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.