Dawn of the Unflankables

Chapter 30: Ye Olde Hangover

The sun rises on our heroes as they awaken on the muddy ground of the riverside. The light burns their eyes, and the resulting groans throb painfully in their ears. A small number of Bullywugs are scurrying around and picking over the heroes’ belongings. One takes a heavy swig from Darksex’s flask. Pineroot feebly swats at them, but in the end they are scared off by the sound of Ulfgar’s violent vomiting. The heroes can’t remember a thing about the previous evening except that there was heavy drinking involved. They do, however, notice that they are wearing each other’s clothes.

Pineroot removes Darksex’s robes and crawls into the river. Darksex exchanges Ulfgar’s armor for his robes and follows his gnomish friend into the water. Ulfgar puts his armor back on, throwing Ryndir’s vomit-covered garments into the mud. Ryndir puts his clothes back on anyway, while Azaghal removes the comparably tiny trousers of Pineroot. Each of the Unflankables ends up in the river, where they spend what seems an eternity groaning. Ulfgar throws up some more and Ryndir yells at them for how loud they are, regretting his own volume immediately.

Heads pounding and smelling like hell, the adventurers crawl from the puke-infused river. Pineroot doesn’t have it in him to dress himself and instead fashions a loin cloth from his outfit. Azaghal collects his garb, but chooses to remain naked. The heroes soon realize that their beloved wagon is nowhere in sight. On top of that, all of their weapons are missing, with the exception of Ryndir’s bow. Grumbling, the poor saps notice their own footprints in the mud and begin to backtrack. They eventually reach the familiar dirt road and begin to follow it back to Addertown.

The Unflankables spend the morning slogging back to town, taking frequent breaks to rest and in Ulfgar’s case, belch loudly on Ryndir. When they finally arrive in Addertown, it is early afternoon. Hoping to locate their wagon, they begin calling out the names of their beloved oxen. They receive no response except for concerned glances from citizens, followed by startled double-takes at Azaghal’s nakedness. Eventually, Gale approaches them, having heard their ruckus. Gale doesn’t know where the wagon is and reminds the heroes that they drunkenly made him catch up with his old classmate Mognan and then took off.

Accompanied by Gale, the disheveled Unflankables shuffle to the well. Pineroot drinks heavily from the water bucket and slumps to the ground. Darksex looks for rocks. Ulfgar pukes some more. The heroes decide to visit Mognan in hopes that he can cure their hellish hangovers. Pineroot has Gale drag him by the ankles to the concoctionary and the rest of the heroes follow. Upon reaching Mognan’s, the heroes discover that his door is gone, knocked violently off its hinges. The adventurers enter, with the exception of Ulfgar, who is unable to locate the doorway in his current state. Mognan greets them in his somber tone and relays the fate of his door. The heroes are shocked to learn that it was they, themselves that rammed it down when they dropped Gale off the previous evening. They play it off like it’s no big deal and scold Mognan on his lack of insurance.

Mognan makes the Unflankables some special tea for their hangovers and delivers some unfortunate news. Earlier this morning, a few Yuan-Ti entered the town searching for the heroes. Mognan relays their message, saying that the heroes’ friend would be killed if they did not return their captive. The Unflankables are perplexed and understandably concerned by this, since they don’t really have any friends and that they’re being hunted. Mognan tells them that they headed east after dropping off Gale. More groans are exchanged, tea is downed, Darksex hops on the back of the naked Azaghal, and the adventurers start their hike east.

The miserable heroes walk for what seems an age to them, until they near the edge of the woods. It is then that they hear strange ox noises coming from somewhere nearby. Darksex still on his shoulders, Azaghal takes off in the direction of the noises. The rest of the heroes follow and they soon reach their beloved oxen. Pineroot immediately hops on Bumpy. The creatures are still harnessed together and tangled around the trees. However, the wagon is still nowhere to be found. The heroes notice that Tom Bruise has blood all over his horns. The trail of blood leads to a woman lying motionless on the ground.

The heroes get a little worried. While they discuss this calamitous scenario, Ryndir searches the woman. He takes some of her gold and throws her telescopic cattle switch into the woods. He then brings his companions’ attention back to the woman, telling them that she is still barely breathing. Darksex and Ulfgar combine efforts to heal her wounds and she begins to stir. Upon seeing her saviors, she groans. The Unflankables are taken aback as they thought they had just done her a solid. She refreshes their memory of the previous night’s events.

Apparently, the Unflankables had shown up at the woman’s farm late into the night. They wanted to use her place to hide something. Despite the woman’s protests, the heroes unhitched the oxen and insisted they be allowed to graze. Soon after, the heroes took off into the night leaving the woman with the wagon and oxen. When she tried to unharness the oxen, Tom Bruise grew wild and gored her. The wily ox led his animal companions off into the night, dragging the woman along.

The woman is grateful to the heroes for saving her life, but disgruntled for their part in her being injured in the first place. She ushers the Unflankables back to her farm so she can get them out of her hair forever. Upon arriving at the farm, the heroes spot not only a crapload of goats, but their trusty caravan. They also find that in their drunken state, they had embedded each of their weapons in the side of it. Ulfgar informs everyone that he’s going to get his hammer from the top of the wagon. Meanwhile, Ryndir begins to pull his hundreds of arrows from the side of the wagon. Eventually, he gets bored and the heroes decide to check the inside of their caravan.

Their cell appears to have been occupied at one point during the night and they hear snoring from the second floor. Upon further investigation, the snoring is only Ulfgar, having snuck away for a nap. They suspect Ulfgar is an imposter and lock him in the wagon’s cell. This silly notion is short-lived and Ryndir opens the door to let him out. Instead Darksex pushes him in for fun and runs to drive the wagon himself. Pineroot shakes his head and lets his friends out and they reclaim their place at the wagon’s helm. The heroes gather their wits and weapons and ask the woman for any other information. She tells them that they headed towards the old ruins, but impatiently demands they leave. As the heroes peel-out, Ryndir bids thanks and farewell to Maggie. The woman shouts back that Maggie isn’t her name, but the elf cares not.

Before long, the heroes reach the remains of an old stone city. Fallen stone prevents them from advancing with the wagon, so they head in on foot. Ulfgar throws up some more, having missed out on Mognan’s tea. Despite Ulfgar’s breath, Ryndir smells a familiar scent on the air. Pungent, earthy, and dank, the elf knows the smell well. He leads his comrades towards the source of the Troglo-delight, eventually reaching one of the only remaining intact rooms. Smoke issues from the top and a scratching noise is heard from the other side. Propped against the room’s iron door is a stone bullywug. Ulfgar belligerently shoves it over and it shatters, adding stone shards to the already present glass shards. Mognan’s tea has begun to take effect by this time and a brief memory materializes in the heroes’ minds. They remember standing in this very spot the night before. A bullywug had stumbled upon them and the heroes had reacted by throwing a petrification potion at it. After barring the door with the new statue, the heroes decided to head to the river to fight more bullywugs.

The heroes snap back to the present. They open the iron door and discover two prone forms bound in rope. One is a dwarf with fiery red hair and a smoking joint poking out from his beard. The other is a bald man with greenish skin and reptilian eyes. The Unflankables know immediately that the second man is of the Yuan-Ti. The Yuan-Ti stares at them while the dwarf jabbers excitedly in his mind-altered state. The scratching noise can still be heard from outside the room and Pineroot goes to check it out. He quickly returns having discovered that the source of the scratching is an owlbear. With no time to lose, the heroes grab the apparent captives and begin to frantically make their way back to the wagon. The stoned dwarf’s babbling draws the owlbear’s attention and it runs angrily after them. Reaching the wagon, Ulfgar tosses the captives inside and the heroes turn to face their beastly attacker.

The owlbear charges, but Azaghal charges right back. The two clash as Azaghal delivers a power, ki-filled uppercut, throwing the massive creature back towards the stone. Pineroot and Ulfgar dash forward, joining in on the bludgeoning of the owlbear. Darksex instead goes back inside the wagon, and begins nudging the prisoners towards the cells with his foot. Severely injured, the owlbear turns to flee, however, a quick blow from Ulfgar’s hammer knocks it to the ground. The dwarf raises his hammer high and brings it down upon the creature’s skull, finishing it off.

Darksex has finally nudged the two captives into the cell when his companions enter the wagon behind him. They tell Darksex to bring out the captives for questioning and his work is undone. The red-haired dwarf giddily reminds them that he helped them capture the snake-man next to him. He also wonders aloud why they think he’s a criminal. The heroes check the mug-shot-sketches from Ravenswood and discover that the dwarf is Olaf, wanted for murder, indeed a criminal. The heroes think it wise to question the snake-man outside.

The Yuan-Ti confirms dryly that the heroes abducted him from his home and that they are definitely being hunted by his people. The Yuan-Ti are a proud race and tolerate no slight upon them. The heroes assure him that they’ll bring him back to his people, though they do not untie him. The Yuan-Ti looks them eerily in the eyes and expresses his thanks, though his tone is devoid of emotion. The Unflankables reboard their wagon and begin the trip back to Addertown, though they think hard about their eventful evening and feel perhaps a pang of regret for their rash actions.



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