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The Dragon of Life

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[May. 5th, 2011|07:34 pm]
The Dragon of Life
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The game begins with the players dicking with the microphone and harassin’ your faithful transcriber.

DM: I don’t think I need to remind anybody what happened last time… You had beaten the crap out of Gavin Tael, he now lies unconscious before you on the ground.
Alandris: Bloodtheft!
Damien: “We’re not out to steal your blood!”
DM: “I was, all this time!”
Damien: Awwwww. That would’ve been an interesting turn!

Tergol’s player produces a beer, accidentally setting off the electronic d6 as he does so.

DM: You can’t drink if it’s less than a 4.
Tergol: (watching the die come up as a 3) Awwww.
Alandris: Let’s make this into a drinking game. Take a drink every time the DM tries to kill our characters.
DM: Hey, how many times have I tried to kill off your characters?
Alandris: “Whoooaaa, man!” Well you HAVE succeeded here and there.
DM: Name once.
Alandris: I’m still gonna count it even though Lorrithrik is the one that killed me.
Damien: Oh, you killed me – ALMOST killed me, the one time.
DM: Almost doesn’t count! The only person I’ve slain in all our time playing has been Grandfather.
Alandris: Was that three in the same campaign?
DM: You had a failure to save, that was not my fault.
Alandris: That save wouldn’t have been necessary—
Damien: If you hadn’t hit him with a car!
Alandris: That’s like saying you dropped a steamroller on me, “Not my fault you didn’t get out from under the steamroller.” Anyway, what are our options?
Damien: He’s unconscious on the ground.
DM: You could commit bloodtheft…
Alandris: Which we won’t.

With a guard presence potentially approaching, the players hurry to wake Gavin Tael up and explain. Alandris suggests they just leave a note. They try to determine if they SHOULD wake him up.

DM: He’s stabilized and tied up. He’s a strong guy, there’s always a chance he’ll break the bonds, though.
Tergol: There’s a chance we’d beat him up again, too!
Alandris: If he wakes up and hasn’t had his blood stolen I’m pretty sure he’ll know that’s not what we’re here for.
DM: Of course there’s always the chance that you intend to make him name one of you his heir under duress.
Alandris: This is not Exalted, he should have not even a notion of that in his head.
DM: It’s Birthright, it’s very legitimate!
Damien: I like how you look directly at Alandris.
Alandris: Well, we’re always a bunch of do-gooders that don’t actually do much in the way of good. We just won’t do anything that’s seriously evil.
DM: Hey, you’ve done good, it’s just sort of been incidental.
Damien: We’re accident-prone.
Alandris: If I don’t do semi-bad stuff no one else in the group will.
DM: You killed the Sword Mage! Too bad it didn’t stick, apparently.
Alandris: Too bad it didn’t do us any good! You’re like the Marvel Comics editor-in-chief now! Nobody dies…
DM: And nobody stays married.
Alandris: Who was it, Joe… Joe… who was it in the 80s?
DM: What? I’m not a comics geek, I’m a video game – Niobhe, this is more your area of expertise.
Alandris: Who was the Marvel editor-in-chief in the late 80s? It was Don or Joe something .
Niobhe: Jim Shooter?
Alandris: Jim Shooter was one of them, and then there was a guy named Don…
Niobhe: Don DeFalco?
Damien: …wow.

Niobhe cures a few points of damage and Gavin Tael awakes.

Damien: “As you can see you’re still alive, you still have your blood. We’re not holding you hostage at this point, we just don’t want you to kill us so we can talk.”
DM: He glares at you with the glare of a thousand glares.
Damien: “Listen, I had told her to sneak in using her lady charms to come in and talk to you. I did not tell her to go –“
DM: (noting where Damien is actually pointing) The dwarf?
Damien: No! I’m pointing at Lorrithrik! She’s presumably gone now…. “I told her to sneak in using her lady charms to get past your guards so we could talk, not sneak in and do combat with you. And since everything started already we couldn’t talk you down, so.”
Niobhe: “She just wanted to use her invisibility spell.”
Damien: “We’re gonna talk to her about that.”
DM: “Speak your peace then.”
Damien: “Look, the only reason we came here… was to see the fat lady, and tell you what the Sword Mage told us to tell you.”
Alandris: What?
DM: “What are you implying about my wife?”
Damien: “That was her inside the cage, why did you let them put her, your wife, inside the cage?”
DM: “I’m very evil. I get ten percent of the proceeds!”
Damien: “My kingdom is based on her income!”
Tergol: That evil answer was the best one…

A debate about mustache-twirling ensues before Damien explains the message at top speed. Gavin Tael is skeptical. Diplomacy checks ensue after a moment of panic when Damien picks up the Grand Betrayer die. Alandris proposes they offer their protection to Gavin Tael as further assurances, but this doesn’t go over well with the regent.

DM: “You want me to believe you, the only thing you can do to earn any semblance of my trust is—“
Tergol: (groaning)
Alandris: Run around, quest god damn shit. “I need four bear claws from the nearby forest.”
Tergol: “No, on second thought… bear ASSES.”
Alandris: From a four-assed bear.
Damien: “I want to see you service the fat lady.”

Gavin Tael demands they simply walk away and maybe he won’t kill them.

Alandris: There must be something important to this guy that we can threaten to at least get him to cooperate.
Damien: This train of thought’s not going well. This is a Lorrithrik train of thought.
Alandris: What does Gavin Tael care about?
Tergol: War.
Alandris: We can’t threaten war. Does he care about his wife? Is he married? Knowledge (nobility), somebody has it.
Tergol: Not me. I have Knowledge (drinking).
Alandris: Lorrithrik has it, what does he roll?

Damien has it, and rolls. The DM indicates that Gavin Tael is not married for political reasons. The group debates scooping up his weapons, but instead elects to just get out of there after freeing him.

DM: All right, everybody give me a Listen check.
Tergol: There’s like fifty guards out there.
Alandris: Hey, if he wants to throw more of their lives away I’m ready to kill someone.

The group heads out of the room into the damaged, eerily-quiet keep. They keep a close lookout for the Ambushing Squad.

DM: As you step out of the manor house in the middle of this… palisade, as it were, you see a figure lying prone in the middle of the trampled flat grass—
Damien: (groaning)
Alandris: She’s dead?
DM: What?
Alandris: Who?
DM: What?
Damien: The girl!
DM: Nhwat? Where’d you get the girl from?!
Tergol: Let him finish!
DM: There’s a figure lying prone in the middle of this trampled fat field! (pausing) Fat field, yeah.

The group ruthlessly mocks the DM for his slip of the tongue. The DM shrugs and joins in. The person on the ground is an older, portly gentleman in fine robes who moans in pain and begs for help.

Tergol: I walk on.
Damien: Exalted rules, rolling my Compassion roll, one dice – failed! Oh, I hit my limit break.

The group abruptly splits up out of nowhere. Damien and Tergol go to get the girl, leaving Alandris and Niobhe to help the guy.

DM: You bolt back into the city, leaving behind the guy who blasts things and the cleric, one of which may have been a good choice.
Niobhe: Hopefully it was me.

The injured fellow has a snapped ankle. Niobhe heals him.

DM: “If there is ever any service the kingdom can do for you, you can simply ask for me and I will see to it that it is rendered to you!”
Alandris: “Who might you be, good sir?”
DM: “Why, I am the chamberlain, Mitchell.”
Alandris: (suddenly a lot less enthused) The one who didn’t have time to see us.
Damien: No, it was a different guy.
Alandris: No, we saw the guy that told us the chamberlain’s too busy.
Damien: Ohhh.
Alandris: The chamberlain was supposed to get us in to see Gavin Tael.
DM: But the chamberlain refused to see you because he feared your message might usurp some of his power.

The chamberlain recounts of how he was fleeing an explosion, but tripped over a rut, thus breaking his ankle.

Alandris: We can never tell Lorrithrik about this. Because none of this would have happened if Lorrithrik hadn’t gone apeshit. …of course, I’m the one who caused the explosion…

Another period of Lorrithrik-bashing occurs. The DM calls for a Wisdom check for all.

DM: All of you feel, for a brief moment, as if a hand has reached down and simply clasped you, as if you were wrapped up in some stifling presence, and sorrow touches your heart.
Damien: (fake sneezing) Plotpoint! Plotpoint!
DM: But then the moment passes. Around you, those of you who ran into the city, you hear a brief moment of silence. For a moment the city is quiet, except for the cheepingof crickets. But then it passes, a little awkwardly.

Many theories are proposed amongst the players, but the DM refutes most of them. Barack assassination jokes are made. The players universally agree to leave now and worry about the plot point later. The players attempt to convince the chamberlain to give the help Gavin Tael wouldn’t promise, but the chamberlain applies the ol’ ego and simply promises to send someone to investigate as their favor.

Damien: Aww, you done burned our favor away.
Alandris: “And also… there is a matter of some deadbeats… who owe me a lot of money!”
DM: “Also there’s a girl named Mahlissa, can you kill her? I don’t know why I want this.”
Alandris: No, I would pay him for that.
Tergol: We have not run into her which is… good?
Damien: She’s supposed to be here somewhere, I’m surprised he didn’t have her sneak up in the battle.
DM: Or DID she? (looking at the players, then bursting into laughter) The expressions on your faces!

There’s some paranoid discussion about Mahlissa which inevitably leads back to the fat lady. The DM unsubtly hints that Alandris and Niobhe should start moving, then turns back to the others.

DM: As you two burst into the bar you were in, there’s an awkward moment as the people glance at you and then glance away. The bartender is very studiously wiping mugs and not meeting your eyes.
Damien: “Where’s the girl? Where. Is. The. Girl, I will kill—five seconds. I want answers. Five.”
DM: No one’s answering you.
Damien: “Four.”
DM: Some people are edging towards the door.
Damien: “Hold still! I’ll assume you know something!”
Tergol: I step in front of the door.
Damien: “Three, I want answers, two!”
Alandris; Slip the barkeep a gold piece, or a silver crown, or whatever…
Tergol: No no, we’re handling this… our way.
Damien: “One!”
DM: No one’s saying anything though they’re all clearly moving away from an impending fight.
Tergol: Charging Minotaur at the bar.
Damien: I do an Intimidate really quick before that. 26.
DM: People are visibly cowering before you as you look at them with rage distending the muscles of your neck, your muscles bulging! “Some guys took her!”
Damien: “Where?! What way did they go?!”
DM: “Out the door!”
Alandris: Of Ghoere!
Damien: “Crash that door!”
DM: You burst out the door you just came in, smashing the door, it flies off and impales itself through the cloth wall of a shantylike tent that had been set up opposite this tavern. You hear a yelp of pain and some guy staggers out clutching his bleeding head.
Tergol: Good, excellent, let’s keep going.

The two of them split up to search the town. Tergol remembers his accent. Alandris and Niobhe, meanwhile, leave the encampment.

DM: Okay, you two come down onto the main street just in time to see a door go flying across the street!
Tergol: I hastily scribble a note, like, went to – “Went ter fin’ Samana.”
DM: You see Tergol taking off in one direction.

Explanations are hastily rendered. Damien attempts to use Gather Information. Niobhe and Alandris head back into the tavern.

Tergol: You smell the smell of urine.
DM: Many a urine.
Niobhe: Pungent.
Alandris: “I remember it smelling – less of the jakes.” Is there a chamberpot behind the bar?
DM: I don’t think it’s needed any more.

Alandris and Niobhe pump the barkeep for information. The barkeep tells them about a local gang of criminal lowlife scum that was most likely responsible.

DM: “They call themselves the Jackal Gang, even though they all have different animal names, they’re kinda stupid. Snake, Dog…”
Niobhe: DOG!
DM: “Rooster…”
Alandris: “Rooster?!”
Damien: Or, “the cock”, as he also calls himself!
DM: “You understand—“ you’re not there!

The barkeep hints at where to find the gang in unsubtle terms; Niobhe tips him shamelessly for the information. Tergol wonders which of the two of them was headed in the proper direction, but neither of them had spotted this. Tergol slaps around a tiger at the circus for some reason, then heads back. The group conveniently shows up at the same place at the same time. All is briefly chaos till they all get going in the right direction. The party rolls Listen checks, which most do well on, but Alandris does not.

DM: Okay, everyone but Mister I’ve Been Too Close To My Own Explosions Lately over here hears the punctuated sounds of violence down a back alley. The thud of flesh on flesh. Muffled cursing.

The team charges in. In the worst DMing decision ever, the DM elects not to draw the conflict, believing it to be a brief encounter, easily resolved. As a side note the trasncriber notes that he knows how to properly spell Tergol’s name, but refuses to type a high ASCII character every time the name comes up. Initiative is rolled. Tergol, who is in front, sees a group of thugs kicking a prone figure, but one of them ducks to the side out of side. Some people close the distance; another thug ducks out of sight. Tergol Charging Minotaurs in while Niobhe casts Vision of Heaven to make them regret their evil deeds. Niobhe forgots her spell DC for about the fifteenth time. Damien uses Searing Charge to get into melee. Alandris pitches in a Magic Missile. The thieves reposition to get flanking. CHAOS AND BEDLAM ENSUE. The group argues over this for I DON’T KNOW HOW LONG. The DM vows to NEVER AGAIN not draw a minor encounter. BAD WILL AND RESTENTMENT PREVAIL. The DM is accused of cheating! Sneak attack damage is done. Niobhe heals Samana, and her armor shrugs off a shivving. Tergol smashes a jaw or two. Damien steps up.

DM: What did you hit him with?
Damien: Elder Mountain Hammer.
Alandris: So he’s done.
DM: Probably!
Tergol: There’s just nothing but red mush left on the ground.
Damien: 33 points of damage.
DM: 38?
Damien: With my strength, 33.
DM: Oh, that puts him down to zero exactly.

Alandris attempts to cast Arc of Lightning. Further confusion ensues with regards to friendly fire. Alandris finally works out a situation he finds acceptable.

Alandris: So Lanky and then fresh guy.
Tergol: No, that’s ‘flanky’.
Alandris: So my Arc of Lightning is flanking them?
All: (Curly noises)
Damien: That’s what you get for not draaaawing it!

Arguments erupt over exactly how strong the mooks are. Damien suddenly understands how the entire combat works. The players decide to destroy the mooks utterly because they were beating up an innocent girl.

Damien: I don’t understand their reasoning. “Yeah we’re gonna beat up this girl!” “Yeah, that turns me ON!”

The DM calls for a Spot check, which Damien passes. He discerns an obvious knife wound on the leader that none of them put there. The players now understand the motivations, except for Alandris, who is confused.

Alandris: Who?
DM: Now you understand why they’re pissed.
Tergol: Yeah, now they’re dead.
Alandris: Who? Who? Whoooooooo has the knife wound?
Tergol: The one you’re about to Arc Lightning. He has a knife wound. And now he’s gonna get fucking zapped. It’s his worst fucking day ever.

Alandris tosses down his spells, slaying the guy on the ground and injuring the other severely. Damien demands the group slay them ALL! Another one goes down from some strategic punchinating. One last guy flees. The group pauses to way for Niobhe.

DM: Niobhe can’t go a single frickin’ combat without going to the bathroom.
Alandris: Yeah, it’s like no matter when you initiate the combat, that’s when it happens.
DM: I know!
Alandris: Even if it’s towards the end.

Another one flees. The players wisely elect to search the bodies, then get out of town. The weapons are masterwork. Alandris regrets not casting mass Fire Shield.

DM: Unfortunately you have angered the leader of the Jets. He has challenged you to a knife fight beneath the bridge.

Tergol speculates that his only way to win a knife fight is to plant his knife in the ground and wrestle someone onto it. Irish cop stereotypes are invoked. Suddenly the group remembers Samana and checks to make sure she’s alive. They then haul ass.

DM: You hurl Samana over your shoulder.
Alandris: Wow.
Damien: Let’s go!
Alandris: She’s legal, right?
Damien: There’s no time for such thoughts!
Alandris: There is no legal, this is medieval times.
Damien: This is not one of those Japanese dating porns, I’m not gonna trip, I’m not gonna fall, and my face is not gonna fall into her crotch.

Awkwardly, the group realizes that having been healed, Samana has been awake for a while. Alandris declares they do not explain themselves to the waif, and they bolt. Dinosaurs are joked about as they run. They flee into the wilderness, find a spot to hole up in a patch of trees by a small stream, and camp. The DM calls for Listen check.

DM: As the sun begins to rise, you hear shuffling and grunting down by the water’s edge.
Tergol: All right, time for another waif.
DM: One waif for every night spent… There appears to be some sort of animal rooting around in the large grasses by the river’s edge.
Tergol: Does it seem harmless?
DM: It’s very large, you can tell that for sure.
Tergol: 24 on my Survival?
DM: It appears to be some sort of very large animal, perhaps even a dire animal.
Tergol: I’m sure Damien’s sleeping next to me, I gently shake him awake…
Damien: “Huh?”
Tergol: “There’s a big-ass creature down there.”
Damien: “Are we gonna eat it?”
Alandris: You have to kill it fiiiiiiirst! Wake up.
Damien: Flip. “Let’s go!”
Tergol: Do I have Move Silently on this character? I will attempt it untrained… natural 20.
Damien: I will attempt it as well. A 16.
Alandris: Probably some dire crocodile. Angry pig. You’re gonna have to wrestle an angry pig.
Niobhe: Bacon! Bacoooooon!
Damien: I was hoping I’d roll a 1, I’d do my dwarf impression of sneaking. “Aye, I’m a dwarf and I’m sneaking on yooou!”
DM: All right, thanks to the poorest Listen check in the history of the animal kingdom, you approach. You see a massive tail with grey and black stripes sticking out of the grass. You hear a splashing!
Damien: …It’s a bear.
Tergol: T-what?!
Alandris: Wait, grey and black stripes…
Damien: It’s dire. You throw the dire word in there, it can be any color they want.
DM: It’s a bear with a long-ass tail.
Damien: Wait, what kind of tail? Oh, never mind.
DM: Long, bushy, striped!
Tergol: Hmm, a dire squirrel.
DM: No, it’s not curly!
Niobhe: Dire raccoon!
DM: Yes, it’s a dire raccoon – you’re asleep.
Alandris: (flat) It is? Really?

The PCs elect to stay hidden and watch it, as Alandris yells to attack it now. The raccoon has a bigass fish it’s washing, then carries the fish back towards the camp. Tergol and Damien follow it, while the PCs in camp have to roll a Listen check.

Tergol: Don’t worry, we got this, guys! Sleep soundly, please! Charging Minotaur this bastard into the campfire…
Niobhe: I rolled a 26.

Alandris and Samana are still asleep. The puzzled raccoon begins rooting around in the party’s stuff. The pack donkey is terrified.

Tergol: You’re just making us fight this raccoon, I love it!
DM: It’s digging through your pack—
Niobhe: FLAMESTR—no, no.
DM: Rooting out your rations.
Damien: No!
Tergol: I’m initiating a grapple.
Damien: I’m initiating some punches.
Tergol: See if I can put this thing to sleep.
DM: Your touch attack I assume hits, so grapple check.
Tergol: 32.
DM: All right, you’ve grappled the dire raccoon. (to Niobhe) Just as you peer your head out of the tent, you see Tergol: “Aaaagh!” Tackle the raccoon! It is attempting to bite you… it misses though.
Tergol: I’m still holding it.
Alandris: Crush! Spinning Piledriver!

Tergol pins the raccoon, forcing it to roll a Fort save or fall asleep. It passes the save, then bites Tergol. Damien punches the raccoon with a swordsage technique!

DM: All right, you punch the shit out of this raccoon.
Damien: 50 points of damage.
DM: You punch the shit out of this raccoon, literally. Tergol, you’re gonna need a bath. However, the raccoon, which is almost near death at this point, goes limp in your arms.
Tergol: Ah, good. Pat him on the head, push the fish under his chin.. “All righty, then. As if nothing happened.”
DM: Except for the fact that it’s got like 3 hit points left!
Tergol: I’m not the one who punched it.
Damien: He’s gonna be my pet. He’s still above hit points, he’s not bleeding to death, he knows who the master is now!

The party elects to leave the raccoon his fish, then gathers its stuff back together. Alandris attempts to convince Tergol to make a coonskin cap out of it.

DM: You could make a coonskin robe out of this thing.
Damien: I go hunting for food.
DM: Hunting? You find a raccoon!
Damien: We found his babies…
DM: You find a fish!
Damien: I like this raccoon, he was just having a good time, minding his own business…

Alandris wakes up to this sight and finds it completely normal, choosing to joke with Tergol about how he was really hungry and threw his stuff all over.

DM: One of your magic rings has fallen into the fire, the Black Speech has appeared upon it.
Tergol: But I don’t have rings…
Alandris: Oh wait, I have one ring—
DM: You have the One Ring, you just said it!
Alandris: I have one ring—
DM: The One Ring!
Alandris: Not THE One Ring, one ring—
DM: The One Ring!
Alandris: I have one ring—
DM: The One Ring!
Alandris: Not THE One Ring—
DM: The One Ring!
Alandris: I’m invisible whenever I want. You just gave me a ring of invisbility.
DM: All right, the Nazgul show up.
Alandris: And I sound lance them. Oh wait, they can’t stand fire, what’s the weakest fire spell I have?

Damien plans to throw Samana at the Witch King of Angmar to defeat him, then just decides to pick her up and club people a la River City Ransom. Damien considers spying on the armies of Ghoere to see if Gavin Tael would do as he was told, but decides that a constant flow of dire animals each night would be an irritation. Tergol insists that he needs to return to report to his Thane. Having dispensation to use the teleporter in Barack’s realm of Elinie, they travel to Hope’s Demise, now renamed Hope’s Ascension, via Tergol’s teleportation. Damien forgets what race he is.

DM: All right, you appear in front of a smoking crater.

There’s a pause before the DM cracks up at their expressions. Tergol continues blithely on.

Tergol: Or slightly to the side so we don’t end up in the middle of the street.
DM: You teleport directly on top of the representative from the Haberdasher’s Guild. “This is an insult!”
Damien: Better yet, we teleport facing away from the castle. We’re like, “It’s gone! It’s GONE!”… the guards are looking at us as we’re, like screaming…
DM: There are guards outside of the gate, positioned mostly for show…
Alandris: “You can’t kill our lord anyway, come on in!”
DM: No, it’s mostly the fact that there’s an open flow of traffic in and out of the castle. But they’re there, you assume if anyone was sneaking by in a mask openly clutching a scimitar and looking about suspiciously, they’d probably be stopped.
Damien: This is what they’d do. “Excuse me, sir, you’re supposed to be using that entrance over there. The Assassin Entrance.”
DM: “Awww, there’s ALWAYS a line…”
Alandris: (to a guard) “Is the Overthane in?”
Damien: “Humans don’t HAVE Overthanes – the lord of your manor, the lord of your castle – the lord of this land!”

Conveniently, Barack is not in. Alandris is beside himself with glee at the promise of hearing the DM’s “Matthias” voice again.”

DM: “Please speak with the Master of the Door, he will see you to the proper place.”
Tergol: “This is MY door.”
DM: “There are many like it…”
Everyone: “But this one is mine.”
Damien: On the side of the door: “THE DOOR.” On the East Wall: “THIS DOOR.” The West wall, “THAT DOOR,” and the back wall, “THE OTHER DOOR.”

The players attempt to make Ozzie Osbourne the Master of the Door, in an explicable burst of simultaneous planning.

Damien: Does he point us to the castle?
DM: It’s right behind you, he doesn’t need to point!!
Damien: Why did he tell us to go see the Master of the Door? What is his purpose?
DM: H-gh-what?!
Damien: He said go see the Master of the Door!
DM: Yes, the guards don’t ordinarily talk to people, but you guys initiated dialogue with them!

The group finally makes it INTO the door, after many a shenanigan, only to find themselves waiting in a short line. Tergol starts yelling at people until he ascertains that this is the line for the Master of the Door, at which point he promptly settles down and behaves.

Damien: Why are we in this line? Do we HAVE to see him to go into the castle?
Alandris: Dude, we’re 11th level, we have to queue.
Damien: We’re queuing to enter the server?

Tergol debates grappling the line to sleep. An old lady is taking up the Master of the Door’s time. Tergol expects she has a poor Fort save; Alandris imagines casting slapping hand, then shout.

Alandris: Everyone MOOOOVE, 5d6 sonic damage!
Tergol: I could use my divine aura again.
Alandris: Divine Wrath!
Damien: Can we go to a place and not get in trouble? Can we just follow the rules?
Alandris: (in his best Lorrithrik impression) “Okay, what’s-her-name is going to sneak off to the corner of the room. Then she is going to throw daggers at the feet of the guardsmen. Then while they’re distracted, she’s going to leap on top of the desk and demand to see the Master…”
Damien: This sounds like something she would do! Are we going to try to bloodsteal Barack? I’m RPing his reactions to this, it would be so fucking funny…

Alandris puts on a big fake coughing fit as the old lady continues to be an obstacle. The guy in front of him offers him a mint. The PCs are oddly delighted by this. Tergol produces a mug of ale from his bag of holding, to the man’s surprise.

DM: “I didn’t know there was a wizard at the castle today?”
Tergol: “What’s this behind yer ear? Why it’s a mug of ale.”

The old lady continues to complain. Damien attempts to use ‘Intimidating Cough’, then attempts to skip the cutscene. The woman is sent off.

DM: The next to step forward is a middle-aged gentleman wearing the most magnificent hat you have ever seen.

The Guild representative and the Master of the Door continue to have a grumbling debate. Tergol, surprisingly, is the first to lose patience.

Tergol: “Y’DO realize yer just a male version of the last person that was in front, right?”
DM: He just shoots a dark look over his shoulder.
Damien: “That’s a nice hat you have there…”
Tergol: “And you saw where SHE got.”
Alandris: “I heard you guys have great sales…”
DM: “Oh, is THIS the way we’re going to be treated?! Well then, we’ll see what this kingdom does WHEN IT HAS NO HATS!” He stomps off, out the front doors of the castle.
Alandris: Well then, whatever shop Mal’s outside of the next time, they’re the ones who are gonna be giving away something for free -- (pointing at the DM) YOU’re the one who cooked up the hat shop!

The group chats up the guard for a moment. A halfling steps forward as the next person in line, which takes just a moment. The Master of the Door greets them; the group points out that they’ve been calling him the Master of Doors for a while. The group gets an appointment to see Matthias the next day. They consider many places to stay the night: the Pussy Tail: Hope’s Ascension division; the Footlong Tassel; the Red Seat Inn (a spanking club); for dwarves, the Lady Remington (they shave EVERYwhere)…

Tergol: That’s disturbing yet sexy at the same time…
Damien: I’m curious…
Alandris: “And what’s on the other side of the city from the Lady Remington? Because that’s where I’LL be staying.”
DM: “That’s the circus sideshow.”
Damien: “Is there a large lady there?”
DM: “Fattest lady in the land!”
Damien: There’s another fat lady, we have to go compare…
Tergol: “She’s not nearly as immense as she was… this fucking sucks, I want my money back.”
Damien: “No, sir, you don’t understand, that’s only her arm.”

The group heads out, heading towards a promising-looking tavern in the wealthier district (the Velvet Slipper).

DM: Your rough-and-tumble group steps in, waif in tow—
Tergol: “Please leave.”
Damien: “You’re not dressed for this.”

The group considers beating up some wealthy people for their clothes in an alley. The usual run of jokes about this sort of behavior ensues, culminating in the group attempting to rob a vampire monk.

Damien: Why was he HERE?
DM: (classic vampire accent) “I vanted to see the daylight from the city!” (a pause) “Oh right, my vulnerabilities! I forgot!”
Damien: “James the forgetful vampire.”

The group steps into the Velvet Slipper to exactly the reception they anticipated. A bouncer politely hints that they are in the wrong place.

Tergol: “This is an inn, right? It has beds?”
DM: “I believe you will find there are no beds here.”
Damien: “What’s the minimum gold requirement for the beds here?”
DM: “I believe you will find the minimum gold requirement is exactly one gold more than you have.“
Alandris: “Slapping hand!”
Damien: Would you stop breaking out the slapping hand?! “Well then point us to another in close by—“
Alandris: “You’ll find there are no other inns close by…”
Tergol: “Exactly one foot farther than you are willing to walk.”

Hysterical laughter. Alandris ponders slagging the Velvet Slipper. Damien proposes going to the Shanty Slipper.

Tergol: What’s the next one down the line? Yes, we’re going to roleplay this out until we find one willing to accept us!

The group wisely heads a couple streets over to the ‘wealthy merchant’ district, finding an inn with a picture of a mug overflowing with ale. Music comes from the door, so of course someone sings the Mos Eisley cantina song.

DM: Inside you see what even at this time of day is a jolly, merry place with many people of many different races drinking it up. You notice interestingly that all of these tables as well as the bartop are sort of sunk in, almost like a sink. And as you watch –
Alandris: There’s no restrooms!
DM: You watch the barkeep as he pours out ale and it overflows the mug into this little trough that the bar has formed.
Alandris: I think I’ll just order a cup so I can dip it.
Damien: I will go the barkeep. “Sir! Four rooms!” </i>(The group looks puzzled at this number.)</i> I thought… Samana would sleep with Niobhe…
Alandris: Oh, I… thought you had other plans.
DM: “I saved her, she’s mine to do with as I please!”
Damien: “She’s my prize!” I have her in my inventory as an item in my backpack.
DM: On what slot is she equipped on your body?
Niobhe: “She’s the innkeeper’s daughter!”
Damien: She’s on my hands.
DM: That’s what SHE said.
Damien: Did she?
DM: No.
Alandris: Take that into account the next time we initiate combat.

Damien overpays for the room and gets booze on the house for free. The DM calls for a Knowledge(religion) check from Niobhe; she notices that each table and the bar has a symbol of a god on it. They enjoy.

Damien: Finally, some relaxation!
DM: A fight breaks out!
Alandris: We don’t have to participate, we didn’t start it!
DM: A fireball erupts at your table!
Alandris: Okay.
DM: Ninjas burst in and steal Samana!
Tergol: Dude. What the fuck.
Alandris: They’re ninjas, it’s okay!
Damien: My guy is sitting there going: </i>(expression of slack-jawed horror and awe)</i> -- we go back outside, the sign flips over… “The Danger Inn.” Where danger looms on two-through-twenty.
DM: That’s the best inn ever, I’m sorry I didn’t come up with it.
Damien: The subtitle: “The Danger Inn, where the only success is failure.”
DM: No, the subtitle: “Roll for Initiative.”
Damien: Except it doesn’t say it. “The Danger Inn. R.F.I. I wonder what that means?” You go inside: “Powpowpow! Ohhhhhh .”

The rest of the night passes in a haze. A wonderful haze. They bathe and dress.

DM: The cleric and the waif are in there, washing each other’s backs, it’s all hot.
Tergol: “I think I left something on that room. Oh WHOOPS! Oh, whoopsadaisy! Uh, uh—“
Tergol: I’ll take the damage! Totally worth it.

Back to the castle they head, and are taken to the waiting chamber. Audience hours begin. The group attempts to subtly Intimidate their way to the front of the line. Alandris ponders casting Evard’s Black Tentacles to lock down the rest of the petitioners, but doesn’t realize it does damage. The group nudges to the front, then enters the audience chamber properly. Matthias greets them; they demand a private audience and are promised it at the end of the hours. A game of Magic: the Gathering breaks out in-game somehow. Alandris starts thumbing through his spell list, worrying everyone that he’s going to get bored and start trying stuff out. They at last explain the plot to Matthias. Tergol suspects that the DM has pulled in a dropped plot thread from the previous game, ‘the Doppelganger’. The group drops off Samana into Barack’s care as well. They obtain permission to use the portal and are eventually escorted there.

Tergol: I guess I’ll go first.
DM: Roll a d20.
Tergol: Is that a Fortitude saving throw?
DM: No, just roll a d20.
Tergol: 19.
DM: The portal error severs your body into 19 separate pieces. Roll a new character. “Torgol.”
Tergol: Tergol the second. (higher voice) “I hear me dad died!”
Damien: “I’m just happy to have all the same stats and abilities that my father had!”
Alandris: He just wears a cowboy hat.

The group appears in Baruk-Azhik, the dwarven capital. A slacking dwarven guard greets them and allows them into the city.

DM: “Have a swift an’ safe journey!”
Tergol: “Thank ye sir.”
DM: “Other dwarven expressions as appropriate! May the cave forever not collapse on yer ass!”
Tergol: “Keep yer feet on the ground.”
DM: “May ye not get yer beard trapped under the tankard. May yer ladies never be halflings with glandular problems.”
Tergol: “I may be back ta talk to th’ Overthane about some important issues, is he here?”
DM: “No, he’s on a diplomatic mission at the moment, sir.”
Tergol: “Of course he is.”
Damien: You suck, DM. You suck hard. I knew this was coming. The moment Barack was gone, I was like, “He’s probably WITH Barack or some other important dumbass.”
DM: “He’s actually discussing top-secret negotiations with th’ orog peoples.”
Tergol: “Aye, that situation.”
DM: “Aye indeed, they seem intent on peace although the talks haven’t progressed much since ye left.”
Tergol: “I imagine not.”
Alandris: Not with Hendlar in charge of negotiations.
DM: “Pigs. In. The temple. WHY.”
Tergol: “YOU WILL BURN! I mean… peace, aye?”
DM: “Here’s our counteroffer: not burning.” “Aww, ya make a good point. How about burnin’ only on alternate days?”

Tergol reaches his clanhall, with only mild interference with street fights. There’s tension in the air and the kingdom seems on edge.

DM: In the distance you can hear the cry of the streetcorner preacher, as he attempts to proselytize to the dwarven people.
Tergol: I walk in. “Aaaah. Home. Is the thane in, or he on some diplomatic procession?”
DM: “In fact, everybody’s on diplomatic procession. You’re in charge sir.”
Tergol: “Fan-fooking-tastic. All right, let’s have a beer break.”
DM: “So same business as always then.”
Tergol: “Aye.”

The PCs get to the thane without much fuss, for an odd change. The thane is shouting encouragement at training monks. Tergol chimes in with terrible advice such as lifting from the back.

DM: “Then thrust your groin aggressively onto his knee! Tha’s right, they never expect the ol’ ‘groin ta the knee’ trick.”
Tergol: “I keep tellin’ ya that one’s not going to work.”
DM: “If yer smart enough to not do that trick y’can move on to the next level of trainin’. But ev’ry year there’s a couple who don’t understand. Customary ro-sham-bo, I go first?”
Tergol: “Uh, no sir.”
DM: “Nobody ever falls for that one, either. At least not past the second level. That’s why yer one of the better ones.”
Tergol: “Thank ya?”
DM: “I know, it’s not sayin’ much.”

Tergol reports on his many failures. Damien renames everyone as Tergol forgets their name in characters. Niobhe is specifically described as ‘the chick’, but isn’t paying attention to the game to correct anyone.

Damien: (growling) “Don’t mention the battle with the lord of Ghoere! Ahem hem, little cough there…”
DM: “A little cough with words in it that said don’t mention something.”
Damien: “Yes, don’t mention the fat lady, she was QUITE pretty, I wanted to keep that to myself.”
Tergol: “This fat woman was huge, sir.”
Alandris: “She was.”
DM: “Why are you telling me this?”
Tergol: “He brought it up.”
DM: “Why are YOU telling me this?!”
Damien: “I told him not to mention it, but you had to be all, ‘tell me what not to mention’!”
DM: “Why were you telling him not to mention it?”
Damien: “Because you didn’t seem interested in it. As of now this conversation has gone on for no reason whatsoever.”
DM: “Why is there even a fat lady IN this conversation!”
Tergol: “I – er, look, all right, uh… we went to Gavin Tael’s haunted house…”
DM: “All right…”
Tergol: “There was a—“
DM: ..Haunted house?
Tergol: …was it a haunted house?
Damien: Haunted house!
Tergol: Hunting! I said hunting!

Tergol blames his Scottish accent. Tergol explains in as general terms as possible, skipping the entire fight. The group explains much of what was going on; in turn, the thane explains much of the politics of the moment, such as the orogs having their own realm now, and religious debates. The conclusion to the last game is explained, along with the fact that having gotten the power of Moradin, many dwarves believe Hendlar is an avatar or rebirth of Moradin. The susceptibility of the dwarven lands to religious schism is mocked as the game comes to a close for the night.