AD&D - New World

72: The Avignon
our heroes encounter a very old elf...

BULLET-POINT VERSION/WORK-IN-PROGRESS

- the move through the blasted desert — the go through the museum.

- they find ancient graffiti in elven: no value, go back

- Bertram collects some broken pottery shards. They find the ORB, covering it in a rag and taking it.

- heading across the desert, the Revengers discover an old barracks. Inside Ervendio is attacked by a scorpion. Valeria finds a desk drawer containing a severed skeletal hand wearing three rings. She closes the drawer, but Bea takes the rings. Downstairs, Bertram finds a vibrating dagger and a room full of elven skeletons, dead in their beds. Bertram is nearly buried by sand.

- they discover the Temple of Moon, buried in sand. The basement level is the only extant part of the structure. They find 3 moon cloaks, taken by the elves — Ervendio’s is black, Carol/Ann’s is light gray, Golgaraz’s is a deep green.

- downstairs, the find the EYE, protected by an elven banshee. They start to battle it, but Golgaraz turns the malevolent spirit, and it dissipates and escapes into the desert beyond.

- They place the EYE and the ORB in the Statue of Greyhaven. The sands shift and sink away, and Glimmer Greyhaven rises — or, what he has become. He is now the avignon, a massive, moth-like creature that has spent centuries (longer!) at the center of the moon, protecting a piece of the rod.

- He is reluctant to part with it — he tells the Revengers that the Wolf wants to pieces re-joined, and that by pitting different groups against one another this result only becomes more and more likely.

- (Glimmer speaks to the Revengers telepathically, in each individual’s native tongue)

- Glimmer is prepared to fight the Knights to protect the rod, but is eventually won over by the Revengers. He advises that the Revengers work together to gather the pieces, but then part ways and never see one another again — thereby ensuring the rod will never be rejoined.

- Glimmer gives the 4th piece, called Justitia, to Ervendio, asking him to promise to never intentionally join the pieces together. Ervendio does so.

- Glimmer says there is no way to “fix” the effects magic has wrought on the moon, except to stop practicing magic.

- Glimmer tells Valeria that it was he who convinced Edrick to shatter the rod in the first place — Edrick didn’t want to fight his friend Nemonad.

- Glimmer also reveals that the Wolf has recently returned to corporeal form on Urth, even though his true power remains scattered in the form of the Rod of 7 Parts.

- Mildred offers Marq Prime — the reanimated mammoth skeleton — as a traveling companion for Glimmer now that The Avignon no longer has to guard the rod. Glimmer agrees, and the two depart into the strange desert of the hollow moon….

XP
large scorpion, 175
elven banshee, 4000
the eye & the orb, 2000
The Avignon, 10,000
Justitia: The 4th Piece of the Rod of 7 Parts, 10,000

Group Total: 26,175 Individual Awards 4363

Individual Totals
Bea 6363 (Lady of the Rings 2000, Group 4363)
Bertram 6363 (Sand Bath 2000, Group 4363)
Ervendio 6363 (Justitia 2000, Group 4363)
Golgaraz 6363 (Banshee Turner 2000, Group 4363)
Mildred 6363 (Goodbye Marq Prime 2000, Group 4363)
Valeria 6463 (Bug Buster 2000, Had Actual Baby 100, Group 4363)

LOOT
broken pottery shards from the Yaramulke museum
the ORB (placed on the Greyhaven statue)
a vibrating dagger
3 rings
3 moon cloaks (Ervendio, Carol/Ann, Golgaraz)
the EYE (placed on the Greyhaven statue)
Justitia: 8-inch segment that can create a gust of wind five times a day. The gust is 10 feet wide and 200 yards long.

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71: The Lost Tribe of Gith
our heroes explore a deserted elven city

At the Kuraphai estate, the surviving Silverwind guard is brought in for questioning. Matron Artenia arranges for the body of the ghul and dead Silverwinds to be recovered. The Matron seeks Ervendio’s advice/thoughts on moving forward.

Bea learns that the tiara won back in Ocean’s Deep can make her younger, but at the cost of experience and memories. (Mechanically: it de-ages 2d6 years and takes away 1d4 levels)

Realizing the other Revengers have entered the Hollow Moon, the Matron allows Ervendio and Bea to follow them with a traveling stone — it allows for instantaneous transportation, but at possible psychic cost. Glimmer Greyhaven can be found in the Hollow, but may not be recognizable as an elf anymore. The Matron tells Ervendio and Bea, “You will need the Eye and the Orb to find him.”

Using the stone, they are (safely!) transported to Yaramulke, a once-great elven city, now in ruins. They meet the rest of the Revengers at a ruined mural/visitor’s center. The magic of the mural still works, and a moving picture on the obsidian stone tells a story of the city — it was founded by another Greyhaven, long ago. Though the place where the city once stood is now covered in sand and ruins, the mural pinpoints where Yaramulke’s museum once stood — and that is where they can find the Eye of the Moon.

Heading across the trackless desert, the Revengers cross the bones of an old, ancient, very deceased mammoth. Mildred animates the bones, naming the creature “Marq.” Actual Marq, now Second Marq, feels ashamed of himself.

The Revengers discover a cave where near-savage githyanki live. They are dressed in tatters and are surviving off of scraps off food. Bertram, invisible, steals some cheese crumbs. Ervendio makes friends with one of the githyanki, trading information from the natives for (magically conjured) food in the morning. Valeria uses her paladin powers to heal the illest one.

Golgaraz takes pity on a little girl of the tribe — Lillian, near wild, ignored by the others because her parents have died. Golgaraz dubs her Lil Yankee and adopts her as his own.

In the morning, Bertram asks the githyanki their wildest, most decadent dream: a bone marrow soup. He makes it, with cook. Even this modest spell seeps life energy from the barren moon. After the feast, the tribe tells them that the Eye is in the museum and the Orb is in the temple — both must be placed in the Statue of Greyhaven in order to find Glimmer. They are warned to avoid the cacti, which are totally normal cacti, in that it will spear you with needles, drag you close, and suck your blood.

En route to the temple, the party finds a ruined warehouse. They creep down & inside, discovering LOOT. Including some books & weapons & very old jerky & various spices. They rest for the night. Valeria eats all of the jerky and peaches; Bertram invisibles her so (Second) Marq cant’ see her poop. Carol/Ann ponders murdering Lil Yankee, to bond Golgaraz to her.

The firelight slowly fades…night in the hollow moon is a soft, cold blue….

XP
Group Awards
Teleport Stone, 600
Gith Friends, 2000
Lil’ Yankee Joins the Party, 3000
Warehouse Rummage Party, 3000

Group Total: 8600, Individual Award 1434

Bea 2934 (Tiara Questions 1500, Group 1434)
Bertram 2934 (Cheese Thief 1500, Group 1434)
Ervendio 2934 (Mission from Mom 1500, Group 1434)
Golgaraz 2934 (New Dad 1500, Group 1434)
Mildred 2934 (Hello Marq Prime 1500, Group 1434)
Valeria 2934 (Ill Reparations 1500, Group 1434)

LOOT
Crate (5): A magic item from DMG Table 7-1 or see Magic Item Compendium Appendix 2 (Magic Items)
- Crate (4): Beef, Smoked (Meat) 4gp per lb (808gp)
- Crate (3): 1d3 Shields from DMG Table 7-4 or Magic Item Compendium Table A-3 (Armor/Shields)
- Crate (2): 2d4 Uncommon Weapons from DMG Table 7-12 or Magic Item Compendium Table A-4 (Weapons)
- Crate (1): 2d4 Uncommon Weapons from DMG Table 7-12 or Magic Item Compendium Table A-4 (Weapons)

Crate (19): Ginger (Spice/Seasoning) 10gp per oz (9,600gp)

- Crate (18): Lemon balm (Spice/Seasoning) 2sp per oz (192gp)
- Crate (17): Poppy seed (Spice/Seasoning) 8gp per oz (7,680gp)
- Crate (16): Fabric, exotic (Commodities) 1gp per lb (60gp)
- Crate (15): Fabric, fine (Commodities) 25sp per lb (150gp)
- Crate (14): A magic item from DMG Table 7-1 or see Magic Item Compendium Appendix 2 (Magic Items)
- Crate (13): Prunes (Dried) 3gp per lb (180gp)
- Crate (12): Perfume, rare (Commodities) 18gp per oz (17,280gp)
- Crate (11): Peaches (Dried) 15gp per lb (900gp)
- Crate (10): Bergamont (Spice/Seasoning) 3cp per oz (29gp)
- Crate (9): Lumber, local (Commodities) 7sp per lb (42gp)
- Crate (8): An old masterpiece painting (Art Object), 1,400gp
- Crate (7): Oats (Corn) 7gp per lb (420gp)
- Crate (6): A magic item from DMG Table 7-1 or see Magic Item Compendium Appendix 2 (Magic Items)

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70: Too Wounded to Run
our heroes enter the hollow moon...

En route to the Janglemancer statue on the Moon, Golgaraz hears the voice of his deity, Saerilenne. A primal and largely forgotten elven goddess, she warns Golgaraz that there are two halves to the Moon — one verdant and green, the other … different.

Marq tells Valeria that the Mountain That Moves, referenced on the Grudgewood Janglemancer statue, is an old kobold legend — maybe where they come from — and it appears in the Horse Plains every 20 years or so. His mother told him about it!

After revealing the statue’s secrets, the Revengers are ambushed at the statute! A group of guards from House Silverwind, led by a great ghul dressed like one of those the Revengers encountered on Jad’s boat. They shoot one of the Kuraphai guards in the leg with an arrow and announce that no one else will get hurt if they turn over the letter they found in the statue.

Valeria takes an offensive stance — the ghul takes off its mask, revealing its donkey ears — everyone laughs — battle!

Valeria takes some hits from the ghul; Bertram turns invisible; Mildred “amplifies” her spells, drawing on the hidden power of the Moon itself — it causes intense pain to the elves closest to Mildred and the grass around her feet turns brown, brittle, and dead. Golgaraz and Marq join Valeria in melee against the ghul, and the Revengers easily best them.

One Silverwind elf dies, one is captured, and the rest run. The ghul is killed by Valeria. Bertram invisibly follows the escape Silverwind, watching them clamber over the wall that borders the Kuraphai estate. The Kuraphai captain takes the survivor back to the manor to be questioned — the guards tell the Revengers they can reach the Hollow Moon by going to Fort Nost, located in the wooded area of the Kuraphai estate. But they are probably, technically, not allowed to do so — so don’t be weird if they get caught.

At Fort Nost, they find the body of an old elf — a guard who looks like he died there peacefully. They cannot find any notes, letters, or clues to his identity in the small fort’s clutter — only a staircase leading down. Mildred speaks with dead and learns the hollow is past the gate, the gate is at the perimeter, and that there is no key.

They remember — hey! — they did not check the bodies of the dead ghul and Silverwind elf. They double back and and discover, on the ghul, a simple scimitar, a single jeweled glove, and a jeweled basket.

They return to Fort Nost and rest. Marq pledges his sword to Valeria and becomes her squire/henchman. Patrolling the perimeter of the fort, Golgaraz communes with Saerilenne again and learns that the way to the hollow is “down.” She expresses concern that there is a foreign influence on his mind.

After a rest, they enter a tunnel in the fort’s basement. There is a hot, hot heat in the tunnel, and after a few hours of walking they experience a gravity switch and find themselves in a ruined, desert landscape with an inversed horizon — curving upward, and around them. A single red orb floats freely in the middle. The Hollow Moon is a blasted, dead landscape.

The tunnel opens onto a well-trodden road. Following it, Mildred spies a murky, inky black watering hole. Valeria detects great evil coming from the water, and they avoid it. They are struck by a sudden sand storm and they nearly lose Golgaraz — Marq wanders off, but they manage to find him.

After the storm, they encounter a group of traveling, silent kenku traders. They spend hundreds of mammaries* on a ring, an owl amulet, a top hat, a new shirt for Marq, bread and water and bracers — but it all turns to dust a few hours after they part ways with the traders.

traders.png

Valeria, in her metal armor, is drenched in sweat. There is sand in their waterskins. The horizon is filled with a dead, imposing desert world. But — what is that, shimmering in the distance? A structure, or a mirage….?

XP
Group Awards
Elven Guards, 2520
Great Ghul, 2000
Into the Hollow Moon, 1200
Kenku Traders, 4000

Group Total: 9720 Individual Awards: 2430

Individual Totals
Bertram 3930 (Invisible Tracker 1500, Group 2430)
Ervendio 1500 (Home with Mother 1500, Group -)
Golgaraz 3930 (Moon Whispers 1500, Group 2430)
Mildred 3930 (Flaps & Folds 1500, Group 2430)
Valeria 3930 (There’s Evil in the Water 1500, Group 2430)

LOOT
1 jeweled glove
1 jeweled basket
1 scimitar (non-magical)
lots of sand (kenku items)

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69: From Urth to the Moon
our heroes travel to the land of the elves

After the fight with Darcie Bill, Svendar … remembers!

“We are seven-and-one,” he says, "forged two-thousand years ago from the ashes of old Gith, by our Count Who Still Lives. He is quite old, quite powerful, older now and stronger too. We were a secret order. Gathered from different places, from different points of view — this way, we would not be blinded by dogma or tradition.

“But something has changed while I was gone. I can sense it. I can hear it, if I listen. The rods are being gathered. They were never intended to be! We were supposed to be loyal to the balance — when it swings too much in one direction, all will be lost. Law will break apart and become Chaos. Chaos strangles all others and leaves only Law. Twisted, mirror-images of the other.

“The pieces should not be gathered. But The Count orders their assemblage. The Enemy grows stronger. My brothers, by their very actions, turn against their ideals. The rods corrupt — you see it with your own! (points to Golgaraz) — but can be corrupted in turn. Look at that one! — (points to Valeria). Just imagine what has become of REX, so long in the possession of The Count. Twisted and evil, like he has become. If the others are assembled, one by one, affixed to REX — the joined rod will be an artifact of chaos. THE WOLF will return."

Svendar blinks and returns to himself. He is able to answer a few questions, but he is obviously addled.

The Knights of Mypp are an old order, and each has a title. The titles are passed down after one of them dies. He can sense that one of them has died. The Illrigger — lawful, but selfish. He also remember the Myrikkhan — a good man, but disant; and the Fantra, the one he just faced — Darcie Bill — unpredictable and impossible to trust. He, Svendar, is the Paramander, the ultimate balancer.

Svendar wants to leave the Revengers, to go off and right what has become wrong with the Knights of Mypp. Ervendio believes Svendar might suffer whatever corruption has befallen the others if he does so; Svendar is convinced to stay with them.

Bea — now able to see once again — points out that, however Darcie Bill teleported away, it wasn’t with magic.

The Revengers go upstairs and find they are still in Ocean’s Deep — they’ve just in a different part of Ocean’s Deep. They go to the New Revengers recruitment office and meet Marq Urd, a newly-minted warrior and a desk-jockey for the New Revengers. Marq tries to recruit them into the fold, and the real Revengers are disappointed to learn there is a six week, paperwork-laden wait to receive help from the New Revengers themselves. They leave the offices, taking with them Marq and 2 bunches of bananas.

Before leaving the city, Bea says goodbye to her parents. They are surprised, having assumed she had put the adventuring life behind her, but they bid her farewell. Valeria pays one more visit to the Janglemancer statue and, on Bertram’s insistence, she pushes, pulls, and prods the statue for secret compartments. She finds one! It contains a note, quite old, assuring her that there are no further secrets in the statue.

Bertram writes a letter to Queen Facistasia and leaves it with CHUCK, who says he will definitely read it before passing it on. Bertram gives him an IOU for his 5k bar tab, and promises it’s good at the 1st Bank of Grudgewood. It is not.

They book passage on a spelljammer — the _ SSPounder_, captained by Boris Dewhammer, a giff who loves the freedom of the spaceways. For a cost of 750 gold, he agrees to take them to visit Grudgewood, and then off to the elven Moon.

In Grudgewood, the party meets with Red Al. Grudgewood has grown — in fact, now it is the capital province of a kingdom called Barrow Wood. Red Al has forged alliance with other power players in the region, and his forces have fought further battles with the Duke of Bark to the north. He wishes the Revengers well — he is genuinely glad to see them — but he is very busy ruling the domain.

They compare notes — Al knew Jad from his adventuring days, but did not realize his old friend was one of the Knights of Mypp. Al had sought the rod — what he knew as the First Key — as a bargaining chip in his quest to forge a human kingdom here in the Westlands. Red Al bestows knighthoods over the party that wasn’t here for the Battle for Grudgewood, because why not? Also he tells Bertram that he’s an earl now — Earl Culinarius — and that he is also broke. Jongle was made earl as well — Earl of the Clutch — and this title is inherited by Valeria.

There is another statue of Jongle in Grudgewood — the locals say it has always been there — and it says, Look To The Mountain That Moves. There is another secret message inside that reads, “seriously there is no secret message here.”

The party boards the Pounder and they fly to the Moon. A beautiful yet alien world, there are three phases of day/night/urthlight, which sometimes overlap. There are seas and forests and golden mountains — and byzantine rules of etiquette and courtly behavior. Ervendio leads the way, and they are allowed past the guards of House Koroset on the Kuraphai name.

Arriving on the Moon, the arcane spellcasters present — Bea, Mildred, Golgaraz — recognize that the curse of the chaos storm does not reach the Moon. There are no chances for wild surges here, but neither can Bea access her wild magic spells. But at the same time, they sense instinctively that their magic may be more powerful here, if they will it. This has yet to be tested.

At the Kuraphai estate, the party is met by Bebel, a cousin and minor noble of Ervendio’s house. Is job is plainly to determine whether Ervendio’s return is cause for concern. He shares that the Knights of Mypp are on the Moon as guests of House Silverwind. Bebel arranges for Ervendio to meet with his mother, Matron Artenia, the next day, and for the other Revengers to travel to a meadow on the Kuraphai estate where another Janglemancer statue is to be found.

Ervendio meets privately with his mother. She spares little time for sentimentality. She chides him gently for returning from his mission too soon, but is intrigued at the possibility that the elves could claim the Rod of 7 Parts for their own. She reveals the knights are here seeking Glimmer Greyhaven, who they believe to still be alive. She knows where Glimmer is, but Ervendio recognizes it is improper to seek this information himself.

The Matron proposes a dinner to be held on the Kuraphai estate, inviting the Knights. Ervendio will pretend his geas is still in place, preventing him from seeking Jad’s rod through violence or treachery. Then they will spring the trap — destroying the two knights and taking their pieces of the rod for the Kuraphai.

Meanwhile, the other Revengers enjoy a ride across the elven estate. In a peaceful meadow, they find the Janglemancer statue surrounded by trees. It is less weathered than those found on Urth. From the statue’s secret crotch compartment, 777 gold pieces spill out; from one armpit, 77 copper pieces spill out. From the other armpit, comes another scroll — this time in the form of a letter:

My Husband Jongle,

Hello. I miss you. I’m sure it has been some time since we were separated — longer for me than for you, if that makes sense. The years have given me a lot of time to think about us, and a lot of time to not think about us. I love you and have remained true to you, in my way. Also I remarried. It’s complicated!

Our daughter is a brave warrior. She is somehow not like us at all, but also like us very much. She took all of the good parts of us and none of the bad. She made this strange adventure worth all of the pain. I am grateful for her and for you.

I hope that you found peace in my absence. I hope that you lived a long, long life, and that when you think of me it is with kindness and forgiveness and love. I hope that you find the 7 parts of this stupid rod and put them together or throw them away or … whatever it is you need to do. I have done what I can to help you. You will find my research attached.

Say hello to Valeria and also to Teks. I miss them both terribly.

I am alone now. The Moon is nice. I have one more journey to take. I believe you will see me again, but I don’t think I will see you.

Love,
Minja

Included with the letter is the following information:

“Knights of Mypp are the Seven-and-One:

“Myrikkhan: Spiro, good, can be trusted.

“Garath: Tank, good, funny & can sing; I like him very much.

“Lyan: Harbourr, stiff and strange, too tall, can be talked into impossible situations; use him, but do not rely on him.

“Paramander: Svendar, missing, the others speak well of him, but say he ‘goes his own way’; something familiar here, but cannot place it.

“Fantra: Kieronymous, unstable, charming but deceptive; never never never believe in him.

“Illrigger: Rang, cruel and unusual; not a liar, but evil to the core. An enemy.

“Arrikkhan: I never discovered this one’s name; others unwilling to discuss; most dangerous of all?

“The Count Who Lives: their leader, one of them but separate; never met, but he lives on Urth; ruler of Gith; a bad feeling, but nothing I can prove.”

On a separate scroll is the following:

“The Rod of 7 Parts.

“1, Ruat: a friend. Teks.

“2, Coelum: somewhere in goblin kingdoms. held by men. The piece taken by Jad?

“3, Fiat: in hernia, this was stolen and sought by Teks. Jad know holds it.

“4, Justitia: gust of wind. This is the piece I now seek. Held by Glimmer, in the Hollow of the Moon.

“5, Ecce: hidden in the mountain that moves. impossible to track like the others. find the mountain, find the rod.

“6, Lex: in the storm. out of my reach. I am too scared to go back there.

“7, Rex: held by the Count. Twisted now. A big problem.”

Invitations to Jad and Darcie Bill must be sent. Preparations must be made.

XP
Group Awards
Svendar Info Dump, 3000
The New Revengers Information Station, 6000
Return to Grudgewood, 6000
Welcome to the Moon, 3000

Group Total: 18,000 Individual Award: 3000

Individual Totals
Bea 4500 (Dreaming of Wizard School 1500, Group 3000)
Bertram 4500 (Earl Culinarius 1500, Group 3000)
Ervendio 4500 (Big Mucky Muck 1500, Group )
Golgaraz 4500 (Half an Elf 1500, Group 3000)
Mildred 4500 (Another Druid Situation 1500, Group 3000)
Valeria 4500 (Wrestling Coach 1500, Group 3000)

LOOT
2 bunches of bananas
777 gold pieces
77 copper pieces
like 3 or 4 separate infodumps

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68.1: Meanwhile, in Grudgewood...
grudgewood expands its influence...

After the Revengers left Grudgewood, Red Al, Mayor Mammarie, Hennelly, and Aloysius Bouchard work to expand the influence of Grudgewood in the region. They levy moderate taxes and establish a trade route with Oakenburgh, a town in Prinzfeld (Grudgewood sends silver north; Oakenburgh sends lumber south). Hennelly mobilizes the priests of Martiff, growing the church’s influence and increasing the loyalty and happiness of Grudgewood’s citizenry.

In the Eddistone province, whispers of strange cultist activity has grown. Sigils of one-eyed skulls have been seen, but when asked if outsiders have been seen the answer is always “I have seen no-one.”

On Fort Hangtooth’s turn, they establish a holding in the Eddistone province of Grudgewood; the Cult of Nemo now has a Temple (1) holding there.

this domain turn constitutes the first four months of activity around Grudgewood after the Revengers have left. There are 6 more domain turns before catching up to the present day…

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68: The Gnome Queen's Court
our heroes hold a royal meeting ...

After a full day exploring the grand city of Ocean’s Deep, the Revengers meet over breakfast at the Misty Beard. Svendar is already there, first thing in the morning, and he seems confused — he doesn’t remember how he got there. He barely remembers anything from the Chaos Storm until the present moment. With a little prodding from Ervendio, he recalls their adventures together — Aggie’s death, the Underdark — and he settles into eating some breakfast.

Valeria arrives in full plate mail armor, bearing the sigil of the Archduke of Rook, a goblin duke who rebelled against a long-dead goblin pope. Bertram arrives hungover from a night at the Happy Shamrock.

At the suggestion of Grumpus Purplebottom, Sr, Bea’s father, they go to see Doctor Easterly off Gut Alley, in the Dock Ward. He is a dirty, strange, and mysterious surgeon who offers to graft a beholder-eye into Bea’s socket — for the price of the two opals in her head. The delicate surgery fails — until a staggered Bea casts alternate reality — and suddenly the surgery succeeds. Bea winds up with a slightly larger-than-normal green-eyed eyeball that can cast a beholder ray of disintegration three times a day.

The doctor accepts his opals, and the Revengers go to the gnomish court.

It’s a carnival, in the midst of the city of the dead! Rides, music, games of chance — the gnomes fail to guess MIldred’s age (“one-hundred and twenty?”) and she wins a plush crab. Ervendio buys funnel cakes for himself and for Carol/Ann — curious to learn more of her lunar elvish heritage — but for Bertram, it costs 2 coppers instead of 1.

Svendar wins a game of strength, but Valeria is drawn to one of dexterity promising “eternal life” as a prize. Bertram pays for 3 balls, and throws true, but wild — one of his balls knocks down the bottles, a second misses entirely, and the third beans Bea on the head. It triggers a
dormant wild surge, causing a velvet, feathered hat to appear on Bea’s head. The knocked-down bottles win a strange tiara that radiates strong alteration magic. Bea refuses to wear it.

Bertram leads them to the funhouse. Triggering a strange mirror, a trapdoor opens beneath them — and they find themselves in the gnomish court.

Surrounded by trays of wine and hor d’oeuvres, Ervendio teaches Carol/Ann the ways of the court. Valeria’s instincts serve her well, and she proves a quick study in etiquette and impresses the gathered gnomes. The queen’s personal assistant, Madrigal, arrives and attempts to keep Bertram from meeting the queen.

But Bertram is insistent. Despite Madrigal’s warnings that he might not like what happens, Bertram will not deliver his letter to anyone but Queen Facistasia Claudia Wonderfrock IX herself.

Madrigal consents. He leads them toward the queen’s court, but suddenly stops. Glassy-eyed, Madrigal states that “I must go to brunch,” and disappears down a side corridor.

The shadows coalesce. Someone steps from them. It is Darcie Bill, Bertram’s old ally in the service of her majesty. He breathes hot in Bertram’s ear, wanting to know why he is here. He asks if Bertram has it — the rod — and says if he wants to know more, to follow him down the hall.

Bertram won’t follow.

The party goes to court. This time, the party doesn’t quite know what etiquette requires of them — they bow stiffly, and too slow. The Queen wants to know where Bertram has been, what he has been up to, but he speaks in grand but vague terms. He delivers the deep gnome queen’s letter, and Facistasia reads it aloud:

Your Royal Highness, Facistasia Claudia Wonderfrock IX

It is with excitement and joy that I write to you, queen of the top-top gnomes. I am Haverdash, and am also a liege of the gnomish folk. I and my people live far underground. We do not see light at all. Perhaps you have heard of us, or perhaps we are only a myth to you. I must confess, until I met your agent Bertram Figg, I was not certain that you and yours were any more than stories.

Now I know otherwise. Please know that I found your agent to be kind and trustworthy. I was pleased to help him on his journey. I do not know what brought him to the underdark, but I do believe he was eager return to the top-top. I hope he has done so.

I must warn you: the plight of our people, down here below, is little improved from when we came to this urth so long ago. We are surrounded by enemies. Drow, the hated illithid, vampires — even some of our own.

I propose that you and I meet. Royal ambassadors, a meeting of people who have been too long apart. I believe that only by combining our interests (and, frankly, assets) can our people ever pull ourselves out of misery.

I believe there is much opportunity to be found in the chaos and war that overwhelms the urth, but above and below the surface. I hope that we can find a way to traverse these challenges together.

Your agent Figg has my trust, completely.

Yours sincerely,

Her Royal Highness, Haverdash XVIII

Queen Facistasia asks Bertram if she has his loyalty; he states that “there is another in my heart.” The Queen clearly believes Bertram acts against her interests, or at the very least for the benefit of another. He is directed to leave — plainly told this will be his last visit to the court.

Flabbergasted by what has occurred, the Revengers go through Darcie Bill’s doorway — a dimension door to a far-away place — and are confronted by Darcie Bill and a gang of lizardfolk. After some smalltalk and jesting — Bertram has made out with the gnome queen! — Darcie Bill and the lizardfolk attack. Darcie Bill reveals himself as one of the The Knights of Mypp, wielding a flaming whip.

Combat! Golgaraz’s enlarge spell goes awry and a surge strikes Valeria, turning her into a pillar of clay. But then, thanks to Bea’s alternate reality — it never happened at all.

The Revengers make short work of the lizardfolks and MIldred’s black tentacles entangle Darcie Bill — but not before a whip-crack costs Golgaraz an eye. But then — the dimension door opens again and Svendar comes through. He rushes forward, wielding flaming gauntlets and declaring that “I remember it all! This isn’t right!”

Svendar attacks Darcie Bill, who clearly recognizes him. Darcie Bill states that he’ll see the Revengers on the Moon, and teleports away — in spit of Bertram’s casting an irritation spell that should have interrupted any spellcasting.

Valeria loots the bodies of the fallen lizardfolk. Svendar stands with flaming fists. “I remember,” he says, “I remember everything!”

XP
Group Awards
Beholder Graft, 6000
The Carnival, 6000
Finding the Court, 3000
Meeting the Queen, 6000
lizardfolk x4, 260
lizardfolk shaman x2, 1300
lizardfolk king x1, 975

Group Total: 23,535 Individual Award: 3,923

Individual Total:
Bea 5423 (Eye of the Beaholder 1500, Group 3923)
Bertram 5423 (It Was All A Code 1500, Group 3923)
Ervendio 5423 (Silk Underthings 1500, Group 3923)
Golgaraz 5423 (Eye for an Eye 1500, Group 3923)
Mildred 5423 (There’s No Fixing This 1500, Group 3923)
Valeria 5423 (I Want to Stay Huge 1500, Group 3923)

LOOT
- a plush crab (Mildred)
- a strange tiara (Bea)
- a red velvet hat with a feather (Bea, then Bertram)

- 6,000 copper pieces
- 18,000 silver pieces
- 8,000 gold pieces
- 600 platinum pieces

- 1 scroll of leomund’s tiny hut
- pouch of dust
- suit of field plate armor
- short sword

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67.3: Ervendio and Carol/Ann
ervendio introduces carol/ann to the tel-quessir

Once Ervendio secured himself a room at The Misty Beard with the others he was determined to find an adequate bathhouse to take a hot bath and scrub away the filth that he had been unable to cleanse by magic.

“Carol Anne, would you accompany me to find a bath? I will show you elven luxury as best I can in this city. I would like you to stay in my room as well. You may decline if you like, but I would tell you of the Tel-quessir.”

“What is the Tel-quessir?”

“We are the Tel-quessir Carol Anne. We are Elves. You are not just a drow and a wererat. You are an Elf and the Tel-quessir. Now we must teach you how to live like the Tel-quessir and gain your own identity that is not under the rule of the mind flayers. The mind flayers are the sworn enemy of the Tel-quessir. It pains me to see any elf under the rule of them. Yet, it brightens my heart that you are not like the other drow of Erelhei-Cinlu. You are special Carol Anne. Remember that. I’d like to help Golgaraz see it too, if he hasn’t already.”

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67.2: Bertram in the Alley
bertram rests for a moment

Bertram staggers out of the Happy Shamrock. Chuck always had a strong pour, maybe that’s why he kept coming back: Chuck’s warning was still gnawing at him. Bertram had a lot of history here, there were people that would have ideas about him and Bea. It wouldn’t take long before word got out. He had to be careful.

Getting face time when the Queen was going to be difficult. Even more difficult would be getting her to believe him. He didn’t have a lot of time. He took two steps, stopped short, and listened. (Detect Noise Roll: 18, pass!) Two steps, and a sudden stop.

Bertram resumed walking, he began chewing on his knuckle, looking around to get his bearing. He was being followed, but he wanted to know by who.

There was an alley that would take him to Front Street. As soon as he rounded the corner he ducked into it. (Hide in Shadows Roll: 46) He thinks he made it, but waits in a stairwell to make sure.

Haverdash’s letter had been burning a hole in his pocket for weeks. It’s contents; he was honor bound to deliver unmolested. Still, it had huge implications for both societies. How could he not take a peek? The seal looked difficult to replicate, he would have to relay it. He would need space and privacy. That was hard to come by at the Misty Beard.

He supposed the others would want to meet the Queen, and privately Bertram had been dreading the notion. They had no sense of decorum. They were unkempt, and smelly. He was deeply embarrassed to be in their company, himself now bald, covered in scars. A disguise perhaps? It would be impossible to fool Queen Wonderfrock…she had a keen eye for illusions. No, he would be honest. He would lay himself bare before her and ask forgiveness. But would she give it? His letters; her assistant Madrigal had probably kept them from her. Bertram sighed and leaned against a railing to stand. He needed to have a piss. Bertram lifted his robes and relieved himself. It smelled like fish and hot cabbage.

As Bertram is relieving himself a tall figure approaches — not lizardfolk — nearly six feet tall, dressed in a flowing coat and a tall hat.

“’S’cuse me,” the figure says, shoulder-checking Bertram.

Something falls at Bertram’s feet as the figure disappears down the alley. It is a coin! It rolls for a few inches, then lands in the seeping puddle of Bertram’s piss.

Bertram kicks the coin out of the puddle and pours some wine on it. “The nerve!” He picks it up with his sleeve and examines it.

The coin is old — very old — and gnomish.

On one side is the profile of an old gnome queen — this one is Queen Dilletante Wonderfrock III.

On the opposite side is a spelljammer ship.

The image of the queen has an X etched across it.

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67.1: Valeria and the Archduke's Armor
valeria finds a new suit of armor...

Valeria led Chow Chow by his bridle and tried to follow the very idiosyncratic directions that Bea had given her. Between all of the introductions at the Purplebottom house, and the miscommunications about the particularities of Bea and Valeria’s relationship, and then the statue, her head already felt like it was spinning, and these directions didn’t help.

Turn right at the inn with the picture of of a grinning imp on the sign. Not the Grinning imp pub, though. That’s different. I think its called the Merry Mark. Unless it’s not there any more.

There was a page and a half like that.

But Bea had insisted that she needed new armor, and that this was the shop for it.
Valeria had argued that she could get another few months out of her banded armor, but Bea had said that the mail shirt smelled terrifying from their time in the jungle. Valeria supposed she was probably right, although she did see what was so bad about a bit of reek in her armor. The rotting leather made the backing nice and flexible.

“Focus,” she whispered to herself, looking around for what the directions described as a statue of a man that looks sort of like a bear, if you squint.

She found it, she thought, and took a left.


Half an hour later she was either thoroughly lost or in the right spot. She couldn’t tell. There was a store in front of her, but the sign on the front was missing.

“Stay, Chow Chow,” she said, petting his big muzzle. She stepped inside.

The building was tall, stone, and without windows — unless you craned your neck and peered up 4 stories or so. The ground floor had no sign and a featureless door. It looked plain, a little imposing, and, all told, kind of boring.

Inside, however…

As soon as Valeria entered she saw rows and rows of tall shelves, candelabras and strange globes hanging from the (two-story-tall) ceiling, and heard the floating sounds of music.

Directly in front of her was the floating orb of a strange & terrifying creature: round, purple, with a carved-out, empty cavity in the center and a dozen stalks extending from the sides and top of the orb. A beholder!

But … an unmoving and silent beholder. After a moment, Valeria realized it was stuffed and mounted on a stout pole.

“Who is it?” calls a voice from the stacks. A heavily built and bearded human steps out from the crowded shelves of the shop. “Who visits the Old Xoblob Shop? Are ye friend, or foe?”

“A friend of a friend, actually,” Valeria says. “I am Valeria Janglemancer, Knight of Edrick and first of her order. I was sent here by Bea Purplebottom to find a new set of armor. She insisted this was the place for it. Are you…Xoblob?”

The burly man blinks, then bursts out laughing.

HAHAHAAA—! Me, Xoblob? Nono, but many new friends make that mistake! This is Xoblob!” he says, poking the stuffed and mounted beholder with a wand.

Xoblob — what used to be Xoblob? — spins around on its pole.

“I be Dandalus,” he says, gingerly putting a meaty hand on one of Valeria’s shoulders, “and any friend of Miss Purplebottom’s is a friend of mine. She used to come here for mushroom caps and rare skin flakes! A most curious gal. I hear she’s out there wandering the wide urth these days, a real magician’s magician.”

Dandalus and Valeria move through the shop of curios, past gems that sparkle and whisper, gloves and glowing daggers, and mounted skulls — their eyesockets are empty, but Valeria gets the sense they are following her around all the same.

“Armor! Armor,” mutters Dandalus. “I’m more of a relics & curiosities man, but … I might have something that will fit you. Old, old stuff, from the goblin frontier, mind ye. The time of the Arch-Dukedom Wars, which I’m sure ye know all about.”

Dandalus leads Valeria past shelves of books and into a cramped corridor. They pass half a dozen mounted suits of armor — all much too large for a goblin like Valeria — and wind up in yet another cramped and crowded room. Dandalus starts to go through a chest, pulling out gauntlets and codpieces and various pieces of various armors.

“Ah!” he says at last. “Here we go. Ehhh, tell me, little knight … ye do have the gold to buy a proper suit of knight’s armor, yea?”

“Oh, yes,” Valeria says. “My friend, Ervendio, he says I have one thousand, two hundred and ninety three gold pieces. He’s an Elf, so he’s quite good at that sort of thing. You can have all of it, if you’d like. I’ve never seen much point to the stuff. Although I suppose I should keep a few gold pieces to give to Bertram. He’s a gnome, you see, and he does all the cooking. So whatever you think is fair, I guess.”

Valeria looks around, making eye contact for one uncomfortable moment with a jeweled skull. “Speaking of Bertram, I might send him here,” she says. “He’s a wizard, when he isn’t being a spy, and I think he would like this place.”

“Bertram,” mutters Dandalus. “Spy. Yes, yes, he should certainly see my shop. Send him in!”

But even though he sounds cheerful, Dandalus is putting armor pieces back into the chest.

“I wouldn’t want to sell such a suit piecemeal, ye know. And 1200 gold, well … I could recommend you a nice blacksmith. Some standard armor, to get you started.”

Dandalus squints at Valeria, at her trident. “Although interesting trades are always considered.”

“Oh! I had thought that was quite a lot! Hmm, well, I have some gemstones. And there’s always my inheritance. My father said it was for my education, but I’m twenty years old and my education ended years ago. That would bring it to about forty-six hundred gold pieces. And as for the rest…a trade?”

Valeria notices him eying her trident and takes a step back. “The trident was given to me by someone…important. I couldn’t trade it away,” she says. “Maybe, though..”

Valeria walks back to the front of the store and out to the street. “Sit, Chow Chow,” she says, and then slides her hand under his saddle. She pulls out a single platinum piece.

Back in the shop, Valeria holds the platinum piece out to Dandelus. “This is Herbert,” she says. “He used to be part of set, but others all picked on him because he sings. My uncle Teks gave him to me when I was young, to separate them. He’s been with me a very long time, and I would miss him, but he always asks me to spend him. He says its his purpose. I always said no, of course, because I was worried whoever took him wouldn’t appreciate how special he is.”

“Say hello, Herbert.”

Dandalus smiles, but sadly.

“It’s just a single platinum piece, darlin. Even one that ‘sings’ is only worth—”

Herbert sparkles in the candlelight of the strange emporium. And then a voice rings out, confident & true:

Hello my dearie
Hello my lovely
Hello my wayward knight

Swinging your sword with might
Filling your foes with fright!

Hello my dearie
Hello my lovely
Hello you big strong girl

Setting your trident a-whirl
Letting your flag unfurl!

Hello my dearie
Hello my lovely
Hello my one true friend

Setting those ghoulies a-rend
Our adventures will never ennnnd!

Dandalus clamps his hand down on Valeria’s, silencing Herbert.

“It’s a deal,” he says.

Dandalus trades a set of plate mail. It is marked with the sigils of a long-ago and forgotten goblin house, of which Valeria is unfamiliar.

rook.jpg

Valeria steps into a cramped alcove and tries the armor on. She emerges a few moments later encased in shining metal.

“It’s amazing,” she says. “This crest? Is there a story behind it?”

“The crest!” says Dandalus. “Ahhh, well that’s a piece of history, isn’t it?”

- Dandalus tells Valeria about the Arch-Dukedom Wars…

- a goblin named Duke Rook, almost two centuries ago, had risen to power in the area of the goblin kingdoms called Trident’s Lake.

- through a series of treaties, agreements, and alliances, he gained power & strength. His rise started to make the powers-that-be in Cano City nervous.

- Duke Rook declared himself ARCHDUKE ROOK — saying that he would not be king, but he would be “first among equals” to any who would declare themselves for him.

- Rook doesn’t denounce the Church of the West, but he starts to praise an order of nuns — the Daughters of Edrick — as the “rightful heirs of the Half-Ogre.” It is a passive-aggressive jab at the expense of the goblin pope and the church-proper.

- the pope at the time is Fredo IV. He is careful not to involve the papacy directly with the growing conflict — traditionally, the church does not take an active role in such inter-goblin wars. But privately, he makes it known that the Archduke is an enemy of the Church of the West.

- Conflict escalates. Archduke Rook grows bolder after early victories — he claims that the Church has lost its way, and, on the verge of declaring himself as a new, true pope — the Archduke suffers his first major defeat on the field of battle. The Archduke survives, but is forced to withdraw from battle.

- Waiting to declare himself as pope until he wins a major victory, the Archduke calls on the Daughters to support him openly. Generally healers, the Daughters are an order of battle-monks much loved by the people — if they joined with the Archduke it would be a schism in the Church of the West like had never been seen.

- Everyone expects the Daughters to do so — but at the last minute, they withhold their support. They do not declare against the Archduke, but they make a vague statement calling for peace and a return to the “true values” of the Half-Ogre.

- Disappointed, the Archduke continues his campaign. But the war turns against him. He is ultimately captured and executed as a traitor and heretic — he never openly declares himself as a “counter-pope”, but it is widely known that he wished to.

- Rook is executed. His armor is initially kept on display by Pope Fredo IV as a symbol of his victory, but over the years it disappears.

- Somehow, Rook’s plate mail winds up in a shop of curios and adventurers’ souvenirs in Ocean’s Deep.

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67: Ocean's Deep
our heroes enter the big city...

Mildred leads the party to shelter: a familiar, burned out wreck of a hut that she remembers from another life. The hut of Mildred the Frowzywig! Being in this place awakens memories in MIldred — of being driven off by the lizardfolk of the jungle, and of being “punished” by a divine force she knows only as her dark lord.

Jeff asks Bertram to become his apprentice, ready to take his first steps into a larger world. Bertram agrees. Jeff becomes Bertram’s henchman, a level 1-1 Illusionist-Thief.

The druids of the Chaos Storm part ways with the Revengers. They tell the druids of Grudgewood and send them that direction. The druids wish their friends well, and give Mildred the cold shoulder one last time, as they part. Svendar, Roger, and Carol/Ann remain with the party.

The party decides to detour to Ocean’s Deep, the largest city of the Middlemarsh, to resupply and research their next moves. As they travel, they encounter some of the dangers of the jungle: man-eating sawtooth plants (that they avoid entirely) and a bhaergala that is trying to teach its cubs how to hunt. They distract the cubs with ribbons and Ervendio’s created food and water. Mildred communicates with the mother, who is put out that her cubs won’t be feasting on the Revengers that night.

Next, they encounter a small lizardfolk caravan whose pack dinos have been caught in quicksand. Ervendio makes one ethereal and leads it out of the muck; Valeria pitches in to help push out the other. Though grateful and friendly at first, one of the lizardfolk asks Mildred “what she is”, which offends the Revengers. They come to her defense and the lizardfolk move on, kind of crabby that they were called out for being insensitive.

Seeking clues as to their greater quest, Bertram peers into their crystal ball for Sǐwáng, the wyvern. He gets a vision of it in a stone stable, backed by banners featuring elvish script — indicating the wyvern is at rest on the Moon.

Golgaraz communes with LEX, which indicates the 7th piece of the rod is due east; Valeria communes with RUAT, indicating the 2nd piece is on the Moon as well.

After traveling hard through the jungle, the party reaches Ocean’s Deep, the grandest city of the Middlemarsh. Bea, having grown up there, is a source of general information. She leads them to the Misty Beard, a tavern & inn in the Castle Ward, the same neighborhood as her family’s home.

Bea prepares to visit her family — she hasn’t seen them in two years, since she left to pursue her magical studies, since she wished her brother, Grumpus Wesley Purplebottom, Jr, back from his pie-related death, since her age-acceleration at the hands of a ghost in the Chaos Storm. Her father, Grumpus Purplebottom, Sr, is happy to have her back — he immediately realizes her accelerated age, her blindness, her water-resistant eagle’s talon, are all side effects of her dabbling in wild magic, something introduced to her by that no-good cook Bertram Figg. He welcomes her home.

Her brother — who prefers to be called Ray, thank you very much — is standoffish. He doesn’t remember becoming a pie, but he knows that something .. not right .. has happened to him. Her mother is slightly put off by Bea’s introduction of Valeria, who the family misunderstands to be Bea’s romantic partner. But they are interested that her last name is Janglemancer and show them both a very old and weathered statue positioned in the middle of the High Road, one of the city’s main thoroughfares — it is a statue of a goblin holding a kazoo, and it is inscribed with the words,

a jester’s place is on the moon
bq). Minja Janglemancer

Bea has no memory of this statue, even though the other Purplebottoms indicate it has been here as long as anyone can remember.

Meanwhile! Ervendio and Golgaraz, happy to be in a civilized and not-evil city, go shopping. While seeking magical shield, goggles for Carol/Ann, and other supplies, Golgaraz and Ervendio are handed a pamphlet advertising The New Revengers, an international adventuring guild seeking new recruits. It promises competitive pay rates, medical benefits, and the opportunity to see the world & fight monsters. There is an Ocean’s Deep office in the Dock Ward, and a sales discount at Cid’s Magic Shoppe for members.

Bertram, wanting to avoid the Purplebottoms, heads to the Happy Shamrock, one of his old haunts. CHUCK, the barkeep, greets him as if no time has passed. He tells Bertram there was a lot of whispers & suspicion regarding Bertram when Bea disappeared, and that he should keep a low profile in town. He also says the Gnome Court is in the city — currently set up in the City of the Dead, the pocket-dimension cemetery on the east side of the city. He also learns there is a spelljammer captain in town, a giff captain named Boris Dewhammer.

With all of Ocean’s Deep before them, the Revengers are finally back on familiar ground….

XP
Group Awards
Memory Hut, 2000
A Meal Fit for Bhaergala, 2600
A Jester’s Place, 3000
The New Revengers? 600

Group Total: 8200 Individual Award: 1367

Individual Totals
Bea 2867 (Purplebottom Manor 1500, Group 1367)
Bertram 2867 (A New Apprentice 1500, Group 1367)
Ervendio 2867 (Feed the Beasts 1500, Group 1367)
Golgaraz 2867 (Ribbon Dangler 1500, Group 1367)
Mildred 2867 (Divested of Druids 1500, Group 1367)
Valeria 2867 (Statue of Dad 1500, Group 1367)

LOOT
???

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