What Comes Around Goes Around

What a weird group of monsters
From God

so the group departed the Gnomeroplex headed for the largest tree in the area on their mission to deliver the gnomes demands.

On the way they came across some very old ruins seemingly a old city long forgotten.
The entered a tunnel system and came across many an odd monster bent on stopping them.

At the end of the tunnel they came across a huge 5 headed dragon like thing that they easily defeated.
behind the dragon thing was 2 chests and a strange hourglass on a pillar , they soon found out that one of the chests were not what it seamed.

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Travel Journal Entry 6
Bad meals and sick vegetables.

When despair raises it’s ugly head, KILL IT WITH FIRE!" – Desna proverb modified by Ashe Willsen.

So we set out from Hexagon in what we have taken to calling the Loveblimp. Not that I saw much action on the voyage. Even the cooking was a bit average (more on THAT later). We met some nice neighbours who, after a brief spat, decided to make enough noise to keep us awake all night. I don’t know if angry make-up sex really is the best sex, BUT IT’S CERTAINLY THE LOUDEST.

Kristoff, our friendly-neighbourhood protector managed to sneak on board as well. At least I assume it was him, I doubt any other gnomes would be following us in a barrel.

Then things got weird. We heard a scream that sounded awfully like someone being chucked overboard. When we rushed out to see what had happened, we found the guards asleep at their posts. It seemed their meals had been spiked, and the only clue was a footprint with only four toes.

After a count of the passengers, we realised the missing passenger was the guy who had kept us awake hammering his woman with tantric carpentry in their cabin. Maybe someone was cranky from lack of sleep and took the opportunity to silence him.

Nugg and Arlen took this as an opportunity to see if the widow was available yet. I think I need to have a word with the two of them about appropriate timing.

Well it turned out there was only one person on board with four toes. The Captain! Sounds like an open and shut case. Except something didn’t feel right, so we investigated. I went down to the galley to confront the cook, and he seemed super shifty.

Arlen conveniently wandered in during the interrogation and was somehow able to spot a hidden portal that went to a small hidden space. In there we found carpentry tools, and not for the sexy kind. What had he been making? Wooden feet, missing a toe to match the Captain’s foot. It was a frame job.

Once we had the evidence, Theros decided to use his magical charms to ensure we didn’t miss anything and got a full confession from the cook.

I always say, never trust anyone whose cooking is bad. Well, that’s actually the first time I’ve said that, but I’ll be saying it a lot more now.

I wish I could say that was the most eventful thing to happen on the trip. But no, a calamity woke us from our beds with only a short portion of the trip to go. It was a dragon attack. I wish I could say that seeing such a marvelous best up close for the first time was a thrill, but I didn’t get a chance to study it.

Instead we quickly grabbed our things as the crew made use of their featherfall wands to evacuate the blimp. We first ensured the other passengers and crew were off, even the disgraced cook. Then it was our turn to leave, voluntarily or not, as the blimp heaved and displaced its remaining passengers onto the jungle below.

On the ground, things did not get any better. The local flora and fauna turned on us, as we were first attacked by apes, and then strange plant creatures that swarmed us from all sides. The only sign we saw of other passengers and crew were their bodies after they had died horribly. I hope Kristoff is okay, as we saw no sign of him, or his barrel.

Things got truly desperate as Barney went down under the relentless assault of the plant creatures. Theros panicked as he tried to use alchemist fire on the plants, and only managed fumble and set fire to the unconscious Barney.

But then help finally arrived from Gnomeroplex. Gnomes in mechanical flying contraptions, armed with tubes that spouted fire, made quick work of the plants, and we were able to evacuate back to their city.

Much like their flying contraptions, the gnomish city is a marvel of mechanical engineering. I could write for days on all the wonders they have there, if only I was allowed to leave the “foreigners” section of the city.

They tended to our wounds, especially Barney, who had suffered particularly badly in the fight with the plants. Next they ran us through some sort of machine which produced a result that seemed to surprise the gnomes. The temporarily separated us from Barney at that moment, perhaps there is something special about him? They then asked us a bunch of weird questions about the things we do.

The gnomes then informed us, that since Nugg was in fact a druid, they needed our help to deal with the unusually aggressive plants that were attacking their city. It was news to even Nugg that he was a druid, or that he would somehow be able to talk to plants. And if we didn’t do it, the gnomes would never let us further into the city, which was where Fizzlewizzle was hiding with our book.

One of the gnomes seemed particularly excited and invited us to a tavern later. Having little else to do, we took him up on the offer. When we arrived we saw, to our shock, our own images engraved about the bar. An engraving that has apparently been there for a millenium. Beneath the engraving was a prophecy, saying we would bring glory to the city.

How any of that is possible, I have no idea. I’m still stuck on how we are going to deal with the plants.

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How could something so big be made by something so small
From God

The party boarded the blimp heading to the Fabled Gnomeroplex and were showed to their luxurious rooms.
A few days into the flight they found themselves in the middle of a murder mystery that they quickly solved – man what humans will do to get some affects sigh

On the last night the Blimp was attacked by a Dragon who did not look to happy with the Blimp in its air space so decided to remove it from said air space.

After either jumping or falling into the air and being saved by the Heroic Blimp Captain
the Party landed somewhat safely to find each other and then immediately set upon by a few apes.

They prevailed and decided to try and find the rest of the Crew and Passangers of the H.E.X Hindenburg.
They did find them just not how they expected
they were being tracked by a insidious fungus, slowly surrounding the party all did not look well untill the HellyChopper Gnomes of The Gnomeroplex showed up and saved the party with Fire.

After a short talk with the Gnomes they found themselves having to go talk with some plants to save the Gnome city to get to their true goal of the book.
Waiting to be fit and ready to leave on their task they entered a bar to find out that they are part of a 2000 year old prophecy could it all be true or just a coincidence?

Well i know but im God
But i’m not telling just yet.
You never know these humans they do some surprising things sometimes and i may need to reward them again or Discipline them we will see.

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The more things change, the more they stay the same

Excerpt from “My Adventures – The Life of Theros Vitalstatistix, vol.1”

“What a majestic creation this blimp is!”

Theros could hardly take his eyes off the blimp. It looks incredible. How could something so vast, and clearly so heavy, float in the air, as though it weighed nothing at all?

The Captain was a generous man, both with his time and his vessel. Theros enjoyed being treated as a hero, and nodded in appreciation of the fine rooms and treatment he was being shown.

“This. This is the life I want to have. This is how I want to be remembered.”

A relaxing day spent sampling the food, beverages, hospitality and entertainment activities was just the break he needed from the hectic political intrigue and vile murders he’d just been through. Dinner at the Captains table each night was an honour as well.

Theros was enjoying himself. he was in his element, mingling with people, chatting away, learning various bits of idle gossip, entertaining other passengers with stories, jokes and prose. Everything should have screamed at him that something was brewing, and yet, he was blissfully unaware as a scream rent the night.

Well, might have been aware, had Theros not had ears (and eyes!) only for a gorgeous brunette with a stunningly voluptuous figure, curves popping out of the chosen gown in all the right places. As it was, Barney got up, grumbled about being forced to leave his drinks and headed out to the deck to check on something weird.

Sensing a dramatic moment, Theros slid his chair back and gracefully, like a languid feline, strode behind the drunk to investigate the matter with a confidence only a born leader could show. The group arrived to find the two crewmen, who patrolled the ship with wands of feather-fall to ensure that nobody who fell overboard would fall to their deaths, slumped beside their respective bowls of food on either side of the ship.

A thought that came to Theros much later would make him shake his head in mild disbelief…first, surely some form of roped rigging or netting could have been erected around the edge of the blimp for people to fall into in the first instance. Second, while feather-falling somebody might stop them from falling to their deaths immediately, if they were high enough, the spell would wear off before they hit the ground. Third, even if they hit the ground, there was no guarantee the person would land anywhere near somewhere safe, only to die some horrible death once landing, ever so safely, on the ground.

Regardless, this was a strange sight and a crowd gathered quickly. Leonidas, the Captain, quickly called his ship to order and declared martial law, or the flying nautical equivalent thereof, and had everybody bar Theros and his group confined to their chambers.

Some form white powder was dusted round the slumbering form of the two guards. A footprint in the substance took the shape of a left foot, missing a toe. Much like the Captain himself! A quick taste suggested flour, so Theros asked Ashe, the resident expert to confirm. Indeed. And apparently there was something wrong with it since both Theros and Ashe immediately felt ill.

Theros went to check on the widow of the man who fell to his death, primarily to comfort her, but also to check and see if there was anything else possibly amiss. There wasn’t. Shaking his head, he felt a pang of sympathy as he left her cabin.

He’d also asked Ashe to check the kitchen and see if any flour was missing. While that was being done, he grabbed some of the crew and got them to work out who was actually in the dining hall when the death occurred. Those that were in the hall were less likely to have been the culprit, so they were of secondary concern. The remaining few were put in the hold for safe keeping.

The kitchen, however, turned out to be the best lead. Some form of tear in the fabric of very air itself was housing some form of woodworking workshop, complete with dozens of wooden feat, all missing a toe. A conspiracy against the Captain was afoot!

The cook appeared to know more than he was letting on, and since he wasn’t in the dining hall during the incident, he was added to the group in the hold. After discussing with the Captain what might be happening, he remembered that he had been writing his will while eating in his cabin, which the cook had delivered the food personally. It was possible that he saw the ship left to him and decided to speed up matters.

The matter came to a head as the Captain confronted the cook and Theros had to have him restrained by his own men and removed from the room. Once there was only the party remaining, he cast a spell of friendship on the cook, and bade the rest of the group to leave the room.

Some cunning word play later and a confession was not only wrung from the man, but an offer to get in on the scheme. Theros could hardly keep from grinning as the guilt poured out.

Mystery solved, the group got back to relaxing (although there was a triple guard on the door of the hold so the Captain didn’t simply go and kill the cook himself.

The journey was quiet.

Until early in the morning, whilst the group were sleeping in there separate cabin, there came a massive noise and the entire airship rocked violently. Springing to his feet, Theros slid his chain shirt on, grabbed his gear and rushed to the deck to find out what was happening. And came face to face with the largest creature he could ever imagine…it could only be a dragon! And it was the same size as the ship!
Red_Dragon.jpg
It was quickly taking the ship apart, and it appeared that Barney’s best idea was to charge the behemoth! Incredible…both bravely and stupidity. Another huge swipe of it’s tail and the ship listed to one side.

“Jump off! Everybody off! The ship is going down!”

Captain Leonidas was yelling himself hoarse, waving round two wands, zapping everybody he could see. When the ship shuddered from the next attack, several members of the group fell to the deck and slid off, the Captain zapping them with featherfall on the way down.

Ashe took off to find the cook. Surely not even he deserved to die in such a horrible fashion? With the cook being taken care of, Theros managed to keep his feet and usher people off the ship in as orderly manner as possible under the circumstances.

He arrived to watch as the cook made it to the top deck, proceeded to slip and fall, sliding off the deck and into the air below. The Captain took a moment to consider, and then ignored the man, preferring to let him fall to his death. Seeing this, Ashe heroically leapt after the man, trusting in his ring to save him when required, but the Captain had other ideas and zapped him, causing featherfall to kick in immediately, leaving Ashe to watch the cook fall helplessly.

Theros was last off besides the Captain.

“Don’t do anything stupid Captain. Save yourself and we’ll get everybody safely to Gnomoplex.”

That was the last anybody saw of the man.

Landing safely, in the dark, Theros was forced to call out for help to try and find the others in his small party. Eventually finding each other, they set off back in the most likely direction the earlier escapees would have been.

Moments later, grunts, growls and crashing could be heard through the dim light cast by Nugg’s light spell, Nugg himself warned everybody to be cautious as the group was being rapidly approached by two massive beasts, fully larger than a man standing upright.
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“These are apes. They are highly territorial and we seem to have entered their territory.”

Thankfully, Theros’ group have situations like this reasonably well under control through sheer unfortunate practice. That is, they have been on the wrong end of a surprise too many times in the last few weeks and a natural order seems to have arisen. Theros begins to sign, the group rallies and Barney charges off into the unknown to smite things mightily.

Two dead beasts later, the group collects themselves and continue their search and rescue mission, although it is fast becoming apparent that they lack some important skills that would make this search easier. Calling it for the night, the group makes a hasty and quick camp to wait until dawn, about three hours away.

Moving in daylight was an easier task, although the challenge to find the remaining passengers and crew was still proving difficult with little to no bearings. Luckily, the crew and passengers came to the group…

Inside the mouths of some hideous walking toadstools!
Violet_Fungus.jpg
There was only a couple, and the legs of people were sticking out of the top of them. Safety a second thought, the group rushed forward to see if they could save the poor people trapped.

It took only a few moments to realise this was a far more dangerous idea than they gave it credit for. Barney had charged as usual, but within moments was assaulted by tentacles and lay on the ground, being rotted away!

Hoping fire might stay these things, Theros pulled out his alchemist flasks and started lobbing them into the creatures, missing not once, and luckily hitting another creature instead, but twice. Unfortunately, the second time resulted in the flask landing directly on an, fortunately by this point, unconscious Barney as he continued to rot away and now burn to death as well.

Thankfully Desna saw fit to send somebody with us who could help, and Ashe stepped up into the breach, covering Theros and healing Barney.

With more of the creatures arriving, slowly surrounding the group, a sense of panic started to seep through the party.

“Game over man! Game over!”

Not sure who muttered those immortal words, Theros looked up at the sound over whirring from overhead. A strange noise and sight greeted him as gnomes, strapped into individual flying apparatus’ flew over, landed between the party and the creatures and started strafing them with some kind of weapon that spewed flames from a nozzle.

Being picked up like a sack of potatoes as they were rescued was not in Theros’ plans. But then, neither was being defeated by bandits, getting eaten by a pot, overthrowing a corrupt government, being attacked by a massive dragon, setting off a trapped door and being all but killed by it, only to be rescued by the same bandits that defeated him earlier or even being spoken to by Desna herself.

Gnomeroplex. It arrived quickly as the party was dropped off and placed in holding cells, awaiting questions. The city was huge. Easily the same size as Hexagon, but this time with six ginormous mechanical legs that would normally have transported the city around the countryside. These same legs that were currently tied in place by copious amounts of plant life and the gnomes around them, trying to free the legs with fire and blade.

An important gnome, the leader of the flying brigade that rescued them informed the group that there were no other survivors. The horror of that comment passed the group by as they adjusted to the shock of the nights events.

Another gnome strode in, declaring the group to be investigated and demanded that they walk through some form of contraption. As each person walked through, the machine lit up declaring whether they were a spellcaster or not and arcane or divine…or in Barney’s case, simply a meat suit for alcohol to walk around in.

Nugg proved the most interesting for the gnomes as he was found to be of the druidic persuasion. This caused an immediate reaction and pleading for him to talk to the plants and call them off, because apparently, ALL druids can talk to plants. Bemused, Theros stifled a chuckle. Talking to plants. Crazy.

Or not? The gnomes, through the assistance of another machine that indicated truth of lie, found out that the party was searching for Fizzle McWatson and he had indeed, landed several days ago and was currently housed somewhere on level 5.1, where only gnomes were permitted to go.

As a reward for helping drive off the oversized weeds, Theros’ group would be allowed access to this gnome only level, in their search for Fizzle. It was an offer too good to pass up, as the book was giving off a dull throb, indicating it was only a short distance away after two weeks of unfathomable distance.

Of course, nothing goes smoothly unless there is some form of divine guidance, and this came in the form of yet another gnome. This one barged in on proceedings, apparently uninvited, in shock at seeing this particular group.

“The…the…the prophecy!”

Apparently, four standing humans and one human draped over a makeshift wheelchair equaled prophecy for some here, and the Oily Rag was the bar of choice.

Directions sought, and given reluctantly, as not all found the prophecy to be of import, the Oily Rag was found, and the first, and most glorious sight to behold Theros was a magnificent wooden carving of a group of five people, looking strangely like his group, led by someone very similar to himself, atop some words in what was revealed later, as old gnomish.

“Five humans will bring glory to Gnomeroplex”

This carving and prophecy had been around for over a thousand years and nobody could really remember much about it, other than what little was passed down from generation to generation.

It is here that the group was introduced to yet another traveller. Imajica. An elven adventurer with an amazing sack of magical goodies, priced to be fair, but out of reach of the humble bard from Digon. Alas, a drink would have to do. Even barney was allowed a drink…provided he could reach it from his comatose state, draped over a chair like a huge, hirsute human rug.

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Travel Journey Entry 5
Romance and Explosions

“One madman makes many madmen, and many madmen make madness.” New Hexagon City motto

I heard Nugg call out for help so I quickly headed up to find him laid out, apparently having had some sort of altercation with his own dog. But that was not why he had called out, the true danger lay up in the attic.

And what a crazy scene it was. While Arlen was being slowly eaten by a large cauldron, Theros and Barney were locked in a passionate, though not entirely mutual, embrace.

Luckily Arlen had warned us that the danger was in the roof and Barney was able to use his extendable Theros to fetch down the creature from above. At first it appeared it was Olly, alive and well, but then it shifted and looked like officer Rust. Something strange was definitely going on, and Barney quickly split the deceit from the truth with a hefty swing of his weapon. As the creature died it shifted one last time into some featureless grey creature, or as Theros called it, a Doppleganger.

The cauldron didn’t put up much fight once Barney turned his attention, and mighty arm, to it. It had given me a brief scare while I was trying to retrieve Arlen from it’s belly, when it tried to add me to it’s meal for the day. But then something strange happened, I felt more free and agile than I ever have before. The cauldron found itself unable to hold on to me and I easily slipped out of it’s grasp. I can only thank Desna for that save.

Looking around I then realised that the room had the bodies of the dead children. It looked like Olly had been chopping them up for parts to make a new jigsaw child. A grizzly sight indeed.

We reported back to Rust and he was pleased that we had solved the case, though I’m sure he would’ve preferred better news on the fate of the children. He then introduced us to the resistance. For a group that can’t even remember their name they’re certainly not lacking in… enthusiasm.

Rust explained that he now had enough information to challenge the mayor and see what he has to say for himself. We agreed to do this with him, but along the way we were met by a messenger. The news was dire, Rust’s own family had been targeted by the loyalists. As Rust rushed off to save her, he asked us to carry on to the mayor.

Once there we let Theros do the talking, since he does like the sound his voice makes. Turned out he’s rather good at it too, as he completely befuddled the secretary at the door. Then he strode up to the mayor and carefully laid out how the mayor’s time was up and that Theros would be a far better mayor. The last part may have been implied.

The mayor realised we now had proof that was, at the least, going to make it difficult for the him to finish his plans. We thought he was simply in it for the power, but then he turned to the robed man beside him and told him to set off explosives.

We sprang into action as the mayor’s guards moved to hold us off. Barney and I tried to cut off the robed man before he could escape but he made a fatal flaw at that point. He hadn’t checked his escape route. The side door he had intended to use was conveniently blocked by some detritus on the other side. Unable to enact whatever vile scheme the explosives were intended for, the mayor and his guards fell swiftly to our blades, grease, and pointy things.

I did notice one odd moment, when the mayor grabbed one of his guards and attempted to passionately embrace him. It seems Arlen had made off with one of the Doppleganger’s toys. A wand that could be used to make a target desire to briefly make happy-time with another of your choosing. It turned out that it would be very handy shortly.

Thinking we had saved the day, we headed to check on Rust, only to discover the sign of a mighty battle and only one man left standing. It wasn’t Rust. The officer and his wife were on their knees with the one remaining attacker threatening them both with his weapon.

Stalling for time, and trying to reduce the number of hostages he had to manage, the attacker told us to choose between Rust and his wife. Having none of that, Arlen produced his wand and made the attacker want to use his weapon on Nugg’s faithful hound instead. The weapon wasn’t his sword.

Enraged at the sight of the thug attempting to assault his dog, Nugg swiftly finished him off. With his weapon.

The zeppelin to Gnometownplacethingie has finally arrived back so we are on our way to track down that book now. As we were leaving, Theros and I saw a vision of Desna telling us how proud she was of us, and that she would grant us her blessing. Surely a great sign of our good fortune to come.

Yes, I knocked the wood of the blimps frame after writing that. I’m not stupid.

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And the city was Saved
From God

After murdering the poor Ollie Olson and then tracking down Ollies torturer (in a very amusing way ) the adventures had put an end to an evil doppelgangers plot.

When returning to the Blue Oyster the group was inducted into the POFH or HPF i cant remember what one it was, and were told about the Blast Powder that was in the city and that the New Mayor had indeed rigged the elections.
They had the proof to expel the Mayor from his set of power.

The next morning the group confronted the Mayor and asked him to stand down.
Seeing and hearing the evidence they had he set his plans in motion.

He sent his Magic user to Blow up the city and was given chase by the Cook and everything exploded and most of the party died.
But the party does not know it yet but they have someone else looking upon them that i am allowing for now to see what happens, this mysterious stranger sent the cook back 2 mins into the past to see if he could change the outcome and thanks in no small part to a very crafty Gnome the party was victorious and had saved the City.

i revealed my self to the believers in the group and gave them a helping hand for the journey to come i hope they appreciate it. They still have no idea of what is to come.

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A Musical Interlude

Barney and Theros up some stairs

K I S S I N G

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A little help from on high never goes astray

Excerpt from “My Adventures – The Life of Theros Vitalstatistix, vol.1”

“This place is emanating some strong magics guys, and it’s coming from the ceiling. Be careful!”

As Theros uttered a warning to the others in the loft with him, his eyes were drawn to the surrounds, that until this point, he had managed to avoid.

There was a large cauldron in one corner. There were dead children hanging from the wall, missing body parts. An effigy to some unknown God stood proudly over a small, for lack of better term, alter, on which a small body lay, stitched together from the body parts of the children on the wall, missing only a single limb.

This macabre scene shook Theros to his core. Such evil!

“Who, or what could perpetrate such evil?”

With a shudder, he glanced up and caught sight of something moving in the ceiling near the alter. Just a chance sighting, but definitely something moving up there in the dark.

“Up there! There’s something moving!”

The Idiot and Barney looked in the direction indicated, but were not able to spot anything. The Idiot stood almost directly under a small opening in the ceiling and for some reason, he reacted badly to the position and a flare of bright colours erupted from his hands, washing over the ceiling.

“Something tried to affect my mind! It’s not right!”

Another chance glimpse of something in the ceiling moving, this time, an arm extending from the hole, used a wand and flicked a spell off towards Theros. A ray struck him squarely in the chest and suddenly the world changed. He could see everything, feel everything, think everything he could before, but he lost all control over his actions and could feel himself turning to the closest person to him…Barney.

With no ability to resist, revulsion at this invasion and loss of control, a sense of wonder mixed in at being able to cause such actions and not least, a huge prayer of thanks to Desna that Barney had bathed the day before, Theros found himself grasping the large drunk and passionately trying to kiss him.

Barneys look of utter disgust and horror was almost worth the exchange…almost, but not quite.

As Barney shook Theros off, he yanked his axe out of the roof (how the hell did that get there?) and glowered with a barely suppressed rage and brushed Theros aside and strode over to the spot in the ceiling where the person was.

Theros shook off the effect quickly, and taking stock, he realised a number of things. First, powerful magics were at play here, and he wanted to know more about them. Second, Barney smelt a LOT better than previous (thank Desna!). Third, the Idiot had disappeared somewhere and a bloody pot had sprouted arms and a gaping maw.

Trying to step on the alter where the stitched up child was resting and get himself up to the ceiling, Theros unfortunately disturbed the alter, destroying a part of it and failing to get anywhere near the ceiling.

“Get on my shoulders. And don’t even THINK about any bloody funny stuff ya damn pansy!”

Barney hoisted Theros onto his shoulders and shoved him towards the ceiling, just as Nugg and Ashe came into view, gasping at the horrid views around them. Crawling through the gap in the ceiling, Theros came face to face with Olly! The same man that was lying at the foot of the ladder, with a massive axe rent in his skull, given to him by Barney for kidnapping a child.

This Olly was holding wands in each hand and looking menacing, so Theros went to his old faithful, knowing he didn’t really stand much of a chance in combat with anything, let alone something in confined spaces with no weapons.

A film of grease emerged on the footing where Olly was standing and he fell!

“Please, no, don’t hurt me. You don’t understand what’s happening!”

Theros actually agreed! He had NO idea what was going on and had no intention of harming Olly, so he did the only thing he could think of. He grabbed Olly’s legs and simply fell back through the hole he was currently balancing precariously over, dragging Olly with him.

A small bruise later and a solid thump from being landed on by his assailant brought Theros back to reality. Olly reacted quicker and scrambled to his feet, pointing at the cauldron.

“Quick! You must destroy the cauldron. That is what is wrong here!”

Theros was inclined to agreed and quickly moved around to find an angle to shoot the cauldron, which currently was attempting to grapple Barney, Ashe and Nugg, and apparently taking very little damage in return. And still, there was no sign of the Idiot!

Barney took the initiative and attempted to block Olly’s escape route should he try to leave, but some form of confusion had affected him and he stood next to Theros instead, roughly holding his sleeve, blocking any easy movement.

Olly took the chance to sow more discord at that point! He pointed his wand at Barney and Barney turned his gaze upon Theros. Having succumbed to this previously, Theros understood what had just happened.

Mind racing, he also saw Ashe trying to help Nugg, who appeared to be in some trouble, so he cast grease on Nugg, allowing his to escape the cauldrons grasp more easily, and Ashe seemed to be able to move away at will. Once this was done, Theros moved away from Barney, hoping to avoid some more uncomfortable moments for the both of them.

Unfortunately, he was unable to get far enough away, and he was engulfed in a bear hug as strong as it’s very name sake and held far more closely than his mother ever held him. The only thought flashing through Theros’ troubled mind now was the wish that Barney had somehow developed minty fresh breath and being disappointed to find this was not so.

This lapse in control spurred Barney into a rage not previously seen before, and he all but threw Theros aside as he came to his sense and immediately charged Olly and smote him heavily with his massive axe, as Olly morphed, somehow, into John Rust and pleaded with Barney not to kill him.

While this was going on, Ashe and Nugg were concentrating on the cauldron, and while they were keeping it occupied, it didn’t appear to be in any serious danger of being broken. It somehow sensed this and decided that a greased up farmer was not its favourite toy and moved to attack Ashe, who had moved around the room to stand near Theros instead.

A desperately lucky shot from Theros felled the creature now resembling John Rust and Barney turned his indignant rage on the remaining foe…the humble, but ever so troublesome pot, and with one mighty blow, destroyed the thing.

As it cracked, a club was spat out of it, and out tumbled the Idiot as well! Apparently he had been swallowed and looked to be in bad shape. Ashe rushed to his side and asked Desna for assistance, and She answered, healing those injured physically (although the mental wounds stayed fresh!), allowing the Idiot to gain his feet.
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The creature on the floor had melded back into a fairly strange, formless humanoid shape, pale and lifeless.

“Oh…hells…that’s a doppelganger. They can change shape and imitate people.”

Knowledge unbidden rushed through Theros’ mind and he shivered as he contemplated what could possibly have caused this foul creature and Olly to work in cahoots towards such an evil goal.

“Ashe, can you and Nugg check on the child and get him safely back to the orphanage please?”

The party left the grisly scene and made their way back to the Blue Oyster in search of John Rust. Arriving pretty much together, the barkeep inclined his head towards the cellar, indicating the group make their way downstairs.

They arrived to a slightly surreal scene of a gathering of people, making a large amount of noise, John Rust leading the gathering and a man, looking battered and bruised, tied to a chair.

A group had been formed, which seemed to change names in every other sentence, that the party was invited to join. Barney was easily swayed by alcohol and joined, the others standing round in a state of slight disbelief as surreal events unfolded around them.

The votes had been counted again and were correct according to the Official Counter, however, there were more votes than there were voting people in Hexagon! The votes had been rigged!

“Right lads! We got some information from our wee friend here. We’re to confront the Mayor immediately! You lot are with me and we’ll get to the Mayor first thing tomorrow. The rest of my men will secure the city.”

Somehow the righteous belief in Johns words swayed the group and with almost no hesitation, they agreed and immediately headed to bed, getting rest they would badly need for the coming encounter tomorrow.

An early start and Theros led the group, along with John Rust, towards the Council Chambers. A man from last night rushed up to John.

“John! They have your wife! Come quickly!”

John cried out in frustration and anguish as he turned to the group.

“Lads, I have to go and rescue my wife. You can do this! You can confront the Mayor and save the city. God speed!”

John rushed off with his comrade, the group left flustered and gasping, looking blankly at each other as the import of what had just occurred settled over them. Theros took a deep breath, looked each of the others in the eye and pointed in the direction they had been travelling.

“We can do this! We have the proof and righteousness on our side. I believe this is our time! We must be the heroes that hexagon needs now, not necessarily the ones it wants.”

A suitable fire set in the bellies of his party, they marched towards the Council Chambers, stopping only briefly at the front desk to gain entrance as the woman on the desk was left dazed and confused by the swift talking Theros.
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Sweeping into the chambers, it was arrayed with a table near the front and pews surrounding the table for additional petitioners who waited to be seen. Just in front of the table was two guards holding large polearms and resting on tower shields and just off to the side of them were two more guards holding large swords. All four looked fairly heavily armoured and confident.

The Mayor was seated in a large plush chair and standing to his side was some form of Mayoral aide, talking quietly to each other, watching the group enter.
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Striding up to the petitioning table at the front of the chambers, Theros indicated to Barney to stand next to him and the others a row back, and hoped they looked relaxed. Pulling out the evidence, he brandished it boldly, waving it towards the Mayor.

“Good morning Your Honour! If it pleases you, I would like you to prove that you are NOT, in fact, the rightful Mayor of Hexagon! I have evidence here, with the official seal, and confirmed by the City Counter, that shows the votes have been doctored.”

The Mayor had come down to have a look and indicated that he wanted the documents given over to one of his men. Theros steadfastly refused, and the Mayor carefully made his way back to his plush chair, turned to his aide and whispered to him.

“They know. Light the fires.”

Theros was close enough to hear the whisper and inwardly recoiled. The aide must be stopped. Apparently Barney had the same idea as he moved forward, only to be blocked by the two guards holding polearms.

The aide made for a door to one side that had previously been unnoticed, the two polearm wielding guards moved into offensive positions and the great-sword wielding guards moved to attack the group from the sides of the room.

Theros could only watch as his will was forced aside again as the Mayor cast some form of spell on him, sending fear deep into his very soul, driving Theros to flee the chambers. Luckily, Ashe understood what had happened and moved next to Theros, casting some form of divine protection on him, washing away the crippling fear.

Theros glanced at Ashe gratefully for the help and moved a step further away from the closest guard, failing to notice the pew directly behind him and getting a sore shin in the process. Eventually, he clambered on the pew and started laying down grease patches around the chambers, controlling the areas the guards could attack from.

As this was happening, Barney had been hit by a ray of some kind, knocked over and then got up and moved past a guard to stop the aide from leaving, only to be tripped again as the aide left the building.

The Idiot, who finally revealed that he preferred to be called Arlen, had been cornered by another guard and looked in a spot of trouble until that guard slipped in a greased section of floor and promptly succumbed to a cascade of colours flowing from Arlen’s hands.

Dog had corralled another guard who had fallen prone in yet another spot of grease and was worrying him viciously, with Nug alongside, hitting the guard with his staff.

Ashe was moving round the side of the chambers to cut off any other guards. In repayment for the save earlier, Theros cast his final grease spell on the Mayor and a remaining guard blocking Ashe’s path. The guard fell to the ground and Ashe rushed past to get to the aide, who appeared to be gone from the room.

It is here that events get fuzzy.

Theros could have sworn the aide got outside, but somehow, the Mayor leapt onto the guard next to him, passionately trying to kiss him, Ashe swept past, Barney already by the same door and the aide somehow emerged, captured.

Members of the group from the previous night rushed in from all quarters, signalling an end to the combat as the Mayor and his guards surrendered.

“We have it from here sirs. We’ll hold them securely, but can you find John Rust and his wife? He is in serious trouble and looks in a bad way.”

Needing no further incentive, Theros dashed from the council chambers and rushed to Johns location, only to find John, his wife and a single city guard, brandishing a great-sword waiting for them. John and his wife were tied up and the guard looked unsteady, but still capable of violence.

“Choose one. One lives and the other dies! If you fail to chose, then both die. You have five seconds.”

Theros couldn’t let this happen. Drawing a wand he had seconded from the doppelganger, he attempted to charm the man, but the guard shook off the effects! As luck would have it, Arlen had the same idea and almost immediately afterwards, a second blast from a wand struck the man, and, his will broken, he rushed towards Dog, passion in his eyes. That passion was matched by Nug’s horror, and he struck the guard dead in retaliation for the perceived insult to his faithful hound.

Freeing John and his wife, Theros felt a wave of relief, which John echoed.

“You’ve done it! The city is saved, and so is my wife. We owe you so much.”

Matters took a more celebratory turn and over the next three days, the group was rewarded with gold, amazingly crafted weapons each and the promise that their trip on the blimp heading to Gnomeregan would be paid in full for each of them, a saving of five thousand gold a piece!

In all this joy, family returned to the picture. Theros’ sister, Franzi, made her presence known…determined to steal his thunder…again.

“Where the hell have you been? We thought you were dead? Why haven’t you come home? You are coming home aren’t you? Why did money turn up at our village for you?”

A discussion was in order and Theros explained all that had happened over the past few days. As the discussion continued, Theros realised something.

“No, no I’m not coming home. I have more important matters to attend to now.”

These were more than just words to Theros. In a few short days, his world had been expanded and his eyes opened. There was more to the world than the tiny village of Digon. Let father run that little piece of the world. Theros was the hero of Hexagon and excited to see more of the world!

Standing on the blimp docking bay, the group gathered for the last time before leaving to follow Fizzle McWatson and the troublesome book. A feeling of calm washed over them and Ashe and Theros had their eyes drawn skyward. The visage of Desna looked serenely down on them.

“You have done well. With a small nudge here and there, you have started on the journey I have set you. As a sign of my favour, here is a small token.”

The divine being left the sky and a feeling of indescribable elation coursed through Theros’ body, leaving him tingling and energetic, keen to get on the blimp and follow his destiny.

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Travel Journal Entry 4
Doors and windows

‘The mother she-bear cradles her young close… but she does the same to her prey as well!’ – Local peasant saying

I wonder if that is what it feels like when criminals case a joint? It certainly felt less… organised… than I was expecting. Theros’s efforts at surveying the building provided more profit than information. My attempts ended with a slammed door before I could even finish introducing myself. In the end it was the idiot (who had returned from stalking the librarian) who identified it was a magic wand the deputy mayor was using to open the door to his house.

Theros was able to emulate the spell with his own… uh, noble training? Anyway, we entered using the cover of darkness, aided with the cover of fog that Nug seemed to be able to produce from nowhere.

We found our first ever trap in there. Well, Theros found it. And by found it I mean he shot the idiot with it. Luckily(?) it seemed to have little effect on him. None that we could tell anyway. Worried that the place had more traps we started methodically, and carefully, searching the rooms.

As the idiot and I worked our way through the ground floor, the others searched upstairs. Up there they encountered the deputy mayor himself, Dan Ackroyd. Theros was able to keep him bewildered and confused with some combination of fancy words. This gave Nug time to abscond with a locker and chest that hopefully held the evidence we were looking for, while the idiot stole a pair of socks because reasons.

We also identified a mirror as disguising a secret door through which Dan’s guards could come if needed. I thought to block it off, just in case, but the nearby table was much heavier than it looked and I was unable to move it.

During our downtime Nug let us know that he’d had an odd experience with the mirror in his room. We examined it but presently don’t know what caused him to think his eyes had changed colour. He also lent me a book he’d read. He must’ve enjoyed it cause he stayed up all night reading it.

After showing Rust what we had found, he needed some time to process it, and suggested we make ourselves useful to pass the time. So we decided to see if we could turn anything up about the missing children.

First stop was the orphanage, which was a brief stop for the idiot, as he lived up to his name and managed to get himself thrown out. While there, we found evidence that made it look like someone had broken in and and kidnapped the children while they were sleeping.

We then checked in with some of the parents who had lost children and they all had much the same story. Except the first guy, Olly. In his case his child had been found, though tragically she was already dead. Not thinking too much of it at the time, we later decided we should try Olly again. The fact that his was the only child that had been found meant there may be some extra clue there.

Much to our surprise, he wasn’t home when we called again. This felt quite unusual, as he didn’t seem like he was in much state for social house calls. So we asked Nug if his dog could track Olly’s sent, and off we went. Back to the orphanage. A sense of trepidation built as we realised where Olly was leading us. Surely he couldn’t be the one responsible for putting others through his own pain.

Suprinsingly the party decided to wait and see if he did in fact carry out our fears. We were saddened to see him come away from an orphanage window with a struggling child.

We knew where he was probably going, but just in case Barney and I gave chase and found we were fast enough to keep up with him no problem. I tried to wrestle the child away from Olly when we reached his house but he clung on like a man possessed. When that failed, an angry Barney cleaved him with a mighty swing of his axe.

I attempted to call on Desna to save Olly, fearing there may be other children that only he knew the location of, but it seems he was dead before he hit the ground.

With the rest of the party arrived we set about returning the orphan and searching the house for some explanation for Olly’s actions…

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Everybody has their fifteen minutes of fame

Excerpt from “My Adventures – The Life of Theros Vitalstatistix, vol.1”

The scouting led to more of the same. The Deputy Mayor opened his one and only way into his house with some sort of magic.

“If only I could see what he’s doing!”

Theros lamented, to nobody in particular, about his inability to actually see what the Deputy Mayor was actually doing.

“He’s opening the door with a wand, casting a simple cantrip”

Apparently, the Idiot had been paying more attention that Theros gave him credit for…and understood at least the basics of cantrips and magic…There really must be more to that man than meets the eye.

The party scouted the area around the house to see if there were any other ways inside, but were not able to find a single thing, even going so far as to check out the plans of the sewer system, with no luck.

The house next door remained somewhat of a mystery, with plenty of food going in, but almost nobody going out. Ashe decided to try a more holistic approach and knocked on the door.

“Excuse me good sir. I am here on behalf of my God, Desna. Would…”

The highly audible sound of a grunt of disgust and a door being slammed sent the idealistic young baker dejectedly away, unsuccessful.

Eventually, no more could be gleaned from the busking and watching, and Theros led his group back to the Blue Oyster to plan. A simple plan seemed best with the somewhat limited skills and experience at the groups disposal.

It was at this point that Ashe and the Idiot disappeared for ten minutes, returning, looking somewhat sheepish, but saying nothing.

Theros had noticed that this group commanded more magic than was normal for Digon, and possibly for Hexagon as well, and decided that this was to be their advantage. Barney was the only one that had trouble coping with this and seemed to want nothing to do with getting into the house using magic.

“I’ll cast a cantrip to hopefully open the door, we rush in, find the deputy mayor, Dan Ackroyd, cast charm on him and get him to tell us everything we need to know.”

It sounded simple. A plan doesn’t always survive a battle. Apparently they don’t survive a few minutes with this group either!

Theros checked to see if the door would open when the cantrip was cast and then immediately closed the door again. First mistake. Should have simply rushed in right then. Going back to the group, a method of concealment using Nug’s command of weather to provide a bank of fog was given the go ahead. Second mistake. A small localised spot of fog on an otherwise clear street on a clear night made for more conspicuous viewing. Leaving Barney outside to keep watch in case of trouble was decided by Barney the drunk. Third mistake.

A minor miracle led to easy access to the Deputy Mayors home and the group filed in, one by one and found a property tidy, well laid out, a small library and wood working tools in a small work space in the downstairs space and some stairs leading to the upper floor. Theros quickly poked his head in each area downstairs to see if the Deputy Mayor was there, and not finding him, started moving upstairs.

“Ashe, Idiot…sorry, I still don’t know your name…can you search down here for anything that might be of use please? Nugg, you and Dog are with me upstairs.”

About to walk up the stairs, Theros spotted something weird on one of the steps. A small depression. Hazarding a guess this might be a trap of some kind, he summoned a minor cantrip to create a pound of dirt and dropped it on the depression. A small click was heard and a dart shot out of the wall…straight into the neck of the Idiot!

“Arrgghhhh!! I’m dying! Help me!”

The Idiot then pulled the dart out of his neck and shrugged his shoulders.

“Huh…guess I’m not then.”
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Luckily, the trap didn’t seem to reset, so Theros, Nugg and Dog moved upstairs, and immediately spotted the Deputy Mayor hiding behind a door. Moving quickly towards him, Theros started singing, and watched as his incredible voice caused the Deputy Mayor to sink to the floor, quietly fascinated with the perfomance.

Gesturing to Nugg to search quickly and quietly, Theros continued to focus on the Deputy Mayor, and readied himself to cast a spell should the music stop holding sway.

Which it did.

Nugg somehow found a devious trap in the bedroom, causing a spike to shoot out of the floor and darts erupt out of the tip of it, hitting the Deputy Mayor in the back of the neck.

“Thank Desna he isn’t particularly strong willed!”

Theros sighed in relief as he felt his magic work through his adversary.

The pain and indignation on Dan’s face was evident as he demanded to know why Theros was in his house. A short conversation and some very fast talking later, Theros was now one of his bodyguards from next door and simply checking the safety of the Deputy Mayor.

Making off with a chest, a small box and a large sense of his own importance, Theros rushed back to the Blue Oyster and waited for John Rust to show. The chest held some interesting documents and proved of interest to John and the small box held a alarm of some kind, thankfully dealt with by John quickly and efficiently.

While the Ballot Counter went off to check his own figures, John suggested that the group check up on some missing children that the City Watch had not found.

“Ha! Told ya ’bout em!”

Barney slurred at the group. Evidently, this was a cause he could get behind and stop drinking for, however briefly.

As one, the group followed Theros to the orphanage to discuss the missing children. The Matron there showed the group in and let them examine the room where two of the children went missing from. Somehow the Idiot managed to offend the Matron, so Theros sent him outside with the others to search out there before moving onto the the homes of the other missing children.

The first house was duly found and the door knocked on. A man, looking every inch somebody wallowing in abject misery, answered the door and proved to be very unwilling to help, even after succumbing to Theros’ wit, charm and magic. The only thing he would say was that his child was coming back, even though he had seen her body. Something was wrong here, but without breaking the law just to get inside, the group moved on.

The rest of the houses were similar. Parents keen to help, wanting their children back and having almost lost hope. The rooms had been broken into from outside and the child snatched, in one case, directly from under the eyes of the parent, who was unable to catch the kidnapper.

A trip back to the house with the strange father was in order, so, fresh from a successful foray into a magically guarded house, Theros led the group confidently back.

The man was gone…and his trail was able to be followed back to the orphanage. Instead of grabbing him immediately, Theros was convinced to wait, and see what he would do, and where he would go.

He broke a lock on the window, reached in, and grabbed a child so quickly it was done before the child could even cry out. He then ran off, and the party followed. It became apparent that two things were happening.

One. They had been spotted and the man was leaving the party behind. Two. Ashe and Barney seemed to find reserves of sustained speed that allowed them to keep pace, while Dog loped near him, leaving Theros, the Idiot and Nugg behind.

Only just keeping pace so that he didn’t lose sight of the kidnapper, Theros could see that the mans own house was his destination, and there was nothing he could do but watch as first Ashe, then Dog and finally Barney all make attempts to stop him. And stop him, Barney did.

A hidden ladder had dropped down from the ceiling and at the base of it was Ashe, Barney, Dog, the kidnapper child and the kidnapper himself, dead, a massive rent in his skull from where Barney had landed his killing blow.

“How are we going to find out what was going on now?”

Theros felt ill from the sight, and the lost opportunity. Ashe ensured the child was escorted downstairs, away from the bloody scene. The hidden loft called…

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