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 G-Noll (Reincarnation) (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 transcription error by the Verbobonc mercenary company registrar, “Merry” become “Moribund”
Session 27 Recap
Like true adventurers, they looted the entire temple, excitedly going through their newfound riches and magic weapons. Rushing back to Hommlet like greedy goblins, they split their loot on the way, not a moment to lose, and sprinted through town. Elmo was the first to take his share and split away from the party, pushing open the doors to the Welcome Wench, the town bar. He waved a bag of coins and shouted ‘It’s on me, boys!’ much to the delight of the drunkards. Augusta did not want to follow the path her simple henchmen took and instead headed to the outskirts of the city where a very honest trader resided.
“Welcome again,” the trader laughed, greeting the party. Nobody really knew his name, he was just the Honest Hommlet Trader. “I have more pets for you, Lilie!”
Lilie was the first to push past everyone and search the room for the pets. “Where?! Which ones do you have?!”
“I’m glad you asked, druid, for I have just the thing for you!” From behind the counter he pulled out a fat beagle. “A real Blink Dog!”
“Five hundred gold.”
Unconcerned about the absurd price, she snatched the Blink Dog within seconds and forked over the cash. Staring right into its beady eyes, she waited for it to teleport around the room, trying to coax it to do tricks and the like. And nothing happened. It simply stared back blinking constantly as if it was a defect; at times its eyes weren’t even blinking in sync.
“Uh, don’t they teleport?” Lilie asked.
“No?” he replied. “Why would you think that?”
“It’s a Blink Dog.”
“Yes, a dog that blinks. A lot. No refunds.”
Pocketing the easiest 500 gold of his life, he proceeded to present a few other specimens he had acquired such as a lizard, a cat, another Sprinkles the red weasel and an old sleeping owl. The last one he was particularly willing to sell at a low, low price of 750 gold as it was previously a wizards familiar. The age, magical ability, or which wizard it was from he wouldn’t disclose as it would breach store policies.
“And let me guess, it’s the familiar of a wizard that can cast two cantrips?” Lilie sighed, unamused after being ‘ripped off’.
“Now, now, don’t be so down, my druid friend,” the trader laughed, carefully handling the cage of the sleeping owl; He was uncannily similar to Shen. “We made quite the fair deal and my wallet is much weightier because of it!” He rang a little bell to wake up the owl. “Brace yourselves for this is the one and only Thaddius!”
“…Thaddius?” Lorenz echoed.
“Thhhhaddius! The bane of mice, the verminator, the CLAWS of Asmodeus; the list goes on and on!”
“I think I’ll pass,” Lintelfaden chuckled.
The Honest Trader flicked the bars of the cage. “Come on… It’s Thaddius!”
Ignoring the Traders iron rule of ‘no window shopping’, they headed back to Hommlet to get Elmo from the bar and to find Aki, most likely standing out in the sun and staring off into the distance; she still had her habits from when she was a veggiepygmy. As they entered town a second time, they were stopped by a guard who cautiously inspected them, perhaps worried that they were heavily armed.
“You seem like a mercenary band,” he said, pulling out a scroll. “You’ve got a name for your band? Who’s the leader?”
There was absolutely no order whatsoever after they realised that, not only was there not really a leader, they didn’t have a name for their team. A few wanted to make their pet pug the team mascot while Augusta argued that he himself was the leader. Not a single real team name was ever discussed, only jokes or puns but the guard didn’t stop them, definitely amused after a long shift; this was the best thing he had ever seen while on the job.
“I’ve got it!” Augusta cried. “General Puggins’ Merry Band of Adventurers!”
“General who?” the guard repeated.
Lorenz pulled the monk aside. “We are not being called that! The pug doesn’t even do anything except eat and sleep!”
“How dare you?!” she snapped. “General Puggins is one of the greatest beings in the world!”
The fat pug was jolted awake as she picked him up only to fall asleep while being held.
“General Puggins’…” the guard muttered. “Morbid Band of Adventurers. Alright, it’s official.”
Without realising the mistake, they were allowed back into town. Augusta went to fetch Elmo from the bar, almost completely sure he hadn’t moved an inch from when he first bought a beer, while the others completed maintenance or sold anything else they didn’t need. All the while a street preacher was shouting in the streets, drawing attention to himself and warning the townsfolk of what was to come.
Lorenz gave up trying to understand his hoarse voice but he managed to understand the main idea. Things were falling into discord as the nobles began to betray the common folk and the lands were getting dangerous, leaving the safety of the towns were highly discouraged. Also gnomes.
“Never should’ve trusted small people,” Fensal concluded. “Always knew they were suspicious.”
“You were a gnome, though,” Lorenz pointed out.
“Halfling, completely different. You can’t get more trustworthy than a halfling.”
Regrouping with Aki, Augusta dragging a drunk Elmo out the bar, they agreed to head to Verbabonc and Lareth to know where they could next strike the water cult, the Crushing Wave. With the Howling Hatred out of the picture, it was best to strike quickly before they could ride the momentum of one of their rivals out of the picture. They miiiiight have gotten a little sidetracked with shopping but it was only a few days.
Unfortunately, Hommlet was a boat ride away and a long one at that, could take about a week. Everyone else seemed fine with the motions and the waves but Lorenz could not understand how they could bear it in the least and why his magic didn’t help with motion sickness.
He ran up and interrupted Lilie. “I must be poisoned!”
“Huh? What did you eat?” she asked, completely distracted while grooming her pet wolf Fuyoko.
“I feel so sick and my magic isn’t doing anything-!”
She glanced over her shoulder and laughed, not concerned in the least about his condition. “Oh, you have sea sickness? Water cult guys aren’t gonna be great for you, huh?” She pointed to a bucket to the side. “Go ahead and barf there if you want.”
Almost a week of downtime gave them the chance to discuss who was next to attack. Wind cult was out of the picture, now it was between the other three with water now being the weakest cult. Going up the ranks was the idea and, from what they could tell, the Cult of the Crushing Wave was also close to Hommlet,
After days on the boat, Lorenz practically rolled off the edge of the boat and onto land. “It doesn’t rock and sway, thank UNITY!”
Augusta jumped off the boat and landed on Lorenz, though he didn’t even feel it, relishing in the safety of land. She didn’t even have to point it out, on the hill, staring off into the distance, the one and only Lareth the Beautiful awaited them. Blonde hair flowing in the breeze and there wasn’t even a breeze; who else would it be?
“Ah, what a beautiful day,” Lareth sighed, admiring the scenery; the flowers, the blue waters, and the verdant plains. He flicked his hair and clicked his fingers. “But not as beautiful as me!”
“Yes, you are,” Gisella dismissed. She revealed Windvane, the spear needed to summon the Elemental Prince of Wind. “This is one of the artifacts to perform the ritual?”
“Exactly, I’m glad you got it. Even if the cult still stood, taking this weapon would jeopardize all of their plans.” He offered a quick prayer to Lolth and pulled out a scroll, writing down what the party had completed. “Do you have a specific target for the next cult in mind?”
“Going up the ranks was our idea. The Water Cult is next as they are second weakest next to air. We’ve discussed fighting the other temples but ultimately settled on taking them out of the picture.”
“I see. Well, you might have guessed but the relic you’re looking for is the azure trident, Drown. Taking that from Jolliver Grimmjow should be your main priority. Though it isn’t the temple, I suggest taking down Riverguard keep first. It will help you against them in the long run.”
“Do you know where it is?” Lintelfaden asked.
“You came from Verbobonc, right? I don’t know how you missed it but it is right on the way you could’ve gone there without even coming to me. And it isn’t hidden either, it’s literally a half-sunken fort with barnacles all over it, giving off that ominous vibe.”
“W- We have to go back?!” Lorenz stuttered. He shivered if he just laid eyes on the boat. “UNITY help me…”
If time was of the essence, it was draining really fast. Back on the boat for about a week, there wasn’t a way to make it go any faster. Lorenz suggested attaching rockets to the boat or just flying over but he couldn’t even concentrate long enough to make plans before getting sick again. Aki made him a few good berries to ease the pain but her magic was nothing like Bustov’s or Lilie’s and the berries tasted… sour.
“They taste good to me…” Aki muttered, snacking on them whenever she had the chance.
“And now my party is trying to kill me!” Lorenz cried, his pale skin nearly matching the colour of his silver hair now. “Isn’t Hommlet a river village or… something?”
“Fishing village,” Augusta explained.
“How do you live like this-?”
Nearing the shore, they spotted smoke rising up from the centre of the small village. Tripping over themselves towards their home village, debris of houses and shops, wood and stones littered the area, and a few corpses of people they knew were crushed or killed instantly. The closer they got to the rising smoke the stronger the winds began to whip around them until it began to sting.
A massive explosion had destroyed nearly half the town, creating a crater, leaving behind nothing in the area. The houses were destroyed from just the shockwave from the bomb, anything that had been hit directly was annihilated.
From what the townsfolk explained, a few men wearing sky blue feathered robes had entered the town a day ago. Yes, they were cultists, but they weren’t the first cultists that had come through the town; no one paid them any mind and continued on their day. One held an orb filled with raging winds, a cage for a storm flashing with lightning, and raising it towards the sky once he had reached the blast site. It didn’t take a detective to figure out what had happened next.
“And, uh, Gisella?” one of the town guards interrupted.
“Hmm? What is it?” she asked.
“I regret to inform you that your grandmother was among the people who were caught in the blast.”
“I have a grandmother?!”
It was a sad day, Gisella’s dear grandmama-that-she-never-knew-she-had went who happened to be visiting from Brewkessel had kicked the bucket. Eye witness accounts report that she was shouting ‘picture picture’ while running up to the cultists during the ritual. Doing what she loved moments before death, her legacy was left behind with a single ‘picture picture’ of the cultists freaking out as the old lady sprinted up to them, smiling for the camera. How the camera survived no one would know, it was just one of Grandmama’s eternal secrets…
“How do you even know it was Gisella’s grandmother?” Augusta asked.
The guard shrugged. “Intuition.”
“Alright, mourning over,” Gisella interrupted and began to spin her knives between her fingers. “The wind cult are just being petty, they can’t do anything without Windvane. And after this it isn’t likely they’ll be let back into any towns to do the same thing.”
Lorenz finally caught up to the party, recovering after taking a quick power nap as soon as he rolled off the boat. “Phew, so, what’s the plan guys? I feel a lot better now-”
“We’re heading to Riverguard keep,” Augusta explained. “You can see it from here in the water.”
He glanced at the keep on the horizon, clearly only reachable by boat. “I think the earth guys are next, right? Surely they’re the ones we should take out.”
“No, the water keep is really close to Hommlet, so I want to take them out.”
“I hate this place…”
Without any further interruptions, shopping plans, unbelievably beautiful followers of Lolth, or picture pictures, they’re target was set, all that was left was to sail. Maybe sea sickness on the way could stop one of them but Bustov could always drag Lorenz along.