Netal the Elf (1), and his dogs Bitey and Moe
Mongo the Fighter (2), and his henchmen Leroy Brown the Cleric and Jimgar the Elf
P.W. the Halfling (1)
Justin the Dwarf (1), and his dog Bailey
The party was staying at Mongo's place, when one morning there was a knock at the door. P.W. got up to answer it, and opened the door to a human in a shabby blazer, bowler hat, with a waxed moustache and wielding a cane. The human said "What's this? A halfling? In my building? Get Mongo, little man!" and started poking P.W. with his cane.
P.W. was incensed at this outrageous behavior, and drew his short sword to parry the cane away. His swipe missed, but the man was horrified by this assault. He began backing away down the hall shouting "Help! I'm being attacked! Somebody help!"
Mongo rushed to the door, and tried to calm the man down. The man was Oscar, Mongo's landlord, and he was quite irate.
Oscar: "That halfling is going to hang! There are no demi-humans allowed in the building! Get that half-man away from me!"
Mongo: "What you want?"
Oscar: "The rent is due!"
Mongo: "Problem. Mongo out of money right now."
Oscar: "Then your problem is that you're evicted!"
P.W.: "Here, take this, I'll pay the rent." (hands over 300 gp)
Oscar: "I'll take your money, but you're going to hang, halfling! I'm getting the guard!"
Oscar stormed out of the building in a rage, with P.W. silently trailing him all the way to the Palais Indomitable. There, Oscar began talking to one of the soldiers of the Unyielding Fist. "A halfling assaulted you? Horrifying! We'll get the little bastard!" The guardsman gathered a few more of his fellows and they (along with Oscar) headed back towards Mongo's apartment. P.W. decided to remain where he was, hiding near the Palais Indomitable.
Back at the apartment, the guards banged loudly on the door, and Mongo answered.
Guard: "All right, you, where's the halfling?"
Mongo: "No halfling here!"
Pushing Mongo aside, the guards searched the room, with Oscar in tow. Oscar had a deep look of shock, surveying the state of the apartment: dog excrement everywhere, demihumans laying about the place, and they weren't even paying extra rent.
Oscar: "Unacceptable! You! This is unacceptable! I want all this out of here! Everything!"
Mongo: "OK, everyone out. Out!"
Guard: "If that halfling comes back, you're going to come get us? You hear?"
Mongo: "OK, what's your name?"
Guard: "What the hell do you want to know that for?"
Mongo: "You said to come get you! How will I find you?"
Guard: "Any guard, you idiot!"
The party members were shuffled out by Mongo, and the guards and Oscar left soon after. Mongo then set about cleaning his apartment for the rest of the day.
Back at the Palais Indomitable, P.W. saw the guards return (without Oscar). He approached them, and said "You! Help! A man in a bowler and blazer robbed 300 gp from me!" The guard laughed scornfully. "I sincerely doubt that! A halfling with that kind of money? Ha ha ha! Get out of here, half-man!"
His scheme to frame Oscar for robbery foiled, P.W. made his way back to the apartment, keeping an eye out for the landlord. The rest of the party eventually made it back to, and they determined their next step should be to head back to the dungeon, to get more gold. Mongo explained a vision he had, of gold hidden in places by puzzles that they had refused to experiment with. The party agreed to head back, but first - they wanted more henchmen.
Mongo wanted to hire a cleric, so off they went to the Street of Temples. They accosted a random priest in the street:
P.W.: "Do you want great offerings for your god?"
Priest: "Why yes, Lemelius, God of the Small Intestine, is always looking for offerings! What would you like to contribute?"
P.W.: "That's the greatest intestine! How do you feel about beetles?"
Priest: "You want to sacrifice beetles?"
P.W.: "Yes, beetles! Giant beetles! You could digest them, right?"
Priest: "Giant beetles? Those are dangerous! You mean the one they make beetle paste from?"
P.W.: "Yes, beetle paste! You can eat it!"
Priest: "Are you insane? You don't eat beetle paste! That's incredibly risky!"
P.W.: "Well, who would want to go with us?"
Priest: "Maybe a priest of Miguel, the War God. They're over there." (points)
The party made their way to the Temple of Miguel, the War God. Two burly acolytes guarded the entrance to the temple, maces resting on their shoulders.
Mongo: "You want offerings for your god?"
Acolyte: "Of course, Miguel appreciates a good offering! What do you have in mind?"
Mongo: "Treasure! We kill and take treasure!"
Acolyte: "Huh? You're going to kill someone? Who are you talking about?"
Mongo: "No... no... from ruins! Take treasure from ruins!"
Acolyte: "Oh, from the ancient ruins! Your eloquence has convinced me, stranger. I am Leroy Brown. Bad Leroy Brown. I'm the baddest man in the whole damned town."
Leroy in tow, the party then decided they should hire a thief. They decided thieves would most likely be hanging out on the Street of Lesser Men. As they approached the street, beggars began following them. P.W. tossed a silver piece at one, and immediately a horde of beggars descended upon the party. To escape, P.W. began hurling silver down the street in one direction, while running in the other. The beggars were mostly cripples and lepers, and the halfling was able to outpace them.
He then began a new scheme, and approached one of the local toughs leaning against a building, held out his hand, and proclaimed "Wallet inspector!" The tough was having none of that monkey business, and began swinging wildly at the agile little halfling. P.W. dodged easily, and tried to leg-sweep the grizzled mugger, but his tiny legs weren't up to the task. Eventually Justin got tired of watching the feeble battle, and pulled out his knife. The ruffian wasn't about to be murdered by a wallet inspector and his dwarven buddy, and took off down an alleyway.
The beggars were making their way closer, so P.W. took off down the street again, this time lobbing a gold piece into the air. After putting some more distance between the beggars and himself, he approached another street tough, held out his hand, and proclaimed once more, "Wallet inspector!" The results were identical, with neither opponent hitting the other - but this fight ended as the beggars ran up and began pummeling the musclehead who was bothering their benefactor.
The party then began bar hopping. The first bar they entered was the Rusty Fork. Justin approached a man who looked like a thief - and the man did indeed proclaim himself as such. "I'm the finest thief in the city!" "Well, would you like to join us on an adventure?" "No, don't think so." The thief shook his head in disgust and left the bar.
P.W. tried talking up the barkeep. As he approached, the barkeep proclaimed "You there! A free meal and drink, if you eat with this rusty fork!" He held up a mangled rusty fork, with tines spread every which way, and jagged shards of metal sticking pointlessly out of the implement. P.W. agreed, and the barkeep handed him a rat on a stick, pulling the stick out "because you can reuse them, you know?" The other patrons gathered breathlessly around, muttering things like "I can't believe he's going to do it" and "Nobody's done this since Lockjaw Larry!"
The comments made P.W. nervous, and he changed his mind. The bartender, clearly disappointed, took the rat back and stuck it back on its stick, tossing it into the food-bucket. P.W. approached another thiefly looking fellow, and said "Hello there! I was wondering if you'd like to join us on an adventure..."
Fellow: "Do you know who I am? Clearly you do not know who I am. If you know who I was you would not ask that. But you did. And now you're going to leave by the time I count to five, or you're going to be eating with the rusty fork."
P.W. stood defiantly til the count of 4, and then hightailed it out of the bar. The angry fellow gestured at the rest of the party: "You, too! All of you, out!" Meekly, the party left, heading to the next bar.
The Flaming Moe was sadly thief-less. And on to the next bar: Blind Willy's. Justin went in alone, and within saw a few old men sipping shots of wood alcohol, complaining about their terrible eyesight. Justin approached the barkeep, and asked if he knew any thieves looking for adventure. The barkeep wordlessly reached for a bucket of grease, and tipped it on top of Justin's head. The insult being too much, Justin drew his protonium-metal dagger and lunged at the barkeep, as the old men ran out of the bar screaming. The fight was short, and ended with the barkeep laying face down in a pool of his own blood.
Justin cleaned himself off as best he could, and marched out of the bar. The party then decided a change of venue was in order, and headed to the Street of the Alien to see if they could hire themselves an elf. They stopped at the first elven tavern they saw, Leafy Green's ("what kind of bar is that?" "a salad bar!"). The party marched in, and P.W. once again asked if anyone wanted adventure. The barkeep and his customers glared at P.W., and the barkeep shouted "No halflings allowed! Get out NOW!" P.W. sadly marched out the door, to wait for his friends to finish their business.
Mongo walked up to the bartender and asked if any elves were looking for adventure. "Hmm yes, you see that elf over there? That's Jimgar, he's looking for a bit of work." After a brief introduction, Jimgar proclaimed Mongo as being one of the most eloquent humans he'd ever met, and an employment agreement was reached. Sadly, Jimgar's knowledge of the arcane arts was limited to the hold portal spell, and not the coveted sleep spell, but the party decided to roll with it.
The party then went off to the dungeon, arriving uneventfully. Traversing the upper level turned out to be much more of a challenge than previously - creatures from below had been working their way up. They fought their way through screaming freaks, giant earwigs, and those weird yellow kruller shaped creatures with horns. The earwigs are much more hostile than they had been in the past, climbing up onto the dogs and pinching with their rear pincers as well as biting with their insect mouths.
The party made their way to the room with a bin full of wires sticking out. Justin tried touching various wires to each other, but only managed to give himself nasty electric shocks. Eventually P.W. decided to cut through the Gordian knot, and dropped his shield on top of the mass of wiring. He shorted out all of them at once, and a secret door opened in the northeast corner. There was a small closet behind the door, and two foil packets were on a shelf inside. Justin opened one, and it contained a square of crumbly blue foam-like material. He experimented with tasting it, and found that a nasty cold sore spontaneously cleared up. The foil-wrapped foam squares were some sort of medicinal product.
They then headed to the cylindrical chamber with the glass tubes full of glowing green liquid. They climbed up to the catwalk, and Justin hammered away at one of the tubes his protonium-metal dagger. It smashed the tube open, and the party began filling their dozens of empty flasks with the glowing green liquid. The liquid felt warm to the touth, and P.W. became curious. After touching the liquid, he decided to taste it - and keeled over instantly, his veins glowing faintly greenish. Justin crammed a mouthful of the foam squares into P.W.'s mouth, and the halfling recovered.
Netal, P.W., and Justin decided they should experiment with the poison, by dipping arrows in it, making the dogs howl, and then shooting whatever wandered in through the doors below the catwalk. The experiment was almost a complete success - except the monsters showed up at the door on the catwalk level, scratching at it from the other side.
Mongo and his henchmen went to the opposite side of the catwalk, wanting no part of this plan, while P.W. opened the door. A group of giant earwigs started running around in circles, as they had before in honor of Nisus. P.W. responded to this by dumping a flask of green goo onto one of the earwigs. It immediately curled up and died, and the rest of the earwigs took off in a panic.
The group decided to head back to the beetle-trap room and try to gather up the silver tassels. On the way, they encountered a group of four morlocks. The morlocks hesitated, unsure of the party, and negotiations took place:
Morlock: "What? Who you? What you?"
Mongo: "Me Mongo!"
Morlock: "They mongos! Mongos!"
Mongo: "No! No! Me Mongo!" (pointing at himself)
Morlock: "Me Torgo"
P.W.: "Take us to the beetles!"
Torgo: "You go! You go now!"
Mongo: "No! You go!"
P.W.: "Take us to the beetles!"
Sadly, the high-powered talks broke down in the 11th hour, and violence ensued. Torgo shouted his battle cry of "Kill the mongos!" and charged, straight into Mongo's two-handed sword. His head bounced back down the hall, and the other three morlocks turned tail and fled into the darkness. Netal declined to gut the morlocks, so P.W. jumped in cutting, hoping to find that the morlocks were avid treasure-eaters. All he found were fragments of humanoid bones.
The group headed deeper into the dungeon, reaching the beetle-trap room with the tapestries and silver tassels. They tied a rope to one of the tapestries near the entrance, and then poured all the green goo in a half-circle around the entrance. Beyond that they poured dozens of flasks of oil. Justin then yanked on the rope - and nothing happened.
Nonplussed, Justin hooked up the rope to a different tapestry, and the procedure was repeated. This time, a grinding noise was heard in the darkness - but no beetles. Tossing a torch out into the middle of the room, they saw that a secret door had opened in the east wall.
The party shrugged, and went in to go gather the tassels. As Mongo lifted one up, he released tension on the wire supporting it - and suddenly blocks near the floor lifted up, releasing massive swarms of beetles. The party high-tailed it for the exit, and began lobbing flaming flasks of oil at the beetles as they slowly approached. The beetles suffered massive attrition as they crossed the ring of oil and the party lit it up, but eventually the ring of fire died out, and more beetles began crossing the green goo towards the party.
Everyone but P.W. ran further down the hall. P.W. started pouring green goo on the beetles, and a few died, but not nearly enough - the beetles swarmed over the halfling and he collapsed in agony. The party performed a series of retreats and hurls of flaming flasks of oil, and eventually the beetle swarm chasing them was destroyed. Mongo ran up to see what had happened to P.W., and found him breathing his last. He hurriedly jammed the wafer from the foil packet down P.W.'s throat and worked his jaws, and the halfling's beetle-gnawed arteries began to close up. He was stable, but still unconscious. A few fragment of blue foam wafer remained, and Mongo forced that down P.W.'s throat - he awoke, cursing his continued existence. Why, oh why, couldn't he die?
P.W. asked Mongo if Leroy could heal him - but Mongo refused. Leroy comforted the halfling, saying "Don't worry, little fellow - even if Mongo had ordered me, I would have refused to heal you." He then turned to Mongo, and said "You know, if we kill the halfling, there'll be more treasure for the rest of us." "What? Is that what priests do?" "Well, technically no, but we can bend the rules..."
P.W. offered to forgive Mongo's rent debt if he'd just fire Leroy Brown, but Mongo refused. P.W. speculated loudly on what possible use could a cleric who wouldn't heal be, but the complaints garnered no sympathy from his hardened companions.
Attention turned to the secret door - beyond it was a 10' square cubby. Searching inside revealed two loose stones in the ceiling, which when presed, operated both the secret door they had just discovered, and another secret door on the east side of this cubby. Justin closed the door, and the party decided to call it a day and head back to Denethix.
Back in town, Justin generously purchased a suit of plate mail for P.W., and found that he had reached the 2nd level.
Next session is Wed May 11th.