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, Mouthpiece of the Golden Goddess (human cleric of UNITY).
*Due to a transcription error by the Verbobonc mercenary company registrar, “Merry” become “Moribund.”
Session 46 Recap
The party stared at the surface of the dark ocean as the rain fell hard on their backs. Every drop was heavy, the rumbling thunder was deafening, and the wild wind stung their cheeks. The scent of salt was growing stronger and stronger, burning their throat and lungs. The situation was grim and the ocean level was gradually rising as the Temple of Water reached the pinnacle of it’s strength.
“There,” Fensal said, pointing at a dim light in the water. “If Gar is performing the ritual, this is where he would be.”
“Directly below us,” Augusta cursed. “At the bottom of the ocean.”
Lorenz’s fingertips glowed with holy light and he rested his hand against Lintelfaden, imbuing him with power. “We’ve only got the resources to enable you and Bustov. Hold nothing back.”
Gisella took a deep breath and the circuitry beneath her skin began to glow. “Lilie, we’re ready to go.”
“Wait!” Bustov interrupted. “Aki!”
“Huh?!” she gasped, jumping in fright. “W- What’s wrong?”
“Stay on the ship, I don’t want you to go down there.”
“What? I can heal you guys and-”
“You’re shaking and can hardly concentrate. You’ll only endanger yourself if you go down there.”
“I can still help you guys-”
For once, he wasn’t laughing or joking, but he calmly turned towards the edge of the boat. “Stay here, we’ll come back.” He brushed his wet hair out of his eyes and charged the Lenz. “Let’s do this!”
There was no time to waste. The team leapt off the edge of the boat as Lilie cast her spell, granting the whole team the ability to breathe underwater. Diving into the darkness, they headed towards the light of the ritual below, sinking lower and lower until they could finally reach their target.
Despite the pitch darkness, the light from the elemental plane of water shone brightly with an ethereal light, giving life to the world around it. Though the water node was void of life, the portal revealed a mystical plane filled with aquatic life and other minor elementals. A strange castle in the distance seemed to ripple with the waves as if it was made of water itself.
“Marlos did well,” Gar admitted, spinning Drown in one hand, creating waves and bubbles with every swing. “His dream died to realise mine. This is just the beginning and you’re here to witness it!” He slammed Drown against the seabed. “Bow down in her presence; all hail the queen!”
A blast of water knocked the party to their knees, forcing them to pay respects as Olhydra slowly swam through the portal. Her body was akin to roiling waves, constantly spinning and gradually giving her form and features. Brushing back her ‘hair’, she raised her hand towards the surface, sighing in contemptment.
“Finally,” she whispered. “I’m finally here…”
Gar bowed respectfully and spun Drown one last time. Olhydra’s body solidified and, unlike other water elementals, she wasn’t just a sentient churning wave but an extremely beautiful woman of water.
The one and only Princess of Elemental Water.
“My queen,” Gar greeted. “The dawn of your new kingdom is upon us.”
“You did well, Gar,” she admitted. Her voice was crystal clear underwater, filled with confidence and pride. “Much better than the priest could ever do, you have my respect.”
“You are too kind, I merely followed your teachings.”
“Ah, I’m here!” Laughing, the water around her began to swirl like a whirlpool and it began to boil. “I’m finally free! I do not have a second to waste, I will flood this whole plane and-”
She caught an arrow of ice and melted it in her hand. She only now noticed the party and the temperature in the water rose as her rage bubbled up. “Gar… who are they?”
“Upstarts who seek to overthrow your grand plan,” he said, channeling his magic into the prongs of Drown. “Think of them as nothing more than blood sacrifices.”
Olhydra’s smile sent chills down their spine and the pressure of her aura threatened to crush their will to fight. Just standing in her presence already put them at a disadvantage but now wasn’t the time to falter.
“It’s now or never!” Lorenz snapped, supercharging Bustov. “Let’s do this!”
“You’re challenging me in my domain?!” Olhydra laughed. “Oh, the stupidity of humans never ceases to amaze me!”
A ray of pressurised water shot out from her hand struck Augusta and slammed her against the seabed, almost knocking her out in a single blow. But like a rope, the ray tensed and trapped the monk, pulling her towards the princess’ body.
“Don’t worry about me!” Augusta cried and her eyes glowed as Chuckie manifested. “Stick with the plan!”
“Focus everything we’ve got into Bustov and Lintelfaden!” Gisella ordered. “Let them carry, we’ll do everything we can to keep the pressure off of them!”
“Silence!” Gar roared. “How dare you stand in the Queen’s presence with such disrespect?! Do not raise your hand against her highness!”
Waves began to form underwater, tearing at the seabed and disrupting the terrain. Pushing through the turbulent waters was almost impossible and the sand began to suck them in like whirlpools, hindering their ability to fight back let alone move. But they didn’t come here expecting a fair fight.
“Go get ‘em,” Lorenz said, slamming his hand against Lintelfaden’s back and flooding her with magic energy.
Lilie’s eyes glowed and the ethereal clock began to spin rapidly around the mechataur. “We’ll support you from behind, just keep charging through.”
The sand couldn’t pull Lintelfaden and the raging waters had no hold on him. His hand hovered over the hilt of his katana and he charged forth, unhindered by the force of the waves crashing against the party. Olhydra fired another ray of pressurised water, striking his forcefield and shaking the barrier but it held fast.
“What are you?” she asked. “A bucket of bolts challenging me in my domain? Even though you sink like a rock without your cleric’s support? Ha, come then, I’ll make this place your grave.”
Unsheathing the katana, he released a blurring strike enhanced by time itself and the blade sliced through Olhydra’s body and cut her outstretched arm. The flash of steel surprised the princess and she pulled away, feeling pain, surprise, and utter rage that an inferior creature had actually harmed her.
“That hurt…?” Her body began to bubble and the water boiled around her. “You actually hurt me!”
“We’ll crush them quickly, my queen!” Gar assured, striking Lintelfaden and forcing him back with a wave of water.
Her body began to turn green and steam rose around from her, discoloring the water and the popping bubbles released a strange liquid that spread throughout the sea. “I’ll melt them; I’ll crush them; Their merry band of mercenaries will all die here.”
“General Puggins Merry Band!” Augusta corrected.
“Puggins? Oh, silence, gnome.”
“I’m not a gnome-!”
Her body began to burn and she felt a powerful pressure threaten to crush her into paste; the sea level was rising with Olhydra’s anger and her body, in turn, was changing into something else. A burning liquid that destroys what it touches; acid.
“You’ve really made her mad,” Gar chuckled, licking his lips. “It’s over for you now. Sick ‘em, Cauldronbubble.”
The murky water growing darker as the acid filled the sea hindered Gisella’s telekinesis and stung her eyes. Her daggers couldn’t cut through the water properly and she couldn’t see far enough to effectively strike Olhydra or Gar. But she came into this fight knowing exactly what she would be going up against and what her job was in this fight; keep everyone out of Lintelfaden’s way and clear Bustov’s sightlines.
Bursting out of a forest of seaweed, an enormous shark glowing with magical energy charged the party, snapping its razor sharp jaws, releasing spells with every bite. Its battle scarred body was riddled with spears and swords and a bright light emanated from his throat, firing lasers at various targets.
“I knew you hid your shark somewhere,” Gisella chuckled and her circuitry glowed a dull purple. “No need to worry about sight when you’re this close.”
Her telekinesis held Cauldronbubble in place but she froze as well, devoting everything she had to stop him from running rampant in the back ranks. She couldn’t find Olhydra well nor could she hold back Gar enough to impede his spells, so her duty was to handle his mount; it was just there luck he let it fight alone, they didn’t need to worry about dismounting him.
“Don’t let up!” Fensal cried and the sea was filled with spiraling red targets.
A barrage of ice arrows flew through water trailed by crimson strings, leaving a path of frozen water soon melted by the bubbling heat of the acid. Every shot pushed back Olhydra and her body temperature constantly rose and dropped with every hit.
The water around Bustov began to freeze and the crystalline shards broke off from his arm every shot, jarring his systems only running due to the overcharge. The more the sea level rose, the more the pressure crushed his body and made it harder to pull back the Lenz and the freezing string began to burn his hands.
“What is that weapon?!” Olhydra cursed, batting away another arrow. “The cold shouldn’t be hurting me, it shouldn’t be!” A whirlpool coalesced in her palm and the strength of the waves tore at the seabed, pulling in sand and debris into her body. “I’ve had enough of your insolence!”
A ray of pressurised acid fired from her hand and struck Bustov directly, searing his flesh and burning a hole through his arm. The Lenz sparked and the string evaporated, leaving behind a faint crystalline mist that was quickly melted away.
“You didn’t really think you had something going there, did you?” the queen laughed. “The ranger will drown…” She caught Lintelfaden’s blade, preventing it from cutting through. “And once I deal with you, this world is mine-”
A sound of cracking glass accompanied by the rhythmic ticking of a clock echoed within their ears and the ghostly silhouette of an hourglass appeared on the ocean floor. It spun once, tipping around and the sands began to drain away…
Olhydra cursed and batted away another arrow. “The cold shouldn’t be hurting me, it shouldn’t be!” A whirlpool coalesced in her palm and the strength of the waves tore at the seabed, pulling in sand and debris into her body. “I’ve had enough of your insolence-!”
Wait, this feels familiar.
“Wolfram!” Lilie cried.
Without a need for words, he acted fast and shoved Bustov out of the way of the ray of acid, barely avoiding the lethal damage himself. Memories of a past rewound flooded Olhydra’s mind and distracted her just enough for Lintelfaden to deliver another powerful blow and he yanked Augusta out of her acidic body.
“My queen!” Gar cried and he cast a wall of water, separating Lintelfaden from his mistress.
“Step aside, Gar!” Olhydra snapped. “Don’t insult me by getting in my way!”
The party felt another pressure drop and their bodies refused to do as they wanted anymore, only Bustov and Lintelfaden through supercharged strength could resist the full force of the sea weighing on their backs. Time was running out by the second, the only saving grace was Olhydra’s pride wouldn’t allow her to run away from the party but fighting her toe-to-toe was extremely risky.
Her body warped and began to churn violently, breaking her body into a raging tide with a viscous force that sucked everything into her body. Boulders, sand, and sunken debris were all sucked in and melted away and the strength of the whirlpool threatened to pull the party off their feet.
“Drown,” she hissed and charged towards the party.
Flooding over them, she chained strikes from each and every party member, swimming freely through the ocean and melting through armour and to the sea bed with every blow. Those she missed were sucked into her body and trapped within the waves and the pressure inside her was on a different level to that of the sea.
“Move!” Fensal cried, shoving Lorenz and Gisella out of the way of Olhydra’s fist.
“H-Hey, what are you-?!” Lorenz stuttered but his breath was knocked out of him.
The force of Olhydra’s frenzy shook the seabed and melted craters into the ground as she absorbed almost every party member into her path. Only Gisella and Lorenz were spared thanks to Fensal but the android was left burning in the ground, body burned and melting and his circuitry was sparking. Gisella swallowed hard, trying to maintain her focus on Cauldronbubble but her body began to shake from pressure, exhaustion, and fear.
“Is that it?” Olhydra laughed, slowly reforming into her true self. “Is this all the vaunted mercenary group that defeated the other cults has to offer?”
“Tch, this isn’t over,” Lorenz cursed. Charging the rocket launcher, his eyes glowed with radiant energy and the barrel of the gun began to heat up.
“Be careful!” Gar warned. “That weapon is dangerous! It fires homing rockets of light, you won’t be safe even underwater!”
“Is that so?” Olhydra held her arms out, goading him to fire. “Go ahead! Shoot me, fire those ‘rockets’ that you’re so proud of! OF course, if you don’t care about your teammates, that is.”
Bustov, Augusta, Elmo, Wolfram; she held all four captive inside her, slowly melting them away. Lintelfaden struggled to pick himself up off the sand, body parts melting and sparking and Gisella couldn’t let Cauldronbubble run free. Lilie held one hand against her chest and one on her hand, trying to stay conscious but the weight of the sea was keeping her down and the strain of her time spells gave intense migraines.
Gar spun Drown and created mirror images of himself as he approached the remaining party members. “It’s over.”
“Not yet,” Lintelfaden cursed, pawing the ground and readying the katana.
“No, it’s all over.”
“While we stand we will fight!”
“Then kneel,” Olhydra interrupted, raising her fist to strike.
A yin-yang disc began to spin in the mechataur’s fist and it guided the blade, forcing him to move and counter. Her fist collided against the katana but she couldn’t overpower him, gradually being pushed back as the razor edge cut through her acid.
No time to hesitate, Gisella thought, cursing her weakness. She strained her mind to make her body move and brought Cauldronbubble with her, opening his mouth wide. “Lorenz!”
No time for hesitation, the cleric dropped his weapon and his eyes glowed, using his photokinesis to fire a laser from the shark’s throat. He aimed the light for the queen’s eyes and the light, though hardly hurt her, struck her face and blinded her momentarily. That was all Lintelfaden needed to slash through her fist and split her arm off from the rest of her.
“You tenacious pieces of-!” she cursed but an icy shock cut her off. Bustov didn’t care that he was trapped inside and released arrow after arrow even if he had to harm himself to do so. Does he not care?! He’ll freeze himself to death!
“We’re still in this!” Augusta cried and an ethereal mist seeped out from her body.
Ahahaha, you’re better than I thought! Chuckie laughed. He clenched his fist and harnessed her will and power. Well, you know what they say. You just can’t keep a good guy down!
In a single blow, a shockwave blast the party out of Olhydra’s grasp, knocking her back and forcing her on the defensive. The wave reverberated through the water and pulsed out, forcing the queen and Gar to their knees.
“That’s all I’ve got,” Augusta chuckled, feeling her ki leave her body as Chuckie vanished. “Don’t let up.”
“Give them hell!” Lorenz cried.
Olhydra slammed the ground in a rage and heated bubbles rose in her body, shaking the seabed and forcing all but the strongest away from her with a tidal wave. “Don’t get cocky!”
The black ‘yang’ accompanied her strikes as Lintelfaden’s ‘yin’ fought against her, bursting in a wave of dark and light energy with every hit, canceling each other out. The cold steel clashed against acid as if it was a solid surface and droplets flew through the water, burning Lintelfaden’s skin, breaking apart his systems but he refused to fall. He couldn’t cut through her fist anymore as the adrenaline ran out and steam rose underwater from overheated systems but he had to keep fighting.
Light them up.
She caught the frost arrow and glared at Bustov. “I’ve had enough of you and your cursed bow!”
Crushing the arrow in a rage, it exploded in ice and froze her entire arm, dropping the temperature around her enough to crystallise the acid. It started to spread and she hastily tried to melt it but another arrow struck her squarely against her temple and the temperature fell again.
Gar reached out his hand and a wall of coral protected his queen, trying to buy enough time for her to melt the ice off her body. Bustov’s arrows broke through but it was quickly replaced with even more coral, even pulling the seabed with-
Lintelfaden crashed through, sheathing his katana and spinning the yin-yang disc, heedless of the state of his own body. The prophet’s heart sunk into his stomach and he chased after him, swimming through the water faster than a shark.
“Little to the left,” Lorenz guided. “There!”
Gisella forced Cauldronbubble to aim towards Gar and another ray of light struck him squarely in the chest, blasting him into the coral wall he created.
“Don’t miss, Lintelfaden!” Lilie cried.
“You can’t kill me, I can’t lose against- Against mercenaries!” Olhydra snapped, but the confidence was leaving her voice.
A crimson thread tied itself around the katana’s hilt as Fensal spun his finger around the water. “It’s all on you…” he coughed.
“Kneel,” Lintelfaden ordered.
The speed at which he unsheathed his blade was blinding and the last thing Olydra saw was the flash of steel. Empowered by the yin-yang and guided by the red string it slashed right through acid, water, coral and ice with ease, creating a split through the queen of the ocean. Eyes wide in shock and terror, her icy body began to crack and the acid changed back into water.
“Olhydra!” Gar screamed, filled with panic and fear.
In an explosion of ice, shards were sent flying through the water, trailed by tails of pale mist. A frigid cloud burst from the queen’s body washing over the party and the near boiling water began to cool to a lower temperature. Gradually, the overbearing pressure from the rising sea level began to alleviate and the weight left their backs.
As the icy mist dispersed, Lintelfaden turned to Gar, raising his katana and the kneeling man.
“How…?” the prophet muttered. “How could you have…?”
“Blasted mercenaries!” Olhydra roared.
Her enraged voice sent chills down their spines and gave Gar the strength he needed to stand. Through the portal to the plane of water, the gates of the castle were blown off their hinges and Olhydra stepped out, already in her acid form. A wave of heat began to seep from the edges of the portal as her bubbling rage grew, and with it, the sea level and the pressure.
“Close the portal!” Gisella ordered. “Don’t let Gar get away!”
I need to get Drown, Lintelfaden thought, quickly turning to face the prophet. His weapon opened the portal, I know it can close it-
He was the closest to reaching the relic of the water cult but his body refused to move. No matter how hard he tried, his sparking systems could not take another step towards his foe, now when he needed to move more than ever.
“Olhydra is returning!” Gar realised, kicking away from the party. His amphibious body cut through the water with ease, dashing and weaving around Bustov’s arrows. “He’s inaccurate, I can hold them off and wait for her return.”
A clock appeared around him and the hands began to spin wildly. Lilie leaned on Wolfram as she focused on her spell, barely staying conscious as her head throbbed with pain. The ticking clock went out of rhythm and the prophet’s movements began to slow…
Until the hands shattered and he froze in place.
“I’ll deal with the shark!” Bustov cried and he changed targets. “It’s up to you, Gisella!”
She dropped control of Cauldronbubble as an arrow whizzed past her, striking the beast away. Wrenching Drown out of Gar’s hand, she hurled him through the water and devoted her control on the relic, bringing it to the base of the water portal.
“Don’t you dare!” Olhydra roared, blitzing through the water, racing for the portal. “For once, Gar, do something useful!”
“I can’t!” he panicked. “You need to reach the portal!”
“Stop it! Let go of Drown right now!”
As she shot a ray of acid, Gisella struck the base of the portal with the trident. A shockwave rippled through the water and blinding lights burst from splits around the rock and border of the portal. Olhydra’s enraged orders were drowned out by the ear-splitting hum of power being released from the plane of water. The azure glow flashed and the portal exploded, sending chunks of rock hurtling through the water and a wave of sand blinded everyone in the area.
Lorenz coughed and picked himself up off the ground, wiping the blood as best he could from his temple. As his vision cleared, he could see his friends had also survived the blast and, though badly hurt and shaking, they were still alive and breathing. The only one who didn’t stand was Gar, kneeling before the destroyed remains of the portal and with it, his will to fight. Cauldronbubble swam over to comfort him, refusing to fight the mercenaries that had defeated their queen.
“Let’s get out of here,” the cleric coughed and his hand glowed with magical light. “The water breathing is wearing off…”
Surfaces of water appeared around their feet and rocketed them up to the surface, leaving behind the torn and destroyed battlefield. Even if they had to fight Gar, the light in his eyes vanished when the portal broke down and he calmly pat Cauldronbubble. Watching the party rise to the surface, he mounted his shark and fled, leaving behind everything he had worked so hard for.
The gleaming light from the surface drew them in like moths to a flame and the rays of the sun pierced the water. Refracting through the water, a rainbow shone on their armour, giving them a sense of relief and freeing them from the racing adrenaline that made their hearts pound.
Taking a deep breath of fresh air, they burst through the surface of the water one by one as the full light of the sun blinded them compared to the darkness of the seabed. But the rays were so warm on their aching bodies and the rainbow extended from the water up through the sky.
They didn’t say anything. Calmly reaching for the clear blue skies, they slowed their breathing and closed their eyes, standing on the surface of the water as if it was solid ground. The whole battle below blurred in their minds over and like a fever dream but one memory was as clear as day; the beautiful blue burst as the portal was destroyed.
Elmo quickly got to his feet and did a head count. “Where’s Bustov? And Lintelfaden and Fensal? They were hurt the most out of all of us.”
“Hah, you really thought that would be enough to stop me?” Bustov chuckled, sliding his hand across his hair. “Fit as a fiddle.”
“And the other two?”
“They’ll be alright, kinda,” Lorenz explained, funneling the rest of his healing into Lintelfaden and Fensal. “They’re alive, just totally knocked out. They really pushed themselves to the limit.”
“We all did,” Wolfram admitted. “I think we all broke our limits.”
“So… Is that it?” Lilie huffed, leaning heavily on her bodyguard. “Did we win?”
“I think… I think so,” Gisella laughed, wiping the tears from her eyes. “Heh, ahahaha! It’s over!”
“We won!” Augusta cheered, kicking off Elmo’s shoulder and knocking him on his back. “We really won!”
Quick footsteps on the galleon drew their attention and Aki leapt right off the edge of the boat. “You’re back! You’re all back!”
Crashing into Bustov and knocking him into the water, the air was filled with laughter and cheers. Tears of joys streamed down their eyes and they could hardly get the words out to explain their wild emotions. But laughing expressed everything and all that they felt. The battle against the elemental cults was all over, the prophets were defeated, and they toppled the Queen of the Plane of Water. Over and over, they cheered the same two words that marked the end of their battle and adventure.
“C’mon, Wolfram!” Lilie laughed, pulling her bodyguard along. “We’re gonna be way late!”
Her bodyguard laughed and let himself get pulled through the streets of Hommlet, gladly following her wherever she went. “You were the one that overslept.”
After the battle in the water node, the party had slowly made their way back out of the Greater Elemental Temple thanks to a certain devilishly handsome drow. Saved and brought to the entrance of Hommlet, the townsfolk found a group of unconscious mercenaries, wounded and exhausted from their long and hard fought battle.
That was five days ago.
Sleeping and resting for five days straight, they all gradually recovered their strength and magic. All except Lilie who had slept much longer than the others thanks to her draining time magic. This was the first time they were all awake and they couldn’t let such an amazing victory go uncelebrated. Plus, Lareth gave them a ton of treasure as thanks, so funds were hardly a problem.
“I think we make a left here…” Lilie muttered, pointing at the houses and reading the signs. “There’s the bar!”
Wolfram opened the door to her and everyone was already there, drinks in hand and laughing up a party. Augusta danced on the table already drunk and, for once, Elmo couldn’t help but laugh at her antics, letting her be as crazy as she wanted. Bustov and Fensal introduced beer to Lorenz who was extremely hesitant to drink the strange beverage… and ended up getting it tipped into his mouth anyways.
“Ahahaha, it isn’t too bad, is it?” Gisella laughed, balancing precariously on her knives.
“It’s horrible!” Lorenz coughed. “Ack, I feel like I’m suffocating!”
“C’mon, you can’t be that weak!” Bustov goaded, refilling his drink. “Bottom’s up on the count of three, got it?!”
Lintelfaden shook his head disappointingly. “You can’t have a party at a bar and not have anything to drink!”
“Sorry I’m late!” Lilie apologised, joining the team with Wolfram.
“Don’t sweat it,” Augusta assured, almost falling off the table in a stupor if it wasn’t for Elmo catching her. “We’ve got all night!”
“We were waiting for you two,” Aki chuckled, handing them both their drinks.
Bustov got on one of the tables and held up his drink. “Well, now that we’re all here, let’s have a real toast! Now, if you’ll allow me a few words-”
“To our victory over the cults!” Augusta interrupted, raising her drink to the others. “I never want to fight in water again!”
“Now hold on just a minute!”
Lintelfaden held his drink up as well. “Hahaha, I’ll drink to that!”
“W- Wait, I made this whole speech!” Bustov stuttered.
The whole party raised their mugs and bumped them together in a group, laughing and spilling their overfilled drinks with joy. “Cheers!”