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BQ-71: The Duke and the Manzibar

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

Once again, the Herd is surrounded by carnage.

The Vanthampur Villa is littered with smashed guards, broken doors, squished beds, and slain Vanthampurs. Also that flying cat-thing is still creeping around and it’s giving everyone the heebie-jeebies.

Inside, the Herd sets their sights on loot. Outside, the guards rally to take back the house. Downside, the servants scream because they just saw a stampede of minotaurs bulldoze out of the pantry and kill their employers.

“Oh, there’s a lot of screaming going on,” Tallest complains as he smashes down another door.

The room is filled with cosmetic supplies and fashionable furniture, but the Herd ignores all of that because the Dungeon Master also mentioned that this room has a treasure chest. They rush to the nearest treasure chest, and as they pry that shit open, they see that it’s chock full of hats!

Tall hats, little hats, purdy hats, fancy hats, hat-wearing-hats and hats for your friends! The Herd then proceeds to spend several out-of-game minutes deciding what kind of hat they all find after the Dungeon Master tells them that this Vanthampur Duke woman has, like, all the hats.

All… the hats.

Sfiros finds a hat that looks like a vampire stole it from a witch. It’s a seasonal hat for Hatred, and as he puts it on, he feels the rim of the hat puckering at his head like some kind of hat-butt-anus. He ensures that it isn’t cursed, though.

Sleipnir takes a crown worthy of a queen on her birthday; bright teal with a blue ribbon and pink flowers. It clashes with his dirty robes, but he feels beautiful for the moment.

Caeus snags a multi-colored propellor cap because he’s a damned child.

Tallest claims the biggest, floppiest sunhat because though he is prominently tall, he needs to work on his wide-ness, and this hat girths him up to a prominent size.

Harken, wanting to blend in with Thalamra Vanthampur’s crowd so that he doesn’t stand out, finds a red MAKE BALDUR’S GRATE AGAIN cap from when Vanthampur campaigned for her Duke title.

They ignore the screams and explore further because they really want to take this lady’s shit after slaughtering her children. They are the heroes, after all!

Caeus successfully picks an iron padlock on a tantalizing chest. Inside, he finds a wooden pan flute, a calligraphy set, a bundle of ledgers, a poisoner’s kit, and a coin purse.

The greediest adventurers (all of them) claim their prizes quickly. But when the third treasure leaves the chest, a false bottom rises and uncorks a vial of poison that spews out and spreads all over the room.

“Stop farting, Caeus,” Sleipnir says as he spits acid back at the chest.

Sfiros opens the coin purse and finds 22 platinum pieces, 85 gold pieces, and 113 silver pieces. Surely this precious metal is more than needed in the High House of Wonders!

“Gond doesn’t need all of that,” Tallest says.

“Gond needs some of that, and some of it will go to our expenses,” Sfiros agrees.

Sleipnir, unsatisfied, steals the gossamer sheets off the Duke’s bed because they are soft and expensive and worthy of prime snuggling.

They all ignore more screams in the distance. Sheesh, what’s with all the screaming? Is a swathe of murder really worth getting so worked up about? These were bad guys, dammit!

The Herd then bursts into the Duke’s study, no longer interested in keeping quiet because those damned shouting folks outside and downside have already woken up like half the neighborhood. A fiendish, hellish, devilish, all-kinds-of-ish- suit of plate armor with a wicked longsword stands in a prominent corner.

“I want this sword,” Tallest says.

“Hold on,” Caeus stops him. “The last time we found weird plate armor, it attacked us.”

Well this one attacks them this time, too!

The gilded Khorne armor rattles to life as a fiery pulse radiates within the helm. Menacing roars echo from the horrific armor as it slices its sword at Tallest, the largest of the minotaurs.

Tallest blocks the Khorne armor in the corner, and the Anacos brothers zap from the left and right. Sfiros and Harken shout from the back, participating as best they can with the least effort possible to allow them some XP.

This Khorne armor is by far the toughest evil magic armor the Herd has ever faced, and they’ve had to tackle like two other armor things that led to disaster in previous episodes, so they’ve gotten pretty good at beating up clothes by now! Usually when they shout and spit this much, things die or run or call the cops. This armor, however, shrugs off the Herd’s attacks like the cantrips they are. It’s like they’re dealing with internet bullshit…

But they’re not!

It’s in…



No internet needed!

Sfiros seeks divine help as he prays to Gond and blesses the other minotaurs, giving them the striking power they need to lay some hurt on this armor.

Ignoring the spellcasters, the armor focuses its rage on Tallest. These two titans of armor, each with a magical weapon and a shield, clash against one another. Each swipe, parry, and block sprays radiant and fiendish sparks, and sending tremors through the study.

The spellcasters on the backline peek behind them, eyeing the stairwell leading down to the ground floor. The patrolling guards are piling into the villa and funneling up the stairs. Eager for something they can damage, the spellcasters attack the new guards with fury.

Sfiros trips the first guard who runs in, and Harken laughs at him to death. It’s such a terrible way to die oh shit I bet that guy’s going to be embarrassed when he goes to Guard Hell.

Sleipnir moos melodically and sends the next two guards to sleep as they collapse on the ground.

Screams from downstairs echo through the villa, and they squelch to silence as someone downstairs ends their cacophony.

Tallest convinces his allies to heal him because he’s the tank and that’s how dungeon raids work! They all pitch in to buff their tank before murdering another trashmob guard.

Harken throws his hands forward, his fingers splayed out like devil horns, and he incinerates a guard with burning hands, sending a wave of flame through the hallway. “I honestly didn’t know I could do that,” the man who looks like the devil says.

Sfiros sings the praises of Gond, which the guards absolutely despise since they’re kind of secular and don’t want any of that evangelical stuff. His word of radiance causes seizures in them as they feel the spirit rising within!

Tallest, buffed and bruised, slams his warhammer into the Khorne armor. He feels a chill rush into the armor as the suit combusts into itself. The armor and the longsword crumple, implode, and disintegrate into dust that sprinkles over the room in a light haze.

“Even the sword?” Sleipnir asks.

“Especially the sword,” the world replies.

“Aw, this happens every time we fight evil armor,” Tallest complains.

With every other guard dead, they tie up the two sleeping guards and throw them on the sheetless bed, which isn’t nearly as soft and cushy as it was before because IT GOT NO SHEETS after Sheitnir took them!

Ellison struggles up the stairs, her armor and weapon as bloodied as the villa.

“Oh,” she sighs. “I see you’ve got it handled up here.”

“Look, we got two prisoners!” Sleipnir gloats, hugging his sheets (but not hugging his prisoners!)

“We have to replace the two prisoners we released,” Tallest explains, using flawless math.

Caeus loots through the bookshelves, then throw all the books from them onto the ground, looking for a secret door. Sleipnir picks up one of the books titled A Simple Guide to Vampires.

They then climb a spiral staircase which leads to a square room with a peaked roof. Two filthy, padlocked cages stand on the floor. Each cage holds a human prisoner and a chamber pot. The prisoners are for prison things, and the chamber pots are for poop things.

“What are you doing here?” Sleipnir asks.

“I was captured by the Vanthampurs,” the man says.

“Ask him if he’s a virgin,” Caeus suggests.

You ask him that,” Sleipnir says.

“No, that’s weird,” Caeus says.

“Hey, mate,” Harken says. “Are you a fuckin’ virgin?”

“Not anymore,” the man answers. “I’m a tax collector. When I tried to collect on the Vanthampurs, this is what happened.”

“There’s a protest outside,” Tallest says. “They need leaders. Are you in?”

Speaking of protest leaders… the real East Clintwood has got to be confused as all hell right now!

“Yes!” the man cries. “I’ll do anything I can to get the Vanthampurs,” the man shouts, seething with hatred. “To put them in their place… To put Amrich.... to put Thurstwell... to put Mortloch—”

Way ahead of you,” Caeus laughs. “They’re already put to rest. Courtesy of the Herd. Show him the head.”

Harken pulls out Thurstwell’s head. “Where the fuck did this come from?” Harken asks.

The man cackles in laughter. “You have no idea how good it feels to see that!”

They turn to the other cage to question its prisoner (but not to question its chamber pot). “What’s your deal, lady?” Sleipnir asks.

“I am a sewer maintenance supervisor,” the woman explains. “I was extending the Lower City sewer system, but that place was occupied by a cult.”

A sewer maintenance supervisor? Maybe her chamber pot knows more than it’s letting on!

Caeus picks the lock on the tax collector’s cage, and the door springs open.

“Freedom!” the tax collector cries. “Freedom! The Herd has freed me!”

“But,” Caeus puts his hand up, “no more taxes.”

“For the Herd,” Sleipnir adds.

“Right,” Tallest agrees. “We’re exempt.”

“Anything! Anything!” the tax collector agrees. “No more taxes for the Herd!”

Ellison draws Shatterspike and destroys the lock on the sewer supervisor’s cage. “You’re free to go,” the Hellrider says.

“You’re free to go lead this riot,” Tallest decides. “We need you. Go tell everyone your story.”

“I’ll tell them all about the sewers!” the supervisor agrees.

The Herd is satisfied with their achievements… but then they remember the sewers are their new base.

“No, don’t tell them about the sewers!” the Herd moos. The supervisor runs away without promising anything.

“Harken, go arrest her,” Tallest demands.

“Oy, seems like a lot o’ work, mate,” Harken says.

They decide to head beneath the villa and back into the sewers to finish the job once and for all! It’s time to take out Thalamra Vanthampur! Harken is sure to take Thurstwell’s head as they run downstairs in search of her, just to rub it in her face. They’ll rub her face with his face!

Once they reach the bottom of the secret stairs in the pantry, they poke around some more and find a secret door leading to a wine cellar loaded with booze. Caeus tosses seventeen bottles of Dragon’s Breath wine into his bag of holding because it’s expensive and they like to be boojie sometimes. Sleipnir drinks from one bottle and breaks all the other bottles because he’s already drunk.

“We have to kill the Duke! We have to kill the Duke!” the Herd chants as they slam open every closed door they find in the sewer system.

“Knock, knock!” Sleipnir says as he kicks open a door, finding a room filled with animal carcasses and various meats.

“This is very disturbing,” Caeus says, vegetarianly.

Sleipnir, also a vegetarian, casts infestation on all the meat. His Nurgle brand pulsates with chaotic endorphins as critters infest the carcasses and feast on the flesh, decomposing it into nasty goop to satiate their verminous appetites.

They then find a kitchen and smash up the dining room because if anyone is going to eat in this sewer, they’re going to have a difficult time doing so!

They then find a set of double doors scrawled with an image of a devil’s face, which is one of the worst kind of faces on the McSneakle scale. Tallest does not check to see if it is unlocked. He smashes the door open with his warhammer and confronts whatever terror is waiting on the other side.

Within, two rows of tall, wrought-iron candlesticks line the chamber. A statue of an angel with white glowing eyes and a longsword stands atop a dais. Nine tapestries depicting the nine layers of hell adorn the walls.

A fiend bristling with spines stands close to the statue and glares at four black-robed cultists kneeling and chanting in the middle of the room. Their faces are obscured by golden devil masks.

“Intruders!” the barbed fiend points at the Herd, its wicked talons and razor-tail whipping in vile anger.

The cultists rise and pull out their daggers and shortswords, turning on the Herd with zealous commitment to their corrupted sanctum.

Falaster comes out of nowhere because we forgot he existed until the initiative was rolled, and he stabs a cultist through the heart, killing it instantly as it crumples to the ground in a bloody puddle. Everyone is surprised. Especially that stupid cultist!

Sleipnir leaps through the door. His nubs glow with energy, coalescing into horns. The energy blasts at the cultists in three separate scorching rays, torching their robes and fully incinerating one of them into a pile of ash!

Tallest and Caeus rush into the room, their armor glinting in the light of Sleipnir’s assault. They smash and gore the last cultists, finishing off the chaff front-line and leaving the devil to fight them alone.

The barbed devil pulls back its hands, conjures balls of fire in both of them, then hurls them across the room at Harken. They blas the poor bard, but his tiefling heritage shrugs off most of the damage. The devil will need a bigger pair of balls to knock Harken out!

Ellison throws her hands out and casts protection from evil and good on Tallest. The fighter’s weapon glows with the power of Gond, and his shield radiates with the favor of Tyr.

“You think such spells will save you?” the barbed fiend snarls. It lashes at Tallest, but that spell did save him, actually. So who looks foolish now, devil!?

“How do you like thunder?” Caeus asks as he reels his hand back and punches the foe. Electricity zaps through the devil, forcing its barbs upright and frying it within.

As the Herd trades blows with the barbed devil, part of the wall slides open to reveal a tall, stern, muscular human woman with a sneer of hatred on her face. The sleeves of her dress are rolled up to her elbows, revealing a set of corded forearms with more gains than a bottle of laundry detergent. She says nothing, merely leering at the intruders.

“Welcome to the thunderdome!” Sleipnir welcomes the woman to her own house. He shoots three welcoming magic missiles at Duke Vanthampur, punting her full force.

She absorbs the missiles with her large forearms, then points a sausage-thick finger at Sleipnir. Her hellish rebuke flame roars out in response to Sleipnir’s attack, momentarily engulfing the sorcerer and almost torching his fancy gossamer sheets that he rightly stole from her.

Tallest embiggens, his horns scraping along the top of the cult chamber. He lumbers around the barbed devil and swats at the Duke, clobbering her with his warhammer.

The barbed devil takes the opening to stab Caeus, its claws slipping under his power armor and chopping at his vulnerable flesh.

Sleipnir and Duke Vanthampur exchange fire damage, throwing flames at each other in a spellcaster’s duel: Sleipnir’s shadow magic going toe-to-toe with Vanthampur’s devil magic.

The Duke stares up at Tallest after she catches one of Sleipnir’s scorching rays and squelches it to smolders in her calloused hand. She shouts to him, “You cannot stop the inevitable!” then conjures her devil powers full force and launches blackened eldritch blasts that bounce off Tallest’s shield.

“Oy!” Harken says, calling Vanthampur’s attention. He takes out Thurstwell’s head and moves it like a puppet. “Hey, mom, this is how you get ahead in life. Get it?”

The Duke’s rage blinds her from Tallest’s hammer, drawing her attention from the powerful minotaur towards the asshole tiefling in the back.

“This is what you get for putting out a hit on us,” Tallest says. “We don’t know you or want anything to do with you.”

When his hammer makes contact with the burly aristocrat, Tallest activates his fire rune. Chains of flame snake out of his hammer and sear the Duke’s throat. She hisses a blood-curdling screech as the fire consumes all the air in her lungs.

Duke Vanthampur perishes under Tallest’s flaming hammer, charring to a flaming hust of ash and bone.

Sfiros sends aid to Harken, Caeus, and Sleipnir as they throw hands at the barbed devil.

The barbed fiend is surrounded, seven versus one. Hellish flames fly in every direction. The fiend dodges melee weapons and absorbs fire spells, throwing them back at the Herd while lashing with its tail and claws, chipping away at them with precise strikes.

Ellison fails attack after attack. The effects of being dead and seeing hell are overwhelming to her. Her faith and resolve shake. A claw punctures her armor, and Ellison gasps in pain, her protection from good and evil blessing spell faltering from Tallest.

The spellcasters exhaust the last of their spell slots as the barbed fiend jumps in and out of battle, evading most of their attacks.

The fiend closes in on Sleipnir and claws at him, ripping away enough of his life force to drop him down to 0. But the sorcerer resets back to consciousness with strength of the grave as shadowy tendrils restore him. The fiend stabs him again, but Sleipnir refuses to go down with relentless endurance, which lets him stand up… because… he just can do that sometimes, okay!? The fiend is very confused. The sorcerer who died twice refuses to die now?

So while the devil ponders its existential moment, Caeus waddles his ass up and thunder punches the fiend from behind, sending it flying into Sfiros’s guiding bolt, which blasts the fiend square in the face.

The fiend screeches and attacks wildly, claws and tails and teeth grasping for anything to kill.

Ellison moves behind the fiend, Shatterspike clutched in both hands. She guides the magical sword, once wielded by Valour Stevenson, hero of Chult, through an opening in its barbs. The magical sword bursts through the fiend’s chest, and she wrenches the weapon to disembowel the creature.

The fiend withers and pools within itself. It screeches again before imploding, vanishing back to the hells from whence it came, leaving the cult chambers as silent as a grave.

Ellison sighs and says a quiet prayer to Tyr. Her faith is returning; she can feel it.

“Zariel’s from Kinchasa?” Sfiros mumbles out loud.

Ellison looks up and sees what he’s talking about. The angel statue at the back of the cult chamber is that of Zariel, Hellrider of Kinchasa.

“Why would her statue be down here?” Ellison’s voice shakes with her faith.

“Gotta be somewhere!” Sleipnir says, trying to help.

He doesn’t.

Ellison grits her teeth and storms up to the statue. She raises Shatterspike and smashes the graven image of Zariel into a pile of rubble.

“They will not deface her that way,” Ellison shouts.

“Speaking of deface, let’s cut this lady’s head off!” Sleipnir says, pointing at Vanthampur’s corpse. They all agree. Harken takes this head and puts it in his head bag. They then find a set of keys in her pocket and put them in the key bag.

They explore the secret room that Vanthampur emerged from, revealing a cubby area with a desecrated altar sporting candles with flames in the form of angels.

“Ellison, bring Shatterspike,” Caeus calls. “This thing can’t be good. And we’ve gotta get out of here.”

Ellison raises her sword and smashes through the altar. The evil magic explodes from the altar and rumbles around the room, shaking out the lit candles as the altar crumbles to the ground.

Sleipnir’s Nurgle brand tingles, as though waking up from a long sleep. Ellison flinches, then grips the hilt of her sword and clenches her eyes. “There’s still darkness down here.” She points to the southwest.

Far down the southwest tunnel, they find a locked door. The Duke’s keys open this door, and Sleipnir prepares to be friends with whoever they find inside. Little does he know, he’s been developing a friendship with one of the entities within this room for quite a while now.

Within the room are several coffers set up on display stands. Mounted on the back of the wall is a wicked, ancient scythe with barbs and ornate, infernal carvings. Sleipnir hears a voice in his head as he lays eyes on the scythe, “Take me, and we can vanquish Tzeentch’s imposter!”

Tzeentch’s imposter?

Two people are chained to the wall on either side of the scythe: a short, pudgy Kinchasan man in austere attire, and a decrepit minotaur curled up in pain.

“Numooru!” They all recognize the minotaur immediately and rush to him. No longer proud and regal as an austere leader of one of the largest churches in the land, Numooru seems haggard and broken, like he hasn’t eaten in weeks.

As they crowd the minotaur, they notice the shadow of the Kinchasan man is… different! The shadow has short, stubby wings and long, curled horns. The Herd is totally cool with the horns; most shadows look better with horns! But the wings? That’s worth taking note.

Sleipnir casts friends on the creepy Kinchasan dude just to be safe, then rushes to the scythe and stares at it, the voice speaking to him again, “I am the Silence.”

“Numooru, what are you doing here?” Tallest asks.

“Explain,” Caeus demands.

“Don’t hurt him!” Sfiros shouts.

“Yeah, don’t hurt us, Numooru,” Tallest says.

“We only got a minute on friends, ya know?” Harken says.

Numooru’s eyes flutter open, darting around the room in delirium. “Did they capture you, too?” Numooru whimpers.

“Hell no,” Caeus says flatly. “What’s this guy?” Caeus points at the creepy fat bastard with the shady shadow. “What’s his story? Fast! The condensed version.”

“It’s Manzibar Kreeg,” Numooru manages. “Are… are you here to rescue me?”

“That’s not why we’re here,” Caeus says. “We can do it. You have to eat our food, though.”

“You have to un-ban me from your temple,” Sleipnir demands, still looking at the scythe.

“What?” Numooru asks, trying to stand.

“Stop harassing him!” Sfiros cries, helping his master stand.

“Are you banned from the temple?” Numooru asks Sleipnir.

Sleipnir turns from the scythe, coming to a realization. “How long have you been in here?” Sleipnir asks.

Sfiros pushes forward and asks the old minotaur, “What’s my name!?”

“You are Sfiros Dimirgos,” Numooru says to completion with no extra surname letters.

“He hasn’t heard!” Caeus says.

“You don’t remember the penance?” Tallest asks.

“My penance was a really important part of my life recently,” Sfiros mutters. “If he just forgot about it, that’s not cool.”

“I think there’s an imposter in the temple.” Sleipnir turns to the chained minotaur. “You let an imposter in the temple and kicked me out of it?!”

“Manzibar Kreeg,” Caeus turns to the other prisoner. “Why do I get the feeling that you’ve signed a deal with a devil with a bloody knife? And what’s that thing on your neck?”

“It’s a necktie,” the Manzibar says softly.

“What was the previous Manzibar’s name?” Caeus asks.

“The previous Manzibar?” Kreeg ponders, raising an eyebrow dismissively. “You mean Manzibar Magician?”

Everyone thinks quietly for a few seconds.

“I don’t know what that proves,” Caeus admits, “because I did not know that.”

“Wait, someone made me eat iron!” Sfiros shouts.

“Who?” Numooru asks, confused.

“Who’s tooth am I wearing?” Sfiros points to his iron-eating tooth.

Numooru is stunned. “What’s going on in my temple!?”

Sfiros smashes Numooru’s chains with his chain-smashing magic and says, “You’re coming with me.”

Satiir Thione-Hhune, the aristocrat they freed with Falaster and kind of forgot about as she fucked off somewhere else for a bit and tagged along, runs into the room and points at the scythe hanging on the wall.

“That’s it,” she says. “Silence. The artifact Duke Vanthampur stole.”

Tallest and Sleipnir grab at the scythe. It moves out of Tallest’s reach and into Sleipnir’s hands. The Nurgle tattoo gives off a pleasant feeling for the first time, like slipping a comfortably socked foot into an old shoe… not that the minotaurs would know about that with the hooves and all!

Sleipnir examines the artifact, as though Silence chose him. As if it was meant to be in his hands. As if something has been guiding him toward this moment.

Sleipnir hears the words in his head more clearly than ever before. “Take me, and we can vanquish Tzeentch’s imposter. Nurgle and Tazeentch… they’ve never been on good terms.” and then, with profound accusation, the scythe blasts in Sleipnir’s head, “Tzeentch has infiltrated the High House of Wonders!”

“So… she is slain, then?” Manzibar Kreeg asks after a while.

“You talkin’ about this one?” Harken pulls out the Duke’s head.

The Manzibar nods.

“You gonna explain your shadow?” Caeus asks, pointing to the freaky-dick shadow.

“That, I cannot quite explain,” the Manzibar explains. “This place does... things to people. I did not know that Kinchasa was going to disappear. I was miles away when it happened.”

“Is he lying?” Sfiros asks.

“Vanthampur’s guards captured me after I arrived in Baldur’s Gate,” the Manzibar continues. “She tried to get me to ascertain the magical properties of that artifact.” He points to Silence.

“There’s nothing magical about this!” Sleipnir says, clutching Silence to his chest. You see how Silence is all italicized and stuff? That means it’s totally magical!

“It was acquired from a crypt under the city,” the Manzibar says.

“Acquired? More like stole!” Satiir says.

Caeus gets impatient. “We need to get out of this house.”

Sfiros, ever the devout minotaur, says, “Hold on. We might need to kill this guy first.”

“No, we’re not killing him,” Tallest decides. “We’re presenting him to the mob. And we’re going to let them decide.”

“Rumor has it, the High House of Wonders has been infiltrated,” Sleipnir says.

“Says who?” Sfiros demands.

“Says the source,” Sleipnir says.

“Are you getting rumors from your scythe now?” Sfiros asks.

“Yeah, the scythe’s telling me we gotta go kill people,” Sleipnir admits.

“Yes, if someone has infiltrated the High House of Wonders, we have to go kill people,” Sfiros agrees, clenching his fists as his hat clenches his head.

“How do you know that’s not the imposter?” Sleipnir points to the decrepit Numooru.

“Does he look like the guy who banished you from the temple?” Sfiros asks.

“He does look like him,” Caeus points out the point of an imposter.

“Wait a second, aren’t you from the High House of Wonders?” Sleipnir says to Sfiros.

“I have not infiltrated it!” Sfiros shouts.

“How do we know?” Sleipnir says. “Who’s got a zone of truth? Zone of truth yourself and step in it!”

“I’m telling the truth!” Sfiros yells.

“That’s what someone who lies would say!” Sleipnir says.

“I insight check myself!” Sfiros says, then realizes there’s this sketchy fat man in the corner. “I also insight check this Kreeg guy!”

Sfiros insight checks and feels like that Manzibar Kreeg’s whole spiel about being sad and shit with what happened in Kinchasa sounds like a rehearsed political speech without empathy. The rest of the Herd determines that the beat up homeless-person Numooru with them is definitely a bonafide, bovine, grade A, prime rib Numooru.

“Numooru… how do you feel about Chaos tattoos?” Sleipnir says.

Numooru thinks for a bit. “We could have it removed?”

“OH MY GOSH yes let’s get this guy back in power!” Sleipnir shouts.

“This is best Numooru!” Sfiros says.

“Cut his chains and kill the other guy. Let’s go!” Sleipnir says.

“Manzibar Kreeg you have to be delivered unto the mob for justice. If you have anything to say, now is the time to say it,” Caeus says, crossing his arms.

“And just remember anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of mob rule,” Sleipnir adds, the Anacos brothers performing perfectly in a bad cop bad cop routine.

Kreeg stares at Ellisin. He smiles and says, “I suppose the Creed Resolute wins in the end?”

The Herd stares at Ellisin in hopes that she will now take on the role of a “What’s This?” NPC to explain this Creed Resolute.

Ellison mutters back, closing her eyes, “The Creed Resolute is a series of oaths and maxims that paladins—the Hellriders—even the Kinchasan citizens swear. To serve the realm of Kinchasa and the Manzibar. To defend the city body and soul. To serve all good people in the greater good. To hold Kinchasa’s laws in the Creed Resolute, and to let no difference of faith come between them.” She then leers at Kreeg and says, “You’re up to something…”

“What do you want to do with him?” SF

“Let my people decide,” Ellison says with finality.

“All right! Yes!” Tallest grabs him and drags him out. He’s super stoked for the whole mob justice thing, and that mob has got to be good and going right about now!

The Herd then realizes that the coffers full of loot is sprawled out all over the room, and ever in need of more shit to sell, they steal the hell out of Duke Vanthampur’s stuff:

They run off with the following:

  • 30 electrum ingots (10 gp each)

  • 300 gp

  • Pieces of a broken ceremonial dagger of curved ivory blade bearing Draconic runes, along with a bone hilt wrapped in leather strips and studded with gemstones. (worth 150 gp)

  • 200 pp

  • 20 azurite gemstones (10 gp each)

  • 1 Numooru

  • 1 Manzibar

“Let’s get out of here!” Caeus says, binding Manzibar Kreeg’s arms as they get ready to haul off out of the place—”

“And before we leave this room, mate,” Harken says, stepping up to the Manzibar. “You’ve got to read a page from this smut book!”

He opens Fifty Shades of Ulfyre in front of the Manzibar and forces him to read a page. The one-in-a-hundred chance of something crazy happening doesn’t happen.

“I’ve seen worse,” the Manzibar says, and his shadow jostles as though chuckling alongside him.

“Okay I’ve read him his rights. Fuck ‘im,” Harken says, and the Herd departs.

Within mere hours, the Herd has toppled Duke Vanthampur from her rule, leaving only Dukes Dillard Portyr and Belynne Stelmane of the Council of Four remaining. They've uncovered the missing Manzibar of the equally missing Kinchasa. They've deduced that the leader of the largest religious institution in the city might in fact be a double-crossing fiend from hell, and soon they will visit a protest that threatens to rock Baldur's Gate to its core.

Political upheavals might as well just be springing up from the ground like weeds at this rate!

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