AD&D - New World

19: "Wishes & Plans"
our heroes stock up and take chances...

More than a week passes as the Revengers help Grudgewood in the wake of two mighty battles. Bertram and Jongle enter into private study, while Khalid helps the goblin prisoners adjust to live in the silver mines (and also sows the fields with his spores). Ervendio crafts gifts for Bea and Proteus (who has gone to meet with Aloysius and the Barrow Knights) — tiny items with continual light cast upon them — a coin for Proteus, and a gem in a tiara for Bea. Bea spends the days getting to know the locals, being social, and enjoying her birthday. She also studies up on magic, working to craft a useful spell or two.

Just outside of Grudgewood, Aloysius has declared himself Lord Commander of the Last Knights of the Barrow. He demands a hero’s welcome into Grudgewood, where he would assume command of the town itself. Red Al denies him this request, stating that he cannot enter Grudgewood until he declares that Grudgewood is leaderless. They remain at a standsill, as tensions rise.

Red Al calls the Revengers in for a meeting. He has two tasks that require trusted allies. One involves a return to the Haunted Halls — he seeks an artifact disguised as a wand but that is actually one piece of a seven-parted rod. This is known to the Revengers as The First Key, and was already found by them, but they do not share this Al. Al states the assembled rod will be needed to combat the forces of “ultimate order” on behalf of the forces of “complete freedom.” When the Revengers are hesitant to return to the Halls, Al decides to send the Flapping Wings after the piece of the rod instead. He also shares that one piece of the rod can lead to the others — and that they must be assembled in a precise, sequential order.

His other mission is to travel to Cano City, the papal seat, to rescue Father Robert, a high priest of the Twelve Barrows that had been taken when the kingdom fell to goblin forces (and also Red Al’s estranged brother). Father Robert is believed to be kept in a prison beneath Cano City, and Red Al’s spies have discovered a way into this prison by way of the city’s sewers. His spies also report that factions in the city are in league with fiends from Baator, a plane of law and evil, and that a gate to Baator now exists in Cano City itself. This gate creates a planar nexus that makes magical scrying and transport into the city difficult. Therefore, the rescue mission will have to being 20 miles outside of the city itself.

To this end, the Revengers are offered the bounty of the Haunted Halls — the contents of the case downstairs in the Lonesome Tankard. Mostly rings, scrolls, and potions, the magical items will prove useful for the kind of in-and-out mission this strike requires.

(( Bea immediately spends 2 find familiar scrolls to obtain a crow, named Kermit ))

Al offers one more thing, if the Revengers are interested — he has a deck of many things in his possession, a magical artifact offering possible reward and possible consequence. Drawing from the deck is a choice, but it comes with possible consequences.

Bertram draws first. He chooses two cards. The first (Ruin_) causes him to lose all of his money and possessions; the second (_Rogue) causes a henchmen to turn against him. Bertram has no henchmen, but all of his urthly possessions disappear.

Khalid draws second. He chooses one card. He draws Donjon, which instantly transports Khalid to a strange and farway dungeon. His possessions remains behind. Khalid hears a strange, grumbling voice call out to him, speaking in Amaran dwarven, but to his friends he is simply gone.

Ervendio declines the opportunity to draw from the deck.

Bea draws next. She chooses one card. She draws the Moon and gains four wishes.

First, she wishes “for our friend Khalid Ibrin bin Sallah to be returned to us in full health with memories intact exactly as he existed 1 second before he drew the card in our presence from the deck of many things, none the worse for wear.”

Khalid reappears as if he had never left — in fact, carrying an exact duplicate of all of his items and clothing.

Second, she wishes “for my brother Wellsley Purplebottom to be returned to my parents in their home in full health with memories intact exactly as he existed 1 second before he was turned into a pie, none the worse for wear.”

The effects of this wish are not yet apparent.

Third, she wishes “for all material wealth and items lost by our friend and partymember Bertram Figg by means of him drawing a card from the deck of many things to be immediately returned to him in whatever capacity he kept them in such a way as would bring no harm to any of us.”

Bertram’s belongings return to him exactly as they had been before.

Before Bea’s final wish, Jongle chooses to draw three cards from the deck.

First, he draws the Fool — he immediately loses some of the knowledge gained from his adventures, but he is able to make a bonus draw from the deck. He draws the Rogue, which would turn a henchmen against him, had he any. Next, Jongle draws the Jester, gaining two more bonus draws from the deck, drawing the Jester again (regaining his lost experience) and the Comet, a card which will give Jongle even more experience if he bests, single-handedly, the next hostile monster he encounters. Finally, Jongle draws the Idiot, causing him to lose a substantial degree of intelligence.

The deck having taken its toll, Bea makes her final wish:

“I wish for Grudgewood to immediately have all necessary resources to become a sanctuary for all humans and human-friendly creatures, fully fortified against hostile invasion.”

There is a deep rumbling sound from the direction of the mines, a substantial boom from undergound, a rush of air, and a number of shouts from outside of Al’s office. Something has changed outside of the Tankard. But what?

XP
Group Awards
Accepted a Mission: 250
Braved the Deck: 250
Group Total: 500 Indvidual Totals: 100

Individual Totals
Bea 600 (Wishmistress 500, Group 100)
Bertram 600 (Grabby Hands 500, Group 100)
Ervendio 600 (Gift Giver 500, Group 100)
*Jongle*600 (Jester/Fool/Rogue/Idiot 500, Group 100)
Khalid 600 (Lost & Then Found 500, Group 100)

LOOT
Party Loot
3 applications of dust of disappearance
1 rope of entanglement
1 ring of free action
1 ring of blinking
1 ring of protection +2
3 scrolls of dispel magic (at 12th level)
5 scrolls bearing one plane shift spell each

Individual Loot

Bea
18 spell-scroll-levels, tbd
2 potions of healing
2 potions of extra-healing
1 potion of vitality
1 potion of flying
1 potion of invisibility

Bertram
20 spell-scroll-levels, tbd
2 potions of healing
2 potions of extra-healing
1 potion of vitality
1 potion of flying
1 potion of invisibility

Ervendio
2 potions of healing
2 potions of extra-healing
1 potion of vitality
1 potion of flying
1 potion of invisibility
1 staff of curing (16 charges)

Jongle
2 potions of healing
2 potions of extra-healing
1 potion of vitality
1 potion of flying
1 potion of invisibility
boots of striding and springing

Khalid
4 potions of healing
4 potions of extra-healing
2 potion of vitality
2 potion of flying
2 potion of invisibility
2 rings of spell storing (cloak of brave, flame strike, heal)

Proteus
2 potions of healing
2 potions of extra-healing
1 potion of vitality
1 potion of flying
1 potion of invisibility
1 potion of superheroism
1 potion of fire giant strength
1 potion of hill giant strength

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17: "Fall of the Pomarj"
our heroes see their enemies driven before them

To the north, Bertram and Becky hide from Pomarj outriders. “Only one of us will escape!” Bertram exclaims. Becky volunteers to be the one, and Bertram hands over his ruby necklace to give Becks a leg up. Bertram turns Becky invisible and Becky flees to the west. Bertram begins a long walk to Grudgewood, narrowly avoiding detection by the Pomarj.

At the army camp, Khalid and Ervendio stay behind to tend to the wounded and investigate the camp remains. Ungerd is granted his freedom by the Revengers, and he promises they will not regret their decision. The rest of the Revengers march their 20 goblin prisoners back to Grudgewood’s silver mines.

In Grudgewood, the Revengers are reunited with Bertram. They also receive a message from Drea telling them the Twelve Barrows have fallen, and the last of the Barrows Knights are marching to Grudgewood.

The Revengers travel north to scope out the Pomarj. Jongle infiltrates the camp disguised as a soldier — receiving a kiss on the cheek from Bea beforehand — and convinces Horaz that Scalf’s army turned against the cause, joining with the humans. Horaz, after initially wanting to march immediately on Grudgewood, agrees to march to Ft. Hangtooth and receive further instructions from the Duke himself. He also becomes quite taken with “Bongle,” outfitting the goblin in one of his own oversized nightshirts.

Jongle learns that Horaz’s goblin paramours tend to lead short lives, and makes his escape. Bertram helps Jongle fake the death of Bongle, and after a brief tussle with Pomarj scouts, the Revengers travel north around the orcish army hoping to meet with the Barrow Knights.

And they do! Led by Aloysius Bouchard and accompanied by Drea, the Violet Witch, the Last of the Barrow Knights destroy the Pomarj in the field of battle. Horaz comes face to face with Jongle and learns the truth of his new favorite goblin boy, right before a Barrows cavalryman kills Horaz with a lance to the skull.

Aloysius wants to march on Ft. Hangtooth immediately, but the Revengers convince him to bring his tired knights to Grudgewood first.

Grudgewood stands, the Duke of Bark survives, the Pomarj has been defeated. J. Clazton still rules Rittersmarche, and the Kingdom of the Twelve Barrows has fallen. Now Mildred’s Revengers must decide … what happens next?

XP
Group Awards
Goblin Prisoners 400
A Message Received 200
Fall of the Pomarj 800
Group Total: 1400 Individual Rewards: 350

Individual Totals
Bea 850 (Kiss on the Cheek 500, Group 350)
Bertram 850 (Superior Scout 500, Group 350)
Jongle 850 (Bongle 500, Group 350)
Proteus 850 (Knights Reunited 500, Group 350)

LOOT
none

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16: "The Battle for Grudgewood"
our heroes smash the army of the duke

Bertram is separated from the group when he falls in with Becky Urd, a bummy kobold traveling with the Oakenburgh refugees. Through means as yet undisclosed, Bertram manages to peel the Pomarj off of the group’s trail and away from Grudgewood.

The rest of the Revengers arrive in Grudgewood to find a town prepared to be attacked. The Duke’s army is camped close by, seemingly awaiting the arrival of the Pomarj before beginning their attack.

Durge, goblin banker of Grudgewood, asks to meet with the group and reveals to them his possession of a scroll that would allow for the immediate transport of a small group to Ocean’s Deep, a large city in the Middlemarsh, should the battle go poorly. The Revengers demure, but give Durge their last will & testaments, should they die in battle.

  • Khalid would see his money & possessions given to his surviving friends in the Revengers.
  • Jongle would see his money & possessions given to his surviving friends in the Revengers, with a portion sent to the 42nd Street Orphanage in Skullcap.
  • Ervendio would see his enemies hunted down and killed.
  • Proteus would have his belongings sold. Durge, having no record of a bank account with Proteus, took no notes in this regard.
  • Bea would see her money & possessions sent to her mother, Mrs. Purplebottom.

The Revengers met with Red Al, who was busy planning for the attack. He recommended moving Grudgewood’s forces — a small militia and some armed peasants, buttressed by 2 dozen The Flapping Wings, a half-dozen members of Karl Cutter‘s crew, and 12 kobold dragoons from Rittersmarche — into the field to engage the Duke’s army. As they discuss, a whispering wind from the missing Bertram arrives saying he has led the Pomarj away from Grudgewood — and toward himself.

The Revengers lead Grudgewood’s army into the field. Scouting ahead, they engage in some subterfuge and sabotage. Jongle takes on Mildred’s old cloak of the bat and intercepts two messages sent from the Army’s camp — one to the Pomarj and the other to the Duke of Bark — indicating that the army would soon march. Khalid causes some trollish infighting before being captured by Volo, a gnomish wizard last seen working for the bandits at Eddistone Point.

Ervendio, Proteus, and Bea take positions with the Grudgewood defenders as Jongle uses the cloak of the bat to infiltrate the camp. Jongle sets fire to the command tent and then blends into a division of goblin archers. Among the chaos and disruption, the battle is engaged!

Grudgewood’s militia — a small force of trained fighters — is completely wiped out by the Duke’s army, which is led by Scalf Witch-Killer, the goblin who killed Mildred when the group scaled Eddistone Point. The kobold dragoons fighting for Grudgewood hold their own against a group of ogres and the goblin archer forces are halved, but hold their ground. Ervendio and Bea, leading Cutter’s Crew, battle the trolls and force Volo to flee.

During the battle, Jongle takes advantage of the chaos and attacks Scalf from behind — critically and mortally injuring the goblin leader with a series of shanks to the back. Scalf recognizes his old jester in his final moments and tells Jongle that his old satchel is in his command tent.

With their commander dead, the goblin army is on the verge of a breakdown. Ungerd, the disgraced knight and Scalf’s second-in-command, hesitates to issue further commands to fight. Khalid reaches out to Ungerd telepathically, telling him “There is no honor in this fight.”

Ungerd agrees and surrenders his sword to Proteus. Some of the goblin army follows his lead and surrenders, while others flee. The dead must still be counted and accounted for, but the Duke of Bark’s army — sent to raze Grudgewood and wipe the humans of the Westlands from the map — had been scattered and defeated.

XP
Group Awards
The Pomarj is Distracted: 1200
Subterfuge & Sabotage: 800
Mildred, Revenged: 1600
The Duke’s Army Defeated: 2400
Group Total: 6000. Individual Totals: 1000

Individual Totals
Bea 1500 (Veteran Greaser 500, Group 1000)
Bertram 1500 (Pomarj Decoy 500, Group 1000)
Ervendio 1500 (No Prisoners 500, Group 1000)
Jongle 1500 (Revenger 500, Group 1000)
Khalid 1500 (Troll Whisperer 500, Group 1000)
Proteus 1500 (War Captain 500, Group 1000)

LOOT
Battle Flag of Scalf, Witch-Killer:

2000px-Flag_of_the_Low_Countries.svg.png

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Bertram's Notes

It is my hope that someone will find this letter on my body, and some good old fashioned gnomish perspective will be cast on the affair. If I survive, I will submit this letter to the Hall of Letters, so that history may record what transpired here. – Bertram Figg

In the old days, all gnomes were slaves. The malicious mind-flayers were their masters, locked in an eternal war in the Heavens with the Elves. The early refugees that came to Ur established colonies, some choosing to keep the surnames of their former masters, and others seeking to start anew and forge a unique identity. For millennia, they had existed without memory of who they were, or where they came from. Now, thrust amongst men, lizard-folk, grippli, and all manner of bipeds, gnomes had to find a way to eke out an existence in the turbulent period after the Curse of Chaos.

Without an army in the traditional sense, gnomes had to rely on their ingenuity to defend themselves. Tunneling, building; this was work they knew, or rather, they were forced to know. They also knew the art of illusion, because at one time the only means of escaping their own reality was building a false one.
In time, the former slaves built cities and underground labyrinths. These places were fantastical representations of the mystical hallucinations of their ancestors, of what could be, or what could have been. Illusion magic once used to obfuscate their master’s ever-penetrating eyes developed into the tools of entertainers and playwrights.

But geographic isolation and the efforts of their people to hide from the rest of Ur became increasingly difficult. The forests and mountains they used to hide were being chopped down and leveled to build cities and great armies. The spells they used to conceal their homes, and their trade routes, became less and less effective. Eventually, they found if outsiders are very determined, they will find a way in, and those that are kept in will find a way out.

Without an army to defend themselves and with few allies, the Goblin Kings set fire and looted the Gnomish cities. They took gnomes as slaves, and many were forced to flee beyond the reach of the the Westlands into makeshift ghettoes in Middlemarsh. Today, the gnomish diaspora continues…and many hope that one day they will be able to return to their true home, which lives on in the dreams of their ancestors and the illusory worlds they built for themselves.

facistasia_claudia_wonderfrock.jpg

When Facistasia Claudia Wonderfrock IX the latest in a long line of Wonderfrock Gnomish Queens seated her throne in —, she brought with her a new policy of “pragmatic isolationism”. This policy has placated her detractors and brought a new era of optimism for gnomes that want to contribute to society but on their own terms, with gnomish interests first and foremost. Many gnomes have left the ghettos seeking out adventure, fame, and fortune on the wild Middlemarsh.

I, Bertram FIgg, am one of these gnomes.

For many years I wandered from job to job, just scraping by. I worked as a law clerk for the dishonorable politician J. Claxton, who I found to be taking bribes (of which I will provide proof in subsequent correspondence with the Hall of Letters); I worked as a butler for a middleclass human family by the name Purplebottom, until our business arrangement came to an acrimonious end. I had taken their daughter, DuckGirl, under my wing— you see, she had a gift for magic, and for whatever reason seemed able to harness the wild nature of it. Well, men fear what they do not understand, and Mr. Purplebottom seemed content to let his girl take music lessons and forget about her talents altogether. We’ll see how that works out for him.

It seems I’m in the weeds here, let me attempt to get back on course…

Some months ago I came upon an elf in the town of Grudgewood, we attended to some matter, the nature of which I’m not certain of, for we became stupid with drink. The next morning I awoke to find I had sworn a series of solemn oaths to the man I had barely met, the nature of which still eludes me. However, it did lead me to strike up a fellowship with Khalid (a dwarf, now changed, musty), Canicus (a knight, dead now), Mildred (a witch, now deceased) and Funnyface Grasspicker, (a female wizard of some sort.)

Over the next several months we took part in a number of engagements at Eddistone Point, the Haunted Halls, and on the road from Grudgewood to Prinzfeld province. We discovered an as yet unidentified wizard and a group of mercenaries were behind the false signals at Eddistone Point. In the Haunted Halls, we found relics from a collapsed civilization, and one artifact in particular: a “Key” which has subsequently caused us more harm than good, but we feel obligated to protect. I will not mention its location here for security purposes. (Location will be revealed to the Hall of Letters at a later date)

Now, as of (current date) we stand poised at the brink of a great conflict between the people of Grudgewood and the Duke of Bark.Horaz and the army of the Pomarj march south from Prinzfeld province on our heels. We have managed to locate a band of dragoons to assist Grudgewood and send them south ahead of the advancing Pomarj, and currently I sit in camp planning my next move.

For centuries, we gnomes have used deception and trickery to survive. We ran from our problems just long enough to forget about them and become placid. We cannot afford to do that anymore. There is nowhere left to run, no one that will have us. I watched as Canicus, Knight of the Twelve Barrows, sacrificed himself so that we, Mildred’s Revengers, a group once comprised of humans, a dwarf, a gnome, a goblin, and a kobold—could go on. I am vested in the notion that in order for society as we know it to live on, that some middle ground between pios self sacrifice, and the old ways must be found.

And if one day, you who are reading this looks back and wonders why the gnomes didn’t stand with the rest of the good folk of the Middlemarsh, know there was one gnome that did, and convince your friends and cohorts to do the same.

Warmest regards,

Bertram Figg

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15: "March of the Pomarj"
our heroes find carnage & murder in Prinzfeld

The Revengers take a half-orc prisoner, a sergeant who claims the Pomarj is reborn under the rule of Horaz. The sergeant claims the Pomarj is using Rittersmarche Lord Mayor J. Clazton and the The Duke of Bark for their own ends of conquest.

A couple of ogres come downstairs and take position outside of the room — the Revengers send their half-orc prisoner into the doorway and he is promptly killed by one of the ogres. Khalid, still clutching the kobold girl Lill, reaches out telepathically to one of the ogres and convinces him that his comrade killed his father. The ogres engage in reluctant battle. The ogres believe Ervendio’s dust devil is an arcane manifestation of his dead father’s rage. The ogre aggressor realizes it is not actually his father’s spirit, just as the Revengers kill him. The other ogre runs away, sobbing.

Exploring the rest of the manor, Khalid encounters Scraps, Graf Urd’s lost and neglected dog. Scraps snapped at Khalid, then ran out of the manor.

The Revengers continue to explore, finding a tableau of debauchery, greed, and violence. Two orcs picking on a goblin who owed them money; a dozen goblins having a murderous pillow fight; untouched rooms of war supplies.

In the basement, the Revengers discover a group of kobold prisoners, including Lill’s mother. They also discover Jyson Muraz, the human herald sent by Red Al to bring back a squadron of kobold dragoons. He was capture weeks ago and imprisoned, believing that Graf Urd was still imprisoned upstairs.

Seeing the kobolds out of the manor grounds, the Revengers discover their tied-up prisoners have left, and their horses are gone. Silverwind, Ervendio’s longtime steed, is found murdered on the manor grounds. The kobold refugees turn back at the sight of a hundred-strong army of orcs, ogres, and trolls — the Pomarj — marching south toward Rittersmarche.

(( during the hubub, Proteus, who has been carrying around Glrrk Banng as a potential orcish-shield, smashes his head against the manor gates. Glrrk is killed instantly. ))

Returning to the manor, the Revengers find it has been abandoned. Graf Urd has been murdered in his bed that very night — most probably while they were engaged in combat and manor exploration. Horaz has escaped their grasp. They give the kobolds supplies and advise them to travel south to Grudgewood.

The Revengers and Muraz skate around the marching Pomarj and sneak into Rittersmarche, convincing the dragoons to abandon the city and travel south. With Graf Urd’s signet ring, they convince Dragoon Kys Urd to believe them. Muraz and Kys Urd travel south.

The Revengers steal several horses from Rittersmarche stables and leave the cities as the drums of the Pomarj close in. They head south, warning the people of Oakenburgh of the oncoming storm. The guards of Oakenburgh believe them, but Mayor Shevlis remains hidden away, refusing to order her people to evacuate. Some refugees will take to the road anyway, but much of the town will remain.

To the north, fires burn and smoke rises. The Pomarj marches south. In 4 days, the Duke of Bark’s army will arrive at Grudgewood. The dragoon squadron has been sent on ahead, and the Revengers’ quest has been achieved. Their own path forward is entirely up to them…

XP
Group Totals
Ogres 440
Refugees Recovered 600
Dragoons Requisitioned 1200
A Southerly Escape 600
Group Total: 2840. Individual Totals: 474

Individual Totals
Bea 974 (HypnoMage 500, Group 474)
Bertram 974 (Clazton Avoided 500, Group 474)
Ervendio 974 (Horse Mourner 500, Group 474)
Jongle 974 (Bad Kazoo Work 500, Group 474)
Khalid 974 (Ogre Whisperer 500, Group 474)
Proteus 974 (Skull-Smasher 500, Group 474)

LOOT
Graf Urd’s signet ring
13 gold pieces
a war map of Prinzfeld

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Me, Bea, Mumbling, Bumbling
Bea's Diary, Entry 1

Mumbling_Bea.png

So I got to talking about some stuff with Khalid, things that’ve been sort of dogging me lately, and he suggested I start up a diary to catalogue my reflections, as it were. Specifically, he said, “Our deepest insights are to be found in our very quiet moments. Alone.” I think he was maybe hinting that I’ve been blathering on a bit lately. What can I say, it’s how I work things out. Anyhow, it isn’t as if I have anything better to do with all the empty space in my spell book, what with barely a dozen spells to my name at the moment. Nor can I sleep with all these oafs grunting and snoring around our campfire. Seriously, it’s like listening to a full-on orcine orgy, or some kind of a necromantic madrigal of woe. Even Ervendio, which was something of a mild surprise. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that elves are pristine and delicate children of the ether. After a rough day of adventuring, they are just as musical and foul as the next half-dead humanoid. It’s a wonder we’ve not been waylaid nightly by all manner of roving creepies. More so than we have, that is.

Ah, so. To begin with, by the Wild Fire, the vagabond life is a grisly one! We keep picking up various minions, evildoer dummies whose lives we spare in exchange for their assistance, only for them to in short order be skewered, eaten alive, pincered by giant bugs… Just yesterday we ‘accidentally’ dropped an orc prisoner into the vicinity of a big smear of highly combustable magical grease, within which several of his comrades lurched, slid and stumbled, and then we promptly set the area alight. Imagine if you will the screams. My, my, my. Imagine if you will the stench, and try not to squirt vomit out from your nose. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest to any would-be bad dudes in the Westlands that you might not want to let yourself be taken prisoner by or otherwise make a tenuous alliance with good old Mildred’s Revengers.

And then, Canicus. Sigh. I’m not sure how I feel about it, really. I suppose he’s gone on into the pure and elegant light of his god or whatever, and is perfectly happy, and all that. He was the pious type, you understand. If all that’s true, though, why should anyone care when someone gets eaten by a wyvern? Hm. I’m pretty bummed anyway. He was a good guy, he looked out for us all, and I felt like he helped try to keep me safe in particular. It was sweet. I suppose we ought to bring tribute to him in some way, as we’ve done with our party name. The Frowzycanicus Revengers? Mildred and Canicus’s Revengers? I guess, doing what we do, I should expect to watch people fall off one by one, but it makes it sort of hard to let people in, you know? Anyway, the name is going to get a lot longer before things are settled, whatever that means.

Other things… I killed an owlbear with a lucky shot from this brilliant dagger I lifted off the first band of goblins we cut up. It was awesome, not gonna lie. The dagger is pretty hot, I can tell it’s magical, though I’m not sure exactly how or why yet. I call it ‘Ow Bear’ now, ha. A mimic almost ate Khalid, that was pretty cool. I mean, not cool that Khalid almost died by way of angry furniture, but you know I guess if you’re going to go why not do so in the most ridiculous way possible? I almost died by way of an awful, blood-sucking stirge, but let’s not talk about that except to say thank the gods for Ervendio and his gentle healy-hands. On the subject of healy-stuff, I lassoed this curative wand that was sticking out from the face of a juju zombie for some reason. It came in handy but I think it was cursed, it made me all kinds of crazy. Plus all my coolest spells were starting to fizzle. It turned out to be this key we need, whatever. I got rid of it as soon as I could, I gave it to Khalid, who ‘lost’ it right away.

Oh holy shit. I forgot to mention that Khalid got himself turned into a fungus person! Really, I’m not even kidding. He lost all his hair and his skin is all yellow and leathery and weird, and he smells like our cheese cellar used to smell after a fresh rain would come. When he talks it’s a little harder to understand him now, too, like he has to get his pipes flapping before he can make the sounds come out. He’s still the same old dwarf, though, just I guess less swarthy and more, uh, mildewy.

Oh my god, and I finally surged again! It was absolutely glorious, really beautiful, I’m still reliving it. When that rift opens up and the power just fills you up, and you have no idea at all, like, at all, what is about to happen… I mean, wow. This time it seemed to make the guy I was about to plug with magic missiles super tired instead, but whatever. A surge is a surge. I can’t wait for it to happen again.

Let’s see, what else. I have a horse now. I call him Buttram, after a certain somebody.

Speaking of a certain somebody, I’m kind of mad at Bertram right now, I don’t know. First he was too much of a blockhead to get that I needed help with that stupid cursed wand, even when I totally pleaded with him in every way I could. Then he makes some lewd comment about ‘sitting between my legs’ while we ride off? I had been thinking of telling him about me and everything, but now I don’t know. Maybe I should just to weird him the fuck out after being mister creepleton. I’ll figure it out. Truth be told I am very fond of him, I would have never become the Bea I am if not for Bertram, and if there’s one person I’m happy to be, it’s Bea. It’s killing me to not race up to him and give him a big bugbear hug. Sometimes.

Proteus, on the other hand… We took on a new permanent party member – a stiff soldier type that apparently likes to mutilate dead bodies. I don’t like him. Apparently, while I was out chasing some kind of I-don’t-know-what running outside this manor with Jongle, he thought it’d be a great idea to chop off a dead orc’s finger and force-feed it to a prisoner. I mean, who does that? It’s gross and weird, and sadistic. Who knows what these soldier types do out there while they’re out conquering and imposing somebody’s idea of order upon the world. Jongle and I both looked at each other when we got back and Ervendio told us, like, what?

Jongle. He’s… interesting. I haven’t ever met a person like him. He has a knack for bringing these little clownish jubilees into every variety of situation. He clearly delights in the absurd. It’s hard not to like that. Also, he gave me a flower. Noone has ever given me a flower. Strange how a mundane act like that can move you, once you’re its subject.

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14: "Manor Torture"
our heroes rescue a babe, try to steal a kiss, and feed a finger to a prisoner

Khalid returns! Emerging from a tree-tunnel from the Underdark, Khalid — now a fungal-dwarf — returns from his trip to Mechanus. Having left The First Key behind, Khalid rejoins his comrades and the Revengers continue their journey together.

Still nighttime, the group is set upon by riders with lances who are coming from Graf Urd‘s manor. They kill two of the lancers, helped by Bertram’s illusions of an angry myconid, and by Khalid’s new spellcasting abilities. The Revengers again take prisoners, including Glrrk Banng, who Proteus feeds an orc-corpse-finger to as a means of torture, and who Bertram saves from a greasy fire, inflicted by the Revengers themselves.

The Revengers find the manor quiet and nearly deserted. Most of the buildings have been trashed or defaced. Jongle and Bea chase a figure across the grounds, but their quarry is lost. The pair spends some time dancing under the stars, and Jongle gives Bea a flower for her hair. Bea starts her diary.

Hidden downstairs in the servants’ quarters, Khalid discovers Lill Urd, a young kobold girl who has been hiding from “the bad ones.” She is the daughter of some of the manor servants, and she says the bad ones came several weeks ago. She has been hiding from them ever since. She takes a liking to Khalid, clinging tight to him even during battle, and she is positively terrified of Proteus, the knight who feeds parts of corpses to the group’s prisoners.

The questioning of the prisoners by Ervendio, Bertram, and Proteus reveals a connection between Horaz, the still-unseen leader of the forces there, and J. Clazton, the mayor of Prinzfeld and Bertram’s old employer. They appear to be in league together, perhaps explaining Graf Urd’s disappearance and the missing squad of kobold dragoons.

Exploring Graf Urd’s manor, the Revengers discover a squad of half-orcs in the dining room. There is a battle, a fire, and all the enemies except their leader — currently trying to crawl away and escape — are killed. During the battle, one of Bea’s spells taps into the The Chaos Curse of Ur and surges — instead of her intended magic missile, the target is overcome by the feelings of two weeks without sleep. He was subsequently dispatched by the Revengers.

Our heroes remain in the manor’s dining room. It is the middle of the night and they have not rested. Bertram has his foot on the ankle of the escaping — but by no means incapacitated — half-orc sergeant…

XP
Group Totals
Exploring the Mansion 250
Orc Lancers 260
Rescuing Lill 750
Dining Room Orcs 420
Group Total: 1680, 280 apiece

Individual Totals
Bea 780 (Wild Surge! 500, Group 280)
Bertram 780 (Illusions of a Fun Guy 500, Group 280)
Ervendio 780 (The Elven Inquisition 500, Group 280)
Jongle 780 (Nighttime Romance 500, Group 280)
Khalid 780 (Entangling the Enemy 500, Group 280)
Proteus 780 (Corpse Finger 500, Group 280)

LOOT
- a kid
- some lances maybe?

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13: "Poop In His Pantsbutt"
our heroes reach Prinzfeld

The Revengers awake to find Khalid is missing! They spend several hours searching for him, but despite finding a trail into the woods (which abruptly vanishes), there is no sign of their friend — or The First Key. Ervendio leaves a note and rations + water in case Khalid returns, and the group travels north.

That night, they enter Prinzfeld Province. First they come to a small farming village called Brenfluss, which has received only scant rumors of war. The group meets Proteus Valerius, a knight of the Fourth Order who was sent to find Canicus. When he discovers that Canicus is dead, Proteus opens a letter intended for the fallen paladin…

My Dearest Brother Canicus,

I received your warning, but too late. Unsure of DoB’s involvement. G strike too quickly.

Would not have accepted the witch if not for your note. Men scared of her arcane power. But she has been trustworthy and true.

I have had dreams. 7 flames. The RK. “To save the 12 find the 7 that were 1.” Have you dreamt the same? Am I apostate as well?

The 12 Barrows burn. Find the 7, whatever they are. Save humanity.

Trust the man who delivers this note. He is a brother to me, as you are.

Aloysius Bouchard
Knight-Captain of the Fourth Order
Kingdom of the Twelve Barrows

Ervendio confirms that he knows what some of these things refer to, and after buying a bunch of fresh fruit and vegetables, Proteus joins the Revengers and they travel north.

The Revengers pass through the village of Oakenburgh, encountering Mayor Shevlis. She also disbelieves talk of war, and she becomes offended at the group’s crude talk and behavior. She demands they exit, and she excuses herself. Bertram renders Jongle invisible, and the goblin sneaks in and loots the place clean. No evidence of wrongdoing is discovered.

The Revengers travel on, passing a shrine to Ehlonna and arriving at Rittersmarch near the end of the fourth day of their travels. They head straight to the lord-mayor’s office, discovering he is none other than J. Clazton, former associate of Bertram Figg. Tensions run high and Bertram accuses him of being in deep debt; Bea casts a cantrip and causes poop to pour from his pantsbutt. Lord Mayor Clazton demands their arrest, but the Revengers flee.

Having heard rumors that provincial-lord Graf Urd is ill and not receiving visitors, the Revengers head to the lord’s mansion. En route they are set upon by a squad of orcs, masquerading as guardsmen. In the melee, Bertram blinds Shadow Ryder with his chromatic orb, and the steed runs away in the aftermath. The Revengers dispatch 4 of the orcs, but two escape — one on foot, to the wilds, but the other on horseback, straight toward the manor of Graf Urd…

XP
Group Awards
Entered Prinzfeld Province: 500
A Misunderstand in the Office of J. Claxton, Lord-Mayor: 500
Orc Fight!: 160
Group Total: 1160, 232 each

Individual Totals
Bea Group, 732 (Poop Cantrip 500, 232)
Bertram 732 (Performance Review 500, Group, 232)
Ervendio 732 (Turnip Muncher 500, Group, 232)
Jongle 732 (Invisible Burglary 500, Group, 232)
Proteus 732 (A Letter Delivered 500, Group, 232)

LOOT
6 gold
a gold necklace
a shiny, shiny dagger

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12.1 Amongst the Fungus
Khalid travels the Outer Planes...

Resting in the valley outside of Grudgewood, Khalid awakens to find a ghost mount waiting for him. He follows it into the forest, mounts it — and finds himself transported to Mechanus, one of the Outer Planes. Dedicated to law in its purest form, Mechanus is a place of pure order.

Met by Rathan Swordreaver, an old spirit and a former comrade of both Edrick, Half-Ogre and The Wolf of Arcworth, Rathan tells Khalid about the importance of The First Key and its role as one of seven parts of the Wolf’s former staff. Apart, the keys are powerful artifacts of law; united, they could either free the Wolf or imprison him for another thousand years.

Each key may lead one to the next piece, but by using the keys one runs the risk of attracting the attention of the Spyder-Fiends, chaotic demons in service to the Wolf.

Despite having drawn Khalid to Mechanus, he cannot transport Khalid back. Rathan departs and Khalid is collected by several modron — strange, mechanical beings who demand to know if Khalid is part of “the resistance.” Though he is judged not guilty of this particular transgression, he is still found guilty of trespassing. Khalid is sentenced to “polish the gear” and sent into the Labyrinthine Portal.

But unable to follow his captor’s path through the portal, Khalid finds himself in Mycelia, a realm of Mechanus and home to Psilofyr the great god and fungal world-tree of the myconid. Seeking aid, Khalid surrenders to the spores of great Psilofyr. His body withers away and the First Key is left in the hands of the myconid of Mycelia; Khalid is born again as a myconid-dwarfskin, and as a prophet of Psilofyr, far underground and far from his friends…

XP
Khalid 732 (Encounter with Rathan 100, Avoiding the Gears 132, A Really Fun Guy 500)

LOOT
The Succor of Psilofyr (amulet)

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12: "Web-Slog"
our heroes are ambushed

Bertram cannot convince Karl Cutter to give up one of his men to help them in their journey to Prinzfeld Province, so the party continues on. Making camp that night, they are ambushed by a group of Spyder-Fiends, a sub-race or tanar’ri from the chaotic plane of Abyss.

The creatures nearly kill Jongle, but seem to single in on Khalid — saying in a gutteral, demonic language that if the party were to turn over the wand — or, the rod — they would leave them be. The party battles with fiends without finding a way to harm them, eventually fleeing with the help of an illusion from Bertram, but not before Ervendio beheads their goblin prisoner as he attempts to make an escape.

The group travels on through the night, leaving the southern badlands and entering the valley. They take refuge in a burned farm, finding the bodies of the kobold farmer — still clutching his pitchfork, body riddled with arrows — and his wife and child. Traveling off the road, they encounter an orc — not a native to this land — who is dehydrated and confused. He asks Khalid if he is an ally of the Pomarj, and when Khalid answers no, the orc attacks. Unable to calm the orc, the party leaves him to his fate.

Traveling on, they encounter a party of priests and priestesses of Ehlonna, an erotic koboldic goddess of healing and sensuality. Jongle pleases, and is pleasured. The others are left uncomfortable, if strangely intrigued, by the fire….

XP
Group Awards
Spyder-Fiends, Evaded: 500
A Farm, Destroyed: 250
An Orc, Encountered: 250
Kobold Clerics, Pleasured: 250
Group Total: 1250
Individual Total: 250

Individual Totals
Bea: 750 (spider greaser 500; group 250)
Bertram: 750 (wyvern illusionist 500; group 250)
Ervendio: 750 (goblin cleaver 500; group 250)
Jongle: 750 (lover, not a spider 500; group 250)
Khalid: 750 (tree-climber 500; group 250)

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