AD&D - New World

Interlude: Bertram Figg, A Life
Bertram remembers...

Part One: In Her Majesty’s Gnomish Service

As a young man, Bertram rises quickly through the ranks of the queen’s most secret service, a small cadre of gnomes dedicated to working towards the securing of gnomish lands and properties. Their eventual goal: to make real the dream of the gnome land. Bertram was a skilled operative who served with distinction; his abilities with subtle words and a subtle knife brought him the trust of the Queen herself.

Bertram completed a series of missions with distinction. These missions included:

Uncovering an anti-royalist gnomish plot and stopping a magical detonation designed to take the life of the Queen.

The investigation of interruptions in gnomish trade caravans by what seemed to be a huge metal beast. Bertram’s investigation uncovered a rogue gnome in the service of the Goblin nations by the name of Zollo whose inventions were being used to swallow whole caravans and bring them to the Goblins in exchange for confiscated magical artifacts.

Uncovering the political corruption of one his own superiors in the service—a gnome by the name of J. Claxton. Claxton was drummed out of the service.

The foiling of a Mindflayer plot to establish a foothold on Urth itself. During the course of this mission, Bertram killed a Mindlflayer in single combat, earning a medal of double ingenuity from the service.

Working in tandem with a human agent of their fallen Empire attempting to secure territory for their people. That agent, a cold-blooded and terrifying man named Darcie Bill, pursues his ends with a single minded purpose that chills Bertram.

Bertram, now a senior agent in her majesty’s service, is given a mission. He is tasked with helping a group of gnomish refugees on the moon establish a permanent colony. The gnomes, having been liberated from their Mindflayer masters by the elves, were being housed temporarily on the estates of of elvish noble family in a series of camps. The gnomes had food and basic shelter, but no opportunity to build lives of their own. The moon was elvish territory, and the elves had no desire to give actual land to these new refugees. Bertram’s mission was to lead a small population from the camps into the wilderness to establish a colony right under the noses of the elves.

Bertram’s mission goes terribly wrong. Bertram begins his mission sowing dissent in the camp, hoping to make some of the residents willing to run for the woods. He underestimates the amount of resentment in the camp, though, The gnomes, who had dreamed of freedom, felt betrayed by the elves, who kept them fenced in their small camp. False rumors had begun to spread in the camps that the elves were not even attempting to help the gnomes, and were instead planning on re-enslaving them here on the moon.

Rather than inspire and escape, Bertram’s agitating led to a full scale uprising and riot. Months, years — generations! — of bitter resentment boiled over. The gnomes ran wild, killing nearly everyone on the estate. Bertram attempted to stop the violence, and even holed himself up in the main house of the estate where he tried to protected the daughter of the Noble Family, a dark haired elf name Bree. But the house was stormed by refugees, and some of the gnomes found Bertram standing watch over Bree. They called him a traitor for refusing to give her up to their justice, and attacked Bertram. He killed seven of his own people with his blade before they brought him down, beating him mercilessly and then killing Bree before he passed out.

Bertram woke hours later, having been left for dead. He fled the camp. The gnomes were celebrating, some of them looting, others moving into the main house, planning to occupy it. Bertram watched from the tree line, knowing what was coming. It was only a matter of hours before the elvish military arrived — equipped, prepared, trained soldiers — and a few hours more before every gnome on the estate was dead.

Shattered by his failure and its effects, Bertram managed to escape the moon stowed away on an elvish ship. He spent the journey to Urth huddled in the hold, reliving the events on the estate in a series of nightmares and flashbacks. By the time he made he home, he was entirely broken. He made his report to the Queen and was given a small and easy task for his next assignment. But he could not bring himself to begin it. Every attempt at spy work was met with panic attacks and nightmares. He was quietly shuffled out of active duty as his life spiraled away from him.

After several months of this, Bertram had had enough. The memories plagued him, and he felt the only way to move on was to erase them. He could not allow himself to repeat his mistakes though. He sought out a wizard of ill repute and purchased, at great expense, a magic artifact: a single hoop earring that, when held in front of one’s eyes, would wipe away the memories of some event. The wizard told him that the one needed only to speak out loud the memory that was to be erased and that the memories would be gone.

Bertram made arrangements. He left his modest estate in the hands of his elderly guardians. He kept a portrait of them on his person, and labeled it “Mum and Pops.” He wrote himself a letter of recommendation for employment as a cook, a hobby of his and a profession he imagined he could love. He rented a room above an inn. And the he held up the ring and whispered “everything.”

Part Two: A New Kind of Service

Waking up in the inn with no memory of his previous life, Bertram searches through his belongings. He finds the portrait, and knows that he has a Mother and Father. He finds A letter, and knows that he is a cook. He finds little else.

Bertram founds his first job as a cook in the home of Claudius Bigglesby, a gnomish wizard known for the quality of his illusions. Bigglesby was a gregarious master, and he spent long hours chatting with his cook, often comparing Bertrams skilled cook’s hands to those of a wizard. Eventually, Bigglesby decided to act on that comparison, making Bertram his apprentice (a decision which had the benefit of allowing him to make his cook work for free). Bigglesby found Bertram to indeed be quite skilled. Near the end of his apprenticeship, though, Bertram caused an accident in the workshop that seemingly killed Bigglesby ands set the building afire. Bertram fled into the night, worried that the accident might be considered a crime.

After several months of travel and odd jobs, Bertram hears of a Human family looking for a Butler and Cook. Bertram’s interview with the Purplebottom family is entirely satisfactory. The details of this time are recorded extensively in Bertram’s own journals. But it is worth noting several things:

The family’s young daughter became a focal point of Bertram’s life. He found himself inexplicably protective of her. Upon discovering that the child had some magical aptitude, Bertram spent a great deal of time tutoring her in the art.

During this time, Bertram began writing letters to the Queen, updating her on the status of gnomes and his work to further gnomish culture. He did not know why he did this—in fact he assumed that all Gnomes did this, and that the Queen read about the lives of Gnomes all over the world on a daily basis.

In fact, these letters caused some consternation with the Queen and her now elderly spymaster. In light of Bertrams long service, though, they decided to allow Bertram the freedom to report in his own strange way, and considered him an intelligence asset to the crown, albeit a strange one.

Bertram’s time with the Purplebottoms ended when Bea came into her full power as a mage. The teenage Bea had spent some time dabbling in the art under the guidance of her tutor, but was unable to control a series of sudden and unexpected wild surges. It is well documented that she turned her brother into a pie (a process that has been miraculously reversed in recent days). But the surge of magical energy had another effect as well. The massive surge of power ripped through Bertram, as well as through Bea, stripping his mind of its enchantments and restoring his memory.

Bertram spent the next chaotic days in a fit of nightmares and flashbacks. The family, caught between grief and horror, were powerless to help their beloved butler — and they assumed Bertram’s mental state had something to do with the disappearance of their son. Bertram fled the estate, horrified at himself and his recovered history.

Days later, Bertram found himself once more in a room in an inn. Holding up his hoop earing, he whispered “Again.”

Part Three: A Servant Without a Master.

Stripped once more of his memories, Bertram wandered the Urth. He still had his “parents” portrait, and, having found a number of receipts, letters, and diary entries recording his time with the Purplebottoms, he knew what he had been there. But the details were lost in a fog of forgetfullness. Bertram assumed that everyone’s memories felt like this. Every now and again, especially in the presence of strong magic, he would find a name or a face: Claxton, or “Mums,” but the details were not there.

Finally, having wandered to a small human settlement called Grudgewood, he met an Elf named Ervendio. He found himself drawn to the Elf, asking him question after question about his home on the moon. Ervendio, unused to such interest and flattery from the Urth-races was happy to oblige. As the night grew longer, and the pair grew drunker, though, the conversation turned from descriptions of Ervendio’s idyllic childhood to his time in the military. Ervendio confessed to the gnome a terrible moment from his own past in which he was called to a neighboring estate to put down a refugee uprising. He and his fellow elves, he told Bertram, found that the gnomes had killed the family of the estate and their servants, and the elves slaughtered them for it.

Bertram, confused and terrified for some reason, began retching in the tavern, his body reacting to what his mind could not. Ervendio, trying to help, cast a healing spell on the gnome, but the combination of strong magic and strained memory once again broke the enchantment on Bertram’s mind. The memories rushed back and Bertram couldn’t help but speak them out loud as they did. Ervendio listened in horror to Bertram’s confessions and even drew his sword on the gnome. Bertram, sick with guilt and terror, did the only thing that he knew would work.

Bertram asked Ervendio if he would forget this event if he could. The elf agreed, but stammered that such a thing was impossible. Bertram, bits of his old self seeping through the cracks of magical memory loss, had a contract drawn up (witnessed by Bunk, the bullywug bartender) stating they would never discuss this matter again. Bemused, Ervendio signed — everyone deals with trauma in their own way, the elf surmised, and this strange little gnome must somehow have been the lone survivor of that mansion massacre.

Bertram once again unclasped the earring, pulled it from his ear, and held it between himself and the elf. “Again,” he whispered, “the Massacre on the Moon!”

The hoop earring, now tarnished and overused, strained to perform its intended service. Bertram’s memory was wiped yet again, but holes remained — pockets of memory. Mum & Pops, the Queen, the Purplebottoms (mostly). His innate goodness and curiosity. Ervendio, caught in the swirling magic of this strange artifact, lost all memory of this early mission — the mansion, the gnomes, the murder — and a lightness returned to his step.

Morning came. Bertram — cook, butler, journeyman, casual illusionist, and nothing more — awoke and embarked on a new adventure with new friends. There was some sort of trouble at a signal tower on Eddistone Point….

View
39: The Hermit's Riddle
our heroes lose by winning

In the small desert village of Talv, the Revengers meet Khanufasa, a desert rider who will guide them through the Valley of Echoes to the cave of the hermit Mahara. They set out on the camels they purchased back in Muluk — including Georgie, Bertram’s all-white mount.

They travel by night and rest during the day. Ervendio makes food, water (and holy water) to preserve their supplies. As they approach the foothills they hear the caterwauling of hyenas — always terrible, always ahead.

While making camp, a thunderclap erupts in the middle of the group. A dao appears and poses them with a riddle:

A wealthy sheikh is on his deathbed. He has two sons. He promises his wealth and his estate to the son who owns the slowest camel. The sons set out on a race from Umara to Muluk, slowly meandering across the desert for days. They rest together at an oasis, each never letting the other lag too far behind. Finally, they both realize what they must do. They race to the camels and mount them, then they both break for the finish line as quickly as they can. What have they realized?

The Revengers confer together. Teks offers a solution: the brothers steal each others’ camel, so the winner of the race will be riding the camel belonging to the other brother. The genie, seemingly unsure of the answer, says That might work! and commands the Revengers not to go anywhere. The genie turns to mist and departs. He never returns — the Revengers eventually break camp and move on.

As the trail to the hermit’s cave gets narrower and rockier, the party leaves Paqi and Shayjar to watch over the camels. They continue up the path to Mahara’s Vale. They hear what sounds like a terrible hyena attack just up ahead — but when they investigate they find nothing except tracks leading into the wilderness. They ignore the tracks and stick to the path.

Khanufasa is jumped by a larger-than-average hyena just before reaching the vale. Though trapped in a single-file line, the Revengers attack and kill the hyena — who transforms into a dwarf as he dies. Another dwarf and a hyena approach the Revengers and profess they want to leave the vale without trouble, assuring the party that the hermit they seek is nearby.

After exploring the caves and finding several stores of coins, gems, and a few magical items, the group finds Mahara — already dead. Though the Revengers do not learn the truth directly, their correct answer to the riddle resulted in the hermit’s death, as he had been holding the jealous and evil genie at bay with a “riddle contest” that the genie had been unable to solve.

The party buries the body of Mahara and makes camp in the vale. The next step will be to continue on to the lost city of al-Anwhar….

XP
Group Awards
The Hermit’s Riddle, 3000
Werehyenas, 2000
Group Total 5000 Individual Awards 1000

Individual Totals
Bertram 1750 (Chromatic Balloon 750, Group 1000)
Ervendio 1750 (Holy Waterer 750, Group 1000)
Jongle 1750 (Magic Missiler 750, Group 1000)
Khanufasa 1750 (Desert Guide 750, Group 1000)
Teks 1750 (Riddler 750, Group 1000)

LOOT
30 gems, worth 50 gp each (total value: 1500 gp)
809 gp
gold ring (worth 250 gp)
pearl earrings (worth 300 gp)
scimitar, +1
1 burned out ioun stone
1 off-white ioun stone (the bearer doesn’t need to eat or drink)

View
38: Arrival in Amara
our heroes make landfall

On board the Sokurah Ervendio blesses Bea’s body to prevent her from rising as a ghoul. He casts detect magic on Bertram, seeking clues to Bertram’s muteness, and has a vision of a ghostly steed under the gnome. Teks and Jongle pitch in as sailors and Teks negotiates to receive a cut of the crew’s payment when they arrive in Muluk.

After nearly three more (uneventful) weeks at sea, the Sokurah finally arrives at its intended port: Muluk, the City of Kings. Easily the biggest city the Revengers have visited on their journey, Muluk is home to 90,000 souls — nine times bigger than Cano City — and is one of the shining Free Cities of Amara’s northwestern coast. Built near the fertile valley of the River Al-Zalim, Muluk is a city-state ruled by an unbroken line of caliphs dating back a thousand years.

Bertram, Ervendio, Jongle, and Teks leave Bea’s body on the ship as they explore the city. First Mate Aasim assures them the ship will remain in port for at least five days as they unload their shipment, take on more cargo, and hire a new crew.

The Revengers are directed toward the Caravanserai, outside of the city, where they might find lodging, supplies, and information on Haroushin, the dwarven priest who took the third key from Teks’s village years before. They pass through the slave market and a dwarf attempts to purchase Teks from Bertram. The group plays along long enough for Jongle to palm a few gold pieces from the attempted buyer, but they move on through the Grand Bazaar — passing food stands, strange and unusual sights and smells, and curious onlookers — and finally reach the Caravanserai.

On a hunch, Teks plops Bertram onto the stabled horse of one of the caravaneers. Upon the dwarf’s protest, Teks explains that Bertram is a baby with an aging disease, and his last wish is to ride a horse. The dwarf takes pity on the old baby and trots Bertram around the Caravanserai. As the caravan workers dote on him and applaud, the wild surge-induced silence imposed on Bertram dissipates! Finally able to speak again, Bertram vocally wrestles with what to do about Bea: bring her back, or let the dead lie in peace?

The Revengers pass into the city proper and find a room at the River View Inn, which does not, in fact, have a view of the river. With only Teks and Ervendio able to speak dwarven, it is down up to the two of them to do any bartering or information gathering.

Ervendio finds out that Haroushin runs a small shop near the Mosque of Honored Elders near the city center. A female dwarf overhears Ervendio and Jongle speaking goblin, and she reveals that she had seen Minja in the city “a week ago, or more.” Minja claimed her intention to travel south, through the Haunted Lands, to the Great Anvil — a harsh desert home to mournful ghosts and whispering winds.

Paqi heads to bed early, feeling put upon and picked on by the Revengers. Bertram encourages Jongle to use the crystal ball taken from Baybars. Jongle sees Minja seated at a small campfire somewhere rocky and desolate; Minja seems to sense that she is being watched and the vision fades. Bertram, unwilling to wield the crystal ball himself, encourages Jongle to envision Jad, who they see asleep on a ship at sea. Then Bertram tells Jongle to search the planes for Bea’s soul, which they witness in a land of bright moonlight, reclining on the branch of a great gray ash tree, conversing with Mildred the Frowzywig. What they are saying is unknown. The vision fades.

Bertram stays up late and gets hella drunk. He wakes up hungover and has either cast — or was unwilling to memorize — half of his normal allotment of spells.

In the morning, the group travels across the city to Haroushin’s shop outside of the mosque. The mosque is enormous, glittering and gold, and obviously a point of interest for many Amaran pilgrims. Inside the shop of trinkets, they find Haroushin — obviously fallen quite far in stature from the priest remembered by Teks — blind and decrepit. Haroushin says he no longer possesses the third key, which he calls “The Third Rod of Unholy Law.” He is willing to tell them what has become of it — and, indeed, to resurrect Bea, even though to do so may kill him — if they will help him recover an ancient artifact of interest.

Haroushin tells them the story of The Eleven Baneful Gates

In the distant past, when Fate passed her knowledge to the Loregiver, Al-Anwahr was a rich and proud city ruled by King Azaltin, an intelligent man well versed in poetry, astrology, and the ways of magic. As the Loregiver wandered Amara, teaching the laws of the divine to dwarf and genie alike, she is said to have stopped in Al-Anwahr and been a guest of Azaltin for 11 days. Azaltin honored his guest daily with lavish celebrations and exquisite gifts of silks, gold, and perfumes. After each night of entertainment, the king would ask his guest the same question: “How can a man live forever?”

The Loregiver warned Azaltin about the danger of such knowledge, but in the end could hardly insult her gracious host by refusing to answer. Each night she told the king about the obstacles that prevent dwarves from achieving immortality. Azaltin’s scribes labored furiously to capture the Loregiver’s parables and cryptic riddles, which were set down in a legendary scroll titled The Eleven Baneful Gates. According to legend, the Loregiver departed Al-Anwahr, leaving the scroll in Azaltin’s care. Azaltin pondered the scroll for a decade, ignoring his people while trying to unravel its secret.

After years of fasting and meditation, he abandoned the kingdom to his brother Amakim and left to ponder the scroll in the solitude of the wilderness. Azaltin returned a dozen years later, an undead creature of hideous appearance, to reclaim his kingdom. Amakim led a revolt to topple his monstrous brother. Some members of court remained loyal to their undead king, however, and a bloody battle ensued throughout the city. Ultimately, Amakim’s forces triumphed, but when they reached the king’s palace, they found that Azaltin had vanished. Amakim and his forces departed Al-Anwahr and eventually founded the city of Muluk. Centuries passed, and Al-Anwahr and Azaltin passed into legend.

More recently, a clay tablet has been discovered revealing the location of Al-Anwahr. Haroushin has already sent a team to reconnoiter the lost city, but they never returned. The Revengers agree to investigate and return the scroll, and in return Haroushin will tell them what has become of the rod and resurrect their friend. He also tells them of another healer — a hermit named Mahara who lives in the mountains near Talv, a small village they must pass on their journey. He feels guilty, but Harousin is afraid that casting resurrection one more time may kill him, and it is possible Mahara could bring back their friend as well.

Haroushin gives them a dictionary of chun, the ancient language spoke in Al-Anwahr, and a map to the lost city. The Revengers book passage on a modest riverboat which will take them toward Talv. They arrange for Bea’s body to be sent to Haroushin’s shop — though Teks clips off her left pinky to take with them, in case Mahara can bring her back.

After two days traveling on the river and two more days over land that quickly turns from verdant valley to harsh, dry desert, the Revengers arrive in Talv. They are met by a village elder who invites them into his small shack to share food. Teks reads the elder’s aura and finds that he is lawful and good, and of practically no experience outside of village life.

After weeks of journeying, countless miles, and at least three dead wizards — two their foes, one their friend — the Revengers are on the edge of the Haunted Lands….

XP
Group Awards
Arrival in Amara, 2000
Bertram Unmuted, 1500
Meeting with Haroushin, 750
Group Total 4250, Individual Totals 1063

Individual Awards
Bertram 1813 (Unsilenced 750, Group 1063)
Ervendio 1813 (Translator 750, Group 1063)
Jongle 1813 (Crystal Balling an Ex 750, Group 1063)
Teks 1813 (Great Negotiator 750, Group 1063)

LOOT
2000 gold pieces each (payment from the sailors)

13 gold pieces (pickpocketed by Jongle)

Dictionary of Chun

View
Paqi's Log - Supplemental
Always the necromancer, never the wizard.

Bertram_s_Notes_to_Paqi.jpg

It has been six days since we left Baybars’ tower. My instructor, Bertram Figg, has emerged from below decks but once since that time. Unable to speak, he communicates through me with handwritten notes scribbled on paper wet with tears and runny mucous. His handwriting was already difficult to decipher, but his current condition has only made it worse, I’m afraid. He has not been eating, and taking only water. The smell of Bea’s body has begun to overtake the storage hold, but he has refused to leave her side. Yesterday, he came to the deck to speak to Ervendio alone. I can tell by his face the exchange only caused him more despair.
I have found to take lessons where I can, and perhaps that was his intent all along. For instance, today he wrote “Givb water” which I understood to mean: “Give Bea Water”, when obviously he meant “Give me water”. When I raised the cup to Bea’s mouth, he slapped it away. The lesson here being; “Words and intent can often be misconstrued.” Or perhaps it is— “When Bertram is upset, leave him to his grief.” I will update once I have found the answer. Oh! Bertram is wise indeed!
After we came aboard, I showed Bertram the food I had been able to find to sustain us on our journey. I had hoped cooking would restore his enthusiasm, but I saw his face fall when I showed him the baskets of aphids, sea moss, and jellies I had gathered. I assured him that these foods were high in protein, but that only seemed to worsen his mood. As such, I have been tasked with preparing the meals for the crew. Most have accepted this without complaint. In fact, Teks was particularly pleased with my choice of aphid, as I had surmised he would be. Although I can feel a quiet mutiny for my cooking developing, only Jongle has voiced his displeasure, saying that his meal looked like his “(crotch after a night at Mammaries).” <sic> There are lessons here as well! Bertram once told me, “A good cook is like a wizard who dispenses happiness.” In that vein, “a bad cook is like a necromancer who dispenses woe.” On some days, I am the wizard, on others, the necromancer.
This morning I awoke to Bertram poking me with a wooden spoon. He was frantically pointing at the crystal ball we had recovered from the wizard Baybars. He wrote furiously on his pad, and currently I am trying to decipher the script while he paces the putrid hold.

View
37: Wild Surges, Wild Mages
our heroes pay the highest price

The Revengers sit around the campfire and debate their course of action: sneak the sailors out of Baybars’s tower and escape the island, or confront the necromancer directly?

Teks, Jongle, Proteus, and Ervendio lean toward sneaking the sailors away. Bertram and Bea argue for confronting the necromancer, freeing this island from his tyranny, and making the world a better place. The group sides with them.

Paqi stays behind to keep a campfire lit, tricking Baybars and Melisende into believing that the group has not yet left the jungle. Shayjar leads them to the root cellar entrance and, made invisible by Bertram’s spells, they infiltrate the basement of Baybars’s tower. They find 12 dwarven sailors from the ship that brought Teks to the island, and with Jongles’s knock spell, they free them from their cages and chains. Shayjar leads the sailors back to the root cellar as the group again debates whether to leave, or to confront Baybars.

The Revengers decide to scale the tower and face the necromancer. They find the tower empty of living souls, but filled with books and items of potential magic importance. Attempting to read magic on a framed piece of script, Bertram’s spell experiences a wild surge. He loses his voice and the cure to his condition remains unknown — Bertram is silenced. Peeking out a window, the group sees that Baybars, Melisende, and a group of ghouls and ghasts have moved outside to assemble a tent and a feast. Made invisible by another of Bertram’s spells, Teks jumps down to the fray and engages Baybars in combat!

The rest of the Revengers quickly catch up. Baybars is pummelled by attacks and spells, unable to cast any of the deadly spells the Revengers have been warned of. Baybars is killed by the still-invisible Teks and the ghouls are turned by Ervendio’s divine power. Melisende, faced with overwhelming odds, is convinced to surrender and call for the other undead to step aside. Her words warn off Greg, a donkey-eared ghul lord, who shapeshifts into an undead hawk and flies away, but the two ghasts continue their assault on the group. One by one, Ervendio, Proteus, and Bea are paralyzed by the ghasts’ power — and Bea, the wild mage, the young girl who remade Grudgewood in her own image and who brought her brother back from pie-dom with a wish, was killed by a vicious bite from one of the undead creatures.

In the shocked moments thereafter, Teks and Melisende dispatched the ghasts. Teks demanded that Melisende renounce her father’s ways of necromancy and power over the undead, to which she agreed. She even swore never to pursue arcane powers again, and she revealed that Baybars was in possession of several magical items — including a ring of regeneration that could have returned him from the dead.

But it was too late for Bea Purplebottom. The Revengers recalled Paqi, Shayjar, and the dwarven sailors, and they took the body of their fallen friend to the ship. Carried by Old Reyas to the edge of the bay, the colenites which had impounded it did not impair the Revengers’ rowboats as they made their way to the large craft. Dubbed Sokurah, it is a large vessel capable of sailing both the open ocean and the waters of Amara’s Crowded Sea. Though it is manned now by a skeleton crew of Amaran sailors, it carries also the remaining members of Mildred’s Revengers, as well as their orphaned friends — Paqi of Sri Raji and Shayjar of this strange, unnammed island — as well as the body of one who has been with them from the beginning.

A friend, a mage, a companion in arms.

Bea Purplebottom, killed by a twist of fate while attempting to make the world a safer place.

XP
Group Awards
A Gargle of Seamen, 6000
7 Ghouls, 525
2 Ghasts, 1300
Baybars Defeated!, 14,000
Greg the Great Ghul, 405
Group Total 22,230, Individual Total 3705

Individual Awards
Bea: 4455 (The Purplebottom 750, Group 3705)
Bertram: 4455 (Silenced 750, Group 3705)
Ervendio: 4455 (Silencer 750, Group 3705)
Jongle: 4455 (Revenger 750, Group 3705)
Proteus: 4455 (Ghul Fighter 750, Group 3705)
Teks: 4455 (Jumping Into Trouble 750, Group 3705)

LOOT
2 bottles of wine
1 ring of regeneration
1 ring of mind shielding
1 caftan +3
1 crystal ball
1 wand of magic missiles (11 charges, cast as level 6)

View
36: Killing an Elephant
our heroes work with a roc

Teks, Bertram, and Bea decide to light a grand fire to get the attention of the roc living atop the crag. Old Reyas, a mighty bird with a two-hundred foot wingspan, alights down from his nest and confronts the delicious morsels who have garnered his attention.

He is quite familiar with Baybars — he claims to have spied the old wizard’s horrific creations often, though usually they attempt to simply climb the crag without bothering to talk. Shayjar — secretly observing the meeting while invisible, alongside Bertram and Paqi — tells Bertram that Baybars is an evil necromancer who has captured the seamen from Teks’s ship. Old Reyas makes a deal with Teks and Bea that he will lift the ship out of the colenites’ grasp and out of the harbor if they will deliver to him some delicious meat — a whale, or two elephants — before the sun rises.

Teks tracks an elephant to a fetid pond. It is drinking water and frolicking with its mate.

Teks approaches silently to within 85 yards before the elephants catch wind of their hunters. The Revengers launch an assault! Bertram creates an illusion of a tar pit and the male elephant charges — directly into it. It seems to indicate to its mate that it should run, but Teks manages to launch himself upon it. Teks grapples with the female elephant, but a critical miss causes Teks to fall to the ground. The elephant stops, bites, and gores Teks to the edge of death as Bertram silently and carefully attempts to communicate with the male elephant, which is trapped by Bertram’s tarry illusion, and as Bea… waits, frozen with inaction, feeling morally opposed to the murder of these majestic beasts.

Suddenly, Ervendio! The elf appears from the dark jungle in time to save Teks’s life as Bertram hypnotizes the rampaging female elephant. Teks kills the female as well as the male — which has been incapacitated to the point of drowning by Bertram’s illusion.

The group calls Old Reyas with another grand fire. He takes the dead elephants back to his nest and honors his promise, but the Revengers are left with a choice — will they sneak into the tower and free the sailors of Teks’s vessel, or will they confront Baybars more directly? Shayjar warns that she has seen Baybars kill an entire legion of warriors with nothing more than a gesture and a few words, and that it would be better to simply swim to the freed ship and leave this island behind. But the Revengers believe they cannot man the freed ship alone.

The Revengers travel back through the jungle. Teks’s aura sight reveals that Ervendio, too, has a missing piece of memory. Ervendio’s elven memory reveals a piece of blackness surrounded his meeting with Bertram, back in the tavern in Grudgewood, and the elf immediately surmises that Bertram is somehow responsible. The exact cause is a mystery, and only a psychic surgeon can reveal the truth to them both.

For now, the Revengers rest in the jungle and prepare to approach Babyars’s tower. The necormancer and his daughter Melisende await within. Will our heroes assault the tower directly? Or, attempt a stealthy excursion of the imprisoned seamen? Only time will tell!

XP
Group Awards
Elephants: 4000
An Agreement with Reyas: 600
Individual Awards 1150

Individual Totals
Bea 1900 (What Is A Life Worth? 750, Group 1150)
Bertram 1900 (Do Elephants Have Souls? 750, Group 1150)
Ervendio 1900 (Nick of Time 750, Group 1150)
Teks 1900 (Gored 750, Group 1150)

LOOT
1 freed merchant vessel

View
i2: This Is Their First Rodeo
meanwhile, in the Middlemarsh...

familyportrait.jpg

In the Middlemarsh, humans and other downtrodden beings have heard tell of Grudgewood, a land welcoming the poor, huddled masses of Urth. A small trio of adventurers have found work escorting pilgrims headed west through the swampy mire. Berp, a kobold warrior, Wooly Booly, a bullywug scout, and Munch, a vegepygmy forest lord, escort a band of merchants safely through Vile’s Fen to the safety of Sarruh’s Rest Inn.

Upon arrival at Sarruh’s Rest, the trio are called upon by Martinique, a young lizardfolk girl. She is desperate for help by heroes who still believe in true love! But the mercenaries blow her off and head inside the Inn for a drink instead.

It is near sunset and the Inn is bustling. Wooly Booly hears rumors of strange undead that roam the fen at night, and of a singing spirit that lures travelers to their death. The innkeep has locked his daughter (Martinique!) in her room to keep her away from the spirit — just last week she went into the swamp alone seeking it out, and had to dragged back.

Intrigued, Wooly Booly and Berp creep up to Martinique’s room. Through the door, she tells them that her father wants her to marry some “drudgey noble”, but she has fallen in love with the singer in the swamp. She has never seen him, but surely he is beautiful! She passes them a letter through a crack at the bottom of the door and begs them to deliver it to the mysterious singer.

The trio head into the fen at night. They can hear the singer somewhere out there — his low, tenorous voice seeming both near and far at the very same time. They avoid mud pits and rat swarms, and — though Berp is wounded — easily dispatch a few wandering ghouls. Wandering with little purpose, they discover the remains of a cabin on a sandy hill near the edge of Lake Winnosett — guarded by seven wandering zombies.

As Wooly Booly reconnoiters the cabin, Berp catches sight of a tall creature on a skiff making his way through the swamp. It is the strange singer! He appears to be quite all — seven feet tall! — with a long, needling nose and a great thatch of hair. As the trio considers what to do, he skiffs through the bog and out of sight. Though he is not far, they decide to take refuge in a tree for the night.

Upon waking, the sun fills the bog with an eerie orange light. The singing — so pervasive the night before — is gone. Berp catches a snake in a snare he set overnight. A trumpet sounds from the west — the direction of the road — but the trio decide to head toward the cabin and wipe out the zombies there. Munch lets loose a mighty, chest-beating roar, to call forth the monkeys of the swamp to assist them.

But it also calls forth seven more swampy ghouls! The ghouls surround the tree the trio has taken refuge in. They slowly climb the tree, and though the adventurers pelt them from above, the undead creatures finally reach them. Berp is set upon and killed by a ghoul, but the brave kobold manages to fall on the ghoul, taking it out with him. The others continue to crawl upward, surrounding Munch and Wooly Booly….

XP
Ghouls: 1050

Individual Awards
Berp 350
Munch 350
Wooly Booly 350

View
Bertram's Notes - Post Sri Raji

teks.jpgAt sea for several days….the mushroom craft ran aground as we sought shelter from an incoming storm in a nearby lagoon.

We were waylaid by strange coral-like creatures, and discovered an older wreck with captain and mate still aboard. They had run aground in the same manner. We took on the mate, a thri-kreen by the name of Teks Tik

On making landfall, we were approached by a female dwarf calling herself ‘Melisende’ who took us to her father, the wizard Baybars. They served us salt, a dwarven custom, and warned us of the dangers on the island. They then tasked us with finding the feather and/or talon of the Roc, an avian raptor of immense proportion. My guess is these items are components for some sort of spell, the nature of which remains unknown. My first instinct tells me this island is a place of exile, and that Baybars would like to escape as much as we would.

We set off the following day, and were waylaid by two mostly-dead giants who offered us a most unacceptable and less-than-fresh meal. I would not take the salt bond here, and those that did are paying the price in more ways than one. My illusions managed to distract them long enough, but I have a feeling they will return, albeit somewhat singed and angrier.

Now we are starting to question the intentions of our newfound friends in the bluff below the Roc’s nest. I felt the Thri-Kreen enter my mind and poke around, a most unsettling feeling, and he did the same to Melisande. He told me, in so many words, my memories have been taken away, maybe even some aren’t my own. Exposed, I have started to question the very ground I stand on. The nature of my study in magic has led me to do the same to others, I of all people should be able to tell the difference between what is real! Yet I have felt more and more that the world I knew when I left me mum and dad isn’t the world I live in today. In the moment, I shrugged off his statement and tried to temper my frustration. What gives him the right to access my thoughts? Maybe it too, is a cultural thing, like close-talking dwarves, or Elves wearing too much perfume.

Perhaps I should educate him that Gnomes are quite opposed to having their minds exposed. He may as well have slapped me in chains. The indignity! Maybe I should throw up my robes and let him have a go at me knob and bullocks? Go on! And yet, I have so many questions that I feel too proud to ask.

View
35: Between a Roc and a Hard Place
our heroes run from a pudding

The Revengers defeat the two undead giants — called rom — with one of the giants cut down and another burned by Bea’s fireballs. But not before a wild surge causes a black pudding to erupt from one of the giants.

A blow from Proteus’s axe easily cleaves the pudding in two — creating two equally powerful puddings. The Revengers flee, clambering up a ravine, leaving the puddings to roam the island. Some of those who partook of the giants’ clammy meats feel nauseous and sick after leaving the roms’ den.

Making camp for the night, Bertram is disturbed by this series of events, and Bea is sad she couldn’t keep some of the pudding for further study. Jongle puts on a puppet show of their most recent adventure. Melisende attempts to flirt with Proteus, Ervendio, Teks — almost anyone, really! — but none of the Revengers respond in kind, or even notice very much.

The next day, the group continues through the jungle. As they reach the base of the roc’s crag — a sheer 300-foot rocky tower — Melisende indicates that the great beast’s nest waits at the top, but she will not ascend with them. As the Revengers discuss how to reach it — or if they will simply seek a discarded feather down below — Shayjar, the servant of Melisende and Baybars appears. She has followed them through the jungle to warn them that Melisende and Baybars want the heroes to slay the roc for their own evil ends, and that Baybars himself is responsible for the colenites that trapped Teks’s ship and sank the Revengers’. Melisende says Shayjar is lying.

Teks uses his aural sight and sees that Melisende is evil, while Shayjar is good. He also discovers the lingering effects of a mind wipe on Bertram. But, having just met this thri-kreen, the others aren’t yet sure if they can trust him. Bea hypnotizes Melisende and asks a serious of questions. They discover that, while Melisende doesn’t wish the Revengers harm, neither does she have their best interests at heart. She wants them to kill the roc because the great old bird is an adversary of her and her father.

When the hypnosis wears off, Melisende flees into the jungle. Shayjar wants to leave with the Revengers if they can find a way off of the island, and offers her own 60’ rope if they wish to climb the crag and speak with the roc.

The Revengers, at the foot of a great crag, must now decide how to proceed….

XP
Group Awards
Rom, 10,000
Pudding Escape, 700
Melisende or Shayjar?, 700
Group Total, 11,400 Individual Awards 1900

Individual Totals
Bea 2650 (Black Pudding Bea 750, Group 1900)
Bertram 2650 (Giant Dreams 750, Group 1900)
Ervendio 2650 (Pudding Avoidant 750, Group 1900)
Jongle 2650 (Puppet Show 750, Group 1900)
Proteus 2650 (Pudding Slicer 750, Group 1900)
Teks 2650 (Aural Vision 750, Group 1900)

LOOT
none

View
34: A New Island
our heroes are run aground

The Revengers linger on Sri Raji for several weeks as Khalid — he who was once a dwarf — grows a boat for them and passes into a new state of being. Paqi, the young steward thought lost in the towers of the Great University, reappears, near death. He brings a spellbook once belonging to the young Maharajah Arijani, and he collapses. Ervendio saves him from death, and he professes his greatest desire — to go with the Revengers when they leave Sri Raji, and to travel alongside Billie.

(( Billie would rather not go anywhere, thank you very much. ))

Jongle nearly loses himself to sadness, grief, and drink in the absence of Minja. Proteus brings him back from the brink, and the Revengers embark on another sea voyage. Proteus communes with Ruat, the first piece of the Rod of 7 Parts, which indicates that 1) he is very sick, and 2) the 2nd piece of the rod — stolen by Jad — is to the south-southeast. They steer their ship in that direction.

On the sea for several days, the Revengers spy a storm coming their way. They take refuge in a nearby lagoon, but their gourd-ship is quickly overtaken by coelenites, coral-based creatures that destroy their vegetable-boat. There is another ship in the lagoon, equally stranded, and its crew has long since abandoned it. The ship’s dwarven captain refuses to abandon ship, but the other passenger, a thri-kreen named Teks Tik, joins the Revengers as they make for the nearby island.

They are met Melisende, a dwarven woman who warns them of the island’s dangers: the coelenites, jungle-ghuls, and a roc who lives on the mountain. She leads them to meet her father, Baybars, a dwarven mage who has built a tower on this island where he pursues his arcane studies and experiments. Baybars and Melisende serve the Revengers a late-night lunch — including a salt-bond — and tell them that the roc could be the key to their escape from the island. With a feather, the coelenites could be driven way from the one remaining ship; with a talon, the coelenites could be destroyed. The Revengers agree to head to the mountain.

In the morning, Baybars gives the Revengers three potions to help them on their journey. Melisende offers to guide them to the roc’s nest, and they head into the jungle. Near the end of the first day, they stumble down a ravine and discover the hovel of two rom, undead giants who invite them to dinner. Teks, Proteus, Paqi, and Melisende eat the cold pork offered to them, while Ervendio and Jongle only pretend to do so; Bertram and Bea refuse to eat. The rom are offended, and one of them punches Bea, nearly killing her. A battle ensues, and the fate of the Revengers remains undecided…

XP
Group Awards
Shipwrecked Redux, 600
Roc Hunt, 600
Group Total 1200, Individual Awards 600

Individual Totals
Bea 1350 (Giant-Punched 750, Group 600)
Bertram 1350 (Librarian 750, Group 600)
Ervendio 1350 (Navigator 750, Group 600)
Jongle 1350 (Heartbroke 750, Group 600)
Proteus 1350 (Oarman 750, Group 600)
Teks 1350 (Welcome Aboard 750, Group 600)

LOOT
potion of climbing
potion of flying
potion of giant strength
one gourd boat, called Gordy

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.