Chaotic Crew:Campaign/Chapter 06
"As we join our heroes, their badly-beaten posteriors are following the mysterious sage Saffron back to his home, their pride (and numerous burnt skin flakes) trailing behind them..."
The sage leads the Party through the back alleys of the town, eventually coming to a stop in front of an odd little tower. The building is nestled in the center of a tiny, back-alley cul-de-sac, as though the buildings nearby were built around it. Though it resembles a stereotypical wizard's tower, the structure is only two stories tall, and barely wide enough for a single room on each floor.
Eleihoff: "This reminds me of the tower my great, great, great, great, great, great..."
Wolfgang frowns and flakes off some of his burnt clothing. "...I'm going to need a new shirt." He looks up at the two-story tower structure, then mumbles something about needing a renovator... or a demolition crew and modernization. But, he smiles. "Um, that's a rather small place, Mr. Saffron, sir."
"Yes, well, I do live alone, sonny." The sage produces a brass key from somewhere in the folds of his robe, and fumbles with the lock. "Alrighty, here we are. You folks come on in and make yourself comfortable...s'least I can do after you all nearly got your buns toasted on my account."
He opens the door, and shuffles inside.
Eleihoff coughs innocently.
Wolfgang: "...nearly?" He glances at Eleihoff, and enters the building.
Eleihoff shrinks away from the gaze attack and wanders into the building.
Reginar follows along with the group. "I could use a new beard more than I could use new clothes," he says with a rare bit of glumness.
Wolfgang smiles and looks at Reginar. "Maybe Saffron has some quick-hair growth potion?"
Reginar: "Maybe, though it's just not the same takin' shortcuts."
The inside of the tower is...cozy, to say the least. Actually, "claustrophobic" is a better word - the whole place is littered with eclectic junk. Stacks upon stacks of books, boxes, and random scrap are piled along the walls, while paper documents are scattered across the floor. A wooden writing desk in one corner of the round room is covered in handwritten notes, diagrams, and a few random flasks and bottles. A ladder against the wall leads up to
Opening in the roof overhead.
Eleihoff: "Feels a lot like my lab here."
Reginar: "Feels a lot like my bedroom when I was a wee lad."
Saffron gestures absentmindedly at a pile of boxes. "Take a seat if you like. I've got some beddings in the closet, I'll fetch them right quick." He ducks behind a stack of books the size of a storage shed, and out of sight.
Reginar goes over, examines the boxes for a moment, then gamely sits on one of them.
Eleihoff adventurously climbs onto the boxes and finds a spot to sit.
Wolfgang heads over to the boxes and starts rearranging them to make a couple of chair-like arrangements. "Credance? Care to sit?"
Credance: "Feels like a neglected basement.
Eleihoff: "Yes. It brings back some good memories."
Eleihoff: "And some...more explosive memories."
Credance shrugs and bounces into the "chair" putting her feet up on something with an expensive leather binding.
Wolfgang sits down on his own chair-like substance, sinking into the box quite a distance. "...too much armor."
Credance: "At least armor doesn't burn.
After a few minutes, the sage emerges, carrying an ivory rod. "So, how is everyone? Anyone hungry?"
Wolfgang ponders the fact that metal armor does, in fact, retain heat longer than others. "Famished."
Credance: "I had to bless like 300 cows to earn those robes.
Eleihoff: "Food? Sounds good."
Reginar chuckles. "Holy cows? And ya, a bite to eat would be wonderful."
Wolfgang looks over at Credance, raising an eyebrow.
Credance: "Eh, something about the cornerstone of an agricultural society.
Credance: "What ya got, harry?
"Alrighty then..." The sage ducks behind a stack of boxes...you can hear the sound of him rummaging around. Moments later, he appears again, this time with a small glass bottle.
Wolfgang: "...are you all right, Credance?"
Credance: "Depends on your definition of "right"
Wolfgang: "You sound a little... different."
The sage suddenly wraps his cloak around himself, and starts to mumble...the room darkens, and papers flit everywhere as a subtle wind begins to whirl around the inside of the room.
Reginar: "This is an interesting method of cooking..."
Credance: "Oh, that's just because one of the voices is finally making sense.
A crackling ball of energy appears in the middle of the floor...it rises up, spinning rapidly, tendrils of energy leaping out to brush against the myriad of items. The sage throws up his arms, causing the ball to explode in a brilliant flash of light!
Wolfgang: "...the voices...?" His own voice gets small, and he shifts away from Credance slightly.
Reginar yelps in surprise at the sudden flash of light.
Smoke fills the room...when it clears, an oak dinner table and matching chairs have appeared in the middle of the room, along with place settings.
Wolfgang: "GAH!" He throws his arm up.
Eleihoff: "This is interesting..." Eleihoff shades his eyes.
The sage brushes his hands. "There we go. It's been a while since I had to bring out the good table."
Credance: "Dinner and a show, not bad.
Eleihoff: "The good table? What's the other one like?"
Reginar looks mightily impressed. "My Grandma would love to learn that little trick."
Wolfgang: "...enough room for one, Eleihoff." Wolfgang moves over to the table and pulls out a chair, contemplating the table for a moment.
Eleihoff crawls down from his perch and picks a random seat.
Credance sits at the table too.
Reginar also takes a seat at the Magic Table.
Wolfgang takes a seat.
Saffron produces the aforementioned glass bottle. "I got this from a traveler from the north. Said she'd been working on 'em for years." He uncorks the bottle, and suddenly a whirlwind of magical energy spills out, enveloping the table. As the smoke clears, it reveals that each plate now has a steaming hot, three-course meal on it.
Eleihoff: "Oooooo!" Eleihoff stares at the meal hungrily.
Reginar: "Now that's my idea of hospitality." Reginar rubs his hands together eagerly. "We should say Grace first, I think."
Wolfgang picks up his napkin and smooths it neatly on his lap, then removes the buckler from his arm. "...huh. Excuse me a moment." He rises from the table. "Is there somewhere I can get out of my armor?"
Wolfgang: The sage blinks at you. "What, my house isn't good enough?"
Wolfgang: "I meant out of sight... like a restroom or a largish closet. I'd also like to see if my spare clothes are intact."
Credance: "Need a hand?
Reginar coughs and chuckles a little.
"Oh." He snaps his fingers...a wooden outhouse appears in one corner of the room. "The best I've got is my pocket-dimension toilet. Will that work?"
Wolfgang: He raises an eyebrow. "...yeah, I think so. This isn't quite so hard as the full plate armor that one of my buddies got." He heads for the outhouse.
Wolfgang: "Oh, I'll be fine getting it off, don't worry."
Saffron calls out as the door shuts behind Wolfgang. "Don't forget to flush!"
Credance: "You know, it's lot's more fun to get off with company.
Reginar executes something that is definitely stuck between a laughing and a coughing fit.
Wolfgang: He begins to remove the armor. Small clanks and rattles emanate from the small closet. "OW!" A crash. "I'm all right!" A sound like falling pots and pans hitting a floor. The outhouse shakes and thumps about. "Egads! I didn't know that went there..."
Reginar manages, "Sounds like he's havin' plenty of fun all by himself."
"Alright, time to eat." Saffron holds his fork and knife meaningfully over his plate...then pitches them backwards over his shoulder, snatches up a turkey leg, and proceeds to rip it apart with his bare teeth.
*chomp gnash chaw chew snort gulp BELCH!*
Reginar composes himself, holds his hands up over the meal, and says, "Thank ya, Moradin, for this wonderful bounty, for a new squad, for a mission inside actual civilization, and for not letting us all die in a horrible magic fire."
Eleihoff picks up his utensils and examines them carefully. Then he stabs his fork into a potato and brings it to his mouth, devouring it hungrily.
Reginar then digs into his own food with gusto.
Wolfgang: A few more thumps. A long pause of silence. "Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh..." Another short pause. Then the flushing sound associated with industrial-size toilets. He steps out, his backpack heavy with armor and he's dressed in fresh clothing. Time elapsed: 2 minutes. He returns to his place. "That was a slick restroom! You should check it out when you need to do your business."
The outhouse vanishes the moment Wolfgang steps out of it. *POOF!*
Reginar: "I think the outhouse already checked out, sadly."
Wolfgang: "Oh, too bad." He digs into his meal, although he shows at least some level of manners. "Remind me tomorrow, I need to pick up another outfit for backup. Maybe two."
Reginar: "I need to get Eleihoff a hat."
Eleihoff shows his meal no mercy, though he occasionally slips a bit to his toad, which sits obediently on his shoulder.
Eleihoff: "Oooh! A new hat? Sounds great!"
Credance: "That's why I always wear leather under my robes, durable.
Wolfgang: "Leather? I'd have never guessed..." He turns toward Reginar. "Well, we made it through that mess."
Reginar: "Indeed. A bit singed, but alive."
Wolfgang: "What could we have done better?"
Reginar: "Made sure that our side was well clear before bringing out the heavy artillery."
Credance: "Not get a fireball thrown at us.
Wolfgang: "Besides that, of course. I meant more tactically."
Reginar: "I think we were doing pretty well up until that point. Well, except for the sword mishap."
Wolfgang looks down. "...yeah, sorry, Credance."
"Pshaw." The sage handwaves. "Everybody gets almost killed by friendly fire sooner or later."
"Why, just the other day, I saw a bunch of guys nearly get themselves killed by a fireball over at the graveyard."
Eleihoff: "This isn't the first time I've had to deal with a fiery explosion, either."
Wolfgang looks up at Saffron. "...oh, really. You did?"
Reginar: "I do believe that was us, sir."
"Really?" He blinks. "...oh, that's right, you're the one who got his beard blown off." He hands a small leather pouch to Reginar. "This'll help with that problem, if you like."
Wolfgang begins shaking his head, looking down and studying his plate VERY carefully. Yeah, we had a LOT going for us here.
Reginar takes the pouch curiously. "What is it?"
He strokes his own beard proudly. "Gives you that brilliant sheen."
Reginar: "Ah. Ah, thank ya, sir." Reginar carefully schools his face to politeness and tucks the pouch away.
"Anywho." He finishes his meal, sitting back and patting his stomach. "BRAAAP! Oh, 'scuse me."
Wolfgang finishes his meal, having left some on the plate, and rises from the table. "...well, I'm ready to turn in."
Eleihoff gulps down the last scraps of his meal, sneaking one last piece to his toad.
Reginar finishes his own meal and says, "A good night's rest would be welcome right now."
"Alright, let me clear the table." He stands up, and snaps his fingers...the table and everything on it vanish in a puff of smoke, along with the chairs.
Wolfgang moves back to his box and sits down.
Reginar: "Ack!" Reginar barely manages to land in a crouch instead of sprawled on the ground as his chair disappears out from under him.
Eleihoff is caught unaware, and falls to the floor. "Oomph!"
Wolfgang: "Are you all right, Eleihoff?"
Saffron produces a metal can with a small button on top of it. "Ah, here we are...'Sleepover In a Can.'" He points it at the floor, and pushes the button...a hissing, burbling noise is heard, and a greenish gas sprays from the can nozzle.
Eleihoff gets back to his feet. "Yeah, I can still walk."
Soon, the mist forms a thin, oblong cloud...it hovers down to the floor, where it solidifies into...a sleeping bag.
Eleihoff: "More portable conveniences?"
Credance skitters out of the way.
Wolfgang: "...well, that's one sleeping bag."
Credance: "Well, this will be.... "cozy"
Wolfgang: "I've got a bedroll on my horse. I can bring it in, Saffron."
The can sputters. "Blasted piece of junk..." He rattles the can a bit, then slaps it with his hand. He proceeds to spray out three more sleeping bags, all in a row.
Wolfgang: "Ah, never mind."
Wolfgang: "Was that made by Coleman Corp?"
Wolfgang: "Makers of fine... magical camping products? Maybe it was just a marketing brochure I saw..."
"I dunno, I just found it in a dumpster one day." He yawns. "Alright, you folks have a good sleep. I'm goin' to go get some shut-eye...after that spell, I'm exhausted."
Eleihoff: "A dumpster?"
Wolfgang: "Don't start dumpster diving tonight, Eleihoff." Wolfgang goes over to one of the sleeping back and crawls inside.
Credance: "Oy, Harry. you got a way up to the roof?
Eleihoff: "I make no promises."
"The roof? Why?"
Wolfgang pokes his head out. "I don't think she needs to sleep. She probably doesn't want to hear Reginar snore."
Credance: "Because the feathers would get everywhere if I prayed inside.
Reginar: "Hey, now. I don't snore. ...sleepwalk occasionally, yes, but I don't snore."
"Uhh..." He raises an eyebrow. "...hookay. There's a ladder upstairs."
Wolfgang: "Oh, yeah... don't snore... yeah." Wolfgang grabs his pillow and relaxes.
Credance: "I know goats are better, but they're Chaos Plane to transport.
Wolfgang: "..." He sighs and covers his head up. "I don't want to know... I don't want to know... I don't want to know..."
Reginar chuckles slightly, picks one of the sleeping bags himself, and settles in. He tucks his Grandpa Bag beside him. "Good night, Grandpa."
Eleihoff practically leaps into an empty sleeping bag, leaving his toad to wander to an unseen corner of the room.
Credance: "Besides, my Port-an-Alter is too small for goats...
As Credance and Saffron retire to the upper rooms and the Party drifts off to sleep, Eleihoff's toad squeezes through a small hole into the alley. Escaping into the outside world, he goes on to have a series of comical misadventures worthy of being made into a spin-off game. He returns, sporting a brand-new form, just as the Party begins to awaken...
Wolfgang yawns, stretching in his sack, then finally crawling out of the sleeping bag. He stands up and smacks his lips slightly as he peers around the room.
Reginar mutters quietly in his sleep.
Credance slides down the ladder. A solitary chicken feather is stuck in her hair.
Wolfgang: When Credance reaches ground level, Wolfgang grins and plucks the feather out of her hair. "Looks like one wild night."
Credance shrugs, "Eh, not really." She causally sucks some dark red sticky substance off one of her fingers.
Wolfgang stares for a moment, then goes over to his box-chair, sitting down. He shakes his head.
Reginar finally opens his eyes blearily, yawns, and stretches. "Ah. Most comfortable sleep I've had in ages!"
Wolfgang: "Good morning, Reginar."
Reginar: "Good morning, laddie." Reginar climbs out of his sleeping bag, stands retrieves his Grandpa Bag, and looks into it. "Good morning, Grandpa. Time for another grand day of bringing honor to the family name!"
Saffron suddenly emerges from behind a nearby stack of books. "Ah, you're awake!"
Wolfgang: "Yes, although there are some times when I wonder about that fact."
Reginar: "Now that we're slept, fed, and zombie-free, we'd like to ask you about a portal."
Wolfgang: "Yes, in Worldtown." He gives it a slightly classic feel.
Credance: "Have you got any coffee? I've killed for a cappuccino.
The sage blinks. "WHICH portal in Worldstown?"
"And, sure, it's right there." He points to a small metal keg, sitting on a nearby box.
Reginar: "The one in the Church of All Worlds."
Credance curiously pulls herself a cup.
Wolfgang: "I believe it's at the Church of All.... Never mind."
Credance: "The one you went through and never talk about.
Credance: The small spigot on the barrel spits forth some Coffee. As it does so, you drop the No Coffee.
He scratches his head. ".........oh, that portal!" He suddenly glares. "Why do you want to go there?"
Reginar: "We're trying to fix the Divine Switchboard. ...except we need to figure out how to get to its plane, first."
Wolfgang: "It's apparently gone awry, and the designated switchboard repair crew is... well, us."
"Ah....AH!" He nods. "Yes, that would explain the zombies, and that unfortunate business over in Fieldsboro..." He strokes his beard thoughtfully. "Hmm..."
Credance sips her coffee.
Wolfgang: "...Fieldsboro?" He shakes his head, then says, "Never mind, ask that later. First things first."
"Let me see..." Once again, he vanishes behind some boxes. Loud noises of items being tossed around are heard...moments later, he emerges, carrying an odd device. "Here you go."
Wolfgang examines the item closely, rising and walking over to Saffron. "What is this? What does it do?"
Reginar goes over and looks at the device curiously himself.
Credance: "That sure is one odd looking device, there.
"Isn't it, though?" He points to it. "Press that button there."
Wolfgang: He carefully reaches out and touches that button.
The thing emits a sharp "PING!" sound. As it does so, a small, green holographic arrow appears in mid-air above the device. It spins wildly for a moment before snapping into line, pointing directly at Saffron.
Wolfgang: "...a magical spin the bottle machine?"
Wolfgang: "And no, I'm not going to, either."
"Ah, wonderful, it works!" He reaches into a pocket, and produces a small object that appears to be a medal. "The device is calibrated to detect the keys needed to open the portal. This is one of them." He hands it to Wolfgang.
Wolfgang: He takes them and examines the key. "So, are there more keys that are needed?"
Credance: "Ah shee, this isn't going to turn into a Dragonball Z show, is it?
"Yes, there's three total. Though, it's been so long, I can't remember what the other look like..."
"But, I do know that there's one in each major town. The other two would be in Villageburg and Fieldsboro."
Wolfgang: "But, the detector will tell us. And who might have the other two keys?"
Reginar: "Dragonball Z? Is that the show that was always on opposite Paladin Paul?"
He shrugs. "Beast me. It's been thirty years, kiddo."
Credance: "Why did you go into the portal anyway?
Wolfgang: "I think it was right after Transformers."
He shrugs again. "Because it was there."
Credance: "Why do you only have one key?
"There were originally three of us...myself, and my two assistants. I gave each of them one of the keys for safekeeping. Problem is..." He strokes his beard. "They're both dead now. I never did find out what they did with 'em before they croaked..."
Credance: "Oh, well. Very safe then...
Wolfgang: "What kind of distance does this detector have? I mean, are we talking feet, yards, miles?"
Credance: "How did you find out how to open the portal?
He scratches his head. "You know, I can't rightly remember. I think maybe we found it by accident..." He shrugs. "As for the detector, it'll work pretty much anywhere. It's magic, after all."
"Just keep pushing the button to change settings."
Wolfgang: "Okay... I got it." He pushes the button again.
Credance: "Do you at least remember what you found on the other side?
He shrugs. "The Switchboard."
Credance: "Tell me what you did there.
Wolfgang: You push the button again. (Is there an echo in here?) The green arrow vanishes, replaced by a yellow one...this one points off to the southwest.
Wolfgang: He puts the device away.
"I don't know. That was part of the deal." He sighs. "On the other side, we met the being in charge of the Switchboard...he was going to kill us right then and there to keep the secret safe, but in the end, I convinced him to just erase our memories instead. I remember going in, and speaking with...someone, but who that someone was and what else happened, I don't know. All I remember is being booted back out rather forcefully, and the sound of someone blowing a raspberry."
Wolfgang: "Of course." He chuckles. "That's fine. Anything else you can tell us that might be useful?"
"Only this..." The room suddenly goes dark...he wraps his cloak around him and speaks in a dark, foreboding voice. "Fieldsboro has been besieged by a great neutrality...if you value your lives, you'll stay away!" Somewhere off in the distance, thunder crashes. "STAY AWAAAAYYY!!!"
The lights return to normal, and he drops the cloak. "Though, that's just me."
Reginar: "Well, this will prove to be interesting, eh, laddie?"
Wolfgang: Wolfgang's mouth opens, then closes. "...Yeah. Interesting... Well, let's go, then." He turns to head out of the tower.
Credance: "Later, Harry. The Dark One says to watch your back.
"Hey, wait!" He darts in front of you, and extends his hand. "Thanks again for the help last night. This town owes you a great debt."
Wolfgang shakes Saffron's hand, smiles, then ducks his head, heading out.
Reginar: 'Thank you again for your help, sir." Reginar gives Saffron a salute, then heads out as well.
Credance takes the hand, "No problem. Tell them that I accept cash and personal checks."
He waves at you from the doorway as you leave. "Thanks again! And remember, don't forget to flush!" He promptly slams the door behind you.
Wolfgang climbs onto his horse and sets course...