Dungeon Fantasty S01E02 “Sunsday Go-To-Meeting Murder Hobos”

Welcome back to our continuing coverage of our GURPS game, already in session.. Let’s meet our players.

Jianjun – Priest of The War God, and bringer of the Holy Light. Not big in the zombie circles.
Grognak – Barbarian slayer, and new world champion in the Dwarf-Toss.
Frau Blucher- Cleanser of the unclean, and a decent makeshift shot put. And introducing Virgil Runnels Jr. as the Frau’s stalwart manservant –
Gunter – Happy-Go-Lucky bear about town, and drinker of fine ale, as long as he does it outside.. Stupid “No Animals Allowed” rules.
Everynne, The Red Lady – Setter of fires, and enjoyer of fires.. The Red lady does what she likes and likes what she does.
Zen – Sworn enemy of the J.K. Rowling Estate and master of the aggressive disarm.

The Party Gathered a number of rumors while going about their business in town, let’s see what they learned, shall we?

-“If you’re ever lost in the woods, you can pay a little man to take you to the BEST inn, in the new world.”
-“If you’re looking for something to do, there’s a guy in a dress outside of town who’s trying to get folks into his church.. Give him my name, he’ll give me a copper a head!”
-“We saw a pair of Bigfoots, walking hand in hand in the forest. Then they ate my horse..”
-“A giant damn cat kept asking me the same question over and over.. I think I blacked out before I could answer her, though.. I woke up just outside town.”
-“A priest of Tyr led a ships worth of slaves to freedom, but lost his high holy symbol, and his hand, in doing so, The Church would greatly appreciate them returned.”
-“I was minding my own business, going to meet… someone… out in the.. somewhere.. and this giant THING lifts me off my feet, shouts DWARVEN ONION at me, and threw me in a lake..”

We rejoin our party taking in a bit of well-deserved rest and relaxation, after several weeks sleeping on a ship, and one magical night borrowing the sleeping bags of some recently deceased goblins. Given a weeks room and board at the local inn by the Lady Penelope, the group dropped almost immediately into sleep, taking only enough time to move Grognak off four of the beds into just two. The scene begins mid-afternoon, at breakfast.

Taking their place at an empty table in the Salacious Unicorns’ dining hall, the buxom proprietress arrived, quickly sized up the group and started placing cups and tankards in front of the party, strong tea for the dour priest, red wine for the wizardess, a steaming mug of tarbean tea (Note: fantasy talk for coffee) for the Pirate (Yeah, I said it the first time, for once!), what appeared to be a large bucket of mead for Grognak and ale for the Dwarf & her friend who was CERTAINLY not a bear wearing glasses and a fake nose. After serving she promptly sat herself down on the holy warriors lap, and began aggressively flirting in dwarven, ignoring the rest of the party for most of an hour.

Midway through their eventual meal, the group was interrupted by an elder member of the church, asking politely for a moment of their time. Jianjun was more than happy to silence his companions and let the priest speak, and invited the man to deliver his message. It seemed, as luck would have it, that the Church’s new Oracle had foreseen the parties involvement in the recovery of several evil artifacts for the church, and the priest hoped that he might start them on their holy quest this very day.

Having little else in the way of work to do, the group was willing to sign on, but when they questioned the priest, he stated that only the Oracle could give them more information, and stepped aside to present said oracle, only to reveal Elan, the young priest from the day before. The sight of the boy caused Frau to leap to her feet, level her mace up and shout “UNDEAD!! UNCLEAN!!” Before the Dwarf could strike, or Elan soil himself, the elder priest frantically explained that Elan had been resurrected by his the grace of his Goddess, and was not, in fact, a member of the undead.

Elan explained that he had received a powerful vision of the events about to transpire, and that he would lead the party deep into the woods, to discover “The House of the Fallen Lady” though he had no idea what that meant, or who this lady was. Elan stated that the object they sought would match the unholy relic already in the parties possession, so identifying it would be no difficult matter. Young priest and old both quickly looked at Zen, who smiled innocently, and called to the barkeep for a refill on her tarbean tea.

The group said that was good enough for them, and prepared to depart. Before they could exit town, however, the older priest did request that they do everything in their power to protect the child, perhaps with more vigilance than they had shown last time..

Elan began to lead the party deep into the woods, on no trail that their giant woodsman could discern, never veering, but still insistting that nothing looked quite the same as his vision. Soon after, Grognak decided to seat the young Oracle on his back, to which Elan proclaimed, “OH, this is MUCH better.. I wondered why I felt so short.. Alright, this way!” and began to lead them much deeper into the forest at a quicker pace.

About mid morning, Grognak picked up a strange smell, stopped the group and whispered “Dire Wolves, ten of them, up ahead… Get ready…” This was a critical success on his perception check, which made the parties lives MUCH easier. The wolves ambush was ruined, and Elan had more than enough time to run and hide under Gunter, who decided to sit and watch, rather than get involved in the fight.

Grognak made quick work of the first wolf with his warhammer, but growing angry at the next who bit him soundly on the groin, decided to attempt hand-to-hand combat for several rounds, and was less successful, though the wolf failed at each attempt to bring the barbarian to the ground, despite his aggressive hold on his.. loincloth.

Meanwhile, as the priest called upon his miracles to heal and protect the barbarian, the Red lady issued forth a jet of fire, immolating several of the large wolves. The Frau crushed bone and flesh alike with her heavy mace, while Zen danced in and among the wolves, slashing and jabbing with her newly acquired Shortsword, liberated from the cloaked thief she slew the night before. Not like he needed it anymore, right?

Despite the overwhelming numbers, and MANY successful defense rolls on the part of the dire wolves, the party did finally best the beasts, and after finding no treasure and scowling at the GM, the party replaced Elan on his perch atop the barbarian and continued on their journey.

Another hours walk deeper into the wilderness, Elan called a halt, and informed the group that they had reached their destination, an old, mostly crumbled cemetery. The Graveyard was scattered with only a number of grave stones, two stone statues, and a small square gazebo.

Elan informed the party that his vision ended here, and given that information, he would be headed home, safely under his own power. Before the group could argue, the young priest wandered back into the woods alone, vanishing in the brush. “He’s gonna die again, isn’t he?”

Seeing no reason not to inspect the graveyard, Frau made first entrance into the once holy site. Feeling as if she walked through a thick spiderweb as she made ingress, Frau’s heard the tell-tale moan of zombies, raising up from their dug graves, and approaching the dwarf with a hungry look in their eye.
The imminent threat of undead upon them, the party sprang into action. Zen shrank back into the shadows, as she is wont to do, as Jianjun stepped to the boundary of the graveyard, held high his quarterstaff topped with the symbol of his lord, Erlang Shen, revealed to be a cast iron image of a clenched fist, and called upon the light of the war god to drive back the undead.

As the lumbering barbarian entered the fray, the Frau called him to her side, and pointed at the furthest fleeing Zombie. Knowing the dwarf’s mind, Grognak grabbed Frau, spun in a tight circle, and flung her directly at the undead abomination. As the holy warrior neared her pray, she braced her shield, screamed her battle-cry; “UNCLEAN!” and smashed headlong through the zombie, destroying it utterly.

The remaining zombies were handled quickly, unable to defend themselves while shambling in fear from the cleric’s holy light. The Turn Undead power is a contest of Will, and this group of shambling meat-sacks rolled an 18. on 3d6. I could not have done worse. They posed no threat to a party that already excels at killing undead.

Given a few free seconds with the empty cemetery, the party searched the gazebo, finding a false floor under a thick layer of dead soil. Beneath the false door was a short ladder, leading down to a deep spiral staircase.

Descending several levels into darkness, the party emerged into a dimly lit hallway, spreading out to their left and right. Taking a quick consensus, the party headed to the right for ten or so yards, before the hall took a sharp left. As they rounded the corner, Jianjun noticed a shuttered window on the wall to the right. Taking a moment to inspect the window, the cleric found the shutters stuck closed, beyond his strength to open. Thankfully, Grognak is never at a loss for finesse, and smashed the shutter with his warhammer, revealing a wall of packed dirt and stone beyond. “Well that’s helpful..”

Resuming their trek into the underground structure, the group turned the corner, only to find themselves facing an unlikely grouping of individuals; two small red imps, a bespectacled young man in dark robes, resembling nothing so much as a depressed <Excerpt removed for copyright reasons> OK, well, think famous British Boy Wizard, glasses, black hair.  You get it. Behind the young man stood two animate skeletons, armed with wicked looking axes. Jianjun wasted no time, shouting “DEMONS” and saying a quick prayer.

Taking no time for diplomacy, the party sprang into action, with Grognak lunging at one Imp, The Frau charging towards the skeletons, while the groups rogue was nowhere to be found. Everynne began chanting to ready a fireball, with eyes only for the young wizard downfield, but before her spell was ready, Zen slipped from the shadows, and drug her shortsword across the boys neck, dropping him instantly to the ground in a pool of his own blood.

The imps revealed to be Devilkin, fell quickly to the opening onslaught, and the skeletons fared no better, as The Red Lady turned her attention to one and the cleric blasted the other with holy light, dropping both. Taking just a few moments to search their prey, the adventurers found a small amount of coin and a few odds and ends, mostly paraphernalia of an apprentice wizard, if the Red Lady was to be believed. The highlight of the loot was a potion belt, made of hold several vials or grenades. It was similar indeed to the one their own mage wore over he crimson robes.

The hall continued on for three dozen or so yards, with a left turn about halfway down, and two doors spaced out along their right. The party seemed interested in what might lay beyond those doors, and turned to Zen to find out. Taking no great amount of effort, the Pirate whipped out a set of lockpicks, and opened the lock only to exclaim “DAMNIT” as a small needle jabbed her in the finger. Thankfully her gloves were thick enough to prevent real damage, or the poison that had been smeared on the needle, but the lesson was learned to check for traps FIRST, and THEN pick the lock. More player knowledge than character, it was nonetheless an important lesson.

Inside the first room was a small bedchamber, with a desk on one side, a small chest of drawers and a bed on the other. After a quick ransack of the room they turned up a strange book in a language none of the party could read, and a jar, containing a strange piece of meat which Grognak identified as an organ from a Frost Snake, worth a decent amount of coin to an alchemist. They loaded up their new-found goods, and continued back along to the other door.

Finding the second door in the hall not locked OR trapped, they looked inside to find a mostly empty bedroom, with two unused beds, and soiled clothes. A reluctant search turned up nothing.

The party continued to the end of this hall, ignoring the first left turn, and turned left at the end, finding a hall matching the first they explored. Two doors were on the right, and one on the left. Checking the first on the right, they revealed another set of stairs headed down. A quick consensus decided to explore the rest of this level, before moving further In. They re-closed the door and headed on. The next door along was locked AND trapped, but Zen had little trouble opening it, exposing what had once been a richly decorated bedroom.

Taking NO time before falling into a search, they uncovered coin and various goods, including a much finer quality tome, in what appeared to be the same language as the book recovered earlier. Both coin and book were packed up, as the party crossed the hall to tackle the 3rd door.

Finding neither trap nor lock, Zen led the procession into an old, but still utilized dining hall, with a long table, several chairs in various states of disrepair and bits of what appeared to be a recent meal still sitting about. Never ones to let food go to waste, the party helped themselves to some bread and cheese. I’m not surprised here at all, my own gaming group once made no pretenses about looting a bag of smoked rats, saying only, “food costs money, no need to waste it..”. At the other end of the dining hall, was another door which lead back into a hall they had ignored earlier.

Across this short hallway they faced another door, though at this point Zen was distracted, so Grognak took his turn at picking the lock, and smashed the stout wooden door into kindling. Grognaks player looked at me “Doesn’t appear to be trapped now, does it?” Sometimes I get my own medicine back to me, heh.

Inside was what appeared to once have been a great library, still containing a large number of books, if in a less than desirable condition. Before the rest of the party could even begin to search, The Red Lady extended her mystic senses, pointed to a shelf 3 over and 4 up, and said, “That book there, its magical and valuable. Get it and let’s go.” A critical success on her Perception + Magery roll, it led them to the only real source of treasure. I thought I was going to get them to work at this one..

Heading left out of this room brought them to another long hall, showing that this level of the.. building? Dungeon? Whatever it was they were in, was shaped like a squared numeral 8. Seeing 2 more doors on the far side of the hall, they decided to check the one on the right first, which opened into a strange workroom with a row of rusty cages to their right, and a covered stack of something on their left. A workbench covered in miscellaneous tools sat against the far wall.

While Zen picked through the tools, Frau heard a slight hissing sound, and silenced the group before finding its source coming from under the tarps. Yanking back the thick canvas revealed another long cage, this one filled with 3 Serpents covered in white fur, hissing and snapping at the party around them. Grognak branded them Frost Snakes, but finding that neither Hanseath nor Erlang Shen required their followers to handle snakes, the group decided to come back to this room on their way out and decide what to do then. Zen reported finding only a cheap set of surgical tools, which Jianjun offered to put to good use.

The final door led to a small chamber adorned with nothing more than a stack dead bodies, which the group declined to search, preferring not to be arm deep in rotting corpses. They made for the stairs leading down.

Down the stairs led them to a long hallway, lit by fresher torches than above. The hall branched out to their right only a dozen paces to a door, and twice that distance to their left, turning right. Choosing to go right first, they opened the unlocked door to a small room with a soft chair, a small table, and a half-empty bottle of wine. Taking the wine, they closed the door, and turned to explore further. The hall looped them around, showing one door on the right, and another on the left, further on. The door on their right opened into a torture chamber, littered with various rusted implements of its trade, and a few unmoving bodies. As they turned to leave, one of the figured still attached to the wall let out a low moan, revealing it to be still, barely, alive.

Given healing and water by Jianjun, the man begged the party first not to kill him, and later, once he understood, to take him OUT OF THIS PLACE. Assuring the man that he would be safe, they led him back to the room with the soft chair, gave him food and wine, and turned their attention to the last unopened door.

The door opened into a large chamber with doors on either side, already open, that led to shallow pools of what the holy members of the party confirmed were Unholy Water, yet had once been holy to some deity.

At the far end of the chamber were two large wooden doors, carved with a relief, long since faded and unreadable. Finding no locks or traps, Zen shrugged and pushed the doors open, revealing an immense chapel complete with a number of zombies, a robed figure standing at an alter chanting strange words and holding a wicked black dagger, and two large, red-skinned demons holding broadswords dripping with blood.

Having interrupted their unholy ritual, the zombies turned to charge the party, while the demons took flight, moving to engage the largest threat, the hulking barbarian. Seeing only his Lords foe before him, Jianjun left aloft his staff, calling once again upon the light of Erlang Shen to repulse the abominations.

Grognak and Frau Blucher charged to engage the enemy now fleeing the brilliant light of good, with the barbarian impaling a demon on his warhammer, and Frau calling the blessing of Hanseath to smite a zombie as she unleashed her battle-cry. The Red Lady used her deep knowledge of the arcane to alert her party that the robed figure on the dais was attempting to summon yet another demon, and began to cast her own, a fireball, to better cleanse the unclean. Seeing nowhere to hide, Zen launched into a sprint for the alter, drawing her blade and focusing only on the menace who stood before it.

As the cleric advanced, holding his holy symbol high, the zombies and demons were forced to turn from the fight, seeking refuge, and leaving their backs open to the onslaught of their foes. The Red Lady let fly a burning globe of fire which burned itself through the chest of one demon, and Grognak yanked free his warhammer, killing the other. Frau brought down zombie after zombie, fighting her way toward the summoner, but was quickly blown past by Zen who leapt into the air, landing on the alter one foot on either side of a recently slain corpse, and brought her blade down severing the forearm of the fiend attempting to bring further abominations. Not having the level of health needed to continue casting spells while bleeding from a stump, the demonoligsts ritual was ruined.

Finding it easy to crush the remaining zombies with their leaders dead, the group began to search the room, collecting the dagger the dagger from the bleeding and crying demonologist, (later put out of his misery by Jianjun) and opening a door to the side of the raised pulpit, revealing more dead bodies, mostly stripped and in various states of decay.

Given several minutes to thoroughly investigate the room, Zen found what she believed to be a secret hatch, but was unable to open it, relying on the help of her associate Grognak, to reveal its secrets. A few moments work with his warhammer, opened crawlspace, holding a stout wooden chest, which was promptly drug out and opened like a Yule present. Inside were a number of random goods, including a hefty pouch of coin, a small gem, various potions, and wrapped in a heavy cloth, a very light shield, made of Orichalcum, an almost indestructible, but incredibly light metal, branded with an unknown word in calligraphy, and smelling faintly of smoke. As the mage looked upon it, she claimed it magical, and heavily so. Relieved of his life, the demonoligst was also relieved of his robe, adorned with fine tassels, and enchanted with the ability to resist water. Or blood, if one was to be sprayed with such a thing..

As they began to pack up their new treasures, the party saw Zen pull from her pouch a cloth-wrapped dagger matching the one taken from the now dead Demonologist. There were looks all about, nods of understanding all around, and an agreement that they would discuss it when they arrived back in town. The party made plans to collect their now rescued prisoner, and made haste to leave this unholy place.

Thankfully, thy encountered no trouble leaving the dungeon, and marched quickly as they could to the safety of town, and their cut of the rewards.

Awarded 12 points for the hefty battles, returning the prisoner alive, and recovering the u holy relic, the party was pleased all around. Each member received a cut of $467 in coin, with Frau being given custody of the new shield, revealed to be named “Kemoth’s Weightless Bulwark”, and worth more than the rest of the treasure combined.

All around, a good adventure, pleasing to both players and GM alike, I hope. Sorry for the delay, more to come soon.

-Conner

Advertisements

Dungeon Fantasy S01E01 “Oh won’t you take me, on a sea cruise!”

Greetings, fair reader, and welcome to session 1 of my Dungeon Fantasy game, which in MY mind at least, and hopefully forced into the minds of my players, is seen as an animated series, perhaps just not for children.. Or the elderly.. Or people in general.

Alright folks, it’s time to play our game. Let’s meet our players, shall we?

*Catchy Theme Music*.

Cast of hundreds –

Jianjun- Cleric of Erlang Shen, an eastern and mysterious God of War, here from the Old World to spread the blessing of his lord, and his cleansing fist, to the Demons that inhabit this land.  He is somber compared to his teammates, but more that willing to mix it up in combat, if only to spout his catchphrase “Do you accept The Blessing of the War God?”.

Grognak – Barbarian of the wild north, in the the new world to find his fortune among the lost and unknown land.  Most recently invented the Chokeslam and became a thing of fear among the goblin tribes. He is, however, well liked among the group, as long as he’s hitting someone else.

*Note: we have no affiliation with any major or independent game company, nor any of their affiliates. The opinions expressed herein are simply the ridiculous notions of nerds and their imaginary friends.*

Frau Blucher – Dwarven Holy Warrior of Hanseath, a Dwarven God of both battle and ale.  Think patron saint of bar fights…but better. Frau is mostly interested in spreading her faith through potent dwarven spirits & proselytization and returning the restless undead to their reward via massive head trauma. Both of which impress her new friends.  With The Frau, as always, is her trusty mount-

Gunter – A freed circus bear she liberated before leaving the Old World, who has taken a keener interest in fine ale than he has his juggling career, but Frau holds out hope.

Everynne, The Red Lady – Recent graduate of *mumble mumble* Wizard’s Academy in the Old World, she is come to this untamed expanse to hone her skills in the Arcane… and Burn Things. Typically the latter over the former.  Perhaps slumming it a bit with this crowd, she’s fitting in well as long as she has something to burn.

Zen – A shady  Thie-  *cough cough* – er, Pirate, about town, Zen has little in the way of motivation aside from keeping both her bank account and her coffee mug filled.  Zen seems to get along fine with her new friends, but mostly because they have nothing she wants. Because she swears she never found anything on those bodies…

 

Our episode  opens on a mighty sailing ship, bound for the New World, more specifically a town known as Tembladera, yet still a few days good sailing from their destination, when they were set upon by a dastardly white dragon, and their tiny ship was tossed.

When the black was replaced by sight once again, the members of the party were awakened by a young priest of Mishakal; Elan, who had barely escaped the shipwreck himself, and had been able to save only the 5 of them using what he swears is a new type of first aid, and NOT just open-mouthed kissing, despite Jianjun’s suspicion.  

Lost, alone, hundreds of miles from their intended destination, and with few supplies, our intrepid adventurers agreed to assist Elan, who was headed to a nearby town, intending to deliver a parcel and begin his service to the local church.  Yeah, it was a ready-made plot point, but come on, it was the first session, and i hate the “you meet in a dark pub, the man in the corner says he has a job you might be right for..” thing.. that’s for session 2! 

Grognak  was undaunted with the deep wilderness (think the landscape they encounter in The 13th Warrior) and quickly found an old game trail, leading away from the coast, in the general direction Elan assumed the nearest town was.

After a number of hours blazing trails, Grognak smelled the faint whiff of wood smoke and, assuming food, quickly changed direction towards his new goal, leading the group to a small clearing and face to face with a goblin, busy gutting a dear.

The lone goblin seemed less than astonished by the approach of the loud and unprepared group trundling through the woods, but was taken QUITE surprised to have Grognak lead the charge in his direction and grab him by the throat.  A newer player, he was excited to play a brawny fighter, and didn’t care about spending time to draw his big, oversized warhammer, he asked “can i run up and grab him?”  And sure enough, he made a roll at 9 or less, and had the little green bastard in his grip.  Just as all hell broke lose.

With the rest of the party in quick pursuit, several more goblins sprung into action, one dropping out of the trees onto Grognak’s back,  while several rushed the group from their hiding spots in the bushes, and one tried to shoot Zen from his sniper position in a tree.  This turned out to be a poor idea for Goblin Bob, as he failed to do any real damage to the Rogue- PIRATE, she’s a pirate, and instead was just enough to sprint towards the tree, leap into it like a hippy in the park, and kick him  in the chest, knocking him out of the tree, and flat on his back, stunning him.

While Zen was busy climbing trees, Frau made good use of her mace, sending one goblin on to his final rest, as the priest and wizard charged and flung their magic downfield, and felled two more.

Once Zen had her prey on the ground, wondering why the world just spun around on him like late on payday, and why he couldn’t breathe, Frau Blucher spotted a familiar bottle of booze on his belt, and pinned him to the ground with her boot to relieve him of it. Sadly for the Frau, it turned out to be a potion of some kind, and not stout liquor, as she’d hoped.

Grognak was displeased with the hitchhiker and grabbed yet another goblin by the face, ending up holding one in each hand.. What IS a barbarian to do, but smash them together, turning both into piles of loose goblin pudding..  This earned an extra XP point for the session, long referred to as the “Cool Point,”  voted on by the players, not the GM, and normally given for an extreme act of  heroism, or, more often, dying, or nearly doing so..

The last goblin was relieved of his worldly goods and luckily spoke a few words of the Common tongue, and was happy to help them best he could, in exchange for his life.. sadly, a few words wasn’t enough to get more than that he would lead them to either a church, or a man, or something..  But it was enough, and they were off. Note: the other goblins DID speak, but only in their own language, Goblinstani, which none of the party spoke.  the only word heard repeated sounded oddly like Gargamel.. 

With Elan armed with some leather armor and a short sword from a goblin who had… discarded it..  Grognak decided to finish field-dressing the deer, refusing to leave good meat behind, at which time the party eyed me suspiciously, “Goblins don’t use poison arrows, do they?”   I replied “not to HUNT with…” *cue ominous music*

Gob Rob lead the party, tied up on a leash but alive, along a more well-traveled path, to a small rise with a cave opening cut into a hillside.  “Well, this looks safe, let’s go on in..”  and in they went.

As the group followed a small corridor, they entered a larger cavern, with an altar at one wall, to some unknown but clearly fiendish lord. In the cavern were a number of other goblins, several around an upturned barrel playing dice, and one, in a garish robe, at the altar.

The Goblin on the leash immediately began talking to the robed goblin in rapid Goblinstani, causing alarm to both the goblins in the room, as well as two larger creatures, hobgoblins, who entered from a partitioned area of the cave.

The combat lasted all of 4 rounds, with The Frau and Grognak taking out a stout Hobgoblin each, Frau with a shield bash followed up with her crushing mace, Grognak impaling it on his warhammer and hardly bothering to yank it free before he turned on a trio of goblins who were foolish enough to close with him.

Jianjun focused his attention on the obvious demon worshiper, and delivered his holy wrath, though fell before his spell had charged fully, the long blade of Zen stuck deep into his kidneys, who had snuck up behind him, as is her way.  No one seemed to notice Zen pocketing the evil priest wicked-looking dagger as he fell,  the group simply being surprised later that he had change in his pockets later when they searched his body.

The Red Lady, who had stayed in the entryway to the cave flinging Fireballs as goblins charging to their flaming deaths, barely dodged an arrow that flew past her,  very pleased to have it miss, would find moments later that it had taken Elan in the leg, and carried an apparently lethal dose of poison.

Foes defeated, the party lamented the loss of the young priest, think 12 year old Haley Joel Osment, decided to deliver both his parcel, a bundle of expensive incense and holy oils worth a small fortune to the party, as well as his body, to the local church, as would have been his mission.  But first, a good night’s sleep..*there’s the music again..*

Deep in the night, as Jianjun sat his turn at watch, cleaning his staff, and deep in conversation with his god, spotted the fur covering the cave entrance being pulled aside as a man dressed in dark leathers and a heavy cloak entered the room and locked eyes with the priest.

The would-be intruder called out “Don’t forget to tie up the horses!” and promptly drew and threw down a smoke-bomb.

The party all awoke to the shouting and leapt to various levels of  action, with Jianjun praying for his magic, Grognak and Frau coming to stand, Zen vanishing into the shadows. The Red Lady, not wasting time to stand, cast an illusion over the makeshift campsite of goblins sleeping.

Before the smoke could clear, two dim-witted  yokels entered the cavern through the smoke, one carrying a lantern, the other a heavy bucket held in both hands.  Both looked confused and stopped dead at the sight of a somber campsite of goblins and the 7 foot tall barbarian that came thundering out of it.. This was a bit of miscommunication which actually worked out fairly well, mainly because i assume that if your GM is dying in laughter, random yokel henchmen are going to be confused for at LEAST a round.. Which, i’m more surprised to say, they both survived..

As the smoke began to clear, the original interloper stepped out of the shadows to stab the Frau, only to trigger the waiting Zen, who ran him through, rifling through his pockets before his cold body hit the floor.

Giving up the fight easily, Goon 1 and Goon 2 were keen to drop their weapons (or buckets of rusty caltrops, in this case), but the smarter of the two seemed to think actually spilling their guts was over the line.  Frau kicked him squarely in the.. lower.. abdomen, and took a step to the left, and offered the 2nd good a chance to make good..  And he did it in spades.

The goonsquad were recent hirelings of the now-dead thief Rhengar, who was on his way here to collect his cut of loot from a recent caper, and then, Goondar Jr. was quite clear, to give them their share!  When Rhengar called for his non-existent horse to be tied up, it was a code that meant either; A,  he was under attack, or B, he needed light, so they brought both.. really, one made his IQ roll barely, the other failed. BADLY.

The party decided that if the now out-of-work Goonine-Mac would give them the route to town, and leave them to their devices, not calling for other help, they would give him whatever his partner had been carrying, which amounted to a dagger and a handful of coin.  He accepted greedily, pointed in a direction Grognak called Northwest, and fled, thanking various deities as he went.

Curious as to the “loot” Goonie McGoonums has mentioned, the party set to a thorough search of the cave, finding, among a few small odds and ends, a cleverly hidden gilded chest, buried in rubble from a cave-in at the far end of the cave.  After Zen made short work of the cheap lock, the party found… a wedding dress  meant for someone larger even than Grognak, though not nearly as tall.. enclosed was also a pouch of coin, worth a few hundred dollars, and a note congratulating “Lady Penelope”on this, the day of her wedding.  Even my newest player was hip to how this works, “this is a quest right? we have to take this back? ” “Well, that or dress the barbarian up for his Debutante Ball…”  so the group made for town, pocketing the cash and tucking the dress back in the chest, then hoisting it onto Grognak’s back.

With a few hours’ walk, the party did indeed find a substantial town, Arica, and set about trying to find out who this Lady Penelope was, and where she could be found, so a plan was made. Here, the party got to use their social skills, hoping to find some sort of lead.  However while plans were offered up, Zen’s player said “streetwise? i just tolled a 3…”  and that’s all it took.  30 seconds later, a secret handshake with the first person she saw, and the party was directed to a large manor house at the end of the street.

The group, sans Grognak, who was invited to sit in the garden to be fed tiny sandwiches with the bear.  Once inside, due mostly to Zen’s honest, fresh-faced ,new-to-town look,  the more civilized members were given tea and cookies before being given audience with the Lady Penelope herself.   A young lady of great..stature, the Lady Penelope was indeed to soon be wed, and was overjoyed at the return of her unique Elf-Made wedding dress, but was saddened to learn that the bandits had made off with the pouch of coins that the note mentioned would be included as well. Along beside Penelope, was her young husband-to-be, Emry.  A tiny string of a man,  he wore a pristine military uniform, but seemed to fight just to stay upright in it.  Emry Never spoke, just sat meekly, nodding along as Penelope talked.

In return for their help, Lady Penelope offered to pay for their week’s room and board at a local  Inn, the Salacious Unicorn.  The group was wished well and ushered out.

I had decided to modify the normal quest mechanics for DF, giving a point of XP for completing the quest itself, and an extra point if the party managed an optional quest, in this case, return the dress for 1 pt, and the cash as well, for an additional point.  also, it should be noted, that Elan and his quest were another set, with the return of his parcel for 1 xp, and getting the young priest back safely, for another.  So, for this game, they got 50/50.  in the future, I’m assuming they will weigh extra cash or prizes, over an extra XP, here and there.

The next stop was the local Church, to deliver both the parcel and the wrapped body of Elan. The church praised the group for the return of their lost son, as well as the important parcel that is important for reasons.  Each member of the party was given a holy healing potion for their troubles, and an invite to Sunsday mass

After selling the loot taken from the recently deceased, each member of the party netted $353 dollars.  A tidy sum, for homeless murder hobos who almost died a day ago, i’d say.

Well, that’s Episode 1, longer than i imagined, but hopefully not too long as to lose your interest.  stick around next time, to see what manner of trouble the party can get into when Grognak wrestles a rowboat, and Zen learns an important lesson about sharing when a new friend comes to town, looking for love! – Note: none of that is true… OR IS IT.