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Dragon of Life ([personal profile] dragonoflife) wrote on October 12th, 2015 at 11:30 pm


The group opens with Vivianne being slapped around as she so richly deserved. Last time, Krixix had been robbed and assaulted by doppelgangers! The DM discovers just how the new basement appears in the telepresence laptop image.

DM: With all these books behind me, I look GREAT!
Krixix: You look like a real DM!
DM: Yeah! I’m not, but I look like one!
Thalynmar: Good old butterbetes.

The group compliments the transcriber – oh no, the group compliments the transcription for existing. The DM reminds them of the events of the previous session.

DM: Thalynmar made a friend by giving away his precious trident!
Thalynmar: Mmmhmm.
Eben: Screwing up the encounter.
Thalynmar: Whew! Dodged that bullet.
Maldrake: Every day, someone asks Thalynmar for a new weapon…
DM: “Weapon giveaway, you say?”
Thalynmar: ‘Here, have a Krixix.’
DM: They only want useful weapons.
Thalynmar and Krixix: Ohhh.
DM: Not weapons that take one hit and then die.

In the background, Lualyrr complains angrily about the existence of Hayate the Combat Butler. The caravan disbelieves their whole tale of the maaagic stag, and off they go again! Thalynmar gets visits and conversation from his new friend, but most of the group is too distracted by the library that takes up almost the entire basement to pay attention to the game.

DM: You guys are so ADD. I’m the only one with the actual diagnosis. Oh my God.
Thalynmar: I probably have it to, but uuuhwatever. See what your books have wrought!?
DM: But the book was poison!
Eben: But I’m such a hungry reader!

A week passes, with Thalynmar bemoaning how everyone gets a pleasant week except for him because he has to listen to his money-hungry boss constantly. The DM cheerfully confirms this and waxes on about how accurate Thalynmar’s perceptions are.

DM: Day 35 features your wagon taking shelter in a small patch of wood, too small to have any position on the map and yet reasonably large as you would call these things…

The caravan hunts in the forest and relaxes for a day, leading them to an incredible meal and a peaceful night of serenity that is inevitably interrupted the next morning with battle and screams.

Eben: I don’t miss the… every night you make camp, Spot checks! Listen checks! Who’s taking first watch?
Maldrake; Who’s keeping an eye on Iglar to stop him from kicking in doors and getting us all in trouble while we’re on the boat?
DM: What do you do?
Thalynmar: Get up.
Maldrake: And see what’s going on.
Krixix: I’m gonna jump up and go for my bow!
Thalynmar: Krixix curls up into a ball and cries.
Maldrake: I’m going to jump up and grab my new bow! Then put it away! Am I geared up?
DM: I assume you didn’t sleep in your armor.
Maldrake: Then I guess I’m out for five minutes. Or 20 minutes or however long it takes.
Krixix: Have we been rested, yet?
DM: I like how I heard that as, ‘have you been arrested yet’.
Krixix: I did try to pick a fight with somebody.

Most of the group refuses to enter into combat without armor or weapons. Thalynmar heads out in his bedclothes, though, which prompts the others to a little more valor. Maldrake charges out!

DM: Give me a Strength check!
Maldrake: Is it tied down…?
DM: Worse!
Maldrake: On fire?
Eben: How’d they not know it was on fire?
DM: They’re incompetent! You slam out through the door that keeps the wagon closed and protects the goods, and promptly find yourself caught in a thick net of webbing, which you hurriedly whip through, struggling briefly with it. Your feet hit the ground, just in time for you to see a group of spiders standing off to one side. In the midst of them—
Maldrake: Welp, my character’s dead.
DM: A fearsome suicide, apparently.
Eben: Kamikaze spiders. Lazy Lob. Attercop. Tom Noddy.
DM: You are incorrect, it is not Attercop, it is Ettercap!

The spiders are webbing guards and keeping the place locked down, but not attacking Seeing this sight, Maldrake charges into the fray with very nonindicative gestures.

DM: …you’re throwing your bow?
Maldrake: No! I got my shield and flail out in the end!
Eben: If he was doing that, he would’ve said ‘bowstring!’
Maldrake: Look, you’re not gonna let me go Arthur style and start throwing an infinite supply of lances at people, so I’m just gonna use my normal stuff.
DM: No, okay, let’s be fair. I’ll let you do that if two hits kills you.
Maldrake: Hmmmm.
Eben: Hey, join the club.
Maldrake: I’ll take that if I can make a dodge, every time someone tries to attack me.
DM: You can only make Jump checks.

Spiders fling webbing at Maldrake, miss, and the group begins to retreat. Suspicious of a trap, Maldrake focuses on cutting people free.

Maldrake: People scream out, “Use the sword! Use the sword!” No! The FLAIL!
Eben: Now you’re free, but you’re bleeding out.
Maldrake: Origin of the evil paladin. Do very evil deeds, attempt to free people from spider webs with the wrong equipment. Huh, that’s oddly specific.

Another guard reports that the creatures have taken the horses, possibly to Isengard. No one says the latter, so the DM rewards them with meaningless experience. Krixix attempts to ‘find’ a shortbow. Lai angrily demands the group go get the damn horses so he can get his money, and the other employers request the same. Eben advocates using the Decanter of Endless Water to flood the planet. Into the forest they head, with Krixix promptly picking up the trail.

Maldrake: ‘THEY HAVE MY SHORTBOW! I sense it!’ Pew!
Eben: Just follow your nose! It always knows!
Maldrake: ‘The sacred treasure is ours, finally. The shortest of bows.’
Krixix: It fires toothpicks.

The forest becomes increasingly web-covered, leading the group to ponder setting the whole bitch on fire. They advance forward, rolling Perception to hear the sounds of the horses as they grow closer.

DM: You see a spot where webs have been erected in a thickness that you would describe almost like walls, between the trees.
Krixix: Erected.
Eben: Erected.
Lualyrr: Erected.
DM: But there is indeed a hole that this path leads to.
Krixix: There’s a hole.
Vivianne: A hole!
DM: What is wrong with you people?!
Thalynmar: Why are you asking that question! You know exactly what’s wrong with us!
Lualyrr: You know exactly what the problem is.
Maldrake: This is exactly what you guys are like when I’m DMing, so please, sir! Don’t pretend like you’re shocked.

Plan ‘Burn the Whole Bitch Down’ resurfaces for consideration, as the group begins debating cutting through the web. The DM reminds them that there’s a path through those walls, which puts a brief rein on their blood- and fire-lust.

Maldrake: I’m going in. Slowly.
Thalynmar: Don’t you want to send Krixix in? And he rolls a 1?
Eben: You’re gonna set off the trap, and then you’re gonna get taken down to two hit points—
Thalynmar: That’s Krixix’s job!
Krixix: I got this! I’m the booby-trap pincushion!

Krixix spies the ettercaps shooing away the spiders. Maps and minis ensue! Maldrake finds horse minis that can have a knight miniature mounted atop them in an… awkward fashion.

Maldrake: That’s right, they put their big dick inside the horse. Big dick. Locks them inside the horse.
Eben: There’s some yoga I can get into!
Maldrake: I like the idea of the horse-riding lesson. “All right, guys, get your dicks nice and hard! There’s a big hole in the top of the horse you can stick it into…”

A fire elemental miniature is passed around so everyone can get a look of said mini’s sweet sweet ass, despite the DM’s best effort to get anyone to play the game. The DM calls for initiative as the players aerate taste buds to his phenomenal infuriation. (And considering the sound they’re making, the transcriber is pretty goddamn pissed at it at this later date, too.) Eben and Raven continue their habit of rolling worst and second-to-worst on initiative. Vivianne, up first, casts Bless into the melee lines. Lualyrr is up!

Lualyrr: Let’s see... who’s next?
Eben and DM: You!
Lualyrr: After me, assholes.

Lualyrr gives Maldrake Bardic Inspiration, angrily threatening to quit the game if the choice is that or look at the map. Krixix has no bow, and Vivianne tries to offer one of her weapons… but with the problem that it’s in her pack, and thus requires all sorts of finagling to acquire.

DM: Thalynmar steps forward. And throws his trident – oh, waaait!
Thalynmar: I have a spear, asshole. 16?
DM: Thank your Bless!

Thalynmar deals 6 damage, then takes a barrage of attacks from the Ettercap he had engaged!

DM: He lashes his two claws at you. They shear off of your armor, but he leans forward and sinks his teeth, or rather, his venomous pincers, directly into your face. One punctures your forehead and the other your cheekbone.
Thalynmar: Oww!
Vivianne: The fuck?!
Maldrake: I love your descriptions, but that’s a deathblow right there! You just killed him! His TEETH went through his HEAD!
DM: No, they didn’t CLOSE! One scraped on the bone of his forehead…
Maldrake: How much damage>
DM: If I could find a d8, I’d tell you. 10 piercing damage, plus 7 poison damage.

Thalynmar, being a dwarf, gets to laugh off the poison saving throw, which requires an explanation of the difference between poison damage and the poisoned condition. Maldrake bashes one with his flail, then follows up with his Shield Mastery feat to knock it down. One in the back hurls web at Maldrake, restraining him, but Raven charged forward to whack the downed on!

Raven: I presume a 25 hits.
DM: Just a little.
Raven: That’s also a critical hit.
DM: This guy’s in trouble then. If it’s a 20 it hits automatically.
Raven: Oh, that’s good.

19 damage deals a massive wound to the Ettercap, lopping off a large portion of the creature’s hump to everyone’s amusement. Raven, too, gets restrained by webs. Eben and Maldrake argue over whether he can move to a given square as he promptly misses his eldritch blast. Vivanne burns her turn to pass Krixix her crossbow, in an amazing feat of battle efficiency. Lualyrr misses! Krixix hits for 10!

DM: Thalynmar! You are NOT restrained.
Thalynmar: Yaaay.
Eben: End his life.
DM: Beside you, the two fighters struggle! Warriors. Struggle! Writhing against the webs which restrain them.
Thalynmar: 18, I’m sure that hits.
DM: 14 hit, so yes.
Thalynmar: And I am smacking the shit out of this dude.
DM: Possibly literally.
Thalynmar: 14.
DM: Shrieking with pain, half of his face sliding to one side as you cut it—
Thalynmar and Vivianne: Ergh!
DM: -- he lunges blindly at you, attempting to end the pain and torment you put on him. He fails miserably. Every blow a miss. Maldrake!
Maldrake: I gotta break free eventually, so 22.
DM: The holy strength flows through you, and you burst free of your bonds.

Another Ettercap attacks Thalynmar, who is a bit puzzled because he seems to be tanking this fight, and the DM describes his cheek getting ripped off for 10 points of damage. Raven bursts free!

DM: All right, let’s see if this one can get his web back. He can not!
Thalynmar: How Ettercap Got His Web Back.
DM: And so he moves forward to attack the one that just burst free of the web… Missing every attack!
Raven: Can’t touch this.
DM: Apparently not.

Eben rolls a skill check to see if these things have any vulnerabilities, but they do not, so he launches a blast into the fray, slaying an Ettercap graphically. The DM’s on a weird flavor text kick tonight. Vivianne spends a while contemplating the use of Healing Word, but for some reason she has a terrible Wisdom despite being a cleric so it isn’t very much magic.

Maldrake: Thank god this is fifth edition. If this was third she couldn’t cast spells past level 3, because you need like a Wisdom of 16 to cast spells above 4th level…
Vivianne: You get 9 back. Then I’m going to cast Spiritual Weapon on… who’s doing the best right now? Who’s got the most health?
DM: You have no way of knowing. The one that has the sword has not been injured barely at all.
Vivianne: Then the one with the sword I will hit.
DM: Make your melee spell attack.
Vivianne: God damn, that was terribly low. 4.
DM: You miss.
Vivianne: No, that’s damage.
Krixix: She rolled her damage.
DM: Make your melee spell attack.
Krixix: You have to roll to hit.
Vivianne: What?!

Vivianne misses. Eben cackles over Lualyrr’ name, still incomprehensibly. Vivianne makes herself a horrible person, while Lualyrr blasts the Ettercap with Dissonant Whispers.

DM: Krixix goes. And misses. Thalynmar!
Krixix: God damn it. I was hoping you wouldn’t bank that!
DM: And yet if you had hit, you’d be like, “I’m banking that!”
Thalynmar: Oh, that’s a hit.
DM: You miss! Overconfidence penalty!
Thalynmar: (incredibly whiny voice) But I rolled over his AC before anything else was taken into consideration!
DM: You hit him. A cloud of dust appears. When he steps out he’s perfectly all right!
Thalynmar: 11 damage to that sumbitch next to me.
Eben: Maldrake!
DM: He used cleave! Up next, the Ettercap that has been killed – twitches.
Maldrake: If only he was not there, I would shoot acid upon them!
Thalynmar: It’s only Krixix.
Maldrake: Krixix is in the way, so I will not shoot acid upon them.
Thalynmar: And Dex is his main stat, so he can probably dodge and take half the damage.

Maldrake misses, remembers his Bless, still misses, remembers his Bardic Inspiration, and hits. The DM remembers how to do math, and Maldrake misses. Raven uses his shield to save Thalynmar from the bite attack, then attempts to use Sweeping Attack!

Raven: How’s that work?
DM: You’ve forgotten already!
Thalynmar: So have you.
DM: I’m not playing his character, it’s okay to forget.

The excellent sweep strikes two ettercaps, and them Maldrake blocks a crit. The webcam software blocks the view of Raven, infuriating the DM.

DM: It drives me crazy how it’s got this software that always wants to pop up no matter what the fuck you want out of it. Anyway –
Thalynmar: “Fuck you, camera!”
DM: Yeah. ‘Here, look at our software instead of what you actually wanted to see, you jackasses! We’re Logitech! Normally we produce good products, but today we just decided to go whack off in the backyard and call it programming!’
Thalynmar: ‘Our name rhymes with monopoly!’
Raven: Hey, I’m a programmer and I program better than that.
DM: Raven, you take 5 piercing damage—
Eben: That’s what you get for your programming comment!
DM: 8 poison damage, and you must make a Constitution saving throw.
Thalynmar: Or start vomiting up spiders.
Eben: Ewwwww.

Raven laughs it off hardcore, to the amazement of everyone; they contemplate going back to 3rd edition, where he can’t roll above 3. The next Ettercap is forced to run from the effect of Dissonant Whispers, and a thundering number of AOOs slaughter him without the DM even bothering to make the group roll. Eben, demonstrating that he is the bitch of 5E, rolls terribly, and then Vivianne lowballs the damage of her Spiritual Weapon, then somehow kills all the horses!

Vivianne: Do you need healing, Thalynmar? Do you need healing, Thalynmar?
DM: So what are you doing?
Vivianne: Thalynmar, do you need healing?
Thalynmar: I don’t NEED it need it.
Eben: You’ll be glad you got it when the spiders show up.

Lualyrr again refuses to look at the map, leading the group to ponder setting up an elaborate rig to output the webcam video to the TV she’s near. She hammers the final Ettercap with Dissonant Whispers, and then Krixix finishes it with 15.

DM: You open his back and let his organs spill out. Web spews as if he’s pooping himself.
Krixix: EWWWWWWW!
Thalynmar: All over your chest. You smear it around in disgust.
KRIXIX: OOOOOHHHHH IT’S SO GROSS!
Thalynmar: You’re suddenly erect.

The DM obstinately keeps them in combat time to see if they can beat the spiders to the horses. Maldrake smashes them with an incredible Animal Handling roll, while Krixix, eager to loot, spots a hanging web heavy with loot!

Krixix: MY SHORTBOW!
Thalynmar: N—no.
Maldrake: It’s the heaviest shortbow.
Thalynmar: It’s wrought iron.
Eben: Go spring the trap meant to kill the Predator.

Considering their progress, the DM drops them out of combat time and rules that they flee the lair before the spiders reach them, and take the bundle with them – despite speculations that it’s the Ettercap equivalent of a Super Mutant gore bag. They get their loot: a large sword, a craptop of bones, a rotten sack that spills out money and gems, and a SHORTBOW!

Eben: Wow, I’m pretty sure some roadrunning halfling came and grabbed it already.
Maldrake: He saw it falling out…
Krixix: Sleight of Hand…
Maldrake: Natural 1, natural 1, natural 1!
DM: You did not run at the shortbow so fast you got tangled up in the webs.
Thalynmar: Is it HIS shortbow?
DM: No.
Maldrake: It’s another shortbow!

The greatsword has sun markings, is Celestial and nature, and is surprisingly light – it’s name is Solipraxis, which Maldrake refuses to write.

Maldrake: “Blah blah blah SUN.” Can you please write it down for me? It looks pretty cool…

The weapon almost immediately attunes to Maldrake, demonstrating itself to be a Greatsword of Warning, which the players immediately declare their love for. The shortbow is made of iron grips and strings and flame-inscribed limbs, but it is repulsive! It is a +1 weapon named Sparkreaver. Krixix begs for it, despite it being repulsive. They return to the camp, and are cheered and lauded for their saving of the horses! And asked if they’ve been to the Cloud District.

Maldrake: The first time, I thought the Cloud District was a whorehouse I needed to go to.
Eben: I just assumed it was like Soho.

For absolutely no reason and without prelude, the DM begins adjudicating a combat between Krixix and Maldrake. Maldrake finally realizes this is happening some time in and rages, leading the DM to switch to Thalynmar.

DM: One of the guards you’ve noticed around just by virtue of her being a fellow dwarf stumps over, takes a seat next to you, and without a word pulls a flask out of her cloak and passes it over.
Thalynmar: “I wish I could return the favor.”
DM: “Eh. Ye’ve made this trip somewhat easier on us. You’ve got a long way to go before yer ready to travel this road on a regular basis, but you’re not bad for a novitiate of the trade.”
Thalynmar: “Ah, thank ya for the kind words. Hopefully it’s a one-way trip…”

Maldrake grumbles that no one came to help them, leading Eben to complain that they’re still getting shit over it.

Maldrake: Well, there’s a great stag to kill, EVERYBODY GO KILL THE GREAT STAG, WOOOOO! Spiders took our horses, RUN AWAAAAY!
DM: To be honest, the answer there is that the merchants who weren’t affected weren’t going to send their bodyguards out. They were afraid to lose their men for no personal gain.
Maldrake: Next time they’re in trouble—
Thalynmar: I’m still gonna help.
Maldrake: Damn it!
Thalynmar: That’s just who I am.

Thalynmar chats up the dwarf, who is very set in her ways about traveling and takes some times to explain how he could be doing better – in friendly terms. Krixix loses money gambling!

Krixix: 16 on my Sleight of Hand to give him fake money!
Eben: You just happen to have fake money.
Thalynmar: Did you just whittle some coins out of wood in front of him?
DM: Where did you get fake money.
Krixix: I dunno, man, but come on. I got a 16 on my Sleight of Hand to steal it back. (resigned) Four coins?

Krixix wins three coins back, leading his opponent to stop, and then he promptly steals the last one back.

Raven: So what’s that give you? You’re even on money?
DM: He’s even but behind in morality. Same as always.

The group angrily complains about the use of gold in 5E, being still under the 3.5 mindset of “gold is just magic items you haven’t acquired yet”. On they travel, reaching the 46th day of their journey. They awaken in a sweat to the shocking warmth and pouring rain of the miserable day.

Thalynmar: How cold is the water out of the Decanter of Endless Water?
DM: It is room temperature.
Thalynmar: Probably colder than this! (miming dousing himself)
DM: It is so humid you don’t notice the distance.

The DM continues to wax poetic about the misery of the day, but reassures them that they’ll make it to an inn by the end of the day and they’ll be able to sleep indoors and dry off.

DM: Food and drink… whipped cream pouring like waterfalls…
Maldrake: No. No. Let me just get this out of the way. Have they all been talking about this.
DM: No, not ALL of them—
Maldrake: Okay.That sonovabitch is on FIRE. It’s on fire, it’s destroyed, there’s no inn, it’s gone.
Thalynmar: No roof…
Maldrake: I can already tell that it’s gone, and we get to investigate what happened to everybody’s favorite in.
Eben: When will we arrive?
DM: IF they manage not to get bogged down three times, in the evening. That’s not a surefire thing at this point.
Eben: Do you roll for that?
DM: Maybe I do. Maybe I don’t.
Maldrake: Maybe he just looks at the book and it says what happens.
DM: Maybe there’s a head in the road. I’m just saying.
Maldrake: There’s a snake in your boots!
DM: And as the caravan rounds the corner that is indeed what you managed to glimpse through the pouring rain ahead.
Krixix: A severed head in the middle of the road.
DM: A human head sitting in the middle of the road.
Krixix: Is he.. buried?
Maldrake: No, it’s a head on a spike.
DM: No spike. Would you like to approach it?
Vivianne: “Stop the wheel, stop everything, there’s a head!”

The whole group advances past the slowed caravan to approach the head. Eben plots to shove it around with Mage Hand, suspecting a trap, but as they get that close they can clearly see it is a buried person! …He still pushes it around with Mage Hand to check for a reaction, which he gets. The group hustles over to give him aid.

DM: The first thing you see is the runes that have been slowly melting off of his forehead, but are still legible enough to read “Oathbreaker”.
Thalynmar: Oh noes!

Krixix, of all people, is eager to start shoveling. Raven offers his crowbar to the cause… how that works, no one knows. The person is unconscious and dehydrated, so they fire the Decanter point-blank at his face! Or possibly Lualyrr just gives him some aid, with Maldrake’s help.

DM: As you all begin advancing toward him, the very tall form of Sulesdeg stomps up to you. “Hold on…”
Eben: (immediately cracking up at the slow voice the DM uses)
Krixix: “What is it, big buddy?”
Eben: The caravan’s not gonna stop for this guy.
DM: “We shouldn’t go freeing oathbreakers. If someone went to all this trouble, he must have done something pretty serious.”
Maldrake: Well, I wasn’t gonna free him—
Krixix: I was!
DM: You people were whipping out shovels and crowbars.
Krixix: “Sulesdeg, with all due respect, I think everyone deserves to hear their side of the story told! It’s possible he’s just misunderstood and not actually an oathbreaker!”
Eben: Someone’s projecting.
Krixix: Shut up, you undead! “I have seen innocent men rot in jail!”
DM: “Jail is one thing… buried to the neck is another.”
Krixix: “Not really! Do you see a prison?”
DM: “Where did he come from?”
Krixix: “Let’s dig him up and find out!”
DM: (shifting to the Lai voice) “Ach, I agree! He’s not worth our time! Come on! Don’t waste time wrestlin’ with this lowlife! Time is money!”
Maldrake: Let me check my paladin book.
Eben: You’re wrathful, if this guy broke the law…
DM: You’ll be steering the wagon towards him!

The DM points out that other wagons passed this guy by, while Maldrake decides indeed he has no paladin obligation to interfere. The group debates the difference between burying a man and simply killing him outright, while Lualyrr revives the guy (to her surprise). The NPC is surprised to see a drow!

Maldrake: ‘Nooo! I’d rather die than accept water from a drow!’
Thalynmar: Bites his tongue and bleeds to death.
Maldrake: This oathbreaker’s racist too!
Vivianne: Carve ‘racist’ into him.

Over Lai’s protests and refusals to pay, the group agrees to at least hear him out. The wagons roll on as they huddle around to listen.

DM: “You wish the truth?”
Krixix: “You can’t handle the truth!”
Maldrake: “When I was done raping the babies, and eating the dog…”
Eben: What does that have to do with oathbreaking?
Maldrake: ‘I promised I wouldn’t eat babies!’
Thalynmar: ‘I promised I’d leave them some too!’
DM: “My name is Aiden Wythe…”
Maldrake: You make me not want to play that character. He never raped children. He just had a lot of sex with catwomen. Because he was into that. He went to jail, he paid the price for his crimes…
DM: He’s done his time, no one’s arguing that.
Lualyrr: Devourer of kittens.
DM: “I was… to wed. But I broke the engagement. Her father… and her brothers were bandits. They wished me to join their ways, and I refused. This was their punishment.”
Maldrake: Someone check if he’s lying.
Lulayrr: My Wisdom’s not high… oh, but I got a natural 20. It came when I needed it.
DM: I’m ignoring you. Your rolls no longer count.
Vivianne: Modified 20.
Thalynmar: 11, bitches!

The group rolls pretty well, all told, and they believe the man is telling the truth.

Krixix: “Where exactly are these bandits? Are they rich?”
Thalynmar: Answer the second one first.
Maldrake: What bandits have arranged marriages and get mad at people who go back on them? What kind of bandits believe in marriage?
DM: Answer the second one first.
Eben: Why is it this bandit wished you to marry his daughter? Is it because you have cups of pudding?
DM: He’s not sure which of your insane questions to answer first.

Sulesdeg shakes his head and tells them to do as they see fit. Krixix attempts to take his shovel, but Sulesdeg doesn’t have a shovel. They swiftly dig the guy out!

Maldrake: (sighing) I feel like this is going to bite us in the butt…
DM: You pull him out of the muddy hole—
Vivianne: Mmmmm.
DM: --and water from the pouring rain sluices down his body. You all immediately recognize the symbol on his forearm. You last saw it back in the… uh, the…
Thalynmar: One of the orders we’re a part of?
DM: Yeah, back in the, uh… the antler inn.
Krixix: Is he a member of the Harpers?
DM: Yes! You recognize the tattoo.
Krixix: “AH HA!” (baring his forearm) “We’re here to save you, buddy!”
DM: You don’t have a tattoo.
Krixix: I’m a member of the Harpers!
DM: But you don’t have a tattoo!
Lualyrr: I’ll show him my pin!
Maldrake: (observing her gesture) You flash one nipple at him.

With the affiliation revealed, the NPC admits he had not been truthful with them. They cram him back in the hole and bury him. In the actual campaign, the NPC explains he had been investigating the Cult of the Dragon – he’d been tracking stolen loot north as they had, but the Cult discovered his spying and convinced the merchants he was with that he was going to sell them out to bandits. They argue with him for a bit over whether he should come with them and stay hidden, or set off on his own to report the way he wants to.

Krixix: “You’re in no position to be traveling solo. Why don’t you give us all the information you have?”
Thalynmar: ‘And we’ll put you RIGHT back in the ground.’
Krixix: “I’M not the one who said that.”
Thalynmar: You should just learn ventriloquism.

They push food and water on the guy, and apparently a crowbar. (Crowbars are the Universal Gizmos of the campaign.) Lualyrr is particularly generous.

DM: He thanks you profusely and tells you you’re a testament to the Harpers.
Vivianne: I gave him some rations too.
DM: Oh sure! Suck-up! He shuns you! SHUNS you! He is effusive in his thanks for saving you.
Krixix: Shouldn’t have gotten caught in the first place.
Thalynmar: You’re an ass.
Krixix: I was the one saying, “DIG HIM UP! DIG HIM UP!” Now you’re like, ‘pff, you’re an animal.’
Thalynmar: Get out of sight, trash.

Eben speculates about giving the NPC the Decanter, as he wonders why they even still have waterskins – though the DM points out that a waterskin doesn’t boom like an engine when you use it.

Krixix: “Remember, it was Krixix who helped you!”
Thalynmar: I give Krixix a quick kick to the shin.
Krixix: “Ow! Uh, it was us…”

The NPC introduces himself as Carlon, and somehow they all end up vowing to meet up in Waterdeep for an orgy; said vow takes the form of a song. They return to the wagon at last as Carlon leaves, only to find the wagons bogged down. Oh, if only they could get to the inn! They struggle onwards, and in the distance they spy the inn in the distance as night begins to fall.

Maldrake: It’s not burned down or destroyed?
Krixix: And there was much rejoicing amongst the caravan!

With some of the group asked to go ahead, they elect to all go for meta but wise reasons. To the inn they head, stepping inside to the first comfortable dryness of the day. In they step, find the common room almost deserted and the innkeeper refusing to meet their looks.

Lualyrr: “What’s wrong?”
DM: “Ah – y’you’re here for lodging, aren’t you?”
Eben: “But you’ve no rooms to spare.”
DM: “You understand entirely. All the private rooms are taken and the common room is reserved for – a private party.”
Eben: “A place this size, you’ve no room to put up anyone.”
DM: “I’m afraid so.”
Thalynmar: “Where IS everyone?”
Krixix: “Where is this party you speak of?”
DM: He looks more with his eyes than with any sort of gesture at the five people sitting at one of the many tables.
Maldrake: “THEY’ve rented out the entire place.”
DM: You see a guy with a curly wig who looks vaguely like you’d expect a judge to look like. A young woman, two people with faintly disreputable airs about them, and an elderly scholar. As you turn to look at them, the young woman offers you a wicked smirk and a little wave.
Krixix: “HI! Evening, ladies, gentlemen! Sir!” I’m gonna go ahead and walk on over. Grab a chair, and sit myself down with them. “Hi, how are ya all?”
DM: “We were enjoying our privacy, thank you!”
Krixix: “Excellent, I would love to enjoy some privacy of my own too –“
DM: “Good luck!”
Krixix: “But turns out the entire place has been booked somehow.”
DM: “There’s a big wide outside that’s just FULL of privacy.”
Krixix: “Absolutely, but it’s pretty gross out there. In fact it would be better privacy with four walls and a roof—“
Maldrake: WHY can’t we be evil chaaracters? Fucking ONE time, I wanna kill some goddamn PCs.

Maldrake bitterly predicts that the stable has also been completely rented out, which the elderly scholar confirms, claiming their horses are ‘picky’, and Eben bitterly names the innkeep ‘Coward McDucketts’. In an undertone, he confirms that the party they see has threatened him as well as paid him – the two men are bandit captains! Krixix and the party continue to bait each other, with the NPCs continuing to be resolute douchebags about the entire process. Maldrake wonders if he can justifiably intervene, then immediately discovers the innkeep hasn’t been paid in full for his entire establishment.

Maldrake: “WELL! It seems a group has not paid for their rooms in full! Please come forward to the innkeeper here and pay the rest of the gold for having all the rooms! …Do not turn around, I just yelled this out.”
Eben: Jeez, I turned you into Iglar that quickly?!
Maldrake: I’m not playing games—
Eben: Just draw your flail and start swinging it!
Maldrake: I am playing the tenets of vengeance right now, and these are a lesser evil in the way of other evil.
Krixix: Can I use Sleight of Hand to like pick a weapon off one of them?
Maldrake: Have they responded at all?
DM: “No thanks!” You can make your roll.
Maldrake: I pull out my sword and slam it into the ground.
Krixix: This is gonna be the fun part… ah ha! I reroll natural 1s! Thank God! A 30!
Maldrake: “I believe I said to pay up. You can pay up, or put out.”
Krixix: Ha, he said put out. I am stealing someone’s weapons…
Maldrake: We’re not playing Ultima Online, where you can steal someone’s plate off their body while they’re wearing it.

Krixix manages to steal a sweet wand, while Maldrake rambles on in challenge. The girl cheerfully accuses Maldrake of compensating for something.

Lualyrr: DM, is she prettier than me?

A long silence.

DM: You and your weird questions, Lualyrr.
Lualyrr: No no, we’re gonna get into a bitch fight, right here.

They do indeed, exchanging jibes and zings while the rest of the party eggs them on. Maldrake looks at Krixix in a mixture of surprise and annoyance.

Maldrake: …keep – keep stealing stuff.
Eben: You’re encouraging the very thing you’ll have to club his head in for later.

Krixix fails his roll to pick pockets, and the judge snatches his hand away. The party immediately declares their intent to cut down the NPCs!

DM: “Well, I guess our charms will have to be on the OUTSIDE for a little while, after all—“
Lualyrr: Vicious Mockery.
DM: Hold on!
Maldrake: No, go for it! Do it! Before they have a chance to get up and start dicking around, throw out your blades!
Eben: Take it outside, never start anything inside the bar…
Maldrake: Look, the ghost of Patrick Swayze told me it was now time to not be nice! He also told me Road House 2 didn’t happen. I tend to agree.
DM: The girl saves against your vicious mockery, and as the bandit captains kick over the table, they all dismiss their disguises.
Lualyrr: Oh great.
DM: The two bandit captains simply draw their swords. But in place of the three others, you see – one of these… (showing a picture from the Monster Manual, in this case a manticore) …one of THESE.. (showing a picture of a spectator)
Eben: A fucking beholder, really?
Krixix: Are you just flipping through there and looking for what looks nasty?
DM: No, I did that beforehand when I prepared that encounter. And one of these! (opening the book to a red dragon)
Krixix: A fricking dragon?
Vivianne: How did a fucking dragon fit in the thing?!
DM: It’s – Medium, it’s only Medium size.
Vivanne: Of course.
DM: And next time you shall get into combat, with the things that aren’t four assassins.

On the face of this awesome if zoo-level encounter, the game comes to an end with the promise of violence… NEXT TIME!
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