Tuesday, September 29, 2009

PC Profile: Floyd Fiftynames

Floyd Fiftynames does not know where he was born. Since he was an infant, he had been raised in The Morningstar Abbey, a non-combatant, religious brotherhood in northern Arimathea, a southwestern country on a continent known as Western Aggravail. Floyd, along with his twin brother Guy, grew up at the Abbey and served as an apprentice to the brothers of the Abbey. Specifically, Floyd was apprenticed to Brother Art, the monastery's quartermaster. Along with his brother Guy, Floyd's friends are the other boys his age who live at the Abbey - the dwarf Brixmore, and humans Virgil, Eric, and Zarin.

When he is sixteen years old, Floyd learns that he and the other boys his age at the Abbey are members of a group known as the Year of the Ram, a select group made unique by the fact that they are born during an annual (recurring every 50 years) wherein births rarely occur. The six boys at the Abbey are half of the only twelve that were born during this year, and the monastery's chief, Abbott Teris, believes that they boys born in this Year of the Ram cycle are bound to fulfill many prophecies about the upcoming fate of the world.

After the shocking news of his origin (compounded by the death of Abbott Teris and the administrative changes made at the Morningstar Abbey), Floyd and his contemporaries are sent off to various adventurers to begin learning necessary skills. Floyd is apprenticed to a minstrel named Titus, who starts Floyd on the path to becoming a bard.

After two years, their training is complete, and four of the boys re-assemble: Floyd, Guy, Virgil, and Brixmore. Eric remains on the periphery doing furhter research into their heritage, and Zarin is heard from very sparingly. Floyd begins adventuring with his brother and their two friends, whereupon they almost immediately fall into some serious business.

Floyd's exploits become known far and wide largely due to Floyd himself, who is a prolific songwriter and talented performer. Floyd tells the tale of the self-christened "Order of the Abbey," through songs, storytelling, and an on-going puppet musical.

Floyd eventually becomes a licensed bard at the now defunct Bardic College of the nation of Illrea, and he is a founding member and author of the bylaws of the League of Bards and Skalds, a branch of an Adventurer's Guild formed after the epic Battle for the Basilica of Larst. In addition, Floyd is a founding member and original Executive Council Member of The Freelands, a democratic nation founded in the former anarchic Twilight Lands. Floyd has since resigned his position on the Council, finding the life of a statesman and politician unsuitable to him, although he has retained his position as the Fiftieth Gnome of the Fifty Gnomes, an intelligence and operatives organization founded in The Freelands by Floyd to be an agency for The Freelands and democracy throughout the continent.

Floyd is a devout agnostic, despite the overt religious symbolism of his birthright. He is a member of the ancient House of Bostwick, one of the original high families of Western Aggravail. Floyd tends toward a life of comfort and ease, and is more often than note driven towards adventure by Guy, Brixmore, and Virgil, who have aggressive personal agendas they wish to promote. However, despite this lack of drive, Floyd is an avid and eager swordsman, and enjoys diving into a good fight (particularly when it seems winnable).

Floyd values friendship very highly. In addition to the inseperable bond he shares with his brother and adventuring companions, he has found many friends and like souls in the Fifty Gnomes' organization, including Ajax, the original First Gnome, who replaced him on The Freelands' Executive Council, and Scaramouche, his young Copper Dragon co-hort. In addition, Floyd is fond of Garam, Abbott Art, Bjorn (formerly Eric), Bricka, Pskenart, and many others. Although he occasionally comes to disagreements with some of his fellow party members (particularly Guy and Virgil), he views them as family, and worth overcoming any disagreements.

Floyd maintains an easygoing relationship with the ladies, preferring no hard and fast commitments. As far as types are concerned, he has a thing for seamstresses and laundresses.
Floyd actively dislikes very few people, and when he does, it's usually because they have done something to deserve it. Floyd was once the victim of identity theft when another Gnome bard named Mitchell played Floyd's songs and claimed them for his own, but Floyd managed to eventually deal with the Mitchell situation without need for bloodshed. In addition, Floyd has no love for followers of the lizardfolk's pagan god Krissk, finding them unreasonably difficult to talk to. He finds Centaurs haughty, religious types hypocritical, and Gruth to be a major d-bag.

Floyd's eventual ambition is to retire as the greates adventurer / entertainer who ever lived. He has designs on the purchase and renovation of The Cracked Flagon, an inn in the unincorporated part of The Freelands, as it was the site of many fond memories. He plans to remain with the Fifty Gnomes organization, and to enjoy good food, fun, and cheer for as many days as he has.

Monday, September 28, 2009

September 2009 Session Notes

What follows are the notes from our September 2009 sessions. Again, these monthly notes are out of sequence, and reflect what has been happening most recently with the game.


September 20
September 27

September 20 Notes:

After completing their business at the carnival, the party headed south to the Abbey to pick up Guy, then east to Guy’s Port. On the way to Guy’s Port, they passed Malus’ farm, noting that the area had not been tended in quite some time, and the corn crop had begun to grow wild. At the edge of the field, they found a spot where a box had been unearthed. Discussing the matter with a gopher did Guy no good, but the party did find an open wooden box not far from the dig site. The box did not appear to be shaped for holding a body, and the current hypothesis is that it held a weapon of some sort.

Floyd sends Scaramouche with a letter to Rashoman, the FiftyGnome at work on operation Burrowmaster, to see what developments have been made in the case. He instructs Scaramouche to find him in Nemia.

The gang proceeded to Guy’s Port, where they booked passage on a ship bound for Barradon, a coastal town in the country of Nemia. Virgil expressed a desire sew some oats with the captain of the ship, a woman named Amies, and Floyd aided Virgil’s effort to the best of his ability. The results were disappointing.

The trip itself was fairly uneventful until the end, when it became apparent that a hurricane was approaching. Thanks to Floyd’s inspirational singing and speaking and Brix’s spellcasting, the ship made it into port just ahead of the storm. Floyd was exhausted, but Guy removed his exhaustion so that they could run up the steps to the town, and seek refuge in a Barradonian tavern called (name?). Mere moments before the storm hit, Dr. Ethan joined them at the tavern.

While riding out the storm, Ethan revealed to the party that the reason he had asked them to come to Nemia was because he had located his daughter Ashlynn (Visgoth’s chief lieutenant) living in this town. Determined to destroy her, he enlists the party’s help. The boys are to attack Ashlynn at her residence in town, and defeat her, forcing her to retreat to the location of her coffin, where Ethan will deliver the final blows.

After the storm, Ethan shows the boys the cave where Ashlynn’s coffin is located, and the house where she conducts business. Sensing that there may be some trouble leaving Ethan to destroy his only daughter, Virgil casts a word of recall on the cave so that he can quickly arrive and assist Ethan and ensure that nothing goes awry with the plan.

At the residence, the party waits for the appropriate moment, then storms the house, easily dispatching the low-level guards inside. Ashlynn herself proves to be much more difficult, as she placed numerous traps in the house to deter intruders, and enlisted a pair of dopplegangers which explode when destroyed. Finally, after the dopplegangers and Ashlynn are defeated, she turns into mist and retreats to her coffin. Virgil attempts to use his word of recall, but finds it has been dispelled, likely by Ethan.

The party runs towards the cave. Virgil, aided by an Expeditious Retreat spell, arrives first, just as Ethan has successfully destroyed his daughter. The toll it has taken is extensive, and Ethan tells Virgil he cannot live with himself after having to endure this task. He asks Virgil to promise that the party will make it their mission to defeat and eradicate Visgoth, to which Virgil agrees. Ethan then falls to his death from the precipice of a cliff by the cave.

Brixmore and Guy arrive and retrieve Ethan’s body, burying it in the cave next to his daughter. Virgil stoneshapes the mouth of the cave shut, and inscribes a simple mark to notate the burial site of one of the party’s oldest friends and mentors.

The group returns to Ashlynn’s house to find it has been looted of all valuables by the guards. Feeling unsatisfied and hollow, the party contemplates its next move.

September 27 Notes:

Gameplay starts off with the party in Barradon, shopping around for equipment that would bring Axe’s gear up to speed with the rest of the gang. After looking around in some of the local shops, they determine that the best prices available are in Dreia, and that shopping will need to be tabled until they return home. In the meantime, Brixmore loans Axe his shield, significantly boosting Axe’s magical gear quotient, and beginning Brix’s transition into a two-handed holy war machine.

Guy purchases a travel guide to Nemia and a city map, and begins plotting a course to bore Virgil and Floyd with a trip around the Holy Land. While the trip is being planned, Virgil spends a few days scribing scrolls, and Floyd plays the Barradon taverns, earning a few gold, and learning about the goings-on in Nemia.

Floyd learns that Nemia has been treasure-searched out, but that there are legends to be explored as the party travels north. In addition, he hears tell of dark times for the northern Nemian city of Nobis, and decides that the group should investigate the goings-on. This works out coincidentally as Guy determines that Nobis is the closest town to the next missing piece of Visgoth’s soul.

The gang disembarks from Barradon and visits the site of the Proclaimer’s first proclaiming. Guy and Brix take this trip very seriously, so Floyd and Virgil do their best to hang back and stay interested in something out of earshot. Axe, meanwhile, becomes interested in the teachings of the Proclaimer, giving Guy and Brix a focal point for their lecturing and praying.

Next up, the party visits the site of the hanging. In stark contrast to the simple marker of the first site, the Bishop at the site, one Bishop Rory (silk robes and all), has turned the site of the hanging into a veritable religious Graceland. Exorbitant admission prices and souvenier / trinket prices are charged to all who enter, and Guy, Brix, and Axe begrudgingly pay the admission price and pray at the site, which gives them a boost to their wisdom for a time. Brix attempts to give a sermon at the site, but he is forbidden. Suppressing their anger at the commercialization of the site, the party leaves.

The group heads to the site of the ascension, and finds it more simple and peaceful. Guy, Brix, and Axe take it all in, and the pilgrimage chapter of the session comes to an end.

From the ascension site, the boys head to Nobis. As they reach town, they find that everyone is very happy to see them, and eager for them to be happy with their stay. The townspeople escort the party to the inn, where they are met by Helga, the proprietress. Helga tells the boys that they are welcome because the news of the bad situation in Nobis has reached the surrounding lands, and visitors and commerce have all but disappeared. The townsfolk are also hopeful, based on the party’s appearance, that they might want to help with the problem.

That evening, Baron Humphrey, the local ruler of Nobis arrives at the tavern and meets with the gang up in a private room. There, he explains a less-than-human sect has been terrorizing Nobis, demanding material goods such as game meat, gold, and recently, human sacrifice. He is careful to describe three distinct types – the monsters themselves, whom the Baron calls “Chaka,” their humanoid, skinless servants, and a figure clad in black who arrived after Nobis put up an initial resistance to the Chakas’ bullying who has the ability to emit a terrible scream. These Chaka come from the north, and demand sacrifice from the town once per week. This reign of terror has been going on for almost eight months. Furthermore, the next visitation is scheduled to take place the next night.

The party pledges their help in any way they can provide it, and sets about preparing for the battle. After a night’s rest, Virgil polymorphs into an eagle and flies north, looking for signs of their encampment. He spies a castle, a house, and a place with smoke, but his animal instincts prevent him from exploring much more. Meanwhile, back at the tavern, Floyd keeps the townspeople from being a nuisance to the rest of the party by regaling them with stories of the boys’ exploits and making the citizens of Nobis feel confident about the party’s chances against the Chaka.

Helga approaches Axe and tells him that they may be able to learn more about the Chaka by visiting an old paramour of hers, Sien, a woodsman who lives in the forest outside of the town. Guy, Brix, Virgil, and Axe go to visit Sien, who, after disabling a trap Axe almost triggers, lets them into his home. Sien lives a Spartan life, but he has a wicked cool bow that Virgil admires.

Sien tells the boys that the group that Nobis knows as the “Chaka” is actually a sect of a cult that worship the pagan god Toth. The Chaka themselves are snake-people, and their servants, referred to as “Changed Ones,” are former humanoid races made to resemble snakes. The leader of this sect is an individual known as Yuantiki.

Sien and Vigil talk bows for a bit, and exchange a few arrows with each other for good measure, then the group returns to the town. After explaining the Sien encounter to Floyd, the party gets set for the arrival of the Snake-folk.

Virgil and Brix position themselves at the North end of town to prevent the escape of the cultists, and Axe, Guy, and Floyd wait in the tavern with Baron Humphrey. When the cultists arrive, they take the sacrifices of gold and meat, but do not demand a person this time. However, it’s moot since Virgil drops a fireball on the cultists and Guy carves up the one guy remaining. An illusory version of Yuantiki shows up to inform Baron Humphrey that Nobis is now doomed.

The party gets eight hours of shut-eye and then heads out to the cultists’ lair. After attempting to check for traps, the party eventually sets off an alarm and a horde Changed Ones surround the party. A fight ensues, but it is largely one-sided as the party easily bests the low-level creatures. Proceeding through, the party encounters four large snakes, who try to swallow the heroes. Those snakes are defeated handily, and the party continues into a room where they see an individual being transformed into a Changed One. There are Chaka, Changed Ones, and vipers throughout the room. Big fight, and the room is cleared out by the gang. One Chaka escapes, and when Brixmore goes to investigate how he disappeared, he finds there is a hole at the top of the ziggurat in the room. As they ponder their next move, it is the end of the session.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Significant NPCs in The Order of the Abbey Campaign

As of today, The Order of the Abbey has been a weekly running campaign since August 26, 2007. Although we have probably missed more sessions than we would like to admit, we have easily played at least 75 sessions during that stretch. In a game of such scope and size, it is probably no surprise that the campaign has come to have over three hundred significant NPCs, and the number is still growing. What follows is a list of considerably important NPCs as well as guest PCs (those who have played at the table on a non-weekly basis). I will not take the time to describe them herein, only rest assured that each and every one of the characters listed will be the subject of an NPC Profile at some point in the future. It is certainly possible that more names will be added to this list as well.

Characters with an asterisk (*) already have had their profile written.


Abbott (formerly Brother) Art
Abbott Teris*
Bjorn, formerly known as Eric
Brother Abel
Brother Jarrod
Brother Samared
Cardinal Aloe
Cardinal Nikolai
Dr. Ethan*
Eric, formerly known as Bjorn
Harves Raeth
King Gorom
Liam Strongbow
Lil' Skimpy
Pope Benedict I
Prince Calay
The Allfather
The Bandit King of Clovica
The Duke of Darkenhold
The Harvester
The Huntmaster
The Proclaimer
The Winter Queen
Yalla Sola
Zarin (also known as Linus)

I also would like to see each of the PCs write profiles of themselves at some point, but I thought it would be worthwhile to give you some idea of where we're going here.

NPC Profile: Dr. Ethan

When Dr. Ethan is first introduced to the story, he is a long-time resident of the Morningstar Abbey, though unlike many who reside there, he is not one of its brothers. It is assumed that Dr. Ethan lives at the Abbey because of the religious aspect of his missions and because of his long standing friendship with Abbott Teris.

Ethan is presented as a dark, serious figure, but in spite of this, he is neither sullen or anti-social. He dresses in dark clothing and frequently disappears from the Abbey on one of his missions, only to return bruised, scratched, and cut. Of all of the inhabitants at the Abbey, he is the one who appears the most outwardly ready for a fight.

Dr. Ethan was given Brixmore the dwarf as his charge, and as his apprentice, Brixmore comes to appreciate the need to abolish and destroy the undead. Shortly before the party began adventuring, Dr. Ethan began to figure into their lives much more prominently. Ethan showed a willingness to include the boys of the Abbey in missions, enlisting their help in the destruction of a burgeoning vampire, and entrusting them to bring a mysterious vial to Viggio, a friend of the doctor who lived in Verl’s Crook. Initially Ethan earned the distrust of Guy and the contempt of Floyd, but on the night that Abbott Teris died and the party left the Abbey, the entire party had come to trust Ethan as an ally.

Although they do not see Dr. Ethan again for some time, the party learns early on while adventuring that Ethan is a friend and colleague of Garam, a gnome wizard they begin working for who lives outside of the town of Dreia in the Twilight Lands. Through Garam, they discover that Garam and Ethan are both members of an organization called the Seekers, a continental-wide contingent of experts who focus their energies on specific kinds of monsters (Ethan with undead, Garam with the Unseely Court, or the fey, etc.).

The party catches up with Ethan at the Cracked Flagon one day when he writes them for help with a mission he is working on. This mission turns out to be one for scouting and observing the activities of a very powerful vampire named Visgoth as he meets with the Fey Queen of the Unseely Court. The party discovers one of the roots of Ethan’s dedication and interest in the destruction of the undead – Visgoth’s chief lieutenant is Ethan’s daughter Ashlynn, his only child.

Ethan serves as a useful conduit of information for the PCs, giving them background information on the history of the Church, the Proclaimer, and the Betrayer (who the party believes has become The Harvester). He possesses several religious artifacts, including three of the twelve pieces of silver used to betray the Proclaimer, each of which has magical properties. In addition, he teaches Guy how to magically detect the presence of evil, and he provides the party with pieces of Kingsfoil, a rare and valuable herb that can remove evil diseases, curses, and the like.

Dr. Ethan is often present to provide cautions to the party before they embark on particularly dangerous quests. He is present at the Battle of the Cracked Flagon and the Battle for the Basilica, as well as joining the party, Garam, and others for a critical dinner meeting with Visgoth. To Ethan’s credit, he manages to contain his rage at this meeting, knowing full well that his efforts in this fight would be futile.

Ethan becomes less and less of a fixture over time in the PCs lives, but for his last mission, he reunites with them so that they can help. Traveling by ship to Nemia, the PCs discover that Dr. Ethan has located the hideout and base of operations on the eastern end of the continent that is run by Ashlynn for her master Visgoth. Ethan scouts and discerns the location of her tomb, and prepares himself to finish her when the PCs confront and defeat her at her hideout location in Nemia’s coastal city of Barradon. The party is successful at driving her back to her coffin, and Ethan finishes the job.

This endeavor naturally puts Ethan into a deep despair, and he finds he cannot live with himself after what he has been forced to do. He pauses for one last conversation with Virgil, in which Ethan pleads with him to see to it that the PCs do one day face and destroy Visgoth once and for all. Virgil agrees, and Ethan, seeking peace at long last, hurls himself off a cliff and into the bay. His body is recovered by Guy and Brixmore, and the party buries him next to his daughter, sealing off the cave where they are interred.

Of all of the mentors the PCs had at the Morningstar Abbey as children, Ethan has been far and away the one most involved in the party’s adventuring life as adults. While his sacrifice seems heartbreaking and unnecessary to the boys, he will always be remembered fondly.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Session XX (Completed): Floyd's Puppet Theatre Interpretation

The Order of the Abbey, Part Four: Dealin’ with Doogal
Act IV

Curtain opens on the streets of COMPASSGATE. Citizens walk the streets, which are decorated with garland and ribbon. Wreaths and bells hang from the doors of shopkeepers. A VENDOR with a cauldron on the corner is selling hot beverages. A sign next to him reads – “Nogs, Cider, and Spiced Chocolate!”

Citizen #1 exits a shop, holding the door open for CITIZEN #2.

CITIZEN #1: Happy Yule!
CITIZEN #2: Why, thank you! Same to you!
Oh-ho-ho, can you feel it in the air?
An annual occasion that’s so special ‘cause it’s rare?
A very special season that each and everyone can share,
It’s the time of the Yule!

A SHOPKEEP opens his door, as citizens stream in, buying what-nots.

The spices and the flavors that are wafting down the street
Put a smile on the face of every customer I greet
Who arrive with saved up gold to buy their families a treat
It’s the time of the Yule!

Two LADIES exit the shop with gift bags.

The year has not been kind to us,
We’ve had to pinch and squeeze,
But eating’s over-rated,
And we need to decorate our trees!
I purcha-sed this sugar for a reasonable price
And when combined with chocolate and season-ed with spice
It produces an aroma that is really rather nice
And indicative of the Yule!
LADY #1:
My husband and I own a sugar farm outside of town. Why didn’t you buy from us?
VENDOR: Imported sugar sells for half of what domestic costs these days, madam!
LADY #1: But now I have no money to buy your wassail!
LADY #2: None of us do!
LADY #1: Whom do you expect will buy your wares?
VENDOR: Wealthy tourists.
LADY #2: Good luck with that.


FLOYD: Ooh! Hot drinks! (to the VENDOR) I’ll take a keg of each.
LADY #1: Son of a bitch.
BRIXMORE: Floyd – how do you expect to carry these kegs around?
FLOYD: Carry?

FLOYD pulls out a straw.

BRIXMORE: Never mind.
FLOYD: To our first Yule celebration since leaving the Abbey!
Oh-ho-ho, can you feel it in the air?
Compassgate is spending money like they don’t even care,
And everyone else is singing, so I’ll thank you not to stare,
It’s the time of the Yule!
The city is all decorated up in evergreen
It’s a pagan celebration the Proclaimer would demean
And yet a joy-ful-ous occa-sion like I have never seen
It’s the time of the Yule!


Look at the crazy deal I got
On these fancy longswords!
The economy’s been left to rot
And I reap the rewards!

GUY and VIRGIL enter.

Have you noticed that the streets are free of guard staff and police?
Marshall Drooley sent them home to their family and feast
Which leaves the town wide open now for Doogal to come and fleece
It’s the time of the Yule!
Sorry, that’s the way the verses have to end.
GUY: This is serious business.
CITIZEN #1: Nonsense, young master gnome! The Yule is a season of joy and frivolity. For merry-making, and dancing!
GUY: But what if – and just go with me on this – someone were to attack your city today?
CITIZEN #1: Well, we would overwhelm them –
GUY: All right.
CITIZEN #1: With good cheer!
GUY: God-dammit.
Oh-ho-ho, can you feel it in the air?
An annual occasion that’s so special ‘cause it’s rare?
A very special season that each and everyone can share,
It’s the time of the Yule!

MARSHALL DROOLEY enters, drunk, riding a broom dressed as a donkey.

Good Yule, all! Let us put on a parade
We can ride atop these new mounts that I have made
And afterwards at my place everyone’s gonna get laid
‘Cause it’s time for the Yule!

DROOLEY exits into the courthouse.

They’re sitting ducks for Doogal’s gang,
Don’t you think so, Guy?
How do we rescue Compassgate?
We could just let them die.


VIRGIL: That doesn’t take care of the Doogal problem.
GUY: It sure as hell takes care of the Drooley problem. (Off VIRGIL’s look) Okay, okay, how about this? When Doogal marches into Compassgate, he’s gonna go straight for the courthouse to set up operations, right? Let’s go in there and wait for him.
FLOYD: Can you guys help me carry my wassail in?
GUY: No, but I’ll do the next best thing.
Good citizens of Compassgate, you know my brother Floyd,
Well, receive the overwhelming generosity he’s deployed
If you do not drink his wassail he is sure to get annoyed
Come celebrate the Yule!

A crowd gathers around FLOYD and his barrels. They enjoy heaping ladles of his beverages.

Three cheers for Floyd, Hip Hip, hooray,
he’s truly made our day
we take back all those things we said
about you being super gay!


GUY: Still need help?

FLOYD looks at his empty barrels.

FLOYD: Nope, you took care of it.
GUY: Good. Let’s go to the courthouse.

GUY, FLOYD, VIRGIL, CHRIS TENNISON, and BRIXMORE exit into the courthouse.

Oh-ho-ho, can you feel it in the air?
An annual occasion that’s so special ‘cause it’s rare?
A very special season that each and everyone can share,
It’s the time of the Yule!

Button. Exeunt. The street flies out, showing the courthouse behind it. GUY, FLOYD, VIRGIL, BRIXMORE, and CHRIS TENNISON enter. From opposite, the JUDGE enters.

I’m the judge, I’m the judge –
Not now.

The JUDGE exits haughtily. A RECEPTIONIST enters.

RECEPTIONIST: How may I help you?
VIRGIL: We’re here to see Drooley.
RECEPTIONIST: Marshall Drooley is sleeping in his office right now, and I’m afraid he’s not seeing visitors.
GUY: Floyd.

FLOYD produces his pipe.

FLOYD: Here’s a little tune you’re sure to find “fascinating.”
GUY: Just play.

FLOYD starts to play an arpeggio on his pipe, but instead of music, the pipe produces a magic bubble. The bubble bursts and a BROWNIE appears.

Now Mitchell authored this song,
But you can claim you wrote this one too,
In fact scream it out into to the world
Until you’re black and blue

Truth is no one will believe you
Because anyone can see,
You’ll never be a songsmith
Even half as good as me.

Your fencing is pathetic,
Your songs are really bad,
And those fifty names just means you are
fifty times as sad.

An embarrassment to Gnomes,
And a bard you’ll never be.
‘Cause you’ll never be a songsmith
Even half as good as me.

Now Floyd has no honor,
Code Duello he did break,
I bested him (and could again),
But no Item could I take.

How can you look in the mirror,
At a face so cowardly,
And you’ll never be a songsmith,
Even half as good as me.

Your friends are uncouth ruffians,
Hired thugs the whole lot,
It’s just a matter of time before your party,
Is beheaded hung or shot.

And I hope I’m there to see it,
Just to remind you for posterity,
That you never were a songsmith,
Even half as good as me.

Button. Spoken:

This concludes the requirements of my Geas. Peace out!

The BROWNIE disappears with a *POP!*

CHRIS TENNISON: It’s a Yule Time miracle!
BRIX: Wow.
FLOYD: You’re telling me. Mitchell used a geas to force that little man to write a song and pretend that Mitchell wrote it, then sing it to me.

GUY turns his attention to the RECEPTIONIST.

GUY: Look, just let us through, okay?
RECEPTIONIST: I don’t think so.
GUY: Rage…building…
VIRGIL: Lady, do you have any combat training?
RECEPTIONIST: Not as such, no.
VIRGIL: Then you might want to move. That gnome has killed people less defenseless than you for dumber reasons than this.

DROOLEY enters.

DROOLEY: Why is it so noisy out here? What’s going on?

GUY cuts DROOLEY in half.

VIRGIL: Guy! God –

HORNS from outside.

BRIX: That sounds like our cue, lads.
CHRIS TENNISON: Let’s go stop the invasion.

Exeunt all but VIRGIL.

VIRGIL: - Damn.

The streets of Compassgate fly back in. The party enters from the courthouse, meeting CITIZEN #1 on their way.

BRIX: Citizen #1 – what’s going on?
CITIZEN #1: My name is Roger.

An arrow flies in and lands in CITIZEN #1’s heart. He falls over, dead. CITIZEN #2 enters.

CITIZEN #2: Roger!
BRIX: Citizen #2 – what’s going on?
CITIZEN #2: There’s a whole army invading – Lizardfolk, kobolds, giants, and more! All of our guards are on leave for the holiday – we’re defenseless!

A third CITIZEN enters.

CITIZEN #3: But we’re in luck! An army led by the hero Doogal has come out to challenge the evil forces for the city!
CITIZEN #2: Hooray!

The two LADIES enter.

LADY #2: Doogal has defeated the advancing army! Compassgate is safe!
CITIZEN #3: It’s truly a Yule Time miracle!
Oh-ho-ho can you feel it in the air?


GUY: No! Don’t you understand? Doogal is in charge of both armies! This was all a ploy – a ruse to make you believe that he saved you!
LADY #1: Why should we believe you?
FLOYD: Believe me! I gave you all my wassail, did I not?
CITIZEN #2: It’s true! He did!
FLOYD: Well, I’m here to tell you now that Doogal is a bad man – not the kind, benevolent savior you’ve been led to think he is!
LADY #2: Tell us more!
Doogal is a bad man
He eats onions and cheese and garlic
And he never washes his hands
Because his name is Doogal
Yeah, they call him Doogal,
The bad, bad man.

Doogal is a bad man
And he won’t respect your dad –
If your dad comes to visit you at college
And you’ve got issues concerning your dad;
You want to impress him,
But Doogal won’t help you
That’s why they call him Doogal
Doogal the bad, bad man.

He’ll never help you clean the place
The place that you’ve shared together
For so many years now
And he says you shouldn’t tell them,
But the secret you’ve held so long
About you and Doogal
And his homosex’wal tendencies,
That you know will just hurt his career
Which is why they’ve never known
How he’s licked your taint in the dark –
How Doogal once licked Floyd’s hairy, hairy taint
Because he is gay
And what’s more important when it comes to Doogal,
He’s a bad, bad man.

Once upon a time there was a puppy
Who just wanted to go home to see his family
So he hopped up on his donkey –
Cause that’s what kind of puppy this was,
It was a puppy who worked real hard and got himself a job
With enough money to buy a donkey
And he was riding on the road,
Riding to see his family whom he hadn’t seen
Nigh on in many months,
And Doogal saw this puppy,
And he said, “wha… what’s this?
“What is this puppy doing riding a donkey?”
Cause that’s the kind of guy Doogal was –
It would never occur to him that a puppy,
An adorable 10 week old puppy,
A golden retriever puppy
With fuzzy orange fur and a left ear
That would flap back on occasion,
Exposing the pink ear inside,
I mean, it’s so cute when puppies do that! –
And that’s the kind of puppy I’m talking about,
Yeah, Doogal would never think
That a puppy like this would work sixty hour weeks
At the forge where he works
For a drunken, shell of a smithee,
With no family and no friends,
And he expects the puppy back at 9 a.m. sharp
On the day after Yule day
To start working on those orders
And processing, processing
All of those returns
So this puppy ain’t got but a few precious hours
To spend with his family,
And when he’s worked so hard to get this donkey
Only to face this kind of bigotry,
Well, you and I both know that it ain’t right,
But here’s Doogal, pulling that shit,
And Doogal says, “a puppy shouldn’t have a donkey –“
So he takes away that donkey
And he sells that donkey in Larst,
While the puppy starves on the side of the road
And his corpse is used as a necromancer’s lap dog,

Ohhh, the indignity of it all
All because of Doogal,
Doogal the bad, bad man.


TRUMPETS SOUND, and DOOGAL enters, a Halfling, with an entourage including GRUTH. The crowd erupts in boos and jeers.

This is not at all what I expected. Who are you people?
FLOYD: I’m Floyd Fiftynames, acting Marshall of Compassgate.
CITIZEN #3: What happened to Marshall Drooley?
FLOYD: Long story. Anyway, what’s your purpose here, Doogal?
DOOGAL: I just want to talk to the citizens of Compassgate, that’s all.
FLOYD: Well, they don’t want to talk to you, Doogal.
LADY #1: That’s right!
CITIZEN #2: Go home, Doogal!
VENDOR: Would you like to buy some wassail?
DOOGAL: Very well. I’ll just have to take the city by force.

DOOGAL bolts for the courthouse.

FLOYD: Somebody stop him!
LADY #2: You stop him. You’re the acting Marshall.
FLOYD: Oh, yeah. Let’s go!

FLOYD, GUY, and BRIXMORE run to the courthouse door. It’s locked.

BRIX: He locked the door!
FLOYD: Son of a bitch! Can he do that?
GUY: Stand back! I’m gonna break the door down!

GUY backs up to get a running start.

FLOYD: Wait a minute…

FLOYD clicks his heels and disappears. GUY begins running for the door. Just as he is about to reach it, the door opens, and FLOYD steps out.

I can’t believe that worked!

GUY runs headlong into FLOYD.

GUY: Gah!

BRIX, VIRGIL, and CHRIS TENNISON follow into the courthouse, with Doogal’s MEN close behind. GRUTH, meanwhile, runs off in a different direction.

The street scene flies out, replaced by the courthouse interior. DOOGAL stands at the ready as the party rushes him.

DOOGAL: Dominate person!

VIRGIL stops in his tracks.

Attack those guys!

VIRGIL pulls out his bow and arrow and shoots GUY in the leg.

GUY: What the fuck?


Aw, nerds!
BRIX: I’m on it!

BRIX wrestles VIRGIL to the ground. LIAM STRONGBOW enters.

LIAM: Hey guys, what’s up?
CHRIS TENNISON: What are you doing here? Wait. That doesn’t matter. Help us!

LIAM and CHRIS TENNISON engage Doogal’s MEN, including an ELF ASSASSIN who fights with multiple daggers.

GUY and FLOYD approach DOOGAL.

GUY: Do you know how to flank, Floyd?
FLOYD: Uh, gee, Guy, dur… Of course I do!
GUY: Well, get ready!

GUY and FLOYD engage DOOGAL. BRIXMORE, meanwhile, is having a tough time with VIRGIL, but finally manages to throw him to the ground.

BRIX: Dispel!

VIRGIL comes to.

VIRGIL: What just happened?
BRIX: Doogal dominated you with a spell.
FLOYD: I think this cat has bard powers!
GUY: He’s a BARD?

In a rage, GUY cuts DOOGAL down, but DOOGAL disappears through the floor.

What? C’mon!
CHRIS TENNISON: Um… a little help?

The rest of the party comes to the aid of CHRIS TENNISON and LIAM, and they defeat the guards in short order, with VIRGIL delivering the capping blow to the ELF ASSASSIN. LIAM exits.

VIRGIL: Dammit! Doogal got away!
BRIX: But we foiled his plot to take Compassgate.
CHRIS TENNISON: And we may have completely discredited his reputation in Arimathea.
GUY: And I’m pretty sure I killed him.
VIRGIL: But we have no body to show for it. I am unsatisfied and disappointed.

LIAM re-enters, leading six horses.

LIAM: Does this make up for it?

VIRGIL begins weeping with joy.

VIRGIL: It’s a Yule Time miracle!

Everyone hops on their horses.

FLOYD: Anyone know how to ride one of these things?
GUY: We’ll learn. Well, fellas, where to next?
BRIX: I say we go to Larst, to do some religious research on the Harvester –
FLOYD: And warn the hierarchy about Nikolai.
LIAM: There’s a port in Longview where you can book passage on a ship. I can’t go with you, I’m afraid, but I’ll see you all again before too long.
GUY: Well, then, to Larst?
BRIX: To Larst!
FLOYD: To Larst!
VIRGIL: Horses!

The party rides off into the sunset.


Sessions XIX (Compl;eted) and XX (Started): Floyd's Puppet Theatre Interpretation

The Order of the Abbey, Part Four: Dealin’ with Doogal

DOOVIN’s basement. The body of the PROCLAIMER lays upon a slab in the center. FLOYD enters and addresses the audience.

FLOYD: Previously on “The Order of the Abbey – the Puppet Musical:”

Characters pop in and out of the edge of the proscenium as they say their lines:

BRIX: I’m on the side of the One True God, Virgil.
GOLDSCHMIDDT: Somebody went to the Dagda Bridge and released the Hunt, and I have a theory that it’s after you boys.
DOOVIN: The Harvester is going to have to undergo a one-month preparation in a secret location. Find that location, and you can stop him.
MITCHELL: Fine. Tell your little friend when he wakes up that I will see that he is forever barred from being a bard!
BRIX: Are you trying to tell us that Doogal is also a member of the Year of the Ram?
VIRGIL: Doovin, sometimes I sneak off into the forest so I can jerk off in peace. (breaks character) THAT’S my recap line?
DOOVIN: “Lo, I am Death, destroyer of worlds.” Yep, that’s the Shiva Sword, all right. Has the power to undo creation.
GUY: How did Goldschmiddt get his hands on this kind of magic?
VIRGIL: Who is this?
DOOVIN: This is the earthly body of The Proclaimer.
FLOYD: And now, on with the show!

FLOYD, GUY, VIRGIL, BRIX, CHRIS TENNISON, and DOOVIN re-assemble in the spots they were in when the last part ended.

CHRIS TENNISON: The Proclaimer sleeps in your basement?
DOOVIN: He’s not asleep, Chris Tennison. He’s dead.
CHRIS TENNISON: Oh, okay. For a minute I was worried The Proclaimer was some kind of jobless hippie squatter.
BRIX: I can’t believe the body of the most holy prophet is here.
DOOVIN: Why not? It’s the safest place on the continent.
BRIX: But surely The Church would want –
DOOVIN: The Church?! Brixmore, by now you must know that there are those in the clergy who cannot be trusted with a locker combination, much less the body of The Pro-freaking-claimer.
BRIX: Point taken. But underneath the Grand Cathedral in Larst, is there not a place where holy relics are safeguarded?
DOOVIN: The catacombs? Brother, you don’t even want to know about what kind of crazy shit is down there. Trust me. This is the safest possible place that The Proclaimer could be right now.
BRIX: I don’t doubt that, Doovin… bless your soul for keeping him safe.
DOOVIN: I take a lot of pride in my job, but it does come with a price.
BRIX: What kind of price?
DOOVIN: Well, the body of The Proclaimer isn’t decomposing, and it isn’t going anywhere. Somebody’s got to be here to watch it, so I am both gifted and cursed with immortality, unable to see the afterlife promised to the followers of his teachings.
FLOYD: Ironic.
DOOVIN: Ain’t it, though?
BRIX: I’m sorry to hear that. Perhaps one day, you can be relieved of your duty, so that you might bask in the glow of the One True God in the great beyond.
DOOVIN: Are you… threatening me?
BRIX: What? No!
DOOVIN: Okay, ‘cause it sounded like -
DOOVIN: Fair enough.
GUY: Sorry to interrupt –
FLOYD: No, you’re not.
GUY: But weren’t you saying something upstairs about how we should be taking care of Doogal?
DOOVIN: Indeed. I’ve heard that in two weeks, Doogal will take his forces and his followers and march on Compassgate, with the intention to overthrow the local government.
GUY: Would that work?
DOOVIN: Well, he’s got a stranglehold on most of the crops and the horses –
VIRGIL: Grrrrr!

VIRGIL shakes his fist.

DOOVIN: - so my estimation is that he’ll be hailed as a hero when he marches in there.
BRIX: So we need to get there ahead of time to warn the local law enforcement.
FLOYD: That won’t do us any good.
BRIX: Why not?
FLOYD: The local law enforcement in Compassgate is the newly-appointed Marshall Drooley.
GUY: What?
VIRGIL: Are you fucking kidding me?
FLOYD: Granted, this information came from Mitchell, so it very well could be a lie. In fact, it probably is.
GUY: Regardless, we need to get to Compassgate but fast.
DOOVIN: First, you should go check on your friend Malus. You may not like what you find there.
BRIX: Uh-oh. Didn’t we send a messenger to Malus’ farm?
VIRGIL: We sure did.
CHRIS TENNISON: We’d better hurry!
FLOYD: I’m on it!
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.

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!

DOOVIN joins FLOYD in the spotlight.

The journey can take so long!
FLOYD & DOOVIN: But a journey becomes a jaunt
When lovingly expressed in vibrant song!

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

FLOYD waits, but no one sings with him. Spoken:

Um… guys, this is the part where you sing with me.
DOOVIN: Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you.

Lights return to normal. The others are gone.

They left when you started singing.

FLOYD: Son of a bitch.
Let’s proceed with alarm
As we head to Malus’ farm!

Button. DOOVIN exits as his basement flies out, and MALUS’ farm flies in. The entire farm is in disrepair, as though no one has been here for several weeks. The skeleton of the MESSENGER is pinned to the side of the barn with an axe through the ribs. Spoken:

FLOYD: Well, I’m glad I got here early.


BRIX: Goon!
CHRIS TENNISON: Note to self – never give Malus bad news.
GUY: Floyd – any sign of Malus?
FLOYD: Other than the axe and the corpse? Nope.
BRIX: Oh, boy. You think Nikolai has called him into service?
VIRGIL: I’d bet money on it.
GUY: We need to get to Compassgate.
FLOYD: Can we travel by song this time?
VIRGIL: Why don’t we just take these flying white horses Doovin lent us?
FLOYD: Flying white what?
CHRIS TENNISON: Yeah, Doovin gave them to us while you were singing.
GUY: We’d have told you about them, but we didn’t want to.
FLOYD: Beans.
GUY: Anyway, hop on. They’re going to take us as far south as the Morningstar Abbey.

Four flying white HORSES enter.

HORSE #1: (neighing) All abo-ho-hoard!

The boys hop on the horses and fly away.

A-STAGE closes. B-STAGE opens to reveal the Morningstar Abbey. ART is outside, checking a truck of wine. The party enters, landing their horses nearby.

HORSE #1: Well, this is as far as we go. See you around!

The HORSES fly away.

ART: You boys do know how to make an entrance.
VIRGIL: Art! How’s it hanging?
ART: Not bad. I’m the Abbott now.
GUY: Good for you!
ART: Yeah, Larst saw fit to go over Nikolai’s head on that one. Nikolai had no objections, probably on account of me seeing that summoning circle in his chamber. A little leverage never hurts. Regardless, I’d still like to see Nikolai bounced from his seat altogether.
GUY: Wouldn’t we all.
VIRGIL: Art, as it turns out, we’re doing a little Year of the Ram research. What do you know about this past generation?
ART: Well, there were supposed to be twelve of you, and Teris found eight. You four, Eric, and Zarin, and two others who were kidnapped from here when you all were very young.
BRIX: Children kidnapped from here?
ART: Mm-hmm. You’re too young to remember, but their names were Delphin and Graxx. Delphin was Eric’s twin, and Graxx was yours, Brixmore.
BRIX: I have a twin?
ART: You all do. Virgil, Zarin is yours, and Guy and Floyd, you two can probably figure out. Delphin and Eric are particularly notable because they are the progeny of another born in the year of the Ram two hundred years prior, a fella named Harves Raeth.
VIRGIL: I wonder if that’s who Doovin was talking about – he mentioned another generation of the Year of the Ram that we wouldn’t want to get mixed up with.
ART: I should say not. Harves Raeth has not led a reputable existence, to put it kindly.
GUY: What of the children Teris didn’t’ find?
ART: All I know about them is that one was a set of Halfling twins, and the other two were elves.
VIRGIL: And of those four, one of them is Doogal.
FLOYD: Or Doogal could be an alias for Delphin or Graxx.
BRIX: Nikolai also mentioned that he already had a child from the Year of the Ram at his disposal. If that were Delphin or Graxx –
GUY: Or one of the others –
BRIX: We should definitely try to find out.
GUY: Right. Thank you Art, this is very helpful.
ART: My pleasure. Hope that doesn’t complicate things too much.
FLOYD: Oh, we’re way past that.

From one of the upper floors, a window opens, and a teenage human girl sticks her head out and shouts:

GIRL: At the moment of the Harvest, the stars will begin to fall!

She retreats. The boys look at ART.

CHRIS TENNISON: Care to explain that one?
ART: That’s one of our current wards. She has the gift of prophecy.
FLOYD: “At the moment of the Harvest, the stars will begin to fall.”
GUY: Could be a clue to The Harvester’s location. Has she given any other prophecies?
ART: A couple. “The one who walks in darkness gathers his council among him and goes there unto Larst.” That one was spoken to me. Another monk here heard her say, “And those who grew up as brothers and maintained brothers among them true of necessity shall walk the path of darkness, yet only three shall exit on the other side.”
VIRGIL: That last one sounds like it could be directed towards us.
BRIX: We can’t discount the first one, either. Looks like we need to add Larst to our travel itinerary.
VIRGIL: The last makes it sound like at least one of us is going to die before this is all said and done.
GUY: If you choose to believe it.
CHRIS TENNISON: It is a prophecy.
GUY: Well, I’m sick of prophecies! I’m of the mind to make my own destiny from here on out. No more of telling us what we are destined to accomplish - what say Brix, Floyd, Virgil, Chris Tennison, and Guy make their own agenda and follow through, huh?
FLOYD: Sounds good to me!
VIRGIL: I’m with you, too.
BRIX: And me, too, Guy.
CHRIS TENNISON: (Smiles) I’m getting too old for this shit. Aw, what the hell, I’m in!
GUY: Now what say we all head for Compassgate and confront Doogal once and for all!
GUY: C’mon, then! What are we waiting for?


ART: Oops, time for supper. Corned beef and cabbage tonight.
FLOYD: That sounds good.
BRIX: It sure does.
VIRGIL: I can’t remember the last time I had corned beef.
GUY: Well… I guess it wouldn’t hurt to wait until tomorrow to confront Doogal once and for all.

Exeunt into the Abbey. Curtain closes.


Game Notes, Session 20

Gameplay begins as the party arrives at the Morningstar Abbey. They are greeted upon their arrival by two monks they remember from their time at the Abbey, and the party is taken to Art, who is the new Abbott, after appealing to the Church in Larst. The party learns that Brother Jarrod disappeared about 4 weeks prior, and a new Blacksmith has taken his place at the Abbey. A discussion about the children born during the last Year of the Ram cycle ensues, and the boys discover through Art that the two (previously unaccounted for) children from the year were also brought to the Abbey by Teris and the gang, but they were kidnapped. Their names are Graxx and Delphin (both boys), and Delphin in particular is interesting because he is the son of another Year of the Ram child, one born four cycles ago (making him 200 years old at the time of Delphin’s birth; 218 currently). Both of these children are human. Delphin’s father is a man named Harvas Raeth. The party then learns that the younger girl who lived at the Abbey has developed the gift of prophecy, though she has reverted to a child-like state as a result, and the brothers keep her in the tower of the Abbey for her own safety.
The party goes up to the tower to see her, when she immediately opens her mouth, and in a deep voice, gives the following prophetic message:

“At the moment of the ceremony of the Harvest, the stars will begin to fall. Seek ye the location at the base of Mt. ---“

This is where she stops. Art mentions that this is only the 3rd prophecy she has given, and the party resolves to study the mountains of the Twilight Lands in order to glean the location. They also request to hear the other prophecies. They are:

“The brother who walks in darkness gathers his council among him and goes there unto Larst.” – Spoken to Art

This is taken by the party as a means of explaining where Jarrod has gone to. Getting to Larst becomes a priority. The other one:

And those who grew up as brothers and maintained brothers among them true of necessity shall walk the path of darkness, yet only three shall exit on the other side.” – Spoken to Brother Steve Perry

The party reluctantly comes to the conclusion that this means that at least one of them (it is not certain if Chris Tennison is subject to this prophecy) will die before all is said and done. With nothing more for it but to accept that the prophecy was foretold, Guy decides he’s sick of prophecies, and the party at large agrees with him. They bed down for the night at the Abbey, and head forth the next day for Compassgate.

When they arrive in Compassgate three days later, they come to the gate, and find the guards drastically understaffed in the city. The guard who greets them at the gate asks them if they are there to celebrate Yule. After staring intently at the guard for 10 minutes, the boys decide that there is no hidden meaning in this nameless guard’s statement, and ask him why they are so understaffed. The guard explains that Marshall Drooley has given most of the city leave to celebrate the season, which is winding to a close.

The party, pretty irritated with Drooley by this point, heads into town and goes straight for the Town Hall. When they enter the hall, Guy tells the clerk that they have an appointment with Drooley, but she does not believe him. Floyd begins to sing in an attempt to distract her, but his singing triggers the arrival of a tiny man in a bubble who sings a song from Mitchell about Floyd, and how Floyd’s songwriting skills pale in comparison to his. After completing the song, the tiny man states that the terms of his geas are complete, and he disappears. This leads Floyd to the conclusion that Mitchell’s geas ordered the man to first, write a song trouncing Floyd and pretend that Mitchell had written it himself, and second, to perform it for Floyd the next time he attempted to sing.

Anyway, this provides the distraction the party needs, and they head for a meeting room, where Guy rashly and impulsively strikes Drooley, killing him. Panic ensues through the building, and Guy heads for Drooley’s office, finding what loosely amounts to evidence – correspondence between Drooley and Doogal that, while appearing legal and coincidental, more or less leaves the city defenseless. As a crowd forms outside, an image of Gruth appears, which recognizes the party, and quickly pins the murder of Drooley on them, calling the boys his “assassins,” and announcing his invasion of the city. Floyd takes the evidence and does his damndest to sway the assembled public to the side of the party, rallying them to allow the boys to fight for the city. Many in the crowd are swayed.

Meanwhile, Virgil, Guy, Chris Tennison, and Brixmore head for the gate, where they see an oncoming army of the usual Doogal suspects – kobolds, giants, lizarmen, dwarves, and the like. Then, a guard spots an army cresting the hill, and recognizes them as Doogal’s forces – revealing Doogal’s master plan to “save” the city from his own monster army. Realizing this is an orchestrated event, the party leads a band of citizenry out to fight alongside Doogal’s forces, surprising the monster army and Doogal’s force. Naturally, the victory is for Compassgate, and the party further endears themselves to the city being percieved as their leaders. The boys spot Doogal, and discover that he is a halfling. Doogal heads for the gates of the city, so Floyd takes a potion of Expeditious Retreat and heads for the gate. Guy, Chris Tennison, Brixmore, and Liam follow, while Virgil stays behind to implement “Operation: Horsethief.”

Doogal finds himself greeted at the gate by Floyd who introduces himself as the acting Marshall of Compassgate, and Doogal recognizes the party’s names, though they have never met. It becomes clear to Floyd when listening to Doogal that he has bard abilities. He disavows any knowledge of Gruth and the like, and maintains his intent upon reaching the city. Upon his arrival in town square, Doogal begins to give a speech intended to bring the city under his sway, but Floyd gets into Doogal’s rythmn, and makes him look like a fool. The citizenry, thoroughly unimpressed by Doogal, disregard him, until he decides to take Town Hall by force, heading inside and locking the door. The party tries to fight their way through.

Meanwhile, Virgil has approached some of Doogal’s men, and tried to ingratiate himself to them, but he is met with resistance on all fronts. He notices their insignia, which is a jewel that lights up, and when it does, Doogal’s forces head for the city. Virgil Expeditious Retreats himself into town, and finds the party, led by Chris Tennnison, trying to break down the door of Town Hall. Floyd uses his boots to get inside, and opens the door, and the party dispatches the guards downstairs and head up. Virgil and Chris are the first to find Doogal, but Doogal dominates Virgil, taking him out f the fight. The rest of the party gets up to the meeting room where the fight is happening, and Floyd, Guy, and Chris Tennison fight Doogal while Liam tries to subdue Virgil and Brix attempts to hold off the guards at the door. The party defeats Doogal just as he escapes through a magic hole in the floor, and then Floyd teleports out of the room to follow him with Brixmore following soon after while Liam, Guy, and Chris Tennison fight the guards.

Virgil’s domination lifts, and he joins Floyd and Brix, who go downstairs to find Doogal gone (but for a blood spot on the floor where he should have landed) and Floyd and Brix engaged in fighting an elf assassin with crazy poisoned daggers. Guy, Liam, and Chris Tennison dispatch the guards and head downstairs, where they help to finish off the assassin, but are forced out of the town hall by an overwhelming number of guards. Outside, they find the town is being sacked by more of Doogal’s forces, both monstrous and human. The party finds horses and escapes Compassgate, heading south for Longview, with the intent to head east to Larst. Though disappointed that they were unable to save Compassgate, they take solace in the fact that Doogal has been thoroughly outed to the world as a villian of the first degree. At this point, Liam parts ways with the party, but tells them he will see them again.

End of Session XX

Thursday, September 17, 2009

NPC Profile: Malus *CORRECTED!*

Malus is an individual who has been around for a very long time. He is a large human male of great strength and imposing presence. It is known by the party that long before their birth, Malus was a warrior in an ancient age who was forced to eat the heart of a demon in order to survive a battle in which all of his men had been killed. Originally a valorous warrior, Malus accepted this fate because of a promise he made to one of his soldiers to take a message back to the soldier's beloved. Consumption of the heart changed Malus both physically and spiritually forever.

By the time the PCs meet Malus, he is an anonymous gentleman farmer. He makes the acquaintance of Brixmore during Brix’s apprenticeship as a cleric. Later on, the entire group encounters Malus, who is staying as a guest with the haughty, racist centaurs who kill Hirsute MacGuffin and assault the other party members who are trying to return the centaur chieftain (Proudtail)’s son (Stonehoof). Upon learning of the centaur’s treatment of the PCs, he orders Chief Proudtail to have his shaman reincarnate Hirsute as Chris Tennison. This pull that Malus, a human has among the xenophobic centaurs leads the party to believe he is more powerful than your average farmer.

Malus learns that the party is heading for the famous Tower of Puzzles, and asks the PCs to retrieve a suit of blue enamel armor for him. Chris Tennison finds the armor, and Malus catches up to the party in the city of Britewater, where they give him the suit. Donning it, he almost immediately engages in a fight with Faust, who was in the city unbeknownst to the party. It is heavily implied that Malus covets Fausts’ magical glove which allows him to utilize more than one magic ring per hand. To our knowledge, this glove is completely unique.

What Malus does not know is that at the top of the Tower of Puzzles, Chris Tennison also obtained the Imperial Scepter, an implement that allows the wielder complete control over the wearers of the enamel armor of various colors. Chris Tennison does not realize the power of the scepter, and does not use it against Malus, but unfortunately, the party loses the scepter when they are captured in Compassgate by Faust and Cardinal Nikolai. Although the party escapes, Nikolai retains possession of the scepter, and it is believe that he uses it to make Malus his errand boy.

The party sends a messenger to warn Malus of this fact, but when the party follows up on the mission, they are dismayed to find Malus’ farm in shambles, and the messenger's dead body on the property. This is the last they hear from Malus for several years, until the battle for the Basilica of Larst, when Nikolai, who reveals himself to the world as Argoth, Lord of Hell, summons Malus to engage the party in battle. The PCs manage to overcome Malus at this juncture, but they do not kill him. Instead, Malus escapes, bloodied and beaten. When the party defeats and banishes Nikolai, they can find no sign of the Imperial Scepter. It is unknown at this time what has become of this artifact, and Malus remains at large.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Session XIX, (cont.) - Floyd's Puppet Theatre Interpretation

The Order of the Abbey, Part Four: Dealin’ with Doogal
Act II

Curtain opens on the interior of the Warrior’s Rest. A new gnome, RUMPLEMINTZ, is behind the bar. A few patrons mill about, drinking and talking.

The doors open and BRIXMORE, VIRGIL, CHRIS TENNISON, and GUY enter.

RUMPLEMINTZ: Well, I’ll be! The famous Year of the Ram themselves! You must be… now, let me see… don’t help me – Brixmore the dwarf, right?
BRIX: Aye.
RUMPLEMINTZ: And you’re Guy Fodder, am I correct?
GUY: Fodder’s… really more of a nickname.
VIRGIL: Who the fuck is this guy?
RUMPLEMINTZ: And are you, Chris Tennison, formerly Hirsute MacGuffin?
RUMPLEMINTZ: Well, I’m just as pleased as punch to meet you all! I’m Rumplemintz. Goldscmiddt hired me on as extra help.
GUY: Opposites attract, I see.
GUY: Never mind.
RUMPLEMINTZ: But, wait! Where’s the one who made your names so famous, your gnomish bard companion?
VIRGIL: Oh, he’ll be along in a minute.

FLOYD enters, agitated.

FLOYD: Virgil! Thanks for a whole assload of nothing!
VIRGIL: What are you talking abou?
FLOYD: Mitchell was not hiding in that there briar patch up the road… I don’t know what you saw, but now I’m all scratched up and my clothes are torn, and…you son of a bitch.

The others break up laughing. FLOYD addresses the audience:

FLOYD: Hi, folks, Floyd Fiftynames here. I’ve been a little off my game recently. See, I just found out that there’s this bard out there named Mitchell who’s playing my songs and claiming them as his own. I called him out on it, and just as we were about to fight an honest duel, he sucker punched me. Suffice to say, when I find him, he’d have best written his own dirge.
RUMPLEMINTZ: Oh, my! Is it really you?
FLOYD: What’s that? Oh, yes. Good to meet you…
RUMPLEMINTZ: Rumplemintz.
FLOYD: Rumplemintz. A pleasure.
RUMPLEMINTZ: Oh, the pleasure’s all mine, Mitchell!


RUMPLEMINTZ: The author of such songs as “To Be a Mer-Gnome,” and “The Battle of the Cracked Flagon” needs no introduction here. We all know you, Mitchell!
FLOYD: My. Name. is. Not. Mitchell.
RUMPLEMINTZ: Oh, I’m sorry. What is your name, gnomish stranger?
FLOYD: I sir, am Floyd Havenshickle Ullrich Nicklepolish Fogerty Nipnipnip Eidelweiss Filtmore Sussantacher Dondlefizzle Greenbarrow Corknozzle Degrander Flippentumble Witzen Hollowhiller Kriddentree Meidentallow Quartzbasher Badgertailor Pommemander Yulespritzle Havendasher Breezefighter Culinator Obblepeddler Burrowmaster KaBong Hatcrafter Saucespoon Udenhollow Rickshaw Shadowblaster Wicktamer Bostwick Fellowhand Bashhit Tuladenfork Alphabetaxer Elf-friend Ropedryer Bellowsmender Twinklefoot Pipethief Grimbit Judenhaste Swistender Nozplaster Krisskslayer FIFTYNAMES, dammit!
RUMPLEMINTZ: Oh. Do you know Mitchell?
FLOYD: I know everything you need to know about that son of a bitch.
What kind of Gnome
Steals another Gnome’s song?
It’s just not the right thing to do –
No honorable Bard
Would e’er play that card
Without a soul made of pure poo.

So, Mitchell the Bard
Must be a retard,
For stealing Floyd Fiftynames’ songs –
Not only a thief,
E’er he turned a new leaf
The other side’d also be wrong.

It sure is a shame
That he’d sully his name
And the name of good Bards everywhere;
If he feels threatened by me,
Well, that’s easy to see,
For I’m young and my nuts have more hair.

Yes, Mitchell the Bard
Has much balder gnards,
As all of you now are aware,
I’m sure the Council would blush,
And soon they would rush
To let a new Bard clear the air.

Button. Spoken:

RUMPLEMINTZ: Say, that’s pretty good!
FLOYD: I know.

FLOYD crosses to an empty table and sits.

GUY: Don’t mind him. Is Goldschmiddt in?
RUMPLEMINTZ: Oh, I’m sure he’s around here somewhere.


GOLDSCHMIDDT: Oh, goody. It’s the merry band of adventurers who occasionally stop by to threaten my life.

Suddenly, his tone changes, and he says under his breath to the party:

My office. Quick.
CHRIS TENNISON: Hey, Goldschmiddt, we… wait, what?
GOLDSCHMIDDT: You heard me. Now.

GOLDSCHMIDDT exits into the back.

BRIX: Come on, Floyd. Goldschmiddt has something important to tell us.
FLOYD: Fine.

The boys exit into the back. A-STAGE closes. B-STAGE opens up, revealing small office. GOLDSCHMIDDT sits at his desk. The party enters. GOLDSCHMIDDT behaves differently than his “public” persona. He is quick, to the point, and curt.

GOLDSCHMIDDT: Do you boys know anyone who might have released the Wild Hunt?
VIRGIL: What? No! Why?
BRIX: The Wild Hunt is on the loose?
GUY: Holy shit!
GOLDSCHMIDDT: Somebody went to the Dagda Bridge and released the Hunt, and I have a theory that it’s after you boys.
VIRGIL: Who the fuck would send the Wild Hunt after us?

A pause as it sinks in.

GUY: Doogal.


BRIX: What is with that guy?
GOLDSCHMIDDT: But how did Doogal get that information?
FLOYD: I think I know.
FLOYD: Guy… your book.

GUY pulls the book out of his backpack that was made by PHILIPI, the scribe.

GUY: Oh. Forgot I had this.
FLOYD: Is there a chapter in there about the Dagda bridge?

GUY peruses the book.

GUY: Um… yeah.
FLOYD: There’s your answer, Goldschmiddt.
GOLDSCHMIDDT: This is not good.

A mist starts to creep in under the door.

We’ve got to hid you boys somewhere… somewhere the hunt can’t get to.
BRIX: Is there anyplace it can’t go?
GOLDSCHMIDDT: Only one place nearby that I can think of.
CHRIS TENNISON: Hey, cool! Mist!
GOLDSCHMIDDT: Son of a bitch. The hunt is on its way.

GOLDSCHMIDDT reaches into his desk, and hands all the boys a vial.

Drink this, then run west to a clearing about half a day’s ride from here.
GUY: Are you kidding? We’ll be chopped to bits before we ever get there!
GOLDSCHMIDDT: Not if you drink that, you won’t.
GUY: But what is it?
GOLDSCHMIDDT: It’s special magic hoo-joo! You don’t have time for questions – drink it!

The party obliges. B-STAGE closes behind the characters.


The party runs (in place). GOLDSCHMIDDT exits, and B-STAGE opens, revealing blurry trees as the characters book it. The sound of a HORN fills the air, and the mist becomes thicker.

VIRGIL: Whoooo! This is awesome!
CHRIS TENNISON: How are we running so fast?
VIRGIL: Powerful magics, my friend.
GUY: I think the more important question is, how did Goldschmiddt get his hands on this kind of magic?
FLOYD: Yeah, he’s just an unassuming barkeep at an inn that used to be a tomb way out in the middle of nowhere. Those guys never turn out to be more than they seem.
GUY: But it raises the even MORE important question –
BRIX: No! No, there is no more important question, at least not at the moment. The important issue right now is to run from the hunt before it catches up with us!
CHRIS TENNISON: Brixmore makes a solid point, fellas.
GUY: Fair enough. I guess the only question I have at this point, then, is how much farther are we going to be able to run?

The party exits. B-STAGE closes.

A-STAGE opens to a clearing in the middle of the forest. A modest country house with an exterior cellar, exuding peace and safety from every door and window. A man sits on the porch, thoughtfully smoking a pipe. This is DOOVIN. The sound of footsteps, and the horn approach. Mist surrounds the clearing, but does not enter it. Finally, BRIX, GUY, VIRGIL, CHRIS TENNISON, and FLOYD run in, and stop, breathing heavily.

DOOVIN: Hello.
GUY: Goldschmiddt sent us.
DOOVIN: (nodding) Mm-hm. The Hunt?
CHRIS TENNISON: Yeah. How’d you –

A chill ripples through the clearing as THE HORNED KING enters, a towering figure clad in a dark cloak; he has great antlers that protrude from a hood that obscures the rest of his face.

THE HORNED KING stops at the edge of the clearing. He can go no farther.

DOOVIN: Relax. He can’t come in here.
BRIX: He can’t?
DOOVIN: Nope – on account of the holy magic that protects this place.
BRIX: Holy magic? What kind of –
DOOVIN: You boys must be tired.
VIRGIL: Well, now that you mention it –

BRIX, FLOYD, GUY, CHRIS TENNISON, and VIRGIL collapse in a deep slumber. DOOVIN addresses THE HORNED KING.

DOOVIN: I’m taking these boys inside to get some rest now. You shoo. Shoo!

DOOVIN waves his pipe at THE HORNED KING, who skulks away.

A-STAGE closes. B-STAGE opens to reveal the underwater kingdom of the Mer-Gnomes. MER-FLOYD swims in, followed by MER-GUY, MER-BRIX, MER-VIRGIL, and MER-CHRIS TENNISON.

FLOYD: I fucking told you so!
BRIX: You sure did, Floyd.
FLOYD: So maybe you should believe me about Mitchell, too.
GUY: I seriously doubt that.
GUY: Because this is a dream sequence, dumbass.
CHRIS TENNISON: And the gag is getting tired, too.
FLOYD: Fine, fine…

The party swims off. LILY enters.

LILY: Floyd?

B-STAGE closes. A-STAGE opens up on the interior of DOOVIN’s house. FLOYD is downstairs, picking at a lute. DOOVIN is cooking breakfast. BRIX is off to the side, saying his prayers. CHRIS TENNISON enters.

CHRIS TENNISON: What time is it?
FLOYD: Wednesday.
CHRIS TENNISON: Jumpin’ Jehosaphat! We slept for three days?
DOOVIN: You looked like you needed it.
FLOYD: That we did, Doovin.
DOOVIN: At your service. Have some breakfast.

DOOVIN sets down a monster plate of biscuits, bacon, and gravy in front of CHRIS TENNISON, who eats hungrily.

FLOYD: Three days of sleep’ll have an effect on your appetite.
Down at the edge of the forest
Just before the sun met the day
At a quaint little farm
Where you’ll never know harm
I found me a nice place to stay

I was awoke from my slumber
By a smell from the stove wafting by
Of hot, piping coffee
And biscuits and gravy
And bacon just starting to fry

So pleasant was this early morning
I was certain that this was a dream
But the aches that I felt
Told me I wasn’t healt,
And things truly were as they seemed

And then as I rose up to standing
I was greeted by a friendly face
Sayin’, ‘Hot piping coffee
And biscuits and gravy
Before you return to the race’

Every minstrel and wandering traveler
Needs a spot to feel safe now and then
And the farm that I found
Where the crops grow around
Is a place that I’ll visit again.

Button. Spoken:

DOOVIN: Well, I do what I can.

BRIX finishes his prayers, crosses to the table.

BRIX: I’ve never felt so close to the One True God before. This place is amazing.
DOOVIN: There's a reason for that.
FLOYD: It’s so peaceful.

GUY and VIRGIL enter, recently awake.

GUY: All right, I’m up. Time for questions!
FLOYD: Well, it was.
VIRGIL: Who are you?
DOOVIN: Name’s Doovin.
GUY: Why did Goldschmiddt send us to you?
DOOVIN: Probably because I can provide you lads with some answers.
GUY: What kind of answers?
DOOVIN: Well, take the Harvest, for instance.
VIRGIL: You… you know about the Harvest?
DOOVIN: Sure do. Floyd told me all about it.
VIRGIL: How much did you tell him, Floyd?
FLOYD: Doovin? I told him everything. You would too, if you tried the food he just made.
VIRGIL: I very much doubt that…

VIRGIL takes a bite of a biscuit. It’s overwhelmingly good.

Wow. Doovin, sometimes I sneak off into the forest so I can jerk off in peace.
FLOYD: Thems are damn fine biscuits!
GUY: So, what can you tell us about the Harvester?
DOOVIN: Well, if the Harvester is loose, he’s preparing for the Harvest. That’ll take place on the last night of High Autumn. In the meantime, he’s going to have to undergo a one-month preparation for the Harvest in a secret location. Find that location, and you can stop him before this all goes down.
CHRIS TENNISON: With the Apocalypse Sword, maybe?
DOOVIN: Oh, yes – the sword. Let me see that.

GUY hands DOOVIN the sword. He draws it.

VIRGIL: Holy fucking shit!

VIRGIL, GUY, FLOYD, BRIX, and CHRIS TENNISON all cover their eyes and hunch down. To their surprise, the sword does not kill them.

DOOVIN: “Lo, I am Death, destroyer of worlds.”

He sheaths the sword.

Yep, that’s the Shiva Sword, all right. Has the power to undo creation.
BRIX: Yeah? Well, how come it didn’t just now?
DOOVIN: Because nothing evil can enter this property.
VIRGIL: Nothing?
DOOVIN: Not a thing… that I know of.
VIRGIL: Well, that’s a relief.
BRIX: What is?
VIRGIL: I’m not evil.
BRIX: Well, neither was Sally, but you’d never know from the Eye of Toth being in her head. Some things can be deceiving.
DOOVIN: Eye of Toth?
GUY: Yeah, what do you know about that?
DOOVIN: Just that Toth was a pagan god of old. Using the powers of the Eye eventually take your soul away.
VIRGIL: Oh, excellent.
GUY: I guess that means we have to go back and get it back from Sally.
DOOVIN: I’m sure Garam will take care of it. You Year of the Ram children have this tendency to take everything upon yourselves.
BRIX: Well, speaking of Year of the Ram, what can you tell us about that?
DOOVIN: Well, there are twelve of you born in this cycle of the year of the ram.
BRIX: This cycle?
DOOVIN: Yes… Children were born in the other years of the ram, you know.
GUY: Maybe they could provide some answers that we’ve been seeking. Do you know any previous generations of the year of the ram, Doovin?
DOOVIN: Only one, and it’s best that you not get mixed up with him.
FLOYD: Aw, come on!
DOOVIN: No, no. It’s not time for that. You have members of your own generation to worry about.
FLOYD: Like who?
DOOVIN: Like Doogal.


BRIX: Are you trying to tell us that Doogal is also a member of the Year of the Ram?
GUY: That doesn’t even begin to make sense. He was already an active beast breeder by the time we were sixteen.
DOOVIN: What can I say? Doogal’s a go-getter.
CHRIS TENNISON: Wow. It’s kind of humbling to think of yourselves as late-bloomers, huh?
FLOYD: Easy now, Chris Tennison. Nothing humbles Floyd Fiftynames.
DOOVIN: Oh, yeah?
FLOYD: Yeah.
DOOVIN: Perhaps you boys should come to my basement.
FLOYD: Something about that sounds so wrong, and yet, I am completely amenable to your suggestion.

DOOVIN’s kitchen flies out, replaced by his basement, which has some weapons and tools hanging on the walls, and a large slab in the center, upon which a fresh-looking body lays.

BRIX and GUY immediately fall to their knees. FLOYD takes off his hat.

VIRGIL: Who is this?
DOOVIN: This is the earthly body of The Proclaimer.

The boys exchange looks. Curtain closes.


Monday, September 14, 2009

NPC Profile: Goldschmiddt

Goldschmiddt is a gnome who runs The Warrior's Rest, one of the taverns that the PC's frequent. The Warrior's Rest is located on the southwest side of the former Twilight Lands (now territory of the Freelands). It is a tavern built out of the tomb of a great warrior, but despite its macabre origins, it is a rather homey and comforting place.

Goldschmiddt has been the proprietor of the Warrior's Rest since the party's first encounter at the tavern, when they were taken there by Abel the ranger the night that Abbott Teris died and the boys' adventuring lives truly began. Goldschmiddt presents himself as a mopey, depressed individual who frequently supposes his own demise at the hands of one of his customers (even the PCs). He is the polar opposite of his cheery assistant barman, the gnome Rumplemintz.

In actuality, Goldschmiddt is a hardy, steely, and resourceful man who is fiercely protective of the things he holds dear, and his "Eeyore" persona is a front that allows him to keep watch over his charges from the relative safety of his tavern.

Goldschmiddt's relationship to the PCs is one of casual respect, but in recent years he has come to consider the PCs as powerful individuals who are less in need of his direct assistance, and more often in need of his guidance as a liason to the worshippers of the Dagda, a druidic organization in the southwestern Freelands who revere nature.

Through Goldschmiddt, the PCs have been introduced to Doovin, and Goldschmiddt was present at the climactic battle with The Harvester. In opposition to the High Elf invasion, Goldschmiddt assisted the alliance of the Western Continent armies by single-handedly destroying the conquered city of Britewater.

Goldschmiddt seems to know a great deal about the history of the Year of the Ram, but he is selective in what information he releases to the characters, preferring that they work to discover their own origins. The PCs have on occasion encountered him after he has been through a particularly brutal fight, but he always seems to bounce back and continue on at his post behind the bar.

Sessions XVIII & XIXish: Floyd' Puppet Theatre Interpretation

The Order of the Abbey, Part Four: Dealin’ with Doogal
Act I

Curtain up on the outskirts of Scar Canyon, a large ravine just south of the Shield Splitter Inn. Noises off precede the entrances of BRIX, GUY, and CHRIS TENNISON, followed by a terse VIRGIL, from left. They trudge on a bit before VIRGIL stops suddenly.

VIRGIL: Lo! I have traveled these lands for almost a year now, and the only time I came across a horse, I had to steal it! Every stable, farm, city, tavern, inn, and charming bodega we have stopped at have been fresh out of steeds, mounts, and anything else with hooves or wings that are available for riding. Finally, when we fight the biggest battle of our lives only to watch a key villain escape on what turns out to be his own personal black riding DRAGON, some wet-behind-the-ears RANGER shows up with his very own mule and wagon!
CHRIS TENNISON: Hey Virgil, aren’t you a ranger, too?

The group continues on, wearily exiting right, followed by OAK driving his mule and wagon, with LIAM and FLOYD sitting in the back of the wagon. LIAM is picking at a lute, and FLOYD is playing is pipe. After a few bars of instrumental music, FLOYD sings:

A horse is a horse
Of course, of course
But no one can purchase a horse
Of course
Unless the broker that deals that horse
Is named Doogal!

So find you a man by the name
Of Ga-ruth
You can hang out in inns or
Hire a slueth
He works for Doogal and he is a man
Who knows of the truth!

And so if you’re tired
Of travel on foot
Your boots are all muddy
And covered in soot
Ask Ga-ruth why Doogal would want every horse
If not for the loot!

Instrumental break

LIAM: A horse is a horse
FLOYD: Of course, of course
LIAM: But no one can purchase a horse
FLOYD: Of course
LIAM: Unless the broker who deals that horse
FLOYD & LIAM: Is named Doogal!

Button. VIRGIL re-enters from right. He approaches the wagon, takes LIAM’s lute, and smashes it to pieces. FLOYD quickly makes his pipe disappear. He turns to the audience.

FLOYD: Hi folks, Floyd Fiftynames here, riding in style across the plains of the old Twilight Lands. We’re headed up north to Scar Canyon to find the handle of Svarth, the second piece of a weapon that Brixmore’s in possession of. With the upcoming confrontation we’re bound to have with the Harvester looming, we figured we should try to get our weapons and gear up to speed. Oak had heard tales of this place that coincided with legends and rumors that Brixmore heard, so here we are.
OAK: Here we are!
FLOYD: I just said that.

The wagon pulls up to the edge of the canyon, where BRIX, CHRIS TENNISON, and GUY are waiting. FLOYD, LIAM, and OAK hop off of the wagon, and VIRGIL follows. CHRIS TENNISON is reading a brochure with a picture of the canyon on it.

BRIXMORE: Scar Canyon.
CHRIS TENNISON: Says here that Scar Canyon is the Canyon-iest place on earth!
GUY: What does that mean?


OAK: Shall we descend?

OAK starts down the canyon, followed by LIAM, and soon after, BRIXMORE, GUY and CHRIS TENNISON, still reading the brochure. As FLOYD starts down, VIRGIL watches him go, then reaches into his backpack and pulls out a label.

VIRGIL: Heh-heh-hee!

VIRGIL slaps the label on the upstage side of the mule (so we can’t see it). Suddenly, FLOYD pops back up.

FLOYD: Virgil!
VIRGIL: Hm? What?
FLOYD: You coming or what?
VIRGIL: Yeah, yeah… I’m on my way.
FLOYD: Good. Chris Tennison’s reading some more boring shit from that brochure!

FLOYD disappears down the canyon. VIRGIL follows.

A-STAGE closes. B-STAGE opens up to reveal a crevice in the canyon. The bones of a dead ADVENTURER lay impaled on a jagged rock, its clothes torn to rags, some of its gear scattered about. OAK, LIAM, GUY, BRIX, and CHRIS TENNISON enter.

CHRIS TENNISON: (reading) …taking over one thousand orc day laborers nearly eight months to dig the trenches. Wow!

FLOYD enters, followed by VIRGIL.

GUY: Hey, Virgil. What took you so long?
VIRGIL: Nothing… the sunset was magnificent… it’s eleven a.m., …. what took you so long? Shut up!
LIAM: Whoa there!

LIAM stops short in front of the skeleton.

CHRIS TENNISON: Cool! An animatronic skeleton! Maybe it can tell us about the mysteries of Scar Canyon!
GUY: Shut up. Search that corpse’s things.

VIRGIL and LIAM go through the ADVENTURER’s backpack. FLOYD rifles through its pockets, finds a platinum pieces, surreptitiously slips it into his hat. LIAM comes up with a note.

LIAM: Bingo! Correspondence.
GUY: What does it say?
LIAM: “Dear Expendable Adventurer, your job is discover the secret of Scar Canyon-“
LIAM: “-watch your step, those jagged rocks are mighty sharp.”
BRIX: The poor, illiterate bastard.
GUY: Is it signed?
LIAM: Yep – “Sincerely, Doogal.”


GUY: Again? Boy, we’re gonna have to meet Doogal one of these days.
VIRGIL: Does he say anything about horses in there?
GUY: Why would he say anything about –
LIAM: As a matter of fact, he does. “P.s., it is extremely important that you discover the secret of Scar Canyon because all of the horses I was buying died of the pestilence due to the wretched, filthy conditions I kept them in. Ah, well. C’est la vie, so say the D.” I assume the “D” is for Doogal.

CHORD. VIRGIL drops to his knees and shouts to the sky.


Rumble from above.

OAK: Please tell me you just started an avalanche.

Tiny rocks begin to fall from above. They slowly get bigger.

BRIX: Run!


B-STAGE closes. A-STAGE opens to reveal the base of the canyon. Seven TROGLODYTES surround an idol, worshipping it.

TROGS: Malrotic, Malrotic, Malrotic…


OAK: Phew! That was close.
VIRGIL: Shh! That’s Draconic!
LIAM: The language?
VIRGIL: No, the cologne. Yes, the language!
OAK: I’d appreciate it if you didn’t talk to my friend like that.
VIRGIL: And I’d appreciate it if you’d get off my back, you mule-hoarding son of a bitch!

The TROGS stop chanting, and turn and look at the assembled party.

That last part was a little loud, wasn’t it?

GUY: You might say that.
BRIX: Has anyone seen Floyd?

The TROGS grab spears and clubs.

LIAM: Run!

But it is too late. A fight breaks out between the party and the TROGS.

B-STAGE opens on a room filled with loot and a sleeping hydra. FLOYD enters.

FLOYD: (whispers) Sweet.

FLOYD begins scooping up treasure into his hat. On the other side of the stage, the others have defeated the TROGLODYTES. They cheer and exit. A-STAGE closes. From off, we hear:

CHRIS TENNISON: Floyd! Hey, there he is!

FLOYD’s eyes bug out. He rushes to the door as CHRIS TENNISON enters.

Floyd, we beat down a bunch of troglodytes! Where were you?

The HYDRA awakes.

Oh. There wasn’t anything about that in the brochure.

FLOYD: I wrote the brochure.
CHRIS TENNISON: What? But I found it at the edge of Scar Canyon.
FLOYD: I know. I snuck ahead the night before and placed it there. I haven’t slept in two days.


BRIX: A hydra!

The party fights the HYDRA. GUY chops off one of its heads.

OAK: You might not want to do that!
GUY: Why not?

The HYDRA grows back two heads where the one was chopped off.

OAK: Does that answer your question?

More fighting. At last, the HYDRA is felled.

BRIX: Nice pile of loot you happened upon here, Floyd.
FLOYD: Only the best to share with my party! (to himself) Dirty moochers.

The gang begins to grab up gold and treasure. As they do so, BRIX discovers a secret door.

BRIX: Cool! Secret door!

GUY, BRIX, and LIAM moves the stone in front of the door.

VIRGIL: It’s a tunnel (sniffs) and by the smell of it, it’s been sealed up for a very long time.
BRIX: Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go exploring!

The group exits into the tunnel. B-STAGE closes.

A-STAGE opens, revealing a massive chamber chock FULL of goodies. A massive hydra skeleton with sixty heads rests on top. A carving on the wall in a strange language spans the back of the stage. The party enters, and stops short as they behold the treasure.

GUY: Hell, yes! Jackpot!
FLOYD: Payday!

The party runs around, looking at items. FLOYD and CHRIS TENNISON stop as FLOYD pulls a pair of boots, a hat, and a pair of gloves out of the pile.


FLOYD tries on the hat.

CHRIS TENNISON: Feel any different?
FLOYD: I do, Chris Tennison. A little older, a little wiser.
CHRIS TENNISON: Good for you.
FLOYD: Yeah. Pull my finger.

CHRIS TENNISON pulls FLOYD’s finger. FLOYD farts, and the two laugh like idiots. Meanwhile, BRIX and LIAM encounter an impressive looking handle.

BRIX: Here it is! The handle of Svarth!
LIAM: What does it do?
BRIX: On its own, nothing, but when I combine it with the hammer…

BRIX puts the hammer and handle together. Musical Chord.

SVARTH: Behold Svarth!
BRIX: Oh, yeah!

GUY and VIRGIL approach the writing on the wall.

GUY: This makes my head hurt.
VIRGIL: Of course it does. It’s the written word.
GUY: Shut up. What does it say?
VIRGIL: Comprehend Languages!

VIRGIL casts.

Hmm… it appears to be Illithid in nature. It reads, “Lord of the 6th Circle of Cthon.”
GUY: That sounds ominous as shit.
VIRGIL: Yeah, it do.

FLOYD puts on the boots.


FLOYD clicks his heels. Instantly he is transported 40 feet across the room.

BRIX: Floyd, that looks a might dangerous.
FLOYD: Yes, it does. I promise I’ll only use these in an extreme emergency.
BRIX: That’s not what I meant. Maybe you should not be wearing those.
FLOYD: But… these boots are extremely fly, are they not?
BRIX: Well, yeah, but…
FLOYD: Then it’s settled! I keep the boots!
BRIX: Oh, brother.

OAK stops what he is doing.

OAK: Shh! I hear something!

CHRIS TENNISON: Of course. Proclaimer forbid we should enjoy our payout.

EVERYONE hides. BROTHER ELLIOTT enters accompanied by twelve green-skinned HUMANOIDS.

ELLIOTT: There. Tell your master my debt is paid in full. There is enough money down here to finance whatever wars you wish to begin.

VIRGIL pops up from his hiding spot.

VIRGIL: Elliott?

ELLIOTT is surprised to see VIRGIL, to say the least.

ELLIOTT: Oh! Hello, Virgil.
VIRGIL: What the hell are you doing here
ELLIOTT: I was about to ask you the same thing.
VIRGIL: You first.
ELLIOTT: I just came to get my treasure.
VIRGIL: Your treasure?

GUY reveals himself.

GUY: Yeah, I hate to break it to you, Elliott…
ELLIOTT: Oh, good, there are more of you…
GUY: But this is our treasure now.
ELLIOTT: My dear boy. Are you suggesting that you’d be willing to fight for it?
GUY: You’re damn right we are, and…

OAK and LIAM rush up to GUY and pull him back.

OAK: Pay no attention to him. He’s a little hard-headed about these things.
ELLIOTT: I know.
VIRGIL: On the other hand, we did defeat the hydra in the last room, so I think we’re entitled to a cut, at least.
ELLIOTT: Do you, now?

FLOYD and CHRIS TENNISON come out of hiding.

FLOYD: Elliott, come on. Be reasonable.
ELLIOTT: Is that you talking, or the hat?
FLOYD: What do you know about the hat?
ELLIOTT: It makes a gnome wiser just for wearing it.
FLOYD: Oh. Then you should really listen to me.
ELLIOTT: I suppose. Fine. Take what you can carry and get out. The rest is mine.
VIRGIL: You can offer us a better deal than that –

ELLIOTT’s eyes begin to glow with the power of his magic.

ELLIOTT: Do not test me. Grab what you can and go. Now.

FLOYD turns to the audience.

FLOYD: And that’s what we did. Sure, it was hard giving up that treasure, but it would’ve been a lot harder than trying to get it all out of there with no legs.

Treasure cavern flies out and is replaced by the outskirts of the canyon. OAK’s mule and wagon are now loaded up with stuff.

OAK: Well, that’s as much money as I can carry.
GUY: Yeah, and we got some good stuff, too. I got these boots to make me faster. Floyd, you got the hat, those teleporting boots, and those gloves.
VIRGIL: I got some magic arrows.
BRIX: And I have Svarth.
VIRGIL: Yep. So you guys take your wagon full of gold, and I’ll take the mule, and we’ll call it a day.
OAK: Excuse me – what?
VIRGIL: You take your wagon full of the gold we found for you, and I will take the mule, and we can call it even.
OAK: I don’t think so. That’s my mule.
VIRGIL: That’s not what his label says.
OAK: What are you talking about?

OAK turns the mule around. There is a big label on it that says “Property of Virgil.”

Aw, man!
VIRGIL: You can’t dispute the authority of the label.
FLOYD: He’s got you there.
BRIX: No, he doesn’t! Virgil, that mule does not belong to you.
VIRGIL: Who’s side are you on, Brix?
BRIX: I’m on the side of the one true God, Virgil.
VIRGIL: That guy is always harshing my gig!
GUY: Let it go, Virgil.
VIRGIL: Fine. But I tell you this now – someday, as your one true God is my witness, I will get a mode of transportation!
FLOYD: (to the audience) And he did, too, but that’s a story for another time.
CHRIS TENNISON: Bye, Oak! Bye, Liam!
OAK: See you guys around!

OAK and LIAM hop in their wagon and ride off.

GUY: Well, where to now?
VIRGIL: Somewhere within walking distance, I guess.
BRIX: You know, seeing Elliott got me to thinking – shouldn’t we check out the Tower of the Broken Moon? Virgil, he told you the Eye of Toth was still in there.
FLOYD: Yeah, probably in that Necromancers tower at the top.
GUY: What Necromancer’s tower at the top?
FLOYD: While you guys were fighting that big ass zombie, remember?
VIRGIL: You told us there was nothing up there!
FLOYD: I told you nothing of value was up there.
GUY: What do you think the Eye of Toth is, Floyd?
FLOYD: A big, gross, evil eye?
GUY: And that’s not valuable?
FLOYD: Do you know anyone who will give you money for it? Do you?
BRIX: I think you’re misinterpreting the idea of value, Floyd.
FLOYD: Yeah. I’m the one misinterpreting it.
GUY: Let’s go.

The party exits, except for FLOYD.

FLOYD: So, it was off to the Tower of the Broken Moon again, just on the outskirts of Dreia. You’re gonna have to trust me when I tell you nothing interesting happened when we went to get the Eye. However, since we went to the trouble of building a Necromancer’s Tower set…

B-STAGE opens. VIRGIL and CHRIS TENNISON are in the Necromancer’s chamber in the Tower of the Broken Moon from Part II, Act II. VIRGIL holds the Eye of Toth, a black, pulsating sphere, aloft.

CHRIS TENNISON: Cool! The Eye of Toth!

B-STAGE closes.

FLOYD: There. Happy? Anyway, things only got interesting once we took the Eye to Garam’s house.

Plains fly out. Interior of GARAM’s house flies in. GARAM sits in his chair; SALLY stands next to him. VIRGIL, BRIX, CHRIS TENNISON, and GUY are presenting the Eye of Toth to GARAM. FLOYD joins them.

GARAM: The Eye of Toth, huh?
BRIX: You betcha.

GARAM takes the Eye, looks at it, then passes it to SALLY.

GARAM: Here, Sally, take a… look.
VIRGIL: Ooh! Faux Pas!

SALLY takes the Eye and sticks it in her empty eye socket. Suddenly, a second all-black eye regenerates in her head.

GARAM: Uh-oh.
SALLY: Hey, I can see!
GUY: Son of a –
BRIX: That doesn’t look good!
GUY: Detect Evil!
FLOYD (to the audience) Remember how Guy can detect evil auras? I know, I know, it’s a long puppet show.
GUY: Well, she doesn’t seem to be evil… but the Eye sure as shit is.
SALLY: What? Shut up? No, you are!
BRIX: Sally? Who are you talking to?
SALLY: The Eye.
GUY: The Eye is talking to you?
GARAM: What does it say?
SALLY: It says to avoid The Horned King, The Harvester…
SALLY: … the man in the black cloak, and the red-skin man who lives with Zarin.
VIRGIL: Hold the fuck. I don’t know who those last two people are.
FLOYD: Can the Eye elaborate?
SALLY: Sorry. That’s all it will say.
BRIX: Avoid The Horned King…
VIRGIL: From the Wild Hunt. Remember?
BRIX: The Harvester…
GUY: No problem there, at least for a while.
BRIX: The man in the black cloak, and the red-skin man who lives with Zarin. Linus?
GUY: Who’s Linus?
BRIX: When we were prisoners in the Cathedral in Compassgate, Zarin said his name was Linus. Is that the red-skin man?
FLOYD: Oof. So many questions.
VIRGIL: Yeah. Can we talk about this further over a drink?
GUY: Sounds good. See you around, Garam.
GARAM: So wait, what? You’re just going to leave me alone with the black-eyed pea, here?
GUY: Dude, she’s not evil.
CHRIS TENNISON: Yeah, Garam. Lighten up. You’re a big boy… hm. No, that doesn’t sound right. You’re a grown mah… no, no. You’re an adult.
VIRGIL: If she starts acting up, just fireball her evil ass.
VIRGIL: Sorry, kid. Them’s the breaks when you wear the Eye of Toth.

The party exits. GARAM’s house flies out, and the exterior of the Jolly Badger Inn in Dreia flies in. The party enters.

BRIX: Times to get me some drunk!

BRIX and GUY enter the tavern. As they open the door, we hear:

Unless your sword’s for piercing
In which case
You’re shit out of luck.

The door shuts.

CHRIS TENNISON: Hey, I love that song!

CHRIS TENNISON enters the bar. FLOYD and VIRGIL follow. As they do, the exterior wall of the Badger flies out, revealing the interior. On stage, a GNOME is singing.

Kukris, sickles, and greataxes
They all can have some fun –
But if you’re the sap who’s carrying a sap
Then you’re going to have none!

MITCHELL continues singing, under. Spoken:

FLOYD: Well, well, well! A cover! That’s a sign that you’ve made it big!
GUY: What are you talking about? A cover of what?
FLOYD: Seriously?

GUY shrugs.

Guy, that’s my song, “Zombie Shit That I Can’t Hit!” This guy is playing my song – that’s a big deal! It means I’m a famous songwriter!
GUY: You wrote this song?
FLOYD: Don’t you remember? I sang it the first time we fought those zombies at the Tower of the Broken Moon?
GUY: Floyd, I have a confession to make. When you sing, I tend to black out and go somewhere I call my “happy place.” It’s a place where I can chop fat, dandy gnomes like you into chum. I really love it there.

GUY walks away. MITCHELL finishes the song.

You’re shit out of luck!

Button. Spoken:

Thank you, thank you! That was “Zombie Shit That I Can’t Hit,” an original composition by me, Mitchell, Licensed Bard!
FLOYD: Who the what?
MITCHELL: I’m gonna take a short break now, but I’ll be back shortly with another one of the songs I totally wrote by myself and didn’t steal from anyone, “Take a Potion Why Don’tcha?”

Light applause as MITCHELL walks offstage and exits the inn. The exterior of the Badger flies in. MITCHELL stands outside, and lights his pipe. FLOYD enters.

FLOYD: Hey, I really enjoyed that last song.
MITCHELL: Thanks. I totally wrote it.
FLOYD: I bet I’m gonna enjoy the next one even more.
FLOYD: Yeah.
FLOYD: Really.
MITCHELL: What makes you say that?
FLOYD: Well, as it turns out, it’s because I WROTE BOTH OF THEM!


MITCHELL: You’re crazy.
FLOYD: You sir, are a degenerate song thief!
MITCHELL: Prove it!
FLOYD: Oh, I’ll prove it, all right! Let’s break this down, musical dialogue style!
You’re a song thief, Mitchell!
Am not!
FLOYD:Yes you are, yes you are you’re a
Song thief
And I’ll prove it to you.
MITCHELL:Prove it!
Pick a title, any title in your
Dirty, thieving song book,
And I’ll up and sing it to you!
Yeah, you heard me, that’s fine!
I’m gonna pick,
Gonna pick a song title right now!
FLOYD:I’m standing here waiting!
I see that you are!
Relax, take a pill –
Let’s see if you know the lyrics
To “Fuck the Old Mill!”
Fuck the Old Mill,
Fuck the Old Mill,
Fuck the Old Mill It’s HAUNTED –
MITCHELL:Okay, never mind,
I can see that you know the easy ones.
Everyone knows “Fuck the Old Mill,”
It’s my most famous song!
MY most famous song!
You Keep saying that
But I don’t see you proving it!
FLOYD:Name another song,
God-damn you.
When I was a lad,
I ran afoul of a constable,
His name was Drooley,
And of him I once wrote –
They call him Sheriff Drooley,
That buffoon Sheriff Drooley,
The idiot of Verl’s Crook and beyond –
See! Just goes to show
How wrong,
I said how wrong you really are!
Are you talking about?
Sheriff Drooley,
He’s a Marshall now!
He’s the Lord Marshall of
The city of Compassgate!
Come over here
I want to smack you
In the mouth.
Simultaneous with MITCHELL, below:
You’re a song thief!
A dirty, filthy plagiarist!
And I’m gonna kill you!
Gonna grind your bones
With my teeth!

I’m gonna kill you in half!
Gonna take my rapier out
And stab, stab, stab!
Then I’m gonna take my fist
And punch you in the mouth!

Simultaneous with FLOYD, above:
This young gnome
has clearly gone mad!
'Tis truly a pity
Look at all
the potential that he had!

He's got granderous delusions!
he thinks he's a mighty fellow!
But I'm about to prove to him
gonna show him the power
of Code Duelo!
Button. Spoken:

FLOYD: Duelo?
MITCHELL: Surely, you’ve heard of Code Duelo. What kind of bard hasn’t?
FLOYD: I’m… still a wandering minstrel.
MITCHEL (delighted) Oh, that is CUTE!


CHRIS TENNISON: Hey, Mitchell, come back inside and play some more of those awesome songs.
MITCHELL: In a minute. First, I have to teach this milksop a lesson!
GUY: Floyd Fiftynames. What did you do to this man?
FLOYD: This sumbitch stole my songs. He’s not getting away with it.
BRIX: Anyone want some popcorn?
VIRGIL: Ooh, me!

BRIX exits back into the bar.

FLOYD: So how does this work?
MITCHELL: Stand back to back with me.
FLOYD: (as he does) Okay…
MITCHELL: Then we take five paces, turn, and attack.
FLOYD: Sounds good.

FLOYD starts to walk.


MITCHELL turns around and casts.


An energy blast knocks FLOYD over, unconscious. BRIX enters with popcorn, sees what has transpired.

BRIX: Aw, dag! Every time there’s supposed to be really good fight, it ends up being over early.

MITCHELL stands over FLOYD’s body.

MITCHELL: According to Code Duelo, I now get to choose one item from the person of the individual I have defeated. Bear witness.
VIRGIL: Now, hold the fuck on. Beating that gnome senseless by cheating is one thing, but stealing his stuff? That I can’t condone.
MITCHELL: You plan to stop me?
GUY: We all do.

GUY draws his axe. BRIX pulls out SVARTH. CHRIS TENNISON shrugs.

MITCHELL: Fine. Tell your little friend when he wakes up that due to this injustice I will see that he is forever barred from being a bard! (thinks that last sentence over) Yes, that’s right.

MITCHELL exits back into the bar.

GUY: Licensed bard? They can give you a license for what those two do?