Here be Hydras

We have a plan to find the base of the captured pirates! It's not a very good plan, partly because an NPC didn't think of it, and mostly because it was my idea. I decided to ask the pirate with the foppish hat where the base was, and do so forcefully. At first, he didn't respond to the 'ask the question three times' strategy, so I had to stab him a bit. He didn't seem to mind that too much, so to set an example I cut him up a bit more, and threw him overboard as shark chum. The plan worked! The next pirate I picked on was far more open about helping, letting us know the location of the base and how to manoeuvre through the shallow waters that lead there.

The rest of the party were not as impressed as I was about getting the information, particularly Ann-See. 'Why did you kill him and throw him overboard?' she shrieked. 'I really wanted his awesome foppish hat with the feather, you silly-billy!' Actually, yeah, that was a bit of a mistake, as it was a neat hat, plus it would have been a fairly decent way to disguise ourselves going in to the base. Even so, we head off, with a skeleton crew for our stolen pirate ship and the rest of the pirates being taken back to face trial in the city on the barge.

It's only when we get close enough to the base and see what we are facing that the full extent of my short-sightedness becomes apparent, as the lowly pirate guiding us admits that he knows nothing of the operations of the base, how many people there are, what guards are generally around, or anything like that, and that we should really ask the chap in the hat. Except we killed him. Okay, I killed him. And we didn't even get his hat. Lesson learnt.

Seeing some guard towers, I decide that a bit of stealthy death is the best way to sneak in to base, whilst the others pilot the ship in to what counts as the dock here, as nonchalantly as they can. I manage to sneak up inside the base and in to the guard tower, and... well, it appears I can't quite get enough of a jump on the guard to kill him quickly, so he turns to face me, nasty gash in his side. He pushes me back, and reaches for his alarm bell. I try to push him out of the tower, but my puny frame isn't strong enough to achieve this, and the bell starts ringing. Uh-oh, he's calling for the hydra!

Hmm, no hydra yet, but it does cause the banging of metal-on-metal that we take to be blacksmithing to stop suddenly. As I wonder to myself how the sound could have petered out instead of stopping suddenly, thus preventing the adverb from being unnecessary, the rest of the party jump in to action, disembarking hastily from the pirate ship. Ann-See heads towards the second guard tower to take out the guard, and Dexter and George take up defensive positions in the middle of the camp. And it's just in time, as some pirates come out of one of the buildings. The leader of those three pulls out a conch shell and lets forth a booming call on it. Uh-oh, she's calling for the hydra!

Oop, no hyrda yet. The conch calls out the apparent blacksmith from his building, flanked by a couple of mean-looking hounds. And the smith is someone we recognise from town, and the potential mole for the information the pirates are getting! We might need to keep him alive. He sounds a harsh whistle from his lips as he spies Dexter and Geoff. Uh-oh, he's calling for the hydra!

Umm, still no hydra. Instead, the pirates accompanying the conch-blower now let loose their own whistle. Uh-oh hydra? Yes! Up from the depths, thirty stories high, breathing fire, his head in the sky, the hydra, the hydra, the hydra! No, wait, this is a Bad Thing. On top of that, we have some crows attacking us.

One of the crows swoops down from a roof to attack Dexter. 'Hey, if it's coming down from the roof, shouldn't it take falling damage?'

'It's a crow!', points out the GM.

'It doesn't matter. It either tumbles or takes D6 falling damage' Dexter protests, but to no avail.

A hydra to the left of us, pirates on either side, crows diving down from above. Two guards are down, with the third forgotten about by the GM, thankfully. We are now fully on the offensive. The hydra moves in to shore to join the fray, moving easily through the water to the land.

'That marshy area is difficult terrain!' points out Dexter, as the hydra takes its full move to shore.

'Do you think the hydra cares about moving through marshy areas?' the GM is quick to ask us.

'I don't care about difficult terrain, but you still penalise me for it', replies Dexter.

Nevertheless, the hydra closes in, the pirates are attacking, the crows are flying all over the place, Ann-See is attacking some dogs, I'm clambering over a roof to get closer to the action, and Dexter and George are in the thick it as always. Maybe it's a domesticated hydra that just wants to play. Only time will tell.

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