Dying Earth

The Chameleon

Our adventurers, having bested the mummies in the cave, continue deeper still in the hopes of finding an alternate entrance to the Black Lands. With Blind Bill and Mazirian by their sides they make their way into a room littered with dozens of pieces of rusted and discarded plate armor.

As Karankawa pushes the armor aside with his foot to make a path, pieces begin to rise up and assemble into the shape of a man. An 8 foot tall, hollow man made of random pieces of armor. Thinking quickly, Karankawa readies Splinter and strikes at the golum’s hand. The sound of metal hitting metal echoes through the cave as the sword slices through where the gauntlet meets the arm and it crashes to the ground. Any celebration is cut short with another gauntlet flies from the ground at reattaches to the golum. Undeterred, Swift swings his sword with all his might straight through the torso of the golum. A wound that would otherwise be messy is instead met with a soft woosh of air as Swift’s sword passes halfway through the armor and gets stuck on what can only be some sort of invisible spine. While Swift attempts to unwedge his sword from the golum, Arcturus begins dragging pieces of armor outside of the room in an effort to diminish the supply. The task proves to be to much, akin to removing balls from a ball pit one at a time, and Arcturus realizes that he must switch to plan be and join in the fight.

Mazirian attempts to lightning touch the golum but the ensuing electric shock startles him enough to make him retreat to the corner of the room, completely out of other ideas. Inspired by Mazirian’s action (the touching, not the cowering and failure), Jasha rushes to the golum and seizes him by the wrist. Channeling the power of Pelor through her fingertips, Jasha inflicts enough damage that the armor of the golum is visibly weakened. Reinvigorated by that critical blow, Karankawa bull rushes the golum, sword first, to both tackle and stab. Again, due to body parts and/or forces still unseen, Karankawa’s sword gets stuck in the mouth of the armor. The sudden force causes Karankawa to be blown backwards by the hilt of his own sword. Our adventures go on like this for what feels like an eternity. The golum sustains minor damage but continues to reassemble from the pieces on the floor. Mazirian finds enough courage to rejoin the fight and uses his magic to raise a mace high above the golum’s helm. The mace drops with a mighty clash but the golum is unharmed. Instead, it is really pissed off. It lunges at Mazirian, punching him square in the chest with a crack. Silences passes over our adventurers as they realize just how serious a blow Mazirian has sustained. For a brief second, he is viewed as a fallen comrade and not the resident boob. Jasha rushes to heal Mazirian and is able to bring him back from the brink of death, but the emotional reaction is too strong for her and her next attempt at fighting the golum fails.

Still, the fight rages on and our adventurers seem bested. Arcturus decides to again change tactics and, instead of moving the armor away from the golum, tries to move the golum away from the armor. Moving behind the golum and pushing him towards the door doesn’t do the trick. Slumped on the floor and desperate to do his part, Mazirian conjures an image of himself outside the room. The golum, intrigued and no doubt eager to cause Mazirian more pain, rushes towards the illusion. As he steps outside the room the armor crumples to floor. The Four Locos (and Mazirian) raise their voices in shouts of celebration. Unfortunately, all that celebrating masks the sound of a second golum reassembling behind them. The new golum raises a sword high above his head and swings it at Arcturus. Their reaction to Mazirian’s near death experience is nothing compared to the sight of their fellow party member lying bloodied and dying on the floor. Jasha rushes to his aid just in time to stave off Death’s cold embrace. Arcturus feels a hand on his and looks up to see Blind Bill by his side. Though disoriented, Arcturus sees that the cloth covering Blind Bill has gone askew, revealing two blue, and perfectly healthy eyes. Arcturus cannot find the strength to warn the others, moving his mouth but making no sounds. Blind Bill leans in close to Arcturus and whispers, “The guild has found you,” before sheathing his dagger between Arcturus’s ribs. Arcturus is able to croak out, “the Chameleon Assassin” before falling back into the land of the dead. The Chameleon Assassin flees the room.

There is a flurry of action as the scene registers with the rest of the Four Locos. Enraged at the constant death of his friend, Karankawa grabs Arcturus and drags him to safety (which also happens to be the direction the assassin went). Swift follows and shoots an arrow at the Chameleon Assassin, sending it straight through his knee. Jasha, left in the room after the fray, dodges the golum (he’s still here!) and pulls a scroll from her robes. Unwilling to tolerate another death, she uses the scroll to cast Sanctuary on Arcturus, ensuring his safety. Back in the previous room of the cave, our adventurers follow the trail of the assassin’s blood to an oddly shaped rock in corner. Karankawa knows it to be the assassin in disguise and throws the full weight of his body at him. Pinning him by the arms, a blood thirsty Karankawa invites the others to unleash their fury on the assassin. Swift readies his sword and skewers the Chameleon Assassin straight through the gut. Jasha, her back to the bloodshed, again brings Arcturus back to life.

Arcturus opens his eyes and gathers all his strength, crawling towards the assassin so he can watch him die. Ever the savage, Karankawa offers Arcturus the head of the Chameleon Assassin. Arcturus



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