Sunday, December 2, 2012

Episode 71: Back in the Abyss Again...

It was a simple plan, really.

Have the dwarf run with a slowly leaking keg of smoke powder towards the orc landing party. Light the trail. clear the dock.

The weird part was that it actually worked.

Now "worked" might be stretching it a bit from Ragnar's point of view, but as he sailed into the harbor, tail on fire, the sounds of screaming orcs lightened his heart a bit. And after a cooling plunge in the bay, Ragnar inelegantly made his way to the surface, surrounded by sizzling hunks of orc meat as they plopped into the black waters around him. Ragnar chuckled, and set his sights on the dark hulk of the black-sailed ship, sitting unmolested in the harbor. He unsheathed his great onyx axe. He harbored thoughts of molestation.

Xeno watched the sizzling scorpion of sparks eat its way towards the bay with a quiet sense of calm and rightness. Chaos was afoot, and he held the shoehorn. He turned to the guardhouse Takemiya had brought to his attention a great(ish) horde of orcs mustering below Plank Town. 

"Yes, Xeno?"
"Murderous orcs in small confined spaces..."
"...a keg of flaming smoke powder in their faces?"

The gnomes grinned evilly. Takemiya tucked himself in a corner to keep lookout. Kobayashi fled the town and headed for the hills. 

As Xoe chucked a lit powder keg over the railing of the staircase, Takemiya looked to see where it was headed and saw a trail of orcs heading up the stairs, each holding a keg of smoke powder up over their head.

Takemiya had just enough time to hurl himself through the door of the guardhouse before EVERYTHING blew up in a cross-connected network of fiery death and oblivion. A huge geyser of flame erupted up and through 'Klobar's Craft Beeres and Flagons'. Flaming pellets of superheated doom smote 'Miss Leila's Shoppe of Naughty Artifacts'. And an Old Faithful of molten magma caused 'Lobelia's Massage Parlour and Armory' to never service another tasset - but no one was left to greave.

But as Xeno watched his newly-aquired realm go up in flames, his thoughts turned to his other short-lived realm - that extraplanar one with the demons and...

They say some thoughts should not be uttered. Especially when you've had your Chaos maximized and tend to roll on the extreme ends of, say, a d30.

But as Xeno watched the night sky above Plank Town light up like 12th of Octember, his thoughts turned to what might of been... if only he'd had time... like more than a day... he would make this realm right, make THIS domain work. If he just had the chance, one more chance.... to change...

135035 _()* 
 ASD   9(9 0  {external error}           -  -                K

Now Pompey’s dead, Homer’s read, Heliogabalus lost his head,

And shade is on the brightest wing, And dust forbids the bird to sing.

Something happened.

It was as if all of Plank Town became an elevator. On the first floor, fire extinguishers, barbecue aprons, oven mitts and lighter fluid. But down, down, down below.... 632 floors below to be exact, the Demon Queen of Dragons extended a jeweled claw and tapped the glowing 'up' button.

"Play with Chaos, will they? Fuck with me, will they? Power, they do not understand. Fear, they do not understand. I will fix that, you bet your breastplate..."


Elevator to hell

Episode 70 [offline] The Exploration of Plank Town

It all went quiet. Very quiet. After the concussive chaoswave swept through Plank Town, there wasn't much in the way of opposition left.

Everyone was gone.

No frost giant, know men-at-arms, no gender-reassigned women-at-arms either. They were, to a man (or woman), gone.

This was generally greeted with enthusiasm.

The members of DCM enterprises immediately set out to explore the vacated premises. Xoe found herself in a block of what seemed to pass for luxury apartments. As she opened door after door and poked her head inside, she began to realize just what sort of luxury was on offer here...

Rented luxury.

The kind of luxury that came with a feather boa, a length of silken rope and a pair of assless chaps. There was enough potpourri on boil here to make a skunk blush. There were more small, rubber items here than in that closet Xeno most hilariously fell into in the Temple of Time. And of course, there were records. Financial records. Details. Names. Credit parchment numbers.

Xoe scooped up the most damning (and profitable) documents, put her mark on the door of the most well-fitted corner apartment and headed outside. She didn't like leaving her brother alone too long in deserted towns. It almost never came to any good.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Episode 69: Shit Happened

Count Pylorijk trundled along the serenely wooded path on the back of his trusty steed, Svengarlic. As he did so, he counted his many blessings. He was in robust health, he was virile enough to support three mistresses, and he would soon be placing that sniveling bastard Count Fundus under arrest. Not only had the weedy little man an inherent inability to grow a decent moustache, but he had apparently been diverting considerable funds from the Prince's coffers for some time now. Without Count Claudio's insufferable Quantum Accountants, Fundus' deeds would have gone unnoticed for generations.

As Pylorijk and his men-at-arms made the final turn around the northern leg of Vanguard Mountain they could see strange lights on the horizon. Strange lights coming from Plank Town.

"Double time march, men! Something queer is afoot, and I don't mean that pansy Count Fundus!"

By the time Pylorijk had passed through the unguarded eastern gate, his nerves were a shambles.    



And a damned gigantic hammerhead shark hovering over the town.

He thought he saw a child's doll clamber up into the bottom of the shark via a rope ladder. He hoped he didn't, but he thought he did.

By the time he led his little troop into the center of town, there were only a handful of people milling about. A motley crew they were as well - a dwarf, a gigantic Muralian, a hippopotamic creature of some sort and a tiny little child covered in gore.

Wait a minute - wasn't this that adventuring troupe from Port Harbor? The Turtley one? What were they called.... Damn - the dried frog pills were wearing off...

Pylorijk tried to shake the feeling that he was in over his head. I mean, there were only four or twelve of them, right? I have 40 of my finest men with me! I'll just demand some answers and get to the bottom of this at once!

Wait a minute - that's not a child - it's a gnome! What in God's names is all over his hat?

The Count put up a brave front. He even attempted some Major Shouting. But one thing he didn't know - couldn't know - was that the cold, searching tendrils of chaos were silently and invisibly snaking their way around him... slithering up his breeches... toying with his manliparts. He tried to bark some orders at the gnome. The gnome barked back.

That's when the sky opened up for the Count - it peeled back his scalp and unwound his mind - drew it out as if on a spindle in Torquemada's rumpus room. The cosmos spun, his mind wheeled, his brain bounced over the spinning numbers of black and red.

The ball settled into a slot.

Red 1.

"I wonder what that means?"

Monday, August 20, 2012

Episode 68 Supplemental: So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

Abdullah Faloon was not a forgiving man. He had famously refused to forgive his mother the insult of calling him by his birth name in public. He'd had her flogged, dragged through the streets of Kolinahr by her hair, then locked in a tower until further notice.

He was five years old at the time.

So one shouldn't be surprised to know that no slight, however small, would go unpunished by the longtime Kaliph of Kolinahr.

A medium-sized slight might get your hometown razed to the ground.

A slight large enough that it could no longer be called a 'slight' - well, there are shit-proof fans in the Universe that would put their hands up and say, "Hey, man - you got me" right before perishing in a hailstorm of karmic diarrhea.

It was just this sort of 'significant' that was done to Abdullah Faloon by a pint-sized swindler in the  high-stakes casino known as 'The Gilded Thong'. The turtle ship wasn't the biggest or fastest ship in his considerable fleet, but it was his favorite. The Jewel in his Crown, if you will. He would hunt the spheres tirelessly until it was his once more and he had that gnome hanging from a spit in his own personal boudoir.

He'd been out of the Rock of Bral two weeks though, and he feared the scent was getting cold.

Then suddenly, as he was peering out into the cold, clear depths of wildspace, a strange, green vortex of scintillating light appeared forward of the dolphinship. And what should come streaking out of the spiral of chaotic mass but the familiar form of his beloved turtle ship...


The Battledjinn leapt up to the Kaliph's dais from his Lurking Station and cried out with great animation:  "Most Glorious and Ever-Powerful Kaliph of the Skies - Most Virile Oak of the Kolinian Soil - the turtle ship! It has appeared to us in the most curious fashion... What do you wish us to do?"

The great Kaliph dropped the sticky cluster of figs he'd been thoughtfully chewing and, wiping his tacky fingers on the expensive silken pantaloons of a nearby slave girl, he stalked purposefully toward the forward viewing screen, never for a second taking his eyes off of the miraculous vision that had appeared so improbably before him...

"Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering turtle; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee..."

The Battledjinn looked uncomfortably to the other functionaries assembled on the dolphin's battle deck. One didn't rise to prominence in the Kaliph's space armada by readily volunteering advice at crucial moments, especially when the Kaliph got 'the gleam' in his eye. The Battledjinn cursed under his breath.

"You... want... we should attack, O Great One?"

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Episode 68: Pop a Cork of Chaos IPA

Whilst elsewhere reigns the Chaos, Ben and Iryien have a frank discussion about the nature of the Universe, the Temporal Prime and Iryien's role as a Ranger. As Ben shows her a few select pieces from his collection, the two of them watch events unfold in Plank Town from the relative safety of Ben's Cauldron of Voyeurism...

They see the Frost Giant King, resplendent in the largest bearskin loincloth the world has ever known, charge at Xeno with his Very Large Hammer. But before any nervous sweat could be shed, Takemiya steps in and utilizes his Supa Grow Powa - completely sweeping him off his feet with a kick to the shins. Xeno deftly avoids the falling giant, and in a trice, stabs him in the ear...

Meanwhile, Billy has delivered a Bagged Fundus to Xoe, and while verifying that he is indeed the one in the sack, goateeslaps him. She then mounts the sack and exhorts Billy to drag the two of them to the rendezvous point east of town...

Holth, examining his bloody hand, discovers his Trigger Finger missing. He petulantly finishes off the guard on portcullis duty. As the nearly-retired father of seven fell through the hole he blasted through the floor of the guardway, Holth quipped "Well, at least I stopped his suffering," as he continues in toward the fracas.

In the dining hall, Ragnar comes to under a buffet table, and in a moment of classically poor DMing, discovers a Punt Gun. (DM's note: while it seemed like a good idea at the time, I'm pretty sure that it was the Imperial Black IPA talking. I mean, what was I thinking??? There's a friggin; GIFF outside!) Ragnar proceeded to heave the massive weapon filled with explosives and shrapnel out into the courtyard and give it to the recently-wounded, feeling-some-pain and definitely-due-a-good-die-roll Giff...

The melee raged and got compelling. SO compelling that Iryien, watching in rapt attention, leaned in a little too closely and interacted with the cauldron's Event Horizon and was sucked in...

...and tipped the balance of forces in Plank Town towards "Utter Chaos". 

While the Frost Giant King attempted to push himself up into a sitting position, he found himself being landed upon by a Ranger who, contravening what he thought of as normal, everyday principles, had fallen out of the sky. This was to be the nicest thing to happen to him for the rest of the day. For as his armed guards charged in to protect him, a growing field of Chaos began to interact wildly with everything within, say, a 50-foot radius of Xeno.

Genders changed, and suddenly Xeno, Takemiya and Iryien found themselves fighting a trio of Amazons. In a wild melee, Takemiya managed a swift kick to the Frost Giant's mouth, sending a spray of giant teeth from his mouth where they fell like ripe figs.

Between the giant's legs, Iryien was having a tough time dealing with the blonde in the giant's undercarriage. She had just enough time to grab the blonde and use her as a meat shield before the tooth avalanche was upon her...

           then  ...        the      
S-----------------------------------------------------> {97}

…                                  å∂ß


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Episode 67: I think frankly when it comes to chaos you ain't seen nothing yet.

Holth couldn't help but notice his new employers were acting weird. Weirder than normal. After hiring on with the Hammer of Grapthar, he's been promised blood, guts and glory. But as a buxom human female let him in to the abode of Ben Firenze, he could see nothing but a bizarre, abberant softness and disorganization among the group who, while having paid him handsomely, had yet to really deliver on the entrails bit.

He was just about to knock some heads together when, rather encouragingly, talk soon sprung up about making an assault on a moderately-defended garrison town. Overwhelming odds. Fire. Sausages. Chaos.

All genius is the conquering of chaos and mystery.
While most of the finer details passed over his head, Holth was sharp enough to realize things were about to get interesting, especially when the young monk tried to 'Detect Harmony' and Xeno returned from having his Chaos maximized. Although he couldn't see anything particularly chaotic about him, Xeno did now sort of crackle with a frenetic energy that bordered on religious ecstasy.

Not that giff went in much for religion. Prayer was no good in a fight, and rarely helped keep your smoke powder dry. Best to swing hard, butt heads and double-wrap your pouch in snyzl skin. THAT you could count on. THAT you could trust.

At long last, DCM loaded themselves on the Grapthar and made the short trip across the island just after nightfall. They opted for the 3-prong attack - with Xoe and Takemiya attempting to reason their way into Plank Town and Holth, Kobayashi and Billy backing them up. Xeno would simultaneously assault the front gates singlehandedly, while Ragnar and the Guidos would wait for the signal before dropping in on the town from above.

Blame is just a lazy person's way making sense of chaos
Things started off well enough, as Xoe talked their way past a drunken guard and got the two of them into an antechamber where they met with an officious matron who had the ear of Fundus. Things seemed to be going well until Takemiya answered a question in a manner that was not to Matron's liking...

Xeno started off well enough, as the old 'flash the gold on the guard trick' gained him access to the town in less than 15 seconds. The guard was quickly stuffed into a broom closet with his riches, and Xeno moved into the town unnoticed. Biding his time until he saw heard the first signs of trouble, things seemed to be going well until he attempted to flame up the guardhouse. Instead of the screams of his enemies, Xeno got nothing but four guards in technicolor dreamcoats...

Chaos in the midst of chaos isn't funny,
but chaos in the midst of order is.
Holth was bored. Diplomacy had never been his strong suit, and waiting around for others to talk was never a favorite tactic. Luckily for him, the imp they called Billy seemed even less of a tolerance for peaceful resolution, and he charged right through an outer wall and into the town. A shout, a scream, and a sickening splat later, Billy returned and announced that the game was afoot. Holth drew his wheellock pistols and charged towards the gatehouse. Things seemed to be going well, as Holth shot a guard through the knee and drew a bead on the second. Kobayashi hopped on Billy's shoulders and charged into the fray...

Ragnar peered down into the darkness. It was quiet. Too quiet. In the gloom, he could just make out the outline of the town. He silently wondered where his comrades were. Then a bizarre, multicolored twinkling near the front gate told him where Xeno was. The bright flash of small arms fire near the rear gate told him where Holth was. And the faint, distant thud of a human hitting a wall at high speed told him where Kobayashi was...

It was time to act.

Saladin swung the Grapthar in low, and Ragnar and the Guidos leapt into action, through a roof, and down three flights and into the mess hall, where two dozen soldiers were contemplating the cold buffet. Ragnar attempted a rage, but it ended up being as cold as the pork shoulder. Only the sight of Count Fundus himself, looking up from the the cookie tray, ignited the dwarf's battle fury. The Guidos extracted nickel-filled socks from dank, leathery trousers. Steak knives were raised in anger...

After years of searching, Aramis confronts Count Fundus...

There is an old Muralian adage that says "Be careful of that for which you are wishing; for it may soon be delivered unto you by a gnome." No one knows the originator of this aphorism, but one has to believe that he (or she) had dealings with gnomes on a regular basis.

Chaos is the name for any order
that produces confusion in our minds.
Xeno lurked in the shadow of a nearby rain barrel. He could feel something coalescing in the darkness around Plank Town. Something that seemed to flow through the streets like an invisible, fractal fog. What was it? Was it chaos? Could he reach out and touch it? Use it? From somewhere in the other side of town, he heard a scream, the sound of splintering wood and pistol fire. Recognizing the 'DCM Call to Action', he turned his attention to the guardhouse. "How about a little fire, Scarecrow?" Xeno raised his hands and started to incant, but as he did, tiny wisps of latent magic found their way across the grounds, drawn to Xeno like blind and violently magical salmon following the voiceless urge of eons inexorably towards their common source.

Somewhere in the multiverse, the Gods rolled a 1.

The violently magical salmon now became piranas - insatiably hungry piranas who have just discovered a lame nelore wading across a deep section of river carrying a lamb, a turkey and an overly-plump infant on it's back.

Chaos is inherent in all compounded things.
Strive on with diligence.
They struck, and the Matron drew the chopsticks from her hair...

They struck, and Kobayashi rode on Billy's shoulders, straight into a wall...

They struck, and Fundus collapsed under the weight of an attacking Guido...

They struck, and one of Holth's pistols exploded, fouling the weapon and his right hand...

They struck, and Xeno began to glow and sparkle, like a disco inferno...

They struck, and Billy dragged a human-shaped bundle into the courtyard...

Somewhere in the multiverse, the Gods rolled another 1.

They struck, and the King of the Frost Giants, having just lost two hours of his life to the ceaseless droning of a contemptible human priest, emerged from the dank and stuffy church to find the murderer of his beloved friend and pet dragon 'Floéffî' prancing about the courtyard like a goddamned fairy...

He slowly dropped his hand to the handle of Låévateinn, the very large two-headed hammer (+5 vs. gnomes, strikes first in every round, all damage dealt is permanent) he always kept by his side. Someone was going to pay. Someone was going to pay dearly.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Episode 66: Time After Time

Attempting to ambush the ambush, Xeno and Ragnar circle around back of the campfire. Sliding into position, they notice a number of men-at-arms milling about, chatting casually as the shadows lengthen around the small clearing.

Xeno attempts Whispering Wind. He whispers "Hey, I heard the Count is going to stiff us on this job."

Rolls a 1.

Two men-at-arms hear: "Hey, count how many stiffs we can rack up on this job." They immediately draw their shortswords and investigate the source of the whisper. As the two men close in on Xeno and Ragnar's position, Xeno throws caution, odds and military strategy to the winds... he lowers his head and charges.

Rolls a 30.

Not only does Xeno strike Biff Blorferson stone dead with a helmet to the diaphragm, but the blow is so piercing that when Biff is born again in three day's time, he will born with a partially-formed torso. He'll be mercilessly teased growing up, being called 'Doughnut Boy' and greeted with a sarcastic "Cheerio!" everywhere he goes.

He will seek out the cause of his terrible misfortune.

He will thirst for revenge.

Meanwhile, Biff's comrade let out a sharp cry and turned on his friend's murderer, who in turn, turned on him and not-so-delicately skewered him as well.

Meanwhile, Kobayashi and Xoe sensed things were going quickly awry. Xoe sends her Guidos into the fray, and Aramis wastes no time in skewering a calf on an oak branch. Kobayashi ineffectually shadowboxes a guard. Xeno, wanting to join this next fray, throws off his gore-enslimed helmet and skewers Ragnar.

Iryien* fails twice with a bow, (unless her intent all along was to shoot the ground ineffectually) and Xoe shadowwalks to intercept Fundus. She finds herself face-to-groin with DCM's old adversary and original tormentor - and after thoroughly confusing him by lambasting him for actions that will haven't not been happened yet, Fundus calls off his guards.

As everything goes quiet, Kobayashi notices a strange, swirling pattern in the clouds. Takemiya senses a disturbance as well, and quiets himself using the Veils of Seven Silences in order to determine the source of the impending strangeness. Takemiya feels a prescient chill run down his spine as a sharp future-sense tells him they are about to be attacked by an icy blast.

That's exactly when they were attacked by an icy blast.

Frost flew everywhere. Everyone went down. Saladin was encrusted in his own little igloo, while Ragnar praised the gods that something had finally staunched his abdominal bleeding. Iryien* thought she saw Xoe turn into radiant, crystalline light - only to rub her eyes and find herself looking at a radiant, crystalline Xoe retreating into the woods, trailing something behind her.

It was a rope.

Or was it? It seemed to be alive, pulsing with an otherworldly flubulation that simultaneously repulsed and attracted her. She reached down to touch it and-


It was Takemiya. In her head. She saw him standing a few yards away, in perfect silence, while all about him was chaos chaos chaos chaos... Behind him, Xoe was breathing fire and Fundus' shirt seemed to be melting away, but all she could concentrate on was the sheer force that was Takemiya, standing silently still in the center of a swirling storm.

"We must be careful," she heard him say in her head, as he knelt on the ground, pointing. "These lines, they are our other lives. There are many of us here, now." He pointed to Kobayashi, who seemed to be shuffling towards a great, golden giant who was slowly making his way away from the scene. On the ground, another pulsating cord connected the two, determined the path that the young monk was walking.

"You must help me prevent something terrible from happening. You must help me make sure that no one touches these cords, that none of us accidentally- oh, shit."

Iryien just had a split second to take in what was happening: Takemiya's sandaled foot stepping on a shining, mercurial cord - the flash of light as the cord blew open - lightning from above - the sky opening up...

The next thing Iryien* felt was a blast of icy, glacial wind. She could hear the chanting of a thousand voices, voices raised in rapt devotion. She smelled incense, tasted earthy tea.

She wished she wasn't here right now, wasn't being exploded into a million pieces on a strange hillside on her first day on her new job. She'd rather be someplace warm and comfy, with a nice bit of food and strong drink. And, what the hell, as long as she was making her dying wish - perhaps just once she'd like to meet a wonderful gentleman who appreciated her for who she was, didn't bark orders at her and didn't guffaw behind her back every time she accidentally shot the planet.

Just once she'd like to meet a sweet, old-fashioned kind of guy who knew how to treat a lady like a lady.




*The Second-Worst Ranger In The World

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Quote. Of. The. Century.

Iryien: "If I roll a 20 now, I should just quit this whole campaign."

Monday, July 2, 2012

Episode 65: DCM, Inc. Sweet DCM, Inc.

The worn, incredibly-traveled party made it's way into the post-dawn streets of Port Harbor once again. Three long years/months/weeks/days had passed since our intrepid party had last killed anyone on Lungfish Isle, and the queue of vengeful spirits and yet-to-be-blasted-into-oblivion NPCs was long and thirsty.

Who would be the first?

Upon returning home, the party was first and foremostly greeted with a scene of what appeared to be drunken disorderliness. Ms. Moneypenny (DCM's consummately professional and tidy housemaid) was discovered face down on the floor, snoring deeply and in a state of some considerable undress. Draped over her back, a long, muscular arm issued forth from the body that lay inert on the company's couch. The body was that of Athos, long-lost (or not-so-soon-to-be-lost) hireling of DCM, Inc.

Underneath the company desk (and in a similar state of post-imbiblical slumber) was Porthos.

And moments later, Aramis was discovered in the nude - in Saladin's room - stretched out on a bearskin rug.

Only the rug woke up, let out a petulant snarl, and exited the room via the second-story window.

Ms. Moneypenny soon had coffee and breakfast on for all, and while the group ruminated on their first course of action, a crossbow bolt smashed through a window and helped finalize the committee's plan, re: their first course of action.

You see, Saladin had previously transformed into his golden-skinned draconic form, and was nigh unto invincible. The bolt (which was obviously very magical) bounced off his chest as if it had been designed by the Nurf company, and only stirred Saladin's lust for interrogation. Quick as a flash, he bounded out the window and was after the culprit, while Ragnar followed. #bearpoop #poisonivy

Almost as soon as it started, it was over; Saladin had apprehended the culprit, smashed him violently about the mouth and extracted an implication of Count Fundus. Takemiya performed a rather unfortunate coup de grace which involved (shocking as it may be to you, dear reader) public urination.

It was at this time that a young half-elven Ranger showed up, looking for work. She looks a good prospect - a ranger will really help round out the party.

Clavdivs appeared forthwith, asking the f-f-folks of Duh-duh-duh-duh-DCM Enterprises if they wouldn't mind an extra raid this month. Supplies are low, he said, and the extra cash would be quite welcome back in Aquae Sulis. Preliminary plans were discussed.

And with that, the evening faded into a blissful (if not foggy) blend of fond remembrances and plotting. The Knurt was recovered. Geetsie fell in love with Der Mobile.

And everyone is looking forward to completely and utterly wreaking havoc on Lungfish Isle.


Only different.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Xeno, Thy Thighs Like Thunder" An ode to Xeno, by Xeno

Thy thighs, they are like thunder,
Astride a yearning world.
That looks up, and breathless wonders,
At the penis I've unfurled.

Though small, but like a Titan,
In love as in his shop,
Swift roaming gnomish fingers,
You can't bear to have them stop.

Wonders the town crier,
When his noontime page is read:
What mighty soul has fucked her,
Whom demons feared to bed?

Then faint he hears the maiden,
(though maiden she's no more):
'Tis Xeno who just did me!
Oh, would he'd never stopped!
That little gnome's a wonder,
When his trousers he has dropped.”

Episode 64: The Voyage Home

As the cold, wet schtupping sound of Xeno being sucked into the door subsided, it was replaced by a distant, slightly more disturbing one: that of war.

Horns were blasted, orders were barked and the din of massive conflict filtered to the party's ears. The question was asked: "Should we try and save Xeno?" The answer: "He's... probably safer where he is."

Everyone agreed, then proceeded to the top of the citadel where they could look upon...

...a massive dry valley, two miles long and half a mile wide. Sharp, craggy walls lined it in either side while away to the south, a natural opening in the rock emulated a gigantic gateway - a gateway that was currently being overrun with thousands upon thousands of sluggish, maggotlike beings. The glistening army was being driven through the gap by a number of wingéd devils brandishing fiery whips and murderous swords.

A smaller, pessimistic group of slugs could be seen issuing forth from the citadel below. But even at a distance it could be seen that their slime had less glisten, their slithering was less vigorous. They could sense their own inevitable doom.

It was then that a great golden maw opened up in the floor of the citadel, regurgitating Xeno onto the citadel roof. Covered in an opalescent slime, he appeared to have been transformed back to his old gnomish self. He smiled, humming softly to himself. He seemed happy.

It was right about that time when a great horn blast reverberated off the canyon walls. The invaders stopped their undulating invasion long enough for one of the flying devils to cup his hands to his mouth and yell (in an appropriately evil and foreboding voice) "Xeno-o-o-o... Is that you-u-u-u???"

Being recognised a mile distant by the diabolical field marshal of an invading hellish army didn't phase Xeno nearly as much as it should have done.

He waved and said "Hi!"

The field marshal turned, bellowed "ATTAAAAAACK!!!!!" and twelve 3-headed fire-breathing dragons emerged from the gateway, breathing fire and making a dragonline for the citadel.

After some calm, lucid debate in which a number of salient points were raised, viable options were debated, and a course of action was decided by majority vote, the party decided to flee in a panic down into the citadel. There, they met up with the imp that had been minding his ruined drum kit in the Shielding Room. Quietly weeping over his ruined Zildjians, the party learned his name was BILLY, and that all he really wanted was a gig in a faraway land. He was recruited on the spot, and his first act was to burrow directly through the stone floor of the citadel and head out to meet the dragons.

The party was both impressed and a little bit worried.

Down on the first floor, the party ran into the slowly rotating Blood Monster, Takemiya entered the Blue Mushroom painting, and after meeting a paranoid, damp pixie by the name of Hasty Retreat he managed to retrieve the last of the three keys.

BILLY then returned intermittently with the hearts of three of the dragons, a tasty feast was had, and Xoe became her old self again (excepting that firebreathing bit). BILLY then led the party to the Door of the Three Keys, everyone walked through the strange portal and into a dark hallway where some familiar smells assaulted everyone's noses:

Smoke. Sweat. Desperation. Disinfectant.


The party's jubilation was palpable as, after one long year (or has it only been a month?) they had finally returned to Lungfish Isle.

As BILLY the imp emerged in tux and tails, hitting the stage like he was born to emcee a strip club, the rest of the party shuffled blearily into the street and back into their beloved home town once again.

Some natural tears they dropp'd, but wip'd them soon;
The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:
They hand in hand with wand'ring steps and slow
Through Port Harbor took their solitary way.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Episode 63: "Xeno... Hold me..."

"I remember being attacked by an evil, two-headed vampiric baby. I attempted to tackle one and ended up with a cracked vertebrae. When I had eventually skewered the thing, I flung it across the room, hitting a painting and revealing a secret panel which hid a sapphire scarab. I fucking love scarabs. As I made towards the mirror to return to my comrades, it exploded in a hot stinging spray of half-molten shards all over me. It was at that point that I started to get quite angry." - Saladin

"Seeing the two-headed baby in Xeno's clutches, well, I panicked a bit. This place was really getting on my nerves, and while I didn't manage to squash the thing properly when I had the chance, I can honestly say the thing perished on my weapon. Booyah!" - Ragnar the Impetuous

"Have you ever torn a groin muscle? It really, really, really hurts. So when I looked up and saw that giant bone demon arising from the great pool of blood and grabbing Xoe in it's great scything clutches, well, excuse me if I overreacted. Plus, that 'throwing the entire necklace of magic missiles' thing seemed to work last time, so..." - Kobayashi Jones

"Finally, SOMEONE is listening to me!" - Xoe

"I wonder if this door is gold all the way throu- aaaarrrRRRRGGGGHHHhh...!!!>!!?!1!" - Xeno

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Episode 62: A Fool for the Citidel

As the group put the finishing touches on the demise of the citadel's diabolical headmistress, the robed guy with Xeno's memories detected a faint pinging alarum reverberating throughout the entire citadel. He pulled back from the glistening carnage and looked around. One slight, nondescript door beckoned to him. He opened it. There were stairs leading up.

And he was gone.

Having learned that you either follow Xeno or get left behind in Time, the robed guy with Ragnar's memories followed suit, and headed up the stairs as well. A latent monk and hidden priest tagged along, while Formerly Xoe and Hopefully Saladin Again looted the faceless wench. Saladin found her Hammerspace; and in it, a Jade Scarab.

That's when the fat, blobby guys attacked.

Retreating up the stairs, Saladin fended them off with urine. In the room up ahead, Xeno found the Lair of Eternal Shields. He took one off the wall and nothing horrible happened. Ragnar followed suit, burst into flames and grew a foot taller. He swung his shield with an aura of command that, had anyone been watching, would have been slightly impressive.

Xoe strode in, took a shield off the wall and merely burst into flames, grew a foot taller and kicked Ragnar's ass. Saladin put his head between two shields and heard a sound like a thousand Marshalls feedbacking. #deaf

Eventually, the group learned from one of the blobbily-shaped gentlemen that the citadel was under attack, and most definitely doomed. The only egress from the citadel (that didn't lead straight into the arms of Gylxel Glummdaår's invading forces) was an eldritch door that required three keys to unlock. The rather gloomy blob then shuffled off to meet his doom.

In the next room, the jade scarab that Kobayashi found came to life and lighted excitedly on a strange mirror...

Xeno, having discovered a number of alcoves each containing a strangely-bound humanoid, decided that the mirror was far more interesting. He hurled a stone at it and discovered that it was actually a gateway to an interdimensional mirrorworld.

Kobayashi, in an attempt to rescue one of the trapped humanoids, accidentally exploded the glass containment case, causing the poor being's jugular milking tubes to be ripped out; the end result being the 'rescuee' crashed to the floor and rapidly bled to death all over DCM's hapless healer. # bloodyhorror #pleasedon'thealmeI'mfinethanks

That's when Xeno leapt through the magic mirror, landing in the mirrorworld, and causing his evil twin (if you can believe that) to fall into the room with the rest of the party. A melee ensued. The evil twin was eventually subdued, but not before Ragnar took a porcupine to the face.

Xeno returned from the Other Side. With a strange, bronzen key...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Episode 61: The Matrix Reloaded

Meanwhile, back at the spaghettification of Koresh and The Enigma...

The two of them whooshed towards a seething quartet of triangles - the middlemost of which was blacker than Koresh's own heart - and he steered the two of them into it and ended up in a hotel kitchenette. There they found white tiles, blue liquids and more spatulae than you could shake a stick at.

And in the main room, on a bed between two doors, the King of All Dwarves Lays Sleeping. And of course, Koresh tried to wake him up. With liquids.

It didn't work.

Instead He exploded into feathers and two parrots appeared, offering a choice between GOD and HEAVEN...

After some tough questioning (and delicious pizza) The Enigma decided that meeting God is probably not the best career choice at the moment, and (thankfully for the entire campaign) chooses HEAVEN instead.

They find themselves reunited with the party, only everyone looks the same, seems to be carrying no more than a sword and a fancy necklace, and are confined to a rocky tunnel while being harassed by flying demons who appear to be carrying demonic lacrosse sticks.

There was much rejoicing.

This time Bonkers made the play of the day, throwing his entire necklace at the fiends, obliterating them and recovering two sticks - much to everyone's amazement. Further exploration showed that the door that led back to Lungfish Isle was no longer there - much to everyone's disappointment.

The only way out seemed to be back across the river. The River Styx.

Luckily, the old members of DCM Enterprises, with years of experience under their belts, were able to readily dispatch the orcs, commandeer the barge, and make their way up into the rocky citadel where they hurriedly dispatched the demoness who had at one time been Xeno's one true love.

Panting and heaving, the members of DCM now find themselves back at the beginning of things, with a world of experience behind them and unlimited raiding and looting potential in front.

Is that not heaven?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Episode 60: When is a 1 Not a 1?

The cosmos swirled around everyone as the blackness opened up and swallowed. Rotating whorls of light and (possibly) the beginnings of new Universes spun this way and that. Captain Bonkers found himself stretched impossibly thin as his feet were pulled at near-light speeds towards a particularly close-knit group of portals...

Good thing his head was closer than most.

With extreme effort, he guided  his feet towards a highly blue-looking portal. Two other unrecognizable party members seemed to, in their spaghettified and blueshifted state, consciously follow him towards their unknown fate.

The rest of the party split up and disappeared...

As the three shot through the portal at breakneck speed, the Jade Scarab closed his eyes and quickly summoned forth his inner Qi, using it to open The Third Eye of Emerald Openness. He peered through the portal and thought: "Wow, that's a LOT of hard, stony ground and it's coming on really qui-"

The Scarab hit the ground with a sound like a cow hitting the Great Wall at terminal velocity.

Dolorous bounced twice before landing in a pile of crumpled wings, smeared mascara and delicate chainmail accessories. The Captain landed rather deftly on his feet, and celebrated appropriately with arms thrust skyward, screaming his tribe's ancient battle cry:

Behind him, the Jade Scarab died.

But all was not lost. It didn't take long for the Captain to sense something.... amazing. Underneath him, there were rivers. Living rivers of gold. Proto-gold. The essence of gold. Bonkers could hear it's heartbeat filling his ears, burrowing hotly under his fingernails. 

He wanted it badly. He needed it. He invented the Cadillac in his head just so he could get outrageous rims for it with all the money he'd have if he could just... dig... it... 


Three things happened next, and all at the same time.

Dolorous tried to cast a spell in order to save the Scarab. The Scarab's soul, however, had already vacated the premises and had drifted miserably along to a point on the ground where the fabric of reality seemed to be thinning...

...which was because, while Dolorous wasn't exactly the best spellcaster in the world, her new demonic prowess allows her a certain leeway when it comes to the veil between the worlds...

...which Bonkers was looking to pierce with his double-headed axe, in order to get to the fantastic riches he could hear swimming below the surface of this vaguely familiar-looking rocky hillside...

So as Bonkers' axe broke through to the sentient proto-gold, it did so right where the Scarab's disembodied soul was lurking. Things exploded. Mingled. Congealed.

The next thing you know, the Jade Scarab had been resurrected as a 40-foot tall Living Proto-Gold Golem...

And because the Universe (at least the one occupied by Koresh, anyway) can never leave well enough alone, Dolorous discovered something sitting on the ground, right about the time crossbow bolts started to fly.

There was a cone of cold. Screams. And someone rolled a 1...


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Episode 59: Well, At Least We Got Off That Planet!

It all began so innocently.

It was a straight-up dungeon fight scene. The Squad had the higher ground (a stairwell) and superior firepower (draconic laser tubes), even if they were slightly outnumbered. And The Enigma had managed to not trample on Dolorous while firing upon (and exploderating) a skeleton.

Even Captain Bonkers managed an atypical display of dexterity, failing to trample Dolorous and firing upon (and hitting) Stonehenge. Probably even accidentally.

Stonehenge welcomed the change, as the giant troll's constant battering of him into the dungeon floor was getting old (and his hit points were in danger of falling below 50 - a worrisome spot indeed.)

But just when The Squad was poised to 'kick things into high gear', as it were, the nitpicking gnome of disaster began pulling at the thread of reality, and things began to fall apart.

It began, as it usually does, with Koresh.

Instead of the acid-breathing, forked-finger fonging tsunami of destruction that the Squad is used to (and actually is capable of planning for), Koresh paused for a moment to curl himself inward around his milky-white sphere. He began to pet it. The Enigma even heard the words 'my preciousssss' being uttered.

That wasn't helpful.

What also wasn't helpful was the dark, cowled wizard forking dual bolts of violet light at the stairwell. Not only did they cause Dolorous' BoomHaranging Bone Shards to utterly miss the mark, but they (most unhelpfully) caused the The Captain and Enigma (Love.... Love will keep us two gethuh...) dematerialize in a puff of purple static and rematerialize at the wizard's side, mer purplish clones of their former selves.

And, in rare and concerted effort to be helpful, the Jade Scarab crawled under the wizard's robe and was eaten by a Basket Imp.

It was at this point that Koresh built a small hut out of glowing skeleton bones.

(It should be noted that when the Jade Scarab crawled under the wizard's robe, he was, in fact, in scarab form. It would have been awkward, and probably against the rules of D&D to do it in human form.)

(Also, the Imp would have to have been much bigger.)

Anyway, having led the charge into Failsville, the Jade Scarab decided he'd had enough, and took it upon himself to right the ship - first by having himself vomited up by the Imp, and then by performing a barrel roll, a basket punch and a head squeeze to the wizard - considerably turning the tide in the Party's favor. In fact, things were going so well that when Koresh finally emerged from his exploding hut to attack the giant troll (having become bored with pummeling Stonehenge) he had the wherewithal to detect a slight disturbance in the fabric of reality...

Koresh was just able to gather everyone together when IT appeared.

Big. Dark. Malevolent. And a current employer, apparently.

It started asking questions like "Why have you strayed from the path?" and "What of the tasks we've given you?" After some nervous chitchat, each party member had a vision of the past/future...

...and were plunged into a Hellish cathedral.

(It was at this point things got really weird. The Enigma was turned into a salt lick. The Jade Scarab was cut in half by the Anti-Pope. Captain Bonkers went, well, bonkers and got stuck in - literally. And while the former gnomes stabbed and fonged their way into a winning position against the giant devil, The Enigma became the King of Evil Deer and, riding into the cathedral on the back of his hellish steed, delivered the coup de grace with a well-placed antler butt.)

Then everything went black.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Episode 58: How Many Time Zones Are There In The Known Universe?

Mr. Prim started blankly at the Vectroscope. It had been a Very Trying Week, and the distinct lack of 'plibs' on the Vectroscreen did nothing but magnify his annoyance. _ __ ____ The Ever Mightie had made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that the Naugahyde Cotillion had "verrry littttle tyme" to locate the band of minor-league deities and get them back on the Path.

Prim had the tact and strong urge for self-preservation not to ask what would happen if they didn't, but he had a feeling that it would be more than the nullification of their company contract. He redoubled his efforts at the Vectroscope, leaning in over the glowing green screen, knuckles whitening on the control knobs, scanning, scanning....


At first, he couldn't believe his ears.


A quick check of the settings and a deft twirl of the tumblers assured him he wasn't just imagin-

plib. plib.

With what passed (for him) as a feeling of elation, he zoomed in on the quadrant, attenuated the Focusizer, and set the Pfhasiur to Stun.

plib. plib. plib.

"Got 'em," he whipered to himself, and to everyone, as he knew he was being observed.

"Athas. They're on Athas, your Eminences." Fingers whirred and tumblers tumbled. "Shall I take The Desk and go have a chat with them?"

"Nø," boomed a voice that came from the floor, the air, and everywhere in between (all at once). "¡ wi∫∫ ∂e@£ w¡†h †hem m¥$e£f."

There was a •pop!•, and the feeling that every other molecule in the air had ceased to exist. It was not an unpleasant sensation, but it went a long way to make one feel like one had been operating under unpleasant circumstances for longer than one had realized.

"Crazy bugger," Prim thought to himself. "Let's see HIM deal with that lot. They're so unstable, I wouldn't be surprised if they-"

Prim sat bolt upright, a strange, puzzled look crept over his face and under his dark glasses. His fingers didn't move, but tumblers tumbled in his mind.

With lightning speed and a sweat of anticipation, he threw himself at the Vectrometer, cranking and wheedling the contraption into maximum focus.

plib. plib. plib. plib. plib. plib. PLIB.

Prim had no idea what was going to happen next.

But he was sure as Hells going to watch.