Netal the Elf (2), his henchman Brad the Fighter (1), and his pit bulls Timmy and Jimmy
Mongo the Fighter (2) and his henchmen, Black Harris the Cleric (1) and Snidely Whiplash the Fighter(?) (1)
George P. Burdell the Cleric (1) and his henchman, Slick Eddie the Thief (1)
Back at his apartment building, Mongo ran into the deceased George P. Burdell's roommate, who was coincidentally also named George P. Burdell. Mongo informed the new George of the horrible dungeon-y death of his roomie, and invited George to join the party in his stead. George readily agreed, and set out to find a henchman.
George headed to the coffee shop next door, and began asking the mohawk-haired proprietress a series of pointed questions.
George: "So, who do you pay to prevent things like flaming oil from being dumped on your shop?"
Mohawk lady: "Not sure I follow you, man"
George: "I'm looking for someone, you know, who likes to take things when he wants them"
Mohawk lady: "Oh, right, like yeah, stick it to the man! Five fingered discount, man!"
George: "Do you know anyone like that?"
Mohawk lady: "Yeah, man, I totally do! My friend Slick Eddie, man! He'll be here in an hour, man"
George waited, and eventually the Mohawk Lady pointed out a young man to him.
George: "Excuse me, do you think you might be interested in making some money?"
Eddie: "Oh yeah, I like money, what's the score?"
George: "Maybe liberating some goods from certain places underground"
Eddie: "Totally, yeah, I'm totally into anarchy! Let's do it!"
George escorted Eddie to a nearby armorer, and equipped the lad for subterranean adventure.
After George left, Mongo headed down to the Inn of the Repaired Wheel, on the Street of Worthy Servitude. He spotted three rough-and-tumble characters: a shirtless, hulking barbarian, a dour man with a holy symbol hunched over his beer, and a big fellow twirling his moustache while chuckling to himself. Mongo approaced the barbarian first.
Yord the Shirtless Man: "Ha! A little man! I'm Yord, from the Worthless North!"
Mongo: "Want to make some money, Yord?"
Korg: "Ha! Ha! How'd you guess? I'm looking to get rich, and quick!"
Mongo: "How quick? You want work for Mongo?"
Korg (roaring with laughter): "Me? Work for YOU? A soft southerner? I don't think so, little man!"
Dejected, Mongo headed to the holy man.
Black Harris: "I'm sick of all these people, constantly asking me to pray for them. Pray, pray, pray, that's all they talk about."
Mongo: "Hmm, you want come to dungeon with me and get gold and booze?"
Black Harris: "Would I? In a heartbeat! I can't believe my mother made me go to seminary. I'm so sick of people. The poor people are the worst, always 'lay hands on my pus-oozing wound' or 'heal my revolting sores'."
Mongo: "You lay hands on torch?"
Black Harris: "Torch? That doesn't sound sanitary"
Black Harris (sighing): "Fine, let's go."
All through these conversations, the moustache-twirler had been eyeing Mongo. Mongo sighed, and walked up to the dastardly gentleman.
Snidely Whiplash (chuckling evilly): "So, I see you're hiring a few men. Allow me to introduce myself, I'm Snidely Whiplash. I happen to be looking for a bit of... employment"
Mongo: "Well, what you do last job?"
Snidely: "Well, I sacked that temp... I mean, I was a caravan guard. Yeah, that's it."
Mongo: "Where you from?"
Snidely: "Oh. A village. Somewhere else. Run by a wizard, so I escaped and came here. To guard caravans."
Mongo: "Huh. How you feel about torches?"
Snidely: "Torture? I love torture!"
Mongo: "No, torches!"
Snidely: "Oh. Those are good too. Sure, everyone likes light."
Mongo agreed to take Snidely on, with some visible reservations as Snidely began laughing madly to himself, but the two of them and Black Harris headed to the market regardless, and soon the two new employees were fully equipped for a dungeon expedition.
Netal had heard a rumor that the dog-plague had ended, just as mysteriously as it had started, and headed to the Bazaar Incomparable to find a new dog or two.
Shopkeeper: "Hey! I remember you! Want to buy a grunkie?"
Netal: "No, I'm looking for dogs"
Shopkeeper: "Sure, I've got just the thing. How about a pair of pit bulls?"
Netal: "Yes! That's what I want! What are their names?"
Shopkeeper: "Oh, I don't know, they killed their previous owner so I never found out"
Netal paid for the slavering hell-beasts, and decided to name them Timmy and Jimmy. He then rounded up Brad (who had worked for the prior George P. Burdell) and headed off to find his comrades.
The trio met up after their various purchases and hires, and set out for Chelmsfordshire. They arrived just in time to Slezgar arriving from the direction of Mt. Rendon, with a large crew of men pulling a pair of wagons laden with expensive-looking furniture.
Mongo: "Slezgar! What you got there?"
Slezgar: "Oh, we found this secret room. Kind of a conference room, full of all this expensive furniture and stuff! Money for the taking!"
Mongo: "Yeah. That nice. Bye."
Annoyed by Slezgar's continued success, the party headed into the wilderness and back to the dungeon.
The party headed down through the deserted halls of the first level, to the second level entrance - a room with eight corridors heading off in all directions. They consulted their map for a while, and decided that their best bet was to try to get the golden T-Rex tongue they had left behind on a previous (disastrous) expedition.
The party headed towards the circus, passing the room with the large tapestry and old lectern. They stopped briefly while George fooled with the lectern and discovered there was something underneath. Mongo tipped the lectern over with his 20' collapsible pole, revealing a rusty lockbox. The lockbox opened easily, its lock having long since rusted into nothing, and found a roll of 100 seafoam-green tickets, each reading "ADMIT ONE."
They walked further in, and came to a room with an excitable painted man, who started leaping up and down shouting "Ticket! Ticket! Ticket!" George handed him 9 tickets, and the clown ran off through an archway to the main circus area. The party stood around for a while, and eventually the clown came back, still shouting "Ticket! Ticket! Ticket!" The party collectively shrugged, and headed into the circus.
The carnival barker stepped off his dais and quickly approached the party. "You guys left early the last time! Do you know how much work it is to set this thing up?" Mongo replied, "Sorry! We get lost! We come back for show!" "Well, just to make sure you get lost - you! come here! You watch these guys and make sure they don't leave!"
The barker had called over another painted man to follow them around as they walked around. Informed that they had an hour before the show started, they headed around to some of the tents to see what the attractions were.
In the first tent they looked at, a Whack-a-Gnome game had been set up. Netal paid 5 gp, and was handed a wooden mallet. Sneering garden gnomes with bloodstained faces and glowing red eyes began sticking their heads up through the holes, and Netal whacked one with the mallet. The gnome became enraged, and leaped at Netal, sinking its fangs into his shoulder. Netal and Mongo beat the thing to death, and the painted man informed them that "You win little man! Excited! Yummy!"
Mongo handed the thing to Snidely. "You want this?" "Why yes. Yes (evil laugh), yes I do. This will do... perfectly!"
In the next tent, a painted man was sitting back with his feet on a table, smoking a cigar.
Surly Clown: "Now, what do you clowns want?"
George: "Hi there. What can you tell us about this place?"
Surly Clown: "Look. I like three things: booze, broads, and bashing heads. Unless you got some of that, scram."
George: "I have booze"
Surly Clown: "Give it over!"
George: "It's communal wine..."
Surly Clown: "I don't care what brand it is, give it to me!"
George: "You'll need these wafers too..."
Surly Clown: "Keep the wafers and give me the booze already!"
George offered his wineskin to the surly clown, who grabbed it away and gulped it down as quickly as possible.
Mongo: "So, you like bashing heads? You want to bash these guys?"
Surly Clown: "What's in it for me?"
Mongo: "You got booze. No women here..."
Surly Clown: "That's too bad. I like human women. Sick of these painted women, you know what I mean. I want babes like down at Miami."
Surly Clown: "Yeah, the clown women, not exactly South Beach material, you know?"
Surly Clown: "Whatever. No women, then forget about it"
Netal (presenting Timmy the Pit Bull, who is apparently a female): "How about this? Pretty hot huh?"
Surly Clown: "What? No. What's wrong with you? Get out of here"
Netal: "You sure?"
Surly Clown: "Look, I don't do dames with four legs. Scram!"
The party gave up on trying to get the surly clown to join their expedition, and headed past the animal pits and a corridor with a sign reading "Log Flume", to get to the last unexplored tent. It contained a dunking tank, with a clown sitting above the tank, and another demanding 100 gp for a throw.
George: "That's too much. What's in the tank?"
George (sniffing the acrid water): "Just water?"
Clown: "Burny water!"
George: "Can I take some?"
Clown: "No! You PAY, you THROW BALL! No take water!"
At this point, the party became sick of wandering the attractions, and decided to head back to the golden-tongued T. Rex skull they had left behind during a previous expedition. They and their painted-man-watcher headed into the freak show, making their way past the exhibits til they were outside a room that had previously held a bunch of painted men watching video monitors.
Mongo walked around their painted man guard until he was forced to turn away from the door to talk to Mongo. While Mongo asked a few inane questions, Brad the henchman quietly opened the door and peaked in. "Guys, there are a bunch of clowns staring at me" he whispered.
Netal immediately cast his sleep spell, putting three of the clowns to sleep. Slick Eddie knifed their painted man escort in the back, while Brad and the pit bulls charged into the room to attack the remaining clowns. The fight was short and one-sided. Netal butchered the corpses, searching for gold in their stomachs, while George checked their belongings for valuables, finding a key.
From there, they headed to the T-Rex skull room. Slick Eddie examined the skull, and found that it had a hinge and a powerful spring under tension, connected to the back of the skull. Mongo pulled out his 20' pole and poked the golden tongue with it - the jaws slammed shut, damaging the pole so that it could no longer fully retract. The party then pried the skull open, and George pulled the tongue out. It was surprisingly light for a 5' long piece of gold - it turned out to be a much thinner layer of gold over a balsa-wood frame. The tongue was stomped and crumpled small enough to fit into a backpack, and the party continued on.
To the south, they came to a room empty of everything except some bloodstains and scraps of painted-man leather motley on the floor. A sign over the door to the south read "Invisible Treasures." The party carefully searched this room, and then opened the door to the Invisible Treasure room. True to its word, the room beyond was empty of visible treasure, containing nothing but dust and rat droppings. Mongo swept through the air with his pole while the rest of the party searched, but if there was any invisible treasure, it was not found.
They then headed southwest, ignoring a side door as they traveled, and came to a room with a 10' wide ball pit. Mongo swished his pole through the pit, and found that the pole passed right through the balls without disturbing them. It was also clanking on things on the bottom of the pit. They quickly came to the conclusion that the balls were a hologram hiding a spiked pit.
The party returned to the door in the corridor, and Slick Eddie listened at it - he heard some horrible chewing noises. The party arranged themselves carefully around the ball pit, with the dogs taking point, while Brad went ahead to open the door and lure the chewing monsters out. Brad flung the door open and ran back to the party, while two ravenous corpses chased after him.
The dogs fled as fast as they could as the corpses approached, leaving Netal on the west side and Brad on the east side to face the horrible monsters. Brad, not having many hit points left, tried to run past and leave the stronger Snidely to face the monsters, but Snidely grabbed Brad by the shoulders and shoved him towards the shambling corpse.
The priests presented their holy symbols, but their weak faiths did not impress the living dead. The corpses swiped at Netal and Brad. The fight was over quickly, though - after being bitten and clawed, Netal became enraged, and grabbed one of the ghouls by its throat and flung it into the ballpit with a sickening crunch. Brad swung his mace like a baseball bat, and knocked the other into the pit. There was no sound from below - the creatures had been permanently laid to rest.
And there the session ended. Next session on Thursday February 9th.