A Bunch of Crazy Stuff That Happens

It's Rude to Crash a Party

The party idled away several days. Janda-Shan kept in touch with Sage Batson, who hasn’t made much progress lately due to distractions working with Fussbottom. Whooat continued to check on her order, whose reverend Mother remains in mysteeerious seclusion. Lucan elfed about.

Finally, the day of the Duke’s autumn costume party arrived. The guards found Lucan attempting to smuggle in his daggers, but fortunately the guard recognized the group and was content to just hold on to the blades and let the party into the, er, party.

J’ayne was there (dressed as a human; Fussbottom vetoed her original idea of “something dignified”) to help them network, but they did fine without her hovering. They met Kingdom’s End’s guard captain Malloran, a half-orc full of gusto but weak on tactics, who suggested the party might help the guardsmen out sometime. A representative of the Mages’ Guild, Leppedee Glibbleflang (sp?), whose semi-illusory costumes changed throughout the night, discussed the potential of a Guild outlet in the city; he was unimpressed with the magical goings on in the area but showed great interest in the story of the Crown as told by Janda-Shan. Most reassuringly, Mother Euphausia was there, dressed as a sultry barmaid (minus the youth) and pretending to be drunk so as to chaperon the young ladies in attendance.

The crowd bussled about Ambassador Klech of Prosciutto, an island nation far to the south, famous for its sailors’ prowess and its mens’ tradition of never uncovering their faces in public. The ambassador is in Kingdom’s End to help coordinate a strike against piracy in the south sea, and he’s in attendance tonight wearing a large complex sea dragon costume.

The actual costume contest was a crown-pleaser. Whooat made it to the semi-finals, but Lucan and Janda-Shan made it to the finals, competing against Ambassador Klech. Janda-Shan was an early favorite, complementing his costume and native appearance with appropriate illusions and even flying over the crowd’s heads, but his showmanship ran out of gusto. Lucan won the event, partly with graceful interpretive dancing, partly by showing off his marksmanship with borrowed cutlery (causing the guards some consternation). He was awarded a hefty gem (later hocked) and a trophy in the shape of a shaved ape holding a gleaming blade.

Some time later, the party winding down, there was a commotion at the residence. A group of sack-cloth constructs had crashed in and split into two groups, one going after the Duke, the other after his daughter in the opposite wing of the house. The guards inside had been killed or knocked out, and Captain Malloran was slowed down by his choice of costume (having lost a bet, he was dressed as a prisoner, complete with shackles) so it fell to the party to intervene.

Initially they focused on the duke as directed by Malloran, but the Duke was obsessed with his daughter’s safety, jeopardizing his own, so Lucan split off to help her. He found not only more sackboys, but the Ambassador Klech leading the charge in his sea dragon costume (and oddly spitting glue and rampaging with more strength than a diplomat should have claim to). Slowly they whittled down the sackboys, with Whooat taking the worst of the counterattacks as she pulled the Duke back his own potentially deadly wounds.

The duke was secured, and Lucan had slowed down Klech (with belated help from Malloran keeping them from swarming him), but not enough. Klech smashed into the Dukelette’s room, then smashed through a window out into the garden, dragging the girl with him. Lucan and Janda-Shan pursued, but Whooat collapsed in the hall due to bleeding, very near death herself. Janda-Shan spotted Mother Euphasia helping the crowd and called her into the residence, but Whooat’s time was tight.

Lucan was promptly glued to the wall of the house by the ambassador’s inappropriate exporationations, where he would remain until it didn’t matter. Janda-Shan put the ambassador to sleep briefly, and the Dukelette Priscilla as well, long enough for Duke Wayne to grab her and take her to safety. Euphausia revived Whooat in the nick of time, then saw to the guards who had been kabonked earlier. Whooat was still greviously injured and had to staunch her own bleeding, the disappointment of Euphausia, who preaches a more self-sacrificing and less useful approach. Whooat joined the others in the garden.

Little by little, the party broke down the ambassador and his costume—Lucan throwing scores of spoons, Janda-Shan throwing fire and clouds of blades, Whooat throwing herself. It became clear that they were fighting an impostor, a rotten flesh costruct, not the real ambassador. Finally the thing fell, having nearly escaped the estate, and having knocked Whooat to her customary place as death’s door. The party gathered ‘round her, and Lucan poured a healing potion down her throat. She gagged and choked on it, but that was alright, because it’s a healing potion. She awake and helped survey the mess.

The constructs had gotten into the party with cleverly forged invitations, each slightly enchanted to show a convincing endorsement, different for whoever read it. The ambassador and his guards had been knocked out and shoved into bushes. Most of the Duke’s guards had been knocked out as well—two inside the house were killed though.

The Duke rewarded the party by pronouncing them Friends of the City, the benefits of which are ambiguous except that their customary inn (the Laughing Little Person) now houses them for free, benefiting from their reputations. He also gave them a healing potion he had been keeping for his own use. Finally, young Dukelette Priscilla presented them with her “favorite blanky”, which turned out to be a powerful Cloak of Distortion.

The next morning they checked in with Sage Batson. He wants to go south to Lentry to get something to aid in divining the leftover gem from the Crown of Dude. Fussbottom has been having business troubles lately and his hired muscle balked after last night’s attack, so he needs somebody to escort a shipment of weapons to Lentry to help with the pirate counterattack. The party elects to kill two birds with one stone (presumably thrown by Lucan after he runs out of spoons) and escort Batson south along with the shipment.

At this point the DM grew weary of typing when he should be at work, realized others are tired of reading, and vowed to keep it brief next time.

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Game Called on Account of Booze

Time passed.

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The Party Gets Ready for the Party

Flush with success after destroying the Crown, the party returned to Kingdom’s End. Sage Batson shared his recent research into the origins of the Crown. It seems the mark on it indicates it was from, or at least inspired by artifacts in, the Vault of Chlamidior. An ancient cult (the Clappers) used a collection of artifacts focused on controlling things to nearly take over the world and even influence other planes. The Vault was sealed generations ago, the entrance lost even to the wisest of Sages.

Whooat checked in with her temple, only to find things vaguely awry. Reverend Mother Euphausia is in seclusion, and the other sisters have a sense of bad fortunes. Janda-Shan, a bit tipsy, skulked about the temple but found nothing other than the charity of the sisters and the use of their john.

The party decided to accept Fussbottom’s offer to get them into the Duke’s upcoming costume party, though they refused the cheap and ambiguous offer of “exclusive employment”. J’ayne reluctantly took them all shopping for costumes. Janda-Shan enhanced his already impressive appearance in celebration of the Fey personification of winter. Lucan claimed a connection to the Feywild that offended J’ayne more than usual, dressing up as Oberon, king of the Faeries. Whooat took a more modest tact and put together a glimmering dragonfly costume.

J’ayne mentions it will be difficult to talk the guards into letting them wear armor at the party, and obvious weapons will be forbidden (though she indicates she’s planning to carry her own knives hidden), then teleports away in a huffy puff.

Riding back to the inn in the wagon, Lucan spots an amateurish ambush by muggers. The thugs are clearly no match for the party. Janda-Shan summoned his fiery warrior to lead the way, and lit up his staff for added effect. The message is clear: this is a group with which one ought not screw. The townfolk and guards are rather alarmed too, though some who recognize the party cheer. Those muggers who don’t faint outright flee screaming like little girls. The actual little girls in the area thought it was neat.

The party plans to rest for the 10 days remaining ‘til the party, checking in with Whooat’s temple, and Sage Batson, occasionally.

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Destroying the Crown of the Dude

Following advice from Sage Batson, the party tracked down a small pack of scorpions. They claimed the sweet juiced, though Lucan was badly injured in the scuffle. After recuperating for the day, the party prepared to summon the demon representing the power of the Crown:

“Meka Leka High Meka High Meka Hiney Ho” [jazz hands]

Cleverly, the party had arranged themselves around the crown so that they couldn’t help each other and the demon would have his choice of targets. When the demon appeared, nine feet tall and swinging the ass end of a horse as a club, he laid a mighty smack upon both Whooat and Lucan. Janda-Shan supervised from atop a tall tree and maneuvered his new summon, a flaming warrior, to restrict the demon’s movement and bring pain. Lucan peppered the demon with arrows with Whooat provided healing and more tactical maneuvering, not to mention setting the bastard on fire.

Eventually the dark force was slain. The crown melted into a puddle of gold and goodies. The party’s first major Quest has been completed.

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Triumph

The party found a small crew working alchemical water purifacation. One of the workers misjudged God’s love for him and fell to his horrible painful death. Another was peppered with arrows and justice and slain. The third was captured, later to be turned over to the dwarfs. In addition to the alchemical booty, the party found another map, bloodied but together with the previous fragment, lead clearly to the mine squatters’ base of operations.

After a quick but tense fight on an old underground bridge (the enemy landed exactly one blow, but it was a doozy), the party barged into the main headquarters. They interrupted a celebration, with several workers watching their mage leader prance about imitating a dwarf. The party was invited to partake, and used the confusion to great advantage. The mage never even got to fire off a spell; he was pinned to the wall by arrow fire. His handful of minions quickly fell—most in bunches. The party recovered papers describing the operation, and returned to the dwarfs above.

The dwarfs were very pleased, two in particular. Ronk, one of the oldest dwarfs, who’s been in a slump since his prosthetic beard was taken by the squatters, had his dignity and face fuzz restored and set about reminding the whipper snappers to respect their elders. The widower Egald Rockmallow had his wedding ring returned, and was so grateful and admiring that he made the party honorary cousins of the Rockmallow Clan and invited them to the clanhold for a visit.

After a night’s rest, the party reflected on recent events and their own experiences, and realized they’ve learned a great deal. Levels upped all round.

They returned to Kingdom’s End and were rewarded by Fussbottom with a magic staff suitable for cooking undead. Fussbottom notes that some of the agents of the mine squatters might be ripping him off too, and he might have use of the party’s help in squelching them. He’s also heard that the Freighters’ Guild is getting ready to push back against some pirates to the south, and he could sign them on to that effort. Then again, they might all benefit by introducing the party to high society at the Duke’s upcoming Autumn Costume Ball.

They also consulted Sage Batson about the crown; he told them how to destroy it (mix the putty with bug juice, say a little ditty, and slay the representative demon) but warned that his research suggests the crown should not have been in this world to begin with. The crown is marked by its maker (a trident in a circle) but the methods of its constructions were lost generations ago and all known artifacts were sealed away in inaccessible vaults. Batson is very worried about what this portends, but can’t put his finger on it yet.

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Meatballs in Dwarf Sauce

The party headed north, towards Dwarfish territory. Along the way they found the ancient altar described by Sage Batson, and fought the designated champion (a giant floating mass of muscle and grrr) to win a tool to help destroy the insect-controlling crown. It’s not yet clear how the tool - glowing green Evil Putty - should be used, so the party stowed it away and continued.

Despite being waylaid by bandits claiming to be toll collectors for the especially fictional Dwarf King, the party arrived at Ardale’s mine safe and sound.

The party won the miners’ affection by bringing in the two bandits, and by faring well in a wrestling tournament. Soon they had enough information and semi-coherent direction to delve into the mine. So far the threat is mundane; mine squatters have snuck in and put on a show of mysterious hoodoo to scare the dwarfs out.

The session ended with the party approaching a group of men working over alchemical equipment.

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ZZZzzzz

The party napped righteously.

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Save the Sage!
They're starting to party like a Party

Time passed in Kingdom’s End; Count Fussbottom (pronounced Foose-buh-tom) contacted the party to ask for help. Would they please fetch or confirm the whereabouts of the famous sage William Batson, who Fussbottom hired for advise, last thought to be traveling from Lentry? They would.

Along the way south, the party stumbled across a hobbled hill giant, named Sorbo for the sake of recordkeeping. The poor fellow had a spear stuck in his foot, which the party removed with some theatrics. Sorbo granted them three wishes, each of which Sorbo either could not understand or thought was stupid, so basically the party has set a man-eating simpleton loose on the countryside for no reason except it reminded them of a parable.

They next found a wagon, its driver slain, surrounded by unusually aggressive plants. The plants were dealt with, the surviving horse soothed, and the railroad hopped upon hobo-style as fresh drag marks lead to a huge animated tree covered in more aggressive vines. The party’s first mini-boss battle ensued. Sage Batson was found in the tree, Venus Flytrap style. The party escorted him to Kingdom’s End, earning another reward and a new friend along the way.

They had Batson examine the Crown of the Dude, leading to their next mission: destroying it, starting with a trip of a lost altar designed for such things. For expediency’s sake, Batson also arranged for Fussbottom to send them up that-a-way to deal with an associate’s disappearing miners.

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They're Not Dead Yet
A New Party Parties

Lucan the elfish ranger, Jenda-Shan the genasai wizard, and Whoooat the human cleric arrive at a small village near Kingdom’s End. The mayor encourages them to work together to find the source of a sickness sweeping the village. Tainted water is suspected and confirmed. The taint is traced back to a cave housing some oversized insects and a ripe fellow wearing a suspicious magical crown.

The threat is dispatched, the party celebrates with the village, and a new Adventuring Party is christened.

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On to a Greater Adventure
Sometimes the Universe Wins

The party entered the main hall to find an army of several dozen kobolds, who turned out to be several dozen kobold statues, who turned out to be a handful of real kobolds pretending to be fake statues among a few dozen real fake statues. The battle left Wat severely disemboweled and the others worn down, so they returned to camp for the rest of the day.

They returned and stopped to rescue four orphaned kobolds, two others having passed away. Onward to meet Bastardo, who gave an impassioned and encrazied speech about the virtues of eating zombie flesh. Battle ensued. The party was victorious, but by the narrowest of margins. Balasar and Khelnoz both fell, slain by Bastardo’s loyal hound, a vicious Iron Defender. Wat barely survived, but only after using two of her kobold infants as kibble to distract the hound. It being impractical to drag the others’ remains to town for Raising, she lovingly looted their bodies and retired to more peaceful climes to tend to the two remaining kobold children.

All three players elected to roll new characters. Despite the PCs’ unglamorous deaths, the campaign was a success as a way to learn the basics of the new system and experiment with adventure flavors.

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