Dawn of the Unflankables

Interlude: Usual Suspects

Following the brutal massacre of last episode, our heroes stand ready to question one of the only remaining members of the criminal organization they just decimated. While the man is unconscious, they search the remains of the camp. Pineroot finds a potion determined to be a potion of water-breathing. Ryndir picks up a hooded lantern, the opening designed to look like the eye of Stonehelm. The adventurers snag a few weapons, a few fish, and all the gold they can find before they’re ready to question their prisoner. Castor takes his leave to try and hunt down the escaped brigands.

Ulfgar takes the lead in the questioning, dragging the panicked captive to a particularly thick pile of organs and viscera and slamming him face-down into it. With a boot held to the man’s face, Ulfgar learns that the man’s name is Gorman Whitehands, the now dead collective was only a branch of the full organization, and that the organization itself is called the Gold Vein. The heroes then batter the man with a series of dick jokes before Gale shows up. He tells the heroes that he was picking some berries when suddenly Azaghal was arrested. With more guards on the way, the adventurers make their way to the city, their captive bound and carried.

The guards at the gate insist that the heroes come “down to the station to answer some questions”. The heroes reluctantly agree, but refuse to speak to anyone but the old man with the glowing eyes. They’re taken to an interrogation room where they’re questioned by a flustered detective. They give him enough information to show that they were involved, but also innocent of any crimes. The questioning is broken up as the detective leaves the room several times. The monotony is broken by the appearance of a guard claiming that he needed the heroes help to find his missing brother.

Finally, the detective seems to receive a message, and the heroes are set free. They head to The Hen’s Tragedy, a seedy diner recommended by the detective. Still covered in ash and gore, the heroes enjoy a delicious meal – with the exception of Darksex, who sips at his memory loss potion. With nothing better to do, they head to the marketplace where they meet a slew of odd merchants. Pineroot gives one of the bereedo salesmen a fish, triggering another flurry of insults from the other salesman. Darksex buys (and promptly forgets) a spider-engraved flask from Spencer, a knick-knack collector. Ryndir buys an obsidian dragon pipe from him and seeks out some herb to break it in. They find Dink Dankerson, dealer of the finest gange in the city. Ryndir buys some Hydra-Kush (a strain that’s twice as potent each time you smoke it) and some Troglo-delight (particularly pungent, but particularly fun-gent). Dink throws in a ball cap embroidered with “Dink’s” on the front, and “The Dankest” on the back.

The heroes decide to try out the mysterious lantern and head into an alleyway. When lit, the eye-shaped opening begins to glow, much like the eyes engraved on the helmets of the city guards. They point the lantern at a homeless man, and moments later two guards come to escort the belligerent fellow off to a cell for the night. Coincidence? I think not!

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Chapter 7: Night Hunting

Following the eventful night beneath Stonehelm, our heroes spend the morning snoozing in their caravan. At the stroke of noon, the heroes park outside the city and enter by foot, leaving Smugs, Gale, and Azaghal to mind the wagon. The guards recognize them and let them pass.

The party heads for The Backburner, one of the most seedy taverns in the city. They buy some brews and brown water and choose a table in the corner. One table in particular catches their attention as a few excited goons prattle on about a multiple murder that occurred the previous evening. The city guard is apparently on lookout for a dwarf and a tiefling that were spotted near the site of the massacre. The murder sounds mighty familiar to Pineroot and Rindyr. The dwarf sounds familiar to Darksex, apparently now a wanted man.

The group heads to the marketplace to try and get some more information. A pair of salesmen catch their attention. They each appear to be selling some kind of food; they call them “bereedos”. They yell obscenities at each other, trying to steal customers. Darksex buys a bereedo from one man, while Pineroot buys one from the other. They both taste like shitgarbage. Ulfgar listens in on a conversation between a guard and man selling elpaca sweaters. The guard describes Darksex and Ulfgar takes that as a sign for the group to get out of the city. Pineroot buys another bereedo for Smugs and the group leaves the city (Darksex heavily hooded and freshly shaved).

A quick stop to see Castor reveals that guards have been searching the catacombs. He was able to grab a few of the explosives for Ryndir before the guards found the rest. The heroes decide that the best plan of action is to take down the mysterious syndicate that started the whole mess. They wait until evening and Ulfgar spots a pillar of smoke among the trees.

The heroes creep through the woods to the edge of a small clearing. A group of twenty men are encamped there, a fire blazing among them. Three of the men shout angrily at one another. The topic of their conversation is clearly their botched bombing and the “idiots” they hired to do the job. Easily outnumbered the heroes hatch a plan.

The heroes take their positions behind their trees and Darksex conjures his shadow butler. Ryndir gives it one of the explosives and it’s whisked high above the fire. Without warning, the butler drops the explosive and it plummets directly into the fire. A massive blast ignites everything in the vicinity and throws everything else back. Three of the men die immediately while the rest are engulfed in flames. Pineroot increases the chaos by conjuring the illusion of a goddess of flames, very well endowed, and strutting’ her stuff in the center of the fire. The heroes attempt a follow-up surprise attack, but it ends in a clumsy dogpile. Things quickly improve for our adventurers however as several more of the men succumb to their wounds.

Ulfgar is dropped with a sucker shot from the largest of the men. Pineroot looks a man in the eyes and watches him turn to ash. The shadow butler delivers a health potion, upending it into the mouth of the unconscious Ulfgar. With a surge of revitalized vengeance, he crushes the skull of his would-be killer with his warhammer. Darksex fries some crime with eldritch energy. Castor tears apart some of the men who managed to make it to their feet, while Ryndir peppers them with arrows. Smugs skewers a man entranced by the fire-boobs and hurls him into his voluptuous fate. Three of the men manage to escape into the forest, finally leaving one man prone amongst the horrifying scene. The heroes turn to question their new captive as the closing curtain drops.

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Chapter 5: Sex and Drugs & Chapter 6: Dead Ends

Our heroes eventually find their way back to the path, where they meet Ulfgar Ironbeard, a stout dwarven cleric on his way to Stonehelm. They give him a ride and soon reach Stonehelm, a city made entirely from smooth stone and surrounded by a 30 Ft wall. They are stopped at the entrance as part of a routine procedure and the guards ask each of them to come outside the wagon and state their names. As each of them do this, they notice an old man gazing at each of them in turn from a small alcove in the wall. He sits crosslegged and his eyes are cloudy and glowing.

The heroes are gained entry, after telling the guards that they’re in town to sell potions (i.e. the mysterious pink gas). Darksex follows Azaghal to a brothel while the others head to the pub. Darksex pays every last coin for a back room with the largest woman in the establishment. His attempts to find out about the city are fruitless so he makes the most of his situation and shows the woman the relevance of his namesake. Azaghal decides the place is too expensive and jerks it in the alley.

Pineroot and Ryndir eventually leave the pub and visit an apothecary to see if he’s interested in buying the gas. Ulfgar heads to a temple to pray. Eventually the heroes, minus Ulfgar, meet back at the wagon where they are approached by a shady fellow asking if they’d like to make some coin. For smuggling a couple crates into the catacombs of the city, they can be paid 200gp each – 100 now, 100 when the job is done. The heroes accompany him to a temporary base of operations where Darksex demands 200gp now, 200 later. They agree and split the heroes into two groups, Pineroot and Ryndir, Darksex and Azaghal. The two groups are escorted to two secret entrances, each on a different side of the city. Both groups are given a crate, instructed not to look inside, and sent with specific directions into the catacombs.
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After making a shady deal with some shady dealers, our heroes find themselves deep under the city of Stonehelm. Darksex and Azaghal have taken one mysterious crate to one secret entrance, while Ryndir and Pineroot have taken the other crate to the entrance across the city.

Darksex and Azaghal quickly forget the instructions they were given and set down a random path of the spiraling labrynth. They come across a fellow messin’ with some rope, but they are not greeted with a smile. The man is none too pleased that they brought the crate to him and he sets off in the other direction. Dwarf and tiefling change their mind and retrace their steps and come across a set of stairs leading back above ground. They park their crate at the bottom of the stairs and cautiously investigate the corridor at the top. Moments later, they are discovered by two nightwatchmen, dressed identically, complete with helms emblazoned with a glowing eye, Stonehelm’s insignia.

Meanwhile, at the temple, the new dwarf acquaintance strikes up a conversation with a wizened priest. The priest speaks highly of the city’s low crime rate, attributing this to the city’s guards and their suspected link to the mysterious glowing-eyed wizard perched above the city’s entrance.

Darksex and Azaghal quickly tell the guards that they’re lost and looking for a tavern. The guards politely insist that the two follow them to the nearest pub. Both parties become more suspicious of one another, the two heroes unsure if the guards know their motives, the guards taken aback by our heroes’ mistrust. Finally, Darksex and Azaghal agree to accompany the guards to the tavern, leaving behind the mysterious crate.

Across the city, Ryndir and Pineroot make their way through the corridors. Ryndir sneaks a look inside the crate while Pineroot averts his eyes. No questions are truly answered however, as the crate is loaded with what appear to be gold bars, but jet black. There is no time to dwell on this as the two hear approaching footsteps.

A quick peek shows the heroes a decaying cadaver strolling down the hall. Pineroot gets the dead man’s attention with a bird call, quickly followed by the two ramming him with their mysterious cargo. Trapped under the crate, the corpse introduces himself as Castor, a former member of the organization that hired our heroes. He tells the two that the black bars are explosives and that the plan was to level the city from below. Castor explains that he was killed for opposing this plan, and remains reanimated solely by his need for revenge.

Ryndir and Pineroot quickly decide to support Castor in his endeavor, Ryndir lining his pockets with explosives. The three hide the crate close to the original entrance, where Castor insists that they find the other crate before it is delivered to it’s destination. Castor poorly navigates the corridors, followed by Ryndir and Pineroot. Unbeknownst to them, Darksex and Azaghal walk above them, crateless, on their way to the guards’ choice of tavern.

After discovering that the explosives never made it to the center of the labrynth, Castor, Ryndir, and Pineroot continue through the tunnels until they hear voices. Castor immediately heads for the source. Ryndir and Pineroot take a conspicuous peek into the room discovering three men and a pile of fuse rope. Having lost the element of surprise, Pineroot tosses a torch onto the rope, which immediately ignites. Chaos ensues as two of the men try and save the rope and the third attacks Pineroot. Ryndir fires a couple arrows hitting both friend and foe, while Pineroot retaliates with a miscalculated swing into Ryndir’s haunch.

Having killed one of the men, Ryndir pulls an explosive from his pocket and threatens to blow them all to hell. The two remaining scumbags tell them the whole plan, insisting they were just following orders. Pineroot smells the obvious lie in this and bathes in the blood pouring from the first man’s new neck wound. Castor wastes no time in dispatching the third man, moving one more step towards ultimate vengeance.

The three continue searching for the crate, but hear a set of guards approaching. Knowing that a walking corpse and a blood-soaked gnome would probably make for a quick arrest, the three backtrack to the site of their recent massacre. Rather than leave a trail of bloody footprints, Ryndir leads Pineroot back into the burning, bloody room. He then puts the gnome on his shoulders and sets off down the corridor in the other direction, Castor close behind.

The three discover the crate, placed neatly at the bottom of a set of stairs, while a far-off cry of horror alerts them to the guards’ discovery of the three bodies of the criminals. The crate is hidden in a room by the entrance. Ryndir and Pineroot leave the tunnels, promising to return to help Castor with his revenge, as well as pick up the crate of contraband. Pineroot heads into the brush, too bloody to inconspicuously regain access to the city. Ryndir heads back into the city, alleviating the entrance guards’ suspicions with a story of unsuccessful night-hunting.

The next morning, Ryndir relays the situation to his companions. They pick up Pineroot and gather around their war table to plot their next move.

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Chapter 4: Wheel Be Alright

Having saved Village Shitty, as well as taken anything of real value, our heroes are on the road. All but two cells have been removed from their battle wagon and replaced with a troll-bone table. They pick up a huge man on the side of the road who insists his name is Natasha. But things don’t stay peaceful for long… because NO ONE IS DRIVING THE WAGON!!!

After a sudden crash, our heroes find themselves in the middle of a field. Azagahl has been knocked unconscious, the oxen are missing, and the front wheels have fallen off into a hidden cavern. The heroes debate crafting some new wheels, but realize they have neither the materials, nor the oxen to make any real difference. Pinelemon drops a spoon into the hole and Natasha slides down a rope to see what’s down there. Five grimlocks meander about, blindly searching for the source of the sound of the spoon. The heroes leave Gill with the task of brewing them a potion, while Smugs stays watch, and they begin to climb down into the cavern. Unfortunately, Darksex’s shadow butler dropped 2 lbs of troll feces into the hole first, so one by one the heroes drop ungracefully into the pile of shit. Ryndir manages to land on his feet at least.

The heroes loudly engage in combat with the grimlocks and soon find that they’re a force to be reckoned with. But with determination, teamwork, and a little help from Smugs, the heroes are able to kill the horrible creatures. Undergnome takes his shitspoon back and the heroes set about looking for the wagon wheels.

One cavern leads down to an outcropping facing a beautiful underground waterfall. The heroes wash off the poo and find that a wheel landed on an outcropping below. Lemongrowth wastes no time and snags the wheel. The heroes pull him back up and it’s off to the other cavern. This one leads to a gravelly drop. Elmwood repels down and finds the second wheel. Unfortunately, he had dislodged some of the stone and black ooze began leaking down the side of the incline. But ooze-dodging is Grassberry’s middle name and he dances around the threat while Natasha pulls him up.

The heroes make their way back up to the surface, Ryndir, Darksex, and Natasha re-shitting themselves before climbing up. Gill surprises them with their potion, which isn’t a healing potion at all. Natasha discovers this by drinking it… and fireworks shoot out of his mouth.

The heroes track the missing oxen who didn’t really stray all that far. They cast a magical illusion of a sexy female ox which gains the others’ attention, but they’ve got to do some actual animal handling, ox-gassing, and rope-looping to get them back to the wagon. Having reattached them, they’re ready to find their path again.

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Chapters 1, 2, & 3: Extended Pilot

Our adventure begins in front of a rather angular temple, in a clearing in the middle of a forest. A crew of five stands before the temple: a smug-looking man, tall and armed with a sword; a mustachioed gnome; an older man, clearly the leader; a pale dwarf, sporting a knot-top and fu-manchu; and a dreadlocked tiefling. None has been acquainted with the others, all hired by the older man.

They all enter the temple and find themselves in a vast entrance hall, lined with three sets of columns. Cautious to the point of recklessness, the tiefling (known by the name of Azaghal) lifts the gnome and throws him forward into the hall. Unfortunately for the gnome, as he flies level with the first set of columns, a blade fires lightning-fast from within one of the columns. Azaghal and the dwarf (known as Darksex the Ambiguous) work out that the columns are booby-trapped and that by throwing rocks in front of them, they can safely cross the hall.

The group descends down a staircase into another chamber. The walls on either side of them each hold a smoldering sconce made of twisted iron. The more immediate threat, however, lies with the several giant rats milling about in the room. The severely injured gnome hides in the corner, while Azaghal and the smug fellow (Smugs) fight the rats up close. The older man and Darksex back them up, flinging magic projectiles at their rodent enemies. The rats are easily dispatched and the adventuring party moves on.

The next chamber is quite small. The walls, however, are carved with intricate designs. Each wall depicts two figures holding orbs. The door before them also depicts a figure, but one of a giant goblin. The adventurers find that the orbs carved in the wall are actually large coins set into the stone. Once all four are removed from the wall, the door before them opens.

The five step into the newly discovered chamber, another vast hallway. Four statues have been carved, two on either side of the hall. Each statue is of a goblin warrior: one with a lone spear, one with a double-headed axe, one with a trident, and one with four arrows nocked into a longbow. At the far end of the hall sits a dais, with a small stone basin. It is this basin that the older man immediately approaches, the others receiving no explanation. Confusion quickly turns to wariness as the old man lifts a gem the color of amber from the basin and begins babbling in the goblin tongue.

Before the adventurers’ eyes, the old man is suddenly torn apart from the inside as a great spectral hobgoblin takes his place. Azaghal and Darksex quickly discover that beneath each of the statues is a circular coin-shaped hole. With the help of Darksex’s summoned shadow butler, they begin placing the coins they had picked up into the pedestals. But nothing seems to happen.

Meanwhile, Smugs has charged into the fray, landing blow after blow on the hobgoblin and taking little damage in return. To the adventurer’s horror, however, each time the hobgoblin is struck, a smaller spectral goblin materializes next to it. Desperate for a solution, Darksex gives an amazing pep talk to their frightened gnome compatriot. Now emboldened and armed with Darksex’s dagger, the gnome joins Smugs in battle with the hobgoblin.

Smugs finally takes a significant hit and backs off from his attacker. Darksex and Azaghal take this opportunity to deliver a few finishing blows to the hobgoblin. Defeated, the hobgoblin glows brightly before bursting into a cloud of a thousand tiny light particles.

Relieved, but a little dejected at their lack of payment, the group makes its way out of the chamber. As they reach the chamber with the sconces, Azaghal decides to take one. The sconce is warm to the touch and a voice in his head whispers, “Smite your enemieeees.” In a misguided attempt to get some answers, Azaghal brings the sconce down on Darksex’s head. As if a severe headache wasn’t enough, a fireball bursts from the tip of the sconce dealing Darksex a bout of fire damage as well. The sconce cools down and the smoldering ceases, but there are three more in the room. Azaghal quickly takes two more, while Darksex takes the last of them.

The four make their way out of the temple, but find themselves in a middle of a thick pink mist. It isn’t long before a sudden drowsiness overtakes them and they all black out.
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Darksex and Azaghal wake up behind bars, their weapons nowhere in sight. Each is in their own small cell. They quickly realize they’re not alone. Four other captives are trapped in their own cells, though Smugs and their gnome compatriot appear to be missing. To the prisoners’ surprise, their cells seem to be inside a moving room as they feel the occasional jostle and bump beneath them. Azaghal wastes no time and rams the cell door loose from the poorly crafted hinges. He helps the other captives remove their doors as well. Along with Azaghal and Darksex, the captives include: Melsa, a gnome tinkerer, Gale, a spritely old potionsmaster, Cruger, a battle-scarred ranger, and Ryndir, an elven thief.

A peek out of the door in the room shows the group they are in a moving cart, followed closely by a second cart. Ryndir dashes out of the caravan and quickly climbs to the top. Within seconds, the two caravans slow to a halt and a group of angry captors quickly surround the cart. Mostly armed with swords and rappers, the slavers try to climb atop the caravan to dispatch Ryndir. Meanwhile, Melsa finds a crowbar and smashes the lock on the other door inside the caravan. Behind the door is a small closet, filled with each of the captives weapons and belongings. Now rearmed, Darksex summons his shadow butler to bring Ryndir his bow. One by one the escapees begin taking out their captives one by one. In the midst of the fray, the second wagon is set afire, which slowly begins to spread. A third, previously unseen cart holds a huge glass sphere filled with a swirling pink gas. One of the slavers begins filling small glass vials with the substance and throwing them at the adventurers; any unlucky to find themselves in the released gas begin to find themselves increasingly drowsy.

As slaver after slaver falls in combat, the escaped heroes see that one of their enemies has saved the captives from the burning caravan. He loads them on to the third wagon as they’re still chained together. Included in the group of chained captives is Smugs and the gnome from their earlier adventure. Hopelessly outnumbered, the final slaver removes the stopper from the great sphere of sleeping gas and runs off into the fields. As gas gushes from the sphere, the chained captives begin to fall asleep. Thinking quickly, Darksex gives his shadow butler a small bag of sand and sends it off to use it as the sphere’s new stopper. This works successfully and the newly freed adventurers can relax. Once the other folks wake up and wounds are tended to, they take control of the two remaining carts and drive them off towards the nearest town.
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Fresh off a slaver-ass-kicking, our heroes arrive at Village Shitty, a tiny aptly-named town living in fear. After parking their new adventure wagon, they are escorted into the town by a wily gnome fighter named Lemonroot Underhill…or Pinegrass Underwood…

The gnome clues them in to the horrible truth – the town is being forced to pay a troll everything they’ve got in exchange for not being destroyed. Desperate for some fat stacks, our heroes march straight to the tavern to confront the town’s leader. Darksex announces their knowledge of the troll, and after some exchange of facts, the town leader is hopeful the heroes can help. However the heroes are like, “Nah, we can’t help. Bummer.”

But deep into the night, our heroes sneak out into the dark village. They fill a few glass vials with their newly acquired sleeping gas and climb to the top of the village shop. Darksex conjures his faithful shadow butler and sends him to ring the bell to summon the troll. Soon after the chime, the troll burrows up from the ground right at the front of town. It’s worse than everyone expected! It’s got three arms, two heads, and two pairs of troll-sized shades.

J.G. Wentworth, the troll, is furious at being summoned and starts pounding on homes. The heroes take turns passing gold coins to the invisible butler and piece-of-candy the troll back into the hole from whence he came. Sleeping gas fills the hole as the butler uncorks one of the vials. Azagahl and Lemonturf waste no time and hop into the hole, which is actually a tunnel, and still filled with gas. J.G. Wentworth, Azagahl, and Pinegnome stumble about drowsily in the hole swiping at each other; meanwhile, Darksex, Ryndir, and Smugs attack the troll from above. Smugs takes a few slashes, Gnomebrush gets walloped in the face, and with an epic show of teamwork, the heroes strike the troll down.

The troll corpse still smoldering from Darksex’s final eldritch blast, the heroes plunder all the gold from the troll’s lair, as well as various pieces of trash. The city is grateful even though they’re being swindled by our heroes and promise to help upgrade their hero-wagon.

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