...Oh great forsaken weapons of doom! Getting impaled doesn't seem so bad now! At least the green fetid crap in my stomach would spew out!
And I wake with a gasp and a sickening lump in my throat, grasping at my trusty guizarme. What in the thrice-stamped rejection lists of the celestial bureaucracy was that!?
A half-conscious moan from my left... Bagheera brought a man in again?!
No. Damn it. This ain't gonna be solved with a pillow down someone's throat.
The warlock is thrashing about, foaming at the mouth, obviously unconscious.
Now, hey, I'm a caster, I can beat any of the pure academy mages in a straight fight, provided they're in reach. But this? When you see something like this, you know you'll want a cleric.
So I burst into the neighboring room, and let them be envious of the silken underwear and the sexy guizarme.
"Hassan, Cris! Wake up, you accursed sloths!"
Hassan is already wide awake, and looking like he'd swallowed a frog. Cris's reaction is more like mine - the bow is tight in his hands way before he opens his eyes. The hawk, his companion, squawks angrily.
"Right you are, pal. There's something wrong with Bagheera, go and see, while I get my armor on! I've a feeling this is going to stink royally."
Cris is already pulling his pants on, so I get back into my room and start dressing myself, while Hassan makes sure our warlock doesn't drown in slobber. Not that she needs much more drool to pull that off, but thanks to the priest's timely intervention, she doesn't. Good for us, I guess, bad for my sleep in nights to come.
I snap the last of my armor into place, activating my favorite glamor - a charming silken dress - and look outside.
Whoa. Whatever it was, it woke up the city! Lights are everywhere...
Everywhere I know mages and clerics live. And in some places I'm not sure of. Let's see if I can map those tomorrow.
Anyway. Looks like we just got work of some kind. Now just where is it?..
Ooh. Is that a black puddle... Rising to the first floor window level... Rising to the second floor? Crawling out of the sewers? Lesseee, what do we remember about those?
Right. Crap-eating oozes that are usually contained by the city's mages. Good news: these don't split when harmed, to control their population. Bad news: they still eat everything in sight.
Eeedjits. I always said the local mages were just like, "Ooh, I wanna be digested by my own handi - if those were made by hands and not other organs! - handiwork. But, hey, we get to clean up and we get paid, right?
"Great." Cris says, already by my side. I can see the look in his eyes.
They have little gold coins circling around the irises. "Ready to fight a few jellies?"
"Always ready!" I laugh.
"Bagheera seems to be safe." Hassan reports. "Let me get my weapons."
Cris notches an arrow and lazily shoots into the blackness. It... Dissolves.
Great. If I touch it with my guizarme, it'll eat it, too. And I don't have many reach spells. Backup, then.
And then the pungent thing is in our faces.
"Whoa! That was quick!" I yell, as I dodge a pseudopod.
Cris isn't so lucky, and I hear the ranger's hoarse voice cry out in
pain. And it's got him choked. And half-dissolved. Quick indeed!
I punch it.
"ARRGGet back to your outhouse, you stupid jelly! Cris, RUN!" And the jelly appears across the street. Too bad there's no cliff to drop it off here.
The ranger dives back into the healing embrace of our cleric. I hope to follow suit, but just as I turn to run, I feel a searing pain, as it lashes across my back and whirls around my chest.
But I slip out of its tentacle, just in time to see two more arrows embed themselves in the ooze.
"That was charmed mithril, you annoying little..."
"My armor, you bastard! I am SO going to get the one who summoned you..."
"Bashira, curse you!"
"...and make them eat their intestines, all the while being..."
"Bashira, listen!" Cris's yell finally gets across. "We need to get out of here! Outside, where we can maneuver!"
"Right. But don't dissuade me on the intestines thing!"
"Er, Bashira?" Hassan hands me a sheet.
"Thanks!" I wrap it around my burned chest hastily. Oooh, someone's gonna pay in the most painful coin possible.
We run out, and Cris shoots it some more. So do I, with magic, but I can't really do much without a reach weapon. Note to self: finally buy bow again! I broke my first one back in training and never looked back. It might help next time, though.
But the ooze still notices Cris and starts crawling towards him. I distract it with a bit of cold, and it lashes out with a massive tentacle again.
And a couple more arrows. When's it gonna die?!
"Bashira, catch!" Our cleric shouts, and throws me a crossbow.
I snatch it out of the air as I dodge some more attacks.
"Hey, AI-less crapshoot, eat this!" And it quivers and loses structure, black waves of stinking mass disintegrating as they cascade down, down, down.
"Don't be so optimistic!" Cris yells.
Yep, that was a bit early. One more is crawling out of the hellhole which the first one came through, and another one is somewhat off, but not by far.
So we start shooting again, and the cleric starts summoning. Not that it works too well: when the crap monsters are as big as the houses and fill the street, it's a bit hard not go get caught between two who have crawled out on opposite sides of yours. But they're way too slow, and we do just as I predicted - shoot one quickly enough to get a "get out of reach" card for free from the other one.
I just have time to withdraw and turn around, and aim, when suddenly we hear a bit more twanging than our bow and crossbow could make together even if they had bowstring babies from every shot fired, and the last jelly finally dissolves.
The guard. Armed with crossbows, all. Killstealers!
Well, we can steal a few kills from them.
"Are you all right?" Their leader calls out.
"Somewhat digested, but otherwise fine." Cris says grimly. "Are there more of these?"
"A lot more." The guard answers. "The city's drowning in them!" Looks like the sewers have broken down finally and completely. What *have* they been feeding those oozes so that they rebel? Oh, right, crap. Not that they care.
"I say we go and get the others. Right NOW." I interject, snarling. "Whoever did this gots me an armor to buy."
"Err, Bashira." Cris says, staring. The guards also stare. Oh, right, cloth-eating.
Hassan just hands me a new piece of sheet with a prayer on top.
"Good as new!" I say, tying the final knot in my makeshift dress. "Let's go get them bastards!"