July 9, 2013
After returning to the Keep screaming like scared little school girls, being chased viciously, yet slowly, but an army of undead, against their better judgment, the Keep guards let us in. We spent another few days in the Keep while trying to hatch a new plan of attack. The good news is that we returned to find our previously incapacitated healer to be healthy enough again to go adventuring with us. Once the room in the inn was cleaned up and allowed to air out from the repressive fecal odors, we were on our way.
Zaphael and Koyten, being among the more morally compromised members of the party, discussed the information the kobolds shared with Koyten while he was hiding in shadows from the undead. Turns out the kobolds used to live in the Caves of Chaos, but were run out by “humans”. They also claim they had lost their beloved dragon egg. Makes sense; who doesn’t love dragon eggs?
Zaphael knew the dragon egg was in the shop of the local Keep mage and teacher, so he and Koyten come up with a plan that had zero chances of working, but was too amusing not to try. Koyten donned a disguise of a drunken, wealthy merchant in the hopes of luring a thief out. The goal was to catch the thief and hire them to help steal the dragon egg from the mage, DaBoochie…or whatever his name was. The ruse works and a lovely female thief attempts to rob Koyten (who vomited on her for some reason definitely not a part of the plan) and Zaphael hit her with a Color Spray spell that dropped her unconscious. She was whisked away to a private room.
In the private room, for reasons yet again known only to Koyten, he changes disguises into a vampire and the woman is brought out of her unconscious state. A very confused Zaphael just lets Koyten do the talking. Koyten convinced the girl she is now a vampire-ling…or something…and must do his bidding. She has to agree to wear makeup that makes her look like a plague victim.
Here’s where their needlessly complicated plot grows to the point of outright lunacy. Zaphael goes into the shop to strike up a conversation with the shop owner. After a few minutes, the girl is supposed to stumble in like a panicked plague victim looking for help. Between Zaphael and the girl, the shop keeper is supposed to be so distracted that he won’t notice Koyten slipping in and hiding in shadows. Then, so the plan goes, the shop keeper is supposed to be convinced by Zaphael to help take the girl to a priest and look for help. While they are gone, Koyten will be alone in the shop to steal the egg and slip out unnoticed.
Implausible? Yes. Excessively elaborate? Yes. Did it work? Yes!
…did everything go horribly wrong anyway? Yes.
Koyten, again, for reasons known only to himself, decided to steal the shop keeper’s precious family grimoire and the dragon egg. He then proceeded to set the building on fire with himself still inside of it…and Wizard Locked in. He eventually gets out and everyone comes running to help put the fire out. All the screaming and yelling also brings Zaphael and the shop keeper back, where the shop keeper stands very horrified and Zaphael stands very confused.
The fire gets put out and the shop keeper is given quarters to stay in, paid for by the party, until they can figure out what to do about his shop. They do have the dragon egg, though, and that gives them powerful leverage against the kobolds to ensure they will not attack the party and may even offer assistance or information as to the layout and defenses of the caves.
The party also opts to explore a concealed door located in the fountain of the Keep. It is explored and cleared without incident as it merely went to an exit on the side of the southern cliff face under the Keep, however, after surfacing back through the fountain, an argument breaks out among the members of the party. While they are arguing, a Halfling steals a pouch from one of the party members and all hell breaks loose.
Koyten gives chase and tries to backstab the Halfling…
Ingrid tries to trip the Halfling….
Iomhar tries to stop Koyten…
Zaphael tries to blind the Halfling with a Light spell…
Tharsis tries to yell for the Halfling to stop and talk this over…
Richard takes a swing at the Halfling….
Koyten stabs the Halfling in the throat (but he survives and keeps running).
Ingrid succeeds in stopping further attacks against the Halfling.
Iomhar missed his attempt to trip the Halfling.
Zaphael blinds Koyten, but not the Halfling with the Light spell, failing to slow him down (as if the dagger in the neck wasn’t already doing that).
Tharsis catches the Halfling.
Richard grabs the blinded Koyten and choke-slams him into the fountain.
Easy enough! The Halfling gets away (after being healed by Tharsis), Koyten is arrested by the town guard for being drunk and defiling the Keep fountain, the dragon egg is hidden in the inn, the pouch the Halfling stole is returned and we map out a plan of what to do next, since all of our other plans have worked out so well.
Ingrid’s shield, by the way, is possessed…kinda. It is talking to her and making her do weird, but good things. Since she is a half-orc, and fairly dimwitted even for an orc, she is easy prey for the shield. This is very likely to be an issue later…just like the arsonist rogue in the party, the assault and theft and other crimes committed against the mage, the abduction of the thief girl…and so on.
I’ll be back later to finish this….I haven’t told you about the zombie mushroom lady yet.
Alright; I’m back. Calm down.
So the party decided to head back out, yet again, to make it the Caves of Chaos. The plan this time was to find a place near the caves that we could use as a staging area and fallback point in case we were overrun and needed to retreat. As we traveled along the road going east, we run into a small party of clergy and make contact with them. It turns out the party was escorting a valuable relic back to the Keep and it was stolen. The thief had taken the relic and headed north into the tree line which was our path anyway. We agreed to take the job to hunt down the thief and bring back the relic.
We headed off north, Iomhar the Ranger tracking the thief. We get through the woods a moderate distance and see what appears to be a humanoid laying prone and unmoving on the ground. We fan out and proceed with caution. By “we” I mean everyone except the thief, who charged in headlong and trigged the ambush. Two giant trapdoor spiders leapt out and attacked. The thief was quickly overcome and being dragged back to the spider’s lair. Two more giant spiders appeared and engaged.
Zaphael and Ingrid went after one spider. The ranger and his cat engaged the spider the furthest out. Richard and Tharsis attacked the other closest spider. They were overcome not without some scraps and bruises. The party went to the trapdoor lair where the last spider retreated with the thief, where the spider was overcome and the thief rescued, much to no one’s relief.
Oh yeah, there was a cave. I forgot about that.
The human (our thief) had been running towards a cave that had giant trapdoor spiders waiting out in front in ambush. Try to keep up.
We decided to explore the cave since we were here, and found it to be large and magnificent. Largificent! It was also full of every kind of fungi imaginable. Some of them were moving. The moving ones, it turns out, were Myconids. In fact, a whole slew of Myconids were living here. They got the Ranger stoned and held his hand for a while, after which the Ranger swore to us that he had been “communing” with the mushroom people. After much laughter, we reassured him we totally, ya know, believed his story. He proceeded to tell us that the Myconids were being oppressed by some wicked evil half mushroom, half undead lady in the back of the cave. It was an opportunity for more mayhem, so we agreed to take care of her and her guards for the Myconids.
We circled around and found the mushroom zombie lady in a separate area with her guards. The thief started a fire in the only escape route (for her and us) and the party engaged the guards from the opposite side. The guards were cut through after a decent struggle, but the mushroom zombie lady jumped the makeshift fire and attempted to thoroughly murder the thief. The mage was closer, though, and was able to stun her with a spell. He then cut her throat (you’ll see this again, class) and the place was searched for loot. Much goodies were found and the mushrooms were so happy they spent a lot of time holding hands with the Ranger again. The Myconids were so happy, they agreed to let the party stay there anytime they wanted. The ideal, secure staging area procured, the party went back to the Keep again…because that is what they always do.