Over Hill

The Mitey Duck

A caravan from The Grand Market journeys east to the kingdom of Lastwall and stops at The Wizard’s Princess, a beautiful inn on the border of the sullen nation. Three young scouts from the Market meet with two foreigners and are assigned a job. Yulie tells A, Gerecht, Propheria, Rogenbogen, and Sehk’met to stop a local bandit for the good of the caravan. The adventurers travel to the thief’s hideout, realize he’s already been murdered by mites, kill the evil fairies and their giant spider, rescue some kids, find a duck, read an enigmatic threat, and get some treasure. Rogenbogen will never get over or live down her painful and ridiculous encounter with a spider swarm.

Storm in a White Box, Night 1

The caravan is attacked by chaos wolves, but escapes mostly intact. In a nearby town, the party is tasked with investigating this threat and discovers evidence of werewolves in the area. They learn about a secret weather shrine that happens to be directly under a stationary thunderstorm from a friendly old lady. Sehk’met purchases an accordion from her, once her non-vampire cred is confirmed. On their way to the mysterious plateau & home of the shrine, the party defeat the Witch’s Wife, a giant half-orc werewolf. After killing the cursed woman, they follow wolf tracks to the hut of a pink mohawked gnome named Harley Gizbob (the Small Berserker), slowly dying of his wounds. A calms him and dresses his wounds; in appreciation, Gizbob explains that he was attacked by the Witch herself, also turned into a werewolf. After a night of supervised bed rest, Gizbob sends them up the hidden trail with some supplies. Did anyone bring an umbrella? (Or food?)

Storm in a White Box, Night 2

The party ascends the plateau, picking their way carefully up the rocky trail in the howling rainstorm. At the top they find white marble ruins atop a muddy hill and a little blue bard keeping watch for her master, Shaitan Stormcrow. The party climbs the slope, fights this self-absorbed tengu, and recruits his minion before his body is cold. Piquelle Mothfury leads them down, beneath an altar, into a mysterious subterranean base. The place is all white marble, kept tidy and polished by a small crew of magicked brooms and mops and such. Gerecht quickly spots the illusory wall which initially barred their way while Proferia deciphers the text left there, telling all “denizens of the material plane” that they were not allowed inside. She also learned that this place was one of the lost Thenasil, self-sustaining magical temples built by the elves to keep the surface world hidden to underdwellers. Literally, “trashcan lids.” The team decides to spend the night underground after Sehk’met discovers a Shocking Grasp trap the hard way. They prop her crispy body up next to the soggy, hypothermic archer, split A’s trail rations (a giant jar full of nuts, berries, and various mosses), and go to sleep. The next day they encounter a clockwork construct, a band of misplaced goblins, and a duck. The metal man is now a pile of a scrap, some of the goblins were kindly permitted to escape with their lives, and the duck has been taken as a hostage!

Storm in a White Box, Night 3

The party advances through the ivory installation, cuts their way through a werewolf guard and smashes a swarm of clockwork dragonflies. They find themselves in a central chamber with dozens of corpses- both human and robot, where it becomes clear that twelve gears scattered throughout the installation will have to be turned for the “spirit slave” to be accessed. The exact meaning remains unclear, but Gerecht seems hell-bent on freeing enslaved whatevers and this looks like the key to the local lycanthrope problem. Beyond the gory atrium, they encounter an Axiomite— a being from another plane whose very essence is law and math and precision— she is not much liked. This space elf has the heroes fill out a survey for her thesis and answer a lame, confusing riddle in order to access her gear (fighting her would have involved too many lazers and too much dying). Deeper into the dungeon, a well with an magical portal at the bottom seems inviting until Rogenbogen falls in. Axiomatic octopi appear to fend off this intrusion into the installation’s inner workings, and so the party dine on sushi that evening.

Storm in a White Box, Night 4

The Forces of Chaos advance deeper into the installation, cleverly bypassing some traps. They nimbly watch as Gerecht falls screaming into a pit of gears, only to be dragged out by Propheria’s newly prehensile hair. They battle a lycanthropic druid in a trash room, search out tomes of hidden lore in the library, and discover all twelve gears. The central gear unlocks the slave spirit— a wolf named Fenris, feared in ancient times, prisoner here for untold millennium. At the last turn of the massive gear and the last strike of an unseen chime, Gerecht disappears and guardians of the clock walk through portals to clean up the mess. On the surface above, Gerecht sees Fenris, a gargantuan wolf with an eight-pointed star on his forehead. The spirit— chained to the very rock of the plateau— asks for the release of death, and receives it. As Gerecht drives his blade into the Wolf of Storms, the storm takes revenge, shooting a full bolt of lightning into the half-orc’s skull. Below, Rogenbogen, A, Propheria, and Sehk’met engage in an all out, to the death, dubstep, time-traveling melee with the elven chronophants. Eventually the stern guardians are slain as Gerecht staggers in— the Chaos Star burnt into his forehead— and collapses.

After a brief respite, the victorious team loads up their spoils and heads back to Vratsa. From there, they meet up with the caravan and continue on the road to Vigil.

A Night At the Circus, And Other Madness (1)

Our bold heroes ride towards Vigil with the rest of the caravan, slaying a zombie en route. Their relationship with their employer seems more strained than it once was. They enter the city and find their way to Cayden’s Landing, a hole in the ground which Yulie recommended. The party rests, shops, and chats up a few of the locals. They find that the city, while generally safe, is a strict environment that doesn’t much like the “races of stone,” a term which seems to include dwarves, gnomes, and oreads. Gerecht and Sehk’met meet with Safira, who outlines their new mission: rescue a dwarven dignitary from a local gang. Harsh words are exchanged and the future of our heroes in the employ of the Grand Market is left unclear.

A Night At the Circus, And Other Madness (2)
A foray into the past tense

The gang explored the city on many fronts. A was invited to a meeting of local druids the next evening. Sehk’met brought everyone along on her visit to Veena Heilu, Precentor Martial of Magic. Veena is still several weeks away from her date, but her magically accelerated pregnancy makes this a tricky case.

Proferia led a charge into Frontius’ Antiques; she hypnotized the soothsayer at the counter and Gerecht summoned a dolphin near the mob enforcer, creating total confusion. In the back room the bunch were cordially greeted by Antoinella di Spettro, a humble businesswoman. After cutting through the pleasantries and bullshit, it was surmised that she does have the dwarven dignitary and the ransom is sixty thousand gold pieces. The party suggested that their dwarven contacts could go higher, but demand proof of life. (In a pre-video age, proof of life will be complicated to arrange, but the mob will likely agree.) The plan, as it stands, is to do the exchange outside of town, invite the Shadow Compadre, and let the do-gooder kill the criminals. The fact that the bunch doesn’t have the ransom money won’t matter.

After the backroom dealings, the party investigated a midwife in Lowtown who Veena suggested was botching births. The criminal in question was one Zorotan the Rainbow Wizard, a magical con man preaching his awesome powers to the hapless peasantry. They confronted him in his spacious wagon, noting that he saves the stillborn babies in jars (and maybe turns them all into zombies?… it’s unclear), and killed the scheming illusionist. After a search, they found a suspicious note in amongst the treasure. It’s a request for evil aid from someone called Mycolite Camille

A Night At the Circus, And Other Madness (3)

The forces of chaos attended a fancy cocktail party! The Vigil Druid’s Grove holds such soirees regularly, partially to cloak their faith in a respectable veneer. A met Madame Scree, a half-mad old dwarf. Gerecht made friends with a hidden herbivore called the Mosstodon. Sehk’met spoke with Raging Boar, a feral child. Rogenbogen and Propheria skipped the whole affair to spend some time together!

Our heroes weren’t interested in the respectable guests, but Raging Boar introduced them to her high society father, William, Baron of Hallein, Marshal of Scouting (retired), and their host. William cordially explained the reason for their invitation: a young elf from the jungle far to the north had gone to a service at the Church Mycolite here in Vigil, met with zombies, and was beaten within an inch of his life. They met the elf, named Teyuti, and agreed to burn the church to the ground, provided William would use his influence to help them catch the Shadow Compadre.

In a secluded part of Lowtown, the team bust in the door, found the place empty except for a priestess, a few of her flock, and ZOMBIES! The priestess, Mycolite Camille, cursed the heroes and their little moose, too. The undead and their masters met with a swift end, but Yulie caught one of the oread cultists and now holds him as a prisoner.

A Night At the Circus, And Other Madness (4)

The team interrogated the captured cultist, using his limited knowledge and A’s keen gnose to figure out the subterranean source of the psychotropic drug known as “creep”. However, they decided to rest for the night before charging in. The same bizarre dream awoke all five of our heroes in the small hours of the morning, moments before assassins could drive their knives into their sleeping bodies. Several broken assassins and broken walls later, the party learned the truth: these mite killers were sent by the mysterious Lodge of the Twin Sapphires— the parent organisation of the mites in the first dungeon the party cleared together. They bought the surviving Sapphire Stabber breakfast and sent him off with a message: they want to be removed from the hit list (or at least know why they’re on it!). At full strength the surly squad made their way into the sewers of Vigil and kicked in the door of the drug lab. Here bulk fungus was being refined into the hypnotic powder which the Church Mycolite uses in their rituals, all under the supervision of an evil gnomish alchemist who A had crossed paths with before! Krei, the chief “dionysia” of the local crime syndicate, had once seduced A’s boyfriend, a sheeplover named Baaaab. A raucous battle erupted, chemicals thrown everywhere, and in the end Krei was shot through the chest and went plummeting off a ledge, destroying her exotic pink bush.

A Night At the Circus, And Other Madness (5)

After a day of shopping, healing, and relaxation, out intrepid adventurers had a few drinks at a friendly neighborhood bar called the Double Stuff. Yulie told them the ancient dwarven creation myth— the Beardening— and how it tied in to their adventure en route to Vigil. Rogenbogen even added her own, strange knowledge of the tale to the mix. However, some humans picked a fight and it ended poorly for them. It turns out they were mob-affiliated, though, so let’s hope that doesn’t get anyone into trouble.

A note came for the team in the morning, in blue crayon and horrific handwriting. “The Sapphire” had gotten word from his assassin that the party had requested a cessation of hostilities, and was ready to discuss the idea. The note lead them down into the sewers to a puzzle box and a group of waiting agents from Lodge of the Twin Sapphires. When the team prepared to confront them, though, the whole sewer wall moves rapidly towards them. Instead of crushing them into paste, it pushes them out into a screaming arena. Thousands of faces look down on to the sand where the mites and the party join a brave knight battling a enormous earth elemental. The surprise distracts the heroic warrior, however, and he is crushed into paste. The elemental roars triumphantly and looks towards the newcomers.


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