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TOPIC: Tales of the Mud Road discussion

Tales of the Mud Road discussion 6 months 2 weeks ago #3861

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Tales of the Mud Road #4a

The party prise open the slimy chest that had been inside the late Captain Billy. A threadbare carpet of loose coin struggles to cover the bottom of the box, which also contains a brace of tarnished silver pistols and a carefully folded scrap of papyrus. Dravis examines the parchment and realises it is part of a treasure map. Dravis recalls an old story that his father used to tell, concerning four legendary pirates who consolidated their individual fortunes into one enormous cache. Each pirate possessed a piece of the map, but all four fragments were required to find the treasure. The names of the four legendary pirates were; William Wugg, Buckler Swash, Sabine Vega & Kurzt Bulkizz. Dravis commits this piece of the map to memory, wondering if he will ever find the other three.

Davernoch walks among the dead, contemplating his own sorry state of mortal ambiguity. He hears a pained groan and finds that Eaymor Mudd was not killed after all, although both his legs have been blown off at the knees. Eya weeps when she is reunited with her crippled father, simultaneously overjoyed that he is alive, yet horrified by his gruesome stumps.

The heroes return to the trading post and find Captain Faehorn’s skiff moored beside the Mudlark. Algernon has arranged passage south to Stormsong Firth, while Guard Owun will accompany the party back to Knightsbridge, to confirm the success of their mission and relay the sad news of Guard Davis’ disintegration. During the voyage, the party rest and recover from their injuries.

Soon, the thorny banks of the marsh are left behind as the Mudlark sails toward civilization. Dane leaves to check in with his underworld contacts, while the rest of the party head to the sheriff’s office to collect their reward. Impressed by Guard Owun’s report, Sheriff Truman asks the heroes to help prevent a gang war in Knightsbridge. He leads the group to a warehouse on the waterfront.

“If you’ve got a weak stomach, might be best you wait out here,” the lawman warns, “This ain’t a pretty sight.”

Davernoch doesn’t have a stomach (or any other internal organs), he follows the sheriff inside. Bloody, partially eaten bodies litter the floor; most of them dwarves. Davernoch examines the corpses and observes that they were killed by a large swarm of vicious rodents. Sheriff Truman directs the wizard’s attention to a particularly disfigured specimen, identifying the deceased as Bart Barrelard, second in command of the Blackpowder Boys.

“Bart was a real piece of work and I ain’t gonna’ miss the bastard,” Truman said, “But his brother Bort is gonna’ tear this town apart looking for someone to blame for what happened here. Hell, I don’t even know what happened here! If you can figure that out and put a stop to it, might be I’ll make it worth your trouble.”

While the heroes ponder where to begin their investigation, they are approached by an urchin handing out coupons for Moon’s Most Marvellous Mobile Magical Marketorium, offering a free (magical) balloon with every (magical) purchase. The party go shopping! A crowd has gathered outside the Marketorium, enchanted by the wondrous displays in the shop window. Suddenly, a mother cries out in alarm as her young child is lifted off the ground by the (magical) balloon clutched in his tiny hand. The heroes leap into action and rescue the airborne infant before he drifts off into the sunset. Ringo Moon, proprietor of the sorcerous supermarket thanks the heroes for helping him avoid another nasty lawsuit and welcomes them to his store. Dravis spends all his gold on a jewel encrusted scabbard granting him the Quick Edge, while Elfie exchanges his coin for an Eavesdroppers Hood that enhances his innate ability to intrude on other people's private conversations. Yi eyes up a golden Helm of Heroism (free re-roll on failed saves against fear) but cannot afford the asking price. Davernoch buys the helm as a gift to the penniless monk.

“Thank-you for your business!” Ringo hoots, ushering the party onto the street, “All transactions are, of course, final. No refunds, returns, rebates, reimbursement, restitution, remuneration or regrets! I do hope to see you again soon!”

Slamming the door behind them, the shop disappears in a cloud of noxious blue smoke, leaving behind an empty lot sandwiched between two other buildings.
Last Edit: 6 months 2 weeks ago by mikeawmids.
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Tales of the Mud Road discussion 6 months 2 weeks ago #3862

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Tales of the Mud Road #4b

Asking around town, the heroes learn that the Blackpowder Boys hang out in the Black Anvil tavern and adjacent brewery. Elfie and Davernoch talk their way passed the guards on the front gate, claiming they have information about Bart’s death. The rest of the party are told to wait in the bar, where a surly publican serves moonshine liquor in battered tin mugs.

“Drink up lads,” a drunken dwarf crows, slapping Yi on the back, “This stuff will put a beard on your ballsack!”

Meanwhile, Elfie and Davernoch are escorted into the brewery. Bort Barrelard is a thickset dwarf with a flattened, thuggish face and greasy mowhawk. His boots rest on the corner of a desk cluttered with dirty dishes and empty flagons. His mouth full of food, Bort waves a gaudy gold-plated pistol towards a pair of empty seats. Davernoch has the creeping suspicion Bort is the kind of person who holds his weapon sideways and calls everyone “bitch”.

“So what do you two bitches think you know?” Bort growls, spraying the room with meaty chunks of half-chewed chicken.

Wiping spittle from his hairy cheek, Elfie encourages Bort to relax and let the party handle the investigation. Unfortunately, Bort has already decided that Dane’s band of merry smugglers, whom his brother had been meeting at the warehouse, are responsible for Bart’s death.

“Bring me Dane Longshore!” Bort demands, “I want him in one piece, so I can cut him up myself. Then, maybe, I’ll relax.”

Davernoch plays the ‘don’t you know who we is?’ card, which goes down about as well as it normally does in these situations. Bort raises his hideous golden gun and points it (sideways) at the wizard’s head. Davernoch removes his mask. Bort recoils, opening fire on the leering skeleton before him.

Across the road, the taproom of the Black Anvil goes quiet as the Blackpowder Boys process the sound of gunfire from the brewery. Yi hurries outside and creates his own entrance to the gang compound, by punching a dwarf through the wall surrounding it.

Bort’s bodyguard draws his firearm and takes aim at Elfie. The sun elf warrior launches himself across the room to grapple with his assailant. Elfie manages to wrench the pistol away from his foe, but has no idea how to activate it. Reversing his grip on the weapon, Elfie clubs his opponent with the butt, breaking the poor sod’s nose and leaving him shaken.

Bort ducks behind his desk, cursing that his pistol takes so many actions to reload. Davernoch summons a fireball and obliterates his cover, revealing a floor safe hidden beneath it. The wizard’s second bolt propels the gang leader through the boarded up window in the wall behind him. Bort lands awkwardly in the bed of a wagon parked outside the brewery. The wagon was being loaded with ale barrels when the sound of gunfire frightened away the workers. Unfortunately, these particular barrels are filled with the explosive black powder that the gang is named after. The powder reacts spectacularly with Bort’s smouldering beard and the last of the Barrelard brothers is no more.

The explosion draws attention and the watch descend upon the brewery. Guard Owun takes charge of the crime scene. Davernoch wants to adopt the few surviving dwarves and start his own criminal empire, but Owun is adamant that they go to jail instead. Elfie cracks the safe in Bort’s office and withdraws written correspondence between the late Bart Barrelard and one Lord August Dandy. It appears the Blackpowder Boys were attempting to blackmail the nobleman, incriminating him in the death of a shadow elf woman and her baby ten years previously.
Last Edit: 6 months 1 week ago by mikeawmids.
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Tales of the Mud Road discussion 6 months 2 weeks ago #3863

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Tales of the Mud Road #4c

Xiao and Davernoch approach the gilded gates of Lord Dandy’s estate and use the Fazian princess’ royal title as a crowbar to get inside. August Dandy is in his late fifties, yet retains an air of cherubic charm. His boyish blonde curls are beginning to show traces of grey and a second chin is emerging from the fat folds of his neck.

“Your Highness, welcome, welcome!” Lord Dandy exclaims, adjusting his monocle to better ogle Xiao’s cleavage, “You are truly a most beautiful and exotic flower. How can I be of assistance?”

With all the subtlety of a flatulent ogre, Davernoch confronts the nobleman with the accusations levelled by the late Bart Barrelard. Lord Dandy is incensed! Xiao quickly apologises for her ‘servant’s’ lack of good manners and suggests that Davernoch wait outside while she flutters her eyelashes at the doddering lech. Somewhat mollified, Lord Dandy explains that he was recently approached by an unsavoury dwarf who made similar accusations, but strongly denies being involvement in any plot. Despite her dislike for this oily old man, Xiao believes he is telling the truth. Before Xiao leaves, Lord Dandy invites her to return the following evening for a party he is hosting for his aristocratic friends.

The heroes realize they have nowhere to sleep. Rather than rent rooms for the night, they sneak passed the guards posted outside the Barrelard brewery and break into the Black Anvil tavern.

The next day, Xiao goes shopping for a suitable dress; something skimpy enough to excite the imagination of Lord Dandy and his pervy friends, yet robust enough to fight in if necessary.

Meanwhile; Dravis, Elfie & Yi hit the streets in search of their next lead. They notice a pair of scruffy children shadowing their steps; a boy and a girl, close enough in appearance to be siblings. Yi does not like being followed and grabs the boy by the throat. The struggling child shape-changes into a rat, bites the monk’s hand and escapes his grapple. The girl also transforms. The rat-children scamper into a narrow alleyway choked with refuse, but are not quick enough to escape. Elfie catches one by the tail, but the second rat-child escapes.

Returning to the Black Anvil, Elfie tosses the rat into an empty barrel and sits on the lid until a small voice asks to be released. Inside the barrel is a naked human child. The boy is called Mickey and he is part of Mischief, a gang of pre-pubescent pickpockets led by Lightpaw the wererat. Mickey explains that a shadow elf boy called Khelvin Oppal joined the guild a few years back. That same boy recently stole Lightpaw’s talisman of rodent command and used it to orchestrate the assassination of Bart Barrelard. Mischief don’t know why Khelvin wants to start a war, but Lightpaw wants his talisman back and shadowing the heroes seemed like the quickest way to find it.

Xiao returns to find the rest of the party preparing to go spelunking in the sewers. Faced with a choice between rubbing shoulders with the elite or scrubbing human waste off her boots, Xiao slips into her new dress and suggests that the other heroes don't wait up.

TBC


Quest Log

PRIMARY

Find Khelvin Oppal and recover Lightpaw's talisman.
> Reward: Bag of Holding and its contents (Sheriff Truman)

SECONDARY

Find all four fragments of the pirate lord's treasure map.
> Reward: A legendary treasure!

Attend Lord Dandy's gala.
> Reward: TBC
Last Edit: 6 months 2 weeks ago by mikeawmids.
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Tales of the Mud Road discussion 6 months 1 week ago #3872

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Tales from the Mud Road #5a

With a courtly flourish, Dane proffers his arm to Xiao and together they join the flow of wealthy revellers pouring through the gates of Lord Dandy’s estate. The guards at the entrance are enforcing a strict no weapons policy, but Dane’s pistols are well hidden. The guests gather in a brightly lit garden backing onto the river, where a band of musicians play from the deck of a large barge. A feast of fine foodstuffs are spread across several long tables, around which the lords and ladies of Knightsbridge gather like silken moths. Dane points out the members of the town council, a circle into which Lord Dandy hopes to ingratiate himself with this evening's show of extravagance.

Etiquette decrees that the heroes converse with their host and his horrible wife. Lady Melicent is a sour-faced old shrew who tolerates her husband’s adultery for the cold comfort of his coin, whilst venting her fury upon everyone else around her. She takes an immediate dislike to the graceful Fazian princess, with her smooth, coffee coloured skin and dancer’s physique.

Lord Dandy insists that Xiao meet another of his guests, a traveller from her distant homeland. Xiao feels a moment of dread, half-expecting the crowd to part and reveal her jilted groom. She meets the steady gaze of a Fazian woman and realises that she recognises those piercing jade eyes.

“Lu Bai!” Xiao breathes the name of her former sparring partner and sometime lover.

Lu Bai begs Xiao to return to Fazia and marry Hong Lee, for the good of her people who are suffering under the warlord’s malign governance. Xiao curses Lu Bai for asking her to put honour before her heart. Lu Bai warns Xiao that her betrothed has contracted the infamous Joka ninja clan to hunt her down and drag her to the altar in chains.

Meanwhile, Dane challenges Lord Dandy to a shooting contest. The nobleman takes up the gauntlet, despite being a little tipsy. An apple is placed upon the head of a terrified servant and both competitors are provided with a bow and a single arrow. Lord Dandy shoots first (-8!!) and wounds the servant. The apple falls off the screaming man’s head and rolls away. Dane shoots second and successfully hits the target, piercing the apple through its fruity core.

Suddenly, hundreds of rats spill out of the fountain in the centre of the garden! The guests panic and run, the rich rubbing shoulders with the poor in their haste to escape the verminous swarm. The heroes drag Lord and Lady Dandy onto the musician’s barge and cast off. The rats follow them into the water. Several players abandon their instruments and leap overboard. Xiao picks up a discarded trumpet and blows into it, hoping the noise will disorientate the swarm. Dane turns from the tiller to investigate the awful sound and collides with another boat, knocking Lord Dandy into the river. The rats reach him in moments, shrouding his flailing body in a quilt of fangs and dark fur. There is nothing the heroes can do as he is dragged under.

Lady Dandy wails as her husband is devoured. Dane turns on the old Longshore charm. Lady Dandy slaps him. Dane slaps her back. The course of the river carries the barge behind the Black Anvil. Dane and Xiao disembark, leaving Lady Dandy and the remaining musicians to drift on south toward the Gnarlroot Marsh.
Last Edit: 6 months 1 week ago by mikeawmids.
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Tales of the Mud Road discussion 6 months 1 week ago #3873

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Tales from the Mud Road #5b

The next morning, Mickey returns with a crudely drawn map of the town’s sewer system. A bold red cross marks the location of Khelvin’s lair. The entire party descend into the dank tunnels. As the party approach their destination, they notice dozens of glittering eyes watching them from the darkness beyond Dane’s lantern. Dozens soon become hundreds.

“What is it?” Dravis asked, nervously gnawing on the tip of his beard, “Are there rats? There are rats, aren’t there?”

“You don’t want to know,” Elfie replied.

The party reach a vaulted cistern blocked by a flooded archway. A rusty wheel raises the portcullis that prevents the heroes from just swimming underneath. The mechanism is guarded by several bear-sized rodents! While the rest of the party battle the rats, Xiao runs for the wheel and opens the gate.

Elfie breaks away and dives into the stinky sewer water. Emerging on the other side of the arch, Elfie sees a floating sphere of vermin, crawling over one another in eerie silence. As he watches, a dozen rats fall away from the writhing mass and scamper towards him!

Meanwhile, things are not looking too hot for the rest of the party. Dane and Dravis are engulfed by the swarm, disappearing beneath a carpet of dark bodies. The smuggler drops his lantern, plunging the sewer into inky blackness. Xiao and Davernoch stand back to back, flailing blindly at nothing as their enemies converge…..

Elfie swings at the floating rat-ball, carving a hole in the living barrier. He sees a young boy hovering within the sphere, a strange talisman - like a tangle of knotted rat’s tails - clutched to his scrawny chest. Elfie thrusts his hand into the ball as the hole closes, suffering the bites upon his arm to snatch the stolen relic from Khelvin’s grasp. The rat-ball collapses as the rodents regain their free will and flee back to their nests. The bear-rats follow suit. Against the odds, the heroes have survived!

The party return to the surface before interrogating Khelvin.

“My mother was employed as a maid by Lord and Lady Dandy,” the boy explained, “Lord Dandy took advantage of her and she became pregnant. When he found out, Lord Dandy hired Bart Barrelard to murder her and the baby. But nobody realised that mother gave birth to twins! The Blackpowder Boys killed my mother and baby brother, but the midwife hid me away and the killers had no reason to look for a second child. I grew up on the streets and joined Mischief. When I overheard Bart blackmailing Lord Dandy, I realised they were responsible for murdering my family and swore to exact my revenge!”

Mickey and Minnie turn up to collect Lightpaw’s talisman. Mischief now owe the party a favour. Sheriff Truman is satisfied that the heroes have prevented a gang war and coughs up their reward; a Bag of Holding containing four sticks of phase chalk, a shrinking potion, a valuable chess set, a tin of gold paint and nobleman’s outfit with costume crown. Davernoch sells the chess set and paints his mask gold.
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Tales of the Mud Road discussion 6 months 1 week ago #3874

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Tales from the Mud Road #5c

The heroes enjoy some downtime activities!

With the Barrelard brothers dead, the Black Anvil and adjacent brewery go under the hammer and are absorbed by the Longshore Company. Dane re-brands the tavern The Ogre’s Head, hangs a comically grotesque sign above the door and re-opens for business.

Dravis is looking for a part time job after spending ALL his money on cool magical shit, but does not want to work behind the bar of Dane’s pub. He asks around town and finds an eccentric dwarven engineer called Darwen Maybrecht, who agrees to take Dravis on as his assistant.

Xiao lurks in her room above the bar, worrying that she has lingered in Knightsbridge for too long and that she should move on before the Joka clan find her. Yet she is reluctant to abandon her new friends after their great adventure.

Elfie takes a day trip to the neighbouring village of Weem’s Hollow, an area famous for its annual pumpkin festival and for being the home of a talented herbalist called Rosina Brack. Rosina lives with her elderly mother and young daughter. She takes the hydra heart and agrees to brew a potion that will regenerate lost limbs (or reverse permanent injuries incurred on the injury table).

Davernoch draws a large circle across the deck of the Mudlark with a stick of orange phase chalk. When he draws a second circle with the matched blue stick, he will create a temporary portal between the two. Later, Davernoch contemplates running for office - until he remembers that he has the major Outsider hindrance and should perhaps be keeping a lower profile.

Several weeks pass uneventfully, yet the heroes meet up almost every evening in the taproom of The Ogre’s Head to reminisce over a bottle of Longshore Ale. One such night, everyone simultaneously starts to feel a bit sick.

“I should fire that new cook,” Dane groaned, clutching the edge of the table, “I warned him that fish not stored at the correct temperature has a high risk of being contaminated with histamine.”

Suddenly, Dane’s hand passes straight through the surface of the table. The smuggler looks around and notices that the rest of the party are also fading from existence.

“I don’t think this is food poisoning…” Davernoch replies, “I still don’t have a stomach!”

Then the entire party vanish!

They reappear in the courtyard of an overgrown and crumbling fortress. Two men stand upon the ruined battlements. The first is a tall, broad shouldered knight, wearing a suit of armour and an unimpressed scowl. The second is a bent old man with long, wispy eyebrows and a matted beard.

“You’re certain this is them?” the knight demands, allowing his imperious gaze to slowly pan across the party, “They barely look capable of releasing trapped wind, let alone a trapped demon.”

“This is the correct group, Lord Koss,” the wizard answers, “The masked one carries the heart.”

“What possessed you to do it?” the man called Koss calls down, “How could anyone be so recklessly stupid to release Zolob back into the world?”

The party conclude that Zolob the Slovenous was trapped inside the statue that Yi shattered during his spasm of monkish fury. The demonic laughter that chased them from the collapsing cave begins to make more sense.

“The silver lining on this shitstorm is that you did at least recover the Heart of Sloth,” Koss continues, “Hand it over.”

Davernoch produces the huge, throbbing ruby he took from the vampiric chest in Zolob’s shrine. The wizard Theobaldus explains that the Heart of Sloth is one of seven matching stones, the seven lost fragments of demon king Mingrollath’s heart. Koss and Theobaldus are members of the Hornbreakers, a secret organisation of demon hunters dedicated to securing the seven stones, to;
A: prevent the servants of the demon king from repairing the heart and breaking him out of his icy prison within the Black Glacier, and/or
B: hold the fragments of the heart in a safe place until Godslayer/Edarr’s Folly can be recovered and used to destroy the heart, destroying Mingrollath once and for all.


Dane grows weary of all this info-dumping and goes looking for the nearest tavern. He rebounds off an invisible barrier trapping the party in the courtyard.

“In the thousands of years your order has been searching for the heart, how many pieces of it have you found?” Davernoch wants to know.

“Er… none!” Theobaldus admits sheepishly.

“We’ve recovered one heart in a fraction of that time,” Dane cries, “And we weren’t even looking for it! If it’s so important that you collect all these rubies, maybe you should get out of our way and let us get on with it!”

“An interesting proposition!” Lord Koss answers, “To have recovered the Heart of Sloth and survive an encounter with Zolob shows promise, but perhaps you were just lucky. If you would join the Hornbreakers, your mettle must be tested!”

TBC


Quest Log

PRIMARY

Survive the ritual of initiation.
> Reward: Join the Hornbreakers.

SECONDARY

Get back to Knightsbridge.
> Reward: TBC

Evade the deadly Joka clan.
> Reward: Xiao gets to stay free and single.

Find all four fragments of the pirate lord's treasure map.
> Reward: A legendary treasure!
Last Edit: 6 months 1 week ago by mikeawmids.
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Candi - Fri 6 Dec - 00:02

Bravo Loderan's your conquests are impressive.... lets see how you stand when you face me! In your last session you will face Kel'Thuzard!!! Muhahahahaha

Steboacha - Thu 5 Dec - 20:16

Sorry running very late. Should be there around 9.

Candi - Thu 5 Dec - 19:55

Janice! Cant find ya sheild in my folder have you taken it?

Candi - Thu 5 Dec - 18:50

Great No probs!Death awaits all who seek it!

Andy Boyne - Thu 5 Dec - 18:27

Hi Black Falcons - I am coming but will be late. Estimating between 8:30 and 9.

rhodsey - Thu 5 Dec - 16:13

I'll skip as well then since I've got lurgy and was nly coming for Battletech :) Sant if you can run next week please let me know

Sant - Thu 5 Dec - 16:05

Something's come up tonight since silly season has started so I'm going to miss this week. Sorry sarge.

Mehitabel - Thu 5 Dec - 15:39

Sorry Black Falcons, not going to get there tonight. Knuckles, I made the revivify scroll for you, so consider it given to you and I hope you don't have to use it.

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