AD&D - New World

Interlude: A Return to Grudgewood
our heroes have a moment to reflect

Mildred’s Revengers, now also known as the Knights of Grudgewood, have returned from a near-death mission in Cano City. As the alliance of humans threatens to break, as the keys are being assembled, as the forces of law and chaos wage unending war, they find themselves back in their makeshift home. With time to recover from their wounds — and unable to sleep due to the potions of vitality still coursing through their bodies — they are able to reflect on what has come to pass and what is still to come…

Bea
Bea wants only to adventure – have fun, experience danger, build relationships in the party and become more powerful as she experiments with magic.

Bea is disappointed to find that there is conflict back in Grudgewood – she had hoped that the efforts of the party and her carefully-worded wish would create a place of peace there where people could go on living and growing stronger in all areas of human and human-friendly endeavor. It’s maybe the first crack in her inherently naive outlook, that things will ‘work out in the end,’ that grandiose and selfless efforts necessarily bear beautiful fruit. It hasn’t overwhelmed her youthful sense of invincibility, adventure and wanderlust, however. Even horrors are still thought of subconsciously as part of a big interesting celestial clockwork of interrelated destinies.

While Bea cherishes the growing relationships with the party, and thinks of them as the family who understands her, she’s gregarious by nature and is beginning to look outward. She wants to meet new and interesting people, to collect friends and acquaintances across the world – she’s much more likely to feel that a new place has enriched her life if it contains a person worth thinking about later.

Bea doesn’t quite realize the extent to which the other party members are looking out for her – while she’s recognized and appreciated it from time to time, she tends to think of herself as generally pretty bad ass. Taking most of the credit for her successes – from surviving near misses to dramatic takedowns – she’s possibly a bit more arrogant and cavalier than she should be. She feels like is on a path that will find her extremely powerful one day, which scares her to the extent that it would mean she would lose herself, change into another person than she is now. It also gives her a sort of superiority complex, which she recognizes but hopes is tempered by what she sees as her commitment to selflessness and humanity.

Bertram
Bertram wants to resolve the conflict in Grudgewood, he hopes in can become that shining light on the hill for all that it was supposed to be, and feels partly responsible for the mess that has occurred.

The loss of Shadow Ryder was very painful for Bertram, and sometimes he wakes himself believing he left the gate open for Scraps to escape. All of Prinzfeld is upset with him about it. He doesn’t know if it is the universe trying to tell him something, or perhaps he really shouldn’t try to care for animals with his current lifestyle, but he longs for companionship in whatever form it may take. Of all things to be worried about, a little doggie! He had watched Canicus get eaten whole by a wyvern, zombies, demons, fields of corpses…

Walking through the cloud in the Halls of Torment made Bertram reflect on his life up to that moment. He was surrounded by friends, yet somehow still alone. He loved that little wizard girl, he didn’t know why. Whatever had happened to Khalid, he was still a low-down and dirty thief, and Jongle: a constant thorn in his side, a foil, a fop. Ervendio: a pompous elf, who treated Bertram as a child. Proteus: he wondered to what ends the human’s thirst for violence would take him. Did all men carry this capacity? Bertram reviled it in himself, yet Proteus seemed to ride it effortlessly.

The world is at war, but protecting innocents— that’s what should matter! Can that be done until all our enemies have been defeated and the keys collected? How many must die for that to happen? Will Grudgewood be enough, one last breakwater against the storm?

Bertram felt something change inside him in the dungeons under Cano City. Those moments when he saw his friends dying around him, covered in blood, he at times felt himself willing to kill anything and everything. He was filled with bloodlust. It was a terrible feeling, one brought out of instinct and desperation no doubt. Gnomes are known to fight viciously when backed into a corner. Bertram hated himself for it, and wondered if anyone had seen the madness in his eyes, he hoped they had not. He didn’t want to be remembered like that. Not like Volo,

He wondered if that’s what that girl wanted. To be feared? Well, then she had succeeded! Bertram has never been more terrified in his life. Such power for such a young girl! How much of it was real? He couldn’t be sure. It was a mad, terrible place. He hoped a meteor struck those Halls from existence forever. Maybe if he gets a crack at a wish he will make it so.

But wasn’t that the problem here? Law and Chaos want all or nothing it seems, it was silly really. These keys— they toys of wizards, demons, gods and politicians, fighting amongst themselves like petulant children. What they needed was a little diplomacy. There were only a few people alive that could get that deal done, and he knew one of them…

Ervendio
Ervendio wants to search for the keys in hopes that they will also lead to other magical artifacts that can be used for the Elven war against the mind flayers. He actually enjoys the Revengers and is pleased his search for magical items can coincide with their involvement with finding the keys.

Things are going quite well with Ervendio right now. He’s allied with strong friends that are on a magical quest too. He can help them succeed while succeeding at his own goal. He’s concerned for Bea, she’s young and fragile and war isn’t the place for a young girl. She needs Bertram’s tutelage again and the rest of the groups protection.

Jongle
Jongle wants to rid the world of the Pope, Nemo, and Goblin society as it is right now, and he supposes gathering the keys is the best way to actually do that.

You’d have to be a fool to believe things are going well! It’s lucky that Jongle never gets depressed for long, after seeing the heinous things they’ve encountered, and the state of Skullcap and Cano City. He thinks Proteus and Khalid are doing just fine, but he’s always slightly worried for Bea, and he often wonders what is motivating Bertram with all his grumblings and protestations.

Khalid
Khalid wants to gather the keys and lock away the Wolf forever.

Khalid is so changed, and he sees the party now as his people. He thinks Psilofyr must have taken him for a purpose, and he sees the keys as that purpose, and the party as his fellows in that purpose (also, this purpose is a close fit to what he was raised to do, and so it makes sense to him). He respects Jongle, is slightly frightened of but also grateful to Proteus, looks up to Ervendio (who is better at being a cleric than he is), feels protective of Bea, (although he is sometimes frustrated by her chaotic ways, being so much more lawful), and thinks of Bertram as a friend, and as the most honest of the group.

He thinks the world is in too much flux, and that it needs stability and room to grow. He thinks people are fundamentally good, but that power and need create evil in the world, and that the law should balance those things. Violence is a last resort to him, but he finds himself needing last resort quite often.

He is also worried that the past will catch up with him. He keeps telling himself that he died and is free of his old vows, but he worries that his former masters will disagree. He pretends to want to go home, but he is terrified of going back to Amara.

Proteus
Proteus wants peace; he’s tired of war and fighting and is torn apart by the actions of his once brother and friend Aloysius.

Proteus feels that the party has come together in a grand fashion; people’s thoughts and hearts beat more as one rather than disparate with an unfocused goal. While he has only known them for a short while, each has had an impact. Khalid’s desire to find another way to overcome obstacles – one that doesn’t generally involve combat – is a welcome counterpoint to Proteus’ own thoughts (though he feels that Khalid somehow has a knack for finding random encounters with monsters). Ervendio is a stalwart ally and his healing arts have kept Proteus in the fight more times than he can count already. Bea has matured and grown as a person, shedding her former timid nature in favor of a more bold and engaging one that is still tempered by her feminine sensibilities. Bertram’s innocence and overwhelming desire to do the right then remind Proteus of a time in his life where things were uncomplicated and joyful, and perhaps instills a small glimmer of hope that there is a chance to return to such a life. Lastly, Jongle the Lothario, whose ability to turn a phrase just as soon as put a dart (or three) in your eye has earned Proteus’ respect; he still cannot believe one who seems so flippant has the heart of a fighter and the mind of a spy.

The only thing Proteus is worried about at this time is the way Aloysius is flying against all that the Barrows and the Risen King stood for. It’s a foolish battle and one that he would rather not fight, but the idea of these people who worked so hard to create their frontier kingdom of Grudgewood just unceremoniously turning it over to him is unconscionable, as are the rest of his demands. This is no longer the Knight Commander he once knew; gone is the altruism and justice that he stood for, likely fallen along with the walls of the Barrows.

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27: Father Robert
our heroes rescue a prisoner + return home

Separated by the magicks of the Judge’s Court, the Revengers explore two wings of the lowest level of the Cano City jails. Khalid, Ervendio, and Bea encounter the illusionist Volo, a gnome who has eluded them several times before, while Bertram, Proteus, and Jongle meet The Bailiff, a tanar’ri in service to this level’s master, a herzou called The Judge.

Khalid, Ervendio, and Bea manage to incapacitate their nemesis Volo. Though they are nearly interrupted by a wandering manticore, but Ervendio’s impromptu ventriloquisim sends it away. They discover a treasure trove of magical items, scrolls, and notes in Volo’s sanctum, and they decide to leave their foe tied up and gagged with an old sock — incapacitated, but very much alive.

Meanwhile, Bertram, Proteus, and Jongle manage to fool the Bailiff into believing that Jongle is really Zensher, the warden of the Halls of Torment. The Bailiff falls for Jongle’s continued polymorph and presents the trio to the Bailiff. Jongle bluffs his way past the Judge, despite not understanding a lick of the Judge’s abyssal speech. Proteus, realizing that the bones the Bailiff is arranging are that of The Risen King, collects the bones while still invisible. They pass through the main corridor of this level, passing through a dark cloud that plays on their deepest doubts and fears: loneliness, the death of their friends, the doom of their peers.

Rejoined in Volo’s room, the Revengers search the place and discover the old illusionist’s notes and spellbook, but nothing on Father Robert. Ervendio has also discovered a wand — The Second Key, the second piece of the rod of Nemonad Arcworth. After briefly possessing it, he passes the wand to Khalid, who previously possessed the first part.

Before the group can decide how to proceed, a blood-curdling scream cuts through the air — it is the Bailiff, having discovered his bones are gone. The Bailiff arrives, enraged and eager for blood, but Jongle convinces him that Volo is the thief. The Bailiff murders Volo — who, in reality, is a young gnomish girl, and not an elderly man at all. Bertram, once again, has a brief moment of realization that he is alone — but needn’t have been.

The group passes through a reconstituted dark cloud that attacks their physical and mental well-beings, and Ervendio’s elven eyes perceive secret doors that lead to prison cells. They discover three Knights of the Twelve Barrows — Sir Gorge Entome, Sir Jelmayne Vissius, and Sir Brit Hulme, all of them wounded in some way or other, as well as Father Robert, their quarry.

Rendering themselves silent + invisible, the Revengers pass secretly past the Judge and make way for a mysterious portal. Proteus quaffs a potion of fire giant strength in order to carry away the Judge’s chest of treasure, and nearly kills himself carrying away a freezing silver key, as the group passes through the portal — finding themselves on the salt plains of the Abyss, the plane of chaotic evil and devilry. Quickly planeshifting away, they return home — finally — to Grudgewood.

But Grudgewood is itself in the throes of chaos. Aloysius Bouchard and the Knights of the Last Barrow have declared war on Grudgewood, laying siege and catapulting the last bastion of humanity. A dozen Grudgewood citizens have been killed, including the scout Jyson Muraz and the newly-transported librarian Hannah Clutchwood. Tensions are running high, and Red Al asks that the Revengers — now, due their reward, officially Knights of Grudgewood — sneak into the camp of the Barrow Knights and assassinate their leader.

Red Al has offered the group the night to rest and think over his request. A red dawn awaits, and a fateful decision that could alter the destiny of humanity….

XP
Group Awards
Volo — Defeated! – 10,000
The Bailiff — Outwitted! – 8,000
The Judge — Avoided! – 8,000
The Second Key – 20,000
Father Robert — Feed! – 30,000
Barrow Knight Rescue – 3,000
Group Total: 79,000. Individual Totals: 13,167

Individual Awards
Bea 13,917 (Homeseeker 750, Group 13,167)
Bertram 14,117 (Forever Alone 750, Last Will & Testament 200, Group 13,167)
Ervendio 13,917 (Manticore Deceptor 750, Group 13,167)
Jongle 13,917 (Bedeviler 750, Group 13,167)
Khalid 13,917 (Wand Bearer 750, Group 13,167)
Proteus 13,917 (Bonetaker 750, Group 13,167)

LOOT
potion of extra-healing (x2)
ring (from Volo’s finger)
jewelry worth 3500gp
scroll of shadow magic
scroll of project image
longsword
potion of hill giant strength
5,000 gp
Volo’s spellbook
Volo’s notes on illusions
The Second KeyCoelum — 5-inch segment. can create a slow effect once a day with a duration of 23 rounds.
the freezing key

The Chest of the Judge
8,000 sp
5,500 gp
1,700 pp
jewelry & gems worth 21,000 gp
a wand
a ring
four potions
scroll of polymorph other
scroll of eyebite
scroll of incendiary cloud
scroll of disintegrate
scroll of advanced illusion
scroll of permanent illusion
scroll programmed illusion
a suit of elven chain mail

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To Whom it May Concern...
Bertram's letter

::Bertram works out a brick in one of the cell walls and stuffs a letter inside, he marks it with a piece of chalk ‘OO’ an old gnomish hobo code he picked up in his years on the road, it means ‘Never Give Up, Never Surrender’::

“Once again I write my dying wish on a scrap of paper for posterity sake, (insert date). My name is Bertram Figg, I was sent here to find Father Robert and return him to human held lands in the East, the fortress of Grudgewood. Hopefully, during whatever time the reader comes upon this epistle, Grudgewood still stands as a beacon of hope for ‘human friendly people’ and that humans are still friendly with the rest of us. I am a gnome, as you can probably tell from my microscopic penmanship, but trust i was not as diminutive in lIfe! I blossomed late into being a hero. Maybe that is what brought you here, and likely under different circumstances, since I am here as a rescuer and not a prisoner, and I realize that we may indeed die before we find our quarry.
There were others like you up above, desperate, hoping for escape. If we had released them, they would have surely died to the horrors we have encountered since. The interior rooms of this dungeon are filled with all manner of beasts, so explore at your own peril. If you were brought here, it means you were too useful, or too dangerous, to them to allow you to starve or get eaten, drained, or eviscerated. You would be happy to know we dispatched Mordlok the Executioner, shadow creatures, two giant apes, and who knows what else.
If you should manage to get to the elevator room, speak the words ‘Nemo genachtek’ to ascend to the top floor. It is an area poorly guarded, and you could use the sewer tunnels to escape to Cano City. I leave with you what I can spare: one hundred gold, a piece of chalk to measure your days, some nuts which hopefully haven’t spoiled, salt and pepper to season whatever gruel they are feeding you, and encouragement should you feel downtrodden and ready to give up. Do not be afraid. You are strong, and strong people do not let places like this break them!
If perhaps our quest was unsuccessful, and I am in the cell next to you, in much the same state, take this and don’t look back! Remember, only the strong survive!
Use the gold to bribe a guard for your escape, or to purchase safe passage should you make it to Cano City, And if you do make it out of here, send a letter to your friend Bertram Figg, courtesy PO Box 4072, Hall of Records, Rumperdink Ghetto, Middlemarsh. Hopefully my physical person is still intact, drinking tea somewhere, and reminiscing about adventures long past, and friends long forgotten. And if not, I will die knowing at least I gave you a shot at getting out of these wretched halls.

__Your brother in arms,

Bertram Figg

PS. I am also enclosing a coin of “Wizard Lock” which hopefully you may use to turn the tables on your captors, and three spikes from my darts. Use it well! Good luck to you sir, or madam, and I’ll see you on the other side.

PPS. The warden is a demon by the name Zensher, as you may be aware. He is most concerned with seeing out the rest of his term here without incident. Make things difficult enough for him, and he might just let you walk out of this place! He carries a sword that compels him to fight any adversary to the death, and a ring that will heal him from harm._"

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26: Deal with a Devil
our heroes breach the judge's court

Taking care to hide the bodies of Mordlock, the bar-lgura, and the ghasts, the Revengers take refuge in Mordlock’s inner sanctum. As Bea and Jongle read scrolls and add them to their spellbooks, Khalid peeks under Mordlock’s opulent furred bed. Finding a locked box and locked drawers in a shrine to Nemo, Khalid is attacked by a magical shadow before he can unlock them. Joined by two other shadows, the creatures attacked the Revengers and drained their strength from them before being destroyed by Proteus’s sword and Bertram’s bonewand.

Before exploring the Halls of Torment further, the Revengers drink their potions of vitality and memorize spells. They prop up Mordlock’s body and use a scroll of magic mouth to create an illusion of life. With a silver piece stuffed in his mouth, anyone who enters his sanctum will hear the words, “Get out of here, I’m busy! And no one’s been here.”

Traversing a bone-littered hallway, the Revengers meet Zensher, a cambion and warden of this level of the jail. Indentured by an unseen master, Zensher only wishes to end the violence the Revengers have inflicted on the jail. They make a deal with the fiend — in exchange for Bertram’s ring of regeneration (taken from Mordlock) and Proteus’s cursed sword Murderer’s Hand (taken from another cambion in the sewers), Zensher allows them free passage through the Halls of Torment and the passwords for a magical elevator room: Nemo genachtek to ascend and Nemo dekennek to descend. Zensher warns them they will encounter The Judge below, a creature Zensher himself has no desire to draw the ire of.

Entering the level called the Judge’s Court, Jongle quaffs a potion of polymorph self and disguises himself as Zensher. The others make themselves invisible. The group is separated by a magical trap, sending Bertram, Jongle, and Proteus into an empty prison corridor and Bea, Ervendio, and Khalid to a different trapped and webbed hallway. Separated and invisible, the heroes sense they are close to the end of their mission…

XP
Group Awards
Shadows, 1260
A Deal With A Devil, 3200
Enter the Judge’s Court, 3200
Group Total, 5660. Individual Awards, 943.

Bea 1443 (Trap Resistor 500, Group 943)
Bertram 1443 (Bonesaw! 500 , Group 943)
Ervendio 1443 (Web-Cutter 500, Group 943)
Jongle 1443( Horse Cock 500, Group 943)
Khalid 1443 (Lost in the Dark 500, Group 943)
Proteus 1453 (Curse-Free 500, Missed the Mist 10, Group 943)

LOOT
4000 copper pieces
3000 silver pieces
1003 platinum pieces
2 gems
1000 gp worth of jewelry

Elixir of Youth
Potion of Polymorph Self
Potion of Invisibility
Potion of Super-Heroics (warrior)

Scroll of Protection from Electricity
Scroll of Knock
Scroll of Polymorph Any Object
Scroll of Magic Mouth

(( magic plate mail — from Mordlok ))
(( magic battle axe — from Mordlok ))

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25: A Ghastly Fight
our heroes are cornered by webs + monsters

Face to face with Mordlok the Executioner, an unrelenting killing (and/or executioning) machine, the Revengers do battle! Though Mordlok is wrapped up in Khalid’s rope of entanglement, two horrifying ghasts heed his screams of battle and join in.

Bea casts a spell of her own creation, Bea’s Lucid Dreamer, which causes all of Mordlok’s teeth to fall out as he comes to believe he is in a dream. But dreaming or awake, the Executioner cares for little other than the death. He struggles against the rope as the Revengers slowly hack away at him. His throat is cut by Khalid’s scimitar as Jongle webs the hallway to slow down the advancing ghasts.

Even as Mordlok is killed, two pursuing bar-lgura appear — ape-like demons from the Abyss. The combination of the ghasts and the fiends nearly overwhelms the heroes — Khalid finds a piece of his fungal form bitten away, Ervendio and Proteus are dispatched and nearly killed, and Bea is almost lost to friendly fire when Bertram fires Mordlok’s bonewand into the hall.

But the Revengers rally! Jongle experiences a surge of wild magic energy when he casts shocking grasp, gaining the power to fly like an eagle when nude. Bertram collects not only the bonewand, but also Mordlok’s ring of regeneration, moments before it would have resurrected Mordlok himself.

The ghasts and the bar-lgura are finally dispatched and the Revengers are in Mordlok’s office in the Halls of Torment. The robed figure who initially spied Bertram is still nowhere to be seen….

XP
Group Awards
Mordlok: 6,000
ghasts (2): 1,300
bar-lgura (2): 16,000

Group Total: 23,300 Individual Award: 3884

Bea 4384 (Lucid Dreamer 500, Group 3884)
Bertram 4384 (Bone Wander 500, Group 3884)
Ervendio 4384 (Near Death 500, Group 3884)
Jongle 4384 (Fly Like An Eagle) 500, Group 3884)
Khalid 4384 (Mushroom Meal 500, Group 3884)
Proteus 4384 (Point & Fight 500, Group 3884)

LOOT
- bonewand

- ring of regeneration (restores 1 point of damage per turn; can regrow limbs and even resurrect its wearer from death; only works if damage is received while the ring is being worn)

- Mordlok’s axe & chainmail

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24: The Halls of Torment
our heroes pass the bone stairway...

The Revengers go through the robes of the priests they have defeated, as well as whatever records they can find. Khalid finds paperwork and records about the jail’s prisoners, but nothing indicating Father Robert‘s location — except that important prisoners are kept in the third, and lowest, level. Jongle outfits himself in the priest of Nemo’s robes and holy symbol, including a cloak of fear that radiates a fearful aura. After the rest of the group has left the room, Ervendio quietly cuts the throat of the priest of Edrick.

Using the holy symbol of Nemo, the Revengers descend the bone stairs to the second level of the jail — the Halls of Torment.

Once on the second level, Bertram strides directly into a concealed pit trap. He is saved when Bea reads a scroll of feather fall. The Revengers are stymied by several doors that appear to be wizard locked.

The giant Herankul reappears, hands covered in blood and dragging a dead priest behind him, ready to stick it to Darcie Bill. Instead, Lord Jongle convinces the fomorian to follow his orders. The giant is with the Revengers when they come upon several grotesque monstrosities — rutterkin, simplistic but ferocious fiends from the Abyss. Bertram attempts an audible illusion to frighten them, but instead sends the fomorian giant screaming back up the bone stairs. After a tense confrontation — and a second room of rutterkin — the Revengers are victorious.

The Revengers recover strange coins from the rutterkin, allowing them to open the wizard locked doors. They find a strange handprint in the hallways beyond, which Jongle promptly touches — causing him to disappear. Jongle reappears in a different hallway in the prison. One by one, the Revengers disappear and reappear in the new corridor, until only Bertram remains behind.

Khalid explores the new hallway, opening a door to discover a large hobgoblin angrily clutching a quill in his fist, struggling as he writes some kind of report. Khalid attempts to ensare the hobgoblin with his rope of entanglement, but misses. The hobgoblin angrily snaps his quill in twain and draws a battleaxe with the very same movement — this is Mordlok the Executioner, scourge of the Halls of Torment.

Meanwhile, a black robed priest comes upon Bertram, alone in the first corridor. Bertram immediately joins his fellows, about to combat Mordlok, his pursuers only moments behind…

XP
Group Awards
Breached the Halls of Torment, 1200
Giantfriend, 500
Rutterkin, 1275
Group Total 2975. Individual Totals 595

Individual Totals
Bea 1095 (Mages of a Feather 500, Group 595)
Bertram 1095 (Pit Walker 500, Group 595)
Ervendio 1095 (No Prisoners 500, Group 595)
Jongle 1095 (Lord Jongle 500, Group 595)
Khalid 1095 (Entangle Mishap 500, Group 595)

LOOT
- Halls of Wretchedness reports
- cloak of fear
- ring (pearly white)
- priestly robes
- 2 remaining “wizard lock” coins

- unclaimed? chain mail, two-handed long-sword

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23: A Conflict!
our heroes battle priests + ogres

Bertram’s illusion of Darcie Bill convinces Herankul the Fomorian to chase after the priests who escaped from the Revengers and smash them into paste.

Proteus, under the control of his cursed sword Murderer’s Hand, is set to pursue his perceived enemy — but Bertram’s illusions trick Proteus into believing that the giant has been killed.

As the Revengers debate what to do next, a pair of crazed ogres smash their way out of a nearby room. Seemingly incoherent with rage, the ogres attack our heroes, who are split in how to react: run, or engage. Some of the Revengers attempt to force entry into a nearby priests’ quarters while the others battle the ogres. Bea is knocked unconscious and nearly killed while engaging with one of the creatures.

The ogres are ultimately defeated — once again, the Revengers’ signature grease-and-fire combination is employed, and Khalid and Jongle realize that if they pair their melee attacks they are more powerful than if they attack separately — but even as one battle ends, another begins. The Revengers are faced by two goblin priests, one of whom wields magic and a secret holy symbol of Nemo.

The Revengers kill the priest of Nemo and capture the priest of Edrick, who is cowering and powerless before them…

XP
Group Awards
Fomorian Giant, distracted: 2000
Snorloc, Priest of Nemo: 2500
ogres: 540
Group Total: 5040, Individual Totals: 1260

Individual Totals
Bea 2010 (Near Death XP 500, Group 1260, DM bad math 250)
Bertram 2010 (Tricking A Friend 500, Group 1260, DM bad math 250)
Ervendio 250 (DM bad math 250)
Jongle 2010 (Scissor Attack 500, Group 1260, DM bad math 250)
Khalid 2010 (Scissor Attack 500 , Group 1260, DM bad math 250)
Proteus 250 (DM bad math 250)

LOOT
1 holy symbol of Nemo
1 holy symbol of Edrick

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22: "The Giant's Keys"
our heroes explore the prison...

Continuing to explore the Halls of Wretchedness, Jongle sneaks into the quarters of Herankul the fomorian giant. Catching him indisposed, Jongle slips the giant’s key ring off of his discarded belt.

Bertram casts invisibility, 10’ radius, and the Revengers move unseen throughout the jail, seeking Father Robert. Instead, they discover a number of cells holding wretched goblin prisoners — none have seen a human in their midst, all are pathetic and fearful and desperate to be free.

The Revengers avoid run-ins with any of the guards, even the ogre torturers who drag an imprisoned goblin into a grim and blood-spattered room, where he is soon silenced. Ervendio holds the line, reminding the group to stick to the mission.

After spending some more time in the (seemingly!) empty room near where they entered the jail, the Revengers decide to confront the giant and the priest they believe he is seeking advice + succor from. They linger outside of this room, unwilling to enter.

Finally, a group of priests rounds the corner. A mysterious spell is cast, and — there! The priests detect the Revengers’ invisibility and a battle ensues. Two of the priests are killed and two run away, even as the giant Herankul steps into the hallway, ready to kill whoever he sees. Bertram conjures an illusion of Darcie Bill as a distraction.

tumblr_m0qikdnJnq1qdrcyyo1_r1_250.gif

But will it work?

XP
Group Awards
Key Snatchers: 600
2 Priests of Nemo: 1075
Group Total: 1675 Individual Totals: 280

Individual Totals
Bea 780 (Watch & Wait 500, Group 280)
Bertram 780 (Circle of Invisibility 500, Group 280)
Ervendio 780 (Heart of Elven Stone 500, Group 280)
Jongle 780 (Nimble Fingers 500, Group 280)
Khalid 780 (Siren Call of an Empty Room 500, Group 280)
Proteus 780 (A Coiled Spring 500, Group 280)

LOOT
2 holy symbols of Nemo:
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21: "Concrete Butthole"
our heroes enter the Halls of Wretchedness

The Revengers enter the sewers under Cano City, feeling an oppressive sense of evil all around them. The smell is tepid and putrid, and the turds are strong but sloppy. Bodies float past, strange clouds are blown away, horrid beasts brush their ankles. The Revengers travel on.

Kinshazee reveals herself to be an alu-fiend, a lesser tanar’ri of the Abyss, leading the group into a trap. She and her lover attempt to murder + eat the Revengers. Kinshazee is rendered passive by Khalid’s spore-gift from Psilofyr. Ervendio beheads her. Webbed and nearly incapacitated, her lover (a cambion, another lesser tanar’ri) surrenders. Proteus takes his sword and, when it is clear he can give them no knowledge of the jail they approach, Proteus kills him with his own blade.

The blade is thusly cursed — it is called The Murderer’s Hand, and when faced with a foe it renders Proteus unable to break from combat until he either, or his foes, are dead. It is felt by all that this will not be a problem.

Entering the ground level of the prison, the Halls of Wretchedness, the group comes upon a mysterious bare room. Khalid can feel the magic in the room, but the group cannot unlock its secret.

Moving on, they discover several prisoners in interrogation rooms. They free three, including one still chained to a table. Several doors are unlocked by Khalid, and one is knocked by Bertram.

After failing to unlock one door, it is opened by a horrid fomorion giant. Some sort of jailer, he rebuffs the group’s attempts to get keys or information from him.

Discovering a spiral staircase trapped with some sort of unholy bone-trap, Ervendio recognizes that a holy symbol + priest’s vestments would be needed to use this path deeper into the prison. This was clearly beyond the non-magical worship of Edrick, the goblins’ deity. Some other force is at play here…

XP
Group Awards
The Alu-Fiend: 3000
The Cambion: 4409
Entering the Halls of Wretchedness: 1000
Group Total: 8409 Individual Awards 1404

Individual Totals
Bea 1904 (Reluctant Sewer Stomper 500, Group 1404)
Bertram 1904 (One Who Knocks 500, Group 1404)
Ervendio 1904 (Bonestair Seer 500, Group 1404)
Jongle 1904 (Giant-kin 500, Group 1404)
Khalid 1904 (Otyugh Whisperer 500, Group: 1404)
Proteus 1904 (The Murderer’s Hand 500, Group: 1404)

LOOT
- The Murderer’s Hand: one-handed broad sword +1, cursed: performs as a +1 weapon, but when its wielder is faced by an enemy the sword will weld itself to the wielder’s hand and force them to fight until the enemy or the wielder is slain. Nothing can loose the wielder from this blade short of remove curse.

- chain mail (magical, enchantment unknown)

- dagger (magical, enchantment unknown)

- short sword

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Kissing the Hellhound
Bea's Diary, Entry 2

Mumbling_Bea.png

If you’re reading this – which you’d better not be unless I’m long dead, ideally after having lived a rich, protracted life of splendor, beauty etc. – you should maybe know that yes, I’m crying while I write it, and yes, I just now told Proteus to go eat troll dung when he came over here to see if I was ok, which has made me feel about as splendorous and beautiful as an old yellow ogress. No I don’t think he’ll actually go and eat troll dung, and I will probably apologize to him later, but for now I’ll let you in on a secret: I weep not because I’m very sad, but because, for the first time in almost a year, I feel as light and happy as a moronic wee faerie. I just don’t want those guys to bug me for awhile while I finally get around to updating whomever it may concern on this wobbly chronicle of my early life of adventuring, such as it is.

If you are reading this with the interest of a historian, and I have been transmogrified into a historical curiosity, then I imagine you must be out to educate yourself on the subject of what it is to be a big damn hero. Because I, Bea Purplebottom, in the company of Mildred/Canicus’s Revengers in accordance with all that is truly awesome, did protect dozens, nay, hundreds of innocents in Grudgewood and elsewhere from what would have surely been a dismally ugly slaughter at the hands of invading armies of orcs and goblins. Yes, through cunning, strategy and no small amount of violence, we kicked their asses so hard that their wrinkly little green grandkids will grow up smacking their lips against the flavor of our toes. Why not look them up and ask them how it tastes?

Following this heroic episode, we bummed around in Grudgewood for about a week, enjoying a deluge of free spirits and other pleasures proffered by its grateful residents in spite of the fact that they made pretty large sacrifices of their own. It was somewhat embarrassing, but it didn’t take long for us to give in to the idea of an extended romp. Nothing like a motley assortment of dangerous, listless mercenaries complicating their various problems with alcohol and, ahem, sex. For real, as a group and individually, we’ve really got some issues to work out. But what happens in the tavern stays in the tavern, and in the general vicinity of the tavern, at least until Red Al makes one of his minions clean it up.

But I finally had some time to research a spell that had been knocking around in my head for awhile – I thought it would be kooky, and maybe useful, to compel people to uncontrollably act out all the common weird dream stuff we’ve all had to deal with, so now, yeah. Keep an eye out for that.

Also, I had a birthday! At 18, I am now legally able to say no to a potential suitor, at least in some of the less cretinous human hamlets in the Westlands; and I can now legally rent a donkey, according to Jongle, who has offered to take me on my first donkey renting, though I can’t help but wonder whether that’s some sort of euphemism… I did get some very nice birthday presents, though, including a pretty tiara from Ervendio affixed with a locket which conceals a small amethyst on which a spell of continuous light was cast – for use in the dark, in case you are slow. Quite clever and thoughtful, though slightly self-serving in that I believe the elf is looking forward to being able to walk without the only humanoid in the party lacking some sort of ability to see in the dark skinning his heels and smacking into him whenever we go underground. But I wear it every day, even when the environs are otherwise perfectly luminous.

Our sabbatical over, alas it was time for our next adventure, to go and rescue a priest/relative of Red Al, I think. I forget why? But in preparation, Al forked over a mountain of scrolls, weapons and magic items to assist. It worked out nicely as I’d been meaning to sequester for myself a familiar, which wouldn’t you know it one of the scrolls painlessly manifested for me. I’ve never had a familiar before, and was a bit surprised by the… thoroughness… of the bonding one experiences with the creature, in this case a crow, whom I have named Grumpus Kermitmonger, or Kermit for short, after a cackling uncle of mine. I developed a kind of emotional bond with him fairly quickly, and can make furtive communications with him. It’s odd and cool, but I figured out that if I’m not careful it has the effect of making me kind of scatterbrained. Or more scatterbrained, I suppose.

Red Al also had a Deck of Many Things, if you can believe it. Bertie once told me about the Deck, said it was like having a fresh stack of hot wild surges for the taking. Presented with it, my impulse was to draw as many as seven cards. Let the chips fall where they may, right? Luckily, cooler heads prevailed, by which I mean everyone else in the room reacted with such noisy horror at the suggestion that I reconsidered. I chose one card. One card that gave me FOUR WISHES.

Okay. If you’ve never had a wish before (I hadn’t), the thing to remember is that wishes are DIABOLICAL. There is no such thing as the ‘spirit’ of the wish, all that is granted is the literal content of the spoken request. If you’re not precise with your language there’s no telling what you will end up with. Like you could wish for, I don’t know, a really great meal, and find yourself smashed under the weight of a giant sandwich.

Ervendio probably saved us all from some even more ridiculous/heinous fate by shutting me up as I was about to make my first wish. Thusly educated, the first two wishes were actually no-brainers, to the extent that I care about my guys. Khalid’s draw had blinked him off into some distant black dungeon, and Bertie managed to lose everything he owned, including his spell book, so rather than wishing for, say, a solid gold owl or a million wishes, I went ahead and graciously reversed that stuff. Jongle also got himself turned into kind of a dope, like, a slightly duncier version of himself. It didn’t seem to have affected much other than to make his jokes even worse, so eh, I just let that stand. I used my third wish to turn Grudgewood into a human fortress haven. It was a little overwhelming, it’s all but completely unrecognizable now, with towers and defenses, and a beautiful library. I can see a lot of really amazing things happening there now: refugee houses, a human militia, a mage’s college. I have plans.

I brought Wellsley back with my last wish. I brought him back. The absolute power of the wish… I brought him back and he’s safe at home as if he were never gone, as if I had never done that to him. And I saw him, I saw him in a vision coming down the stairs from his room and saying good morning to my parents. Oh my god. Oh, Wellsley. I love you, you stupid little shit. I can’t wait to see you. Sigh. Sorry about my penmanship.

We’ve done some more cool stuff. We jumped into another plane and fought some hellhounds in an ethereal hedgemaze; that was unambiguously bitchin. Oh, and we found ourselves in another wish situation: I met a lascivious but harmless old man and unfortunately succumbed to the impulse of lashing out against him with a Reckless Dweomer when he tried to cop a feel. Thankfully it all turned out alright, it just conjured a very confused leprechaun who granted a friendly wish to Khalid to restore Jongle’s smarts – and then some, it seems. If you thought he was a weisenheimer before…

I guess if I were to look at all this with a critical, objective eye, I might say that I’m getting a bit… buried… in the whole wild mage thing. Something to bear in mind.

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