Dawn of the Unflankables

Chapter 9: Foul-Weather Friends

Having recovered the mysterious gem for Bernard, the heroes decide to head back to Stonehelm. When they arrive, Ulfgar holds up the head of the slain ogre. The guards stand aghast, but impressed, and one suggests they visit Sir Reddy Toosevelt, a collector of hunting trophies. The heroes park their wagon, the dwarves heading off to Toosevelt’s mansion. The bespectacled Toosevelt invites the two into his home and offers them a brandy. His stateroom is decorated with the heads of many a creature, the jewel of the collection being the three heads of a chimaera. Toosevelt is quite impressed with the head of the ogre and offers to pay 1000 gold for it. Ulfgar and Darksex try and haggle for more. Toosevelt thinks for a moment and agrees to pay 1000 gold. The exchange is made and the old fellow announces that the ogre-head will make a fine lamp.

The dwarves meet back up with the rest of the party. Azaghal has gone off to find Ryndir, and soon after he departs, Ryndir comes back of his own accord. He is accompanied by Pykall, who eagerly looks around for Bernard. Pineroot releases Bernard from his cell in the wagon and the brothers reunite. The heroes insist that Bernard come with them to complete his delivery, but Pykall disagrees. The two brothers argue for a bit and the heroes decide to visit Magic Johnson. Magic has finished the enchantment on Darksex’s flask and charges a reasonable 50 gold. Pineroot tries to sell him the ogre testes, but Magic doesn’t swing that way. Pineroot tries again with the alpaca farmer, proposing he make a sack out of the “material”. The farmer is amazed by the leathery texture and agrees to create a sack out of the…sac…

The party heads back to Bernard’s hovel where Pykall agrees to let Bernard go on the mission, having already given all of Bernard’s valuables to the heroes before. The adventurers pile back into the wagon, locking Bernard in his cell for his own safety. The day passes, and as night begins to fall, it begins to rain. The heroes decide to make camp for the night, rather than travel through the downpour. During Pineroot’s watch, he spots two shadowy figures on the path ahead. He wakes Darksex, and the two watch as the shorter of the two shadows digs around in the mud. The rest of the adventurers wake up and debate whether the figures are friend or foe. While they’re whispering to each other, Ryndir creeps towards the two shadows. The shorter shadow looks around and begins digging more quickly. As Ryndir, moves even closer, the taller figure spots him and draws a bow.

Pulling out his pipe, Ryndir asks the two if they’ve got a light. The taller figure backs into the woods, while the shorter one draws a blade. Quick as a venomous rabbit, Ryndir draws his bow and fires an arrow into the chest of the small creature. Pineroot conjurs his signature illusion: a pair of voluptious breasts – and they hover before the blade-wielding shadow. Darksex sees the commotion from the wagon and aims an expertly placed eldritch blast at the same figure. The figure takes off in the same direction as the other figure as the adventurers advance on its position. Darksex sends his shadow butler into the woods to mess with the unseen archer, while Ulfgar searches where the two figures were digging. There is nothing but mud, and the savvy dwarf’s dirt-sense alerts him that the two mystery shadows weren’t burying anything – they were setting a trap for the wagon!

Angry and wet, the heroes advance on the trees, ready to take down the mysterious ne’er-do-wells. Pineroot spots the archer up in one of the trees. Ulfgar tries to unbalance the attacker by ramming the tree, but it is far too sturdy. Darksex fires off a quick eldritch blast, but doesn’t take the time to aim. The spell, instead, hits Pineroot square in the back.

Ryndir nocks an arrow into his bow. He takes a deep breath and the raindrops seem to slow down around him. The arrow flies true and strikes the archer directly in the chest. The archer attempts to leap to another tree, but his injury and the rain throw him off and he instead plummets to the ground. Ulfgar approaches the fallen archer, revealed to be a Drow. The heroes gather and threaten the injured darkelf with a metaphor about arrows that are actually dicks fired from the depths of hell. The Drow solemnly surrenders and he is taken back to the wagon.

Bound hand-to-foot, the Drow is locked in the remaining cell for questioning. Upon interrogation, he reveals that he was hired by the Wickhaven government to assassinate Bernard and regain possession of the mystery gem. The Drow was one of three assassins hired, but he mentioned that Wickhaven would stop at nothing to get the gem back. The heroes each take turns kicking their prisoner and decide to continue to Ravenswood to meet with Barnabus. A day’s ride away from the city, Pineroot notices a lone rider following at a distance. As the sun begins to set, the heroes finally arrive at their destination, the city of Ravenswood.



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