Greyhelm: Brogg's Story, Conclusion
More conversation.

"Mm," says Crossbones thoughtfully. "I-" but then Ralph interrupts. "You a stone cold killer man! STONE COLD!"

The High Priest looks over at the half-bugbear momentarily and says "uh"; it's hard to say if Ralph's excited, finds this amusing, or is shocked. Mostly he's just stoned out of his enormous gourd.

"Anyway," says Crossbones, "you're right. No one, certainly not the clergy of Grisbane, will fault you for defending yourself, or even a little proactive, preemptive defensive manuevering. We're all about purity through strenght, survival of the fittest, all that."

"This owlbear thing, though, yeah, we kind of already heard. I don't really know the details- if you're after some wizard, well good, you gotta job to do. Regardless of where owlbears fit into Grisbane's grand plan for us misshapen mortals, you can't go around fucking with nature with magic and playing god. Like I said, these magic users, friend, they really don't understand what they're doing. And I'd like you to stop this guy."

"But it turns out that Elder Grettin and Elder Shettin think this owlbear situation is a pretty serious dilemma for the church. So the Inner Circle's sent this guy over here to look into it. Leuco? Leuco you around somewhere?" he calls off into the woods.

Then, after about a minute, like the biggest guy shows up, stepping out from behind a tree. He's about nine feet tall, green, giant sword and bow on his back, and wearing a little green Robin Hood style cap with a feather in it. You're guessing he's a troll.

"Half-troll, really," says Crossbones, as 'Leuco' comes over to the smouldering campfire. "Half-elf too. That's why he was out there sneaking around in the woods."

'Leuco' the half-elf, half-troll, is basically a troll from what you can tell. You've got a sickening feeling that the only 'elf' part of him is probably some dumb +1 to hit with bows and swords, 30% immunity to sleeps and charms, and that gay little hat he's wearing. Fucker still probably regenerates like a troll. He's also wearing an emblem of the Grisbane church.

"Nice to meet you," says Leuco, shaking your hand. "So now we got two of us" he says to Arvid. "We can resolve this situation and please the masters."

"Something like that," says Arvid, frowning. He explains what's going on. "You see, Brogg, the Inner Circle is sort of divided. The Brech-Turf thing never's really been figured out to anyone's satisfaction. We all agree whoever this guy is, shouldn't be making more owlbears, because he's just making them to be slaves, or serve drinks, or fight adventurers and die. Not good. So like I said, I guess you gotta make a choice. Help them, or destroy them. Up to you. Well, you and Leuco. Because, uh, and this is where it gets a little complicated. Leuco's what we call a 'Contrarian of Grisbane'."

The ogre joins the conversation with some more potentially helpful scripture: "'Rhetoric has failed us, and all we have gained by listening to the apologies was to watch our enemies grow stronger. Let us appoint a champion, and let us appoint a contrarian, and let this matter be settled for once in their blood.' Grisbane 7000:600.1, The Appointing of the Contrarian."

Arvid nods. "No, you guys aren't going to fight. Not here, not now at least. And Brogg, you don't have to decide which way is best right now. Take your time, study the situation, do what you think is right. But finally, you will make a decision. And Leuco will take the other side, working to destroy the owlbears you try to save, or saving those owlbears you set out to destroy, until all owlbears are destroyed, or one of you dies."

Leuco smiles a big unhappy troll smile at you and bows, saying "it will be glorious to fight against you, friend Brogg. Good day." He bows to Arvid, who nods back, and silently stalks off back into the woods.

Watching him leave, Arvid then turns to you. "So is the confusing will of Grisbane settled in this world. Like most things, it ends in blood. It's stupid. That's why we hang out down in the woods here, smoking weed and talking about god. To get away from that shit. That Leuco guy... I think he's headed up to Grito to see some of these owlbears for himself. Kind of an Inner Circle prick. But don't worry, I think you've got some time. And some advantages... for one, you can go into towns and stuff... Leuco doesn't dare. Half-elf my ass. But here, I've got a couple things to make your life a little easier."

He pulls out a huge pair of mittens and a stick and offers them to you. The mittens look like giant bear paws, complete with little claws, and strap across your hand, leaving your fingers free to grip things. "These are the Mittens of Friendship. And this the Wand of Deconstruction. They work on chimeras. Might make deciding what to do about those owlbears... and anything else like that you might come across. You do get that this whole owlbear thing is a metaphor, right? Anyway, they've got three charges each so be careful. It's cool if you want to hang out here however long, and we'll help you out with whatever. Sorry to dump this shit on you. But I still think it's good you came here and met Leuco... otherwise, he might just have hunted you down and killed you, and you'd not really understand why. You'd be both dead and surprised. Here." He offers you the last of the beers.

Ralph's been staring at this whole scene with his mouth wide open. "Whoa... that is some crazy fucked up shit! Some fucked up shit right there that is totally nuts." And summing up everything rather nicely: "Who knew that those owlbears were so important? And what's with that dude's hat?"

Finally, the half-elf was only half paying attention. Uh, no pun intended; I guess you might call that a pun? Anyway, while you were all talking, he was hunting around for anything else to smoke, drink, or eat, finding only one hotdog bun that remained from the cookout. He takes a bite, kind of frowns, puts it on a stick to toast it, burns it a little when Leuco showed up and says "aw shit man", but eats it anyway. Afterwards, he then says "yeah, dude" apparently meaning Ralph, "that is some- crazy- fucked- up- shit" enunciating each word, and comes down and sits next to you Brogg.

He says "hey bro, what up. I'm Gregolas Half-Elven. Good luck with that, uh, that troll, mittens thing. Hey, you wouldn't happen to have like a little place I could crash, you know, just for a few days? Maybe get a bite to eat or something? I'll totally pay you back, just gotta get back on my feet and find like a job or something. Work-trade, man! Fuck the gps! Would it be cool? Let me know if it would definitely not be cool."

So Brogg, answer them how you will, but pretty soon it'll be time to get back to the temple of Odin.
  Greyhelm: Cinder's Story, Conclusion
The Thief's Challenge.

Okay Cinder, you head back down the hall, through a door, and down yet more stairs. How big is this place anyway? You come out into a huge underground gymnasium, multi-level. You're on the second of two levels, which is a little rampart. Across the gym, about 50 meters away, is another rampart. Up there you can see a guard patrolling, and a couple doors. Off in a corner two guys are sparring, and with you are two other guards, crossbows out, in case you try any funny business. Apparently, this guy Grimes is pretty serious about his tests. You head down a short flight of stairs to the ground level, cross over to the stone mock-castle wall, and get to work.

Okay, you climb the wall. It'd be pretty embarrassing if you couldn't get that part down. Up and over, away from the guard, you tiptoe across the rampart and hide in shadows. As the guard comes by, you nab the key off his belt. He's not much of a guard, as he's a little portly and stinks of gin. Anyway, key obtained. You use it to open a large door marked 'Treasure Room' (you're starting to wonder about the accuracy of his simulation here), sneak inside, and promptly step on a pressure plate and triggers a crossbow trap! Christ almighty, it's actually a real trap, and you get shot for 5 hp in the calf. You find a poison needle- yeah, what the hell, a working poison needle trap on the chest, remove it, pick the lock on the treasure chest and get a big bag of... stones. Terrific. You limp outside, smack into Mr. Gin. He begins to draw a broadsword, but takes your bribe, even going as far as to help you remove the crossbow bolt, bandage your wound, and help you over to the wall. You slide back down, head up the other stairs, and dump out all the little stones on Fink's boots.

He gives you a golf-clap and says "not bad, Stewart."


You guys return to Grimes' office, but Fink goes in first to convey a report you're guessing. Then Jen comes and gets the two of you and shows you in.

"Well done Mr. Cinder. 'Cinder', 'Cinder'," he says, as if tasting the word. "I like it. Pizzazz. Flair. Cinder... what remains after the flames. Smoking, smoldering, just barely under control, hidden beneath. I think it's a great name. I mean, sure, you probably were born with some rather insipid name like 'Bob Crumke' or something, I can see why you'd want it changed, especially now in these days, these times, given our choice of occupation." You're not sure if he's making fun of you or complementing you. You let it go for now as he continues.

"As I just said, well done. First order of business: welcome to the Blackwall Thiefs! Here's how it works. Whenever you've got an itching for a bit of the old business, as Bennett used to say, you just come to us. You like the job? You take the job. You do the job. We get 30%. You need a place to crash? We've got safehouses. You need a bit of poison that the old Potion Guild won't sell to dainty hands? Just head upstairs, Dirk will take care of you. And that, as I said, is how it works. You don't want to commit crime? Then god bless your honest heart. And when the sun rises in the morning, we'll be here with more work for you to do." That sort of makes sense and sounds like a pretty good deal.

"Second order of business: don't worry about the DuMont Chess Club. We'll sort this whole Stewart thing out, just between gentlemen. I know Mr. DuMont, good chap, I'll be twice damned if we don't meet every Thursday to sort out mutual problems. No need to have a guild war because you forgot to retrieve your sword from someone's stomach, now, is there? But, and this is an important but, aside from my professional and personal relations with Mr. DuMont, conflicts may occur. So worry somewhat about the Chess Clubbers, especially if it's a, mm... hot deal about to break. You're not the only playa."

"Third order of business: a business order. A refill lovely lady, if it pleases you." Jen fills his glass. "Something very interesting indeed has come up, something that someone new in town would be perfect for. It's a job that involves disguise, infiltration, reconnaissance... it's a classic! Tomorrow night, the Potion Guild is having a large gala event. Something big is going to be unveiled at their annual... well, it's a meeting of some kind. Many Potion Guildsmen are in attendance. But alas, one 'Master Yves Meifer' from the DMC is unable to attend, if you will correctly interpret my euphanism. But only I know that, and now you know that, so maybe good Master Yves will be able to show up after all!" He winks at you and does like a 'shooter' thing with his thumb and finger.

"We've got the robes, the credentials, and some official potions. All you have to do is go in, keep a cool head, and see what's being unveiled. Then report back here. If you can make a drawing or get some plans, there's a bonus. If you can get part of, well, whatever it is, or the whole thing even... well shit Cinder, I'll personally give you a bottle of the finest scotch known TO GOD."

Fink hoists a large leather backpack. "All the shit is in here, Stew" he says, still calling you that. I guess he thinks it's funny? Because it's really not. "If you want the job, take the pack, and we'll see you late tomorrow night. If Haggi's is out of the way, or something comes up, you can check in at The Wiffle Bat- meet with Marv- or at the Guild of Candles over by the lake, ask for Master Franklin. Have fun at the nerd party."

Let me know what you do. Then, it's time to head over to Odin's place to meet Brogg and the undead.
  Don't hate the playa...

He seems to find this funny and laughs, finishing his scotch. "Well, what say you?"

Cinder doesn't say a thing. Head cocked to one side he cracks his knuckles and loosens the straps on his leather armor. Slipping it off and handing it to Dave, he then steps forward to the edge of Grimes desk, kind of half smiles, and nods in a 'let's do this thing' kind of way.

Ok Rob, here are my rolls in order. I am third level, and have bonuses to abilities for my 15 dex and wearing no armor. I have no idea what my target numbers are, but here it is:

Climb wall 1: 60
Move silent/Hide: 24
Pick pocket: 20!
Open treasure lock: 33
Remove two traps along the way: 64 and 36
Backstab guard: 3 to hit, 45 to hide from him. Rob, I swing on him and miss, and when I do, I lean in quick with my purse and flash about 100gp. "Well friend, Grimes said you're used to a backstab or two...Is is worth your while? If he takes the bribe, great. If not, move on or whatever (I don't know if there will be combat here, let me know)

Climb back down wall: 21.

Well there it is. Let me know...
Brogg breaks down: "I killed some owlbears. I killed a few, I think." Looking down, "It had to do with that damned wizard in Grito. He was using them to terrorize the town. I dunno, at the time I thought it was me or them, maybe it was. I mean, even if it is another half-orc, if he is doing wrong, or out to get me, a brothers' got to do what a brothers' got to do... But, later I got to thinking on it, and it bothers me how fast I was to draw my sword on those owlbears. I mean, I didn't even consider that they might be all messed up, living in a world without the company of owls or bears, manipulated by that freakin wizard. Shit, I dunno... I hope that you guys don't hate me for it. You guys seem really cool."
  Greyhelm: Cinder's Story Part II
Cinder, you don't really work the charm, and all the tic-tac magic in the world ain't gonna help. But you sense maybe it's alright if you're not the most dashing hero in the bar right now. As for the pick-pocketing, though, make a contested pick pockets roll! No, it ain't Fink, you figure it probably happened while waiting for your brews at the bar. You have to roll 30% or under, or lose 1d20 gp. Make the rolls.

Okay, Cinder and Dave, Fink and his pal take you through Haggi's, down some more stairs, down a hall, down even more stairs to a heavily guarded room, knock on a door, short guarded hall, stout door. Knock on the door. A beautiful elf chick opens the door. Fink says "Hey there Jen. The boss man busy?" She looks at him, looks at you guys, shuts the door, a moment passes, she opens the door a bit wider and motions with her head for you to enter.

You step into a nicely arranged office. The only thing missing is the waterfront view. Big oak desk, high backed leather chair, portrait above the desk, tasteful potted spider plant in an urn on a pedastal over there, two 4th level fighters, weapon spec in kicking your ass. Seated on the chair is a middle-aged guy with all gold teeth.

"Hey Thomas, nice of you to drop in once in a while. I miss our chats" he says, apparently with all sincerity to Fink. "Uh, yeah, sorry boss, you know, shit comes up." The boss nods solemnly- "that it does my boy... that it does. So who are you two friends over there?"

Thomas Fink introduces you: "This is Cinder and that's his pal Dave, priest of Odin. Guys, meet the boss of the Blackwall Thiefs Greyhelm Chapter, Mr. Dougin Grimes."

Grimes smiles, fills a tumbler three fingers of scotch. The elf girl takes out a pair of silver tongs and drops in an ice cube. Grimes smiles even wider at her and says "just the way I like it." Doesn't drink it yet, just holds the glass and considers the two of you.

"Odin, huh? Not a sloucher that one. Noo sir. Me, I'm not much of a religious man. Pay some tithes, try to keep the boys from mugging nuns, just a hard working bloke. But the question," he says, leaning a little closer over the desk, "isn't who you are; not even what god you do or don't serve or in what capacity." He raises his glass, elbow on the desk. "The question is exactly this: do you want to be a playa?"

You guys aren't sure if he's right about that being the central question right now, but you're willing to hear him out. "Now, I got a lot going on... Fink and the fellas are round-abouts doing this-or-that, and you might be surprised how much effort it takes to, and I'll speak plainly here, being as I am in the presence of a man of god, how much effort it takes to do some crime. Good, honest crime." He's saying words, and his sentences are grammatically correct, but you're not sure of the message here. So he spells it out.

"I have no problem, absolutely no problem if you sir," addressing you Cinder, "want to do some honest crime yourself. Pick a pocket, climb a wall, open a lock, there's a lot to go around. But now, again, I'll ask you a question, and I'm not being rhetorical here... do you want to be a playa? If no, then I tip my hat to you sir, let's have a highball, and you can pilfer coins at your pleasure up in the market square. And I'll ask that you not step foot in Helmetown upon pain of death. Speaking plainly here."

"The DuMont Chess Club, on the other hand, might want to have words with you, given that picture in your pocket. So you met Stewart, did him in as old Bennett would've said." He gestures to the painting of the thief above his head. It's a painting of your basic thief in leather armor, short sword and dagger in the boot, climbing a wall of a castle. It's good, and you get the connection with the Blackwall gang, but it's an oddly literal rendition of, well, a low level thief.

"Stewart is what the DuMont Club calls a pawn. Legman for their operation, if you can call it that. They're the guild that operates outside the city walls, and I'll be damned if, although they've got a couple good footpads among them, they're not in the business of honest crime. Cheap shots, indiscriminate murder, animal pets, it's all very strange. Even their name is a little... well, just a little off." At this he finally takes a sip of that scotch, and really seems to enjoy it.

Finally, he seems to be getting around to the point. "So let me come to the point. We'll let you walk out of here, and you can take your chances in Greyhelm, beyond, our great Odin-blessed world" nodding to Dave "and as long as you don't work in Helmetown or interfere with our extra-Helmet operations, then I wish you GOOD DAY."

"On the other hand... maybe you'd like to work something out with us?" He raises an eyebrow, seems to toast you and take another sip. "Being new in town has some advantages, and I've a really nice, just as nice as could be, interesting little job that needs a fresh approach. But first I'd need to see how you handle the pressure."

Pause for effect, and leaning even further across the desk, Grimes finishes his very long speech: "If you'd like to come to a mutually-beneficial and financially-rewarding agreement, you'll have to take the... Blackwall Thiefs Challenge. Downstairs is a training hall. You'll have to climb up a wall, move silently into shadows and hide, wait for the guard to pass, pick his pocket for the key, open the door with the key, enter the treasure chamber, open the lock with your picks, removing the two traps along the way, get out, backstab the guard (don't worry... he's used to it), and climb back down the wall. It's not so much about success as about style. Well, maybe about success. We wouldn't be the Blackwall Thiefs if we were a bunch of fashionable failures now, would we!" He seems to find this funny and laughs, finishing his scotch.

"Well, what say you?" If you're in, Cinder, go ahead and roll your checks and tell me what happens. If not, Fink and the boys show you out unless you want to rumble.
  Greyhelm: Brogg's Story Part II
Okay Brogg, Ralph goes to hand you the joint, but you decline. "That's alright bro," he says, "yeah my cousin wasn't into this shit either, and he's alllright too. Well not really alright, he don't really know how to talk, but he's cool."

It's okay with these guys if you hang out for a while. It's hard to imagine a more chill group actually, with the exception of the zombies. You mention that you're chasing a wizard, and Arvid says "mm hmm... Magic users are a strange lot. In my experience, most of them are pretty smart in one sense, and dumb as hell in another. Rather selfish too." The ogre nods and quotes more scripture: "'And the magi cast many Magic Missiles at Grover Elfsbane, and yet he shed cold tears when he decimated their flesh, for they knew not what they did.' Grisbane 1200:17.1, the Saga of Grover Elfsbane." Ralph says "that's a sweet-ass story! That's the one where the guy like kills a bunch of guys?!"

When you ask about Brech and Turf, the ogre looks up at you, and then over at Arvid. Arvid nods, looks at you and says "yeah, sure, it's a classic. The age-old debate over who's a half-breed." He pauses thoughtfully, takes a sip of his brew, and continues.

"It's sort of a power struggle, maybe you know? The Knights think that the more creatures live in Grisbane's house, the more mighty our lord. While the Holy Order are purists, strange as that may be for the likes of us- you let in the rabble, so to speak, and you water down Grisbane's strength. I mixed metaphors there, but I think you feel me. For the most part, it's philosophical... something for the Inner Circle to debate. But... every now and then," he says, looking back at the ogre, and then to you, "some things come up, and, well, you gotta take a stand." Long drag, finishing the bud.

"Gotta take a stand..." he repeats, quietly, almost to himself. Then looking seriously at you, he says "So where do you stand on this? Is Turf one of us, to be saved? Or is he a monster, to be destroyed?" Arvid Crossbones and the ogre stare at you. Ralph rubs his eyes and says "Shit I'm tired man." The half-elf wakes up, looks up at the sky for no apparent reason, and says "Huh? What the... what time is it?"
Well, I thank Arvid for the holy symbol and the Neutralize Poison, but pass on the doobie.

I'll tell the guys about Mike the Zombie, but I am not comfortable enough to discuss the whole Grito situation, with the owlbears and all. I just say that we are tailing a guy that rolled us in Grito, a crazy wizard type, nodding to Ralph.

If the boys are cool, I tell them that I am just looking for a good place to relax until I meet with my pals later. I couldn't imagine a better place than here, sitting in the woods with a bunch of Grisbanics.

Alright, maybe after a few beers Brogg asks: "Guys, you ever hear the story of Brech and Turf?"

First off, 4 for my Wisdom. Nice. And an 8 for my CHA (not including tic-tac).

As far as dialogue, yea, gist and all that. You took it pretty much where I was going to.

To Fink: "Hmm. I can either leave, or do what I came in here to do. I think I'll meet the boss friend."

I turn to Dave, "C'mon." and set out with Fink.
  Greyhelm: Cinder's Story
Cinder, you eat a tic-tac and take Dave to the slums. Brogg I'm sure dutifully accepts your magic items. Brogg, you get Cinder's magic dagger, arrows, and potions. Maybe you guys have a plan to all meet at the temple of Odin for dinner? Let's just say that you have that plan.

Okay Cinder, you and Dave get a table at Haggi's, get a drink. It's cheap here, depending. Spend as much as you wish. Being new in town, you guys need to make WI checks- Cinder, you can also roll a pick pockets- to avoid being victimized. Nothing personal you know.

You pull out the drawing and talk some shit. It's not long before some, how do we say, fish take the bait? A couple guys stroll on over, take seats. They do it the tough way, turning the chair around and sitting on it backwards! That's like the calling card of the 4th level thief or 2nd level fighter, and you're guessing it's one of each. They've even got like tattoos and stuff. One guy says "that's your woman, huh?" And, DX check 18, snatches the paper out of your hand! "Steward" he says, misreading the caption. "Which one of you fags is Stewie? I bet it's you" he says to you, Cinder. "'Ooh, you're the best thief!'" he says in falsetto, again misreading the caption and correcting Ronda's grammar, trying to mock you but not understanding the real situation.

You snatch the paper back and say "maybe that's right, dilrod. What if I am the best thief?" The thug parries your witty riposte right back and, growing very serious, leans way over so you can see the plaque on his teeth and the eye-snot in his bloodshot eyes, and says "then we'd have to kill you. You're waaaay out of place here, Chess Clubber!"

Uh, what? You think there's been a serious misunderstanding on both your parts, especially after he calls you that? Several other lowlifes in the bar, hearing that, suddenly all put down their mugs of mead in synchrony and turn to look your way.

Make a CH check to keep your cool. In any case, you reply "uh, there's been a serious misunderstanding here. I'm not StewarT (hard T to make the point). Neither is this guy (thumbing Dave). Stewart's dead. I killed him (lying, but that apple didn't fall too far from the tree of truth). See this broadsword? I traded Stewart's bloody, useless longsword for it because I needed a new blade after I left my old one stuck in his chest." (But that apple rolled down the hill into the valley of lies.)

Maybe I'm putting words in your mouth here, but do we really need like a million posts back and forth to make the point? Gist, people. Feel free to write back with a different script, but probably it's going to involve lots of bluster with the inevitable revelation of the truth, followed by a bit more bluster. On the other hand, you could tell them you are in fact Stewart, your in fact the bestest thief, and then fight a million backstab happy thugs here in Greyhelm and bring the campaign to an untimely end.

The thug looks at you silently. "Hmm" he says, and takes a sip of your beer just to make the point. "Well, the name's Fink, 'not-Stewart'. You better listen real good to Fink here now. Way I see it, you got two choices. You can stay outta trouble, have fun in Greyhelm, don't let the gate guard smack you on the ass when you LEAVE. Or, dos, you and Drinky the Priest there can come with us right now and meet the boss."

What do you do?
  Greyhelm: Brogg's Story
Okay Brogg, there is a temple to Grisbane here in town. Well, not really a 'temple', and not really 'in town', but there are some guys in the woods by the lake about an hour's walk along the West Greyhelm Lake Road. You and the zombies head off out of town while Cinder and Dave hoof it into Helmetown.

Brogg, you can find the place without too much difficulty, especially if you Speak With Animals again or just ask around. Some peasants will tell you, without a lack of trepidation, that some strange half-breeds have been seen congregating at an old lumber mill out in Greyhelm Wood. You take the morning to find them.

It's raining a little bit, just a bit, one of those obnoxious drizzly-kind of rains. But you don't get that wet, especially with all the tree cover. And the zombies don't care. You smell the temple before you see it... smells like a cookout! And that's exactly what it is.

You find a run-down old mill, non-operational, at the edge of a stream through the woods. In a clearing you see a campfire surrounded by some logs acting as benches. Propped up against a large pine tree is a wooden statue of great Grisbane. It's maybe not the most exquisite statue, but at least the proportions are right, and it's pretty big too- 12 feet tall or so.

Seated around the campfire, cooking some frankfurters, are three figures. A fourth figure lies off to the side, snoring. The first figure is High Priest Arvid Crossbones, a half-orc like yourself, who calls you on over. "Hey there. You want one of these? Fresh off the fire." He holds up a sausage. The second figure is a smallish half-ogre, contentedly munching his food, staring silently into the fire. The third figure is just freakish. Looks like a man, kind of a dressy shirt, average size, but a grossly abnormally large head. He's a half-bugbear, but he's basically a guy with a giant bugbear head. Eyes the size of your palm, face covered with thick brown bristles. "How's it going. I'm Ralph" he says. The fourth figure, the sleeping one, is a straight-up half-elf. Imagine Legolas, right? But all hippied-out, after a three-day bender. Scruffy blond beard, long straggly dreadlocks with leaves in them, dirt under the fingernails... next to him are a few empties. Looks like the whole lot has gotten an early start hitting the firewater. But this winner must be a lightweight and is snoring, mouth open, out cold.

Arvid hands you a brew. "Drink up, have a seat, tell us about yourself. Hey, you poisoned? Let me take care of that for ya. There you go." He casts Neutralize Poison and you're not poisoned anymore. What a great guy, you think! He's gotta be pretty strong in the Grisbane to cast 4th circle.

"Grito, huh?" says Arvid. "I've heard some pretty crazy shit out of Grito lately. Don't know if you know much about that. In any case, it's cool if you want to kick back with us." He pulls out a spliff, lights it, takes a long puff. "Mm, you cool?" he says, still not exhaling in that eyebrow raised, slightly-high pitched stoner way, offering you a drag. "Your pals over there don't look so good. (Gesturing at the zombies.) Then again, Grisbane never was about the pretty little fashion show, if you know what I mean."

"Anyway, if you're in some shit, maybe we can help. If not, that's cool too." He passes the joint to Ralph the insanely freakish half-bugbear, who takes an extra drag before offering it to the ogre, who just holds up his hand and says "No; 'my soul is unpure, but my flesh remains to reflect on God'. Book of Grisbane 537:13.1, Prefect Ughbeak's second letter to the Slavers."

Henry nods thoughtfully and says "yeah, that's cool bro. Here ya go" and hands it back to Crossbones. Crossbones takes another puff and looks at you, kind of looking down at your neck. "Hey. You a priest, right? Where's your symbol? You gotta have a holy symbol. Here, take mine." He takes off a leather necklace from around his neck with one of the symbols of Grisbane on it; it's a clawed hand shaking a human hand, well-carved in black stone.

You ask him about the ancient weather station. Arvid nods thoughtfully and says "yeah, I know the place. It's a bit of a hike from here. I've never been up there myself... it's kind of a crazy magic-users' lab or something. Old weather control group I think." Toke, inhale, slow exhale, pass the dutchie. "But I know this owl who flies around there all the time. Says some other people have been interested lately. Now maybe it's none of my business, but why are you interested in this? Ancient magic, man... it's bad shit. Weather control... those mages never know what they're getting into." He looks at you thoughtfully. Ralph chimes in unhelpfully "shit dude, controlling the weather? Like doing a crazy rain dance! Make it stop raining on MY parade man!" He laughs the stoner laugh, shoulders heaving.

Well Brogg, do you tell him about the Grito situation, Vrill, the zombies, and all that? Or what?
Flanked by Zombies, I hold myself in anticipation.

Cinder smiles as he pockets his...17 gold and...2 tic-tacs. In fact, he pops one of them in his mouth right now and whistles a tune. Fresh.

And my original plan was to take Dave, Fist of Odin with me to Haggi's Place, just taking my nonmagical weapons and armor with me and leaving the rest with Brogg. Dave, I suggest you do the same (are you guys down with this?).

"Friends, I tell you true, we are entering the great city of Greyhelm, and there are some gentlemen whose acquaintance I must make. The good men of my profession tend to be...hmm...how shall I say this...rather territorial."

Rob, my plan is to enter Haggi's with Dave and sit for a drink. I'll pull out Ronda's note and muse to Dave (within earshot of the barkeep) how no self respecting thief should carry a note identifying himself as such, and oh, look at that part there, -it sort of looks like a Black Wall drawn in don't you think so?

Then let them come to me. I'll pop my remaining tic-tac in my mouth if anyone says anything to me for that added charisma boost. My intention is pretty straightforward here. If there is a large, active guild in the city, I want to make my presence known so as not to run afoul of it.

And finally, yes Brogg, I shall accompany thee to all temples and places of interest to thine self.
  Descent into Hilarity
OMG. This just gets funnier and funnier. That Interlude is just too much. Jesus.
Oh great, solo adventures in town. I guess that I will go pick up the McDonald's... Before he goes slumming, I tell Cinder to meet us at the Temple of Odin the next morning.

While Cinder is up to no good, I ask Dave if he and the Zombies would like to accompany me to the Church of Odin. I am hoping that they might cure my poisoning. That is unless there is a temple to Grisbane around, then I'd prefer to go there. Still, I am sure that Dave, Fist of Odin, would like to swing by.

While we are at the temple(s), I also would like to find out whether or not they have ever heard of an ancient weather station nearby.
  INTERLUDE: Best Served Cold
Gerald "Gnarls" Gnarlson sat shivering in his cell. The taunts of the guards were still stinging in his ears: "Hey moron! You've only got one arm you RETARD. How are you going to use magic now, huh? HUH? You stupid gnome! Hahahaha!" But their insults hurt less than the betrayal by the Guild. What went wrong? Jerry wracked his brain. He lifted his hand to stroke his chin, an old habit when he was deep in thought, but remembered half way that his arm, his strong right arm, was no more. Just a stump at the elbow. And besides, his stump was chained to a brick wall in the basement of the town jail.

How could Master Vrill betray the Guild like that? The apprentice, no, EX-apprentice, he corrected himself, was just following the Master's orders. "Let's make everyone in town happy! Doesn't that sound like a grand idea Apprentice Gerald? Just dump those Friends Potions in the well, no problem. If the Potion Guild isn't supposed to be helping people, then darn it Gerald... I don't want to be in the club. Now let's make some owlbears!" It was supposed to be so easy.

One lone, cold tear dribbled out of Jerry's left eye and ran down his cheek. It was all over.


"Hey... hey you. Apprentice." Jerry thought he was dreaming- he'd nodded off, but came awake at the hiss of the word, whispered through the bars. He looked up. He had visitors.

A group of four figures stood outside his cell door. The man addressing him- no, boy, a human no older than 12. Behind him were a man and two women, one of whom was wearing a thick black veil. The boy said "Hey... I bet you want to get out of there. Get those bastards who cut off your arm, cut off your life. Am I right?"

Gerald sighed, and sneered bitterly "So you've come to tease me too. Okay, go ahead, laugh about it some more, then please leave me the hell alone."

The boy shook his head and smiled. "On the contrary," he replied, holding up a large iron key, "we've come to set you free." Gerald's mouth opened in disbelief. "But first... tell me how bad you want... vengenance."

"They took my arm! They took the Guild away from me! My Master away! The owlbears, the plans, the money, my little cottage, everything! THOSE BASTARDS!"

The boy smiled, and said "We share your pain, apprentice. Janet here," motioning to the veil-less woman, "lost her husband, a good man, a pretty good guard. Barney-" the man outside interrupted "THEY TOOK ME DOG! My little Applebee... how could they take her away?"

The boy blinked, and shook his head once, solemnly. "They took Barney's dog. To the butcher's." The gnome stared back in disbelief. "And her?" asked Jerry. The boy half-looked over his shoulder at the motionless, veiled woman in the back, arms behind her back, dressed in black robes. "Uh... don't ask about her. Don't worry about it, 'k? Anyway, those sons of bitches killed my father. I don't know why. Maybe you knew him, his name was Jacob."

Jerry nodded "Jacob, sure, Potion Guild guard. I knew him. Good guy, always writing, talked a lot. But... but, those guys, they killed owlbears! Slaughtered guards and god knows what else? You're just a boy and some peasants or whatever. Me, I can't cast spells anymore! You can't seriously think you can take revenge on those... those... adventurers!" The last word spit out like an angry piece of gristle off the bone.

"Don't worry about that. You're right, my father, he was always writing. In this," holding up a small notebook. "In fact, for being a Potion Guild guard, I'd dare say he was a genius. A fucking genius." Behind him, Barney nodded vigorously.

"So, uh..." stammered Jerry, "there's a plan in there or something? Maybe that plan starts with getting me out of here?"

The boy unlocked the cell door. "I'm Jacobo, son of Jacob, and revenge will be mine. My father's vision will guide us." Jacobo undid the shackles, and Jerry rubbed the sore end of his stump.

"Well, thanks a lot kid. I don't know just how much of a, mm, 'genius', as you say, your father was, but you got me out of here and that probably took some smarts. So whadda we do?" inquired the gnome.

Jacobo smiled. "Actually, I've already got a pretty good lead. Come with us" he said, holding up as evidence a small, well-thumbed fantasy novel, stained with cider and maybe another, darker, harder-to-identify substance.

"Walk fast. We've got work to do."
  I'll Limerick You Too
Okay Cinder, you get note and broadsword.

You approach some bum and ask him where Haggis Place is. He looks at you quizzically and says "Uh, haggis? You want... you want sausage?" You and he have an awkward moment together. Then he says "Oh... Haggi's... HAY-gees... you wanna go to Haggi's Place!" He thinks real hard in that drunk sort of way, and manages to give you general directions. It's by a well in Helmetown, basically right in the middle of the Greyhelm slums. You give him 10 sp for the info.

Why not pick the beggar's pocket and get your money back! You reach in there... 1, 5, 10 sp... two strawberries... a pickle... Just kidding there buddy. You nab the pouch off a fat rich kid. 1d10+10 gp and 1d4 'tic-tacs'. Feelin' it, as you head over to Helmetown, you pilfer an orange off a fruit cart. YOU FIEND.

Helmetown. It's the walled-off slums district of any self-respecting medieval fantasy major city. Atop the gate to the rusty black cast-iron fence surrounding the slums are the words "HELMET TOWN", usually just slurred together to 'Helmetown'. We're talking whores on the corner, vomit on the street, over on your right is a guy getting 'shivved' over a bum game of dominoes. Good thing you brought your broadsword! The guards at the gate don't even look at you when you enter.

Finding Haggi's ain't hard. It's your classic scumbags' bar, complete with basement-level entrance. Poor lighting, reeks of beer and sweat, packed full of lowlifes. No one really seems to notice you enter, maybe a few shifty glances. You don't see anyone you recognize either. Over in the corner is where some of the action is- it's an ogre armwrestling a dwarf. They look drawn to a standstill, both exerting themselves. The ogre is silent but sweat is dripping off its brow. The dwarf is red in the face, huffing and puffing, and screaming incoherently at the ogre "I'll crush ya! I'll... I'll Smash ya! I'll LIMERICK YA! Arrrgg... I'll rip your GODDAMN ARM OFF!" He's clearly fucking nuts, but the crowd is loving it.

Anyway, your call if you're here with two clerics and two zombies, but I'm guessing you'll have come alone. What do you do?

Broadsword purchased. Nice. Cinder thinks "this is gonna do wonders for my backstabs."

And he takes the note from Ronda to the dead thief "hey friend, mind if I take a look at that?" and puts it in his pocket.

While in town, I keep my eye open for beggars, which shouldn't be a problem. I approach the most smelly miserable destitute ones I can find, complete with the stink of rum strong on their breath and ask them if they know where I might find Haggis Place, for I am in need of a stiff drink and am to meet a friend there. I'll erase 10 silver in 'bum money' from my sheet.

And why not pick another pocket: 3%! Sweet!
  The Only Secret He Knows Is That Broadswords Are Really Half-Off On Monday
Okay Brogg you got the treasure. That'll basically cover all y'all, as you're paying 10 gp total. Of the 6 gp, 85 sp you found, you pay out 6 gp, 80 sp, leaving you with 5 sp. Now didn't that just work out nicely?

Brogg, Randy looks at you and says "Uh, weather station? What's that? Like the bucket that gets the rainfall by the well?" Maybe asking the counter help at the blacksmiths guild isn't the best place to go for secrets of the ancients. That's kind of like asking the guy at McDonald's if he knows where you can find the grave of Wilhelm Reich.

And that little drawing on the drawing of Ronda, well maybe it could be a black wall if you squint. And ignore the white squares. Although it looks only 30% like a black wall, it looks absolutely like a little checkerboard.

Oh and Ed? I found your missing posts. They're on the DiD Reference page. For some reason, posts don't show up there. Just those cleric spell lists. There's also a much older post from Mark.
That was 6gp, and 85sp. I have pocketed it. I also put on the iron ring with the black stone. Hey, I dropped the guy. Oh, and I'll pick up the town tab, so far.

Cinder, I suggest that you practice your pick-pocketing on Mike the Zombie. I have knowledge that he carries a gem of great value.

Rob, Brogg looks at the blacksmith in a meaningful 'I know where you are coming from, brother' sort of way, and asks him if he has ever heard of an ancient weather station near Greyhelm.

I think that we need to find Master Parsifal. Does anyone else need to get things done before we pay him a visit? Or should we investigate the weather station first?

Oh, and that little checkerboard in the thief's note doesn't look anything like a black wall does it?
  That Zombie Soon Will Be Doing Standup Off-Off-Greyhelm Market
Sorry Cinder. Although I've never been locked out of DiD, for future notice, you guys can email me actions like back in the good old days when it was just kobolds, chests, and Mike was alive. While we're on the topic- not of Mike, of the email stuff- let me just say that Mark this 'blog' stuff was definitely the way to go for running the game. And yeah, some of this stuff is funny as shit. The Grisbane letter for instance.

Anyway, Cinder, you didn't actually fire any arrows, but still mark off the two arrows that the crow stole. Yeah that really happened. The zombie will be your witness for that, if you'd like to file in small claims court. "Just... send... subpoena... to 'Crow'... in... the 'big tree'." The zombie snickers at his joke.

Pickin' pockets ain't happening at 70% there. Neither is your first pass at finding the "Haggis Place"... Greyhelm is pretty big, with a lot of urban clutter within the walls, and lots of peasant wattle-and-daub sprawl outside the walls. It does seem like a good town for thiefery though, given all the people, merchants, and liquor moving to-and-fro.

You head into a nearby blacksmiths- there are a lot of them around, most of them sanctioned by the Guild of Blacksmiths (as is this one). Underneath the Guild logo is a sign "Mouth of Swords" and the shingle outside the smithy depicts a guy's face eyes closed in pain getting hit with a sword in the teeth. A half-orc named Randy (via his name badge) wearing a Mouth of Swords smock is happy to help you. He looks on a chart and says "Sure pal you can use a broadsword. Here ya go." Just for simplicity, you trade the dead thief's longsword in at equal value for the new broadsword.
  Can I get a witness?

Ok. Cinder was not asleep. Blogspot cast 'Protection from Posting" with an apparent 1 or 2 day duration, and yes I failed my save vs. that one.

And let me jump to Bloggroller's defense. I fired at the first thief through the door (when contingency PFP apparently went off) and rolled a 3 and a 1 to hit for two arrows. Maybe it's for the best that that never posted. Actually, if you want to see a portrait of mediocrity, just go the the archives and see my Bloggrolls. I actually pioneered the critical fumble some time ago...

Cinder wonders if he was dreaming, or if a black bird really flew through the window and stole 2 +1 arrows mid-combat. Sigh. Cinder picks a pocket to make himself feel better. It's therapeutic: 70%. Sigh.

I keep my eyes and ears open for a tavern called Haggis Place. Not asking any questions just yet...

I also head into a weapon shop and aske (<----Accidental misspelling. I'm leaving it though, -kind of a nice medieval feel to it) the smithy if I know how to use a broadsword by 1st edition rules. If I do I plunk down the gold. If not, longsword it is.
  Your The Best Thief
Sure, that guy's stuff.

He had a long sword, leather armor, a dagger (plus two more daggers in Dave's back for three total), 1d30 gp, 1d100 sp, an iron ring with a small black stone, and a folded-up piece of paper. It's a drawing of a girl, kind of cheesecake, and in feminine handwriting it says "All my love to Stewart, your the best thief! Love Ronda" with the 'o' in 'Ronda' being a little heart. There's also like a little checkerboard or something drawn in the corner. All that stuff is completely drenched in thick lung blood.

Oh, and Brogg? Still poisoned. Cinder, I'll roll for you. 5. Well, you don't make your save. You're poisoned also, -1 to all physical stats.

As for the zombies, okay, you turn all the extra zombies, who slowly shuffle the opposite direction down the road. Mike frowns and makes another zombie. Y'all commence the journey, obviously with Mike and his zombie pal lagging somewhat behind.

Town stuff people, do whatcha like.
Ok, just a sec. What was on the thief? This guy try to kill me while I slept, I definitely want his stuff.

I hate to ask, but I am assuming that my poisoning got better.

And finally, how many zombies do we have? I was thinking about disguises, but that might not cut it in a big city. I think that we are going to have to have a talk with Mike the Zombie:

"Mike, I realize that you enjoy this ring, however, we need to set a zombie limit. I think that three zombies, you included is a fair number, no? Thanks, I thought you would understand."

Rob, I walk n-3 zombies a good distance aside (not choosing Mike), and I turn them. BR:15.

  Greyhelm At Last
Brogg, you stab the thief in the lung. Your sword is kind of stuck in his ribcage. The other thief, seeing that, takes off running down the hall. Brogg, the guy drops to his knees, spitting up blood with your sword still in his chest. You tug at it, eventually bracing your foot on his shoulder to pull the sword out, gouging a big hole in the guy in the process. The whole time he's watching you, speechless, eyes wide in horror, looking you in the eye, sometimes looking down at the massive sucking chest wound, but basically not dying. Until finally with a Crack! the sword comes out with a couple ribs. The guy falls to the floor, blood spilling out of him all over the carpet, the wood, out into the hall. What a mess.

Nice work everyone, 100 xp. Cinder was asleep the whole time.

Mike has an idea. He looks at the dead guard, looks at the dead zombie, looks at his ring, looks back at the dead guard... and uses the ring! But nope, just another generic zombie gates in, slipping a little bit on the blood.

You guys wake up, shower, head downstairs for breakfast. You hear horrified screaming from upstairs as you finish your coffee and get back on the road.

Another day of travel. There are a lot of merchants and farmers and stuff on the road, especially as you start generally heading up a slight grade. By afternoon you pass a couple patrols with the insignia of Greyhelm. The insignia is a grey helm! On a blue background, it looks cooler than it sounds. Finally, at night you see a bunch of lights up ahead, some reflected in the water of an enormous lake. Greyhelm at last!

Greyhelm is a big large city. It's walled, although there are a lot of villages and farms surrounding it. At the water's edge is the famous Castle Greyhelm. You heard a rumor that only part of it is inhabited by King Greyhelm and the royal family, with most of it haunted by the ghosts of dead kings past. It's a pretty good rumor. If it were daylight, you'd be able to see the parapets of the castle flying the enormous Greyhelm flag, blowing majestically in the lake breeze. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that it's kind of windy around Greyhelm Lake.

Anyway, you finally make it to Greyhelm! The guards charge you 1 gp apiece at the gate as tax. You enquire about lodging, and the guard recommends the Great Grey Helm Tavern. It's just up ahead there in the Greyhelm Market Square.

GGHT is another 1 gp apiece for room and board that night. So each of you pay 2 gp. You guys rest for the night and heal up. Mike makes a zombie. What do you do in the morning?
Hey people, this is open source code... nothing to hide. I know one thing, the dice are not loaded in my favor.

I have tested it too, nothing funny here. I did reset it so it defaults to 1d20 to make it easy, however. Just make sure that when you change the settings, click real good.

Ok, broadsword a thief: 20! Ha ha ha, no shit! Ok, damage: 5x2=10.

Anything's possible, eh?
  The Odin Connection
Well, it's not completely inconceivable that I fucked something up, but really. I did set it to one die. Maybe the default should be 1? I'll change that I think. I don't telnet either, straight up Exploring the Internet. Eh.

Dave, okay, bitch smacked. You guys can roll your own damage. Maybe I'll provide ACs for you to determine it yourself whether you're a winner or a loser. These guys are AC:6. Dave, you do 2+2 = 4 hp. "Ouch! You're a dick" says the thief. You get back 1 hp from the Whore.
  Dave, fist of Odin
Hey Rob - you know it defaults to 3 dice of the type you want to roll, yes? You have to tell it to just roll one.

I don't know if that's the issue or not - I'm just saying. I've never got a roll that weird.

Oh - and I'm angry now. I roll to hit and smack a non-wounded bitch up! I roll a 15.

Hmmm . . . now I'm suspicious . . . let me pull out a d20 . . .

Well, on my actual die, I roll a 15. No lie. Odin is guiding my hand!

And repeating the rolls, I got about a hundred numbers all between 1 and 20, inclusive. Seems like a fairly good distribution, too. Maybe it's your browser - are you just using a telnet client?
  The Trouble With Zombies
Is that they're really no trouble at all! That and they always go last. I guess Cinder's zombie-related in that aspect too.

Okay Dave, you totally smack that peeping-tom thief for... 6+2 = 8 hp. Whoa. I think blogroll is a little broken. I'm going to have to look at that sourcecode later. You'd then be healed by the mace for another, yup, 2 hp if you were hurt at all. It just makes you feel good instead. The thief says "Whoa... look at all those zombies!" before you crack his sternum. He falls to the road below and takes off limping.

Brogg, you begin to feel a little woozy. -1 CN, DX, and ST from the poison! In your haze, you command the zombies to fight.

Zombie 1 attacks, double damage. Okay, fuck this. Blogroll HAS to be broken. He hits for 2x2 = 4 hp. At least it wasn't maximum. The zombie punches one of the brigands in the nuts. the other zombie, hah, critically fumbles. The thief shivs him with an 18, doing 6 hp. Finally, Mike attacks with the CUTHBERT cudgel, getting a 5 and smacking the wall pretty hard.

As you guys are duking it out, a crow flies in the open window! It grabs... Cinder, the bird steals two +1 arrows from your quiver and flies away! The two remaining thieves give each other high fives.

So Cinder goes, but while I've got the floor, let's just see what the two thieves do. Dave, two daggers in yer back! Okay, Blogroll just gave me a 24 when I rolled 1d20. Mark.



It then proceeded to give me 27, 33, 36. Let's just say one of those daggers is totally fucking well aimed.

Dave, it looks like you were just super double damaged. I'll RESET the blogroll... okay, 9. Well, plus his DX bonus, you're not in your plate mail. Two hits. 2x2 + 2 = 6 hp Dave. The thieves high-five again, and one of them says "Yeah bitch!". The other one goes for... the same zombie! Another hit and zombie 1 is down. The body doesn't disappear or anything, just falls to the floor with a thud.

Everyone, go. (Ed, you go twice. Mark, okay, Cure Lt for... 8. I'm really suspicious. No, I'm beyond suspicion. 24. Anyway, you get back 8 hp.)
Arrghh, what good are these zombies if they don't take watch?! Attack zombies, attack!

For my save: 2. I should have taken slow poison I guess. If I can, I Cure Light myself.
  Dave, fist of Odin
Yes. I know what time it is. It's clobbering time!

Whore of Hyannis coming online. When I can, I roll a . . . 12 to hit. Plus one for the mace, of course. I'd like to swing at the crossbow guy, if I'm near enough, but really, I don't care. Some motherfucker's going down, is what I know, and it isn't me.

Dave, fist of Odin, thinks the discussion about half-breeds is a little funny. In my world, you worship Odin, or you don't; but more importantly, you're either in the small - very small - group of people who help me clobber things (and along the way spread the word about Odin's holy might), or in the large group of people who potentially get clobbered, or in the (dead, and numbers growing) group of people who have been clobbered in the past. Past clobbering victims, present-and-future clobbering victims, and not-to-clobber folks. I don't care if you're a centaur, or a kobold, or even a freaking elder god - you'll fit into one of those groups, and that's the important thing.

Except Tanis Half-elven. I'd clobber him, but I'd also help him clobber people. Dave, fist of Odin, is perfectly okay with that sort of contradiction.
  To Sleep, Perchance To Be Backstabbed
Sorry, Brogg, it's a miss. The robbers steal into the room, now alerted that you're up, and attack you back! One guy misses you... the other guy backstabs you good for 6 x 2 = 12 hp damage. Ouch. Oh, and make a save vs. poison Brogg!

The guy outside opens the window and fires his crossbow in. Cinder, you've been bolt-backstabbed! 6 hp, and you too... make a save vs poison! These brigands aren't messing around.

Brogg, with your halfbreed infravision, you think that these guys are the shady guys you saw earlier leaving the tavern. Now they're back for revenge! Or maybe they just want to know what time it is- give them their frickin' pocketwatch back.

In any case, YOU guys know what time it is.
To be fair, I am not sleeping in my chainmail, but my sword and shield are by my side! I grab both and stick my broadsword into a shadowy gulliver! BR: 5.

Well, I do have a shield.
  Also Known As "The Turf War"
I admit for the record that Sleep is cheesy. But it's classic, unlike Withdraw which is just lame. Besides, a 2nd level spell that takes the cleric out of the space-time continuum? Please. Sleep has a HD limit that makes it completely useless later on.

Dave, well, we'll just remember that you're 2nd level. If you try anything funny like casting 2nd circle spells, I'll catch it. If you can't get a restoration in Greyhelm, then make some changes. But yeah, right now, you're only as good at drinking as the next 2nd level guy.

Brogg, okay, you mail a letter back to the farm. The bartender gives it to a merchant who's headed up that way.

Cinder, the kobold thinks for a minute about the password. The little guy looks down at the Dragonlance book, and whispers "Fireforge". When you whisper in Neutral Evil, though, he looks a little confused. "No hablo espanol?" he says. Either he ain't Neutral Evil or he's playing it cool.

Okay, you pick one guy's pocket in the inn. You grab his pocketwatch which looks pretty nice, and seems to keep the time.

Anyway, all of you are WI check badasses tonight. I guess maybe those zombies make you all sleep with one eye open. About 1:16 AM (you'll later deduce with Cinder's pocketwatch... assuming you live through the night!), you guys hear a creak... In the moonlight, you see your innroom door slowly swing open! In creep two shadowy figures, with blades drawn! You think you see another figure OUTSIDE THE WINDOW down a rope from the roof!

What do you do?

Ok! Off to Greyhelm. Dave, Fist of Odin -I'll see your Wisdom check with a 17 of my own.

But before we head out...

"Greetles, listen. We're heading to Greyhelm as you know. It is possible that I might run into an old 'friend' or two while there. It is also possible that said friends may be in need of safe-haven. If I send anyone to you, you must feed them and give them shelter. Let no one from Grito know of their presence. Especially people like guards and mayors."

And leaning close I whisper "A password is what is needed. A password for those I send to speak unto you. You choose it Greetles. Here now, whisper it in mine ear..."

As I leave, I tell Greetles "Later friend." Rob, I say this in my alignment tongue: Neutral Evil. How does he answer back?

Ahh, the open road, -and it's leading to the big city! Cinder whistles a tune, and when we get to Drexly's, he'll attempt to pick the pockets of the sketchy gentlemen before they head out if he can. I'll kind of bump into them or whatever pretense thieves use to get to one's purse. I roll a 23 and a 63.

At some point out of earshot of Zombie Mike:
"Brogg? Fist of Odin? I ducat for your thoughts....-like yourselves, I am not a mage, but have noticed however, that summoned beasts" -turning to Dave "like Odin's worthy bobcat, tend to return from whence they came after a time."
Looks around and zombie pals.
"Frankly I am disturbed. They should be gone by now. This needs to be resolved before we reach Greyhelm. The last thing a professional like myself needs is unwanted attention heaped upon us. Who is going to talk to Zombie Mike?"
Ah, but Brogg is no stranger to this debate. Yet it still unsettles him, and he often asks Grisbane for guidance on this issue. Brogg pens a note to Ronald:

Dear Mr. Greetles,

I have thought much upon your question regarding Owlbears, and I would like to share with you the following:
In the first era, during the race wars, Brech, the Half-Goblin, rode a centaur named Turf into battle. Grisbanic scholars have long scrutinized the nature of the relationship between Brech and Turf, some calling them comrades, whilst others hold that Turf was no more than a steed, an indentured servant.
However, the issue is not so simple. You see, after the fall of Brech and Turf at the Battle of Roundknob, Brech was canonized by the Holy Order of Grisbane, while Turf was not. A fallout ensued lead by the Knights of Grisbane, (who fought alongside Brech and Turf) that nearly brought about an open split in the Church. Now, the Holy Order of Grisbane maintained that since Centaurs cannot be created by the "natural" mating if a horse and a man, they shall be called Chimeras, and not Half-breeds, thus Turf could not rightfully be called a Saint of Grisbane. On the other hand, the Knights of Grisbane held that Chimeras face the same adversities that half-breeds do, and despite the nature of their conception, they too should be considered as kin of Grisbane.
Some say that there actually exists a secret sect of Grisbanic Knights that still champion this cause. It has even been whispered that the mighty Flarck was a secret initiate of this sect, suspicions that were fueled by his close bond with the Olgech saytr brothers, and his generosity to them after the battle of Dooglan Hill.
So Ronald, you see the question that you have raised cuts deep into the heart of the Grisbanic Church and unfortunately, has no clear answer. I look for the light of Grisbane to guide me in this matter, and hope that you too will keep meditating upon the place of the mixed races within this world.


Brogg sends the letter from Drexel's roadhouse. However, his mind is still uneasy, and his heart is troubled.

I roll a 15 for my wisdom check.
  Peanut Gallery:
DM>"Withdraw is "hella cheesy" by traditional rules, so nixed."

Yea...not like 'Sleep.'
  Dave, fist of Odin
I roll a 17 on my WIS check. I have a 17 wisdom, so whatever modifier that gives me.

I trust Mike, Our Zombie Friend. I trust his judgement. If he has a retinue of Zombie followers, well - that's okay by me.

I do want to track down a Restoration, too. Le me know if it comes up. What do I have to change on my character? Do I have to lose 'heavy drinking' as a non-weapon proficiency?
  Tika Waylan Voted NO
Okay, looks like you'll have an encounter on the second day. But first...

Brogg, you correct Greetles on Tanis's name and lineage. He nods and considers this for a moment, but then looks at you, with a blankly serious look on his face. "Okay, but... what about the owlbears? You murdered lots of them, but aren't they half-breeds too?"

You don't know whether this is rhetorical or not, and hell, you saved Grito right? So you don't answer and go to bed. The next day, as planned, you guys head to Greyhelm.

The road there is easier than the overgrown road to the Cemetary. It's sort of uphill-downhill, uphill-downhill, but nothing too major. You guys pass a couple merchants on the way, nothing special unless you want to buy some pelts, goats, or fruit. (1 gp, 5 gp, 1 cp respectively: 20 pelts, 5 goats, 200 fruit. Just go ahead and tally it if you care AT ALL.)

You stay the night at Drexel's Roadhouse, a large, but mostly empty hunting lodge turned tavern. It's got a mill, an orchard, and a couple farms. There are some pretty sketchy looking guys in here, they kind of frown at you lot and leave after another round. Someone pay 1 gp (off-season rates) for the lot of you to stay the night, wash up, clean clothes, get some food and drinks, and tip the guy not to worry so much about the zombies slowly catching up from down the road a bit. They're with you.

But Brogg, something's bothering you, and as you try to go to sleep that night, you keep hearing Greetles' voice: "But what about the owlbears?" Yes, damn it, what about them? You have an uneasy night. Although that might also be due to the two, no... *poof* three zombies swaying slowly in place standing between your cots due to lack of room.

Everyone roll WI please...
Before we leave for Greyhelm, I inform Ronald that Tanis Half-Elven is not a dork. He just happens to be a half-breed living in a world of ignorance. May the light of Grisbane someday shine upon that Kobold.

I roll a 6 and a 1. Wow, both ends of the spectrum.

  Odin's No Indian Giver
Spells: yeah, as I said before, Summon Animals can be taken by priests. So we'll do kind of a hybrid 1st-3rd thing here. Charm is for druids only. Withdraw is "hella cheesy" by traditional rules, so nixed. That's Unearthed Arcana crap for you. Summon Animals II allows you to get 1d2+1 level I animals or one level 2 animal.

Mark, are you going to update the DiD ref page, or open it up so the GM can add stuff?

Okay, you guys pack it up and head back to Grito for a sec. No wandering encounters on the way there, you make it by nightfall. Looks like Greetles has done some stuff to the place; there's a ladder leaning against the roof where maybe he's started some repairs? He's not working so hard when you guys show up though. He's in the kitchen with a cup of cider reading his paperback. You give him the two new zombies and explain the situation. He looks a little, mm, dubious? But shrugs. You ask him how it's going, and he says alright. You ask him about the book and he says "Pretty good I guess. Riverwind just died but I think the priest lady made it okay. Tanner Half-elven is kind of a dork though."

You guys stay the night, get healed to full, and head back out onto the road. Up before you, as you're leaving you see Greetles trying to show the zombies how to use a ladder.

You guys have no idea where this ancient weather station thing is, so onto the city of Greyhawk, I mean Greyhelm! Roll for wandering encounters again twice (for the two days journey). Mike makes a zombie.
Okay. Cudgel, check. Non-magical evil priest's holy symbol, check. Amournan, the Whore of Hyannis, aw Hell Yeah! This is a mace I can get behind!

Hey Rob - what's the call on the priest spells? Summon angry bobcat isn't on the 1st level priest spell lists, but that guy's pretty cool. Can I keep him? I'll swap out 'charm person or mammal' next time we sleep, 'cuz I forgot that I wasn't a druid. I'm thinking Withdraw, but I'm also remembering that spell as being wicked powerful.

Oh - except it doesn't matter right now, 'cuz I got level drained. Sigh. Still, my mace is called the Whore of Hyannis, and it talks to me in my head! No matter where I go, now, I have a drinking buddy. Sure, I drink the ale, and she drinks the souls, but any relationship has issues to work out.
Hmm. Well, I guess that is that. I put on the non-magical ring and toss Dave, Fist of Odin, the necklace.

That was quite the price to pay huh, Dave, Fist of Odin?

Brogg suggests that we head to Greyhelm. However, I do think that we should soon investigate the ancient weather station. It was part of Gregory Vrill's "Plan B", and assuming his "Plan A" did not proceed as planned, perhaps we could find him there.

However, along the way, we could stop by and drop off a zombie or two for Mr. Greetles. You really can't get better farm hands than zombies. Once again, no offense, Mike.

BTW, I did find those puns to be very funny. Level Dwayned was priceless.
  He Must've Been Someone's Zombie
Ed, the CUTHBERT cudgel is just about two feet long and five inches in diameter. Not different really from a shortsword in overall length/width ratios. But Mike will take the ring and take your cudgel too. There's no dead hand of Dwayne to remove the ring from... Dwayne is dust. The ring is just sitting there, in Dwayne's nasty ashes.

Mike makes a zombie.

Cinder retrieves the Dagger of Thuul from David. "Are you sure you've never wielded one of these before?"

Regards his holy stick:
"Hmm. A Cudgel of Cuthbert. I don't even want to think what this big pole does to my hide-in-shadows percentage. Friend Zombie Mike, -you want to hold this for me?"

And stop me if any of you object but...
Cinder takes the Ring of Summon Zombies off of Dwaynes dead undead hand and slips it onto Zombie Mike's ring finger.
"Here friend. For companionship and protection. Just try not to use it in town so much."

And top it off with a 2 for random encounters. That puts us in the clear, no?
  Down the Dwayne
Really guys, the 'Dwayne' puns were spontaneous, it wasn't planned that way. I just thought it'd be funny to have a wight named Dwayne.

Anyway, Cinder and Dave, you guys make mincemeat out of Dwayne. That's really just an assload of damage, enough to totally fuck up his shit. Dwayne looks to the sky, I mean the ceiling, and yells "Why god? Why have you cursed me, your damned servant?! I..." but you guys are sick of monologues by now and stuff an old shirt in Dwayne's mouth as his wretched undead body crumbles into dust.

Then there's like this flash of light and you hear soft heavenly music. From the altar you see what looks like a big white glowing thing and a tall handsome man with wings and a halo steps out. He says "I am Soltar, angel and divine servant of Cuthbert of the Cudgel. I thank you gentlemen for destroying a pretty big evil here on this glorious day of our lord. Your efforts towards peace have not gone without acknowledgement in the gay lands above. I bring a gift, from the holy ash tree of The Cudgel, as a temporal token of the divine love of our lord." He then pulls out three apparently identical cudgels, looking like top-heavy driftwood or something, and solemnly hands each of you one of them, doing one of those pope 'smile and nod' things. Written along the edge of each cudgel in big letters is the word CUTHBERT. He then turns and walks back into the glowing light that disappears in cue with someone turning down the church music.

Maybe you misheard him? Maybe he said "gray lands above" but you swore he said "gay lands". Anyway, just to tidy up here, let's just say that Dave casts a Det. Mag. Nope, the cudgels aren't magical. Cinder, I think I know what you're thinking, and you bet you could sell those cudgels for 50 gp a pop. However, Dwayne's ring and mace are. Dwayne also had a nonmagic ring and a nonmagic shiny necklace with a holy symbol on it. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to guess what the fucking holy symbol is.

Final assumption is that Dave picks up the mace. It talks to you in your head! It says "Hello Dave. I am Amournan, the Whore of Hyannis. Damned be the mortal who wields me and doomed be all those who impede his way. I shall aid you in destroying your enemies and bringing you comfort from their blood run cold. I am a +1 Footman's Mace, and I heal you 1d(level) each time you strike a pure- that is, unwounded- foe, be he man, child, or beast from hell. It will be a pleasure to serve you."

Nice work everyone, another 500 xp apiece. Unless there's anything else you want to do, it's on to Greyhelm? Dave, you know of a temple to Odin there, maybe you could get a restoration spell or something. In any case, when you get on the road, someone roll for wandering encounters.
Descent into Depths is an old school 1st Edition AD&D adventure run by the Infinity Group.

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