Sanguinous Imperium

The Truth about Airships and Mimics
or, how I procrastinated by shooting at things in a hole in the ground

When we last left our adventurers, they had just decided on the cheaper of the two available airship models, seeing as they didn’t quite have the money for the second, and Mr. Topot had mentioned the balloon-less ship would need a little more prodding before being set out, and with that in mind, he decided to make another offer. If the group were to find him three more Vrok hearts, he would use two of them to power the ship and let them trade up to the faster, shinier, sleeker model, if they let him keep the third heart for experimentation. The group readily agreed, and Mr. Topot mentioned they might be able to find someone to summon the demons for them at the local temple, if they asked for Clarence.

The group moved swiftly down the road and across a balloon ferry to get to the temple, and when they arrived, two people sporting dimensional eggs were already there, one of whom was dressed in peculiar clothing, even for this world. Shannon recognized her two classmates at once, and introduced them to the group. It was Ben and Elaina, whom had inexplicably fallen in a different place and had their plummeting luckily broken by hot air balloons and the quick-grabbing hands of a goblin crew. The local temple had in turn given them a place to stay while they adjusted to the new world, and taught them the skills they would need to survive. Elaina had chosen wizardry like Shannon, and Ben had chosen the profession of Artificer, or maker of magical things, much to the delight of their goblin benefactors.

The group explained to Ben and Elaina that they were getting ready to summon some Vrok to fight, which tweaked a memory in Ben’s mind, but before he got to say much, Clarence, the local cleric, had come out to greet them. Clarence, being the pragmatic sort, supposed it was serendipity that brought the egg wielders together, and when he found out that the favor was for Mr. Topot, explained that yes, it was possible, but this would erase his debt to Topot once and for all. The group, though they didn’t really have any authority to do so, agreed, and began preparations for a summoning.

Just before they began, the thing that had been nagging Ben at the back of his mind came to fruition: if Vroks are anything like the ones he’d read about, they would be infinitely more powerful in cohorts of three than individually, and it would be near suicidal to summon them all at once. Bryan inquired with Clarence if it would be possible to summon one at a time, to which he agreed, and the group decided to do a little thinking about their actual strategy before beginning again.

Mike was the first to speak, pointing out that Vrok were demons, and thus subject to considerably negative effects as a result of contact with cold iron, and wondered if it were possible to create a net out of cold iron chains. The group decided to explore the idea, and went to a nearby smith to inquire about the possibility. The smith, a dwarf, and one of the few non goblin residents of the islands of Skytown, was intrigued by the possibility, and stated even if they paid double at 600g, it would still take about 6 days to get things finished. The group paid for the net, and left, deciding to head back home and check out the jobs board for something to do in the mean time.

The trip back to the keep took just about as long as the initial journey due to the group’s inexperience with airships and lack of a proper crew, but they managed to avoid, and even piss on (thereby also pissing off) a small group of bandits who were set to ambush travelers on the road back. Their trip also took them over some interesting looking ruins, and Lisa made a note to explore them at a later time.

When they arrived home, the group decided to take an evening or two of rest before setting out again, this time to investigate the ruins Lisa had carefully marked on her map. Mike and Stephanie decided to use this time to have their clandestine meeting with the enemy.

Mike and Stephanie, as promised, arrived at a clearing in Twil’s swamp where they were set to meet with the enemy. After some time, out of the shadows of the forest a cloaked figure emerged, looming over them at what seemed like 15 feet tall. Then, in most surprising fashion, the cloaked figure reduced to about 6 feet tall, and stepped out from under the cloak wearing a too-well tailored Brooks Brothers suit. With blonde hair, blue eyes, and straight white teeth, this was not at all the great lich usurper Wilamena had told them about. In fact, this man looked very much like a game show host, THE game show host, The Mysterious Mr. M.

Maximus the Dead, as he was called in Sanguinous Imperium, stepped forward and explained that he was glad to see the group had made it safely to Sanguinous. Something about the radio waves on Earth interfered with magical travel, and it was a crapshoot as to whether or not the people he brought from the Tri Cities would actually have survived the trip. They could have been five feet off the ground, a mile up, materialized inside a wall, or even underground. It was unfortunate, but it had to be done, and now, Maximus was going to explain why.

Maximus spoke to Mike and Stephanie about his father, a careless and weak man who had allowed the country of Sanguinous Imperium to shatter into independent fiefdoms and sheer chaos, encouraging all in his kingdom to ignore law and do good as they saw fit. He watched his mother pardon vicious criminals with good acting skills and sob stories, and chide merchants for demanding payment from those who stole their wares, simply because they were poor. Maximus saw his sister, a princess, take up with a raucous group of robinhood-like thieves, and he suffered as his father remanded him to the dungeon for weeks because he had begun to take the law into his own hands, gathering criminals and executing them as they should have been. But the prisons were not well watched, and Maximus escaped. Maximus traveled the countryside, finding like-minded companionship in various orders and sects, cults, and even necromancers, whose followers stood stock still and listened, then did EXACTLY as they were told. Maximus took his newfound friends and attempted to breach the castle walls, nearly succeeding to achieve the throne, the Dragon Throne. The throne which would make him absolute ruler, and influence each and every citizen to finally seek order and law. But his father intervened, sacrificing himself and his own manservant to create a lich from the soul of his own son, Maximus, completing the ritual by sliding a sword deep into his son’s chest as if it were nothing. A loving father he had been, not wanting to truly end his son’s existence, but he was a fool to think preventing him from sitting the throne would stop him from overtaking the Granite Citadel, killing his parents, and taking control the good, or evil, but definitely old fashioned way, through force.

Maximus sent out hordes of undead to cull the dissenters and remaining family members and bring the rest of his people back into his flock, but the individual kingdoms of Sanguinous were too used to being independent, and his law flowed over them and disappeared like sand over fingers. Even his sister Wilamena evaded him. He had to sit the throne, or nothing else mattered. Maximus had to find out how to become human again, without truly dying first, and the only place with that information was only accessible by Outsiders.

So, Maximus found a plane of outsiders, a plane without magic, a plane with reasonable ingenuitive people. He found the smart ones, and used these devices both to bring them to this world and to keep them safe in it. Sure, you had to break a few eggs in the process, but that’s the price of a good omelet.

Maximus then explained that he needed them to go to the Valley of Nox, where the Codex of Night resides in the Library of all Knowledge, and ask it a simple question: how do you bring a lich back to life without destroying it’s phylactery? The codex would answer one question per person, so they were free to do with the other questions what they willed. If they just brought back that information, they would be handsomely rewarded. Four tonnes of gold per person to bring back to their plane, or a high and powerful office and a fiefdom of their own if they chose to remain.

Mike and Stephanie acknowledged what the lich said, but had some questions of their own: Why not Wilamena as queen? Why kobolds as slaves? to which the Lich replied his sister was too chaotic like his parents and that the kobold slaves were essentially the lesser of two evils, slavery being necessary and kobolds being a better alternative to humans, and Mike and Stephanie told the lich they would consider his offer. Maximus agreed, saying that for now he would withdraw his forces and make sure no controlled undead would seek to harm them, and faded back into the forest, where the shadow foretold a host of undead had gathered.

Mike and Stephanie returned home quickly, understanding the knife edge they now stood on, but Twil, having been sent by Ethan to spy on Mike and Stephanie as they disappeared into the woods, returned to Ethan far ahead of them, spreading vague news about a happy meeting between Ethan’s friends and the really big scary king lich guy, who unfortunately didn’t kill anybody at all. As Twil wrapped up her side of the story, Mike and Stephanie appeared over a hill, prompting Ethan to run back to the keep and sound an alarm.

When Mike and Stephanie returned, they were met in the courtyard by the assemblage of their team, and spells of truth-telling were cast. Mike and Stephanie relayed the message given by the lich, and the group decided to mull over the decision while they blew off some steam, and blew apart some bad guys.

The team assembled a group of kobolds, led by Phteven, to crew the ship, and made their way to the ruins. After some searching, they found a large hole in the ground that appeared from above to lead into a treasure room, complete with chests brimming with treasure. Ethan tied a rope around himself and handed it to Mike, who tied it around himself, and Ethan jumped down into the room. Ethan reached down to unlock a chest and found that not only had his hand gotten stuck, the chest opened up rather sharply to display not treasure, but rows of teeth. Stephanie shot the creature immediately in an attempt to help Ethan, but the force of the blow took the mimic back fifteen feet, and Ethan went along with it, unfortunately pulling Mike into the pit via the rope attached to Ethan. Around this time, Bryan disappeared, and the rest of the group began to help either by jumping into the pit to do battle with the beasts, or by providing support from above. Shannon and Elaina blasted away with fire, Stephanie with her rifle, Lisa buffing the group extensively through song, and Ben by whipping out a badass laser pistol and a freaking turret! In the end, the team prevailed, eliminating the mimics and dispersing the oozes which pretended to be walls behind them. Andrew and Ethan had lost armor, and the famous codpiece was destroyed, but everyone was ok, and the penny fortune of a very poor country was discovered, mostly in coppers and silvers, hidden behind the false ooze walls.

Luckily, the team had a whole crew of kobolds at their disposal, and an airship with which to bring the treasure back home! But the team had a different idea: why not return to Skytown, pay Topot the 50,000g, and get the shiny new airship ahead of schedule!? Sure, it would be a little slow until they could find two more Vrok hearts to power it, but at least it was pretty!

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The jobs board - slave stealers and the box
murder hobos and airships

A month had passed since the party had taken control of their new keep, new furniture was arriving, and new Kobold servants were everywhere fixing things and maintaining the castle. The butler and his newfound minions were in the process of making the castle as self sufficient as possible, and as news and couriers began to arrive regularly, the butler decided it was time to take stock and prepare his new masters for the future. As such, a jobs board was prepared.

The butler sat the adventurers down and prepared to give them the news: despite their best efforts towards self sufficiency, for the foreseeable future, it was going to cost at least 20,000 gold a year to operate. That said, the butler showed he did have some ideas. As it happened, learning that the castle by the sea was occupied once more led news and allies to flow freely from all over sanguinous imperium along with many requests for aid. Caravans were being ambushed, bounties leveled, and leads uncovered.

The arrival of a new gift from Magnus made other jobs available too. Hunters guilds needed rare venoms, and very important deliveries needed to be made.

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The party, unable to decide which job to take first, decided to take two at once. The first, investigate the mass theft of the regions slaves and inquire with lord Cothrop of Cothropton about five miles away. The second, deliver a strange box covered in abyssal runes to a Heironomous H. Topot about two days journey to the north in Sky town. So, the party took the box and prepared to depart on their journey.

The trip to Cothropton took very little time on horseback, though the road between Cothropton and the keep was not as worn as it once was. Cothropton was a sleepy little town with no walls, barely rising above the swamp, anchored between the sea where its fishing vessels darted here and there, and a massive manor house owned by Lord Cothrop himself.

The party was quickly shuffled from the manor yard and into a large open throne room containing the portly lord and about ten town guards. Lord Cothrop greeted them warmly and bade them listen to his story. A group of humans had been stealing all the kobold slaves for miles between the keep and the mages tower. They’d been bold, providing shelter and protection for them while their leader, Pol, masqueraded as some kind of messiah and spurred them to rebellion. Agriculture in the region was in shambles, and if these thieves weren’t stopped, every fief between Cothropton and the tower would starve.

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It took moments for the party to realize Lord Cothrop was talking about them, even before Pol the kobold was mentioned. The party deliberated amongst themselves, then revealed that they were the humans Cothrop was talking about. Lord Cothrop was stunned, but Andrew and Ethan were hasty to point out that they were simply associates and not the agents of Pol. Lord Cothrop then challenged the party, saying they could avoid arrest if they returned the kobolds and brought him Pol’s head on a platter. The party countered, saying that if they killed Pol, Lord Cothrop wouldn’t be able to identify him. Lord Cothrop began to get angry, but before he could say much else, Mike stood and raised his pistol, unloading it into the unsuspecting Lord. The head guard, upon seeing the handheld object pointed at his lord, guessed it was a weapon of destruction and dove for the lord, screaming “he’s got a wand!” as he did so. The guard’s actions saved the lord at the expense of his own life, but it did not last for long. Between a mighty guyt-liquefying blast of sound from Lisa’s oboe, the quick shooting of Stephanie, and a well timed gut punch from Bryan, the guards in the room were wiped out before they could scream, except for one. Where had he gotten to?

Knowing this was their only opportunity, the party began to search and loot the room and the dead guards. Not much was found, until a false wall protected by a hidden lever revealed the treasury. 150,000 gold, all in massive chests waited, bathing the party in the light of their splendor. Now, how to transport it?

Shannon suggested a gateway, but her only available spell would only transport as much gold as someone could lift The party decided on a good old fashioned horse and cart, but in order to do that, they would need a distraction. Lisa and Hershel sprung to action, and with a little performance and concert, some obscuring mist fro Shannon, and lots of showmanship, they were able to draw the crowd aside while the other men loaded the gold.

Then, the town hall bell sounded warning. The last guard had reached the town hall and was ringing the massive bell to warn the town of danger. A little bit of quick thinking on Stephanie’s part silenced that problem, though. She darted into the street, took aim, and blasted the wooden beam supporting the bell to sawdust. Though the crashing bell barely missed a bystander, the loud gong and the sound of falling rubble attracted those who weren’t already spellbound by Lisa’s bard song. allowing Mike, Bryan, and Ethan to steal away with the goods. Andrew airwalked to safety, and when they were out of sight with the cart, the rest of the party broke loose and ran. They had escaped with 150,000 gold!

The first night back had everyone exhausted, so when Stephanie was awoken by the sound of whispers and bone scraping on rocks, it was no surprise to her that she could not get Mike to stir. Raising her light, Stephanie discovered to her shock that the sound was a very apologetic skeleton sneaking his way out of her room. Once the creature got the door open, it ran, and after it ran Gary, Stehpanie’s newly acquired kitten. Stephanie followed the kitten into the dungeon where she discovered Wormwood putting on a spare set of clothing. He informed her that he had been sent by Maximus the Dead to deliver a message of parlay. He would meet the party in a place that they chose in three weeks time. Stephanie returned to her room where she told Michael what had happened, but deigned not to give any of the others news of this strange visit and message just yet.

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In the morning, Andrew sent his minion to pin a well written emancipation proclamation on the door to the town hall on behalf of Pol to cover their tracks, and the people of the town inexplicably began to see the light, turning from their old slave keeping ways. Couriers were sent from the lone guard to the keep to ask for parlay, but the group had already decided to go back to Cothropton with the entirety of Pol’s 350+ kobold army in tow. The guard met them at the gates, 25 able bodied men behind him. He demanded, strangely enough, that the party give him 30 gold for his trouble and left the town to them, saying Andrew;s words had turned the world upside down, and he hoped the kobolds burned and at the lot of those slave loving fools.

Having defeated the town’s defenses without even trying, the party set to arranging the town’s day to day. Hershel was named lord of the town, now called Burden, taxes were lowered, and new farming methods were devised to get everyone on the right track. Almost all of their money, minus a small 40,000 gold portion, to keep the keep running for two years, and a little extra, went back into the town to bolster the economy, buy food, placate the townsfolk, and bolster the town guard, who now had to defend against invasion by other lords as well as the usual horrors of the swamp.

So, having gained and lost a considerable sum so quickly, the party set forth to visit their next job, delivering a box they’d had on the back burner for several days, having Ethan’s men playing hot potato with it to keep the urge to open it at bay. On their way out, kobolds stopped them to show that they’d killed and subdued two strange little creatures, who Andrew discovered through ghostly communication were Dretches, out to steal the box for a Vrok. The party decided to set out post haste, but soon found themselves surrounded on all sides by these vicious chirping yelping little demons. Each yelp brought one more dretch into being, and each new being added a yelp to the cacophony of screams surrounding the party. Shannon blew some apart as they rode with a well placed fireball, and the group fled on horseback.

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It wasn’t long after they lost them that the party realized the dretch were attracted to the box wherever they were. the woods filled with the sound of countless hordes of dretch converging on their position. Mike drew up a battle plan and set out physical traps with Hershel, Bryan, and Stephanie’s help. Shannon surrounded the traps with explosive runes, designed to kill if any of the dretch were to glance up at the trees where the party waited to strike.

The trap worked just as the party had hoped. Droves of dretches converged on the camp and the trapped box, getting stuck on vines and other traps, blown to pieces by explosive runes, and generally torn asunder, but more came, and with each passing second, the party realized they would be over run if they stayed. They waited for the next lull, and bolted for the horses.

Hours passed and horses exhausted, the party arrived at Skytown almost a day ahead of schedule. But where Skytown was supposed to be, there was instead a massive chain reaching up to the clouds. Ethan, still fresh from the fight, decided to climb the chain, while Mike found a sign that read “Ferry up at 12 and 6 AM and PM.” Knowing the dretch were at most a few hours behind, Stephanie asked Shannon to cast fly on her, and she heaved Hershel slowly into the air with her towards the end of the chain high above her.

Ethan, in the mean time, had scampered up the chain, fearless as a monkey, and was now face to face with a goblin behind a small portcullis. Ethan told the goblin of the dretch and their plight, and the goblin lowered the large basketlike ferry where the exhausted Stephanie dumped Hershel and descended, then reascended with the rest of the party. Before the ferry broke the cloud barrier, a little green and red form could be seen running out of the woods, where it released a disgruntled yelp.

Once the ferry docked, the party reunited with Ethan, and they were promptly surrounded by goblin guards. The goblins poked and prodded the adventurers, asking questions, when someone from the party mentioned the name Heironomous H. Topot. A massive hulk emerged from the mists and roared.

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“You have my package!” A larger than life hippopotamus shaped man creature bellowed as he pushed past the confused goblins. the hippopotamus man, heretofore known as a Giff, shooed away the goblin guards and invited the party to his home. They were then taken out of the ferry station and into open air, where they saw why Skytown was called Skytown. Massive conglomerations of floating boulders, known as lodestones, were chained together to form the most confusing and dangerous looking landmass of cobbled together houses and shops possible. In between each were ropes, which slowly guided balloon speckled gondolas of all sizes between them. Only a few bridges, however, stood between the adventurers and the giff’s own massive balloon-suspended home.

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Heironomous invited the party inside to see what he’d been working on while he got their money for them. Once inside, they were led to the garage, where three massive airships were anchored, each easily large enough to sport an entire seagoing crew. Then, the giff took the box and, after explaining it’s origins as a demon’s heart, shoved it into the back end of one of the airships. The propellers on it’s sides began to spin, and the giff had to quickly pull a lever before the ship broke it’s moorings and flew off.

“This,” he exclaimed, “is the next wave of transportation, and if you’re willing and able, you can have a 150,000 gold discount on the first one IF you let me keep the 100,000 gold I was going to reward you for the box. That would mean, of course, you could be the proud owner of one of these babies for as little as, say, 50,000 gold?”

The party was intrigued. They looked to their ledgers. 25,000 gold left.

Then the giff gingerly cleared his throat, saying softly “Of course, that’s just for this prototype. Wait until you see what else I have to offer!”

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The Keep
The Vault and the Dungeon

After a good night’s sleep, our heroes found themselves faced with a choice: open the vault or explore the dungeon. Since the vault seemed a smaller space to explore with potentially more reward, the party went with the vault. After some time fiddling with the locks, Bryan couldn’t seem to get the magically sealed door open. Shannon of course was able to make quick work of the lock. As the door opened, the party was assaulted by a terrible stench and a pitch black room, so with the help of a spell from Andrew to light the way, Mike decided to be the first one inside.

The vault contained only two things, a pile of treasure meticulously stacked to form the partial shell of an egg, and a pile of stinking rags and leather that concealed a hidden half orc dragon shaman by the name of Taren Dragonsblood. Taren had been trapped inside the vault for five years, hiding from the effects of a spell cast by a lich enchanting everyone in the keep to turn them into furniture and ravenous animals. That lich arrived not so coincidentally, as Taren admitted that he and his men had enlisted it to help them peacefully take over the castle with a sleeping spell, but whom had turned on him at the last moment. The vault door, Taren explained, was actually a magical portal to a room in another place entirely, and the lich’s magic was only effective on people inside the castle grounds. So, with the aid of a ring of sustenance, Taren waited, locked inside the vault, for someone, or something, to find him.

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During his time in the vault, Taren used his powers as a dragon shaman to commune with his dragon spirit, a long dead and evil black dragon, to find solace. Taren explained that constant interaction with the greed and hatred filled beast only served to make him disgusted with his own choices, as he realized now there was more to life than treasure and material goods. Taren forsook his totem dragon then, and began to worship Bahamut, the King and God of good dragons, who impressed upon Taren the necessity to commit himself fully to Bahamut by becoming a dragonborn, Bahamut’s elite guard and physical manifestation of his will on earth. To do this, Taren needed to acquire enough gold and jewels to make into an egg within which he could reside for three days to catalyze his metamorphosis, but unfortunately for him, the vault did not hold enough gold to do so.

Taren offered to exchange his ring of sustenance and offer his services in defeating the lich if the party would be willing to front him 2500 gold so he could fulfill his destiny. After some deliberation, the party conceded, Taren built his egg with his newfound riches, and the team decided to post guard and wait the three days before exploring the dungeon.

While they waited, the group began to notice cats with oddly ornate collars running about the castle, and decided to capture and befriend them. It was less of an ordeal than they hoped, and one of the cats they found happened to have a small box on his collar that appeared to say “faithful” on it, but before they could begin to investigate, the egg began to hatch.

Out of the golden egg, a strange winged orc-dragon hybrid emerged, emanating power. Taren, now dragonborn, cried out loudly for vengeance and demanded they travel to the dungeon to kill the lich. The party, who’d been preparing, told him to lead the way.

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The dungeon appeared more like a sheriffs office than anything else. An orderly desk for many people, open cages, and well maintained cells lined the walls. After some investigation, the party found many dead, but also many living people, some of whom were asleep and could not be awoken. At the far end of the jail, Taren found his minions and began to free them. Others began to inspect the oddly posh oversized cell in the back wall.

The oversized cell was filled with cats, and what looked like a dead body laying against a desk in the corner. Stephanie decided to throw a rock into the cell to see if the person was alive, but the rock shot back out of the cell the moment it entered. The party soon realized that the cats were able to enter and leave the cell at will, and figured it had something to do with the gems on their collars. They soon discovered that they could wrap the gemmed collars around their wrist and push their arms through, but the bars were still iron and very close together. Taren, however, was able to come to the rescue, revealing that he had the key that would open the cell door.

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When the door was opened, the party called in, and had a strange conversation with the lich inside. He didn’t seem very evil, mostly neutral, and he was very angry at Taren for having imprisoned him. Taren was also set on confrontation with the lich, so the party, unable to decide whom to side with, decided to let them fight each other. The lich, whose specialty was sleep magic, managed to subdue most of Taren’s minions, but Taren himself seemed unstoppable. Time after time the lich attacked, and Taren regenerated all damage. It looked like the lich was going to lose…

Then Stephanie took aim and shot Taren, winging him but sealing the party’s allegiance against the dragonborn. Each of the party stepped in after to cast blow after blow against Taren, but like the lich, their attacks did nothing but annoy him. All seemed lost, until Stephanie cocked her rifle one more time and sent a bullet through the bars, around his wings and armor, and straight into the dragonborn’s heart. A one in a million shot, and the dragonborn was down.

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The lich was extremely thankful for his rescue, and after raising Taren as an undead servant, promised explanations, gold, and resources in return for his safe release to his home castle. The party discovered a network of tunnels used by the hommunculus for various reasons, and began to fill them with kobolds. Soon, the whole castle was full of them, compliments of Pol, and the restoration of the castle began.

Over the next several weeks, couriers began to arrive with word from friends, and a mysterious cart was wheeled into the keep, c/o Magnus, the head of the Mage’s Tower. What was in it? We’ll have to see next time…

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The Swamp and The Abandoned Keep
Level 1 & 2

The first part of the evening was spent in the swamp, where two of our party were waylaid by Will O Wisps at the command of a mysterious undead figure in a white robe. Andrew and Ethan woke as they were unaffected by the sleep spell cast by the hooded figure, and began to follow a strange light and crying into the swamp to investigate where their other party member Lisa might have gone. What they found instead was Twil, a Will O Wisp who wanted to reunite them with a Troll she had seen them playing with earlier, or murder them, whichever came first.

Ethan and Andrew decided upon seeing the troll that the best course of action would be to set it’s face on fire and smash it’s balls simultaneously, then proceed to unceremoniously beat the troll to death. Serves it right for setting that ambush, earlier, I suppose. Ethan then mounted the troll’s burning head on his trident and used it as a torch to make it back to camp. Twil then led the party to the keep in exchange for the shiny shiny bones of anybody they happened to kill along the way.

The exit to the swamp revealed a derelict keep surrounded on both sides by a rushing river, with no way to bring down the drawbridge. Shannon thought it might be a good time to cast fly on Mike, who proceeded to cross the river and act as an anchor for others to pull themselves across.

The party then forgot Mike could fly, so they proceeded to climb the wall of the keep via a grappling hook Bryan had in his bag of tricks. At the top of the wall, they saw into a courtyard where four Owlbears lay in wait. The party quickly dispatched the Owlbears using brawn, fire, wits, Stephanie’s sniper rifle, and a Giant Centipede, and after discovering the Owlbears were actually enchanted bandits, made their way towards the main building.

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Unfortunately for the denizens of the keep, they were not skilled at combat and quickly managed to shoot one of their own instead of Mike, thereby initiating a combat that left everyone drenched in ichor and a little worse for wear.

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Inside the castle, little else waited for them but loads and loads of enchanted furniture, and a small temple to the main gods of the land. After smashing almost everything, Ethan decided to desecrate the shrines of Moridin and Veena, and Andrew decided it might be a good idea to desecrate the shrine of Pelor, and give props to Asmodeus. They both then decided to desecrate the shrine of Ioun with poop, but Ioun being the goddess of knowledge found that the opportunity to examine the fecal samples of a new breed of Outsider to be more of an offering than a desecration, and blessed the two for it.

After smashing most of the furniture, the party thought to dispel the enchantments, and made due with the leftover furniture to sleep for the night and prepare for what might lie behind the massive safe door in the Master Bedroom as well as whatever lay in wait in the dungeon.

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