Mystery Team

Excerpts From The Dashing Escapades of Ser Henry Van-Til Bonkers, The Noble Knave - A Memoir in 10 Parts

Sheriff Rupert was replaced by Captain Ester, a weary soldier from the capital. Rupert had left a detailed report but had mentioned that the necromancer is male. She knew about the box and offered to hire us to revisit the abbey. We negotiated a wage of 13 gp a week.

Ximian and Henry went to visit Sheriff Rupert to see how he handled being relieved of duty. He had taken it well, but was dismayed that we told Ester that it was Vanessa. He identified the dresses as not all belonging to Vanessa, but a gray bloodied one did belong to Vanessa.

While on our way to the abbey, we ended up in an altercation with some gnomish mercenaries. A well timed sleep spell from Ximian put the gnomes out of business. They work for Brian, and are hunting One-Eye.

Shortly after, we encountered a patrol of kobolds. We made short work of them, and went on to the kobold caves. We ran into a door, and tried to use our hostage to get in. They just took our hostage. Undeterred, we brute forced our way through the kobold tunnels. After an intense battle, we’ve found more of the tongueless goblins. We were completely out of spells and utterly exhausted. Immediately after resting, we were attacked by a horrible snarling wolf monster. Hellgarth nearly had his throat torn out before we literally deflated it. While trying to heal him up, the kobolds collapsed the tunnels. We ran into a gnome squadron, and they wanted to see the collapsed cave. Jam Jamsen was the gnome assigned to us, and we made an uneventful trip to the collapsed tunnel.

Jam took careful note of what he saw, and eventually Tunnelord decided that having a band of adventurers on his side was better than the alternative, and hired us to besiege the kobold tunnels. After a long journey and basic lesson in Tunnelspeak, we ended up at a flimsy wooden gate. Surprisingly, we decided not to burn it to the ground.

Naturally, this lead to us being attacked by another giant demon dog. We hurt it enough to kill a dozen lesser wolves, but it kept going. Even the Protection From Evil spell cast on it[‘s victim last time barely fazed it. We picked off the rest of the kobolds sniping at us, until finally the horrible creature deflated from what we can assume was time. Certainly something to keep in mind as we begin the latest, most foolhardy adventure the Bad News Bugbears have seen yet.

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Loose Ends
  • Stolen Army Equipment – the goblin bandits, kobold bandits, and the gnomes and kobolds fighting over the silver mine are all using stolen army crossbows. Someone is stealing this stuff and supplying these factions with the arms. Why is obvious: money. The question is who.
  • Kobold Bandit Chief We need to go kill this guy. Hopefully question him first, but I’m flexible. The Sheriff sent word to the king for some more support, but it looks like that ain’t coming.
  • Yug-Zug – Yug-Zug’s signet ring is weird, and the message carried by his tongueless companions is even weirder. They tried to off us, and seem to be connected to what is going on in the abbey and with Vanessa in a big way. If we can figure out who hired these guys we might be able to figure out what all of this is about.
    Someone new in the abbey the message Ximian decoded said something about Yug-Zug’s employer sending a new agent to the area. The lady bard in the Fat Pony said the warlock merchant told her the same thing: new people are messing around in the abbey.
  • Merchants the creepy merchants are up to something. They are definitely into some shady, magical shit. When they hired us to check out the wizard’s house to retrieve their weird mechanical bird the guy turns up dead and there is some serious magic stuff going on around his house. We need to figure out what these guys are up to.
  • The Wizard – speaking of the wizard, we really need some more info on who this guy was and why someone would explode him while he was chilling out smoking his pipe.
  • Hellgarth’s village – might be worth going back to the swamp to check the town out and see if anyone knows anything.
  • Mayor’s Assassination – The mayor was taken out by a guy. I found sign of it outside his window. The butler said it was some kind of ghost. We need to talk to this guy in private and get a more in-depth look at the mayor’s house. Especially Vanessa’s room. We found a weird note in the mayor’s desk which sounds pretty par for the course in the family.
    The mayor also turned up dead after the guy he hired to open the box showed up in town. The sheriff never even saw the guy. Is this connected? We need to track this guy down, maybe go through the mayor’s office and figure out how he got in touch with this magic box opener fella.
  • Where is Vanessa
  • What is in the fucking box
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Square One

After Wulfchild finished scouting out the goblin base we waited for nightfall before we stormed the fortress. Ximian used his new wand to enable me to climb the largest of the three towers, and I walked up with Hellgarth on my back. The goblin standing guard was able to cry out an alarm before I killed him, but we already had the high ground. Hellgarth guarded the ladder up to the tower while I started picking off the little bastards with my bow. Henry and Ximian were able to climb into the tower with a grappling hook, and Wulfchild landed as an owl and transformed back into himself.
Once we had assembled in the tower the goblins began trying to storm it. Ximian and Wulfchild did a good job using slings and blow darts against the fucking goblins on the ladder while Hank and I started shooting at the approaching goblins. Then we saw what we thought was the shaman Smoe that Hellgarth had come hunting. I tried out the strange arrows that we had taken off of the goblins that ambushed us at the willow, and they turned out to work the same as the magical arrows that we had found before: namely, they exploded when they hit him. What was apparently Smoe turned tail and ran for a well that was near his tent. The remaining goblins under the tower also fled across the rope bridge that spanned a pit that divided the fortress.

As soon as Hellgarth saw Smoe fleeing, he slid down the ladder and started giving chase. I decided to follow Hellgarth, and because I still had the wands effect cast on me, I was able to run down the side well and catch up to Smoe. He was casting some type of spell, so as a last resort I put an arrow in the goblin shaman’s throat. As Hellgarth caught up to me, we saw strange figures rise up out of the mud. Looking up, I noticed that we were in the pit. I yelled up to the others for help. They threw down torches that went out in the mud, but we were able to see what we were up against at least: zombie alligators and several goblin and halfling zombies. Hellgarth, Wulfchild and I started fighting against them when suddenly we started taking fire from above. The goblins that had fled earlier had returned with slings and were trying to kill us. We backed into the tunnels and were able to kill the zombies one at a time, avoiding the sling bullets from above. Ximian and Hank caught up to us in the tunnels, and we all turned back around to face the goblins that were attacking from above. When we got back to the surface I spidered over the fence and picked up their trail. The little cowards had fled after their first volley. We started going through the camp for treasure or information.

Hellgarth made several interesting discoveries. The shaman we killed wasn’t Smoe. He was worshiping Asmodeus, the same god that Vanessa was being controlled by. The shaman was also carrying a short sword with some unknown property to it and Hellgarth kindly gave to me. Hellgarth also found a key.

The key went to a lockbox that Ximian and Hank were messing with in the shaman’s tent. It had some money and jewels and things in it, which Ximian keeps talking about needing so that he can do his wizard bullshit and get a weasel to be his friend or something. Nothing else of import in the tent.

Wulfchild found something big. The trunk in the other big tent contained Vanessa’s clothes, our first clue in weeks.

I went through the lower ranking goblin’s tents and found nothing of real importance. I decided I didn’t like the idea of leaving a fortress for a new bunch of fucking goblins to move into, so I started tearing down tents and piling all of their shit up and torching it. Then I piled up the bodies, lit them up, and put the torch to the towers and the walls. I tried to explain to the group that no bodies meant no goblin zombies and no fort meant no new goblins in the fucking fort. I know they think I’m starting to lose it. I’m just tired of taking chances with all of the zombies and the necromancers and the fucking goblins.

The shaman that was in command of this group of goblins was deader than a bag of hammers, I shot an explosive arrow into his throat, so if we were going to get anyone to tell us where Vanessa was we were going to have to track down the pack of cowards that was on the run across the swamp. We camped out near the fortress, and that night Ximian had a strange dream that he was being drug under water by a tall, ghoulish man with long clawed arms. He was convinced that the thing was real, and the next day as we traveled through the swamp he swore again and again that he had seen the thing stalking him, although I could find no sign of a man when I checked the area.

We came to a clearing and found some kind of monstrous old woman catching rats. I was trying to spy on her, and suggested we just go around her, but Wulfchild went up and talked to her. Turns out she is a pretty nice lady. She fed us and put us up for the night, and warned Ximian about the thing that he had been cursed with. She is some kind of ogre witch woman and knew he had been cursed with something called a Bogey. She said a priest could dispel it, and we promised Ximian that we would keep him safe until we could get him back to town.

We couldn’t let the goblins get away though. We were less than a day from their camp, and we came upon their cave to find none of them around the campfire. They were in a nearby cave with no guards posted. Ximian threw a spell inside blindly, and Hellgarth, Hank, Wulfchild and I ran inside. I found three of them sleeping from the spell and quickly cut the last one down. All of us running inside was probably a bad idea.

I could hear Smoe chanting deeper in the cave, and I started running towards him to cut him down. Wulfchild followed and Hellgarth started tying up the captives. Ximian started screaming like a small, terrified girl. We killed the fuck out of Smoe and then I turned around to find Hank slicing ineffectively at the Bogey.
I charged in and started slicing the fuck out of it. I guess both of my swords are magic now, as is Wulfchilds quarterstaff, because we killed the shit out of that thing. Just completely destroyed him. Ximian said he could tell the curse was broken.
We camped for the night. Then it was time for me to get some answers. The first two goblins didn’t know anything and started crying and wetting themselves pretty much as soon as I drug them across the cave by their hair and started shoving their faces near the burning coals of the campfire. The third goblin seemed a little smarter, so I let Ximian try on of his tricks on him. Somehow, he convinced the goblin that I was questioning that he was his best friend. The little guy started telling him everything. Unfortunately, all he had to tell us was that Vanessa’s trail was cold.

We decided to go back to town to try to look for a new lead. I’m going to try to organize all of the loose ends that we have going here when we get back and see if we cant figure out what to do about the situation.

-Billiam

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Death Free

My newly founded compatriots are incapable of rational thought, I’m quite certain.

Let me back up. We were joined by Hellgarth Johnson while we are about to head back to Lister and see the mayor and sheriff. Soon after meeting with Hellgarth, who is well known in these parts, strangely, many other random people wanted to hangout with us. Luckily, we were able to perform the Skyping ritual to banish these interlopers and continue on our journey.

We came up with an unnecessary plan to scout out Lister before returning. Really we just needed to Gnome-up and walk in there like a bunch of ballers. The sheriff believes us about those criminals attacking us, but he doesn’t really care, his brother, the mayor, was murdered in the middle of the night by a supposed spectral. They summoned me to investigate since I’m a wizard — as if I have some sort of training in assassination. Well, after determining that I saw no magic in play in the area, I get Billiam up there to do some tracking and other crap that treehuggers do. Can’t say I’m at much of a loss, that mayor really started acting like a real penis, though we all know that’s just because he probably got possessed.

I have a feeling that we should have been preventing some of these deaths. Maybe we’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe we need to stop dying to statues.

So we head over to the Algonquins (Wassa, Saladin, and my best friend Ibid) to pull the ol’ switch-a-roo on Ibid so I can get the Detect Magic scroll. I slip him some horse hair that I enchanted and he was none the wiser. I hope that doesn’t get me killed. Fun fact in all this, Hank spoke with the bard in Fat Pony and it sounds like she would have been totes ok with us giving her hair to Ibid. Pretty sure she’s already in love with him without him having to use some dark love ritual on her.

Anyway, the Algonquins were very excited about the bronze bird. It turns out it’s just a collectible child’s toy that dances around. They weren’t all that heart-broken about their dead friend — definitely not the same level of emotion that they displayed with the bronze bird started to dance on the ground. Quest complete. Reward claimed.

Oh yeah, Billiam almost got himself killed after getting in to one of his moods and breaking down Ibid’s cart door. Luckily Ibid wasn’t in a murderous mood and just made a fool of Billiam by casting what I would guess was Grease and watching Billiam fall on his ass. I had a bit of a laugh externally, though internally I was just glad that he didn’t just cast a fireball to consume us all.

Hellgarth dropped some knowledge on us that he had a beef with a zombie raising goblin named Mo in the swamps. It sounded related to our main Quest so we decided to go check it out.

Now here’s where shit starts to break down. We start traveling down the river, you know, towards to canoe rental house — it was on the way to the swamp. We stop there. Yes, this is the same guy who had his canoe destroyed by alligators, and then later had his other canoe destroyed in a make-shift funeral procession for a hired thug. And yes, this is the same guy that we openly talked about bringing down to the sheriff’s office (not to mention open talks about killing him and the other hired thugs). I wasn’t really paying attention and was probably lost in one of my books when one of my companions decide to go and speak with him. Now I’m not sure what kind of response they were expecting, and frankly, I’m surprised he didn’t just attack us on site. We kind of fucked him over pretty hard. Anyway, we ask him for a canoe, and I’m completely shocked at his response of him to basically telling us to go fuck ourselves after killing his friend, destroying his canoes and talking about murdering him and his other friends. That guy needs to learn some swashbuckling etiquette.

So we walk to the swamp rather than taking canoes. Go figure.

I can’t wait to see Wulfchilde rain fire down upon our enemies at the swamp.

Ximian

PS I feel like the gods are being especially cruel to me. I’m certain I’m on the cusp of being able to able to memorize another spell during my sleep, yet I am still lacking only the tiniest fraction experience in order to so.

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Bad News Bugbears and the Mystery of The Wizard's Demise

At the behest of one of the shady merchants Ximian befriended, we canoed our way to the tower of one of their wizard associates. Being bona fide adventurers, we were only slightly dismayed at the fact that the only entrance of note to the tower was an obsidian wall surrounded by lovely statuary. We can also take our official adventurer status into account when no one was particularly surprised that the statues promptly came to life and immediately cut me down. I doubt the bards will be singing of the battle that ensued, as we were repeatedly cut down by the statues and were left to bleed out until Wulfchilde, who was stranded on the roof of the burnt out tower early on in the fight saved us by pouring the last of our healing potions in our comatose mouths. The third time we took the statues on, cooler heads prevailed and we eventually wore them down through our entire supply of explosive arrows, only to find out we could have simply walked through the illusory obsidian wall and had been done with it. Oh well, at least no one died.

Once we were inside the wizard’s tower, things slowed down a bit. A quick examination showed that the poor bastard lost his tower and life while smoking from his pipe and presumably falling asleep. On the third floor, we found a safe hidden behind what we can only assume or hope is a stuffed red dragon’s head. We took it’s contents as well as the head for good measure. Ximian found a spellbook and spent a while learning some extra spells. The only thing we didn’t find was the canary we were there to retrieve.

However, on the way out, I thought to check for a trap door. Sure enough, at the bottom of the tower was the canary in a cage attached to a chain. Of course, before I thought to check for traps, we had already taken the cage, and almost immediately the stairs collapsed and the entire basement started flooding. We thought we could just wade back to the first floor, but two taxidermied snakes swam out of the trap and attempted to drown us. We ultimately slew (reslew?) them and were able to climb to safety. We were incredibly excited that a mission had gone so smoothly (besides the whole “repeated near death expriences”) bit that we had completely forgot that we missed the stand-off with the mayor of Ustergard for the mysterious metal box.

When we made it back to the canoe rental place, we were accosted by the Mayor’s thugs. We slew one and took two on the ferry back with us. The canoemaster was clearly in on the ambush, but we figured we had enough on our hands and let him stew as we headed back to town.

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Boat Trip

I woke up sprawled out on the bar at the Fat Pony. One of the merchant guys we sold all of our dead kobold armor to was yakking at me. He wants me to locate some guy who went missing down south in the swamps, says the guy was supposed to bring him some kind of magical item. His wizardy bullshit isn’t really any of my business, but this is the first dissapearance we’ve heard of since Vanessa went missing, and the only lead we have. He said he would arrange for a raft to take us down river to the marshland where his associate lives.

I go and talk to the rest of the guys. Ximian, the gnome we found, says that another one of the merchants is going to give him some wizardy scroll thing in exchange for a lock of a lady’s hair. I don’t know much about magic, but when one of these creepy magical types gets to looking at a lady all weird-like the natural progression of things tends to be that she gets abducted and locked in some shitty dungeon until I go stab the magic guy to death and save her. Cutting out all of that middle part and just murdering the guy in the street is kind of appealing, but Ximian says he needs the spell. So maybe we fleece the guy, find some horse hair or goblin hair or something and the fella gets more than he bargained for in the romance department.

I bring up the issue of the box. Vanessa was vulnerable to the same force that turned all of the friars into monsters. I get the feeling it has something to do with her powers. Like maybe she isn’t even calling the shots in her own body. Giving it to her old man in the middle of a town full of people seems like a bad call to me. I suggest we destroy it, but nobody can think of how to do it. I say volcano. That or we tie it to an anchor and sink it in the deepest part of the ocean we can find. The others seem to think it has a will of its own, that it somehow wants to be found, and that our attempts to destroy it won’t work. I say we at least need to keep it on us while we go look for the trader’s missing associate. It goes in the backpack and we leave.

We meet up with the traders down by the river. They put us on the raft with some instructions on how to find this guy and we arrive in the marshes. We have to travel further by boat, so we get some canoes from some local yokel and set out toward a big white willow that marks the way to the old tower this guy is supposed to live in. As we neared it there we saw some bodies strung up in the tree. I got out and looked around, saw they were goblins. Dead goblins, always brightens my day.
Then the fog rolls in. They aren’t all dead. It’s a trap. And I’m covered in fucking snakes.

Henry and Wulfchild run in and start killing goblins, and after I climb out of the pile of snakes I start trying to find the shaman that did whatever magic that was. I try to climb the tree to kill him, but I fall down and the goblins knock me out for a little while. Henry shoots the shaman with an arrow and he falls out of the tree onto his neck. Wulfchild manages to heal me and I kill one of the goblins as soon as I snap back awake. We capture one of them and start asking questions. Ximian speaks goblin so I just roughed the guy up a little when he didn’t seem to be responsive. The goblin says they are looting the corpses that were strung up in the tree when we ran across them. He doesn’t offer us much good info, other than that nobody comes back from the island that we are heading to alive. I choke him out and we leave the dead goblins.

When the canoes get close to our destination we get attacked by crocodiles. Salt water crocodiles that shouldn’t be here. Which is weird. I jump out and get to shore, start shooting arrows at the crocs. They shred Wulfchild and Henry’s boat pretty bad, but they make it to shore and we finish off one of the crocs. It’s fake. When I cut it, it is full of straw. So I tackle the other one and hold it’s jaws shut while the rest of the guys try to stab it, but it gets loose so I just kill it. More magic shit. Great.

-Billiam

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Hard Bargains

We didn’t know how the mayor was going to take the news that his daughter is now evidently practicing the dark arts and being a TOTAL BITCH, so we decided to pack up Henrietta in case he chases us out of town. When we got to the store room, however, we realized how much stuff we had actually collected since we reached town and decided it was best not to totally pack up, but to just make the valuable stuff easier to make off with. The other guys broke the news to the sheriff that his niece had turned and he took it surprisingly well, but warned us that the mayor may not be so even-keeled so they left it up to the sheriff to inform the mayor and headed back to the inn.

It was lucky of us to run across some traveling merchants in town who were more than happy to take some of our wares off of our hands. In return, we got a few items of higher worth. It’ll make it that much easier to travel light and will hopefully prove more useful to us than a bunch of crossbows and midget armor. We got a full quiver of silver-tipped arrows, some very nice leather armor, and a few other treasures before parting ways with the traders.

The Applegate Farm was the next piece of the puzzle to examine, so we made our way there in the morning. When we arrived at the farm, there was a strange feeling that all was not well. No sooner than this feeling started to settle in, we noticed a few strange figures speeding toward us on the horizon. As they drew closer, showing no signs of stopping, we realized that it was the three goblins that accompanied Yug-Zug. I held off my blowgun darts for as long as I could until I was positive they weren’t just coming to talk to us. We were able to take down a couple, but the worgs carried them off into the distance. One lone goblin was left there for us to question, but his lack of a tongue made it a little difficult to get anything out of him. His attitude didn’t do us or him any favors either. When we asked him if he’d rather answer a few simple questions for us or die, he chose death. No telling when we’ll see the rest of his team again.

Inside the Applegates’ farmhouse, we found the Applegate family, dead. I don’t know if it was those goblins, Vanessa, or just a mass suicide, but I’m growing weary of this town’s surprises. We kicked the clues around for a bit before heading back into town. After resting for a spell, Billiam shared with us that he had the strangest dream. I caught something about “don’t give it to him,” though it could honestly mean anything. My guess is, we’ll know what he’s talking about when we see it. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to ask Grant his opinion on the dream, because we were informed that he had apparently succumbed to old age. Billiam took it pretty hard, they had grown quite close and had a lot in common.

I’m assuming the sheriff found the time and courage to tell the mayor about his daughter. The next time we saw him, he didn’t seem like himself. He was quite angry and was trying to get us to hand over all of our property, but the sheriff reminded him that we’re there to help and he backed off some. We’re still going to need to watch our backs for a while. Hopefully, we’ll be able to help these good people and all will be well again. I doubt it.

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Ximian the Great

I awoke to the sound of arrows flying across the room and killing the zombie that had been tireless standing by the gong, ready to ring it again at any moment. It was a relief to know that I wouldn’t have to heard that damn gong anymore.

I was a prisoner. It’s still fuzzy how I got there. One moment I’m traveling through the country-side, the next moment I’m lying in one of a half dozen cages. The other prisoners had been taken down to the deeper part of the dungeon, and only the gods know what happen to them, but they come back less than what they were before. Lobotomized at best, but more likely thralls of an unseen, evil master.

The rag-tag group that crashes in dispenses with the two other goblins that are standing guard — but not before one of the rings the gong and the other puts on a good chase for 50 yards or so (not the mention the fact that they seem to have quite the affinity for dropping their weapons, more on this later).

Since they managed to free me from my cell, I decide to join them, at least until I find my gear that was taken from me — that spellbook is the culmination of years of study and I’m not about to lose it to some damn ghouls and goblins, you know. They mentioned something about trying to save a princess from a castle — I honestly zoned out while that plumber was talking.

We ventured forth down the cavern into what seemed to be a burial room with several sarcophagi (though I could have sworn I heard a voice saying sarcophaguses several times, and I know that’s not right because when I would write that out in my spell book, the word would get magically underlined in red suggesting it was not spelled correctly). After watching the rogue fumble with the lock, and the brutes try to bend the bars of the metal door (yes, much more brawn than brains), the bugbear, Zug Bug (how obvious, right?), snaps the lock with the flick of his wrist.

Upon entering the “embalming” room, we marveled at the mangled corpse for a minute or two before I pick up my stolen gear that was stashed away. Now normally I would have left, but I was too enthralled by the decision that lay before us. Two paths: the first marked with a trail of blood and the smell of certain death, and corridor #2 which had the feeling of childhood boyishness and swimming in an ocean of candy canes and rainbows. Obvious choice, right?

So we’re were walking down the path while trying not to step in the blood and taking in the fresh scent of rotting corpses, we come to a lovely cavern. On the ground, you have your standard pentagram surrounded with piles of corpses on the points and an evil necromancer standing in the middle. Then obviously the damsel in distress is off in the back of the room trapped in a cage (much like my own — I feel you sister). The only thing missing, though, is the large pile of gold on the ground. So that was kind of bullshit.

The necro throws a pot at us, it’s filled with acid. So now we’re separated with Zug Bug in front with the necro, piles of bodies, Vanessa (the damsel), and the rest of us in back behind a wall of acid smoke emanating from the broken pot. Some of these morons jump through the acid wall without thought. But upon seeing them remain uninjured (and because this isn’t my first rodeo that involved working with acidic smoke), I jump through as well. Ximian the great has officially overcome a wall of acid smoke without injury — my greatest triumph so far.

We dispatch the necromancer pretty quickly, but not before 4 zombies and a ghoul get summoned. Then, as it turns out, Vanessa, the damsel, is actually just a bitch. She casts Hold Person on Zug Bug, which causes his demise while the swarm of zombies “use him like a scratching post” (to put it in Wulfchilde’s words). She also casts Command (to no effect) and Hold Person again, this time against Jarvan. Jarvan quickly falls to the ground. Throughout this whole fight, it really seems like all of my “allies” are constantly dropping their weapons on the ground rather than stabbing the undead. Now, I haven’t been adventuring all that long, and since I couldn’t seem to hit the undead with my sling bullets, I decided to give throwing my sling a try. Sufficed to say, that is not an effective tactic, and one that I will certainly not trying to do in the future. I shall also recommend to my fellow treasure hunters the same.

Vanessa finally runs out of mojo and ducks away and we didn’t noticed until after the fighting was done. All of those in the front lines trying to fight the undead are getting injured quite often. Luckily they had healing potions aplenty to help revive their comrades. They were dropping and popping back up as much as collars did in the fashion of the last decade.

After picking up my sling, I decide that now is the time to stop fooling around. With 2 quick strikes of my quarterstaff, I’m showering in the sweet, sweet juices of a zombie that thought I was still playing around. Upon moving on to my next target, my memory seems to faulter. It might be because, somehow, that somehow is more well versed in the arts of close combat than I.

I awake (again) and find that my companions have slain the remaining zombies and ghoul. Zug Bug met his fate. No doubt because no one stopped to try and save him. At least now they don’t have to pay the 15g debt that they owed him. And they got to keep his armor and weapons!

I also noticed that they were fully healed and rested when I magically awoke, suggesting that they either unnecessarily healed themselves before reviving me, or they didn’t get injured as much as it appeared they were getting injured. In any case, I suppose I can’t complain since I got resurrected. I did anyway.

We traveled down the hallway of lolipops and rainbows and, naturally, found a pile of copper, some gems, and spells, and other various loot.

Back in town, we spoke with the sheriff, explaining to him so much about how he shouldn’t kill us right there on the spot and how much the town now REALLY needs us. Or maybe we were just trying to convince him that his sweet Vanessa is really a evil necromancer that’s trying to kill all the farmer folk. I can’t seem to remember.

In any case, we finally get a little bit of information out of him, I also suspect he is not telling us something. I believe he knows more about Vanessa’s bad girl side than he lets on. Our next step is to investigate the Applegates (which are not the gates where the apples are stored like Billiam tried to tell me).

Perhaps we’ll be able to get to the bottom of this mystery. And we had better. That’s the only reason I’m still here. This story is just getting too damn interesting for me to walk away.

Signed,
Ximian the Magnificent
Champion of the People
Slayer of the Great Zombie
Great Zombie Juice Showerer
< TODO: add the rest of my well-known titles here >

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Garbage Friends

The dungeon has been taking a toll on us all. Dean and Jarvin seem as quiet as ever, being completely unprepared to slay the corpses of local farmhands. Jarvin’s pleas to St. Cuthbert seem to be falling on deaf ears the deeper we go, with less and less of the undead being turned by his symbol. Dean is as grim as ever, and I must confess that even after his episode at the chapel I am glad he is with us, as I doubt we’d all still be alive without his chainmail to absorb the endless blows from zombies and worse. Billiam seems to have slipped into a sort of melancholy, no doubt the next stage in his rapidly developing madness. Unfortunately, that same madness has also lead directly to over a dozen corpses being laid back to rest, so I can’t really complain.

We’ve managed to explore most of the dungeon, or at least it feels like it. We learned from a starving gnome that both sides in the Silver Mine Dispute have been taken as slaves by The Master and have been responsible for the traps we’ve been steadily setting off. We’ve also learned that Mad Harold’s nephews are afraid of us, and for good reason as by my count we’ve cut down no less than eight of them. The only real threat was a trap Billiam set off that stuck him in a room with a bloody altar on one end and a dozen zombies on the other. We got him out in the nick of time, but I’d like to go back after this master business and see what the deal was there.

Perhaps the most meaningful interaction we had in the last few days was with a pragmatic mercenary bugbear named Yug-Zug. He was hired as a headhunter for The Master but understands that if we die, even more adventurers will replace us and has offered to join us for a modest fee. None of us trust him and with good reason, but even Billiam agreed it’s better that the devil you know is between you and the zombies. Plus, he theoretically knows where The Master is, and the sooner we can keep the dead dead, the sooner we can move on to grander and hopefully better smelling adventures.

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Born again hard

After we were forced to flee from the undead creature haunting the chapel, we made our way back through the tomb of the dead friars. Jarvan, the priest from Lister, was in bad shape and we felt it was ill advised to rest. We continued back towards the small cabin where we had previously met the gnome and kobold refugees. We arrived near dark, and as we approached a zombie and several skeletons spilled out of the cabin. After felling the monsters we decided to stay the night in the cabin in hopes that Jarvan would feel better the next day, and that I would recover from the wounds I had sustained fighting Tom and the skeletons outside the cabin.

Late that night, while the smith from town, Dean, was on watch, a Kobold raiding party stumbled across our camp. The little shits tried to burn down the cabin with us inside. We spilled outside to meet the attack, and I was trying to grab the little bastard that tried to firebomb us for a hostage to keep us from all getting killed. As I tackled him, his friends that were lying in wait all unloaded their crossbows into my back.

I don’t know how many times they shot me, or how long I was down. I don’t even remember it hurting. I just remember being angry. Everything went black and I thought, “If I make it out of this, I am going to wear his face for a fucking hat.”
As I lay there bleeding out, I just got angrier. I knew I was dying. I forsook the lawful hunter gods of my elven mother and I prayed to Shevarash, the elven god of chaotic vengeance, hoping that he would see fit to allow me to seek this kobold out in hell and kill that little prick every day for the rest of eternity.

He must have heard me.
The world faded from black to red, and when I could finally see I was already lurching along the trail towards my enemy, coughing blood from my lungs and wretching it from my punctured gut. I took his head, and after resting in the cabin, I made good on my word. The hat is warm.

Throughout the night, Wulfchild tells me, the wolf pack I befriended several days hence had been behaving strangely. We investigated a bit, and it appeared that something had been eating the kobolds that we killed. Human sized, sharp teeth, probably undead. The bodies were pretty torn up. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of guys.

Jarvan looked bad and was getting worse fast. We made it the rest of the way to town, and Jarvan felt bad enough to take us to some old retired priest of Kord. Fella named Grant the Wildman, agreeable old coot, knew a lot of folks like him back when I was a junior ranger. Just want to grow their beards and sip their shine off in the hills. He said someone had to beat his farm hand, Egert, man-to-man if he was going to help Jarvan out. I told him I needed to get good and pissed drunk first. After being stabbed, shot, bit, and generally dick-jerked around the county by a long string of zombies, rats, gnomes, skeletons, and future hats I was ready for a slug of something fiery. When I had my lean on pretty good I went out in the ring and started laying into the kid. When I got done dropping him I went to the table and started drinking again. Grant healed the kid up and started slapping me on the back, telling me how good I did and he gave me this trophy belt that has all these pictures of his dopey human wrestler deity on it and all. Anyhow, it’s magic and it makes me better at punching and wrestling people. I drank till I was too tired to stay up any more and then I went to bed.
In the morning Jarvan was all healed up thanks to Grant, who said he was going to head to town and start making potions and keeping up the temple. We went back through town with him, and we stopped in and talked to the sheriff for a little while, who was about as helpful as he always is. He said he couldn’t do shit, urged us to do more, and sent us on our way. Real law man, that one.

We went back through the woods towards the cave and we saw some gnomes hanging around the creek. I approached and asked them what they were doing. Somehow or another it got out that we had been in the cave. They ambushed us again, and after I killed their leader and his second in command the others managed to kill the rest of them and capture one. We questioned him, and he revealed that the cave was a silver mine. All of these little shits are just fighting over money. It disgusts me. Who cares about the mine. The others made me let him leave, wouldn’t even let me cut off one of his feet to slow him down. We took his armor and weapons though. Maybe the wolves got to him.

We camped out in the woods in sight of the cabin. I managed to hide our camp from any passers by, and nobody on watch saw anyone approach the cabin. Then we went back in the caves.
We wandered around for a while and ran into that creepy old bastard Mad Harold. He was behind some big locked gate. At this distance we could tell he wasn’t human any more. Sharp teeth, smelled like death. He told us not to go that way, that we needed to find the master. I guess he is resisting whatever is making all these undead. Or it’s a trap. I don’t care any more. The master can shoot me. He can stab me. He can send all of his minions after me. I’m still going to kill him. We took Harold’s advice and turned around, towards Friar Tom’s chapel. We hadn’t managed to procure any silver weapons, so my vengeance upon Tom waits for another day.

We came upon a school house. We killed a rat in the library, and came upon the jorunal of Marcus Benjamin, one of the men executed for heresy years ago. Basically, he said there was some artifact down in the tombs. Then we found a well and a giant spider tried to run up it, but Henry threw one of the kobold firebombs we had recovered down the well and killed it.

We went in the basement of the schoolhouse. I kicked in a door and searched the storeroom inside. We found some money, which might have been of some use had we been in a town with some serious weapon and armor smiths, as well as a key. I also found a silver short sword. A gift for Friar Tom, I am convinced, from the elven lord of vengeance.

We investigated the basement further, finding a large staircase into the earth guarded by a heavy gate. We winched the gate down, but a trap on the other side snapped it shut and broke the winch. Henry repaired it, but we again broke it. As night approached we decided to leave.

As we returned to the catacombs to camp, we came across several creatures that Jarvan later identified as ghouls. It seems that Harold may be one of these creatures, and that Jarvan may have been cursed with the affliction before Grant managed to heal him. We cut the ghouls down and barricaded ourselves in the friar’s tomb for the night. A ghoul attempted to attack in the night, but we drove him off with arrows.

The next morning we returned to the basement. We descended the staircase beyond the gate. I kicked in a door and found several zombies. I began cutting my way through as the others followed. The ghoul that attacked the previous night appeared, but the others managed to kill him. I am going to find the master. I am going to kill him. And then I am going to carve his femurs into a pair of matching sword hilts.

Billiam Treeman

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