Having finally returned home from their adventure into Anyon’s Volcanic Forge, most of the group relaxed in conversation with each other and their new demi-egg god companions. Andrew was still out doing a Wrestlemania tour with Gimli, and Ben and Elaina had retreated to Ben’s lab to work with their newfound materials and plan what to do with the new Volcano Forge once it’s fortress dome had been built back up.
((Many conversations were happening all at once. Rather than interject from one to the other, I will address one conversation at a time, in alphabetical order, because reasons))
Bryan’s conversation with his egg was short and in private. When he returned from his private conversation, the smokey shade of a small boy or a skinny hobbit (hard to tell) floated behind him. His egg, now a pitch black sphere with no reflection, rolled silently on the floor beside him. He introduced his shade and sat down. The party were very welcoming of the shade, but the shade spoke in a language like a scratched record, a voice only Bryan and one other, Shalm the kitten, could understand. Bryan conveyed the shade’s gratefulness for the welcome, and Shalm interpreted the shade’s mistrustful words to Stephanie in his deep manly whisper.
Ethan, knowing that though his egg did not absorb a consciousness, but the will of Retribution from Anyon’s forge, decided to send his egg out to find him something of use. Having most recently acquired the shape of a big black dildo with the head of Tia Mowry at it’s tip, the egg flopped it’s way out of the room on a quest for answers. Then he set out explaining his dream to the others, and the need to eliminate Orcus.
Lisa’s conversation with her sword Mystmorning was very informative. Mystmorning was originally the sword of Sarenrae, a neutral good deity, associated with Healing and the Sun. She teaches temperance and patience in all things, but swift and righteous justice when necessary. Unfortunately, Lisa learned that at some point many hundreds of years ago, Sarenrae was torn to shreds in a battle with other gods, and Mystmorning longed for someone to join with her on a quest to find the pieces. The sword could offer a starting point, the location of the wings of Sarenrae, but other than that, couldn’t offer a location for the rest of her limbs. Lisa, intrigued by the idea, agreed to help Mystmorning find the wings and possibly return Sarenrae to her full form.
Mike, unlike the others, seemed not to have absorbed the consciousness of a god into his egg, but instead the consciousness of an intelligent ale mug, who of course wished to be called Mug. Mug really only wanted two things: to get drunk, and to go adventuring whilst drunk. He encouraged drinking and violence, and he and Mike got along very well. They conversed about many trivial things, but in the end, when Mike was deep in his cups, Mug, having heard Shannon accuse Ethan of trying to become a god, mentioned he could help with that, but Mike and Mug would need to travel to a labyrinth just outside some big wall down south to do it, and once they reached the labyrinth, Mike and Mug would have to travel the rest of the way alone.
Shannon and her egg did not get along well at first, but warmed up to each other after coming to a mild understanding. Her egg had absorbed the soul of The Raven Queen, a strong willed goddess with a dark and stately voice. She informed Shannon that because of their circumstances they would both be acting as The Raven Queen, now, and that would require a degree of noble confidence from both of them to pull off. It was obvious she liked Shannon, but you could tell when she spoke she expected to be heard, and it was a little grating. When the egg, now a diadem atop Shannon’s head, heard Ethan’s discussion with the other’s about killing Orcus, The Raven Queen did not shy away, but instead offered a degree of help with the situation. Find Nerull, and she could convince him to aid them in destroying Orcus. All they really needed was a library of some sort, or at the very least an information repository in a temple to Nerull would do.
Stephanie had what could be described as the most animated discussion with her egg. She couldn’t be blamed, however, as it was hard not to speak animatedly with a kitten whose voice was very deep and wore an oak leaf upon his head like a hat. Obad-Hai, or Shalm, for short, spent a good deal of the conversation disappearing and returning with little acorns for Stephanie. He told her they were acorns from his sacred trees, and they were very good for eating. She ate one and felt refreshed, and some of her smaller scrapes healed themselves. It was shortly thereafter asked what would happen if the acorns were planted, and Shalm informed them they would grow into his sacred Oak trees. Seeing the opportunity, Stephanie took the rest of the acorns and gave them to a passing kobold to plant in the courtyard. Shalm then began to regale her with stories of his favorite places and things, walks in the woods, and rolling in leaf piles. He mentioned a particular leaf pile which they should go to sometime, which was the most fantastic leaf pile in the world in his opinion, and would be more than worth the trip. Then he remembered that on the last trip he took to his leaf pile, he sat his favorite walking stick against a tree, and had lost it, as that was the last time he was in corporeal form. The staff was very dear to him, and if Stephanie were to take him to find it, he would let her keep it for a while, at least until he regained his form, if ever that were to happen. At one point in their discussion, Shalm pointed out that he could speak any language, and did so by translating for Bryan’s shade, who seemed a mite more unpleasant than was expected.
As the group sat and conversed, their elven house master appeared, carrying the letters and job requests of the previous few weeks which had piled up. What appeared to be a form letter from a “prince” asking for money peaked Mike’s interest and ire, as spam mail seemed to have followed the group into a new dimension, and that soured his stomach. There were also letters from various townfolk, even Hershel, who told them of strange happenings around the castle and the town, a tinker reducing people to burned out husks as if by some kind of magic, and people disappearing from the surrounding villages. There was also a letter that appeared typed up, but was from a Warforged who lived in a derelict factory off the coast and would give them a magic ring if they would only return to him an item of sentimental value. Soon after Ethan sent his floppy sidekick out to find something for him, his egg returned with a note in tow. Pol would like to speak to Ethan, having heard his plans for Orcus and wanting to be of help.
The group, having reviewed their mail, decided to sort everything out in a logical manner, and address things in similar groups based on location. Pol and the mysterious disappearances were closest, so they would deal with those tonight. Meanwhile, others would see to the interesting request for help from the Warforged, and then they would seek out Shalm’s staff and possibly the large pile of leaves. Mike and Mug would also be seeking out their adventure.
Ethan’s meeting with Pol was short, but productive. Pol knew the location of a special sword which could be very helpful in the destruction of Orcus, one that would strike true at every opportunity to hit him. It was developed by Orcus’ greatest enemy, Demogorgon, but was stolen by another of Orcus’ enemies, Graz’zt, to use against both of them. Graz’zt, however, was imprisoned on the mortal plane after the great disaster, and though he escaped, his location has been unknown since. If he were found, he might be persuaded to give up the sword.
As twilight was approaching, Shannon and Ethan decided a joint effort to investigate the disappearances would be the best approach to that particular problem. Shannon dispatched a team of zombies to patrol the woods for prowlers, and Ethan sent his egg out to hide in shadows and observe. Though the egg saw nothing through the night, Shannon felt her ties to several of the zombies she sent out instantly severed, indicating their destruction by some unknown force. Unfortunately, that was all that happened for the rest of the night. Now that it was daylight again, however, the group decided to pursue some of the job requests and various tasks presented.
First, the group decided to pursue the issue of the Warforged and his sentimental token, a potato smasher, that had been stolen by an Ogre. Ogres in particular were pushovers for the group at this point, so they thought it would be an easy sell. The only issue was that the location of the Ogre burrow was near the dragon hatchery the group had ransacked some weeks before, and as a result, the group was attacked by a large red dragon on the way.
The battle, for what it was, was fairly quick. The group mobilized quickly and efficiently, and though the dragon was able to set the deck of the ship aflame, it could not do much more. Lisa was able to disguise the ship as a platinum dragon, and Stephanie and Ethan were able to take the opportunity of confusion to shoot and net the creature before it realized what was really happening. The ship, having taken on the weight of a dragon, lurched to the side, dislodging a stow away kobold and almost throwing him overboard. Then, in a rage after having his ship set ablaze, Ethan dove at the dragon, striking him multiple times on the way down. Shannon saved him just in the nick of time with fly, and Bryan was able to release a ray of shadow at the beast, doing some damage. Then, it was Mike’s turn. Mike, who had also had fly cast on him, and very hungry for battle, whipped himself into a fury and dove at the creature, who was more than helpless in his net. He struck the creature so strongly that the net broke, but it was too late for the beast because it’s chest had been caved in. The dragon fell from the net and 600 feet to the ground below, where it lay still and dead on the ground. Bryan, realizing that Mike would now turn on the rest of the crew, took it upon himself to knock Mike out, but forgot that in his fury and rage Mike could not be knocked unconscious. Bryan summoned all of his power for an ending blow, knowing that as long as Mike had Mug he would be protected from death, but because of the nature of his rage, nothing would stop him. Stephanie attempted to talk him down, but he was already too far gone. The only thing left available to them was to dispel Mike’s flight and drop him to the ground until he recovered.
While watching Mike from above, the party set about putting out the flames, and Lisa was able to repair the damage by playing her magic lyre. Soon enough, Mike calmed, and by the time the group reached him, he was already half recovered. This went to prove that Mike was a BEAST.
To be continued….