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Thread: Death Beckons: a DnD campaign

  1. #101
    Chief Warden of Yo Mama Jabberwok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    My Rightful Throne (not porcelain)

    Default Re: Death Beckons: a DnD campaign

    Great job, Shuhan! I'd like to get combat flowing a little faster but I'm sure that will come with everyone getting a little more familiar.

    And for reference, my character is one Professor Engelverry Marlow, Human Ranger, currently on administrative leave from a university and looking for funding to continue his biological research.

    If you get dunked on in the dream, you get dunked on in real life

  2. #102
    Discovered Stowaway No swords style best style's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    In every punch and kick

    Default Re: Death Beckons: a DnD campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hide View Post
    Speaking of names, I wrote down soooome notes. Feel free to correct or add, everyone.
    Thank you so much for sharing this! If I may add something for my guy, the spelling was meant to be Rox as a very, very stupid pun, and I mentioned something about helping his village (at least, I think I did, as I maaaaybe wasn't always on the ball lol)

    Quote Originally Posted by Huschel View Post
    I had the same idea but instead I decided to 'publish' what I got. :P
    That was a fantastic read

  3. #103
    *Angry Catra noises* Shuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    An arctic kitchen

    Default Re: Death Beckons: a DnD campaign

    Aww, stop you're making me blush~
    Seriously though, you guys made this session a great time, thank you for putting up with my mistakes.
    Now I know for sure I need to have more lists prepped and more bushes that spawn goblins.

  4. #104
    By the 7 Sons of Pwngoat! *Meh*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    The Disco Discothequorum

    Default Re: Death Beckons: a DnD campaign

    I thought everyone knew that goblins spawn abiogenetically from any sufficiently smelly shrubbery. Thus, the Knights of Ni's request for a shrubbery was merely a ploy to lure brave heroes into granting them a goblin horde to command.
    I'm like Hisotensoku: Not here to preserve peace, nor to destroy it. I certainly can't move mountains. Mostly, I'm just full of hot air.
    - *Meh*

  5. #105

    Default Re: Death Beckons: a DnD campaign

    We on for today?

  6. #106
    *Angry Catra noises* Shuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    An arctic kitchen

    Default Re: Death Beckons: a DnD campaign

    Yup. Sorry, I asked the same thing in the discord.

  7. #107

    Default Re: Death Beckons: a DnD campaign

    Can't wait to read Huschel's summary of the hour long owlette argument.

  8. #108
    Discovered Stowaway No swords style best style's Avatar
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    Aug 2017
    In every punch and kick

    Default Re: Death Beckons: a DnD campaign

    Rox just has trouble figuring out when battles to the death have started.

    Also damn you female Ron Perlman

  9. #109

    Default Re: Death Beckons: a DnD campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hide View Post
    Can't wait to read Huschel's summary of the hour long owlette argument.
    It gets a little hazy towards the end but I definitely covered the owl shenanigans.

    Session 2 - Owl's well that ends. Well...

    When last we left our heroes, they had been hot on the trail of some goods-stealing goblins. Let's see what they will do next, shall we?

    Naturally, they start disturbing nature in any way imaginable. Okay, turtles climbing trees more or less for fun is not particularly offensive.
    Stumbling upon a nest of cute little owl babies and not-quite-yet owl babies is rather harmless. But proceeding to accidentally smash an egg may be somewhat questionable. And grabbing a terrified bird mourning their stillborn sibling is not something one would expect a paladin to revel in.

    Airdi doesn't seem happy about it and challenges Tortuga for custody of little Edward. But apparently even magical Friendship isn't enough to
    break the hold Stockholm has over the bird which happily clings to his new father. Also, Tolrand finds a twig. While Samson quietly fosters his
    dislike for the murderous paladin, the ranger Marlow can't abide the thought of being without an animal companion any longer, so he scales the
    tree himself and grabs whatever living thing he finds up there. Surely, they're all much happier in an impromptu nest inside his backpack.
    Oh, the original nest also contains humanoid bones. Meanwhile, Rox enjoys the peaceful view from the treetops.

    The trail of goblins (remember those?) proceeds to lead the group to a curtain of vines which gets quickly deposed of with fire and sharp weaponry. A short-lived fight against more goblin (and/or gnolls) follows. Which is promptly interrupted by a fight against big nasty mommy and daddy owls. Tortuga the owl whisperer attempts to sweet-talk them and miraculously succeeds. But ultimately, the two of them end up chopped to bits and burned to a crisp, respectively. Of course, the group decides to give them a proper burial, they aren't monsters.

    Beyond the vines in a cave of gnolls, eventually our ragtag companions encounter an entity clad in shadows. All hell breaks loose when she
    effortlessly robs Airdi of her life force and proceeds to woman-handle the rest of the party. And it was on this day, in the middle of a dark cave, that our heroes were completely and utterly defeated. Because you know what they say:

    Karma is a lich.

    How original is it to still have this in my signature 5 years later?

  10. #110

    Default Re: Death Beckons: a DnD campaign

    Sorry everyone, I’m going to be running late today due to a family gathering. Go ahead and start without me!

  11. #111

    Default Re: Death Beckons: a DnD campaign

    Session 3

    Howdy-ho. This is Mr. Hide reporting. Huschel's and Jabber's planets needed them so they had to go. So I've taken up Huschel's job of rapping reports.

    We last left off... dead

    Our afterlife warden Faust sits at his wooden mahogany desk and reads through our files. Tortuga's fascinates him. Things of note include: he was almost killed by a wee-little goblin, he "fingered" an unhatched owlette to death, he befriended an angry giant owl, and worst of all has a serious case of schadenfreude. It's practically his fetish, his words not mine.

    We're still here in our individual jail cells, waiting for Faust to figure out what to do with us. It could take years, milleniums even, for us to get shuffled into whatever awaits us. Hope we brought some books to pass the time.

    There's a rattling for another cage. There's a centaur in here. He's Achistos Starcatcher, he's been here for 20 years, and he'll be our new life cleric for this campaign. Hehehehe, dead life cleric.

    Airdi just belched. Sexy. Body functions still work; good to know.

    After much contemplation about what will happen to us (Airdi knows she's going to hell) and failed attempts by Rox and Kelvin to break their bars, Drensaw quenches his thirst for knowledge and asks Faust why we're locked up. We are a curiosity. We are ne'er-do-wells. We are locked up because we could be a threat, Tortuga and Airdi especially.

    The word 'suddenly' has never been followed by 'everything happened exactly as it was supposed to' or 'nothing happened whatsoever' and this case of suddenly was no different. Suddenly, the room starts to violently hum and vibrate. Bars are clinking and a brilliant and illuminating light materializes in the middle of the room. Faust is perturbed but not the least bit scared or confused. Thin shafts of light fire towards us and we each feel a burning sensation as we are pulled out of this immortal coil. "So that's how it is," Faust says with a smirk.

    Where are we? Why is it so dark here? What is this cold numbness in our bodies? Why is there a hard wood flooring under us? Why is Tortuga constantly telling us he feels pretty?

    We all try to seize our bearings and get up, except Drensaw. Something's holding him down. Around his body is an intricately-written glyph. Zoinks! While the tortle helps him up, we discover a small laboratory-like place with beakers and potions and bookcases and other oddities. I'm sure there's machines there too that beep and light up because science.

    Rox finds out all our stuff is back on us. All our stuff except for Airdi's owls.

    A gasp from the room tells us we've got company. Kelvin pulls out a dagger and dashes for the sound. With reflexes you wouldn't expect from someone who just got their bearings, Kelvin strikes something behind a table. Another yelp and it's.... Kelvin who feels pain, not this newcomer. A wound appears on Kelvin the size of, you guessed it, a dagger. No blood seeps out. Hey, pain means we're alive.

    Our guest is a humanoid in a dark robe with Kelvin's dagger in his shoulder. Kelvin twists his knife further in and more pain on Kelvin's end, not that the intruder is any better off. He yelps, he cries, he squirms. He's Dorian, a teenage boy with an ornate staff decorated with a raven on top.

    The kid squeals like he's reenacting his favorite scenes from Deliverance. Kelvin takes his staff and tosses it to Airdi, who catches it in a super-cool way. With only a cursory glance she determines it's a very powerful necrotic artifact radiating much energy.

    Kelvin tosses the kid to us for interrogating. Rox steps in and declares he doesn't want some poor, crying kid dead. At the mention of the d word, the kid sobs like an overflowing bathtub. In his first act of unparanoid kindness, Kelvin gently removes his dagger from the poor squirt's shoulder.

    After some calming down, the kid begins to rap with us. He's an amateur necromancer who brought us back by accident with that staff, which explains why our skin is now a sickly shade of grey. He was taught by a master who has since gone missing. Maybe I should put missing in quotation marks.

    Tortuga being Tortuga, asks if he has any food. "We have plenty," the kid says. We?

    A thought dawns on us: we're having thoughts! We've been necromanicized yet we can think! For you outsiders out there, that's not normal. Oh, and that glyph that was surrounding Drensaw? Same thing's on everyone's right hands.

    Drensaw plays good cop to Kelvin's bad cop. With a friendly arm on the kid's shoulder and a healing word to raise his spirits, Drensaw asks for a couple of stools and some summoned drinks to keep us hearty. Dorian is much more sociable now. This was his first attempt to summon undead, his first spell ever cast infact.

    Tortuga flips through a book Dorian was reading. 'Necromancy for Dummies.' Takes a very high-level spell to raise the dead. Odd that such a spell would be in this book. Two daggers are thrown at the kid, one for each foot, and it's demanded that he tell the truth. (Good Cop, Bad Cop, Asshole Turtle. Coming soon to Fox.) This staff which he told Drensaw is his actually belonged to his master.

    It's time for drinks in the mess hall. Mess hall? Well, it's a hall and it's very messy thanks to his aunt and uncle. They're necromancers as well and Dorian has been living under their roof and practicing the family art for the past two years. Before we can delve into the ethical uncertainties about nercromancy, we walk down a corridor and hear some noises. A small explosion, another small explosion, a hoot, yet another small explosion. Hoot?

    A quick step into an adjacent room and Airdi, the mean-spirited and stoic gith, becomes a giddy child as she's reunited with her now fully-grown feather babies. The change in size prompts the question of how long we've been dead. 6 months. 6 frigging months. Dorian found our corpses and our owls in the litch's cave and has kept us all for 6 months.

    Hold on a tick! Airdi placed one of her owls between her boobs for safe keeping just before the lich killed her. And Dorian has raised these owls in a cage since they were babies. So how did he get the owl out of her breasts?

    Okay, seriously. Drinks. If we don't get alcohol in us in the next minute, we'll lose it. We are inches away from booze when we hear the source of those tiny explosions, now in chorus with screaming fits of insults. Dorian uncle Malice, a dwarf, and his aunt Spite, an elf, are having a typical Monday night. Dorian opens a door and everyone except Drensaw dodges uncle Malice's air-happy axe. Unexpectedly or, if you've been paying attention, very expectedly, no blood gushes out of the wound after the axe is pulled out. Achistos heals Drensaw yet the wound persists.

    After a succesfull intimidation by Kelvin with said throwing axe, everything settles down and we finally get good and wasted. Aunt Spite tries her best to be welcoming to her uninvited guests and congratulates Dorian on finding such good slaves. Slaves? Turns out since Dorian summoned us, we are his undead servants. Those glyphs on our hands are a tattooical testament to that, and any pain we inflict on our maladroit master means we take the shot. Oh, and we can't get drunk no matter how much we drink.

    Aunt Spite tells us Dorian's necro-staff has a counterpart that may bring us to life... or make us permanently dead. She doesn't know where it is or what it looks like. The only one who knows anything in this crazy messed-up scenario is Dorian's dead master. Too bad she didn't leave any notes behind, only a second laboratory in the hills about about two days away on a trip that will probably be fraught with danger. Tortuga calls for a huddle and asks us to sleep on this before we decided to head out and find this place.

    the scene changes back to Faust still at his desk. Poor guy never leaves the thing. Legs must be weaker than an unmodded ranger. There's less paper work with us gone so he's not too upset about us leaving. A cool drafts rolls us his back. He turns around to see a floating light-made lich-esque creatures in a black cloak stepping out of a dark rift. It and Faust trade enigmatic words back and forth about masters making moves and people being watched. Another sigh and Faust returns to his work as the cloak returns to the rift. "This is going to be a difficult time," Faust mutters.

  12. #112

    Default Re: Death Beckons: a DnD campaign

    Hey! I finally pulled myself out of my depressed stupor to write up the summary of a month old session. Go me. Since this is such an old session, I'm hazy on some details.

    Session 4: The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Tortuga Backbreaker

    - Our cast
    Anthony as TORTUGA BACKBREAKER, tortle paladin, dudebro, suffers from schadenfreude
    Shuhan's wife as AIRDI, gith sorceress, HBIC, only cares about money and owls
    Mr. Hide as DRENSAW, changeling bard, disguised as a human, closed to having a nervous breakdown
    No Swords as ROX STONEJAW, goliath barbarian, a gentle soul with a big heart
    Jake as ACHISTOS STARCATCHER, centaur cleric & druid, really likes weapons,
    Steve as KALWIN SILVERSPRING, human fighter, Leeeroooooy Jaaaynkiiiins
    Shuhan as DORIAN, amateur necromancer, revived the party from death, now our master
    Shuhan as AUNT MALICE & UNCLE SPITE, elf and dwarf couple who really should divorce, Dorian's family
    Anthony, Shuhan's Wife, and Mr. Hide as THE GIANT OWLS, trio of pets magic'd to travel size, how toyetic can you get?


    Having enough of his closet-sized bed room with only two pieces of furniture, Drensaw leaves for a midnight piss. Past Aunt Spite and Uncle Malice's room, Drensaw locks himself in the washroom and gazes upon his reflection. His skins changes into his true changeling form for the first time in this campaign. He pulls out a walkie-talkie and tells the person on the other line that all is going according to plan. Nah, that last part didn't happen. He's only checking if his corpse skin and permanent injuries carry over into his transformations. They do but that shouldn't be a problem. Some hushed whispering from the aunt and uncle's room just next over. Not wanting to draw attention to himself, Drensaw ignores any curious inkling over what they're discussing and returns to his room.

    Achistos is out late as well, looking for a weapon room to get his hooves on some stabby swag. Lucky him, there's one just down the corridor. Hard to miss with all the giant, ominous scratch marks on it. Target practice, maybe. An unlocked door, some sunken floors, and a whole lotta of broken stuff. Looks like John Kricfalusi passed through here on a bad day. Achistos finds another dog, no actually, it's a particular looking longsword (It's been three weeks and I don't remember why I wrote this dog thing in my notes) jutting out of the floor. Thing's not too worse for wear compared to its busted brethren. Achistos easily pulls it out of the floor like a knife out of butter. Upon closer inspection, the tip of the blade is blunted but a nice whetstone should fix that in a jiffy. Achistos leaves for a room just as important: an armory. He saw some fine breastplates in Malice and Spite's room earlier so there just has to be a room around here. He soon finds one, a room he passed by earlier that night. Now Achistos, he really wants some enchanted armor. He's tossing around piles of discarded armor for the sweet stuff. He searches and he comes up empty. Guess he'll have to settle for some plain ol' chainmail.

    Hark! A sound in the hallway. Achistos places an ear to the wall and hears nothing for a while. Then a voice, one getting louder and louder. No body but a voice. Guess it's time to double on back to his room. I think something more happened here and I didn't write it down.

    And now, the star of our disasterpiece.  Tortuga is up late inspecting every inch of his room. There's a desk, there's a bed, there's four walls, and a generous helping of nothing. Tortuga cannot accept that such a boring room could exist and simply must find something, anything, in here that's worth noting. He opens his desk, jimmies it open actually, and finds nothing in there except a tiny little hole. Tortuga jams his claw into the hole, expecting a trap door to be activated or a secret door in his room to open. Nothing happens because it's a stupid desk in a stupid room and there's nothing there and this is all a waste of time, as the Dungeon Master heatedly tells Tortuga. But Tortuga is infatuated with this desk and must know what kind of wood it's made out of. The tree kind, apparently. Bah! A weak desk, and weak things must be destroyed! The terrible tortle takes out his morning star, and with a nat 20, executes the helpless desk before pondering out loud what kind of splinters these are.

    Everyone rushes in to see what the clatter is about. Several questions are asked about just what in the world is wrong with this shellback. Tortuga says it was out of self-defense. "The thing attacked my finger." Airdi decides this is really stupid and slips into the owlery. Not even bothering to be sneaky about her actions, she grabs an owl and takes it into her room. If the dwarf and the elf see her, whatever, she doesn't care.

    The next morning we are off to the secret lab. There are no horses here (because the trees are so close, which won't be a problem at all for our centaur) so we're traveling Moses style. Everyone is packed and ready to leave, but Aunt Spite stops Airdi. Spite would prefer if Airdi not take the owl with them. Airdi tells her to shut up. Spite finds this to be a very thought-provoking conversation and is glad they had it.

    Since we're taking the owls with us, Aunt Spite gives the three giant owls little amulets that shrink them down to shoulder-size. They have the same abilities, stats, strengths, and weaknesses as their normal size. But every owl needs an owner. Airdi, Tortuga, and Drensaw each volunteer to look after one of the little feather babies.

    Rox thanks Spite for her hospitality and promises he will personally protect Dorian. Drensaw, to thank Spite for the free pet, promises to reimburse them for Tortuga's damages. This is the first Aunt Spite has heard of any broken table and assures Drensaw no such formalities are needed. Actually, in hindsight, how the hell did she not hear a table being smashed to bits? Flying pieces of smashed wood is about as quiet as Kanye West's ego.

    In the forest, everyone notices upturned dirt and paw prints. Everyone except Rox. All Rox notices is that the trees are nice and green, with nice brown bark and green grass too. He likes trees. Back to the prints, Drensaw does an inspection and determines they were made by wolves. Whether they were normal, dire, or were, he cannot determine. What he can determine is that it's a pack and they shouldn't be far off. Drensaw really wants to leave this place and take the long, safe passage around the forest. For whatever reason, Tortuga wants everyone to enter the danger zone, and tries to intimidate Drensaw into coming along. He's not too good at it. Still, Drensaw follows just so he's not alone. He won't forget what Tortuga did thou.

    There's a den near our heroes and no wolves in sight. This is going a lot better than Drensaw would have expected! This seems so safe that Dorian feels secure enough to refill his waterskin by the pond. Quicker than you can say obvious battle hook, bubbles start a-rising right where Dorian is and a chuul geysers out of the water.

    Owls attack with talons, ice knives are cast, fireballs are shot, and weapons a-plenty are swung. But what's most important in this battle is that Tortuga uses a thunderous smite to amp up his morning star, and when it hits the chuul, it unleashes a thunderclap that can be heard up to 300 feet away. Some howling tells Drensaw the hour of the wolf isn't too far off. A broken desk, a failed threat, and a stupid move. With a loud shout about those who pleasure mothers, Drensaw decides there's a new name on his shit list. This will come into play several times throughout the session.

    The chuul grabs Dorian. With one move, the poor kid's poisoned and paralyzed. In retaliation, Achistos swings his longsword mightily and stabs the chuul in the right eye. After sending his owl on wolf watch duty, Drensaw attempts to pull Dorian to safety. He fails because Drensaw and strength do not work together. The fight ends when Tortuga's owl rakes open the chuul with his talons and tears its head off. Owly celebrates by eating one of the chuul's tentacles. Someone draw that please.

    Dorian's back on his feet thanks to Tortuga's poison-purifying paladin powers. After Drensaw frantically reminds everyone of the wolves, Rox picks up Dorian and the party books it. Dorian guides the party into the den as three hungry direwolves arrive. They don't spot any adventurers but they do spot the big, dead, delicious lobster-bug thing.

    Inside the den we go. According to Dorian, this is the entrance to the secret lab. There's an intricate way of opening up the path to the lab, he tells us. One that requires Dorian to dodge, dances, and wiggle in a pattern to clear the way of traps. Bored, Kalwin decides to throw a dagger where he thinks a trap may be. Why he does that, I didn't write that down. Nothing happens when the dagger pierces into the ground, aside from Dorian flinching. Based off previous experiences, Kalwin's daggers usually end up hurting him.

    Curious, Dorian tries to set off one of the traps. Nothing happens.

    There are scratch marks across the wall which become more pronounced as we travel further in. Achistos investigates and deduces something like a bear or a lizard made these. Drensaw asks Dorian if he knows what creatures lurk in these areas. Dorian doesn't know, and didn't know chuuls would be here. Drensaw's mouth is agape and openly questions how Dorian could know this path yet no what lives in it. Kalwin bitchslaps Dorian with the backside of his glaive, then throws a dagger at him. The two have a talk about Dorian not telling the party about the chuul.

    With the sounds of snoring echoing throughout the cave, a small group consisting of Tortuga, Drensaw, and Achistos scouts ahead and surveys an owlbear getting his forty winks. The big beast has recently feasted and left the bones of his prey surrounding him. After a long back and forth between the DM and player, we determine that owlbears do not hibernate and this a good eight hourer. We sneak past anyway. Achistos steps on a bone and the owlbear's eyes slowly open. Drensaw panics and cast sleep on the thing, rolling just under what he would need to put the beast back to slumberland. An incensed Drensaw (and player) howl in frustration (I'm saying I screamed into the microphone), both startling the owlbear awake and grabbing the attention of the other party members, who rush in to join the trio.

    Everyone and the three owls use their various spells, weapons, and talons to whittle away the brute's health, but the tides of battle are in our party's favor thanks to Tortuga's wrathful smite making the owlbear frightened of him and a concoction in a tube from Dorian that poisons and blinds the thing. Drensaw takes pity on this poor thing and (thanks to a lack of useful items) uses a paper from his backpack as a makeshift fan to blow away the poison cloud (I don't remember how there was a cloud). Rolling a 1, he gets a papercut. When it's time for Drensaw's owl to attack, Tortuga egges Drensaw into commanding his owl to kill the helpless animal. Tortuga's still on Drensaw's shitlist, so he sends his owl to rake Tortuga across the face. Yup, session 4 and there's already in-party fighting. Airdi wants to get in on this hot Owl-on-Turtle action but the DM shuts her down.

    The owlbear scampers off and it's time to finally find this lab. Once we're all inside, we all see this place has been ransacked. If something wasn't turned on its side, it's been stolen. Dorian points out the door to us, which has a crudely drawn dragon head on it. Another picture, which is looks like someone of child-size scratched it in, is of an ornate symbol of three S's.
    Last edited by Mr. Hide; May 5th, 2019 at 11:06 AM.

  13. #113

    Default Re: Death Beckons: a DnD campaign

    Session 5: Quoth the Raven

    - Our cast
    Anthony as TORTUGA BACKBREAKER, tortle paladin, dudebro, killer of baby owls
    Mr. Hide as DRENSAW, changeling bard, disguised as a human, close to having a nervous breakdown
    Jake as ACHISTOS STARCATCHER, centaur cleric & druid, traitor?
    No Swords as ROX STONEJAW, goliath barbarian, a gentle soul with a big heart
    Shuhan's wife as AIRDI, gith sorceress, HBIC, only cares about money and owls
    Shuhan as DORIAN, amateur necromancer, revived the party from death, now our master
    Shuhan as GRUMBLEPATCH, a goblin
    Shuhan as AUNT MALICE, Dorian's elf family, needs a divorce
    Anthony, Shuhan's Wife, and Mr. Hide as THE GIANT OWLS, trio of pets magic'd to travel size


    Who turned out the lights? We don't remember the lab being so dark the last session. Achistos casts a spell on one of his bolts to help shed some light on the situation. Everything here has been flipped over or ripped to bits. Looks like a sharknado passed through. Several tomes have been pulled from the shelves and thrown about in what looks like the world's craziest cram session.

    Tortuga retreats into his shell to sleep, because Anthony was late to the session. A perception check tells Rox that this is an interesting patch of ground, Airdi that the room has gone to shit, and Drensaw and Achistos that some books have been torn to pieces and others completely untouched. A leather-bound book on the only surviving table goes by the name 'The History of Revival and the Ancient Dark Arts of Necromancy.' The book is not written in any language the gang knows but one of Drensaw's handy spells bypasses that roadblock. Many pages have been hastily ripped from its spine, perhaps an entire chapter. What remains shows a picture of the staff Dorian carries, here dubbed the Staff of Ravens. While Drensaw can read the text as if it were in common, the blasted thing's written in a indecipherable code that feels more like madlibs than scribbled notes. Achistos confirms it's not the secret language of druids.

    Drensaw asks Dorian what's the scoop on this book. It's certainly the master's handwriting, that's for sure. Dorian never read this book himself but his master used to constantly have it on her person. Achistos barely passes an insight check and is able to parse a few words like 'death' and 'resurrection.' Achistos pockets the book.

    Some more untouched books grab Drensaw's eye. 'Necromancy and You: The Finer Points of Bringing The Dead Back to Life,' 'The Ancient And Powerful Terms of Limericks And How To Use Them Effectively,' and 'Have A Punny Day.' Drensaw pockets the last one. Dorian fondly remembers how much his master loved a good pun. While that is happening, Rox is feeling around the ground and finds a very fascinating sediment that he must observe. I can't believe I wrote that. Dorian remarks that aside from flipped furniture and missing pages from books, this place looks exactly as uncleanly as his master used to keep it.

    After hours of searching, Tortuga lets out a big yawn and comes out of his shell. His pet owl wakes up as well, have curled up on top of Tortuga's shell. Tortuga sees the S's on the wall and thinks they stand for super sexy showtime. Airdi's at his throat per usual.

    Tortuga rummages through leftover books without looking for anything in particular. He finds 'C Is For Cthulhu.' Anthony says it's a very good story book that can be downloaded free online. He finds another book: 'Raising The Dead, Or Jokes That Would Make Your Hair Stand on End,' which he pockets. He finds a quantum physics book inside a joke book inside another quantum physics book inside another joke book.

    Dorian ponders out loud about who could have done this and why. Drensaw asks if his master had any enemies or rivals. Dorian doesn't know much about his master's life before he began his apprenticeship.

    Rox has been starring at a really swell rock for the good part of an hour, forming a social link with it. Since Drensaw, Tortuga, and Airdi get pet owls, Rox is taking a pet rock. After the bonding session, Rox eyes the picture of the Staff of Ravens in the book and, with uncharacteristically keen observation, notices the eyes of the staff's ornate raven head are a hue of red while Dorian's has green. Dorian knows nothing about this discrepancy. He takes out parchment and quill and jots a crude drawing of the S symbols while Tortuga takes out paper and charcol and makes an exact replica.

    The door exiting the lab is opened and natural light returns. The owlbear is still there, licking its wounds. I guess everyone here is a fan of Dice Camera Action because everyone wants the owlbear for a pet. When Achistos inches towards it, the owelbear quivers away in terror. Achistos does heal some of its wounds while Tortuga rids the poor dear of poison and Airdi gives it a hug. Tortuga tries to cheer the big guy up by doing creepy gestures with his hand and chanting, "Wooga-wooga-wooga!" It works as well as you'd expect. Drensaw and his owl, whom he has named Drizzt after a hero of his, perform the lovely owl dance of friendship to distract the owlbear from creepy-ass Tortuga. Airdi hugs it even tighter. The big guy finally shimmies out of its corner and, once he realizes he's not being choked to death, snuggles Airdi back. Dorian wants in on this lovefest and walks right up to the big beast. Dorian has forgotten that only a few hours ago he tried to beat the five senses out of this creature. The owlbear has not forgotten thou, and would have pecked Dorian's arm off had Dorian not uncannily pulled out of the way last second. Drensaw encourages the owlbear to join them. For a second the owlbear is receptive, but then looks transfixed on Drensaw. Seems owlbears can see through changeling disguise into their true form, and the owlbear scurries off. Drensaw and Drizzt do the dance again and invite the owlbear to join. The owlbear does not but appreciates the offer.

    The party stays overnight. Tortuga, Drensaw, Achistos, and Rox are up late playing twenty questions. Tortuga tells Drensaw a terrible joke about something brown and sticky, Drensaw asks Tortuga why he's always pissing people off (he doesn't mean to), Tortuga reveals he's 70 years young, Rox says he wants nothing more than to complete the job given to us by Mavis before we died, and Drensaw says while he's a coward who should not be out on the battlefield, he does so because he wants to prove he's better than the villains he called mom and dad. Achistos says he was the shepherd of a herd of his fellow centaur on quest to earn rite of passage before being a mob did him in. This happened 20 years ago.

    Time for us to hit the sack. Oh wait, everyone's undead. We cannot sleep but we sure can pretend to. Dorian was the only one who got his forty winks and is enjoying the beautiful rays of sunshine the next morning. Outside, Airdi notices loose, upturned dirt and Achistos and Rox find the bones of the chuul the party fought. Goes without question that large lupine footprints are afoot, and they are fresh.

    Some direwolves are a mile away having a howling good time. We made damn sure we didn't bump into them last time, we sure as hell aren't going to bump into them now. Time to vamoose. Achistos thou, he wants to take us directly to the wolves. Scandal! For what reason he does this I do not know but he tries to persuade Dorian to head in the direction of the wolves, saying it's a shortcut. #notmyshepherd He would have succeeded if Tortuga hadn't reminded Dorian he had said the route we took was the quickest way back to his family. Crisis averted.

    We're finally back at mi casa. Time to solve the mystery of the diary. Dorian's first plan is cross-referencing the diary with his own notes on necromancy. Drensaw's comprehension of languages will come in handy for this. The others wouldn't contribute much to this so they are free to do as they wish. Achistos wants to check on his heard, and Tortuga, Airdi, and Rox pay a visit to the nearby tavern where this whole fiasco started: the Iron Sphincter. Rox wants to find Mavis. Drensaw loans Tortuga his golden cloak to help him fit in with the general populace.

    Tortuga skips the entire way to the Iron Sphincter, which hasn't changed a bit since we last visited the place six months ago. Rox inquires from the barkeep all she know about Mavis. After getting over the initial shock of seeing a familiar face past his expiration date, she informs the goliath that Mavis often asks visitors for that particular A-rank mission, often with predictable results. Seems Mavis is a troubled girl. Gets into trouble more often than anyone of innocence should. The bar hasn't seen hide nor hair of her in six months.

    Airdi walks up to a rando and pokes them in the back of the head. This rando is a polite goblin bard named Grumblepatch. Guy takes quite an interest in Tortuga and Airdi, the later of whom he recognizes. Grumblepatch is a gambling goblin and offers the two a card game. They play a couple rounds with the winner of each getting information from the other. This is a moneyless and owlless wager so Airdi's having none of this, naturally.

    My wifi went down for a minute or ten so I missed some stuff. I also don't follow playing card games so I couldn't follow the game. Grumblepatch puts a zone of truth on Tortuga. Tortuga wins the first round and gets two questions, wasting one of them by asking if he can have Airdi's counsel. The tortle asks the goblin if he ever was apart of a party. This is some kind of injoke between the players and I'm not in on it. DM has him change it to if Grumblepatch knows where Mavis is. I didn't catch the answer, I'm guessing no.

    Back at the lab, Drensaw and Dorian are making no headway in their research. Before trekking off, Achistos told the study buddies the two words he had parsed from his translation, death and resurrection. Drensaw tries to encourage the demoralized Dorian to try thinking outside the box. A knock on the door and Aunt Spite strolls in with her best tea in her nicest china. Seeing the written code upside, she asks the two to look at things from her perspective. Without a moment's hesitation, Drensaw grabs the book and spins it. Eureka! Oh, it's an illusion that's dissipated! Dorian translates - many things are the same but some staffs make more sense(?). Staff of Raven, Staff of Dove, Staff of Crow, Staff of Goat. Goat? Dorian made a typo when writing down the original text. Ahem, Staff of Stork. Dorian's staff is the raven, he tells, for he and his family worship the Raven Queen. And if you know anything about the Raven Queen than you know why Drensaw is aghast.

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