Posts made in March, 2018

Megan’s Scenario Recap (Pcon 43)

1. Quest for… Sand?

My first run was with a merry band of adventurers who were dutifully tasked by Delilah Zyland, the Great Architect of Whiggam’s daughter, and child prodigy protege, to gather sand from Mesareff. Why couldn’t the intrepid adventurers gather sand from Whiggam’s own desert? Well, the sand isn’t as good, you see. (According to Delilah…hmm…..)

They rented a boat and a week into their two-week trip were faced with two sharks!! One drunken crew member had fallen overboard and been bitten by piranhas (conveniently) and the blood in the water attracted the sharks. Despite the danger, Kilgana tied a rope to her waist and DOVE INTO THE WATER to not only save the poor sailor but also to assist in the capture of the sharks! Hadrian was a pro at reeling people in and manning the ropes while Aerlon Whiteeyes cast spells at the sharks until they froze in fascination, unable to respond as giant nets (cleverly created from sewing smaller nets together) were wrapped around them. Hadrian got a little stuck but eventually all of the party members were safely on board the ship again.

Unable to persuade the previous captain to take them on again, they next traveled on the Merry Weather, helmed by Captain Bell. Aerlon and Kilgana met up with Captain Bell’s contact, Mahiba Orete, the ritual advisor to Caliph Warnos of Mesareff, and obtained an invitation to speak with the Caliph. The others, Hadrian, Arlhak and Negon went into the desert and collected a cartload of sand. They faced a Dust Devil and defeated it!! … only then realizing they should have tried to capture it. At the fancy dinner in the palace, the Caliph offered them sand (for archaeological purposes of course) in exchange for solving the mystery of why there were so many Dust Devils around. Indeed, the Caliph had two golden carriages full of sand delivered to the Merry Weather to hold up his end of the bargain.

The following day the entire party traversed into the desert where they faced and captured a Dust Devil, probing its mind to find out exactly why they were bothering the people of Mesareff. If only the people would stop entering their home, the ruins, they would stop. They located the ruins and reported back to the Caliph that he should very much definitely stay away from that one specific area. Duty discharged, they left Mesareff with a variety of desert creatures (including a hunting cat) to accompany their Dust Devil.

2. Interviews for Assistant Groundskeeper

Rian Ticklefoot, halfling bard, approached the gathered party and asked for assistance in two things. Rian wanted to hire an assistant Groundskeeper for Bernie, the current curmudgeon groundskeeper, and this is all the party would get to. They traveled to the Menagerie, their trip only interrupted by a nighttime encounter with some saboteurs. Kuu did a great job of first scaring them then convincing them he was one of them. Diegona received quite a scare herself, and Lessadryn proved she was the fastest of them all.

In the morning they interviewed the potential candidates for the position. Barry especially had challenging hurdles for the applicants to get through, including forcing one to face her legit manifested fears and walk through fire. Tenacity herself also engineered a difficult trial involving spiderwebs and magical darkness. In the end, the position was offered to Tori the Druid, unbeknownst to most as one of the saboteurs from the previous evening.

At that point the heroes convinced Rian to give them a tour of the Menagerie. After seeing the construction projects, a very passionate argument began over whether the animals should be left alone, or if they should be freed. Two characters, Barry and Tenacity, were debating fiercely for a significant length of time, until in a symbolic gesture he threw away the manacles (of animal slavery) and walked away. A spell was cast opening a way out from inside the Aviary, and the wyverns were released.  Barry would then use his last spells of the day to pick up Tenacity and fly her away to safety when discovery and jail were imminent. It was an emotional end for many, and the culmination of long conversations on environmental conservation, imprisonment, duty to one’s god, and the morality of zoos.

3. Wood Acquisition and Small Town Politics

For my third run, three clerics, a sorcerer, a bard and a barba–fighter? Ok, and a fighter, get asked by Delilah to go to Orviska to get Retraining Heartwood which would act as a grounding material for the lightning mess the Lightning Squirrels (from Alex’s run) are causing in the Menagerie. Having a sailor amongst them comes in handy as they contract Captain Bell’s boat, the Merry Weather again, to sail them there. Cpt. Bell was a great at morale, not so much at sailing, but they still managed to get there in the correct amount of time thanks to the crew.

Once there the players had to contend with an attempted mutiny (which failed – thanks to Shofar’s quick thinking and his tigers) as well as navigate the politics of a small port town named Kingsmouth. Vetran danced (or tried to communicate?) with a Carnivorous Plant which they ended up bagging for the Menagerie, and Nash considered taking over as Captain of the Merry Weather. Phynian arranged to offer protection for the nervous laborers who were going to harvest the Retraining Heartwood. The situation got sticky – and the RP amazing – when their search for Margie Harper led them to her cousin’s house, the head honcho they’d made the trade agreement with. Lead by Ripper’s nose, they found the missing woman. Adrie was especially concerned with helping her recover and get back on her feet, and the others ‘disposed’ of the cousin. Margie Harper has since dedicated herself to Aru and is at the Aru Worship Center every day helping to make and serve food to the needy citizens of Kingsmouth.

The wood collection was successful from then on, and Vetran was even able to find the sentient Everburning Bush. The party bargained with it for a clipping which could be planted and used to warm up areas within the Menagerie which had to be warm for creatures, which included Nash reading and discussing things with it every evening until they departed. Ripper befriended a young half-orc orphan named Benji, promising to feed and cloth him as well as teach him how to use all kinds of weaponry. Effectively adopting him from Kingsmouth and taking him home to Hunters Hall. Yay fatherhood!

4. Mining, or The Evacuation of Tenton

Delilah was at it again, sending off a party of Heroes to Tenton, the volcanic island, for Obsidian and Adamantine.  The heroes took a river boat north to the coast, where their captain was so drunk they each got a chance to steer the boat, including Uber the mountain dwarf while Astri kept a weather eye out for obstacles in the water. They declined any stops along the way, and when they reached the coast chartered passage again with Captain Bell (who was stricter and more of a hard-ass this trip). On the way to Tenton they came across a pod of whales. Kilgana was able to speak with them, and they warned her of the ‘Noisy’ water around Tenton. The Heroes surmised that they only had mere days before the volcano would explode!!

Aerlon Whiteeyes sent off a message back to Bernie at Hunter’s Hall to alert everyone that ships were needed to transport evacuees off Tenton, and Kilgana went to the Island of Willow to negotiate with them for more ships and a place to bring the evacuees. Tenton is known as the place for outcasts of society, as well as the least human of all the races. While some of the party went into town to figure out the best way to mine for the needed materials, Lusine and Bruenor stayed behind to watch the boat. They became entangled in an altercation with the half-orc dock master who thought they had pushed his son off the dock (when in truth they had rescued him!). The dock master and a small mob boarded Captain Bell’s ship while the two rangers hid in the storage berth. While Bruoner was seen and caught – they completely failed to recognize him with dirt and soot covering his face (hastily applied as an attempt to disguise himself). Congratulating him on being a stowaway, they left the ship and the two rangers uninjured.

Meanwhile Gizma, Uber, Astri, SunSheen and Aerlon went to visit Dagney the blacksmith who lived up the (volcanic) mountain from town. Dagney turned out to be a former Daglir, and loaned them a diamond pickaxe though she was unable to assist them officially with the challenge. The heroes reunited with Kilgana who finally arrived, and half the party started evacuating the town while Sunsheen, Lusine and Gizma went up to the mountain to mine as much of the Adamantine and Obsidian as they could. Kilgana had been able to convince a number of vessels to come to Tenton’s aid (despite it being a rather racist island) and even the animals of Tenton were able to make it off onto rafts and the available ships before lava hit town. Even Daryell was found unconscious under a door in time to save him and reunite him with his lover James, the son of Willow’s Chancellor. The people of Tenton were temporarily housed by Willow, but were then on their way to Whiggam to decide what to do with their lives going forward.

This run had a lot of good inter-party conversations about what to do with the evacuees, the metaphor to colonialism, and what payment if any should be requested from the victims. SunSheen was happy to listen to the voices in his head, and was kind enough to share them with the party.

5. Prison Break

Diegona and Barry accepted a job from Delilah helping with the nest of undead underneath the menagerie, and were accompanied by Tenacity, who had been going as Drucilla since the incident with the wyvern wherein she faked her own death. Diegona and Barry met Samwise, a single man who had been fighting the undead, and together fought great battles below the surface. The montage was amazing. (Samwise was the very first Aru, and he gave his brooch to Diegona asking her to pass it along to a cleric of his faith when she could.)

Meanwhile Tenacity had been preparing for a mission to go into the menagerie and free the animals who were being held their against their will. Heroes infiltrated the menagerie for several months asking each creature if they wished to stay or be returned to their home.

Virago and Green joined, and a plan was hatched. Barry convinced Delilah and Bernie via alter memory spells that the water filtration systems in the bodies of water (salt and arctic) were damaged and needed to be repaired. The new blueprints included metal pipes to be sunk to the bottom of the pools. These would act as teleportation circles, so aquatic creatures could be sent via water back to the sea. (It was winter so the arctic squid should be okay in the warmer-climate water with the Merfolk, where an already established teleportation circle existed.)  The squid and two sharks were freed from the menagerie this way. Tori the Druid revealed her alignment when she callously killed a guard who found them in the act of letting free the sharks, proving that even people who are ‘on your side’ may not be the best of people.

Dimension doors were opened in the forest enclosure and aviary, and one to the Cave of Wonders. (The animals long extinct with no current homeland went there, except the woolly mammoth who went to the arctic.) Most creatures chose to stay at the menagerie, and a giant gold dragon appeared at the very end of the competition (as well as the phoenix, Ophelia, and various basilisks). As the party was trying to make a clean exit from the menagerie, they ran out the front doors into the middle of Delilah’s 13th birthday party… right as she transformed into a hag! Instead of asking questions the players set everything on fire, causing her to lash out at the surrounded party goers (employees who were obligated to attend) and there were many casualties. Barry turned her into a mouse and she was finally trampled as they heroes made their final escape. Delilah’s mother, the Shang Sister of Blood, would likely only find out that her daughter was dead the next time she tried to infiltrate her dreams….

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PrinceCon 43 Overarching Theme Recap

43 centuries ago, thirteen mortals ascended to the heights of power and instantiated their reign as deities over the world of Loqathis. In celestial balance these gods ruled for over a millennia in harmony, but in the eve of the 32nd century before the day of our time, Ronkel, he who has dominion over Death, discovered a means to reap that which had sown the gods’ authority and power, and thus sought dominion over all domains of the world. This year, in claiming the need for the retirement and replacement of the deities, Ronkel, he who has dominion over Death, instantiate the Cycle of the Divine, where every two centuries he would reclaim the godhood of one of the deities so that a new mortal could ascend to power. Needed for the procedure, Ronkel, he who has dominion over Death, was to be the only deity exempt from the process. The first of the cycle was Thoki, he who has dominion over Undeath, and with a turn of the scythe the god’s powers were rend from his form, leaving Thoki to roam the world as but a man. In the time of the descension, no such mortal could be found as the first Thoki, and thus there was Ronkel, he who has dominion over Death and Undeath, though this was unknown to the other gods. Grieved at the thought of the prospect of an empty throne, the second to be reaped, Leo, he who has dominion over War, created a competition such that a person worthy of his position would rise and that his legacy could be passed.

And thus for millennia three the world unwittingly competed to sow that which was reaped. Every two centuries each continent of Loqathis had to produce a submission in accordance to the rules placed by the God to be replaced, with celestial boons and curses granted to the continents for worthiness of each submission. While some competitions raised continents and civilizations to great heights with boons of power and wisdoms, others devastated the world, and as time passed gods’ whose competitions did not yield one worthy disappeared from existence. In the dusk of the cycle, the horror of the competitions eclipsed all rays of hope for the world, as Iniki, she who has dominion over Storms, sought to drown the world and end the once harmonious rule of the pantheon. However, there were ones who saw the day anew, and in the eve of the 16th century before the current day, Ratri, she who has dominion over Secrets, seeing the world scarred from the destruction and distrustful of that which was divine, issued a competition to hide all that which was known Thus the weight of remembrance was lifted from the minds of Loqathis such that the divine could be regarded anew.

Till present date the world thus competed in mystery and awe, marveling at the gracious gifts disposed through marvelous competitions by those deities who bring joy. Yet like a clock’s sweep, the strokes of doom would ring again, and thus it is in the present year that Hione, he who has dominion over Knowledge, sought to enlighten the world to the nature of the Cycle of the Divine, and, perhaps, see it to its end. Thus, inspired from secret love for Danu, she who has dominion over Nature, commanded the continents to construct menageries, full of creatures from across the world. The competition sought to bring mortals places long unreached, persons long unsought, and secrets long unlearned, such that they may learn the terrible ordain of Ronkel, he who has dominion over That Which Is Reaped.

It is on this venture that the noble players were called this year. All hailing from the grand continent of Whiggam, the noble players spread throughout the world to collect creatures and garner secrets of the world. The efforts of the noble players were admirable beyond measure, exhuming curiosity and sagacity to such a degree that one of their own was worthy to serve as successor to Hione. As they captured monstrosities of all descriptions and surpassed even some of the most daring competitors, the noble players revealed much to the world that had been hidden, even uncovering the lost Magus, he who has dominion over Magic, who is embodied by another of the noble players to date. In the end, their efforts awarded Whiggam a glorious boon – the restoration of all knowledge loss to Whiggam, and with it revelations of the great and horrible things that lie ahead.

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Hugh’s Scenario Recap (Pcon 43)

Run #1:  Teth – Snake Mouth Bay’s Port of Telooin

The party travelled two weeks to Telooin, a seedy port town on the east coast of Teth which was transferring supplies to the Luin Isles {Camila’s Run’s location}.  They’ve been provided with some cases of Gin to use as a ‘delivery’ to MAJ Nelson, owner of a local bar (a literal “Djinn Djoint”) as their introduction.

Not surprisingly, they find that the port town’s locals – a menagerie of all races, including many monster types – are all on the take.  They gladly try to shake down any & all newcomers for bribes (the scam calling for their ‘papers’ is how they signal to each other just how gullible the marks are).

Thus lightened of a few hundred gold, they make their way to the bar and stop to loudly knock on the door to this public establishment, the first of several misunderstandings.

Eventually, they meet the owner (‘Rick’), who has been involuntarily quite dry for a few weeks and, after watching him get shaken down for a kickback to the local constabulary, Captain Citroën (a Beholder-esque creature, with a Golem for muscle), are able to explain that they’re really there to capture exotic animals for Wiggham’s menagerie, whereupon he agrees to show them some collectable animals if they take his defective ‘Wand of Kobold Summoning’ repaired by the Wizard Humphrey who lives up the semi-nearby Gno River, as it is through this device that he summons Kobolds to train them to be domestic servants (complete with white jacket, black trousers and a red fez hat) for affluent monstrous families.  Too bad they never inquired about who any of these families might be (perhaps Beholders?).

They arranged a meeting point for their ship to meet them and transported by the wind-walk later, they’re halfway to their destination, which, after another magical casting later by the Djinn on materials they gathered, they also have a boat with which to paddle upstream.  En route, they discover some of the animals which Rick had promised that they would find, namely Hippos (later, 3 are brought back).

After an overnight spent too close to the forest, the third watch wakes, to discover their 2nd Watch totally missing, along with their boat.  As they start to search for their missing compatriots, they are ambushed by intelligent, tool-using black squirrels, who down a third party member with their paralysis poisoned darts before the party takes out these one hit dice creatures with a lightning bolt and a blunderbuss (12 ga shotgun).  They successfully scout to find their missing party members floating downstream on their boat, still quite paralyzed…who become a tad traumatized when they see that their boat falls apart at lunchtime, when its 24 hour enchantment ends (which would have been prior to the end of the paralysis). Receiving some loot they march on, they meet an unusually harmless intelligent elephant herd who’s terrified of the ‘mice’ in the bamboo forest who have captured their matriarch (“Elephant Queen”) and would be happy to join Wiggham’s Mangerie to not have to constantly cope with those ‘bad’ mice, at a spot where the river goes fully into the bamboo forest.   At this point, the party decides to return back downriver, capturing a few hippos along the way, and to the Bay of the Gno River to meet their ship to return home. They also contemplate a genocide campaign against the black squirrels who control the bamboo forest.

Outcome:  the goal of visiting Humphrey for a new wand was not accomplished, but plenty of information, and an exotic animal species was obtained for the Whiggam Menagerie.

Run #2:  Teth – Gno River Bay

The party travelled two weeks to the east coast of Teth, but rather than to visit the ‘Gin Joint’ in the seedy port town of Telooin, they decide to proceed directly to the “Snake’s belly” – the bay of the Gno River, and use one of the ship’s nonmagical longboats to travel upstream, intending again to visit Humprey for a replacement Wand of Kobold Summoning.

Several days pass in travel, where they encounter various river hazards – hippos again, along with huge crocodiles, although they were forwarned to not overnight on the western bank.  They do notice one night a few sets of red glowing eyes on the far bank, which they (of course) choose to investigate, since that they were visible at beyond Darkvision made it too tempting.  While a ‘Sanctuary’ spell does initially provide protection, they found a fire-based ‘demonic’ sheep that breathed fire with the taste of flesh, not grass. Quickly disengaging, they also found that a fireball made them grow larger, so they don’t suggest that as a solution.

Approaching where the Gno River finally enters into the bamboo forest, they camp for one final night just outside, where a keen-eared human on watch tries to convince his dwarven compatriot that he hears tiny, high pitched bagpipes.  They choose to investigate by casting light onto a rock and tossing the rock across the river, revealing a squadron of green & black kilt-wearing black squirrels … who then fire a huge volley of arrows at them. The party reacts by applying the “Best defense is a good offense” brace of Fireballs (of course), and although one being neutralized through a counterspell by another member of the party, a large serving of squirrel, extra crispy, is produced and the coordinated attack is successfully disrupted.  The party doesn’t realize it, but they’ve now successfully cleared the resistance from the path to the Wizard Humphrey and could have proceeded unimpeded to accomplish that goal. But instead, the party was satisfied with the squirrel’s loot and returned downriver to their ship and home.

Outcome:  the goal of visiting Humphrey for a new wand was not accomplished, due to part of the party actively working against their own goals.  But some additional information on the region was nevertheless gleaned, with an unusual new animal found (although not captured).

Run #3:  Up the River (again)

The party travelled two weeks to the east coast of Teth, and returned to Telooin, bringing a supply of Gin again to the Djinn Djoint.  Being much savvier on bribes, they paid only a tenth of the first party, and did note that it was a scam. They ask some more intelligent questions and conclude (correctly) that Rick knows much more about the squirrels than he is letting on to, although Rick does reveal to them that the green & black tartan are opposed by a blue & red tartan, as well as teach them a summoning ritual that’s ostensibly for the Black Squirrels.  It actually is to attract the Green Torbat, an otherwise unknown species, who actually hunts the squirrels. Like the first party, they take avail of the offer for a Wind Walk halfway up the river, as well as of a patterned temporary boat from the Djinn…and they proceed upstream. After a day, they ditch the patterned boat and use their own folding boat that they had prepared in advance and had brought with them (in a ‘portable hole’ type of device).  During breaks, the players get up and practice the ‘summoning ritual’ (IRL it is actually the T’ai Chi Eight Form).

As they travel, their nights are protected by use of Leomund’s Tiny Hut.  They become aware that the squirrels are tailing them, and one partymember uses a Hat of Disguise to appear like MAJ Nelson (the Djinn) during the day, which successfully causes confusion amongst the squirrels and a contact note from their boss “TN” (‘Totally Nuts’) to be left one night.  As they progress to where the river enters the forest, they enter, magically disguising their boat as a large crocodile and make it through the squirrel’s territory without any battles. Therein, they sail across a large lake to the base of a huge cliff that’s 1000 ft tall. Casting a Commune with Nature, they locate a keep atop the cliff and the directions to a path up the cliff.  They break for a night’s rest and during the midwatch, a heavy, bone-splintering crash is heard, and a short time later, the movement of something large stumbling roughly through the underbrush & rocks and then ascending up a narrow path. The next morning, they find the crash site, which has fresh blood, a few scraps of a blue & red tartan and tracks which lead to the path up the cliff.  They very gingerly and carefully proceed up the path, which becomes steeper and a rock climb, finally reaching the top before sunset, where they overnight again, as their scout had spotted trolls on the castle wall (wearing blue & red tartan), where quite curiously, two tossed a third troll over the castle wall for a 40ft fall. The next morning, they approach the gate of the castle and hail:  they ask to be let in for an audience with Humphrey. The portcullis is obligingly raised and they’re allowed into the inner courtyard (killing zone) whereupon the portcullis is closed and the trolls become confused, as no one has gone to notify the Master and none of them knows who’s supposed to do this. A disagreement breaks out, which is successfully inflamed by the Party trying to assign a troll to perform the task, who is jealously set upon by another troll, and then another, as they’re now fighting for who will go do this.  In brief order, one, two and then a third troll is tossed over the wall, leaving but one troll victorious over the others. With the portcullis closed, all the Party has to do is kill off one troll and they have the run of the castle.

…but then the wild magic from the release of Magus (Chris’s Run) happens.

Feeling uncomfortably full of mana, the Mage first tries the Prestidigitation cantrip to make a small test ‘spark’.  To his surprise, it manifests into a wild (full/max) Lightning Bolt forming on his fingertips – - the last remaining troll atop the wall leaps over the wall to escape the tentacles of the building electrical charge – - and the Mage quickly turns away from the party and thrusts it instead towards the portcullis.  The lightning strikes strong and holds for seconds, blasting a hole clean through, & shredding/melting away pieces of the portcullis’s iron bars, which creates a metal storm of red hot iron chunks interspersed with the lightning that fly across the gate’s approach bridge, to … oh, the three previously tossed-from-the-parapet trolls had just gotten to the bridge in their run to get back to the front door.  Not no more. In reaction, the Bard tries to to cover up their attack by casting the Minor Illusion cantrip of a dragon’s roar (ie, blame it on someone else), which because of the Wild Magic flow becomes not-so-Minor afterall: not only does most of the Party fail their saves on a FEAR from a dragon’s roar (including the caster), a glimpse of a huge flying creature appears momentarily, and nearly all are now running around in a panic.   One who didn’t panic tries to grab the panicking Dwarf, who intuits a ‘Grease’ spell to escape their grasp….and grease flows out of his pores like a fire hose: in moments, the entire courtyard is ankle deep in grease and three partymembers start sliding down an incline to where an ominous pit trap awaits. They are saved by the last remaining non-feared partymember who Prestidigtates a ‘storm grate’ to cover the pit trap’s hole, which thanks to the Wild Magic is much-larger-than-hand sized, but closer to a King Sized bed.  Finally, a hobbit who had in his panic squeezed through a gigantic slit for the ballista, sees its firing lever, which of course must be pulled to defend against this attack from a so-claimed ‘Grease Dragon’. Ka-Twang! goes the ballista, which had been boresighted on the portcullis entrance as well. It cleanly passes through the chest of the surviving troll, who had similarly just gotten back to the bridge where his now-toasted compatriots lie in grizzled chunks. Fortunately, this contained no fire damage, so the traumatized troll does actually survive (and he is told just how lucky he was to survive an attack from the extremely rare ‘grease’ dragon).

With their grand entrance now complete, the party starts to pick their way through the castle to find Humphrey.  Many traps later, they realize that these are the products of supremely bored trolls to play practical jokes on each other, as they’re not fatal for regenerating creatures.  They finally reach a more civilized portion of the castle where they are announced by magic mouth to walk the red carpet for an audience with Humphrey. They persist in checking every five feet for traps, so nearly three hours later they arrive, finding Humphrey asleep on his royal-appearing grand chair.  Since they don’t murder him in his sleep and sack the place, Humphrey is quite friendly, and provides not one, but two Wands of Kobold Summoning to return to Rick. Humphrey also says that he still wants his familiar (a falcon) back from the Djinn, preferably restored to flesh.

In the home stretch, the party returns down the Gno River to the bay, where they realize that they hadn’t left rendezvous instructions with their ship, which is presumably still moored over in the port town of Telooin.  They return to Telooin and meet with Rick, swapping the wand for some more useful magic items. They did notice a large statue of a falcon, made of black stone, in Rick’s private office, which they presume is Humphrey’s familiar.

Outcome:  the goal of visiting Humphrey for a new wand was finally accomplished.  There’s still the opportunity to try to capture some ‘demon’ sheep, as they had learned that they’re the source of the wool of the Kobolds’ fez hats (and that they taste good too).  Similarly, the Queen of the Enchanted Elephants is still being held captive by someone in the bamboo forest (presumably the tool-using black squirrels).

What was really going on:  the black squirrels are slavers, who have a tribe of Kobolds in the forest that they nominally protect from their normal predators.   Their leader, “Totally Nuts” is partnered with Rick, who uses the wand to move their “merchandise” to market, where the first spend some time at the bar to learn how to be domestic servants before being sold off to affluent families, primarily the beholder families in Camila’s Run.

Humphrey really isn’t part of this, but he’s being blackmailed into it because he wants to get his turned-to-stone familiar back from Rick, and he’s being paid a cut.

The Queen elephant is being held by the squirrels, although indirectly:  she’s being held by the Kobolds who are being held by the squirrels. This is because the Queen has the ability of Telekinesis which isn’t strong enough for her to use against Kobolds, but it is strong enough for her to grab & smash squirrels against trees to kill them.  Finally, there’s also the question of just who possesses Rick’s djinn bottle and just what they might want . . . maybe Captain Citroën?

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Aaron’s Scenario Recap (PCon 43)

Journey into Hione’s Mindscape

A Treatise on Divine Love
& Why the Menagerie Must Be Stopped!

We traveled into the Mindscape of Hione, whereupon we came across a vibrant arboreal forest and a manifestation of Hione named Harry — busy carving poorly penned poetry into every tree in the forest simultaneously. We would later learn the subject was the goddess Danu. Harry attempted to force us to leave but, despite multiple casualties, I stood my ground and learned of Hione’s infatuation with the nature deity.

order-of-the-wyvernThe mindscape allowed us to perform extraordinary feats of physical and arcane prowess, our forms matching out perception of ourselves in the mind’s eye. We were drawn even farther when a flash of blonde, with a green robe billowing, and just the peek of a naked calf. We lost her at a river crossing and were moved to a snowy mountain pass. Once again, we met with Harry, but this time he was the size of a mountain, and he was sculpting the mountain side into Danu’s calf.

After a harrowing encounter scaling the pass with yetis on the mountain, we were thrust into a dungeon to attempt to “impress” Danu. After a series of mind-boggling trials testing both wits and might, we met Danu herself, and conversations of feelings and relations ensued.

She expressed her displeasure with the menagerie as it stands, how animals are being forced into enclosures and trapped against their will. She spoke of how she held no interest in Hione as a romantic companion. Most importantly, though, she told us of her desire to carry the child of Carrunos. Hione’s love is not reciprocated and Danu will not be happy with the gross mistreatment of the many creatures held captive in the Menagerie.

          Think Clearly Adventurers!
          – Tenacity, Order of the Wyvern

Danu’s Dream

Or, How I learned to stop worrying and embrace the animal-riders

After the outcome of Hione’s dream, Whiggam has determined that it is a matter of the utmost emergency to further investigate Danu’s state of mind, particularly as regards to Carrunos and Hione and potential relationships with either (or both!). However, given that Hunters’ Hall has been completely exhausted through the efforts of collecting the Menagerie, the only available team is from the Junior Adventurer’s Guild of Whiggam. Henceforth they shall be dispatched to Danu’s dream, though the precise instructions they are to be given are a matter of the utmost delicacy.

          – Memo to JAG Corps Directorate

“Dang man, so we were like, sent into a dream! A dream! Not just that, but a goddess’ dream!

“They told us to do whatever we could for her, and get this, all she wanted was to find her stinkin’ boyfriend. Or somethin’. She says he’s missing or avoiding her, or whatever. It’s Carrunos, though, so the only way to find him was gonna be to ask the animals.

IMG_1513“We started with the Wolves. Seriously, wolves are awesome, and I totally want to be a wolf rider! They said we couldn’t ride ‘em unless we go on the Great Hunt, in three days under the full moon. Like, seriously? We’re on a calendar?

“Whatever. It was like, not a happening place, so we went to check out the lions. And the King of the Lions would only talk if one of us defeated his Champion in single combat! Ohhhh, yeaaaah, baby! That dummy really tried to do it himself, but we pumped our guy six ways from Tuesday and took that so-called ‘Champion’ down! Not just down but WAY down! Subterranean, baby!

“Well… it sorta turned out he was like, the king’s son. So we healed him right back up. Maybe he’ll practice next time. Anyway, the king was so impressed, he told us that Carrunos was hiding ‘cause he has a secret. But His Lion-ish-ness said it wasn’t his secret to share, and we had to ask the other animals.

“So we skipped out on that dude and tried the Queen of the Snakes. The lions gave us a ride, except they wouldn’t go near the snakes ‘cause they were all stuck in the mud. Derpy jumped in, but it seemed pretty gross to me. I mean, they were so dirty, I didn’t even ask for a ride! I guess they snakes didn’t like it much either, ‘cause they told Derpy they wanted to sun themselves on dry ground. We told ‘em — easy, peasy — go there! But they said the Pigs were there first.

“Well, duh, everyone knows pigs want MUD, not dry ground. We we told ‘em to switch. They just said the Prarie Dogs were in the way. Seriously? We went and told the Prarie dogs to get their butts underground, but they’ll all like, ‘wah, wah, there are monsters in our homes!’

“Dang, man, we’re, like, ADVENTURERS! We went and whooped some monster butt! There was a dragon blocking the entrance (we blinded him and used a nearby hurricane to toss his butt out of the way), some trolls (do you know if you burn ‘em to the ground, you get a lot of whining trolls and then some Troll Dust?), a few Giant Scorpions (which make darn good Poison Javelins when all is said and done), and some Hook Horrors (you know a Poison Javelin can chuck one of those bad boys straight into the Abyss?). Come on, man, give us a CHALLENGE!

“All right, so… we moved the Prairie Dogs back underground, swapped the Pigs and Snakes, and by then the Full Moon rose and it was time for the Great Hunt. Well, you ain’t seen no Hunters like US! By the time we were done, the trees were chuckin’ the prey our way. We had to let ‘em loose first, just so the Wolves wouldn’t be bored.

“Anyhoo, Long Story Short, we impressed the King of Wolves. When he said he’d answer a question, we asked for Carrunos’ secret.

“And GET THIS! He just up and turns into Carrunos.

“You see it right? Wolf — Man — Full Moon. Holy guacamole, dude, CARRUNOS IS A WEREWOLF!

“No wonder he’s keeping a secret. He begged us not to tell Danu. We hemmed. We hawed. We voted. We voted FIVE to FIVE, and had to dice off to decide. The dice said… keep the secret.

“But dude, it was DANU’S DREAM. So what are the odds she doesn’t know now?”

          – Respectfully Submitted,
           Ella Dragonborn
            Secretary-in-Training
             Whiggam Junior Adventurer’s Guild

Finding the cure

…After finding out what losing control under the Full Moon really means

My party sought a way to convince Carrunos to have a child with Danu, but when we came face to face with him, he asked us a favor. Saying that he was expecting us. He asked us to take care of the Orcs who plagued his lands. We complied and went after the Orcs.

Upon finding the Orcs, they attacked the party. As we began to fight, suddenly we all gained Barbarian rage. Except this rage was overwhelmingly bloodthirsty. We ripped apart the Orcs, and when a Half-Orc came out to surrender, we ripped him apart as well, without any control.

Suddenly, we faded back to being in front of Carrunos, and he told us that that uncontrollable urge, that because he was a werewolf and had that uncontrollable attribute to him, that he would never have a child. He would never force such a curse upon his child.

We offer to find a way to cure him, and his information lead us to go to the Temple of Time Reversal, traveling back to long ago, eventually coming to a large library. (Likely the Grand Tory Library).

Upon going inside, we came face to face with the human form of the god Hione, Harry. He assisted us in finding the book for which we sought, but upon finding it, we could not comprehend its words.

Harry, on the other hand, could and was enthralled by the new information that he had not been aware of: How to cure born lycanthropy.

The party was able to bring out both his emotional and logical side, with his human form saying that of course he would end up helping his beloved even if she was in love with someone else. We used complete hypotheticals in order to not seem too suspicious.

We traveled back to the present and went into Hione’s mind. He greeted us and we spoke with him. Not letting him in on the fact that we went to the past and met him, but were able to bring up the lycanthropy issue and imply that he might be able to assist. Eventually, he would concede and tell us to contact Carrunos and tell him to come see Hione. The problem is… upon investigating, we could tell that Hione was ‘pleased’ by something in this moment. Whether it was because he was happy to help Danu by helping her lover, or because he was happy that he was in control of her happiness is unknown.

          – Virago, Order of the Wyvern

Epilogue

On the difference between Knowledge and Wisdom

Though the party was concerned, some days later, Danu and Carrunos could again be found in close company, the issues between them apparently resolved.

The only strange thing was Hione’s behavior at the Judging of the Menagerie. He seemed tense, worried about who might be observing. And the moment that Aerlon White-Eyes was elevated to become Hione, Harry (the former holder of the office) fled with all available haste.

Why might that be?

Some months later… say, about nine… All the beasts of the land flew into a terrible rage. At the same time, it became very, very dangerous to be a librarian.

It would seem that the former Hione did not actually CURE Carrunos’ lycanthropy, but simply relieved the symptoms, TRICKING him into believing he was cured. That lasted until a week or two after the birth of his child, the first time the Full Moon brought out the uncontrollable Blood Rage in the child.

Nobody knows what became of Harry… which is to say that one way or another, he’s never been seen again. Perhaps he’s living out his mortal life in the dusty basement of some library or other, safely out of the reach of natural beasts. (Not to say that he showed that much wisdom any time recently. But perhaps.)

In any case, there are two silver linings to the matter.

One is that time will show Carrunos rising to the challenge he hoped so desperately to avoid, bettering himself in the process — a feat that poor Harry never managed.

The other is that the new Hione has all the knowledge of his predecessor, and seems much more favorably inclined toward his colleagues.

My thanks to all the players who brought this story to life — without you, it was just words on a page. :)

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