which made missile fire impossibly dangerous. The ensuing melee swung to and fro - the outcome quite uncertain.

Cole lept forward to press the attack along with a cadre of spearmen. They gave what seemed like as good as they got but something terrible and wicked tickled their hearts.

Struck hard, Cole stumbled over the body of one of his companions who was just killed. Wildly, in a fog, he looked around for an escape route first and friends second. He was breaking. From out of his periphery he saw a wild man surge forward who attacked with such savagery that it was the dark thing's turn to lose its footing.

The arc of Wystan's axe was wide and it scythed the head of the kitchen goblin's head from the greater thing's malformed shoulders. Now, seemingly blind, the demon's blasphemous form held open its hands and clawed through nothing but air. With another stroke of the axe it was over. Audrey, who ran forward to attend to Cole stood with him and with the wild axeman. Edmond approached along with a few others trailing behind. Together they received the thanks of Kenrick whose form lay complicated in the form of the demon.

Cole and Audrey looked at Wystan and wondered in silence and smiles what had gotten into their friend who seemed so timid such a short time before.

The late afternoon sun lit the side of the hall which reflected an ancient hue of white onto them. Cole looked around at those who stayed. He knew that they were no longer a trio alone.


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