The crew was the same as last time, in players if not characters. My wife wasn't real thrilled with her last character, so she switched to Ismir, a 2nd-level elf rogue with a Swashbuckling talent. Also, I forgotten to pack up Mr Party Gorilla's character, Glorkk, so he rolled up a new Wolf Troll and thus was Glerk born. No big loss, really, since Glerk ended up with a strength of 52 and 40 Combat Adds. Fine by me.
I quickly set the scene: fleeing the disaster they engineered last time, the four adventurers peeled out of Three Chickens and headed elsewhere -- in this case, to the Village of Flatdog, also in the Frankie Valley. Along the way, Glork was magiclly teleported away and replaced by Glerk; and sometime after arriving in Flatdog, Maaren dumped the other three (a good move) and Ismi, who had adventured with Snot before, was recognized by the little booger and had no choice but to hang around him. There, that was the party. Done.
[By the way, in case you're wondering why the village was called "Flatdog", my reason was a simple one: Leaky Pete was dog-sitting a Corgi named Grunt. It's often handy to let your immediate surroundings inspire you.]
Speaking of parties, Flatdog was holding its annual Festival of Clobbero -- a feast to commemorate the coming of the hero Clobbero, who long ago chased a dragon away. Mirth and good cheer was everywhere, what with the coloful pennons and the girls dancing and the kids chasing each other with sticks (re-enacting the mighty hero's deed).
The PCs were in the Tavern of the Black Mare, whereupon they encountered a VERY famous local fellow named Polydor the Bard, whom I described as "looking like a ketchup bottle and a mustard bottle had a baby, gave it alute and sent it out for voice lessons".
Polydor waited for the crowd to settle down before dropping the adventure hook, to the tune of "Greensleeves": That long ago, the wizard Zantos ("The Spellmaker!" suggested Party Gorilla, and it suck) had become evil in his old age but recanted on his death bed, and that he had been interred in a secret tomb not far from here. Furthermore, the location of the tomb was rumoured to have been found in The Ravine of Durdin's Rest, two days' ride from Flatdog. Then, the crowd roared and applauded, Polydor left with some groupies, and the hook was baited.
Before departing, the party wished to stock up on supplies. They purchased what Jake called "The ACME Adventuring Pack", which means,uh, you know. Zando, being a non-comtatant with 2 whole Combat Adds, expressed a desire to hire a shield maiden to protect him.
This pleased me. It pleased me greatly.
It pleased me greatly because I love the idea of hirelings and henchmen. I din't know why; I just think it's cool. I get to make up my own quirky NPC adventurers who get to help out in a pinch, and also get killed first. It's a rare opportunity, so I took it...and made magic.
I quickly created Kirsil The Grim, Late of the Marauders of the Twilight Hills. Kirsil appeared in the game as ablonde warrior woman with viking tresses, a horned helmet, shield, spear -- the whole works.
Oh, and she's 18 years old and with the looks of a high school cheerleader.
Zando quickly propositioned her as an employee, to which she replied, "What, ho! I readily hear your pleading voice -- let us now hear the tinkling of your silver!"
Yes, I made her talk like Thor.
After insulting her by offering her "Two silver now, and ten when we return" and assuming that she was pregnant (Zando thinks that all human females are pregnant at all times), they settled on a share of the loot. She made the acquaintance of the others, looking down her nose at Snot but finding much admiration for Glerk ("Verily, mighty Troll-friend! If you adventure with this dark Elf, then truly he must be worthy!"), although Glerk just kinda stared at her blankly. A lot.
With all that settled, they made their way across the valley to The Ravine Of Durbin's Rest or whatever I called it. They found the ravine, they found the hole, and made a plan to delve into it. A plan which was to result in a wet troll, a wetter goblin, a battle with some stone elves, severe heatstroke and two scrapes with death -- both on Snot's part, poor little guy with like a 9 or 10 CON.
TO BE CONTINUED