Players Are Stupid

Murder, Lies, Deception, Bribery and Flautery!
Part 1

It all started at The Underdark Tavern in the Trade Ward of Waterdeep. Yes, it’s the tavern with the almost too literal black colored ceiling. It was many hours before the dinner rush, so the occupancy was low. The Majority of the patrons were working class merchants, ruffians, sailors, exhausted whores, and any sort that would prefer a modestly priced tavern over the protection of the safer, higher priced counter-part. You see, it was almost a twice-daily ritual for a brawl to break out in the Underdark Tavern. These conflicts were sometimes due to excessive drinking while others were a strategic method to attempt to skip out on a bill, in either case it was like a box of chocolates. The Underdark Tavern was always a target for brutish acts as everyone knew the bouncer in the establishment, Borni, was more interested in chatting up the local barfly than breaking up fights.

The scheduled entertainment for the night caught a bad case of death, which left the toothless wench in a frenzy to find a replacement. She knew that any entertainment was a great distraction from the hardships many were facing and would reduce the amount of broken things inside the tavern (her lack of teeth comes to mind).

In walked a local flautist, carrying his instrument on his belt as a trophy of his achievements (or lack there of by other opinions). Cavanaugh the bard was seeking fame and knew a solo career was his only option as he was often unreliable to others, even despite his best efforts. It must have been serendipitous for him to come on this particular day and time as the wench requested he play his repertoire of songs. She even agreed to compensate him with a gratis meal and mead.

What Cavanaugh the bard didn’t know was that he was being follow by Annabelle the rogue, and she was after the very trophy he wore like a badge. Knowing the common flute had a worth of around 2 gold, 1/5 of that on the black market (seeing as it was used and filled with spit). Anabelle the rogue was surely desperate to pursue a mark for such a small find. Her tattered clothes shed light on the hard life she was living. If I had two words to describe this young girl of 17 years of age, it would be “bath” and “never”.

Moments later, a human wizard named Mr. Waldorf with his stocky gnome apprentice walked in the tavern. Mr. Waldorf tossed his cloak to his apprentice without any care and quickly sized up the room. Before Tim the apprentice could find his way out of the human sized garment, his master was gone. His eyes found Mr. Waldorf chatting up some locals. Undoubtedly his master was trying to score some free mead with his wizardly tricks. How he envied his master for being both tall and thin. Tim the apprentice was feeling quite uncomfortable ever since his master made him enter the city limits. He never knew of city life and spent most of his previous years in the woods living a simple life, with simple dreams (mostly about carrots). It was almost a year since his master rescued him from a life of boredom with tales of great adventures, magic and wealth.

The toothless wench asked the gnome to please take a table, as his presence was making her nervous. Close to the stage, he found himself a table with 2 stools unattached. After ordering a specialty mead, the apprentice was entranced with the bard’s flute talents which he played with such verve that he didn’t even notice knocking over his own gratis meal that was set out for him.

After the performance was finished Tim the apprentice was now officially the bards first, and only fan. He was so caught up with the tantalizing sounds the bard made with his lips (no homo) that he didn’t notice his master had left the establishment. Worried and confused, he scanned the tavern once more to confirm that his suspicions were true. He then started to rifle through his master’s cloak which was more of a task to carry than one might think. Inside he found a note in an unreadable language, and a pouch filled with 100 gold pieces.

The gnome apprentice pulled at the coat of one of the locals his master had been chatting up, as would a child. Like most children, he got the “leave me along” shrug of the shoulder. Once more the gnome insisted, now almost yelling, hoping for the whereabouts of his master/crutch. The group were clearly intoxicated and kept giving him a hard time, until finally they told the little one about how Mr. Waldorf had lost track of time and had an important meeting to attend to. The gnome knew nothing of any such “meeting” so he hurried towards the back door, following the patrons staggering finger. The apprentice was so frazzled that he didn’t notice his sparkling evermead was served on his table then stolen by Annabelle , the 17-year-old rogue. Hard knocks, low standards, and hard drinking; that is how I like my women too.

Right before exiting The Underdark Tavern the apprentice felt a hand on his shoulder. It was none other than a large fellow who he could only deduce was a bouncer. It was the bouncer, Borni, in fact and he was concerned about something he kept referring to as “the bill”. The apprentice resisted, and explained that he had had no such drink and was not attempting to do anything unlawful. The toothless wench attested to leaving the drink on the table, and Borni confirmed that he would have to take payment out on his face. The gnome conceded and agreed to pay the 3 copper pieces but asked if they had change for his gold piece. Without hesitation Borni swiped the gold piece and made his way back toward the bar. He paused for a second and threw a patron into another one causing their beverages to spill.

An all-out bar brawl erupted faster than you could say “not in the face”. Borni used the distraction to mask his escape. But was unknowingly being watched by Urth the cleric of Umberlee. The cleric didn’t like his dinner being interrupted, but more importantly he didn’t like to miss an opportunity to bash in a total stranger’s face. And that is exactly what he did, he bashed Borni’s face in so hard that he forgot all about the gold piece the cleric lifted off him.

Just like at every other twice-daily bar brawl, the local enforcers forced everyone out of the bar using buckets of cold fish water. The last person inside was Peldu the tiefling barbarian was wasn’t going to let some fish water interrupt a perfectly good meal. Not only did he eat his own, but grabbed some of the other unwanted plates with perfectly good morsels on them.

Wet and cold, the gnome apprentice starting inquiring to retain the services of some local adventurers to help find his local his master Mr. Waldorf, for 5 gold pieces each. And he did just that. He hired Cavanaugh the bard (the one he was so infatuated with), Urth the cleric of Umberlee (who already had 1 of the gnome’s gold pieces and wanted to start a collection), Peldu the tiefling barbarian (who’s face was covered in food) and last but not least Annabelle the rogue (who for some reason was still interested in the .4-of-a-gold-piece used flute more than the gnome’s bag of, now, 79 gold pieces).

This is where I knew I would have 5 great new stories to sell, and at a quicker than normal death time.

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Murder, Lies, Deception, Bribery and less Flautery!
Part 2

With his new found party of alignment-conflicting miscreants, Tim the apprentice started searching the streets for clues. Annabelle the rogue was sizing up the small group of people that were recently ejected from The Underdark Tavern. You see, she had just been paid 5 gold for work, but she felt dirty not stealing it on her own. One way or another she was going to make it right in her world.

In the alley around the corner from the bar the apprentice spied his master’s signature boots on the ground, half filled with blood. Peldu the tiefling barbarian suggested tasting the boot blood to figure out its origin. The cleric of Umberlee contested; that was NOT how things were done! He used his portable DNA test kit to figure out that it was in fact dwarven blood, not human. There was talk to see if anyone was in need of half-filled-with-blood boots, but after much thought, there wasn’t. The apprentice presented the party with the note, and after much examination, it was determined that the unreadable language was in fact that of the dwarves.

Waterdeep is a multicultural city, and like most multicultural cities they are segregated. It was all agreed upon to set off to the dwarf district (Even though dwarves were quite common and might have been found in any of the local establishments nearby, or even finding a non-dwarf who spoke dwarven was also another alternative). It seemed the party rather wanted a real authentic dwarf from the dwarven sector. On the way, Urth the cleric of Umberlee sliced open his hand and dropped both his blood and 2 gold pieces in the local water way to pay homage to his god. (Side note: several months later a young boy found the gold pieces and went on a shopping spree, and was subsequently found in the same waterway with his throat slit. Umberlee always gets paid one way or another.)

It was now dinner time, and the streets were bare. The adventurer party approached the first dwarf they found. He seemed homeless and explained that most of the religious folk would be in the local church during this time. They make a point to worship their gods during dinner hour, to put belief over hunger. Instead of waiting an hour, the party asked the mostly illiterate bum to read the dwarven note. The dwarf bum was trying to mask his inability to read his own language quite well, which caused the party to feel as thought he were hiding something. Urth the cleric of Umberlee kicked it up a notch and threatened to kill the dwarf if he didn’t start cooperating, like now! The stinky, homeless, illiterate, harmless dwarf started screaming and fled for his life!

Before the party could start a pursuit they noticed some peering eyes from each of the surrounding exits. Six pairs of eyes to be exact, each one attached to a face of a dwarf. Holding bricks, sticks, broken ores and anything else they could find, they advanced. The band of dwarves didn’t appreciate strangers causing trouble in their district. These were not seasoned fighters, just locals that observed the ruckus and tend to stick up for their own. Peldu the barbarian tried to reason with the band by explaining how he was a solider of the Red Sashes and he has personally aided dwarves in and off the battlefield. They were not impressed and were bent on running these strangers out of town. Tim the bard then played a boring song on his flute. This caused two of the dwarves to instantly fall asleep from its melodic tones. The cleric of Umberlee ran right up to one of the sleeping dwarves and with one clean swing burst its head wide open like a watermelon! The remaining 4 dwarves all descended upon the cleric in a fit of rage each hitting him with their hodgepodge of weaponry. With the last swing from the last dwarf the cleric fell to the ground unconscious. They now looked upon the rest of the party (they were far more merciful than the cleric).

The apprentice remembered his master teaching him a spell but warned against ever using it, as it has great power. But his master wasn’t here was he? And out of his fingertips flew 3 magic missiles zapping the life out of one of the dwarves. The Rogue sprang into action with multiple stabs to a dwarf causing him to call out in pain. It was not looking good for the goodly dwarves. A couple swings and magical missiles later another dwarf fell to the ground dead. The last standing dwarf remembered he left the oven on at his house and realized that he should go check it out right away, as he fled. But the barbarian, soldier/protector of dwarves thew a javelin and hit the dwarf right in the back and that is where he took his last breath. The barbarian uttered a racist remark about dwarves and went to retrieve his weapon. (Side note: the next day the dwarf’s whole family burned alive due to the oven catching fire.)

The second dwarf that fell asleep was now the last remaining adversary. He missed almost the entire fight and most likely wouldn’t be able to identify anyone due to the far distance and dim light. The apprentice woke up the sleeping dwarf because they still needed someone to read their note! The scared dwarf soiled himself at the sight of his comrades bodies scattered around him. The party tried to explain that they were not going to hurt him but that they were going to pay him 1 gold piece for his services in reading the note. He did not believe them one bit and refused. The apprentice put 1 gold piece in his pouch to show good faith. After promising to let the dwarf go if he just did this simple task, the dwarf agreed to their terms. He read the note, which explained that Mr. Waldorf owed a debt of 100 gold that had to be paid over at the Laughing Castle. Seeing as they already spent 22 of the 100 gold they figured the apprentice’s master may be in a smidge of trouble.

Keeping to their word, the party knocked the dwarf out, tied him up and left him for dead.

The only attempt to hide the dwarven massacre (that is what the officials are calling it) was by the barbarian who shoved one dwarf under a cart (his leg was still sticking out).

The party set off and found a local inn called The Pilgrim’s Rest. Inside they asked the inn keeper if they could rent a room by the hour. The inn keeper agreed, as they get that type of business all the time. The party asked the inn keeper about the Laughing Castle and he returned with a bunch of fliers, pamphlets and maps with much of Waterdeep’s attractions. Among them, is an old flier about the fantastical illusionist of the touring group “The Laughing Castle”. Apparently they play Waterdeep each year at the Smiling Siren playhouse.

Afterward, the group rests for an hour instead of trying to catch the show on time. I get an adjoining room, so I can listen in on their plans.

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More Murder, More Lies, More Deception, More Bribery and Yes Flautery!
Part 3

After exactly one hour of rest, the party felt as if they could cast spells and use attacks again that were otherwise exhausted!

They went out to the Smiling Siren theater and to their surprise the box office was closed down (the show was nearly over at this point). The only option seemed to split the party. Annabelle the rogue climbed up the front of the building like a cat, to find a simple latched window. Without even trying, the window fell open. The rest of the party went around to the back of the theater where the bard knew the talent’s entrance would be.

Both Cavanaugh the bard and Tim the apprentice put on disguises found in their bag-o-tricks. Peldu the barbarian however felt that as a tiefling his face was already like a disguise. They knocked on the door and, after a horrible scuffling sound, a peek hole slider opened quickly. Two dark eyes peered out like daggers. The bard explained that they are part of the show and excused himself for being late. One or two good bluffs later, the door flew open and standing in front of them was a 7-foot-tall orc, or a 5 foot human in costume and stilts, no one knew for sure.

He rushed the party inside, except for Urth the cleric of Umberlee who was not interested in dressing up and playing make believe, so he waited outside. The apprentice was very excited to see the backstage of an illusion show. From this perspective, they shortly realized that there was no “real” magic in the house; all smoke and mirrors. Cast and crew were far to busy to notice them standing still like statues. Before they knew it, someone was putting makeup on their disguises and they were on the stage staring blankly at more than 500 eager audience members.

The apprentice wanted to impress and gain their acceptance oh so much, that he cast a REAL illusion of his own. It depicted a dancing hippo-pota-griff! They cheered in amazement. The bard also got caught up in the show and starting to play a fitting song to go with the illusion. The rest of the cast were quite confused. There were hushed whispers of SOMEONE going “off script”.

During this distraction Annabelle the rogue was casing the joint, and quite luckily found the private box seats of the Duke’s daughter Priscilla. Her guards were off getting her a beverage at the moment and finding her alone was also a rarity. The rogue took this fortunate moment and carefully lifted an incredibly large and ornate garnet gem off her robes without her noticing. Priscilla was quite famous for parading around town, and that garnet was even more famous as the holy grail for pickpockets.

Back on stage Cavanaugh the bard detected magic, in hopes of finding Mr. Waldorf — seeing as he was a wizard and all. A large box with a target on it began to glow deep purple indicating that magic was clearly inside. After pointing at the box, the bard was soon met with a stage assistant who presented him with a cart holding 4 short swords (two were fake but he didn’t inspect them close enough). The assistant awaited the theatrics, but instead the bard threw one of the short swords at the bulls-eye and was only off course by one ring! “What a throw,” the crowd roared (it was not a fake one). The bard then noticed a good amount of blood protruding from the hole the sword had made. But the crowd’s excitement got the better of him. “They love me!” he thought to himself as he reached for another sword. This time he threw it even harder and even MORE accurately! The blade soared, cutting through the air making a high octave C note as it flew (which the bard enjoyed immensely) and hit exactly in the middle of the bulls-eye! No one had ever seen anything like it, nor had the bard. No tricks, no magic, just pure talent fueled by admiration!

The bard’s euphoria was short lived as the box’s sides collapsed to reveal Mr. Waldorf the wizard with 2 beautifully thrown swords sticking out of his chest. The theater fell silent for what felt like an eternity, until one spectator uttered “man, that is a lot of blood”, not a second before the curtain closed on the gruesome act.

The apprentice was torn, on one hand his master was bleeding out before his very eyes. The same man who saved him from a life of potatoes and other starchy foods — a plain existence with a probably plain wife. He gave him so much, taught him wondrous spells that have proven useful and even saved his life against the fight with the evil dwarves. Waldorf gave him gold and literally the clothes off his back! The apprentice knew this was his chance to return the favor and save his Master’s life, that was clear… “But on the other hand he was rude to me at the bar when he thew his cloak at me like I was his laundry hamper. Fuck it, we bounce!” the bard decided.

The party fled out the back door signaling for the cleric of Umberlee to follow suit. The dangerous looking cast members were quick to follow (carrying their non-sharpened stage weapons)!

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Clean up the mess
or no?

While the theater was clearing out, and the authorities were clearing in. Annabelle the rogue was disregarding the fact that the new found treasure in her pocket was worth enough money to last her the rest of her life. So, she continued to search for insignificant items that could be easily be stolen, despite the risk. (Side note: kleptomania is a serious problem and should be dealt with by a trained professional.)

It was only a matter of time until the party all regrouped at the Pilgrim’s Rest Inn. This time they wanted to rent the room for the night, not by the hour. “Getting serious are we now”, the inn keeper quipped. For the low, low price of 5 gold pieces the party bribed the inn keeper to not input their names in the books and forget their faces if anyone comes looking for them.

In the morning the party awoke to the pleasant sounds of blue birds which were nesting in their room (which the cleric of Umberlee hated). Today seemed like every other day after a day of murder, deception, lies, bribery and flautery. The inn keeper explained that some people in funny hats and get-ups were looking for them, apparently they went to every inn in town. Scared to go outside (because he wasn’t wearing a clever disguise last night) Peldu the tiefling barbarian gave the inn keeper 2 gold pieces to do some shopping for him. He wanted all sorts of mundane items like a fishing rod or some wood for burning. The inn keeper was exited for the task because his shopping list was less than 45 silver coins and each shop was within the district (easy money).

While outside and soaking up the sun, Cavanaugh the bard was bumped into by a women wearing a red dress. She placed a package in his hand and whispered an admiration in his ear. Without question, she was gone. Funny, he didn’t remember it being his birthday. He quickly opened the package like a child. Inside was a note, covered in crimson rose pedals. The note had a list of names on it, the first being Maskar Waldorf (which was crossed out). The others were Groll Stormhand, Nevar Ezelmann, Priscilla Baum and Your Mom (just kidding about the last one). The other side of the note featured only the lipstick kiss of voluptuous female lips. The only name that stood out was Priscilla who was famous in Waterdeep for being the Duke’s daughter.

While this was happening, Annabelle went to the biggest jeweler in the city Brother’s Jewelry Robin and Robert. And asked for its appraised value. The gnome jeweler seemed uneasy about getting it appraised. He got a good look at the rogue who obviously stole the thing. Robert the Jeweler offered 10 gold pieces for the garnet. Suspecting it was a trap, Annabelle took back the gem and went to the black market jeweler on the other side of town. There, the shady jeweler offered 50 gold pieces for “The Priscilla Stone” as it was named. He explained that in order to hock such a famous jewel he would need to spend at least 800 gold to get it far enough away from Priscilla, so that his head wouldn’t inconveniently fall off his shoulders. The rogue agreed, and went on a shopping spree! She never wore more than rags even while on the rag. Little did she know she was being watched, and not in a pervy way.

The party met up with the rouge and admired her shinny new leather armor. She was one bath away from fitting in! They all went to Priscilla’s huge estate in the richest part of town. It was heavily guarded, two in the front and 2 more every 50 or so feet. As they approached the gate Annabelle felt something stabbing her side and her new armor. It was Malik, and his prized dagger. She had recognized him as a member of the beggar’s guild they were both members of. Malik demanded the guild’s cut. The rogue tried to bluff her way out of her predicament, but to no avail. Even though there were guards just 50 feet away, Annabelle bribed Malik with 5 gold to avoid a fight. He took the gold and agreed, but only temporarily as “the guild will be back to collect what is owed from her greedy heart”. They moved past that minor setback and asked the guards at the gate to see the Duke himself, and that he was expecting them; the Duke of high forest (pointing at the bard). The guards had a good laugh at their expense. Then without warning the cleric of Umberlee punched the guard so hard in the face that it would have layed out a normal man. But the guard didn’t budge an inch, he was also no longer laughing. Considering either this band was really who they said they were, or they were just suicidal Last Hope cult members, he excused himself to check with the higher power. A short time later the guard came back and asked for their weaponry. The party was hesitant but agreed in the end.

The agitated guard led them to the throne room with gritted teeth as he spoke. The room was very typical when it came to rich, over decorated show-offs, except the life-like statue semi-centered in the room.

They were met by Priscilla. She asked plenty of questions about the validity of their shore-story. Eventually she came clean about toying with them. She never believed they were who they claimed to be, but she was amused by the idea of them seeking an audience with her. The 1st clue was that the guardian of high forest was Turlang, the treant (yes, a tree person). And 2nd every noble knew about the tragic end to her father the Duke, and that he was turned to stone and couldn’t very well seek an audience with anyone (Know your history guys. Stay in school).

Before Priscilla began slaughtering every last one of them, they showed her the note with the kiss and asked if she knew any of the other names. She knew this smelled of a hit list (and roses), and wanted to know if they were REALLY there to finish their contract. They explained that they really wanted nothing to do with the hit, or the hit at the theater last night. She finally agreed to let them live, under the condition that they seek out the second name on the list – Groll Stormhand, in the dwarven district. But, if he were to find himself dead in a ditch, she would consider that an attack on her life and she would have to send her full onslaught of guards after them.

One last request the party made was to question the owner of the Smiling Siren. With a snap of her fingers 3 guards left the room. She asked if that was all, and excused herself. The party was led outside and awaited the arrival of Randal, the owner of the theater.

After an hour, the guard brought their requested Randal and threw him on the ground. He was terribly scared and had a bloody nose. The party inquired about the Laughing Castle, and he explained that they left a day early and canceled their final show. That was about the only useful information he provided. After questioning him they quickly tried to beat Randal back to the theater, as Priscilla also wanted to speak with him.

The party returned to the scene of the crime (as they always do), but this time the front door was smashed in and there were fliers scattered all over the floor. Annabelle looked around for any lock boxes or chests in the theater, but there were none. They investigated the bloody box with the target on it and realized this wasn’t exactly how the trick was suppose to go. There were grooves and knots for the fake flimsy swords so that the person in the box would look like they were getting stabbed but no harm would come to them. They were then met by a man who was hiding in the shadows. He thanked them for doing his dirty work for him. No time for questioning, let’s get him!! (They never asked his name, but for the record it was, in fact, Nevar)

He was quick, dodging and weaving around on this 5 VS 1 fight, but in the end he met his demise by magic paired with missiles. On his person they found another note similar to the one the bard had (with the kiss on the back and all) but his list had 3 names already crossed out and the last one of the list was Waldorf. They followed Waldorf’s blood trail which led out the back door, then mysteriously vanished! Once Randal returned, they made haste and left the theater unnoticed. (Except for the new dead body they left backstage.)

They found themselves back in the dwarven sector, but this time it was much different. As they entered the area, residents would turn the other way, close up window shades and close down their shops. It was far too quiet and the party was on high alert. They could still see the blood stains on the side walk from the dwarven fight the night past (like I said, they always return to the scene of the crime).

They found Groll’s dwelling and knocked quickly (hoping to get out of plain sight), but no answer. They opened the large wooden doors and entered his home without invitation (and now we know that none of them are vampires). Again, they called out to Groll, this time thy heard a faint child-like sound asking them to “please, go away”. They found him in his study, hiding behind his desk. After a bit of convincing he came out and was open for dialog. They showed him the letter and he turned stark white! “The Scarlet Kiss!” Groll exclaimed. “Once you get the scarlet kiss, you cannot be free unless you kill everyone on the list.” He readied himself for a battle, but the party assured his safety. Groll offered them 100 gold each if they escorted him out of town, FAST! They agreed, seeing as they wanted nothing to do with dwarves (homeless or otherwise), the daughter of a statue-duke, the authorities, magical dead wizards, the beggars guild, the Red Sashes, bouncers, scarlet kisses or the theater any longer!!!

The cleric of Umberlee called in his last favor to Captain Morris, who owed him greatly for putting an end to his stalker girlfriend. Captain Morris offered free transport to any cities off the Sword Coast and they shall leave at once.

Baulder’s Gate, is where they requested; the largest city on the coast. Groll brought with him 3 ornate robes (that he wore all at once), a ring on every finger and a large chest, presumably filled with gold.

They set off just shy of 24 hours from when this whole adventure in Waterdeep began. Only now they were stronger, braver, and wanted for multiple accounts of murder!

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I'M ON A BOAT!
Day 1-2

Day 1

The party set off on a slow pace as if they weren’t fleeing for their lives. It felt like a long needed vacation. However, it was the first time many of them have ever been on such a vessel. Tim the apprentice was particularly having a hard time with the,”boat going up, boat going down”, as he put it. The Captain Morris, explained that under the extreme departing circumstances he was only able to acquire a crew of 5 – half of what is needed. He gave the party the option to either help out with the shifts (that would allow the Filthy Maiden to soar 24 hours a day) or to rest (which would get the party to Balder’s Gate in about 10 days). They all agreed to help, The crew had the first shift and the party had the night shift, but everyone would meet in the morning for a trust circle to discuss their “feelings”.

Groll Stormhand was not part of the “to crew, or not to crew” discussion as he was paying handsomely for his escort. He found his way to his private cabin and hoped to stay there until their arrival in Baulder’s Gate.

The party started their shift at dusk. Tim the apprentice spent his shift throwing up all his food and then some (it’s OK he has reserves). The cleric of Umberlee manned the wheel, which was tied to make sure they stayed the course. The barbarian washed, cleaned, painted and de-ratted the deck. The bard took starboard lookout, which proved quite boring. So, being unreliable and all, he instead went back to the barracks and took an empty cot next to another crewman. Cavanaugh the bard tried to wake up before any of the other crew, to hide his incompetence. Unfortunately, one of the crewmen awoke in the middle of the night and knew his secret.

At the morning chow/team meeting, one of the crewmen accused the bard of sleeping through his shift. The trust circle started heating up like a liar’s square! Peldu the barbarian thought he would defuse this angry mob by throwing his metal food tray at them. This only escalated things. It seemed as if a full-on mutiny was about to burst out. C. Morris tried to reason with the crew but to no avail. The cleric of Umberlee gripped his mace tightly while still eating his well deserved meal, but ready for his after breakfast workout. Finally the bard promised never to do such an act again while providing each crew member 1 gold piece. They lined up and happily received their bonus. Even C. Morris lined up and got his share! Tim the apprentice did use his wet, throw-up hand to give out the bribe. Yet again, the party bribed their way out of a situation, but the bag of 100 gold was starting to look like a bag of 50 gold.

Day 2
The party woke up from their shifts feeling extremely sea sick. Except the bard. Maybe it was his (16 hours of rest). The bard kept to his word and did work his shift.

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I'M ON A BOAT MOTHERFRUITY!!!
Day 3-4

Day 3
The party started their shift the same as always – the bard taking starboard, the apprentice puking his brains out and the barbarian not using the fishing pole he paid the inn keeper so handsomely to acquire for him. While in mid-heave, the Filthy Maiden jumped up, causing the apprentice to finish outputting his insides on the sun deck instead of over the side. The barbarian witnessed this and thought to himself “fuck my life”. Then a strange thing happened – more liquid came back to the apprentice than he expelled. Thinking this was strange, he tasted his own bile. It was saltier than he had remembered it being.

The cleric of Umberlee checked the lower decks, and his fears were realized. They were sinking! A piece of wreckage had punctured the hull. There were many options on how to remedy this situation, but they all couldn’t agree on one single “great” idea. The cleric of Umberlee’s idea was to smash the sail into the hull killing all the crew and taking the life boats (which were just planks of wood with the word “pray” written on them) and swim 50 miles to shore… while wearing heavy armor. The rogue wanted to steal all the riches/weapons from the crew then abandon the ship (ignoring the chest of wealth inside Groll’s quarters). The apprentice had the idea to take the cork materials out of their food supply barrels and plug the hole. While the barbarian wanted to set the whole ship ablaze and burn it down!

Not knowing what to do, the party woke up the captain and crew to bail them out (literally). After exploring their options, they decided to use the cork from the food, but they had to get rid of the resources inside the barrels due to the rat population. The cork seemed to be holding, and the party had to stay up all night and day bailing out the boat. Now they were sea sick AND exhausted.

Day 4
The party was running 24 hours without a wink of sleep. They felt in a dream-world half awake, half asleep. They heard strange screeching sounds, not knowing if they were real or not. The rogue noticed something large in the air which was blocking out the light of the stars and moon as it flew by. They thought it was an illusion due to the sleep deprivation, but if that were true how come they all could see it? It seemed to be circling them, and getting closer. The barbarian had the great idea of lighting a torch to improve their vision. The cleric of Umberlee quickly ran up to the barbarian and with a single motion, punched out the barbarian and extinguished the torch at the same time.

But it was too late, the winged creature noticed the light source and landed directly on the deck, which shook the whole vessel! The boat-quake caused the apprentice to fall overboard. His master Waldorf taught him reflective spell casting, which involves letting your instincts cast your spells when in dire situations. And his teachings proved well today, as the apprentice cast feather fall upon himself, causing him to float close enough to the lower deck and grab on to a fender.

The rest of the party hid (or, so they thought they were hidden) and confirmed that this was in fact a small baby dragon in between the size of a horse and an elephant. None of them ever thought these mythical beats were real! But there it stood, a mere 40 feet away. Everyone coward in fear, except the cleric of Umberlee who knew his god would protect him in this watery domain.

The cleric ran to the wheel and turned it hard left while the rogue untied the sail’s lanyard. This caused the boom to smash into the beast, pushing it off the deck. The menace screeched loudly, but managed to flap its wings before hitting the ocean. The cleric of Umberlee quickly changed course of the boat heading to shore! It was about an hour before the rest of the party stopped cowering, though the sounds of the beast were gone.

In the morning C. Morris was furious at the sate of his belove-boat, and off-course no less. The party tried to explain what happened, but no one bought it! Finally, the crew thought to look on the boom to see if there was any evidence of what happened.

Luckily for them, I was stowed-away unnoticed and collected 3 dragon scales from the boom last night. Hearing their plight, I placed one back where I found it and quickly hid in the shadows.

Upon finding the extremely rare dragon scale, the captain and crew praised the party for being heroes of the sea! C. Morris claimed that from this day forward they can use the Filthy Maiden anytime for transport, as they were worthy passengers!

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WHY ARE WE STILL ON THIS BOAT??
Day 4-7

Day 5
The party decided that they utterly hated the sea and wanted this part of their lives to end sooner rather than later. To increase their travel speed, they all took turns rowing instead of sleeping. Rowing, combined with the wind at their sail, was the only way they would reach Balder’s Gate before running out of food (seeing as they thew half of their stock overboard). It was now almost 48 hours of no sleep for the brave party. For the second night in a row, some winged beast was soaring round topside.

After getting a closer look, they soon identified the creatures as harpies. Two harpies to be exact, and they were circling the sail playing some sort of harpy game. They were swooping at each other, sometimes crashing into the sail causing it to tear. This would not do, it’s morphin’ time!

Peldu the barbarian climbed up the mast to the crow’s nest and tied himself to it, while nearly getting hit by unfazed harpies. Urth was waiting with mace in hand until one was within range, then he smashed it in the back, grounding it. One beautifully executed execution later Annabelle was covered in blood and feathers (this reminds me of college, but I digress). The remaining harpy sang a song – the most amazing song Tim has ever heard, but to everyone else it sounded like a dog choking on a chicken bone. This song gave the porky apprentice the sudden urge to run off the deck and splash down into the sea (good thing he cannot swim). The bard Cavanaugh really wanted to cast feather fall on Tim, but decided against it for personal reasons.

Peldu, in a leap of faith jumped from the crow’s nest to heroically finish off the last harpy. Instead, he missed it and swung back and forth from the rope like of a pendulum on a grandfather clock. Finally, Annabelle chopped off the remaining harpy’s wings, and followed by decapitating her. Showing Peldu and the rest of the party that she was scared of nothing, she also leaped into the sea to save the drowning gnome. A rope and big heave later, the party was together again and Annabelle was clean for the first time in her life. The party all looked at her in slow motion as she shook the water off her hair seductively. “Woah”, was the only thought inside Peldu’s mind. The party went back to their stations, like the previous nights. Peldu had the luxury of cleaning up Annabelle’s mess on the deck, and mixed in with the harpy blood and guts, the barbarian was pretty sure someone had diarrhea.

Day 6

The party was showing physical problems due to their exhaustion. And they took this opportunity to get some shut eye. Instead, they got a visit from a large extraterrestrial storm which tossed the boat like Tim tossed his lunch. All hands were summoned on deck to keep the Filthy Maiden afloat. All party members came to the call, except Urth. He knew Umberlee was protecting him and instead slept like a babe on its mother’s bosom.

It took a combined effort but 12 hours later they survived the “storm of storms”, as they were calling it. Well, almost everyone… One of the crewmen fell overboard due to not having enough strength to fashion a rope to bind down the sail. “If only the cleric were here to help…”, he thought to himself as he choked down sea water at the bottom of the ocean. Umberlee excepted the homage given by the cleric, and was pleased. I noticed Peldu moving barrels around in the night, oh, it’s probably nothing.

Day 7
They approached Baulder’s Gate, hungry, broken, exhausted, thirsty and apparently someone had the runs. Captain Morris was distraught. Exclaiming it was gone! The party inquired and he elaborated “Baulder’s Gate, you imbecile!!”, the party looked onward and followed the captain’s gaze. Nothing was there, just a gigantic crater about the size of the whole city of Baulder’s Gate!

Captain Morris loaded Groll and his treasure and the party into his personal row boat – well almost all the party. They were waiting for Peldu who was holding them all up. Little did they know the barrels he moved around the night before were filled with oil, and he placed them in key positions on the ship for some reason. He went into the crew quarters and knocked over a lantern, starting a small fire. “You dick”, I thought to myself as I jumped off the boat nearly getting caught in the explosion that soon followed! Urth, with the wind in his hair looked at the fire.

I am not quite sure what happened on the rowboat because I had to swim to shore like a fucking immigrant. But what I did notice was that the Captain was devastated by the loss of his only true love – the Filthy Maiden. The 4 remaining crewmen burned alive on the vessel, along with the party’s access to a 30,000-gold boat with a crew and captain willing to take them anywhere, anytime, for no payment!

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Baulder's Gate, where u at girl?
Part 1

Upon reaching the shore, the party soon realized that the whole city region of Baulder’s Gate was completely gone. Like gone, gone. Like totally gone! Only a seemingly mechanically-made crater remains. Without any sort of inspection (besides looking up), Urth the cleric of Umberlee walked right in the crater, without any detriment (or so it seemed). The sole remaining structure was a 15-story tower inside the crater.

While on the boat, Cavanaugh mangled his flute while trying to carve a point into it for the purpose of making it a flute-dagger. Its awful sound reflected their misfortune as he played while they marched.

The party traveled across the crater to save time (instead of going around), bypassing the tower. Their destination was a group of common folk on the outskirts of town. There were maybe 200 confused travelers sharing the same questions as the party, “What happened to the city?”. Among them were many lost souls with tons of side quests, merchants and anything else a group of young adventures would need. The only one of them that held any interest was a musician who had market valued flutes for sale.

Cavanaugh, tried to barter with the musician but he had no money or wealth to barter with. So, he did what every spoiled brat bard would do in this desperate time, he charmed the musician. His charm spell worked, but not well enough to get a free unscathed flute. Rather, he got himself a trade (dagger-flute -1, for flute). This would have to suffice and the party would have to leave before the spell wore off. Cavanaugh took a couple minutes to try again to make himself a dagger-flute. This time he was successful, to the extent that it would work as a dagger, but he might cut himself if he tried to use it as a flute.

Captain Morris, heartbroken and broke decided to escort the unfortunate band of travelers to the nearest town for a small fortune. Groll also went with Morris as the party completely forgot about the gold he owed them, and about him for that matter. Cap’n Morris offered them a piece of his fortune for their assistance, but the party turned him down, for their interest in the tower in the crater far outweighed his offer.

The party reached the tower and felt a very strong magic energy radiating from it. The tower sat 50 feet in the air on a pile of earth that also seemed unaffected by whatever mystery that happened upon Baulder’s Gate. After some skillful climbing and acrobatics, the party found themselves at the entry way of the tower. Urth tried to open the door, but it sprang back like rubber. “You must have permission to enter here,” the tower bellowed. This made Urth quite agitated and he had to resist the urge to bash the tower into oblivion. The other party members said, “May we come in?” almost ‘n sync (ain’t no lie baby bye, bye, bye), and the door opened ominously.

Inside, the tower was ornately decorated with artifacts wealthy grandmothers would drop their panties over. The party felt a strong humming sound inside the tower. All Peldu could think of was, “Is there anything I can burn?” Apart from a wooden door and the carpet, the answer was, “NO”. (Btw, the boat wasn’t even done burning on the ocean). The room seemed like a museum. Rare magic items were behind quarts display cases. Each item seemed to house some magical properties and once belonged to a historic figure of importance. Annabelle wasn’t feeling very kleptic today and didn’t try to take a single thing. The large entry room lead to two other rooms and a large staircase on the far side. After reading a couple of the elven descriptions of the artifacts, they got bored and moved on to one of the rooms.

Again Urth opened the door but was met with the rubber ward. This time the question was, “What do you desire the most?”. Tim answered, “To find out what happened to Baulder’s Gate”, and the door opened the same as before. This room was the same as the previous one, except that all the items belonged to the same legendary man, Churix Maltang. Among the items was a bright suit of plate mail armor that Urth was trying to find a way to justify procuring for himself. After more boring reading, the party went out to investigate the other room and were met with the same door-ward.

“What are your crimes?” the tower asked. Urth responded, “Killing those dwarves in Waterdeep?”. The tower did not believe that Urth thought that to be a crime, and it was right. Cavanaugh said that the worst thing he ever did was throw those two short swords at Waldorf. The tower believed he felt remorseful and it opened. Inside was a room similar to the last except it was ransacked – broken quarts scattered everywhere. Did this spark Annabelle’s urge to do a little ransacking of her own? Nope. This room was idolizing a great hero known as St… Wait, no, they just left and went to the stairs.

The winding stairwell went in both directions. Above, they figured there were 15 floors of mystery to be uncovered. Below, they thought… let’s go down instead! The staircase was lined with candles that got dimmer as they descended. Cavanaugh took one of the bright ones and it didn’t lessen as he descended. Finally about 15 floors down the candles were out and the party found themselves on a landing with nothing but a hole into the darkness. Urth illuminated some ball bearings and threw some down the hole and he figured it was a couple of ropes away from making the climb.

The humming sound from the tower was almost completely gone and the party was left with a conundrum. The thing Tim desired the most in this world was to uncover the mystery of Baulder’s Gate’s disappearance, and the sole lead they had must be within the walls of the wizard’s tower. But on the other hand there was water down below, what was that all about?

The party climbed down the hole which opened up into a huge cavern with so many stalactites and stalagmites one would think they were breeding up in here. Soon, the party was attacked by an Ankheg. There was acid, smashing, pinching and Peldu almost got eaten, but in the end they survived! Urth got 9/12 pieces of Ankheg to make plate armor out of.

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Welcome to the UnderDARK side!
Day 1

The party reflected on how this whole journey started in the Underdark Tavern and now here they are in the very place where the tavern got its name. Hoping of course, that the real Underdark didn’t provide them with twice-daily brawls, like the tavern did.

Annabelle was having a bad case of “buyers remorse” about their hasty decision to abandon all the wonders in the Wizard’s tower. They climbed back up the rope to the landing, then onward up the stairwell, until they were stopped by the magical ward. The ward was at the exact spot where the candles were extinguished. The ward was was obviously protecting the city of Baulder’s Gate from being overrun by hordes of baddies from the Underdark, and as far as the magical ward was concerned, the party was no different (with their new habit of murder and all).

Tim the apprentice got out his spell book that his master Waldorf promised him and inside it had a powerful spell “dispel magic”. So, Tim cast the spell and removed the ward, saving the day and they all traveled back into the tower… Wait, no, instead they threw 2 short swords at Waldorf and no such spell book was given. Rats!

They climbed back down the rope, leaving it there (and deducting it from their inventory of course). After surveying the cavern, that was about the same size of a football field, (if such a thing existed) they found that there were three caves leading in different directions. Along the western wall was a pile of rubble trickling with water, causing a small stream to then fill the very interesting puddle in the center of the cavern.

Losing all interest in the puddle and how the cavern wasn’t filling up with water, the party picked the path leading to the Northeast. The entry curved around while getting wider and wider still. Several switch-backs later and the cave was quite large indeed! Urth the cleric of Umberlee took point with a light spell cast on his shield. Urth heard a scurrying sound, but wasn’t alarmed at all and continued without investigation, or afterthought.

After awhile the path opened up into a spherical shaped room void of all stalactites or stalagmites. This room did not match the rest of the caverns at all. The only way to figure out what was inside this room was to throw a rock. And that is exactly what Tim the apprentice did. He threw a rock, alerting their presence to whatever evil lived there. Good thing it wasn’t a cyclops! Oh wait, it was a cyclops, a hungry one, and it was coming their way!
cyclops.jpg

Just when they thought matters couldn’t get any worse, four goblins jumped out of the shadows and grabbed Tim the fattest, juiciest one of the lot and started to drag him toward the cyclops for feeding time! (Hey, remember those sounds from before? Yeah, they were the goblins.)

At the sight of the one-eyed, no-pants menace, Cavanaugh the bard was “inspired” to run away to a safe distance, leaving the party behind. Tim muscled away from the weak goblins that were untrained in handling obese captives (not before shitting his pants). Peldu now finished his side quest “who had diarrhea on the Filthy Maiden”.

Urth called upon the powers of Umberlee and did a shock wave causing one goblin to get impaled by a stalagmite and another to die from death.

The party just finished up the goblins when the cyclops trampled through them to eat the impaled goblin. Tim got stepped on and was stuck in between the beasts toes. (The good thing about really obese people is that it is a known fact that they sweat butter, and this helped Tim jam out of the cyclops’ toe-jam). Annabelle ran in the direction of the bard, trying to compose herself and gather enough courage to battle the beast. Annabelle heard the weeping of the bard from the distance, and soon they both mustered enough courage for a sandwich, and returned to the battle.

Tim ran under the legs of the beast, almost getting a different type of impalement. Tim then ran as far away from the beast as he could, without even thinking about the possibility that there might be two of them.

Peldu the barbarian, decided that he REALLY HATED CYCLOPEES for no real reason, and threw a spear at it – again, for no real reason. Peldu was met with the worse kind of look from Urth. It was the kind of look that you get when you didn’t pull out from your girlfriend when you assured her and reassured her that you had the ability to do so. It was definitely a disappointing moment.

Urth, not being afraid of anything, walked right up to the thing’s leg and cast “cause wounds”. It fizzled and instead he cast “body massage”.

Four rounds went by of the party using every thing they got trying to slaughter this seemingly passive monstrosity while it gobbled up all the goblins. Maybe the cyclops was just misunderstood? Well, it was getting close to death itself and once it finished the last goblin, it started to attack. I figured that each swing from the overpowered cyclops would yield a 30% chance of NOT killing them outright. As luck would have it, 2 rounds later, the beast fell never to eat again.

Uninterested in looting the corpse or gutting its insides for treasure that it may have eaten, they moved on to investigate the room. I never actually saw a cyclops in person before, and besting the foe was a great feat indeed. I really picked a wonderful group to follow this time! Even I knew that the centric eye of the beast was worth quite a fortune. I spent a good while carefully removing the thing and kept it well preserved in my bag of holding, which I took earlier from the wizard’s tower! And my intuition served quite fruitful because not only did I find a dispel-magic scroll inside the bowels of the beast, I found an alive kitten and was legendarily cute!

Cavanaugh was quite touched by the encounter with the cyclops, and like him the bard took off all his clothes and decided to pursue a career as a naked monk-bard!

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Sex, Drugs and Pig-headed-she-males?
Underdark part 2

Urth avoided looting the cyclops so that he could fail at finding the secret passage the dead goblins used to avoid the cyclops. Tim searched the large stack of bones that the cyclops used as a bed – it was almost one-story high. Inside he found 2 potions, 1 exceptional piece of ammunition, and 7 gems that looked as if they were part of some equipment enchantment before the cyclops ate it (they did however miss the necklace of fireballs, which I found). Cavanaugh did not partake in any of the treasure, as the nude bard-monk was taking a vow of poverty and perverty.

It was right next to the immense amount of bones that the party thought looked like a perfect place to rest for an hour and catch their breath. Halfway through the hour, from the heavens fell a decapitated, skinned, drained carcass of a horse! It almost squashed Tim into a very fattening pancake!! Not wanting to interrupt their rest, the party just looked at the corpse, uninterested, until their hour was up.

Now that the party was rejuvenated, they noticed that the horse looked like it had been in a battle and had an arrow stuck in it. They also discovered a ladder on the wall climbing the spherical shaped room. The vertical part of the ladder seemed easy, but as it curved the ceiling it was for more difficult. Urth climbed first but fell to his death! was saved by feather fall that was cast upon him!

Annabelle tried next, with little difficulty. She made her way up and found a trapdoor. Without inspecting, she pushed the trap open causing a loud crash and scaring about 500 bats out of their cave! The bats were about to push Annabelle off the ladder when Urth saved the day by casting a wind spell which redirected the vermin into death.

After the crisis was averted, Annabelle climbed up the hatch looking for goods to lift (there were none). What there was, was a lot of was horse blood! Annabelle tied a rope to a notch in the trapdoor’s hardware, unfortunately she was short 10 or so feet and had to climb back down and get another rope and attach it to hers. (The party is now down to two 50-foot ropes, but who is counting?)

After the worst gym class they have ever done, the party climbed the rope and were at the room above the trap door. The place was dressed in wooden furniture and there was a demonic symbol marked above the trapdoor. The party lined up behind the sole door that wasn’t a 60 foot drop, and opened it like they owned the place.

The next room was not what they expected at all. I mean, who would have expected 4 acolytes surrounding a table with a pig-headed-she-male getting penetrated by a 5th acolyte!! Every member of the party’s mouth hung open in amazement – they could literally taste the sex that was steaming up their mouths.

Unfamiliar with demonic love making, the party wanted to punish the acolytes for what they now cannot unsee! Without questioning a thing, the party attacked! The acolytes spat acid left and right, but eventually fell one-by-one exploding into acid. The party noticed that all of the acolytes were female and Peldu was horny (not because of the live porn, but because he is a tiefling) and had one question, “How is that female penetrating the pig-headed-she-male??”. Cavanaugh responded quickly “Oh, I know how!”.

The party finished off the mounter-acolyte but waited to attack her last, (maybe it was like watching a car crash) letting her climax into the love of her life – the pig-headed-she-male. (It was beautiful, really). Right as the final acolyte fell, Cavanaugh rushed to look under its robe to figure out exactly how it was anatomically possible, letting on that he, in fact, “didn’t know at all”. She too turned into acid. Peldu tried to collect the acid in his water skin and it melted his water skin from his inventory sheet!

They cut the head off the pig-headed-she-male, but it was too late. It hatched out a small, winged demon from its ribcage. After just being born, the demon thought to itself, “Are you my mommy? Can I be your best friend forever and ever?” but was quickly disabused of that idea when the party didn’t hesitate to attack the thing. It tried to flee out the trapdoor, but Cavanaugh used the spell “mage hand” to hold it in place long enough for it to die quicker than it was conceived!

Annabelle went back down the trap door to retrieve their daggers/javelins wasting the party’s time, my time in writing it down, and now your time reading this. Thanks Annabelle!

After a long investigation, the party figured the sexual act could only have been possible by using the spell “mage dick”, which is an outlawed modified version of “mage hand”. Cavanaugh had an opportunity to modify his “mage hand” spell into “mage dick” permanently, but the nude bard-monk didn’t want to be perceived as “that guy”. Plus, he didn’t have any books or clothes to hide a “mage dick” if that spell ever accidentally went off.

The pig-head was still alive and started to roll away using its piggy teeth. Cavanaugh snatched up the head without thinking about where to put it (it was a little bitey and the nude bard-monk had things that he might not want bitten hanging out there). He tried to tie it to a rope, but it didn’t have a neck, you idiot!

The party asked it questions, forgetting that pigs don’t speak common. Tim then remembered he could communicate with animals, but was left without anything to ask. The head was confused about why it couldn’t feel its body. Finally the party came up with the best question they could think to ask a decapitated pig-head with the wits of a 3-year-old. “Have you seen more of this?” they asked, holding up a gold coin. The pig-head nodded (with the help from Cavanaugh) and explained that upstairs there was more shiny. Each party member got one acolyte robe with a resistance to acid.

What a perfect opportunity to rest inside this demonic dwelling for 8 hours without anyone keeping watch! Just lock the doors, lock your chastity belts and leave the rest to fate, or sleep assault!

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