Pants Not Required

#5 - This is why we can't have nice things


Our heroes finally settle down for the night and Bandicoot takes the first watch. When morning arrives muffled screaming can be heard. Baer had rolled over Conundrum at some point during it’s watch with Tzeitel. Tzeitel tells him to move and the poor Gnome is released. When they go to turn their attention to making breakfast they see that their collection of food has been torn apart and stolen. Well this begins an argument between Kathra and Tzeitel. When Kathra handed the watch to her the food was fine and now it was gone. Tzeitel swears up and down that she knows nothing about what happened to it. Scathe, wanting nothing to do with people begins gathering berries. Baer finds a river and begins catching fish for the group. It all would have been a lovely meal had Tzeitel cooked it properly. Most of the group ended up with upset stomachs.

Enough of all this! Time to start heading north. Tzeitel bothers the Ranger that had saved them earlier. She asks if he knows the area or how to get to the town they were going to. Not wanting to talk any more he agrees to lead them through the forest, but they will stay off the path in case there are mercenaries waiting for them. As they head out Kathra ties a rope around Conundrum, he’s too easily distracted and will be left behind if he’s not careful. He thinks it’s hilarious, and treats Kathra like a maypole and runs around her. The Ranger figures that including having to stop and gather supplies it will take them two days to reach their destination.

For lunch they make a point of having Conundrum set the fish ablaze until they are charred. Much safer this way. Scather and Tordek however will not part take in anything the small warlock burns. The day is relatively normal. They walk in a group and it is apparent some are annoyed by each others company. The Ranger leading them stays as far ahead as he can and clearly wished he could just loose them. They passed a cave in the afternoon, filled with large animal bones. Not wanting to waste time the group continues on.

As they continue, Kathra hears a snap and then a whirring noise behind her. She jumps into the trees (dragging Conundrum with her) as a net wraps everyone else up and hoists them off the ground a few feet. No one comes out of the forest, so it’s not a trap meant for them. Scathe twists and cuts the top of the net and the drop to the ground. As they attempt to untangle from one another an Elven man walks out towards them. His bow is drawn but he does not seem to want to deal with a fight. Tzeitel talks to him in Elvish, she explains that they mean no harm and are just trying to get through the forest unseen. The Elf shrugs and says that he didn’t expect his trap to grab a group of adventurers. But he did seem quite annoyed at the broken trap. The rest of the group is annoyed that they have no idea what’s going on, except Scathe. He relays the message and then explains that he knows many different languages. The group offers to repair and reset the trap. While beginning to do so the Elf mentions that their is a very large creature in the area killing a lot of the beasts that his village hunts. He offers the group food and supplies in exchange for killing the creature. They agree to do so and are directed back to the cave they had passed some time ago.

After some back tracking the cave still looks dark and full of animal bones. Conundrum sends fire balls towards the back of the cave. At first it lights up nothing but damp cave walls. After the second volley a creature is lit up. A deafen croak reaches them and a giant frog stomps it’s way out of the dark to meet them.

Will our heroes be able to work together to fight this giant creature? Or will Conundrum just set everyone on fire?

#4 - What is this even? I can't...even


As it turns out Sven is not only a brilliant businessman but also an excellent host. As he prepares a very large dinner, the group sits in the next room talking about their next plans and learning a bit about each other. From the tunnels a woman with blueish skin appears before them. Noemi is her name as she too is fleeing the Emperors grasp. Late in the afternoon the group sits down to all the food and booze that Sven has to offer. All prepared by his own hand as most of his servants are gone now. Tordek (the friendly neighbourhood drunken Dwarf) exclaims it is the best booze he has ever consumed! As the meal winds down Sven offers them each a map of the area. He shows them where to go to meet his friend and the rest of the rebellion.

There’s a knock on the door. Sven ducks out of the room and quickly rushes back. He tells the group to jump out the back window NOW. They gather their things and the maps and quickly navigate the halls while Sven goes back to the front door. As they reach the window they hear “You’ll never take me alive!” and against Sven’s wishes they turn and run through the house towards him. In front hall stand Sven with a doorway full of a giant Warforge, he wears the sash of a Guard Captain. Behind him are two slightly smaller Warforge but no less powerful. The group rushes in and tries to take the Warforge by surprise, in the chaos Sven runs across the room, pulls on a candle wall scone and disappears through the floor.

Immediately the Warforge put the hurt on the group. They’ve fought many before but never a Captain with a couple lesser Warforges with him. Fortunately, the smaller Warforges don’t seem to want to break their rank and only attack those who come near enough. The groups new ally Noemi falls unconscious from the Captains terrible arm swinging fury. And Kathra (who had jumped through a window to take on the group) was bleeding badly. Tordek sees all this and begins to run out the back of the house. Kathra is knocked unconscious by a smaller Warforge and is hand cuffed. It picks her up and returns to formation. Down 3 people it’s clear that the group needs to get out. Tzeitel saves Noemi and they both run with Baer guarding them. Tophrick jumps out the window and pulls the Warforge carrying Kathra towards him. He quickly decapitates the Warforge and stomps on it’s head. The Deep Gnome picks Kathra up even though she is almost 3 times his size. Scathe, who has been attacking from the shadows, leaps in and attacks the pursing Warforges. He his knocked unconscious as well as the Captain is very powerful. From the roof tops a ranger jumps down onto the Captain and knocks him to the ground. Baer comes roaring around the corner to help. The hooded ranger picks Scathe up and puts him on Baers back. They make a retreat while the Captain is down.

The group manages to meet up just outside the city walls. The maps Sven had given them lead them to the same road. With two members unconscious and others injured they vote to set up camp within the forest. Warforge programming does not allow them to pursue any criminals beyond the city limits. They walk for a time, it’s slow going with what they carry. They set up camp when they can no longer hear the noise of the city. The ranger who had saved them nodded at Tophrick as they began setting up camp. “Impressive strength you have there” Tophrick looked at him and then realized he was still carrying Kathra on his shoulder. He replied that he had forgotten she was even there. They set up camp, Scathe and Kathra both came to and everyone patched up their wounds. As they sat around the fire they discussed setting up watches. It took sometime as really they had only met no more than two days ago and could anyone really be trusted with protecting strangers while they slept? After it was finally settled they continued talking, apparently they were a talkative bunch. Suddenly a tiny figure comes running out of the bushes. Conundrum, frazzled and panting squeaks at them ’You left me!" he stares wide eyed at them. Tophrick replied “I yelled at you 3 times to put that ice cream down and to come help us with the fight.” The words ice cream put joy on the tiny Gnomes face “IcecreamIcecreamIcecream!” he squeaked as he joined the others.

They’ve made it this far but will the rest of the journey to the rebels be easier? Why does Conundrum keep getting distracted and shouting things? Will they meet some of the Elves from old country near Tzeitel’s home village?

#3 - A Familiar Face


With our group staring down 12 warforges a bunch of half baked plans are created and executed all at once. Tzeitel grabs hold of Bandicoot and sits him on Baer and tells him to lead the way. He of course only just arrived and isn’t sure what’s going on. The warforge get closer. A second story window smashes across the street and a Dwarf falls to the ground. It appears that their new drunken friend was tossed out by a group of Elves for being too wasted (If there was such a thing Kathra thought.) The new Dwarf stood up and he looked at the group, then down the road at the Warforge and back at the group who were caught between fight or flight. Well, he wasn’t going to pass this show up! The pale skinned, dark cloaked Scathe just leaned on the wall of the burning tavern, this was quite entertaining. As Tzeitel is trying to get Baer to move Kathra runs towards the Warforge, she yells, waves her arms and insults their motherboards but they do not seem to notice her. Fed up with that she picks up a barrel and bowls some of them over. That got her noticed. She darted down an alley way as was pursued by two Warforge. What an exciting night this was for Tophrick! He planted his feet to the ground and called forth the elements of the earth and tore up the road between them and the Warforge. Now was the time to run. Scathe slipped away into the shadows and Tzeitel and Baer ran down the road. Bandicoot was running away, shouting about a safe house. The drunken Dwarf looked back at the Warforge stumbling over the rocks and dirt oh this would be a waste of a great opportunity. As the others run he taunts the Warforge and proceeds to moon them.

It doesn’t take long for the group to regather themselves outside a small wooden shack nestled between two buildings within the poorer part of the city. Bandicoot knocks on the door in a rhythm, he is greeted by a giant of a man. Brodrick, the gaurdsman allows them to enter. This hideaway is a tiny shack of a place, it’s dirty, cold and there is plenty broken furniture. In the corner sleeps a man covered in a ragged blanket. Bandicoot explains that there is a tunnel system underneath the building. Both Kathra and the drunken Dwarf perk up, this is the tunnel system used to smuggle booze around the city! Suddenly a frantic knock on the door. A tiny terrified Conundrum stumbles in. He squeaks as he talks of the Warforge patrolling around the area. It’s time to move then. A man comes out from the tunnels, he assumes they are safe enough for now to move through. Brodrick calls up to his dad to pack up. The man covered in a blanket stands up. He’s wearing a good set of leather armour and carries a finely crafted sword at his side. His name is Groat, and he has very little patience for being here. He leads this odd group into the tunnels.

The tunnels are not as cramped as one might think. Only Brodrick the guardsman has issues getting through. Once into the main passages the group sees a number of Dwarves running around and plenty of barrels of ale stocked up along the walls. As they go down the passage to their destination both the drunken Dwarf and Kathra take it upon themselves to test the quality of the booze flowing through this tunnel. Many Dwarves nod in approval to the drunkard who carries a barrel on his shoulder the whole way.

Hours pass and after many twists, turns and different passages they end up in a fancy cellar. It’s filled with fine dried foods and plenty of cheese. They walk up the stairs and end up in a fancy sitting room where are a table a Dwarf is sitting drinking a mid-morning tea. He greets them kindly as the pile into the room. He introduces himself as Sven Ironhammer, once a proud businessman of the country of Sador. Since Guildport has come under such restrictions his business has been severely hurt and he’s been trying to find ways around the Emperor. He tells the group of a small city north of Guildport. Filled with adventure, danger, work and a group trying to start a rebellion. They need to overthrow this Emperor and it needs to happen soon. Tzeitel recognizes the city, it’s near her old village. The group decides to wait until nightfall before leaving, chances were that the Warforges were still patrolling even now that the sun has risen.

What might our group find in the new city? Just how strong has this underground rebellion against the Emperor gotten? Who in the stone is this new drunken Dwarf?

#2 - What is even happening here?!


After an evening of trying to rebel at the Citadel our new heroes settle into their rooms at the inn (or under the bar, whichever). During the night Tzeitel awakes to a strange noise coming from the hallway. When she looks out a City Warforge is standing there. It tells her to come with it to the prison to be charged with crimes against the crown. She questions the Warforge as she and her bear walk into the hallway, it again tells her to surrender. When she refuses her bear roars loud enough to shake the others out of their sleep. Kathra and Tophrick wake up in the tavern and run upstairs to find the Warforge. Conundrum stumbles out of his room to see what’s going on. Kathra shakes her ax at the Warforge and refuses to go without a fight. Turns out the Warforge is quite happy with fighting them, well as happy as a robot could be.

For a time the battle goes well. The group appears to have little effort fighting the giant machine, that is until it starts to whistle and steam pours from it. It spins and heavily damages the group. Having had enough of not knowing what that noise is a cloaked figure appears out of one of the rooms. He joins in on the fight. While evading the Warforges powerful attacks, Tophrick notices that this Warforge has an insignia on it’s cloth guard uniform, it would appear that this Warforge carries a title.

The battle carries on, the Warforge makes another sweeping attack at the group, again hurting some severely. It heals itself slightly, but it is not enough when Kathra makes a final heavy blow, slicing the Warforge’s head from it’s neck. With the battle over the group takes a moment to look over this cloaked stranger who helped them. His blueish skin and piercing red eyes make him a terrifying sight. He would not tell them much but in the future he would be known as Scathe.

Kathra, sick of this Warforge bullshit, walks back down stairs only to find 2 more golems standing by the door. She calls to the others and then goes to sit at the bar. Tzeitel wanders down and starts asking the guards questions. They do not respond. She grabs their attention when she mentions the destruction of the golem upstairs. AS they are distracted Tophrick, ready for another fight, throws a lightening hammer at one golem and charges the other. Another fight breaks out, this Warforges are not as powerful but they still hurt the group, knocking Tophrick unconscious. As Tzeitel tends to his wounds Kathra finished the pie she was eating and jumps into the fight. The new cloaked party member casts blood magic of sorts, damaging the inner workings of the machines. Back on his feet Tophrick stands firm and uses the power of the earth to knock the Warforges off balance while Conundrum sets everything on fire.

As the last Warforge collapses the group looks at the destruction they’ve caused. Clearly it’s time to leave the city. Bandicoot conveniently shows up late. He looks around and agrees that it’s time to head out of the city and meet his friend. As they exit the tavern they see 12 Warforges walking up the street towards them.

Will our group fight more Warforges unnecessarily? Will they ever not answer every problem with their weapons? Tune in and found out.

#39 - Everything is awesome! / #1 - They took our jobs!


Our heroes! They can actually be called that now that the undead dracolich is dead. Tired and bloodied they walk their way out of the cave and then fly back up the long tunnel. Outside it is clear that the undead dragonborn took their strength from the dragon. They now all lie dead in the sand and the Warforge have started marching back towards the city in formation. The Shardmind leader congratulates the group on their success, he declares that when they reach the city drinks are on the Emperor! Some of the group get back on to the Ax(e) of Justification for a rest and to heal up. Bane and Arabella both walk with the army. Bane asks the Shardmind how old it is, looking to see if he was one of the Shardminds in the vision of the past they had had weeks ago in the temple. The Shardmind declared he was old enough to have seen many things change, and not much else was spoken.

That afternoon they arrive back in the City of Dodge. The Shardmind accompanies Null in bringing the bodies of Peter and Arlen to the temple. He demands that the temple resurrects these heroes of the land, and they oblige. Null stays behind at the temple to wait for her shipmates return. The Shardmind takes the rest of the crew to the Tavern and kicks all other patrons out. Today is the day of our heroes, and today they shall drink until the believe they are body swapped again! The Captain runs in like his beard is on fire! Tonight he begins with a light drink, he settles himself under the light ale barrel and begins drinking from the tap.

A few hours have passed and both Peter and Arlen have been resurrected. The Priest instructs that they should take it easy and really shouldn’t be drinking tonight. The pair are more than happy enough to be alive, if a bit groggy. As they walk to the Tavern, Null fills them in on what happened. The sun sets as they arrive at the tavern to see the party well under way. Bashanu has begun doing the running man in the middle of the tavern. The heavy footfalls of a nearly 8 foot rock man shakes everyone to the ground. Almon is overwhelmed with emotion as he runs to his brother, the pair begin a joyful conversation in elvish as the go to sit in a corner. Peter and Null join with the rest, Null settles in a begins drinking a bottle of whiskey from behind the bar. It doesn’t take much (well, maybe half the bottle) before she’s jumped on the table and begins shouting out joyous, foot stomping tavern songs. As the group gets louder and louder and tiny little gnome begins running in around the crowd. Ellie Joybell has made a new recipe for this celebration! Soup brings warmth to everyone, and cake is for celebrations and happy times so naturally Ellie made a vanilla cake soup, with sprinkles! More drunk than anything the crowd happily eats the odd dish.

As the night winds down many of the terrible parts of the last year are forgotten. Our heroes finally have a chance to do nothing. For now the world doesn’t have to live under threat of a dragon, but a silent threat has been growing in Guild Port. This is where our story moves to.

A few weeks after our first group of heroes took off for Dragon Port, another group of would be heroes have gathered to make a stand. In one of the inns a large group of adventurers have gathered.

The Emperor of Sador has complete control over the country. With his army of metal, arcane, and science in the form of a golem marches into every major city without warning. Each force is lead by a Shardmind general wearing the official symbols of the Emperor, they move in and replace all the guards with few exceptions. With the recent Dragon threat the population isn’t alarmed and welcome the extra protection. A few weeks pass and more changes come into place. Curfews, for keeping people off the streets after midnight. They crack down on crime and immediately take out much of the high profile crime organizations that have been threatening the civilians. It was a golden age for many cities, but it wasn’t to last.

Taxes quickly climbed as the Emperor needed more coin to keep his army in place. Alcohol was quickly banned to keep the population productive. Many outraged Dwarves began using an underground tunnel system to move kegs around. Those that were caught were hung or left in the stocks to rot. Among all this chaos a new law came into place. Any adventurer looking for work must be signed up with the new Adventurers guild, those not apart of the guild could be heavily fined or worse. Weeks pass and many people are out of work, the guild does not help anyone find a job and those that do are heavily fined with taxes.

Back to the inn. A large group of unemployed adventurers have been rallied together by Bandicoot Crispysnitch, a fellow adventurer with a stupidly insane name. He begins collecting signatures for a petition to take to the Emperor. As he makes the rounds a small Deep Gnome named Tophrick approaches him. He asks about this odd piece of magic paper, and how it will even help the adventurers cause. Bandicoot isn’t sure what he means. A dwarf, clearly an ex-guard of the city, stumbles over. She tells Tophrick that if they take this magic paper to the Emperor on the full moon he’ll change the laws! clearly she isn’t quite buying the petition either, but she signs any ways. Tophrick is more confused than ever, he doesn’t know what a moon is! Kathra, our disgruntled Dwarf tries the impossible with explaining what the moon is. A small Gnome Warlock engulfed in red robes named Conundrum joins in. It is a sight to see these adventurers. Even more so when a Half-Elf, named Tzeitel from old country joins them, she and her bear are new to the area and cannot figure out why the city is making it so hard to find a job.

They all eventually sign the petition, (including the bear) and lead by Bandicoot, they march on the Citadel. At the gates they are greeted by two very large Warforge. A shardmind walks through the gates towards them. He looks at the petition and immediately rips it in half and tells them to leave. Well, there goes the magic paper.

Most of the group turns back as the Warforge begin walking towards them. Tophrick, not liking these surface beings does not take kindly to being pushed. He takes a swing at the Warforge and all underdark breaks loose. Kathra also joins in but isn’t much use. Fighting begins breaking out everywhere and more Warforge are called in. The group scatters and Tzeitel jumps on her bear and rides off. Later in the evening, the small new group reunites at the inn. They decide on a new plan. They’ll make their own Guild, with blackjack and hookers! No…no that will not happen. They will make their own Guild and will travel to some of the outer cities were more jobs can be found.

Will our new group actually find new jobs? Will they gather more to their cause? Will I actually remember to type this story out on time? Tune in a find out!

#38 - All Terrors Come to an End.


This is the end. Our heroes either defeat the Undead Dracolich or they die. A quick arcana check from Bowan reveals that the area is covered in powerful magic, he cannot find focus on the dragon. Our heroes keep to the roof and silently plan their next move. Bowan believes he can sense the dragons phylacteries across a large gap further into the dragons lair. With this knowledge Arabella sneaks long the roof line, crossing the gap and scouting the other side. She finds a few items just scattered about; a sword, a lock box and a glass orb. It is unclear which could be the phylactery. She signals that Bowan should come across. Bashanu, carrying Bowan, sneaks around the edge of the cave roof. Meanwhile trusty Pylon has been sent as a distraction just in case. As the two near the gap the dragon spots Pylon and quickly shatters the poor robotic. Fearing the two would be spotted Bane charges at the Dragon after dropping Null safely to the ground.

Back across the gap Arabella picks up the glass orb out of curiosity. Suddenly her mind is attacked by a powerful being, she struggles to maintain control of her own body. Bashanu and Bowan arrive and Arabella lashes out at them, dropping the orb. Bowan begins to look over the items, finding the phylactery was top priority. Arabella continues to struggle against her own mind, but has just enough control to not do serious damage.

Null steps out from behind a pillar and calls forth the force of thunder. The blast is strong enough to push the dragon into a pillar of the cave with a loud crack. The dragon stumbles to right itself and uses magic to pull Bane and Bashanu towards him. He proceeds to take a bite at Bane and manages to sink its teeth in.

Bowan takes the glowing hammer he received from the gods in a vision and smashes the glass orb. The hammer glows bright blue and has massive recoil. The dragon does not appear to be affected.

The fight continues for some time when suddenly the dragon turns to mist and moves rapidly across the gap after the group trying to destroy the items. The team continues to attack the dragon and manage to pull it out over the gap. It must maintain flight and fight them. The dragon struggles and claws at the cliff side. Its life force appears to be failing. Suddenly it sends out a blast of magic that steals life force from our heroes. As it is distracted by gaining life, Bowan destroys the sword and the lock box, the dragon roars and is engulfed in blue flames. It is not dead yet but our heroes, while also heavily damaged, now have an advantage.

With most of the battle taking place across the gap, Null thought she might be safe staying at maximum range. She should have known by this point that the gods really hate her. An undead dragonborn leader and his minions walk in from the hallway. Null turns and is harpooned by the minions. She yells at the gods ‘But whhhhhyyyy!" She begins her journey to the other side of the cavern to join the others. Arabella turns the ground into deadly vines around the dragonborn and it’s minions and they struggle to keep up. The leader charges after Null but she levitates into the air and causes confusion to the undead creature.

The dragon is back on land and is continuing to fight off the group, but it is near death. It shatters the dragonborn and its minions, as if to gain their energy. It then pulls in half of the group, but the life force it drains from them is not enough. Bowan, taking his mighty hammer smashes the dragons skull, shattering it.

And that is it. The dragon is no more. Our heroes stand in the middle of piles of rubble and dead creatures. Who would have thought that a mere 10 months ago they had not even known each others names. And here they were, a team, a mismatched and not fully trusted team, but a team none the less. Now it was time to wrap up things on the over world. There were crew mates to revive and lots of drinking to be had.

Tune in next time as the group prepares for a well earned break! And what’s this? A new group of heroes has appeared in Guildport?

#37 - Sneaky sneaking


Our heroes are still aboard the Ax(e) of Justification. With the dead and injured taken care of the group takes a small rest. During this time Bowan makes four modified depth charges, and Bane swoops around the undead army causing a distraction so that the Warforges can continue destroying the army. While it is very chaotic, the Warforge are clearly winning this battle.

Later, with depth charges in tow. The group enters the temple and peers down the pit. It is still full of darkness. They drop a single charge down and wait. Nothing. No flash, no sound, just empty darkness. Arabella takes a careful quick flight down to the bottom. Some time passes and the heroes up top begin to wonder what is happening. Then they hear a tiny scream telling them to drop a charge. As Arabella flies up the charge falls down. And once again, there is nothing. Arabella explains that there are a large number of undead Dragonborn down there. The group decides on an interesting idea. Bane would carry Null, Bashanu would carry Bowan and with Arabella they would all slowly descend down the pit.

When they reach the opening to the cave system and the end of the tunnel they find a large lake of water, this is where the charges were landing and it was the very reason why they didn’t hear from them. The group could see some Dragonborn but they had not yet been seen. The decided to continue onwards along the ceiling of the cave, they should be able to pass unseen. As they silently move Null is a little unsettled by the fact that this cave system looks strongly similar to the Underdark, the place she used to call home. If this was a distant branch of the Underdark she hoped that her banished state would not be noticed here for the Drow do not take kindly to those they considered lost to them.

Arabella leads the group over the Dragonborn towards where she had heard some heavy breathing earlier. They continued into another room where more Dragonborn were waiting around on the floor. Still unseen they passed into another hallway. This is as far as Arabella got before. After some time they came to a fork in the road. Being in no immediate danger, they took the time to study the air of both paths. They took the one that smelled more of undead dragon then wet caves. After a while longer the hall opens into another room and the group quietly peers around the corner. In the darkness they can see the glowing eyes of the dragon. They back up, and discuss their plan. It would be foolish to try and bait the dragon back outside as none of them could outrun it, but could they really risk fighting it here? The group would have to think fast, they would not go unnoticed for long!

Are our heroes strong enough? What other secrets lie in this cave?

#36 - Death and Destruction


Our heroes had mere moments to rest up before a great howling roar came out of the clouds. Two dragons descended upon them. Bowan ready for anything, checked the arcana powers to see what he could learn. But his power was too great. For a brief moment he could see beyond their world, he could see statistics scratched on some paper. One a Stoneborn Dracolich. Vulnerable to most elements but strong against necrotic damage. It couldn’t move fast, but it’s armour was powerful. The other a Skeletal Black Dragon. Made of evil it could resist acid and necrotic damage but was vulnerable to the radiant powers. It was strong and sturdy but it’s mind had gone to dust. Back in his own mind, Bowan shared the useful information and out tired heroes and crew prepared for battle.

Both dragons slammed into the side of the ship and latched on with powerful claws. Helor ran around and commanded the crew to fire all canons at the bellies of the beasts. The dragons clawed at the canons and the side of the ship. Damaging anyone they could reach. For a time, the battle went well. The upper deck was chaotic as crew members who weren’t battling were running back and forth repairing the ship under Okle’s command. Arabella propped herself up in the crows nest and sent arrows raining down on the dragons. As projectiles flew and weapons clashed with rotting flesh and bone the Skeletal dragon lurched back and spat a pool of acid in the middle of the ship. Some of the heroes were injured but Mizra and Kenneth both took the brunt of the blast and were severely burned. Flesh melted and their screams halted most of the crew in their place. Revealed by acid, the crew learned that Mizra was actually a man in drag. Some wished they had more of chance to get to know these two. As they withered away, so did some of the morale. But our heroes, the very picture of bravery sung in old bard tales did not falter.

The battle continued to rage the group was powerful indeed. Greyland whom they only just brought on board mere days ago was enjoying the chaos. His dual wielding abilities were such a sight. He ran straight for the dragons and dealt considerable damage for someone who up until now seemed like he had not seen many battles before. Bashanu wielding his great wrench smashed the Skeletal dragon in the face with such a force it’s skull exploded. As the Skeletal dragon fell to the ground below, the group turned it’s energy in full force at the Stoneborn. Bane taking full advantage of his ability, flew around the Stoneborn and cut away at it’s weak points. Not to be out done the Stoneborn revealed a very deadly trick. It focused it’s energy inward and then, in a sudden burst it shattered the whole deck sharp stone and bone shards. Nearly everyone was badly injured. Peter the Cleric who had saved a number of lives on this crew was riddled with the shards. Dead before he fell, Null watched in horror as she saw her human friend collapsed in the chaos. Rage filled her, but with her powers mostly depleted after fighting two dragons already she could do not but scream in frustration at the god who have brought this upon them.

As the heroes try to rally the morale and keep the fight going the Stoneborn changes. It’s skin becomes spikey with bone spikes and it’s eyes darken into blackness. As it raises up and looks upon them most of the crew is knocked prone from fright and an attack on their mind. While the crew is in a daze from the death and destruction around them the Stoneborn launches a massive necrotic blast. No one is free from it’s power. It weakens them, it sends those closest to the blast down in a fit burning, poisonous pain. As most of the crew lies on the deck Greyland goes on the offensive. He will not see others die while he still stands. He launches himself at the dragon and in a flurry of blades and bellowing he destroys the dragon. As it spirals to the ground those who are still conscious look around. The ship has taken heavy damage. The acid has eaten through the top deck, everything else is covered in shards. The crew, is broken. Many struggle to stand. Almon crawls over to his brother who is having a fit from the necrotic poison he’s taken. He whispers in Elven as his brother falls still. Bright blue eyes glazed over looking at nothing. Null falls to her knees at Peters corpse. Shaking, sobbing, cursing most of the crew can’t understand what she says. The voice of the bard is lost and many only pick up a word or two of what she says. As the crew tend to the wounded there is talk of resurrecting those they lost. There is power among the heroes to do it, they just need the right ritual. Maybe even the temple of the sun gods in the City of Dodge could bring Peter back. He was one of their most devout followers, surely they would at least try.

Will our heroes recover? How will they fair in the next fight when they go after the Risen dragon that started all of this?

#35 - (Over) Confidence is key


The real world is very dim compared to the bright light of the void our heroes were just in. They turn and look each other over seeing that they all have had some encounter with a god. Null plucks at Banes leathery new wings. “I knew you were not a real Dwarf, but I never quite knew what you actually were. These..” as she moves the right wing around “are surprising to say the least. Care to explain?” That’s it now. Bane confesses that he was indeed not born as a Dwarf, but reborn as one. The others had their suspicions that Bane had more than a casual interest in the Dragon Born, turns out he was one, in a past life. He summarizes the events of his death and rebirth as a Dwarf revenant. This was of course orchestrated by the Raven Queen, who always has a knack for messing with things she shouldn’t. After the Coles Notes of his story (Cole being the 3rd disciple of Bob Saget, who wrote Holy Texts telling of the Dragon Wars and their destruction of many things) Bane suggests that maybe they continue looking into the Temple. Null, not quite done yet, attempts to rename the Dwarf….not a Dwarf any more, he is now Dwargon Born! Ha! Ahh..ok they look into the temple. There isn’t much to see, only a very large hole in the middle of the floor. Arabella expecting to float someone down to the bottom sees that really it isn’t necessary any more. Bashanu has the ability to change gravity around him and walks down the side of the hole. Bane has his new wings and he glides around. Null, well she can levitate for a bit, but this drop is much higher than she can maintain her power. She leaves it up to fate and jumps into the pit hoping to stop herself near the bottom. As they fly/walk/fall their way down they hear a grumbling, a roar and then the bottom of the pit lights up in fire. Arabella and Bashanu turn around right away. Bane swoops in after Null, who has used her levitation to stop her fall, and he grabs her and flies out as quickly as possible as a jet of fire races up after them. Safely at the side of the pit they see that the fire jet has bursts its way through the top of the temple. Suddenly it stops, and a very large being flies up and out of the temple from the pit. They race outside. Atop the temple is a mighty undead dragon, its face half rotted and necrotic magic radiating from it’s body. The warforge surrounding the city open fire with their crossbow fists. The dragon is impaled by many bolts but appears unphased as it swoops around and crushes half the circle.

Meanwhile, the group have taken to the streets and are chasing the dragon down. Bane yells at the dragon. He yells an insult in Draconic and spreads his wings in a threatening manner (and smacks Null in the face because he isn’t use to the space he needs now.) After a quick recovery Null tells of the tales and songs she knows of this dragon. This is a Dracolich, like an lich it is tied phylactery. An object that must be found and destroyed before the Dracolich can be felled. This is the very dragon they heard roar back in the sewer system of Dragon Port when Vico Vicario raised enough energy to give it life. Bane pulls out the sword he has carried since that day. The Dragon Born spirit inside is disturbed by these events. He asks if it is the phylactery they seek. It is not, however he does have knowledge on this dragon, but seems unwilling to tell it. If the need had not been so great and if they were not starring down a dragon that was tossing Warforge around like they were nothing Bane might have taking a bit more time in convincing the Dragon Born to help. But that was not the case. “Listen to me you scale-less sack of garbage! You better tell me what you know or so help me I will snap this sword and you in half!” The Dragon Born pauses for a moment and tells that the dracolich can also raise the dead (as they once saw in Dragon Falls) it can even raise other dragons. It still seems shifty though, Bane knows it’s still hiding information. Null amused by the fact that Bane appeared to be arguing in his head offers to lend her voice to his. Bane holds out the sword and Null places a hand on it. She breaks it’s defences down and finds the spirit inside. “Listen” she growls “If you do not tell us what you know then we will all die. Do you think that there aren’t others who would use your powers to further the dragons rein?” This appears to help. The spirit tells of his past. He used to be a Commander of the Dragon Worshippers armies, however he no longer agrees with those views and does not wish to see them rise to power again. He says that this dragon can easily raise the other dragons from their graves, which is why it was brought back first.

Back to the real world. The Warforge are still fighting a losing battle with the dragon. As the heroes run towards it they start taking shots, not that they have much effect from here. The Dragon is not pleased to see more intruders. He takes flight and breathes a necrotic fire upon them. As it goes to breathe again something catches it’s eye. It roars to it’s right as a canon ball smashes into its side. The Ax(e) of Justification comes sailing over the ruins, the Captain at the front of the ship yelling about the dragons mother. The Dragon flies up and after the ship. The heroes begin running/flying to the ship and the dragon scratches at it’s hull while taking canons to the face. Bjarn pulls Bashanu up the side and he joins in the fight. Arabella and Bane fly up and hit the dragon as the can. Null is pulled up by Bjarn as well and finally the whole crew is together. The rally together and fight with all they have. Canons, magic, arrows. All pelt the dragon as it furiously tries to take them down. After some time and a show of our heroes great new powers the dragon begins to fall. When it lands on the ground it rears up and roars a deafening sound. In the distance, other dragon roars can be heard. It takes one turn and flies off to the temple and back down the pit. For now our heroes have a chance to rest.

Will our heroes chase the dragon down? Will it be more dangerous to them when they don’t have a super awesome flying ship? Probably!

#34 - New phenomenal cosmic powers!


The City of Dodge has returned to normal it seems. All Warforge have returned to their posts and our heroes give up this plan to capture one for now. They head back to the ship and many go to sleep or to meditate for the night. Bowan however begins the long process of harnessing the power of the crystal to power a new engine to help the Ax(e) of Justification to fly.

In the early hours of the morning those of crew who need not sleep heard the sounds of heavy marching. Bowan rings the dinner bell to alert the rest of the crew. From the ship they can’t see much but a large cloud of dust forming on the other side of the city. Arabella flies off with Magpie to scout out the area. She spies the Warforge all marching in formation out of the city, lead by the Shardmind. In the entire city only 12 Warforges remain at key points. She returns to the ship to relay the news and the group decides to chase after them to see where they are going. A force that large must be heading for a great threat. Bowan remains behind as he doesn’t want to leave the ship mid-upgrade.

As our heroes reach the other side of the city and the begin crossing the desert they realize that the army is heading in the general direction of the newly awakened dragon. Our heroes only have a vague idea of where it is and how strong it might be, but they know that they’ll need help. They catch up to the front of the army to speak with the Shardmind. They offer their help as they do not wish to see anther city and thousands of innocents die because of this unnamed dragon. The Shardmind is shocked that they would know of the dragon, while there was evidence of a dragon burning down Dragon Falls and raising the dead it was never spotted. The heroes don’t tell the Shardmind of their dealings with Vico Vicarrio and how their own power might have been what awoken the beast. The shardmind welcomes their help and the army marches onward.

Hours later when the sun has risen quite high the army spots a large ruined city in the desert. It’s difficult to tell what culture it is because of the damage and ageing the structures have gone through. The Warforge spread out and encircle the ruins as best they can. In the middle of the ruined city is a large building, it has no windows and only a single door on the side facing the group. Arabella flies over to investigate on her own.

An hour passes and the others are worried what might have happened to Arabella. They go to the building. They stand before the door, nothing can be seen inside and their is no sound but the wind. They enter one at a time, weapons drawn. As they step over the threshold their vision goes white.

Within the void she floats Null awakens to see a figure in the distance. As her vision comes into focus the Raven Queen becomes clear. Null silently curses to herself as the Goddess approaches gliding through nothingness. “I know that you seem to resent me for opening your eyes but I’m vouching for you when other gods would not.” The Raven Queen says. “I know you are crucial to defeating the dragon and will need help doing so. I’m offering you the strength to help defeat the dragon, no strings attached” Null snorts. “There are always strings attached to such deals. Nothing is Free” The goddess is unphased “I know you have not found a deity to offer your prayers yet, I offer the strength to continue willing” Null falls silent. So much has changed within her over the months, and even more so since she was cast from the Underdark. After some time she speaks. “I know I am lost, I am confused. I…I will not turn down this help, I would not see this world destroyed. I will not cast it aside as I was.” The Raven Queen smilies. “Excellent, also to put you at ease the safety and restoration of order is the only strings attached.” As Null goes to respond with “I knew there were strings” she feels a great power. It is from within her mind, new ideas, strength, purpose. As the power begins to become to much thunder cracks from with in the void, Null hears it, she sees it. The power it commands and the deadly beauty. Her voice is now a weapon, used to force foes to their knees. But also a comfort. Comfort in knowing that even storms bring life to the earth.

The void falls silent.
The following is the recollection of these events from our heroes. Time has passed and some of the memory maybe hazy.

Bane finds himself standing in Nothing-ness, he immediately realizes he’s been called before the Raven Queen once more, he kneels, saying “My lady.” The Raven Queen says, “I sensed you and your companions were about to confront the dragon, you are not yet powerful enough, but the time to defeat the dragon is now. I shall give you the power you need to defeat the dragon.” Bane says, “Thank you my lady, is this what happened to the p- Arabella?” The Raven Queen responds, “Yes, I have asked for the aid of some other beings to lend the others powers.” “What about Null, considering she lost her faith?” Bane asks. The Raven Queen replies “Since no-one else would, I have given her power, no strings attached,” Bane keeps a blank face to try and hide his disbelief about the lack of strings. Bane says “You must especially want this dragon destroyed, since it fights against you power.” The Raven Queen responds “Yes, I have felt myself growing weaker the longer the dragon lives.” Bane is concerned about that, as he wonders what would happen to him should the power of the Raven Queen fail, but he stands and declares “We will not fail you my lady, we will destroy this dragon.” The Raven Queen smiles, and responds “I know you will,” she waves a hand at Bane, and he feels something on his back as he grows taller.

Arabella opened her eyes to see a forest around her. This was the Fey wasn’t it? Arabella had not been there before, but she had heard tales. Before she could look closer at the bending trees she was confronted by a graceful glowing light. The light turned into Faeire, one much larger than Arabella. This being was beautiful. Glowing gossamer wings, a shimmering perfect complexion and shockingly bright blue eyes that match the diamonds of the wand she carried. Arabella greeted her with a slight bow. “Hello Arabella.” The Faerie glided towards her “I am Titania, Goddess of the Fey, deity of friendship and magic. Mortals do not often see my domain, but sometimes exceptions are needed.” She stopped before Arabella, who then smiled. “Wonderful,” she said “I have been thinking I should get one of those deity things.” Titania turned slightly and look about her kingdom. “My dear I would not be the Goddess for you. You have similar qualities to my sister. The Queen of air and darkness. She also enjoys such things as illusions, darkness..” She side glanced at Arabella “..murder.” Arabella shifted back a bit “Oh, I’ll go see her then.” Titania held up a hand “No need, I am speaking to you on behalf of us both.” Her face showed no sign of stress or worry but it was clear in her voice “There is a great threat from the dragon you seek. It must be brought down and you will need help bringing the balance back to your realm.” Arabella lit up “So there is a dragon here!” She exclaimed. “What’s your sisters name? I must know.” The Goddess looked through Arabella’s eyes “Yes there is a dragon, and you nor your party are ready to face him but he must be confronted now before it is too late.” She considers for a moment “As for my sister, you need not know more than she is the Queen of air and darkness.” Arabella shutters with excitement “I will graciously accept your gift.” Titania drifts back from Arabella and smiles. “Good. You do your world a great service.” as she nods another Faerie appears. Pale, with angular features and the darkest blood red eyes one has ever seen. She is beautiful, but hers is a terrible, eldritch beauty that chills Arabella to the bone. She floats there beside her sister and is cold and utterly emotionless This is the Queen of air and darkness. As if on cue they both begin chanting. Arabella feels like the chanting is coming from inside her head. Powerful magic begins to course through her veins and even her wings pluse with energy. She is shocked at first but quickly grows accustomed to the power. She begins to see things with great clarity, noticing every detail of the trees around her and every sound the Fey forest makes. As quickly as it started the Fey fades into nothingness.


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