The Wanderers

Episode 2: Sweet Richie Silk

“What if the false room’s trick is that it’s really true?” –FuQuan

“Bruh!” –DM

Synopsis

Responding to news that an evershard had been stolen from another hero, the companions tracked the supposed thief to the mountain stronghold of the mad mage, Sweet Richie Silk. Though he had not been seen for years and was presumed deceased, Sweet Richie Silk (originally Lord Richard) had been a powerful wizard before he disappeared, and it was never a good idea to make assumptions about powerful wizards. Sweet Richie Silk, in particular, was known for going to dangerous lengths for his hedonism, and was considered quite dangerous at the height of his reign.

On the surface, Sweet Richie’s lair appeared to be nothing more than a fountain in the middle of the woods, featuring a carved marble orgy in lewd anatomical detail. It was only by systematically tugging on all of the statues’ genitals that FuQuan was able to ascertain that one of the depicted mens’ members was detachable, and it was only due to his expertise in stonework that he realized that said member was in fact a key. How he knew immediately that the lock must be hidden inside one of the carved vaginas is unknown, but upon inserting and twisting the key, the pool of water drained and fell back to reveal a spiral staircase descending deep into the mountainside. Steeling themselves against what came ahead, the companions proceeded down into the depths of… a very comfortable sitting room.

Among the plush bean-bag chairs, illusory candle chandeliers, and velvet wall hangings was a statue of an exaggeratedly muscular Sweet Richie holding a naked woman and stretching his hand out towards the viewer, over an inscription that read, when translated, “Bitches and Bling”. Assuming correctly that inserting a coin into the open hand would activate something, Dalamus successfully opened the first secret door and proceeded into the rest of the dungeon.

With relative ease, the party made their way through a supply room filled with massage oils, personal lubricants, and one Gray Ooze guardian, a shrine to a snake god featuring a large obsidian statue of a snake and a tangled mass of live snakes on the floor and ceiling which Dalamus was certain he could figure out how to control, a forest room filled with live trees and wallpapered with an illusory forest in which spiritually bound dryads attempted to lure the heroes into the woods and Dalamus was certain he could figure out how to charm them, and a shrine to the god of greed guarded by a massive porcelain pig golem which wound up being filled with coins when shattered, from which Thompson retrieved an ornate pocket flask and in which FuQuan discovered a similar but miniature porcelain pig golem with a coin-shaped slot in its back that functions as a walking bag of holding but can only accept coins.

The party didn’t encounter any major difficulties until they were presented with a pair of statues, one of which always told the truth and one of which always lied. They figured out which one was which, but failed to note that the total number of questions they had was told to them by the lying statue; their questions exhausted, both statues fell inert before any useful information could be extracted from them.

Further difficulties befell the party when Khadustra attempted to free a chained harem girl from a curtained lounge, unsuspicious of the fact that all of the other chained harem girls had long since died and been reduced to skeletons. The woman, who gave her name as Lucy, wound up being a succubus, ageless and sustained entirely by victims’ life force, and Dusty was drained nearly to death when he reluctantly accepted – or rather, failed to physically escape from – her kiss. Rather than attempt to fight the succubus with the party’s strongest fighter on his last legs, Dalamus hatched a plan to burn Lucy’s room to a crisp, correctly surmising that as an immortal, she valued the possessions she had collected over the years more than any one or even any four victims. The second part of Dalamus’ plan, to stand in the doorway and taunt the demon while continuing to set her possessions on fire, and the third part, to give the immortal vengeance-crazed demon his full name before closing the door and leaving her alive and enraged, were geared towards some purpose that was perhaps less obvious to the rest of the party.

Essentially down a man, the party stumbled into the pavilion of the trapped genie Djinnifer, bound to the dungeon centuries ago by Sweet Richie to aid in the construction of the place. She invited the party in to rest a while and recover their strength; it was a very comfortable prison, and she had food, music, and sylphy masseuses to aid the party in recuperating in exchange for conversation. She did request their aid in freeing herself, though; as it turned out, all that she needed was the item that she was originally bound to, which happened to be the very ornate pocket flask that Thompson had retrieved from the treasure vault inside of the pig golem.

In exchange, she offered the party a limited wish, one of her eternally replenishing wine flasks, or one of her sylph masseuses, which could accompany Leary from that day forth and perform small but handy wind-based tasks for him. Thompson surprised her by instead requesting gold, and was granted the largest chest of gold coins that a genie of Djinnifer’s relatively low standing could produce with one wish. Prize in hand and a brief description of the remaining rooms in mind, the party left the genie’s pavilion as it dissolved out of existence, realizing only too late that in the course of their conversation, they had revealed to the powerful and morally ambiguous genie the nature of their quest and the existence of the everstones.

Electing to skip the Black Hall entirely, which they knew from Djinnifer to mostly be a place for tongue-baths and surprise digestions, they headed through the water hall almost without incident, until Dalamus became convinced that he could solve the mystery of the murky depths of the tank around them and paused to be hypnotized by an imprisoned water nymph, which lured him to a watery death. Or would have, except that as a fetchling, Dalamus does not need air to survive, resulting in the water nymph’s attempt to follow standard procedure and drown her victim with a kiss turning into an awkward near-relationship, until FuQuan dove in after him and dragged Dalamus away from the woman he was convinced would be his wife, physically wrestling him to the ground with the help of Dusty and Thompson and pulling him through the rest of the hallway unharmed, if a little crazed.

This delay proved costly, however, as they reached Sweet Richie’s bedchamber too late to prevent one of his servants from utilizing a teleportation rune and escaping to some other stronghold. The remaining servant, a horrid pig-faced demon in leather studs and straps, was dispatched fairly easily by a recovered Dusty, and the party proceeded to Richie’s indoor baths, where they were stymied, as it had a boat in it and seemed to be an escape route, but appeared to be an enclosed room whose only noteworthy feature were some nude statuary fountains and the bath itself. FuQuan returned to the bedchamber to investigate the orgy-frescoes and erotic artwork in hopes of finding a clue while Thompson and Dusty investigated the baths and Dalamus rowed the boat in circles, until eventually Dusty discovered a way to trigger a hinged wall with the fountains and they discovered an escape stream that led out into a natural occurring underground waterway.

The party left unscathed, but uncertain if the unseen servant had escaped with an evershard or if there had ever been one there at all. Eventually the underwater stream spilled out a small waterfall into a forest stream, and they were back outside and thoroughly done with Sweet Richie’s pleasure palace. Though FuQuan, seated in the back of the boat, did note the noteworthy features of the landscape in case they ever needed to return. The cave and the two hills that surrounded it were, of course, carved to look like genitals. He elected not to share this information with his friends.

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