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Recap 75 Supplemental: Head Games

October 1, 2016


Coming Down

After a long strange trip through mushroom corridors, the party comes back to reality just outside the town of Gelfini and are gathered around the statue of Jandove. Adarra stands in the center of the group explaining how gravity isn't working right. She demonstrates by jumping repeatedly. Jandove is perched atop the statue, laughing and eating free pie. Kurtis sits a little apart from the rest looking pensive. As the effects of the mushrooms wear off, the group suddenly realizes that Delphine is missing. After frantically running around ineffectually for a couple of minutes, they are relieved to find her curled up underneath the giant bell they had brought back from the Underdark. Their cart is later found in front of the Roly Poly Gnome bakery, crashed into a wall and abandoned. A quick inventory of their persons also reveals that they all have a mushroom in their pockets, each a different hue and variety. Done with two day mushroom benders for the time being, they put the mushrooms away.

When the group is fully recovered, they bring the bell to the top of Gelfini castle and install it. Delphine uses her mystical abilities to activate the bell's magic. The ringing tones of the bell sweep through the city like a cool breeze. The unnatural fog and heat are blown away. The spider webs that have been slowly covering the city disintegrate in the sunlight.

After a little shopping (but not as much as their should have been - Sir Gyles later remembers that his armor was eaten by rust monsters), the group responds to a summons by Vashti, who has been managing the city in the absence of the Motley Crew. He explains that now the bell is installed, he feels safer about sending people out to search for the Crew. He has sent out some scouts, but the Motley Too are more suited to the task. However, his only idea is to go back to the Underdark to try to find the Drow that were at the last meeting the Motley Crew took before they disappeared.

Sir Gyles had been with the Motley Crew in the Underdark and since the mushroom experience, some of his memories from that mission are starting to surface. He still doesn't remember everything, but he confirms that the Motley Crew made it back to "Earth" (that choice of word itself a revelation of sorts to some members of the party) before they disappeared.

Hearing this, Vashti suggests that the Motley Too seek out a mage named Marduke Kurious who lives as a hermit in the Disputed Territory. He is known to specialize in mental abilities and related magicks, and he may be able to restore the rest of Sir Gyles' memories. The group agrees to seek him out. Vashti has heard that Marduke Kurious lives somewhere in the Eastern end of the Territory, in the hilly region near the Orgoth border.

The group isn't expecting too much trouble on their journey. It's been reported that the Disputed Territory is much safer and less monster-full since the Motley Crew engaged in their clean-up of the area. But some of the Too remember being attacked by an ogre on their first trip to Gelfini, so they are still somewhat wary. And that cautiousness pays off; Wileu, riding point, notices an ambush up ahead. She rides back to the rest of the group, and after a quick debate, the group decides to veer off to charge one of the would-be ambushers directly.

The attackers reveal themselves to be rangers clad in green cloaks. They declare themselves to be agents of the king of Rowan Dee, and demand that the party stand down and allow themselves to be taken in for questioning. Instead, The Harper of the North barrels down on the speaker, running him over with their cart. The rest of the party turn to The Harper, stunned.

The Harper of the North: What? They're invaders!

In typical Delphine fashion, the gnome mage runs towards the Rowanders yelling, her small body shaking with rage.

Delphine: What authority do you have here? You're mistaken! We're taking you in!

Sir Gyles charges forward to meet a group of rangers further back and encounters even more Rowanders, two wearing heavier armor and one in mage's robes. They claim that they are in the Disputed Territory to capture Aoki who is wanted for murder. And they also intend to detain "all known associates" for questioning.

The Motley Too don't take kindly to this incursion into their country. But, despite their outrage (and The Harper's example), the group does try to subdue some of the Rowanders instead of killing them. Unfortunately, the Rowanders prove somewhat difficult to take alive. Adarra summons a wall of fire to block the rangers' line of fire. Inexplicably, a Rowander ranger tries to jump through the fire to press the attack and winds up immolating himself. Kurtis cuts off one of the ranger's hands when he reaches for his sword, but the shock of the blow causes the ranger to die. Sir Gyles tries to knock out one of the knights with the blunt end of his sword but applies too much force to the blow and crushes the knight's head. Adarra then summons some nice, non-lethal weeds and roots to entangle a ranger, but the target's neck is snapped as she's pulled down. The fight continues in this vein until, in the end, the Too are left with no one to question.

As they aren't too far out from Gelfini at this point, Sir Gyles rides back to town to tell Vashti about the incident. Vashti says he'll send people with carts to retrieve the bodies (which the group of course loots in the meantime). Sir Gyles at least manages to acquire some armor at this point, although for the moment, that means that he's dressed as a Rowan Dee knight.


Kuriouser and Kuriouser

The group continues traveling east. Along the way, they encounter a banshee while camping one night. Luckily, Sir Gyles' presence protects them from suffering any ill effects after hearing the apparition's shriek.

They finally reach the hilly region where Marduke Kurious is thought to reside. Suddenly the ground slides away and the group - horses and all - sink into a giant sand pit. In the pit with them is a sandstone golem. The golem ignores the party and walks to the edge of the pit. It pulls a large stone out of the "wall", and sand starts pouring out of the hole. The golem then starts moving towards another stone. Stopping the golem proves difficult. It doesn't react to physical attacks, and it immediately strikes anyone that begins casting a spell. Delphine suddenly remembers that she has a Fly spell. And a bird! But what the hell is the bird's name...? The rest of the group distracts the golem while she casts the Fly spell. She and Tala (that's what the bird's name is!) fly to the top of the pit looking for a way to get the rest of the group out. At the top, she meets a wizened old man with a gnarly, peppered beard wearing a red robe and skullcap.

Marduke Kurious: Ah, welcome, my dear. You are the first out of the pit, so you win the grand prize! Should we bring the rest of the group up or let them struggle for a while longer.

Delphine: *looks down at the group covered, by now at least waist high in sand* Bring them up! Bring them up!

Marduke Kurious then grants each member of the group an improvement of some kind, either based on a deficiency or preference that they showed during the battle. Since Delphine "won" his test, she is granted two improvements, although he makes sure that one of them improves her intelligence since she forgot just about everything except her middle name while down in the pit.

Marduke seems to think that the group came specifically to participate in his contest, and he says his goodbyes. When they explain that they actually want his help in recovering Sir Gyles' memories, he says that in return they must perform a task for him. His "Walking Id" has been lured away into the neighboring country of Orgoth. If the Motley Too gets it back, he will help Sir Gyles. When they ask what a Walking Id is, Marduke says they'll know it when they see it.


IdQuest

Noticing the Motley Too has an abundance of trackers in the party, Kurtis decides to forgo his ranger ways while concentrating on his thieving skills to make up for Aoki's departure. Wileu and Jandove, the other two rangers, are able to easily track the weird dog-like footprints of the Walking Id, and eventually lead the group to a cave. Inside, the floor of the windy cavern is covered in dust and debris, but a slime-covered trail helpfully marks the Id's path. The group follows the trail, fighting off Ankhegs, Carrion Crawlers, and Gelatinous Cubes as they go. Deeper into the cavern, the group is attacked by a group of Mind Flayers and Grell standing on a nearby ledge. The Mind Flayers are unusually muscular and are much more physical in their attacks than expected.

Using his thief's abilities to climb the ledge, Kurtis backstabs one of the Flayers. While on the ledge, he notices a passage behind him and decides to investigate. The tunnel eventually ends at a secret door that opens to an area deeper inside the cave. Seeing the Walking Id's trail, Kurtis realizes the tunnel is a shortcut and runs back to the group to share his discovery.

The group continues along until Wileu stops the party, her elf-like perceptions alerting her to a trap further ahead. If the group had continued in that direction, they would have been caught in a spinning room that would have torn them apart. So instead the group reasons that they might find another tunnel going in the same direction that will lead to the same place.

Taking a risk by going off the trail for a bit, they do find another tunnel and confirm their theory. Moving cautiously with Jandove in the lead, they stop when they hear groaning up ahead. The area turns out to be a resting place for undead creatures called Hecuvas. The monsters begin shambling towards the group, promising death. Sir Gyles takes it upon himself to encourage his companions.

Sir Gyles: *cheerfully slicing through a Hecuva* They're not so difficult to kill. Just give it a good swing!

The Harper uses his holy dagger to repel the Hecuvas, chasing them ahead of the group down the cavern path.

Rounding the corner, the undead plow into another group of Mind Flayers and Grell. Directly in front of the party, riding a giant axebeak, is another muscular Mind Flayer flanked by two Grell.

These might be the runes seen in the game, or they might just be doodles that Andy drew while he was waiting for his turn.

Another Mind Flayer stands atop a blue rune, and whenever a member of the group attacks any of the Mind Flayers or Grell, the Flayers and Grell flash with a similar blue energy and appear to be unharmed. On a nearby red rune stands a large brain with four legs; when the group sees it they know it to be the Walking Id. After several attempts to penetrate the blue forcefield, Adarra steps forward and engages in a Dispel Magic duel with the Flayer on the blue rune. By summoning a deadly axe to defeat the Flayer's sheep, she breaks down the barrier. The group is able to defeat both Flayers and Grell (with the unwitting help of the panicked Hecuvas).

The Harper of the North is then able to lower the protective barrier from the red rune, releasing the Walking Id.

Adarra: OH MY GOD IT's ADORABLE COME HERE, SWEETIE!

The Id charges forward and affixes itself to Adarra's head, a strange look appearing on Adarra's face. She eyes the Hecuvas with a smirk.

Adarra: Oh, Harper, would you mind just walking over this way, please? Yes...and could you just stand right there? Perfect!

Adarra's maneuverings result in the Hecuvas, still terrified of The Harper, to run into the spinning room, blending them into pulp. Adarra hops up and down, clapping her hands and cackling gleefully. The Harper eyes the druid warily.

The group then retraces their steps out of the cave. The trip through the cave happens without incident, but immediately outside the group is confronted by a pair of guards in Orgothic armor.

Captain: So! The rumors that there is demi-human activity in this area are true!

Guard: Look, sir! Gnomes!

Captain: Hmmm. But they aren't our gnomes. Get out the device.

The guard removes a device from a pouch and suddenly, all the non-human characters are in agony. The human magic-using characters also feel weak. Seeing so many of the party incapacitated, Sir Gyles drinks a Potion of Invulnerability. The Harper of the North directs a cloud of darkness towards the guards, disorienting them, and the members of the Motley Too that are able wade into the darkness to attack. The guards are defeated. When the darkness clears, one of the guards is still alive, gasping in pain on the ground. Out of nowhere an arrow strikes the guard, killing him. The Motley Too turn around and see a muscular Mind Flayer on a distant cliff. It nods to them and then backs away.

With the Walking Id on her head, Adarra is unable to repress some of her darker instincts. She mutilates one of the corpses and offers the meal of entrails to Bone Crusher before the party walks on. While Sir Gyles remains invulnerable due to the potion, Adarra amuses herself by stabbing him repeatedly as they head back to Marduke Kurious.

Adarra: Is it still working? *stab*

Sir Gyles: Yes.

Adarra: Is it still working? *stab*

Sir Gyles: Yes.

Adarra: Is it still working? *stab*

Sir Gyles: No!

Adarra: Oh poo!

Upon their return, Marduke summons his Id, and it hops off of Adarra's head. She is feeling much much better.

The next morning, Marduke uses his mental powers to restore Sir Gyles' memories. Sir Gyles remembers that he and the Motley Crew did indeed return to Earth, and washed up on an island off the shore off the west end of the Disputed Territory. The group prepares to go there next.


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Tags: Adarra, Bone Crusher, Delphine, Jandove, Kurtis, Marduke Kurious, Sir Gyles, Tala, The Harper of the North, Vashti, Wileu


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