Alex’s Scenario Recap (Pcon 43)

Gotta Catch ‘em All

Overview

1800 years ago was supposed to be Iniki’s contest, but Iniki has no use for Ronkel’s machinations, and so Iniki’s “competition” was to flood the world and not be replaced.  So Iniki sent Ophelia, avatar of Storms and Drowning, to destroy civilization. El, a moleperson and high priestess of Magus, came forth from the underdark to gather four compatriots.  They built a giant humanoid construct that they piloted together to defeat Ophelia and send her back to to the depths. This device was too dangerous to be allowed to fall into the wrong hands, and so they disabled certain important systems and scattered the pieces around the world.

When Hione announced this year’s competition, Ophelia awoke from her slumber, and continued her original mission.  Over the course of seven expeditions, the players discovered the existence of the construct, found the necessary parts to fix it, all the while making other captures for the menagerie, and finally learned how to work together to control it and used it to defeat Ophelia and make her part of the menagerie.

The Lightning Squirrel

Enticed by the following words on the poster:

Like fresh air?
Like being in the great outdoors?
Then capture creatures for Whiggam!

 

Bire Fringent, Elven Ranger

DerShawkin, Gnome Rogue

Jolynn Huxley, Half-Elf Fighter

Lazlo “Squeaks” McGee, Gnome Warlock

Loafe, Half-Elf Warlock

Raymond Stiggyn, Human Monk

Usidoor Neckbeard, Half-Elf Druid

 

The party was tasked by Delilah Zyland (see Megan’s runs) with retrieving a lightning squirrel for the menagerie.  They don’t know much about the squirrel, except that it’s a rare creature native to Whiggam, and can be found in the woods near Whiggam’s Institute for Arcane Studies.  They party traveled there without incident looked for Professor Tulgey. He wasn’t in his office and the passing students suggested that he’s rarely there. Going through his notes, they find out out some information on the Lightning Squirrel, some extinct creatures like the jub jub bird, and that there exists a larger cousin to the shambling mound, the spotted and herbaceous backson, which the Professor believes may have played a role in the jub jub bird’s extinction.  The party figured the poor Professor may have been eaten, but the students assured them that the Professor is often out for several weeks to months at a time. All they have to do, according to the students, is go off the path, then Tulgey will eventually find them, but try not to disturb the animals too much if they don’t want Tulgey to be in a bad mood.

 

The next day they set out along animal paths into the deeper woods, pausing every so often to detect Lightning Squirrels (5 mile radius, sadly not finding any) and Spotted and Herbaceous Backsons (finding some *every* time, but not wanting to fight one right away).

 

Setting camp for the night, they’re approached by Professor Tulgey, who is checking in to make sure they’re not disturbing the animals.  He approves of their careful campfire building, though of course he’d prefer they not use fire at all. The party mentions the Contest, and the Professor is quite firm in his belief that the Menagerie is a terrible idea.  Quickly rethinking their approach, they casually ask him about the habits of the Lightning Squirrel, purely out of academic interest. He becomes animated in discussion, and offers to take them to a spot where has has sighted a Squirrel before.

The next day they travel to the blind, and while they’re waiting for a Lightning Squirrel to appear, there is commotion not far off.  Two people come crashing through the woods, claiming to be students attacked by backsons. A yowl of a large cat can be heard in the distance.  ”That’s an Angrak windsteed! They’re not native to these woods!” cries the Professor, and he rushes off in the direction of the sound. The two students went off to find help, and the party decided this was the time to go off in search of the nearest Lightning Squirrel!  They do find one, but it eludes their initial attempts to trap it, and runs off to its lair, a hole in a small hill covered in grapevine.

Exploring a way to trap the squirrel in its nest, they discover that the hill hides a much larger structure of demihuman manufacture.  Negotiating a truce with the squirrels (the one they followed has a mate and baby squirrels!) they explore inside and find the following projected image message:

“Welcome; I am El, the high priestess of Magus.  This temple was built to protect the people from <static> storms and drowning.  We managed to send Ophelia back <static>, but we fear what could happen if the temple fell into the wrong hands.  Therefore, we, the original knights, Gretta Opusdottir, Riven <static>, Kusakabe of Orviska, Broseph of Illselia, and myself, decided to hide the temple and certain vital systems until it was needed again.”

There was a system of tunnels under the surface, and several panels revealing complex machinery.  At each of these panels, something appeared to have been removed, and the panel labeled in undecipherable script.  In the tunnel system they discovered a lamp; when its light was shone on the script, it revealed the names of each system removed.

The party promised all the nuts the squirrel family could eat, and left quickly before Professor Tulgey found them out.  However, upon returning to the Institute, they learned that Tulgey’s head had been thrown into the courtyard by a group of windsteed-mounted Angrak warriors, declaring that the thief had been punished.  Deciding that it was probably best if no one questioned them about Tulgey’s death, they claimed not to have encountered him in the woods, and returned triumphant to the menagerie.

GM note: the two “students” in the woods were Godonia agents disguised as Whiggamites.  They had stolen the windsteed and were trying to make it look like Whiggam was responsible for the theft, in order to sow discord.

 

Irontown

We need brave adventurers to travel to Eren to secure a shipment of Greenheart wood!  Possible creature capture!

 

Adrie, Half-Orc Cleric of Aru

DerShawkin, Gnome Rogue

Kuu, Tiefling Sorcerer

Nash, Human Cleric of Hione

Phynian, Human Sorcerer

Rigger, Elven Fighter

Shofar Walowitz, Half-Elf Bard

Vassago, Half-Elf Warlock

Vetran, Elf Cleric of Ratri

 

“It’s much easier to lie when I think it’s the truth.”  Vetran

 

Faced with a choice of missions, they decide to participate in a trade mission for Greenheart wood in Eren.  During their sea voyage, they encounter refugees from Firviria, which has been ravaged by Hurricane Ophelia. They pause to help repair some of the most damaged ships and see to the most wounded, and Adrie directs them to Aru temples in Whiggam where they can find shelter, Sending to those temples to be prepared for the refugees.  Vetran, IIRC?, discovers that a few specimens from Firviria’s menagerie were rescued in the refugee fleet, and they determine to report this later in order to bolster Whiggam’s menagerie, once the Firvirians are resettled.

 

In Eren, the shipment of Greenheart wood from the interior has been delayed, and the party travels into the forest to determine what happened, following an expedition of Eren Paladins.  They discover a trail of toppled wagons laden with Greenheart wood, their crews apparently murdered by animals of the forest. Upon reaching the Greenheart logging camp, they find a few survivors, and the Paladins have gone further into the forest, cutting down Greenheart trees in search of “the one” that they believe is controlling the attacking animals of the forest.  The party is able to convince them to stop until the Queen of Eren can decide what to do here; they make it out with the desired shipment of Greenheart wood, but are concerned that Eren has cut too many of these trees.

We want… a Flywheel!

We need brave adventurers to escort Professor Maynard on a mission to Vandorel – a missing piece of the Temple of El and a possible creature capture are at stake!

Davos Rosencrantz, Human Bard

Galarin, Half-Elf Druid

Grandmaster Bato, Human Monk

Mr. (Elwig) Mackena, Human Warlock

Ryld, Elven Monk

Urist Vorpalbeard, Dwarven Fighter

 

During the sea voyage to Vandorel, they spied in the distance a Godonian airship of orcs and hobgoblins.  It was traveling slowly enough that they could catch up, just at the edge of their Fly range, and decided to attack.  In a daring raid, they defeated the enemy Godonian Heroes on top of the bag of the airship, but before they could overpower the crew, the orcish crew cut the gondola and scuttled the airship, sacrificing themselves.  There were a few tense moments as Ryld and Grandmaster Bato fell into the ocean and had to be retrieved before drowning, and Mr. Mackena nearly fell off the bag, but managed to catch hold of a rope thrown by Davos.

 

Continuing on, they discovered the cave of the “Legendary Black Beast” of Vandorel, which hid in the darkness of its cave.  They cautiously entered, leaving lights on the walls as they went, while Mr. Mackena’s familiar (an imp) waited outside as a lookout.  They eventually discovered a seemingly empty nest, which Professor Maynard eagerly explored for clues to the writings of Broseph of Illselia.  Mr. Mackena’s imp reported that the lights visible from outside the cave were being snuffed. When the imp went in to investigate, it was eaten (running theme; see the “Never Gonna Give You Up” expedition) by a huge creature of surprising stealth.  A waiting game ensued, with the party expecting an attack, and the Beast creeping about hoping for a good opening to strike. The party manages to Locate the Beast while it’s within Faerie Fire range, and lights it up.  The Beast is a Huge reptilian creature, with green scales and only two legs, numerous eyes and teeth, brown hair on his head, and a pair of horns.  Galarin transforms into a giant turtle in order to provide a target for the Beast, and while its mouth is full, the party brings it down while trying to avoid its tail sweeps.

 

It’s then that Professor Maynard excitedly reports finding some Ancient Bones and a Flywheel Gear (the Regenerative System) in the nest, along with some of Broseph’s writings.

 

GM note: During the fight on the bag of the airship, there was a sequence of 1, 20, 1, 20 rolled for Mr. Mackena to fall off the bag, then catch a thrown rope, then Davos to slip while the rope thrown to Mr. Mackena tangled about his ankles, then catch another line attached to the bag.

Tonari no Totoro


We need brave adventurers to travel to Orviska to investigate a lead on a missing piece of the Temple of El!  Cover provided by a trade mission for sorghum and rice.

 

Richard William Johnson, Human Fighter

Green, Human Druid

Irwin Stevens, Kangaroo Lizard Wrangler, Human Bard

Jack “Lucky” Rabi, Human Sorcerer

 

In their own words:

Upon arriving in Orviska, we were met by a ranking trade official named Ukeuith.  At his request, we headed to Kusakabe province to assist with the removal of a haunt in a local home.  Upon arriving we discovered that the local governing family had all died under less than normal circumstances.  Further inquiry** found that a young girl named May was the only surviving heir, being hidden as an orphan by the rest of the village.  The trade official had been trying to remove the locals’ claim to the area by destroying the home and line of the family. When he showed up to meet us with around twenty men, we were ready for him.  While Green launched a surprise moonlight spell, Irwin grappled and pinned him while RWJ sniped his men, and a polymorphed Lucky, in kangaroo lizard form***, bit one in half (he got better) and forced the rest to surrender.  We let the men go after ensuring their silence. Ukeuith we forced to come with us to Whiggam in order to ensure his exile from Orviska. We managed to find a piece from the Magus temple, the Power Drive System.

 

**Inquiry preceded by “I’m not very smart, but I’m very good at jumping to conclusions. — RWJ”

 

*** a “kangaroo lizard” looks surprisingly like a tyrannosaurus rex

 

Never Gonna Give You Up

Caim Vorgies, Tiefling Warlock

Koura, Human Warlock

Toblerone, Gnome Wizard (and Toblerone’s four zombies)

Vashi Vorgies, Tiefling Cleric of Aru

 

The party is told of an “Auxiliary Menagerie” that Pervanda has for dangerous creatures not yet integrated into their main menagerie.  Whiggam isn’t sure what’s kept there, but the party should go have a look around and bring back whatever they can. Starting from a point off the remote coast, they sent an impish familiar to scout around.  There were five puffy pink things in cages, kept out of earshot from one another, plus a cave mouth that was being guarded. The imp ventured into the cave, and the last images Kouri received was a flash of teeth, claws, and white fur.

 

They bluffed their way past the guards by posing as contractors who were there to fix some of the outer walls, with the zombies disguised as workmen, and also to transport “uh, the creature”.  The guards laughed at this last bit, but allowed them through the gate in the barricade to retrieve the Killer of the Cave of Pervannog. The zombies went first, and at the mouth of the cave, were attacked by a creature with the appearance of a small, white rabbit.  The Killer of Pervannog didn’t like the taste of zombie, so it fled back into the cave. Toblerone animated some darts, and sent them after the rabbit. The guards wanted to know why the “workman” wasn’t killed, figured out they were zombies, and started firing at the party.  In turn the party distracted the guards with a figurine of Bob West, which began telling them a story that they couldn’t ignore.

 

With a few lucky hits, the party managed to knock the Killer of Pervannog unconscious, and flee as the guards roused from the story.  Another unique creature added to Whiggam’s menagerie!

 

GM note: the “pink things” not retrieved by the party are a mob creature called the Rykrol; when encountered individually, each one would speak a single word, “gonna”, “up”, “give”, “never”, “you”.  If brought within earshot of each other, they say the words in the order in the name of the expedition.

Flight of the Porgs

We need brave adventurers to travel to the remote Isle of Achto to capture creatures in the path of the Hurricane Ophelia!

 

Dr. Odde IV, Human Wizard

Grusk Lager, Dwarf Fighter

Pollein, Human Paladin

 

The party encounters a number of other groups collecting the near-flightless, cliff-dwelling birds, and all decide to keep an eye on each other, but cooperate to save as many creatures as possible.  They discover a group from Angrak has been to the top of the island, where one of their party has been “lost” to the a mad hermit. Investigating, the party finds a red dragonborn listening to the teachings of a human in weather-beaten robes.

 

A sampling:

“Ronkel is the same.  Ronkel is the only true god, though all gods could be like Ronkel if they only knew.  Aside from Ronkel, Iniki is the only one who is unchanged, and therein lies the paradox of Iniki who is both always changing and yet unchanged. The legacy of El is failure, for Iniki still flooded the world.  Don’t be a warrior, work together! Hione was once the Hermit, but then became Hione.”

 

Dr. Odde concluded that he wants some outside verification on what the mad hermit is saying, attempts to Contact Higher Plane, and goes insane.  Everything his fellow adventurers say is complete nonsense, yet he understands when the mad hermit tells him, “It’s time for Hione to end.”

 

The party flees the island with their catch and has Dr. Odde restored at Hunter’s Hall.  He decides he wants that question answered and attempts to Contact Higher Plane, and goes insane AGAIN.

 

GM note: Dr. Odde was using my cursed dice.

Whiggam Rim

Let’s go fight a hurricane in a robot in a fantasy setting! — Ripper

 

Adrie, Half-Orc Cleric of Aru, “Green Lion”

Nash, Human Cleric of Hione, “Rainbow Belt”

Phynian, Human Sorcerer, “Blue Lion”

Ripper, Elven Fighter, “Red Lion”

Shofar Walowitz, Half-Elf Bard, “Yellow Lion”

Vetran, Elf Cleric, “Black Lion”

 

Our heroes, with the missing pieces from the Temple of El, decipher the instructions that tell in what order the pieces should be reattached.  Success! Each takes a position within the temple, and they practice moving together (you might have seen them walking in sync through Campus Club).  They then set off to defeat Ophelia, positioning themselves downriver of the Dymarip. Ophelia arrived, and a titanic struggle ensued, in which neither side could gain the upper hand.  The Temple of El creaked, and began to take structural damage (“Point to the part of this picture of Voltron where Ophelia hurt you.” -Phynian). Nerves frayed and tempers flared, but the party eventually discovered how to truly work as one, knock Ophelia unconscious, and transport it to the Whiggam Menagerie.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>