Monday, March 12, 2012

The Castle Bouttreaux Caper

So this morning's D&D via Google+ Hangout caps off an intense week of gaming.  The planning for the jailbreak of Samson Jones! took quite a bit of hashing out.  Before the game even started Farley the Dwarf introduced the wizard James of Dillington to his now-apprentice Rellyk, Uggs the Cleric obtained the vestments and a carriage so as to pass himself off as the Archbishop of Totalslava, Alexander 'De Rutebaga' Manning and his entourage invited themselves over for a visit and Elsa the Explorer got drunk with the local priest then seduced Lady Susan.  Elsa is played by Annah Shilts, who was not on my player list for the campaign.  One day she just sent me a message saying "I'm joining the jailbreak, here's my character, now what I'd like to do is..."  How could I pass that up?  That's a DM's dream, a player who shows up with an agenda!

At least two versions of what happened a few nights ago at Castle Bouttreaux eventually emerge.  The first is the tale of a party getting completely out of hand.  Lord William, knowing how high-ranking clerics are, instructs his servants to make sure the wine flows free the first night of the Archbishop's visit.  Taurus Hellsheart shows up to play his diabolical accordion music (I occasionally borrow colorful PCs for my own nefarious ends), and Alexander Manning shares around some sort of extremely potent drink, which is actually some sort of random potion thingy. 

Let me tell you a little bit about Lord William.  He is a gloomy man, given to long bouts of melancholy.  His wife no longer pays him much heed.  He fears his stewardship of the area is in doubt, because to his liege's eye the numerous adventurers may look like bands of robbers wandering the land.  He misses his own adventuresome days of his youth, when he wandered a knight errant.  And he worries greatly that when the Dragon of Dundagel returns to the area it will go on a Godzilla level rampage through the place.  Dude's got so much pent-up anxiety that too much wine plus random potion of strength results in Lord William going absolutely apeshit.  He busts up much of the furniture in the hallway in sheer ecstatic joy in his newly regained strength.  (Alexander Manning helps break the rest of it, as I recall.)  Then he challenges one of James of Dillington's henchmen, a Danish berserker named Olaf, to a wrestling match.

Olaf goes full on berserk while Sir William is still under the effect of a potion of bull's-strength.  They wrestle around the great hall and into the courtyard between the hall and the tower where Samson is being held.  I describe the fight as on par, in terms of duration and brutality, with John Nada and Frank Armitage throwing down in John Carpenter's They Live.  (If you haven't seen that flick you totally need to track it down. The only other movie fight scene comparably awesome is the one at the end of The Quiet Man.)  Literally everyone who lives and works in the whole dang castle eventually gathers to watch this fight, with the sole exception of Lady Susan's dour sister Chezmerelda who goes up to her room to pray against all this hooliganry. 

A second fight erupts between Father Andrew, the drunken castle priest, and Alexander Manning.  Taurus is playing his accordion and more ale and wine is being passed around as everyone gets drunker.  Then later the two pairs get entangled and Manning is now fighting Sir William while the berserker just wrecks the poor man of the cloth, even though he is now made of wood (don't ask).  Father Andrew's face looks like a murder scene the next day.

That's about when Satan shows up.  That's right, this party is so out of control that the Prince of Darkness himself crashes it!  He carries off to hell a servant boy, the blacksmith, the other minstrel present (who wasn't very good) and Samson Jones!  He would have claimed more souls but James of Dillington slurred some magic words (he was drunk like everyone else) and sent Old Scratch back below.  The next morning Lady Chezmerelda is the first one awake, screaming that Satan knocked her out and stole her prayer book.

Chezmerelda is so tramautized by this brush with the Devil that she leaves two days later to join a convent.  Her sister accompanies her on the journey, then writes home to her husband that she intends to stay as well.  It seems seeing the King of Hell scared her straight (in more than one way).

That's the official version anyway.  Folks at the Blue Rabbit will hear the real version from several members of Uggs' Irregulars a.k.a Team Adventure.  "Satan" was actually some sort of Guardian Daemon released when one of the party members took a crowbar to the chest containing James of Dillington's personal effects.  These brave do-gooders couldn't just bust Samson Jones! out of jail, they had to rob the place as well.  They made off with a bunch of gems and platinum pieces, the wizard's palantir, and Lady Chezmerelda's prize possessions, her high-tone chess set and her bejeweled prayer book.  Samson was pulled out of the tower (the other three victims of Satan really were killed by the demon) and reunited with his sons.  And no one's the wiser, so Alexander Manning is still a guest of Lord William and Rellyk is still James of Dillington's apprentice.

By the way, if any FLAILSNAILS pc has blacksmithing skill and wants a day job, Castle Bouttreaux has an opening.  The last holder of the position was carried off by Satan, but that rarely happens.

Elsa the Explorer's report
"Archbishop" Uggs' report
Farley the Dwarf's report
Alexander "De Rutabaga" Manning's report part 1 and part 2