03 August 2015 @ 05:55 pm

No one remembers what happened last session! In fact, they had done nothing beyond returning to town, which is fortunate, because the DM elects to begin with them in town.

DM: Taking a couple weeks for yourselves, near the end of those two weeks some trouble comes from the last direction you remember from your early days.
Elkus: I’ll spread my good rumors. That Valan? (whispering) He owns a rock!
DM: Another group went there. Much like yourself, they had some successes, but not quite as well known. They didn’t find too much, but recently the outpost that the town had put there as a sort of listening post near the edge of the jungle near this oddly-placed desert.
Valan: “They listen to the jungle?”

Balisar, paying little attention, mutters about what items he would like to create. The DM tells them that this continent is made of patchwork ecosystems.

Valan: “This continent is magical.”
Elkus: “My thoughts exactly! Balisar, what are your thoughts on this?”
Balisar: Can we score 20 days out of this?
Elkus: “Huh.”
Valan: “Not what I was expecting.”
Balisar: That will allow me to craft this Wand of Magic Missiles.
Valan: “Shall we wander the land for 20 days while he crafts his wand? Perhaps when we come back we’ll be two levels higher than him.” (noticing Balisar’s expression and giggling) “Don’t look at me like that, I’m trying to roleplay for once!”
Elkus: “War. War never changes.”

The DM encourages them to go to the bounty board and solo!

Elkus: “I’d rather have an Almond Joy than a Bounty bar.”

A very long silence broken by Valan attempting not to laugh.

Valan: “The Cursed Wand of Butterfinger.”
Elkus: “No one better lay a finger on it!”
Valan: (noticing the DM’s expression) Stop it, DM.
DM: Less for me to do..
Elkus: “Balisar, with the ecological systems in such close proximity to each other, what are your thoughts on it?”
Balisar: “I feel we should consult a druid.” (swiveling to look at the player who has yet to finish their character) “If only one were available.”
Elkus: “I have no idea.”
Valan: “How’d you go from Wand of Such-and-Such to ‘let’s find a druid’?”
Balisar: “I’m no student of nature! History, perhaps; magic most certainly, but nature escapes my knowledge! Surely someone more well-versed in the art of survival out there would be more appropriate.”
Elkus: “Well, that’s the thing, it seems like it might be under magical influence, since they’re in such close proximity.”
Balisar: “Ah, but it seems someone with knowledge of how nature functions would be able to tell us that.”
Elkus: Oh wait, I’m a bard.
Valan: “Let’s check the bounty board for druid bounties.”
Balisar: ‘Kill this druid…’

Elkus wings his Nature check, and believes this could be the result of strong natural magical energies, specifically attuned. Balisar FINALLY makes the Azeroth jokes. The DM tells them about the different zones that have been discovered, with Valan muttering that they should consult a druid for literally everything. The group gets distracted looking for the loot sheet from the previous game…

DM: There’s many options that lay before you besides checking in with the adventurer’s station where he’s currently making magic items.
Elkus: He’s just waving his hands around for no reason.
DM: What race are you?
Balisar: Dragonborn.
DM: Okay, you’re gonna do it human style.
Balisar: No, I have to do it draenei style, giving my size and bulk.
DM: But I like the invisible-jar opening animation.

Balisar rambles for a while about getting a house of his own, revealing himself to basically be Aibghalien 2.0.

Balisar: “In the meantime, if you wish to disturb me in my room, please pull the bell rope.”
Aurianna: Dong! Dong!
DM: It’s a pity that all his talents were put into the magic item. His bell rope does not work.
Balisar: Oh yeah? Pull the bell rope, I dare you.
DM: The bell rope snaps off.
Aurianna: DONG!
Balisar: (playing the doorbell from the Jetsons)
DM: All your spells have been permanently used for six months. All your skills went into making that bell.
Balisar: I just cast Minor Illusion! Every time they pull the rope, a flag goes up and I quickly cast the illusion of my bell going off!
DM: That’s a lot of work.
Balisar: I’m a proud man!
DM: In the middle of combat, someone just rang your bell.
Balisar: Sorry, guys, my action’s taken up for this round…

Elkus and Balisar go to inquire about land purchases, with Balisar randomly carrying the wand he’s working on the entire time. Valan wants to find a dojo, being on a pilgrimage which renders him unable to build one.

Valan: Is there a place where fighters hone their abilities against one another? The Crucible is no place for mercy…
Balisar: I know that wasn’t your best. Do it again.
DM: Roll a local knowledge, you go around and start asking about this.

Rolling Investigation, Eben gets a mighty 5. Luckily this just delays him.

DM: You do find rumor –
Valan: Rumor?!
Elkus: From a very drunk man.
DM: There’s an inn, very off the beaten path, where the rowdy individuals go for a more heavy drink. It’s slightly outside the, let’s say police protection—
Valan: The same roll 4 times! FIVE TIMES! This die is fixed, my roll does not count -- (angrily tossing the die to the table) SIX TIMES IN A ROW! SIX TIMES IN A ROW IT ROLLS 6!
DM: Anyways, you do hear rumor of a – I wouldn’t call it a battle dome, just an inn with a shadier reputation.
Valan: I wasn’t looking to get my throat cut! I was looking for friendly competition. That’s how bad my roll was. “Ah, this is where I go!”
Balisar: ‘The thieves’ guild, they’ll teach me how to fight!”

Valan heads there, finding it to be a place where people drink and brawl as a matter of course. Everyone turns to stare as he enters, and the bartender beckons him over.

DM: “Not many newcomers coming here. But your face looks familiar.”
Valan: “There’s nothing BUT newcomers here.”
DM: “You got that right.”
Balisar: You pass!
DM: “But nonetheless, this is more a place for fighters. You seem like a strong one, though.”
Valan: “One way to find out.”

The bartender challenges Valan to armwrestle, as the DM hints he’s an old and grizzled warrior. Three checks follow, with Valan rolling a natural 20 on the third.

DM: A surge of sudden power comes through you! He is unprepared and his arm is forced down! …it is not broken.
Valan: Oh thank god. That’s what I do, I walk in and start a fight with the WHOLE TAVERN because I broke the bartender’s arm.
DM: He lets go just before his arm would have touched. “Whew! Almost took it off! I like you, friend.”

Valan orders something not traditionally available. The bottle has a bird-head on it, a representation of the bird people!

Balisar: Oh, and it’s freshly-squozen…
DM: “This one we only just got in. The town only recently started communicating with the bird men towards the mountains.”
Valan: Oh, this is a result of your C-3P0-like speaking to the natives.
DM: “The early trades, one of the heroes who had came to help them later on, is this wine bottle. Only I and a few others have drank it.”
Balisar: 50 gold.
Valan: He said it was on him.
Balisar: He lied. He is altering the deal. Pray he doesn’t alter it any further.
DM: Constitution save.
Valan: 17!
DM: You’re almost brought to a halt. You feel as if you want to wretch out, but you steel yourself! Charisma check.
Valan: Cha—Charisma?! 8.
DM: You don’t do the best job of hiding your discomfort at drinking this…

Valan has a bird-man burst out of his stomach and dance off singing ‘Ragtime Gal’. He inquires about keeping his skills polished, and the barkeep tells him he came to the right place! …in the background, Balisar produces a new mini.

Balisar: Behold the Pope Minotaur.
Aurianna: What the heck is that on his head?! You stupid fucker!
Balisar: It’s an eraser head.
Valan: The pope minotaur?!
Balisar: He’s got levels in cleric.

The bar has no name except ‘the Challenger’. Back to Elkus and Balisar, they walk through the town and give the DM a chance to narrate how the town has grown over time. The two roleplay a bit, because they do that, the weirdos, as they approach the town hall. The bounty board girl tells them they must speak with the mayor. For very weird reasons, Balisar calls Aurianna ‘Stimpy’.

Aurianna: I can’t even argue with that.
DM: Mayor Greens.
Balisar: I hope he doesn’t leave us with the blues.


DM: Karma check. Let’s see how he delivers that awesome pun.
Balisar: Uhhhhh…14. If it’s a Persuasion check, I get a 16.
Elkus: I get a modified 20…
DM: To resist it.
Elkus: To resist smacking him.
DM: While some of the others nearby are charmed by your—
Aurianna: Retarded punning.
DM: By your pun, your partner seemed unamused and almost hurt by it. As if your presence ailed him.

The mayor welcomes them brightly, and they immediately get down to the business of claiming land. Elkus wants a home, while Balisar is angling for a trading post.

DM: “We have a few lots left. How much land are you looking to procure? A large place? Something docking out for small ships or are you looking for something a little larger?”
Balisar: Trading post only comes in one size, bastard!

The mayor is eager indeed to see magic items traded into the land! Balisar drags the conversation OOC for a bit to explain costs and time from the DMG. He lays claim to area for a trading post, and then Elkus picks out his own land and signs… with more of a flourish than Balisar had.

Balisar: Oh! A sign-off, is it?
DM: He magically creates an illusionary pen. With real ink.
Balisar: You know, actually I’ll be able to do that…

Don’t get me wrong, this was all good RP, but neither tense nor dramatic nor hilarious. The rest of the team has openly wandered off.

Tyr: Quite frankly, I’m rather lost as to what is going.

The DM describes the Challenger a bit, leading Aurianna to speculate on selling her services to heal the fighters – not that she’s heard about it, or Valan has told her.

Aurianna: I’m sure the rumor—
Balisar: He had to go looking! Didn’t just fall in his lap!
DM: It’s not particularly well-known, the Challenger.
Tyr: It’s kinda like Fight Club, no one talks about it.
Balisar: But I’m sure Valan wants us to witness his monk’s triumphs in the ring!


Balisar: But I’m sure Valan wants us to witness his monk’s triumphs in the ring!


Balisar: But I’m sure Valan wants us to witness his monk’s triumphs in the ring and will tell us any moment now!


Tyr: I would most certainly be interested in this, but I don’t know about it, so I can’t be interested in it.
Balisar: But I’m sure Valan would never dream of denying a proud warrior comrade of his the opportunity to compete in the arena and will be telling us any minute now!
Valan: I’m sure Balisar will want to house me with luxurious quarters when he builds his trading post on the coast!
Balisar: Sure. Here’s a quarter.
DM: Ohhhhhhh snaaaaaaaaaap.
Valan: “I found a place to get good gin and tonics.”
Balisar: “Gin AND tonic.”
Elkus: “This place is madness!”
Balisar: “It must be BUUUUUURNED.”
Valan: “It’s ten gold apiece though, you probably don’t want to go there.”
Balisar: “I prefer RUM and COKE!”
Valan: “What’s Coke?”
Balisar: “I DON’T KNOW.”
Valan: Whenever I see you, I’ll let you in on it. I don’t even remember where we’re staying.
DM: At the primary tavern.
Valan: Oh, the Inn of the Last Home, that’s right.
Balisar: If you’re going to let me know, surely you have to pull my bellrope!
Elkus: You really want someone to pull that thing.
Valan: (sighs, then mimes pulling the rope)
Balisar: (General Lee horn)
Valan: I leave.
Elkus: Barricade the door.

Balisar swaps out his owl familiar for a hawk, which recasting of Find Familiar can do. Aurianna stubbornly insists on naming it Chirpy. Valan and Aurianna head down into the bustling, cheering arena, as the DM weaves a tale of battle on the front.

DM: At the current moment, the only healing you see is a guy with bandages off in the corner. Did you go in with him or just sort of follow him?
Aurianna: I just sort of follow him.
DM: “Ah, yes! The newcomer! You must fight today!”
Valan: “I put my coin on the bar a few hours ago, now it’s my turn.”
Elkus: ‘I got next.’
Valan: “I’m using Guile, he always wins.”
DM: You head over to one of the entrances. There’s another newcomer. Steps up. You find yourself, as you step down towards the pit… the one in front of you seems a young warrior, human-born, wearing studded leather armor, a small round wooden shield, and a sword – a short sword. He seems quick on his feet.
Balisar: He’s the human equivalent of a kobold.
DM: Standing roughly around 5’6”. Pretty short for a human, but he’s kind of stocky. How tall’s your character?
Valan: 6’5”. Half-orc.
DM: “You know what they say! The bigger they are…”
Balisar: (shocked) He’s buckling his swash!
DM: He’s waiting for you to respond. “The bigger they are…”
Aurianna: “CRRUUUUUUSH!”
Valan: “The harder they smash little folk?”
DM: “Big talk. Where’s your weapon?”
Valana: “Is that another big joke!”
DM: “I’m just making banter!”
Valan: He’s not used to it. I lived a sheltered existence till I got on the boat for this place.
Balisar: (as the crowd) Boo! Boo!
Elkus: Is Balisar booing him?
Balisar: No, I’m still stuck upstairs, apparently.
DM: Did you go with her or did you walk with him?
Balisar: I thought we all went to go see his efforts—
DM: Well, she kinda followed behind!

The bartender clues Balisar in to a place more suited to the magicky sorts, while Aurianna is promptly begged to go downstairs.

DM: “They got Bob with the cloth back there, he doesn’t know what he’s doing! He tied a cloth around the ear for some reason! The sword never came near it! We don’t know what he’s doing…”

Initiative is rolled in the arena, and Valan’s opponent goes first, but Valan rebuffles his attack, which apparently means it misses, and punches him in the face. Valan takes a blow, then finds himself shoved to the ground! He leaps up and goes all Flurry of Blows, failing to stun his foe but finding himself easily dodging the next two attacks.

Valan: Ki point expended! I need to put this guy down! I need to make an impressive debut.

The opponent saves, however, and returns fire with a total of 10 points to the monk! He wins with a snap kick, however, taking down the NPC.

Balisar: FINISH HIM!
Valan: I wasn’t giving instructions on when I should stop, so…

…They stop Valan before he murders the dude in cold blood. Tyr asks a simple question about exhaustion which causes the DM to descend into madness, and then Tyr find himself in the arena facing an absurdly tall dwarf! Tyr immediately goes into a frenzy, and slams the dwarf for 15 points of damage. The dwarf lunges to attack!

Tyr: I get a second attack, you know.
DM: …go for it!
Tyr: Umm. 28, critical hit.
DM: Jesus. Well. Let me just undo… the first slash, the second one cutting the blade through his wooden half, his armor. The second slash slicing his armor and clothes clean off, it falls cleanly to the ground leaving an only-boxered dwarf in shock. The audience cannot believe what they saw.
Valan: You just pulled an Arthur on him. You tapped him and all his armor fell off.
DM: “I think you won this one, boy.” He walks off, as the armor, still attached to his little boots, drags behind him upstairs.
Roselia: Is this where I can actually introduce my character?
DM: Yes. You’ve been watching, sitting in the back. You’re not one to fight, but you’ve kinda helped every now and then with the heals. Tonight you’ve come along. This warrior here has caught your eye.
Valan: Is this Bob?
DM: No, the other healer.
Valan: Borb.
Balisar: Short for Borbara.
Roselia: I’ll walk up to – what’s his name? “Can I buy you a drink for that win, good sir?”
Valan: “Uh, I’ll take a heal.”
Roselia: “My name is Roselia.”

They RP a very little bit, with Valan belatedly remembering that Elkus had been spreading good rumors about their group, which of course included Valan himself.

DM: Rumors of his organ are now legendary.
Balisar: Huh.
Valan: What’s gonna be my name on the fighting circuit? It’s going to have something to do—
Aurianna: Hung Long Schlong.
Valan: Yeah… Here comes the Unit.

For some reason everyone gives Balisar crap – well, reason is never needed. Balisar becomes Trogdor as Valan renames himself to Strongbad and gets himself an animal companion named the Cheat. Valan and Tyr get a free +1 damage from their training in the pit during the downtime.

DM: News around tells of something happening on the outpost.
Balisar: “Something’s happening on the outpost!”
Elkus: Wow, I just rolled a natural 20 to chat up some ladies…

Nothing happens at the outpost for a while, everyone is still doing downtime stuff.

DM: You hear rumor, they’ve lost communication with the small outpost they had out there.
Balisar: “They’ve lost communication with the small outpost they had out there!”
Elkus: “I heard, thank you.”
Valan: “Well why settle for a peek from there when we can see everything from Lookout Mountain?”
DM: Bwow! Damn it, shut up, Valan, the song’s in my head!
Balisar: It was the DM being unable to resist the song that made it.
Valan: Talk about dull, Balisar.
Balisar: I shoot the shuttle.
DM: Damn young kids!

It wanders off into the inevitable couple minutes of Transformers quotes. The group heads off to the bounty board!

DM: “Well-timed, friends! You always seem to come here when something big is in the offing!”
Valan: Is there a bounty on the board for Hogger?
Balisar: No, we’re taking on this outpost mission. If Hogger’s on the way, we can consider it. We are an adequately-sizes group – wait. There’s six of us. That would make it a raid and we would get no experience.
Elkus: Nor credit for the quest.
Valan: But we can get better loot!
Balisar: Ooh, Gorehowl. Wonder why Hogger had it.

As a condition of going on the mission, the group is obligated to take Roselia. That works! Balisar makes a bid for more compensation, and in turn they are requested to go a bit further than the outpost after their investigating to see the lay of the lands.

Balisar: “A fair request. I believe we can accommodate this. Elkus, you’re the party face, why aren’t you having these negotiations? You’re too busy hitting on the druid, aren’t you?”
Elkus: “I haven’t hit on her yet…”
Balisar: “I just heard that! ‘Hurr, never turn down a pretty face, rrr!’”
Roselia: It’s because I’m cute.

Elkus discusses his love of the ladies and attempts to fluff himself up for the ones in the party, which leads with all the grace and finesse of Zangief into a discussion of which Warcraft race has the best, ah, equipment.

Balisar: (brandishing his wand)
Elkus: You’re quite proud of that wand, aren’t you?
Balisar: “It is the first magic item I have ever forged! It is the proof that my arcane skills grow every more mighty! Like the acorn from which a mighty oak grows, this is but the FOUNDATION of what I will forge on this CONTINENT!”
Elkus: “Then it is time to drink!”
Balisar: “You fool, that was the Decanter of Endless Water!”
Elkus: “This is the longest swig ever!”

The group has a chance to survey their path, a reasonably clear road, and obtain some supplies before setting out. A brief shopping spree has already been conducted earlier, though.

DM: If there’s anything else you need to do before leaving town, do it now.
Elkus: “Has everybody used the bathroom?”
Aurianna: “Does a bear shit in the woods?”
Elkus: “Yes, and we don’t want to step in it.

They set off on an uneventful trip, at least for one day – the road is decent and no encounters loom.

DM: As you reach about a day’s march, you find what looks like, clearly, a campsite that’s been regularly used.
Elkus: “Shall we camp here for the night?”
Balisar: “Was the description finished?”
Elkus: Oh. “Swipe the bones off to the right, it’ll be fine.”
Balisar: “Those bones are still in a corpse!” “I said SWIPE!”

They sweep the countless shinbones and ribs away to find a decent if disheveled campsite which they elect to use. Elkus takes the first watch, and on the side of the clearing towards the fort, he spies movement – small four-legged creatures! Nothing comes of this, though, and Rosalia takes next watch., but having been apparently raised by wolves, she attempts to let the creatures eat the party.

Valan: Balisar, you awake to find a wolf munching on your new wand!
DM: You were in a half-daze a moment ago, but now you are startled by the sound of a snap, as a young adult wolf has scurried into camp, attempting to eat some of the scraps nearby. He sees you’ve now noticed him, and has frozen.
Roselia: I have Animal Handling, yeah!
Balisar: (punctuating each word with a slap) Don’t! Eat! Our! Stuff!

Roselia casts Speak With Animals, and the wolf tells her they’re on the run from their home near the desert barrier and weird creatures are spilling into their territory.

DM: “We will leave if you give us food!”
Roselia: “Of course!”
Valan: Pfft, ‘we will leave if you give us food’. And they come around EVERY night.

Several more wolves emerge to get in on this, and the elder wolf warns that the enemies move in small parties of 4-5, have many arms, and antenna! Aurianna wakes for her shift and the DM attempts to claim Roselia was high the entire time.

DM: Your night goes uneventful, you don’t see the movement or the wolves she spoke of. Though near the end of it, you thought you felt a rumble. As if something was moving. Balisar, Perception!
Balisar: Poor, 9.
Valan: The gauth immobilizes you!
DM: As your watch comes to an end, just before dawn, you just barely notice… dawn is coming up quite rapidly. You do notice – mostly distracted by your awesome wand, eager to use it, you find yourself practicing!
Balisar: Ho! Ha ha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Ha!
Elkus: (beak-bending noise)

Balisar spots the rocks on the ground bouncing with a rumble! It wakes no one else, though…

Elkus: It’s some wascawwy wabbit trying to get to Albuquerque.
Balisar: “Sol, go! Tell me what you see!”
Elkus: (gun noise)
Balisar: Huh. Well, I cast Find Familiar.
DM: You see an old, balding gentlemen in a funny hat come out with your bird.

Balisar rolls terribly on Perception, but it spots some odd things on the ground. It really does appear to be a tunneling creature!

Balisar: I strike my companions’ tents with my staff. “Rise, rise!”
Valan: Please roll your damage for striking us awake.
DM: Roll attack rolls on all of the tents…
Balisar: I miss! I miss again! Oh, I missed all of them!
DM: None of you are woken. Everyone roll Perception, please… No, I’m playing. Anyway, you guys hear the sounds of your tents ruffling, something whacks them.
Elkus: (completely incoherent noises)
Balisar: “Something moves!”


Balisar: “Uh – hostilely!”
Elkus: That’s better.

The rumbling approaches with incredibly dramatic purpose! It approaches them so slowly they have the chance to form up, put on armor, and totally prepare. It goes… straight under them and continues past. Realizing that it’s headed to town, Tyr plunges his weapon into the ground in front of the path!

DM: As you do, it stops right in front of your blade.
Valan: Out comes Tiamat.
Balisar: CR 30.

The whatever-it-is tries to push the blade out of the way; Tyr attempts to resist, but gets hurled out of the way violently as the ground bursts open!

Valan: Out come the Cobra-La guards.
DM: The strange orange armored creature, four armed, its big green eyes, strange little things on top of its head, a giant spear blade.
Balisar: Would an Arcana roll tell me what the hell this thing is?
Valan: It begins with two A’s, doesn’t it?
Elkus: Aardvark!
Valan: Not aardvark.
Balisar: Aasimar? No!
Valan: It’s that weird – no. No, although that might have been what I was—
Balisar: Aanaconda?
Valan: It’s one of those weird races from, like, Eberron.

It’s a thri-kreen. Roselia knows a little of these mysterious creatures, and relays what she can of the rumors and legends surrounding them.

Roselia: Do any rumors tell me that it speaks any languages?
Balisar: Yeah, Thri-kreen.
Roselia: Let’s talk to it!
Valan: It’s Fallen pirate scum. Kill it dead.
Balisar: I’ll do this. (holding up his hands)
Valan: Spirit Bomb?
Balisar: No, that’s this. (shifting his hands back slightly)
Elkus: Oh, he’s crafting another wand.
Balisar: No, that’s this. (shifting his hands slightly) …this is very versatile posturing.
Valan: “Bah weep grah nah –“ without making any sudden moves, offer them an Energon goody.

Several more of the creatures emerge. Elkus addresses them directly, and abruptly they hear a sharp tone in their heads!

DM: “They speaks like the others in the camp we saw.”
Balisar: Oh good, I don’t have to spend 10 minutes ritual casting Comprehend Languages. AGAIN.
DM: “More coming.”
Valan: ‘More coming, Guardians…’
DM: “We don’t deal with peoples like you. But. The people that were already there may prove useful. If you useful, we let you live. You useful?”
Balisar: Elkus, be the party face, Mr. Charisma!
Elkus: Oh, I thought he was talking to you.
Balisar: The DM keeps looking at me because normally I’m the one who runs my big mouth every time we get into an NPC encounter. But for god’s sake, I have a Charisma of 10, I’m trying to pass it off to someone who can do it!

The kreen reiterates his proposal to put the PCs to use, asking if they can provide any aid. It explains that they ran into something that forced them to expand, it is not permitted to say what, and the outpost accidentally collapsed because of their digging.

DM: “Your people are alive.”
Elkus: “In what capacity?”
DM: “They are currently being held. Not imprisoned in any way. Normally we would not be so hospitable… but some of us felt creating a new enemy would not be wise.”
Elkus: “What do you intend to do with them?”
DM: “Nothing. Our goal is to find out where they came from to see if they are a threat. I assume you came from there?”
Elkus: “We are on our way to check up on that outpost.”
DM: “Good. Then we will talk.”

The kreen put their weapons away, and they talk more diplomatically, explaining that the land is shifting – the forest seems to have appeared without warning as the desert has shrunk. Worse, their own people have been infected with some sort of madness, making them hostile and murderous!

DM: “Aid us in retaking our land.”
Valan: We’re going to fight the quad-kreen. Can we tell them apart?
Balisar: The ones that have weird hypno-eyes are our enemies. “If I may. We will help you, gladly. But I must speak to something you spoke of earlier. You say you do not normally interact with our kind. Yet we are here to stay, and our leaders are most interested in exploring and surveying this land. We would rather establish peaceful relations with you now rather than have one simple encounter in which we help you, you return our men, and then our two races go their separate way. It is better for both of us in the long run if we avoid hostility.”
DM: “I can say that hostilities will not occur. If your people prove useful, further negotiations might prove useful. But understand. In our 2,000 years of history in this desert, we have not dealt with anyone. This will change many things. But if you can help us, change can be good.”
Balisar: “We will see that it is. And we will start by aiding you.”
Elkus: “Beating a great bout of xenophobia is –“
Balisar: Elkus, roll a Persuasion check!
Elkus: For what?
Balisar: Cement our negotiations!

Elkus roll a natural 20, which works out to 25. Them’s some damn swayed thri-kreen! He learns that the mad ones outnumber the sane, and only recently have they managed to free their queen to attempt to establish a healthy colony.

DM: The younger ones thought perhaps sending non-of their people in might give them a chance. Is that a big fucking cookie?
Balisar: It is.
DM: You asshole! Didn’t bring enough big fucking cookies for all of us.

Valan and Elkus exchange maniacal laughter about how the PCs will be their ‘guests of honor’ but Balisar counters their paranoia by blowing more dust off the cookbook to reveal it in fact says ‘How To Cook For Forty Humans’. Heading on to the outpost and into the sinkhole, they free the outpost guards!

Balisar: “Now let us summon our ultimate power.”
Elkus: Cookie devouring.


Balisar: Fists! Greatsword! Songs! Magic!
All: Heart!

The thri-kreen tap on the walls, opening up a passageway into vast corridors and tunnels. And ominous light pervades everything.

Balisar: A 14 on my Deception check to SHOW NO FEAR!
DM: You show ALL the fear.
Balisar: Son of a bitch!
Aurianna: You shit yourself.
Balisar: What happened if I rolled LOWER?!
DM: Um… maybe if you hadn’t rolled at all, it would have been fine.
Balisar: Oh I see how it is. Try to roleplay a little bit…

Elkus inquires and determines that the start of the madness coincides with the sudden appearance of the island to the PCs. Their insectile companion requests that they not kill the mad ones if possible, and seems understand that it may not be possible. The DM requests their marching order!

Balisar: Clerics in back keep the fighters hale and hearty. The wizard’s in the middle, so he can shed some light, and you never let that damn bard out of sight!
DM: What’s he gonna do? You find the bard singing to treasure!
Elkus: I find a female thri-kreen. “Can I fuck this…”
DM: You find a green-skinned woman.
Elkus: There we go. Welp, I’ll be busy, guys, tell me when you’re done.
Balisar: I guess we did find him stuffing pockets in the secret treasure room.

The group speculates on Elkus’s inevitable creation of the half-thri-kreen race… it is really, really unpleasant, primarily because Elkus turns out to be a deadbeat dad. They hear something up ahead, just in time to spot some of the mad ones emerge! (They totally have red hypno-eyes, too.)

DM: You see one of them has broken their weapon and is on the ground, kind of dazed as to what happened.

Initiative ensues! Balisar, first to act, casts Web. Tyr moves forward to attack! …and the audio of the rest of the encounter is, unfortunately, lost. Long story short, the PCs won. Hooray!