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 29 Recap
“I don’t think your Lenz was worth it,” Lorenz sighed, trying to clean his rifle of acid.
Lilie shivered as she was just revived, killed and almost eaten by a floor mimic as they tried to escape the space station. “Yep, should’ve run from it, I hate this place so much!”
Fensal shrugged and helped her to her feet. “I’m fine, I didn’t get hit once.”
“Good for you.”
Bustov cleaned his hair, restyling it after the fight. “At least you weren’t digested, no way Lorenz could rez you after that.”
Eating the berries Aki had conjured for her, Lilie stayed behind the party all the way up to the first level, ready to bolt at the first sign of danger. Despite what the others said, she was paranoid that anything and everything could be a mimic, and being eaten by one wasn’t an experience she wanted to go through again.
“Why didn’t I stay at the keep instead of this terrifying space place?” she muttered. “How did you live here for so long?”
“Because UNITY protected me!” Lorenz declared. “Also I never left floor 1.”
Out of the wall, scaring the life out of Lilie, a jolly humanoid made of pure silver waved at them. At least 8 feet tall, he laughed and bowed, making the party feel safe around him.
“Hello!” it greeted. “How do you do?”
“Wall mimic!” Lilie gasped and fainted.
“Uh, we’re doing good?” Fensal replied
“Lovely to hear!” The being acted as if they were suddenly best buddies. “Well, I do have a itsy bitsy favour to ask of you lot!” He pointed to Kwalish’s lab. “You see, I’d love to get to Earth, been stuck in this space station for who knows how long but the gnome doesn’t really fancy me… Do you mind doing a little convincing? I’ve seen that you’re friends.”
No questions asked, they let it tag along to Kwalish’s lab, starting to enjoy its company. Quite talkative and friendly, it wasn’t long until the party were willing to take it to earth with them because the alien creature they just met was very trustworthy.
Nearing the lab, the walls opened and dozens of guns and cannons of all different sizes were trained on the silver alien, red lights covering it from head to toe, following its every move. A golden robot, even taller than the 8 foot alien, raised its claw towards the enemy, ready to atomize the intruder.
“The usual greeting I see!” the xeno laughed. It turned to its new ‘friends’. “See the guns? That’s your cue!”
“Oh, right, hey Robbie,” Fensal greeted, waving to the golden robot. “Don’t shoot the, uh, silver guy. We want to ask Kwalish something about it.”
Understanding, Robbie held its fire but didn’t let anyone out of his sight. The guns followed the xeno as he was let into the lab; even if the party wanted them to wait, a single command from Kwalish was all it would take to vaporise the enemy.
“Hey, Kwalish!” Bustov greeted.
“Can you not see I am busy?!” the gnome snapped, juggling multiple concoctions in one hand while casting spells with his other hand.
“We’ve got this silver dude here who wants to-”
“What?! Get him out of here!”
With a wave of his hand their ‘friend’ was banished out of the lab to somewhere on the space station.
Turning back to his work, he explained that what they were so willing to bring to earth was a cyberspawn, a creature that infects entire planets and destroys it from the inside out. They couldn’t get to earth on their own but through the transmatting device the party used to travel would serve them well if it wasn’t for the wizard of Kwalish’s caliber guarding it. All it would take is a single being to destroy the planet, spreading and multiplying rapidly until nothing could stop it.
“I swear you are the luckiest people I’ve ever met,” he sighed. “You find the dumbest ways to put yourselves in danger without even knowing it.”
“It’s a talent,” Bustov explained.
“You don’t say? Go back to earth already and try not to bring any world eaters, got it?”
Augusta didn’t expect to see both Gisella and Lintelfaden return to Lareth and was even more surprised to hear about what forced them to retreat from the keep.
“Wait, so you lost to… frogs?” she asked.
“Frogs of doom I’ll have you know!” Lintelfaden corrected, hopping out of the armour. While the protective suit was damaged, he was unscathed, black suit and tie in pristine condition. “Tch, they messed up my beautiful armour!”
“They were a lot worse than we expected and they ambushed us,” Gisella explained. “Something about their attacks or poison paralyzed us. Without a healer there wasn’t much we could do.” She took a quick garner of the room while she bandaged herself. “Where are the others?”
Augusta shrugged. “Haven’t come back yet and only Lintelfaden has a way of contacting them.”
The fighter in question clicked some buttons inside the suit and it began to send out radio waves, rhythmically pulsing out from their location. “Lilie can sense this signal once she gets back, radio waves is what Kwalish called them, and will head to our location instead of straight to the keep.”
“I didn’t know she could do that,” Gisella muttered.
“Neither did I until she told me.”
It took a few days but Lilie and the others finally arrived at the moathouse where the rest were hiding, a ways off from the keep. Quickly debriefing the situation, the keep had been retaken by the water cult, though not nearly as many guards or cultists as before. The biggest threat though were the bullywugs, of doom Lintelfaden added, and their… cartwheels (of doom!) and clubs.
“Wait, so just to recap,” Bustov interrupted. “So while we were fighting off cyborg wraiths and demonic floor mimics, you guys got beaten by a gang of cartwheeling frogs?”
“Of doom!” the halfling replied. “And we didn’t have a healer since Lilie joined you guys.”
“And I regret it,” Lilie sighed. “Getting killed by a floor is the worst experience ever.”
“What did Lareth say about reinforcing the keep?” Fensal asked.
Augusta shook her head. “Not until it’s clear, he won’t help us retake it. On the bright side it hasn’t been heavily reinforced so taking it shouldn’t be as bad as before.”
Lorenz turned towards the dark sky, heavy clouds gathering around the fort just as before. “Tch, they’re doing that storm thing again. It doesn’t bother the cultists in the slightest but if it gets too heavy, we can hardly see the enemy in front of us.”
As they neared the fort for a second time, the rain began to pour as if reacting to their presence. Rather than walking up to the front door and knocking, the party opted for a more stealthy approach, aiming for any soldiers in the towers to take out the snipers, then moving on to other weak points they could find. From Gisella’s reconnaissance, they guessed about 20 cultists and guards took back the keep, less than half of the force from the first fight; if everything went according to plan this would be a cinch.
Gisella, Bustov, Aki, and Fensal were able to sneak through the rain with ease, lightly equipped and quick on their feet. With Lilie’s help, she was able to make Lintelfaden and Elmo invisible, helping them despite their heavier armour.
“I hate mud!” Lorenz complained. “My boots are getting stuck in it!”
“Shh!” Gisella hissed.
His foot got stuck and he fell face-first in the sludge. As he tried to pull himself up, he lost his balance again and landed on his gun, firing a stray shot into the tower walls. The ray of light could be spotted from across the keep even through the downpour and bells began to ring, alerting everyone of his presence. It wasn’t long before he was running from a barrage of arrows, struggling to even stay standing.
“A little help guys?!” he cried.
“Why does every stealth mission end in failure…?” Gisella sighed and unsheathed her daggers.
As the party closed the remaining distance towards the keep, abandoning any hope of stealth, the rain grew heavier again, turning into a torrential downpour and blotting out any light from the sun. It was hard enough to aim even at the soldiers on the walls but the muddy terrain and almost total darkness was all working against them.
A roar echoed from the top of the tower and a large cultist leapt from the top, barely missing Elmo as he crashed down like a meteor. Tearing off his robes, his body morphed and fins burst from his back and arms as his skin changed colour; his head turned into that of a shark and he let out another ear-splitting roar, ready to rip and tear through the party.
“Eww!” Lilie gagged. “Is that supposed to be a wereshark? That’s disgusting!” And she immediately fired a lightning bolt at it.
The wereshark himself should have been easily overwhelmed but, as Gisella prepared to attack, a massive shadow loomed overhead. A boulder flying through the storm almost crushed her, crashing into the mud and sending sludge in all directions. It blocked her line of sight from the enemy and she was forced to disengage, find a new angle to attack from.
Where did that come from?! She thought. There’s something big in there that can throw a boulder across the entire keep. We should fight close to the walls and-
She almost jumped out of her skin as something started screaming its war cry, soon joined by a few others. Rushing towards her, the fat bullywugs swung their weapons wildly, a few holding magic items or cloaks that they had found in the keep. When she tried to pull away from them, more burst out from the muddy ground and joined in the cry.
Fensal fired an arrow into its head but it seemed almost spongy, absorbing most of the blow and bouncing it away. “What in the world is that?!”
“Those are doom frogs!” Lintelfaden explained, rushing over to help Gisella.
Augusta shrugged and joined the fray, slamming one of the bullywugs into the ground with ease. To her shock, he bounced off the mud and rolled away, cartwheeling back on his feet as if nothing ever happened. Like an acrobat, he raised his club into the air and cartwheeled right back into the fight, slamming into Gisella and Augusta before landing lightly on his feet.
The initial strike wasn’t the problem, it was something about their attacks that inflicted paralysis. Gisella could force herself to move with her telekinesis but Augusta could feel her strength being sapped away, unable to avoid any incoming strikes and left completely vulnerable. Every bullywug did the same routine before performing their cartwheel attack, charging through heedless on friend or foe in the way; the mud was no different from solid ground to them.
“Get back!” Elmo commanded and pulled Augusta out of the way, blocking an erratic slam from the bullywugs.
Flanked from behind, their attention was split and it gave the wereshark the opening he needed to jump the party while they were distracted. His strength was far above that of any human and his jaws could break armour with ease; if it wasn’t for the magically reinforced shield, Elmo could have been killed as the razor teeth sunk into the steel.
“Thanks,” Augusta muttered. “I’m alright now.”
Lorenz was quick to heal Elmo and fire a quick shot at the bullywugs. “Focus on the frogs while Elmo keeps the shark in check!”
Bustov flicked back his hair and fired another arrow. “The Lenz works like a charm and it feels good!”
The drenched frog was struck in the chest and almost instantly froze over, falling back into the mud, breaking into pieces and sinking. The rain grew heavier in time with the peal of thunder and the ground began to flood, water bubbling up and taking the shattered pieces away. Blessed by Olhydra, none of the cultists even noticed the rain or swamp-like terrain rather grew more ferocious believing their princess was with them.
Without warning another boulder was hurled, this time at Augusta who barely recovered from the paralysis. The aim was unerring, almost impossible considering the distance and storm; the cultists were never struck by the attack, not even the bullywugs who cartwheeled between the party.
Augusta channeled the wind within her fists and took the brunt of the boulder head-on, no time to dodge out of the way. The whirling air helped her halt its momentum and divert the trajectory to the side, avoiding most of the damage. She still felt the impact in her arms but she saved herself and Elmo from being crushed completely.
As if there wasn’t enough to deal with, the ground burst behind her and another monk clad in brown robes and an onyx oni mask surprised her before she could recover. Challenged to a ‘one-on-one’ he had heard of her skills after the fall of the Howling Hatred and wished to test his mettle.
“You. Me,” he commanded. “Now.”
“Huh?” she snapped. “Now?! You want to fight now?!”
“I will defeat you.”
“Can you not see the shark, the storm, the cartwheeling frogs, and the flying boulders?! What makes you think now is the best time for solo combat?!”
“I hate my luck…”
Unlike her quick and nimble style, his attacks were much heavier and slow. He didn’t rely on dodging, he put his faith in his skills to block and counter in one seamless motion before his opponents could escape, retaliating with a brutal blow. A single hit almost knocked Augusta off her feet and made her head spin.
Now that he was supported by his team, Lintelfaden struck down another bullywug with ease and continued to the next, a faint string guiding his blade at Fensal’s command. Lilie was jumped by another bullywug from within the mud but Gisella was able to move her to safety with her telekinesis before any harm happened to her. But the danger still remained in the tower, continuing to load their crossbows and hail arrows along with the occasional boulder flying across the keep.
“That’s the last one!” Bustov sighed, shooting down the final cartwheeling frog. “Wereshark next!”
“Actually, you can shoot this monk anytime!” Augusta interrupted.
Lorenz stopped attacking and shrugged. “Uh, that wouldn’t be honorable to a one-against-”
“Honorable-?! You know he came out of nowhere halfway through this fight?!”
She wasn’t paying attention and the monk knocked her to the ground, stunning her again. He could move easily on the mud despite being with the earth cult, giving him a massive advantage. And that he attacked while she was injured and distracted but that wasn’t his fault.
“I thought you’d be more of a challenge,” he sighed. “How disappointing.”
“You know… I really don’t like you,” she muttered. “Ouch, my head hurts… Is this ‘one-against-one’ done…?”
“I have bested you with ease. I am done here-”
As soon as he said that, the rest of the party ganked and killed him in seconds before tending to Augusta. While they did heal her physically, they weren’t helping in the least with the mental side of things.
“Wow, you lost to him?” Bustov laughed “He’s not that tough.”
“He attacked from behind while there were boulders flying and I was paralysed!” she snapped.
“I dunno,” Lorenz shrugged, patting her head. “Sounds like the words of a loser.”
She flicked away his hand. “I’m going to kill you.”
Bustov stifled a laugh. “Heh, how can you? You lost to the monk!”
“I’m fine, no, really, take your time,” Elmo interrupted, struggling to escape from the wereshark’s jaws.
It didn’t matter how strong the enemy was, a one against eleven victory was not going to happen and he was promptly dealt with. All that was left were the archers in the tower and whoever was throwing boulders.
“Stop shooting me!” Lilie snapped and she summoned Jeffery and co. “Sic ‘em!”
Aki shivered as the snakes flew through the murder holes and the cultists’ screams were cut short. Jeffery peeked back through the hole and tipped his fedora, waiting for his next order.
Another boulder crashed beside Bustov, barely missing its target. The next target was obvious and they stormed the keep again. Sticking close to the buildings for cover from both the rain and the rocks. Something was guiding the enemy’s aim, he shouldn’t even know their location yet his accuracy was getting better as the storm raged on.
Getting to the back of the keep was a feat, the ground was more like a swamp now, forcing them to slow their attack and trudge through without the proper gear. The winds threatened to knock them off their feet and grounded anyone who tried to fly, not even Gisella’s telekinesis could keep her aloft. Jeffery and co. were rendered useless and forced to slither and sink into the mud.
“Here comes another one!” Fensal warned.
Lorenz opened the door to the nearby barracks and slammed it behind him, sighing in relief as the boulder crashed behind him. “Ah, finally! No more rain and mud, safe and sound indoors. I’ll be in here if you need me.”
He calmly walked around the barracks, ignoring the party, boulders, lasers, or the rain and started to loot the place. Nothing really was of value, he guessed the bullywugs were wearing most of the magic items but it didn’t bother him too much. Living in the space station all his life, even the ‘valuable’ items didn’t seem as important as it would to the other party members. Through a few windows he could monitor the party and give them some healing and through another, he spotted the last enemy of the keep.
At the back half of the keep built into the water, a half-submerged giant continued to attack the party before they neared him. It wasn’t just with rocks, he could cast multiple spells, rays of frost, a wall of wind blocking their advance and much more. Lorenz sneaked a shot at him through the window then quickly ducked around cover.
“That’s our enemy?” Bustov asked, rounding the corner of the building, catching a dark silhouette through the torrential rain. “Hmm, let’s see how he likes this!”
Even though he charged the Lenz, his powerful shot was caught by the giant and flicked away, barely hurting him.
“I guess he likes it,” Aki giggled, climbing into the barracks with Lorenz through the window. Her arrows were useless now, aiming through the storm and wind was impossible.
Luckily, the weapons from the space station were unhindered by the storm, lasers piercing straight through and reaching their target. Actually being hurt infuriated the giant and he slammed the earth, charging magical energy within his fists and releasing it in a massive cone of frost.
“Hey, Augusta!” Bustov called, using Lintelfaden’s armour to hide behind most of the spell.
“What do you need?” she replied.
He pointed to his trusty Moi Moi Bird, hopping around on the mud, a fair distance away from the team. “Go open that door for him!”
“Door?” She looked over to see the bird leaning against the door to a large room. “Wait, why?!”
“He’s performing a flank but he can’t open doors! If he’s inside then he can fly and loop around the giant! Trust, you can’t do much right now anyway!”
“And Moi Moi can?!”
“Of course! He’s Moi Moi not a loser-”
She didn’t bother listening to the rest of the sentence and opened the door.
The side excursion had absolutely no impact on the actual situation of the battle, though there was not much the others could do anyway. Lilie clapped her hands and fired her last lightning bolt at the giant, coursing through his body and into the water he was in, stunning him momentarily so Lorenz and Lintelfaden could swiftly follow-up. Gisella tried to use her knives but the wind was too strong and threw off her aim despite the telekinesis, rendering her as useless as those he needed to get into melee range.
Panicking, the giant tried to block the party with a wall of wind to cover his escape but Lilie quickly dispelled it, refusing to let the enemy get away after what he did to Jeffrey and Co. With one final shot, Lintelfaden caught him just in time before he could submerge and dive away, killing the last defender of the keep and taking control for a second time. With the giant’s death, the storm abated and quickly dispersed, no longer magically controlled.
“But it’s still real muddy,” Lorenz sighed. “And my gun is a mess!”
Augusta opened another door for Moi Moi Bird and he took flight, pretending he was a mighty eagle. Swoopin down, he landed on the corpse of the giant and pecked him triumphantly, flicking back his feathers before gracefully returning to Bustov.
“And what do you all say to your carry?” Bustov asked, petting his animal companion.
“Let’s stay behind and guard the keep this time,” Lintelfaden planned, ignoring the ranger completely.
Gisella concurred with the idea. “At least if the bullywugs jump us again we can fight them off properly. Not having any healers makes them a lot more dangerous.”
“I’m a support!” Lorenz corrected. “Not a healer!”
Bustov waved Moi Moi Bird in front of the party. “Repeat after me: Thank you oh mighty-”
Aki picked up Moi Moi and patted his head. “Thank you, little cutie! I’m going to give you a good shower and scrub!”
“See? You guys should be more devout like her.”
The keep was, hopefully, taken and, maybe? Wouldn’t slip out of their grasp again, clearing the path to target the Crushing Wave Temple itself. For being the ones who had to save the world from great evils, they took this at an extremely leisurely pace. But they had Moi Moi Bird, what’s the worst that could happen?