Black Mountain Burns, Part 1
"God damn it all," She'rah said as she flopped back against her chair, "we're fucked."
"Not yet," Poot told her as he leaned forward to get a better look at the board, squinting as though it would help turn the odds into their favor. "There's got to be a way out of here."
"You've got thirty seconds to make a decision, Poot," Tut said as he shoved another marsh-mellow into his mouth, "if you haven't made one by then you forfeit your turn."
"Yeah, I heard you the first time," Poot said as he leaned back.
"This isn't good," Icarus said from behind his Player's Handbook.
"I know," Poot said as he looked back at him.
"So what do we do, gang?" the World's Greatest Liar said as he threw his arms up.
"Fifteen seconds, Poot,"
"I got it!" Poot shouted as he snapped his fingers, "Step you're bugging. Everyone else give him time to get out."
Step rolled his shoulders as he shook his head, "I don't like this."
"You've still got the bag, right?" Poot asked him.
Step looked down at his sheet for a minute, lost in thought, before answering, "Yeah. I've got it."
"Poot's turn is forfeited," Tut said with a large, hungry grin. "Step, you're up."
"I'm falling back behind Poot's fighter and changing my shape."
"Are you now," Tut said with a hint of malicious amusement in his voice. "And why would you do that?"
"My turn?" Icarus asked.
Tut stared at Step as he answered, "Yeah, Icarus, it is. What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to run to the left with my barrel slung on my back screaming at the ogres to get their attention."
"Going for a feint, are you?" Tuts said as he brushed marsh-mellow powder from his chest. "Roll an opposed check."
"19," Icarus called.
"The ogres have all turned towards you and are preparing to charge."
"My turn," She'rah said.
"Sure, sure," Tut said with a dismissive wave of his hand.
"I'm lighting my arrow in our torch, and readying my shot for when Step tells me it's time," she said.
"Okay," Tut said as the ogres charged into the World's Greatest Liar and Icarus. Their clubs slammed against the earth and shook the ground with each massive blow. When they were done all that was left of The World's Greatest Liar was a messy paste clinging to their clubs and Icarus lay on the ground, his legs a useless ruin.
When it was over Tut looked up from the board and said, "They all turn towards Poot with evil grins on their faces."
"Can I shout as free action," Icarus asked?
"Yeah," Tut said.
"Good," Icarus said as he looked back into his book and began to flip pages.
Poot leaned over to Step and asked, "How much longer do you need."
"I'm out on my turn," Step said as he pulled a cigarette out of its pack.
"Okay," Poot said. "Then I'm charging the closest one."
"It's your death," Tut said as he looked away from the table with sly smirk.
"Yeah," Poot said, "but not for long."
"What does that mean?" Tut said as he adjusted for Poot's damage.
"I'm up," Step called.
"Yeah," Tut said, "but what did you mean by that, Poot?"
"I'm a Chicken hawk and bugging out through the south bound window," Step said as he rolled. "And I just landed a natural 20."
"You make out the window," Tut said with a snarl.
"I'm shooting Icarus' barrel," She'rah declared. "Modified 22 to hit."
Tut looked behind his screen and began to work some numbers before he said, "You hit."
"Did the arrow pierce the barrel?" She'rah asked.
Tut worked behind his screen again for a few moments before looking at her over his glasses, "High or low?"
"High," She'rah said with a smile.
"Then yes," Tut said as the dice came to a rest in front of her.
"I'll use my free action here," Icarus interrupted.
Tut sounded surprised, "Oh?"
"Yeah," Icarus said, "I want to look at the ogres and say; I want to say, Hey you big dumb bastards. It's Booms-day."
"Booms-day," Tut said as he looked at him incredulously. "Why -"
"You remember a few sessions back when you told us that Alchemist's Fire is highly combustible and that a flame near it could cause it to explode," Icarus said as he laid down his Player's Handbook, "Well, that barrel I've been carrying around has 31 gallons of Alchemist's Fire in it that we bought back in Erfurt. We agreed that a flask of Alchemist's Fire is 8 oz back at the start of the campaign. So if I do a little bit of math," Icarus said as he began flicking his abacus back and forth, "that means that my barrel is holding 496 flasks of Alchemist's Fire or 496d6 points of damage concentrated on me and splashed onto every square around me for 1 point per flask."
"You just killed yourselves," Tut said with exasperation.
"No, we just chose how we won this fight," Poot said. "Besides She'rah and Step are out of the splash radius so that means the party won."
"I can't believe you guys would go this far just to keep from losing." Tut said as he began clearing the board.
"We're not done yet," Step said, "I've got a toe from every member of our party and I'm heading to Erfurt to raise them."
"Not bad," Tut said, "So are we on for next week."
"Yeah," Poot said as he started packing up, "By the way, are we starting that dungeon of yours?"
"Ganymede's Prison?" Tut said.
"Yeah, that one."
"Sure, if you guys want."
Step coughed and nudged Poot's leg. "Yeah, we want to do that, but we'd like to bring in three more players since it's supposed to be such a challenge."
"I'd like to bring in Biggboy."
"Sure," Tut said. "He's good people."
"And the Master Planner."
"Alright," Tut said as a look of concern grew on his face. "What are you leading up to here, Poot?"
"And I'd like to invite my brother, Charlie."
Tut leaned back in his chair, "So Biggboy, Master Planner, and Charlie. You guys are really taking this seriously, aren't you."
"We figured it's time you graduated," Step said as he lit his cigarette, "and had us at full strength."
"You're talking like you guys weren't trying before."
"We were taking it easy on you," She'rah said as she threw her backpack over her shoulder, "this was only your second campaign."
"But you guys have beat everything I've thrown at you."
"Oh we won," Icarus said, "we just didn't beat everything."
"What's the difference?"
"You'll see next week," The World's Greatest Liar said as he slapped Tut on his shoulder.
Poot stepped outside into the chill breeze of an early January morning and sent the text message he'd saved for three months.
Boys, get ready. We're burning down the mountain next Tuesday. Bring your dice and get ready 'cause Tut said you ain't got a hair on your asses and you ain't shit.