Game log of a ToEE adventure that somehow turned into an Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. You can find the original google doc here.
Rogues Gallery – “General Puggin’s Moribund of Mercenaries”*
- The Rogue – Giselle der Gauner the Soulknife due to a mutation granting her telekinetic powers (character #2, previous character was Mirka the Rogue – Deceased)
- The Monk – Augusta “Tof” Bamberger and her henchmen Elmo the Ranger and pet pug General Puggins.
- The Druid – Lilie the Elf and her henchmen Wolfram and animal companion Fuyuko, the white wolf.
- The Knight – Lintelfaden Toshcobble, squire of Rufus the Bold.
- The Fighter – Fencil the Android (brain tape swap) (Character #2, previous character was a cleric – Deceased) and his (henchmen Zof the Jarhead Wizard – Deceased).
- The Ranger – Bustov Daman and his animal companion, The Mou-Mou Bird (bloodthirsty sparrow).
- The Cleric – Lorenz Brandt (character #2), the scribe.
The Wizard – Boris the Jaws-Dodger (Deceased Session 25, retired from the game).
*Due to a transcription error by the Verbobonc mercenary company registrar, “Merry” become “Moribund.”
Session 31 Recap
Lorenz stumbled off of the boat clutching his stomach, praying to UNITY to give him strength and make it through the last stretch of the torturous road. He fell face first into the dirt and didn’t move even as the rest of the party got off board, relieved that he had made it the whole way without throwing up.
“It’s not too bad,” Aki assured, patting his head. “Water and sun, the two things you need in life.”
“I’m not a veggiepygmy…”
The first place Elmo was headed to was the bar, reminding Augusta of her promise to buy him after a terrible shark ride. While they did their own thing, Gisella and Fensal split off from the group to grab potions and other party supplies, trying to figure out how to evenly split the loot between everyone while saving enough for the team as a whole. Lilie of course skipped straight to the Honest Hommlet Trader, wondering what new pets he had, more to stare at the cute animals rather than buying them.
Lintelfaden and Bustov had no idea what they were really doing since the rest of the party was gathering everything they really needed. The town crier was in the streets again and they decided to pay him a visit to see what nonsense he was babbling. Interestingly enough, he wasn’t talking about the cults or the situation between nobles and townsfolk, or blaming the gnomes, it was about wizards and magic weapons. Who wasn’t interested in wizards and magic weapons?
From what they heard, wizards had created three magic weapons, Blackrazor, Whelm, and Wave that were stolen from them. They had managed to locate the weapons in White Plume Mountain but anyone who had tried to reclaim the weapons for the wizards were never heard from as they neared the mountain. The reward was no longer from the wizards themselves but the weapons; anyone who could reclaim them would be their wielder. Judging from the amount of information, it was clearly a trap to goad adventurers and it sure did work.
“Magic weapons…” Bustov muttered.
“White Plume Mountain…” Lintelfaden murmured. “Sounds like a wonderful place.”
“It beats the water temple, that’s for sure.”
The two regrouped with the party back at the boat, accommodating for their seasick cleric, and explained what the town crier had said. Surprisingly, most of the party was on board with that, wanting nothing to do with the elemental cults at the moment. A death trap mountain was more appealing than another underwater fight with the tide knights that was for sure.
“Aren’t the elemental cult guys a big threat?” Lorenz asked, performing maintenance on Lintelfaden’s armour.
“Maybe, but they can wait a little, right?” Augusta chuckled. “The mountain doesn’t sound half-bad.”
Gisella ignored the discussion and continued to split the loot, trying to figure out the math while appraising the gems and their worth. There was no voice of reason with Gisella preoccupied and neither was there an agreement of where to go. A few wanted to go back to the space station and to get to the gene-splicer while others thought to investigate the mountain. And no one wanted to bother with the cults for the time being.
“Right!” Gisella exclaimed. “That’s… wait… hold on, Augusta took a magic item as well…” She sat on air, held up by her telekinesis and went back to her calculations.
“Where’s Elmo?” Lilie asked.
Augusta gestured towards the bar. “Still drinking.”
“Let’s decide tomorrow,” Fensal suggested. “We’ve been running around everywhere for the past few weeks, let’s take it easy for today.”
After contemplating and debating their choices, they decided to not go to the space station, water temple, or White Plume Mountain. As they were looking at the map, the earth temple was closer to Hommlet than they thought and were allies of the water cult; taking them out could deal a serious blow against the Crushing Wave.
“How did we decide on none of the options and something else entirely?” Gisella asked, closing her notebook. “I thought we were going here and planning for the water temple.”
“Yes, but we might as well take a shot at the earth cult considering they’re only a few days from here,” Lintelfaden explained. “No harm in taking a look.”
Verdant plains, golden sun, blue sky, it was a much appreciated change of scenery from heavy clouds looming above the keep. Leaving the perpetual storm zone, they could finally take their mind off of fighting and relax; this brief pause after the constant back-to-back battles at Riverguard was what they needed to reset.
Bustov knocked on Lintelfaden’s suit. “What are you doing in there?”
“Creating a suit,” he replied. “I’ve got some fabric so I might as well; gotta look my best at all times.”
“He’s got a whole house in there,” Lorenz chuckled. “I couldn’t believe it but anything you could think of is in that suit.”
“Suite,” Lintelfaden corrected. “It’s my space marine suite.”
Proudly, he gave them a tour of the facilities including his wardrobe, comfortable leather seat, tailoring station; he had it made in there. Anything he could possibly need was all there, he would only leave the suit if it was absolutely necessary; sleeping and eating wasn’t on that list.
“You’ve got it made in there!”
“I look good, feel good, live good, damn, I am good.” When the wind picked up, he suddenly slammed the chest piece shut which he used as a door. “There’s dust on my white suit! This stuff stains if I don’t clean it immediately.”
Gisella shielded her eyes and covered her mouth with her mask. “There’s a lot of dust, isn’t there? We’re starting to leave the plains and it’s getting hotter.”
By midday, they could see a keep in the distance much like Riverguard. Not a cloud in the sky or the slightest breeze, the heat from the sun burned their necks and was even worse for those who wore heavier armour. Of course, Lintelfaden was completely fine, saying something about ‘air conditioning’ within the suit but Elmo and Lorenz were getting cooked alive. The ground was rough and barren, not a single bit of life growing but this wasn’t a desert either; the land was completely out of place from what one would expect.
“Why are the areas around the temple so unpleasant?” Aki wondered. “Really wet and flooding or super hot and lifeless…”
Elmo took off his helmet and poured water on himself. “I don’t want to think about what the fire cult would be like.”
There were multiple boulders of all sizes lining the road leading to the keep, some cracked open in half while others shattered and crumbled and were now homes for bugs and small creatures. Bustov left the dirt road and climbed on top of one of the rocks, lured in by a sword sheathed in the stone. He tried to pull out the black blade with all his might but it wouldn’t budge in the slightest, completely resisting him. The rock itself began to close around the sword and it dislodged itself from the ground, a body of earth shaking dust and debris off of its body. A few of the stones began to shake and roll towards the elemental, slamming into its body and giving it arms and legs to crush its enemies.
“It’s massive!” Fensal gasped.
Lilie threw up her hands and turned around. “Yep, I’m out, buh bye!”
Towering above them, it slammed the ground and roared, shaking the earth and alerting the keep of their situation. The sword in its back grew larger and larger until it matched its size, changing shape for its wielder. Luckily, the elemental didn’t even know Bustov was on its back, ignoring the annoyance and targeting the biggest enemy it could see; the space marine. It grinded its fist into the ground as it charged him, tearing a trench open and blasted Lintelfaden off his feet in a single blow.
The halfling steadied himself in midair and stayed aloft with the rocket boots but the blow still rattled the armour and the entire cockpit. “Agh, what was that? Systems seem to still be green but not if I keep taking those hits.”
Bustov had the amazing idea to fire the Lenz at the elemental while he was on it. “It’s just a rock, we can still attack it!”
It didn’t even feel his attack and fell over, trying to crush Bustov with its pure weight. He barely escaped in time before he was flattened into paste, shivering as he saw the crater from the impact.
“Don’t fight up close to this guy!” Lorenz warned.
“W- Why are you there?!” Fensal stuttered.
All the way back down the road, a little speck in the distance, nowhere near the combat whatsoever.
“Can you even hit a target from there?”
“Probably?! It’s a big target, how could I miss?!”
He missed completely.
The elemental unsheathed the black blade from its back, hilt covered with nine skulls and struck a stance, goading the party to approach it. The skulls all held blood red crystals in their open mouths, half glowing with energy, the other half dim and empty, waiting for the harvest.
Every hit it took, its body would harden, a black protective sheen absorbing the brunt of the damage. Even magical weapons couldn’t easily penetrate its defense, bouncing off as the force of the blow reverberated through the blade.
Faster than it looked, it was as if the earth itself carried it forward into striking range. Elmo shoved Augusta out of the way, bracing himself for the impact and was launched into the air; the shield meant nothing and he felt the full blow even through his armour. It wasn’t over, the elemental leapt into the air and caught Elmo, crushing him in an iron grip and slamming him straight back into the ground like a comet.
“Do you think they’re having fun?” Lilie wondered, sitting cross legged next to Lorenz.
“Shouldn’t you be helping?” he countered. “I’m kinda doing something, shooting a laser here and there.”
“I either make sharks, poisonous snakes, or lightning, none are useful against an earth elemental.”
“True, but do you know what is? Lasers!”
The shot flew way overhead again.
On the bright side, he didn’t have to aim his healing spell and was able to bring Elmo back to consciousness after the brutal slam, though not in a good condition. Lintelfaden quickly took initiative and the katana sliced straight through, ignoring the protective layer and severing the elemental’s arm. Gisella was able to fight safely from a distance, backing up Augusta with her flying daggers while she fought up close, weaving and evading any heavy blows. The attacks were too slow to hit her and the pinion blades were slowly bypassing the protective layer.
Infuriated, it began to flail wildly, striking poses between swings like a statue. Faster and faster, growing more erratic until it thrust the black blade into the ground and flexed. Its arms and legs exploded, releasing fragments and hundreds of jagged rocks in all directions. They knocked Lintelfaden out of the air, caught Fensal and Gisella even from the backlines, and almost crushed Augusta if it weren’t for Elmo taking the majority of the attack for her.
Roaring again, the rocks returned to the elemental, recreating its arms and legs and wrapping around the greatsword. Crumbling and falling apart, it continued to charge the party, slashing in wild arcs without aiming.
Lorenz’s eyes glowed and he aimed for the enemy again. “Alright, I’ve got it this time for sure.”
Controlling the light, he almost missed again but curved it in time to score a direct hit to the head. It didn’t harden in time and the light burned straight through, severing the magical connection that created an elemental. It suddenly froze and, to a sigh of relief, crumbled back into dormant rocks, dropping the massive blade.
“I don’t miss!” Lorenz laughed and ran back to the party.
Lintelfaden hopped out of the suit, flicking the dust off of his now mauve suit, and opened a robotic medkit. “Now then, who needs a little bit of healing?”
“I could use-” Elmo began but was silenced as he was stabbed by a massive syringe.
“Bang, now you’re healed!”
Whatever it was, it did the trick and his wounds began to close. Lintelfaden went bounding over to everyone, joyously stabbing them with the healing syringe. No and yes meant the same thing, it all ended with a big stabbing whether the syringe was empty or not.
Lilie rejoined everyone and was immediately stabbed. “I didn’t even get hurt!”
Gisella ignored the commotion and reached for a small gem on the ground. The burning sun was reflected on its surface and, looking around, could see that there were hundreds of glittering treasures around the broken elemental. Her eyes sparkled just as brightly as the crystals, flying straight over and lifting as many as her telekinesis could carry. Holding them up towards the sky, she marveled at her newfound riches.
“The elemental has diamonds inside it!” Gisella exclaimed. As everyone in the party were expert appraisers, they could easily tell the combined amount of the riches at a glance. “This is worth over 2,000 gold in gems…!”
“Wait, there are more boulders with swords in them,” Bustov pointed out.
They spotted seven more elementals concealed in the ground, hiding in plain sight, lying dormant until anyone attacked the keep. The sheer number of them was terrifying, one was tough enough, draining their resources and dealing serious damage even to the space marine armour; they were not going to deal with another 7. Well… they shouldn’t have.
“But think about the money!” Gisella interrupted. “If each one of these guys is filled with gems then it’s definitely worth it. Besides, they might have a special sword like this one has!”
Elmo inspected the black blade, shrinking to accommodate his size as he slid his hand across the edge. “It’s a fine blade, yes,” he admitted. “But I’m not looking forward to going toe-to-toe with that again, I’m not fast like Augusta nor do I have space marine armour.”
“The plan is simple!” Bustov explained. “We will stand far away and shoot it then, while it tries to slowly come to us, we keep running away until we break it; foolproof; can’t fail.”
“Good plan, great plan,” Lorenz agreed.
Greedy as they were, they went with their reliable plan and took their positions far from any of the Guardians. On the count of three, they all released their strongest ranged attack… and all meant 4 of them.
Without even flinching, the stones around burst from the ground and became its arms and legs. Sinking into the ground, it burrowed through and charged them, tearing up the land and sending quakes throughout the area. The seismic activity triggered another Guardian to follow in its lead, pinpointing the enemy and destroying anything that got in its way.
And Lilie was long gone.
Taking a page out of her book, the party quickly retreated. The elementals didn’t even chase, bursting out of the ground and throwing a boulder as a warning before stoically marching back to their positions. The party watched from a distance as they crumbled and broke apart, pretending to be normal rocks again.
“Alright, so the earth cult is too tough, the water cult is a pain, and we don’t know where the fire cult is,” Fensal summarised. “Anyone got any ideas?”
“White plume mountain?” Lintelfaden suggested.
“Gene-splicer?” Augusta asked.
“I think Kwalish has a tank,” Gisella reminded. “The big one with the multiple legs.”
They had completely forgotten but it would make sense that Kwalish himself would have the Apparatus of Kwalish. If memory serves, it didn’t have any claws but it did have multiple different segments that could be fitted with weapons from the space station; world’s first build-a-tank. It seemed to be just a prototype but it was still a weapon nonetheless and one that works underwater at that.
“So if we take that to the Riverguard then into the temple, it could protect us from the tide knights!” Lilie realised. “I will stay inside it perfectly safe and sound, no need to worry about being a shark.”
Fensal agreed with the current plan. “It doesn’t have weapons so we’ll need to find a workaround but it is still useful nonetheless.”
“Oooh, we’re gonna get a tank!” Augusta clapped her hands, giddy at the idea. “How long until we get it to Riverguard?”
“If we’re taking the bubblecar to the base of the station and then the Apparatus back, it shouldn’t take more than a week,” Gisella explained. “Then we’ll take it through the current and straight into the temple.”