Campaign of the Month: May 2016

Mysteria

The Mitey Quinn

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For years Duxt the Mite had tended the traps in the lair of the Honey Queen. It was a long and lonely life with only dumb bees for friends. Still, a mite shouldn’t grumble. At least those bees didn’t care how ugly he was.

There were quite a few visitors to the Hive of Effildawnan but most of them did their business in the entrance chamber so Duxt didn’t get to meet any beings other than giant bees, and they just sort of buzzed along.

So he tended his traps, swept up shiney wax corridors, attended to any protruding branches and generally kept the place clean. Sometimes he would practice his archery and swordsmanship on some hanging roots. He always had to be ready for a possible attack.

And now he heard it. The crumbling sound of a trap sprung. Gleefully he got up from his squat and loaded his puny shortbow. “Gosh! A couple of bigfellas! I’ll go for the smaller guy first. Dratz! Missed! I hope he misses too!”

HE DIDN’T!
(The Elven Curve Blade of Vairn Constiain sliced deeply from nave to chops and Duxt’s tale was done.)

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The bees are buzzin' in the trees to make some honey just for me...

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Deep into the Margreve they go. Hark! A Scream! A forest creature pursued by ugly form. “Ogre!” cries Taurus as he rushes to attack. Old Ben Gone takes a diving knee bite into pus spewing wart more fermented than the strongest cheese. Arcael shudders at the very notion. “This ogre must die!” Brandon Kane takes out a deadly dart and loads his hand crossbow. The beast is felled and Incendarius attends to the stricken alseid, Her elven upper body smiles in gratitude as the lower deer like leg is healed by the Northlander

“Yes, I shall lead you to the VALE OF EFFILDAWNAN but beware the product of the flowers of that place. Strange things ye shall see.” True enough, the air of the vale is thick as soup and pregnant with possibility as the alseid waves farewell and skips into deep Margreve.

“Goblins! Goblins! In the trees…..in my hair…..get them. Get them off!” Arcael seems more agitated than he should. The others look on bemused. The forest is peaceful, quiet!
“Bees! Giant Bees!” Arcael howls in horror as Old Ben tries to hold him to the floor. “It’s in my face! It’s a bee, and it’s got no pants!” Taurus knocks out the hysterical sorcerer with a cracking backhander but bares his flank to the tusk of a wild boar that crashes through the underbrush. On into the valley they go. Breathing thick. Ears now tuning to the drone of many buzzing bees. Magic bees. Droning, Humming. Horribly. Terrible Terror! Old Ben and Taurus scream and run, leaving an adamantine axe and a small piece of ripe Stilton on the ground. When they eventually return, the group stand in front of a large oak watching a dancing girl made of bees. Yes, bees coalescing into human form, now breaking off and buzzing into the hole between the roots. A dark tunnel where bees of many sizes come and go. Could this be the realm of the honey queen?

Into the wax lined cave they go. Passing a fat grinning grizzly, Incendarius moves into a bright room filled with warm glowing HONEY LAMPS, but Brandon Kane goes further still, popping the ground beneath him as he falls knee deep into sweet smelling goo and falls victim to two giant stinging bees. At the same time, more bees coalesce around Incendarius and Old Ben approaches the grizzly with some tempting cheese. In an instant, all hell breaks loose as the bear roars and attacks.

Incendarius destroys coalescing bees with Burning Hands, heating the chamber so that wax drips onto the floor, Brandon Kane escapes and runs back pursued by bees while Old Ben does not exit left but is pursued by bear anyway. Arcael feels the Margreve crackle of power all around him as he throws his Magic Missile into the fray and Taurus steps up to the bear as Old Ben succumbs to the bear hug and falls to the ground with the last breath of life clinging to his constricted lungs.

Now the giant bees are attacking Incendarius as Taurus also falls unconscious after the gruesome grizzly’s attack. Brandon Kane runs outside and loads his crossbow with a poisoned bolt that, in the nick of time, puts the massive mammal to sleep. They kill the bees and heal themselves before circling around the sleeping bear for a massive simultaneous coup de grace. What once was mighty bear is now a mere plaything for fashion guru, Brandon Kane as he clips off claws and teeth for his Autumn Collection.

Time to head into the hive….

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A Taste of Honey

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After a request to meet Ellese Callesh to discuss some work, SCHMIDT HAPPENS go to her home in the dockyards to find she is being attacked by four thugs. One is killed, one freed at a price, one handed over to Deslan Cooke but the leader, Jimmy Tarbuck gets away. I wonder when we’ll hear from him again?

Ellese tells the group about a magic honey that a client wants but cannot come by due to the seller refusing to deal with him. She offers the group 600 GP if they can purchase a pot, for which she gives them a Ring of Protection + 2 as payment.

A barge trip down the river is followed by a trip through the marshes, where Taurus detects two PUTRID HAUNTS in time to prevent a surprise attack. Incendarius, Brandon Kane, Old Ben Gone, Arcael and a recently encountered Cavalier lay into the putrid undead beasts, releasing bursts of life sapping leaches. But they cannot endure the burning fires of Incendarius and are soon laid to waste as the healing process begins.

But alas, in the time it takes to heal, the creatures have regenerated and made a second attack. More leaches sprout forth but again the savage swipes of Taurus, Brandon and the Cavalier defeat the creatures, the magic of Incendarius and Arcael destroy the remaining leaches and the bite of Old Ben Gone is the only thing more putrid than the destroyed undead creatures.

The group make haste to drier lands, following the watercourse of Grandfather’s Tears that flows from the forest following an ancient LEY LINE. By next day, the travellers arrive at Lecova and Arcael secures them simple but safe accommodation. The villagers are happy to see the friend that saved them from THE HOLLOW MAN, and give them instruction on how to get to OLD HAG’S TEETH, where they say the Effildawnan Flowers can be found.

Moving North East through the forest, they start to discover strange visual aspects to the casting of spells and Arcael tells the group that the forest siphons magical enemy and keeps a close watch on all within it.

First they meet an old crone who begs for food. The group don’t have much but offer a share and she tells them of “The Queen’s Glade” and the name of “Layla”. Journeying on, the group encounter a mother whose son is high in a tree being stalked by a giant spider. Brandon Kane does a lot of “leaping to the rescue”, being poisoned as a result, with his blood being spilt on the Forest Floor. THE OLD MARGREVE KNOWS HIM NOW. However, the boy is saved and the grateful mother bestows the GIFT OF THE CAT on the party such that they will increase their STEALTH for a week.

Further travelling North East brings them to a small draconic telepathic friend that strikes up a good relationship with Brandon Kane and rests on his shoulder. He seems very accommodating, however, after just a couple of minutes, makes a savage attack. Brandon is poisoned further but the creature is not able to escape as it had planned and falls prey to the savage death blows of SCHMIDT HAPPENS. The journey continues……

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Home sweet home.
Written by Stigandr

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Arcael had shown each of the new band members the rooms of the house. Truman Click had removed the personal effects of the previous occupants and even Arcael had found this surprisingly moving, little expressions of self contained in a personal space. Arcael had asked Truman to store these in a secure space, keepsakes possibly.

Old Ben Gone had the room nearest the kitchen and had surprising trouble coming to terms with the concept of ‘bed’, wanting to sleep under it. He also had some difficulty with the value of money and Arcael had had to stop several shop-keepers for taking advantage of this. He was however exceptionally popular with the cheesemongers and a chance encounter one Simon Taylor, compatriot of his old comrade Lord Flasheart revealed them to be kindred ‘complimentary’ spirits of sorts – cheese and wine if you like. He would adapt quickly.

Taurus took the other ground floor room, not trusting the stairs to hold his massive weight, several local children began daring each other to knock on the window and ran away screaming when the massive bull’s head appeared. The bull appeared to be quite good natured about this but then his laugh and his bellowing were most times indistinguishable (as was his ‘music’…)

Incendarius’s first floor room was usually locked but the sound of prayer and the smell of phosphors or burnt hair occasionally permeated into the hall. Arcael was fairly sure that he was responsible enough not to burn the house down.

Brandon Kane had homed in on Yander’s old room, he even did exactly the same thing when first examining the room, looking out of the first floor window and gauging it as an escape route. Kindred spirits definitely.

This left two rooms empty, Spikey Jonze’s space in the attic and the other second floor room. Arcael would enjoy the relative quiet of not sharing a floor, he would update his journal and write some new compositions based upon his adventures. But tonight he would catch up with the delightful company of Pai and gift her the star-brooch he had received on his adventures, it would suit her beauty.

And the kobold? Well we would need another cleaner (especially with the Minotaur and Old-Ben in the house). It would be difficult to find a kobold of the loyalty of Spikey however… Best sleep on it and discuss it with his new comrades in the morning.

As Arcael tried to settle down for the night and could hear the dull rasp of a minotaur snorting in his sleep even through two floors as well as the people of the streets below. It was good to be home but he found himself unable to completely settle for he knew the wander-lust to adventure was already rising within him.

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The Free Eclectic Band
Taurus
Arcael
Incendarius
Old Ben Gone
Kotira
Brandon Kane



Arcael – Vocals
Incendarius – Percussion
Old Ben Gone – Moonshine Jugs
Taurus – Bagpipes
Brandon Kane – Mandolin
Kotira – Keyboards

At the offer of ELUSHIEL STARBEARER, our astral minstrels enter the STAR CITADEL to await an audience with KING IORATAS and QUEEN ASTRAKIA to discuss their plight. SCHMIDT HAPPENS are given a day to either remove the LEVIATHAN or sign it over to the Star Citadel for butchery. Failure to do one of these things will result in the party being blinded and cast into the void. However, Arcael’s great oratory powers are not in vain for as the group leave the temple a starbearer whispers to him that ABDIEL, MASTER OF THE BRIDLE, has the very item that they need to control the huge interstellar beast.

The group spend some time discovering the wonders of the Star Citadel, determining the majority of its inhabitants to be starbearers, augur kytons and arbiter inevitables. They also see some white haired albino Halflings of the Stars, a stern HOUND ARCHON guarding the armoury, a stressed out SHADOW FEY running the kitchen, and an over-run alchemist, SCARLET CRUCIBLE, who seems friendly enough but cannot offer any appointments within the next three months. In search of PRINCESS MYDELLA of the STARRY LOVERS, they enter the temple but are met only by subservient priests, praying to twin statues of HECATE and VELES.

With Elushiel Starbearer arranging an appointment with Abdiel, Master of the Bridle, the party arrive at the BUTCHER’S TOWER and are invited to a celebratory toast. The wine is fine but poisoned, and as Arcael and Taurus slump to the floor, the Master makes his attack, aided not only by two Augur Kytons but also by their devious guide, Elushiel Starbearer..

The fate of SCHMIDT HAPPENS may well be decided in this room.

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Dead Finks Don't Talk
Anastrianna Arca Domina Lord Flasheart Jonni Helmsgard Yander Spikey Jonze
Anastrianna
Arca Domina
Lord Flasheart
Jonni Helmsgard
Yander
Spikey Jonze


We remember and honour our dead…


I have set up a HALLS OF THE HONOURED DEAD page in the PC HORIZONS wiki – some epitaphs have already been entered. If you wish to impart any gems pertaining to the characters of those fallen (in or out of character), please make an entry in the comments section below, say who it pertains to and who it is uttered by, and I will add it to the HALLS.

Comments also welcome from any outsiders (by that I mean OP members outside of Mysteria – not DEMONS or ANGELS!).

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Angels...

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Sometimes in life, bands go through line up changes, and never was that fact truer than when Arcael led the newly replenished SCHMIDT HAPPENS from the TOMB OF QORAZ for the second time, this time joined by the buccaneer, Brandon Kane, the fiery theologian, Incendarius, and the minotaur barbarian, Taurus.

Emerging victoriously with the Book of Vael Turog in the BAG OF HOLDING, the minstrels winced as they saw their boat, THE SPEEDWELL burning in the harbour, but rejoiced when they saw the small form of Spikey Jonze making his way toward them. Alas, celebrations were cut short by the realisation that their old friend was now a wight. A wight which they quickly slew, before meeting a wild man of the island offering scrolls of Restoration in return for promises of cheese. Old Ben Gone may be nuts but allies were in short supply, so his support was welcomed and life stories put off till a more convenient time; as was the arrival of pirate sorcerer Kotira and his summoned EIDOLON.

The talking book had offered help if they would get it to the shore, so sneaking their way round a promontory, they set up near a secluded beach while Arcael read powerful magic from the pages of the book. There were several minutes of tense anticipation before a giant land mass appeared next to the shore. With several undead followers of Queen Ilnora now descending from the hill towards them, the book urged the party to leap onto the new island. All were successful but for the not so dextrous Taurus, who stumbled and fell into a sea of churning REEFCLAWS that pinched and grappled him to unconciousness.

Brave rescue attempts ensued with the help of the book, whose Levitation and Fireball spells proved handy for just such a precarious situation. The giant LEVIATHAN then moved into the sea, leaving its new inhabitants to discover its lands as it sped far west across the ocean. Noting a barren landscape throughout the island, the merry minstrels found some old huts, an ancient ruined tower and what seemed like a glass bubble that they determined to be a magical airtight viewing room near the top of the head of the moving landmass.

The next day the group adventured further onto the island, discovering an old vault, thousands of deep indentations that may have been egg sacks and a little grove of trees tended by some weird mongrelmen that chanted for the party to eat of the GODFLESH, and offered pear-like fruits from the trees. Half the group partook of the offer and not only received nourishment but also some basic communion with the beast on which they travelled, learning that the creature was on a voyage of great destiny and that it was happy to be free. For those who did not partake of the GODFLESH, hunger set in after the remaining fireballed REEFCLAW steaks were finished.

When the LEVIATHAN dived into the ocean, half the party were in the BUBBLE TOWER but the other half followed the Godflesh loving MONGRELMEN into their secret cave, where they could see nothing but were well cared for with ample reserves of GODFLESH. For those in the BUBBLE TOWER, they witnessed three days of underwater travel, with great hunger pangs causing fatigue, but surviving on the water created by Incendarius.

As the great entity rose from the depths at the end of the third day, the group saw the edge of the world for the first time. A black expanse dotted with stars at the edge of a huge sea lip that seemed to be held in place by a great nebulous coiled form – the WORM OUROBORUS! Alarmingly, the creature was heading straight for the edge!

With a mighty leap, the creature plunged into the ether and started swimming toward the stars. Four stars seemed to move next to the creature, two on either side, until it made its way to what seemed like a huge star like citadel floating in the ethereal sea. Other star creatures came out from the city and one of their guides transformed into a humanoid figure.

“Alight, strangers, travellers on Leviathan. Alight and tell your tale. Wherefrom come thou? Wherefore art thou? What is your quest? What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?”

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Lay of the lizard...

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Sold into ten years of slavery by his parents and later scratching out a meagre existence in the Kobold slums of ZOBECK, his only solace a home-made single stringed gourd instrument that nobody liked, it had always been Spikey’s dream to excel as an entertainer, so acceptance into the up and coming minstrels of SCHMIDT HAPPENS was without question the highlight of the kobold’s life.

As Spikey, Arcael and Brandon Kane ran screaming from the Tomb of Qoraz, they tragically bumped into a magic wielding wight that targeted Spikey’s favourite sorcerer, the GREAT ARCAEL of the ARCANE COLLEGIUM. The wounded sorcerer fell and Spikey and Brandon ran like death itself was after them. Nimble as anything, Brandon soon left poor Spikey behind. With his short legs pumping, the crafty kobold thought he might use his skills of climbing and hiding to escape the wight by ascending a tree. However, the red glowing eyes of the undead enemy followed his life form, climbing up the trunk ever closer.

Spikey took out his hand crossbow. Twice he hit the wicked wight as it climbed. Twice the pungent flesh was pierced by Spikey’s deadly bolt with almost no effect. Spikey took out his trusty mining pick and balanced his short legs on the bough. He would make this beast pay for what he had done to Arcael. Lifting his pick, he swung at the horrid clawed hand of his adversary, a mighty swipe fuelled by the passion of a bereaved colleague, and infused with the training of an experienced miner. A swipe aimed with anger and with desperation, a swipe that missed the wight and shifted the kobold’s body into the reach his enemy and eternal UNDEATH. “Now you are MINE!” whispered the wight.

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Book of Days...

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Often would Nethus The Unchained, Lord of Fish and Whales and Keeper of Storms, roam his domain, surveying all around him as he crashed through mighty waves and bathed in the huge swells of the ocean. Perchance would he take pause, and stand on the tall cliffs of a rugged shore to survey the fine works of his sister Ceres, the Provider, Goddess of the Harvest or even stand among the Saints of Mavros as they guided their warriors in great and mighty wars. Sometimes a small island would pique his interest and he would straddle its shores, looking down upon its inhabitants with bemused expression as the mortals played out their continual games and factions.

On one such time, Nethus stopped in at the Black Bay of ANAMARETH on the desolate Isle of Karn’lothra, where one of the powerful Tomes of the young Ankeleshians remained entombed in deep occult. He gazed briefly at undead soldiers, whipping slaves carrying bows and burning arrows as they made their way to the harbour of black sails, but he stopped not here, instead preferring to look once more on the hallowed Tomb of his favoured Minotaur Prince, Quoraz Velesson of the Seven Cities.

The tomb lay open, plundered by thieves and Nethus wept a salty tear upon the blood stained ground, marking that one of the robbers held the powerful magic book. Guarded by shadows, and aided by an ancient ward, the book had been lifted from its resting place by what seemed like an ill fitting gang of armed minstrels.

Nethus watched as one of Mavros’s paladins slipped deftly past a SPHERE OF ANNIHILATION to casually jump 60 feet into a dark well and yet survive. He saw that the group had split in two, some entering the tomb, some staying at the entrance where one brave young sorcerer chanted the ancient ritual of a mighty abjuration to save himself and his comrades (two thieves of human and kobold type) from the ravages of shadows.

He roared with laughter at the greed of a Northerner, who while trying to escape with his comrades (a fiery Theologian and a Minotaur barbarian) to join with the injured Paladin below, desperately tried to pull a heavy magical chest on top of himself as he passed close to the EVENT HORIZON of the terrific sphere, frozen in time, and were it not for his brave minotaur companion, totally vanquished. Such frivolity ensued as the whole bunch tumbled down the deep well, the Northerner surviving death by annihilation only to suffer death by force of gravity and hard rock.

The paladin fought bravely but alas, with his strength already sapped to the limit, fell to one of the shadows that attacked them, falling prey to that death most abhorrent to paladins, UNDEATH as a shadow controlled by his killer. One of the shadows fell, and the other, near destruction, retreated. The minotaur and the theologian made their way through the dark tunnel to relative safety.

Meanwhile Nethus’s gaze turned to the sorcerer and his companions as they struggled against another undead foe. A wight with a magic wand cut down the sorcerer as they ran, and, unable to chase the nimble human, followed the kobold up a tree. Looking away, Nethus now saw that the human turned to help his sorcerer friend. Providing him with a potion, the two made their way down the hill, eventually joining up with the minotaur and the theologian.

Nethus watched the group as they stood on a high outcrop looking down to a burning ship now bright with flame upon the sea. So, that was their ship, he mused. Escape would seem impossible, and if Nethus was not a God, he may have considered this event the end of the tale, but deep within his gut he now felt a wrenching feeling that something important was about to happen….

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Defeat.
Written by Stigandr

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I force myself to write this: Defeat. This is what it tastes like to flee beaten.

But this is more than just my bruised ego. I had high hopes for the monk and rogue, and the half-elf met her end bravely. Equipment can be replaced but today I have lost more than I thought, I lost comrades. I accept I didn’t show them the esteem I held them in, but hear this Yander, Arca and yes, Anastrianna I will avenge you.

I swear by Khors the day will come when I will slay the guardians of that tomb and take your bones to a more fitting resting place so that the sleep of each of your souls will know the warmth of its true home.

Now to the task at hand – revenge. The crew of the ship perhaps? Some of them had the air of pirates and mercenaries… And we need to overcome the pit, focus on each of these monsters in turn, kill them quickly and be prepared for worse.

I know that facing this danger goes against all I have been taught, but I have sworn on this, and if my word is to mean anything, this must be a binding oath.

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