Fflondon Calling (Alex’s scenario recaps)


I ran 6 expeditions in “Fflondon Calling”

 At the beginning of the Con, Fflondon and the other holds of the Ashpool Complex were in trouble.  Three were under Imperial Seal (Tyrol, Balad Naron, Volan), one was locked from the inside (Parok), and Fflondon was under the dominion of a Mind Flayer.

Despite the bumps along the way, including saying goodbye to a special Kuo-Toan friend (RIP, Jimothy, you will never be forgotten!) and a con-long intraparty discussion over whether to kill the mind flayer, convince the drow to kill the mind flayer, convince the mind flayer to brave the nameless horrors in Volan Hold and get himself killed, or make the mind flayer mayor, all five holds in the Complex were made safe for colonizing.  The furnaces of Balad Naron were lit. The forges of Tyrol were running. Parok Hold was secure. The kruthink xenomorph threat in Volan was neutralized. And Rory Destle-Ffloyd was mayor of Fflondon!

Fflondon Calling


A’kanom Depaix, Gnome Cleric of Ratri

Adrie, Half-Orc Cleric of Aru

Bragwell “WideEyes” VonStathe IV, Human Wizard (Ratri)

Shagra Marsa, Half-Orc Barbarian (Pantheist)

Valetuda/Vallie, Clan Myletha Monk, Way of the Drunken Master (Pantheist)

Zelta Cirvis, Wood Elf Rogue Thief (Ratri)

Remy’s crew was a group of retired con artists, thieves, and mercenaries that were being blackmailed into one last “job” to help Khazthand retake the Lost Holds.  The exception was Shagra, who was the daughter of a member of the crew, and was honoring her mother’s memory by taking her place on this mission. Prior to reporting to Reclamation HQ, they all met at a tavern owned by Vallie.

In their own words:

“Remy’s Crew”

  • On our journey to assess Fflondon’s requisitionability, we were approached by the Ffloyd Brothers, a couple of “insurance” guys who want us to retrieve a list of items vital to restoring the family business.  It was supposed to be in the Ffloyd’s mansion strongbox — but it was gone!

  • As for the requisitionability… the area has been claimed and inhabited by what we suppose is around 7,000 people.  “People” being kuo-toa, kobolds, goblins, drow, orcs, and… a Mindflayer controlling them all!!

    • The Emmissary — Mindflayer — is scared of the drow, since they do not believe in the religion it’s spun to control the other factions.  Which could be used to potentially clear the area by way of war, except…

    • There is a group of goblin children in a beneficial existence with a group of machines with long lost knowledge (?).  The children work on the machines due to the size and dexterity of their hands, and the machines give them knowledge in exchange.  These children are friendly… if not a little playful, and surprisingly powerful

    • Meanwhile, a character named sharkie in the big house with the emissary has requested visitor’s presence… is it connected to the house of elves that went extinct in this area?

A map of the area can be found on the back… oh yeah, and –



  • Met the Ffloyd brothers, “insurance” guys whose family went bankrupt and trying to get back in the business

  • Discovered a nest of Hook Horrors near the Tube that allowed fast travel to Fflondon, but left it for the next party to deal with

  • Explored Fflondon and discovered

    • It’s currently occupied by a number of factions

    • The factions seem to be relatively peaceful because of the presence of a mind flayer; however,

    • Maybe the drow faction (a group of big-game hunters who want to test their mettle against the rumored nameless horrors locked in Volan Hold) and the mind flayer could be played off each other?

    • There are machines teaching goblin children clockwork magic, and keeping it secret from the mind flayer

    • The mind flayer (“Sharkey”) wants to meet with the party, but the party ducks out and leaves it to the next group

Other notables:

  • “IS ANYONE ELSE BEING BLACKMAILED HERE!?”  — Adrie, bringing all conversation in Vallie’s tavern to a halt.

  • “If my crimes are ever discovered, I’ll be executed.”  — Adrie, sharing a bit too much in front of people outside the crew

  • “So, you were spotted by goblin children?” — Adrie, to Zelta, after Zelta reported the results of scouting around the abandoned Ffloyd family mansion in Fflondon and encountering the goblin children who were learning from machines

The party also befriended “Jimothy”, an undersized kuo-toa who won the hearts of Vallie and Shagra and almost resulted in a big intra-party conflict when they had to decide whether to allow the mind flayer to eat Jimothy’s brain (since Jimothy had won the lottery to meet “the Great Tentacled One”) or intervene.

Vallie kept a sketchbook with some renderings of Jimothy.  The “where’s my spear?” comes from Jimothy putting his spear down, having it stolen by the rogue while interrogating the PC’s, and then totally forgetting about the spear because he’s so delighted that the PC’s have come to help celebrate the Festival of the Great Tentacled One (as evidenced by Vallie, a drunken master monk, carrying a cask of ale).

Dangers of the underdark, as reported by Remy’s Crew:

The Mind Flayer of Fflondon


Bray, Rock Gnome Wizard (Pantheist)

Ren, Human Rogue – Arcane Trickster (Ratri)

Rick Parker III, Half Elf Warlock – The Archfey (Pantheist)

Thorgal Graniteaxe, Clan Klaxton Barbarian – Totem Warrior (Daglir)


“We should kill the mind flayer.”

“How do we get the drow to kill the mind flayer?”

“Is that really what we want to do?”


This party continued adventuring in Fflondon:

  • They investigated the Ffloyd mansion more closely, and found a box with red clogs.  When removed, the box would create another pair of red clogs, which would perfectly fit whoever took the clogs from the box.  Ren began to distribute red clogs throughout Fflondon and spread rumors that “when the dwarf with red clogs comes, it will be a time of great prosperity for the hold.”

  • They accepted Sharkey’s invitation, and found the mind flayer was interested in having Fflondon rejoin Khazthand, so long as he was officially recognized by Arkinthel as mayor.  He even had papers drawn up for Arkinthel to look at! The party agreed to take it back to Arkinthel for consideration.

  • They planned to try to convince the drow to work against Sharkey, but Sharkey had already helped the drow to open Volan Hold.  When the players investigated, they came across a sole survivor, who described the horrors in Volan Hold as a mutated form of Kruthik


“this hold believes in the Red Clogs.  They trust those who offer Red Clogs. They await the chosen dwarf who, it is said, will rule this hold, clad in the Red Clogs…”


“Never trust a human without clogs.”

  • Ren


I’m Sorry, Dave, We Can’t Do That

Adrie, Half-Orc Cleric of Aru

Alice Lucia, Half-Elf Bard

Brogmira Axeborn, Dwarven Barbarian

Korthos Firerose, Dwarven Monk

Morrig Dunron, Dwarven Monk

Pho Liccular, Human Cleric of Aru

Shamash Silverbeard, Half-Elf Paladin

Zelta Cirvis, Elf Rogue

The first two parties ran away from the Hook Horrors and left them for the third party to deal with.  :-) Even this party had trouble with them, because the hook horrors used the environment (several levels of catwalks around an open space) to their advantage, since they’re excellent climbers, so it took about 3 hours of strategizing, hunting, and fighting for the party to finally drive them away from the subway station and burn the nest.  The mothers and young escaped, but are unlikely to come back.



Act II of the expedition involved delivering a contract from Arkinthel to Sharkey that would make the mind flayer officially the mayor of Fflondon.  This was complicated by the appearance of David Tessier, the long-lost heir to Parok Hold (near Fflondon). Clad in his own pair of red clogs, he wanted to exploit the party to retake “his” homeland.  Alice, however, had previously encountered David on a previous run, and knew him to be Bad News(tm). The party delivered the contract to Sharkey, who happily signed it, and Khazthand settlers began to head to Fflondon.  The party trapped David in a Zone of Truth, and under interrogation, got him to confess to his crimes. While telling them they wouldn’t be able to enter Parok without him, Zelta beheaded him.


  • It was now safe for people to travel to Fflondon

  • It was uncertain how future groups would enter Parok Hold (apparently the center of all the clockwork mechanisms running throughout the Ashpool Complex)



  • “I don’t know if anyone wants me to spore you… (rest of the party looks extremely dubious) … but it gives you resistance to psychic attacks.  (party suddenly looks extremely interested because a mind flayer may be in their immediate future)” — Morrig, at the beginning of the expedition

  • “Let’s turn him into a turtle and toss him down the chute.”
    “Wait, you have polymorph?  Why don’t we turn him into a bird?”
    – during a debate over how to approach the hook horror nest

  • “This is either a good idea or a terrible idea.”
    “Why can’t it be both?”
    – continuing the debate

  • “There’s a time for kata, and a time for fighting.”
    “That’s not funny.”
    “Everyone else was laughing”
    – Shamash, admonishing Korthos


The Furnaces of Balad Naron

Alice Lucia, Half-Elf Bard

Brogmira Axeborn, Dwarven Barbarian

Gyges Ness, Human Wizard

Korthos Firerose, Dwarven Monk

Pho Liccular, Human Cleric of Aru

Shamash Silverbeard, Half-Elf Paladin


Arkinthel wanted the golem forges of Tyrol reopened.  The party escorted the Elder Tyrol (of the Tyrol family that founded Tyrol Hold) to Tyrol; unfortunately, it looked like *something* had gotten into the forges and spoiled some of the golems.  The party discovered that it was the mutated kruthik, which could propagate themselves using the golems as hosts! They managed to trap and kill the few that had just been born.


The party then looked to restarting the furnaces of Balad Naron, which involved Alice distracting an Ash Golem while the others searched for clues.  Restarting the furnaces involved calling the Balrocs back to Balad Naron. The ceremonial rites were carved into the temple walls; unfortunately, Bishop Aku’s bird stump vase was missing!  (That must be why the Ash Golem is shouting “thief!” at us…)


The party wondered, “If I were a 1200 year old stolen bird stump vase, where would I be?” and then searched the Daglir temple in Fflondon.  The priests, newly come from Arkinthel, had been cleaning up, and noted that they *had* seen a particularly ugly iron bird stump vase, but had given it to some goblin children who wanted it for parts.  This led to Gyges noting, “I swear to god if I have to beat up goblin children for a flower pot…” Fortunately, the flowerpot was recovered outside the Ffloyd’s mansion, and with the Ffloyd’s help, as Bishop Acu’s bird stump vase was one of the insured items on the Ffloyd grand list.

This was followed shortly by Alice’s “with friends like these” adventure (see below), which ended up being of help to the party after all, since it opened Parok Hold.  While Shamash pleaded with the Aru temple back in Arkinthel to raise Alice from the dead (offering all his possessions), Korthos and Pho explored Parok, initially with the intention of destroying Winter, the arkenstone of Parok.  However, after following some directions to fix Winter’s vocal systems, they were able to discern that while David Tessier was a monster, the rest of the Tessiers were not, and many of their consciousnesses were in fact stored in Winter, and one could be “downloaded” into a Tyrol golem, and thus become the next “Winter’s Queen” and lead Parok.


  • The Tyrol forges restarted, fueled by the furnaces of Balad Naron

  • Parok opened, and the new Winter’s Queen to be forged

  • Alice raised from the dead; after the con Shamash to be an honorary Paladin of Aru

With Friends Like These

Alice was a bard whose driving goal was to seek and share lost knowledge.

Alice was on Steve Caruso’s expedition where they discovered a prison that was stuck in a time dilation where 1 year equalled 1000.

David Tessier was imprisoned there 8000 years ago, for crimes against Daglir, and during the expedition, he tried to kill the party.

Somehow, David escaped the destruction of the prison and wormed his way into the good graces of the Empire.

Alice was on the expedition where David intended to use the party to help him seize Parok Hold.  Alice convinced the party, based upon her experience, that David was seriously bad news. The party got David to confess his crimes on live observer and executed him.

Alice then became convinced that, as the last remaining Tessier, David was the only way to retrieve the lost knowledge of Parok Hold.  So she conspired with a mind flayer to steal DAvid’s body from a Daglir temple, reanimate him long enough to open Parok, and then kill him again.

Enchanted with the thought of all the lost knowledge that would soon be hers to explore, Alice began to investigate Parok, turning her back on the mind flayer, who promptly stunned her and ate her brain.

The New Mayor of Fflondon

A’kanom Depaix, Gnome Cleric of Ratri

Adrie, Half-Orc Cleric of Aru

Chadwick Thistlewick, Halfling Fighter

Rory Destle!, Dwarf Barbarian

Shagra Marsa, Half-Orc Barbarian (Pantheist)


The mind flayer having absconded, Fflondon was in need of new leadership.  The party decided to enlist the Ffloyd brothers’ help in making Rory Destle! mayor, and ran an ad campaign.  Initially, it was going to be an election campaign, but then remembering that democracy didn’t exist, made it an informational campaign that Rory was the new mayor.  the signs were brilliant (see below).


Shagra also gained some closure on her orcish heritage.  She sought out the (small) orc community in Fflondon, which tried to reject her.  She won a shoving match with an orc that tried to bully her away *and* rolled a nat 20 on an intimidation check to earn the respect of the tribe.


Shagra and Adrie then rejoined the other’s at the Ffloyd’s mansion, rolling *another* natural 20 on door knocking to perfectly tap the wooden door with her warhammer without leaving a dent.



  • Fflondon has stability with a new mayor and powerful backing; as the earliest sponsors of the new Mayor, the Ffloyd Brothers will want to ensure Rory is successful, otherwise they will lose the trust of people who might otherwise do business with them.

It’s a Bug Hunt, Man

Ardent, Half-Elf Paladin

Bartlebumf Higgenbottom, Halfling Fighter

Bray, Gnome Wizard

Ren, Human Rogue

Shiroe Akagi, Half-Orc Paladin

Smash, Human Barbarian

Xandrial, Dwarven Cleric of Aru

Things were looking up in the Ashpool Complex, but there was still the matter of clearing the xenomorph kruthik menace from Volan Hold.  When given a set of missions to choose from, this party opted for the most dangerous! Bray commented: “Let’s do dungeons of unspeakable horrors.”


Volan Hold was full of twisting tunnels, and the party was in search of the Kruthik Hive Queen.  Using an invisible Owl familiar to scout, they eventually found a seemingly wounded Kruthik that led them further into the tunnel system. However, the injury was a ruse, and the party was surrounded by Kruthik that attacked in small groups to minimize the number that would be caught in a fireball blast.  Upon realizing this, Bray hissed, “They’re intelligent. That’s why we have to destroy them all.”


After the first waves, the party discovered the Drow (from the first run!) being kept barely alive in what appeared to be a larder.  Ardent woke them and laid on hands, and the Drow priestess agreed to ally with the party, though they had difficulty keeping up and were eventually separated.


The party discovered the location of the Hive Queen, and prepared to burst through the Kruthik’s defenses with Ren in a Wall of Force “hamster ball”, being pushed by Smash, Shiroe, and Ardent.  They manage to hit the Hive Queen with some powerful attacks. It tried to bring the ceiling down upon the party, and Bray used his final spell slot to catch it with a Wall of Force, allowing the others to safely finish off the Hive Queen before hightailing it out of Volan Hold.



  • The entire Ashpool Complex was now safe from the Kruthik xenomorph menace!



  • On their first push with the hamster ball, Ren rolled a 20 to keep his balance, Smash rolled a 20 to push the ball into the kruthik, and the kruthik rolled a 20 to push back!

  • Meanwhile, the Drow fought their own way out.  Oddly, they experienced little resistance, and the kruthik seemed unwilling to attack the Drow priestess.  Unbeknownst to herself or the other, she was the host for a larval kruthik xenomorph queen…

Genesis of a PrinceCon Scenario

When Michael floated the idea of the Lost Holds, I started thinking about interesting dwarven settings from old cons.  There was Dain Makair, the supposedly impregnable dwarven fortress that Hugh ran in PrinceCon 17, which could have been lost surprisingly easily/early during the shrinking of Khazthand.  There was Balad Naron, the city hung by chains under the discworld of PrinceCon 18. As far as I knew, PrinceCon 44 wasn’t a discworld, but Balad Naron could be hung over, say, the caldera of a volcano.  I liked that and wanted to run with that.

A little later, thinking over all the things that people must have lost when evacuating the Holds, I realized that this would be a good reason to bring back the Ffloyd’s of Fflondon from PrinceCon 11, and even better, 44 is a multiple of 11!  The Ffloyd family would be currently paupered, but could recover their wealth if players could return enough lost items. The Ffloyd NPC’s would be brothers Randolph and Mortimer, loosely based off the characters from Trading Places.

I was thinking about possible “hooks” for Holds, like one entirely run by Clockwork, perhaps with a HAL-like AI in charge that the PC’s would need to face.  Maybe one that manufactured weapons of war, or golems, or something. Maybe there would be a monolith that opened a Gate, either to Balad Naron (which would otherwise be inaccessible?), or to another Hold elsewhere.

During the summer, I finished reading John Crowley’s Aegypt quartet.  Part of the story of the books covers the defenestration of Prague, and Frederick and Elizabeth, Winter’s King, how they were driven into exile, and how their descendants eventually recovered their heritage.  That seemed to tie into the Lost Holds theme well, so Prague –> Parok Hold, and the AI would be “Winter”, thus the leaders of Parok would be Winter’s King/Queen. A lot of the clockwork in Parok and the surrounding holds would be broken, so Winter couldn’t speak with the PC’s until repairs were made (“Winter” was “mute” -> Wintermute).  To complete the Neuromancer reference, I called the family that founded Parok the Tessiers, and decided the surrounding group of holds could be known as the “Ashpool complex”.

Well, if cyberpunk was going to inspire part of the scenario, then the Hold that manufactured golems might as well make golems that were more dwarflike than dwarves.  Tyrell corporation becomes Tyrol Hold, and Eldon Tyrol is there with his construct owl. I had ideas about a confrontation between Eldon Tyrol & Roy Batty golem, but those ideas didn’t solidify, and examining the golems more closely wasn’t a direction any of the expeditions seemed to go in, so it was quietly dropped during the con.

It was natural then for there to be a hold that was infested with xenomorph kruthik.  Weyland -> Woland -> Volan Hold.

Finally, Balad Naron would, in fact, be the location of the furnaces that powered the other holds, but I had trouble figuring out how the furnaces were fueled, and how they were shut down, and how they might be restarted.  An aperture that needed to be held open like Thor in Nidavellir was one possibility, but then I recalled the Balrocs from PrinceCon 40, mighty birds of fire that nested in volcanos. And so the Balrocs returning to Balad Naron would be like the swallows returning to Capistrano.  Acú was the bellringer at Capistrano, so the ceremony involved ringing the bell of the Bishop of Balad Naron.

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