- Ciaran (LVL7) and Basile (LVL9)
- Lorn (LVL 9)
- Marven (LVL8)
- Neebs (LVL 9)
- Dwayne (LVL8)
- Alkaid (LVL 8)
- Kass (LVL 8)
Shortly after returning back in town, the group spends the next few days collecting themselves as they try to understand the strange new rules of Dwarvenshire, now renamed “Neebsenshire” after their King Neebs.
- The Neebs Fan Club has disbanded and has now been restructured as the government. Jennifer has taken control and has implemented new laws to help make Neebsenshire a safer place, including a weekly 10 gp tax and a 10PM curfew. Sleeping outside is no longer allowed, and anyone homeless or unable to pay the tax must leave.
- Neebs has also disbanded the Church of Neebs, effectively kicking the ship off the side of the cliff, as his preaching was to teach the town to “believe in themselves, and not in him.” He spends most of his time walking around town giving morale speeches to keep up everyone’s spirits.
Xi-Long resurrects Duarf, who is confused about what happened. When he learns that Neebs will now be in charge, he is thrilled and leaves to go adventuring again. He takes Shale along with him, abandoning The Last Call. The group return their borrowed items to Xi-Long before heading to The Three Shepherds.
The group meets with the dragonborn brothers inside and promise that they will assist them with their quest to clear out the rust monsters as soon as they rest for a day or two from their battle with the dragon.
Marven introduces himself, and they recognize him as “The Iron Gut.” They ask him if he really did eat a rotting deer carcass, and he explains that he did but ended up getting cancer that he survived from. They’re in awe that he is alive, and say, “Livestrong my friend.”
After a brief disagreement with Caelem about who has the best salted pork, Marven takes over the tavern, and Dwayne helps him try to mimic Shale’s salted pork recipe.
The group then visit the Fang Reserve to sell the dragon parts they collected, and to meet with Linderall. Everyone is promoted as a member of the Fang Reserve and given a golden medallion. Ciaran asks if his imaginary friend can have one, which confuses Alveron. Linderall tries to explain that he’s only invisible and asks why Alveron isn’t wearing his True Sight Goggles to see Basile. Alveron shrugs and replies, “I’m rich!” and gives Basile a medallion. Lorn also convinces him to give Rocky one, too.
Dwayne makes snide comments in front of Alveron to suggest that Linderall was sleeping during the fight and not the amazing hero that he probably suggested. Linderall is clearly uncomfortable with Dwayne’s comments and tries to brush it off as if he wasn’t taking the credit for everything.
The group then splits up to finish up their own tasks before they go to help the dragonborn brothers:
- Rheagar’s home is finished, and he takes a break from adventuring to furnish his home.
- Basile visits with Ashisa to provide her with the supplies he collected for the poison. She tells him that it will be completed in a few days.
- Neebs and Marven visit the blacksmith to make dragon hide armor for the two of them, haggling for a deal.
- Lorn goes to Duarf’s tent to collect his legal documents. A man named George is there collecting the documents to take to Jennifer. Lorn is unable to keep them, but manages to take over ownership of the tent. As George leaves with a, “All Hail King Neebs,” Lorn senses a spike of magic energy from him. He recognizes it as a Mass Suggestion Spell. He sends Nergal to go find Dwayne, Marven, and Basile.
- Kass is sewing blankets for the homeless, and tells stories about their battle with the dragon to kids who rush up to talk with him.
- Dwayne visits H’rathen at the Temple of Kord. They mock Neebsenshire and poke fun at Neebs and his ego before Dwayne continues to brew items.
- Marven and Alkaid go to visit Ashisa to thank her for her help during the battle. (Kass plays “Kiss the Girl” outside while peering through the window at Marven.) While there, they hear screaming coming from the Temple of Kord and see Dwayne rush out screaming. Ashisa hurries out to assist him, but the affects from his failed Shriek Paste wears off. (At this point, Nergal had found Basile who is talking with Lorn about keeping quiet and meeting at the left foot. They’re off to a great start, as Dwayne is currently screaming and drawing attention to himself.)
- Suddenly, the town crier comes out to announce that no one with the last name “Ebbonfire” is allowed into town, except Marven Ebbonfire. Neebs finds Marven and tells him he’s got his back, even though it’s clear that Marven is NOT happy about this.
- Lorn, Marven, Dwayne, and Basile all meet at the left foot out of town. Lorn tells them that anyone who says “All Hail King Neebs” seems to be under a spell. Dwayne repeats it and Lorn senses that the spell has been placed on him, too. Lorn dispells it and decides that they need to never say that phrase. They agree to keep an eye out for any danger, and Basile agrees to spy on Jennifer to see how she’s involved. However, he’s unable to find her in town at all.
- Lorn goes to find Neebs and sees him being carried on a palanquin by four subjects. Lorn rides along on Rocky and whispers to Neebs that someone may be trying to assassinate him with magic, and that he needs to check to make sure that he’s safe. “Impossible, I’m a King!” Neebs exclaims, but Lorn still casts Dispell Magic to try and protect him. This causes the subjects carrying him to cry out for a guard to arrest Lorn, as he may be the assassin. Neebs pardon’s him, saying that he will show Lorn around the prison as a warning.
- That night, Marven visits Xi-Long and have his crown examined. That night, he puts it on before bed and has vivid dreams of being a dragon and slaughtering people.
The next morning, the group meets with the dragonborn brothers to help them clear out the rust monsters. Marven is no longer wearing his cloak and reveals his wings, black scales, and horns without worry. The dragonborn brothers are amazed.
As they travel to Goblin Peak, now called Neebs Peak, through the well, Dwayne casts Dispell Magic on the dragonborn brothers to try and break them from the Mass Suggestion spell. It seems to work, yet he can still sense that they are under the spell.
Inside of Goblin’s Peak Neebs is clearing out the space to establish his castle. As Toxil and Americk look around in awe and praise King Neebs, Marven calls Neebs a compulsive narcissistic liar.
On the path to the dwarven mines, they come across four feral minotaurs that block their way.
- Marven blows sleep breath granted to him from his crown at two of the minotaurs (1 & 2). Alkaid fires two arrows rapidly at the third minotaur in the group.
- Lorn casts Rhinorush at Rocky. Rocky charges and demolishes the first sleepy minotaurs after crashing through him and leave a rhino sized hole. Lorn then casts Magic Missile on the #2.
- Dwayne casts Ray of Dizziness to make the fourth minotaur stumble and unable to move and attack.
- Neebs uses his bow to cast a Touch of Idiocy spell on #3 as Kass starts to sing boost the party with his voice.
- Ciaran copies Neebs and fires an arrow as Basile fires and eldritch blast and scorches #3.
- The minotaurs charge up at them. #2 attacks Rocky but is unable to harm him. Meanwhile, #3 slashes at Lorn and gores him with his horns.
- Marven blows more sleep breath, and #3 falls asleep and crushes Lorn under him.
- Alkaid shoots two arrows up #2’s nose and kills him.
- (Then lightning strikes out of the sky and kills Dwayne as Eric throws out Jake’s redbull.)
- Lorn tries to escape from underneath the minotaur and slips away. He rushes over to Dwayne and heals himself.
- Dwayne exclaims to watch “the most electrifying magic missile” as usual, and Lorn teases that his was more powerful.
- Neebs uses a chill touch arrow to slam into #4’s head, confusing Rocky as he looks around to charge.
- With the last minotaur asleep on the ground, Basile walks up and slits its throat.
With nothing to collect from the bodies, the group moves foward and are almost immediately attacked by two Thunder Shrikes, giant eagles that shoot lightning. They fly up and shoot two bolts across the group.
- Everyone is able to dodge, except Alkaid’s companion, Xylander. He is knocked to the group for Alkaid to heal. Ciaran and Basile are also hit by both bolts. However, Basile takes all of the damage and is nearly knocked unconscious by the force, left with only 4 HP left.
- Rocky moves over Lorn to protect him as he heals from the attack, as the female swoops down to grab Marven and take him away.
- Ciaran tries to shoot arrows at the Thunder Shrike but is unable to hit it. Meanwhile, Basile sits on the ground to eat as many berries and potions as possible to avoid death.
- Kass and Dwayne tag-team to cast Charm Animal on the Thunder Shrike carrying Marven to make her an ally and to put Marven down. For a moment it works, with her mate asking “Darling of my life, what are you doing?”
- Then Neebs decides to shoot an arrow at her with a chill touch, and Marven breaths fire with a power surge to make her drop him.
- Alkaid feeds his cougar berries and then shoots a collision arrow at the Tunder Shrike carrying Marven.
- Lorn casts a spell to give him and Rocky fire wings. Rocky flies up into the air to ram his horn through the head of the Thunder Shrike holding Marven and rips its head off. How dead, it releases Marven who flies out of danger. Her mate screeches and flees in fear after seeing his mate slaughtered.
Lorn heals himself and goes around healing the group, commenting on Basile that his skin looks blotchy as he turns invisible for Lorn to heal him. Basile shrugs it off as a rash, but knows that Lorn probably already knows what he is.
Marven eats the carcass of the Thunder Shrike, but not until Dwayne cuts off its beak to keep as a trophy. Legick wants to eat some of the carcass too, but Marven won’t share. Lorn makes him eat berries to satisfy his hunger, and Dwayne gives him salted pork.
That night the group sleeps outside, but not for long. The first watch hears a man screaming in the distance and wakes up everyone. They all rush to find a warrior fighting off a ghost-like creature that is identified as a Dread Wraith – which turn you into a Dread Wraith if they kill you. He sees the group and cries out for help as the wraith slashes across his chest and seems to rot him.
- Dwayne uses his ring to encase the wraith in faerie fire. It groans and looks at him. Then, the man’s pocket glows, and another wraith appears next to Dwayne.
- Neebs flies up to ask the man what happened, and he explains that he was given a deck of cards and when he drew one the wraith appeared and started attacking. Neebs quickens True Strike with Burning Hands and fires at the wraith. Another is summoned next to him in the air.
- Marven blows a blast of slowing breath on the original wraith and the man, as Rocky charges forward and bursts through the wraith and kills it (thanks to a lapse in DM judgement.) Another wraith immediately appears in its place by Rocky.
- Lorn runs up to the man and heals him. However Basile, after seeing that if you hurt the wraith another one appears, blasts the man with an eldritch blast to try and kill him.
- Ciaran rushes into the fray carefully to pray to Ioun and Kord to cast Protection Devotion on the group.
- Alkaid pauses, uncertain if he should shoot the wraith or the man. Basile tells Alkaid that he should shoot at the man’s pocket to try and knock out whatever is causing the wraiths to appear. He does so, and impales the man’s leg. Basile tells him to shoot again, much to Alkaid’s dismay, and does. The deck of cards falls out.
- Kass casts Mage Hand to levitate the deck to him to keep nearby.
- The wraiths screech and attack. The first swipes at Rocky but misses. The second strikes Neebs and gives him 8 Con damage. The third attacks Dwayne and gives 1 Con damage. The fourth swoops at Marven but he dodges.
- Dwayne runs away with a full retreat, saying that this fight isn’t worth it. Meanwhile, Neebs shoots an arrow to kill the man.
- Marven blows fire at two of the wraiths, and Lorn casts Flame Strike on another to burn it with a column of fire. Rocky activates an aura to help protect the group. No other wraiths appear as they get attacked.
- Basile and Ciaran retreat in another direction, still wary of the beasts, as Kass and Alkaid gather near them and shoot arrows at the wraiths.
- The wraiths attack again but are unable to harm Dwayne Rocky, or Neebs. However, Marven takes more con damage.
- Dwayne tumbles pass the wraith chasing him with ease and casts Mirror Image and Blur to help avoid being hit again. He cries out for help, then sees that Marven is in really bad shape, and shouts for others to help Marven instead.
- Neebs continues to shoot arrows at the wraith on him, as Marven keeps blowing entangling fire to try and slow them down.
- Lorn casts fire wings on him and Rocky again, then quickens Scorching Ray on the wraith near Rocky. Rocky swings his wing up into the wraith to burn it.
- Basile rushes back in and blasts the wraith fighting Neebs with eldritch fire, destroying it.
- Kass, Alkaid, and Ciaran shoot arrows from a safe distance. Alkaid’s drives into the wraith attacking Rocky, exploding its face. Kass continues to sing to boost everyone’s strength.
- The two remaining wraiths attack Marven and Dwayne. Marven flees as the wraith on him finally succumbs to entanglement, and Dwayne tumbles away to safety as the wraith attacks one of his mirrors.
- Lorn reads a Scroll of Greater Restoration to bring Marven back to health. Then, he quickens Scorching Rays to blast the wraith.
- Basile moves up to attack, but hears Ciaran telepathically that he wants to shoot first and stops. Ciaran aims and shoots an arrow into the wraith incorporeal dick and watches it curl up in a fetal position and fade away.
With everyone healed and ready for a good night’s rest, they return to camp to pass out. While everyone sleeps, Neebs takes the Deck of Many Things and chooses to draw ten cards in hopes of riches. The first card he draws is The Knight, and a male raptoran squire appears beside him. Then, he draws The Void, and his soul leaves his body and is trapped on another plane and his body goes comatose.
When the group awakens, they find the squire standing beside Neebs stoically, and Neebs on the ground with the deck. Marven tries to wake him, but Lorn determines that Neebs’ soul is now trapped elsewhere.
As Lorn tries to drew a summoning circle to request help from the Archon Shamus, Dwayne suggests that the squire, named Sir Adrian, draw from the deck once to see if it brings him back. He does so and draws The Ruins. All of his possessions and clothing disintegrates. Kass gives him a woven loin cloth, and the group gives him Sadius. However, it doesn’t take long before Sadius takes over his mind and is his own being.
Lorn uses his summoning circle to call upon Shamus, and instead a somewhat tall dwarf with a fiery beard and pupil-less eyes. He carries a large maul with a human skull on the end. He introduces himself as Skull King, and Lorn realizes that he not only summoned the wrong person, but he had bound the newcomer to their plane of existence.
He asks Skull King to look over Lorn to see if he can discern where Neebs’ soul is trapped. However, he’s unable to locate him. The group decides the best thing they can do for now is take Neebs back to town to keep his body safe while I try to find his soul.
With Skull King and Sir Adrian/Sadius with them, the group travel with the dragonborn brothers to the mine shaft overrun with rust monsters. Americk bangs on his shield while Ciaran blows his whistle to lure out the rust monsters. Twelve of them scuttle out and spread out around them.
- Skull King, who looked over Neebs, grabs the chunks of metal he had to lay them in a line away from the group. Some of the rust monsters are distracted by the food.
- Lorn casts two fireballs in the center of a group of rust monsters, killing off three of them as they char away, saying, “If you can’t stand the heat…stay out of the kitchen.” Marven immediately wants to eat them.
- Rocky charges and splits the one in front directly down the center with precise precision.
- Marven breaths fire with a power surge in a line to hit three of the rust monsters in the front.
- Skull King charges forward and punches one in the face, after being warned not to use any metal weapons. He melts a hole into the rust monster’s head as steam rises. However, he is saddened because the rhino still did more damage.
- The dragonborn brothers rush up to fight. Toxil casts a spell on Legick’s axe so he can attack. However, when Legick swings, it breaks and the axe head goes spinning off. Americk uses a club to attack but it bounces off.
- Alkaid shoots an electric bow into the rust monster and is explodes with a surge of electricity.
- Kass sings and shoots and arrow. As it slams into the rust monster, his pitch reaches the right tone to make the arrowhead shatter inside the rust monster and killing it. (And then Jake sang the most metal high note every and shocked everyone.)
- From inside the cave, two massive boulders fly out and slam into Lorn and Kass. Two stone giants step out.
- Basile rushes up and claws at one twice, scorching it. Ciaran tries to shoot at one, but his arrow bounces off.
- Lorn casts Magic Missile twice to explode a rust monster, as Rocky is cast with Rhino Rush and charges into the giant next to Basile. He lifts it partially off its feet and gores it.
- Marven casts Flame Blade with the Zephyr Blade, as Skull King charges to the other giant. He gets body slammed, but punches back with Burning Hands to melt into him.
- Toxil casts Burning Hand to blast at one of the rust monsters, burning Americk in the process. He swings and misses with his club. Meanwhile, Legick uses the handle of his broken axe to smack the rust monster.
- The rust monsters crowd around Americk and attack him. He loses 1 HP and cries out in agony.
- Dwayne “the Boulder” Gnome Johnson (as he is now burdened with the weight of Neebs’ loss) uses Vertigo Field around the rust monsters and giants.
- Alkaid fires two collision arrows into the knees of the giant and knock it off balance, as it cracks its head on the ground and dies.
- Kass shoots his bow into a rust monster and continues to sing.
- The remaining giant swings his club at Skull King, but trips over himself and falls. Basile shoots a blast of eldritch fire at him.
- Marven uses his fire surge on four of the remaining rust monsters, scorching all of them and killing one.
- Skull King lifts up his war hammer to crush the head of giant, but misses due to the vertigo field.
- Lorn, who is outside of the field, uses his Hammer Sphere to crush the giant’s head. Skull King has a new rival.
- Rocky trots over to the rust monster and knocks one off the side of a small cliff to kill it.
- With only two rust monsters left, Americk continues to swing wildly until he eventually closes his eyes and trust falls forward, ramming his club – which suddenly became a sword – into the mouth of the rust monster and killing it. Meanwhile, Legick rushes up to crush the last rust monster with his stick, but a magic missile flies past and kills it. Everyone looks at Dwayne (cause what other motherfucker would do that?) but it was Toxil.
- Although his now-sword is destroyed, Americk is elated and drops to his knees to pray to Pelor for XP.
As Americk praises Pelor, and then praises King Neebs, Lorn casts dispell magic to try and stop the Mass Suggestion from stacking. He explains that there is a spell on those who say that phrase, but the dragonborn brothers don’t believe him. That is, all except Legick, who can’t speak and thus can’t say the phrase for the Mass Suggestion. He draws a “=(” when Lorn asks him how he feels about the new laws passed by Jennifer.
Meanwhile, Marven eats carcasses.
The dragonborn brothers and Sir Aganor/Sadius carry Neebs back to town. Before the group follows, Basile asks them if they can take a small side trip so he can get something done. He tries to be vague about it, but shows them the map leading to Byloth. Lorn asks him telepathically what he wants to do with a devil, to which he tries to explain that he just needs to talk to her. Lorn continues to grill Basile, asking who told him to do that, and after being pressed he says Xi-Long told him to.
Lorn reveals aloud that Basile is a tiefling and that he wants to make a deal with a devil, effectively ticking off Basile, and causing everyone to ask him what the hell he’s doing. He tries to avoid the questions, but Dwayne makes a jab about him blindly following a prophecy from Ioun, to which he vehemently denies ever worshiping Ioun.
Knowing he can’t get out of it, he lets himself become visible (surprising Skull King) and explains that he has a prophecy saying he is going to die soon, and that he and Ciaran are bound. While he doesn’t admit that he was scared about nearly dying from the lightning, he emphasizes that he needs to ask the devil for immortality as it’s the only way he can ensure his safety. He wants them to join him because he trusts that they’ll help him make a wise decision and keep him safe, just as he has kept them safe when they have been in danger.
Surprised by the groups willingness to assist him, despite being a tiefling, the group heads off to Byloth’s cave.
The next day, they arrive and go inside. There, they meet a human woman sitting at a desk. She welcomes them and asks them why they’re here. Marven lies that they have an appointment, to which she says she doesn’t see them in her records. Basile explains that they just want to speak to Byloth. He asks how far in the cave she is, to which the woman replies that ruins the fun. Byloth only speaks with those who prove their worth in the dungeon.
She hands them a waiver for all of them to sign, explaining that Byloth isn’t responsible for anything that happens on the way to meet her. After reading the waiver, and having Rocky notarize it, everyone signs with their blood.
They enter the first room of the dungeon. It is pitch black, so Dwayne lights up with his gloves. Inside they see five Fear Guards standing at attention. As soon as they see them they prepare to fight.
- Lorn shoots a fireball into the center four of them to light them on fire. In response, the Fear Guards cast a Fear Spell. Only Ciaran is affected, and starts to scream and cower beneath Rocky. He is completely unable to defend himself.
- The Fear Guards move forward and attack. Dwayne is hit and takes Wisdom damage, making him close to brain dead. Skull King is attacked as well, but doesn’t take any damage. Rocky is hit with a Ray of Enfeeblement and grows weaker.
- Basile steps forward to slash his eldritch claws through one of the Fear Guards as Dwayne casts Haste and Kass sings his song.
- Skull King lights up the head of his maul, imbuing it with a chilled touch spell. He swings it around three times, slamming a Fear Guard in the legs, then the shoulder, and then down onto its head once it was on the ground. After the attack, his maul glows a ghostly light, which cause three of the remaining four guards to back into the corners in fear.
- Alkaid shoots three collision arrows into the mouth, throat, and stomach of the guard that was unaffected by the ghost light – killing it with ease.
- Marven blows slow breath on the other tow huddling together.
- Lorn casts Magic Missile as Rocky shuffles over Dwayne and Ciaran to protect them both from being harmed.
- The three remaining guards shoot Skull King with a Ray on Enfeeblement, weakening him further. However, his maul still glows with ghost light.
- Basile tries to eldritch blast at the two guards in the corner, he is distracted by Ciaran’s screaming for him. He misses wildly as Alkaid chastises him for dragging Ciaran into this. The two argue about who’s fault this is.
- Dwayne uses his ring to cast faerie fire around one of the guards, and it surges and kills him – much to “almost brain dead” Dwayne’s dismay.
- Kass uses his Sonic Bow to shoot an arrow into one of the guards stomach, causing a sonic wave to ripple through its body and explode.
- Skull King rushes up to the last guard cowering in the corner and slams into it, as Alkaid shoots three arrows to pin its hands into the wall and the final one its its head – crucifying it.
- Ciaran (LVL7) and Basile (LVL9)
- Lorn (LVL 9)
- Marven (LVL8)
- Rheagar (LVL 9)
- Dwayne (LVL8)
- Alkaid (LVL 8)
- Kass (LVL 8)
- Skull King (LVL 8)
While the group is away, Rheagar is in town finishing up furnishing his house. He then receives a letter explaining where the group has gone asking him to join them. So he starts his trek to meet then at Byloth’s.
During the trip, he encounters no monsters and has an easy trip. When camping, he nearly sets off his own caltrops. On the way, he sees Torg and Ellerd setting up the way stone for Avandra. He wishes them well as he continues on their way, providing Torg a skin of water since she looked parched from setting up the way stone on her own while Ellerd watched.
When Rheagar catches up with the group, he meets the human in Byloth’s waiting room and signs the waiver to allow him passage. He enters the room just as the group has finished clearing the room of monsters. Basile fills him in on everything he had missed and explains that they’re here to accompany him to make a deal with Byloth but are under no obligation to make deals of their own.
At this moment, Rheagar realizes that he recognizes Basile’s voice and asks if he’s the one who called him a bitch when they were fighting the green goblin. Yup.
The group heads forward into the next room after Ciaran checks it for traps and Dwayne unlocks it with the Knock spell.
- The hall leading to the next room is only three feet tall, forcing the group to crawl on their knees. All along the hall are holes where Basile and Kass start theorizing the different traps that could be inside including but not limited to arrows, darts, snakes, bees, water, gas, etc.
- Marven breaths fire into the tunnel but none of the traps are set off. He, Skull King, and Rheagar starts to crawl inside.
- As they reach the end of the tunnel, they hear a loud buzzing inside and a swarm of ruby red wasps fly out and surround them in a cloud. Skull King identifies them as a Hell Swarm.
- Lorn fires a magic missile from outside of the tunnel, burning up a few of the wasps. Meanwhile, he uses Baleful Transposition to replace Skull King and Rocky. Rocky begins to emit an aura that gives everyone additional strength to fight off the swarm.
- Alkaid ducks down and shoots two arrows into the tunnel. The first one crackles with electricity and zaps some of the swarm. The second arrow misses but pisses off the swarm, who then attack Rocky in the ass.
- Skull King casts Scorching Ray to burn a large portion of the wasps.
- Ciaran, seeing the spell, copies him and casts Scorching Ray himself. Meanwhile, Basile rushes up and ducks down, shooting off an Eldritch Blast into the tunnel.
- Dwayne casts Welm and puts part of the swarm to sleep.
- Kass starts to sing and inspire courage in the group.
- The swarm starts to attack Rheagar, but Lorn casts Scorching Ray to shoo them away. However, as he steps back, Alkaid’s cougar starts to bat at his belt and causes him to lose concentration and cast the spell on himself.
- Rocky breaths fire into the tunnel, and is left panting and very tired.
- Meanwhile, Marven starts to eat the charred wasps by the handful; they taste like a spicy pretzel. Rheagar also stashes a few handfuls into his sack to use for alchemy later.
When the tunnels are cleared, the group continues their way into the next room. They find a magic door, and Marven walks up to blow fire on the door. Magic blades come slashing down from the ceiling as a trap.
Marven asks Dwayne to cast dispell magic, but he’s nervous too. So, he asks Ciaran if he “has the balls to unlock the door.” Ciaran politely declines, saying that he would but Basile doesn’t want him to. So, Dwayne casts dispell magic, but it doesn’t seem to work. He then casts Knock to unlock the door. However, he too gets attacked.
Skull King identifies the spell as the Blade Barrier Spell, and walks in to open up the door that was unlocked by Dwayne. Upon opening the door, he sees that the next room has a normal ceiling again. Inside are three of the most fearsome creatures he has ever witnessed. However, he’s able to shake off his fear and realize that what he sees isn’t real and prepares for battle.
- Alkaid rushes forward and sees an amalgamation monster in the next room composed of several body parts stitched together. He shoots two arrows and sees that they seem to deflect off and not cause as much damage as normal.
- The monster casts a spell on Marven, Rheagar, Skull King, Dwayne, Alkaid and Xylander. Only the latter three are affected and suddenly become hyper sensitive on their skin.
- Skull King is bit by one of the monster, and recognizes it as a Stitched Devil. He walks up and smashes it with his hammer.
- Marven steps back and blows sleep breath on them, exhausting and shaking them.
- Rheagar uses his Lions Roar to encourage everyone in battle.
- Kass moves into the room and ducks low to shoot with his collision bow. Much like Alkaid, the arrows don’t seem to do as much damage as usual.
- Lorn casts Baleful Transposition to replace Marven with Rocky so he can get into the doorway.
- Dwayne casts Haste on the group to make them faster and stronger.
- Basile quickly crawls through the tunnel and shoots off two Eldritch Blasts while Ciaran stays back and casts and Protection Devotion after praying to Kord and Ioun.
- Marven suddenly starts to feel sick as the sleeping wasps he ravenously ate start to wake up and buzz inside of him. They start to crawl through his body and under his skin, and he screams at Lorn to make him oatmeal. Thoroughly freaked out, Lorn starts to make oatmeal.
- The wasps in Rheagar’s sack also wake up and swarm out, surrounding him, Basile, and Alkaid.
- Alkaid shoots a collision bow at the first Stitched Devil, pinning it into the wall. The stitches start to pull apart as it crumbles into a pile of body parts.
- The two remaining Stitch Devils attack everyone except Dwayne, who had fled back deeper into the tunnel, with Unholy Blight. However, only those with a Good of Neutral alignment are harmed.
- Skull King dodges attacks from the Stitched Devil and casts Chilled Touch, but is unable to dodge as Rheagar runs up to attack and misses completely, cutting into Skull King.
- Marven writhes and on the ground and begs for Lorn to feed him oatmeal. Lorn feeds him and casts Remove Disease, forcing the wasps to expel violently from Marven’s mouth. Lorn quickly casts two Scorching Rays to destroy the two swarms of wasps and turns them into popcorn.
- Rocky goes to charge at the Stitched Devil in the back of the room, but accidentally bumps into the Stitched Devil in the doorway and demolishes it.
- Kass eats berries and continues to shoot arrows at the last Stitched Devil. Basile runs into the room and casts his Eldritch Blast. The devil disappears and flees.
As Rheagar refreshes his moves in a flare of skilled swordsmanship, Lorn heals everyone and Ciaran opens up the door toward the next room. Inside the see what looks like a lab with a massive bookshelf. Lorn, Dwayne, and Skull King each find a red ruby worth plenty of gold.
No one is able to reach the text except Basile and Ciaran, who identify it as infernal. They start to read the books quickly, trying to pull out information from the 100+ texts on Devil Politics.
Dwayne uses his Comprehend Languages Spell to help Basile and Ciaran. He arbitrarily picks the 6th book across, 6th book down, 6th book across and finds information regarding your public defender in hell if you challenge the legitimacy of your soul’s damnation. They take all of the books and shove them into Marven’s handy handy haversack, almost filling it.
They then go into the next room and meet Byloth. She is sitting at an ornate desk with ledgers and papers around her, with two imps floating and organizing the shelves. The group takes a seat in front of her, and agree that they are known as the “Basile Party” in regards to the deals that will be made. She provides them with a contract to look over.
- Basile doesn’t beat around the bush by explaining that he wants immortality. Although Byloth explains that she can’t grant him immortality, she can provide him with information on where he can go to achieve his goal. Basile agrees to desecrate a holy site for the details, and learns that he will have to travel to the Nine Levels of Hell, specifically the City of Dis in the Dispater Plane on the Second Level. There, he will be able to meet the Erinyes, Sylvra, who can assist him further.
- To Basile’s surprise, Dwayne also pays for information from Byloth. Inside of desecrating a holy site, he pays her 15,000 gold to learn where the ancient item Mana Ikolani is located. Byloth tells him that it is located in the Elemental Plane of Water and is in possession of the krab demon.
- Rheagar asks more about power, and offers the souls of ten Lords of the Common Wealth who betrayed him, however she declines as he is not the current owner of the souls. Instead, he signs a contract for wealth and agrees to assist Byloth with a future favor for 30,000 gold.
- Skull King also makes an offer for both wealth and information. He promises to assist with a favor for 30,000 gold, and then uses half of the gold for information on where Neebs’ soul is currently trapped. She explains that he is currently in the Abyss in possession of a demon.
- Byloth then asks the rest of the part if they would like anything. He speaks to Lorn directly, offering to show the value of her power. Lorn agrees to see her free gift, and she provides Basile with a black coin. She tells him to sleep and pray to Asmodeous and he will receive Hell Fire. Basile happily accepts. However, Lorn chooses to not make a contract.
- In addition to Lorn, Marven, Alkaid, Kass, and Ciaran do not make a contract. With all contracts finished, Byloth reveals an invisible fourth clause that binds the souls of those who signed from the Basile Party. They must go and kill Sylvra within the year or else the soul of Ciaran belongs to Byloth.
- The entire group is blindsided and angered, but she simply shrugs it off and says that they didn’t think to look for invisible ink. In response, Marven offers to sell his soul – which is connected to an ancient dragon god – to absolve the debts of all those who signed. Byloth is immediately intrigued and more than willing, but the group begs him not to sell him soul. Marven specifically tells Basile to shut up, which catches Basile off guard since he’s shooketh and hasn’t said a word.
- In the end, Marven says that he will return after all of the details have been set in stone. Before the group leaves, Byloth tells Rheagar that she would like his favor to be completed as soon as possible. She wants him, and the Basile Party, to kill Jennifer – as she has broken a contract she previously made.
- Marven also asks for a sandwich from Byloth because he’s hungry, and after being annoying as hell (even for a devil) she gives him an average roast beef sandwich free of charge.
The group is teleported back to Rheagar’s home by a Stitched Devil. The group then splits up haphazardly to speak with Xi-Long and kill Jennifer. (Not smart guys.)
- Before splitting up, Marven tells Basile to stay out of his head and that he doesn’t need his help. Basile is genuinely confused and explains that he doesn’t go into people’s thoughts without first being contacted. He assures that he only cares about Marven and wouldn’t betray his trust. This seems to appease Marven, but Basile is left concerned about his mental health.
- Kass goes out to sit in the square to play music, and is approached by a guard. He asks for Kass’ music permit, and explains that it is now a law that you must have a permit to play music. He threatens to arrest Kass, as he “should know about this law” despite being out of town. Kass, however, is able to charm and fascinate him with his music and convinces him to go and take a break from working so hard.
- Meanwhile, Marven, Lorn, and Dwayne go to visit Xi-Long. There, they sell some magic items, pick up enchanted armor, and purchase magic items.
- While there, Sir Adrian visits to pick up Grunk’s armor. The group asks him if he had found Grunk, to which he explains he has yet to find Grunk and that Sadius told him to fetch the armor first. He also asks Dwayne if he can make him some food for him, perhaps Neebs’ favorite dish. Marven comments that “Neebs only ate one thing, and that wasn’t food.”
- Once they finish, they go to check on Marven’s tavern and see that he owes taxes. Lorn offers to do Marven’s bookkeeping and finances for a small fee.
- Ciaran spends his time sitting at Marven’s tavern reading the various Demon Politics books, and teaches Lorn how to read infernal. Alkaid is nearby, watching over Ciaran.
Skull King, Rheagar, and Basile go to find Jennifer. As Rheagar and Basile try to determine the safest method of assassinating or capturing her (but who are we kidding, they want to just kill her and get it over with) Skull King just walks on into the room. Rheagar stays outside while Basile follows him in.
- Skull King enters and introduces himself as Thalmus the Skull King. He asks if the secretary in the room is Jennifer, to which he replies no. When he asks why Skull King hasn’t said “All Hail King Neebs,” Basile reminds him not to repeat those words and Skull King brushes it off and says Jennifer is expecting them.
- The secretary goes into the back room and later returns, saying that Jennifer isn’t expecting anyone right now. Skull King says that Byloth sent them. With that, the secretary retreats into the back again. Skull King then hears a command to kill all in connection to Byloth, but is able to shake off the command.
- Skull King breaks off the handle to the door and kicks it open into the next room. Basile tosses in his bottle of Alchemical Sleep Gas into the room. It knocks out the secretary, who had withdrawn his sword to protect Jennifer.
- Rheagar throws his sword at Jennifer, but it bounces off a shield and is recalled back to him.
- Skull King quickens Dimension Hop and appears behind Jennifer and starts to channel power to fight.
- Jennifer grabs a sheet of paper with a symbol drawn inside, and a large burst of energy spreads over the room. Basile and Skull King fall asleep, as well as a few bystanders outside.
- With only Rheagar only left standing, he swings at her and deals a shit ton of damage. However, she backs away and drinks a potion before pointing at Rheagar and commanding “Blind” on him. He is able to shake off the blindness and goes to attack from hits the desk.
- Jennifer casts Feeblemind on him and reduces his intelligence to that of a lizard. He tries to chase her around the room, but she is able to make him fall asleep.
Basile awakes a few minutes later and sees that the room is empty. Assuming that the worst happened, he goes to get the rest of the group and tells him that the assassination attempt failed.
An hour later, they are summoned by Jennifer to meet with her. Before they go, Lorn has prepared spells and Dwayne casts Greater Invisibility and Mirror Image on himself. They go to meet with Jennifer, and she explains that Rheagar and Skull King were both very informative.
As Lorn is trying to get information out of her, Basile is trying to search for Rheagar and Skull King. However, he is unable to sense their whereabouts. Dwayne casts a Ray of Idiocy on Jennifer to make her more manageable. She continues to refuse to tell them where Rheagar and Skull King are, explaining that they will die unless we listen to her.
Lorn, Basile, and Dwayne work together telepathically to read her mind and gather that she is keeping them in a dungeon. Lorn uses this information to try and persuade her to tell them where their friends are. However, she roasts Lorn on his spell casting abilities. For that, Dwayne casts another Ray of Idiocy on her.
Kass starts to play his pan flute to fascinate her Jennifer succumbs to the music and spells, and is able to be convinced to show lead them to the dungeon. Dwayne stays upstairs invisible to watch the door and make sure that they’re not ambushed from below.
She takes them down and they see Skull King and Rheagar chained to the wall. In the room there is also an amoeba-like creature with dark stripes in the room. There are human body parts digesting inside of it.
- Rheagar starts to shake his chains as he sees people enter the room, but doesn’t understand that they’re there to help him.
- The amoeba moves forward to glomp Lorn, but he is able to back away. Meanwhile, Skull King is spewing out information about the creature, which he calls an Archanal Plasm. He explains rapidly that it’s slow, but it eats spellcasters and can mimic spells that it digests. He then
- Marven blows his entangling breath to slow it down, as Basile runs up and slashes across it twice with his Eldritch Claws.
- Skull King starts to blow fire on his chains to melt them away and release himself.
- Lorn shoots two Splinter Bolts into the Archanal Plasm, pinning it to the wall until it falls apart into pieces.
Marven spits acid on the shackles to help release Skull King, as Lorn realizes that Rheagar has been affected by a serious Feeblemind spell. Annoyed, he turns Jennifer into a sheep with Baleful Transformation.
The group then has to decide if they want to take Jennifer back to Byloth, or kill her here. Basile explains that now that she’s a sheep, it will just look like Jennifer disappeared with no body left behind. Marven wants to eat her, while Basile asks to perform a bit of research. He asks Lorn for a cup of water, and then mixes in a few drops of the Hemlock poison he has. He gives it back to Lorn, who asks what he did. Basile says it’s just water, but when Lorn goes to take a drink Basile explains that he put poison in it.
For some reason, Lorn is okay with this and feeds it to Jennifer despite the fact she doesn’t want it. She starts to convulse and seize up before collapsing on the ground. Basile is thrilled at the results, and Lorn starts to sheer her for her wool. The carcass is then given to Marven to grill and eat in fantastic graphic detail (thanks Jake.)
Suddenly, Neebs comes rushing down the steps, asking where Jennifer is. Everyone is shocked at his arrival, and Basile asks if he’s okay and remembers anything. Neebs starts to steal the backstory of Shawshank Redemption to explain how he escaped from the abyss. In actuality, the demon that had this soul in the crystal got so annoyed by Neebs that he broke the gem and released his soul.
When he asks about Jennifer, the group explains that 1) she was evil and controlling the town, 2) Basile poisoned her after she turned into a sheep, and 3) Marven ate her. Despite being very upset over this, Neebs seemed to let it go relatively well. Though he may have some slight beef with Marven.
Lorn leaves to go visit the librarian to see if he can sell a scroll that will heal Rheagar of his stupidity. Instead, he has a long conversation about how he was once young and now he’s older because he stepped on a thorn, so the old man heals him and then asks how he can become younger. Lorn eventually gets the scroll, but may have also agreed to spend time with the librarian.
He returns to restore Rheagar to his previous self, and he’s filled in on everything that happened. From upstairs, they hear someone calling out for Neebs and Associates. The group heads back up and are approached by young man. He introduces himself as Tork, the bronze dragon. As he shakes everyone’s hand, Dwayne starts to get uppity about not being mentioned in Neebs and Associates as the Rock Gnome Johnson. He then proves that he is “the rock” by casting a spell to melt into the stone. It’s impressive.
Tork then asks them if they will help him by going through his lair to make sure that it’s protected. He says if they succeed, as they are the best adventurers in the area, he will give them a prize from his hoard.
Dwayne tries to detect his thoughts, but gets hurt in the process and Tork tells him it’s not smart to try and pry into a dragon’s mind. As an apology, he feeds him salted pork as Tork and Marven discuss how Marven’s “underlings” are not well trained.
The group agrees to visit him soon to go though his lair, and Tork provides them with a map to his home off the coast.