Chris (Tiberium), Dean (Thic Duc), Matt (Barron), Mariel (Leah), Brian (Pyrcival), Leah (Ahira), Coby (Warin), and Jeff (Amathar) are returning cast members.
As we left the party, they had captured the Princess, claimed they were agents of the Duke sent to return her to her wedding, polymorphed her into a falcon, and promptly took a vacation to train. Thic Duc still needs to find a monk to train with.
As part of the time spent training, the party got some of their discovered magic items identified. They chose to sell the Ring of Shooting Stars for 18,000gp, and spent 600 gp identifying other items. (Apples that cure disease, a cursed clear crystal ball). Then, while the Princess was out hawking with Barron, they discussed plans for separating her from her magic items so they could get a proper read on her alignment and emotional state. They decided to wait until they were all on a ship from Restenford to Highport, then ask her to turn back into a Princess (rather than her current falcon form), take her magical items, and attempt to read her alignment each time. Things did not go as planned.
First, Tiberium took the opportunity to search the Princess's clothing again, using his talking sword Purity to detect magic while concentrating on his own ability to detect evil. One set of particularly-sexy underthings appeared to his paladin's senses as "evil" but not magical, so he burned them. The fumes turned out to be mildly toxic, perhaps related to the perfume they had been treated with.
Amazingly, none of the other party members commented.
The group convinced the princess to return to her human form easily enough, though in order to accomplish it they first trapped her in a small ship's cabin halfway between Restenford and Highport. Amathar had prepared ahead of time by casting his Detect Magic spell, and identified a tiara and two rings as being enchanted once the Princess was human once more. Warin immediately began casting a small -- Silence 15' radius. The Princess tried to slap him, but failed to interrupt his spell. An increasingly furious Princess, gesturing wildly, demanded to know what was going on through eloquent, if impolite, hand gestures. Barron handed her the note he had written in advance.
This appeared to calm the princess down ... slightly. She read the note twice, looked over Barron twice, then imperiously gestured for the rest of the group to leave the room. They refused. She gestured for the men to leave the room. They refused. She was making some sort of circular motion with her hands when Tiberium just reached towards her tiara, clearly not intending to ask permission. The Princess shimmered for a moment, and reappeared as a unicorn.
While Tiberium frantically began to pray, Barron tried to soothe the beast, which was threatening most of the group in turn with its horn. Leah was searching her memory for what she had learned about unicorns, coming up with the basics: horselike, dangerous horns, magical creatures, fond of maidens and virgins. Communicating the idea that all non-virgins should leave the room with hand gestures did not go well. The unicorn became even more agitated, and began striking the wall of the ship with its hind legs. It actually knocked a large hole in the hull. Ahira laid her hands on the haunch of the beast and shoved it to the side, so it would be unable to enlarge the hole further, and a moment later drew her hammer and swung at full force. Ahira missed, but the unicorn then shimmered again and turned into a hawk, diving for the hole.
Ahira and Thic Duc caught the hawk-princess by one leg each (Thic Duc mouthed "Make a wish!" but the words were lost in the silence spell), preventing her escape. Ahira then struck the hawk-princess with her gauntlet, crunching bones. The hawk cried out soundlessly in pain. Thic Duc reached out with his other hand and grabbed the bird by the neck.
But then the bird shimmered again, and become some hideous form of flesh-eating amorphous jelly. The two holding the bird screamed in silent agony as the jelly consumed their flesh and fell through their hands to the floor, which promptly began to sizzle and smoke. Thinking quickly, Barron used his wineglass to scoop up a small part of the jelly princess. Amazingly the glass seemed to resist the corrosive effect, and Barron was dextrous enough to avoid more than a few drops on his skin. Nonetheless they sizzled painfully.
Infuriated, Barron cast Shocking Grasp and thrust both of his hands into the jelly, taking massive damage from its acid. The jelly split into three pieces afterwards, but did not seem otherwise harmed.
Warin unstrapped his shield and used it to scoop up part of the jelly, but burned himself by touching it accidentally. His shield, made of thin metal and wood, seemed to resist the corrosive effect somewhat better than the cabin floor. Seeing his example, Ahira pulled out a drawer from under the captain's cot, dumped the contents on the cot, and scooped up half of the princess into the container. Her container did not contain the acidic effect quite so well, and the ship's rolling with the waves combined with the jelly's own motions made it even more challenging.
That same rolling motion undid Warin's efforts to contain the princess jelly on his shield a moment later, and he stumbled as the waves swept him one way, his arms swept the shield a different way, and the jelly surged in yet a third direction. The combined vector dumped all of Warin's jelly over Leah head, with even more hideous sizzling and popping as it began to dissolve her delicate half-elven skin.
Quick thinking from the group turned events around, somewhat. Leah doused herself with the alcohol from her flask and used a cloth to rub the residue off, ending the damage.. though there were still horrid wounds. A quick healing treatment from Tiberium and a dose of magical healing repaired the worst of the injury, and the rest would likely heal without serious scarring.
Someone grabbed one of the other drawers and managed to scoop up one of the loose pieces of princess jelly.
Some discussion ensued as the party considered how to proceed. Tired of communicating in gestures, Warin canceled the silence spell, and the group decided that keeping the princess pieces separate was probably preventing her from listening to reason and returning to human form. They agreed to merge the pieces together even as those pieces, ignoring their discussion, flowed towards the hole in the hull, attacking Ahira and Thic Duc on the way.
By coordinating their efforts, the party managed to piece the princess back together while still blocking the hole in the hull. With the silence spell removed, they begged the princess to return to her human form. After a minute or so to consider it, she shimmered once more...
... and reappeared in the form of a fish, gasping for air. Dumbfounded, the party stared in shock, failing to comprehend at first what a simple test of basic morality this represented. How will such a group of adventurers treat a helpless creature who depends on their actions for survival? Will they attack it? Capture it? Dump the fish into the waters of the Nyr Dyv, where it would breathe and swim free and make its own life choices?
As it turns out the party dumped the fish into a waterproof sack and left it to suffocate there. Pyrcival did attempt to pour water over (instead of into) the sack, but oddly enough, the sack -- which Warin claims is a sack of halfing holding -- appeared to be completely waterproof. Hmm. The fish continued to suffocate while the party pleaded with the fish to become a princess. (Not even Barron was willing to try kissing the fish to accomplish this).
Eventually, the fish shimmered again from within its bag, and a massive ogre appeared in its place... with a sack over its head. The ogre was capable of speach, and negotiated terms of surrender with the party, allowing them to inspect each of the Princess's magic items for a suspected tracking spell. She was promised each of them back.
Finally, without further violence, the Princess returned to her human form, and allowed the party to inspect her tiara and two rings. One ring (three inset emeralds) supposedly "makes her feel safe" and was a gift from her uncle (who is not well known in Rookroost), the other (three inset sapphires) allows her to change shape at will and was given to her by the Princess's tutor Melissa (who the party has probably met already). The tiara's exact effect was unclear; taking it off had little effect on the Princess, but putting it on made Barron substantially more attractive to the female party members.
Barron claimed he discovered a tracking spell on the shapeshifting ring, and has yet to return it. The Captain has in fact discovered the hole in his ship, and the Princess who was not supposed to be on board, and is quietly furious about both the damage and the deception.
We leave the party as they sail into Highport with the Princess.
I caught the damn plague. Most likely swallowed some sewage water. The damn chills, vomiting. This is disgusting! I’m mostly over the vomiting, but am still getting chills and the coughing is mostly over with. It’s impeding my workouts. Wearing this damn metal is a serious detriment to my mobility, and I’m not liking it. If this continues, I think I’ll end up drowning in sewage, and that’s really not an end I’d like to have for my short life.
I think there are reasons why gnomes are not normally front line fighters, and they most likely have to do with sheer mass and lack of stupidity. I’m thinking this career is not what I’m meant for.
At least I don’t have to worry about the kid, he seems to be able to take care of himself pretty well – I think he’s proved that. Ahira acquitted herself well, I think she’s well able to step into the role of front-rank fighter.
Well, to update – we traveled back to Restenford, I caught the vomiting cruds, or whatever else you want to call it, mostly recovered and after solidifying my understanding of close combat techniques went to go visit our Fence friend to check some prices and work on my understanding of pricing new acquisitions. We got to talking, and he said someone with my mechanical aptitude should really not be wasting his life running around in plate armor (I was not wearing it that day, feeling a bit run down). He offered to teach me some skills I might find useful to supplement my existing knowledge of locks and traps, and ended up giving me an accelerated course in how to move, hide, climb, the whole gambit. I mentioned I was thinking perhaps I was not cut out for the life of a front-rank fighter, and he agreed – he said he rarely sees halflings or gnomes go that route – most take advantage of their size, speed, and stealthiness to make money in easier ways. So I’m thinking I’ve found a new career – this will hopefully allow me to avoid drowning in crap while encased in thirty pounds of steel, and maybe be a little more to my liking.
Anyway, the party gets together over dinner some evening, and hold a vote to try and check the princess for magic items so they can determine her alignment, and find out if she’s really there to assassinate the Duke. I suggest we lie and tell her we’re concerned about one of her items being tracked by assassins, and we vote. Tiberian and I vote against it – we both think we should just deliver her to the Duke with a warning, and let him deal with his flightly bride.
But, alas! we’re outvoted, and the party decides to try and strip her of her magic, and decides to do that on board the ship so she can’t get assistance. I decide I’m staying in the hall to fend off any inquiries. And so it begins, the cleric casts a silence spell as per the plan. Minutes go by, and the door opens – I look in, see a blob of white horse, and decide, screw this, and close the door again. Thic Duc goes running outside. The silence wears off, and I hear Tib yelling for me, I tell the Captain to back off, and go inside.
Inside, I find mayhem. There is some sort of acidic jelly all over the place, and no Princess! Did she summon this foulness and leave? Is this her real form and she’s really not a human after all? Tiberian say’s this is her, and I’m thinking “demon!” I light up a torch and see if the jelly is flammable (for some reason Jelly makes me think of whale blubber and oil), and sure enough, it burns pretty well.
People are yelling, pleading, but as near as I can tell, if this is really her, we need to damage her enough to get her to surrender before she eats through the hull and we all drown. She changes from from the jelly into a fish, and we toss it into a bag, and I try to pour water over it, but dammit! the damn bag seems to be waterproof. The fish stops flopping, and suddenly shifts into an Ogre, with a bag over it’s head. I draw my sword, and the ogre and Tib start talking, so I hold off attacking, as does everyone else. We make a deal, and sheath our weapons, I turn around, and she takes off her magic items one at a time and hands them to Barron for inspection, while Tiberian scans her for evil. On the last ring, Barron extends my lie, and tells her it looks like it has a tracking spell on it – I wish I’d never thought of that lie! Of course he just wants to keep her ring of shapeshifting, and who wouldn’t! They make a plan where he will impersonate her for a few days until we’re back in Highport, and we decide that’s a good plan for the moment… Until Barron decides to just leave with the ring.
I think when we land – Ahira, myself and Thic Duc (all of us whom did the princess bodily damage) will take off and go rest for a while in a monestary of Pholtus, Thic Duc’s diety, while he studies the mysteries of his god.
Dear god. Pelor, you're testing me, right? We decided to keep the lady magicked as a falcon, while we take the day long trip across to Highport. The journey was uneventful, and the Duke very appreciative. He's offered donate a large sum of gold to various charities, as well as the local church. He’s also going to take our concerns to heart, and the wedding is being placed on hold.
No, that’s not right. No, instead we decided to remove the spell from the would-be bride, in a room on a ship. In the room, the ‘princess’, myself, Leah, Ahira, Baron, and Warin. The room had been magically silenced, as well. When the lady shifted to being a human again, unsurprisingly she didn’t react well. Because we’d decided that if she didn’t acquiesce, we’d be forced to remove the magic items, I bowed respectfully, and reached for her tiara. Before I could extend my arm, however, she unexpectedly shifted again into a UNICORN. This caught me completely off-guard. Is she a unicorn in disguise? Or making a mockery of a symbol of purity?
Unfortunately, this is when all the hells broke lose. Someone behind the unicorn hit the animal in the flank, and it became incensed. That was the highest point of the next 10 minutes. During that time, half the group attacked, burned, choked (?!?!?), quartered (she’d shifted to a jelly), and suffocated (after she shifted to a fish, for some reason) the woman, all while I pleaded for sanity from everyone.
Ultimately, the princess shifted into form as an ogress, and I was able to persuade her to work with us. We’ve been able to inspect her magic items, while attempting to sense evil, to no effect. As I’ve suspected, the girl is strong willed and spoiled, with no clear moral compass. And now we hope to return her to her betrothed; May he not have us all executed for the way we’ve treated his soon-to-be wife.
But maybe we’d deserve it.
Update: After prayer and reflection, I understand my part in this debacle. That I allowed a path forward in which I had no confidence was a mistake. It’s occurred to me, however, that we are all working with different goals on this mission. That confusion and lack of cohesion has been repeatedly costly, and must end. All the cards on the table, this fellowship must unify ourselves to one outcome.
To be continued...
Old school characters are now allowed (including retroactively) full hit points per hit die, to even things out with the new school folks. If we ever do a reroll or reset with a new party, we will decide new or old school by vote for the whole party.
Thieves (including assassins and monks with thief skills) may use the 2e skill system to customize their thieving skill point distribution (including retroactively ONCE).
For reference: 200 cp = 20 sp = 2 ep = 1 gp = 1/5 pp
|Band of Heroic Misfits|
|Player||Character||Race||Class||Level||Experience Total||Next Level||Funds|
|Dean||Thic Duc||Human (mostly)||Monk||7th||47,652xp||70,000xp||$5,193|
|Matt||Barron||Half-Elf||Magic-User (Thief)||5th (5th)||25,751xp||40,000xp||$9,756|
|Brian||Pyrzival||Gnome||Thief (Fighter)||3rd (5th)||4,899xp||5,000xp||$3722|
|Guests and Alts|
|Player||Character||Race||Class||Level||Experience Total||Next Level||Funds|
|Matt||Lenny||Elf||Cleric / Assassin||1st||979xp||1500xp/1500xp||$116|