Root Nerds

The Lunch Bunch: Chapter 2

Outline:
-John, Chad, Josh
-go to guard barracks
-Fuzz delivers face punches to Oscar and Spatan who had artifact, finds out who stole the artifact (Chad)
Oscar and Spatan
-Chad talks desk clerk (Marta, total fox with mustache and unibrow) into letting Josh speak to Oscar and Spatan
Marta
-Josh lies to them that he’s their lawyer and finds out that they stole it for a lady in the Bonewood Woods
-the three adventurers go to woods

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The Lunch Bunch: Chapter 1

There they were, perusing the stocks of the busy New Town Market Square. They: a druid (Micah), Melthaen Brightsinger the Bard (Justin), a hermit monk called Parrish Goodbody (Erin), a dwarven barbarian named Fuzz Bloodbeard, and a cleric (Josh).

Knowing little of one another, the day seemed to them an ordinary one. Little did they know that this day be riddled with the trappings of fate herself. Little did they know that this day would hold great significance and weave the stories of each individual into a great tale. The Tale of the Lunch Bunch.

In short, a couple of wizardly fellows burst into the scene fighting over a magical artifact called the Hellis Vitus. A fight broke out with the Lunch Bunch victorious, Spatan and Oscar apprehended by the town guard, and the Hellis Vitus in the cleric’s possession.

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Chapter 10: Bag Full of Hatchlings
From the journal of Meravar

5/21/2015
Roll Call: DM Justin, Orgöst, Elel, Wen-Del, and Meravar

You’ll have to forgive me; it’s been a week so the details may be a little loose. But one thing’s clear: this day was insane.

I remember waking up with a girl whose name I didn’t remember. Regina maybe. I strolled downstairs to find Elel, Hildo, Orgöst, and Wen-Del already eating breakfast. I made my way to the bar and sampled some of Hildo’s fine bacon. Hildo was going on about our cloaks and that Yuan Ti blessing book the guys found in a safe they stole. All I was trying to do was avoid eye contact with Rebecca as she stumbled down the stairs wrapped in only a sheet. Or maybe it was Renee.

Anyway, Hildo, none-too-pleased with our flippant regard for the Yuan Ti blessing book and the fact that we left it out over night, carried on. I think I heard Hildo talking like a snake at some point, but between seeing Rachel out, trying to piece together memories of last night, and dozing off a couple of times, I could be wrong.

With Rosemary gone and the blessing complete, it was time to try out our new and improved robes. I donned mine and was instantly transformed into a muscle-bound humanoid with the head of a giant, handsome snake. Orgöst, Elel, and Wen-Del tried theirs on and were transformed into humanoids with scaly features, green eyes, and clawed fingers. I was strangely into Elel’s transformation.

Meravar in Yuan Ti Cloak

Elel in Yuan Ti Cloak

That’s when Wilgold the guardsman, burst in the front door, yelling “trouble at the mines! Will you come!?” Adeptly spotting the perfect time to fuck with someone, I slowly turned my snake face towards him and hissed “yessssss.” Wilgold screamed and ran right back out.

We tried out our blessed cloaks again, but found that the trial period was over and innately understood that they’d only work in particular locations. We also understood that the cloaks would shield us from poison.

Conditioned to adventuring with Rod and Tayo, who appreciate their steeds and the dramatic affect they have, I hopped on Dirk. My companions did not bring their horses.

Upon reaching the entrance to the mines, we were greeted by hundreds of zombies and their putrid stench. The four of us immediately got to work slaying zombies. After lobbing an Eldritch Blast that laid 14 zombies to rest, I waded into the melee to sate my blade’s thirst for blood. My Hildo bacon-fueled rage shielded me from the pain of several zombie claws.

Once the zombies were dispatched, a huge red dragon and a ridiculously large contingent of yuan ti emerged from the entrance to the mines. The dragon tossed a sack full of children our way and told us to “bring ”/characters/sir-sir-valor" class=“wiki-content-link”>Valor or the hatchlings die." Having no qualms about possibly luring Sir Valor to his demise, I told the dragon we’d fetch him and be back.

And yes, he only gets one “Sir.”

Upon reaching Valor’s place, we’re greeted by two prick guards who don’t care about the fate of Catterick children. It’s at this point that we tried just about every trick we had to get into the building and talk to Valor. Orgöst used his Pipes of Haunting to frighten the guards, cast Darkness, then whispered something frightening into their ears. One guard fled, while the other we tied up. I then climbed up our Rope of Climbing to a window and spotted some of Valor’s adventuring partners. They too declined to help the innocents of Catterick. Interestingly, they also had a different story as to Valor’s whereabouts than the guards – the guards said he was busy in his office while his comrades said he was out of town. We’ll have to look into that… Then Valor’s wizard magically closed the window on my fingers.

Continuing with our litany of gimmicks, Elel created an illusory voice of Valor trying to convince the guard to help us. That didn’t work. By this time, we had garnered the attention of the rest of Valor’s guards, including a big-headed half-orc with a huge warhammer I’m calling Biff. Time to run…

We all hopped on Dirk, and Elel cast Vicious Mockery on Biff. The guards gave chase and we led them right to the mines, and more importantly, the dragon. Not happy that we didn’t have Valor, the dragon coughed up a fireball at Biff, leaving only two shins, two arms, and a spinning warhammer. “You have five days or the hatchlings will be sacrificed to the snake god” hissed the dragon.

After the dragon and his snake-like friends made their way back into the mines, Redger popped out and told us to go save the children and earn some serious praise from the town. Sounds good, Redger. Redger did not know Valor’s whereabouts either.

We made our way into the mines and threw on our cloaks, happy to find they worked in here. They even allowed us safe passage by some khaki-colored, living ooze. upon arriving at the magically-sealed door, we placed our three artifacts into the recesses around the perimeter to unlock it. Gas began pouring from the door, which luckily didn’t effect us due to our cloaks.

Time to see what’s behind the door. We walked through, and found ourselves in a desert, and behind us, just a door. Crazy.

Door to Desert

After following the obvious passage of the dragon and a large group of yuan ti for a bit, we stumbled across some ruins and some destitute yuan ti outcasts. Elel flashed a scaly breast (the right one) at a few of them to brighten their spirits. And after giving them a gold coin and having some brief conversations with the yuan ti beggars, we learned a few things. First, the dragon’s name is Varzen the Great and he’s in the great temple within the city Thrysssen. Also, we learned that these destitute yuan ti (mostly comprised of the humanoid, scaly yuan ti, who are considered the lowest class) were banished from the city for speaking ill of Varzen. They we shunned after a revolt was started in response to the unfair punishment of the humanoid yuan ti.

The gentlesnake we spoke with turned out to be Sssaron, who started the revolt. While most of these yuan ti look alike to us, Sssaron has a distinguishing white spot on his face and is missing a few fingers. Sssaron used to be a guard an agreed to help us get to his former post within the city. Elel applied a masterful disguise to Sssaron to help him conceal his identity.

We also coined a yuan ti expression we’re hoping catches on, “don’t molt it.”

Upon arriving to Thrysssen, the guards asked our names. We lied that we are part of Varzen’s army and gave them false names. I’m now Sssam, Elel is Sssarah, Wen-Del is Sssylys, Orgöst is Ssstanley, and Sssaron is Sssorn. The guards bought it and we were able to get to Sssaron’s post, and into its cellar filled with armaments.

Half a day down, four and a half until the kids are killed.

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Chapter 9.1: Interlude

Part A.

I wanted to do a little background to what’s been happening in Catterick since your adventures.

The Endless Ale house (your bar for those who don’t know) has been doing very well. There might have been a few bad days, but with the treasure you’ve found you’ve been able to make it the best bar in Old Town. It has been called ‘The Jewel of Old Town’ by some. Everyone loves drinking and eating with their favorite heroes.

The bar’s success has resulted in you buying much more bread from the baker (Gyles) you contract from. His storefront has also seen additional foot traffic because of the reviews of the bread from customers at The Endless Alehouse. You learn that his wife has died many moons ago and that this new business has afforded Gyles to treat his only child, Ewis, to some of the pleasures of life. Such things as warm meals, a decent place to sleep, and Gyles was finally able to patch the leak in his roof.

The mines are still a battle ground with Yuan-Ti, who now boldly showing themselves and creating some pretty big battles. Captain Redger has been leading this battle from the mine and has had little time to go back to his office or meet with any of the adventuring party groups. He has been sending dispatches to check in with your group to check on the progress. He’s happy to see that you have all the pieces and are on the verge of getting the blessing so that you can enter the door and fight back this evil from the inside.

Part B.

This morning one of you early birds found another note from Hildo.

I see you found the book. I have something to do, but I’ll be back in a couple of days to do the blessing.

Have a magical day,
- Hildo

Part C.

Report from the front:

There was a big push from the Yuan-Ti 2 days ago but they were driven back and seemed to have retreated. There have been a few sightings here and there but no sign of an army. Yesterday most of the guard was reassigned outside of the city to take care of the brutal attacks from the orcs.

While it seems like the Yuan-Ti have been pushed back, Captain Redger still wants you to explore the mysterious door and what lies beyond. He is not sure what kind of danger lurks on the other side but reassures you the reward will be well worth it.

Enclosed is also a Greater Healing Potion (4d4 +4 healing)

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Chapter 9: Class of 205

to be written

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Chapter 8: Rock and gnoll all night, party every day...
From the journal of Elel

4/28/2015
Roll Call: DM Justin, Elel, Tayo, Orgöst, Moon Moon, and Tielliana

What I thought was going to be a routine hunt through the woods today turned out to be quite the pivotal venture. Ben (my rat) and I were in hot pursuit of our next meal – a swift and agile wild boar with one lone testis – when I noticed the marking of my old friend Hildo Haggins carved into a tree. I stopped to inspect and, much to Ben’s frustration, we lost track of the nearly-barren swine. Taking a closer look I was positive the signature was authentic, and simultaneous waves of relief and joy poured over me for I thought my old friend was for sure dead by orc hand.

I looked around in search of any other evidence of Hildo’s presence and found the same marking not but a few trees away. My excitement grew as I found another and another, and soon Ben and I found ourselves running through the Bonewood Woods yet again, this time in pursuit of a fellow Haggerty Hag.

Nearly three miles later, my spirit and legs growing more tired with each step, my rat and I approached a semi-circle of very tall impeding rocks. Night had fallen by this point and the warm light of a bonfire shone through the cracks. The sweet smell of bacon and the sound of laughter and talking arose from the lit area behind the great stones. As I creeped closer undetected, Ben decided his hunger was more important than our safety and made quite the ruckus as he leapt from my shoulder onto the brush below. I tried in vain to stop the rodent, causing even more noise. Alas, we were discovered.

“Who goes there?” a voice shouted.

I slowly emerged from behind the rocks. There were five figures standing about, backlit by the roaring fire. I squinted at the nearest one – a short, stout silhouette that I would recognize anywhere. Before I could utter a word, I was greeted with a strong, rank embrace.

“Elel! Is it you?”

“Hildo! You’re alive!” I exclaimed. “I thought for sure you were dead.”

“And I, you,” he replied. “How were you able to escape the orcs?”

I explained to Hildo how I evaded the vengeful orcs by hiding inside the carcass of one of their own. He responded with uproarious laughter and welcomed me further into the stone circle. I was introduced to a majority of the members that make up the guild of Infinity Solutions: Tayo, Orgöst, Moon Moon, and Tielliana. Perhaps it was the ale they were consuming at alarming speeds, but they seemed a warm and lovely bunch. I was particularly taken aback when they immediately offered me an internship. I graciously accepted and we celebrated into the night with endless servings of fresh bacon and the best imp porn in town.

It soon began to rain so Tayo cast a spell to keep us all dry and warm under a large dome. We were slowly making our way into bed when a cry was heard from far in the distance. Initially, it was a general agreement to let this pass into the night as everyone was weary from travel and merriment. Since I am only in need of four hours of sleep, I volunteered to go check it out. Orgöst, the gentleman that he is, refused to let me go alone, and before we knew it, all of Infinity Solutions was making there way back out into the rain. Hildo, never happier, was left alone with the left-over bacon bits and porn.

We followed the unrelenting cries through the dark – with the help of Moon Moon who had transformed into a wolf – for what seemed hours before discovering the source. A dwarf was tied up and about to be sacrificed into a white-hot fire. He was surrounded by a group of angry-looking gnolls and two giant, even angrier-looking hornets that were attached to poles by skin leashes. We wasted no time and began our attack.

Tielliana began to sing a beautifully frightening song and the gnolls started to flee in terror. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to cast a Sleet Storm spell. Ice swiftly covered the ground below the gnolls’ feet. They slipped and fell in their useless efforts to run. As Moon Moon began to chew through the skin leashes attached to the oversized hornets, Orgöst attacked with airborne daggers and Tayo fought bravely in the front lines, ensuring the others were safe.

It didn’t take long for us to finish off the gnolls, and we quickly freed the screaming dwarf. While thankful for our heroism, the dwarf was fast to attempt to leave our presence. We stopped him, demanding some sort of explanation for the predicament we just rescued him from. The dwarf scratched his head. He couldn’t remember anything – his memory was erased. Orgöst inquired about the dwarf’s name but even that information was also forgotten.

There was one bit of information that the dwarf could provide and it was that the black, tattered book he carried with him was evil and forbidden. He became very stubborn as he refused to hand it over to us. Infinity Solutions matched his stubbornness and refused to let him leave. We began the long trek back to Hildo and our magical dome with our new “friend” in tow. Answers shall be found…

INFLATABLE_CLEAR_DOME_TENT_FOR_OUTDOOR_AND.jpg_350x350.jpg

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Chapter 7: Green Gas Means Poisonous Gas
From the journal of Meravar

4/9/2015
Roll Call: DM Justin, Orgöst, Tielliana, and Meravar

As I sipped and supped my evening grog and protein at HQ, Moon Moon, Tayo, and Rod burst through the front door. Apparently their expedition to the temple of Zehir was faring well, but they needed some help from old Meravar. Plus, they were behind on chores.

Upon arriving at the temple, alone, I heard the unmistakable sounds of a french horn emanating from an entrance. Remembering that Orgöst, disgusted by the surging popularity of his most recent musical endeavor, the maraca, started playing the french horn, I followed its muted tones to find Orgöst and Tielliana waiting for backup.

French Horn

A faint, slow, mechanical and stone ticking could be heard.

Fork in the road: go down a hallway or up the stairs. We chose the hallway. This 20-ft. tall hallway contained about an inch of water and bore large grates near the ceiling. About halfway down the hall, I stepped on a pressure plate that began filling the hallway with water and also alerted some very large snakes of our presence. Two of these snakes attacked, only to meet their demise at the business ends of my blade and Orgöst’s Magic Missile.

At the end of the hallway, I yanked a lever to stop the insurgence of water. We then noted that the ticking sound was speeding up, and coming from the way we came, so we decided to go back to investigate, before venturing further down this hall.

Up the staircase, we find a large room with a narrow, rickety bridge leading to a small landing. On that landing, we could see three bodies, a chest filled with treasure, and a large gem. Orgöst carefully made his way across the bridge, casted Detect Magic, and found a magical presence on one of the bodies.

From the other side of the room, Tielliana expertly guided a Mage Hand to snag the gem from its pedestal. Upon doing so, green gas emanated from tiny holes in the floor around the treasure. Tielliana’s Mage Hand then placed a stone back on the pedestal, stopping the release of the presumably poisonous gas. Orgöst took the magic item from the body, later identified as a Rope of Climbing, Tielliana used her Mage Hand to take coins from the treasure heap, and I used the lid from a large sarcophagus as a sled and loaded it with as much silver as I could muster.

That’s when we noticed the ticking was getting much faster and the stone door was beginning to close. We hightailed it out of the room, spoils in hand/sled.

Back to the hallway.

Continuing down the hallway a bit, we were greeted with the sound of orcish commands – too bad none of us understand orc. Though I could discern that the orc was not cursing (Tayo taught me how to say curses in orcish).

Orgöst and Tielliana applied a perfect orc disguise on me, which I then used to convince the orcs that the adventuring party was escaping. Following me, my new orc friends and I gave chase back down the hall. The rest of my party heard our approach and readied attacks for the orcs as we rounded the corner.

It was a tough battle against an unusually tough orc and his ordinary orc brethren. Tielliana used her Vicious Mockery and told an orc “You have a shitty imagination, dreadful goals, and you’re pretty goddamn stupid.” I put my sword through one orc face, and another had his face and jaw shorn off by my arcing blade. The aforementioned tough orc did not go down so easily. He used a flute to place a magical fear into Tielliana and me, and he was able to leap over the entire party in single bounds. Upon one such occasion, the tough orc earned himself a more porous taint at the end of Orgöst’s rapier. At this point, the orc baddie dealt serious damage to my two comrades, placing them in death throes. Things were looking grim as I was alone and unable to land a blow on my enemy. Fortunately, my Malcanthet-granted warlock protection kicked in at exactly the right time. Tough orc landed a good attack against me, only to have a magical cold course up his blade and into his veins. Orcs don’t like having their blood frozen, so he died. Then I stabilized my friends and grabbed the big orc’s Pipes of Haunting and Ring of Jumping.

Pipes of Haunting

Wrapping things up, we saw another pedestal, holding on it the Snake’s Eye we were in search of. Tielliana once again used her Mage Hand to pilfer the prize and replace it with a similarly sized stone to stop the flow of green gas.

Snake's Eye

We returned to town, caught up with Brother Gu-Gu-Gu-Guire at the Church of Pelor who cautioned us about Ze-Ze-Ze-Zehir, found a note from Hildo at HQ vaguely warning us about the mines, and I bed Mary yet again.

Note from Hildo

What’s the chicken scratch next to his signature?

Next steps: Now that we have the three gems that match the recesses next to the magical door in the mines, it’s time to venture back to the mines… But first, let’s talk to Hildo.

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Chapter 6: Roughed up Horses
As scribed into the annals of time by the good and just GM

4/2/2015
Roll Call: DM Justin, Orgöst, Tielliana, Tayo, Rod, and Moon Moon

The group decided to go and talk to the Church of Pelor. There they met a nice brother of Pelor, Guire, who had a stuttering problem. They told him about the object and showed him the sketch they made. Brother Guire was surprised because he had recently been studying this object in a book.

Brother Guire took them to the church library and told them about the ‘Snake’s Eye’ and about the Yaun-Ti. An ancient civilizaion that worshiped Zehir to the point of turning into snake people. Some are full snakes with arms, some only have the heads of a snake and a lot of scales (knuckle draggers), and the lowest caste of the Yaun-Ti have snake eyes and some scales.

Snake's Eye

He talked about how a lot of the ancient buildings, shrines and temples are left over from the Yaun-Ti and that one such temple is to the south in the swamp land. That also happens to be the location of the ‘Snake’s Eye’. Many have tried to retrieve it and although the Yaun-Ti have long been extinct, Orcs have taken over most of their abandoned buildings. The only ones that are Orc free are so because there is most likely a more vile vilian bunkered down there.

Once the group set out on horseback/wolf form until they reached the edge of the swamp. From there they could see the tall tower the Orcs use for look-out. While this does have it’s advantages, it also makes their location quite obvious, such is the way of the orcs.

Once they saw the tower, the bard-off began. Orgöst decided he was going to disguise himself as an orc and try to get closer. Tielliana decided she would also do this, but of course do it much better. The group decided the bards would act as a distraction so MoonMoon could get closer (now in spider form) and climb the tower to take away that advantage. Once the time was right, or the bards needed help, they would give the signal and Tayo and Rod would ride in.

Orgöst and Tielliana approached in Orc face and brought with them two of their horses, which they roughed up a bit (orcs like a good tender horse). The first orc questioned them a little bit, but their disguise and the fresh horse meat allowed them to enter the orc camp no problem.

MoonMoon was stealthy as a maggot in rice and was fast approaching the tower. Once around the bend Tielliana and Orgöst realized there were more orcs there than they thought. They gave the signal, which was Tayo and Rod’s que to ride in like badasses.

While MoonMoon was handling the tower orcs, Tayo and Rod began playing a game of Orc head croquet. Everyone quickly dealt with the orcs and healed up before entering the ancient Yuan-Ti shrine.

Once inside they found a room that had an ancient hammer in the middle with two odd pillars. The pillars were short and looked sort of like nails. They were just begging to be pounded into the ground. There was also a walkway about two stories up. 2 orc magis stood on the walkway while 3 orc warriors were down below.

Orgöst quickly casted darkeness on the orcs while MoonMoon, still in spider form crawled along the ceiling above the darkness taking pot shots at the orc magi. Tayo and Rod went towards the hammer. Tayo made it there first and quickly grabbed the two handed stone hammer. Rod, who is fluent dragonic, read the writing on the altar. “Strength Leads To Treasure”. ((I know that was not what I said, but it sounds cooler and still means the same thing))

While Orgöst shot magic missles, Tielliana shot her bow to help dispose of the orcs that found their way through the darkness. The two orc magis were crippled by the darkness just shot off some sparks to try and get rid of it.

While Rod went to help defend his allies, Tayo eagerly brought down the hammer with immense force and one of the pillars went down two notches and became flush with the floor.

MoonMoon, wanting to sink her pincers into some orc flesh jumped from the ceiling and landed on an orc, crushing it. Tayo swung the hammer onto the next pillar, and again with so much force that it went down two notches and became one with the floor. This time the group heard what sounded like an massive amount of rock scraping against another while the whole room shook a bit.

A couple of orcs got in Orgöst and Tielliana’s face. Orgöst, wanting to be the best bard showed his amazing rapier skills. Tielliana, not wanting to be outdone also pulled out her rapier and gave the orc a few scrapes as well.

With Orgöst taking damage, the darkness spell lifted and the group saw that the walkway had become stairs that lead to a now visible doorway. They also saw the two orc magi had fallen and were pretty bloody.

Although bloody, the two orc magi had some tricks up their sleeves. They created floating war spears that were able to do damage to Orgöst and Tielliana. One of the magi even commanded Rod to flee.

The group was able to clear the room of the 2 magi and remaining orc, with a lot of help from Tayo’s shock spell that erupts from his body. After that they took a short rest to see if anyone from Infinity Solutions would see the message and join up with them.

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Chapter 5: Heat-Seeking Stalactites
From the journal of Meravar

3/26/2015
Roll Call: DM Justin, Meravar, Tayo, Tielliana, Moon Moon, and Orgöst

Tayo and I were ripping out some push-ups and short rests near the spiral staircase leading down to what we can only assume is some sort of orc hideout. After a spell, new recruit Tielliana, Moon Moon, and Orgöst show up – they mentioned that Hildo sent them.

We scouted briefly using a rock lit by Tayo’s magic and by chucking a large log into the mud to check for sinkholes. While deciding what to do next, I hoped on the ladder and began descending into the darkness.

What to my surprise, I find two sleeping orcs. I placed a little extra space between one of the orc’s left and right ears with my greatsword. The other orc caught a Tayo throwing hammer with his porcine face.

Tielliana viciously mocked the orc by calling him a pan face – an interesting, yet effective technique.

Orgöst then lofted a dagger over the party and expertly into the still-standing orc’s brain hole.

After alighting my armor with some Hemsworth magic, Tayo and I picked up the log and bashed in a door, so perfectly that the log, the door, Tayo, and I all soared some 20 feet into the next room… and looky looky: old standard-bearing, fleet-footed, eye-of- Gruumsh squealing, orc leader. And 4 other orcs.

The Gruumsh-lover charged up and landed a respectable blow on me – left a pretty good mark. Several blows were exchanged between our forces; a Sleep spell from Tielliana knocked out a couple of orcs and wolf-form Moon Moon; after I woke her up, Moon Moon fatally bit off some orchood; Tayo got dropped, but was healed up by Orgöst; Tielliana filched the Blueforce and the cave started collapsing; Orgöst orghosted the fight; and several of us were impaled by utterly unavoidable falling stalactites…

Blueforce

Not much loot was found, though we did score the orc leader’s flag and necklace, both emblazoned with the symbol of Gruumsh. The flag also bears the symbol of Zehir.

Necklace bearing symbol of Gruumsh

Finally we made our way to the exit, and back to town. After mistakenly going to Captain Redger’s office, we went to The Towers of the Arcane. Mary seemed not to care about the lost halflings or that we saved Hildo – in fact she explicitly said that they were trying to get rid of Hildo and the others. She even said we could have him (though he’s nowhere to be seen at the moment). No reward to be had either. At least Tielliana asked Mary if she was into me… She totally is (more on that later)! Not a complete waste of time.

Tayo was not happy with Mary’s indifference towards the lives of others and had to be dragged from The Towers of the Arcane by town guards after forcefully bleeding on the marbled floors; Moon Moon, still in wolf form, left a fresh one on the ground and marked her territory.

The Towers of the Arcane

Next, we went back to Infinity Solutions’ global HQ to find the doors bashed in and the place ransacked – though nothing was missing… We then went to the stables/dungeon basement and found the following message scrawled on the wall in blood: “The orcs have the bark, but we have the bite”

Ooo… Scary…

That’s when Tayo noticed a she-halfling adorned in festive robes of red and black and bearing a bandoleer of paints. After a brief conversation with the artist, called Lana Silverwind, she regaled us of her witnessing of big-headed, scaly, sharp-fingered beings bearing the symbol of Zehir, and sporting ill-fitting hoods entering the office. It would appear they were looking for the amber tear drop in our possession.

That night, Tayo tipped back a few ales, pooped his pants, then played some pranks on The Towers of the Arcane – alighting the tallest tower in sparkling light and emitting from it flatulence sounds and phrases most silly… He kept this up for several nights following.

I pursued an evening frought with Mary the halfling’s magical and natural arts of pleasure. She did not disappoint.

Mary Hilltopple

Next, we plan on speaking with the tenants of Church of Pelor, per Captain Redger’s behest, and to further investigate the connection between Gruumsh, Zehir, the orcs, the hooded figures, and the magic door in the mines. With the Blueforce and amber tear drop in hand, finding the remaining artifact should grant us access to the locked door in the mines, and hopefully treasure chests-a-plenty.

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Chapter 4: Holy Hemsworth Razzmatazz
From the journal of Meravar

3/5/2015
Roll Call: DM Justin, Meravar, Tayo

There I was, celebrating the grand opening of The Endless Ale House. Everyone was there – even Sir Sir Valor made an appearance! That tool. That was hilarious when Sir Sir Valor slapped Tayo on the back. Those two embraced in a firm, contentious, maybe a little respectful handshake – each man trying to out-squeeze the other. I think Orgöst’s band was playing. Rod was two sheets to the wind before the opening band even stepped off stage. Didn’t see the thief or the druid.

Captain Redger showed up and asked Tayo and I to go investigate the mines – some weird stuff was happening. I was able to convince Redger to up the payment from 200 gold to 200 gold and a healing potion for the rush job. Not bad.

Tayo and I left immediately for the mines. After many looks of awe and “wow, they’re brave,” we made our way into the only open passage in the mines. The other two passages were still being cleared by wary townsfolk, even though the collapse happened some months ago.

We eventually reached the end of the line: an office of sorts, with an odd door, inscribed with the sigil of Zehir and lined by a blue glow. Situated to the left of the door is an inset for an amber tear drop, above the door a blue triangle, and to the right a red, multifaceted gem. After wracking our brains and looking around the office for a bit, Wulfa, a formerly deceased miner, now undead abomination told us to join Zehir. Tayo, recognizing Wulfa, first tried to enrage Wulfa by lying that he laid with Wulfa’s wife – didn’t work. Next, Tayo executed his patented hesitate, feign, drop the warhammer, and chuck a throwing hammer at your face move. We charged in, exchanging blows, getting my life force unnaturally drained, and finally besting the undead bastard.

We also find that the amber tear drop we received from a pixie some time ago fits nicely in the tear drop space next to the door.

Next, we returned to Captain Redger in town, using the pass he wrote us on a previous quest to bypass the long lines, to collect our reward and tell him our findings. Captain Redgar tells us that we should investigate further at the mage guild and the church of Pelor.

Tayo and I make our way to the mage guild, where we immediately meet Mary, a cute little Halfling dish. We talked, asked some questions, and eventually garner that Hildo Haggins and The Haggerty Hags of Hocus Pocus, a mage guild-backed adventuring party, were sent to investigate Blueforce (which we think is the blue triangle we’re looking for) and the resurging orc threat – the same orc threat we put a major dent in last episode.

So, time for Tayo and Meravar to clean up someone else’s mess again. We make our way back out to the orc camp, riding abreast our beasts of burden, epic as fuck, yet again. Some halfwit orcs fire their arrows at as and totally miss. I relieve three of them of their heads while Tayo confronts the apparent emissary of Gruumsh – the same orc that read our fortunes last time we visited this camp – by blasting him with a thunderous strike of holy Hemsworth razzmatazz.

Orcs gone. Now let’s investigate the two large circus tents. First one’s a trap, fortunately Dirk, my nimble beast of burden, saved me from falling into the enormous pit trap. Tayo then enters the other tent to find a table, on which rested a skull, a book, a dagger, a map, a statue, a jarred brain in black goo, and a cracked black gem. Tayo takes the book on human anatomy and the map – a map of Catterick with ominous red X’s placed in certain areas of the city. The dagger seems standard orc fare – shitty. By then I came in and the two of us, me using my arcane understanding and Tayo speaking to his thunder god, got the sense that the skull was good, the statue and the gem were neutral, but the brain was definitely bad news. Investigating further, the skull disappeared when touched, and out popped Hildo Haggins – more on that later. The statue just told us to touch the skull… Real helpful, statue. When we tested the brain jar, anything we touched to it was instantly transported above the spike trap. Finally, when Hildo touched the black gem, it revealed a spiral staircase descending below the surface. Dun dun dun…

Hildo, happy to be alive and surprisingly un-phased by the apparent passing of the rest of The Haggerty Hags of Hocus Pocus, felt indebted to us. He darted back to HQ to gather the troops while Tayo and I descended down the stairs in pursuit of the Gruumsh brown-noser.

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