Friday, May 29, 2009

Sessions 10 - 12: Floyd's Puppet Theatre Interpretation

The Order of the Abbey, Part Three: Puzzles and Traps

Curtain opens on the Lizardfolk village of Yish, in the town square. There is a rudimentary puppet stage set up (puppet show within a puppet show – deal with that!), where GUY and two LIZARDFOLK are watching a puppet show put on by FLOYD. FLOYD is manipulating a miniature puppet versions of FLOYD, GUY, and an OLD GNOLL.

FLOYD (as puppet FLOYD): And so that’s the story of how my brother Guy and I discovered the a back way in to the heavily fortified fortress at the Bloody Crag. No, we didn’t capture Sikator, but we were able to leave, confident that we had run him out of Yish and the Twilight Lands, and that he’d never hurt the good Lizardfolk in this village again.
In days long ago in the Lizardfolk village,
We built several puppets for a show in the swamp
And in exchange you all promised to feed me
So bring me a plate for my teeth wish to chomp!

Button. FLOYD comes out from behind the puppet stage and takes several protracted bows. The two LIZARDFOLK grumble, get up, and leave.

Thank you! Thank you! Don’t forget I am totally serious about that meal.
What do you think?
GUY: Brilliant. You perfectly summed up a wasted trip with a wasted afternoon.
FLOYD: Oh, come on! The trip wasn’t a total wash. What about this map of the Twilight Lands that the dwarven messenger we met gave me?
GUY: Okay, that might come in handy someday.
FLOYD: And what about the news the dwarf gave us of the Formian invasion of Britewater?
GUY: Yeah, we need to look into that…
FLOYD: Of course you think we do! So really, a wasted trip?

VIRGIL enters.

Virgil! Good to see you again. What have you been up to?
VIRGIL: Well, I got summoned to meet with Elliott, as you may remember from my letter, and he gave me this fancy map of Arimathea.
FLOYD: That’s right nice of him.
VIRGIL: He also told me that the Eye of Toth is still in the Tower of the Broken Moon.
FLOYD: Who would’ve guessed?

BRIX and HIRSUTE enter.

BRIX: You guys ready to head to the Centaur Run? I think Stonehoof is finally healthy again.

STONEHOOF, a young centaur, enters.

GUY: Sounds good! Let’s go.

The LIZARDFOLK village flies out. We find ourselves on an open plain. The party follows the road.

VIRGIL: I can’t wait to see the look on the Centaur’s faces when we come bring them their missing prince!

Suddenly, the three CENTAURS enter.

CENTAUR #1: Centaurs! Prepare to attack!
HIRSUTE: Attack? Are you serious?
BRIX: We rescued the boy!
CENTAUR #1: Shut up!
CENTAUR #2: We don’t care!
CENTAUR #3: We’re centaurs!

A fight breaks out. The CENTAURS pummel the party roundly, killing HIRSUTE in the process.

VIRGIL: They killed Hirsute!
FLOYD: I am so putting this in my puppet musical!
VIRGIL: Puppet musical? That sounds pretty stupid.
FLOYD: Oh, yeah?

FLOYD and VIRGIL are knocked unconscious by a CENTAUR’s hooves. BRIX and GUY go down. The CENTAURS toss a net over them and drag the gang behind them. The CENTAUR village flies in – it’s a tent city, for the CENTAURS are largely nomadic. The chief, PROUDTAIL, emerges from his tent.

CENTAUR #1: Chief Proudtail! We have returned your son, and brought you his kidnappers!

BRIX comes to.

BRIX: What? No! We’re not his kidnappers! We saved him, and nursed him back to health!
PROUDTAIL: Stonehoof, is this true?
STONEHOOF: I’m hungry papa. May I go eat now?
PROUDTAIL: Most certainly. I will deal with these kidnappers by putting them to death!

A large man enters from PROUDTAIL’s tent. This is MALUS.

MALUS: Who’s getting put to death?
BRIX: Malus!
MALUS: Brixmore?
BRIX: Malus, you have to help us! We rescued Stonehoof, but we’re being set up as his kidnappers!
MALUS: Proudtail, is this true?
PROUDTAIL: (shrugs) Ehhhh…
MALUS: Proudtail, let them go.
PROUDTAIL: But Malus –
MALUS: Proudtail... you owe me.
PROUDTAIL: Very well. Release the prisoners.

The CENTAURS remove the net, haughtily. BRIX revives GUY, VIRGIL, and FLOYD.

BRIX: Guys, guys… this is Malus. He’s a farmer I met while I was apprenticing to become a cleric.
VIRGIL: Um, hi.
MALUS: Hello.
BRIX: What are you doing out here with these centaurs?
MALUS: Long story. What’s with your friend here?
FLOYD: You mean Hirsute? Oh, not much. He’s just dead, is all.
VIRGIL: The centaurs killed him after attacking us unprovoked.
MALUS: Well, it sounds like the centaurs need to correct their mistake. Proudtail?
MALUS: Your cleric.
PROUDTAIL: Send for the cleric!

CENTAUR #2 exits.

VIRGIL: Brixmore, how is this guy able to boss the centaurs around like this?
BRIX: I don’t know, I thought he was a farmer.
FLOYD: He must grow some badass oats, then.

CENTAUR #2 re-enters with a CENTAUR SHAMAN.

SHAMAN: All right, who’s the dead one? (Indicates GUY) Him?
FLOYD: Close. No, it’s this bag of bones right here.

FLOYD picks up HIRSUTE. The SHAMAN considers him for a moment.

BRIX: You think you can raise him?
SHAMAN: Not exactly. I’m not that powerful. I can, however, re-incarnate him. His soul will come back to life in a new body.
GUY: What kind of new body?
SHAMAN: That’s up to the god of reincarnation.
BRIX: And who might that be?
SHAMAN: Popao, the Reincarnation Monkey.
The reincarnation monkey swings from tree to tree
Casting transmutation on everything he sees
And with only a winking eye or a flicker of the tail
You go from being a giant to living as a snail
All hail Popao, his judgement is so random
There’s no way of telling
What you are to become!
Popao! Popao!
Popao! The Reincarnation Monkey!
FLOYD: Can I go on record as saying that I love this idea?
BRIX: I’ll take it one step further. If we want Hirsute to come back to life, this is the only viable idea we’ve got. I don’t have a gentle repose handy, and the chances of finding a cleric with full resurrection capabilities in the rural part of the Twilight Lands is slim.
GUY: So we have no other choice?
BRIX: I’m afraid not.
FLOYD: Well, all right then. When in Centaur Run…
It’s time to get funky
With the reincarnation monkey
Maybe he’ll come back chunky
You just never know!
VIRGIL: I am only hesitant
If comes back as something unpleasant
FLOYD: It’s like getting a birthday present
FLOYD & VIRGIL: You just never know!
SHAMAN: Oh-oh, bestow life
Upon this lost soul, bestow life!
SHAMAN: Now, we dance!

The CENTAURS, MALUS, and FLOYD break into exuberant dance. BRIX shrugs, then follows suit. VIRGIL joins in, albeitly more reserved than the others. Finally, GUY joins in. Singing:

The reincarnation monkey swings from tree to tree
Casting transmutation on everything he sees
And with only a winking eye or a flicker of the tail
You go from being a giant to living as a snail
All hail Popao, his judgement is so random
There’s no way of telling
What you are to become!
Popao! Popao!
Popao! The Reincarnation Monkey!
Oh-oh, bestow life
Upon this lost soul, bestow life!

The corpse of HIRSUTE explodes in a brilliant flash of light. The other s are knocked back to the ground. When the dust settles, a new human being sits covered in gooey remains.

VIRGIL: Hirsute?
FLOYD: Aw, another human? Weak!
HUMAN: What’s going on? Why am I covered in smoldering intestine?
FLOYD: Because it’s your birthday! You are the reincarnated form of our friend Hirsute MacGuffin, brought back to life by Popao, the Reincarnation Monkey.
HUMAN: Hirsute MacGuffin? That’s an awful name.
BRIX: Well, it’s a fresh start for you. You can call yourself anything you want.
HUMAN: Fine. I’ll be… Chris Tennision.

Off their reactions:

GUY: Nothing… that’s just… almost worse.
FLOYD: Nice to meet you, Chris Tennison.
HUMAN (now CHRIS TENNISON): Charmed. Tell me, what do I do?
VIRGIL: Mostly you fail to hit anything when we fight.
PROUDTAIL: Our debt to you is repaid. It would please me now for you and your party to leave this village.
VIRGIL: Well, that would please us, too, you son of a –
GUY: Virgil! Let it go. We’re off to the Tower of Puzzles.
MALUS: Tower of Puzzles, you say? Listen, let me walk you out.

MALUS, VIRGIL, GUY, FLOYD, BRIXMORE, and CHRIS TENNISON exit the centaur village, which flies out.

If you’re going to the Tower of Puzzles, could I get you to pick up something for me?
BRIX: Sure, Malus. What can we get you?
MALUS: There’s a suit of blue enamel armor up there that I would really like to get my hands on. If you find it, could I have it? I’d be happy to pay for it.
GUY: No problem. We’re headed to Britewater after that.
FLOYD: Are we, now?
GUY: Shut up, Floyd. Could you meet us there?
MALUS: That sounds just fine. Bye, boys!

MALUS turns back and heads for the centaur village. The party continues walking.

GUY: Seems like a nice fellow.

FLOYD turns to the audience as the others continue walking.

FLOYD: And so we trudged into the northern Twilight Lands at the onset of winter, finding ourselves in some extremely cold conditions. Guy and Virgil managed to kill an elk, which we used for food and to make some fancy fur clothing, which we really appreciated. Finally, after a week of travel, we arrived at the Tower of Puzzles. Unsurprisingly, we found the door to be unlocked. Unfortunately, it turns out that the Tower was poorly named, for instead of a series of puzzles, we found ourselves subjected to a series of traps.

From offstage:

VIRGIL: Ow! Spikes!
GUY: Yikes! Needles!
CHRIS TENNISON: Son of bitch! Fire!

FLOYD: Of course, what we found when we reached the top made it worth it. Kind of. For some of us.

The top level of the TOWER of PUZZLES flies in. It is a room with eight doors. In the middle of the room sits a D’JINN. The party enters as FLOYD joins them.

D’JINN: Welcome to the top level of the Tower of Puzzles!
GUY: Worst name ever.

CHRIS TENNISON coughs smoke.

D’JINN: For reaching the top, I am able to offer you this reward: You may choose to enter any of these eight doors and receive a prize. In return, you must pledge to return to the Tower in three year’s time.
VIRGIL: Do we really want to do that?
FLOYD: For fabulous prizes? I’d be willing to give it a go.
D’JINN: How many of you would like to enter a door?
FLOYD: I’ll go in one.
GUY: Me, too.
VIRGIL: Not me.
BRIX: I’ll take three doors!
D’JINN: Three doors? My, my, what a mighty adventurer! Your wishes are granted!

The D’JINN disappears.

GUY: Well, who’s going first?
FLOYD: I will! I will!

FLOYD opens his door. There is a goblet inside.

Hmm. Goblet with mysterious liquid.

FLOYD drinks.

VIRGIL: No, don’t!
FLOYD: Why not?
VIRGIL: You don’t know what that is! What if it’s poison?
FLOYD: Well, then it’s poison that somehow makes me stronger and tastes like grape. Look!

FLOYD flexes. It’s still not much.

BRIX: Me next! Let me try one of my doors.

BRIX opens a door. A knife flies out and pokes out his left eye.

OW! Owowoowowowowowowowwowow!

VIRGIL: Goddamn!

The others react in horror.

FLOYD: Well… who’s next?
GUY: I’ll go.

GUY approaches his door. He steadies himself, and opens it. Inside, he finds an ion stone.

Neat! Ion stone!
BRIX: (getting mad) Allright, well let’s see what’s behind door number two for Brixmore!

BRIX opens the second door. From within:

BRIX: Aw, dang it!

BRIX tries to storm out but trips and falls down.

FLOYD: Looks like it’s your turn, Chris Tennison.

CHRIS TENNISON opens a door. Inside is a scepter.

CHRIS TENNISON: Wowy wow-wow! A scepter.
GUY: One more door for you, Brix.
BRIX: If they put me on a stamp, tell them to use the young Brix.

BRIX flinches as he opens the door. Inside is a map.

What the hell is this?
VIRGIL: It appears to be a map of some sort.
BRIX: Well, that’s just great! Floyd gets a magic potion –
FLOYD: And a goblet!
BRIX: Guy gets an ion stone, Chris Tennison gets a scepter, and I get a knife in my eye, a curse, and a fucking map!

A pause. It’s too awkward a moment for anyone else to say something intelligent.


Magical music. The Tower of Puzzles flies out, and the boys find themselves standing in the snowy mountains.

FLOYD: I guess we’ll find out in three years.
BRIX: What a wash. We didn’t even get the armor that Malus wanted us to get.
CHRIS TENNISON: Yes we did. I got it while Floyd was talking to the audience.

CHRIS TENNISON pulls out the armor, along with a painting.

I also got this painting. I’m gonna try and sell it in Britewater.
GUY: Speaking of which, we should be going. To Britewater!
FLOYD: Can we do it the fast way?
GUY: Fine.
FLOYD: All right!
Put on your hat.
Wipe off that frown,
And join us in our dance
Through the power of song
There’s no going wrong
If you just give it a chance!
Stop taking things in a literal sense
And the Fiftynames Express will finally commence
ALL: We’ve got to get away
To Britewater today!

Button. The snowy mountains fly out to reveal a cave.

FLOYD: Hm. Britewater looks a little smaller than I thought.
GUY: Floyd, where did your stupid song take us?
BRIX: Guy – it wasn’t Floyd’s song… it was my map! Look, this is the place where it leads to. The map must’ve used Floyd’s song magic to take us here.
VIRGIL: Well, let’s check out this cave.

The boys go inside. There, they find a chest.

BRIX: Finally! It’s about time I got something out of that tower.

BRIX opens the chest and pulls out a sword in a scabbard, crackling with electricity.

VIRGIL: What is that?
GUY: I don’t know, but I bet we can get it appraised in Britewater. Shall we? The regular way this time.
FLOYD: You’re no fun, you know that?

The part exits. The cave flies out and the city of Britewater, a northwestern port city bustling with activity, flies in. The boys enter the city.

GUY: Well, here we are. Britewater!
BRIX: Look, there’s a cathedral! I’m gonna go get my curse removed.

BRIX exits.

GUY: Virgil, let’s go find an inn for us to stay at while we’re here.

VIRGIL & GUY exit.

FLOYD: Look, Chris Tennison! An art dealer! Let’s go sell your painting.

FLOYD and CHRIS TENNISON go to the art dealership. An ART DEALER greets them.

ART DEALER: Hello, I’m an art dealer, and that’s all you need to know about me.
FLOYD: Right on. How much for this goblet?
ART DEALER: A thousand gold, but you could get a much better deal for it in Compassgate.
FLOYD: Thank you, honest art dealer.
ART DEALER: Don’t mention it.
CHRIS TENNISON: What about this painting?
ART DEALER: Three hundred gold.
CHRIS TENNISON: No way! It’s worth a lot more than that!
ART DEALER: Have it your way.
CHRIS TENNISON: What about this scepter?
ART DEALER: Scepter? I –

As the ART DEALER sees the scepter, his eyes light up.

Oh, my yes, I would love to have that! Five thousand gold.
CHRIS TENNISON: Five thousand? What’s so special about it?
ART DEALER: Ten thousand!
CHRIS TENNISON: On second thought, it’s not for sale. Come on, Floyd, let’s get out of here.

FLOYD and CHRIS TENNISON hurry out of there.

Boy, he sure wanted this scepter.
FLOYD: He sure did. Wonder what’s so special about it?

FLOYD casts. ERIC’s head appears.

ERIC: Yes?
FLOYD: Hey, Eric, what’s so special about this scepter?
ERIC: Is there anything written on the side?
FLOYD: Yeah, it says, “Imperial Scepter.”
ERIC: Well, there’s your answer.
VOICE of ABBOTT TERIS: Thank you for using the Abbot Teris death link message service.

ERIC’s head disappears.

FLOYD: Imperial Scepter, huh?

BRIX enters.

Hey, Brix. Still cursed?
BRIX: No, they fixed it.
CHRIS TENNISON: What was the curse?
BRIX: Compelled celibacy.
FLOYD: Ooh. No thank you.

GUY and VIRGIL enter.

GUY: We need to get to the church, fast.
BRIX: What’s wrong?
VIRGIL: Guy drew this sword to take a look at it, and it killed everyone in the inn we were in.
FLOYD: You stabbed them with it?
GUY: No, all I did was draw it!
VIRGIL: And written on the sword are the words, “Lo I am Death.”
GUY: It’s an Apocalypse sword!
VIRGIL: A fucking Apocalypse sword!
BRIX: The church?
GUY & VIRGIL: The church!

The boys exit. The church flies in. The party enters to find a PRIEST and the BISHOP.

FLOYD: It’s the Bishop!
BISHOP: Hello.
BRIX: Your excellency –
BISHOP: Ah, Brixmore, good to see you again. I’m just about to go up to a meeting. Why don’t you boys come with me?
BRIX: We really need to talk to you!
BISHOP: Then come to the meeting. We’ll talk there.

The BISHOP exits, followed by the PRIEST, then BRIXMORE, GUY, and VIRGIL. FLOYD and CHRIS TENNISON are about to go, too, when MALUS enters.

MALUS: Hi there!
FLOYD: Hi, Malus!
CHRIS TENNISON: We got your armor!
MALUS: Hey, great. Where you guys headed?
FLOYD: To a meeting with the Bishop.
MALUS: Sounds good. Let me put this on, and I’ll join you.

MALUS exits in one direction, and FLOYD and CHRIS TENNISON follow after the BISHOP. The interior of the church flies out as a meeting room flies in. The BISHOP, GUY, VIRGIL, BRIX, FLOYD, and CHRIS TENNISON enter only to find themselves face to face with FAUST.

GUY: Faust!
VIRGIL: Son of a crap!
FAUST: Well, well, isn’t this a pleasant surprise.

FAUST raises his gloved hand, and one of his rings starts to glow. Suddenly, MALUS enters, decked out in his blue enamel armor. FAUST blanches at the sight.

MALUS: Hello, Faust. Welcome to hell.

MALUS laughs.

Nice glove.
FLOYD: Oh, snap!

FAUST aims his glove at MALUS, but MALUS charges and knocks FAUST through the wall. The two tumble out into the courtyard four stories below. At this point a PRIEST enters.

PRIEST: Your Excellency, the city is over-run by Formians!
BRIX: Your Excellency –
BISHOP: Brixmore. Now’s not a good time to talk.

Curtain closes.

End of Act III

Thursday, May 28, 2009

NPC Profile: Abbott Teris

The following is the beginning of an occasional series wherein we profile an NPC in the Order of the Abbey campaign.

It seems only natural we should start with Abbott Teris, who was the first major NPC in the lives of the Order of the Abbey. Abbott Teris was the Abbott of the Morningstar Abbey, an organization of brothers dedicated to the faith who earned their keep by making wine and ale. As Abbott, Teris was in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Abbey as well as keeping an eye on the spiritual well-being of its inhabitants.

The boys saw Teris as a father figure, as they had all been raised at Morningstar since they were very young children. Teris was completely trusted as a father figure and authority by the PC's, and that trust was both tested and amply rewarded when it came time to reveal the truth about the party's birthright. The boys, along with Eric (now Bjeorn) and Zarin (also known as Linus), were all born in the same year, designated on an ancient zodiac as the Year of the Ram, which occured every fifty years. The Year of the Ram was often notable because of a world-wide phenomenon wherein an exceptionally low number of births occurred. In this particular Year of the Ram, only twelve children were born; six sets of twins (more information is available on the Year of the Ram by consulting the game notes).

The night of Abbott Teris' death, he revealed the truth of the boys' origins to Brix, Eric, Floyd, Guy, and Virgil, and bound his spirit to them via a magic ritual which allows the PCs to summon the spirit of Teris from time to time. The rituals also protect the party from select negative energy and massive damage effects, and enable the boys to stay in contact with each other via magical messages and the ability to see through each others' eyes.

The party has summoned Abbott Teris sparingly, preferring to allow his spirit to rest in peace save for only the most important situations. Recently, while cleaning out a lich's cavern below the original edifice of the Abbey, the boys encountered a magic image of a much younger Teris, who stood gaurd at the door to the cavern and warned potential adventurers and explorers of the danger that lay within.

Although Abbott Teris was only alive for a brief portion of the PC's adventuring career, he has had a profound effect on their lives and remains to this day their principal father figure.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Session 9: Floyd's Puppet Theatre Interpretation

The Order of the Abbey Part Three: Puzzles and Traps

Act II

Open at the Dadga Bridge. A gnome in a silly hat and business-y robes sits on the bridge, singing a song. This is PHILIPI.

Of all the professions in this merry merry world,
Nothing beats being a scribe!
Observing the world and writing it down
makes me feel oh ever so alive!
So I find myself sitting here on the bridge
Increasing the sum of civil knowledge
It’s a lifestyle with many an ad-a-vantage,
So the conclusion at which I arrive
Is that nothing ever ever ever ever
Ever ever ever ever
Ever ever ever ever ever ever evAHr –
Ever beats being a scribe!
Ah, now for a little peace and quiet whilst I translate the runes on this bridge!

Noises off – the sounds of boisterous conversation. GUY, BRIXMORE, HIRSUTE, and FLOYD enter.

HIRSUTE: Bullshit!
FLOYD: You don’t want to believe me? That’s fine. Then I propose a drinking contest!
HIRSUTE: Right here and now?
FLOYD: Right here and now – in fact, this random stranger can officiate!
PHILIPI: Um, that’s okay, really.
HIRSUTE: No fair! He’s a gnome – he’ll be biased towards you.
FLOYD: Hirsute, something you need to understand – everyone is going to be biased towards me. (laughs) I’m Floyd Fiftynames!
HIRSUTE: You’re on.
FLOYD: Brixmore, you want in on this action?

BRIX cracks his neck.

BRIX: Sounds good. Count me in.
GUY: I’ll pass.

GUY approaches PHILIPI. FLOYD, BRIX, and HIRSUTE pull out the bottles of gnomish blue and fire whiskey and start drinking.

I’m Guy. What’s your name?
PHILIPI: Name’s Philipi the scribe.
GUY: A scribe, huh? What brings you out here in the middle of the Twilight Lands?
PHILIPI: I’m translating the runes on this bridge for my boss, Doogal.


GUY: Doogal?
PHILIPI: Yeah – do you know him?
GUY: I’ve heard the name.
PHILIPI: I’m putting together a book of significant features of the Western Continent.
GUY: Really? I’d love to buy a copy of it when you’re finished.
PHILIPI: No problem. What’s your name again?

BRIX stumbles up to GUY.

BRIX: Guy… Guy… you have to come drink with us.
GUY: No thanks, Brixmore. You three have fun.
BRIX: Just try this Gnomish Blue.
PHILIPI: Gnomish Blue? And you’re drinking it out of the bottle? Are you trying to commit suicide? I usually water mine down with a sugar cube and three gallons of milk.
BRIX: Come on, Guy! Issgonnabeawesum!
GUY: Fine. If I take a sip, will you leave me alone?
BRIX: My word is my bond.

The curtain closes. LILY the Mer-gnome enters with a sign that reads, “The Next Morning!”

LILY: Mer-gnomes!

The curtain opens. We are at the bottom of the ravine, underneath the bridge. A cavern on which it is written “Spooky Cavern! Come no further!” lies upstage. BRIX, FLOYD, GUY, and
HIRSUTE are all passed out. They groggily come to.

GUY: What happened last night?
FLOYD: Gnomish blue, baby. Accept no substitutes.
GUY: How did we get down here?
HIRSUTE: That’s probably best left unexplained, if this cheese in my pants is any indication.
BRIX: Ohhhhhh…
GUY: Is Brix okay?
FLOYD: He tied it on harder than any of us.
HIRSUTE: He’s a little green around the gills, but otherwise, none the worse for wear.
GUY: Well, since we’re down here, we should probably investigate that ghost you were telling us about, Floyd. Where should we start?
FLOYD: My guess would be that cavern over there.
HIRSUTE: Are you crazy? It’s spooky!
GUY: Then we’ll perform my spooky cavern test.

GUY chucks a rock into the cavern. We hear a loud splash.

Well, who feels like going swimming?

FLOYD ties a rope to his waist.

FLOYD: I’ll go. I used to be mer-gnome.
FLOYD: Never mind.

FLOYD exits into the cavern. B-Stage opens up to reveal an underground cavern with a large rock wall, a pool of water, and a decrepit chapel. FLOYD appears from the bottom of the pool and climbs out onto the shore. As he wrings out his clothes, a FEY appears inside the rock. This is ALVIN.

FLOYD: Gah! What are you, another ghost?
ALVIN: No, I’m a fey who can only come to this world by manifesting myself in rocks. The name’s Alvin, but you can call me Al.
FLOYD: Well, I’m not going to sing a song about that.
ALVIN:…who said you had to?
FLOYD: No one… I guess. Touche, Al.

FLOYD tugs on the rope. Almost immediately, GUY, BRIX, and HIRSUTE emerge from the pool. FLOYD looks to the audience:

Sped up for dramatic effect.
BRIX: (sputtering) That’s one way to fight a hangover!
GUY: Floyd – what’cha got?
FLOYD: Underground cavern, unseely trapped in a rock, decrepit church – you know, Tuesday.
HIRSUTE: Hey buddy –
HIRSUTE: Hirsute MacGuffin, nice to meet you. Say, you seen any little girl ghosts around here?

The GHOST of the little girl appears behind HIRSUTE.

ALVIN: You mean like that one?

HIRSUTE looks behind him at the GHOST, then returns his gaze to ALVIN.

HIRSUTE: Yes, like that one – w-w-wha? A g-g-g-ghost!
FLOYD: Oh, hi there! We came looking for you.
GHOST: You’ve got to get out of here, or he’ll get mad.
BRIX: Who’s he?
ALVIN: Oh, did I forget to tell you about the wraith?

A WRAITH enters from the ruins of the church.

FLOYD: I think I’d remember if you had.
ALVIN: Oh. My mistake.
GUY: Brixmore, can you fend him off?
BRIX: No worries – my holy symbol will keep him at bay!

BRIX shines his holy symbol at the WRAITH. It recoils, but does not retreat.

Um, we might need stronger magic than I have handy.

HIRSUTE and GUY swing wildly at the WRAITH.

HIRSUTE: Well, our weapons aren’t doing any good!
GHOST: (to FLOYD) Inside the church!
FLOYD: What?
GHOST: There’s a knife – hurry and get it!

FLOYD runs into the church, and comes out with a dagger, which he tosses to GUY. GUY stabs the WRAITH, who writhes in pain before disappearing.

GHOST: Thank you! I’m free now! Here’s a present!

The GHOST vanishes, leaving behind a coin. BRIX picks it up.

BRIX: Another one of the twelve pieces!
GUY: Wow! Good side quest, Floyd.
HIRSUTE: Let’s get out of here.

The party begins get into the pool.

ALVIN: Bye now! And hey, just say my name near a rock if you ever want to summon me!
FLOYD: Thanks. I’ll remember that the next time I want to talk to someone inside a rock.

And they’re gone. B Stage closes; A Stage re-opens to reveal the Cracked Flagon’s interior, bustling with activity. FLOYD, GUY, BRIX, and HIRSUTE are standing at the bar, talking to TOK.

…and that’s how come you should never drink Gnomish Blue straight from the bottle.

An ILLREAN RANGER, clad in black leather armor, approaches the party.

RANGER: Pardon me – I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation. You boys are pretty brave.
GUY: Um, thanks.
HIRSUTE: Who are you?
RANGER: I am an Illrean Ranger. We are an order dedicated to bringing peace and justice to our lands and beyond.
GUY: Great! So, anyway, Tok, we were thinking…
RANGER: (continues, oblivious) As it happens, I think I have a theory about the what’s been plaguing these lands of late.
GUY: What?
BRIX: I think he’s having his own conversation.
RANGER: If you ask me –
HIRSUTE: We didn’t.
RANGER: - I think goblins are responsible.
FLOYD: Oh, I disagree. I think goblins, by their chaotic nature, are actually very irresponsible.
TOK: Are you crazy, Ranger? There haven’t been goblins this far west in years?
RANGER: Exactly, which is why it begs the question –
HIRSUTE: It doesn’t.
RANGER: - why are they back?
TOK: Assuming they’re even here.
RANGER: Oh, they’re here… even now, lurking among us, any one of your patrons could be a deadly green-skinned scourge in disguise!
They’re always telling lies
And their beady little eyes
Are looking for a way to
Cut you down to size
Skin so sallow and so green
They’re the opposite of clean
They will terrorize your family
They will feast upon your spleen!
Goblins! Oh, they might say, nice to meet you,
But deep inside
They try to hide
They just really want to eat you
Dreadful Goblins! Lurk outside your house at night
Now that you’ve heard
Give me your word
To give them a good fight!
CUSTOMER: But how can we protect ourselves against the goblin threat?
RANGER: I’m glad you asked…
You must always keep alert
Unless you wish to flirt
With the frightful possibility
Of your children being hurt
Keep a sword beside your bed
Also needle and some thread
On the off chance that you wound yourself
When cutting off their heads
Goblins! They try to sneak into your room
There’s no sub
For a proper club
‘cause you can’t beat them with a broom
Filthy Goblins! They will try to rape your wife
So stick a spear
Inside their ear
If you want to save her life!
RANGER: They are coming to your town
CUSTOMERS: Defend your farm
With your pole arm
And take those filthy bastards down!
Evil Goblins! Don’t let them see the light of day
Show no remorse,
Spare no recourse,
Until they’re all driven away!

Spoken; music under.

RANGER: There is no known cure for the disease Goblinitis –
HIRSUTE: Because it doesn’t exist.
RANGER: … says you. Anyway, the only prescribed treatment is a healthy dose of ass-whompin’, which I will mete out to every goblin with terrible authority!
CUSTOMER: But how does one recognize the symptoms of Goblinitis?
BRIX: (to the customer, re: the Ranger) Do you know this guy?
RANGER: Well, if anyone would know, it’d be me, because I have a doctorate in Goblinology.
HIRSUTE:… no you don’t.
RANGER: A common customary sign
That you have been so aligned
Is that your face is pale and green
Like it’s been soaked in pickle brine
And there’s no mistaking if you saw
The rotund goblinitis jaw
With pointed, razor-sharp teeth
That adorn that gaping maw
Goblins! They will eat all your livestock
And nothing will protect them
Even if your front gate locks
Fucking goblins! They are masters of disguise
They’ll be dressed as sheep
Wait ‘til you’re asleep,
And then they’ll terrorize!
RANGER, CUSTOMER, & FLOYD: Goblins! Oh, they might say, nice to meet you,
But deep inside
They try to hide
They just really want to eat you
Dreadful Goblins! Lurk outside your house at night
Now that you’ve heard
Give me your word
To give them a good fight!
Button. Spoken:

GUY: (to FLOYD) You just had to get in on that last chorus, didn’t you?
FLOYD: Do you even know me?
BRIX: I don’t mean to be a wet blanket here, but can we do something that advances the story a little bit?
GUY: Sure, Brix. What were we doing in the first place?
BRIX: Well, when I found you guys at the Warrior’s Rest last week, you were talking to some Lizardfolk about the son of the Centaur chief being convalesced in their village.
TOK: Wait, wait, stop. You guys know where Stonehoof is?
HIRSUTE: Um, yeah.
TOK: And you’re supposed to be taking him back to the centaurs as we speak?
FLOYD: Well, not as we speak, necessarily…
TOK: Then what the hell are you doing in my bar listening to this guy sing?
RANGER: I bear a very important warning about future events, and I –
TOK: Shut up! Now, you four, get your asses out of here and go take care of this!
FLOYD: Okay! This really means a lot to you, doesn’t it?
TOK: Fact is, I’m kind of tired of being captured and interrogated every night when I got to use the outhouse.
GUY: Understandable. So we’re off, right? It’s only a day’s walk to the village.
FLOYD: Pffsssh. I can get us there in three minutes.
GUY: How?
FLOYD: Power of song, brother. Power of song.
GUY: Must we? We just had a song.
FLOYD: Well, the last part only had one song, so I’ve got to make up some lost ground.
Say you’ve got to get somewhere,
And you need to get there fast,
You’re a tortoise in a race,
And you can’t afford to come in last…

Light isolates FLOYD, BRIX, GUY, and HIRSUTE

Put on your hat!Grab up your gear
We’re gonna take a ride
Through the power of song
There’s no going wrong
Just sail out on the tide
When you tend to take things in the literal sense
You have to round every corner and jump every fence
But traveling through song is what gives you license
To head from A to B
Without passing every tree!
The journey can take so long!
FLOYD & HIRSUTE: But a journey becomes a jaunt
When lovingly expressed in vibrant song!
FLOYD: Put on your hat.
GUY: I’m not doing that.
FLOYD: Grab up your gear
GUY: Fuck you in your ear.
FLOYD: We’re gonna take a ride
GUY: I’m not going for a ride
FLOYD: Through the power of song
GUY: I’d rather be a thief
FLOYD: There’s no going wrong
GUY: than suspend disbelief
FLOYD: Just sail out on the tide
GUY: walking will suit me fine
FLOYD: Don’t take everything in a literal sense
GUY: Singing this song is making me tense
FLOYD: But traveling through song is what gives you license
To bypass all that crap
Like ambushes, monsters, and traps!
Think Floyd has a point
FLOYD & BRIX: so give in to me (him)
And we swear that we won’t disappoint!
Put on your hat.
GUY: I don’t even have a hat!
FLOYD: Wipe off that frown,
And join us in our dance
Through the power of song
There’s no going wrong
If you just give it a chance!
Stop taking things in a literal sense
And the Fiftynames Express will finally commence
HIRSUTE & BRIX: Come on now, Guy, it’s not worth the suspense!

GUY sighs, resigned, and does a little dance step.

FLOYD, HIRSUTE, and BRIX: Now up, up, and away –
FLOYD: To Cali-forni-a!

Button. A set flies in for the Santa Monica Pier. A seagull flies by and poops on GUY. Several HOMELESS MEN enter.

HOMELESS MEN: You got a dollar, buddy?
GUY: Floyd, what the hell is this?
FLOYD: Oops. One more time, from the key change.
FLOYD, HIRSUTE, and BRIX: So let this song evoke –
The Village of the Lizardfolk!

Button. Santa Monica flies out and the Lizardfolk Village flies in. BRICKA is there to meet them.

BRICKA: Good to see you lads, again.
GUY: Good to see you, too, Bricka.
BRICKA: Hey… where’s Virgil?

A beat. Suddenly, it dawns on the group that VIRGIL hasn’t been here for several pages.

BRIX: What the hell?
HIRSUTE: How long has he been –
FLOYD: Did we even leave the Warrior’s Rest with him?
GUY: I don’t think so.
BRIX: Oh, man!
HIRSUTE: Where is he?

B-Stage opens to reveal a dank dungeon cell with a table in the middle. VIRGIL and ELLIOTT are playing cards.

ELLIOTT: You got any grim reapers?
VIRGIL: Nope. Go fish.

B-Stage closes.
SICKATOR, the new shaman in town, enters.

SICKATOR: Bricka! What are these infidels doing here in the village?
BRICKA: Easy, Sickator. They’re just here to get Stonehoof back to his pride.
BRIX: Who’s that?
BRICKA: Sickator, he’s the new shaman. He’s Likalik’s son.
BRIX: Lovely.
SICKATOR: They will not survive the night if they remain!

SICKATOR storms off.

HIRSUTE: This promises to end well.

Noises off, screaming, and flames. A Lizardfolk warrior runs in.

WARRIOR: Chief Bricka, Chief Bricka! Sickator torched the medical encampment, sir, with Stonehoof in it!
BRICKA: Is he - ?
WARRIOR: No, sir, he’s alive, but Sickator has run off in the direction of the Bloody Crag!
GUY: We’re on it. Hirsute –
HIRSUTE: -MacGuffin –
GUY: You go find Virgil and bring him back to us. Brix, can you attend to Stonehoof?
BRIX: Aye.
GUY: Floyd… you’re with me.
FLOYD: Well, all right! Where are we going?
GUY: After Sickator. This time, it’s personal.
FLOYD: In what way?
GUY: Well, it’s not, really, but I was trying to think of a way to end on a dramatic note.
FLOYD: (sniffles) I’ve never been prouder of you.
GUY: But if it’s not personal, what can we say?
FLOYD: Anything. Just use that righteous inflection you had going on.
GUY: Okay… This time, it’s… I can’t think of anything.
FLOYD: It doesn’t matter. You could even say, “I forgot to put on my pants this morning,” and it would sound cool if you say it like that. Try it.
GUY: You sure?
FLOYD: Absolutely.
GUY: We’re going after Sickator. I forgot to put on pants this morning.
FLOYD: Hm. Wasn’t as effective as I thought.

Curtain Closes.

End of Act II

Game Notes Session 12

Gameplay began where the party left off, just having completed the third level of the Tower of Puzzles. The party proceeds on to the fourth level, which turns out to be a trap built around a trick floor and a hammer. After taking some spike damage, the party proceeds to the staircase going to level five and rests. After resting, they discover level five to be a nasty little four-door trap that’s designed to set you on fire. Chris Tennison steals the paintings from this room. Managing to bypass that trap, they reach the top of the tower, where they discover a djinn, who offers them eight magic doorways in exchange for promising to come back to the Tower in three years’ time. After reluctantly agreeing to this, the boys choose their doors. Crossing each doorway magically compels you to follow through with an intended action inside.

Brixmore chooses three doors. In the first, he finds a knife, and is compelled to put out his left eye. In the second, he is cursed. In the last, he finds a map.

Floyd chooses one door. He finds a goblet, drinks from it, and gains +2 to his Constitution. He also keeps the goblet.

Guy chooses a door, and gets and ion stone.

Chris Tennison chooses a door and gets a cool scepter.

After completing the doors, the boys are magically transported out of the tower, wherupon they decide to follow Brix’s map. The map takes them to the sea, which they see for the first time, and to a cave, where they find a trunk with a sword that deals electricity damamge when you draw it, a deck of many things, and something else. The party does not use the deck, but instead chooses to head for Britewater. In Britewater, they find themselves having to spend the night at some Tranny Hotel, and the next morning, they go to the cathedral, where Brixmore gets his curse removed (it was a curse of celibacy). Meanwhile, Floyd and Chris Tennison go to visit an art dealer, who agrees to broker a deal with a buyer for the two paintings in Chris’ posession. He makes an offer on the goblet, which Floyd respectfully declines because he could get nearly twice its worth in Compassgate. Chris also shows the scepter to the dealer, who reacts strongly to it, and gains Chris’ immediate distrust. Fl0yd and Chris send a message to Eric, who basically gives away that they have the Emporers’ Scepter. At this point, they decide to head back to the others.

Guy and Brix have returned to the Hotel Tranny and opened up the sword. On the sword, in Celestial runes, it is written “Lo, I am Death.” They realize they have the Apocalypse Sword. They quickly sheath the sword, only to discover that everything within an 80 foot radius of the drawing area was killed. The boys reunite, and decide it would be better to leave Britewater immediately. First, though, they are compelled by the Bishop of the Cathedral to stay for a meeting of the city leaders, who have something they want to request of the party. This gives Floyd and Chris time to go to their meeting with the art dealer. They meet with the dealer at the Royal Hotel, where the buyer is revealed to be Malus. Malus kills the art dealer at Chris’ request, pays the boys, and they go to the Cathedral, where they give Malus the armor he had requested, which they picked up in the Tower of Puzzles.

Meanwhile, Virgil, Guy, and Brix have come to the meeting of the Britewater City leaders, and Faust just happens to be there. Before the meeting can begin, however, Floyd, Chris, and Malus arrive, and Malus and Faust exchange glances, whereupon Malus tells Faust, “nice glove,” before activating his armor (which becomes blue enamel at this point). And it is on.

Game Notes Session 11

Gameplay began in Yish, where the party reunites, Stonehoof is healthy, and the time has finally come to return him to the centaur village. The party finds Stonehoof to be insufferably spoiled and haughty, but he is largely tolerated due to his status and the party’s need for his good word when he is returned to the Centaurs. That evening, a band of centaurs discovers the party and Stonehoof. After diplomatic relations fail miserably, the party is almost completely wiped out by the centaurs (MacGuffin is killed). Stonehoof speaks for the party, and Brix is able to resuscitate the wounded, and the centaurs take the party as prisoners and return with Stonehoof to Proudtail, the chief.

Because of Stonehoof’s influence, the centaurs do not kill the party, but the party demands to speak to the centaur chief, where diplomatic relations remain tense, and the boys explain that the party is largely responsible for Stonehoof being alive, and that the Lizardmen were instrumental in helping as well (though this does not sit well with Proudtail). The boys demand that something be done about their deceased compatriot, and while Proudtail initially refuses aid, they are interrupted by Malus, a traveling Farmer / Warrior who is staying in the Centaur encampment. Malus is an associate of Brixmore’s dating back some time, and Malus uses his influence to require Proudtail’s cleric to reincarnate MacGuffin (the most the cleric’s abilities can provide), who, fortunately, comes back as a human named Chris Tennison.

After staying with Malus, the party and he leave the Centaur village the next morning, but go their separate ways soon after that. The party heads for the Tower of Puzzles, forcing their way through extreme cold. Guy and Virgil manage to kill an elk and use its skins to make warm clothing for the party; Floyd cooks up some mean elk-steak.

The party arrives at the Tower of Puzzles, and makes their way in. There is a puzzle for each level, and they solve the following:

Level I: Balance the Scales – Using an assortment of metal blocks, the party has to choose which ones will balance the scale in the center of the room, which opens the door (the party also takes the unused gold, platinum, and silver from the table)

Level II: Riddle of the Sphinx – The boys correctly deduce that the answer to the Sphinx’s riddle is (oh, crap, what was it? Help!)

Level III: Metal Walls – the party solves the riddle to which the answer is “rain.”

Level IV: Who’s the Killer – the party correctly guesses that the killer is the woman.

They are on their way to the next level when the session ends.

Game Notes Session 10

A Note on combined sessions:

Due to the unuusual structure of the last two weeks, the sessions played herein have been condensed into one notes package. An effort will not be made to streamline 10.a & 10.b into a recognizable continuity. Rather, both sessions will be noted separately. For ease of reference, use the following:

10/28/07 Session 10.a Characters: Virgil, Hirsute, & Brixmore
11/1/07 Session 10.b Characters: Floyd & Guy

Notes: (10.a)

Gameplay began with Virgil; whose absence from Session IX is explained – he had been summoned to Brother Elliot’s current residence, where he obtained a good map of Arimathea, and was allowed to ask Elliott a couple of questions, the consequences of such did not have a major effect on the plot. He also learns two things: that there is a secret door at the Inn of the Jolly Badger in Drea that nobody knows about, and that the Eye of Thoth is still in the Tower of the Broken Moon.

Virgil soon after makes his way back to Drea, where he meets up with MacGuffin, who was sent to retrieve him. They return to Yish, where they meet up with Brixmore and Stonehoof, the centaur cheiftan’s son.

Notes: (10.b)

Gameplay begins with Floyd and Guy speaking to Bricka, the Lizardman Chief of Yish, whereupon Bricka informs the two that the worship of Krissk (the religion of choice for Likalik and Sikator) has been outlawed. Guy and Floyd head north and west towards the gnoll fortress, meeting a friendly lizardman on the way who shares their camp one night, and a dwarven messenger from Britewater, who is delivering messages asking for aid, as Britewater is currently under seige by a race of large insects (Formians). Floyd purchases a detailed map of the Twilight Lands from the messenger.

Floyd and Guy make their way to the gnoll stronghold, only to discover its fortifications are much heavier than they originally suspected (wyverns, ogres, you know the drill). After fighting off a gnoll guard party (with monstrous hyenas and a rhino, to boot), and seeing the front gate of the fortress, they spot an old gnoll, who has been kicked out of the society because he has outlived his usefulness to them. They confront him, but do not kill him, instead getting information out of him as to a back entrance and the known whereabouts of Sikator, who seems to have headed in a direction far away from Yish and the Centaur Run, making his involvement in further trying to hurt or kill Stonehoof unlikely. Floyd and Guy return to Yish, and report what they have seen to Bricka. They also agree to help set up diplomatic relations between Yish and a local human town, now that the party has created an alliance with their society.

Game Notes: Session 9

Gameplay began the morning after we left off, the party having slept at The Warrior’s Rest. When they awake the next morning, they find that Virgil is gone, along with whatever he normally carried with him. He had been awoken for his watch, but he never woke anyone else up, and now he was gone. The party attempted to contact him via message, and they were able to discern that he was all right, but that he would be off on his own for about a week. A perfunctory search of the Warrior’s Rest turns up little, but Guy does have an encounter with a man wearing similar armor to another man Brix saw at the Flagon. While the party is searching for Virgil, Brixmore arrives, his time of reflection well-spent. The party determines that they have much to accomplish, so they set out on their way, heading back to the Bridge.

They reach the Bridge by nightfall, where they choose to camp. While they are camping, a gnome arrives (Phillipi), who is a scribe working for Doogal. He is translating the runes on the bridge. The party strikes up a conversation with him and forge a basic friendship – Guy even makes a promise to buy a book he’s writing. A little drinking goes on that night, with Floyd and Brix taking a bit from MacGuffin’s bottle of gnomish blue. Unfortunately, Brix can’t really hold his blue, and spends some time testing his echo over the edge of the bridge. Floyd, on the other hand, is able to handle the liquor, though he doesn’t fare much better that evening.

The spectre of the girl appears again, and everyone sees it, but at the last second, the girl’s ghost is grabbed by a large ghostly figure and taken to the bottom of the ravine. This solidifies the party’s position towards investigating what’s down there. The next morning, the boys make their attempt to get to the bottom of the ravine. After an excrutiatinly difficult process, the kids get to the bottom, and then make their way to the cavern on the side. They have to crawl most of the way until they discover that they’re impeded by water. Floyd scouts under the water, eventually discovering a pocket where the ruins of a chapel lie. In addition, they find the spirit of an unseely trapped inside a rock.

The rest of the party comes over to the pocket cavern, and they investigate the chapel, discovering the remains of a man and a girl, but also the ghost of the girl and a wraith (this is the figure that took the ghost girl back to the bottom of the ravine). A fight ensues between the party and the wraith, with Guy striking the deciding blow using a knife that is found in the chapel. A search of the chapel reveals one of the 12 artifact coins, which Brix keeps on his person. On their way out of the cavern, the unseely tells them how to conjure him inside of any rock.

The party climbs out of the ravine and begins the trek to Drea. They arrive in Drea late the next day, and continue traveling to the Cracked Flagon, which they reach on the 4th day of their journey. At the Flagon, they discover that tensions in the Centaur community have not eased, there is another one of those black armor guys, and Tok has another farmer disappearance for them to investigate. The boys travel out to the farmhouse in question, but discover this is not a “Harvester” situation, but rather, a raid and burn crime. The party returns to the Flagon, where they tell Tok and the black armor guy what has happened – the black armor guy drops hints that goblins, who don’t exist in this part of the world, may have played a part in the event. It is soon revealed that the black armor guy is one of an order of peacekeepers from a neighboring kingdom, and that even outside of their jurisdiction, they are well-respected.

After spending the night at the Flagon, the party heads off for Yish. They arrive late that night, where they are informed by Chief Bricka that Stonehoof is under their care, but they are constantly being attacked by gnolls who are intent on injuring or killing the young centaur. They also discover there’s a new shaman in town, Likalik’s son. He is not at all friendly towards the party, despite the chief’s full support of the gang. The boys agree to help stand guard over Stonehoof while he recovers. That night, as expected, a raiding party of gnolls arrives, and the party, along with several Lizardman gaurds, hold them off. The next evening, Stonehoof is injured again when a giant wall of fire descends upon the medical hut. This, coupled with the disappearance of Likalik’s son, lead the party to decide on a split up strategy. MacGuffin heads out to find Virgil, while Brix stays in Yish to watch over / heal Stonehoof. Floyd, and Guy, meanwhile, head off to find and take care of the new shaman.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Floyd's Will

The Last Will and Testament of Floyd Fiftynames

I, Floyd Fiftynames, being of sound mind and impressive body, do hereby issue forth the following last WILL AND TESTAMENT, the purpose of which is to delineate passage of my worldly goods at the time of my death as defined herein:


The Death of Floyd Fiftynames, Liscenced Bard constitutes a permanent seperation of body and soul, for which empirical evidence can be supplied by performing the following tests:

- a small bit of fire has been placed under, but not applied to Floyd Fiftynames’ testicles
- the body of Floyd Fiftynames has been placed upon a stage before an audience eager to be entertained
- an attempt at resurrection or reincarnation has been made with the soul unwilling to return to the body
- the soul makes said choice based on a satisfaction with its new existence, and is not bound by any force, magical, supernatural, or otherwise
- no maiden of any worthwhile consience or upbringing would be willing to submit to union with the body of Floyd Fiftynames; an inquiry of at least three maidens shall suffice.
- Having been subjected to a “Speak with Dead” spell (no grave crawlers, please. Ew.), the body of Floyd Fiftynames confirms that it has no unfinished business to attend to in contrast to the wishes of his cheeky, fly-by-night soul
- Sufficient proof has been obtained that indicates the boyd of Floyd Fiftynames is operating under a state of undeath, vampiric or otherwise

Once the preceding tests have been run, and it may be determined that Floyd Fiftynames has entered a state of peaceful passing, an affadavit may be signed by his closest living relative OR by the First Gnome of the Fifty Gnomes. At this point, the body of Floyd Fiftynames shall lie in state for a three days in the meeting hall of the Fifty Gnomes. Following this period, his corpse shall be interred to ash, and his remains scattered over the grounds of the Morningstar Abbey (no skeleton or zombie for Floyd Fiftynames, please).


The following constitutes a list and representation of Floyd Fiftynames’ worldly posessions:

1 Hat of Gnomish Legacy
1 Rapier of the 50th Gnome

1 Pair, Boots of the Jester

1 Pair, Gloves of the Nimble Thief

1 Belt of Coin Pouches

1 Hat Band of Floyd Fiftynames

1 Backpack of Exceptional Usefulness

1 High Elves’ Bane Dagger

1 Ring of Wizardry Type I

1 Cloak of Charisma

1 Box, previous property of Abbott Teris

1 Set of Masterwork Thieves’ Tools

1 Original Songbook

1 Magic Wooden Bird

1 Mask of the Metal Man

1 Hand of the Mage

1 Lute*

1 Pipe*

1 Horn of Fog

In addition, Floyd Fiftynames is bound to have a selection of wealth collected in coins and precious stones, as well as a smattering of potions, salves, unguents, oils, scrolls, and other possessions of limited-use magical property.

Upon the occasion of Floyd Fiftynames’ passing, all of Floyd Fiftynames’ goods fall into the temporary provenance of the remaining members of the Order of the Abbey – Guy Furyaxe (‘nee Fiftynames), Brixmore and Virgil Deathbow, until the circumstances of their retirement, disinterest, or passing may be realized. At such time, the following itmes shall find their way to the following institutions:

- To the Morningstar Abbey, I leave the box of Abbott Teris – a non-magical artifact whose final place should be the home of it’s original owner, as well as the Horn of Fog to protect its denziens with obfuscation during times of trouble.
- To the League of Bards and Skalds (a sub-branch of the Adventurer’s Guild), I leave the following items to be given as gifts of prestige to other worthy bards – the Ring of Wizardry, the Magic Bird, and my musical instruments. In addition, I bequeath the Mask of the Metal Man as an ornament to adorn your wall and as an evidence of my work during my training to achieve the rank of Liscenced Bard.
- To the monastary established by my loyal friend Brixmore, I leave the Hatband of Floyd Fiftynames that he created for me, that it be used as a testament to his skill and a useful tool in your fundraising efforts.
- To the Armory of the Freelands, I leave my rapier and the High Elves’ Bane dagger, that they may serve one who fights for your cause.
- To the Fifty Gnomes, I leave the bulk of my estate. I have invested a tremendous amount of faith, passion, and labor into the creation and maintainence of this organization and I am pleased to bequeath the following items with the understood provisions:

To the general good of the organization I leave the sum total of my wealth in coin, gems, and limited-use magical items, after a thirty percent inheritance tax is paid to the Freelands’ treasury. In addition, my original songbook, which shall be displayed with prominence within the halls of the organization, shall provide some modicum of perpetual income: the performance and distribution rights of every song may be sold at a price to be determined by the Fifty Gnomes.

As items of general use, I leave the Hand of the Mage, my thieves’ tools, my backpack, my belt, and my gloves. These items may be distributed as the First Gnome sees fit upon Gnomes of Distinction or higher within the organization.

To the office of the Second Gnome, I leave the Boots of the Jester.

To the office of the First Gnome I leave the Hat of Gnomish Legacy and the Cloak of Charisma.

These items described above are items of prestige, mantles of one’s office and position within the organization. When a Fifty Gnome leaves his office or organization, these items are to be remaindered to the organization for redistribution.

- Finally, to the Executive Council of the Freelands, I leave my mundane items (clothes, equipment, etc.), as well as the performance rights for the Order of the Abbey Puppet Musical in trust for the eventual establishment of a museum in Dreia dedicated to the adventures of myself and the rest of the Order of the Abbey.


If the provisions of my will are not carried out, I hereby decree the following objective to the order of the Fifty Gnomes, in part or in whole, that the violators be hunted down, branded as “Hatless” upon the temple, stripped of their rights within this will if they have any, and their goods remaindered to the Executive Council’s museum trust, or if the orgnaization remains in good standing, to the organization to which the item now rightfully belongs.

So Signed and Declared,

So Witnesseth,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Floyd's Full Name

In case you were wondering.


The League of Bards and Skalds

The League of Bards & Skalds
Hear the voice of the bard,
Who present, past, and future sees;
Whose ears have heard
The Holy Word,
That walked among the ancient trees

What does it mean to know everything? Who can quantify the burden we bear? To have generations of knowledge literally at your fingertips – from the secret treasure troves of legendary kings and dragons to the peach pie recipe that Grandma Bellowsmender thought she had hidden away safely in her skirt.

Imagine you have the power to use that knowledge to influence the fabric of reality itself. By weaving stories and songs, you can bring confidence to a small group of comrades or even an entire army at your command, or convince the maiden fair to help you with your flossing.

You are a seducer of emotion, and the caretaker of whimsy. You create chaos in Hell and bring order to the Abyss. Your are capable of finding audience with the noblest of nobles, but you are most comfortable with the everyday laborer.

You are called minstrel, storyteller, poet, or songsmith, but what you are is the bard.

Article 1: Name
The name of this organization shall henceforth be the League of Bards and Skalds.

Article 2: Allegiances
The League of Bards and Skalds is a subset of The Adventurer’s Guild.

Article 3: Membership
Membership in the League of Bards and Skalds is open only to members of the Adventurer’s Guild who meet the following criteria:
a. Annual submission of a written work is required, whether it be a song, story, poem, or paper of historical research. This written work need not be commissioned specifically for the League, but the member must be able to claim sole or primary authorship.
b. Members must agree to present two annual performances or educational lectures for Adventurer’s Guild members in an approved Guild Hall.
c. Members agree to utilize their talents for members of the Adventurer’s Guild freely, and without expectation of monetary gain.
d. A total of eighty (non-performance) volunteer service hours towards the Adventurer’s Guild shall be required annually.
e. Above volunteer service hours may be waived in exchange for a $100 gp yearly membership dues payment.
f. Candidates for membership must be at least Apprentice Adventurer level members of the Adventurer’s Guild.

Article 4: Government
The League of Bards and Skalds is a non-governing, non-evolving body. Amendments to the bylaws may be made by a quorum of two-thirds of members meeting. There shall only be three officers in the league:

Dean – the Dean of the League of Bards and Skalds serves as the de-facto executor of the organization. He calls and officiates meetings, keeps treasury records, and allocates League funds for projects. In addition, the Dean determines disciplinary action, when appropriate, towards wayward members.

Historian – the Historian of the League of Bards and Skalds is charged with keeping historical records of the group’s activities, collecting items for the League’s office, collecting required documents and funds as a condition of membership, and safeguarding and interpreting the League’s policies as outlined in these bylaws.

Librarian – the Librarian of the League of Bards and Skalds is the keeper of the League library, where submitted member works are kept and checked out. In addition, this office is charged with drafting written correspondence from the League to its members, as well as consulting with the Dean and Historian in creating new policies and procedures for the League. Finally, the Librarian is in charge of recommending Bards and Skalds for official licensing (see Article 9).

Article 5: Election of Officers
Election of officers shall be conducted on a bi-annual basis. Unexpected vacancies shall be filled by appointment; the Dean shall appoint the Historian and Librarian, and the Historian and Librarian shall appoint a Dean in conjunction with the first three general members they find at the Guild Hall at which they are currently stationed.

Article 6: Sharing of Work
Members of the League of Bards and Skalds shall be permitted to perform each other’s work without royalty or compensation so long as appropriate credit is given to the author of the work prior to its performance.

Article 7: Dissolution
A quorum vote of two-thirds is required to dissolve the League of Bards and Skalds. At such time, all group assets will be liquidated, with the exception of original works of living authors or deceased authors with surviving heirs, which are turned over to their original author or selected heir. Once assets are liquid, the funds will be split equally among active members, regardless of whether or not they voted for or against dissolution.

Article 8: Dissolution of Adventurer’s Guild
In the event of a dissolution of the Adventurer’s Guild, the League of Bards and Skalds shall meet to determine whether to dissolve the League or branch out independently. At this point it is agreed that a full-fledged governing body must be established.

Article 9: Licensing
With the dissolution of the Bardic College, The League of Bards and Skalds sees fit to become the official licensing organization for the continent. The titles, Licensed Bard or Licensed Skald may only be used if one is licensed by the League of Bards and Skalds. Licensing shall be granted by the officers of the League. Until such time, the appropriate designation shall be “minstrel” (no governance shall oversee the status of wandering or rooted territorials).

Article 10: Location & Identification
The official office of the League of Bards and Skalds shall be established in the Guild Library of the first Guild Hall built. This office will be the only official physical location of the League. Large meetings shall be conducted in the Common Room of the Guild Hall.

Members of the League of Bards and Skalds shall be identified by the logo, designed by Floyd Fiftynames. This logo will be painted on the wall of the Guild Library, and patches shall be made for all League members, to be sewn to the clothing. It is not necessary to display the patch publicly; the patch is for members to identify each other when appropriate. The patch may be sewn to the inside of an article of clothing (boot, cloak, etc.), but it must be sewn in to be recognized as official. Displaying a patch that is not sewn in as proof of membership shall be considered an indication that said individual is an imposter.

DM Post: Riddles Encountered in Game

Here are the riddles that the party has had to solve thus far throughout the course of the game:

1) Brown I am and much admired;
Many horses have I tired;
Tire a horse and worry a man;
Tell me this riddle if you can.


2) Two bodies I have,
Though both joined in one.
The stiller I stand,
The faster I run.


3) It increases and decreases,
Yet no one see it.
It is not a fire,
And yet it can be quenched.


4) What is that which is not among all the things
that Earth, the nurse, brings forth,
nor the sea,
nor has any growth in its limbs like that of things mortal,
yet in the time of its earliest begotten generation is largest,
but at its midmost height is small,
and at old age itself is again largest in shape and size?


5) What king can you make if you take
the head of a lamb
the middle of a pig
the hind of a buffalo
and the tail of a dragon?


6) He has married many women,
but has never been married.
Who is he?


7) I am up when you are down
Look hard and you may see a clown
Most times I am blue
But that does not always hold true
You look up at me when you pray
I am never very far away
But I'm not something you can touch
Do you know what I am,
or is this too much?


8) I have no particular shape or size,
I am usually dark and I am often used to disguise,
Within me people may hide,
Yet I am always near your side.


9) What has 1 eye but can't see?


10) I'm in a zoo
But not in a jungle
I rarely come in pairs
But I'm in every puzzle
Some think I'm in a xylophone
But, I most certainly am not
You don't see me with a loan
But very strangely in a zealot
I'm in the magical prison of Azkaban
Well, can't you see?
I'm in the buzz of a fan
But, my oh my what could I be?

The letter Z

11) Often talked of, never seen,
Ever coming, never been,
Daily looked for, never here,
Still approaching, coming near,
Thousands for its visit wait,
But alas for their fate,
Tho' they expect me to appear,
They will never find me here.


12) Never stopping and always moving forward,
You can not see, taste, smell, hear, or touch me,
Yet you can feel my effects.
What am I?


13) I have two arms and a back,
Supported by four legs.
But there is something I do lack,
Actually, I have no eyes to see.
I also cannot move around,
Or at least, not on my own.
Unfortunately I can make no sound,
Except perhaps a squeak.
If you chop off my head,
You are left with a hair.
If you chop off my tail,
Only tea is left there.
One more clue I will add,
Is that you often use me.
Yet you barely ever notice,
In fact I'd much rather be a tree.


14) I am tall when I am young.
I am short when I am old.
When I live I glow.
From your breath I die.
What am I?

A candle

15) I'm called by three letters
Though I have a long name.
I'm in all of you,
But I'm never the same.
I'm all coiled up
So that I am quite small,
But if you stretch me out
I'll be really tall.
I could be the root
Of certain disease;
If man can unlock me
He'll solve many mysteries.


16) I was carried into a dark room
and set on fire.
Then I started to weep.
What am I?

A Candle

17) I have no voice, yet I speak to you;
I tell of all things in the world that people do.
I have leaves, but I am not a tree.
I have a spine and hinges,
but I am not a man or a door;
I have told you all, I cannot tell you more.

A Book

18) I may be high
I'm not real low
Sometimes fast
Sometimes slow
You can't reach me
But you can see me


19) A group of four brothers did travel the land,
with only one steed shared among the whole band.
Though always surefooted, no matter the weather,
their mount would go lame if they didn't ride together.
When one of the brothers was thrown and misplaced,
he was left where he lay and was quickly replaced.
When the ride became old and the brothers not needed,
to a game for all ages they simply retreated.
When many a player would fling them about,
and ringing a post was the victory shout.


20) Castles may rise and castles may fall
Soldiers will fight and stand tall
Lords of war are enjoying the kill
Not really caring about lives they spill
Winners take all, winners are brave
But in this war they are buried in a grave


21) I give you life,
but I cause you strife.
If you feel my breath,
I'll give you death.
I keep away the dark,
but I also make darkness.
If you examine me,
I'll be hard to see.

The Sun

Post by Jake: Fake Wiki Page

As a joke I tried to create a wikipedia page for my friend Joey in 2007. Wikipedia denied the page, which gives me comfort as to the validity of the pages they actually allow. Most of the info is outdated but it may still get a laugh. Names have been reduced to initials to protect the not-so-innocent, and the role of one "J M" has been vastly exaggerated.

Here it is:

Joseph M (commonly called Joey) is a Houstonian role-player and director. He is known primarily for his direction of the one act version of Speed the Plow, and his Dungeons and Dragons character Holeroy the Bard. He currently resides in Houston with his fiancée A G and his dog R; Joseph is currently in the employ of the Houston Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Joseph M was born in Dickinson Texas, the oldest of three brothers. His life took a rapid turn when in college he met J M. Since this meeting, Joseph has become a well-known force in the Houston Role-Playing Society (HRPS). While in college he directed Speed the Plow, a one act cutting of David Mamet’s play. Reviewers stated that they had never seen a better interpretation of the piece, particularly of the character Charlie Fox. Joseph followed up this success with Night and Her Stars to similar reviews. Joseph continues to direct plays throughout Houston; so far he has refused to be associated with one theater, instead giving his talents to many.

While he had played role-playing games through out his high school career, it wasn’t he began playing under J M that his talents were displayed. Three events stand out among his role-playing career thus far: his character Holeroy, his epic Star Wars campaign, and his creation of the world Nuestrasia.

Joseph M was part of an adventuring party that made HRPS history. Dungeon Mastered by J M, Joseph M teamed up with C T and J “Boom!” S to fight their way through one of the most famous campaigns in HRPS. It was in this game that Joseph created and ran Holeroy, arguably the most powerful bard ever in HRPS. This game also saw the introduction of Captain Evil, the NPC villain who plagues HRPS heroes.

Joseph’s first run as a Dungeon Master with HRPS was also the group’s first Star Wars campaign. It is considered to be a success. A long running story set just before Episode VI, this game saw the creation and growth of some of the most famous characters in HRPS: J “Boom!” S’s drug addicted sullust, C T’s brutal wookie, and the infamous Uno Zeb. Notable others were G A’s trandosian pilot, and M McC’s human jedi.

Joseph created the Nuestrasia campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons which has been the background for more campaigns than any other in HRPS. The most famous campaign in Nuestasia, the Montana Stevens game, firmly established Joseph as a high level Dungeon Master. Most of Nuestrasia’s history has been completed, leaving doubt as to how many future games the setting can support, but it will always be remembered as the original HRPS setting, as almost every DM has utilized it.

In addition to these events Joseph M is know for his love of baseball and baseball trivia, his participation in Ubertoast a Houston based sketch comedy group, and his great knowledge of general trivia. He is widely respected as an individual “in the know” despite his current public humiliation after claiming that Billy Dee Williams, beloved Star Wars character Lando Calrissian, was dead.

DM Post: History of the Bard Class

Historically the Bard class was based on a social caste in Ancient Celtic society. The Celts didn’t develop a written language and most of the history and stories of the people were passed down orally by the bards, or warrior poets. They were unique in that they were supposed to be trained warriors, and knowledgeable of the Druidic tradition. The stories and songs were passed down over centuries by the bards and remained unaltered damn near word for word because they used a precise lyrical structure and rhyme sequence which also aided in memorization.

The other historical foundation for the D&D class was the Norse Skalds. The Skalds were warriors who rode at the forefront of battle and sang their heads off. Supposedly their songs caused fellow warriors to go berserk, ignore pain, and fight fanatically. The songs were also supposed to cause enemies to cower in fear, but this may have more to do with the effect on the Skalds’ allies than a direct effect on the opponents. It’d be like if someone invaded the continental U.S. and the National Guard started all singing America the Beautiful at once as they went into battle.

The most famous historical bard was named Taliesin. Folklore has him being the chief bard for King Arthur, but Taliesin lived around the end of the 6th century whereas Arthur (or at least the actual counterpart to the mythological one) died/disappeared at the Battle of Camlann in 532 A.D. (current best historical guess). He’s also famous for the Book of Taliesin, a book of songs and poetry he supposedly created.

As Europe became more civilized, the role of Skalds and Bards became that of court poet, and their main function was to write poems and songs about how great the king is.

D&D: The original Dungeons and Dragons game (1974) had only 7 classes: Fighter, Cleric, Wizard, Thief, Hobbit (which was changed to Halfling after a dispute with the Tolkien estate), Elf, and Dwarf (there was no difference between race and class- an Elf was like a fighter-mage, a hobbit was like a fighter-thief focused on sneaking, and a Dwarf was like a fighter-thief focused on traps).

The Bard class made its first appearance in 1st Ed AD&D (1977). It was a special appendix in the back of the player’s handbook. Becoming a bard was insanely hard. First you had to be either human or half-elven. Second you had to have the following stats: STR 15, DEX 15, CON 10, INT 12, WIS 15, CHA 15. Now remember, stats didn’t go up in previous editions, so you had to roll those at creation. Then you had to start as a Fighter and make it to 5th lvl, then dual class into Thief for five levels, then dual class into Druid. And then you could become a bard. The bard was like an underpowered Druid with the Bardic Knowledge ability and the ability to charm with its music. Needless to say, claims that your character was a Bard were always met with skepticism. “Sure you’re a Bard. I bet he’s got a +10 vorpal sword too.” Nobody in any of my groups ever played a bard waaay back when I was playing 1st Ed.

The Bard became one of the main classes in 2nd Ed. It was basically a really lame version of the Thief (no backstab but can cast a very small number of weak wizard spells). This class saw almost no play, at least in my groups, because you could do the same thing better by being a mage-thief.

When 3rd Ed rolled around, they scrapped the old Bard Class and started over from scratch, trying to make a jack-of-all trades character. Basically the theory is if you’ve got at least 1 warrior, 1 healer, 1 mage, and 1 rogue you’ve got all the bases covered and can handle anything the DM throws at you (level appropriate). In fact all of the challenge ratings assume that you have these four slots filled in your party. If you’ve ever wondered why the challenge ratings seem too low for those powerful undead or outsider types, it’s because it is assumed that your party can heal/turn/banish. Anyway, the Bard class was designed to fill any of those spots if needed.

By the time they cleaned up 3rd Ed and issued version 3.5 (or the thank-you-for-paying-to-play-test-this-is-the-REAL-game edition) they realized that the Bard still wasn’t being played because it was considered a weak class. So they revised the spell list, let the Bard cast in light armor with no Spell Failure (which he couldn’t do in 3.0) and beefed up the skills selection.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Session 8: Floy'd Puppet Theatre Interpretation

The Order of the Abbey Part Three: Puzzles and Traps
Act I

Open at GARAM’s house. GARAM sits in a big chair, clutching his forehead and a stiff drink. GUY, VIRGIL, HIRSUTE, & FLOYD surround him.

GARAM: I thought your investigation into the Old Mill was to be a fact-finding mission.
VIRGIL: Oh, we found lots of facts, all right.
FLOYD: Fact - the Old Mill is to be avoided.
HIRSUTE: Fact – whatever was hanging from the Old Mill’s blades has now escaped.
VIRGIL: Fact – this was mostly Guy’s fault.
GUY: Rage… swelling…
GARAM: What? Listen, shut up. We’re clear. Thank you for your… work. Now, to the next point… wasn’t there a dwarf in this group the last time I saw you?
VIRGIL: Oh, right. Brix said he had some praying and thinking to do. He’ll meet up with us later.
GARAM: Fine, fine – anyway, as it turns out, an associate of mine knows him. A Doctor Ethan?
FLOYD: Dr. Ethan? Yeah, we know that guy!
GARAM: Good for you. Anyway, he’s staying at the Cracked Flagon right now. He’s off on a mission of sorts, and could use some help.
VIRGIL: We’re on it. (The party starts out; but VIRGIL stops) Just out of curiosity, how do YOU know Dr. Ethan?
GARAM: We belong to an organization dedicated to… handling things.
GUY: The same organization that Brother Jarrod belonged to?
GARAM: Brother Jarrod? Who’s that?
HIRSUTE: Just some dickhead those guys knew at the Abbey.
GARAM: Really? Because Ethan once gave me a roster of all the brothers at the Morningstar Abbey, and there was no Jarrod listed.
GUY: He’s the blacksmith. Has been since we were very little.
GARAM: Hmm. According to the list, Mortimer was the name of the blacksmith.
VIRGIL: Interesting. We’ll have to check that out.
GARAM: Anyway, there’ s no Jarrod in our organization. Off with you, now!

GARAM exits as his house flies out. A little traveling music as they walk, and the exterior for the Cracked Flagon flies in. Several CENTAURS enter.

HIRSUTE: Neat! Centaurs!
FLOYD: Hi there, Centuars. Floyd Fiftynames here, wandering min-
CENTUAR #1: Shut up!
CENTAUR #2: We don’t care!
CENTAUR #3: We’re centaurs!
FLOYD: Ohhhhkay. (to the others) What gives with these guys?
VIRGIL: Why don’t you ask them?
FLOYD: (to the centaurs) What gives with you guys?
CENTAUR #1: Shut up!
CENTAUR #2: You clearly don’t have what we’re looking for!
CENTAUR #3: We’re centaurs!
FLOYD: Scintillating.
GUY: What are you looking for?
CENTAUR #1: Shut up!
CENTAUR #2: That is none of your –
FLOYD: Annnd we’re done. I’m going inside. Have fun being assholes.
CENTAUR #3: We’re centaurs!

The party exits into the Flagon. Open to reveal Flagon’s interior as the CENTAURS exit. Inside are TOK, GRAHAM, and a few regulars.

GUY: What was that all about?
GRAHAM: Well –
FLOYD: Can we not?
GUY: What? Why not?
FLOYD: Have you noticed that every time someone tells us about their problem, it becomes ours?
TOK: Funny you should mention that –
FLOYD: It’s many things, but it is not funny.
TOK: You remember that kid you guys rescued, Arthur?
VIRGIL: Wow, word travels fast. Yeah, what about him?
TOK: His father is a farmer who runs deliveries for me as a side venture. Haven’t seen him in a while, and I was hoping someone could run up to his farm and check on him for me.
FLOYD: What’s his name?
TOK: You know, I can’t remember.
FLOYD: Then who wants to bet against me that he’s not already a corpse?

GRAHAM and GUY are whispering to each other. Suddenly, GUY says loudly:

GUY: So the Centaur chieftan’s son is missing, huh?
FLOYD: Oh, god –
GRAHAM: Yeah, and the centaurs are out in force trying to find him.
FLOYD: -dammit.

ETHAN enters from upstairs.

ETHAN: Boys! Good to see you.
VIRGIL: Hi, Doc.
ETHAN: Where’s Brix?
VIRGIL: He’s off meditating because of some stuff that happened when we checked out the Old Mill.
ETHAN: The Old Mill? Fuck that place.
FLOYD: Thank you.
ETHAN: So, you guys feel like helping me out on a project?
VIRGIL: What kind of project?

The Flagon flies out with TOK, GRAHAM, and the regulars. We are now in a clearing at night. It is cold and misty, and there is a large stone center.

ETHAN: You know, just your standard Dr. Ethan project.
GUY: What are we doing here?
ETHAN: Check out this stone, Guy. Notice anything special about it?
GUY: Not really.
ETHAN: Concentrate on it. Use that righteous indignation I know you’ve got in you.

The stone begins to glow red.

GUY: Holy crap!
ETHAN: Not quite – it’s unholy! That red glow you see –
HIRSUTE: Red glow? What in the bug-eyed dogshit is he talking about?
ETHAN: Quiet! That glow is the residue of an evil presence, and one that our friend Guy has the ability to sense. It would behoove him well to take advantage of this in the future.
HIRSUTE: Nice. So you brought us out here to look at an evil rock.
VIRGIL: Hirsute –
HIRSUTE: MacGuffin!
VIRGIL: - has a point, Doc. Why did you bring us out here?
ETHAN: For a meeting.

ETHAN casts. A translucent net drops down over the puppets.

FLOYD: What just happened?
VIRGIL: I think we’re invisible.

ETHAN pulls out a coin and holds it up.

GUY: What is that?
ETHAN: One of the twelve pieces.
HIRSUTE: Twelve pieces of what?
FLOYD: Oooh! Can I?

FLOYD summons his pipe and begins to play as ETHAN narrates under.

ETHAN: Before the church, there were only the pagan gods. Then one day, a man came along who claimed that the pagan gods did not exist and that only through the one true God would there be salvation. The man was tried and convicted, and as was the custom during those days, he was found guilty by one of his peers, a man, who, as it turns out, had been paid 12 pieces of silver to find him guilty by the Emperor (this man is known as The Betrayer). The man was hanged and killed, only to immediately descend from heaven in spirit form, reiterating his message, and thus, the Church of the One True God was born.

Music ends.

GUY: So you’re saying you have one of the twelve pieces of silver used to betray the Proclaimer?
ETHAN: Actually, I have three.
FLOYD: Dag! Brix is going to be pissed that he missed this!
ETHAN: Quiet, now. Here they come.

Eerie music. A black carriage pulls up, drawn by a black horse with its eyes gouged out and a mechanical driver, who stops the carriage, gets out, and performs a ritual on the stone. The stone begins to glow brighter, and a WOMAN of supernatural beauty steps out.

FLOYD: And who the hell is that?
ETHAN: The Queen of the Fey.
FLOYD: Seriously?
ETHAN: Yes! Shhh.
HIRSUTE: I have to go to the bathroom.

The driver opens the door to the carriage, and three individuals step out: a pale, lanky man, a beautiful blonde-haired woman with black eyeballs, and VISGOTH. Holy shit is he scary, and frighteningly charismatic. VISGOTH approaches the FEY QUEEN.

VISGOTH: Blah blah blah blah blah Fey Queen.
FEY QUEEN: Blah, blah blah-blah-blah, Lord Visgoth.
VISGOTH: Blah-blah-blah-blah blah blah blah blah…

FLOYD lifts the veil and addresses the audience.

FLOYD: Okay, so I forgot what they talked about! Give me a break. This happened years ago, and as far as I can remember, it’s never affected us directly.

FLOYD slips back under the veil.

FEY QUEEN: Blah blah blah blah.
VISGOTH: Until then.

The FEY QUEEN, looking kind of pissed off, disappears back into the stone. VISGOTH starts back to the carriage, but stops.

Ethan? Is that you?

VISGOTH turns around. He speaks, but it is clear he cannot tell where Ethan is.

I know you’re out here, Ethan, despite your attempts to shield yourself from my powers of detection. Nonetheless, I’m counting on the fact that you can hear me. I just wanted to thank you…

He approaches the woman with black eyeballs.

…for the gift of your daughter. She has served me well as my chief lieutenant.

VISGOTH laughs, as does the woman. For the first time, we can see their vampire fangs. ETHAN moves to attack VISGOTH, but is held back by the party.

VIRGIL: Well, now we know why he brought us!
FLOYD: Easy there, Ethan – easy!
VISGOTH: Until next time, good doctor.

VISGOTH & his retinue climb into the carriage and leave. The boys let go of ETHAN, who collapses on the ground, half sobbing, half catching his breath. He does his best to compose himself quickly.

GUY: Doctor Ethan –
ETHAN: It’s fine. We’d best head back now.

Exeunt. The Cracked Flagon flies in just as the sun is coming up.

HIRSUTE: Ah, the old soup & mattress warehouse! What a sight for sore eyes!
ETHAN: I need to rest.
FLOYD: That makes five of us.
GUY: Not so fast, Floyd.

FLOYD turns sharply to GUY. The others stop, save ETHAN, who continues his trudge and exit into the Cracked Flagon.

FLOYD: Come again?
GUY: We’ve still got a job to do – that farmer that Tok told us about?
FLOYD: And that can’t wait until we’ve had a few hours to sleep and eat?
GUY: In those few hours, he could already be dead.
FLOYD: Um, Guy? Cat already is dead.
GUY: Well, we’ll see about that.

Out flies the Flagon, in flies the interior of a farmhouse. Three CORPSES are on the ground, one of them ARTHUR’S. Their eyes have been cut out.

FLOYD: Hey, hey Guy. You know who won’t see about that?

VIRGIL tromps upstairs.

GUY: Not now, Floyd. Why does this seem so familiar?
HIRSUTE: Does it smell like wheat in here?
FLOYD: Aw, geez…

VIRGIL comes down the stairs, visibly shocked.


A young GIRL enters behind him, with her eyes cut out. She holds a scroll.

FLOYD: Gerf!

Off the girl’s reaction:

I mean, hello, little one! What… um, what’cha got there?
SALLY: The Sickle Man gave this to me. He said to give it to the Tally Man.
HIRSUTE: Sickle man?
VIRGIL: Tally man?
GUY: We have to get this to Ethan. He’ll know what to do.

VIRGIL takes a blanket.

VIRGIL: Here, little girl. Wrap it up in this.

SALLY does so.

GUY: Let’s go.

FLOYD, GUY, VIRGIL, & HIRSUTE exit, with SALLY in tow. The farmhouse flies out and the exterior of the Flagon flies in. ETHAN and TOK are outside, enjoying a smoke.

TOK: Find anything?
GUY: You might say that.


TOK: What the hell?

VIRGIL hands ETHAN the scroll in the blanket.

VIRGIL: Ethan… she had this.

ETHAN unwraps the scroll looks at it, then drops it in horror on the ground and sets fire to it and the blanket. He pulls out some herbs and gives them to the party.

ETHAN: Eat this.

As they do:

HIRSUTE: What is it? What’s wrong?
ETHAN: That’s the second most evil thing I’ve ever seen.
GUY: What’s the first –
ETHAN: That scroll is a note from the Harvester to the “Tally Man,” or Grim Reaper. It names the Autumnal Equinox as the date of the great harvest.
VIRGIL: Well, that’s almost a year from now.
GUY: Who is the Harvester?
ETHAN: The Harvester is the manifested spirit of the Betrayer himself. I thought he was safely imprisoned, lynched from the blade of the silo in the Northwestern Twilight Lands that people call the Old Mill.
HIRSUTE: Well, think again. That dude escaped.
ETHAN: This is not good. Not good at all. You boys have really made a mess of things.
FLOYD: That’s what we do best.
GUY: First things first. What do we do with the little one?
ETHAN: I’d take her to Garam. He might have a way of helping her.
TOK: Here – take some liquor with you. Two bottles of fire whiskey and some gnomish blue.
FLOYD: Wow! Thanks!
TOK: Don’t mention it. Sounds like you kids are gonna need it.
VIRGIL: To Garam’s?
BOYS: To Garam’s!

Out goes the Flagon, in comes Garam’s house. GARAM is standing there, in mild disbelief.

GARAM: Ethan told you to bring her here?
VIRGIL: Sure did.
GARAM: Thanks, old friend. Well, okay, I can look after her, but I don’t think I have anything handy to restore her sight.
GUY: Well, where could we find that?
GARAM: There is a place… perhaps… a stronghold north of here, long abandoned by it’s original owner. It’s called the Tower of Puzzles.
VIRGIL: Puzzles? I love puzzles!
GARAM: Oh, then you’ll hate this place.
VIRIGIL: What do you mean?
GARAM: No more questions. I’m tired. Off with you now!


Come in, young lady. What’s your name?
SALLY: Sally.
GARAM: Well, hello, Sally. Let’s get you something to eat.

Just now noticing:

And you’re taller than me. Nice.

GARAM and SALLY exit as Garam’s house flies out. We find ourselves on the open road again as the party re-enters.

FLOYD: Have you noticed that I’ve yet to sing a song this whole part of the story?
GUY: Hm. That might account for the happy sensation I’m experiencing right now.
FLOYD: Why don’t I fix that?
It can cure your stomach flu
Or beat the germs that say “Achoo!”
And as far as the flavor goes, Its’ among the very best
It’s sure to fix what ails ya
Or whatever should impale ya
It’s perfect for the feller who ain’t got two weeks to rest!
A potion, a potion,
Why just the very notion
Is enough to make my tummy sing!
There’s many kinds of magic
and while some of it is tragic
A potion’s always a good thing!
I once knew a man named Bill
Who was feelin’ mighty ill
From a battle with a minotaur –
He said, “I’m feelin’ woozy,”
And I said, “well, friend you should be –
That hole in you ain’t just a sore!”
He said, “Floyd, it hurts bad –
And by the way, if I might add,
I think I see a bright, white light!”
So I said, “Hang in there, Bill,
Your prescription can be filled,
You aren’t the first to’ve had a fight”
Drink a potion, a potion,
Why just the very notion
Is enough to make my tummy sing!
There’s many kinds of magic
and while some of it is tragic
A potion’s always a good thing!
There are potions that cure pain
There are potions for your brain
There’s even a potion to help you sleep at night
And if you need to get stronger
Or perform your duties longer
I’m sure there’s a potion that would be just right –
A potion, a potion,
Why just the very notion
Is enough to make my tummy sing!
There’s many kinds of magic
and while some of it is tragic
A potion’s always a good thing
And the next time I’m able
I’ll sit down at a table
And order me a rabbit stew
And if I get indigestion
Way down deep in my intestines,
The answer’s clear, I’m telling you…
I’ll have a potion, a potion,
Why just the very notion
Is enough to make my tummy sing!
There’s many kinds of magic
and while some of it is tragic
A potion’s always a good thing
HIRSUTE: When did you meet a man named Bill?
FLOYD: It’s called artistic license, Hirsute.
HIRSUTE: MacGuffin.
FLOYD: Bless you.

The party comes across the Dagda Bridge.

GUY: Hey, look! The Dagda Bridge!
VIRGIL: Hey, now that we’re encountering it in the daylight, what say I translate these runes, huh?
GUY: You can do that?
VIRGIL: Yeah, it’s one of the things I learned back at the Abbey.

VIRGIL concentrates on the bridge. A GIRL GHOST appears.


GUY, VIRGIL, and HIRSUTE apparently don’t see the ghost.

VIRGIL: Shh! I’m trying to concentrate here!
FLOYD: (Quietly) Um, hi.
GHOST: What are you doing here?
FLOYD: Reading the bridge, apparently. You?
GHOST: I live here.
FLOYD: Do you, now?
GHOST: Mm-hmm. I have to live here until someone finds my body.
FLOYD: Your bo – your body?
FLOYD: Well, where is it?
GHOST: Down there.

SHE indicates the bottom of the ravine.

If someone finds my body, I can go to heaven. Will you do it?
FLOYD: Um… sure?
GHOST: Thanks!

SHE disappears.

FLOYD: Guys, I hate to break it to you, but we have a side quest.
GUY: What are you talking about?
FLOYD: Remember that little girl ghost that appeared to us the first time we crossed this bridge?
GUY: I don’t remember much other than the Barghest.
HIRSUTE: I remember.
FLOYD: Good man. Well, that ghost just told me that her body is down at the bottom of the ravine, and she has to haunt this place until someone goes down there and retrieves it.
GUY: Okay… add it to the list.
FLOYD: The list?
GUY: Floyd, we’ve got too much to do to worry about one body at the bottom of the ravine. We’ll get back to it.
FLOYD: Oh, I see. If it’s not one of your projects, it doesn’t take priority.
GUY: That’s not what I meant, it’s just –
FLOYD: Then who decides what gets priority?

Suddenly, ERIC ‘s head appears, glowing:

ERIC: Message – gang, I need you to meet me back at the Warriort’s Rest, post-haste.
GUY: Post-haste?
ERIC: Yeah, this has top priority.

ERIC’s head vanishes.

FLOYD: Okay, I guess the big giant head does.
GUY: Virgil, are you about finished?
VIRGIL: Yeah. This whole bridge is a scroll.
HIRSUTE: What kind of scroll?
VIRGIL: If I’m reading this, correctly, this scroll, once read, will summon something called the Wild Hunt.


FLOYD: The Wild Hunt? The Wild Hunt?
HIRSUTE: I take it he’s heard of the Wild Hunt!
FLOYD: Hell, yes, I have! The Wild Hunt is a crazy scary entity that tracks you down, and then, well, who knows what happens to you? Nobody! The Wild Hunt is that scary. A big mofo wears horns on his head! Do not mess with The Wild Hunt – unless you absolutely have to, which we might, but man oh man, will you ever regret it!

The others look at each other and chuckle.

GUY: Let’s go. Floyd and his stories…
FLOYD: Son of a bitch. The Wild Hunt…

Exeunt. The bridge moves off as the Warrior’s Rest moves in. ERIC and SAMARID are outside.

ERIC: Floyd, Virgil, Guy, Hirsute. You’re looking well. Where’s Brixmore?
GUY: We sent him a message to meet us here. What’s up, Eric?
ERIC: I’ve learned some things about why Abbott Teris sought to protect those of us who were born in the Year of the Ram. Apparently, there were only twelve births during that year, of which we know about six – Zarin, Floyd, Guy, Brix, Virgil, and myself. The others are out there somewhere, and we’ve yet to find them. Apparently, there are a number of theories tied to a group of twelve that would be born during the year of the ram. In one Western theory, it is foretold that a Year of the Ram member will rise to the throne of Arimathea. In the East, it is believed that the twelve of that year will bring about Armageddon.
VIRGIL: Heavy.
ERIC: Yeah. And do you know who the last set of the Year of the Ram kids were who were born in a group of twelve? They were the disciples of the Proclaimer.


GOLDSCHMIDTT: Am I interrupting?
ERIC: Actually, yes.
GOLDSCHMIDTT: Oh, well. I always am, it seems. Anyway, there’s some Lizardfolk outside who want to talk to you.

FLOYD, VIRGIL, HIRSUTE, & GUY look at each other.

GUY: Lizardfolk?
HIRSUTE: Outside?
FLOYD: Some?

GUY looks at ERIC.

GUY: Sorry, Eric. We… have to take care of this.

Three LIZARDFOLK enter the tavern.

LIZARDFOLK #1: Are you the Fiftynames’ brothers and company?
VIRGIL: (quietly) Remind me that we need to come up with a better name than that.
GUY: That’s us. What can we do for you –
FLOYD: -Lizard-
GUY: - folks?
LIZARDFOLK #1: Chief Bricka has sent us to find you and bring you back to the village on a matter of great importance.
GUY: Well, no offense, but we’re kind of in the middle of something. What could be so important?
LIZARDFOLK #1: We have found Stonehoof, son of Proudtail, the Chief of the Centaurs. He has been wounded, and is recovering in our village.
FLOYD: What’s that you say, Guy? A present for me? (Mimes opening a gift) Why, it’s someone else’s problem – how sweet of you to give it to us!

GUY turns around and cold-cocks FLOYD, who falls down, unconscious. BRIX enters.

BRIX: Hey, guys! What’d I miss?

Curtain closes.

End of Act I