The Great Adventure

Baron Buhler
Into the Great Beyond.....
by Prince John

We leave the excellent establishment of the Astral Tavern, decided upon by vote (of course the Wizard abstains).

We await at the gate, having paid with our legendary token to enter the stop. Loraphim, the heavenly creature, assures us that she (?It?) will keep an eye on the demons and other creatures of evil. The area we wait gazes upon the infinite purple surroundings, with nothing stirring. While we rest and wait, the party decides to make the best of their free time. Gamalion thinks about a rock. Garion tries floating; Tierra the wizard has practice with a new spell, “water into beverage”.

Time passes, and seems to bleed into the next day.

Roark speaks with Gamalian, and then Hanlon starts teaching with Gamalion and ;Mijima’, the blade with a name. The cleric is alarmed to see the student stabbing the monk. Garion continues to practice floating. A party member exclaims, unbelievably, “Go back to your stabbing”.

In the far distance, the vault of stars can be appreciated; it seems extremely far, although close in Astral Terms.

Then, a small dot is identified, and seems to get larger. A red and white ship stops suddenly at our spot, about 75 feet long. It has the name “Blue Slipper” written on the side. A single mast sticks out of the center of the deck. A large female barbarian with a large hammer eyes our party as we make our way to the craft. A man with an interesting speech pattern quickly introduces himself. “I’m Captain Rolly Free. For the first half hour on the oars will be 500 gold, and then we are good to go.” He gives the impression he has never held a position for longer than one can hold their breath.

As the party steps on board, the observe the other creatures on board. There are half orc fighter passengers, as well as 8 feet fall flesh golems. A quick glance at the huge female barbarian reveals that she has a facial tic. All but the wizard offer to handle the oars, as well as Roark.

After a brief time hauling oar, the party speaks with the captain. He talks about his route, which leaves Lastic, and goes to Fort Galleon. He then offers a taste of Red Jackal, a fine weed. The wizard is keen on trying this mildly hallucinogenic weed, and offers his drink in return. The captain takes a quick swig. The wizard decides to take a taste as well, and ends up vomiting his breakfast rations. The captain laughs, thinking how he was so clever to feign appreciation in the beverage. The rest of the party enjoys the joke, as the wizard tries to scrape his tongue clear of the foul drink. As some form of apology, the captain offers the wizard some of the Red Jackal. The spellcaster quickly becomes happier, now at 11 degrees to the deck, baking and feeling numb.

The captain offers some more information, about the Dock they had left. Apparently, the ship had just left ACCAS, where the barbarian was picked up. At this point, the wizards ability to geography and location seems to be completely absent.

The rest of the party spend time on other pursuits. Hanlon watches Gamalion focus on the rock, and make great progress. Garion watches the horizon, as Tierra studies.

About a day and a half later (as time is extremely difficult to gauge), a clanging rings out. A number of hours later, the ship pulls up to a 50 km diameter sphere, that appears to be a nasty place. Fire dominates it’s surface, and a great heat is palpable. It appears to be a hellish demiplane, and the boat pulls up to a stop. A creature boards the ship, apparently known as a AtChuRi (with the appearance of a large 4 legged bird like creature). An immediate sense of unease is felt by all, as the creature walks past them.

The next day, the passengers once again man the oars, as the wizard and familiar rest up on the deck. Afterwards, the group follow their pursuits. Tierra studies, as Hanlon and Gamalion practice with the blade. At one point, Hanlan has a mild drainage of his life essence; Gamalion feels serenely disturbed. The wizard hits the Red Jackal again. After a few hours, Hanlon regains his life essence, and offers some sage advice.

The Captain, looking into the distance, cries “OMG, a Spinner”. It appears to be a circular dot, in the far distance. The boat slows significantly, revealing a bright, spiral collection of light, about 50 km in diameter. Captain Rolly appears extremely excited. "I’ve heard of these things, these swirls of energy. They don’t last long, and no one knows where they come fro But they can charge the ship, and catching ‘a beam’ is a great charge.

[At this point, the Black Bird puppet comes out, to great cheering).

All hands work on the oars, and with the Captains guidance, the ship successfully catches beam. Unique glowing is noted coming from parts of the ship.

Suddenly, a black 2 masted ship appears from the rear of the craft. Over a dozen creatures jump off their deck and head for the passenger ship. Tierra rushes to the edge, attempting to cast a fireball, but the creatures are too quick. As the incoming enemy reach the craft, the rest of the party react. Garion swings, and Hanlon jumps over the edge. Gamalion strikes one with a crossbow, as Tierra calls forth two Hound archons, which manage to strike an enemy. The heroes seem to have a slight bluish glow, and all of their initial attacks seem to be powered, after which the glow disappears.

The wizard blows his horn, to the advantage of the party. The hounds continue to maul more of the black leather clad invaders. The captain starts swinging a chain, with a sickle on one end, and a weight on another. Hanlon, having launched himself over the edge, manages to strike a huge opponent with a mighty hit. Even Rork manages to injure a creature.

The creatures are truly unearthly. They are clad in black, with smooth black leather masks, carrying swords. However, they seem to try to grasp their victims in vicious bear hugs. Captain Rolly is taken down by two of these creatures. The large flesh golems are engaged. Garion manages to bat away an attack, as well as Tierra. While in combat, a mask is knocked off, and the heroes are repulsed by the lack of features seen underneath. No eyes, nose or mouth is present, purely flesh.

The large invader somehow manages to crash into the rear of the craft, entering the hull. The large barbarian drops her weapon, as the wizard manages to cast burning hands. Roark cries, and causes 3 to flee in terror. Gamalion stabs the deck, and regains his glow. The ‘thief / banker’ manages to backstab and kill another creature. As the wizard attempts to aid a fallen Tierra, the dark evil four legged fowl creature attacks, and nearly kills the spellcaster. At this point, a huge blast bursts from below deck, rocks the ship, and blows up the back of the star craft.

The rear of the craft is now splinters, and the evil bird like creature releases the wizard. Tierra manages to cast a healing spell on the spellcaster. At this point, the raiding party begin to withdrawal. The heroes continue to strike the enemy, including the Hound Archons. Gamalion also strikes the foul fowl. A black toxic cloud emanates from the creature, enveloping Tiran Lightson. At the same time, the wizard unleashes his charge magical stone weapons and decimates the devilish creature.

Garion and Tierra yell – ‘We need a ship’. However, the wizard begins to act in an unusual fashion. Fortunately, Tierra casts dispel magic, and manages to make the wizard sane. Hanlon searches the remaining bodies – the captain and first mate are found dead as well. Various swords are found, including gold, chest plate, a sword and a glaive.

The party continues to take stock of the situation. Rork thinks he sees something in the far distance. The enemy ship is no longer visible. All that remains is scattered debris of the ferry craft, and the heroes floating among the rubble……..

The one where Tierra Persuaders the Daemonettes

We rejoin our party in the Nicely Nicely, where they’ve just earned themselves a legendary token for the wildest dragon-rhino show this side of the material plane.

As our group revels in their victory, Garion, Lightson, and Tierra notice some sour stares being directed at the group from the Marilith and her devil croney at the bar. Gamalian orders a round of unicorn tears to celebrate his hand being released from its crystal peace bond.

The group is distracted shortly when the bar’s namesake, Nayoss Layo Nollios floats down to the table. It congratulates the party and informs Tierra that our new Rhino friend would like to be bonded to her on a more permanent basis, and gives her a figurine of wondrous power that will allow her to summon the great beast for a certain amount of time each day. She graciously accepts the gifts and dubs the great blue beast Persuader.

Nayoss departs to make his rounds at other tables in the establishment. The group is excitedly discussing the potential of their new party member when a crackling whip breaks their revelry. A voice screeches out from behind the group, “You’re not the only one who can make unprovoked attacks!!” the awful voice of one of the Matt Daemonettes is all too familiar to the party.

Tierra and Gam get chained up, wracked with lightning induced pain. Gar lashes out in anger but Ferguson gets caught in a chain on his backswing and he loses it. He takes an awful, powerful blow from one of the Daemonettes. Gamalian drops, clutching at the chain wrapped around his neck. Gar continues to be pummeled. Tierra gets dragged to a table behind her as Lightson tosses one of his stones at a Daemonette and takes a swig of a recently abandoned beverage on the table.

Gamalian breaks free of his bondage, but is almost immediately struck down by one of the Daemonettes.

Hanlon, who has been fighting hard with a Daemonettes, drops one with a serenely deadly shot with his damdra.
It’s about this time that Persuader enters the fray and destroys a Daemonette like only a giant blue dragon rhino can, in the name of Tierra’s protection.

Roark, who’d been biding his time up to this point swoops in and, like a stork carrying new life, swoops in to the recently fallen Gamalian and delivers Lauraphim’s healing magic, reviving the fallen elf.

Hanlon and persuader continue to wreck Daemons, and drop another two of the inappropriately dressed belligerents. A nasty claw catches Garion in the midsection, and he drops to the bar floor, unconscious.

Gamalian uses the new life that Roark delivered to summon mijime into his hand. Gamalian wastes no time turning and driving the blade hilt-deep into a nearby Daemonette.

Hanlon uses the distraction to deliver a flurry to the Daemonette delivering major damage to the demon. Roark flutters around one of the demons, while Persuader lays into another. Tierra, swinging her akkadakadan hammer, smashes the final Daemonette, leaving the group victorious yet again.

Hanlon uses his newest victory to puff up his chest and stare daggers at Marilith, Marilith doesn’t seem impressed, but his held back with a timely intervention by Loraphim.

Gamalian decides to take a walk past Marilith and her entourage, but gets noticed and makes conversation with some nearby Frog-people. Because imitation is the highest form of flattery, Marilith walks by the party’s table, and moves to offer condolences to the Daemonettes, making special effort to exude the awful, sickening aura to our table of heroes.

After some deliberation and a few rounds of drinks, the group decides to leave the Nicely Nicely – with an escort from Loraphim— one cannot be too careful.

We leave our party on the platform, legendary token in hand, ready to press the call button for the barge ride.

Angelic Beat Down
Mijime's stony clam stamp.

We had just settled in for another round of drinks after the mayhem with the creepy schoolgirls and their blue dragon rhinoceros. Lightson looked ready to regale us with his knowledge of extra-planar spirits, when we were interrupted by an immense, tall, human-shaped woman. She was about 11ft tall, and had piercing, agate eyes. She had a quarrel with Gamalian and Hanlon, having taken offence at their treatment of the aforementioned school girls. She warned the pair that she’d shove their heads up their asses so far they’d get, I quote, “Shit-stains on their shirts”. Gamalian had apparently upset a balance that the Nicely-Nicely enjoyed up to that point. In order to restore the balance, they would meet in mortal combat, Nicely-Nicely style. Gamalian tried to point out the fallacy of restoring order with the chaos of combat, but the Shaitan was having none of it. Gamalian reluctantly accepts, as it is apparently the only way for this situation to resolve itself. Hanlon tries to sneak in a pre-emptive strike on the Genie, but the waitress, standing nearby, grabs his wrist in an unexpected and unnaturally strong grip.
Soon after the Shaitan removes herself from our table, we are graced by the angel at the bar, floating in on suitably angelic wings. The angel’s name is Lauraphim, she challenges Tierra, Lightson, and myself to accompany her in an engagement with the demon-devil pair at the end of the bar. I feel quite compelled to accept this challenge, as the evil permeating from that end of the bar is quite difficult to ignore.
We are then introduced to the rules of challenge combat at the Nicely-Nicely. Combat by challenge is brought to you by Bugman’s brew," we may not be real, but tell that to the Gnome you woke up next to."

Combat is to be handled in a suitably civilized manner. No preparatory magics are to be cast before the combat, excluding spells of healing. Belligerents may place themselves at any location within the NN. After first warning sounds, combatants have 5 minutes to prepare their battle strategy and place themselves, before the starting bell, when combat begins.
The first bell sounds, and the initial setup dance begins, with Hanlon and Gamalian expertly positioning themselves to force the Shaitan to react. The genie, apparently as planned, sets up underneath the balcony where the reader will recall some of our party members dealt with the chimera and goat combination in a previous entry in this tome.

When the buzzer sounds, Gamalian digs deep into his pockets and pulls out his long-forgotten feather spear he’d received from the mysterious types in Badorities what seems like a lifetime ago, but was nary a week ago. The spear flies true, finding a weak spot in the Shaitan’s defences. The Shaitan shrieks at the unexpected pain wrought by the diminutive Elf. The genie quickly recovers her composure, and seems to descend into a deep concentration, ripples of energy around her indicating that she is charging energy of some kind. Hanlon uses this opportunity to perform a charge of his own, dashing in and striking home with his Damdra. The blow catches the Shaitan on the jaw but doesn’t interrupt the Genie’s concentration. Gamalian takes aim with a gloved hand and sprays a line of webbing at the Shaitan. The web tangles the genie, but its immense strength seems to overcome the limitations of the webbing. Hanlon strikes again, but this time his blow is met by skin that seems to have become stone in the seconds between his last strike. Crouched behind the melee of the Shaitan and Hanlon, Gamalian, crouched after webbing the genie, holds out his hand, a knowing grin forming on his face. He utters one word, a word that sends shivers down the spine of those of us spectating from our out of phase amphitheatre.

“Mijime”. In the blink of an eye, Gamalian is holding the wondrous dagger. With barely a confirmation to see that the dagger had arrived, he struck. Gamalian slipped in behind the Shaitan and drove Mijime into what would probably be the kidney on a human, though mijime is met by mostly stone. The dagger, however, finds a crack and slides into the back of the genie. A horrified expression, the antithesis of the almost lustful expression on Gamalian’s face belie the magical transfer that took place. In an instant the Genie reacts, reaching behind and grasping gamalian. The genie angrily drives Gamalian into a nearby wall. Gamalian actually seems to penetrate into the wall. Hanlon uses the distraction to dig deep into his own psyche, drawing on some unseen well of energy, gaining the distinct impression of a spring coiling to unleash hell on some unsuspecting rodent.
Gamalian drives Mijime again, but is met only by the stony skin of the genie. While hanlon continues charging, Gamalian uses some of his newfound abilities to launch a stunning fist into the Shaitan. The genie is taken aback by the sudden, violent shot from the elf, but before she could truly react to the strike she’s distracted by another hit from behind, as the coiled spring is released. Hanlon, with his patented, slam-to-the-clam routine, strikes at the Shaitan, leaving the immense womanish monster reeling. The Genie’s skin appears to crack, then, shambling backwards, the genie sinks into the floor of the Nicely-Nicely, disappearing completely.
Before the pair can even consider that perhaps they’ve defeated the beast, the genie rises up behind Hanlon. The genie drops the boom on Hanlon, striking hard at the unsuspecting monk. Gamalian reacts by climbing up onto the balcony, the spider-glove lending supernatural climbing abilities to the usually clumsy banker. Gamalian climbs up and positions himself behind the distantly familiar ballista that sits on the balcony.
Hanlon drops his damdra and unleashes three punches on the genie which strike unnaturally fast. The genie shakes at the onslaught, but remains standing.
Gamalian, meanwhile, takes aim with the ballista. While Hanlon maintains the Genie’s attention, Gamalian looses with the immense war machine. The bolt releases, and, in a suitably slow-motion finish for the audience in the Nicely-Nicely, finds the back of the Genie, stabbing through the beast, the point sticking out almost hitting Hanlon on the other side.
With that the crowd erupts! Another epic Nicely-Nicely showdown! “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!” Gamalian rouses the crowd with his arms spread wide.
As the Genie is dragged away awaiting resurrection, the buzzer sounds for the combatants of the second group to begin preparing for their combat.
Lauraphim sets herself up at some distance from the combatants, while Garion prepares himself to engage the Hamatula. As soon as the buzzer drops, Lightson whirls into action, casting a protection spell on me.
The combat begins in earnest, Lauraphim attacking the six-armed demon with authority, ruining its day. I dashed at the Hamatula, Smiting it with Cuthbert’s wrath. The Barbed devil lashes out, but strikes at the protection spell enacted by lightson. My efforts to strike at the beast are thwarted, just as Roark dives from the ceiling unleashing that awful scream from his mask that we’d had crafted for him at Kassanoody’s Karnival. After some back and forth between the angel and the six armed demon, the Nicely-Nicely’s automated enforcers come through, grabbing Marilith and throwing her at the opposite wall!
Lauraphim uses this opportunity to dive in at Marilith, charging for a solid strike.
Meanwhile, Tierra casts a spiritual weapon at the Hamatula, the spiritual chains flailing at the hellish beast. I use this opportunity to strike, my mace falling heavily with Cuthbert’s wrath. The Hamatula seems to cringe, but my strike is met by spikes, always spikes with this beast, as they seemingly drive into every corner of my being.
As I fall from the battle, my companions carry on, as vigorously as ever. Tiran uses my untimely death as an opportunity to fling a fireball into the melee. The flames singe the devil, but it seems to resist most of the damage. The now five armed demon grabs Lauraphim and strikes hard with all remaining limbs.

Tierra lashes in after the fireball and grazes the Hamatula with her chain hammer. Laura continues her onslaught with two solid hits on the demon.
Meanwhile in the other combat, the Hamatula strikes hard against Tierra, perforating her with many painful barbs. Roark dives in at the last minute screaming, possibly sparing Tierra’s life as the Barbed devil is distracted. The Hamatula reaches out with a hand, sending a searing line of flame towards Roark, but finds Tierra with one ,felling her in a smoldering heap.
At the other side of the tavern, Lauraphim and Marilith are engaged in a brutal grapple, Lauraphim escapes, and strikes at the Demon with angelic eye rays. Lauraphim evades the counter-attack and escapes to the corner of the bar, narrowly avoiding a wall of blades that Marilith had set in place. Marilith, unhappy at the failure of her wall of blades, is jarred from her reflection when one of the bar golems grabs her and tosses her at the far wall of the Nicely-Nicely. Laura reaches out, and mutters a few words, launching lightning bolts from her fingertips toward Marilith. The bolts reach the demon, but have no effect on her demonic essence. Marilith, grinning at her success, charges at Lauraphim, but passes through the angel as she shifts into light form at the last second. Marilith turns around, stunned at not destroying the angel, and is met by two eye rays which turn the chaotic demon into a burning, screaming mess on the floor.
Elsewhere in the Nicely-Nicely the barbed devil licks its lips, approaching Lightson. Lightson, who seemed to pale at the approaching beast, hesitates, before reaching to his belt and releasing some marbles toward the steadily advancing devil. One of the stones strikes the devil in its left eye, and with a shriek, the beast goes down.
Again. The Nicely-Nicely goes wild.

Nicely Nicely part 2
here rexie rexie rexie rexie

We start our episode at the Nicely Nicely Pub with a scant 9FU left. That will buy us 9 rounds.

We are approached by the arms, “Brothers in Arms”. The leader, green, wearing studded leather bracers and sporting tattoos of one hand giving the peace sign and another flipping the bird introduces himself as Hand Solo. He also introduces his friends Cool Hand Luke (CHL), blue, dextrous fingers, not as hairy, wearing a silver ring and carrying 4 cups – 2 wood, 2 metal – 1big, 1 small of each, and Knuckle Sandwich, silver, burly, hairy, tattoos of teeth (20) and noses(15) has full beard with Dwarvish arms. A Demon chick (Ancillian) from the adjacent table also comes over to hear what Hand Solo has to say.

Hand tells us to be quiet for a couple of minutes. Noobs get a chance to test perception vs CHL in a classic game of follow the ball. The ball starts under the small metal cup, we have to follow it and say where it ends up. Our perception rolls are hidden but we each have an opportunity to say where we think the ball ends up. Gam and Hanlon both say “big wood” to the delight of the crowd.

Turns out the Matt Daemons had bet the Brothers in Arms to get us to say “big wood”. We win 16 FUs.

We are now up to 25 FUs and feeling pretty flush. We buy the Brothers in Arms a round along with our own round of Shire’s Extra Finest Ale.

It appears that the source of all this FU wealth is the bar itself. It creates FUs when epicness happens.

We receive a challenge from Yuki and the Joshi Gakusei (josie and the pussy cats?) to buy a round (and deliver it) to the Chimera and sheep up on the second floor. We don’t even think of turning down the challenge. Gam, Han and Tierra head up to have a chat and on the way are (attempted) tripped up by Yuki. Gam neatly dodges the attempt. We head upstairs, and our opening salvo of conversation is greeted by a blast of Acid from the Chimera’s Dragon head which hits Tierra. The sheep and goat’s head continue to quietly smoke. Gam, who has flipped out of the way remains in place whilst Tierra and Hanlon go down to the bar to get drinks. We decide on: Shooters! Gold Schlager for the dragon’s head, Bloody Mary for the lion, and Wheat grass with Tequila for the goat and sheep. This meets with much greater success and the dragon winks at us with a flash of his eyes.

While this is going on, Gar and Tiran are propositioned by an angel like creature to take out the demon like creatures sitting at the bar. Something we will have to deal with later because:

Gam takes the hero’s way down by stepping off the balcony and plummeting right onto the Joshi Gakusei’s table, upsetting it and pinning one of the girls. He then calmly walks back to our table. Tierra is unable to not help and does a heal check on the girl and stems the bleeding. Hanlon grabs a miraculously unspilled drink and makes the injured girl drink it while massaging her throat. The giant wades in and rights the upset table as the girl recovers. Tiran with his lightweight bladders heads off to what appears to be the bathroom to take a piss. He returns feeling refreshed like he’s had an 8 hour nap. He says we can go in once a day. He casually casts grease on one of the girls on his way past. Tierra and Hanlon return to the table, but not before Hanlon puts the boots to the recovering girl – possibly a mistake.

We buy another round, 31 FUs remaining. The Japanese girls head off to the washroom and in an attempt to secure a more central location in the bar, we steal their table.

The girls return with a friend… a blue dragonspawn rhinosaurus rex. With a cry of “Fighting!” which sounds like “Whiting!” with the accent, Yuki releases her hold on Blue’s leash and the Rhino lunges for Hanlon, dealing 40 points of damage. And here is where it gets good… Tiran opens a dimensional door right in front of Blue who has no choice but to run through it and ends up on the second floor heading directly for the chimera, whom he hits. Hanlon runs upstairs and takes a chunk out of Blue with his Damdrah before Blue heads over the balcony to land on Tiran making him somewhat less than fully alive.

The Chimera goes over the edge after Blue dealing a fair amount of damage. Roark, never one to be left out, hits the room with a horrifying sonic cackle. Hanlon goes over the top rope with a mighty swipe dealing even more damage. Gar cuts air. Gam uses an epic point to roll out from under the table to prevent being crushed and is able to mount Blue directly behind on her neck. Although the Chimera deals the next hit which does in the beast, Gam stabs Blue in the skull with Mimije and successfully bluffs the killing blow. The Crowd is going bananas. We revive Tiran.

We take another round and send one up to the chimera and sheep for their help.

Tierra checks on Nova who was in a backpack. Nova is fine.

As Blue is coming around, Ferguson is used to take the 4 inch tip (just the tip) of its blue horn.

Tiran fails he third DC check – he is getting right hammered.

The barmaid brings us 20FUs. We now sit at 49 FU and have made some friends, maybe, and some enemies, for sure.

Somewhere in there, we learned that we need at least 100FU to even apply for Legendary status – almost halfway there.

place holder
The Final Frontier...
The love of Nova, Fiends, Flying through the Void.

We rejoin the party having just left Kassanoody’s Kottage. Man but if that wasn’t the most relaxing 18 hours the party had spent together… Probably since we visited Left Eyeless Louis so many… weeks ago? It felt like a lifetime had passed. The party emerged to the same dull light that had been shining when they first arrived in the strange pyramid. Having had enough of this strange extra-planar place, the group starts heading out straight for the grey door, with the intention of getting back to the slightly more predictable chaos of being wanted fugitives on the run.
As the group gets under way, Nova arrives, flooding Tierra with images of “positive, positive. Mild attraction” ahh, it would seem that old dog Roark had caught her eye. The group is almost home free at the exit door when Roark tells them that there is a strange pyramid in the centre of this larger pyramid. Deciding that they’d better check It out, Garion reasoning that an opportunity to prevent the capture of future adventurers was one they couldn’t pass up.
On the way to the central pyramid the party is accosted by dark fiends.
Lightson, excited to finally put his guano to use, flings a fireball into the fray, seemingly forgetting the blast radius on the thing. He catches two of the fiends, but also Gam and Hanlon. Live and learn. Hanlon exchanges a few blows with one of the fiends, and Gar strikes home with Ferguson. The group is surprised when Gamalian holds out his hand and speaks a strange name: “Mijimé”, summoning the jewelled dagger to his hand.
Gar takes one down, the fiend exploding in an icy blast. Gam shoots the next fiend, slaying it, but not after copping a secret feel of our brave Priestess. The battle complete, the group loots some swords and some mystery balls.
Tierra takes the time to confront Gam about the Mijimé. The group is divided on who should carry the dagger, Garion sides with his brother, his faith renewed that Gamalian can be responsible enough to not do anything dangerous.
The group makes it to the central pyramid, finding a small pyramid, with small hemispherical depressions on each face. In the bushes nearby, the party finds small hemispherical stones, about exactly the size of the depressions in the pyramid faces. Garion decides to take the plunge first, and places one of the stones into a depression. He vanishes. Next Tierra, Gamalian, and Lightson repeat the procedure. Hanlon is beset by more fiends before he can join the rest of the group. After serenely wiping the floor with the fiends, he manages to get hand to stone and vanishes himself…
Garion dropped into a strange dark realm. Apparently on a roughly circular platform of rock, floating in an infinite void. In the distance Garion could see other floating rocks. In an effort to stand tall and see as much of the surrounding area as he could, Garion found he could float. Soon the rest of the party came through, and Garion excitedly relayed their new abilities in this strange place.
The only feature of note on the platform was a small sign, written in a strange text which was strangely legible to the party. The sign read: “This stop decommissioned, please use another.” Well that’s a strange set of words…
The group decides they should do some experimenting over the edge of the platform, in preparation for travel to one of the nearby visible platforms floating in the void. It turns out the group can fly out over the edge of the platform as well. They all tie themselves together, and Garion takes off, a little faster than he should have, jerking Hanlon and Gamalian at the end of the rope. Eventually the team gets the hang of it, and makes it to the next platform. After circling around it, they find a similar sign to the one that was posted on the first platform. This one however has a large circular button on it. The group touches the circular object, it lights up and a sound is heard: “Call Accepted”. The button could not be toggled off after pressing it, so the group decides it is time to rest and wait.
After several hours pass, and the group gets some much needed rest, an object can be seen approaching in the distance. It seems to be a boat, or a barge of some kind, with rows of large oars extending out the sides. The boat was approaching impossibly fast, until something was dropped out of the back of it, an anchor?
The anchor catches in the aether, as if it were solid ground, and sparks fly out from it as the boat is decelerated and brought to a halt next to the party’s platform.
A strange man, overly happy and speaking like some sort of Carnival master (with a C, not a K) announces to the party: “1000 g’s, sail the seas! Low on Wealth? Pay in Health! Feeling Poor? Pull some Oar!” Further inquiries by the party are met with a repeat of the same message. Hanlon, Tierra, and Lightson decide to pull Oar, as well as Garion, who changes his mind when he sees Gamalian choose to pay health. Garion changes his mind and pays in health as well, both of them take a nasty hit as they step aboard, feeling quite drained, though happy they didn’t have to pull oar in their drained status…

Roark, come on my shoulder... that's not what I meant.
DM appreciation month

We start the evening with a presentation of Gin and Collage to DMJ for all the fine work he does.

start scene:
Much mirth, lots of back slapping and dick waggling after the smiting of the nasty Demon. Tiran, a bit shy, pulls his cloak from the Bag of Holding. While he is doing this, we notice that under his arms, it’s all shimmery, like a solid shadow. No evil detected.
We are about to do further examinations, when we hear a big BANG from down the loot hallway. Something is coming.
Hanlon quaffs a Resist Heat Potion and heads for the flaming door, with Damdrah in hand. Meanwhile, Kasa and Inthin are throwing spells at the loot door to hold it fast. Inthin has it wedged pretty tightly with vines anchoring it to the stone walls.
There is a mad rush to the Bag of Holding and people get all suited up in their gear.
Hanlon tries to go through the flame door, to no effect other than being blasted back into the middle of the room slightly singed and smoking.
Basso Profondo at the loot door, but Kasa and Inthin are still holding it.
Gar checks a door to find a long halway, as does Tierra (down the hall from whence the demon came). Tierra heads down her’s and Gar provides cover at the doorway.
Meanwhile, Tiran and Gam are working on the runes around the flaming door hoping to effect release. Gam recognises a trap mechanism and opens the door. Hanlon immediately heads for the door. The big thing at the loot door is starting to break through and causes a ripple of fear through the team. Kasa, Inthin, Hanlon and Gam are OK, but everyone else shits bricks and runs towards the door. Hanlon, Gar, Tiran and Roark get through just as the door closes. Hanlon goes back through the black portal just as a firey hand reaches through the loot door. Hanlon shouts words of encouragement, not that they were required or made any difference.
Kasa invites us to spend some time at Kasanoody’s Kottage, a bardic spell for secure shelter. Kasa grabs the key from under the mat and opens the door. After a bit of uncivilised jostling, we enter. “Snug as a bug in a rug and warded to the nuts” Kasa starts a fire in the fireplace and cots are brought out. There is smoked meat and cheeses in the kitchenette and 4 Vines Red wine (200gp) on offer.
We see some dark faces at the windows, but Kasa insists that we need not worry about what it outside.
There is a toast to the hosts, and a thanks to Roark and some discussion of a debt of honour, which it is agreed can mean much or nothing.
Kasa gives Tiran a scroll bound with a ribbon. On the scroll are 4 spells: 2x protection from evil, 1x protection from chaos, 1x dimensional door.
Although Tiran looks like he’s about to dive headfirst into a bottle of wine, Kasa convinces him that he would be better off studying his spells before imbibing any further. We all get 8 hours of rest.
Over a light breakfast, it is story time. We all take turns telling each other about our personal ordeals behind the black door. Kasa listens in with the warning that anything good will end up in a bardic tale. We try half assedly to negotiate payment, but after listening to Kasa’s light hearted, but very possible, threats of time travel, and undoing things, we let it go with some mention of “future considerations” which again, can mean much or nothing.
Hanlon makes a marginally sucessful pass at Inthin, but only the two of them are aware of it.

Gear: we get all of our original stuff out of the Bag of Holding, plus 10 percent. In that 10 percent, it’s mostly junk, with the following exceptions:
Scroll – magic, scroll of shatter. Magic weapon, cleric spell.
Goggles – goggles of minute seeing – microscope googles.
Wooden box – scrimshaw out of bone. small characters/figures. beautiful.

Kasa entertains us with songs and stories, for example the “Tribe of Ogres”. We are led to beleive that he speaks some Ogre-ese.

We have a bit of time to inspect and test Tiran’s “Black Flanges” He goes up to the second floor and jumps. He catches some wind, but still takes 3 damage, which we sense is about half what he should have taken. When he wraps the flanges around himself, he seems to blend into the backgroud, and our eyes fall off him.
Tierra (nat20) “seems to have merged a bit with Roark” bit of glide, hiding, no damage cackle
Roark “like this cackle?” and deals us all a bunch of sonic damage.
Hanlon and Gam quickly test Mijime. Gam fails to stop it, but Hanlon is able to overcome it.

We get a bit more rest and everyone is fully healed up. Tiran tries to “hide” his wings and they physically disappear. He can bring them back at will.

The Kottage begins to quiver and Kasa announces that his work here is done. “We came to help a friend and pay back a group who dealt with us in good faith.” When we start to ask for more help, he resonds with “Perhaps you are meant to be here”
Before he leaves though, he asks us for a favour: “Spread the word of Kasanoody’s Karnival. We aspire to be the best. Mention my dive roll. Two K’s”
Gam: “You shall forever be a friend”
Kasa in Ogre-ese “It’s been a punch in the face”
Inthin become winged and grasps Kasa, hauling him upwards.

“Two souls departing, Romario Kasanoody, and Inthin”

end scene

Rork Lives!!
Buhler's Write Up

Was she truly free? Tierra grinned at Hanlin as he replaced the now loose spikes back into their stony home. Monks were more useful than they might first appear.

Hanlin jogged over to his own place only moments before their captors reappeared on the other side of the flame. They seemed ready to torture the oddest looking captive when the flames on the portal door dimmed and an ogre stumbled through.

The two demons descended on him instantly, screeching and slashing at him with their chain-whips. The Ogre made one heroic blow on a demon before slumping to the floor. Using the short battle as cover, Tierra twice called Sophia to flow through her and heal the group.

A little better for the wear, Tierra’s friends gazed downwards apparently attempting to hide their newfound hope. All, that is, except Garian who stares at the demons with contempt.

The demons, though, continue their task of chaining the Ogre to the wall.

Hanlin uses this moment to free himself from the wall and sneak up to the flame.

“Hanlin!” Tierra wispers urgently. “Hanlin, free me. Please.”

Hanlin looks torn, but eventually concedes and frees Tierra’s feet. The two companions sneak up to the fire, Tierra grabbing an abandoned hammer on the way, and attempt to find an opportunity to attack their captors.

Garian chooses a different approach, and walks boldly toward the creatures.

The demons appear surprised, but move to engage him.

Deciding that there is no better moment, Tierra removes her magical feather from her hair. She lines the demons up and unleashes a gale at the fire, forcing it to burn her torturers. One is caught off-guard and is blown against the wall.

Garian uses this moment to charge the demon, but she’s more agile than Tierra would have guessed and catches Garian with a solid whip strike and claw to the ribs.

Meanwhile, a glance back at Tiran shows him casting a spell and pointing at the ground.

Hanlin rushes past Tierra to attack Garian’s foe from behind.

Tierra rushes back to free Gam.

Garian attacks with his bonds as an improvised weapon, striking with surprising force. He connects twice.

Hanlin punches her from behind in a flurry, landing one solid strike.

The demon which was blown down sprints for the door which the large and dangerous-looking thing came out of.

Tierra made a dash towards this creature and at the same time a fist-sized stone flew at her, glancing off her shoulder. Undaunted and quick, the demon managed to open the door and disappear through it before Tierra or the stone could do anything.

Meanwhile, the demon fighting Garian takes a couple solid blows from Han, grimaces and delivers a powerful strike on Garian. She looks pissed!

Tierra spins and returns to removing Gam’s bonds.

From across the room Tierra could hear Garian’s voice “St. Cupthart!” What the…? When did he get religious? He cracks his demon foe sending her to the dust, then without missing a beat, he picks her up and tosses her into the flames at the room’s centre.

Weak cheers erupt from around the room.

The fire chews on this unearthy corpse for a minute and then tosses it aside.

“Han, lets get this door secure!” Tierra was surprised by the urgency in her own voice. But Hanlin was already thinking the same thing and rushing over. With a hammer, spike and chain, they managed to lash the steel door’s handle to a spike driven into the wall.

Tierra manages to free Gam, and to help Hanlin remove Tiran’s chains as well. She didn’t even notice that Garian was in search of their gear until he was handing her the Fist, her magical meteor hammer.

The appearance of the groups weapons encouraged a general stampede to the storage area, leaving only Tierra and Garian to figure out how to defend themselves.

Tierra busied herself with assessing injuries of the other prisoners. The hag-creature nearest Big Evil’s door rattled her chains demanding to be let go, but Tierra was not convinced that the hag was truly going to help them and there were others with more promising allegiances.

The humans, and the elf-goat creature all were already dead. The blue-coloured and very odd creature was closest, so Tierra focused her attention on it. She got it free in less than a minute—she was getting good at this task—and it said some words that sounded kind and grateful though Tierra could not understand it. It fled out the door near the gear. Tierra rushed to the cyclopse, hoping to recruit someone with some strength.

A clanging noise behind the big door drew her attention. Big Evil is coming. Tierra and Garian rushed forward to prepare for the beast.

Deciding that Garian was too weak, Tierra called again to Sophia to heal them in preparation for the big confrontation. After a few large shakes, the door breaks inward revealing a menacing figure and a cold that clutched at their hearts. Tierra considered fleeing, but with Garian standing strong she felt, somehow, safe.

Garian stepped forward, delivering a massive blow. Tierra put everything into her own attack but the glowing blue meteor glanced harmlessly off the terrifying beast.

A small demon being darted out from behind the great beast and delivered a whip-strike and claw to Tierra. Tierra’s world turned white with pain for a few moments.

Garian also took a blow, but from the large beast’s oversized claws.

Realizing that they were out-matched and in trouble, both heroes turned to flee their foes. Almost at the gear-door, the flame flairs up announcing the entrance of another being into this hell-realm.

“Cassinudy!” She hears from Garian behind her.

Tierra stops mid-flee and turns to see Cassinudy and Inthin calmly standing at the entrance. The evil beings immediately recognize their more powerful foes and rush at the new-comers.

The naked heroes scamper back into the battle to help their rescuers with the battle. Tierra says a quick, but meaningful prayer. Garian and Hanlin rush and drop the demon while Tarian gets something from the bag-o-holding.

Ithin waves her staff around and all in the room could smell fresh meadow grass. It improved everyone’s spirits, except the Devil who looked, for the first time, stricken.

This gave Gam an opening that he’d been waiting for. An arrow flew true to it’s target—perhaps the best-shot arrow Gam had ever shot, and the beast looked truly hurt. Garian sneaks over to flank Big Evil.

That gives Tierra a chance to cast a spell summoning a lantern icon from another, more peaceful plane. It barely blinks into this reality before striking at the devil with a ray of light.

Big Evil has his own ideas and casts a spell that causes many within earshot to be cursed with invisible but damaging spiders.

That’s when Cassinudy begins singing. It’s a folky song about a far-away adventurer and battle, but it calms them all. It actually breaks the spell of spiders for several of the victims.

Somehow, even while singing, Cassinudy charges the great beast, striking twice with swords, one with lightning crackling.

Tirian casts a spell which seems to melt off the beast while Tierra and Hanlin rush around behind the evil being to add more flankers. They need not have, though, as Cassinudy steps forward and lets another two blows destroy the beast.

Inthin brings forward another round of meadow-calm and several of the evil creatures in the room die from exposure to it.

That’s when she smiles, removes her backpack and rock flies out.

“Roark!” It’s Gam who yells it first, but everyone cheers.

It does not take long for Roark to take advantage of the audience and weave a story about escaping the upper pyramid-place, and returning to their native plane.

He realized that he was hurt and alone, so he flew to find the only people that he knew—Cassinudy and friends. He realized that they were heading for the cyclopse-cave and so he bee-lined for that destination, with one injured wing. Fortunately he found their band and could lead them back to the fog and the pyramid world.

The group of them traveled into the white door first, encountering a hostile and frozen world, where they had to fight off dire wolves and snow-beasts. But they made it out and then decided to check the black door where they found this lot.

No one in the party likely heard much of the story. All anyone could think was, Roark lives!

Rork Gone?!?
John M's Write Up

Tiran’s soul aches. The empiness threatened to overwhelm him.

Not now. The band of warriors still had their weapons drawn, daring to catch their breath just after such recent combat.

Tiran knows he needs to focus. Put those negative thoughts away at this time. The weapons and equipment of those fallen had been piled, and the wizard casts detect magic. From the large and small victims of the battle, various items are identified. It includes magic swords, black poison, blow guns, blackjacks, daggers, and various blow guns.

Picking up a backpack from one of the fallen, Tiran recognizes a demon symbol. Tierra, the cleric, begins to act strangely, as if possessed. A trial with the magic dagger is carried out, with little effect. (strangely, the name calling bird announced the presence of the dagger).

Then, another round of attacks are carried out by a new group. Tiran is getting tired, using up his daily allotment of spells. As the rest of the party attack the creatures, the wizard used up grease and true strike. The creatures, are eventually defeated. However, both friends and foes fall pray to the patch of grease.

A cyclops appears. The party elects to go through a black gate. Again, decisions made in the moment, and reflected upon with better knowledge.

The party passes through, and enter an area, as it through a blazing fire. It smells of fire and coal, and the group is immediately set upon by three monsteres, that look like feminine demons with chains. Tiran immediately takes a hit, and feels pain. Despite an attempt to attack (maybe water will damage?), he fails to hit. The party is quickly brought low.

Tiran’s next memory is pain, and pulling of his wrists. He slips into the safety of his memories…….


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