Tablets of Fate

Into the Swamplands
Searching for Lizardmen

The rest of the group (now numbering 5: Korog, Sinbrena, Taliyana, Biff, and Tosh) wrapped up their business, packed up some supplies, and headed off back to the Eastern swamplands to pursue the clue about the next tablet. They brought Bill the horse, Rocky the tressym, Sylas the worg, Dusty the young air elemental, and Max the djinn.

They hiked up out of the canyon, and proceeded West straight out into the swamps, South of their previous path along the river. After a couple days of trudging through sludge, suddenly two jungle giants spring an ambush! Bill was killed and Sinbreena was seriously wounded, but the party prevailed.

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Face Your Feyr
Plumbing the Depths

Before meeting with the Council, the party decided to deal with the impending environmental crisis and collected the gnome inventor and his depth charge (the “Enema”) from hiding. They headed down to the Erid Butthole, constructed a make-shift bunker out of debris, and deployed the Enema.

BOOM! A massive bubble burst from the toxic waste pit, spattering the area with foul slime. Out slithered a Greater Feyr: a writhing, amorphous distillation of all the hate, fear, and hopelessness of New Eridell’s downtrodden citizens. Its baleful eyes beamed concentrated waves of terror and despair this way and that. It was the most abhorrent thing Korog had ever seen, and he immediately turned tail and fled. Sinbreena, too, hastily retreated, but then began summoning goblins into the fray. Biff, however, roared and leapt forward over the barrier into battle, hacking and chopping even as the thing’s loathsome tentacles snapped around his limbs. Murdock let arrow after arrow fly, most bouncing off the thing’s rubbery skin, as Tailyana flew overhead launching magical salvos to little effect. Tosh hunkered down, praying furiously for Petraeus’s influence to mess with the being’s composition. Eventually, Korog rallied and came charging back with a flurry of blows; Sinbreena, too, charged; Taliyana slew lesser monsters emerging from the muck; Biff hacked off tentacles trying to violate him; Murdock kept “firing” arrows; Tosh grew to Doublin’ stature in size and in confidence, and dove headlong into the Feyr’s mouth to drain its very life force from within as everyone else just kept assailing it from without! Finally its spirit was overcome and it deflated, its negativity fading in the indomitable light of the party’s courage and fellowship. The toxic sludge gurgled as it receded back down into the pit.

Now having some legitimacy as the Saviors of the City, the party cleaned up and went back to the protests outside of the capitol building to treat with the Council. Just in time, too, as Drizzimmy was once again attempting to incite the crowd to violence, and Vladius would have been only too happy to have the Guard respond in kind. Taliyana quickly tazed him unconscious.

Vladius then escorted the party, along with Chomski and a few of the rabble, into a closed-door meeting with the Council. After some heated negotiations, they agreed to some modest concessions for the workers and a seat for Chomski on the Council to represent them. They also rewarded the party for averting a toxic waste disaster, by granting them a mansion estate on the upper level of the city, and lots of money. They took the money but donated the mansion to Chomski, to turn into a commune / union hall for the workers. Most of the party used the money to upgrade their equipment, and Tosh planted a seed-church among the newly nomadic Hin tribe while Sinbreena donated the Hedge Wizard’s magic seeds to to the new nomadic Hin (and traded her Sickle of the Harvest for a Ring of Sustenance.)

In the ensuing days, Murdock and Gortas mingled with the undercity’s rogueish elements. They found employment, filling several vacancies in the Theives’ Guild resulting from the riots and political upheaval. Ironblood found people listening to what he had to say in the drinkholes and slophouses of the Shantytown, and soon he had a following calling him guru. He decided to stay and minister to his diverse humanoid flock.

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The Hedge Wizard
Radical Revolutionaries and Eco-Terrorists

Sinbreena discovered a secret hatch underneath the bar. A passage led to another structure, in which the party met Haakma the beastman and Peero the hin. The two were firming up a pact between their respective terrorist organizations, The Wild and Dondella Revani. They asked the party to assassinate a corrupt druid-turned-agromancer, nick-named “The Hedge Wizard,” who’s been terraforming the lush Eastern forests into flat farmland to feed New Eridell’s expanding population (and in the process displacing Hin villages, too). The party agreed if, in exchange, the terrorists would disrupt New Eridell’s food convoys in order to increase unrest among the masses (and provide Murdock with a Hin prostitute).

Then the party set off to find the Hedge Wizard. His keep was in the center of a small but dense forest on the edge of the Bread Basket, and was defended by a number of ferocious plants. Although Korog was nearly devoured by a man-eating tree, the party managed to subdue the foliage. Sinbreena infiltrated the door-less tower in wraithform, and with Taliyana’s and Dusty’s help, fought and killed the Hedge Wizard before discovering that he had become trapped in his own tower when his plants turned against him.

Having left the Tower of the Hedge Wizard a smoking ruin, the party returned to New Eridell. On the edge of town, Taliyana released am experimental Bird Flu into the crow population, to deteriorate their vision and hinder the surveillance of Vladius, the Master of Murders.

As they entered the lower levels of the city, the party observed that tensions were high. As promised, Peero and Haakma had hijacked food supplies and struck at granaries. Drizzimmy was riling up the workers, but Taliyana intimidated him into silence for the time being…

The gnome Chomski furiously confronts the party over their involvement with terrorist activities, claiming violence will undermine the legitimacy of the workers’ cause. They mollify him by giving him the stolen food supplies to distribute, and occupy him with the task of preparing to make demands of the Ruling Council. Meanwhile, Tosh attracts a crowd of Hinfolk and preaches the virtues of a nomadic lifestlye, changing their perspective on losing their villages.

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Sludge-A-Palooza
"Fun Rock and Roll... to Unblock Our Hole!"

They then put on the concert event, Sludgeapalooza: Unblock Our Hole, drawing a crowd of thousands and raising almost half the money required to build the depth charge. Illiana and her band rocked hard, and Sinbreena provided illusory pyrotechnics, but suddenly a REAL fireball detonated on stage, incinerating Illiana along with several band members! The party captured a couple of suspicious half-ogres in the crowd, and dragged them to the lip of the Butthole to interrogate them before tossing them down. They claimed to be working for the Merchants’ Guild, but were just supposed to crack a few skulls, not blow up the whole stage…

The party goes to confront the Merchants’ Guild. In their executive council chambers, Taliyana strong-arms them into agreeing to paying for the rest of the depth charge, as well as medical costs for those injured at the concert. They strike an unsteady alliance to find out who really detonated the fireball at the concert.

That night, Shaka’s departed spirit visits Taliyana in a dream, with help from Skragnoze the witchdoctor. Shaka seems to want the party to find someone named Haakma, and to help the indigenous beastmen reclaim their canyon-lands.

The next day, Tosh, Sinbreena, and Chomski seek out Drizzimmy, the unruly demagogue from the town square massacre a few days ago. He drunkenly befriends them, and agrees to prepare the masses for a full-scale riot (framing the City Guard), and hopes to blow up the support beams holding up the upper tier of the city.

The party reunites, hides the gnomish inventor working on the depth charge (telling him the Merchant Guild wants him dead), and heads down to the Shantytown in search of Haakma, bringing several wagons of goods to distribute to the impoverished humanoids there. Enjoying the good will of the people, they come to a pavilion/tavern Taliyana recognizes from her dream. Inside, just as they are inquiring after Haakma, a squad of guards bursts in and attempts to arrest them! The party vanquished them, hid the bodies, butchered their horses, and fed them to the locals.

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Into New Eridell
Cosmopolitan Canyon-City

Gortas, Taliyanaa, Biff, and Sinbreena went to the upper tier to meet with the Ruling Council, and arranged to help the city deal with an impending ecological crisis in exchange for a few magic trinkets. Meanwhile, Tosh and Illiana joined Chomski in the lower tier’s town square to rally the workers. But another demagogue riled them up to a violent mob, and the City Watch stormed in. Order was restored, but a few workers died in a hail of crossbow fire, and Chomski was arrested for murdering a hobgoblin industrialist named Brontleback Hacklimb.

While Sinbreena tracked down a clue to the next tablet being “in a swamp,” Taliyana and Biff investigated Brontleback’s murder and discovered the true culprit: his brother, Slice. Thus exonerated, Chomski was released, and helped the party plan an epic concert to raise awareness of the need to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” so that the waste dump, the Erid Butthole, wouldn’t overflow and flood out the laborers of the undercity and shantytown.

The party all went to investigate the chasm into which the waste river flows, and determined that it is unfathomably deep, and is rising at the rate of about 100’ per day, leaving less than 3 weeks until it overflows. They retained the services of a gnomish inventor to design a powerful depth charge, hoping to blow up whatever might be obstructing the Erid Butthole’s drain.

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A Proletarian Missive
Workers of the World, Unite!

Max comes back from fetching a spell with a note for Tosh (given to him by a messenger spirit in the aether) which is from Chomski the Gnome, asking for help organizing workers. Apparently, word of Tosh’s unionization of the halfling servants at Rathgard had traveled widely. The party decides to head to New Eridell.

Shortly thereafter, they are approached by a half-elven punk-rock bardess named Illiana, sent from New Eridell by Chomski to rendezvous with them and guide them back to the city. She leads them off through the swamp-lands to the South, to follow the river Eastwards to the canyon-lands.

They stop to rest on a raised area of solid ground, and Gortas inadvertently leans against a camouflaged Shambling Mound, which only grows in power as Taliyanna strikes it with lightning. Eventually, the party hacks it to death. Moving Eastward along the river, they come to a skirmish between goblin and lizardman forces. Many in the party are battered and bloodied, thought all enemy combatants were slain or routed. Sadly, the noble savage, Shaka the beastman, met his doom at the wrong end of a catoblepas’s deathgaze. He had loyally served as Taliyanna’s henchman for many months, ever since they saved him from the cave of the klackers way back in the Sundered Valley.

They staged a solemn funeral for Shaka, and then continued on to New Eridell, the many-tiered city in the canyon. Illianna introduced them to Chomski, who delivered an impassioned speech extolling the virtues of a proletarian uprising… but first he needs Tosh to help him instill a unified class consciousness in the racially diverse but uniformly exploited workers.

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The Tablet of the Goblins!
The Dreamquest of Unknown Kazaam

They all take their own potions too. In the dream world, the party takes advantage of lucid dreaming to defeat various phantasms (hook horrors and phaerimm in a spike pit, a knoll spawning gnome gninja ju-ju zombies, a humongous Gwalock’s chomping mouth, Nephele the slave-mistress and the 2-headed river troll, and finally a silver dragon). At the end if the dream road is a prison with a giant pentagram, where they place the captive king, causing motes of energy to converge until a a blinding flash wakes them up. Rip-Tongue Doom is now Skragnoze’s puppet.

They head back to Skragnoze’s mountain lair and collect the 2nd Tablet, looking into it to gain new boons and curses.

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The Goblin Witchdoctor
Nightmares and Intrigue

They hike West out of the Blasted Lands, into the Sundered Valley where they help the dwarven construction crew slay a giant, and await reinforcements. While there, they begin having strange dreams that morph into nightmares, after which they meet Ironblood, a bugbear who works for a witchdoctor named Skragnoze. Ironblood guides them to his employer, who recruits them into his scheme to mind-control the goblin king Rip-Tongue Doom, despotic leader of Gobtham City.

The PCs fetch ingredients for a strange sleeping potion: the bark of a borrachera tree from a monastic goblin village, and the root of an ayahuasca plant from the bowels of a mine (at the end of a roller-coaster of a mine-cart ride!).

They pose as a party of evil monsters and parley with the goblins to gain an audience with the King. Taliyana convinces him that the Drow Queen wants in on the goblin-giant alliance, and at a celebratory feast, Gortas poses as an assassin and the party convinces the king to drink the potion (“antidote”) to counter-act the dwarf’s fake poison.

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Into the Blasted Lands
searching for Orcs

Exiting the city through an abandoned underground highway, the PC’s emerged on a perilous high mountain trail. They pick their way down the mountain, solving riddles as they go, and finally at to base of the mountains came to a roaring river, which led to a bridge that was guarded by riddle-hating trolls. They ambushed Tosh and fought savagely before being defeated.

Finally entering the badlands, the party headed West to investigate a strange glow on the horizon. It turned out to be an elven black-ops fire team, performing the triennial exterminatus of the Blasted Lands. As Murdock found a band of surviving orcs (and defiled their princess), Taliyana used her royal authority to halt the elven operation.

The party then followed a riverbed to a lake of toxic sludge protecting an island containing a friendly mongrelman village. They continued on to the ruins of the orcish capital, Ak’Reth, where Biff tricked some mutant ogres into revealing the location of the lair of Gwalock, the orcish chief apparent. Bartering with the obese orc, they learned that the next Tablet had been traded to a goblin witchdoctor several years ago.

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The Tablet of the Dwarves!
the Hall of Miscellany

In the lower levels of the city, the party stumbled upon the famed Hall of Miscellany. After clearing out a tribe of grimlocks and their giant-blood-worm mud farm, they holed up inside the Hall, where they discovered a collection of oddities including the first Tablet of Fate! It seemed to call out to them one by one, inviting them to stare into it’s gently shifting pattern of runes… many found themselves with strange new boons and curses after the Tablet had its way with them.

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