The Order of the Shrub

Put a hand in the hand of the man that raised the dead . . .

The party heard noises outside their posh room in the nice inn (go bard!) and saw a floating eyeball with stalks, and lots of disembodied hands! Turns out the ranger spotted the eyeball thing was a gas spore, not a beholder and warned the party not to attack it. The hands were towing it using a rope but stopped to attack the adventurers. Hilarity ensued. The paladin’s breath weapon worked and did not hit any other party members! The bard used mage hand to gently push the spore away and the dwarf went out, closed the door, and led it outside. The dwarf saw a cursing figure flee. Eventually the bard and dwarf between the killed it (bard using mage hand to keep it far away, the dwarf using a crossbow to end it). Then the paladin cleaned up the goop using purify food and drink a lot (yay rituals!).

The party had dealt with the 15 hands (including Striker’s and the drow’s!) and the ranger tracked the fleeing guy to the graveyard. It was the bald undertaker, a follower of Zarus named Michael and apparently a foul necromancer. The party searched his house and found some copper, silver, potions, scrolls and a trip wire. The ranger didn’t quite disarm the trap, but at least avoided most of the damage from the collapsing roof. Oh and the party got a nice rug.

By the way guys, Xmas is coming so give me your hints on uncommon magic items you would like to have!

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Chickens and a conversation

The party decided to rest at the bottom, with alarms set up, and sure enough the party woke up during the long rest to face an attack by chickens. Well cockatrices, anyhow. The dwarf became a statue, and after the fight, the party went down the corridor the chickens came from and found a cage and a prone statue of a drow. Oops.

The brought both satues up, tied up the drow statue, and eventually both thawed out. The warlock started interrogating the Drow and while intimidation and persuasion didn’t seem to work, a suggestion about the value of betraying a different drow house paid off in dividends and the party got some information and a partial map, augmented by the warlock’s familiar, who died to some kind of beholder-kin, it seems. The familiar got better.

But the drow got under the druid’s skin and the druid attacked the drow, which led the dwarf and warlock to put themselves between the druid and the drow, and also gave the drow a chance to escape his bonds in the confusion and try to escape the room via magical darkness. It failed as the druid took a spider form with blindsight. So the drow was taken to prison, chained up, etc.

Spiker the former number one criminal was due to be executed anyhow, so there was a free cell opening up.

The party had a huge debate. The paladin’s new high elf squire Gideon (hi!) wanted the drow dealt with immediately, and much of the party wanted a quick trial and execution. The warlock spoke about the impossibility of escape and the value of the drow’s info. The paladin was concerned about the treatment of the drow and felt a clean execution would be better. The bard and paladin’s words carried the day and the town council voted to execute the drow, who was hanged legally. But the drow just laughed on his way to the gallows.

So for the record, it is perfectly possible to be terrifying with just one average orc, or to sow dissent, panic and confusion with just one average drow.

Oh, the drow had a short sword, chain shirt, light crossbow with 10 bolts, and 17 copper pieces.

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Down and up

The bard wanted to forget about it and continue the egg quest. The paladin wanted to spread word about the rebellion to the 6 cities still under the Church of Zarus’s control.

But the majority of the party wanted to deal with the drow.

So the party went down the hole (druid in spider form to make handy webbings for ease of vertical travel). On the way they got attacked by two flying fiends that demanded in Infernal that the party “Give it to them or die!”. The party choose option C, killing the fiends.

The bottom of the tunnel was black . . . and hungry. Black pudding for the win!

Then the party arrived at the bottom where there were 5 exits – 2 with doors. The doors were mimics (which the warlock found out the hard way). Then the party had to deal with that and two glowing ghost-entities. Plus some drow joined the party later and poisoned the warlock with crossbow bolts. Turns out the ghosts were not real, just a use of dancing lights to seed some confusion.

The warlock harvested the remaining poisoned crossbow bolts and the party retreated back up the tunnel, deciding that they needed some sort of plan for dealing with an entrenched enemy (on their home turf, no less!) that knew they would likely be invaded by surface adventurers. Stay tuned!

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Dis end goes to de depths of de Earth!

Okay, the party was facing zombies (all there except the ghost of Amor, trapped in the Ethereal plane). It was sad work, as the zombies were former clerics of the good gods of the town. But it had to be done. Well the dragonborn breathing on the zombies and catching the dwarf in friendly fire probably did not have to be done, but there you go.

On completing the task, the doors opened and the party saw Azoon the Black standing with the guild leaders, showing that the “non-human terrorists” had slain the clerics of the town!

But the party was more convincing the the guild leaders turned on Azoon. So he summoned some guards to kill them all. There were also three veiled ladies at the back of the main hallway, just watching. One was shorter than the others.

The party made even shorter work of the guards! And Azoon was slain by the Warlock (revenge!). The druid/ranger got to the ladies and felled one (non-lethally) but then they escaped via a globe of darkness over a long tunnel (it was covered by a rug).

Oh, and the ranger got attacked by the rug! Animated objects seemed to be a “thing” with these magical ladies. After dealing with the rug. (burned in holy flame!). The party moved the council table over the hole (which went about 120 feet down and had tunnels leading from it) and got the guild leaders to safety. The bard reassured the townsfolk and rallied them against the remnants of the human supremacists, who skulked away.

The party found a letter on Azoon detailing an alliance with the drow (pragmatism over principles!). Also, another letter in the mayor’s former home (taken over by Azoon and the ladies) spoke of seven other cities soon to be under their control. This letter was dated a week ago.

The party then had most of the townsfolk (except some prisoners) touch the egg, to be saved. Most of the townsfolk elected to touch, but not go into the egg yet. So far the Warlock’s father doesn’t want to touch the egg. He had a bath though, so that is a compromise of sorts.

The party got outfitted. They found a lovely magic earring on a guard and discovered it to allow one to make a deal with another entity to gain power in exchange for the entity controlling one’s afterlife destination. It also allowed that entity to use the senses of whoever was wearing the earring. The party didn’t go for it . . . yet.

They also found a spy from Allanonia named Whiskia. They told him of the egg quest, got him sprung from prison, and promised to visit his kingdom. He promised a friendly reception.

The druid found some evidence of a goblinoid patrol not too far from Carrefore too.

It is likely that word of the egg will spread from the town of Carrefore. But no secret can be kept forever.

So lots of things to do.

[Oh and it turns out that the party needs 2 700 xp for fourth level, more than the 1800 they thought, so they are all 3rd level, not mixed 3rd and 4th as they thought).

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Its a TRAP!

Sorry for the delay. The party came across two suits of armour fighting with swords, but the swords flew to attack the party, followed by the armour suits.

They realized they were being scryed.

Then the party arrived at Carrefore, sneaking in due to the Warlock’s knowledge of same. They found the warlock’s stinking homeless crazy dad. They hid out in a ex-haunted house (now technically re-haunted by Amor di Cosmos). He said the priests of the town (except for Zarus priests) had been called to a meeting and not heard from since). Ominous!

While planning they came across a girl with black hair and a white streak who hated her parents. She was running away from home. They asked for her help to rescue the priests. She agreed to go back and get a servant to give her a key to where the priests were. Amor followed and hid from her view in a closet. He discovered that the little girl’s bedroom was huge and also that something seemed “off” about her.

Anyhow, she returned with the key and was told to stay at the haunted house with the owl familiar. The party went to where the priests were (aided by some intel on guard movements by a prisoner called Spiker, as well as the girl’s servant allegedly causing a distraction).

The warlock took the Scarlet Egg and tried to talk to a priest, but the priest seemed dead to the world . . . or undead to the world! The party was forced into the room by a giant hand, and the ghost Amor hit with a magic spell that banished him to the Ethereal realm, whence he could not affect the material world! It seems the little girl betrayed them, and the party will have a fight on its hands!

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Well well!

The party came to a well with a veiled lady in front of it. She asked them if they came to solve the riddle of the well. They agreed and came forward. Amor, suspicious, asked if she was just making up this riddle (after I spouted a few lines about gold and such) and she said “Yes!” and lifted her veil and the party faced a Sea Hag’s Death Stare. It even took out the ghostly Amor de Cosmos (knocking him unconscious, as well as the bard). At least the party was able to kill her before she could get into the egg.

Then the paladin looked in the well (since the Hag shouted about gold as she died) and dealt with a Water Weird (a snakelike thing literally made of water) that tried to drown him. But a druid’s Flaming sphere soon put paid to that (along with the party beating on the snake – tricky when it was invisible).

There was 500 gp of gold plates, cutlery and candlesticks down there, which the party got.

Then some animals came to the party and the druid found out they were instructed to go to “the other place” so they are in the egg now.

Then the party saw dust up ahead. Refugees from Carreforre (dwarves, elves, etc.). All the non-humans had been exiled and they were trying to find a safe place to live. Then flying swords came at them out of the sky. The party bravely fought the swords and only one refugee died. Sadly, on of the halfling servitors (hosting Amor de Cosmos) also was slain and after the battle, the remaining two halfling servitors had had enough and wanted to go into the egg along with the refugees.

So now the party really wants to get to Carreforre and deal with it somehow.

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Serpent in the garden.

Ok, Lord Amor di Cosmos secretly returned to Mudpuddle via ship and then rejoined the party at the Mayor’s house during a short rest. The alarm went off and a beautiful green elven maiden (a sea elf) asked for Amor’s help. Amor, being secretive, decided to meet with her first in a town square, then in an alley. But the warlock was suspicious and followed stealthily.

It looked like a sexual assignation, but (the warlock prudently moving back and letting the owl continue stealthing from above) saw her grab at Amor’s sachel and pull out . . . THE SCARLET EGG!

Luckily she got cornered by the druid (as wolf), the warlock, and the paladin, while Amor censored, pulled up his pants, and told everyone to close their eyes.

The wolf didn’t, and saw a spiritual form leave Amor’s body. The spirit looked like Amor, and then looked like Amor melting in acid! But the wolf was not afraid.

The green hag’s illusion revealed, she used her last living moment to enter the egg. Alas, now there is a very evil being in the new world that is to be.

The party was not happy with the former lord di cosmos! But then they had another critter to deal with, a Nothic that would be all to happy to grab a magic egg, whatever its properties. Luckily the nothic died before finding out what the egg could really do.

Anyhow, Lord Amor’s scheme of trading sex for access to the world egg (which is what happened with a tribe of previous actual sea elves) was revealed, and the party put a halt to that scheme on pain of blackmail (he was threatened with death . . . legal death, that is. Amor wants to keep his wealth from being inherited by a cousin he hates). Amor’s three halfling lackeys are ok with occasionally being possessed by him (they trade off) and now the party realizes that they have the world egg.. The ghostly Amor is tied to the egg, but can go ethereal with it (it is still visible in the material plane, but ghosts through things when ethereal). Anyhow, now that Amor doesn’t have to hide his death with the party, he will stop using an illusion to disguise the body he is in to look like him, and likely participate more directly in the group’s adventures, since they are all on the same page.

Oh, and the party finally left Mudpuddle and is on the road to Carrefore!

Nov. 11th game will be at Pete’s place, btw.

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oh yeah

Also the druid got a wolf animal companion, named Marley. Poor Marley was thin, with fur matted and muddy, but cleaned up quite well and now is a pleasant light grey. And quite loyal in the face of undead monstrosities.

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Happy Halloween!

Amor de Cosmos was locked away in a room, writing letters (but who would post them?). Meanwhile, the party got some gear together in Mudpuddle and rested. But then in the morning, alas, their new horses were under seige by the same orcs (or at least zombie versions of the same).

Luckily the dwarf cleric was back (having been appraised of the apocalyptic situation by Moradin and other gods (and Primus) (that is the basic jist of the other dream sequences, btw – turns out the Warlock was right, the world will very likely end within 10 000 days (but people and animals can still be saved, in theory, via the New World Egg)). He descended into Mudpuddle via a silver escalator.

Anyhow, turning undead is a thing, so that made it easy to deal with the zombies. Too bad it was no longer available for the spectres that hit the stables later! ;)

And after dealing with those, the party had to face skeletons (with evil light-sabres!).

For some reason, the party after two short rests wants to leave Mudpuddle and go to Carrefore. I can’t imagine why .. . . ;)

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Dreams, friend returned, orcsorcsorcs

The party members had interesting dreams, which I will relate here at a later time so Blair doesn’t get spoilered.

Then they returned to Mudpuddle. Upon finding out how dangerous and organized the humanoids were, the mayor ordered a fast retreat onto the ships, but it took time to pack.

A huge surprise was that Amor de Cosmos was alive and well in Mudpuddle! He had some halfling servants too.. According to him, an amulet saved his life by switching him at the last minute with the amulet’s previous owner. But now the amulet has been lost. Perhaps the next owner of it will have their life saved by switching with Amor de Cosmos?

That night, orcs attacked (in groups of five)! The party and village militia worked hard to defeat them and succeeded but all but two of the militia perished.(the druid was able to stabilize those two). Some buildlings were trashed, but most of the townsfolk (and Amor de Cosmos, in a sedan chair carried by servants) made it to the safety of the ships.

For her heroism in the Battle of Mudpuddle, the paladin knighted his squire and asked her to take his other two servants with the soon-to-be-former Mudpuddlians onto the lake. She, now a knight in her own right, agreed.

This left the party with a ghost town, but at least they all could get horses as they plan their next move.

Oh, the Warlock found out from a cat that someone with a white streak in his black hair had gone into the local barber’s to have his head shaved.

The Warlock also got an owl familiar with the best name ever. “S” is for short, but the actual name was “Shit I forgot to think of a name before doing this ritual”. ;)

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