Thursday, December 2, 2010

Episode 23: "I Think The DM Has A Drinking Problem."

Saladin looked up at the temple. All that was wood or wicker had burned away. What was left was a stone structure that looked... eldritch by comparison.

"We can all get in through this side window," he told the Holth and the Death Commandos. "Follow me."

They hurried over to the side of the temple and listened. The piteous moans of burned and glass-riddled acolytes had died down considerably. Saladin went in.

Li'l Sauron was next, followed by Object. Holth did not come next. Neither did Velva. The fact that Aaa'ooo'aaa failed to bring up the rear struck Saladin as particularly annoying. Demanding answers, he got a shrug from Li'l Sauron and a series of whines and clicks from Object. Not reassuring.

The three crept towards the back of the temple. Soft, lilting feminine voices could be heard debating some topic in Muralian. Saladin ears pricked up, while other parts of him grew ears. Gripping his club and ready for battle, he sprung around the painted screen that sectioned off the back of the temple to find... no one.

All that was there was an evilly bubbling throne on a gem-encrusted base, five stained glass windows depicting the 4 elements, the downfall of humanity and a pregnant Iryien, and a hole through the Earth window that was about the size of a berserking gnome. the feminine voices came from without.

Suddenly, in a fit of inspired madness that caused the DM to take a heavier-than-usual pull on his maple porter, Saladin leaped through the bottom of the center stained glass window, only to land with a resounding thud on top of...


The slowly-thawing corpses of the two guards had been set up in the crypt. "The next person who enters therein will get surely stain themselves," thought Xeno.

"Next time we split up, I go with Xoe," thought Kobayashi.

The two then headed up the hallway to an intersection. After some debate, the two decided that the passage ahead, which was wide and well-lit, could only lead to trouble, and instead chose to turn down a dark side corridor, redolent with sinister echoes and paved top to bottom with black obsidian.

"Next time we split up, I go with Xoe," thought Kobayashi.

Sure enough, they soon came to a dark and sinister chamber. So dark and so sinister, it sucked the light out of Xeno's light spell.

"Perhaps other way is better?" hazarded Kobayashi.

On cue, other way started to go boom, boom, boom with the sound of drums.

"Perhaps not," sighed Xeno. "I think we should- SWEET PICKLED EGGS WHAT'S THAT?"

Quick as a flash, Xeno's Cube of Force was activated, and just beyond it's protective walls, two vile, stinky undead appeared from within the chamber. The cube's walls seemed to keep them out. But as the drum section grew louder (and was soon joined by a cacophonous brass section) the duo decided that these two fiends were the lesser of two evils.

Kobayashi readied his Staff of Thunder and Lightning, aiming it into the chamber and over the heads of the two slavering fiends. He then discharged what would have been, outdoors, a very loud thunderclap...

Inside the small obsidian-lined chamber, however, it was destructively, titanically and... what was the term?

Oh, yes. It was ear-shatteringly loud.

While the cube protected the two from the bone-stripping cloud of supersonic pulverized obsidian, it did knock them flat on their asses. Lying there, stunned, Kobayashi thought of retiring from adventuring and becoming Port Harbor's official Drunk Munk.

Xeno wondered why everything had gone so quiet.

As he tilted his head back to see the five figures hurrying towards him (upside-down, from his point of view) he wondered if they were wearing slippers, for how else could they travel so noiselessly down this hallway?

Rough hands pulled him silently to his feet, them noiselessly lifted him up to face a woman wearing dark robes. She was mouthing words at him in a very agitated manner... Was she expecting him to read lips? Why wasn't she making any sound? Why does she look sort of familiar?

As she turned her attentions to Kobayashi, Xeno's memory started to clear... Iryien! She's come here to take us out of here! Yes, she's now leading us away from here, down this hallway, around a corner, up a little slopey bit here, yes, yes...up to this weird doorway and being thrown in - what the Hades? Why are we being tossed in here? What's up with Iryien? And how DID she manage to slam that door so silently?

Takemiya looked around the cell block. No keys hanging on a hook. Of course it couldn't be easy. But there were a couple more doors ahead...

He stopped to listen at the first. Nothing. He crept up to the second, and barely audible above the fish-slapping in the adjacent cell, he thought he could hear a high-pitched wooden sound.

He tried the door. Unlocked. He slowly pushed the door open and peered into the room...

A shabbily appointed room contained dirty dishes, piles of laundry and some poor creature's attempt at 'decorating'. Homel figurines and a painting by Thimmaus Kink-aid adorned what looked to be (and smelled to be) a studio apartment. In the middle of the room, spinning wool on a large wooden wheel, was Iryien.

"Iryien!" Takemiya whispered in her ear. Quick as a flash, Iryien picked up a wooden spindle and wheeled it about her head. Only Takemiya's incredible monkish training prevented him from losing an invisible eye.

"Who's there?!?" Wild-eyed and shaken, Iryien looked disheveled and a bit worn. Her plain gingham dress looked ancient and her hair had a sheen of what looked like chicken grease.

"It is me, Takemiya! I've found Longbottom! Do you know where the keys are kept?"

Iryien still held the spindle high and with a threatening air, turning to and fro in an attempt to keep the disembodied voice at bay.

"Longbottom? That was so long ago... Keys? What keys? How did you get into my cottage?" Takemiya looked around the room. He'd never have used the term "cottage" to describe what he saw.

Iryien was obviously under some sort of delusion, probably magical in nature.

He returned to the hallway outside. The imp was still lazily thudding away. Perhaps this would shake things up... Takemiya detached his floating head and rammed it into the cell door.

The bars clanged, but did not break. The imp disappeared with a POP! And he could now hear footsteps running towards him, from the direction of the angry priestess...

"Next time we split up, I go with Xoe," thought Takemiya.

Iryien opened her eyes. It was still dark. Her head hurt, her back hurt and her plate mail was probably dented. She got to her feet in time to see Saladin slowly get up on one knee. Glass tinkled to the ground.

"Mind explaining what this is about?" she whispered. She looked around for the Gardener, but he was nowhere to be seen.

"Iryien! Is that you? Where did you disappear to?" Saladin rushed forward, groping in the dim gray light towards the half-elf.

"Disappear? I wandered into this garden two minutes ago. It hardly constitutes 'disappearing'. Why aren't you down at Elof's? How did you fall out of the sky on me?"

Saladin started by explaining her going AWOL, Xoe returning and the ensuing rescue party. When he got to the part about Iryien being pregnant, she stopped him.

"WAIT, WHAT? I've only been gone two minutes! How could anything have happened in that amount of time???"

She suddenly heard Ben's voice in the back of her head: "Eldritch Mountain is practically build on a junkyard of Time..."

Saladin must've heard it too, for they both turned to look up towards the top where the temple lay waiting.

"I've got a bad feeling about this," she whispered.

Xeno watched as Iryien returned, silently sliding the door open and entering by herself. While he was hoping that she came with an ear-wax kit, instead she was wielding what looked like a Very Hurty Wand.

She flourished it in his direction, but after failing to comprehend her demands, he was ignored and she turned on Kobayashi.

Xeno couldn't read lips, but he could read the situation. Iryien was MAD, and probably under a geas or something.

Time to make like Gloobian Jelly Spider and Exeunt via its Superlative Nesting Sac.

Xeno carefully flipped open the mouth of his Bag of Holding and, while Iryien's back was turned, procured a teleport scroll. Catching Kobayashi's eye, he began to whisper...

A circle of flickering blue light opened in the floor, and without hesitation, Xeno leaped. "QUICK KOBAYASHI FOLLOW MEEEEEeeeeee...." The monk followed suit, and as he headed down the rabbit hole to Quietly Attentive Nature Spirits know where, he had one thing in his mind:

"Next time we split up, I go with Xoe."

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