Thursday, December 28, 2017

Vaults of Vyzor, session 30

(report by Sam Mameli)
Yareh's Journal 12/15/17
It's been a long few months. After Emma turned my stone to flesh I immediately had Barnabus soak that flesh with beer from the inside out. Being stone left me a lot of time to think about the nature of chaos and how most things I do aren't even my fault.
Knowing that I decided to immediately resume my careers as an adventurer and took up with a Gnomish Death Squad with a big honkin' mushroom demon at their back. I have no great love for Gnomes (The large donation I made to the building of their village was made after snorting a great deal of crystalized witch hazel, a powerful drug that's known to produce feelings of generosity coupled with a powerful high that ends with a melancholic orgasm) but I do have a sincere love for revenge and those that seek it so I was happy for an opportunity to kill.
We made our way through mostly familiar territory, killing the orcs we found in the training room. We captured a few and had them like dogs on ropes as we descended into Verdant 2. We used them and their spotty knowledge of the level to make our way past a door we think led to spiders and thankfully avoided another that they said held a swarm of something small and goblin-like.
In order to keep their loyalty I told them that they were both interviewing to be my new intern and the orc that offended me the least would get the honor of being my squire. They led us to the lair of an ogre named Klog or Krog or Derek or something and we entered his chamber. He was in the middle of building a rather macabre scaled down castle out of bones.
I snuck up behind him and struck with my scimitar, but my footing was off and I only managed to lance a large pustule on his rancorous ass. He sighed with relief and spun around so I though on my feet and said "Hi! We're here to help, do you need some more bones?" He did need more bones thank fuck and I offered him whichever of the two orcs looked more structurally sound. He selected and put the orc in a pot to boil off the skin and hair and other bits I imagine and while he was turned around I stabbed him in the spleen.
Thinking quickly one of the other gnomes ( I cant keep the names straight maybe it was Pitwidge or Durmthug or whatever) shoved the other orc behind them and we all pretended like he was the stabber. The ogre relieved him of his ugly melon of a head with a chunk of firewood and then I gave the secret signal to indicate that my bad comedy routine was all out of juice and Putmunch the gnome put him to sleep with a spell and we murdered him the rest of the way.
We pulled the orc out of the pot and informed him that he had won the contest and he had never been in any real danger. He told us his name was Uhuhuh. On the virtue of his choice bone structure and current status of "alive" I chose him to squire for me as the first member of the Knights of the Harpy. (I'm thinking of starting a mercenary company)
Uhuhuh led us to where the Gnomes were being kept and we killed some more orcs. I injured my ankle doing something heroic probably and we freed the gnomes. One of the clever little gnomey buggers enchanted the hallway to look like it was on fire and we high tailed it out of there. The mushroom demon set a few fire on our way out and for once we got out the dungeon without much of a scratch.
We decided after we got out to strap one on at the Thoul and I got fucked up on that good brown stuff with Uhuhuh and he and I went out into the woods and swam naked in the river of dreams. I'm not entirely sure of what happened next, (though I'm suspicious of the way that Uhuhuh keeps looking at me and blushing) but I woke up with some strange runes marking my orcish arm and the great will of Orcagorgon ping ponging around in the ruins of my hungover mind. I am overpowered by the need to do their chaotic bidding.
It turns out that Uhuhuh is a decent artist and he did some fan-art of me. I find this to be EXTREMELY worrying.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Vaults of Vyzor #29

(report by Maxime Golubchik)

A few pages from Emma Bright Eye's diary.

Dear Diary

I CAN WRITE! Oh having fingers feels so nice. I've been stuck as an owl for the last month and man does it feel good to stretch. I've been pretending to be Sharene's pet owl while she's disguised as an elven scientist. And she's so good at it! She's started learning all the sciencey gobbledygook and the egg-heads are totally buying it. While she's busy chatting them up, I look at the plans! Mwahaha! We're a team of super spies!

Our next nefarious scheme is to 'rescue' back those blueprints dad Barnabus stole! I bet the team has spent the last month going over them. So me and Sharene Sharene and I will conduct a daring surface 'raid' and steal them back. Except they'll be fakes! The team will have totally screwed them up! Sharene will look like a hero AND we'll sabotage their evil plan. Take that elf king!

Man is it a good thing I keep this diary in my room and not on me. I'd be a really bad spy if just carried a written copy of my master plan everywhere.

So now that I'm up here to grab the plans, I figure I'll relax a little, stretch, maybe drink some hot chocolate. I should bring Sharene something nice too. Candy? If they ask Sharene where she got candy she can just say she stole it from the nefarious surface dwellers. Though some of those guys don’t even believe in the surface. That's so sad. Oh, maybe if I bring flowers that will prove the surface is real!

Well it's settled! I'm off to pick some flowers and buy some candy!

Dear Diary

Something wonderful happened today. Best shopping trip ever.

So I went to the Sign of the Mule to get some candy for Sharene, except I kinda forgot to bring any money (besides my first gold piece of course, but no way I'm spending THAT). I felt really silly, but in my defense, it's usually Dale who does the shopping. And I've been an owl for a month! I forgot I even have pockets.

But on my way back to the library I ran into Mario de Parma and Kat the Cleric. With them were a pair of little gnome girls, Daphissa and Babis. They were sisters I think. Bringing them was a terrible idea, but at the time all I could think was good for them! Learning how to kick ass should start young. The family that slays together stays together.

Everyone was headed into the Citrine Vault and I thought, hey, why not tag along? I could punch some stuff and get some spending cash too. I'm not usually as punch happy as dad Barnabus, but you know; stuck as an owl. It just feels so good to have fists.

So we go down stairs, past the trash room (disgusting), and get to the T intersection. And the party say let's go to the left, since they heard there's a brothel over there.

Okay, so I'm not an idiot. I know what a brothel is. But… I guess I was curious? It doesn't help that I've had romance on my mind recently. Ever since I woke up from my coma* really. And I mean I

It's not like I don't
I obviously wouldn't

Don't look at me like that! You're just a stupid book! Just because you're a book don't think I won't punch you!

* Scrawled on the side: I was out for MONTHS. Months! AGHRRHG stupid lobster fish god thing! I hate her and I hate fish and I hate the ocean and every time I bite into seafood now I think REVENGE! I'll eat all of you fuckers!

So I went with them. The first door we came to the gnome girls said they heard something scary inside. We were on a (pervy) mission, so we decided to find out what was in there afterwards. That… didn't really end up happening.

The second door we found wasn't even on the map, so we guessed it was the brothel. We talked about it and decided to knock, since it would make a really bad first impression to just bust the door down. We were pretty surprised when a voice inside asked us what we wanted!* It said the brothel was just down the hall, so that's where we went. Thanks, mysterious voice!

* Scrawled on the other side: but I guess we shouldn't be? If you knocked on my door I'd just answer it politely too. As adventures we always listen to doors for intel, but we never knock on them. If you knock on the door and no one answers, it's probably empty! If you knock on the door and something scary answers, say wrong adress sorry! If someone mean answers you can just open the door into their face. I feel like a genius and a moron right now.

And yep, there it was. Past two kobold guards was a huge room, all dressed in nice carpets and fancy curtains and throw pillows. It's a shame we had to leave most of that stuff behind; that would have been a great look for the library! The place was also packed with orc girls. There were all sorts! Some were really really (really) pretty and some looked more like pigs then people. I guess it takes all kinds.

At this point we realized two things.
1. Why did we take little children to the brothel?! We told the girls to cover their eyes.
2. We just came into a brothel with no money. We are idiots
Well, me and Kat. But she had brought a lot of wine, so she started a party, and I pretended to have cash and talked to some girls. At which point I remembered that I needed to recruit someone! Me and Sharene make a great team, but if there was three of us we could be an entire coven! Just like the ink witches, one human, one elf, one orc! But orcs don't really live in Vyzor, and all the orcs I've met in the dungeon so far have been guys. So it was pretty awesome that I blundered into like the perfect opportunity. If anyone asks me, this is totally why I went to an orcish brothel. This was the plan all along.

Barnabus just saw me writing and asked why I don't just dictate this to Dale. Ha ha ha, yeah, that last paragraph is why. There are things in this journal no one must ever know.

I saw this one girl called Raka who was closer to my age, so I started talking to her. In whispers I asked her if she wanted to get out of this place and live a life of adventure. Her eyes lit up like lanterns, and she led me to a back room, where I found a pregnant elf girl. Raka said no one knew she was here, and she and some of the other girls wanted to get the pregnant elf girl out, but they were afraid of spies.

See, this is why magic is the best. I just cast ESP and went back out into the main room. Two pretty orc ladies were busy thinking about how much it sucked having to pretend to be orcs for the elf king. Boom, gotchya. I AM A MASTER SPY. My guess was that they were polymophed elves.

I tell this to Mario and HIS eyes light up like lanterns. So he goes up to them, pays 100 gold pieces, and then the three of them walk behind a curtain. After that I hear the sounds of chains and whipping and Mario began yelling "Harder! Harder!" Then I heard the girls asks him "How many people are in your group? How strong is your party of adventurers?" but he just kept screaming harder. I think someone needs to tell him how sex works. Or maybe someone needs to tell me how sex works. I'm not sure anymore.

So while… that was going on, me and Kat keep splashing around the wine (I had to break into my supply at this point, since she had run out). I go to find the madame, who a fat kobold, and cast Charm on her, and tell her to join the party. Everyone's having a good time when, in my best ring master voice, I ask who wants to walk out to freedom?

The answer was everyone. Except the kobold guards. I tell them that the party is getting CRAZY (which to be fair it was), and that when we come back the girls are going to be in the mood for freebies, but one of the bums wasn't buying it. He took out a whistle and I tried to grab it out of his hand, but kobolds are so short you know? He kept getting the thing away from me. But then the other guard tackled him to the ground, yelling "Don't ruin this for me man!" PERFECT DISTRACTION. We all file out of there.

And that's how Kat and I got everyone to the T intersection! Half the orc girls went to the left back to orcish territory: I hope things work out for them. The other half ran up to Vyzor. Rescue mission 100 PERCENT SUCCESFUL I went back to the brothel, where Mario was STILL yelling. Me and Kat shrugged and started taking everything that wasn't nailed down.

Eventually Mario and the spy girls came out. Surprised that the place was empty, they started arguing with the kobold guards. We could have left. We totally could have. But we got this awesome chance for a sneak attack, right here! Plus we wanted to take everything. So while she's bickering with her partner, I came up to an orc spy and belted her right across the face. I punched her so hard her head turned around 180 degrees!

And then slowly spuuuuuuun right back into place, and she has this wicked grin on her face. She was not a polymoprhed elf! Her skin smoothened out, little horns grow from her forehead, wings unfurled from her back, and I could hear her top straining to contain a lot more cleavage. And that's how I learned that succubi (orccubi?) are immune to normal damage.

But was she immune to being choked out? I have no idea: I tried to put her in an headlock but she pinned me to ground. And then made out with me.

It was AMAZING. She was SO GOOD AT IT.

Her lips were so soft! And she was right on top of me, chest heaving, her skin green and warm and [Editor's note: this section goes on for far too long. I'm going to skip you a couple pages of florid description and summarize: it was super hot.]

Even after it ended I was in a pleasant haze. I only sobered up when I saw the other orccubi start stabbing my friends with her nails. Which is terrible; if that succubus could chill out then I could have kept kissing her friend! But blood was flying and we had no way to hurt them so everyone ran out of the room screaming.

Except for the gnome kids! I even yelled "Retreat! Retreat!" but they just kept trying to stab her! So I had to run in there, grab them both by the collar and then run the heck back out! I told the kids to throw EVERYTHING ON MY BELT AT THEM, but they could fly so it didn't really slow them down.

Now I have to buy all of that stuff again! Snail damn it!

I really should have cast invisibility on us all, but I was so mushed up inside that I couldn't even remember how to cast it. Writing this I kinda still can't! [Editor's note: she was not feeling mushed up inside. She was feeling level drained. Emma still hasn't figured this out]. Still, we barely got out in time. The guards next to the citrine vault had to slam the doors right on the demon's fingers! And we had to leave most of the treasure, but we still got 70 gold pieces each out of it.

And so that's how I got the cash to buy some candy. And fell in love! Moral of the story: If you quit while you're ahead you miss out on AMAZING KISSES.

Dear Diary

So you know the elf girl I rescued? Princess! She's a princess! Nobody told me this! Turns out she ran away from the elf king!

Huh, I think I remember reading a spell somewhere that kills a person's entire family? Which is horrible, but if I research it and alter it… hmm. Maybe I could ask Pete Loudly for help*.

* Scrawled on the other side: Or I could just get the Elf King to eat Sharene's acorn. Now THAT would be AWESOME! That would be like, the second coolest death ever.

Well anyway, after the BEST KISS IN THE WORLD everyone took a breather. I bought some candy, went back to the library, napped, wrote in my diary (duh you where there diary), and then met back up with the gang. We didn't really pull all that much money out from the vaults, so me and Kat and Mario Kat and Mario and I felt brave enough for round two!

I suggested the Citrine vault again but everyone shot me down. AAAAGGGH why did that orccubi's friend have to be such a bitch! I could be making out RIGHT NOW if she hadn't attacked my friends! Aaaaaaaaggggghh I hate her I hate her I hate her

So we decided on the Verdant Vault instead. We went down a corridor that no one EVER went down and… it was really boring. I guess that's why no one went down it! We just found a bunch of rooms with a bunch of skeletons in shackles. And one room that the gnome girls said sounded like a ghost, so we avoided that. Then up ahead we heard buzzing.

See, I was prepared for this! As soon as the party said Verdant Vault I made sure to memorize Laurantha's Efficacious Bee Charm. Laurantha has been talking about trying to cast that thing on the giant dungeon bees for forever. And you know who gets stuck on tending the magical defense hives duty? That right, me and Sharene. So when I cast Laurantha's Efficacious Bee Charm, I cast it like a CHAMP.

(Also did you know that dungeon bees can dig holes in dungeon walls? I didn't. I wonder if we can use this somehow.)

Aaaaand that's how I got 20 giant bees and a giant bee queen as my loyal slaves!
It would have been pretty cool to keep them and be(e) the bee queen, but when we got to the surface Laurantha offered us a bunch of money for them. And she's been excited about this for forever, so it was the right (and profitable) thing to do.

I still got to be(e) bee queen for a fight though! We went to the right to the old gnomish wrestling arena, and found some orcs about to impale a bunch of gnomes on spikes! Why do Orcs want to kill people in such gross way? Instead, THEY got to die in a super gross way - via agonizing giant bee venom!

The little gnome girls were still SUPER INTO stabbing someone, and I was starting to feel bad for them. So I jumped down, punched a guy in the face, and then wrestled another guy and let them stab away at him. You should have seen how happy they were! Makes me remember my first trip into the dungeon, shooting orcs with a huge crossbow I could barely carry. Good times!

We were going to start looking around for more loot, but first we needed the get the gnomes we rescued back to Vyzor. And then decided to go drinking, and kind of forgot about the dungeon. And then we ran out of money. And then I remembered where
dad Barnabus keeps the money, so I snuck inside and got some more, and then we kept drinking, and then we ran out of momney again, aaaaaaand that's how I spent 1000 gold pieces. 

I reeaaaaaally hope Barnabus doesn't get into counting anytime soon.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Vaults of Vyzor, session #28

(report by Cullen)

"Laurantha the Unbeautiful to the Sorcerer of the Blue Mask and to my comrades at the Jarrod Memorial Library:

O! puissant one! My companions and I have delved deeper into the Azure Vaults than any have yet dared to go, and yet our expedition there was cut short by the appearance of a fearsome enemy beyond our strength. This is my account:

Compelled by the geas that you have lain about my shoulders (along with the estimable Barnabus Sleet and Rose Royce) to seek and slay the Elf-King Elexus within the Azure Vaults, I sought about for bold companions for a sortie deep into his very lair. Three were found: the dwarf warrior Brutal Pete, the ever weirder Sapphean Gratchit, and the promising fighting-man Mario de Parma. To swell our ranks for this foray, I also retained the pathetic creature known as Ralph, whom I equipped with new plate armor, while Brutal Pete hired the services of Baguette, a young halfling woman.

Thus assembled, we entered the Azure Vaults. Now, on my last sortie into these vaults, I and my then-companions almost fully explored the second level. But just before setting out this time, we were apprised by one Magic Meryl, my sometime adventuring-companion, that she and another expedition had ascended from the second level through the room where formerly had been witnessed a dragon chained to the wall (and from which my own expedition had thus reasonably fled).

My first intent, therefore, was to corroborate on my own maps this means of ingress and egress to the second level, and so rather than descending immediately through to the library on the second level, I guided my companions north along a different route. North from the entry-stair, we observed a kind of terrarium containing an ooze and a black pudding, which we did not overtly disturb; then, coming around a corner to the north of that, we found ourselves suddenly trapped as a cage fell around us, and the bars of an adjacent cage opened into the one we found ourselves within.

Now, this other larger cage was not empty--indeed, it contained three inhabitants, two gaunt and pallid humanoids which I surmised to be ghouls, and a scaly humanoid creature with wings, claws, and a horn upon its head, which thing I have never before observed. These attacked us immediately we were trapped with them, but Brutal Pete and I stepped forth, weapons bared, and made a good account of ourselves. While I slew the first ghoul, Pete held off the scaly humonculus. Mario stepped forth into the opening of the slain ghoul, but found himself paralyzed by the second ghoul's bite (this confirmed my suspicion as to their nature); I stepped up to prevent the ghoul from killing paralyzed Mario, and while Pete slew his foe, I decapitated mine.

Sapphean, grown ever weirder in each subsequent appearance, now stepped up and spat into Mario's mouth, which both set the poor man alight, yet also cured him of his paralysis. I confess, I intend never to be affected by any sort of curse in the company of this man, such that I should require his "ministrations".

These creatures slain at our feet, we easily broke open the cage that had trapped us with them, and continued our journey. To the east of this cage, we found a corridor that curved around to the south, sloping down the while, and which did ultimately enter into the very chamber where before I and other companions had seen a dragon chained to the wall (this dragon, of course, is the very one now delivered unto you, o! puissant sorcerer, and so was not present).

From this room, it was known to me that we must travel south into an east-west corridor, and then travel west past a couple cross-corridors, and then find a northern corridor that sloped down to level three. This path we followed, and found ourselves upon the third level of the Azure Vaults, our ears assaulted by a great tumult.

To the right, almost immediately east from the corridor opening onto the level, was a wide alcove to the north with a great double doors on the north wise, currently opened wide. A pair of lion-man guards flanked the door; I was able to peek sneakily around the corner without their noticing me, and did descry through the door some kind of court proceedings within great throne room of the Elf-King. An orc and a morloi, backs to the door, seemed to be involved in some dispute before the throne; and upon the throne itself, Elexus himself, almost one of the fair-folk in stature, and yet possessed of black eyes blacker than the dark between the stars, darker than the wings of Anglamorath the Black Dragon of Night. Even I was shaken, glimpsing these terrible orbs.

Turning away from this tumult as a party, we quickly explored what we could of the third level, and discovered first a great feast hall, well set with service of silver and gold, all prepared for some soon-coming banquet--and yet, all empty of people. While my companions set about quickly stealing what they could of the silver and gold, I myself poured out the wine at the high seat, and replaced it with my own enchanted mead, which can render a man wobbling-drunk with a single goblet. We may hope some brawl of drunkenness may ensue ...

Enriched by loot, we all quickly returned to the second level of the dungeon and deposited our jangling sacks behind the dung heaps in the emptied dragon-room; we then returned below to continue exploring. North of the banquet hall, we found a room with a cold door--Pete warned of possible brown mold, but opening the door, we found a cold meatlocker. The door north of that was heard to have rats behind it--a pantry perhaps? And the kitchen lay further north; turning south of the banquet hall, we discovered a sloping corridor down ... down to level four of the Azure Vaults. Stepping onto this level, we found a south-branching corridor immediately to our right, and rather than stepping further into level four, we decided to be bold and descended ever further, down to the fifth level of the Vault. Here, we found a cross of four corridors; to the east, we listened at a door and heard a tumult of some horde of rats; but when we sought to the west to explore further, we observed three pairs of red-glowing serpentine eyes swiftly approaching from the north.

I cast a web across the corridor in an attempt to block its approach, but the beast tore through like a man tearing aside cobwebs--and as its claws rent the fibers, we saw three draconic heads burst through, one red, one blue, and one white. Confronted by this horror, Mario preferred the better part of valor, and as we all withdrew in good order, Pete and I held the rear, slowed as we were in our plate armor. Here it was that Pete proved his excellence as a comrade, for he was variously prepared for pursuit.

As we went up the slope back to level four, Pete poured greased lard behind us, and we heard well the scrabbling of claws fighting for purchase. But the beast was swift, and presently its foetid breath washed over our backs again. On the slope back up to level three, Pete then poured out a sack of caltrops, which served both to slow the thing, and to enrage it--and it gave forth a terrible shrieking bellow that shook the walls! And alas, it was still coming swiftly after us, panting death, and at the last, Pete poured sovereign glue upon the floor, hoping to catch the creature's belly fast--and it worked! As we came around the corner and ran for the upslope back to level two, the dragon bellowed again behind us, and we heard a tumult from the throne room ... but we went swiftly back to the erstwhile dragon-room, collected our ill-gotten gains, and exited the dungeon.

Thus it is that we companions penetrated deeper into the Azure Vaults than any others yet have; and that is also how the markets around Vyzor have been flooded with the silver and gold service-wares imprinted with the Elf-King's marks.

Your lieutenant in the War Against the Elf-King,
Laurantha Akala"

Monday, December 25, 2017

Vaults of Vyzor, session #27

(report by Maxime Golubchik)

Expedition Log 10 (as dictated to Dale)

Brax Tallstones, Kerf Merklin, Kilic and Magic Meryl took another stab at the Azure Vault today, so me and the girls tagged along. You came too Dale: I'm not going to waste perfectly good punching muscles by carrying things. The others hired a barbarian named Wicked Juliana (respectable) and a thief named Sly Henry. He's an idiot, more suited to comedy then stealth. I'd adventure with him again in a heartbeat: a man like that invites danger for tea.

Oh Snail was it good to be out again! That stale dungeon air, the certitude that someone around here deserves a punching: I missed it. The less said of the last two sordid months the better.

The first thing we found was a room covered with carrion crawler larva. After a lot of tom-foolery it turns out the things are harmless; those grubs couldn't paralyze a bee. Kerf stuffed a sack full of the little wrigglers and asked me to carry it. Uncharacteristically I did: consider this your official apology for when I threatened to tie you up and leave you in my closet Kerf. Next time I don't care how many of your arms are paralyzed.

Then we lit the room on fire; otherwise the dungeon was going to be FULL of carrion crawlers. I couldn't stand that kind of monotony.

We left that place and found another prison cell of that tree humping bastard the Elf King. Wait, scratch that part out Dale, I'm trying to get better at this. No, not the Elf King, the bit with the tree humping. Oh forget it. Cell contents were one starved beholder and one beholder corpse. Well you know how I feel about zoos Dale: they're an abomination. A creature belongs out there in the wild, eating and fighting. What's the point of looking at a beast if you can't punch it? So Sharene smashed the lock off the door and we got those fellows out. Figured we could rez the dead one; the way I heard it they'd been promised freedom three times now. It's things like this that make us adventurers look bad.

The next cell over was filled with nothing but bones. When that Elf builds a murder machine he does not mess around.

Well we went down to the second level, and you will not believe this Dale, but we walked right into a library. Wait, no, I suppose you will believe it, you were there. Unfortunately the librarian was talking with some tall skeletal book-worm, and we were pressed on time. I left them my card and intended to come back later, but it turned out we'd use a different exit to get back up. I'll need to send that place a letter; I bet we could set up an inter-library exchange program.

Or I could buy their library and cart it back up. Hmm, probably more efficient to find the owner and fight them for it. Winner gets both libraries. Remind me to think about this after the evening steak Dale.

While some snail-awful racket was going on found the King Bush Humps, wait, no cross that part out Dale, use King Cage Molester. Well we found the guy's R&D department. We stole a bunch of blueprints and raided the liquor cabinet. No sense going around a dungeon sober is what I say.

By this point I had hoisted the sack of grubs on Sharene, since that's what apprentices are for, and she kept complaining about how disgusting it was. To be fair, it was fairly disgusting. I let her trade one indignity for another and told her to put on some of that elf scientist gear. Stupid stuff: those long sleeves get right in the way of all of your biceps, but it would make for a good disguise.

Well finally the gang tells me what all the noise is about: there was a coliseum! Right there! And the fuckers didn't tell me! Well me and the girls marched right down there, Emma as an owl, me invisible and aching for another belt to add to my collection. And kill the Elf King, if he was there, but first things first. That's the key to adventuring, having your priorities straight.

Well, no Elf king, and whatever snail awful beastie was down there spat green goo. The dissolve all your arms kind. Pair of orc twins were down there fighting it, and I respect another man's fight; I didn't interfere. Lost an arm and a leg but they beat that bastard. If it didn't blow my cover I would have been cheering with the crowd; hell of a fight that. I should send those boys a letter.

During all this Sharene is talking to the elf nerds. Not a lot of information to get but she gets an idea. Right on the spot she introduces herself as a replacement for the last scientist who ran away. On my shoulder? Oh that's just my pet owl. And the egg heads fall for it. So now my little girls are spies. I couldn't be prouder.

Yes Dale that is a tear. A single tear. It's huge too, make sure to write down how large it is. It would take three grown me to cry a tear that large.

Well I left them to it and went back to the party. Almost tripped on Magic Meryl; she's such a tiny little thing now. She tells me that there's a dragon, stuck in another one of those agony machines to the right. Unlike the coliseum, this was the right kind of secret to keep from me; makes the whole thing more exciting. Eager to fight the dragon I downright ran to it.

What a sorry sight that thing was. Big chain hooking it to the wall, and here was the dragon, lying on the floor like a punished pooch, trying to find a comfortable way to lie down with that collar around its neck. Wasn't it pathetic Dale? See, damn right it was; this is why I pay you Dale. No we'll talk about the raise after the evening steak.

That chain was unbreakable, magically speaking. See this is why I'm in the magic business in the first place Dale; tricks like this. I should have been able to rip that thing from the wall, but no, some idiot in a pointy hat said some stupid gibberish and ruined all the fun. Magic Meryl told me that two could play at that game, and she cast a spell so hard it punched the other spell clear across the room. Brax got to the chain first and it came apart like so many paperclips.

All throughout this process the dragon has been exceedingly polite. Goes by the name Thradromax, changes color, strong enough to bit a man in two. I was itching for a fight, but an opponent like that you cherish. So we left the dungeon together and you can bet your whiskers Dale that I am going to ask him to rumble. In fact, when they finish Thundergnome that's going to the headlining event: Me VS Thradromax. I cannot WAIT to see what kind of moves he has.

Alright Dale let's get a move on on those steaks. That meat isn't going to eat itself.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Vaults of Vyzor #25: Band Geeks


  • Brutal Pete, dwarf band leader
  • Adam o' the Dungheap, mercenary bassoonist
  • Logo Tosslespanner, gnome flugel player
  • Thombur No-Face, dwarf instrumentalist
  • Gelash Cogsteel, gnome drummer
  • Hugo the Slayer, mercenary french horn player
  • Tinash Steamsteel, gnome tuba player

Aleksandr Revzin played Brutal Pete. I mentioned to my wife the other day that Brutal Pete has been on several expeditions to the Vaults but I don't actually recall him being any more brutal than the average dungeoneer. The rest of the band were split up, three characters apiece, between Peter C and Wizard Lizard (a.k.a. Tan), but I can't find in my notes who played which characters.

[The following article appeared in the evening edition of The Vyzor Voice, 10 November 2017.]

Marching Band Brings Home the Goldby Vulmon Beirel
Music critic

VYZOR – Brutal Pete’s marching band returned a few members short today from a grueling but apparently lucrative delve into the tunnels beneath the house formerly occupied by Goodman Johnson. Witnesses report that the band leader, along with flugelhorn player Logo Tosslespanner and tubaist Thombur No-Face, emerged from the dwelling’s root cellar with bulging pockets and burdened with a number of large sacks. Mr. No-Face was later observed buying rounds for strangers in The Green Mulberry before loudly declaring his intention of spending the next several days at the Nunnery. According to Mr. Tosslespanner, three of their band-mates perished from snakebite in the course of exploring unmapped regions, while a fourth died in an explosion caused by a malfunctioning French horn.

The losses leave the ranks of the marching band sorely depleted and completely lacking a percussion section or any kind of bass instrument. Nevertheless, the expedition may be judged a success in terms of the considerable amount of gold and gems that appears to have been retrieved by the ensemble. Cryptic answers given by Mr. Tosslespanner during a brief interview, along with the recollections of Vyzorians who were regaled by Mr. No-Face in The Green Mulberry, indicate that the major focus of the expedition was the use of a special apparatus for breathing underwater to retrieve a treasure chest from the depths of a pool infested with vicious fish.

It was unclear at press time when, or whether, the band would recruit new members. In the opinion of this writer, it is to be hoped that the ensemble will quickly fill out its ranks and resume its essential place in the artistic world of our fair community.

Brutal Pete's tale of the delve...

My first memories are of ripping out of my birth caul, which my father had formed from precious metals, the flesh of the hated ones, his own blood, and his labor. (They call us dwarves greedy and spiteful, for we lust for treasure and wage ceaseless war on our enemies, but this is our genesis and renewal). But my first true home is Vyzor and it felt good to delve below the Sorcerer's keep again. Not only that, but to lead my well-trained marching band, the Blue Brutal Beat Band (the 4 B's baby, the Quad Threat, the Quatro-Sting) armed with experimental music instruments made my blood lust sing.

By a roll of the dice, the Violet Vaults were chosen. We descended the ladder, chased away some poisonous asps and noted some diving equipment. In excellent formation we arrived at the pool full of piranhas. There was a large rectangular shape in the water and our instincts pushed us to investigate. Retrieving the diving equipment, we made a plan for Hugo the Slayer to play his French Horn of Concealment so Adam o' the Dung Heap could hide as some sort of box or a collection of loose tiles. Thus, the piranhas would be confounded. But calamity occurred and the French Horn exploded, ending Hugo's life, and causing us collateral damage. Hugo's training showed, for not once as he died did I see anything but a look of heroic determination on his face. I nodded once in respect to his severed and smoldering head as it flew past me and I saw it blink once, acknowledging my salute.

Logo Tosslespanner's alternate plan involved us slaying some asps, putting their bodies in a chainmail shirt, and bobbing that bundle in the the water to distract the piranhas, so Adam could safely descend to the bottom of the pool. The plan was a great success and what we retrieved was an iron chest. The final stash of the thieves guild! Stuffing our pockets, we carried the chest back to the entrance and made several trips topside to empty the chest fully. Our second death occured now. Adam, on guard below, was attacked by two snakes. Bitten, he fell dead to their poison. We carried his body up and laid him on a bier of treasure.

With the remainder of our time we decided to explore this level. All the humans were dead, so we "went dark," relying on our infravision. South down a wide corridor of pillars, then west to a 4-way intersection. Acting on a suspicion, I discovered a secret door and tunnel to the north. The band encountered large lightning bugs and resolved to try one more door, before retreating. I must take much of the blame for what happened next. Looking at what scraps of map I had for this level, I believed we had moved south and west of the lizard mummy king's throne room. Perhaps we had. When we opened a final door to the west a wall of snakes collapsed onto us. Tinash Steamsteel and Gelash Cogsteel fell to the venom of their bites. As spittle bubbled from their mouths I glared, making sure they understood to show no pain to our enemies as they died. Logo shrewdly played his Flugel Horn of Stilting to rise above the mass of snakes. Thombur No-Face blew on The Transparent Abomination and summoned men-sized life-draining Purple Tribbles, which battled the asps. We retreated topside, leaving two band members and some valuable magical instruments under a tide of venomous snake foes. Like a sore-tooth, this will pain me until vengeance and retrieval are done.

Final note from the DM

The body of Adam o' the Dungheap, well-known smelly hireling, was successfully retrieved from the dungeon. Thanks to the necromantic arts of Pete Loudly, he has been reincarnated as an orc. He still stinks to high heaven.


Tinash Steamsteel (gnome band member), Hugo the Slayer (band member), Gelash Cogsteel (gnome band member), Adam o' the Dung Heap (band member), Magic Meryl (Nick Kuntz), Arthur (faithful NPC doggie), Gachos Disco-Wang (NPC demon), John Lackwit (o-level loser), Szazsraz the Lizard Wizard (Chris Wilson), Iter the Physick (NPC), That Pictish Bastard (NPC), Bufo the Wizard (Makali’i F), Beefo the Gerblin Drinking Buddy (NPC), Willy Whats-His-Name (0-level Loser), Poor Brother Rupert (cleric hireling), unnamed serving boy (0-level hireling), Gwalin Rustbritches (dwarf hireling), Jarrod the Magic-User (Ian Reilly), Jonesy (0-level NPC), Little Liam Linkboy (0-level NPC), Limpy the Naileteer (Jeff Call), Engsal the Enchanter (Alex Joneth), Elfbraham Lincoln (Jeff Call), Littlens (0-level NPC), Biggens (0-level NPC), Stimpy (0-level NPC), Ren (0-level NPC)
Sigismunde von Flegelschnecke (Alexei McDonald), Sapphean Gratchit (Josh Rapp), Lobat Greet (Jesse Goldshear), Brax of the Tallstones (Brad Black), Mike O'Nidd (Matt Barclay), Kilic (Alex Joneth), Barnabus Sleet (Maxim Golubchik), Laurantha the Unbeautiful (Cullen), Big Gnome (Luke Rejec), Szazsraz the Wizard Lizard (Chris Wilson), Rose Royce (Kiel Chenier), Sneakerly Trull (Zak S.), Ilse Raagenkampf-Sleet (Perttu Vedenoja), Persimion Finch (Galen Fogarty), Magic Meryl (Nick Kuntz), Merrill Meadows (Michael Julius), Chef (Richie Cyngler)

Saturday, November 04, 2017

More on the Ring

Cool guy Evan Elkins made several improved versions of my map of the Ring.  Thanks, Evan!  I especially like this one that shows the borders of the interstellar polities and the names of the subsectors.

The borders make it a lot easier for me to notice a few details about the multisystem governments of the Ring.  A big one is the fact that fully half of them do not possess a class A starport.  (Starport type is the letter above the planet in the center of the hex.  A is the best.  An X indicates no starport whatsoever.)  This lack of class A starports is super interesting to me, as class A's are the only starports with facilities for the construction of starships. 

So where do these poor governments get all their jump capable vessels?  Do they buy them from other interstellar polities?  If so, which ones?  Do the sellers limit the sort of naval technologies they'll make available to others?  Or do the pocket empires that lack a class A buy all their ships from the two non-aligned worlds with class A starports?  A third possibility is that they make do with rickety old fleets from a previous era.  Some combination of all three of these possibilities is probably the best answer.  But one of the things I love about Traveller is how the random distribution of something like starports suggests ramifications for the campaign.

Another thing to glance at is the presence of naval bases, which take the form of a little star in the upper left of the hex.  Most of the governments of the Ring have either one or two naval bases.  So that's the norm for the region.  But two of them have no naval bases whatsoever.  They also don't have a class A starport.  I think it is fair to ask whether or not these two governments even have their own navies.  If not, what does that mean for the campaign?  If they do have a navy, why don't they have a base of some sort?  Whatever the answer, it should provide some interesting material for the setting.

Then there's the blue-outlined and white-outlined regions in the middle left subsector.  They possess 3 and 4 naval bases respectively.  Having more naval bases than average seems like an indicator of possible belligerency.  That looks like the section of the Ring with the biggest military build up, so maybe those two neighbors have a long history of interstellar warfare.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Vaults of Vyzor #24: rescue the dead


  • Pitwin Spryneedle, gnome (Mick Kuntz)
  • Hugbert the Bold, jerk (NPC hireling)
  • Ilse Raagenkampf-Sleet, LotFP specialist (Perttu Vedenoja)
  • Maria de Parma, fighter (Giuliano Pereira)
  • Lars Hootman, owl-man (Ian Reilly)
  • Sapphean Gratchit, blue mage (Josh Rapp)
  • Balphazad the Befuddled, magic-user (NPC hireling)
(report by Nick Kuntz)

To: Mister Barnabus Sleet
c/o The Jarrod Memorial Library

From: Master Pitwin Spryneedle

Dear Mister Barnabus Sleet,

Good morning, sir. Do not be confused as the Halfling delivering this missive and the unused potion of spider climb is, in fact, your fellow librarian know previously as Magic Meryl. Know, too, that she continues to want to be known as Magic Meryl (even though, I am sad to say, I detect no magical abilities residing in her reincarnated form).

As you know, sir, my parents are currently under the heel of the Red Hand Orcs somewhere in the Vaults below Vyzor. I could not leave my teacher to also be lost to the dungeon. Pete Loudly, your fellow Octarine Belt Librarian, suggested that an emergency mission to retrieve Magic Meryl’s body for him to reincarnate could be performed in 13 days. Several of Vyzor’s adventures volunteer to help me in such an endevour including among their number yourself and Meryl’s other fellow librarian Laurantha the Unbeautiful. As your are current under the spell of the Masked Sorcerer himself to defeat the Elf King, I could not risk your well being by delving into the dungeon for another purpose. Plus, with threat of invasion promised over the sale of that fish god statue to Loudly, I didn’t want to push it with the Masked Sorcerer. Instead, I recruited the following adventurers to assist from those that had volunteered:

Mario De Parma- The newly arrived to Vyzor human fighter was so friendly that when he offered help, I could not say no.
Sepphean Gratchit- The human blue mage was Meryl’s closest living friend and it was impossible to stop him from joining the mission.
Lars Hootman- The owl-ing fighter had stepped forward to return the favor of Meryl retrieving Jarrod’s skull. I knew Meryl would want me to allow him the honor.
Ilse Raagenkampf-Sleet- In the alleys of Vymrrys, I had seen her cast the most terrifying spell I had ever seen. She is probably the most powerful and fearsome being I have met so I had to see if she would come along.

In addition, we hired the Hubert the Bold and Balphazad the Befuddled to assist in carrying the body.

Our mission started with us assembling the frame for the pulley system Yohey constructed for us in the root cellar of the Johnson’s old place. Then we proceeded down into the Violet Vaults. Ilse took the lead and immediately ran across a snake. They have not stayed in the Throne Room of the Serpent King. She made short work of it. Sapphean downed a potion of animal control and we grabbed the door Yohey had taken off its hinges last visit to this awful place.

Around the corner, Sepphean quickly ran into more snakes which he easily charmed. We turned the door sideways and used it to blocked off a room to our right filled with more mage-killing sinister serpents. We moved quickly down the hall to the room with that life-like serpent pillar collecting about 13 snakes, all controlled by Sepphean.

With the Throne Room and Meryl’s body a mere 70 feet away, the retrieval team stopped to discuss our plan to get her out. As we discussed, Mario and Lars noticed a small form hiding behind some rocks. As soon as he noticed us noticing it, the little jerk tried to make a break for it. Ilse and I caught up to it, though. The weaselly fellow is some sort of foot high man named McGillicutty who had with him a small chid. He was terrible fashion sense and a terrible personality. When I tried to charm him, he shrugged it off and claimed, “You don’t cast magic on me, I cast magic on you!” Besides him being the most unpleasant person I know, we smoothed things out with him and I paid him 25gp to be our guide. He hopped onto Mario’s shoulder and joined us.

That sorted, we went about enacting our plan. We coated the thirty feet of corridor closet to the Throne Room in oil. Ilse walked to the edge of the Throne Room and summoned a strange mist that caused the snakes to start killing each other. Balphazad became incredibly jealous of such a display of magic that he torn off back out of the dungeon. Never hire that guy or let him join the Library as he is a total flake.

Meanwhile, the snakes had entered some sort of tangle of violence like a Last Gnome Standing wrestling match except less cool and more bitey. When they had defeated their fellow snakes in the room, they slithered their way towards us. But, ah-ha, I was waiting with a torch. Now, I will admit here that I did not do my best. I became filled with memories of Meryl’s death and burned with revenge. I should have been stronger as Meryl had sought to teach me to act in according to virtue rather than base feeling. None the else, I dropped the torch soon after seeing those cruel creatures as I wanted to see them burn.

And burn they did. The hall caught on fire and we waited as they died. At this point. McGillicutty opens his gob to mention something about an alternate route through the piranha room (passed some doors spotted on previous delves). We, though, decide to save that stuff for later and have Sapphean scout. He cast spider climb on himself and traveled across the ceiling into the Throne Room.

There, Sapphean noticed a couple of things. One, the mummified Serpent King was vomiting out snakes still. Two, he could see Magic Meryl’s body and it seemed to be snakeless. A quick use of the spell fly and he swooped down to retrieve Meryl. As he scooped her lifeless shell, two snakes popped up but they were a bunch of dorks and missed. We had retrieved Meryl!

At this point, we notice that McGillicutty had split. That dweeb is no good. Plus, he abandoned his kid to have Lars Hootman take responsibility for him. He even left a not about how bad of dad he’d be. Don’t hired him again. We quickly got back to the dungeon exit. We hear some kind of noise of a monster but it looks like the snakes kept it away. With a quick use of Yohey’s pulley system, we return Meryl to the surface and rushed off to Loudly’s shop. I gave him 750gp and he returned my teacher form the great unknown. She is shorter now that she is a halfling and keeps muttering about the “cosmic womb.” I have been there twice to be remade and I won’t forget it. I can’t imagine what she has been through. It has definitely changed her. She has started carrying rocks around in a pouch and calling them her “magic missiles.”  Hopefully with the help of friends like you and the talking skull of Jarrod, she will be able to adjust from the shock of her return and new life. I think not being able to cast anymore is going to be real hard on her. Still, I am glad she is back. I am also grateful to know so many kind and skilled adventurers. I would welcome having any of these cool fellows in my party anyday. They will always have the gratitude of Meryl and I.


Master Pitwin Spryneedle

P.S. I will be appearing soon with an offering of my spellbook to join the illustrious ranks of the Jarrod Memorial Library.

P.S.S. Seriously don’t trust that Balphazad-dude. He just ragged on us the whole time and split. Plus he is a terrible dad to his weird kid.

P.S.S.S. That wasn’t the end of our trips to the Violet Vault. We also visited the piranha room and found where McGillicutty lives. He was just sitting there drinking tea like it was no big deal, the jerk. I gave him a hardy slap on the back as a greeting and tea shot out of his mouth. Ha! It was a great prank. He told us that piranhas live in the pool we had already knew about thanks to throwing a dead snake in. He also told us that doors west of the pool or the corridor leading to his home go to the Throne Room f the Serpent King. He mentioned the room to the east of the piranha room that just had undead in it. It is marked as it is a waste of time and only filled with death.

P.S.S.S.S. The old door Yohey took off the hinges is currently blocking the corridor south right out of the Violet Vault entry leaving only the old hobo camp accessible. We wanted to keep the snakes out.


Magic Meryl (Nick Kuntz), Arthur (faithful NPC doggie), Gachos Disco-Wang (NPC demon), John Lackwit (o-level loser), Szazsraz the Lizard Wizard (Chris Wilson), Iter the Physick (NPC), That Pictish Bastard (NPC), Bufo the Wizard (Makali’i F), Beefo the Gerblin Drinking Buddy (NPC), Willy Whats-His-Name (0-level Loser), Poor Brother Rupert (cleric hireling), unnamed serving boy (0-level hireling), Gwalin Rustbritches (dwarf hireling), Jarrod the Magic-User (Ian Reilly), Jonesy (0-level NPC), Little Liam Linkboy (0-level NPC), Limpy the Naileteer (Jeff Call), Engsal the Enchanter (Alex Joneth), Elfbraham Lincoln (Jeff Call), Littlens (0-level NPC), Biggens (0-level NPC), Stimpy (0-level NPC), Ren (0-level NPC)
Sigismunde von Flegelschnecke (Alexei McDonald), Sapphean Gratchit (Josh Rapp), Lobat Greet (Jesse Goldshear), Brax of the Tallstones (Brad Black), Mike O'Nidd (Matt Barclay), Kilic (Alex Joneth), Barnabus Sleet (Maxim Golubchik), Laurantha the Unbeautiful (Cullen), Big Gnome (Luke Rejec), Szazsraz the Wizard Lizard (Chris Wilson), Rose Royce (Kiel Chenier), Sneakerly Trull (Zak S.), Ilse Raagenkampf-Sleet (Perttu Vedenoja), Persimion Finch (Galen Fogarty), Magic Meryl (Nick Kuntz), Merrill Meadows (Michael Julius), Chef (Richie Cyngler)