Burning Bridges and Various Other Parts of Town (DCC, 6-27-13)

Let me get this out of the way before I mention anything else.  I hate to mispronounce words, but I hate using old boring words when an underused, out of favor word will do.  Apparently I failed my grammar check when attempting to pronounce pussiant.  To be fair, according to the online pronunciation guides I looked up, there are like three ways to say this, and each one doesn’t really sound like the other one.  But if the guide is any indication, the only right way it so pronounce this French word with an English accent.

Now that we’ve gotten my secret shame exposed to the public, shall we rejoin our intrepid adventurers in my DCC game?  Lets!  We’ll see what they did in their down time between their last adventure and their new, exciting employment.

The Lay of Groot–Groot trained for a month, and then went on an eight day bender of carousing.  In that time, Groot managed to get injured in a bar fight, join a secret society, get married, and wake up naked in a temple surrounded by approving priests.

Groot is a human ranger raised by trees.  His new wife’s parents disapprove of him, because she is a tree raised by humans.  Groot went to a fortune teller  (more on him later) to make sure the marriage would work out, and he was gracious enough to tell Groot that his wife is the type that likes to put down roots.

Also, Groot was fending off arguments all night that he married a little young . . . she still fits in pottery and can be carried around.  He informs the party that trees marry young and mature quickly.

The Mission of Brother Marcus–Marcus needed to complete a quest where he healed various strangers to regain his ability to heal his companions.  It was revealed to him that he should heal three paragons of law and three paragons of chaos, given that he is a cleric of neutrality.

Brother Marcus had to heal three of the Storm Lords who rule the city, who were injured in a riot.  Other clerics had failed to heal them, and Brother Marcus was nearly turned aside, until he was inspired to hand over a large sum of gold to allow him to attempt to heal the Storm Lords of the city.

Brother Marcus healed them, eventually, although he did need to stop by his own temple, donate a good deal of gold, pray for an hour, and promise to come up with a new convert.

Then Brother Marcus headed into the city dungeons to heal three rabble-rousers also injured in the riot, once again utilizing that most holy of tools, the bribe, to enter the dungeons.  Upon healing the three criminals, Brother Marcus then converted the guard that he bribed by convincing him that sometimes crime does pay, but only sometimes, and bribes are okay once in a while, so Neutrality and his deity rocks.

The Short Story of Ham the Burglar–Ham glommed onto the famous, and potentially rich, adventurers when half of the party was entering through a proverbial revolving door, looting the body of a party member that had about 500 gp.  Like many a young rock star, Ham found himself with more money that he could even comprehend, and thus spent it carousing.  Ham’s one night of Carousing led him to take more damage than he had hit points, and he died in a bar fight.  The end.

The Ballad of Ricardio the Rake–You would think someone whose profession was rake would have a month’s worth of ribald tales barely able to be told in a relatively family friendly blog.  If you would like to think that, please continue to do so.  Ricardio apparently sat in the corner mumbling to himself because he was broke.  For a month.

Whining does not cause the nubile lasses to come running.  That’s bad raking right there.

Zardoc of the Variable Adjective and his Tales of Career Advancement–Zardoc studied spells.  Seriously, practice makes perfect.  Wizards are much more exciting in the now.  You don’t want to see how sausage is made.

Osborn A’Dwarf, and his Halfling Folk Tales–Osborn the halfling followed other halflings around for a month to learn how to be more like a halfling.  At least part of hanging around with other halflings had to do with complaining about his ex-wife, who is not only his ex-wife, but is also a zombie in the ruins of Calas Port, the PCs old town.

Then Osborn when on a multi-night bender that fell short of Groot’s bender, but did net him a sweet new tattoo that wasn’t offensive or anything.

The dragon is pure speculation, based on drunken witnesses and possibly the fortune teller’s story that he is sticking to

(Insert Name Here) the Fortune Teller–After getting paid for telling Groot’s fortune, the fortune teller decided to reward himself with a night out on the town.  That night out on the town ended up burning down most of the trade ward of the city, and while the authorities were not aware of this fact, all of the members of the party knew exactly what happened.

Concurrent Tales of Active Adventure!

Groot recruited his marriage counselling fortune teller as an adventuring intern.  Groot, Zardoc, Marcus, and Osborn, while they were in private moments away from the rest of the party, were all attacked by skeletal hands armed with quills.  Zardoc, Marcus, and Osborn all had a symbol carved into their foreheads, although the symbol on Osborn’s head has horrible penmanship due to Osborn’s lucky shot that damaged the quill before it struck.

Not the Death Guard we’re talking about, but man, wouldn’t that be a surprise for the players!

Groot grabbed a piece of parchment and held it over his forehead as the quill wielding hand struck, and after it inscribed the “forehead” of it’s prey, it went away.  Groot took the symbol to Brother Marcus and asked what it meant.  The symbol was a symbol used by the Church of Death to tell the Deathguard that the bearer of the mark should be eliminated from the realm of the Living.  By the end of the conversation, the marks faded from the foreheads of Osborn, Zardoc, and Marcus, at least to the naked eye.

Groot decided to invest a considerable sum of gold in traveling from tattoo parlor to tattoo parlor all across Ramas, paying the proprietors and telling them to hand out a free copy of the symbol as a tattoo to the first person to show up that day, so long as they get it on a visible portion of their flesh, thus marking approximately sixty extra people with the mark of execution to the Deathguard.

While the other adventurers were dealing with unwanted tattoos (giving and receiving them), Ricardio and the fortune teller encountered a junior member of the Pussiant Guild of Explorers, “registered” adventurers, and a member of a group that sneers at “unaffiliated” adventurers like the party.  The swaggering adventurer pays off a guardsman so he can put the fear of the Guild in the adventurers, and he knocks the fortune teller unconscious.  Ricardio will have none of it, and even if the Guild bully only knocked out the fortune teller, Ricardio makes him pay for his folly in blood, and runs him through . . . then hides the body really quickly.

Groot gets the idea of starting his own competing adventurer’s guild, complete with a constant stream of adventuring interns that could prove their worth by surviving a funnel set up in the guildhall’s basement.  Osborn mentions that such a funnel wouldn’t have to be lethal.  Groot’s response seems to be, “yeah, sure.”

Job Offers

Professor Blunth of the university seeks out Brother Marcus with a job offer.  He wants the group to help him explore an ancient elven ruin from the previous age to find some of the secrets of the powerful, mysterious, and aggressively arrogant race.  When the group meets, he offers to pay them with a scepter from a collection of the crown jewels of a fallen kingdom that he “acquired.”  He warns them that it is likely they will have to fence the scepter in Reaver’s Rest, across the sea in the Wild Isles, since it will be too easy to recognize in town.

Knowing that a party member has caused a massive fire and knowing that the Deathguard might be leaving a lot more corpses than they were originally going to create, heading to Reaver’s Rest after the adventure doesn’t seem like a bad idea.  Professor Blunth mentions that he has the scepter hidden, and it’s not with him, just to dissuade the adventures from getting any Chaotic ideas.

Life is a journey . . . that often ends in death

The party picks up a cart and heads out on a two week journey which takes them three weeks because they allow Ricardio to navigate them, and he has no idea how to read a map.  It rains constantly for two weeks straight, and somehow it feels like it’s following the fortune teller.

The party runs into a crazy old man wielding a huge sword.  He jumps on the wagon and nearly kills the fortune teller, who hides behind a shield.  The shield is shattered, and the party is triumphant, although Groot sits back and watches the “interns” to see how they comport themselves, trees being a big believer in survival of the fittest.

Ricardio claims the sword.  The fortune teller, not for the first time, mentions that Groot may actually be insane.  The trees tell Groot to ignore the fortune teller and his concerns.

A few days later, the party runs into a group of bandits.  But not any group of bandits.  The bandits that accost the party are the same bandits that the group ran into weeks ago, that left the party alone because they convinced the bandits that they are a group of serial killers on a camping vacation (which, let’s be honest, isn’t that far off).

The bandits, upon realizing who they ran into, begin to back off from party.  Ricardio and Osborn attempt to sneak up on the group, and the fortune teller growls and threatens the bandit.  Osborn successfully sneaks behind the group, but uses his surprise round to distract the party from the fortune teller, who attacks.

Ricardio cuts off the heads of two of the bandits, and they run like Hell.  Ricardio and Osborn loot the bodies, while the fortune teller chases the running bandits for about four rounds before they get away, after one of the bandits cunningly stole the fortune teller’s dagger by catching it with his shoulder blade.

Professor Blunth was busy reading a book, and thus never saw the “serial killer reputation” at work.  He just assumed that the bandits attacked, as bandits are wont to do.

And finally, the party, in the middle of the night, ran into a coven of three witches.  The witches offered the party a bargain.  They would “borrow” the luck of an adventurer, and when it returns, it will go up by two points  (maximum of 18).  However, if they borrow too much luck, it could kill the adventurer.  For one day, the adventurer’s luck score would be reduced by the amount rolled on 3d6, and if it goes to 0 or fewer, a horrible calamity kills them.  But then after the day is over, their luck goes up by two points.

The fortune teller was struck by lightning, Brother Marcus had a heart attack, Ricardio tripped and fell on his sword in such a manner that he decapitated himself, and Osborn seemed to be just fine.

Are We There Yet?

At the ruins, Professor Blunth notices a perfectly arranged circle of hedges around the mound that should house the elven outpost.  Just before the group can get any closer, Chad, Champion of Chaos  (a Chaotic paladin) and Montaron, a thief, show up, having been tracking the sword Krazag-Hrodoz to claim for Gozer, Steve’s god.

Chad also introduces Montaron as his squire, which Montaron vehemently disagrees with.  The rest of the party begins to address Montaron as squire, which starts an argument between Chad and Montaron, but Groot notices that the bushes are arranging themselves in some form of spontaneous topiary display, which he thinks might bode ill.

Groot hands Krazag-Hrodoz to Chad of Gozer, just in time for the party to be assaulted by lions, tigers, and bears, or at least topiary bushes of said animals, animated with fell purpose. Groot attempts to speak to them in tree, but they only offer a recorded message that any non-elf should leave the premises.

Montaron, Chad, and Osborn all fall in the fight, but their injuries are not fatal, and Chad intervenes with Gozer, assuming the the party is capable of great destruction.  Turns out Gozer has seen them in action, and Chad heals various party member, just in time for them to discuss what to do next.

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