The First Annual Epic One Off (2013!)

Act I : A Harrowing Escape

The Company has been retained to protect a Scholar’s research into ancient artifacts. Their travels have brought them to the distant shores of the Farlands. A blasted countryside, shrouded under the haze of volcanic ash and blackened clouds of poisonous fumes. The scholar and his guide stepped ashore twelve days before. The company and crew are anxious to leave this wretched wasteland.

A clamoring ashore, draws the gaze of everyone on deck. Sinu the guide is frantically running over the broken ground to escape the goblinoid horde of pursuers. The party climbs aboard the ship’s launches and prepares to go ashore to protect Sinu. As the boat approaches the shoreline, the dwarven slayer’s bloodlust gets the better of him and he jump into the low surf. The elven surgeon, seeing Sinu running out of room, uses the gunwhale of the boat and the newly placed “slayer’s head stepping stone” to propel himself up to the over hanging ledge and insert himself between their charge and the threat.

Waves of goblins and orcs crest over the broken landscape, to be met with axe, sword, arrow, and magics. When all is said and done the beach is littered with corpses and the party was literally untouched (except for a little friendly fire mishap…that becomes a running theme for the day).

Sinu explains that the Scholar is still trapped in the goblin village. A rescue plan is quickly devised.

The party goes deep ashore to find the village. After the elven cleric (who as it turns out has NO healing skills/magics…and actually is pretty effective at hitting things on the battle field…including allies…) sets off a magical bomb in the middle of the camp, the dwarven blenders go to work grinding up the goblinoids for sausage.

The scholar is found, but is quite ill. The surgeon is able to stabilize him and all return to the ship. With this phase of the contract satisfied, the party decides that a little extra “exploration” (read:looting) would be good, you know because the scholar could use a little more rest before hitting the high seas.

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Act III : Conversations with Cultists

Our brave party decides on two courses of action for their investigation of the pirates.

Course 1: The “I’m Rich and Unscrupulous and I like Pretty Things” Con. Basically, try to hire someone to recover the same artifact and hope that the same (greedy) folks take the now second contract.

Course 2: The “Hey, We Look Like the Pirates You Hired, And We Got the Thing You want, But we Want More Money For It” Con. Yeah, so this boiled down to a I’ll show you mine if you show me yours situation. Ending with the Benefactor terminating negotiations and suggesting that he was pretty certain he’d get his artifact one way or another.

As with all good groups, the shady cultist was followed to his very respectable looking warehouse, that was, wait for it….Yes! just a front for his Sneaky Cultist Buddies.

With measured restraint the party stalked the cultist through the subterranean tunnels to end up out on the beach with more Sneaky Chanting Cultists. The party, familiar now with taking a tactical stance, prepare a plan of attack. As the final details are being worked out the party realizes that something is wrong. Oh yes, the Sneaky Chanting Cultists are no longer chanting. In their midst, stands a raging inferno of elemental fire.

Then…the dwarven slayer does something amazing, he casts “Disspell Elemental Fire”…with his axe…in one blow. Much like a dwarven child would a birthday candle…

There was some Cultist Butchery that happened next on the beach, some swimming, and then some REALLY LONG ASSED bow and arrow demonstrations (making the GM regret not double checking the f*ing effective range of a bow). Mortally wounding the escaping cultist in a boat.

Nothing else seemed very interesting, save for the bizarro constellation in the sky and that the clouds had obscured all other star formations. That’s not creepy or anything, right?

The party hurries back to their ship to set sail for the intended destination of the fleeing cultist.

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Act IV : Bone Beach

You’ll probably notice that if I’d just given my players the titles of the Acts, this would have gone so much more quickly.

Well, ship and crew weigh anchor in off shore and launch their boats, laden with fierce adventurers, armed to the teeth and spoiling for a fight. They find the escaped cultist’s boat and drag marks leading inland.

Their investigation is cut short by a monstrous Bone Giant towering over ranks of a skeletal army. The horde of bones, sweep over the sandy dunes and the party finds itself spread out and engaged in multiple adversaries. The dwarven slayers, now targeting the Giant (something befitting for them to kill, or re-kill as the case may be) begin their assault. For its part, the Bone Giant pretty much ignores the tiny dwarven fleas, moving and directing the fight like a conductor. The dwarves chase after the Giant and give witness to a punishing blow that smashes the Elven Charlatan into the surf, quite broken.

Skeletons fall left and right as the party hacks and shoots in a frenetic defense. It is not the pair of dwarven blenders that ultimately bring down the Giant, but the lowly gunner who ultimately prevailed (I did hear phrases like “you kill-stealer” and the like…)!

With their champion felled, the undead controlling magics failed and there on the beach were series of bone piles remaining.

It was time to tend to the wounded. This was the party’s first real set back. The Charlatan needed tending to. With both arms shattered the surgeon made haste to reset them and get the elf on the return trip to health.

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ACT V: I am the Lizard King...

This Act was cut for pacing purposes.

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Act VI : More Blood...

More Blood for the Blood God would have focused a three way chaotic fight of Chaos Beastmen, two ettins, and a Troll. It’s way more interesting then that, but I didn’t have the 90 minutes or so it would have taken to resolve…so on to the Cutting Floor it goes.

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