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Dragon of Life ([personal profile] dragonoflife) wrote on November 26th, 2015 at 06:02 pm

Krixix: It’s the story—
DM: Don’t you even!
Krixix: Of Krixix!
DM: I will go over there and kill you, Krixix. Kill you dead like your character.
Krixix: It’s the story of Krixix and company.
DM: Thalynmar, take him out.
Lualyrr: Can I have a glazed hole, please?
DM: Give me five minutes…

The discussion gets only worse from here. The DM recaps: last time the caravan had taken on two people, a tattooed mage and the gnome. The gnome had claimed the cultists put bone slivers in the characters’ porridge, and asked to talk to them later. The PCs pick through their gruel, trying to find more bone slivers, but what they find is difficult to identify.

DM: This isn’t exactly your high-quality tavern gruel. This is orphan-grade.
Lualyrr: Please, sir, can I have some more?

The players briefly ponder if they even know Eben is undead. Maldrake passes away his gruel, while Krixix attempts to eat carefully and rediscovers the aforementioned orphan-grade gruel issue. He cracks open some rations instead.

DM: You open a tin. Orphan-grade gruel!
Thalynmar: I was gonna say it’s all bone fragments. “Huh.”
DM: “No thank you, I brought my own bone slivers from home.”
Eben: Crunchy!

Krixix bemoans his repugnant shortbow, and Lualyrr rolls a Constitution save – though she suspects that the roll may have been fake to keep them guessing. Either way, she suffers no ill effects from her ingestion. The day passes, and after most people bed down in the evening, the gnome Janma approaches them, is riddled with arrows, and casually greets them nonetheless a la Data in First Contact.

DM: Janma Gleamsilver strides boldly up to your fire, and takes a seat as if she belongs there.
Raven: Hey look!
Krixix: A sandwich!
DM: Raven does not go hungry.
Krixix: Raven made a sandwich while the rest of us ate bone sliver gruel.
Maldrake: “So what more do you have to tell us of these dragon cults?”
DM: “We don’t work for the same people, but we are on the same side. We share the belief that the Cult of the Dragon must be stopped. I need to know what they’re carrying in those wagons and where they’re taking them. Will you help me find out?”
Maldrake: “I’m not exactly the stealthy type. I will do what I can.”
Thalynmar: “We have a stealthy one right here!”
Krixix: “Does somebody need sneaking?”
DM: I don’t know if your character can remember what it’s in there, but in-character you DO know what’s in those wagons.
Maldrake: Oh, dragon eggs.
DM: No – loot. Treasure. That’s what you’ve been tracking the entire time. I know it’s been a bit, so you may have forgotten.
Maldrake: I thought it was the dragon eggs that they took out of…
DM: No, you guys wrecked those eggs. You smashed the hell out of them.

They tell Janma what they know, and she inquires of them where the treasure came from – which is apparently Spindlethrift, or Pallet Town. They’re suspicious of Janma’s curiosity. For some reason Krixix gets strangled.

Thalynmar: “They’re bringing back Tiamat. We’ve got to stop that from happenin’.”
Maldrake: “We killed one of their half-dragon men.”
DM: “So you all are heroes already… But you haven’t cut them off at the source yet.”
Maldrake: “We saw the leader. Female…”
Krixix: “Not all dragons die when you cut off their head. Some just grow another.”
DM: “At this point I think we’ve only tussled with the tip of the tail. Now we’re climbing, trying to find the back. A good place to put a dagger, don’t you think?”
Krixix: “All right, I’m done with these metaphors. I’m trying to fuck with this Cult!”
DM: “Yes, that’s what we were establishing. You’re bad at Thieves’ Cant, aren’t you.”
Thalynmar: “Burgle my shurgle, nurgle!”
DM: ‘Welp, got me licked!’ “So are you going to stay the whole route, then?”
Thalynmar: “That’s the plan.”

Janma tells them the mage who joined, Jos, is a Red Wizard of Thay – and they debate a while whether or not his hat is stupid. Also the DM explains in very brief what the Red Wizards of Thay ARE, since not all of the group is familiar with the setting.

Thalynmar: I was just confusing them for the Dragonlance red wizards…
DM: They’re neutral! Watch out!
Eben: They’re evin neutralists!
DM: They follow the red moon! Which reincarnates Prinnies! I’m sure Lualyrr could tell you more about the Red Wizards.
Eben: Lualyrr.
Thalynmar: Tell us more.
Eben: Lualyrr.
Lualyrr: Well, they come to a place called Thay.
Eben: Lualyrr.
DM: I’m only picking on you because you already know Forgotten Realms.
Eben: Lualyrr.
DM: Eben’s stuck, someone slap him.

Lualyrr gives a little explanation on the Red Wizards, of varying relevance to the situation – though she does point out that he’s clearly trying to hide his affinity. Janma questions why a Red Wizard is cozying up to the Cult and what he’s getting out of it, and what the Cult is gaining. The PCs speculate on this.

Thalynmar: ‘Wizards are generally not foolish, but who am I to say? I have a Wisdom of 9.’
DM: What’s your Intelligence, good sir?
Thalynmar: 8.
DM: You’re using too-big words.
Thalynmar: …I have to lay down.
DM: ‘I’m fully intelligent but only a third of the time, the rest of the time I have to sleep.’ ‘Welp, that’s me out!’
Thalynmar: Let me know when you guys are ready!
DM: Of course we already have a catchphrase for that in this group…
Lualyrr: “Iglar sleep now!”
Eben: (apropos of nothing) Racist baby beer cavalry!

Eben questions what she wants them to do, and Lualyrr questions WHY she is involved – to which Janma replies that her organization is interested.

Thalynmar: “Whatis your organization, if I don’t mind asking?”
Krixix: You DON’T mind asking.
Thalynmar: I KNOW!
DM: “If you’ve heard of the Harpers, it isn’t them.” It’s definitely not the Order of the Gauntlet.
Thalynmar: “Are ye part of the same troupe?”
DM: “Let’s just say our circles are slightly different.”
Eben: Ravenloft!
DM: Eben babbles nonsense!

Janma tells them she’s secretive in case they get tortured – but assures the PCs she has contingencies in place to ensure her captors wouldn’t have time to torture her. (It is probably the Toothpick of the Magi.)

Eben: (apropos of nothing) Numenoreans did look like Magneto.

Janma warns them to keep an eye on the Red Wizard, but despite their predictions she has no task for them. The entire group is distracted by Skype, because Lualyrr’s account gets constant messages. The DM bitterly rules that Gleamsilver wanders off while they’re having an idiotic side conversation. Thalynmar mocks the transcriber for having to repeatedly write his name, but the transcriber has the last laugh by explaining he merely copies and pastes it!

Thalynmar: Stupid convenient computer commands.

Maldrake quietly mocks Krixix for his history of stealth in this campaign, and though Krixix is eager to do it, the group isn’t convinced he can pull it off…

Maldrake: Remember, if you are caught…
Maldrake and Krixix: We disavow all knowledge of you.
Krixix: “Here is your cyanide pill.”
Thalynmar: He gets caught, they bring him over. “Hey guys, what’s going on?” “Uh, we don’t know him.” “We’ve seen you with him. Time and time again.”
Maldrake: “All halflings look alike.”
Raven: This message will self-destruct…

Vivianne offers to take a fake fall as a guard, which somehow transmutes to Krixix taking her hostage. Whose side he’s on when he does this is unclear, although apparently the entire party has stolen his shortbow.

Krixix: The next day I’m crucified on the side of the road, as everybody else is moving along. With the word ‘thief’ tattooed on my forehead.
Thalynmar: I start chiseling out his headstone.
DM: Peparoni and cheese.

Krixix spends the next few days observing the caravan. A slight flaw in this plan appears when no one, especially Krixix or the DM, knows what he’s looking for.

Krixix: He just asked me, ‘you want to sneak out again?’ Sure! But what am I looking for…
Thalynmar: Keep an eye on the wizard!

It waxes into a flurry of puns, which the DMM handily wins – or to really put it in a more appropriate perspective, everyone but the DM loses. Maldrake vows to put on headphones that shut out the entire world and lock the DM outside.

DM: Eben. As the only member of the group who does not sleep, you are the first one privy to the tumult and commotion. Just two days from your meeting, the morning dawns with a surge of shrieks and activities!
Eben: Shrieks. Shrieks of pain?
DM: You would guess rage and horror.
Maldrake: Yeah! There’s a baby on that bear!
DM: The cultists’ wagon! And moments later, you see coming around the wagons that are between you and them many of the cultists surging towards you with madness in their eyes!
Maldrake: I would wake up if they’re anywhere near me, with that special fucking sword I wear!
DM: Abruptly, as they step within range of that effect, all of you are jolted from your slumber.
Maldrake: I instantly hit the button. The release-tent button. The tent flies up! It acts like a net on bad guys.

The cultists don’t all have weapons, but a couple are bared. When they see the PCs awake, they stop and bellow for Krixix the murderer to come out and face justice!

Krixix: “What did I do…?”
Thalynmar: Here we go!
Maldrake: What’s he done today?
Thalynmar: I knew this day would be coming.
Maldrake: Do we get a reward for turning him in?
Krixix: “No?”
DM: You’re a paladin. Justice is its own reward.
Maldrake: Oh, you’re right. REWARD!
Krixix: That’s justice only if it is proper, not if it is false!
Maldrake: As long as I don’t know it’s false. Ignorance is a tenet of the paladin code!
DM: The rest of the caravan is surging to wakefulness and coming up on your caravan as they speak. You can easily spy the tall form of Sulesdag.
Krixix: I was gonna say! I need Sulesdag! I’m innocent this time!
Thalynmar: This time.
Maldrake: ‘What about the OTHER times?’
Thalynmar: Don’t say that aloud.
Krixix: ‘There are no other times. This time.’

Krixix demands proof that he is a murderer (this time), while Eben poses the more general question of who is actually dead. Sulesdag, who may or may not have been huffing helium the entire night, takes charge. The cultists report that one of their number has been slain in the night, and Krixix having already killed one makes him the most likely suspect. Eben insists on RPing Sulesdag.

Eben: ‘All right, let’s see if we can discover the truth behind your accusations.’
DM: Sulesdag has taken on a life of his own!
Eben: It’s like the T800, I just started taking on his voice on my own.

The cultists at least have a body for evidence. Krixix protests he has an alibi!

DM: You were ‘sleeping in your tent all night’, Mr. I’m Not Stealthy At All.
Eben: Wait, why is it whenever we make a choice that seems to be the right thing, it bites us even harder in the ass?
Thalynmar: Because he’s a good DM. He’s an evil DM, but a good one.
Eben: If you had just handed over your trident… or if you’d just snuck into the cultist camp and murdered another one like you were supposed to…
DM: If you’d just gone out and murdered a cultist, you wouldn’t have been accused of murdering a cultist unjustly. It’s technically true!
Eben: This campaign was written for good characters!
DM: And yet nevertheless the cultists are pointing at Krixix and demanding his blood! The rest of the caravan, hearing their cries…
Krixix: “You know something? I have proven myself time after time in this caravan.”
Eben: When?
Krixix: “With… everybody else’s help…”
DM: The rest of the caravan is looking to you, his compatriots, as if searching for a sign in your faces whether or not you believe Krixix has done this deed.
Krixix: That’s terrible, because yes, they DO believe that Krixix has done this!
Thalynmar: I know he’s CAPABLE of it…
Krixix: The difference is, his Wisdom and Intelligence are pretty low so he’s not going to do it without the backing of his comrades.
DM: They clearly remember, on the one hand, Krixix’s angry protestations that SOMEONE STOLE HIS SHORTBOW! But on the other hand they also remember the many times you have gone out and saved their asses.
Thalynmar: I do wanna point out that they’re being racists. ‘Oh, short sword, so it has to be a HALFLING!’
Krixix: I have a rapier. I don’t carry a short sword.
Thalynmar: “Well, Krixix only owns one sword—“
DM: “He probably stole it. To replace his shortbow. Has short in the name.”
Eben: If y’all hadn’t stolen his shortbow in the first place, you wouldn’t be dealing with murdered companions…

Begrudgingly, the PCs offer their support of Krixix, and Sulesdag seems to heed their words – the repeated ass-savings seem to have earned them some credit with him. Krixix claims the cultists are blaming him because he had to kill one of theirs in self-defense, while the cultists accuse Krixix of knifing their comrade for his purse and lying. Maldrake finally emerges from the tent, having put on his armor.

Maldrake: If they had read the rules of D&D, they’d know that us stealing money was fucking worthless.

Sulesdag examines the ground for prints, leading to many an Aragorn joke while Thalynmar voices his support of Krixix (and Eben voices mild skepticism).

Krixix: “I wouldn’t have done it this sloppily!”
Eben: You’re the one who threw a dagger at someone just for laughing at him!

The transcriber ponders what would have happened if the DM had exchanged secret notes with Krixix beforehand… Krixix speculates whether or not he could have delivered the blow, but the wound was clearly something a person of his height could have dealt.

Krixix: Of course he had to change that, because I’m the one who brought up that idea…
DM: The back! The back is a pretty big area. At the show of support from his comrades, the crowd seems to break in favor of Krixix. “He’s already saved us a few times!”
Raven: (staring longingly at pastry through the webcam) I need those donut holes.
DM: “He’s a thief! A thief and a robber! He murdered our companion, you can’t let him get away with that!”

The guy Krixix robbed in gambling speaks up, and apparently discovers a snake in his boot. The DM cheerfully and proudly reminds Krixix of this thievery before, since the latter has forgotten.

Thalynmar: This is like Chrono Trigger. All your past actions have a…. Outcome’s gonna be the same.
DM: You find yourself being sentenced to death.
Thalynmar: That was the DM, he was like… (singing) “I am evil Crono! I am evil Crono. I am evil Crono!”
Maldrake: She fell, better go get that necklace first. I can’t wait too long, grab arm…
DM: A voice calls out from the back of the crowd, “If he’s a thief, why don’t we check and see if anything’s missing!” The cultist realizes exactly what that would entail.
Eben: Oh! The loot!
Krixix: “Sounds like a good plan to me!”
Eben: (as Sulesdag) “Now let’s go look at what the cultists are hiding…”
DM: “Hold on, hold on, hold on. Hold on.” Azbara Joss emerges from the wagon. This is already the most words you’ve heard him speak. “Now far be it from me to, um, make any decisions on the matter—“
Maldrake: Okay, Joker.
DM: “Listen, as I understand the situation, there is no proof on either side. We cannot conclusively prove that the halfling is innocent, we cannot conclusively prove that the halfling is guilty, therefore we have no choice but to put our faith in the gods.”
Eben: Trial by combat.
Vivianne: Oh god.
Krixix: “I am innocent!”
DM: “No, no, no. Trial by combat would simply worsen the situation. We have no alternative but to accept that whoever did this crime will pay for it at the mercy of gods, rather than the mercy of men.”
Maldrake: That’s when he just gets hit by lightning.
Eben: ‘I knew someone with that philosophy once, he was a Red Wizard of – ahem!’
DM: Charm Person.
Eben: I’m not a person!
DM: Well, he said it first, folks! Dominate Monster.
Eben: He doesn’t know that!
DM: But do YOU know he doesn’t that? It’s an illusion.
Eben: It’s an illusion of a spell he doesn’t know, and I fall for it.

The cultists accept that with an extremely melodramatic speech, as he calls down imprecations on the criminal while staring directly at Krixix.

DM: “May he be smoten! May he be stricken with boils in his crotch and private area! May his ass flame with a thousand hemorrhoids!”
Thalynmar: I am keeping a super eye on the rest of the cultists to see if any of them are casting spells.
Eben: I’m tempted to cast Thaumaturgy and have one of them do a flaming fart.
DM: As he continues to recite a litany long past the point where it’s clever, staring at Krixix the entire time…

Krixix offers a few words for the fallen cultists – out of character, because he knows he will get murdered. Hanging gardens are brought up as the group makes a careful distinction between a sober member and a drunken member.

Maldrake: I’m telling you guys, we put the money together, we can get a midget stenographer! He’s just sitting over there, listening, typing away!
Krixix: I want a pocket stenographer.
Thalynmar: Half a man, half a soul.

The caravan rolls on, and two days pass. Krixix wisely stays away from the cultists, while the players speculate that the cultists may be trying to kill them. But the caravan at last reaches WATERDEEP!

DM: A spelljamming vessel lands!
Krixix: This used to be known as New Orleans, now it’s known as Waterdeep!
Thalynmar: The goddess Katrina came through.

This chapter is at last complete, and the players get to level up! They also enjoy Mom’s spaghetti and bacon pancakes. Safer Sephiroth appears for no reason. They enter into the city and the caravan begins to disperse as the PCs collect their wages (having long ago forgotten what these wages were supposed to be, but never mind).

Krixix: I was at 5. He tried to lower my wages even more, but I brought in the union…

The players fume that they are paid in silver, but the employers offer them glowing recommendations (except for the cultists, who shove Vivianne’s money into her hands and kick her out).

Raven: I think I calculated my wages incorrectly.
DM: Well, calculate them correctly this time.
Maldrake: It’s only incorrect if you got less. It’s correct if you got more. It’s EXTRA correct if you got more.
Krixix: I go see Imsa and Sulesdag and wish them luck in their endeavours.
DM: “You certainly made the trip interesting, young Krixix. I’m not certain I’d wish to travel with you again, but I’m glad to have done it once. It was interesting.” He offers you one massive hand.
Krixix: I take both my hands and shake his.
Maldrake: He lifts you up.
DM: Bam! Bam! Bam bam bam!

Vivianne points out that the cultist wagons are rolling away, but everyone is too interested in the final words of their traveling comrades, even as the DM frustratedly denies that some epic finishing capstone exists for these NPCs.

Krixix: “Radacear, I’d be happy to gamble your money any other time we see you, bye!”
DM: “Gimme my gold, bitch!”
Krixix: “It’s my gold now, sucker!”
DM: “Bandits!”
Maldrake: ‘Oh, that sounded like thievery!’ the town guard says, gripping your shoulder.
Krixix: “Oh, you were not with us at ALL for the last two months, so you have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Maldrake: ‘This paperwork says you do.’
DM: Krixix: Wanted for leaving an innocent man in jail.
Krixix: I’m okay with this!
DM: We know you’re okay with it.
Maldrake: The town guard is not.

Krixix attempts to follow the caravan while hiding behind NPCs. It quickly gets weird.

DM: You scramble up the minotaur’s ass.
Vivianne: Oooh!
DM: The fumes knock you out. You find yourself in the arena far away.

Krixix severely blows a Perception check and loses the wagon, though the group debates whether or not they should openly follow it anyway. Krixix ponders using his criminal contacts to follow the wagon, and so quickly finds a merchant with ‘connections’.

Krixix: Because I… suck at roleplaying, in thief talk I would like to converse with him and ask if he knows anyone I can hire to spy, or track this caravan and keep me updated on its whereabouts and everything they’ve been doing in town.
DM: “Ah, so your hat has a poor weave, and you want to track this dangling thread back to the weft.”
Krixix: “Yes, I need to fix this problem before it completely falls apart.”
Eben: Haberdashery!
DM: “I happen to know a haberdasher—“
Eben: (gratified laughter)
DM: “Who can help you with your problem. However, he’s quite busy, and not cheap, my friend.”
Maldrake: Don’t worry, this is D&D 5th edition, that means he costs 20 gold pieces.
Eben: He’d be willing to trade his haberdashery for a shortbow.
Krixix: Then I will go buy a fucking shortbow and give it to him.
Maldrake: ‘No shortbows in town! Shortbows out of stock! They forgot how to make ‘em!’

Krixix and the merchant spar over the merchant’s finders fee for this information, with the merchant winning handily. Krixix spitefully pays him in copper, then spitefully attempts to change all his copper to gold. The DM charges him a 5% moneychanging fee and Krixix bitterly resolves to carry around his copper in bulk. Lulayrr, for her part, stumbles on Corlan Amofell, the Harper they rescued earlier! He offers them aid and a place to stay as Krixix goes to visit the haberdasher.

DM: The door opens. An elderly woman, practically stooped to your own height, leans heavily on a wobbly cane. (old woman voice) “Yes, sonny?”
Krixix: “My good lady! I was informed that you were the best haberdasher in town! I have some threads I need traced back to the seam of the problem.”
DM: “Perhaps my grandson can follow it. You see my old eyes aren’t too skilled, but if he can lead me there, I can identify your problem.”
Krixix: “Then I will greatly appreciate the experience and wisdom that you can bring with it, and the strength of back your grandson will bring.”
DM: “Of course my services don’t come cheap, young one. Experience and wisdom do come with a price.”
Thalynmar: Time to start untying your bloomers.
Maldrake: ‘Sounds good to me….” Time to inspect-her gadget.
Thalynmar: Urgh. I feel – a little queasy now.
Krixix: “Shall I come inside so we can discuss terms?”
DM: Well, if you’re rolling with it. “Yes, come in, sonny.” She totters back into the poorly lit building.
Thalynmar: Well, at least the mood’s right.
DM: Taking a seat by the fire. “Be sure you shut the door, young lad.”
Thalynmar: ‘And latch it.’ Man, innuendo’s up to the roof.
Krixix: “Of course.”
DM: (an entirely different voice) “So who do you want followed?”

The two promptly crack down to business, which for some reason causes Krixix to vomit coinage. They begin haggling over the cost.

Eben: And out he goes. No services procured. ‘She wasn’t willing to take one gold piece, I don’t know what the problem was!’

The price works out to 50 silver, which Krixix spitefully pays in copper – no, he offers 3 up front and 3 when the job is done. She demands a reference, baffling Krixix until the DM tells him he can easily name one.

Eben: ‘There’s a man named Sulesdag…’
DM: ‘How do you know the Guildmaster!?’ ‘My secret is out…”
Krixix: No wonder he backed me up.
DM: He dons a hat, whips out his cloak, and strokes the mustache he is growing. Sulesdag Whiplash, awaaaay!

Krixix sells their speeder, and gets an inn recommendation (the Pendulous Twins), then tells the other PCs – who are shocked that he passed any information to them whatsoever.

Eben: ‘Hey, those cultists we tied up back there died. The rest of the details are fuzzy.’
Krixix: Yeah, I think a bear got them. With a sharp claw across the neck.
Thalynmar: A brown bear with a boxcutter.

Lualyrr also reports back on her efforts, but gets only grief for her refusal to sit at the table. The group recognizes that they’re way too ADD to RP successfully, but at least can tolerate each other. Somehow the game ends, with a shadowy Tiamat laughing at them. The DM argues with Lualyrr over whether or not she’s taking the group to the place Carlon told her to meet him.

DM: The tavern is a quaint little place by name of the Drunken Druid. I encourage you to imagine the sign in all its glory.
Krixix: “I was recommended to stay at the Pendulous Twins!”
Thalynmar: I’m going to start calling them the Petulant Twins.

The Drunken Druid is small and comfortable, with Carlon awaiting them. Greeting them, he tells them he’s contacted the Harpers and had a watch placed on the cultists. Also, rumor says a half-dragon was spotted in the area, heading for the north on the High Road that once led to Neverwinter! Assholes chew with their mouths open, infuriating the transcriber, but this is nothing new.

Eben: Should we follow the half-dragon? Or is that above our CR?
Thalynmar: We already took one out! Who says we can’t take another out?

They eat and drink – IC, they have been noisily doing so OOC for some time – before Carlon tells them the cultists are resting their horses on the north side of town.

Krixix: The hell, I’m paying people to tell me this crap.
DM: You fool.
Maldrake: Money, flying away!
Krixix: And here I think I’m being all cool, like yeah, I’m using my abilities, and the DM’s like, “I’m just gonna take your money. And then when this guy tells you they’re in the north of town, your contact will tell you they’re in the south of town.”

The DM gives them a little background about the rebuilding of the High Road at Neverwinter’s behest. Maldrake realizes that Baldur’s Gate is in the Forgotten Realms, to his shock. Krixix, still relentlessly curious, asks if anyone wants to go to the Pendulous Twins. Vivianne, out of nowhere, attempts to animate the dead, leading to an argument over the alignment of this action.

Maldrake: I am the only one staying, apparently.
Lualyrr: No, I’m staying.
Eben: You’ll be glad later.
Thalynmar: Yeah, probably.
Krixix: It is not my intention to look for trouble. But knowing our DM, trouble will find us anyways.
DM: You head off to a seedier section of Waterdeep, where fortunately Krixix’s keen eye can identify many of the people who would otherwise trip up and rob blind the party members who are less familiar with skullduggery and skulking.
Maldrake: Each of you finds your purses 100 silver cheaper.
Krixix: “Don’t talk to him. She’s got herpes, you don’t want to talk to her either.”
DM: That kid tells EVERYONE his parents are dead.
Krixix: “That kid’s parents have died 14 times this year alone.”
Maldrake: His dad is right over there!
DM: And you make your way to the tavern. The sign is unmistakable, being as it is as giant pair of barely covered breasts.
Eben: I knew it.
Vivianne: Haaaaaaaay! I mean – is Vivianne – I don’t even know what Vivianne is. Whatever. She likes titties too.
DM: You can faintly hear music, laughter, raucous cries, raised voices coming from within.

They ponder slipping in and taking a quiet table in the corner, then immediately predict that every single edge table will be full, possibly with Aragorns.

Krixix: To steathily slip in quietly not to cause trouble or call attention to ourselves—
Thalynmar: No!
Krixix: I have rolled a 32.
Thalynmar: It’s just not happening!
DM: Okay, YOU can enter quietly, what about the rest of you.
Thalynmar: Okay, I gotta do this Maldrake style. ‘There’s no way I’m gonna do it! I am – there’s just – there’s no possible way to do it!’
Eben: 19.

They enter and discover Maldrake is already their king somehow. Thalynmar wearily rolls his armor disadvantage and comes up with only a 10. The DM pulls up the Mos Eisley cantina music for color, but everyone has wandered off into a long digression over what armor Vivianne is wearing. Most people make their way in safely, but Thalynmar bumps a dwarf near the door!

DM: “Ah! Ya think ya own tha place, do ya, laddie?!”
Thalynmar: “I can’t say that I do, sir.”
DM: “Ah, yer walkin’ like ya do!”
Thalynmar: “I am just walking, sir.”
DM: “Ah, you’re walkin’ like an ARSEhole!”
Thalynmar: “I’ll be sure to not walk like I’m not an asshole any more.”
DM: “Let’s SEE it! Walk like yer not an arsehole!”
Thalynmar: “Would you like a drink, sir?”
DM: “I’d like two drinks! Why don’tcha walk to the bar and get me a drink?”
Thalynmar: “Then come with me. Bartender, three beers please.”
Eben: I’ll walk up. ‘This little one’s not worth your effort. Let me get you a drink…’ Let’s see if he’ll pass the Strength check to throw Thalynmar across the room!
DM: Give me a Diplomacy check.
Thalynmar: Diplomacy?!
DM: You have advantage because you’re buying the guy a drink.
Eben: I’ll be Obi-Eben Kenobi.
DM: He glares at you for a bit, chewing on the stem of the pipe he holds between his teeth, before slamming back his beer in two mighty gulps, claps you on the shoulder, and stomps back to where he was without a further word.
Thalynmar: Just gotta know how to handle my kind.
DM: I give you inspiration for handling him.
Thalynmar: Yay! Which I already have.
Krixix: I’ve been sitting on inspiration forever.
DM: I know, you guys never use it…

Krixix is in paradise. Gambling is everywhere, busty wenches are treated with blatant sexism, a brawl is going on in the corner between a halfling and a gnome which Krixix promptly starts betting on.

Thalynmar: I am telling them to put all my drinks on Krixix’s tab.
Krixix: …I didn’t open a tab.
Thalynmar: You did now.

The pair of brawlers manage to knock each other out, and the guy taking the bets tries to escape with many a cry of ‘no refunds’ while the other patrons try to get refunds by force. Eben briefly contemplates a spell, but elects to forgo.

Eben: In a place like this, he’ll get his due sooner rather than later.
Thalynmar: Karma’s a swift bitch in this one.
Eben: He won’t be able to show his face around town for a while.
Krixix: All right, I’d like to see how this plays out, because I’m looking for someone who is very drunk, but is very happy and maybe talkative.
Eben: You see just the one. A squinty dwarf.
Thalynmar: ‘Yer walkin’ like an ASSHOLE! Yer talking like an asshole!’
DM: Glancing around, you see at the bar a woman, you’d guess to be of about thirty years or so age. If not for a few appropriate curves you’d say she was basically a sword blade covered in a small layer of skin.
Eben: This is the one you want to talk to?!
DM: But she does appear to be sloshed.

Krixix, who is committed to RPing his low Intelligence and Wisdom to the hilt, approaches the woman and they share some appreciation over the fight. She hauls Krixix up onto the stool next to her before he can duck away.

Maldrake: She’s like, ‘Bartender! One spaghetti.’
Eben: It comes once in a lifetime!
Krixix: “My lady! Your strength definitely deceives appearance!”
DM: “You don’t know the place very well, do you? No one in here is weak. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen you here before, I think we need to give you… the test!”
Krixix: “Nooo, I don’t do testing too well.”
DM: “Everybody who comes in here to drink has to take the test, it’s how we weed out riffraff. Bartender… test! Test!”
Maldrake: (banging on the table) Test! Test! Test! Test!
DM: Yes! That’s exactly what happened.
Eben: Why is it – if there’s a bear trap anywhere in that book, you just –
DM: Look, if you honestly think any of this shit’s in the module, you can kiss that thought goodbye right now.
Krixix: This is just fantastic DMing, is what it is.
Maldrake: The bartender brings out the biggest plate of Mom’s spaghetti you’ve ever seen.
Thalynmar: Mom’s spaghetti. It’s ready.
Krixix: The bartender brings out the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Thalynmar: It’s only once in a lifetime, guys.
DM: The bartender very ceremoniously dons a hood, it looks like an executioner’s hood, and ties it around his neck. Then he puts on two pairs of massive gloves, reaches beneath the bar, and produces a thick bottle which appears to be stained with sludge.
Maldrake: Oh my god. Is that what they used to kill cartoon characters? What was it called? Dip? Is that dip?
DM: Cupping it beneath one arm, he begins to pour it into a mug, thick and viscous. When it fills the mug, he practically rips the last dollop away and pushes it towards you. ‘Test! Test! Test!’

Krixix furiously tries to identify what this is, though Thalynmar, being a dwarf, recognizes this as a drink called the Gutpunch, a product of half-orc ingenuity. The poor halfling can’t use Sleight of Hand to ditch it with the entire tavern looking at him…

Maldrake: Test! Test! Test! Test!
All: Test! Test! Test! Test! Test! Test!
Krixix: Even my own friends are yelling it out.
Maldrake: I’m not there, I’m playing other people!
Eben: While this is going on -- what did we come here for?
DM: (bursting into laughter)

The characters prepare their Constitution saves, but the DM cheerfully informs them no save is needed. Krixix chugs his.

DM: You take 12 points of damage.
Maldrake: Jesus!
Thalynmar: Straight damage.
DM: Yup. They call it the Gutpunch for a reason. They administer this test to weed out the first-levels. If you’re unable to hold it down, you’re unworthy to drink it this bar.
Thalynmar: No Con bonus to help mitigate the damage?
DM: That’s called extra hit points, Thalynmar.
Thalynmar: I know…
DM: You take 13.
Krixix: Is he taking the test as well?
DM: He has to. He’s new!

The two are welcomed to the fold, and the group enjoys roleplaying the crotchety dwarf. The woman introduces herself, after apparently passing out, as Lee… who apparently has her own criteria for who’s worthy of her attention.

Krixix: “Another test! I hope it’s not as potent as the last…”
Thalynmar: ‘A mug this time!’
DM: “Well…. A double. Yeah. Look, if you can’t a double… you can’t handle me.” She gives a slap to her stomach, which is probably hard as iron.
Krixix: Handle a double.
Thalynmar: That’s 4d10 damage?
Maldrake: Can you handle 4d10?
Krixix: I’m at 33 right now…
Thalynmar: Your odds are good.
Maldrake: She just takes you in the back and rapes you.
Krixix: Krixix comes walking out with a cigarette in his mouth, hair going everywhere, he’s like, “I don’t know what just happened…”

It gets really bad really quickly. Hoo boy does it. Krixix goes for the double, crossing his fingers…

Maldrake: 34.
Krixix: Yeah, probably.
DM: Actually – yeah. 34.
Krixix: Aww, dude! That is one hit point more than you got!
DM: I will let you make a Constitution save to say up. At one hit point. Would you like to use your inspiration?
Krixix: Hell yes.
DM: You’re up at one hit point.
Vivianne: Not after SHE’s done with you.
Eben: Why did you do this again?
Maldrake: He wants to be with that girl.
Eben: Just – she literally made him drink that in order to sleep with her?
Maldrake: I don’t know that…
Krixix: She just said ‘to be with me’ and I was drinking to show that I could hang with her.
DM: “You’re good. Come on!” She slides off her stool.
Krixix: All right! Let’s go get some.
DM: Heads to the stairs with a provocative sway in her hips.
Krixix: (sadly committed to the RP) I’m going to follow. Of course it’s probably a trap. Before I leave I’m going to stop by my friend there and hand him my gold bag. Be like, “I’m trusting your honor to watch this!”
Maldrake: ‘Sir, that drink was 20 gold per serving.’

Krixix passes Thalynmar his coin purse, and the good dwarf passes him a healing potion. Krixix subtly chugs this on the way up the stairs, while Vivianne ponders trying to subtly cure his wounds. Krixix foolishly offers to buy Thalynmar’s drinks in repayment, only to find himself a cloud of dust as Thalynmar crosses to the bar faster than can be tracked. Krixix, blatantly aware that trouble is coming, blows an Insight roll and charges in ahead of her.

Krixix: Aww, crap. She’s gonna turn into a doppelganger.
Eben: It’s another manticore.
Krixix: 6 on my Perception. ‘You don’t realize she’s a dude.’
Vivianne: ‘Welp, time to get on my knees.’
DM: You turn around and promptly take 9 damage as she cracks you over the head with a fireplace poker she had swept up from beside the door.
Krixix: Why do you do this, dude? Why?
Maldrake: See, that’s why I don’t go with you guys.
DM: I did a LOT of rolling for you behind the table, too. You did horrible on my rolls for you, I’m sorry.
Krixix: Thanks. Did I see it coming at all? No.
Thalynmar: Nope, I wouldn’t hear anything…

The DM challenges Krixix to initiative, while the halfling ponders pulling out his whistle – which is now dubbed the rape whistle, despite the fact that when he blows it, it appears to emit the words, ‘I am perfectly okay’ for no reason.

Krixix: Why can’t I just get lucky, man?
DM: You went to the seediest bar there was! If you’d try to pick up one of the tavern wenches you’d have been fine, but you’re like, “I’m gonna look for someone drunk!” and I’m like, “Here’s a woman who looks like she’s really dangerous! But drunk!” And you’re like, “Yeah!”
Krixix: ‘Let’s do it! Yeah!” Thalynmar’s already using my money….

Krixix wins initiative, and finds himself with the woman between him and door – while Thalynmar insists the entire time that she crushed the lock bare-handed to trap him. Krixix ponders the window.

Thalynmar: I want you to survive this, but it would be fucking hilarious if you roll so poorly you just bounce off the window.
Maldrake: I would rather see him die, and then the gods have to resurrect him from that dumbass death. And the god’s like, “God damn.”
Eben: I think the old lady would be pretty open to renegotiating your arrangements since she sent you to this place pretty much knowing you were going to die here.
DM: No! He’s supposedly a competent thief who would fit right in!
Krixix: Which I was until our DM here fucked me over!
DM: Oh come on! Did anybody not hear the warning in my words? Anybody?
Krixix: 17 on my Acrobatics.
DM: You burst through the oiled parchment which covers the window.
Thalynmar: Ahh yes, cheap seedy bar.
Krixix: 11 on my Athletics.
DM: You fall down, land in a trash bin, and you take… (rolling ) ONE point of damage!
Krixix: Yes!
DM: I want you to give me one more Acrobatics check.
Krixix: 16.
DM: Feet first you land.
Thalynmar: Oh thank god.
Krixix: So now I’m out.
DM: A fireplace poker whips past you but misses, fortunately, and clatters to the ground.
Krixix: I’m going to pick up the fireplace poker and go back into the inn in the front. Walk back in and say, “Woo! That was fun!”
DM: A deep hush falls over the crowd, and then they all burst into laughter.
Maldrake: ‘That’s the asshole that broke the window!’
DM: ‘We’re used to it!’ After a moment, the woman comes swaggering down the stairs again with a smile on her face. “Good escape! He’s good.”

Krixix invites her to join them for an actual drink, which she cheerfully does, and she congratulates him on his escape. Eben imagines a meeting between Krixix and Iglar.

DM: Oh man. If I EVER had Iglar and Krixix as players in the same game, my entire adventure prep for the evening would be, ‘You guys walk into the inn.’ That’s it, that’s all I would have to write.

Suddenly the boat adventure gets brought up. Krixix abruptly remembers the point they wanted to chase the entire time, but they get distracted in a Star Wars reference and then a search for who is proficient in land vehicle driving. Vivianne abruptly notices the angry one-eyed dwarf behind Eben, fuming.

Krixix: ‘Yer sitting like an ARSEhole!’
Thalynmar: ‘Sitting like ye own the place!’
Eben: If he’s going to try to pull the Dr. Whatshisface with me, he’s not gonna get Luke thrown across the room.

Krixix inquires about Talis and hears about a ‘Talis the White’ that may or may not be connected – while the angry dwarf demands Eben take the test! Eben beams his voice into the dwarf’s mind, promptly sending the dwarf flailing away with an Intimidate. A bar brawl promptly erupts, but unlike the last one, the crowd is piling away from this as the dwarf and a massive burly man get into it.

DM: The dwarf reaches into his shirt pocket and whips out a flask. It’s carved in the shape of a bear. He pops the head off of it. (guzzling, then flexing)
Thalynmar: (Popeye theme)
Eben: I knew it, I knew the Gummiberry juice noise was coming!
DM: Thalynmar’s got a little closer. And the two barbarians in raging frenzies lay into each other! The table is the first casualty, followed by the chairs as they begin smashing them over each others’ hands.

The PCs and the woman promptly take the unsubtle hints and scramble the hell out of this ball of violence. They then realized they just dined-and-dashed, but sort of shrug, and return to the Drunken Druid.

Maldrake: “Oh, you guys made it back okay! We were told about this weird lady and a test at the place you went to.”
Krixix: ‘What the hell happened to you?!’ Beaten, battered, bruised, I have a piece of glass sticking out of the side of my neck.
DM: Where’s you get the glass from!?
Krixix: Oh no, the oil sheet.
DM: If you’ve got a piece of oil parchment sticking out of your neck I’m a bit worried.

The DM waxes eloquent about how a failure would have had Krixix’s head caught in the oiled parchment, while Thalynmar helps himself to 50 gold from Krixix’s stash to comp himself for the healing potion.

DM: Eben looks fine! Thalynmar’s walking a little funny. Krixix is walking VERY funny.
Lualyrr: ‘Yer walkin’ like an arsehole!’
Krixix: “You know what, you got a friend down at the Petulant Twins you might wanna go to talk to about that.”
Eben: Ask for the test, that’ll get you on their good side.
DM: You know, I know you guys are getting sidetracked, but if you want a roleplaying encounter I feel obligated to GIVE it to you, the way you guys usually are. And you do get inspiration for the whole thing. Do you tell them story, or simply say ‘Eh!’ and go to bed?
Krixix: I’m gonna say, “It was a… interesting evening.”
DM: Would you care to roll Insight?
Maldrake: I heal him for 20.
DM: The fact that you have to heal him for 20 says volumes about what he isn’t saying…

Maldrake rolls Medicine – and so does Vivianne, who runs interference to try to save Krixix’s dignity and somehow manages to deceive the hell out of the paladin. Krixix glumly wishes for the days of doppelgangers, as they discuss other potential drinks – the Groin-grabber, an airship in a bottle, getting hit over the head with a fireplace poker.

Krixix: I’m keeping this fireplace poker.
Vivianne: “This coulda been in my ass, huh huh huh.”

The group awakens to hear rumors and messages! The caravan is heading north into the mountains, and rumors of ‘Talis the White’ swirl without much fact. Krixix makes plan to infilitrate the caravan, but Carlon suggests they repeat the same ruse and join the caravan as guards.

Krixix: Ah! Gold Bond is fantastic. It’s like a cold draft up your pants leg.
Thalynmar: Yeah. But don’t EVER get it confused with Ben-Gay.
Krixix: It’s like a lighter being held beneath your nutsack.
Thalynmar: Like you’ve been kicked in the balls, and they have not yet took their foot away.

They sign on the carvan – this one is all handled by one master, and besides them, the gnome Jamna Gleamsilver is signed on as well. The DM gives them loot!

Thalynmar: Another glaive! Another greatsword!
Krixix: A crossbow!

The players complain bitterly that they have no electrum, then imagine the dwarf from the inn signing on as the last guard and complaining that they do literally everything like an arsehole. The DM regrets not doing this.

Thalynmar: Let’s sell this ebony fly and buy some plate mail.
Maldrake: I like that idea.
Vivianne: I kind want the ebony fly.
Thalynmar: It’s gonna be a group item.

The DM rambles on about a large mace they acquired for a while, and Eben acquires a precious Rod of the Pact-Keeper – and on that note the game comes to an end!
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