The Underwater Trap

Having found out where the Marrowbreakers return after feasting on bones we are a step closer to finding their lair, and thus defeating them and stopping the murders. And because we believe the Red Hand Gang are responsible for loosing the creatures on the town, and that the cult are on the precipice of creating mass destruction, finding the Marrowbreakers is currently our best way to find the cult and stop their nefarious plans.

With little sign of swimming or bubbles under the murky waters we assume that there is a tunnel leading to the lair. A quick poke with a ten foot pole confirms that there is an opening in the bank beneath the water. What we need to find out now is where it leads and, perhaps more importantly, if it leads to a dry lair, for we don't know if the Marrowbreakers can breathe underwater or not.

Being nimble enough to manoeuvre in a narrow tunnel I volunteer to find out what I can. My plan is to head down the tunnel as far as I can get before I won't have enough breath to get back again. If I find an air pocket or dry section then I will head back to let the rest of the party know before continuing. 'What's your contingency plan if I don't come back?', the GM asks the others.

'Umm, panic', comes the reply. Okay, we have our respective plans in order! I ease myself in to the waste that dares call itself water and start heading up the tunnel.

'What's your swim check?', asks the GM.

'11', I tell him. The GM pauses and looks at me expectantly, and I realise what extra information he is waiting for. 'Plus 11!' I let him know, surprised that he expected differently, considering my light armour and surplus of skill points. 'Who do you think I am, Dexter?'

'Hey!' interjects Dexter indignantly, 'my swim check isn't that... wait, no, it is in fact minus 11. Carry on.' And carry on up the tunnel I go. I am not able to find any kind of breathing space after any comfortable amount of time underwater and decide that heading back is probably safer than expecting a breathable atmosphere to present itself ahead. After catching my breath on the river bank I let the others know this, and relay that the tunnel appeared to be heading almost directly under the hill behind the bank. That's probably information we could use at some point.

But we have another plan. With our town guard chaperones still with us, Harry and Tarquin, we order one of them off to find a good, sturdy cage, with a sliding door, on George's orders. We then spend the day setting the cage in the water directly in front of the tunnel entrance, and I rig the door with a tripwire to shut the door when a big enough creature enters the cage. For we are expecting the tunnel entrance also to be an exit, an assumption we consider to be fairly safe. The plan is to trap at least one of the Marrowbreakers coming out of the tunnel, and probably trapping the other in the tunnel if it doesn't get in to the cage. Then we can poke the creature with spears, or even hope it drowns. Either way, we lift its corpse out of the water in the morning. It actually sounds like a feasible plan.

We sit on watch that night, close to the cage. Sure enough, at some point the door slides down and our alarm system alerts us to this. We rush in to action and start poking in to the cage with spears, hurting whatever beast is in there. But we also start to hear a terrible rending of metal coming from under the water, and before long all the underwater commotion has stopped and there is no more resistance felt from the spearing. 'We're going to need a bigger cage.'

The good news is that the second Marrowbreaker was trapped in the tunnel, unable to force its way past the now-closed cage at the tunnel entrance. The bad news is that the one that got free killed again that night, and is lurking in the river somewhere now that it is daytime again. Not only that, but the fellow he killed was a wealthy merchant, who ignored the warnings about going out at night alone. It's likely he thought his wealth made him immune to attack from mere animals, and we even suggest that his last words may have been 'You can't kill me, I pay my taxes!' Even so, the death of an upper-class citizen is going to increase significantly the pressure on us to stop the creatures.

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