Diamond Cascade: Oh No, Not You Again (aka Ambush!)

Hammer 9: Slipping in secret into the baleful dominion of EVIL that is the Underdark, Diamond Cascade had thought to enter unnoticed; but no, for he and his less stealthy companions had been FOLLOWED, and by none other than the evil servitors of the dark dwarf Durmijeron! Yes indeed, the servitors that Diamond Cascade and his companions had already once put to the swords! Against the swift senses of Diamond Cascade’s friends, however, these two creatures of wickedness could not long keep themselves concealed and were soon exposed. A mighty duel of swords and arrows and sorcery ensued, but Diamond Cascade and his companions were soon victorious. The foul troglodyte’s attempts to escape were quickly thwarted by Diamond Cascade’s mighty sorcery. Begging and drooling, the pathetic wretch offered Diamond Cascade wealth and power. He spokes of Axolim, the great green dragon whom they serve, who has brought them back from the dead and who grants his servitors tokens and favours to aid them in spreading their wickedness. Unrepentant, the monster left Diamond Cascade with little choice but to kill him for a second time.

So we go down some rickety starircase at the back of some cave that the mad axe-talking dwarf reckons is some sort of emergency exit. Presumably in case of fire or something. He claims to have a map and to know where he’s going, but he hasn’t a clue about the map and keeps contradicting his own directions. And yet we follow him. Why? WHYYYYY??? I suppose there’s some sort of underlying certain belief that he’s a dwarf in some tunnels and so he must know where he’s going. So we’re arguing about all this when Shifty hears something following us and slips back to investigate and yes, there they are, the two tits from the ruined tower north of Neverrest. Yes, the ones we killed once already, Troggy and Dogboy. There’s arrows and magic missiles between me and the halfgit and Troggy and Stalker and The Gnome have at Dogboy and his warg. Doesn’t take too long to bring them down. Troggy tries to hide, but here’s a clue for you thief-types: Trying to hide from a wizard (or in fact anyone who can do any magic whatsoever) who’s looking for you? DON’T CARRY MAGIC ITEMS! One Detect Magic cantrip later and he’s wriggling at the end of my sword-point and his magic scarab-pendant is in my pocket.

And yes, these offers of gold and gems and magic and territory if we were to join up with ‘the greens’ were all very tempting. Two slight little problems I have with this: Firstly, I think this whole malarkey about an eternal war between a pair of dragons is a pile of tosh (although that doesn’t meant here’s a bunch of people loaded with gold and gems and magic and stuff who are pretending to be a pair of evil dragon overlords). Secondly, if it isn’t, I can’t help thinking that butchering a baby green dragon and slicing it up for its saleable body parts might count against us. Anyway, apparently this pair of idiots have been tracking us ever since we killed them the last time to find out what side we’re on. It gives me some pleasure to think they might have had to suffer gnomish pranks and pixies too, and then Shifty, reading my mind, sticks a knife into Troggy. From the dead he came, and back he goes. If he want’s to tell his green scaly master whose side we’re on, good luck to him. I imagine he leaves as confused as he arrived. Do we know what side we’re on? Do we even know there are sides? Did we have to choose? We’re all on our own side – what’s the chances we’d even all pick the same one? Well, great green dragon, if you’re listening, I’m on the side of limitless wealth and power, of endless wine, women and song.

One thing: He seems to recognise Stalker. Calls him Boduku, who was apparently supposed to let the ‘greens’ into the dwarven stronghold of Dwarf Mountain (OK, OK, it has a proper dwarfish name that I can’t remember and couldn’t pronounce anyway). All this, of course, would have happened before Stalker lost his memory. Now this is probably all desperate bullshit in an attempt to sow bickering and discord among us (which just goes to show that he hasn’t been following all that closely to he’d know there was little more he could have done in that regard). But still, it does have an annoying ring of possibility to it.

Before we can question him any more, Shifty stabs him. I’m glad. It’s all very well having Stalker’s dubious past trotted out for all the rest of us to laugh at, but he’s not the only one with a history he’d rather keep to himself. Don’t trust Shifty, but boy is he useful to have around when you secretly want someone stabbed and can’t quite bring yourself to do it.


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