The Wanderers

Episode 10: On the Road Again...

“Ask him about the dinosaurs!” –Dalamus

“Oh! What’s with the retarded dragons?” –Sura

Synopsis

The Wanderers escorted the remaining Burgundy Boys away from their ruined, and no longer secret, sea cave HQ. At the base of a cluster of trees Leonard pushed on a series of roots revealing a passageway down into a cozy little room. With most of the older boys still off with Julius & the refugees, and many of the younger slain in the recent Striker skirmish, everyone fit very comfortably into the safe space where:

Dalamus finally learned how to summon a small creature from the mud dimension. He named it Thomas, despite his companions warning that it would lead to emotional attachment…

Dusty grappled with personal space issues as the children grappled to hug him goodbye/goodnight…

Sura mostly contemplated dinner…

Waiting until the wee hours of the morning, as to not disturb the boys, the trio departed leaving behind a note of encouragement [and a confusing order for something called “pizza”].

At the river crossing [where the Wanderers first encountered B-Boys] a group of wild cats stalked them to the other side. They killed all but one, which was last seen sprinting away with a magic missile in hot pursuit.

Approaching the steep cliffs overlooking the sea-lake, the Wanderers found a 20-foot creature [w/ a strong tapering tail and a bulky body supporting a long neck] shuffling nervously at the edge. It kept crying out to its brethren swimming at the base of the lake-locked mountain far below. Dalamus and Dusty tried soothing and encouraging the creature – though Sura didn’t understand why they cared to help, he reluctantly pulled some small paladin power from the sun and gifted it to the young animal, granting it the courage to slide down the rocky incline.

Keeping the jungle on their left and the lake on their right, the Wanderers walked the island’s gradual downward slope North, seeking easy access to four ships anchored in the distance. Along the way they avoided a Striker patrol and several unidentifiable undead creatures.

Sura decided to lead introductions with Randy, a man filled with regret and an unquenchable thirst for alcohol. He was appointed by the Captain Karlie [from the Ship Village] to oversee their island based trading post, and according to nearby signs he could grant them access to the ships. Drunk and depressed, Randy lamented the way practically every group inhabiting the island mistreated him even though he did his very best at the job.

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During this conversation, Dusty leapt out from hiding and bolted down into Randy’s cellar bedroom where he thrashed the bedding, pleasured himself, and stole a personal letter [as well as other odds & ends]. Fortunately, Randy caught only a brief glimpse of the rogue and chalked the whole thing up to a wild cat. With his goodwill intact, Randy soon made everyone’s acquaintance and after a little bartering he wrote the Wanderers official notes of passage out to the ships.

Dave, the ferryman, was Randy’s brother. Dave was frustrated to learn that his current passengers had given Randy liquor in trade. Dusty, feeling a minor pang of guilt, snuck the stolen letter into Dave’s pocket before departing the boat.

Once aboard, Dalamus was immediately attracted to a large crowd on the furthest of the three connected ships [the 4th and largest ship was perpendicular to these three and accessible only from the middle ship]. There he found crew members betting on when ships were likely to crash against the many sharp outcroppings of the island. Every time the sound of splintering wood echoed from the distance it was met with equal parts cheers and jeers. Dalamus was taken aback by the lack of concern shown but soon became distracted when his nemesis Diane demanded his attention.

A shouting match escalated quickly between the two until Mr. Molasses, the ships second in command and Diane’s current lover, intervened. He intended to politely escort the Wanderers to his captain, however he couldn’t stand to hear Dalamus insult Diane and tried unsuccessfully to defend her honor. Fueled by righteous indignation, and all the gossip he’d heard about her before the fateful shipwreck, the relatively diminutive sorcerer bested the towering Mr. Molasses in physical combat!

Diane fled the sobbing man’s side without looking back.

Captain Karlie knew the Wanderers faces the moment they entered his quarters. He described dreams he’d seen them in, just like Leonard had and similar to the visions Lomojo mentioned to Sura and Dalamus on the beach.

Karlie was agreeable to questions and gladly detailed the different shard hunting groups assembled under his command, their reasons for being here, and the sour relations they all share with Cocoon. He’s also known Julius for many years as she’d lived on his ship for a time.

The meeting was crashed by agents of Cocoon attempting to kill Karlie. After a swift battle, the captain gave the Wanderers permission to take out any true evil detected among his crew.

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Episode 9: Striker Assault

“I’m gonna let the kids sorta, go in to the wood chipper.” –Dusty

“Oh my god!” –DM

Synopsis

Anthony: Putting together a brief recap to get my mind back in the world. What details do you remember learning in our last session?

Garrett: There are well equipped ninja ogres that appear to be possibly mind controlled. I remember those guys. A bunch kids died fighting them.

Tony: The ogres had butterfly symbols made of bones on their chests, Sura tripped on his bed sheets, Dusty was popular with the kids… That’s all I remember…

Garrett: We discovered the bone butterfly symbol belonged to another group of shard hunters.

Ben: And doing the ritual to return the shards didn’t work on the island, instead it turned them into bone moths and sent them downwards.

Garrett: Also, that Lomojo is actively trying to prevent successful sending rituals. Lomojo might not be our enemy.

Ben: Yeah but we promised to kill him.

Garrett Yeah but fuck that!

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Episode 8: Exposition Cave

“What are the X’s on the map?” –Sura

“Don’t go there. There are creatures from shipwrecks we still can’t identify.” –John-John

“Let’s go there!” –Dusty

“Let’s SO go there!” –Sura

Synopsis

Dusty almost finished sending away the tiny shard he’d been chanting over, but was interrupted by a painful mental pulse and a flash of Lomojo’s face behind his eyes. He then casually put the shard back without a word.

A fight erupted when a sad & angry refugee found out Leonard had designed the spike traps (meant to kill ogres) that killed many of those who’d fled the beach. Sura intervened and shamed the man into calming down, then agreed with Julius that the refugees should be relocated to another hideout.

Dalamus changed his mind about getting sharded then got distracted by all the commotion. Once everything calmed down he took some time to introduce the Burgundy Boys to his particular brand of magic.

Back in the shard laboratory, Dusty was answering a variety of questions from Leonard relating to the Wanderers’ different Everstone encounters. When Julius briefly summoned the boy away Dusty was left alone to snoop around. Behind a hidden stone door he found a room with three undead humans chained to the wall. One was wearing fresh clothes and sporting headgear studded with shards. It was uncharacteristically calm. Just as Julius and a small group of B-Boys departed with the refugees he wandered out into the common area of the cave. Hailed by his companions, Dusty joined them and headed to the mess hall/meeting room where Leonard had been directed to fill the Wanderers in on vital information regarding the island to better help them navigate their goals.

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Things took a turn when Dusty admitted that:

  1. He’d seen Lomojo in a weird vision
  2. Found Leonard’s undead room.
    Dalamus, Dusty, and Sura followed Leonard back through the hidden stone door and casually interrogated him about his life on the island.

The boy told them that he and his father had crash landed here months ago in their small balloon ship. His father was killed in the crash and he was taken in by the real Burgundy Boys but forced to work like a slave for them, doing dirty menial tasks. The Burgundy Boys slowly died off in their brazen treks through the jungle looking to loot the growing numbers of marooned crash survivors and eventually Leonard devised a way to finish off the few that remained. Once he alone had knowledge of the Burgundy Boys’ many resources across the island, he retrieved his father from the tree they’d crash into, then began offering to house the lost children he frequently found (some escaping from a hastily constructed ship village on the lake). After Julius joined, (s)he very quickly emerged as their leader and tasked Leonard with the responsibility of understanding the shards.

Following these insights, the Wanderers left the room at Leonard’s request and met with John-John. Without offering much explanation at all, John-John suggested that they shouldn’t put too much stock into Leonard’s stories.

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Episode 7: Mystery Jungle

“I will be honest. I’ve never been to a party before. My friends had them every Saturday night, but I was never invited.” –Dalamus

Synopsis

Dusty, Dalamus, and most of the refugees had the misfortune of not only trying to navigate through an undead mob, but having to do so in a heavily booby-trapped swath of jungle. Though the two Wanderers managed to avoid pit-traps while saving people from undead clutches, the refugees were in a panic making it hard to herd them toward relative safety. In the midst of this mayhem Dalamus discovered that the once human creatures were more interested in getting to the beach than fighting and used this information to try and restore a modicum of calm.

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Sura caught up with the smaller group where he gleefully focused his attention on mowing down undead until Diane found him with bad news from the beach. She was followed shortly by Dusty & Dalamus who’d seen the flashes of fire from his fight. With both the Wanderers and refugees [their numbers dwindling] reunited the team trekked deeper into the island. As they walked, howls from the undead erupted from the beach and did not stop for some time…

Along the way, group temperament was turning away from Dusty [with the exception of the Landingham Sisters] after his dark sense of humor turned off a few particularly sad survivors, so he decided to scout ahead. This allowed him to disarm an array of different traps and, based on their construction, hypothesize that they were created in an attempt to hurt the ogres.

With a little magic from Dalamus and some brave taste buds from Sura, the two gathered jungle fruit for everyone, improving the mood and keeping the march going.

The ground had a gentle incline that eventually reached level with the seaside cliff they’d kept to their right. Dense jungle foliage made every available direction seem identical, but Dusty’s scouting got them to an unexpectedly wide river with an old overgrown path running parallel to it. Once Sura did another safety test everyone drank. At this point the paladin noticed an odd carriage dangling from a tree on the opposite side of the water. From a distance Dalamus and his ladies were able to confirm that it had a slight magical component and the weaving pattern originated from the continent they’d all left. Just another strange thing on an increasingly strange island, the group moved on, deciding to follow the path up river.

Dusty came upon the stone bridge first, where he spied two young boys hiding underneath. When the Wanderers had them surrounded they proudly confirmed they were part of the Burgundy Boys and this was their territory. Sensing that this title had little effect on these non-human foreigners, the more level headed John-John asked permission to speak with the cluster of refugees who’d hung back. While he gathered information, the wary boy left behind attempted to remain stoic as Dalamus argued with him and Sura patronized him with nicknames.

Fortunately, John-John seem satisfied enough with what the refugees had told him that when he returned to this somewhat tense scene he offered to give the people temporary shelter and let the Wanderers talk with his leader.

The Burgundy Boys led them back in the direction they’d come along the old path. In an untimely attempt at celebrating their luck, Dalamus let off some celebratory magic missiles which caused the already anxious B-Boy to chastise him and tell everyone to get off the path and continue hidden amongst the foliage.

As the group moved on ahead, Sura [a passionate follower of AO] took judgment into his own hands and knocked his companion unconscious with the blunt side of his blade when Dalamus attempted to cast a daze spell on the annoyed B-Boy.

The Burgundy Boys were setting a fast pace. A brief altercation with an undead ogre forced Sura to pay closer attention to Dusty’s impressive hiding techniques in an effort to avoid more attacks as sightings of exotic undead monsters increased. Finally, at the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean John-John hollered a password that revealed steps down to a secret cave.

Julius, leader of the Burgundy Boys, allowed them entrance after their resident science expert Leonard did a number of scans with his makeshift shard device [and used some sort of popping stone to wake Dalamus]. It was clear to Sura that Julius was pretending to be a boy, but he made no effort to out her. Instead the two discussed how they could be of use to one another. Julius offered to house the refugees at one of their hideouts and provide the Wanderers with information to help them navigate the island and its inhabitants. In return, Julius expected Lomojo [the gorilla] dead and the Crusty Bitch handed over to her before Sura left the island.

Meanwhile, Dusty discovered Leonard’s shard laboratory, however he’d barely snuck in before Leonard came happily bursting in after him [pulling Dalamus by the hand]. He showed them both all his different attempts at understanding the Everstone pieces and lamented that Lomojo seemed to have already found the most powerful on the island. Dusty politely asked if he could try to send one back with the magical incantation, something Leonard had never seen before.

Until Next Time: Sura accepted Julius’ terms and has taken her blood oath. Dalamus is letting Leonard put a tiny shard in his arm. Dusty is beginning to see the effects of his incantation working…

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Episode 6: Abandon Beach!

“You see two undead hunched over a woman. Sura doesn’t know what… actually, Sura’s a paladin, what did he do before?” –DM

“Mostly fought undead mummies.” –Sura

“Oh, well, these definitely aren’t mummies, it’s too tropical.” –DM

Synopsis

The ogre [who would come to be known as Pumice] began groveling at Dusty’s feet once the catfolk accepted his weapons back; uncomfortable and confused, Dusty cringed away from Pumice’s desperate pawing. Dalamus hoped to smooth the whole thing over with a healing potion but was shooed off by the ogre still unloading passengers from Dusty’s lifeboat. This one began pummeling Pumice and berating him in their native language [the only language they seemed capable of speaking]. Dusty took this as his cue to leave and scurried up the beach toward the jungle’s edge.

After being unceremoniously waved off, Dalamus refocused his attention on the largest concentration of refugees and how he could get them out of this situation. Roughly twenty-four people knelt with their foreheads in the sand in a long row. Three guards still had their weapons drawn toward them, which held Sura’s attention.

Buried deep into the sand and aimed at the jungle were large makeshift pikes covered in magical carvings. When Dusty moved between them he was overcome with a wave of nausea. While puking he noticed a dead human laying skewered on a lower set of jungle facing spears. Dusty decided to crouch hidden behind one of the bigger pikes for a while.

Dalamus and Sura, the pair who stood vigilant at the ship’s bow all night, quietly debated their next move until a high pitched tone rung out briefly across the beach. Seemingly in response to the sound, the ogres sheathed their weapons and stood at attention. Sura took this moment of calm to wander near the smaller group of people still being unloaded from the last boat. Dalamus saw this as an opportunity to make a move. The sorcerer knelt down in the middle of the larger group and let loose an obscuring mist over the crowd. Only a handful of people took the chance to run, so Dalamus began pulling those too frightened and confused out of the mist [with help from young Robbie Whittmoore].

Before Dusty could warn them to stop, three refugees came running through the magical pike field. The man immediately began puking and stumbled into the grip of what was actually an UN-dead human on the lower spears. Dusty managed to free him and get the trio to take cover. The two women remained calm under pressure while their nauseous companion was near hysterical. After hearing a few scary truths from Dusty the man fell in line.

Sura noticed the angry ogre from earlier had lost a faint green aura the others were emanating. Once this dispersed the ogre began walking along the smaller row of people and clubbing them on the head. With unexpected assistance from Pumice, Sura worked to cut him down.

Dalamus’s rescue attempt was put on hold when a hulking gorilla emerged from the Crusty Bitch with more ogres in tow. Dalamus engaged it in a civil long-distance conversation [through magical message] but things turned sour when the creature closed the gap. Adorned in countless Everstone shards [around a crown, brooches on a cape/flag, and a massive one in a staff] the gorilla displayed an ability to transcend any language barrier and had existing knowledge of anyone who’d come in contact with pieces of the Everstone before. In a flash of anger he no longer wanted to talk with Dalamus and waved the sorcerer’s mist aside with his staff. Sura had dispatched the unstable ogre and took over diplomacy with the unstable gorilla.

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They all had a choice [stay on the beach and serve his every whim or face the unknown perils of the island] and were given until high noon to decide. Before returning to his Crusty Bitch the gorilla warned Dalamus and Sura that things did not stay dead on the island, but offered them the life of Pumice in light of the earlier altercation. The Wanderers declined and Pumice was merely knocked unconscious instead.

At the gorilla’s departure Sura quickly took off after the refugees who’d fled as a result of his brief battle. He managed to catch up with Diane before she entered the jungle from the far end of the beach and told her to wait there while he gathered everyone back.

Meanwhile, everyone else followed Dalamus and gathered around Dusty as he passed out his extra weapons to those he deemed most competent. After a rousing speech from the two women and young Robbie Whittmoore the crowd was ready to follow orders. Dalamus and Dusty led the group in an attempt to unearth a pike and disrupt what the sorcerer had determined to be a unique magical barrier against undead, however the pike was buried deep and more ogres were emerging from various shipwrecks with the morning sun. Hurrying the people into the jungle, they set two pikes ablaze and ran after.

Until Next Time: People are falling into lethal traps all around Dalamus and Dusty, as an undead horde is surging in their direction. Separated and unaware that his partners have made the fiery choice to abandon the beach well before noon, Sura is trying to save everyone he can and send them back…

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Episode 5: Shipwrecked

“I said! The service! Is sorely lacking! For an establishment! Of this caliber! In the ocean!” –Dalamus

Synopsis

In the rubble of a once bustling fishing village [decimated by a battle between shard hunters & their enemies] the Wanderers negotiated some last minute trades before purchasing passage aboard a small trade ship en route to North Star. After several days sailing alongside the crew and passengers [refugees in search of a new home] the Wanderers found a comfortable rhythm with their travel companions.

Sura kept up relations with a surly but competent crew and their sea hardened captain.

Dalamus had been accepted among the innermost circle of gabby matriarchs, where he was learning a great deal about mortal politics on this plane.

Dusty won the hearts of the rambunctious children with his sleight-of-hand magic — young Robby Whittmoore in particular.

When an object emanating a powerful evil aura began pulling the ship along strong ocean currents the Wanderers stayed vigilant. Though course correction wasn’t possible, they were able to offer a warning call to prepare the ship of an imminent crash. As the crew attempted to flee ahead of the passengers, the Wanderers attempted to bring them back. They lost one safety boat, half filled with crew members, but managed to take control of the frantic evacuation and fit the refugees into the remaining three boats with few casualties.

Left heroically stranded aboard a doomed ship, the Wanderers braced for impact. Slamming headlong into an outcropping of razor sharp rocks, the ship’s aft arced out with such speed that the whole boat capsized. Amid the chaos, Sura and Dalamus swam against the churning water, fought off great white sharks and were pulled into a safety boat headed for shore. Meanwhile, Dusty nimbly stayed atop the ship, running up it’s underside as it turned and firing arrows into the frenzied sharks before leaping into the last safety boat himself.

On the nearby beach, half a dozen excitable ogres pulled humans from the boats and lined them up along the shore. They were dressed in undersized patchwork clothing, the pieces from regions all across the map, and exotic weapons hung in excess around their bodies. Sura and Dalamus remained on guard, unable to communicate with the ogres but not sensing any clear danger yet. Dusty, having just arrived in the final boat, allowed a few passengers to be unloaded but attacked when an ogre placed their hands on him. In a flash, Dalamus used magic to make Sura as large as one of the ogres in anticipation of a fight…

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Until Next Time: The attacked ogre has pulled Dusty’s blades out of himself and offered them back. Another ogre has run off toward the largest shipwreck [the name Crusty Bitch is visible on the side]. The remaining four have weapons drawn on the line of people in the sand. A large jungle island looms and dawn approaches.

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Episode 4: Fleas?

“You guys are attacked by a doe in the middle of the night.” –DM

“Like a female deer?” –Dusty

“Yes.” –DM

“I make a loud noise.” –Sura

Synopsis

You’d heard reports of a large green shard shooting across the sky and followed its reported path. You lost the trail, but heard that warriors and aspiring heroes were heading to the nearby town of Hammerhaven. While there, you learned that there’s been an influx of people fleeing the city of Ironflow which was taken over by the Thirsty Darkness the plagued the city. The mayor of Ironflow is Leofrick Tibolt. He gave you the coveted Key to the City so that you might go to Ironflow and defeat the darkness, thus allowing the people to return.

On the journey there, you were approached by an old man in rags meant to distract you while orcs closed in around. You saw through this ruse, slew the orcs, and learned the old man was their captive, a native Ironflower that was lost during the trek to Hammerhaven. The orcs, you learned, have long been trying to get into Ironflow to reacquire their sacred artifact—the Amethyst Throne, rumored to draw magic towards it. You slew the tribe of orcs, freed the prisoners, and sent them off to Hammerhaven.

Once in the Ironflow, a young man in carapace armor ran to tell you to shut the door. You were all ambushed by giant fleas and fled to the young man’s hideout, the cellar of a local tavern, where there were several more survivors.

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Your hideout was attacked by giant ticks so you fled to the tunnel the survivors had dug, slaying bugs, breaking windows, and raiding random shops along the way. Once in the tunnel, Curtis Dirshire was taken, you broke into the castle and made your way to the great hall where you met Greg the Grothlut. The implication, whether it got through, was that Greg was a homeless guy that got hit in the gut by the shard. The fleas and ticks feeding on him grew larger, while he himself grew and became corrupted by the shard, creating the name “Grothlut” to sound menacing and cool and to be taken seriously as he never had before. You killed him.

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Episode 3: Forest Fortress

“Ugh my God! You are so fat! You’re disgusting! Dalamus! I do not like the new you. Stop playing that flute you’re terrible at it. Disgusting!” –Dusty

Synopsis

Garrett: Ugh, now I have to remember my shitty game. I don’t really have any notes to support anything… When I say I don’t really have any notes, I mean, I just have my memory.

Anthony: Yours was the one with a poor town and a rich town… red heads… boss monster with a shard powering it… any other details besides the fort you want to weigh in on?

Garrett: Yeah, I’m writin’ somethin’. Some of it’s coming back to me. Don’t you worry.

Benjamin: I remember Bill town and Will town? And a satyr who was a begger/mugger/king of an illusionary army, everybody being afraid of the party, somebody demanding a plate from the mayor of the ginger town, and then sidestepping an orc army, then raiding their fort via splitting the party, Dalamus setting fires, Sura being 15 feet tall, and then more fires, then trying to resettle the gingers but being unable to find enough people in the rich town to deliver a speech. and did we steal something from the fort?

Garrett: Yeah, Willton & Billton, and a magic illusion producing flute and an as yet, unidentified magical dick piercing. FINE I WONT WRITE SUMMARY

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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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Episode 1: Pilot

“And you, you know magic?” –Thompson Leary

“Yeah, I’m trying to come up with something cool to do.” –Dalamus

Synopsis

Enlisting the help and boat of the fisherman-turned-ferryman known only as Crawdad, Detective Thompson Leary, disgraced former investigator of a burned city, and the mysterious Catfolk knife-fighter known as Khadustra Zoahiin, both heeding the call of heroes, set out across the narrow sound to the now-stationary Island of Mists. They are interrupted on their way by Dalamus Indrano, a fetchling sorcerer who has literally no past whatsoever yet, and once sorted, the three of them make their way to the misty shore.

It is there that they meet the thrice-orphaned oread cleric FuQuan, who had until then been tagging along with the mighty Viking hero Buliwyf and his 14 companions, and was beginning to feel like a third wheel due to not speaking their language. The four – Thompson, Khadustra, Dalamus, and FuQuan – form a new fellowship amongst themselves due to their common goal and common lack of any other known companions.

The assorted heroes are greeted by an Azata who leads them to an amphitheater high in the hills, where the bashful party carefully avoids interacting with any of the other gathered heroes, except for Khadustra, who befriends the woodling druid Potter, and is gifted a bag of goodberries. The Azata explain the situation to our heroes and let them set forth. Dalamus (?) flirts ceaselessly with a male Azata named (someone has this written down, yes?) who eventually gives him his magically replenishing writing plume, which quickly decays to a desiccated quill shaft once it leaves the island. They are also taught the simple incantation to return an Evershard to Evermore island, which involves approximately one nights’ contact with the shard, after which point it turns into a butterfly made of light and makes its way back to the island on its own, allowing them to collect the shards without being burdened by them. With this knowledge, they set out to the coastal city of Sandpoint, where none of the other heroes have yet gone.

They arrive at Sandpoint in the middle of a festival celebrating the completion of the town’s reconstruction after it was almost entirely burned to the ground by goblins five years prior. The festival offers a wide variety of food, clothes, crafts, and souvenirs, along with speeches by the mayor, the sheriff, and the new head cleric, since the old one was killed eradicating the goblins responsible for the attacks.

Dalamus sets to work eating everything he can, since they do not have food as we know it on the Plane of Shadow where he was born, while both Thompson and Khadustra purchase several bottles of wine and make their way down to the beach to drink together. FuQuan speaks with locals at the fairgrounds and gains the friendship of the new cleric, Jensen, while also gleaning details about his predecessor, Tovyn.

At several hours past sundown, a fireworks display is put on by the town. However, the first firework is also a signal; goblins have been lying in wait in the town’s sewers, covered wagons snuck in with the merchants, and even streaming in directly through the north gate, which seems to have been left intentionally unlocked. FuQuan and Dalamus attempt to defend against the goblins’ mayhem, and Dalamus is nearly slain while Thompson and Khadustra make their way back from the beach.

Rejoined by their companions, the party aids a pair of young huntsmen and their dogs defending the tavern from a swarm of goblins, and through their combined efforts manage to keep the civilians inside from being incinerated. As things calm down, the town of Sandpoint is revealed to be badly damaged, but not destroyed.

In the aftermath, Detective Leary sets out to investigate what could have gone wrong while FuQuan and Dalamus assist with firefighting efforts, but instead winds up antagonizing both the mayor and the sheriff. Khadustra examines the north gate, but can determine only that it was intentionally left cracked open and unbarred, not who did it. Dalamus asks around after the location of Tovyn’s grave, and with this information in hand, strikes off to investigate the graveyard, companions in tow.

At the graveyard, the party is nonplussed to discover that the cleric has been dug up and the body removed. Khadustra, possessing a supernaturally keen ability to track prey across sand dunes, leads the party after the wagon that likely carted the corpse away, and they find themselves at a glassworks outside of town.

While Dusty investigates the glassworks, the party is set upon by three goblin scouts, but they are dealt with in short order. Dusty, meanwhile, spots a local noble named Tarold packing up and fleeing the glassworks, and being part cat, pounces on him with little thought when he runs past. Tarold attempts to slay the catfolk with a rapier, but Dusty proves a far better fighter, and Tarold is slain. Within Tarold’s belongings inside the glassworks, they find many half-finished love letters, a leather-bound journal, a map to Castle Thistlefuck, ancestral home of the supposedly extinct swamp goblins, and a series of clumsily drawn erotic sketches of a goblin female named, judging by the letters, Qorka. Also found within the glassworks are several filthy beds that are clearly made and occupied by goblins, several gruesome trophies taken from the corpse of Tovyn (including several fingers which FuQuan keeps) and a locked trap door that they are unable to open.

Using the map to the goblin lair to avoid the cave of “Lotslegs-eat-goblin-babies-lots” and several obviously marked patrol routes, the companions make their way to Castle Thistlefuck, which is situated on a small island just off the cliffs, accessible either by a rope bridge or a treacherous swim. The party hatches a plan to stealthily assassinate the two goblin sentries watching over the rope bridge, but their presence is noticed when one of the sentries is dramatically thrown screaming from the top of the watchtower rather than stabbed. Their cover blown, the party dashes across the rope bridge, the sharp-eyed Khadustra disarming a trap that would have caused the bridge to collapse as they go.

However, once on the other side, they find themselves faced with a shoddily built but still sturdy fortress door ahead of them and a small army of goblins pursuing behind. The goblins within the fort stay hunkered down at first, but when it becomes apparent that they can join their brethren to flank the party, the doors are thrown open and the goblins inside attack the party along with those on the bridge. Sensing imminent defeat, Thompson (I think?) burns the bridge, casting many more goblins down to their deaths on the rocks below, while Khadustra and Dalamus deal with the goblins already across and FuQuan finds himself enamored with the goblin witch, Qorka.

After trying and failing to murder his friends, FuQuan eventually manages to shake the mud witch’s influence, and retreats from the fortress while Khadustra deals with the goblin chieftain Gnarl, who seems to possess the supernatural ability to regenerate almost any damage done to him in a matter of seconds. Finally, Dusty carves an Evershard out of the goblin’s quickly-healing stomach, which winds up being the source of his supernatural healing, and Gnarl is slain. Emboldened, FuQuan enters the fortress to face the witch Qorka, who winds up being a fairly light challenge when she’s not able to hypnotize stronger fighters. She turns into a mud slick and attempts to escape under the wall, but Dalamus manages to slay her with magic as she retreats, thus putting an end to any significant threat posed by the Thistlefuck goblin tribe.

They also find a passage within the basement of the castle that leads down to a back exit much closer to the water, from which they’re able to swim with significantly less danger and avoid the small army of angry goblins above.

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