The Wanderers

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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