Seven Deadly Sins

The Crazyness Continues
this Tear is driving me bonkers too

The party returns to town and drops Denim off with Dierdre for some healing. Heather aborts her chaos-monster baby (this is Derek’s version. Heather’s version is that Dierdre is taking care of it). We streetwise around for some info on Silas and find out that the Stromcrows/Silas had stayed at the Red Rooster Inn nearby and that Silas had some dealings with a criminal by the name of Gerald Roy (aka Roy Rogers). We also find out there has been a series of thefts/kidnappings/murders in town recently (none of which were committed by us, since we haven’t been here long enough). We track down Roy Rogers and get him to tell us that Silas disappeared from the inn and that he was looking for the missing Stormcrows (the ones going crazy in the tower, we presume). The party heads off to the Red Rooster Inn, where we convince the bartender to tell us where Silas’s room is. After picking the lock, we find a nasty corpse (presumably Silas) inside; he appears to have been killed by a mind flayer a few weeks ago. We also find an empty lead box inscribed with wards of protection, perhaps it once held the Tear? We take it with us.

Streetwising again to find some mention of mind flayers, we come across a crazy dwarf who is blaming the Corias people and some dude named Lord Grizwald for the troubles in town.

Side note: At this point I have “skill check” written in my notebook, but the “s” is really small and squished, so I thought it was “kill check” at first. I think I will try to call battles kill checks from now on.

We dispel the fomenting riot and follow the dwarf back to a blacksmith’s shop. We then bust in and question him. The dwarf’s name is Durgin Ironhammer and he blames the watch for talking away his apprentices, who went missing one day. He seems kind of crazy, so we take him to Dierdre to see if she can help, but she is useless. We then take him to the town watch, who thank us for our trouble and deputize us to help investigate what’s going on. Bad idea, town watch! All killing/extreme questioning are law-sanctioned now!

The party’s first move is to investigate several sites of kidnappings/murders/etc that the town watch has handily supplied us with. We find a scrap of shimmering cloth that bears marks of the Shadowfell and a nasty tentacle monster to fight and a slimy trail leading to the sewers. Before heading down there we decide to finish investigating the locations and talk to some people. First, we chat with a totally useless sage and then revisit that crazy dwarf. The dwarf tells us a friend gave him a silvery or which he in turn gave to the town’s head wizard, Charath. Why he didn’t mention this sooner is a mystery. Onwards to Charath!

When the party arrives chez Charath there is no response and the place looks empty, so we pick the lock and head inside. Inside we find the body of Charath and some rogue dudes who attack us. One is kept alive for questioning. He reveals that there’s a mindflayer named Shathrax chillin’ in the sewers, who is trying to use the tear to build an army of mutants to take over the town. Lovely. Rogue-dude gives us directions to Shathrax’s lair, and we lamely turn him into the watch instead of killing him. The party also retrieves the silvery orb, which as it turns out is an Umbral Eye that lets you see into the shadowfell.

After that we head off to the sewers. After some exploration and several battles, we find a priest/cultist to interrogate. He gives us more exact directions to Shathrax’s lair and certain good party members threaten to withhold healing if we kill the cultist instead of tying him up and leaving. Certain good party members are totally lame.

After fighting our way through the sewers the party finally comes across Shathrax and quickly disposes of him. Searching the room afterwards we find a skin coat (eeew) and Silus’s journal detailing how he wanted to use the tear to power some dead artifact. We also find some stinky prisoners, including Durgin’s apprentice, and free them. What we DON’T find is the tear. For some reason I neglected to write down, we believe the tear is somewhere nearby on the surface and head back upstairs to find it. What we find instead is some demons chillin’ by the temple who claim they have the tear and that Vecnacht (spelling, Chris?) will be back for Flor. Obviously, we kill them, and on their bodies we find a rune we can use to enter and leave the shadowfell once. Before heading over there to retrieve what is apparently the world’s most sought after artifact, we check out the temple. Inside we find Deirdre all nasty and corrupted, and before she dies she tells us that she was trying to summon the tear because she is mentally deficient and that the demons took it from her and escaped into the shadowfell. Thanks for screwing everything up, Deirdre. I also have written down that the demons stole Zlata’s tentacle baby, which we named Diabetes (pronounced Wilford Brimley style).

The party enters the shadowfell and follows the demons’ tracks to a crossroads where there is a dead guy hanging in a cage. Lovely. There’s some magic mouth-like spell on him that goes off when we inspect the body and lets us know that the dead guy will come back to avenge his death. I set his body on fire.

We continue following the tracks to some sort of portal guarded by demons and a smoke monster, and Flor and Aurora are able to bluff/diplomacize our way in without a fight. The gate, which supposedly leads to the Chris-backstory-dude, takes us to an icy tundra with a cliff and some funny lights in the distance. We reach the cliff and after Bojangles does some invisible recon for us, discover that there are some more demons up top who look like they’re going to attack us if we go up. We also notice the smoke monster is following us. Dagmar casts invisibility on Talia, who scales the cliff a bit away from the monsters and lowers a rope so we can all climb up. When we reach the top we try to talk to the demons, but they just want to die. Works for me. Smokey joins in the attack, but escapes before we can kill him.

After the fight we head onwards towards the funny lights and eventually come across what appears to be an abandoned fortress. We make our way through several courtyards before finding the source of the lights, which is some crazy spinning device called an Ori (dubbed Orly by the players), which is powered by a tear-like stone. The device tries to mess us up, but numerous skill checks and melee attacks later we are able to disable it. Unfortunately the stone powering it crumbles – turns out this Orly was just a trap/distraction. We go back to a secret door we found in an earlier courtyard and head down to the sublevels of the fortress.

We manage to explore the fortress without any encounters, accidentally artfully avoiding all rooms with monsters, until we come across the private chambers of the crazy dude who used to run this place. The rooms have been ransacked, but we manage to find some papers with crazy rantings about using the tear to power the Orly in order to bring some messed up guy back from the far realm. There are also some notes about not letting the Orly and the portal touch. Turns out the trapped guy, Valarn, is one of Silus’s ancestors. This combined with the earlier Silus diary makes me think maybe this was his evil lair before he got his brains sucked out. We also find a large crystalline sphere in a locked chest. It seems to have some sort of latent magical energy, but apart from that doesn’t do anything. After this we quickly find our way to the Orly room where there are a bunch of demons and some crazy looking black caped dude.

A Tower Full of Crazy
perhaps Kyle is short for Kylopheron

A reply is received to Aurelia’s sending home. It states that the Seekers are not under the Glantiran ruling council’s control and that something big will be going down in Darokin soon. Leaving is highly recommended. The party tells this information to Adari, who seems not to buy it and asks how they can be sure of it’s validity. In order to convince him, Aurelia reveals that her parents are actually rulers of one of the Glantrian principalities (meaning her dad is on the council). Now that Adari believes us (and is done with whatever business he had in Selenica), he leads the party to Aengmor (shadowelf-topia) to inform the shadowelves about the hourglass dudes. To get to Aengmor, the party travels through a twisty, creepy forest that has some weird mushrooms/fungal growth. Certain party members may or may not sample the shrooms. Adari tells us that these woods are called the Candybar Forest and that the shadowelf shamans created them to mimic their old underground habitat before they invaded Aengmor. Apparently the woods are dying or something.

The party eventually arrives at the city of Westbleak, where Adari takes us to see a shadowelf shaman (I don’t actually have a name written down for him). Shaman-dude asks our assistance in retrieving the Tear of Corias in order to heal the woods. The Tear’s power is to retain the memories of the priests who have used it and fallen in battle. I don’t know how this is supposed to help the forest, but whatevs. The shadowelves have tracked it down to the town of Wellspring, on the edge of Darokin, where it was taken by some mercenaries (the “Stormcrows”) at the behest of an unknown employer. Our job is to head out there and find it. Although, the shadowelves make us buy our own horses, which is LAME, dudes. Lame.

After traveling a while, we notice someone following us and the party ambushes our stalker to find out what is going on. Lots of checks fail and we can’t get him to tell us why he was following us (or even admit to doing so), so in the end we settle for traveling with him to Wellspring to we can keep an eye on him. The best part: his name is Kyle. KYLE. I die of laughter. We also come across some dud in a field looking a a weird patch of bare earth and spend some time digging there to figure out if it’s anything, but nothing come of it.

After getting close to Wellspring, the party realizes more drastic measures will have to be taken in the case of Kyle, so we tie him down and riffle through his shit. And would you look at that, there’s an hourglass symbol and some messages passed between him and his HG buddies by way of a magic scroll. He was indeed sent to follow us, but then his commanding officer (likely Petera) told him to return home for unknown reasons. We’re questioning him about what the HG dudes are up to and if they all know that they’re dirty rotten liars about that whole Glantri bit when Elly gets impatient and cuts his hand off. Fo’ reals. I don’t think Derek can claim to be good aligned anymore. In any case, we heal him and question him some more with no results, so we kill him and set his unattended corpse on fire. Then we send a message to Petera using the magic scroll along the lines of “fuck you.”

The party then enters Wellspring, which is being attacked by some giant flying brains with beaks and tentacles. GOD DAMN IT CULTS AND TENTACLE MONSTERS. STOP TYPECASTING US.

After helping defeat the tentacled beak-brains, half the party disappears to have pub adventures while the rest of the party talks to a priestess of Corias named Dierdre. She tells us that the monsters are also looking for the Tear of Corias, which may be in a ruined temple nearby. On the way to the temple the party is attacked by some tiefling chick, who reveals under questioning that she is also looking for the Tear for some warlord named McNaught. Man, this tear thing is super popular all of a sudden. In any case, we continue on. We finally arrive at the tower, which used to belong to a secret sect of Corias worshipers known as the Chaorti. The tower is all crumbly and has a waterfall running through it. It might make a sweet batquito mansion redux if it wasn’t in the middle of nowhere, alas. The party makes their way up through the tower and after several fights reaches the top, where we find some crazy elf dude who accuses us of stealing the Tear from him. We subdue, question and kill him, then set his corpse on fire (after taking his armor for Heather). The party then tries to rest, since we are pretty much out of healing surges and Heather has been impregnated by nasty chaos monster spores, when we are interrupted by the arrival of a deranged woman who accuses us of killing her friend. Well, she’s got us on that one, I suppose. In any case, we try to diplomacize, but everyone except Heather fails their checks repeatedly and we’re forced to fight her for a little bit while trying to continue diplomacy. Eventually we convince her that we had no choice but to kill her buddy. Everyone stops fighting but Elly, who has been possessed by the Sword of Halav (the sword finds crazy lady’s companions deliciously gnoll-like). Eventually Derek is able to make a saving throw and end the sword’s effects. We talk to the crazy lady, who tells us that her name is Deneva (referred to hereafter as Denim of Duodenum) and her dead/charred buddy’s name was Linth and that they were Stormcrow mercs hired by some dude named Silas to steal the Tear, which was then stolen from them in turn (likely by TSM). Apparently, the Tear is what’s been making everyone here super messed-up, and we agree to take her to town and help her get cured of the Tear-induced crazypants.

On Priestesses in Peril, Seeker Suckage and Fried Familiars
we are epic bar fight starters

After boozin’ around Karameikos for a while, the party starts to thirst for adventure once more! Handily, Adari is headed off back to shadowelf-topia and invites us to join him on the journey through Darokin (aka Derek-land) to get there. Road trip! The party takes a boat north some ways and a passing boat of elves (or eladrin? not sure) throws refuse at us. Aurelia blasts a hole in their ship for the lulz.

Eventually we arrive at Selenica in Darokin, where we’re going to stay for a few days so Adari can take care of some business. Like maybe buying us a better present? We head to the Last Stop Inn to get some rooms, but when we get there, we find some hourglass dudes hanging out in the corner. Zlata and Aurelia try their hand at some bluff and diplomacy checks, and we learn that they are definitely from Darokin and they seem to think that they are acting in an official capacity for the Glantrian government. Well someone’s lying, obviously, because that is just crazy-pants. Nothing else is learned and we can’t seem to get any names from them. Time to employ violence! The party sends them copious amount of alcohol from an anonymous source. Luckily, Derek rolls a 20 on his hot-women-in-the-bar check, so the hourglass dudes readily accept the libations. Finally, one of them gets drunk enough to hit on one of the critically hot women, and she slaps him. With a little help from the party, the slap instigates a bar fight, and we manage to get one of the hourglass dudes out into a quiet alley for a little torture and intimidation, leaving Flor behind to watch the rest of the HDs. The captured HD seriously seems to know nothing, though. The party argues for a while about whether or not to kill him, and though the killing votes have the majority (thanks to some manipulation of Zlata’s hate for Tiamat. Sorry Heather, I promise not to do it too often!), but Elly is threatening to start something if we try.

Before we can do anything either way, though the HD captain, Petera, and friends (plus some town guards) arrive. They accuse us of kidnapping their buddy (true) and we accuse them of being spies (not exactly true). It also turns out our names are on some sort of list they have, though they won’t tell us what that’s all about. Anyway, we’re all on our way to see the magistrate when we realize that we really don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to the espionage charges and, unfortunately, we can’t really charge them with being dirty rotten liars in a criminal court. We drop the charges and so do they, but we’ll get them yet! We advise the town guard to keep an eye on them.

A subsequent streetwise check reveals that the HDs have a regional office in town, which we are going to check out when some lady approaches Flor. Turns out she worships the same immortal, Corias, and wants his help finding some friend of hers who has gone missing. The woman, Haelin, tells us that her friend Lavinia disappeared from her shrine and has been replaced with some creepy dude, Grovald. Grovald claims Lavinia has gone off on a spiritual quest and everyone brushes Haelin off when she tries to inquire further into the matter. We go to check out the shrine, which is pretty poor and tiny. Grovald gives us the same line about a spiritual quest, but one of the shrine patrons tells us to try coming back at night when the shrine is less busy.

In the meantime, we head to check out the HD building. It is pretty well guarded, so no good sneaking in option. However, Aurelia’s familiar, Mr Bojangles the book imp, can totally turn invisible! We send him to look in the windows, but he doesn’t see much. Time for Mr Bojangles to undertake an infiltration mission! He makes his way through the building invisibly and find the captain’s room. That list from earlier is there and our names are on it in reference to being spotted with a shadow elf. It seems they are trying to track shadow elf activity in addition to leaving random wanted posters up for Adari in the woods of Karameikos. Hey, why _are _they looking for him in particular? Seems we should find out about that. [[Mr. Bojangles]] also finds our their group is called “the seekers” before he is discovered and fried by a bolt of lightning (I’m pretty sure that was Petera). Guard activity suddenly increases outside and we quickly bail. Don’t worry Bojangles, you’ll reappear after an extended rest!

Now that our investigation of the HD headquarters (I don’t care if we know their name now, they are still hourglass dudes to me) is over (for now), we head back to the shrine to talk to Grovald. When we get there, he totally attacks! Bad move dude, we’re the slayers of gnollterba, your ass is about to get kicked.

Asses are kicked, as was predicted. Grovald surrenders and we liberate 3000gp from his person. We interrogate him and learn that some shady characters told him to keep an eye on the shrine, and though they didn’t specifically tell him to off Haelin and hide her body, he figured it was a good plan. The party hands Grovald over to the authorities and lets Lavinia know her buddy ended up buried behind the shrine fountain. We then go back to the shrine and search around some more for the note Lavinia mentioned seeing earlier. When we find it, it has been mostly burned up, but the words “Tear of Corias” are still readable. Lavinia tells us the Tear is some artifact.

Not having too many leads to go on at this point, we decide to check out the weird behavior of the church leaders Lavinia was talking about. First we head to a sketchy shrine to Talatha, the immortal of being a selfish douchebag, from what I can gather. We bluff our way into the temple, but apart from some creepy chick listening to a drum through which Talatha “speaks,” nothing out of the ordinary is found. Well, unless you count the fact that Chris rolls a 20 on having Flor insinuate the drum-chick is hot, which leads to much confusion for poor enamored Talia. The party then splits up, with Flor and Zlata going to check out temples to Ixion and Asterius and Aurelia, Elly and Talia hanging out at the shrine to Corias in case the bad guys drop by (they don’t). Flor and Zlata notice the temple leaders at both places are avoiding talking to them. Later, when the party has reunited to check out the temples after dark, a shady looking priest is seen leaving the temple of Asterius. The party trails him to a warehouse and eventually follows him inside, where we are attacked by a bunch of priest/cultist dudes with lame-ass teleport attacks. One cultist was kept alive for questioning, and we find out that all this is being done in the name of some shady immortal, Nyx, who is totes into zombies, vampires, and general states of undead-ness. We then kill the prisoner and burn his unattended body.

A search of the warehouse (by the cleric, now that we have no rangers) leads to the discovery of a secret door to a passage below. We follow the passage to a room where there are some zombies and an evil statue animating them. Of course, killing ensues. After the battle, we recover the bodies of several of Selenica’s religious leaders and a town watchman (the one we turned Grovald over to). We intend to turn them over to the temple for resurrection purposes, but Lavinia advises us that it may be best not to show up at a temple with the body of an important priest in tow. The strategy of “leave the body at the door and have Bojangles ring the doorbell invisibly” is employed instead. Alas, this means no monetary reward from the temples for saving the lives bodies of their comrades. We try to talk to the temple leaders and offer our help in eliminating any more Nyx-cult related threats, but are rebuffed.

During one of the resting times in this adventure, Aurelia sends a message home inquiring about the legitimacy of the seeker’s claim to be Glantri sanctioned.

The fate of Dagmar?

Since Brad was not here for much all of this adventure, the rest of the party has begun theorizing about what was going on with his character. Please add more and contribute to the lulz _
  • We prostituted him out to the shadow elves
  • We sold to slavers
  • He got swine flu
  • He was drunk in the corner of the bar the entire time (most likely, but least entertaining)
Bargle Bites It
no two unattended objects are not on fire

The king finally finishes his story, hooray! We are then informed that a demonic gnoll army is marching on Karameikos and the gnollterba The Baron/Bargle summoned was some servant of the gnoll demon Inagu. A history check reveals that in the past the Hutakaans and Thiatians coexisted peacefully for a while until some giant army of gnolls invaded and drove out the Hutaakans and almost killed off all the humans. We also learn that the sword of Halav, which the Baron had been using in his gnollterba ritual, was once used by a Traldaran hero to slay a beastman king and is a very powerful artifact. Of course, the king asks for the party’s help in dispatching the Baron/Bargle.

We teleport to the woods outside of Fort Doom where we are met by Deleune and some halflings. The plan is for us to go in and take care of Bargle while they attack the fort and try to capture the Baron. Hopefully the death/capture of the dastardly duo will stop the advancement of their gnoll army. The halflings show us a secret way into the keep through some caverns. After dispatching of some ghouls and nasty swarms in the cavern, we make our way up into the dungeon level of Fort Doom. We find some prisoners chillin’ in their cells and convince them to start a riot, which allows us to slaughter the guards watching the entrance to the fort proper and steal their bloody, nasty uniforms. Once inside the fort, we find a barracks filled with lovely, flammable beds. And would you look at this, we have this awesome ring that allows us to set anything on fire with a mere touch so long as it is “unattended.” We set about making a burning barrack distraction. We find the tower that has a bridge to Bargle’s tower and try to convince the guard inside that he should come out and help with the fire, but he seems to feel that we’re trying to punk him. I get the feeling the Baron’s guards are both assholes and bored and must mess with each other fairly often. In a teleport win solution, I teleport inside and then swap with Talia who makes quick work of the one really surprised guard and lets the rest of us in to the tower. When some other guards shout from a nearby room to ask us what’s going on, we tell them there’s a fire outside and they lose all curiosity, deeming that the courtyard guards can deal with it. Like I said, they are assholes. But, their douchebaggery saves us time, so whatever.

We make our way to the top of the tower, where we find a secret way across the top of the walkway from this tower to the Bargle!tower. After fighting some gargoyles and batquitos, we make our way into the attic of Bargle’s tower. A level or two down, what do we find but TREASURE STEALING MOFO stealing treasure. The party is torn on what to do. We need to get to Bargle and stop him from summoning some demons (which TSM assures us he is doing right now) and we want to find out more about TSM’s background/motives/etc, but we also really, REALLY want to kill him. It goes as far as initiative rolls and Justin rolling 2 criticals on his opening shots, but the attack is called off at the last minute when a deal is brokered to manacle him to Zlata’s back and take him with us in exchange for giving him the sword (which we totally will not do. Bluff FTW). Elly makes some sort of blood oath to kill herself if we let him go, which is never actually carried out despite the sour turn of TSM killing later in the adventure.

The party makes their way down to Bargle’s room where we find him summoning some demon gnolls out of a -stargate-hellgate. Gnollterba and friends are hanging out looking nasty. Mortal combat ensues. No really, over 50% of the party is dropped. Almost everyone runs out of healing surges and Zlata runs out of healing spells about halfway through the battle. Eventually, after several failed knowledge checks, we manage to figure out how to destroy the gate. Talia goes out in an awesome blaze of glory, staying alive far past her expiration date due to some nice DR from Zlata, lucky rolls and the awesome 17-20 crit range Sword of Halav. Seriously, nicely done. Dyne and Zlata are the only ones left alive at the end of the encounter. They pour potions down our unconscious throats and the party is once again (barely) alive.

Here is where the TSM suckage continues. At some point during the battle he managed to de-manacle himself, and then he spent the rest of the time just standing around checking out the Hellgate. I know you had some potions on you, you mofo, would it have killed you to help us just a little? Bargle’s minions do not attack him, but he doesn’t help them and he doesn’t run off either. His behavior confuses me. After the battle, he keeps trying to get us to give him the sword by stating over and over again that artifacts are dangerous blah blah blah. You are not our parent, TSM, and you steal things (things that we should rightfully be stealing ourselves). Stop lecturing us! We agree on giving the sword to the king and part ways with no further knowledge gleamed into his actual motives or origins. TSM, I hate you so much. Elly satisfies herself with our regret at not killing him and doesn’t actually commit suicide. However, going by the fact that he wasn’t worried at all by the party of Bargle/gnollterba, I’m guessing this guy has a nasty ace up his sleeve and will be much harder to kill than we anticipate.

After we are done killing Bargle, we find the fort being overrun by a tiny army of halflings. Awwwww. When we get back we find out they have brought back the Baron for trial and the king throws us an awesome party. We also convince him that the sword would be better off with us, since we could use it to smite evil and protect it from certain mofos who would try to steal it. Both the halflings and the king give us some awesome presents. Adari has returned from shadow elf-topia with a promotion and also gives us a present. It is not awesome. It is, instead, a list of commandments the shadow elf immortal, Raiel gave his people. About half of them are kind of creepy or disturbing.

This marks the last adventure of Justin, so Dyne had to leave the party. I believe we decided he runs off with Deleune and is killed in the night by her jealous husband.

Subpository Subterfuge

The adventure starts with Baron Ludwig von Hendricks being summoned by Duke Gezerek of Thatis (old Karameikos). Gezerek tells Ludwig (who may or may not be a baron at this point in the story, I am not sure) that there have been raiders sinking ships off the coast. The duke thinks they may be Alphatians as there was a war between their countries a while back though they may come from somewhere else (he’s pretty clueless when it comes down to it). He asks the (maybe) Baron to infiltrate the raiders and figure it out. As for the rest of the party, I’m not really sure how we get there. Did we hang out with the Baron before? Are we just local hired awesomeness? Does it really matter? (answer: no)

Anyway we all head off to Pelon to find us some raiders. Eventually some dwarves in weird suppository-esque boats show up and attack the town and through a series of skill checks we manage to convince them that we want to be pirates like them. Given prevailing player attitudes, I’m not sure if any bluff checks were required for this “lie.” The suppository ships turn out to be submarines (someone suggests we name the ships the “subpositories,” which is made of awesome). The ship we’re on is crewed by the dwarf captain Braran, a halfling Malem, and a half elf Prime. The subpository takes us to the leader of the raiders, Morn, who hangs out in some islands to the south in a city built into white cliffs. We are taken to Morn who informs us the place is called the Shrouded Crags.

Suddenly, asshole assassins leap out! We kill them! Morn thinks they were sent by the duke, but why would he do that if he sent us as well?
  1. Maybe he sent them for us to kill in order to convince Morn of our commitment. If so, why didn’t he tell us? Also, that is a really shitty thing to do to those poor assassins (Verdict: Duke Gezerek is an asshole)
  2. Maybe he’s trying to get rid of the maybe!Baron and is hedging his bets (Verdict: Duke Gezerek is an asshole)
  3. Maybe there is some enemy power we have yet to encounter who sent them? (Verdict: oh hell, Duke Gezerek is probably an asshole anyway, let’s continue with that one)

Morn tells the party that about 1 year ago the ruler of the duchy, lord Karameikos (enter the King) disappeared and Gezerek seized control and since then the region has made the transition from duchy to douchey. I uphold my earlier duke verdict. Anyway, in order to join up with the raiders we need to undergo some rite of passage thing. Seriously, killing several assassins wasn’t enough? How hard core are these guys? We take a subpository to a cavern where we’re supposed to clear out some dangerous monsters (krakatoans). The LAMEST BATTLE EVER ensues, in which most of the party spends most of their time just trying to get next to the bad guys (thanks swimming rules, I hate you!). After forever, we kill them.

The party then makes their way to a (non-underwater) cavern filled with krakatoans (who are actually supposed to be koa-tua and are now called krakatoons thanks to my penmanship on the initiative board). After a battle in which Brad and Heather/Beithe nearly die, we finally find King Stefan hanging out in the caves. He and the Baron share a manly embrace. Then there is a disgusting cake break. Damn you oreo cake and your treachery!

We cram everyone in the subpository and head out to a big fancy ship Morn sends to meet us, then back to Shrouded Crags. Unfortunately, Duke Gezerek has sent some ships to destroy the place as he quite enjoys being duke and is not ready to give it back to Stefan. The second lamest battle ever occurs as piranhas destroy the ship rudders and water combat continues to suck. Eventually Scott has them run away after we kill a few, THANK GOD. Seriously, I can’t take water combat anymore. Swimming rules are FAIL.

The party then has a conversation with Morn and (not yet) King Stefan who request they go and please kill that pesky Duke Gezerek now. Of course, the party has no problem with this. After a skill challenge the party makes its way into some tunnels or something under the Duke’s stronghold where they meet with the Duke and some of his allies (including the lamest wizard ever. I call hax on his blind every round powers). By meet with, I mean kill. Hooray, the LONGEST ONE-SHOT EVER is finally finished! Next week our regularly scheduled broadcast continues and I will no longer have to remember to be lawful good (chaotic ftw).

Fort Corgi
What horrors will hanging out with Lucien unleash next?

After escaping town, the party discusses the best route to get Lucien home (and away from us ASAP). And we also get to dress him up as a girl. Intimidate/bluff FTW! Deleune suggests we go through some old haunted/cursed fort whose name isn’t really Fort Corgi, but someone doesn’t like to spell things out for the person taking notes, so Corgi it is. Anyway, Deleune thinks that’s the safest route because the slavers won’t want to go through it on account of it’s crazy evil or whatever. Sounds like the perfect place to build your vacation home. Maybe after we inevitably clear it out of monsters we can keep it and make it our secret base?

On the way to Fort Corgi we’re attacked by gnolls and devil hyenas. I wonder what the deal with Baron/Bargle and these gnolls is anyway. We make short work of them and continue on to the fort of mysterious evil. When we get there, we take a rest and wake up to the sound of 1 HP devils attacking. Is this really the best the curse can whip up for an opening volley? I think even Lucien could have taken these dudes on.

Maybe the fort doesn’t like to be bad-talked, because after this the walls around the place all magically repair themselves and seal us inside. Trying to smash our way out doesn’t work, but does draw the attention of someone else inside. Turns out, Adari was hiding out there to get away from the hourglass dudes and also got trapped inside. I wonder how long he’s been here? What has he been drinking and eating all this time? He tells us he thinks the hourglass dudes are from Glantri, which Aurelia thinks is total bullshit. I mean, the country may be run for the most part by a bunch of sorcerer assholes, but I’m pretty sure they get on okay with the shadow elves. We will be getting to the bottom of this.

Adari also tells us that the keep is “possessive” and we will have to explore it to get to the bottom of whatever’s going on. Deleune is not down with this and wants to find the top of the keep so she can see out or something like that. She volunteers to take Lucien with her but most of the party doesn’t trust her yet and decides it would be better if we took Lucien with us. Don’t blame me when he trips and sets off some nasty trap or whatever his monumental bad luck decides he’s due for next.

After a little while the party comes across some statue holding two plates and 8 discs laid out in front of it on a table. The party needs to solve some algebraic equations to balance the scales and open the doors behind the statue. The original equations carved into the table get really nasty towards the end and cause much stress to solve by hand (especially to the DM’s wife), so the hand of God (the DM) comes down and changes the equations to make them much more manageable. Thanks Scott!

After solving the equations and balancing the scales, the door opens and the party proceed through. Eventually we come across an undead owlbear and some flying skeletons. Killing ensues. The party continues on to a room with no other exits and no furniture but a book on the table. Quick perusal of the book leads to the conclusion that it’s full of pretty evil shit (perhaps it is an instruction manual for cats?). The motion to destroy the book (as opposed to lugging it around and possibly allowing to turn one of our party members crazy evil) carries by a slim margin. After the book is destroyed the room starts to rumble and shift so as to cut off the party from the door. We get out of there and head back only to find ourselves in a new location. We eventually come across the sounds of battle and rush in to save what we think is Deleune, who turns out to be an imposter succubus and manages to charm Talia for the entire battle. Once we manage to defeat fake!Deleune and her cohorts, real!Deleune shows up and suggests we escape out the nearest window, which we do. So much for our new Batquito Mansion. I suppose the search must continue for an awesome hideout!

We manage to make it back to Mirkos incident free (although this is what I imagine happened along the way – click on the small picture for full size). Finally, we’re at the castle and some guards volunteer to lead us to the king and we’re so close to being rid of Lucien... WTF guards are evil plant monsters! They attack us in some palace garden instead of bringing us to the king. Thanks to an awesome roll on an insight check (finally I get some use out of that skill) they don’t get a surprise round, at least. It also allows me to use my new daily and pull their caster into a well about 3 times, leading Scott to look up rules on forced movement off a precipice. Alas, it seems there will be no more insta-kills this way, since they now get a save to catch the ledge. ;_; In any case, we make short work of them and continue on the the king where we can FINALLY drop off Lucien.

We tell the king about the gnoll monster (which we have re-named gnollterba) and the dastardly duo of the Baron and Bargle. He is shocked and I can see a trend in this family about not noticing the blatantly obvious. However, he does give us 8000 gold each, so all is forgiven. I can’t imagine why he hired such a shitty bodyguard for Lucien in the first place if he’s got all this money lying around, so I believe my suspicions about Lucien’s family trying to get rid of him are confirmed. Also, the king agrees to send a letter to Glantri for me to warn them the hourglass dudes are running around ruining their good name.

The king then starts a story about how the Baron once saved his life…

Barfights mean punching more townspeople in the face!
But when do we get to kill some slavers?

The party meets back up with Adari and deadzorz!Lucien after clearing out the cult. He has found a crude drawing of himself stuck to a tree with a +2 dagger. Score! Chris takes the dagger. Also, probably moire importantly, it appears someone is after our shadowelf buddy. The party burns the evil book they picked up in the last adventure and decides to head to the nearby town of Luln (hereby known as Lulz, as in “we did it for the”) to raise Lucien.

Streetwise reveals that there’s some funky stuff going on Belev, a town up north, and that those Iron Ring dudes are in town. The party stashes Lucien’s body at an inn with Talia guarding and discusses their options over drinks. Suddenly, Adari runs out the back claiming there are some dudes coming for him. Some guard looking humans come into the tavern, obviously looking for Adari, and the party covers for him by starting and awesome bar brawl. Dyne totally flips a table in front of the back exit and everyone punches townspeople. This is getting to be an (awesome) habit for the party. Streetwising for info on the guard dudes reveals nothing. We take note that they were wearing a red and yellow hourglass insignia for future streetwising attempts.

The party decides the best course of action is to take Lucien near to Belev, raise him, then tell him we’ve rescued him and we need to pop into Belev for something before returning him to the king. Hopefully, there’s some terrible shit going down in the town related to slaving so we can complete our mission. On the way out, we meet up with those slavers we hung out with before Arshintsevo. They too are going to Belev to check out the goings-on. For some unknown reason, we decide to travel with them instead of killing them. When they inquire about the body bag, we tell them it’s Dagmar and we’re taking him to Belev for a cheap resurrection ritual. They are either dense or I rolled really well and buy this story. The really question is, what will we tell them next week when Dagmar/Brad returns from his dates totally alive.

On the way to Belev, the party and evil friends are waylaid by what appears to be a nightwalker, a nasty undead monster, who demands all our money and magic items. The slavers run off like pansies. The nightwalker turns out to be an oni with ogre buddies, and we make short work of them. Then, when the party tries to get some rest, we are randomly attacked by some halflings. We find out (after killing some of them) that they mistook us for slavers. Um… oops? Scott insists that if the party had tried to figure out why halflings were attacking us before killing them this might have gone differently. I disagree. This is how I imagine it would have gone down:

  • Less-agressive party member: Hey guys, what’s up with these halflings? Should we try to talk to them before the killins?
  • Agressive party member: Dude, what kind of nonsense is that? Hey, critical!
  • Less-agressive party member: shrugs Whatevs. Is it my turn yet?

You know I’m right. Also, it’s totally the halflings’ fault for attacking an obviously powerful group of adventurers without some sort of telling cry like “die slavers!” or the like.

The next morning, the party manages to bluff their way into Belev using the slaver cred killing halflings and having slaver buddies gives us. Man, no wonder those halflings hate us. We’d better get to kill these guys soon.

There seems to be some sort of construction project going on in Belev for which much labor (consensual or otherwise) is needed. We find a (somewhat) abandoned warehouse in which to res Lucien and after killing it’s spider/gargoyle occupants finally de-corpsify him. He is understandably confused, but we manage to convince him that the best thing for his safety would be for us to take care of the shit going on in Belev before returning him to the comforts of home. I think I either rolled like a 19 on this bluff check or Lucien is lacking in mental acuity. I’m voting for at least a little bit of the latter, since he still doesn’t believe that the Black Eagle Barony is a place of major suckitude, even after being carted around by slavers and being sacrificed by an evil cult. Thick as two planks, that one. He won’t let me disguise him as a girl (spoilsport), so we give him a crazy mustache and cover him in dirt before heading off the the supersecret! building project.

Streetwising reveals that there is a secret side entrace to the project, which is underground, and that one of the halfling raiders got dragged down there earlier. We manage to distract the side entrance guards by having street urchins throw rocks at them and get inside.

After going down some tunnels, the party eventually comes across a room with some weird system of portals controlled by magic circles in the floor. Oh, and some gnolls.

After defeating the gnolls and making their way through the portal puzzle the party comes to a room with some stairs down and an entrance to another room. We decide to clear out the current level first and enter into the next room to find it holds a gnoll-tastic surprise and some weird aqueducts on the floor that push you along randomly if you end your turn on them. During the course of this battle, some other gnolls come up the stairs to join in the fun and also decide to shackle Chris/Flor. He gets to keep them for what we can only assume is the purpose of sexy fun-time. Lucien hides out in the previous room during the fight, probably wetting his pants like the giant pansy he is.

In the room down the stairs we find a halfling in a prison cell who tells us her name is Deleune Darkeyes. She was captured by Bargle(for serious, that’s his real name), the Baron’s wizard. Apparently he has some really powerful voodoo juice or whatever going on. The party takes no heed of the warning at this time.

The party and Deleune/Lucien go back up the stairs and continue past the aqueduct room and through a room with two portcullises. Apparently you have to pump these things back and forth a bunch of times to get the portcullises to swap which is open/closed. Brad calls them dungeon udders and implies we have to milk them.

After the portcullis room the party continues on down roughening hallways. We eventually come across a hole in the floor which shows some sort of evil summoning ritual being performed in abyssal by Baron and Bargle. Adding to his dumbass tally, Lucien is totally surprised by this. I would like to reiterate my fears for the future of the Karameikan royal line if this is the kind of stupidity they produce. Although, he does use the exclamation “beard of a whore!” when he sees the shit going down, so there’s hope for him yet.

Lucien identifies the Baron’s sword as the “sword of Halav,” some Karameikan immortal. The Baron summons some giant gnoll with lots of heads and offers to sacrifice a bunch of slaves and guards he has hanging around with him. Gnoll-monster accepts, panic ensues below. Then, in an act that really makes it hard to resist pushing him down the hole into the gaping maw of gnoll-monster, Lucien accidentally kicks a rock into the pit and alerts Bargleand Baron to our presence. Really, Lucien? Really? Do you even have an ounce of self preservation in your inbred body? Let’s see the run-down again:
  1. Captured by slavers
  2. Sold to evil cult and sacrificed by death on spikes
  3. Alerts Baron and Bargle and their nasty cadre of gnoll-monster and minions to our presence Dude is either the unluckiest person ever or legendarily dim-witted. Either way, we should jettison him ASAP.

Getting rid of Lucien will have to wait until after we escape the dungeon, though. The party holes up in the portcullis room to hold out until those with high enough athletics checks to milk the dungeon udders can get the gate flipped so we can escape. In the ensuing fight Bargle earns himself the rank of Doucheprince of the Douchetrons by dispelling my zone of monster-pain and dominating/charming several party members (mostly Derek). The rank is solidified when he turns invisible and disappears, preventing us from killing him. Brad declares that he is “more than we Bargled for.” We’ll get you next time, Bargle!

Notable things that also happened:
  • Deleune called Justin “pretty boy,” which is especially awesome given his batquito eaten face
  • Someone declared Treasure Stealing Mofo a level 24 mofo
  • Now that Baron and Bargle will be looking for Lucien, Scott is going to let me re-roll to persuade him to dress like a girl. Perhaps Heather can intimidate him? Chris can give +2 by intimating that he finds non-girl Lucien attractive ^_-

Also, I should probably wait to name these adventures until after we have finished them.

The Iron Douchey
Douche-ey is quite accurate

The party hangs around to wait for Adari and friends, who we agreed to meet after three days. Unfortunately, due to the dissolving body, we can’t greet them with the head of Squidterba on a pike. Adari shows up by himself and tells us his buddies are trailing the slavers, who in the meantime have made contact with another dude of slavers and are traveling south-east of Pidlizni. He agrees to lead us there and we travel for a few days without incident.

Once we meet up with his posse they direct us towards a group of slavers, who we find being attacked by a group of trolls and a badger/boarbox. After we kill the monsters, we take the dead slavers stuff as payment. The group we saved claims not to know where the original group of slavers went, but gives us a riddle that was supposed to lead them to their buddies:

  • Upon considering that every beginning
  • has its end,
  • despite what is believed by many
  • learned magi,
  • some may discover that it is unwise to
  • envelop
  • light within a cloud of darkness, for a
  • cat can always find its way with
  • an open eye,
  • making its path easily, and it will
  • receive
  • not a single surprise through darkest
  • midnight.
  • What spell am I thinking of?

After torturing ourselves over this for at least an hour Sarah comes up with the answer: displacement. The riddle then morphs into an obscure clue about meeting “where the rings align over the water.” We head into Pidlizni to get info on this place. The town is full up of gaurds and nasty thug types. After checking the place out for a while the party finds a warehouse near the docks with an iron chain hanging out in front that may be the meeting place we’re looking for. Talia successfully sneaks in and hears some of the pre-Squidterba slavers arguing about money. The party enters the warehouse and feeds the slavers some story about how we were looking for them to continue our work. Thanks to a successful diplomacy role, we not get paid (100 gp each, bitches!) and also find out that Lucien has already been sold. We make up a story about wanting to give him to Flor as a birthday present to find out who he’s been sold to. Apparently, some creepy wizard dude and his friend with no eyes purchased Lucien and some horn artifact and have taken them to their cult hang out to the east. The cult worships something called the sleeper, who was slain and de-horned by Sir Malagant. We’re pretty sure they want Lucien’s royal blood and that horn artifact for some ritual to bring this nasty back.

The party meets up with the shadow elves and Adari re-joins the party for cult fun-time. We travel to the cult hang out, the entrance of which is some weird mustachioed stone carving of a face with an entrance via the mouth. We fight some cultists on at the entrance and Dagmar drops one in the mouth/entrance where he is impaled on spikes. Unfortunately, we also find Lucien impaled on the spikes. Oops. Adari volunteers to take Lucien’s body out of there and gives us his holy symbol as insurance that he won’t just make off (or make out) with the body. The party continues through the giant dungeon and Erin thinks she needs to get bigger paper if we’re going to be doing this thing often.

After a couple fights we reach the main chamber in which the wizard dude seems to be holding some nasty ritual. Fighting ensues. During the battle, Elhaymand the wizard totally have a girlfight and some bad guy fails his escape web save for a marathon number of rounds (though not as bad as the squidterba acid save-fest). At some point, nasty damage dealing blood starts to pool in the chamber and feed into the sarcophagus (a certain DM doesn’t let the party freeze or burn off the blood, which is total bullshit). After the fight we open the sarcophagus and find some nasty mummy with a horned vestigial twin licking up the blood. Eeeeeeeew. We chop it into tiny pieces.

The party explores the rest of the dungeon and finds some weird trap room with moving eye-tiles all over the floor and evil rope/zombie hybrids that try to hang a couple players and eventually attack en masse. Luckily, they are 1HP monsters and are easily dispatched. We eventually come across that eyeless dude who is chained up in some sort of torture room. Kinky. After we try to take his tome o’ evil, he sprouts some hulking abominations FROM HIS FREAKING EYES to fight us. After this battle, we discuss the steps one might need to take to gain such an awesome power. Bags of holding stuffed up nostrils and in codpieces are decided upon as viable options, possibly with zombie badgers (and mushrooms) inside.

Punching Townspeople in the Face FTW
the DnD religeous establishment is full of snake-people
Adventure Summary:

After the golden valley debacle, we head back to Threshold to get some info on our treasure stealing nemesis. While streetwising around, we’re attacked by a group of thugs. They were hired by the Iron Ring to take us out. I think we know who’s going to take out whom in this equation, though. We also run into Stefan and tell him about the craziness up north which was totally not our fault. Mostly. He also has a buddy in Threshold who could use our services.

The Halfling Paela wants to hire us to help take down the Iron Ring. The Ring is apparently heavily based in the Black Eagle Barony, which is ruled by the tyrant Baron Ludwig von Hendricks. The baron is the king of Karameikos’s nephew or cousin or something, so he doesn’t believe the testimony about the baron’s wicked ways. However, the king’s grandson, Lucien Hyraxos was recently captured by the slavers while gadding about the country in disguise and is on his way to the barony. Paelawants us to make sure Lucien gets there in one piece so he can see the evil first hand and then help him escape so he can report to the king. She tells us the slavers are headed to the coast to catch a boat to the barony. Also, Hendricks’s castle is called Fort Doom. How does the king not catch on to this guy?

We head off and eventually catch up to the slavers. We manage to convince them we are looking for work and get them to hire us to go along with them and protect their caravan. A little bit outside of a coastal town, one of the slavers senses people approaching and we send them ahead, thinking that if it’s the kings guard we should definitely only knock them out, which would seem strange to our new employers. It turns out to be a group of shadow elves looking to curry favor with Karameikos for their country of Aengmor by capturing the slavers. We try to bluff them about which way the slavers went but don’t roll so well. Fighting ensues and Dagmar nearly dies because he is paying more attention to his laptop than his hit points. The shadow elf leader asks us to stop the fighting using the unconscious Dagmar as collateral. We work out a deal where they will give us three days to complete our mission (we don’t give them specifics) and then we will meet them in the nearby town of Arshintzevo. We also agree to talk to the king for them if the plan works. Their leader tells us his name is Adari and when they ask for our names we just tell them to ask for the killers of Qdoba at the local inn.

We make our way to Arshintzevo only to find the slavers have already left, probably to get out ahead of the nasty storm coming in. Streetwising reveals they have traveled to Pidlizni, and traveling there overland or by sea is pretty impossible in the current weather. We hang out with some dudes from several trading companies at the local inn. In the middle of the night, a weird singing sound wakes us up and entrances several party members who try to make their way down to the shore. Hurting them seems to help them snap out of the trance. This means we totally get to smack around townspeople with impunity! The ones we can’t get to in time throw themselves into the sea and drown.

The next morning, all the townspeople lock themselves in their houses and won’t come out. The bartender, Pietr, tells us nothing like this has ever happened before. After banging on all the doors in town we eventually find someone who will talk to us (after he’s been sufficiently intimidated). He also doesn’t remember anything like this ever happening before and tells us the town leader, Alderman Ritter, will be having some religious rite at the church to protect the town. We inquire about this ritual at Ritter’s house but are turned away by some butler. Fishy… We go to check out the church but are stopped from searching by Mother Sheralin, some nun lady who also claims not to know anything. She may or may not be a snake person.

The enigmatic singing monster, who we have dubbed Squidterba, starts up again and as we are punching townsfolk in the face some nasty fishman monsters appear, and we promptly proceed to kill them. When checking out the bodies of the drowned people later, we discover that it’s mostly non-townspeople who are the victims. We return to the in and find someone sneaking around in the kitchen. Turns out it’s the innkeeper and he’s putting stuff in the food/drink. He confesses that Ritter and Sheralin told him to do it to prepare the out of towners for “the call.” They are definitely on their way to being snake people.

The party heads off to the temple and finds a hidden door in the floor there. Below the temple we find some sort of alternate temple to a fishy horror of the deep type dude. We kill a lot of cultist townspeople and Ritter and Sheralin. Someone totally transforms into a tentacle horror, which is close enough to snake people in my book. Also, one of the monsters has the symbol of one of the trading companies at the inn on him, so either people are turning into fishy monsters of the traders are in on it. Afterwards, the cry of Squidterba continues, so we question the butler to find out more. He directs us to a cave outside of town that had a lot of cultists going in/out. Also, we take a bunch of Ritter’s stuff and give it to the trading companies as compensation for the families of the dead. See, we can totally be nice! We tie up the butler and leave him at the inn, then head off for the caves.

In the cave we have an encounter with some old dominatrix chick and her fishy friend buddies. The lady is really an illusion crafted by Squidterba, who appears shortly to have his ass kicked. Alas, he has no teeth or bones for gruesome jewelry making and dissolves into a nasty mess when we kill him. When Squidterba dies he emits another cry that apparently causes the rest of the townspeople to drown themselves. Can’t say I feel bad for them, they kinda had it coming. The party decides to hang around for a few hours and wait for Adari and co. to show up. Perhaps we use this time to clean ourselves of the nasty fish juice and guts we are undoubtedly covered in.

The Tentacley Embrace of Qdoba
Adventure Summary:

There is an Indian food order at the beginning of these notes. Mmmm, naan. We head up north to check out the golden area and sell the horses on the way. We sell the horses in the elven town of Riflian to some merchants. I think I fell asleep around this point. All I have written is “something about slaves, ogres and horses.” Sorry, I was super tired! Please fill in what you remember!

We continue north by mudlark to Threshold, the closest city to the golden area. For some reason, the Threshold leaders have decided that almost all weapons must be confiscated upon entering the city. This does not include swords or rods. Scott suggests the sword lobby is powerful here; I think maybe they have a fixation on phallic weaponry. The strange weapon rules don’t even hinder later fighting, so I’m not sure what the whole point is. We find out that Golthar, his lady friend and some rat-faced dude are hanging out in the city on Folger’s Isle. Unfortunately, it is not a magical island of coffee, as I fall asleep again later in this session. Ellie (Elly? Please insert correct spelling, Derek) rescues some old lady who tells us that Goltharis hanging out is a place with two crossed swords. When we find the place, we explore inside and are jumped by a bunch of giant spiders. I pass out around round 3 and wake up to discover I have become a meat shield. Good thing con is a star warlock’s main stat! After we spot the rat faced dude, Talia follows him and then leads us to his location. We are then attacked by Golthar et al. Yay, we kill him! Also, we find out that the old lady set us up. Bitch.

Leaving town, we head north to the Foam Fire Valley, home to a cadre of violent gnolls. We come across a giant mound, populated by zombies and heads on pikes. Too bad no one had a shotgun! The gnolls get kind of mad that we were traipsing around on their sacred burial ground and chase after us. There are a lot of them. A whole lot. Luckily, we only have to fight one group and outrun the rest in the mountains. We follow a path to a walled area and some gates. A batquito sucks Dyne’s face off as we attempt to enter. There are some animated statues on the inside, but they back down when we show them the needle and thread.

Beyond the gate is a valley filled with ruins. While searching the ruins we come across some dead bodies and are accosted by some stocky human-ish dudes on raptor (foot-pad lizards, whatever) steeds. They claim the dead dudes were killed by the “mutts,” a dog-headed people. The stocky people are called Traldarans. They take us to their leader, Yuri Bencow in their city of Hronkin. He tells us that the mutts are a race called Hutaakans who once enslaved the Traldarans. They are now summoning undead hordes out of some temple to attack the Traldar villagers. They ask us to help disrupt a Hutaakan ritual the next morning. During the night we kill some zombies for them, since they are all pansies and are afraid of the dark.

The next morning, we head out for some killins. At a nearby shrine, we find some Hutaakans being attacked by zombies. We try to kill only the zombies so we can get some info out of the Hutaakans, but they attack us first (no, really, they do!) and we are forced to retaliate. One is kept alive for questioning. Next, Bencowasks us to go to the Singing Pool and get some Shining Water that can be used to cleanse the temple and clear out the zombies. We get to borrow raptor steeds to travel there and it is awesome (mine is called Sprinkles and Sarah names hers Jeff Golblum).

When we get back we question the dogface we’d captured at the ritual. His name is Baqateq and he tells us that the Hutaakan stronghold is Bixata, to the west. Here’s where we come up with the plan to infiltrate the dogfaces and learn their side of the story (as well as perhaps get more money and info on the zombie infestation). We arrange to fake a break-out for Baqateq. Flor distracts (or scares off) the guards by flirting with them, to the dismay of his out-of-game wife Sarah (Talia). When we arrive at dogface central, we learn that they thing the Traldarans are sending out the zombies and want us to protect them while they undertake a ritual to banish the horde. The ritual has to be done in the zombie infested temple of Flar/Pflährr, the dogface god. They also tell us about Qaterba/Kqa’tehrbaaah/Qdoba, some hideous beast who guards the temple and has recently escaped.

Before we go to the temple, we first have to visit the Vault of the Elders and retrieve a book with the instructions on how to perform the ritual (and of course, kill the golem guardians hanging out there). After that, we escort high dogface priestess Kaforedz and some lesser priestesses to the temple to perform the ritual. We defend them from the usual zombies and a giant four armed skeleton of DOOM. Several of us take souvenirs from the body to make accessories. The party decides to stay and loot the temple while the priestesses make their way back (this is the beginning of the fuck-uppery that characterizes the rest of this adventure). We discover a statue that is concealing a door, but we can’t get the door open without a key.

When we are leaving the temple we find that the Traldarans have arrived and have killed all the dogface priestesses. Have they never heard of taking prisoners? Or mercy? Or not being assholes? Seriously guys, not cool. We go along with them back to town anyway and ask around about the hidden room. Turns out Qdoba probably has the key. Also, some shady character has been hanging around town, but Bencow is too scared to tell us about who he is or what he’s doing there. This will come back to bite us later. We also visit the dogface town to get more Qdoba info. Unsurprisingly, they kind of hate us now. We also find out that the needle and thread are actually some sort of way to lead home Hutaakans from outside the valley. Lame.

The only thing to do now is set ourselves up as Qdoba bait to get that key. He doesn’t attack the party when we camp outside that night, but we do find a trail of slime the next morning that leads to the underground Qdoba hangout. Elhaym takes ongoing acid damage for at least 10 rounds, taking more damage from this than from the entire rest of the fight. We find a silver bar in the nasty tentacley remains of Qdoba, which we discern is the key to the room. Everyone but Flor takes teeth from Qdoba as a souvenir.

After resting for a night Hutaakan-side, we head to the temple for some lootz. Except when we arrive there some dude has taken almost all the treasure! Our treasure! We killed goddamn QDOBA for this treasure and the shady dude just took it! He disappears when he sees us, leaving some jeweled flowers. He’ll totally get his comeuppance later. Lots and lots of delicious comeuppance. We return to the dogface dudes and tell them about the treasure thief and give them the silver bar. Then we head off to Hronkin to get the info on the thief. Unfortunately for us, it seems the Hutaakans resurrected their dead priestesses as zombies who then attacked the Traldarans, who blame us for the whole thing. They don’t really feel like discussing the matter, at least, not with words. While running away, we encounter a group of Hutaakans, who accuse us of stealing their treasure. Seriously? Didn’t we just tell them some shady mofo took it? I suppose that is a convenient excuse… and I suppose we would have taken it if he hadn’t… okay, they’ve got us on this one. Anyway, the only way they won’t kill us is if we help them kill the Traldarans. Head aslpodey. At this point, the party decides to let them kill each other without our help and runs off.


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