Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gearing Back Up

As you can see, summer break is almost over here at The Adventures of Floyd Fiftynames, so we're getting back into the swing of things with some notes and an exceptionally long new chapter in Floyd's puppet musical.

Time to see what new wonders are in store for our heroes!

In the meantime, to see what non-Floyd Fiftynames related activities our authors have been up to, visit

P.s. - Facebook users, feel free to contact Red Delicious if you are interested in joining the Fifty Gnomes.

Sessions XIII-XIV: Floyd's Puppet Theatre Interpretation

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

Curtain opens on the exterior of the cathedral in Britewater. We are in the common yard. There is a large hole in the wall from where MALUS punched FAUST through, but those two men are long gone. Instead, FLOYD, BRIX, GUY, CHRIS TENNISON, and VIRGIL enter, with a couple of PRIESTS, and find themselves face-to-face with an army of FORMIANS.

One PRIEST steels himself and charges into the fray, where he is almost immediately killed.

VIRGIL: Aw, beans!
GUY: Steel yourselves, boys!

The party draws their weapons. A fracas ensues, during which VIRGIL & GUY fall.

BRIX: We’re not going to win this fight. We have to think of a way out of here!
FLOYD: Let me see if I can buy us a little time.

FLOYD summons his flute, and plays a haunting instrumental lullaby. He succeeds in fascinating the FORMIANS, who stop in their tracks to listen to him!

CHRIS TENNISON: Holy crap! They’re all listening to him play!
BRIX: They must have some sort of hive mind. That’s great, Floyd! Keep playing. Now, we have to think of a way out of here.
CHRIS TENNISON: What about that coin we got from the church ruins in my previous life?

BRIX produces one of the twelve pieces.

BRIX: Oh, yeah! Garam told me this coin had the power to teleport. How does it work?
CHRIS TENNISON: Well, grab Guy & Virgil, and let’s think of the place we want to go. (Beat) Where do we want to go?
BRIX: Somewhere far away from here… like the Warrior’s Rest!


BRIX: Warrior’s Rest, warrior’s rest…

BRIX rubs the coin, and the FORMIANS, the church, and Britewater all fly out as the interior of the WARRIOR’S REST flies in. ERIC, SAMARID, ETHAN, and GOLDSCHMIDDT are all there.

GOLDSCHMIDDT: Great. Teleporters. Welcome to the warrior’s rest, powerful warlocks. I hope you have come to kill me quickly and painlessly. (sees BRIX and FLOYD) Oh. It’s just you.
FLOYD: Good to see you, too, Goldschmiddt.
BRIX: Eric, Samarid, Ethan – what’s the good word?

BRIX leans down to heal VIRGIL and GUY, bringing them to in the process.

ETHAN: Boys – where the hell did you just come from?
BRIX: Britewater – it’s a long story. I’d be remiss if I didn’t introduce Chris Tennison.
ETHAN: Hello.
BRIX: He’s the reincarnation of Hirsute.
ERIC: Oh. What happened to Hirsute?
FLOYD: Centaurs.
ETHAN: Say no more.
CHRIS TENNISON: Thank you, thank you. It’s good to be here.
ETHAN: How did you teleport here?
FLOYD: Brix rubbed the coin we found. It’s one of the twelve pieces. Don’t feel so special anymore, do you, Doc?
ETHAN: Be careful with those coins, boys. They only have a certain number of uses in them, and once they’re gone, they’ll fade from existence, possibly tearing a hole in the fabric of reality.
FLOYD: So what’s the bad news?
GUY (standing up): What are you three doing here?
ERIC: Samarid and I are just between stops.
ETHAN: As for me, I’ve discovered that Abbott Art has been taken prisoner by Cardinal Nikolai at the Cathedral in Compassgate.
FLOYD: Art! He was a father figure to me!
ETHAN: Cardinal Nikolai hasn’t forgotten about Art’s sympathies to Abbott Teris, and as you know, those two were not great friends.
GUY: Really? You’d never know from the way Nikolai had Abbott Teris killed.
ETHAN: Anyway, I’m planning a rescue operation.
BRIX: Well, sign us up, Dr. Ethan!
ETHAN: Glad to hear it. We’ll be heading for the Shield Splitter Inn, way, way north of here. There are portals there, including one that goes directly to Compassgate.
VIRGIL: Well, let’s get going!
ETHAN: We’ll need to stop by Garam’s first, to get some supplies.
GOLDSCHMIDDT: A book arrived here for someone named Guy.
GUY: Hey, it’s my copy of Phillipi’s tome on features of the Twilight Lands!
GOLDSCHMIDDT: I really enjoy being thought of as a post office.
ALL: To Garam’s!

ETHAN, BRIX, GUY, VIRGIL, and CHRIS TENNISON exit. The Warrior’s Rest flies out with ERIC, SAMARID, and GOLDSCHMIDDT. FLOYD addresses the audience.

FLOYD: Unfortunately, when we got to Garam’s, it became clear that fate had other plans.

GARAM’s house flies in. GARAM answers the door as the party arrives. He is beaten and badly bruised.

GUY: Garam! What happened?
GARAM: A Lizardfolk shaman came and took Sally! I tried to go after him, but he knocked me back with a wall of fire. By the time I woke up, they were gone!
GUY: Sikator. This time –
FLOYD: That’s right –
GUY: It’s personal!


VIRGIL: Ethan, we’ve got to go get this girl.
ETHAN: I understand. Meet me at the Shield Splitter Inn up north when you’re done?
VIRGIL: It’s a deal.

The party exits, leaving GARAM and ETHAN. Transition music. Garam’s house flies out and the gang re-enters, on the road again.

FLOYD: You know, I’ve been thinking about something. We’ve come a long way since our days at the Abbey.
BRIX: Aye, you’re right about that, Floyd.
FLOYD: Just think about how much we’ve grown since that time.
Once upon a time there was a dwarf named Brix
He had a hankerin’ for excitement but he couldn’t get his fix
And he had a dedication that was powerful and strong
So he set out on a quest and he started righting wrongs.
And Virgil was a man who’s sharpness with the bow
Is a skill that was developed not so very long ago
For once upon a time he was the self-same little child
With a big imagination that was always running wild.
And Guy became a gnome that could defy stereotype
As a fighter and a killer who lived up to the hype
No, he never thought to tinker or to wear a funny hat
He could solve most of his problems with a beating from a bat.
And his brother Floyd was the bestest of them all
He was manly like a steak yet sexy like a waterfall
Singing of their tales and their deeds of bravery
Displaying classic swordsmanship that would bring you to your knees.
And even though their mission is not totalally done,
It’s plain to see that getting there is usually half the fun
For the Order of the Abbey and Chris Tennison, their friend
Promise to be in the tale until it’s at an end!

VIRGIL: Well put.
GUY: And, as seems to be the case when you finish a song, we’ve reached our destination.
FLOYD: Well, my songs do have transformative power.
GUY: Or maybe they’re just long.

Swamp scenery flies in. We see the exterior of a temple in the distance. From above, we hear a voice:

PSKENART: Hey there – a little help?

The boys look up as PSKENART, an elf in wizard’s clothing, appears from the top corner of the stage, upside down. His ankle is caught in a snare trap.

CHRIS TENNISON: Well, hello there, stranger. What happened to you?
PSKENART: Funny story – I was on an archeological expedition, and I got caught in this snare trap. (Beat) Come to think of it, it’s not really that funny.
VIRGIL: Hold on.

VIRGIL shoots an arrow through the vine of the snare trap, releasing PSKENART, who falls.

FLOYD: Feather fall.

PSKENART floats to the ground softly.

PSKENART: Thanks! The name’s Pskenart. I’m a wizard.
GUY: Nice to meet you, Pskenart. We’re going into that temple to waste a Lizardfolk shaman.
PSKENART: Sounds like fun. I’ve been waiting for a chance to try out some of my new fightin’ spells! Count me in.
GUY: Okay. All right, gang, let’s be on the look for more of those snare traps.
PSKENART: Actually, I think we need to be more worried about the blue electric lizards.
GUY: What blue electric lizards?

A BLUE ELECTRIC LIZARD pops out of the jungle and attacks GUY. It is non-sentient, and walks on four legs.

PSKENART: Those kinds.

More LIZARDS come through the brush. A fight breaks out, with the party dispatching the LIZARDS with only a moderate degree of difficulty. As they fight, they make their way to the front of the temple. Two LIZARDFOLK guards enter.

GUARD #1: Curses upon you from the god Krissk!

FLOYD: That’s all I needed to hear.

FLOYD runs the 2nd GUARD through with his rapier. The 1st GUARD grabs a horn and blows. FLOYD stabs him, too.

PSKENART: Well, now they know we’re here.
VIRGIL: Eh. I think he’d have been expecting us sooner or later.

The party enters the temple. The exterior of the temple flies out, revealing an interior with more GUARDS, a minor SHAMAN, and a VIPER.

BRIX: Oh, good. I’m all out of gum.

Big fight sequence. The GUARDS go down pretty quickly, but CHRIS TENNISON and BRIX have a particularly long scuffle with the SHAMAN, as CHRIS TENNISON misses most of the time he swings his staff at him. FLOYD and VIRGIL fight the VIPER, taking him down, but not before he bites VIRGIL good.

VIRGIL: Ow!! Fuck.

VIRGIL turns a little green and leans against the wall. Finally, all of the foes are dispatched.

GUY: Virgil, are you all right?
VIRGIL: I’m fine.
FLOYD: That viper got a good bite out of him.
PSKENART: Probably poisoned him, too.
VIRGIL: It’ll just slow me down a bit. I’m fine. Let’s go.
BRIX: How do we know you’re good to go?

Suddenly, a huge CROCODILE emerges from the water. VIRGIL wastes no time in planting an arrow into it’s eyeball.

VIRGIL: Does that answer your question?

The CROC flails wildly. GUY, PSKENART, and BRIX all get in three good swings, and it falls.

CHRIS TENNISON: Yowza! This Sikator fella, he’s not taking any chances.

VIRGIL points to a hatchway.

GUY: All right – all hands below deck!

The party runs down the hatch. Curtain closes on A Stage. B Stage opens to reveal a black dragon egg hatchery. Three young dragons have hatched. The party and PSKENART enter.

PSKENART: Dragons!

The DRAGONS attack the party, after a scuffle, they are cut down. BRIX and CHRIS TENNISON get to work smashing the eggs, as PSKENART approaches a chest and opens it.

PSKENART: Here’s what I came looking for.
GUY: What is it?
PSKENART: Artifacts, old documents, maps, and plans for the temple.
GUY: Boring stuff?
PSKENART: To you? Most definitely.
GUY: Say no more.

Curtain closes on B Stage. A Stage opens to reveal the top level of the temple, where SIKATOR waits with four LIZARD FIGHTERS.

SIKATOR: Let them come! They shall find only death here!
BRIX: (Offstage) We’ll see about that!

The party enters, ready to rumble.

FLOYD: Sikator! Give back the girl and we’ll let you go!
SIKATOR: You will?
FLOYD: Well, no, but I thought I’d see if that was going to work.
SIKATOR: It almost did.
FLOYD: Hey, good for me, huh?
SIKATOR: Not a bad bluff, really. Attack!

Fight. GUY and FLOYD go straight for SIKATOR, but are interrupted by one of the FIGHTERS. VIRGIL, CHRIS TENNISON, and BRIX engage two of the others, and PSKENART approaches the last one.

PSKENART: (casts) Charm!

The FIGHTER blinks for a moment, and it works! HE is now under PSKENART’s control.

Go kill those other Lizard guys!
FIGHTER #1: Aye, aye, Pskenart!
FLOYD: Hey, that’s a cool trick! Can you teach me how to do that?
PSKENART: Sure! Maybe later?
FLOYD: Oh, yeah, yeah.

The charmed FIGHTER runs over and kills one of the other LIZARD FIGHTERS.

FIGHTER #2: Steve, what are you doing?
FIGHTER #1: I’ve switched sides. You know how it goes.

SIKATOR begins casting.

GUY: Floyd, I’ll hold this guy off. You go get Sikator before he gets away!

SIKATOR sends a sonic boom across the room that knocks CHRIS TENNISON and BRIXMORE onto their backs.

FLOYD: I don’t know that I’m that worried about him getting away!
GUY: Just go!
FLOYD: All right!

SIKATOR brings a wall of flame down on BRIX, who yells in pain. Suddenly, SIKATOR sees FLOYD running towards him.

SIKATOR: You send your minstrel to dispatch me? I am insulted!

SIKATOR prepares to cast, but is caught off guard when FLOYD runs him through with his rapier.

FLOYD: Hm. You’re not a zombie, I see.

A look of fear crosses SIKATOR’s face. He turns and jumps out of the window. FLOYD jumps after him. Meanwhile, GUY and VIRGIL finish off the other two FIGHTERS. CHRIS TENNISON approaches a covered cage, and opens it. LITTLE SALLY steps out.

SALLY: Thanks for the rescue, Hirsute.
CHRIS TENNISON: It’s Chris Tennison now.
SALLY: What?

PSKENART and the charmed FIGHTER approach the chest in the room.

PSKENART: Spoils of victory, here we come!

PSKENART opens the chest, and two needles shoot out that hit PSKENART and the FIGHTER, knocking them both out cold.

GUY: Are they okay?
VIRGIL: (checking) Just unconscious. Where’s Floyd and Sikator?
GUY: They went out the window. I’m going after them.

BRIX stands up, badly burned.

BRIX: Me, too.
GUY: No, Brixmore. You’re on the verge of death.
BRIX: Well, that’s the difference between me and Sikator. He’s already dead.

GUY and BRIX jump out the window. Curtain closes on A Stage. B Stage opens to reveal the exterior of the temple. FLOYD is frozen in his tracks. GUY and BRIX enter.

BRIX: Floyd! (casts) Dispel Magic!

FLOYD comes out of it.

FLOYD: Bastard put a hold on me. He went that way!

GUY, FLOYD, and BRIX chase after SIKATOR, catching up with him. GUY swings and decapitates him, but this sets of an explosive contingency spell. GUY and BRIX are downed. VIRGIL and CHRIS TENNISON enter.

CHRIS TENNISON: Are you guys okay?

FLOYD, GUY, and BRIX get up slowly.

FLOYD: We’ve been better. Where’s Pskenart?
VIRGIL: Revived and resting in the temple. Meantime, look what we found in the chest they opened.

VIRGIL hands FLOYD a letter.

FLOYD: It’s some sort of purchase order… for a hundred black dragons. Signed, Doogal.


BRIX: This Doogal is running up the public enemy list pretty quick.
GUY: Agreed. This cat needs to get got.
VIRGIL: First things first. We need to get Sally back to Garam’s.

Exeunt. The temple flies out and GARAM’s flies in. GARAM is sitting there, recovering nicely. FLOYD, BRIX, GUY, CHRIS TENNISON, and VIRGIL are there, with SALLY.

GARAM: Thanks, boys.
CHRIS TENNISON: Our pleasure, Garam.
GUY: It was kind of fun, really. We got lots of plunder from it!

GUY pulls out a can of soup and drinks from it.

VIRGIL: Hey, where’d you get that soup?
GUY: It was in the chest at Sikator’s temple.
CHRIS TENNISON: The label on the can looks a bit loose, there.

GUY removes the label, revealing a label underneath which reads “Elixir of Stomach Flu.” GUY does a take, then begins projectile vomiting.

BRIX: Guy! Oh, no.
GARAM: Poor fella.
CHRIS TENNISON: Who drinks soup from a can that they found in an evil Lizardfolk shaman’s temple?
GARAM: Virgil, Brixmore, help me take him upstairs. We’ll put him to bed for now.
BRIX: Easy there, friend – you’ll be all right.


FLOYD: So… Chris Tennison, what do you want to do now?
SALLY: I really wish I could see.

FLOYD and CHRIS TENNISON look at each other and smile. Singing:

Look out, Dreia, here we come –
A couple of bachelors on the make,
Heading out to get us some,
CHRIS TENNISON: Gonna find me a barmaid with big ‘ole fake –
FLOYD: Chris Tennison! Not in front of the blind g-i-r-l.
SALLY: How dumb do you think I am?

A beat. Then FLOYD and CHRIS TENNISON lead SALLY to the coat closet, put her inside and shut the door.


GARAM’s house flies out as the town of Dreia flies in. A few townspeople are out in the street, including a couple of young ladies. FLOYD and CHRIS TENNISON enter.

CHRIS TENNISON: Excuse me ladies, but I’m Dirk Swanson, millionaire action hero –
FLOYD: And I’m Floyd Fiftynames.
CHRIS TENNISON: We were just wondering where the fun time action yeah yeah would be located in this little town of yours.
FLOYD: Wanna go behind Havern’s shop and make out?
GIRL #1: Sure!
FLOYD: Nice.

FLOYD and GIRL #1 exit behind HAVERN’s shop.

GIRL #2: So… Dirk Swanson, millionaire action hero… did you walk into town?
CHRIS TENNISON: Baby, please. My horse dropped me off, then headed back to the millionaire stables to get diamond teeth installed.
GIRL #2: Millionaire stables? There’s no such thing in Dreia!
CHRIS TENNISON: I, uh… um… rats.

FLOYD and GIRL #1 re-enter, hastily half-dressed, chased by HAVERN with a broom.

HAVERN: Keep that kind of thing out of my forge!
GIRL #2: Sheila! Is everything all right?
FLOYD: It’s fine, it’s fine. (sotto voce) The greatswords were getting jealous. (FLOYD holds out his hand for a high five) Up top.

No one reciprocates.

CHRIS TENNISON: Havern! What’s the haps?
HAVERN: I don’t know you.
And I don’t like you.

FLOYD: What? Havern, how can you say that, after all we’ve been through?
HAVERN: What are you boys doing milling around the town like this? Don’t you have adventures to get to?
CHRIS TENNISON: I don’t know, lots of people were yelling stuff.
HAVERN: (sighs) Listen, I’ve been persuaded to lift my ban on making magic weapons. You got anything that needs an upgrade?
FLOYD: Yes! My rapier, please.

FLOYD hands HAVERN his rapier.

HAVERN: Fair enough. Come back in about three weeks.
FLOYD: Solid.

VIRGIL and BRIX enter.

VIRGIL: Um, Floyd, Chris Tennison? You guys feel like going to help rescue Art now?
FLOYD: Art? He’s like a father figure to me!
VIRGIL: You already said that. Let’s go.

FLOYD, BRIX, VIRGIL, and CHRIS TENNISON exit. Dreia flies out and is replaced by the road.

VIRGIL: So, we found out some interesting tidbits about Doogal.
FLOYD: Do tell.
VIRGIL: Garam told us that Doogal is an Arimathean merchant who exports tobacco, liquor, and sugar from Gortia and Larst to Arimathea, but doesn’t export anything out of Arimathea. Then, he sells those products to Arimathea at a significantly lower price than the local farmers are able to do.
CHRIS TENNISON: How much lower?
VIRGIL: Garam reasons that the only way he’s able to do it is by selling them at a loss.
BRIX: Aye, it’s some sort of economic warfare.
FLOYD: Interesting. I’m gonna find this Doogal and poke him with my… oh, wait, that’s right, I left that with Havern so he could do some magic making with it.
VIRGIL: Wait. Stop. Havern’s making magical weapons?
FLOYD: Yeah, he just recently lifted his self-imposed ban on doing so, and –
VIRGIL: When were you going to let us in on this?
FLOYD: I think I just did.

The Cracked Flagon becomes visible in the distance.

VIRGIL: Floyd! When we have the ability to upgrade to magic weapons, I think that’s the kind of news we all need to be informed of!
FLOYD: Of which we need to be informed.


You can’t end sentences with a preposition.

CHRIS TENNISON: Are we there yet?
BRIX: We’d get to the Shield Splitter Inn faster if we had horses. As it is, it’s nearly a week’s journey on foot.
CHRIS TENNISON: That’s like, a million hours!
FLOYD: Well, I’ll tell you what – let me make this whole “magic weapons” debacle up to you guys by buying us some horses while we’re here at the Cracked Flagon!
BRIX: That’s mighty nice of you, Floyd!
CHRIS TENNISON: Yeah! Hey, Brixmore – race you to the bar!

BRIX and CHRIS TENNISON run off towards the Cracked Flagon, exiting.

VIRGIL: How do you plan on buying horses at a tavern, Floyd?
FLOYD: Gnome-fingered discount, my friend.
VIRGIL: (Pause, then) I have absolutely no objections to this plan.

The stables of the Cracked Flagon fly in. FLOYD and VIRGIL sneak around, looking at the horses.

Not much to choose from.
FLOYD: You know what I like best about this plan? We couldn’t get away with this if Guy or Brix knew what we were doing.
VIRGIL: Yeah, they don’t understand that hero work sometimes means that you have to commandeer a vehicle every now and then. Hey, look at this horse!

FLOYD goes up to the horse VIRGIL is admiring. It’s a real beauty.

FLOYD: That’s a mighty fine filly, there.
VIRGIL: Some kind of royal messenger horse.
FLOYD: We could get in a lot of trouble for taking that horse.
VIRGIL: Yes, we could.
FLOYD: Assuming anyone ever finds out.

VIRGIL exits as the stables fly out. FLOYD addresses the audience.

FLOYD: Now, remember, dear audience, that this all happened a very long time ago, when the Twilight Lands was merely a lawless jurisdiction, so nobody can be charged with anything here in the Freelands, especially not me. Also, the country that the messenger was from doesn’t even exist anymore, so they can’t exactly charge us restitution or anything. Anyway, let’s pick this back up with the gang on the road to the Shield Splitter Inn and forget all about this “stolen royal messenger horse” business.

VIRGIL, BRIX, and CHRIS TENNISON enter, riding horses. FLOYD hops up on BRIX’s horse as the two smaller races share.

VIRGIL: Hey, Floyd, remember how we stole this royal messenger horse?
FLOYD (sighs): Yes, Virgil.
VIRGIL: Well, I found a letter in his carrying case.

VIRGIL opens the letter, and reads.

CHRIS TENNISON: What’s it say?
BRIX: You guys stole these horses?
VIRGIL: According to the letter, it looks like Gortia has some alliance with… Doogal.


CHRIS TENNISON: That guy again?

The Shield Splitter Inn flies in. Big place, lots of snow. The boys get off of their horses and go inside.

FLOYD: I’m getting about tired of him and everything that has to do with him.

The Shield Splitter set turns to reveal the interior. Inside there are many patrons, including GRUTH, who sees the party just as they see him.

VIRGIL: Son of a bitch! Look who we found!

ORIN, the owner of the inn, enters, and addresses the group.

ORIN: Just a reminder, there’s to be no fighting inside the Shield Splitter Inn! Try the pot roast.
BRIX: Gruth!
GRUTH: Fellas! It’s good to…. Well, here you are!
VIRGIL: Shall we step outside the inn?
GRUTH: So you four can gang up on me? I don’t think so.
BRIX: We’ve figured out you’re working for Doogal, Gruth.
GRUTH: That I am. Doogal’s network is growing very large. You’d be wise to join him if you can.
VIRGIL: I don’t have to tell you how unlikely that is.
GRUTH: I suspected as much. But keep in mind before you decide to go up against him – Doogal now knows how to release the Wild Hunt.
BRIX: He wouldn’t be so stupid.
GRUTH: Then you don’t know him very well.

A beat a GRUTH realizes what he just said, then:

I mean… you better watch your backs!
VIRGIL: Up yours, Gruth.

GRUTH exits. FLOYD is standing in front of the fireplace, where a large axe adorns the mantle.

FLOYD: Look at this axe.
ORIN: That’s the “Shield Splitter,” from which the inn derives its’ name.
FLOYD: Hi, there. I’m Floyd Fiftynames, wandering minstrel.
ORIN: Wandering minstrel? Not licensed bard?
FLOYD: Not yet.
ORIN: You know, there’s a bard staying here who might be able to help you.
FLOYD: Really?


VIRGIL: Floyd. Who’s this?
ORIN: I’m Orin, the owner.
BRIX: Nice to meet you. Brixmore.
VIRGIL: Virgil.
CHRIS TENNISON: Chris Tennison.
BRIX: You seem to be a connoisseur of fine weapons. Do you have a room where we could show you some pieces in private?
CHRIS TENNISON: Ugh! Dude – gay!
ORIN: Yes, come with me.

ORIN opens a door at the back of the room. The common room and it’s residents fly out as the back room becomes visible – a table and chairs, and decorative weapons adorn the room. ORIN sits down.

So, what do you have for me?
CHRIS TENNISON: Let’s start with this.

CHRIS TENNISON lays the Imperial Scepter out before ORIN.

ORIN: You boys weren’t joking around. This is the Imperial Scepter.
VIRGIL: You bet your ass it is… what is it?
ORIN: This scepter controls anyone wearing a suit of Preatorian armor.
VIRGIL: You bet your ass it does… what’s Preatorian armor?
ORIN: It’s fancy armor made of different colored enamel.
BRIX: Like the blue suit we got for Malus?
ORIN: Well, I haven’t seen the suit in question, nor have I ever met Malus before, but… yes, exactly like that.
CHRIS TENNISON: Cool! Let’s try it out!
ORIN: Not so fast!

CHRIS TENNISON picks up the scepter very slowly.

FLOYD: Lame.
CHRIS TENNISON: Well, it’s not my joke.
ORIN: Just because you control the person wearing that armor doesn’t mean that they don’t know they’re being controlled. And chances are, they won’t be happy about it, either.
BRIX: So let’s not take any chances. Malus got your resurrected, after all.
CHRIS TENNISON sets the scepter down.
ORIN: Anything else?
VIRGIL: Just this.

VIRGIL pulls out the APOCALYPSE SWORD, scabbard and all. ORIN stares at it.

ORIN: Bu-ah. Shit.
BRIX: Right?
ORIN: You boys really shouldn’t be carrying this around.
BRIX: Tell me about it.
ORIN: My organization should hold on to this.
VIRGIL: …there’s where we differ.
ORIN: Excuse me?

VIRGIL puts the sword away.

VIRGIL: That would be a direct violation of Virgil’s first rule of operation: Virgil doesn’t die.
ORIN: I don’t understand.
VIRGIL: If I’m holding onto the Apocalypse Sword, I know who’s got it, and I know who’s not using it. When it’s drawn, people die. So this sword can’t leave my sight.
FLOYD: Plus, we don’t know who’s in your organization. For all we know, you could be in cahoots with Doogal –
BRIX: Or Visgoth –
ORIN: Hell, no!
CHRIS TENNISON: Or that douchebag Jarrod.


ORIN: What did you say?
CHRIS TENNISON: Or that douchebag Jarrod?

ORIN gets up abruptly, crosses to VIRGIL (the nearest person to him) and pours a bit of whiskey on VIRGIL’s arm.


VIRGIL is about to say something when a black mark shows up on the spot where ORIN poured the whiskey.

What the fuck?

ORIN pours whiskey on FLOYD, BRIX, and CHRIS TENNISON’s arms. FLOYD and BRIX have the same symbol, but CHRIS TENNISON does not.

ORIN: Get out.
FLOYD: What’s going on?
ORIN: Get out!
BRIX: I think we deserve an explanation!
ORIN: You want an explanation? Here it is: your friend Jarrod? This is how he keeps tabs on you. This is an arcane mark, through which he can hear your conversations and the conversations of everyone in earshot. I don’t want this in my establishment, so get out.
VIRGIL: We didn’t know we had these.
ORIN: Of course not. Thing is, I don’t care – I just want it gone.
FLOYD: Fine, fine. We’ll leave if you let me talk to the licensed bard you were telling me about, and you show us the portal to Compassgate.
ORIN: Fine. The bard’s outside in the common area. Meet me at the front door in five minutes.

ORIN exits. The common area flies back in, customers and all. FLOYD, BRIX, VIRGIL, and CHRIS TENNISON enter from the back room. A BARD approaches FLOYD.

BARD: Hi, I’m a bard. Orin said you wanted to see me?
FLOYD: Hi! Floyd Fiftynames, wandering minstrel.
BARD: Hi, I’m Blah-blah-bla-bling blah, the Bard.
FLOYD: Hell of a name.
BARD: How can I help you?
FLOYD: I want to be a bard, too!
BARD: Well, you sure look the part. Anyone can go take the Bard test at the college in Illrea, provided they’ve written some new songs and can cast advanced illusion and enchantment spells.
FLOYD: Thanks for the heads up!
BARD: Don’t mention it. Good luck to you, Floyd Fiftynames, wandering minstrel.

The BARD exits. The party exits as well. The set turns to reveal the exterior of the Shield Splitter Inn. ORIN enters, followed by FLOYD, BRIX, CHRIS TENNISON, and VIRGIL. ORIN leads them to the edge of the entrance, in a little wooden shed.

ORIN: Here are the portals.
BRIX: Portals? Plural?
ORIN: Yeah. Don’t abuse them.

ORIN exits.

BRIX: Which one is Compassgate?
VIRGIL: Only one way to find out.

VIRGIL hops through the first portal.


VIRGIL hops back through.

FLOYD: What was it?
VIRGIL: I think it was Visgoth’s house.
FLOYD: Lucky us.
VIRGIL: Next one?

The others shrug. VIRGIL hops into the second portal, then quickly out, soaking wet.

FLOYD: I take it that’s a no, too?
VIRGIL: Probably. Number three!

VIRGIL hops into the third portal.

CHRIS TENNISON: Does anyone else feel like they’re playing Russian roulette?

VIRGIL hops back through.

VIRGIL: Maybe that one. It’s hard to tell for certain. I think I was in a pantry, but everyone was speaking common outside. I chose not to announce my presence.
BRIX: That’s probably best. Number four?
ALL: Number four!

VIRGIL hops in, and almost as quickly, out.

VIRGIL: That’s a no.
CHRIS TENNISON: Where’d you go?
VIRGIL: I have no idea, but it definitely wasn’t Arimathea.
FLOYD: Number five!

VIRGIL hops in.

CHRIS TENNISON: You know, this feels like something that should be musicalized.
FLOYD: You know, you’re right.
Which of these portals goes to Arimathea?
Which of these portals is the one that we want?
Which of these portals a-could it a-be-a?
The only way to know is to take them all for a jaunt.
BRIX: That’s a mighty lazy rhyme scheme, Floyd.
FLOYD: Think you can do better?
BRIX: Watch and learn.
Which of these portals goes to Arimathea?
Which of these portals is our ticket to ride?
One false step and Virgil could go see-ya!
But the only way to know is by stepping inside.
CHRIS TENNISON: Not bad, not bad.
BRIX: You think you have one in you, Chris Tennison?
Which of these portals goes to Arimathea?
Which one takes us where we want to go?
Wip-wop, shim-sham, doop-dop-a-dee-a,
Hopping through them all is the best way to know!
What, you don’t like scatting?
ALL: Which of these portals goes to Arimathea?
BRIX: Hey, hasn’t Virgil been gone a long time?
FLOYD: Brixmore is right, and I have to agree-a
CHRIS TENNISON: Womp-bomp, woop-woop, a lemony-lime!
Button. Spoken:
BRIX: I’m serious, where is Virgil? Shouldn’t he be back by now?
FLOYD: He really should.
To the audience:
But where was he? Stay tuned for next week’s episode, “Virgil on Hold,” or “Chortle in the Portal!”

End of Act IV

Game Notes, Session 14

Gameplay begins at the crest of the Valley toward the temple where Sikator is holed up. The party descends into the valley, only to discover an elf by the name of Pskenart who was planning to visit the temple at the bottom of the valley for archeological purposes. Having gotten himself caught up in a snare trap, the party frees him, and he accompanies them down the valley. As they get closer to the temple, they discover these little blue electric lizards (non-sentient) who attack the party en masse. They fight them off, but are battered and bruised by the experience. The party chooses tries to rest in the temple, but they dicover two gaurds, whom they quickly dispatch – but not before one of them blows an alert horn. The party retreats back out into the jungle to rest.

After resting, the party treks back into the temple. The party discovers a room with two dead bodies and a gemstone. They take the gemstone, but do not pause to examine it. They wind their way through the temple, fighting guards, a shaman, a giant viper (who seriously wounds Virgil, taking some massive constitution damage), and a crocodile, before heading down to the lower level and discovering a black dragon egg hatchery. After fighting off two wyrmlings and a youngling, they find a chest with the archeological stuff that Pskenart needs. Then the party heads up to the third level, where they encounter Sikator, a shaman, two fighter lizards, and four minor guards. The minor guards are quickly dispatched, and Pskenart charms one of the fighter lizards, who kills the shaman and engages the other fighter lizard. Brix and Guy pursue Sikator, who is throwing sonic booms their way, until he retreats to the fourth level of the tower. Brix follows and is downed by a Flamestrike spell.

The fourth level of the tower contains a chest and a cage with the girl. The fighter lizard and Guy pursue Sikator, who summons another viper to fight Guy, but Guy is able to take the snake down in one well-placed stroke. Floyd and Guy make their way to Sikator, who leaps out of the window. Floyd follows, discovering that there is a net placed below for just such an espape. Meanwhile, Pskenart and the charmed lizard fighter go to open the chest, and are summarily downed by the needle trap inside. Floyd sends a message to Chris Tennison, Guy, Virgil, and the newly healed Brixmore about the net, and the party quickly pursues. Sikator places a Hold Person on Floyd, who is unable to act further. As Sikator tries to escape, Virgil nails him with an arrow, and he goes down. Guy and Brixmore approach the body, and Guy beheads Sikator’s corpse, but Sikator, having prepared for that, placed runes on his neck contingent to it being removed from his head that blast Guy and Brix with another Flamestrike. Guy is downed, and Brix is killed by charring. Chris Tennison pours a healing potion down Guy’s throat, and the party heads upstairs to revive Pskenart, rescue the girl, and examine the contents of the chest – which apparently is a note taunting the players about how Sikator has given all of his valuables to his new allies.

Deciding that they should patch Brixmore up before reviving him with the cards they got from the Tower of Puzzles, the party returns to the Cracked Flagon, where they turn on the gemstone, discovering that Sikator is in league with Gruth and Doogal, and that Drea has been sacked and the hatchery of black dragons was part of the Doogal army badness, thereby moving Doogal up on the totem pole of bad guy priority. They also learn from an Illrean ranger that Yish has been burned to the ground by the town the party was supposed to go to and introduce diplomatic relations with. The party splits up briefly – Floyd, Guy, and Chris Tennison head to Guarm’s to bring the girl back and pick up Ethan, while Virgil stays behind to recover from his snake bite poisoning, and Pskenart volunteers to tend to Brixmore before going on his way.

Game Notes, Session 13

Gameplay begins where it left off. Faust wins initiative and blows a hole in the wall, making his escape. Malus follows after being kicked in the shin by Floyd. The party pursues, only to see Malus and Faust jump out of a window that’s a little to high for them to follow after – but it does afford them a view of the city, which is being taken over by Formians. The party heads downstairs, dispatching a four pack of low-level Formians, only to discover that the courtyard is swarming (no pun intended) with them, some of them much more powerful than the first ones they fought. After seeing their cart in ruins, some disagreement ensues about the best way out of the fracas, and Virgil gets caught away from the party and is downed. Guy attempts to save him, but things do not go much better for him, and he is downed as well. As Brix attempts to go after Guy and Virgil, Floyd and Chris Tennison look to be overwhelmed, but Floyd plays his flute to fascinate the Formians, and unintentionally fascinates ALL the lower level ones due to their hive mind. This prevents Floyd and Chris Tennison from taking further damage, but it alerts the queen to their prescence. Once the party figures out that they will be taken as slaves, Brix, who has managed to heal Virgil and Guy enough to escape, is downed, and Guy and Virgil bring him back to Chris Tennison and Floyd, while Chris Tennison rubs the coin artifact he has in his posession, and the group is transported to the Warrior’s Rest.

At the Warrior’s Rest, Guy discovers that his book has arrived, and that Eric, Samarind, and Ethan are there, waiting for them. The boys show off what they’ve found, and Ethan does his best to explain the balance of the magical artifacts in the world, specifically that the thinning of the coin upon use signifies that it will fade away from existence the more it is used.

Ethan reveals his purpose to the boys, which is that he is planning to go to the Shield Splitter Inn, where there are portals, to break into the Church and rescue Brother Art, a cause to which the party quickly rallies. He would like the party to accompany and aid him in this task. The boys agree, and they spend the night at the Rest. That evening, Guy receives a visitor – Visgoth the Vampire Lord, who shows him the corpse of the Ravid, and tells the party to stay out of his affairs. With the Ravid dead, Death soon shows up to claim Guy, but he is convinced by Virgil to go on his way. Shaken by this experience, the party leaves the Warrior’s Rest and heads to the Shield Splitter Inn by way of Drea & Gaurm’s. They encounter the Barghest again, but this time they defeat him.

Upon arriving at Gaurm’s, they find Gaurm badly beaten, and discover Sikator has taken the girl as a hostage to lure the boys. He has left a note challenging them to find him. Leaving Ethan to care for Gaurm, they head out to find Sikator, stopping by the Inn of the Jolly Badger to rid it of a mummy, and checking in at the Cracked Flagon.