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The Dragon of Life

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[Jun. 19th, 2011|08:19 pm]
The Dragon of Life
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The game report opens with the group torturing the faithful transcriber and accusing him of cussing repeatedly and violently in the middle of the Metro car, leaving me to wonder once again why I do this for anyone. The DM requests a PHB. Tergol starts digging for it.

Tergol: Hmm, Drusila’s character sheet. “DM note: please change last name.”

The DM refreshes them: they had gone back to the dwarven lands so Tergol can give his report. Tergol is given fine quarters in his clan’s hall.

DM: The rest of you get lodging at a crappy dwarven inn. It’s not really crappy by dwarf standards, but by your standards, the beds are too short, the ceilings are too low, your feet are sticking over the edge…
Damien: Oh, when you said crappy I thought you meant we had gone to a cheap slutty bar.

The next morning, they are awakened by knockings at their door. Tergol responds with a list of maneuvers he intends to use on the door, but instead lurches up to open the door – only to find himself facing several spearpoints!

DM: “Tergol!”
Tergol: “What?”
DM: “Throw yourself down on the ground!”
Tergol: “Can I put some drawers on first?”
DM: “No!”
Tergol: “Weeelp…” (grunting) “Enjoy the view!”
DM: You throw yourself down on the ground, ass up in the air for some reason. You are swiftly bound. At the inn, each of you is awakened by a knock on your doors.
Damien: Oh yeah! I’ve been waiting for this day! Pulls out the back of the character sheet… “In Case You Are Locked In A Room Event: Rip Sheet Up.” You open the door to see my character hanging himself.

Alandris asks for a password; Damien attempts to escape out the window.

Alandris: What’s that spell again? The one that shatters things…
Niobhe: Shatter?
Alandris: Yeah.
DM: “Put your hands up!”
Alandris: “I’m behind the door, how do you know if my hands are up or not?”
DM: In response the door is kicked in violently and crashes to the floor.
Alandris: Roll for initiative.
DM: If you guys are rolling for initiative I’m drawing this on the fucking map, we’re not having another last time.
Alandris: Wait, IS this a combat or am I just giving up?
DM: That’s up to you! You have a choice! You may oppose the dwarves if you wish!

Alandris seriously debates fighting, but allows the official-looking guard to explain himself, while Damien shouts in the background about never going to jail again.

DM: “You and your companions are under arrest!”
Alandris: “On what charge?”
DM: “Murder!”
Alandris: “Most foul!”
DM: “And accessory to murder! That’s you.”
Alandris: “I’ve been in this room all night.”
DM: “But your companion has not been!”
Alandris: “What companion would that be?”
DM: “Tergol.”
Damien: “You can’t arrest—“ Wait, can I hear him, is he loud enough?
DM: You’re gonna be having the same conversation in a moment.
Damien: I’m responding with my dude saying that: “You can’t arrest me on bogus charges of my comrade murdering someone when I was here the whole time. I have a witness! This whore here!” (pointing randomly, which turns out to be at Tergol.) Not you.

Alandris quotes Dumbledore and attempts to escape on a phoenix, but obviously fails. Damien continues to rant about not going back to jail and vows to fight. Alandris continues to vacillate.

Alandris: These are ostensibly our allies…
DM: On the other hand, Damien’s initiative-rolling hand is getting reeaaaaaal itchy…
Damien: I’M NOT GOING TO JAIL AGAIN! CAN WE TRUST THEM?! ARE YOU SURE?! WE’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE! WE WENT TO GHOERE! That rhymes so well… We’ve been here before, we went to Ghoere, we still have the sores!
Alandris: But we’re there no more.
Damien: Woohoo!
Tergol: Don’t egg him on.
Alandris: Let’s find out the score.
Tergol: No more rhymes, I mean it! Hey look, I got a peanut…

The guard explains that Damien will be going before the magistrate directly, which immediately takes the wind out of his sails. Niobhe goes quietly.

Alandris: Way to pin something on Tergol before we even get started so we can’t blame Lorrithrik.
Damien: What are you talking about? Lorrithrik’s not here, he’d have definitely framed it on Tergol.
Alandris: He’s not here, but he has a character in this campaign.
Damien: Watch me text Lorrithrik. “Damn you Lorrithrik, this is all your fault…”
DM: No no no. Alandris. It goes like this. What murder is he arrested for? Gavin Tael! For a dwarf of his description was seen coming out of the throne room! …that’s not really what it is.
Damien: That’d be hilarious.
Alandris: But Gavin Tael was secretly a wererat!
Damien: All right, what’s Lorrithrik’s number, we should all be texting him now. “Damn you Lorrithrik! You got us in jail, we’re gonna be in jail for months because of you.”

Alandris agrees to go peacefully, though he debates with his captors on whether he should be bound. Damien also refuses to be bound, ranting furiously about accusing dwarves of murder. Alandris attempts to get his attention for about five minutes straight as Damien continues to monologue.

Alandris: I wanna find out who the doppelganger is, so we’re going quietly.
Damien: Nope, I’m going very loudly and bound-ly.
Alandris: Phantasmal Killer.
Tergol: “I don’t s’pose I’m being thrown into the drunk tank, am I?’
DM: “No, no.”

Damien forces the dwarves to DRAG him to the magistrate. Tergol’s captors tell him he was seen leaving the scene of a murder. After a brief wait, Tergol is told his thane is taking an interest in this case.

Damien: Oh no. I know what this is. Murder Mystery 2: Off the Boat.
Tergol: “All right, I need ye’all to investigate this for me.”
DM: Damn it! Fuck you guys, we’re playing Munchkin.
Tergol: What, did we guess it? (more cheap laughter at the DM’s expense) I’m sorry, go ahead.
DM: I don’t WANT to now. This game is ruined and I hate you all.

Damien claims the boat mystery was 9 campaigns long for some reason. Tergol points out that it wouldn’t have been so bad if Lorrithrik hadn’t been aboard the boat. The rest of the party is dragged in to join with Tergol, literally in Damien’s case.

Damien: “I’m not resisting. I’m just not helping.”
Tergol: “How very grown-up of ye.”

Damien threatens to bite his tongue, but then remember this character has fast healing. A brief pause descends as the group, well, regroups.

Tergol: …I betcha it WAS a murder mystery and he just changed it in his head--(noticing the DM’s expression) I’m kidding I’m kidding I’m kidding!
DM: I’m going to be over HERE for a while! Oh, the PLAYER’S HANDBOOK! I’m gonna read this thing out loud from beginning to end in lieu of an adventure tonight! “Introduction! This is the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, the game that defines the genre and has…” (continuing to read this verbatim, most of which is inaudible thanks to Damien cracking up)
Tergol: This is being recorded, this MUST be against some copyright law!
DM: Take THAT, copyright law.
Tergol: Aaaaall right, tears coming out now, whooooooooooooooooo.
DM: I hate all of you all so much.
Niobhe: I haven’t done anything!
DM: You were there by proxy.

The party is brought into the thane’s formal audience chamber to meet Tierdrek, the thane. Tergol professes his innocence. The thane interrupts Tergol to have pants brought to him, then bids him continue. The thane requests they submit themselves to a truth divination. Damien continues to whine until Tergol roughs him up a little. The party spends a minute or two worrying about this being a setup and some manipulation of the truth occurring. The party starts rolling Will saves (before the spell had even be cast, mind). An improbable number of natural 20s are rolled (three of four). The priest interrogates Tergol, asking if he slew the dwarf in question or if anyone had told him or implied that he should have killed him. Tergol says no truthfully. The thane frowns.

DM: “Tergol, I’m at a bit of a loss here.”
Tergol: “Aye?”
DM: “When this mat’er came up, I was convinced it could not’ve been you, that it was someone impersonatin’ ya, by mundane or magical means. As a consequence, before any’o this hap’ned, I asked the father here ta perform a divination, inquirin’ as to the identity of who slew the Stonehand. It was unequivocally you. The god Moradin said so himself.”
Tergol: “…tha’s a bit bizarre.”
DM: “It is. I thought, f’r example, that you had been under the effects of a spell.”
Tergol: “That would be th’ most reasonable thing ta think.”
DM: “But, if so, it is a spell that has left no effect on ya.”
Damien: (thrusts his hand up into the air.)
Alandris: Rollin’ the kid thing all the way.
Damien: No, I have a very reasonable thing to say.
DM: Roll an Escape Artist!
Damien: All right, I’m hopping around, getting people’s attention… “Listen, listen.” I have Knowledge(religion), I have Knowledge(history) here… “Listen, he did his deviation and that god said this. Zone of Truth is also casted by a god as well.”
DM: “That is correct. Indeed, it seems that if he did it, he has no knowledge of it, it was not under his control, and yet it has left no magical traces on him. It is either the work of a VERY skilled wizard… or something I cannae conceive of.”
Damien: “Well by that standpoint you can basically conceive that a god is working against him, and someone get these binds off god dammit.”
Tergol: “Obviously my compatriots are innocent.”
Damien: “Mr. Priest, I didn’t catch your name, do you also divine-focus through Moradin? That god was used for deviation?”
DM: “We follow Moradin, aye.”
Damien: “Both deviation and Zone of Truth, through Moradin?”
DM: (a pause.) “It’s DIVINATION, stop missayin’ tha word! It’s yer own frickin’ language an’ I can sa it better than you can!:
Damien: Listen, buddy, my Int is 12, that causes me to not speak very well.

Damien argues that there has to be something else afoot, to which the thane agrees.

Tergol: “Even if it was against my will, there’s still blood on these hands.”
DM: “IS there? That might be a li’l helpful.”
Tergol: “Huh?”
DM: “Is there?”
Tergol: “Metaphor, please.”
DM: “Jus’ checkin’. I mean I know it was a strangulation but it woulda made it absolutely clear it was you, if you had bloody hands.”
Tergol: “I-er-uh – yeah, all right.”
DM: You look between your legs. “Oh, a dwarf head, how long have I had that there?”

Tergol insists that he be locked up. The thane asks the party to keep an eye on Tergol to see if he repeats this behavior. Tergol will conduct his business as normal, and the other PCs will be smuggled into the clanhall to observe him. Damien proposes to hijack a carriage and flee the land the moment they step out of the clanhall.

Alandris: CSI: Baruz-Azhik!
Damien: You guys wake up. “What happened to the carriage driver?” “We’re about 20 miles out of Baruk-Azhik! We’re still running strong!”
DM: (to Niobhe) Can I borrow your glasses for a minute?
Damien: “They escape-proofed your guilt! I’m not going to jail again!”
Niobhe: What are you…?
DM: So. They pushed the carriage driver off and fled in a rush, huh? Looks like the importance of our last case…

The DM puts on Niobhe’s glasses.

DM: …just got dwarfed.

A pause. Alandris groans, but most other people giggle.

DM: I had to borrow your glasses because it doesn’t work otherwise. (to the others) THAT’s for calling it a murder mystery!

The group continues to hesitate over this plan. The thane attempts to persuade them as Damien grumbles that he has no choice.

DM: “No, we would be obligated to let ya go free, ya’ve committed no crimes, obviously. However, we appeal to yer good nature as citizens of the world to assist in dealin’ with yer potentially wayward companion. Aside from that I might point out that if somethin’ is causin’ him ta slay dwarves in his sleep, it might not be confined ta dwarves, and if you all are on th’ road with him, and the hunger comes over him… well ya might want this little problem solved before then.”
Damien: (cracking up) Every now and then Tergol just has to KILL somebody!
Tergol: Welp, if ya have to go, go.
DM: (noticing a player has gone missing) Wait a minute, Niobhe left and we’re not having a combat, what is this? Guys we have to have a combat, roll for initiative!
Damien: I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS THE ENTIRE TIME. I roll a 20 on my Strength check to break my binds?
DM: I’m sorry, the ropes go first, they grapple you better.
Alandris: What.
Damien: Fuck it, I’m fighting with my feet, I have a whole lot of stances—
DM: Biting your feet?

The DM chokes a lot and questions if he’s managed to get a nut in his lung. The thane explains the plan to sneak them back to the clanhall from the tavern. He then gives them free run of the town. The party elects to head back to the tavern. The streets are somber. A street preacher proclaims the virtue of the murdered thane. The DM starts ‘subtly hinting’ at the ongoing religious schism.

DM: “Let’s petition the Overthane to give him a royal place in the halls above!” “Nay, the Overthane is but a dwarf like the rest of us.” “He’s the Second Coming of Moradin!”
Tergol: “Blasphemer! Oh my god!”
DM: This situation on the streetcorner is rapidly devolving into an argument.
Tergol: “Less argue-y, less preachy, let’s go get drunk!”

But even the tavern is somber and dour. Damien darkly predicts that everyone will be staring at Tergol as the accused victim. Tergol and the innkeeper debate dwarven culture and the necessity of honoring the gods and the fallen versus the harvest.

DM: “Who’re yer friends? They’re rather tall, aren’t they?”
Tergol: “Some frien’s I made while I was out doin’ work with the Stormfists.” I introduce them. They all have names.
DM: You don’t know them, do you.
Tergol: I wrote them down, but I don’t know where the fuck I put them!
DM: “Well then, Mr. Alandris, there’s a little thing we do here at this bar when there’s a new folk here. We test his mettle, see if he’s worth it. It’s one’a those things where we all havta determine the pecking order, the loser buys drinks. So: Bring it on! I’ll use me left arm, it’s weaker.”
Alandris: Oh.
DM: What were YOU thinking?
Alandris: I was thinking Fortitude is my lowest save!

The party discusses magical cheating at the innocent tavern armwrestling contest.
Alandris: Maybe I could kick in Divine Wrath.
Alandris: No, that’s not what sets him off, it’s having to pay for drinks if he loses.
Tergol: Hmm, maybe…

Alandris rolls a 17 on a Strength check, defeating his dwarven opponent. They drink! The DM inquires rhetorically if they intend to drink in the tavern the entire day. Damien responds by complaining vigorously about Pokemon. Tergol wanders off.

Tergol: I’ll be back.
DM: You’re so drunk you can’t find the way back.
Tergol: This is like, my regular watering hole. I can find this in the pitch black darkness.
DM: No, you’ve been away from dwarven beer for too long, you’ve become unhabituated to it.
Tergol: “No! I’ve been tainted by human beer! AAARGH!”
DM: Tergol’s heading out the door.
Tergol: “Time to find out what THIS dagger is!”
DM: “He’s got a knife!” “He’s the one who killed the thane!”
Tergol: “How RIGHT you are!”
Alandris: “Stay here, Tergol, be merry!” I hate to be the one to do this, but… Gambling? I’m in!

Tergol does intend to get the dagger identified, but elects not to go to a wizard. A Pokemon evolves, irrelevantly.

Niobhe: To the priestmobile!
Tergol: So to a priest of repute.
DM: Temples are easy enough to find. Those who step into the—
Tergol: Is there one right across from the bar?
DM: No.
Tergol: Damn!
DM: Two down.
Tergol: “Tha’s where we’re goin’! Right near home.”

Tergol meets an old priest friend in the temple.

DM: “Tergol, Tergol, Tergol. To what do we owe the pleasure of you steppin’ in these doors? Yer tavern is two down—“
Tergol: “I ain’t that drunk yet! I want to know, what is this?”
DM: “It’s a dagger.”
Tergol: “Aye, it’s magical.”
DM: “Well good for it.”
Tergol: “I want ye to tell me how magical it is.”
DM: “It’s as magical as that dagger there.”
Tergol: “This dagger is as magical as this dagger is.”
DM: “Exactly.”
Tergol: “Oyyyyyygh.”
DM: “Tha’ll be fifteen gold.”
Tergol: “I ain’t givin’ that for a stupid ass fuckin’ AARGH!” I’d murder you if I wasn’t in trouble.
DM: “I’d murder you if you were a thane.”
Tergol: That’s better.
Damien: Wow, the priests in this place are MEAN.
DM: Naw, Tergol and this guy go way back. He’s two down! It’s like, “Oh. I’ve sinned.” (mimes walking down the street)
Tergol: “Bless me father for I have knocked that dude’s nose in once again.”
DM: “Bless me father, I have left three inches in me mug before I passed out.” “What a waste…”
Tergol: “I left a floater, I’m so sorry!”
DM: “Tergol, what have I told ya to do when ya get this drunk?”
Tergol: “…drink some more?”
DM: “Yes! Finish the bloody process an’ go unconscious before ya cause any more harm! Here, have some.” The sacred take-em-out wine…
Tergol: “I just want to know if this dagger has any special properties.”
DM: “Well, let me take a look-see.”
Tergol: (mimes stabbing the priest)
DM: “Ow Tergol, whyyyyy?!”
Tergol: “You deserved it! Now heal yerself and tell me!”
DM: “It’s a vile dagger, I cannae!”
Tergol: “Sucks for you then!”
DM: “Oh dear.”
Tergol: “Tierdrek, apparently I did murder again… but I was in control of me own actions.”

The priests takes the dagger off to pray over it, then returns to inform Tergol that the dagger is mildly enchanted, but by singing the song on the blade, it will provide a bonus to save against audible effects. Neither of them, however, know the song. The priest doesn’t charge him for the ID, instead insisting he come around for services more often. Tergol donates a silver, generously.

DM: “May Moradin and Hendlar bless ya.”
Tergol: “Oh no, you too…”
DM: “What?”
Tergol: “Nothin’, see ya later.”
Damien: No wonder Hendlar’s out of town.
Tergol: “And thus concludes our negotiations, Overthane--“ “Ca-can I stay? Please?”
DM: “If I go back, they’ll worship me, I don’t want that…”
Damien: (as Barack) “Listen Hendlar, I like having you at my house, okay, but you need to leave soon, I need quality time… with my wife.”
DM: “Could you at least not stay in my bedroom?” “But you’ve got the comfiest bed!”
Tergol: I’m just layin’ on the bed… “…What?”
Alandris: “And get Dirk out of my chair!”
Tergol: “I go where he goes.”
Damien: I’m sleeping there like this, Malabghein’s on the other side… “Good night, Hendlar.”
Tergol: “Good night.” Like right in between them.
Damien: Malabghein’s furious. “Why is he here.”
Tergol: “Again.”
DM: Everywhere Barack looks… pew! Pew! (miming the laser-eye spell that requires abstinence as a component.)
Damien: The whole town, one month of that and they’ve figured out, “Whenever he has the laser beams, he didn’t get any.”
Alandris: Hendlar’s cockblocking has turned you into Cyclops. With no visor!
Damien: “I will assassinate you!” PWSHOOM! “Sorry buddy…”
Tergol: “I haven’t been laid in a fucking fortnight! What the hell do you want?!”
DM: “I’ll be back when you’ve had more action.”
Damien: All of a sudden the assassins are helping me get laid. “Huh, why is there a box of…” What would they use in D&D times?
DM: Sheepskin.
Damien: “Sheepskins on my counter.”
DM: There’s an assassin outside playing romantic music on your balcony…
Damien: “This is weeeeeeird.”
Tergol: Someone’s trying to change the name Barack to Hendlar, get him out of the way…
Damien: “It has come to our attention we can’t kill.. him… more than usual. This puts Hendlar to the top of the list.”
DM: There’s, like, competing assassin’s guilds, and one of the advertisements for one of them is “does not send you after Barack”.
Damien: A month later, Malabghein is like, “What’s wrong, honey?” “The assassins’ guilds aren’t killing me like they used to.”
Tergol: “I don’t feel loved any more.”
Damien: She’s like, “I’ll take care of that for you.” Sching! “It’s not the same.”
Tergol: (as Hendlar) “So… what’s for lunch?”
DM: Hendlar, the most unwelcome of guests. Maybe this should be your next mission in this game, get Hendlar out of Barack’s kingdom!
Tergol: “I don’t wanna go back! Nooooo! They’re gonna act stupid again!”

Tergol imagines trying to make his characters fight each other; Damien proposes Tergol dress as a pony, because Hendlar can’t grapple them. Tergol demands to know how Hendlar’s boar-riding initiative has turned out; when the DM points out that he’s been out of the country for months, he grabs a random passerby on the street and shakes them down for information. This fails because it was a random guy. Tergol goes to the armorsmith, which is conveniently three doors down.

DM: It’s an all-purpose street. Everything a dwarf could want. Real estate prices around here are off the charts…

Tergol attempts to sell his breastplate. Banter ensues. The blacksmith becomes convinced that the breastplate is evil, to Tergol’s infinite frustration. The DM continues to ratchet up the insanity as the armorsmith becomes convinced the leather straps are from dwarven skin. Damien shows up to join in the shouting contest for no apparent reason. In a fury Tergol finally forces the armorsmith to buy it for 50 gold...

DM: Later Tergol will realize that the guy deliberately pissed him off to get him to accept half of what it would have sold for normally, and be mad.
Alandris: Uh-oh.
Tergol: I have 116 platinum on me, I’m fine with 50 gold.
DM: “I so would’ve killed you if you were a thane.”

Damien starts listing off the people Tergol is going to kill. Tergol goes to the jeweler – except there is none on the street. Tergol yells that the street sucks, then grabs a random bystander to shake them down for knowledge on where the nearest jeweler is. The first one is an idiot and is violently discarded; the second one is loud and obnoxious and is immediately put into a sleeper-hold.

DM: You do this in the middle of the street, so people stop and stare in horror!
Tergol: No! No they don’t! I’m known in this street! So they’re just like, “Oh, that’s Tergol.”
DM: “Tergol’s chokin’ some bitch again.”

Tergol finds his way to a jeweler . A thin dwarf peers at him over a monocle; Tergol does a standard halfling-check and is satisfied that it is just a thin dwarf. Alandris insists that the voice the DM has come up with for this jeweler is Dwarf Vader. The DM Force-chokes him. The many gems sell for 15,000. Tergol asks why so much, then stops caring midway through the explanation. Tergol starts counting the money.

Tergol: “One, two, three…”
DM: The rest of the day passes.

Made happy by a sackful of platinum, Tergol decides to go drink or possibly get the mysterious portable hole thing they have identified.

Tergol: “Every time I start to open it I get this sense of dread.”
DM: That’s because I keep asking if you’re actually opening it.
Tergol: Yeah, you’re like, “Are you seriously opening it?” and I’m like “God dammit, why does he keep saying it?!”
DM: Actually it’s “are you putting things in it” is what I usually ask…
Damien: The moment he’s like, “Are you sure you want to do this?”…
Tergol: Yeah, you’re always questioning yourself.
DM: No no, I’ve done that before and you went through with stuff you later looked back on in horror.

Tergol returns to the bar. It is strongly implied that Tergol with money is terrifying beyond measure to the dwarven populace.

DM: “Bring out the Tergol’s-in-the-money mix!” It’s a platinum keg. “Here you go, Tergol, the alcoholic gold.”
Damien: “Which will it be this time? Will you bathe in our most expensive beer?”
DM: Get a mug that’s also a bag of holding?
Tergol: “I’ll have ONE cup of ale.” “Sure thing! Huh… not full yet… still not full… I just popped that keg!:
DM: The largest one has 150 cubic feet of storage, but also weighs 50 pounds on the outside. “Here’s me mug!” Crash.
Tergol: “What is it?!” “...very…. dense… metal…?”

Tergol discovers bandit loot on the other page. The DM says he just sells it for list price because he doesn’t want to keep forcing insane negotiations on him, but Tergol complains he was enjoying that. Eventually Tergol returns to the bar to find officious-looking dwarves asking for the ‘thane’s nightly delivery’. Taking the hint, Tergol returns to the clanhall as the guards slip the other PCs into the delivery wagon (which has a backup beeper for some reason, which is also a gnome?).

DM: Tergol, you reach the thanehall with only minor incident.
Tergol: …what was the incident?
DM: You roughed up a drunk.
Tergol: At least he was drunk too.
DM: It was you. “Eh, rummy!” (grabbing himself and miming punching himself) “Tha’ll teach you ta be publicly intoxicated!”
Tergol: “Just like me!”

Tergol is escorted back to his chamber, passing the guards who do so mugs of ale each to their confusion. The rest of the party is brought to a room next to his, with a pair of servants’ rooms off the connecting hall. Tergol puts on his shirt as pants, then proclaims it makes it easier to go to the bathroom. The DM draws the rooms. Tergol vows to remake every room or structure the DM draws in Minecraft. The group starts nitpicking the drawings.

Tergol: So since he actually drew the towel racks, they must be important. I know that’s meta…

The group starts digging up their minis, which as usual is a feat for the ages.

Alandris: He was the armored guy with the mace that’s not painted.
DM: There are a lot of armored guys with maces who aren’t painted.
Alandris: Yeah, but he was badass-looking.
DM: There are a LOT of badass guys, that was one fucking badass box set.
Alandris: Welp, Alandris pulled it right out.

The group takes up position in the hallway between rooms to listen or look for any sign of trouble or Tergol escaping. Guards patrol the main hallway outside. The characters begin searching the rooms. They find a lowly page’s worldly possessions, to the tune of 16 silver and chains, and a scap of paper that appears to have part of a seal on it. They rip the towels off the rack and call it good, having found no secret passages, corpses, or mimics. Alandris heads into Tergol’s room and searches under the bed despite Tergol’s unconsciousness), and discovers what appears to be a loose rope underneath the bed. Alandris casts a light spell down there, finding the rope to actually be a garrote. Tergol slightly awakens as Alandris wonders how to determine if the garrote is magical without having access to detect magic.

DM: You can use the universal detection: cast fireball. If it’s destroyed, it probably wasn’t magical.
Tergol: Let me try an experiment. I’m going to reach up and poke Tergol.
Tergol: (grunting)
DM: Tergol, you are poked.
Tergol: (grunting)
Niobhe: …grubs. Grubs!
Alandris: “Tergol, wake up. You’ve got duty in the latrines today.”
Tergol: “….What”
Niobhe: “Tergol, beer.”
Tergol: “Huh?!”
Alandris: I don’t want him to wake up.
DM: Too late, beer woke him up.
Tergol: “What’s goin’ on? Did I murder someone again?”
Alandris: “Not yet.”

Alandris beckons Niobhe over to detect magic. She detects no magic on the rope… but many items on Tergol. Because he has magic items.

Alandris: “I know what’ll get him out of bed fast.” (a deep breath, then ‘singing’ Reveille)
Tergol: “I’m awake, ya jackass. Didja want me to get out of this bed yet, ya told me to stay here.”
Alandris: “Aaaaye?”
Tergol: All right, I get out of bed.
DM: You’re not wearing pants.
Tergol: (shrugs)
Niobhe: “Dear God!”

Alandris wakes Tergol up fully with a ray of frost for three damage, for no adequately explained reason. Tergol checks to see if he has the Divine Wrath blood ability, but instead finds that he has cold resistance 5. The DM cracks up as Tergol no-sells the spell and digs out the garrote. Niobhe nags Tergol to put on pants as he pulls out the rope.

Tergol: “Oh crap, it’s a garrote.”
DM: With your fingerprints on it now, buddy!
Tergol: Well I think I found the murder weapon.
DM: Looks like our clue to who murdered the thane… (mimes putting on glasses) will be from the Prince.
Tergol: …the prince? What?
DM: (sighs, then borrows Niobhe’s glasses again.) Looks like our clue to who murdered the thane…
Tergol: Oh.
DM: (puts on the glasses) will come from the prints.
Tergol: Yeah, yeah yeah.
DM: See, it doesn’t work without the glasses…
Tergol: You’re right! It doesn’t!
DM: I made the gesture and everything…
Tergol: I’m like, “what are you talking about – oooohhhhhh.”

No one recognizes the seal on the scrap of paper. Tergol drops his drawers and returns to sleep. Alandris proposes to search the dresser. Tergol puts his pants on, pops back up, and helps. The dresser has a false bottom, but its hidden compartment is empty. Searching the table finds only crumbs. The group settles in to keep watch. The DM calls for various sensing checks.

Alandris: They’re gonna pull you into their realm, just like in that episode of D&D—
DM: (putting a demonic mini on the map right next to Alandris)
DM: You wake up abruptly as a soft hiss—
Alandris: I was awake!
DM: Not you, I’ll tell you what you see later! A soft hiss and clatter. Jolting upright in your bed, you see an ominous figure standing right there.
Tergol: Okay, besides ominous what do I see?
DM: Oh, it has wings just like like you see it. A low shroud of energy surrounds its massive, muscled body. All else is dark in the room; whatever has lit it here is completely void.
Tergol: Oh, so it’s darkvision.
DM: Yes, you’re seeing with darkvision but it’s as if you can see nothing else. Even though you know you should be able to see walls and table and suchforth, you have the vaguest, barest hints of those things.
Tergol: And it’s standing over Alandris?
DM: Even Alandris you can’t see. This is the only thing you see in your vision.

Tergol ponders this, then launches himself at the creature. The DM allows him to throw himself out of the bed in a charge attack. Initiative is rolled. Tergol throws out a Bonecrusher maneuver. The creature takes 18 points of damage, then fails its Fort save and becomes more vulnerable to crits as a result. The rest of the group rolls intiative. Damien goes first, having only heard bellowing in the room. Damien crashes through the doors. Tergol hears the doors crash open but still only sees the demon.

Tergol: I don’t like this. At least I’m conscious for it this time!

Tergol moves to throw the demon with Mighty Throw, but he rolls terribly. Alandris is suddenly attacked by a creature which slams into him from behind, some sort of aura weakening him as he takes 18 points of damage. The demon then attempts to seize him, but Alandris ducks aside.

DM: You three looking in on this see no sign of Tergol, but instead this demonic creature. For you the light is normal, you have no problems seeing.
Niobhe: Oh really, it’s demonic is it?
DM: Yes!

Alandris ponders his non-getting-slayed-by-AOO options, along with his no-friendly-fire options. Once again Alandris goes hunting for the sound lance spell and no one can find it. They wing the rules. The electronic die starts speeding up ludicrously for no adequately explained reason, derailing this entire campaign as the entire group stares in awe. Alandris misses and destroys the bed. Damien throws out a Mountain Hammer for 38 points of damage. Niobhe casts Dismissal, but it fails out of hand.

DM: Tergol, you watch in horror as the image before you appears to split. Only Tergol sees this. You’re now facing two of these creatures, one who is injured and one who is not. This one steps forward and lets forth a terrific shriek, make your Fort save.
Tergol: 29?
DM: You shrug off its effects as if it were nothing, though behind you you hear decimation as the sonic energy ravages your bedroom.
Damien: He’s facing him and he gets to shriek?
DM: Yes. You didn’t see that, this is something Tergol’s… ‘ultravision’ or whatever you want to call it is seeing.
Niobhe: His beer goggles!
DM: Perfect, I love it.

Tergol punches the newer one, rolls a 20, but fails to confirm, and deal 14 points of damage. The creature he punches hammers him in the sternum, snapping ribs for 38 points of damage. The creature Damien just punched hits him for 14.

Damien: Oh no, that puts me out. That puts me out.. if 90 hit points left is out…
DM: It’s your turn.
Damien: Weakened, by five percent of my hit points… it’s more like ten percent but nonetheless! And I use Irresistable Mountain Strike!
Tergol: (abruptly figuring it out) Oh how do I do this without being meta?! Fuck!
Damien: A 30…something.
DM: That hits.
Damien: He must make a DC 22 Fortitude saving throw.
Tergol: There’s no way I can… there’s no way he would know…
DM: I believe Tergol’s stumbled into the periphery of wisdom.
Tergol: Unless he notices him doing something only a swordsage could do.
Alandris: Wait, he’s.. mimicking…
DM: Let ‘em figure it out!
Damien: A whopping 26 points of damage! He cannot take a standard action.
DM: It fails its save. Alandris, now that you’re back it’s your turn….
Alandris: I see… two demons?
DM: No, just one.
Damien: I just whopped it over the head, wha-pooow!
Alandris: He’s… got his back to me?

The DM attempts to explain; Damien accuses him of deliberately being confusing. Having found the sound lance spell, the group proposes to use the actual rules for the spell. The DM grumbles and threatens to nerf it. Alandris tries to get the DM to reroll the last one.

DM: Normally I would, but there are reason you’ll come to understand why I don’t.
Niobhe: Probably because we’re fighting Tergol.
DM: Ah, Niobhe too has stumbled into the periphery of wisdom.
Niobhe: No, it was the fact that my spell didn’t work.
DM: Excellent, then we’ll dispense with this charade! As far as you know you’re still fighting a demon,
Alandris: He’s possessed?
DM: You don’t know that. All that’s changed is you guys figure out out-of-character that you’re beating the crap out of Tergol.
Tergol: …which is fine… I’ll grapple Alandris next round.
DM: You can’t, you’re stunned.
Tergol: Oh noooooo!
DM: By the way, Tergol, for every untrippable monster I fight as Aliarra, you face one monster with freedom of movement cast on it. Just so you know.
Tergol: You have not fought one untrippable monster yet so shaddup.
DM: You haven’t encountered one with freedom of movement on it.
Tergol: That’s horribly meta.

Tergol fails his saving throw against Alandris’s spell, but cheers every 1 that Alandris rolled. Damien, who had wandered off some minutes ago, comes back.

Damien: What’s going on? …one of the demons disappeared. Have we killed Tergol?
Alandris: 70.
Tergol: Almost down!
Damien: Someone explain to me what happened.

Niobhe casts blade barrier in a circle around demon-Tergol. Unfortunately, Tergol does not see the barrier. Alandris rolls a 37 on Knowledge(arcana), and determines that the the transformation appears to be more like an awnshegh transformation than anything.

Damien: I know exactly what to do. Disbelieve. (immediately rolls a natural 20 to do so)
DM: The scene disappears. In front of you all you see is… (sings the E.T. theme as his extended middle finger slowly rises from behind the DM screen)

Tergol teleports-without-error next to Alandris to catch him by surprise, then seizes and grapples him.

DM: Alandris, you are in a grapple. There are many actions you could do…
Damien: All of them result in an attack of opportunity.

Alandris fails to act against Tergol’s grapple. Damien comes up with a masterful idea, amazingly.

Damien: All right. First, I’m watching this, I’m like, “Wait a minute. This looks familiar”. I’m rolling my Knowledge(martial arts) which I’ve been waiting to use…
DM: Martial lore?!
Damien: Yes, martial lore, I’ve been waiting to use it!
Damien: 24.
DM: You succeed! Though the image before your mind is not familiar you recognize that many of the effects this creature are having are obviously of swordsage nature! Coupled with the fact that he’s out there grappling with an oddly familiar form that looks more like it belong to a creature half its size, you begin to suspect!
Alandris: Tripled with the fact that you don’t see Tergol anywhere in the room.
DM: That too. You guys didn’t figure it out before because of that, so…
Damien: “I have a feeling. That that could, in fact. Be Tergol.”
DM: Your dramatic pause costs you your action.
Damien: That’s fine. Just the fact that this worked…
Niobhe: And I’m like, “No, really? I figured that out when the dismissal didn’t work.”
Damien: Yeah, but you didn’t TELL us. And now I’ve Mountain Striked him, like, twice.
DM: “Take that, Tergol I mean demon.”
Damien: You won’t take my pleasure in figuring this out. Now I’m angry at you, wench! No, I’m only mad at Lorrithrik.
Tergol: That’s right. Always angry at Lorrithrik.

It occurs to the players that they slightly mishandled the grapple-combat with Samana way back when, but the DM points out it really didn’t matter. They briefly forget where she ended up, before remembering it was with Barack.

Damien: Barack comes home… “Malabghein, it’s been a great week.” “Why’s that?” “Well, gone a whole week without adding another woman to the palace.” “Uh, sir, we got two more here!” “God, DAMN IT, I don’t even have to BE here!”
Tergol: “What’s for dinner?”
DM: “You’re not a woman, you’re Hendlar in a woman suit!”
Damien: “At least Hendlar’s not here any more…”
Tergol: When I play Hendlar again he’s going to have ranks in Disguise.
DM: One rank,
Tergol: Just so he can do it.
DM: But he refuses to hide his beard as a matter of principle. “That would be a disgrace to me ancestors!”
Tergol: “I am a little girl!”
DM: “I’d appreciate ye not callin’ attention to me li’l problem!”
Damien: “There’s nothing little about your problem.”
DM: “You’re a horrible paladin! I demand yer paladinhood be revoked for your foul words unless ya take me in and keep me away from that nasty horrible kingdom where they worship Hendlar as a god for no reason!”
Damien: My god’s like, “Well, I better take – waaaait a minute. What kind of horrible disguise is this?!”
Tergol: “Those boobs aren’t real!”
DM: “Those boobs might not be real.” A giant hand descends from the sky. (makes honking motions and appropriate sound effects) “Those aren’t real at all.”
Damien: “They’re honka-honkas. The fuck’s a honkap-honka?”
Niobhe: I hate you so much.

Niobhe proposes to try something. Tergol points out he has only 14 hit points left. Niobhe is proposing to enthrall him with a spell. A careful reading of the spell reveals it won’t work so well, leaving Niobhe with only the bizarre recourse of curing his wounds. Tergol feels meta-guilty about this. She succeeds in doing so, but the DM describes it as his bloodline turning the eeeevil energy into healing. Tergol forgets he’s not actively evil in his own mind at the moment. Damien switches into Giant Stance.

DM: …Wait a minute. That does actually make you bigger, doesn’t it.
Damien: Yes.
DM: Roll a Fort save.
Damien: 23.
Tergol: …I’m sorry, Alandris, I didn’t mean to Bonecrush you earlier…
DM: You grow huge. The blade barrier chews into your leg and you slam you head viciously on the lower dwarven ceiling in this room. Your vision momentarily goes white, then black, then white again, but it quickly clears as you shake it off with a high Fortitude save.

Damien wallops Tergol for subdual damage, which is inadequate to take Tergol down thanks to Niobhe’s healing. Tergol attempts to choke Alandris unconscious and succeeds. Tergol attempts to trip Damien but fails and is countertripped. Damien takes down Tergol, only to find that his bloodline surges up within him, attempting to force him to slay Tergol. Damien resists as the demonic form reverts to Tergol’s normal, panstless form.

And on that late note the game ends. CLIFFHANGER!