AD&D - New World

81: Trash Monsters
our heroes work through the muck

The party enters Dreadnought territory, but they don’t encounter many Dreadnoughts. This entire area of the mountain smells of (and is littered with) garbage. Valeria opens a door and is covered with the sticky, slimy, smelly mess within; Carol/Ann and Golgaraz manage to avoid a similar fate.

The passages they open are marked by signs indicating they have built for — or once housed — a variety of different humanoid races, but all of the signs have been defaced or altered by the current kobold occupants. The Revengers find a former stable that is now a garbage dump; they hear snoring within, and retreat.

Another room appears to be a garbage clearing house that was hastily abandoned, for reasons unknown. They hear a crying baby and find a baby Dreadnought — Bea magicks a carrying strap for the little one and names it (?) … Bea. The party finds other rooms in similar states — though filled with trash, they were obviously lived in, and just as obviously left empty in a hurry.

The Revengers discover a room of Dreadnought guards. Kit attempts to contact one of them psionically, but the party never learns if his attempts are successful. Lil Yankee boomerangs one of their legs off, and Golgaraz fireballs seven, killing them. The other 8 guards seem to hang back, unwilling to fight; the Revengers do not engage them.

They encounter an otyugh living in a water-filled burrow built for otherworldy halflings. Mildred and Valeria suffer some bug bites, and the Revengers again retreat.

In another room, they encounter a giant slug. Tik tries to contact it psionically, but the giant animal simply spits acid on him. Golgaraz heals Kit and they slam the door shut.

A looming hallway with doors on all sides await them. Surely the Dreadnoughts are here somewhere … but where?

XP
Group Awards
A Trash Baby, 6000
Kobold Guards, 105

Group Total: 6105 Individual Award: 1001

Individual Totals
Bea 4001 (New Mother 3000, Group 1001)
Ervendio 4001 (Everything Smells Like Trash 3000, Group 1001)
Golgaraz 4001 (Heart to Heart Talk 3000, Group 1001)
Kit 4001 (Acid Slugged 3000, Group 1001)
Mildred 4001 (I Was Looking For Bones 3000, Group 1001)
Valeria 4001 (Garbage Dumped 3000, Group 1001)

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*Draft*Bertram Figg's "Adventures in Space" Volume II

It was summertime on Farth, and the wind blew gently over Bertram’s face as he lay on soft bacterial loafs. The air smelled of eggs, and temperatures in the summers here could easily roast a man alive if caught unawares without some form of shelter. Bertram was awares, and had established accommodations for himself as best he could. Roughly a year had passed since the incident aboard the Pounder, and now stranded here on this distant world, Bertram knew he would die alone.

“No, wake up, you have work to do.”

Conditions on Farth were harsh for the little gnome. Only the most primitive, primordial forms of life existed here. In the winter, when he first arrived (approximately 600 days ago), the temperatures had descended well into the negatives. He was only able to keep warm by burning pitch, which was wreaking havoc on his lungs. For food, he skimmed algae off of the surface of shallow pools, boiled moss, and dug pits with tools made of bone and obsidian to trap a type of large, non-parasitic, bilateral worm. Clean water was fortunately plentiful, but Bertram soon learned the soft way that precautionary measures must be taken before drinking.

Now, Bertram welcomed the evening sun to warm the rock of his shelter. Bertram had nothing but time to reflect on the last year. His own stubbornness had led him here, through many twists and turns. Could he have lasted another month on the Pounder? Sure, probably. But he couldn’t let Dewhammer win.

On his last week under Captain Dewhammer, things had become very grave for the crew of the Pounder. Dewhammer had grown increasingly unpredicatable, and it was taking an immense toll on the crew. It became clear that the Captain was hiding the true reason behind their journey out into wildspace. Dewhammer would pace in his quarters, storm to the helm and ask for their bearing, then stare directly up, sigh deeply, and stomp back to bed demanding to be informed of any changes. Meanwhile the chief’s mate, Kroll, glided about the rigging barking orders. The crew had been made to run fire drills every hour on the hour. Something big was coming, but no one seemed to know what it was.

Bertram was determined to find out. When Bertram was brought aboard, he was stripped of his belongings, particularly his magical items. Dewhammer was extremely suspicious of magic, a prejudice the Gith are well-known for. Bertram had managed to steal a piece of gum arabic from Dewhammer’s quarters, he plucked an eyelash and mashed the two together while speaking a few soft words. Just like that, he disappeared. He went into Dewhammer’s quarters and read his journal, not only discovering Dewhammer’s plans for the Pounder, but Dewhammer’s plans for Bertram.

They were going to enter the phlogiston. Bertram knew what this meant. That he would be drugged, sealed in a Wondrous Device for the Preservation of Life Indefinitely While Traveling Through the Flow With Trusted Friends Through the Natural Properties of Phlogiston, or “WDPLIWTTFWTFTNPP” for short.

He worked out a deal with the rats. If they helped him scuttle the ship, he would repay them with delicious treasure and a means of escape.


Bertram’s plan backfired. He had managed to incapacitate the captain,

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80: Granny Dreadnought
our heroes move past the courtyard

Entering the Mountain That Moves, Ervendio sends Carol/Ann ahead to look for traps. She turns into a rat and triggers a block trap that could have smashed the party to pulp. Instead, Carol/Ann and Mildred move past the trap and reconnoiter a large courtyard patrolled by more Black Death kobolds. Valeria joins them in bat-form.

Mildred pops out of rat-form and introduces herself to the guards as “Granny Dreadnought.” They mistake her for an old crone from another clan. She talks them into re-setting the trap and letting her out the front — Hardd Bargann Black Death hustles off to reset the trap. The winch to reset it is on a different level.

In the meantime, Bea tries to feather fall the block trap and make it easier to raise. Instead, her spell surges with unknown effects.

Jimo Black Death raises the portcullis for Mildred, if Mildred promises to put in a good word for him with Judee Dreadnought. Mildred agrees to. The Black Deaths send a team of janitors in to clean up the mess they expect will be there from its triggering. The group ethereals in and plans to ambush the janitors, springing the trap on them and instigating a fight with the Black Death guards.

Kit questions if they are going to kill the janitors; Valeria makes herself visible and stops the trap from triggering. Mildred, as Granny Dreadnought, says Valeria is with her and a friend of her clan. She convinces the Black Deaths to allow them through to Dreadnought territory, and the rest of the Revengers join them as ethereal tag alongs….

XP
Group Awards
Block Trap Triggered, 600
The Janitor Gambit, 1200

Group Total: 1800 Individual Award: 300

Individual Totals:
Bea 3300 (A Real Wild Mage 3000, Group 300)
Ervendio 3300 (To Teach a Thief 3000, Group 300)
Golgaraz 3300 (An Illusion of Guts 3000, Group 300)
Kit 3300 (Are We Killing Janitors? 3000, Group 300)
Mildred 3300 (Granny Dreadnought 3000, Group 300)
Valeria 3300 (Trap-Stopper 3000, Group 300)

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Bertram Figg's "Adventures in Space" Vol. 1

Bertram took his watch in the crow’s nest on a calm night. “FInally, a chance for some sleep.” His bunk smelled like dirty socks and body odour. To combat it, he kept a nosegay stuffed with oregano, thyme, and mint in his chest pocket. He had to try to get some rest after weeks of tense nights looking out for errant monuments of ice and rock careening toward their vessel. Bertram kissed his fingers, huffed his nosegay, then tapped the mast and dozed off.

His duties aboard the Pounder had greatly expanded since he signed his papers. Only receiving the 300th lay, Bertram wished he could go back and have read the contract a little more closely. He was chief cook, chief cabin boy, and sub-swab. Watch in the crow’s nest was supposed to be punishment, meted out by Captain Boris Dewhammer. Bertram had made the mistake of talking back to Dewhammer after he complained of gritty lentils and stale bread. “What that lecher didn’t know is he was actually doing me a favor.” Bertram knew the meal wasn’t his best effort, but the conditions he had to work in were less than ideal. He had one Mate, Descruto, who didn’t know a scrapple from a love apple. The rats on board had staged a minor mutiny when Bertram imposed a moratorium on his sunflower seeds; turning over his drawers and defecating in the milk. It was hopeless.

Bertram awoke from another galley nightmare. “How long that time? Twenty minutes?” Bertram sat up and pulled his poncho in around him. He sipped on lukewarm tea and looked out at the stars. Every movement of the ship was more pronounced so high above the deck. Dewhammer had figured Bertram for a landlubberly nub, and Bertram had kept secret his experience aboard Jasmine’s Grace and the Sokuba. He wanted Dewhammer to believe his punishment was working, even though he was used to the pitch and roll of the seas, which was far less pronounced on a spelljammer. He pretended to wretch in a waste bucket he brought with him, then leaned forward against it.

As he drifted off again, he thought of the Revengers for the first time in months. He simply hadn’t had a moment to process it all until now.

Bertram coughed and itched a rash we was developing on his back. What was Valeria doing at this very second? How far along were they on their quest? Were they even still alive? He had no way of knowing. Bea and Ervendio would have to protect them now. “I just simply couldn’t do it anymore.” It had all come about after their encounter with Glimmer Greymane. “If the gods were turning tail, what hope did we have?” Bertram thought. “Maybe if I took the rod away from Ervendio, I could have broken the influence it held over him—maybe I could have talked some sense into him!” At the very least, he would heed Greymane’s warning—flee into the far reaches of space and keep the rod from ever being fully reunited. It was a desperate plot, made in haste, with all the emotion of a gnome who was on the cusp of losing everyone he loved all over again.

Now his situation was dire. Dewhammer was a good captain, but rotten to the core. His crew respected him because he kept them alive, and supplied them with as much dust and grog as they could consume. But he was abusive toward his crew, and even his passengers. Bertram’s unwillingness to entertain Dewhammer’s dirty jokes and persistent sexual advances meant he was disinvited from the Captain’s mess for supper. Instead, he was made to listen outside the door as Dewhammer and his officers went on about their sexual conquests and the indignities crewmen were made to suffer. Bertram knew his only way out of this situation would be to jump ship the next time they made port. But, given the strength of their stores, that could be weeks, or months away. Until then, he would have to keep up the appearance of a man broken, without actually breaking.

Bertram knew he had to come up with a plan, and fast.

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79: Approaching Dragon Mountain
our heroes find the Mountain That Moves

The party returns to Grudgewood, but Mildred lingers outside of town. They are approached by wary guards, who are on the lookout for them. The guards arrange a secret meeting with Red Al, who demands to know “what the fuck did you do.”

The Revengers fill Al in on what they found at Eddistone: Sir Robert Husk, the Wolf inhabiting the form of Aloysius Bouchard, and Drea working with (or for?) them both. Al tells them what he’s heard in the meantime: Aloysius, as the Risen King, was killed after they left, and it seems that Barrow Knight Gorge Entome — last seen by the Revengers as turning against the spider-fiends and in grave danger — has taken command there. But even though Entome seemed to be throwing in his lot with the Revengers during the battle, he is now calling them assassins and demanding that they be returned to Eddistone as prisoners.

Valeria visits with Hennelly, Priestess of Martiff, and through prayer has her intelligence restored. Golgaraz learns he needs to be polymorphed — or possibly have the magic dispelled that changed his form — to get back to “normal.” It is possible dispel magic won’t work due to the strength of the change, and there are certain risks associated with polymorphing — Golgaraz decides to think on it.

Bea asks about mighty wizards in the area, or kings of Barrow Wood — she is reminded that Drea was sort of both, and they had just killed her.

Volcano has pups! 8 of them. Bea bats around some ideas, but they go unnamed. The Revengers decide to travel north to the Horse Plains, following rumors of the Mountain That Moves — and the final undiscovered part of the rod. They purchase a wagon and travel as wandering fortune tellers.

The area of Prinzfeld has recovered from the March of the Pomarj — it is now a peaceful farming land, with fields and rolling hills. Many houses have been rebuilt. Some give the travelers a wide berth, and some hail them as fellow travelers, but none give them any trouble. It appears that peace with the Duke of Bark has been achieved and is being honored by all.

In an abandoned hut, the party role-plays with Kit to get him used to interacting with others. They try to teach him to order stew. At a real inn in Oakenburgh — the Happy Haystack — Kit successful orders dinner. They also hear rumors of roving kobold bands who serve “the red wyrm” of the mountain.

They meet some of the roving kobolds, but they share their fire with them for a time. Mildred tells their fortunes (as well as the fortunes of the party). All are vague, slightly menacing, and border on grim. The kobolds thank Mildred, but decide to travel on that night. They pay her for her fortunes and warn them, if they approach the mountain, that “Black Deaths man the gate.”

In the Horse Plains, they come upon a small village called Glenhollow. Some villagers are gathered to discuss the roving kobold raiders and want to do about them. Seeing Valeria, who they hail as a lady knight, they are happy to recruit the party to save them. The villagers downplay the rumors that a dragon might be around.

The Revengers are able to supply for the trip to the mountain. They leave their wagon (and Volcano’s pups) behind in the care of the Glenhollow villagers.

They approach the fabled Mountain That Moves. Though the air is peaceful and calm over the Horse Plains, there is a storm over the mountain itself. They travel up switchbacks and find they are on what appears to be an old, weathered stone road. From above, kobolds fire black-fetched arrows — and even rain boulders down upon the party. Golgaraz turns them ethereal and they pursue their ambushers up the trail.

approach.png

They reach a plateau and find a grand, blocked up, off-its-hinges doorway leading into the mountain. Directly above the doors are kobolds manning two massive ballistae — they fire at the party, but Golgaraz turns them to ash with a fireball. The ballistae also catch fire, and there is a green “popping” from the kobolds’ arrow quivers as they die. Bea attempts to passwall the blocked doors, but her spell surges (to no effect).

Before the party, askew and blocked by rocks, are the doors to the Mountain That Moves — known in other times and in other lands as Dragon Mountain….

XP
Group Awards
Discreet Homecoming, 1500
Fortunes Told, 1500
Glenhollow, 600
Gate Kobolds, 90

Group Total: 3690, Individual Award 738

Individual Totals
Bea 3738 (Grandmother Wolf 3000, Group 738)
Golgaraz 3738 (To Polymorph or Not to Polymorph 3000, Group 738)
Kit 3738 (I Want Stew 3000, Group 738)
Mildred 3738 (Fortune Teller 3000, Group 738)
Valeria 3738 (Smarter Than She Looks 3000, Group 738)

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Young Al

tomb.jpg

After the beloved scholar Rittarch is found murdered in his chambers, a posse gathered to bring the suspects—the drifter Al Lovejoy and his pals— to mob justice. A bounty of over a thousand gold stood on his name, dead or alive. Al was to be brought before the magistrate, Gymm Jones, when it was discovered he had hastily left his apartment. The others, a slow-talking bullywug, a large, bushy-eyebrowed man, and a stern half-elf priestess, were to be hanged, but they too had left in hurry.

As a last ditch effort to get of town, Al raised his friends in the middle of the night. They stole a canoe, and made their way up river. It was tough going at night against the current, but a full moon lit the way. Hours passed, and then— the sound of men echoed down the river valley. They were being pursued.

Al, Bunk, Martiff, and Myrrah ditched the canoe in a shallow sandbar, and ran into the jungle. In the darkness, they make out some ruins in the distance and make their way toward them. Walking through thick webs and underbrush, it appears as if no one has been here in some time. Al remembers Rittarch sometimes referenced the Olmac civilization that once thrived in this region, and then mysteriously disappeared. This must have been what he was talking about.


Bunk attempts to jump his friends to safety, and causes a cave in!

When they awaken, they find themselves in a large chamber filled with dioramas. Choking on dust and nursing a few scrapes and bruises, they disturb one of the scenes depicting a group of red and black painted warriors violently slaying each other. The scene repeated itself again and again, before Bunk could see no more.

Bunk uses a spear from one of the figures to leverage the door to the chamber, where they discover that they have fallen into a much larger complex than that which was visible from the outside. Giant, grandiose bronze doors worked to resemble a forest of seaweed open into a cavern below. At the first sign of light, a crayfish scurries away in the shallow water trickling through the chamber, and then re-emerges chattering a warning and clicking its tiny claws. A large boulder rolls over, revealing—a giant hermit crab! Al, Martiff, and Myrrah stand poised for battle, but Bunk attempts to communicate with the creatures. The dialect is a bit off, but Bunk is able to translate well-enough. It is intelligent! The giant crab reveals his name is Bosnaz, and the crayfish is his friend, Pplipp. They have been down here for some time, but haven’t moved from this spot. Al asks for directions, and Bosnaz sends them to what appears to be a dead end. Al knocks over an urn of fine, fine oil that spills on the floor.

A false door, and another door covered in caustic slime are their only two options, or back to Bosnaz for a very awkward conversation. Al tries to work on the door, and gets burned. They decide to backtrack, and go the opposite direction. Bosnaz greets them, and admits he may have mistakenly sent them the wrong way, he suggests they head west. Al gets the sense Bosnaz doesn’t really know where he is, or how to get to the surface in general.

Al reveals a door behind a statue bearing many gifts, where they hear the sound of melodious singing. They enter a large cave dwelling filled with soft, white sand and bathed in a soft blue glow. A nereid serenades them and tried to lure them into the water. They resist the urge to join her. Frustrated, she calls on her minions to strike. A snake head rises from the water’s edge, as well as an elephant man with a spear (which was, obviously, really an electric eel named Chac).

Al disrupts her spells with arcane missiles, while Bunk impales the nereid with his trident. Martiff takes care of the eelephant, and Bunk discovers a horde of treasure in a bed of kelp. Among their take, a potion of treasure finding, which leads the group back toward the lye plug.

Bunk and Myrrah wash away the lye, and Al discovers the door is trapped and goes to work disarming it. Once inside, the friends discover a large stone slab covering a tomb. Glyphs and depictions of men with sickly pallor on their faces line the ceiling. Inside the tomb, a man who must have held much influence lies with his skull cracked, surrounded by jewels, beads, and gemstones. An impressive looking axe, lodged in the wall, will not budge. Al, Bunk, Martiff, and Myrrah split the grave-goods, and leave.

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78: The Risen King
our heroes meet the wolf...

Drea is dead, but the battle rages on!

The Risen King, formerly Aloysius Bouchard, comes down the stairs from the tower above. The rod-bearers — Ervendio, Golgaraz, Valeria — feel instinctively that, though this is the body of the fallen Aloysius, it appears to be a corpse animated by the spirit of the Wolf of Arcworth — Nemonad Arcworth himself!

“You are arrived too soon,” says the Wolf, “but I will see you returned to my bosom!”

The death knight Sir Robert Husk points to Valeria and unleashes a devastating power word: kill. Though she should die, it is Marq Urd who sacrifices himself so that his knight and master might live. “Second” Marq falls, and Valeria falls apart.

The battle falls into chaos. Nemonad summons several spider-fiends and one of the Barrow Knights turns against them. Bea is separated from the others and one of her spells surges — she now believes herself to be her most charming with her finger up her nose. Husk hurls a fireball at the party — Valeria’s holy trident deflects it, saving their lives. Ervendio and Golgaraz turn the party ethereal and they escape Eddistone Point.

The Revengers have met their enemy and they have fled. They bring the corpse of Marq Urd, but they leave behind the Barrow Knight who turned against his fellows when he sensed evil around them. Fleeing back toward Grudgewood, they intercept a message from Eddistone that reads:

Regretful announcement that Drea the Frowzywig has passed … suspicious circumstances … please detain the Knights of Grudgewood for questioning

At the toll bridge they bury Marq. Golgaraz magically constructs an elaborate crypt for their friend, and Valeria composes a poem in his honor:

In this tomb lies a knight who was so bold;
with a sweet dog-like mien
and a heart never mean
if you know what I mean.
a noble and virtuous kobold.

For adventure he never sought no gold
He would fight for the right
to do only what’s right
up until his last rite.
That noble and virtuous kobold.

He died fighting evil long foretold,
but he left his own mark
when his blows hit their mark
and he cried “I am Marq!”
And we weep for our virtuous kobold.

Camping and putting their friend to rest, Carol/Ann wonders aloud what and why they had just fought, fled, and lost for. Why did Drea have to die? What was she doing with Husk and the Wolf? Was she in league with them, or their thrall?

What now for the Knights of Grudgewood? For Mildred’s Revengers?

XP
Group Awards
Escape from the Wolf 600

Group Total: 600 Individual Award: 100

Individual Totals
Bea 3100 (Finger Pickin’ Charmer 3000, Group 100)
Ervendio 3100 (What Did We Just Fight For? 3000, Group 100)
Golgaraz 3100 (Ethereal Guide 3000, Group 100)
Kit 3100 (Parley Deferred 3000, Group 100)
Mildred 3100 (Almost A Frowzywig 3000, Group 100)
Valeria 3100 (Weep for a Virtuous Kobold 3000, Group 100)

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77: Infernal Command
our heroes return to Eddistone Point...

Valeria says goodbye to her grandparents in Sri Raji. As they prepare to travel the urth in their own right — their generations-long task of looking after Kit’s egg finally complete — Valeria secretly slips 200 gold pieces into their luggage. They, too, slip 200 gold pieces into Valeria’s bags.

The Revengers travel to Skunt by mushroom boat, a bustling fishing village in the south of Barrow Wood — a kingdom they have played such a key role in building. From Skunt they catch a trade caravan to Grudgewood. This part of the kingdom, once a wild and wooly playground for brigands, was now downright civilized.

The Revengers encounter a familiar white camel — it’s Georgie! He not only survived the spider-fiend attack back in Amara, he’d been bought and traded all the way to Grudgewood. Georgie gets spooked when Kit tries to eat him, and all of the caravan camels run away. Valeria jumps atop Georgie and calms him; the others are reined in by Valeria and Chow Chow.

Returning to Grudgewood, Valeria meets Mayor Mammarie. Bea tries to intercept/interject in their interactions, in case Mammarie proves to be a bad influence. Mammarie invites Bea to an upcoming town meeting, which Bea accepts.

Mildred, Valeria, and Marq head out to Mildred’s grave. Mildred digs up her own bones — touching them, Mildred’s demon lord speaks to her. Mildred’s two bodies are … merged. The memories of her two lifetimes are returned to her and she finds herself an old kobold again. Her demon lord tells her she’s finally met her first challenge. Her next task is to destroy the Frowzywig — Drea, the Purple Witch of Eddistone Point, and one of the rulers of Barrow Wood itself.

After Mildred’s “resurrection,” she and Bea compare memories. They were both dead once, they met on the Yggdrasil. Bea gives her corpse’s mummified finger to Mildred.

At Red Al’s tavern, Mildred makes a case to go confront Drea — but she withholds her intention to kill her at the behest of a demon lord of chaos.

The Revengers return to the toll bridge, the site of one of their first adventures. This time, they pay the toll to cross — a copper piece apiece. They travel to Eddistone, around which a small village has bloomed. They are met by wary guards, who tell them Drea is very busy — too busy to meed with adventurers. But they announce themselves as the Knights of Grudgewood and are granted entry.

The first floor of Eddistone Point has been changed from a stable to an audience chamber. Drea sits on a grand dais, with a hulking and menacing armored man to her side — Kit recognizes him as Sir Robert Husk, the Arrikkhan and a death knight. Husk radiates evil, but Drea does not.

Kit initiates peaceful parley as Mildred tries to pick a fight with Drea. Drea is reluctant — she will not give up her title as the Frowzywig. Drea says The Risen King — formerly Aloysius Bouchard, but now a living god — is resting and unavailable to be seen.

Valeria asks Drea is she realizes Husk is evil. Drea says that good and evil, law and chaos, are all tools in the hands of their wielders. Valeria draws her trident and challenges Husk to combat — Husk accepts! Mildred mutters thankfully under her breath.

The Barrow Knights rally around Drea and Husk. Golgaraz webs some of the knights and Lil Yankee throws a boomerang at them. Bea conjures a shadow elephant and Ervendio prays for his party’s protection. Marq takes a defensive position near Valeria, who begins her duel with Husk.

Drea dimension doors away, but inadvertently leaves her owl familiar behind — the same owl who once came to the Revenger for help when Drea was imprisoned in this very tower. Mildred magic missiles the owl, killing it. Drea dies — the demon lord appears to Mildred again, telling her this was completed her second of three tasks. Her next and final task is to tame the living god.

Drea is dead, but the battle continues….

XP
Group Awards
Georgie! 1000
Overdue Toll 1000
Drea the Frowzywig 12,000

Group Total: 14,000 Individual Totals: 2334

Individual Totals
Bea 5334 (Civic Responsibility 3000, Group 2334)
Ervendio 5334 (Captain of the Knights of Grudgewood 3000, Group 2334)
Golgaraz 5334 (Boomerang Yankee 3000, Group 2334)
Kit 5334 (Parley 3000, Group 2334)
Mildred 5334 (Self-Resurrection 3000, Group 2334)
Valeria 5334 (Hump-Wrangler 3000, Group 2334)

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76: Old Egg
our heroes return to Sri Raji...

Before leaving the Moon, Mildred and Svendar meet up one last time. Mildred tells him he was one of her only friends in the Chaos Storm; Svendar says he was pretty sure Mildred was a figment of his imagination for a few years. They agree to get married if neither of them have fallen to evil in ten years. Svendar considers them engaged; Mildred is pretty sure one of them will fall to evil.

On the spelljammer ride to Urth, Carol/Ann enjoys the attention of more moon elf sailors, but she playfully resists their charms. Golgaraz chases Li’l Yankee, keeping her tethered to the ship — and safe. Ervendio tells his brother Sasha about possible landing places for the elves and their proposed outpost. The elves plan to check out the necromancer’s island, where Melisende presumably still practices her dark arts.

The Revengers are dropped off at Sri Raji, where they discover a massive mushroom has grown out of and over the old ruined temple of the maharajah. They soon discover the mushroom mountain is their old friend Khalid — and that Khalid has spored many copies of himself, who go about their mushroom king’s business on the small island. They have dinner with Khalid, who is delighted to see Ervendio and Bea again.

The party takes a boat ride south to the college at Tvashtri. En route they are attacked by several white-haired weretigers from the riverbank, shot with bows & arrows. Carol/Ann is nearly felled, but Ervendio saves her. They evade the lycanthropes with some magical fog from Golgaraz.

At Tvashtri, they are met by Billie, now a full-fledged professor. She is unable to find information on dark elves, as requested by Ervendio, but she leads them to one of Khalid’s spore-clones who has already dug up information on the Wolf of Arcworth and the Rod of 7 Parts. The rod is a phylactery, and the Wolf’s soul is therefore splintered. Once assembled, he will regain the entirety of his power.

According to the spore’s research, since the Wolf is a creature of Chaos and the rejoined Rod is an object of Law, they would both be destroyed were they to enter (or be forced to enter) the Plane of Concordant Opposition (aka the Outlands, the area surrounded Sigil’s spire in the Outer Planes) at the same time. They would both be “phased” into true neutrality and destroyed forever.

Or … the Khalid-spore believes his research of old texts indicates another possible solution: friendship! He’s not sure what that means, but he finds the concept exciting — indicating the problem of the Wolf could be solved without violence.

Ervendio thinks it might mean they can bait the Wolf to the Outlands by telling him Edrick is there. Mildred points out that “that’s not friendship”; Ervendio is not convinced.

Leaving the college, the Revengers travel to Parata to visit Minja’s adopted parents/Valeria’s grandparents. They are as silent as ever, but they seem to have been expecting the Revengers. They lead them down to a hidden basement, where a strange, old egg awaits them. They bash at the egg, forcing it open — it sprays an acid splash that, once again, Ervendio heals.

The strange creature in the egg reaches out to Valeria telepathically — S I S T E R — and the others hear a strange, mental static. A larval thri-kreen emerges from the egg. It is Kit Tik, The Garath, a Knight of Mypp, and the long-hibernating son of Teks. Minja’s mother tosses a chatka to the insectoid, who catches it instinctively — it fooms into flame — and the Revengers’ ranks grow by one….

XP
Group Awards
Mushroom King, 6000
Weretigers on the River, 1950
College Try, 3000

Group Total: 10,950 Individual Award: 2190

Individual Totals
Ervendio 5190 (Carol/Ann’s Keeper 3000, Group 2190)
Golgaraz 5190 (Yankee Chaser 3000, Group 2190)
Kit 5190 (Larval 3000, Group 2190)
Mildred 5190 (The Marriage Pact 3000, Group 2190)
Valeria 5190 (Sister! 3000, Group 2190)

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75: Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Bertram
our heroes return to urth...

Bertram holds a memorial service for Roger. He burns Roger’s remains and offers a remembrance of the deep gnome who died on the Moon … but perhaps Bertram was speaking about himself as well?

“I’ve sometimes had to do things I’m not proud of, or adopt a persona that I loathe in order to finish a job,” Bertram said. "I don’t stand here today in judgement of Roger. He was born under different circumstances, but for all intents and purposes we could have been the same gnome.

“Maybe, maybe that’s why I’m here today…speaking at his funeral. Because I too am flawed, you know? I tend to abuse those most eager to please me. I remember, after weeks of Roger leading us through the Underdark, I couldn’t even remember his name. I told him to go back, that the world up above wasn’t safe for people like him. But that didn’t frighten Roger. In fact, he drank this new world in, and tried to adapt as best he could to the light.”

Ervendio’s sister Tryan arrives and takes her place as Matron of House Kuraphai. Ervendio convinces her to begin scouting Urth for a Kuraphai outpost, the first such elven settlement in generations. She agrees to send a scouting party on a small spelljammer, which will also return the Revengers to the surface below. He also asks Tryan to send word to Ervendio if Markaerus, his lost friend and companion, returns safely from the wars with the mind-flayers.

Ervendio takes Bertram to the ruins of the elven estate destroyed when Bertram inadvertently fermented rebellion there, years before. The place that Bertram tried to forget — tried to make Ervendio forget — the place that ultimately led them both to Grudgewood.

“Do the elves that died here deserve to be forgotten by the gnome that incited rebellion against them?” asked Ervendio. “Say their name. Say her name! This house does not exist anymore. Killed for their generosity.”

Though the bones of many gnomes laid unburied on this estate, the elves who died there had been interred. Ervendio led Bertram to the gravesite for Bree, the elven girl who died before Bertram’s very eyes. Finally confronting their shared past, Ervendio and Bertram could not come to an agreement on the meaning of what had happened on that elven estate, so many years ago.

Meanwhile, Golgaraz — now a gnome himself — introduces “Lil” Yankee to his new physical form. Though initially afraid, Yankee is calmed by Golgaraz’s telepathic assurances. She actually enjoys how small Golgaraz is now, and takes to wrestling him and tossing him about. Carol/Ann, meanwhile, has lost interest in Golgaraz as a romantic partner — but finds herself entertaining a gaggle of moon elves, entranced by her exotic underdark beauty.

While Valeria tries on dresses with the new matron of House Kuraphai, Bea researches the spellbooks and items recovered from House Silverwind. Bea nearly loses her mind reading the Vacuous Grimoire, she discovers the magical properties of a powerful lyre, a lucky horseshoe, and a fate-bending yo-yo.

Peering out over the lunar landscape, Svendar seems calmer after his torture at the hands of Darcie Bill. He relates to the Revengers, as best he can, the roles played by the different Knights of Mypp:

  • Svendar is the Paramander, a balancing force. He seeks to understand all sides, but take none.
  • Darcie Bill is the Fantra, a force of pure chaos. Not to be trusted. If the Count trusts him — that may be the enemy’s undoing.
  • On the other hand, the Lyan — his name in this era unknown to Svendar — is a force of pure law and order. He and Darcie Bill will surely be at odds in the coming conflict.
  • Jad was the Myrikkhan, a good dwarf who was, according to Svendar, “doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.”
  • The Garath is another force for good. He can sense the current Garath on the Urth, somewhere, but he does not know what role the Garath will play.
  • The Illrigger is dead — an evil being who nonetheless played by the rules.
  • The Arrikhan is the most dangerous of the knights. An evil being who, in Svendar’s time, was an undead knight called Sir Robert Husk. Svendar believes that Husk is still the Arrikhan of this era, which means he has only grown stronger over the centuries.
  • The Count Who Lives is the leader of Gith and the leader of the Knights — a vampire who possesses Rex, the seventh piece of the rod.

Svendar reveals one way to destroy to the rods and stop the Wolf from regaining their power: if the pieces are assembled in the incorrect order, those pieces will be destroyed — along with the person performing the ritual to reassemble them. Valeria is tempted to do so, but she worries that this will only delay the Wolf’s return, not stop it for good. Svendar offers to take the Revengers’ pieces and perform the ceremony immediately, but the party declines.

Svendar takes his leave of the group, intending to return to Urth and pursue his mission alone.

During the conversation with Svendar, Ervendio catches Bertram trying to steal the assembled rod from him. Bertram turns invisible and flees, exiting not only the Kuraphai estate, but the lives of the Revengers. Bertram has left a note in his quarters, but the note was written as if Bertram had stolen the rod and escaped with it. Bertram believes the Revengers have lost their way, and are too willing to sacrifice their morals in order to complete their quest.

Bertram once again finds himself on board the spelljamming vessel of Capt. Boris Dewhammer. Bertram wants to return to Urth, but Captain Dewhammer has “a few stops to make first.” Bertram departs the Moon, and his friends, for points unknown. .

Jeff stays on the Moon, serving as court jester for Matron Tryan. Valeria writes a message to Bertram and sends it into space with a spelljamming sailor. She asks the sailor to toss it overboard once he’s in deep space; the sailor agrees.

With Bertram gone, the others make plans to continue their mission. They board an elven man o war captained by Ervendio’s younger brother, en route for the libraries of Sri Raji, where they will utiilize the old-and-untouched libraries to research the rods….

XP
Group Awards
Svendar’s Story, 6000

Group Total: 6000, Individual Awards: 1200

Individual Totals
Bea 4200 (Homework 3000, Group 1200)
Bertram 4200 (A Parting of Ways 3000, Group 1200)
Ervendio 4200 (Homecoming’s End 3000, Group 1200)
Golgaraz 4200 (Tiny Dad 3000, Group 1200)
Valeria 4200 (Message in a Bottle 3000, Group 1200)

LOOT
no new loot

items identified:

1. Lyre of Building: 1/day, can be used to reverse/protect against disintegrate or horn of blasting, for up to 3 rounds of attack. 1/week, can be strummed to create mines/buildings/etc — the building is created over 3/turns, equaling the work of 100 men laboring for 3 days. Can also be used to build/repair ships.

A d20 must be rolled; on 1-3 (or just 1 if character is proficient with musical instrument), the lyre produces a false chord. If in combat, the chance for a false chord is 1-10. A false chord results in the effects of a ray of disintegrate.

2. Horseshoe of Luck: it never rusts, is always in excellent condition. It faintly radiates magic. Anyone bearing it gains a +1 to all saving throws. A horse shod with it can never go lame.

3. Yo-Yo of Fate. 3-inches. Can be used to add a +1 to any roll, before rolling. Its string shortens by an inch after every “roll.”

rings of no significance

longsword +1, +3 vs. shape changers

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