ACT I: Matrimony
SCENE I: Strangers at the Wedding
Scene opens in the town of Tamsworth, the great old city of Gnomes. Though it is gnome longer at the height of its majesty, you can still see the signs of the once-capital city’s greatness hidden beneath the dilapidation. Today the tired city is in celebration, casting off the fatigue that usually plagues the overworked and underpaid gnome population to play host to a huge crowd celebrating Whizbang Crumblebottom’s wedding to his young bride, Catastrophe Zippyjims!
Hired as guards to escort them to their honeymoon destination near Rowward, the Party has arrived as well. The cast of 4 is a man carrying a fiddle dressed in motley colors of the Gypsy clans (Zindello Lel), a Commanders of Prosperity paladin the size of the hulk but with the face of a schoolgirl (Evie Shipwright), a very very very old gnome with crazy eyes and contrary religious symbols hanging from every spare part of his body (Professor Pringle Buttershorts), and a tall man with the mannerisms (and drinking habits) of a gnome (Soren the Spire). Jimdrix Dingshoot, the house butler, greets them and gives them a very vague map with lots of “totally accurate and 100% exact information” color coded to show safe routes. Jimdrix is colorblind.
They join the festivities and notice a few individuals or groups of people who seem not to be celebrating quite as much as the rest of the gathering. A grim looking dwarf stands out. Catastrophe’s sister Fallacy Zippyjims seems to think that this party does not live up to Orthodox Rumtumian celebrations. Whizbang’s extended relatives are sour about the loss of inheritance. Other than this, the party is banging. The party meets Charles, the Dog That Always Was, drinks a lot, and Evie adopts a puppy named Chucky.
SCENE II: The Honeymooner’s Holdup
The next day after hangovers are had, the party gets on the road. The loving couple is in a carriage locked from the inside, making a racket. Fallacy drives the newlyweds towards Rowward as the party rides their horses. The couple is definitely honeymooning as they head out into the forests. On the second night they hear some whispers in the woods as they travel. Evie and Pringle go to investigate.
The sounds always seems to be ahead of them and the rustling seems to move distinctly away from them. Professor Pringle calls out to the ghosts in greetings. They tell him they’re not allowed to talk to him. He and they are now at friend status. They said something was happening and their mystery “him” wouldn’t want Pringle to know.
The next morning while traveling along, the party runs across an army of three. A racist bunch, they insist that the party hands over the money they know that Mr. Crumblebottom is carrying. They call gnomes “misshapen dwarves” and promptly have their asses handed to them. They are holding a map made by Jimdrix. First blood went to Evie.
SCENE III: A Murder Most Foul!
Shortly after dispatching the bandits, there is a scream from the carriage from Catastrophe. The group breaks in and sees Whizbang, laid out and tied up spread eagle and naked with a panicking Catastrophe looking on. Soren finds out that he’s been poisoned with a rare poison – Fearful Biteroot. With heavy hearts they return to Tamsworth and tell the guards at the gate to fetch the manager. They are brought to the city guard inside and they proceed to tell the whole story.
ACT II: The Investigation
SCENE I: Bringing in the Big Guns
Across the Black Bay, in Chirden, Royal Chirden Paladin Military Police Force (RCPMPF) noble paladin Roderick Hocketag is being tasked in becoming the giant ankle bracelet for the prisonerFeypriss “Prissy” Anklebiter. She is known for her dabbling in poisons and her mind will be useful in the investigation of the death of Whizbang Crumblebottom. They are sent across the bay to join the group. They meet with the party and decide the best way to figure out this mystery is to hunt into the source of the very incredibly super duper rare poison.
They decide to split up to follow up on two leads.
SCENE II: Dive Bars And Spencer
Zindello knows the best place to find information is the shadiest bar in town. So he brings the most wholesome person that exists (Roderick) to the other side of the tracks to find some information (and some sweetleaf.) Zindello shouts the most drug-dealer sounding name he knows (Spencer) into the crowd. It turns out that Spencer is here, as always, selling sweetleaf to the masses. He’s pretty sure he remembers Zindello from a party. He doesn’t touch the harder stuff but sets Zindello up with a name – Gabriel Squidge – and enough sweetleaf to keep a Phish concert magical.
SCENE III: Visiting Nogar’s Speakeasy
Prissy once dated the son of a dwarf named Dwali, a businessdwarf in Chirden. Dwali is a dwarf with a wide net of business associates. He has a connection named Nogar in Tamsworth who runs an illegal bar out of his parlor. She brings Evie and Professor Pringle to the Dwarf Mafia Bar. While asking about the very hard poison, a red headed dwarf comes up and asks Professor Pringle to go outside with him where he proceeds to become VERY good friends with him and Evie (No innuendo, Godly magic.) Then he disappears before doing anything of any real import except for inebriating the two of them.
Nothing useful about the poison is learned.
SCENE IV: Spencer Knows A Guy
Soren wakes up. The Party feels as if Gabriel Squidge may know something. So they head outside of town to visit with the half-orc. They sneak up on his little shack, surround it and knock. Zindello, having partaken of the sweetleaf, stays outside to “make sure everything stays cool.” He casts “Super Subtle Digitation.” A casual version of prestidigitation that just lets everyone know how totally normal he’s being and that everything’s way super fine, don’t worry about it.
The door is open and the insides look about as crappy as the outside. It’s trashed. They investigate and find a lab of questionable chemistry. The kitchen is packed with dirty dishes. In the bedroom there are so many books that the supporting wall may be entirely made out of trashy paperbacks. There is a bizarre curio cabinet stuffed with unusual things in the living room. Searches turned up a copy of [[Carlton’s Guide to the Red Molds of the Paladusky Mountains by Carlton Grimes | Carlton’s Guide to the Red Molds of the Paladusky Mountains by Carlton Grimes]], and Gabriel’s ledger. Less intensive searches turned up a blacked out half-orc named Gabriel in the kitchen. He’s put into shackles and held while this unwarranted search continued.
SCENE V: A Stairway to Hell
Turning over more of the books in Gabriel’s room Soren found a trapdoor. A ladder descended beneath the house and then stairs led upwards. They came to a large stone hall with rows of hooks hanging from the ceiling are in seemingly infinite directions. Hanging from these hooks are various corpses including mostly humanoids from Gnomes to Orcs. Pringle headed off and spoke to his ghost friends who continued to be uselessly quiet about what was going on. Soren found some gnomes and had the party help him haul out as many as possible. They returned to the house but found that the trap door had closed on them. Roderick abandoned his post with the half-orc when he heard a lot of noise coming from the bedroom. He found the trap door with the books placed exactly as they were, cleared them off, and let the party out of the hell dimension. The orc is gone when they return, so they discuss what to do with the deceased gnomes.
It seemed a cremation was in order. Instead of handling it like mature adults, they set the whole house on fire. A large explosion from the lab burned the house to the ground, creating a great backdrop for an action flick, but almost killing some of our heroes.
SCENE VI: A Cursed Curiosity
The trap door is now just a hole in the ground, no longer going to the horror humanoid meat packing district of the Four Kingdoms.
Despite the house being heaps of ashes after a few hours of burning, there stands one thing: The curio cabinet, in perfect condition. It is found under further examination that this curio cabinet is packed full of various and sundry objects. It is locked. An attempt at lockpicking failed, Roderick tried to warhammer it open. After his failure, Evie tried, shattering the Hokentag family warhammer to pieces. Whoops. (She would like to note she is very sorry) and so an intimidation was attempted. The lock felt awfully sad and scared. Eventually they remove the lock and open the curio cabinet. It is empty. On the outside it looks full. To find the answers they hunted around for the escaped Gabriel and found him trying to shuffle through the woods.
The party pulled him back to the curio cabinet and asked him some questions. He was vague and unwilling, but eventually gave Zindello a monkey’s paw, exactly as cursed as advertised. (Advertised as quite cursed). Gabriel reveals that he can’t leave the curio cabinet or the homestead and that he bought it from a man named Frank. He says he can sell it to Pringle but only for less than he purchased it for. Pringle gets a steal on land and takes the Curio cabinet off Gabriel’s hands. Who then proceeds to run away as fast as he can. Pringle finds he can’t walk very far from the curio cabinet. Whoops. He lives here now.
ACT III: The Funeral
SCENE I: Hokentag Haus
Roderick takes Prissy and Evie to visit the homestead to replace his shattered warhammer (sorry.) The ambiance of the household seems to be one of perpetual mild irritation. He is given a loaner. It is learned that Roderick has a sister, Oliviae Hokentag who is stationed with the Lion’s Guard in the south at the Orc Wars. They return barely in time for the funeral.
SCENE II: In Honor of Whizbang!
Zindello is still casting “Inconspicuous Digitation” while gorging on snacks in the corner, definitely not making too much eye contact or too little eye contact with anybody and not seeming suspicious at all.
Neither the bride nor her sister are to be found before the funeral. Suddenly Jimdrix and Catastrophe appear, yelling at each other about the estate and proceedings of the event. The strange dwarf from the wedding is there, helping to set up. Soren goes to investigate. Olaf was an old friend of the deceased. In trying to detect anyone evil at the event, the paladins find that there is evil beneath the mausoleum. The butler gives permission to go take care of it when the doors to the crypt open to intern the deceased. Soren convinces Olaf somehow he needs to go with them despite only being a merchant. He complies because he’s a really nice guy.
SCENE III: Gnobfir The Gnoble Patriarch
The party descends into the mausoleum. They find a room that seems to be a giant party room where the dead is celebrated. At the end of the room they find a bust of a very old gnome. His name is Gnobfir Crumblebottom, the patriarch of the Crumblebottom family. He is really bad at answering questions, tells the party about pirates in the past, then sends you down to the sarcophogi room.
SCENE IV: Fatty Tutu
A room with a large reflecting pool hosts three large model ships, moving due to currents and winds unseen. At the end of the room is a statue of a very wide Gnome. He’s holding a kylix and there are two pedestals on either side of him each holding a kylix. The party broods about what to do as there seems to be no door. After some fumbling they put water in one, wine from a discarded bottle in another and find some liquor to pour one out for the homies. The liquids all disappear and a door appears behind him.
This next room contains 4 skeletons, shambling around. Olaf stays behind because he is useless in this situation. The party catches their attention and they quickly go aggro, fighting with the party. Soren dusts the skeletons and the aura beyond flees further away
SCENE V: The Evil Within
The next room is long with tall shelves of coffins. One half of the room seems to have suffered a fire, long since burned out. The aura of evil still emanates from the other side of the room. They call out to it to introduce itself. A small voice of a girl returns. “I’m scared. You’re going to hurt me.” The group is shocked, this is no place for a child. They promise she will not be harmed and from behind a shelf peeks a small girl. Her skin is paper white, her eyes are solid black, and her mouth, when she opens it, is filled with rot and ruin. She wears rags and clutches a skull like a doll. Zindello starts Que Sera Sera and Gerta smiles widely. She comes over to join them and the debates begin about what to do with the slaymate.
Soren offers to put the girl down for a “forever nap” Roderick recognizes the little girl as a purely evil being and agrees that something must be done. Meanwhile Gerta’s with Prissy, becoming attached. Evie won’t hear of putting the girl down and suggests finding a place where she can be safe. They decide first they should return to the party upstairs.
SCENE VI: A Necromancer and A Bugbear Walk Into a Crypt
While debating, a sound comes from the previous room, they sneak back to find a very spooky looking magical man with his bugbear sidekick approaching Olaf. Soren, thinking on his feet, grabs Olaf’s arm and apologizes to the man, saying they just were wandering off for a little mid-funeral nookie. He sneaks Olaf out then turns, stabbing the necromancer. Gerta stays behind with Prissy’s protection and the party comes out full force and goes into a long dance with the two foes. Eventually the necromancer’s on the run, throwing swaths of darkness behind him to befuddle his enemies, but through careful listening and less careful bumbling, Soren and Roderick manage their way through the darkness to stab him. Likewise in the previous room, the bugbear battled with the party eventually crumpling beneath the anger and hate (and little Gerta bites) of her opponents.
When defeated the necromancer dissolved into nothingness, his dark robes falling to the ground and the clinking sound of vials echoes through the chamber. An investigation shows two vials, one empty, of a clear liquid. The bugbear’s investigation shows a letter:
Dearest Sir Sharon,
My concern with the state of the world is only heightened in light of recent events. I fear I must call together my most trusted compatriots and rise up against the dark forces amassing on the horizon. The uprisal of the Forgotten Ivory is imminent.
That being said, your arrival to the Crumblebottom Crypt is highly anticipated. From there we will continue forward with our plan. Meet with Kreestal in the old Chester homestead and she shall transport you to me.
Best Wishes and Safe Travels, ???
SCENE VII: Gnobfir’s gifts
The party returns upstairs with the creepy little girl and goes to report what has happened. They run real quick into Gnobfir who tells them of Gerta’s abusive father and neglectful mother. Gnobfir gave the party gifts for saving the little girl, a shiny glove for the rogue, Zindello got a sword that was approximately one unit better than any sword he had ever handled, and Evie asked for protection for the slaymate. She was gifted SPF 1000 sunscreen.
Soren and Roderick were absent, upstairs explaining to Jimdrix the poison that was found on the necromancer and the results of their hunt. They also inform Catastrophe, with Hokentag’s terrible bedside manner. The funeral is thankful for their service and they are warmly welcomed to rejoin the party. Gerta gets filled with sweets, and food and drink are shared by the congregation.
SCENE VIII: This Anna Konda Don’t Want None Unless You Have Information About Her Dead Father
Suddenly in bursts a bottom heavy woman taken away by her temper. She finds Olaf, who is calming down now that he’s no longer in necromancer’s sights, and riles him back up by attacking him with questions about the honorable Mr. Konda. He claims to know nothing, that he is a grain transporter primarily and that Mr. Konda’s baked goods were always top notch. As things calm, Anna Konda realizes that Olaf is telling her all he knows and that he too grieves the death of her father now that he’s heard it.
The funeral takes a more somber tone.