Mysteria

Ghosts

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Ghosts are gruesome, ghosts are grim!
Spare a thought for old Erik Kaple, killed by a workers’ revolt and pushed, alive and screaming, into the maws of his own flensing machine. No wonder the Night-Things were restless. But time passes. And now our heroes are trespassers in the ghost’s domain.

While Taurus wrestles with rat swarms and the invisible half-gnome form of Master Doldrum, Arcael, Brandon Kane and Old Ben Gone deal with the spirit that has kept things running in the old factory and been responsible for the deaths of innocent citizens of Zobeck. Up and down the stairs, runs the brave Northlander, Incendarius, keeping them all alive as they fight against DEATH itself. And on top of it all, Mephits! Fukking Mephits! In, out, breathing all about!

Doldrum screams: “You won’t take my treasure!” Arcael screams: “Your touch is cold!” The half-gnome dies, the rat swarms disperse, the mephits fukk on off out the roof. They’ve had enough of this place! But the ghost has nowhere to go! It is a fight to the end, but fighting a ghost, it’s all “hit and miss” and a lot more “miss” than “hit”, I can assure you.

In the end, Arcael takes the fatal touch of Kaple to his heart and slumps to the floor, leaving Old Ben, Incendarius and Brandon Kane to chip away at the fading spirit. Eventually, they overcome dreadful undeath, claim the magical weather vein and destroy the body of Kaple, thus destroying forerver its undead form.

Back at Wheatsheaf Lane, a cancellation offers an impromptu gig at the Wheatsheaf Tavern. All the treasure is spent in Raising Arcael from the Dead and there is not enough to restore the rat eaten remains of brave cavalier, Falathar.

Heads hang low, but not too low to see the smiling faces of the citizens of Lower Zobeck who are beginning to look at the new heroes with an extra twinkle in their eyes. Maybe there is something good to being a hero after all……

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Angel of Zobeck

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“Perception! It’s great when you’ve got it, but when you don’t, there’s always luck!” Those may have been Falathar’s thoughts as he took up rear guard position moving through the flooded basement of Kaple’s warehouse and into the tower. A dark and rusty place, the tower. Taurus looked up into the darkness past hideous grotesques and inhuman faces carved in stone and metal. Rusty chains hung from black and ochre platforms at the top of the tower. One of the chains moved, but Old Ben Gone moved quicker still, clanging his magic stinking teeth into the metal of an animated monstrosity, he held the thing at bay, keeping a monstrous metal maw from chomping his friend.

Brandon Kane climbed up to the top and peeped through a hatch to see what lay above the rusting metal platform at the top of the tower and was smacked in the face by the granite like hand of a gargoyle. Incendarius followed his friend up the stairs, Burning Hands at the ready, followed soon by Arcael with his Light and his haughty ways.

The squaking sound of chickens soon betrayed a more dangerous form of bird as two cockatrices attacked Taurus from the rear. Old Ben and Taurus had already demolished the swinging chain, and now, under the attack of the flying creatures, also heard the sound of irritating giggles. “Fukking Mephits!” thought Old Ben, but he had no time for such tomfoolery. Up, up, up he went, now invisible, thanks to the magic of Arcael, and into the top of the tower. A forge burned, and a black angel hung in the air, all metal and gloom. Ben tried and failed to bite it and it retaliated with a powerful wing swipe. Brandon Kane climbed up, again being hit by the Gargoyle that Old Ben hadn’t seen.

Down near the bottom of the stair, cockatrice pecked at the minotaur and a new enemy suddenly appeared. That dastardly Tarnish baddie, Mister Corpulent was firing a crossbow but failed to hit Taurus. Falathar took out his bow, but it was all too quick for him. The arrow caught in the string. Twang! Piercing his own neck in a miraculously impossible accident, he fell off the stair and into the stinking pool below.

Above, with Old Ben engaging the Rusty Angel, Brandon Kane and Incendarius turned to Grief, the Gargoyle, but the cowardly creature flew up through an ivy canopy and into the Zobeck night. Down below, there was the sound of much splashing and even more giggling. “Fukking Mephits again", and Corpulent reloading….and Falathar drowning. The great Arcael moved down the stairs to save the drowning cavalier. Arcael reached the pool, grabbing onto his friend among the deadly breath of Mephits. Taurus was back down in the pool delivering justice to Corpulent, when three rat swarms moved in to attack. Arcael had to move back, and even though Corpulent fell, there was nobody to save the Elfmarked Cavalier from the rats so Arcael moved back up the stair to help his friends against the Angel of Zobeck.

At the bottom of the stair, a bolt whizzed past Taurus’s ear. From the adjacent room, the half gnome, Master Doldrum now declared himself as enemy while distant Mephits giggled in the room next door. With Old Ben, Incendarius and Brandon Kane all knocking lumps out of the Angel of Rust and Metal, Arcael espied the time for a finishing blow and cast a Magic Missile into the eye of the creature, so that it shattered and fell. But horror of horror, in its place stood the ghostly image of Old Kaple himself. Screeching his dismay, the ghost flew toward Arcael, reaching out with its aging touch.

The battle continues next week.

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Downstairs at Erik's

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Erik Kaple had built up a successful and highly mechanised butchery before his death during the great Kaple Warehouse Workers Uprising. The place had been closed up for years but recent murderous goings-on of the “NIGHT –THINGS” led to the old TARNISH workhouse and SCHMIDT HAPPENS were the lead investigators.

Entry into the old building was forced, illegal and very noisy. Inside, the rooms seemed alive with the misguided spirit of the old days and for such a supposedly derelict building, things seemed strangely active. Mechanical hums and whirrs abounded and the old conveyor chain carrying meathooks seemed to be in operation as the minstrels entered the first large room.

On investigation of the moving chain, a NIGHT-THING hurriedly assembled itself and attack Old Ben Gone. Biting with his rancid mouth and grappling like a mad thing, he engaged himself in a struggle to avoid the slow moving meathooks while up above, three giggling and very irritating dust mephits attacked with their breath weapons. Taurus was having none of it, and in collaboration with magic users, Arcael and Incendarius, he attacked, only to scare the mephitis off. Falathar intervened with his huge elven curve blade and soon the workhouse chattel was a NIGHT-THING no more.

Before Brandon Kane could check their intended path, Taurus, now enlarged by Arcael, bashed down a wall and Old Ben moved into a room, immediately falling through a rotten floor into the room below. Once again, the mephits attacked, spewing their sickly dust into the face of the feral gnasher. Soon the rest of the party were jumping down into the floor below to join in the fray. One mephit was killed but the other two fled.

On either side of this room, underground rivers flowed – The Millrace and The Sough – both turning great wheels further down the flow. Further into the room, even more machinery loomed. Rows of huge gullet-like funnels lay under a floor full of heavy machinery. Once more, the party moved forward, and once more, the floor gave way, this time with three members succumbing to rotting wooden floors. Old Ben and Falathar were dextrous enough to save themselves but the heavy Taurus fell straight down into a dark leech filled pool.

With three giant leeches attacking their comrade, the fellowship of adventurous bards weighed in to help, still harried by mephits who were now attacking from above and protecting themselves from missile attack by the use of Windwalls. Into the deep, dark pool they jumped, killing the leeches, and finding a small passage to another room in the dark dank depths of the flooded factory dungeon floor.

Whatever would they encounter next?

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Penny Lane...

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Ah Zobeck! City of dreams! With the clickety-click heels on cobbled stone, the raucous voices of citizens of Lower Zobeck and the endless drone of bagpipes coming from a practice room in number 10 WHEATSHEAF LANE, it is obvious that SCHMIDT HAPPENS are back at HOME!

Arcael, Incendarius, Brandon Kane, Taurus, Falathar and Old Ben Gone mingle with the likes of Carla Siccone, Ellese Callesh, Simon Taylor, Arius Heritage, Charles Cheddar, Gustav Reinke, Jorgen Hirkst, Pai, Tranmus the Tall and Sir Henry de la Zouche.

Cheese is ordered, friendships are cemented, deals are made, suspicions are raised, instruments are honed, shelves are dusted and futures are planned. Party money is counted and found wanting. “Oooh, it’s gonna be hard getting a Wand of Cure Light Wounds with this!”

The gig at The Wheatsheaf Tavern goes down pretty well, with Truman Click doing Ian Anderson proud and Arcael excelling with the voice of an angel. Both Mister Corpulent and Master Doldrum buy the group a round of drinks and Corpulent waves a proposition of some extra earning in the face of the group.

Rumours of the NIGHT-THINGS in THE TARNISH have been getting a bit lively of late, with several citizens being killed in the night, and Corpulent would like to know more. So would Doldrum, it seems, who also offers the team a similar case, claiming Corpulent is not to be trusted.

With two possible deals on the table, the group head out into the TARNISH night to discover an animated collection of metal things stalking the streets of Lower Zobeck. With the origins of a pendant identified at the MOON’S GRACE TEMPLE, all roads seem to lead to KAPLE’s WORKHOUSE, a derelict building and once fine factory belonging to a tyrant who supposedly died many years ago when his oppressed workers revolted.

Two “bashing” attempts at the front door of the place, quickly lead to a forced entry….

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Royal

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With Brandon Kane having successfully saved himself from falling twenty feet onto upturned poison bee stingers after unctiously triggering the trap, another human-like swarm formed on the other side, once again denying them permission to enter deeper into the Honey Queen’s hive. Taurus took Old Ben Gone and threw him like a dwarf over the pit. Decked out now in his newly donned anti swarm suit, the mad cheesemonger withstood the stings and poison of the bees and left the swarm for the party to destroy. A flaming brand waved by the madman did little damage and soon the unassailable bees were chasing the others down the corridor. A wild jump by Falathar was not so successful and he fell into the pit, immediately losing consciousness. Brandon Kane attempted to attack with his Starbright Brooch. Taurus did the same. Both failed and had their royal gifts destroyed.

In the end, attrition and the burning magic of Incendarius were what did it with the bees and the group cut their way through the root filled passages with some mighty waving of Taurus’s axe. The Queen’s chamber showed an entanglement of roots housing a sleeping beauty and incorporating a weird wooded bower fifteen feet in the air. SCHMIDT HAPPENS called out, and a Queen Bee appeared. Not convinced by their false diplomacy and their pleas, the fey-awakened magic-using queen rose onto her bower and prepared to defend herself.

Brandon Kane picked up the sleeping LYLA while Old Ben got onto the bower to challenge the queen. Mass magical entanglement ensued as the party tried to escape the lair with Old Ben falling victim to a Touch of Idiocy administered by the Queen. In the end, Arcael took up poll position with a DIVINELY INSPIRED second plea to the Queen.

“Honey for Jam!” he pleaded. (To be precise, Magical Honey for a Plus Two Ring of Protection) “…and freedom for the girl.” Now, this was not originally part of the Honey Queen’s plan, but somehow the persuasive sorcerer managed to convince her that it was the “RIGHT THING TO DO”, and she let the group leave.

The forest did not attack them on their return, where at the village of Lecova, the group realised the tragedy of young Lyla’s life. Travelling south on the LEYLINE running parallel with GRANDFATHER’S TEARS, the party came up against some dire weasels and discovered the LEYLINE to be locked to an Intensifying Effect (increasing MAX damage by 5 Caster Levels).

Arriving in Zobeck, it seemed work was to continue. In their absence, Von Schmidt’s top man, Sir Henry de la Zouche, had booked them another GIG AT THE WHEATSHEAF TAVERN…..

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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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